08/13/15: Suspension over, we’ll see Brian Williams in September; Ryan Seacrest readies for late nights in Rio; Michael Bolton comedy in development at ABC


Good morning. It’s Thursday August 13, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
Cooking: Cake Hunters at 9p
Sportsman: MeatEater at 8p

Tonight’s Finales:
CNN: The Seventies at 9p
ID:  Untouchable: Power Corrupts at 9p 
SundanceTV: Rectify at 10p
USA: Complications at 9p

The six-month suspension of Brian Williams, bumped in February from his NBC News anchor perch for misreporting, is officially over. For his next act, in September Williams heads to MSNBC, where it’s expected he’ll play a role in rejuvenating the last place major cable news channel. The “lean forward” net will start standing straighter under new NBC News chairman Andy Lack, according to the Wall Street Journal, with a pivot to straight news in daytime. Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd is also part of the rescue effort, leading an afternoon news show.


Score one for cable operators. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler announced in a blog post Wednesday that he will circulate an order enabling a pay TV company to import a signal from an out-of-market station in the event of a retrans dispute that results in a local broadcaster yanking its programming. “In this item, the Commission takes its thumb off the scales and leaves the scope of such exclusivity to be decided by the parties, as we did in the Sports Blackout Order last year,” writes Wheeeler. “In so doing, the Commission would take 50-year old rules off our books that have been rendered unnecessary by today’s marketplace.”

NBC has tapped Ryan Seacrest to host live late-night coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil. And the net has high hopes for Rio. “The late night atmosphere will be electric,” said Jim Bell, Olympics exec producer. Seacrest was a correspondent for the 2012 London Games, the most-watched television event in U.S. history, and co-hosted the closing ceremony. Bob Costas will once again host during primetime, for a record 10th stint.

Jeb Bush is set to appear on Stephen Colbert’s first night as host of CBS’s The Late Show on Tuesday, September 8. “My first GOP candidate!” tweeted Colbert. “Luckily I do 200 shows a year, so I think I can fit them all.” George Clooney and Kendrick Lamar are also onboard for Colbert’s bow.

Taya Kyle, widow of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (American Sniper), as well as Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary and Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy join country star Brett Eldredge as judges on the (not Trump-owned) 2016 Miss America Competition. Pageant airs from Atlantic City on ABC Sunday, September 13 at 9p. For the first time, fans will have a vote – the winner of “America’s Choice” (#MissAmericaVote) is guaranteed a spot in the top 15.

A New York federal judge was not amused by Cablevision ads mocking Verizon, and issued a temporary injunction against the company. “When a competitor exceeds the bounds of decency by falsely impugning the integrity of a competitor, it runs afoul of the law. Such extraordinary conduct warrants the extraordinary relief of a temporary restraining order,” ruled the court. Cablevision responded by saying it would “challenge Verizon’s claims, not only through the legal system by also in the court of public opinion.”

Thousands of The Walking Dead fans will win tickets to the AMC zombie drama’s season 6 premiere event at Madison Square Garden on Friday, October 9, two days before its linear launch. The net is partnering with New York Super Week Presented by New York Comic Con, local radio stations and affiliates on ticket giveaways and sweepstakes for the red carpet event in NYC. Also included: a panel with 18 members of the cast.

Copycat theme week: Which adopted cutie was more appealing: Arnold on Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1986), or Webster on Webster (1983-1989)? Let us know in today’s Cynopsis poll.



A showcase of the best 2015 SOCIAL MEDIA campaigns in the

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Comedy Housesitters, starring and exec produced by Grammy winner Michael Bolton, with Ricky Blitt as exec producer and writer, has been put in development at ABC. Described as a modern-day Three’s Company, the project comes from Gail Berman’s The Jackal Group and ABC Studios.

