09/01/21: Mike Richards fired as EP for “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune”




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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read


Wednesday September 1, 2021

Today’s Premieres
Kanal D Drama: Amor y Travesuras
PBS: Future of Work at 10p


Mike Richards is out as exec producer of “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” after a roller coaster of a month. Sony Pictures Television informed staff yesterday that Richards would depart, effective immediately, with Embassy Row’s Michael Davies stepping in to help on an interim basis. Richards was outsted as new host of the “Jeopardy!” after one day. Suzanne Prete, EVP, business and strategy for the two game shows said in an internal email the team hoped Richards’ exit as host would have “minimized the disruption and internal difficulties” the show experienced over the last few weeks, but that “clearly has not happened.”

Elaine Welteroth is done Talk-ing. The co-host on CBS’ “The Talk” is exiting the show after one season to pursue other projects. New season of the daytime talker debuts September 13.

CBS News is changing up its morning game with a new look and name. “CBS Mornings,” a reimaginged morning news program that originates from it new Times Square studio, debuts Tuesday, September 7. Program brings a fresh look and format, led by Gayle King, Tony Dokouupil and new team member, sports personality Nate Burleson.

The embattled Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. said it has elected a newly expanded board of directors and that it eventually will select a president and CEO of the organization.

That Big TV Virtual Conference is only three weeks away! This three-day experience gives you access to premium educational content and virtual networking. You’ll hear leading executives from PepsiCo, Lincoln , A+E Networks, KFC, Dentsu, Spotify, American Express, GroupM, The Weather Channel, and more! So save your virtual seat now.

Cynopsis’ That Big TV Virtual Conference
September 21-23 2021


CTV/AVOD: The Benefits of Working Directly with Publishers
Expanding advertising campaigns for incremental reach in order to connect with viewers who are digital-first is no easy feat.

On September 21 executives from Future Today will host an informative Q&A on how to make your mark on digital consumers in a way that drives growth while working directly with the publisher.




It’s a greenlight at Disney+ for “Kaiser Karl,” a six-ep drama series about fashion designed Karl Lagerfeld. From Paris-based Gaumont (“Lupin”), series is based on the like-titled biography from Raphaelle Bacque, who’s attached to the series alongside writers Isaure Pisani-Ferry and Jennifer Have.

Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine is partnering with Bailey’s Irish Cream on a trio of short romcom films inspired by the “Meet Cutes” activation on women-first dating and social networking app Bumble. The “Meet Cute” series features three female and nonbinary filmmakers: Carly Usdin, Sade Clacken Joseph and Haroula Rose, each of whom created a short film inspired by a true Bumble “Meet Cute” story.

Elliot Page signed a first-look deal with UCP to develop scripted and unscripted projects across platforms. Page stars in the studio’s hit Netflix series “The Umbrella Academy.”

Disney Channel ordered a second season of animated comedy “The Ghost and Molly McGee” ahead of its series premiere Friday, October 1 at 9:30a. Created and exec-produced by Bill Motz and Bob Roth (“LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures”), and Steve Loter (“Kim Possible”), series follows the antics of a sunny tween and grumpy ghost. Season 1 will feature guest voices Kelsey Grammer, Natasha Rothwell and Greta Gerwig among others.

IFC and Sundance Now acquired North America and UK rights to comedy “Good Grief” from Eve and Grace Palmer, and are teaming with Kiel McNaughton and Kerry Warkia’s Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions Ltd.’s to co-commission a second season. Series, co-created, co-written and starring the Palmer sisters along with with co-creator and co-writer Nick Schaedel, is set in small New Zealand town and centers on two millennial sisters with very different personalities who inherit a funeral home from their grandfather.

Torrey DeVitto (“Chicago Med”) returns to the small screen in upcoming Hallmark Movies & Mysteries holiday film “The Christmas Promise.” Dylan Bruce (“Orphan Black”) and Patrick Duffy (“Dallas”) are also set to star in the film about a woman who learns to deal with grief with the help of her grandfather and a carpenter named whom she hires to renovate the home she was to share with her fiance.

