08/21/20: Showtime shoots for Moonbase 8


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Friday August 21, 2020

Today’s Premieres
Discovery: 100 Days Wild at 9p
HGTV: Backyard Takeover at 9p
Netflix: Alien TV, Hoops, Lucifer, Rust Valley Restorers
Travel Channel: Paranormal Nightshift at 10p
VH1: RuPaul’s Drag Race: Vegas Revue at 8p

Saturday’s Premiere
Freeform: Love in the Time of Corona at 8p

Saturday’s Finale
ID: The Genetic Detective at 10p

Sunday’s Premieres
Discovery: Alaskan Bush People at 8p, Expedition to the Edge at 9p
HBO: The Vow at 10p
HGTV: Renovation Island: Bryan and Sarah Tell All at 8p
HLN: How It Really Happened with Hill Harper at 9p
ID: Signs of a Psychoopath at 10:30p
Weather Channel: Weather Gone Viral at 9p

Sunday’s Finales
AMC, BBC America: NOS4A2 at 10p
BET: Sunday Best at 8p
Disney Now: Elena of Avalor at 7p
Freeform: Love in the Time of Corona at 9p
Paramount Network: Yellowstone at 9p
PBS: Endeavour on Masterpiece at 9p
Showtime: The Chi at 9p
Weather Channel: Mayday: Air Disaster at 8p


Video streaming services have reached 72% penetration in US homes, up 13% since January, according to video tech company Grabyo. And in good news for those services, 85% of streaming customers said they would keep the same number of subscriptions after social distancing requirements end. “While the U.S. was already in front of the curve for streaming adoption, the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated this trend,” said Gareth Capon, CEO at Grabyo. “With most of the U.S. population staying at home, consumers have had the chance to watch more TV, trial new streaming subscriptions and discover which services offer the most value. Our findings show that online streaming has come out on top across all consumer segments and these changes in the market are here to stay. ”

Tavis Smiley was ordered to pay PBS $2.6 million for violating the network’s morals clause, increasing the $1.5 million a jury had awarded in March. PBS argued after the earlier decision that it was entitled to additional damages, including the $1.9 million it had paid to Smiley’s company for the show’s last two seasons. An investigation by PBS found Smiley had had affairs with multiple subordinates.

From August 17-19, during the Democratic convention, the Biden for President campaign had 188 national commercial airings, and a total of 145 million national TV impressions from 29 TV networks, reports iSpot.tv. The highest number of Biden impressions among networks were Fox News, CNN, CBS, ID, and TNT. The Donald J. Trump for President campaign ran 28 national TV commercial airings over that period, with 77.6 million national TV impressions.

A Twitter spokesman responded to President Trump tweeting that trending topics on the platform are decided by anti-Republican Twitter executives. “Trends are determined by an algorithm and, by default, are tailored for you based on who you follow, your interests, and location,” said the company. Trump’s accusation came after #TrumpMeltdown trended, following his Twitter reaction to former President Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention.

TikTok outlined steps it is taking to “eliminate hate” on the platform. After removing over 380,000 videos and 1300 accounts since January that violate its hate speech policy, TikTok said it is updating its definition of hate speech, making it harder to find hateful content and accounts, improving transparency with users and collaborating with more experts.

Cincinnati Reds announcer Thom Brenneman was suspended mid-game after he was caught using a homophobic slur on a hot mic. “The Cincinnati Reds organization is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark made this evening,” said the Reds in a statement after the game. “He was pulled off the air, and effective immediately was suspended from doing Reds broadcasts. We will be addressing our broadcasting team in the coming days.” Brennaman, who has been with Fox Sports for 27 years, made a lengthy apology, saying he was “deeply ashamed” about the comment. Fox Sports yanked him from the NFL schedule.

Also issuing an apology is Netflix, which drew criticism for the marketing of its upcoming release, Cuties. In promotions for the French-language film focused on an 11-year-old dancer, Netflix used artwork that many said sexualized children. “We’re sorry for the inappropriate artwork that we used for this film. This was not an accurate representation of the film so the image and description has been updated,” said Netflix. Cuties hits the service on September 9.

The prestigious list of finalists have been announced for Cynopsis’ Adtech Awards. See who made the cut!

Cynopsis’ That Big TV [Virtual Experience]
9/22 – 9/24 |1-4PM ET
This session on Sept. 24 is sponsored by a4 Advertising. Jon Steinberg, President of Altice News & Advertising at Altice USA, will dig into the new world of TV news, which is more critical than ever in an uncertain era. He’ll outline the changes in consumer consumption, strategic opportunities for brands and advertisers, & ensuring brand safety on news platforms.



Showtime has picked up half-hour workplace comedy Moonbase 8. Set to debut this fall, the series stars Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Tim Heidecker (Tim and Eric Awesome Show) and John C. Reilly (Stepbrothers). The six-episode series follows three subpar astronauts living at NASA’s Moon Base Simulator with hopes of being chosen to travel to the moon. Created, written and executive produced by Armisen, Heidecker, Reilly and Jonathan Krisel (Baskets), who also serves as series director, Moonbase 8 is produced by A24 and Abso Lutely Productions.