Syfy is developing Frederik Pohl’s sci-fi novel Gateway into a one-hour scripted series with Entertainment One Television and Universal Cable Productions. eOne will distribute worldwide. David Eick (Battlestar Galactica) and Josh Pate (Falling Skies), who collaborated on the adaptation, will serve as exec producers; Eick will revise a pilot script written by Pate and serve as showrunner.

Poker Central has started production on two original series. Pokerography offers an in-depth look into the lives of poker pros, while Inside Poker features “unfiltered conversations” with industry icons. The 24-hour net is set to launch October 1.

We can’t understand what’s happening to television until we understand the generation that’s changing it, says former network exec Jim McKairnes, who just wrapped up a five-year stint teaching college students about the media business – an experience he labels “eye-opening. Maybe troubling.” Get an insider’s take on how kids are consuming content, and why, in the newest Cynsiders.


Retro-futuristic design competition Steampunk’d launches Wednesday, August 19 at 10p on GSN, moving to its regular 9p slot the following week. Grand prize: $100,000.

Described as “a true genre-bending dark drama,” scripted Spotless will debut on Esquire in November. The 10-parter stars Marc-Andre Grondin (C.R.A.Z.Y.), Denis Menochet (Inglorious Basterds), Miranda Raison (24: Live Another Day) and Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey).

Comedy Donny!, based on the life of ad exec/TV personality Donny Deutsch, debuts on USA Tuesday, November 10 at 10:30p, with a Chrisly Knows Best lead-in. Carlton Cuse/Ryan Condal drama Colony, starring Lost alum Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead), premieres Thursday, January 14, after WWE Smackdown.

It takes three episodes to wrap up season seven of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York City. Reunion launches Tuesday, August 18 at 9p (what did the women really think of Bethenny’s return?), continuing Tuesday, August 25 at 8p, and concluding Thursday, August 27 at 9p. But wait, there’s more! “Secrets Revealed” special on Thursday, September 3 at 9p offers never-before-seen footage from the season.

After five years off, Nat Geo is re-launching doc series Explorer as a monthly series. First up: Explorer: Warlords of Ivory on Sunday, August 30 at 8p looks at the horrors of the ivory trade.

Season six of  TLC’s Sister Wives kicks off with a two-hour event Sunday, September 13 at 9p, followed by a “Best of Sister Wives Tell All” special at 10p.

An upcoming episode of AHC’s Manhunt: Kill or Capture is ripped from the headlines. “El Chapo: Cartel Killer,” airing Wednesday, August 19 at 10p, focuses on the search for the notorious Mexican drug lord, who escaped from prison in June.

Childhood’s End, the first-ever adaptation of the Arthur C. Clarke novels, premieres on Syfy over three consecutive nights starting Monday, December 14 at 8p. Story follows the invasion of Earth by not-to-be-trusted aliens. The net’s ambitious space thriller, The Expanse, also takes off December 14, premiering at 10p before taking up its regular Tuesday-at-10p slot the next night.

The popular opera pairing of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci comes to THIRTEEN’S Great Performances at the Met on Sunday, September 6 at 12p on PBS. (Check local listings, opera fans – in New York, THIRTEEN will air the operas at 12:30p.)


Hallmark Channel’s Good Witch, just starting production in Toronto, will air a two-hour, sneak preview season two premiere in October. The series, launched in February, was the top primetime drama Saturday nights at 8p.

Odd Mom Out earned a season two renewal from Bravo. The comedy was Bravo’s highest-rated new series launch for 2015, averaging 958,000 total viewers and 568,000 among P18-49 across just ended season one, according to Nielsen Live+3 data.

Season nine of the current version of BBC America’s Dr Who bows Saturday, September 19 at 9p with a two-parter written by showrunner Steven Moffat. In the premiere, the Doctor will come face to face with Missy (Michelle Gomez).

Season two of Satisfaction launches on USA Friday, October 16 at 10p.

Adult Swim is lapping up a third season of Rick and Morty. The animated intergalactic adventure series’ sophomore premiere on July 26 was number one in its time period among all key adults and men, and up 154 percent among P18-54 and 121 percent among P18-49 versus its season one launch.