Netflix inked a multiyear first-look deal with actress/producer Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown”) and her production company Aluna Entertainment. Kirby, via a partnership with former Film4 senior executive Lauren Dark, will develop and produce a slate of features with a focus on female-centric stories.

Paramount+ will be the exclusive home of the seventh film installment of “Paranormal Activity.” The streamer is also launching a “Paranormal Activity” documentary on the making of the feature.

After a season of taping remotely, “The Real will return for season 8 on Monday, September 20 with a new look and with the hosts including Garcelle Beauvais, and Adrienne Houghton, Loni Love and Jeannie Mai Jenkins. Tenia L. Watson has been elevated to exec producer and showrunner alongside David Goldman, who joins as co-executive producer.

Oscar-winning Danish director Billie August will direct “Ehrengard,” a tale of love, seduction, scandal and the search for an heir set in a fairytale kingdom, for Netflix and SF Studios. The adaptation of Karen Blixen’s last work in 1962. Anders August will pen the script; Marcella Dichmann at SF Studios is producing.

Geena Davis’ BFFoundation, the nonprofit organization formed late last year to produce the Davis-chaired Bentonville Film Festival in Arkansas, is launching a production company. Like the foundation and festival, Bentonville Way Entertainment will be a hub for women and inclusive voices in filmmaking. A slate of films is already in the pipeline featuring alumni from from past Bentonville fests including the Amber McGinnis-directed “Buddy” and the Jennifer Gerber-directed “Has Been Beauty Queen.”

Endeavor Content is backing Nordic Drama Queens, a new production company formed by three Scandinavian drama producers behind shows including “Modus” and “Occupied.” The Stockholm and Copenhagen-based company has been set up by Josefine Tengblad, former head of drama at Sweden’s TV4/CMore; Sandra Harms, who previously managing director at Miso Film Sweden; and Line Winther Skyum Funch, formerly exec producer and founder of Wisk.

Netflix is behind a new comedy special from Ms. Pat that will be filmed at the Atlanta Comedy Theater on September 25. The first hourlong special from the comic, author and actress, special is produced by Page Hurwitz and Wanda Sykes for Push It Productions and Reg Tigerman. Robert Townsend is set to direct.


A new season of “Expedition Xpremieres today (September 1) at 8p on Discovery. Josh Gates and his team are back to explore history’s strangest legends and mysteries around the world using thermal drones and data acquisition cameras to investigate a flying beast lurking in the shadows of southern Iowa and reports of feral people living in Appalachia.

Hulu’s “The D’Amelio Show” premieres Friday, September 3. Eight-ep series shines the spotlight on the D’Amelio family, the home team of Charli and Dixie, who face new challenges and opportunities they couldn’t have imagined since the sisters’ stars took off on social media.

History Channel filmmakers discovered two underwater wreck sites while filming the upcoming “Expedition Bermuda Triangle,” which debuts Tuesday, September 7 at 8p on the network. A plane wreck with possible connections to the legendary missing Flight 19 squadron, and the remains of a 71-year-old missing ship are among series’ investigations.

MTV is expecting big things from two new series in its “Teen Mom” franchise. “Teen Mom OG” premieres Tuesday, September 7 at 8p, followed by “Teen Mom: Young & Pregnant” at 9p.

Season 3 of truTV’s “Tacoma FD,” set in a firehouse in one of America’s rainiest cities, debuts Thursday, September 16 at 10p. Comedy series follows the firefighters as they keep busy with creative competitions, friendly first responder rivalries and bizarre emergency calls.

The Croods are headed to the small screen. DreamWorks Animation lifted the curtain on the trailer for “The Croods: Family Tree,” a six-ep series inspired by the film “The Croods: A New Age” that premieres Thursday, September 23 on Hulu and Peacock. Kelly Marie Tran returns as the voice of Dawn, alongside new addition Amy Landecker as Ugga, in the series that continues the story of how the Croods and the Bettermans continue learning to live together.

Season 2 of “Underrated,” the series that tackles the annual debate of player ratings in video games by empowering athletes to raise contested ratings through real life challenges, will debut September 24 on TBS after debuting today (September 1) on the Bleacher Report App.