VH1 renewed RuPaul’s Drag Race, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars and aftershow Untucked. “Drag queens have been on the frontlines of many challenging times in our history,” said RuPaul, who also exec produces. “RuPaul’s Drag Race 13, All Stars 6 and new seasons of Untucked will offer more opportunities for our queens to rise to the occasion and spread the love.”

With Comedy Central shifting its focus to adult animation, its longest-running live-action series, Tosh.0, will end after its upcoming 12th season – despite scoring a four-season renewal in January. “I look forward to doing an animated reboot of my show on MTV in 25 years,” said the show’s creator and host, Daniel Tosh.Comedy Central also stopped Drunk History cold turkey – season seven, ordered last summer and in pre-production before the COVID-19 pandemic, will not move forward.

CBS handed a script commitment plus penalty to How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings, based on the book by President Trump impersonator Sarah Cooper. The comedy comes from Cooper, Cindy Chupack (Sex and the City), Nina Tassler and PatMa Productions and CBS Television Studios.

Food Network has started production on new series Candy Land, based on the classic Hasbro children’s game. Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies) hosts the six-episode competition, featuring five groups of players made up of cake and sugar artists. “I’m so excited for the world to see these talented confectionary artists and the incredible set,” said Chenoweth. “And I can’t wait to wear a dress again.”

Disney Channel gave a green light to Spin, a movie starring Avantika Vandanapu (Diary of a Future President) as a teen who falls for an aspiring DJ and discovers she has a talent for creating beats. Manjari Makijany (Desert Dolphin) will direct.

A limited series based on the feature documentary Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer is in development at Sony Pictures Television, reports Deadline. The project is described as “a sizzling immersive expose.”

Where media education, network and benchmarking meet: We know you need you need to be on top of your game to succeed in today’s media world. That’s why we have created the Cynopsis Membership Program, to provide the insights and research to make you the smartest person in the room.

HBO Max greenlit a trio of stand-up specials. Comedian/actress/producer Aida Rodriguez confronts audiences about cancel culture and the social issues of the day, “not just because they’re ripped from the headlines, but because they are in the pages torn out of her personal life.” Also landing a solo spot is Phoebe Robinson (2 Dope Queens). “I feel like Susan Lucci when she finally won a Daytime Emmy (this reference is for my mom). It took twelve years to get here, but here I am,” said Robinson. And Colin Quinn will direct and perform in Summer of 2020: A Drive-In Comedy Special (wt).


The Right Stuff, based on the Tom Wolfe book about America’s first astronauts, launches on Disney+ with a two-episode premiere on Friday, October 9.

Season four of Netflix’s The Crown bows November 15. Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher will be onboard.

Cinemax’s Warrior is back for season two on Friday, October 2 at 10p. New series regulars include Celine Buckens (War Horse), Dustin Nguyen (also directing episode 6; 21 Jump Street), Chen Tang (Mulan), Miranda Raison (Artemis Fowl) and recurring series regular Maria Elena Laas (Vida).

Also headed for a sophomore run is Falsa Identidad, slated to return to Telemundo on Tuesday, September 22 at 10p. Added to the cast this time around is pop superstar Dulce Maria.

AccuWeather TV is running a series for five days, from August 31-September 4, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII with weather-related stories.

The remaining six episodes of the first season of Netflix reboot Unsolved Mysteries launch October 19. The first freshman batch premiered July 1.


Streaming service Shudder is super-sizing Halloween with eight new originals, a binge release of NOS4A2 season two, a new Vincent Price collection and more, starting September 1.

America’s first modern-day paranormal investigators are the subject of the first installment of Travel Channel’s Shock Docs. Two-hour special The Devil’s Road: The True Story of Ed and Lorraine Warren debuts Monday, September 7 at 9p.

Ryan Eggold (New Amsterdam) will host a 30-minute special that recaps this year’s Clear The Shelters nationwide pet adoption campaign. The show will air on NBC stations beginning August 28 (check local listings) and feature stories of individuals and celebrities who are fostering and adopting pets during the pandemic, as well as stories from animal brand, The Dodo.


UK’s Channel 5 signed a content partnership deal with discover.film, for an array of short form content that will debut on its My5 streaming platform. The content partnership brings short form content to My5 for the first time.

The Ways You Can Include Us & Build Long Term Partnerships
Thursday, Aug. 27 / 1:00PM ET

The 60-min webinar will focus on the benefits clients & agencies will see when they apportion part of their media spend on reaching the Black audience and diverse society that reflects their product’s customer base.