Michael Vartan (Alias) landed a role in E! drama pilot The Arrangement, centered on a actress who’s offered an arranged relationship with a popular actor.

Are you maximizing viewability? Get viewability solutions at our Cynopsis Digital Webinar on Wednesday, August 19 and learn how to get seen + lift digital revenue. Hear advice and recommendations from experts at L’Oreal, Unruly, Viant and Boingo Wireless. Register here.


Viacom Ad Sales has launched a new division, Viacom Products Group, focused on growing strategic partnerships, spearheading product development and augmenting sales efforts across the company’s portfolio. “Intense demand for our innovative products during this Upfront season made it a strategic necessity to create a group singularly dedicated to evolving and developing our industry-leading offerings,” said Jeff Lucas, Viacom head of sales. Elizabeth Herbst-Brady will oversee the team in her expanded role as EVP of ad sales strategy and products.

AT&T is debuting its first national ad campaign since acquiring DirecTV, on Saturday, August 15, during the PGA Championships. Thirty- and 60-second versions will run across broadcast and cable nets to introduce the change. But it’s not just about the new company. “The spot also illustrates to customers how they can take their entertainment virtually wherever they want it, and get the best out of our premium network and the best from the entertainment they can’t live without,” Kevin Peck, VP global brand strategy at AT&T tells Cynopsis. “A lot of campaigns talk about what you can do someday. We’re talking about what you can do today -customers can literally walk out of an AT&T store and start watching premium content.” A little Wizard of Oz, a touch of Star Trek and Casablanca, and a lotta Times Square.


Sprout is celebrating its 10th birthday on September 26 with a makeover. Speaking at TCA on Wednesday, network president Sandy Wax said the preschool channel will have a “total brand refresh across all our platforms.” New tag line: “Free to grow.” The date has also been saved for the premiere of animated Nina’s World, starring Rita Morena as grandma.

Disney event The Lion Guard: Return of the Boar will debut in November, ahead of series The Lion Guard, arriving in early 2016. James Earl Jones and Ernie Sabella reprise their Lion King roles as Mufasa and Pumbaa, alongside Rob Lowe as Simba, Gabrielle Union (Being Mary Jane) as Nala and Max Charles (The Strain) as Kion.


Beyond Distribution announced that a new title from Whalley-Abbey Media, Building La Dolce With Debbie Travis, will launch internationally at MIPCOM. The series, commissioned by Canal Vie Canada, is in the final stages of production.

Montreal-based producer Media Ranch inked a deal with Zodiak Rights to distribute format True Sex Confessions, featuring stories about intimate encounters told via personal testimony and “dramatic reconstruction tastefully illustrated by actors.” The series has already been acquired by Canadian French-language MOI&Cie.

Tribune Broadcasting struck a multi-year agreement with Carson Entertainment Group to broadcast Johnny Carson on its multicast net, Antenna TV. It’s the first time Carson episodes will air in a strip since the Tonight Show host went off the air in 1992.



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It just took a little delayed viewing to nudge Jon Stewart’s final night as host of Comedy Central’s Daily Show on August 6 to series-high numbers. In Live+3, the show delivered 5.1 million viewers and 2.6 million among A18-49, up 48 percent and 44 percent, respectively, from Live+SD; in live viewing the show came in second to a 2008 appearance by Sen. Barack Obama.

Discovery’s Alaskan Bush People delivered a 2.01 P25-54 rating and 3.98 million total viewers P2+ on Friday, August 7 in L+3, the series’ best special yet across P/M25-54, all 18-49s, P6-11, P12-17, P2+. It was also the #1 Prime telecast on all of TV for men.

Without the CMAs on ABC this week, NBC saw three tenths lifts for its reality shows on Tuesday: America’s Got Talent rose to 2.5/9, while Hollywood Game Night was boosted to 1.4/5. CBS’s Zoo was up two tenths, to 1.2/4.

The summer finale of ABC Family‘s Pretty Little Liars delivered 1.4 million/2.0 rating among A18-34, 1.2 million/3.4 among W18-34 and 1.8 million/1.4 among A18-49, reaching an 18-month high in total viewers with 3.1 million.

Tuesday A18-49 Analysis: NBC had the most A18-49 viewers Tuesday with 2.2/8, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. NBC’s America’s Got Talent was tops at 8p with 2.3/9, followed CBS’s NCIS with 1.0/4. Talent kept the lead at 9p with 2.7/9, versus 1.2/4 for CBS’s Zoo. NBC’s Hollywood Game Night was first at 10p with 1.4/5; Telemundo’s Senor de los Cielos grabbed second with 1.2/4.

A18-49: NBC 2.2/8, CBS 1.0.4, UNI .9/3, TELE .8.3, ABC .7/2, FOX .5/2, CW .3/1, ION .3/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Tuesday, August 4, 2015 time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
NBC: 5.5/10
America’s Got Talent 6.7/12, Hollywood Game Night 3.1/6
CBS: 4.6/8
NCIS [r] 5.5/10, Zoo 4.3/7, CSI: New Orleans [r] 4.0/7
ABC: 1.5/3
Fresh Off the Boat [r] 1.7/3, black-ish [r] 1.4/2, Extreme Weight Loss 1.6/3
Amores con Trampa 1.2/2,
Lo Imperdonable 1.2/2, Yo NoCreo en Hombres 1.2/2
FOX 1.2/2
Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? 1.6/3, Brooklyn Nine-Nine [r] .8/1, Last Man on Earth [r] .7/1
Telemundo: 1.0/2
Avenida Brasil .7/1, Tierra de Reyes 1.0/2,
El Senor de los Cielos 1.3/2
ION: 0.8/1
Criminal Minds .7/1, Criminal Minds .8/1, Criminal Minds .8/1
CW: .7/1
The Flash [r] .7/1, iZombie [r] .6/1


Denielle Webb has been tapped to serve as Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing for SundanceTV. Previously, Webb was a marketing and PR consultant at AMC.

Tony Optican has been appointed to the newly-created position of Head of Programming at Media General. Optican had served as head of scripted for FremantleMedia North America, and formed his own media consultancy and production company.

The Weinstein Group promoted Patrick Reardon to Executive Vice President of its television division. Reardon joined the company in 2013 as SVP and Head of Unscripted.

Lauren Ruggiero was named Senior Director of Scripted Content for Spike TV. Ruggiero comes to the position from Elice Island Entertainment, where she worked with Spike as co-producer of Tut.

Brenda Lowry takes the title of Vice President of Network Program Publicity at Crown Media Family Networks. Lowry had acted as Director of Communications for Syfy.


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This Day in History:
1961 – East Germany began construction on the Berlin Wall.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: Name the two guest stars who won an Emmy for roles onER. Sally Field and Ray Liotta. Kudos to: Jim Kelly-Lee Hecht Harrison/Melville, NY, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, Mike Weaver-Dream Weaver Consulting, Santa Monica, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank, Perry Ewell-Entertainment Copywriting/LA, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA, Judy Margolis-The Ad Place/Dallas, Alanna Benway-Turner Broadcasting/Detroit.

Today’s Trivia Question: Which short-lived sitcom starred two future prime time soap stars playing a married couple posing as a maid and butler so they could live amid luxury? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.).
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Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group 

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480
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CYNOPSISJOBSFor More jobs, visit the Cynopsis.com

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/Discovery/MD: Passionate researcher to track and analyze Nielsen ratings data across 5 Discovery nets and competitors. Create rich analyses of consumer data as it relates to audience behavior and market profiles. Full info/apply HERE (8/20)