Redeem Your Complimentary Pass Here.
Sponsored by TheGrio/ES Networks


Viewership rose on the third night of the Democratic convention on ABC, CBS, Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, from 18.7 million Monday and 18.6 million Tuesday, to 21.4 million on Wednesday. That’s down 11% from the event’s third night in 2016, but does not include digital and streaming viewership.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Wednesday, August 19
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: United We Fall 2.85 (0.5), The Goldbergs 1.73 (0.3), The Conners 1.79 (0.3), American Housewife 1.51 (0.3), Democratic Convention 2.48 (0.4)
CBS: Big Brother 3.85 (1.0), Tough as Nails 2.64 (0.4), Democratic Convention 1.99 (0.3)
CW: The Hundred 0.54 (0.1), Coroner 0.60 (0.1)
FOX: MasterChef 1.26 (0.3), MasterChef 1.47 (0.4)
NBC: America’s Got Talent 5.14 (0.6), Ellen’s Game of Games 2.19 (0.4), Democratic Convention 2.53 (0.5)
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos 1.22 (0.3), Cennet 1.26 (0.3), Enemigo Intimo 0.81 (0.3)
Univision: Rosa de Guadelupe 1.47 (0.5), Medicos Linea de Vida 1.52 (0.5), Como Tu No Hay 1.65 (0.5)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


The Weather Channel named Fred Bucher SVP and Chief Marketing Officer. Bucher was most recently SVP and CMO of Spectrum Reach.

Damien Scott has been appointed Managing Director at Rightpoint. Previously, Scott was VP Business Lead for North America for TandemSeven.

Banijay Rights hired Matt Creasey as EVP, Sales, Co-Productions & Acquisitions, Rest of the World. Creasey joined Endemol Shine International in 2006 as Director of Sales.

Thunderbird Entertainment announced the promotion of Joel Bradley to the role of Head of Production at its kids and family division (Atomic Cartoons), as well as the appointment of Colin Beadle to VP Human Resources for all Thunderbird divisions.

ABC Signature tapped Susan Lewis as Head of Drama Development. Lewis had been SVP, Original Programming at Starz

Friday Fun Fact
Hot water freezes faster than warm water.

This Day in History
1942 – Walt Disney’s Bambi was released.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Midway through a Republican National convention, which journalist announced he was ending his convention broadcasts because the events had become an “infomercial” for the nominees, not a news event? Ted Koppel, in 1996. Kudos to: Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA, Dan Haberer-Creo Entertainment/Playa del Rey, CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
In which sitcom’s first episode, in 1996, did a bride have second thoughts about the groom and leave him at the altar? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four answers per time zone.)

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Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day

Seeking full-time, in-house legal counsel. Must have min 5yrs of legal exp with 3 yrs of entertainment law exp. Responsibilities include overseeing all legal matters, working directly with the management team on all business legal affairs, as well as tracking and completing all contracts with networks, talent and clients. Full Info HERE (9/4)

FUTURE TODAY INC/CHICAGO, LA, NYC: Seeking salespeople to represent our CTV portfolio spanning kids/family, entertainment and lifestyle content. Ideal candidate will have exp within Retail, Insurance, and/or CPG verticals as well as existing relationships with major agencies. Minne relationships are essential for the IL role. Full info HERE. (9/1)

NBCUNIVERSAL/NY, NY: Seeking an individual who is looking for the opportunity to learn and grow in an exciting, evolving research environment supporting ELG Research team. Min 2 yrs exp in research, advertising, or media outlet. Prefer exp at a cable network. Full info HERE (8/28)

TWIN CITIES PBS/ST. PAUL, MN: New, FT position, that will design and implement a holistic and enterprise-wide inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) strategy into all of our programs and business initiatives. Min 10ys exp in IDEA in a nonprofit, educ and/or media preferred. Full info HERE. (8/28)

GLASS ENTERTAINMENT GRP/Phila, PA: Seeking motivated, self-starter to join our podcast team. This individual will be responsible for securing ad campaigns across our slate of podcasts. Must have podcast, audio or digital ad sales experience. Full info HERE (8/28)

A+E/NY: Support Int’l, Corp Dev and Corp Divisions, incl domestic & int’l mergers & acquisitions and general corp matters in addition to support of relationships with int’l channel partners & int’l content sales. YOU NEED: JD, min 7 yrs legal exp at a major law firm or in-house counsel at a media company, exp in an active M&A practice, content licensing exp & strong negotiation & drafting skills. Full info HERE (8/27)

Magnolia/New York, Knoxville, Austin: CD w/a strong eye to oversee dev of original programming for Magnolia partnering with Chip & Joanna Gaines. Build new talent and concepts across varying platforms. 7+ yrs network/production exp req’d. Full info HERE (8/27)

Newsmax Media/Washington D.C.: Seeking proven on-air reporter, in possession of an already-developed contact list, including many “who’s who” leaders in Congress, and related government agencies. Min 3 yrs exp with outstanding writing/production skills. Full info HERE (8/26)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (8/26)

Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for designing and building prime time show, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (8/26)

Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (8/25)

Newsmax Media/NYC: Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (8/25)

Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (8/25)

ABC: Shark Tank, 20/20
CBS: MacGyver, Magnum P.I., Blue Bloods
CW: Masters of Illusion, Masters of Illusion, Masters of Illusion, Being Reuben, Being Reuben
FOX: WWE Friday Night Smackdown
NBC: America’s Got Talent, Dateline NBC
PBS: Washington Week, Firing Line With Margaret Hoover, Great Performances
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Cennet, Enemigo Intimo
Univision: La Rosa de Guadelupe, Medicos, Linea de Vida, Como Tu No Hay


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