JOB OPENING: MGR COMMERCIAL OPS/BBC World News/NY: BA, 5 yrs exp in traffic or broadcast ops in cable. Manage US copy accts, facilitate media delivery to UK and ensure log accuracy for US ads. Strategic thinker, excellent comm & computer skills with database mmgt (Gabriel, Broadway, WideOrbit) Apply HERE (8/20)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL ANALYTICS ANLST/MGR/OUTDOOR CHANNEL/CO: Collect, report and present digital/social audience usage, mkt, econ & sales data for Outdoor Sportsman Group. 2 yrs exp Analyst/4 yrs exp MGR. Apply HERE (8/19) 

JOB OPENING: SR RESEARCH DIR/OUTDOOR CHANNEL/CO: Supervise, design, collect, analyze and present audience viewing, usage, mkt, econ & sales data for Outdoor Sportsman Group. 5+ yrs media research exp. Apply HERE (8/19) 

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/Discovery/MD: Passionate researcher to track and analyze Nielsen ratings data across 5 Discovery nets and competitors. Create rich analyses of consumer data as it relates to audience behavior and market profiles. Full info/apply HERE (8/19)

JOB OPENING: DIR. OF PUBLICITY/Jim Henson Company/LA: Seeks Director for initiating and implementing publicity programs to support Company’s productions & serve corp PR needs. College degree and min. of 5 years’ exp in PR, mktg, comm., or related field. Resume: HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: PROMO PRODUCER-EDITOR/NBC/East Coast: The role purpose of a Producer-Editor is to oversee production and execution of marketing and promotional campaigns and sales presentations for selected sports properties. Full info/apply HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/FOX/LA: Support sales along with marketing, programming and publicity to competitively position 20th TV programs by performing industry-wide research for linear and digital platforms. Full info/apply HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: SR CREATIVE/MTV/NYC: Dvlp creative concepts across mult mediums, write compelling copy & pitch brand-specific creative ideas. 5+ yrs creative positions at ad agency, media agency or TV ent ntwk creative dept. Prior work exp Sr Creative. Full info/apply HERE (8/15) 

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR- BUSINESS & LEGAL AFFAIRS/Discovery/LA: Resp. for handling deal negotiations and drafting/ review of agreements for devel/prod of prgmming and lead/supporting talent across ntwrks w/ focus on TLC. Exp working in-house at entertainment company Full info/apply HERE (8/15) 

JOB OPENING: SR DIR, INFOGRAPHIC DESIGN/DATA VISUALIZATION/Viacom/NY: Dvlp innovative info design that positions our co & brands in the most eff. way poss. 5-7 yrs data visualization/infographic exp at a top-tier agency or studio. Deg pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR AD SALES RESEARCH/UP TV/NYC: Excellent researcher & seasoned storyteller who’s looking to join a team that’s on its way UP. Res: [email protected] (8/15)

JOB OPENING: ASSOC PRODUCER, WRITER & EDITOR/TeenNick/NYC: 2+ yrs experience writing & producing on-air promos. Editing skills a must. Experience with social media a plus. Resume HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL EDITOR/Cynopsis Digital/NYC: Exc written skills to write/edit news stories, manuscripts. for e-daily covering news/events re digital TV ind. Contrib daily flow SM outlets. 4 yr deg. Profic copy editing. Able to work independently. Resume HERE (8/15) 

JOB OPENING: FACILITIES COORDINATOR/FOX STUDIO/LA: Studio Operations and Office Services maintaining daily operations of Fox Studio Lot. 2 to 4 yrs min exp supporting large campus, multiple tenant facilities or production studio operations. Full info/apply HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, FINANCE/FOX/LA: Proactive and self-motivated individual to oversee accounting team who manage A/R accounts for Pay TV, SVOD, Hotel and AVOD customers. BA Deg/Accounting or Finance. 7 yrs related exp. Full info/apply HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL MEDIA SPECIALIST/CSI Sports/NYC: For new launch Web/Mobile/Nat’l/Int’l. Work w/Prgmg, Prod. & Dgt’l team to build valuable destination. Create SM strtgy/build rltnshps across multi-industries. Passion for sports. Strong writing skills. cvr/res to Rose: [email protected] (8/15)

JOB OPENING: AD SALES FINANCE MANAGER SCRIPPS NETWORKS NYC/KNOXVILLE: Provide strategic and tactical insight on ad sales revenue/expense trends, seeking solutions oriented individual. 5 yrs work exp in finance, accounting or related field. Full info/apply HERE www.scrippsnetworks.com #4801 (8/15)

JOB OPENING: DIR of AUDIENCE ANALYTICS/The Big Ten Network/Chicago: Work w/Ad Sales, Prgrmng & Comms on reporting & analyzing BTN & mktplc TV ratings data. Req’s a strong knwlg of sports marketplace as a whole & understanding of Digital Media. Full info/apply HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: MGR DIGITAL CONSUMER INSIGHTS/Discovery/NYC: Critical thinker to design/manage custom research studies for all digital business units across online, mobile, VOD platforms. Attitudinal/behavioral ad impact studies. 5-7 yrs primary rsrch exp req’d. Full info/apply HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: HEAD WRITER/’90s Nickelodeon/NYC: Lead the creative multiplatform writing process for promotional and short-form video content. Generate ideas to push traditional boundaries. Strong sense ofhumor. 7 yrs exp. Resume to: [email protected] (8/15)

JOB OPENING: AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT MGR/NYC: Collaborate with station editorial and marketing managers to identify content performance trends and provide recommendations for promotion based on data analysis. Full info/apply HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH MANAGER/Disney Channels WW/Burbank: Resp for quantitative multiplatform rsrch analyses to digest & organize linear & digital info. 5+ yrs rsrch exp analyzing Nielsen TV ratings. Software NPower. Coord multi-projects. Apply HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/NYC: Min. 1 yr rsrch/or intern exp in rsrch & media; track, analyze & release audience measurement reports across multiple distribution platforms including linear TV, digital, mobile & social. Send resumes HERE (8/15)

JOB OPENING: SR RESEARCH ANALYST/NY: Prepare ratings-based sales and marketing materials, including sales presentations/pitches & ratings perf.. Nielsen rating analysis & int/ext client support: [email protected] (8/15)

JOB OPENING: ACCT EXEC-CROSS PLATFORM/A+E NETWORKS/CHI: Sell multi-platform ad solutions across all media for A+E brands. Develop & execute a sales strategy to exceed revenue goals including ad sales partnerships. Full Info/Apply here (8/15)

JOB OPENING: SCHEDULING COORDINATOR/WE tv/NYC: Input/maintain schedules & content-related data in ntwk scheduling systems ensuring accurate usage of scheduled prgrms. BA degree req’d, preferably in a related field. Passion for TV & ent req’d. Full info/apply HERE (8/15)

CASTING CALL: Companies can showcase their casting notices/casting calls here. For information on rates and specs for posting a casting notice, please email Trish at [email protected]

EXPERT SERVICES ADS: These ads are for companies or people who offer an expertise in the field of media by way of production, voice over artistry, writing, set development, etc. For information on rates and specs for posting an Expertise Service ad email Trish at [email protected]

INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected].

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at [email protected]

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203-899-8459 for rates and specs for Job Openings.


ABC: The Astronaut Wives Club, Mistresses, Rookie Blue 
CBS: Mom [r], Mom [r], Big Brother, Under the Dome
CW: Beauty and the Beast, Arrow [r]
FOX: BOOM!, Bones [r]
NBC: Food Fighters, Dateline NBC [r]
PBS: This Old House Hour [r], America’s Ballroom Challenge [r], Antiques Roadshow [r]
Telemundo: Avenida Brasil, Bajo el Mismo Cielo, El Senor de los Cielos
Univision: Amores con Trampa, Lo Imperdonable, Yo No Creo en los Hombres

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