Jimmy Fallon-exec produced series “The Kids Tonight Show” and “Clash of the Cover Bands” got their debut date on Peacock The former, which set Brian McCann as head writer, bows Thursday October 14. The latter, hosted by Stephen “tWitch” Boss with Meghan Trainor, Adam Lambert and Ester Dean in the celebrity judge seats, launches Wednesday October 13 at 9:30p.

Paramount+ shared a collection of first-look photos of Kate Beckinsale starring as discredited journalist Beth Burgess in “Guilty Party.” The 10-ep series premieres Thursday, October 14 and follows Burgess as she attempts to salvage her career by helping a young mother who’s been sentenced to life in prison for murdering her husband—a crime she claims she didn’t commit.

A new season of Latino Public Broadcasting’s signature series “Voces” premieres on PBS in October as part of its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Among features are “Fruits of Labor,” a co-presentation of VOCES and POV that follows a California teenager working toward graduation while toiling in the fields to support her family; “Lights, Camera, Accion,” a look at Latinx representation in Hollywood.

TLC is taking on fall with the return of several stalwart series. New episodes of “Sister Wives” will bow Sunday, November 21 at 10p, followed by the return of “I Am Jazz” on Tuesday, November 30 at 10p. Among other returns, “My 600-Lb Life” drops in Wednesday, November 10 at 10p and “100-Lb Sisters” returns Monday, November 15 at 10p.


Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles debuts Friday, September 3 on Disney+. The film features an intimate performance of every song from the Grammy-winning musician’s new album in sequential order—for the first and only time—from the Hollywood Bowl. Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Patrick Osborne, special also includes animated elements and features Eilish’s brother Finneas, LA Children’s Chorus and LA Philharmonic.

Documentary “The CIA Vs. Bin Laden: First In” will premiere on Reelz Sunday, September 5 in the US, followed by a slate of international debuts. Doc provides a first-hand account of CIA’s hunt for the most wanted terrorist in history via accounts from CIA officers, military special forces and leaders of the US Congress who were directly involved with the strategy and execution of the hunt.

History Channel will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks with two documentaries: “Rise & Fall: The World Trade Center,” which looks at the conception, construction and ultimate destruction of the two towers, debuts Friday, September 10 at 8p. “9/11: Four Flights,” featuring narratives from family and friends of those aboard the doomed flights, airs Saturday, September 11 at 8p.

Apple TV will air “Being James Bond,” a retrospective of Daniel Craig’s James Bond films, as an exclusive free rental from September 7-October 7. “No Time to Die,” Craig’s final outing as Bond, debuts in theaters on October 8.

“You Vs. Wild: Out Cold,” Bear Grylls’ latest interactive movie, debuts on Netflix on Tuesday, September 14. Following a plane crash in the ice ravaged mountains, Grylls finds himself with amnesia trying to save himself and the pilot from the harsh winter elements—and he needs help from the audience to help find his friend and stay out of danger.

Nat Geos documentary “Fauci,” about the public servant, physician, scientist, husband and father heads to theaters September 10 and will debut on Disney+ in October. The portrait of the nation’s top doctor is is directed by Emmy winners John Hoffman (“The Weight of the Nation”) and Janet Tobias (“No Place On Earth”).

Netflix snagged worldwide rights (outside France, Benelux, China, Japan and Korea) to animated feature “The Summit Of The Gods” and will debut the film Tuesday, November 30 after a limited theatrical run. Film poses the question: Were George Mallory and Andrew Irvine the first men to scale Everest in June 1924?


HBO Max is heading to the Nordics and Spain this fall, and the streamer has plans to roll out in Central and Eastern Europe, and Portugal in 2022. The news was revealed yesterday at Series Mania, where Antony Root, head of WarnerMedia’s originals drive across EMEA, outlined the company’s European content blueprint. Root said the goal is to make 12 scripted shows per year from across the European stable. Within a few years it aims be producing the same number of unscripted shows, ranging from competition, reality and documentary formats.

Disney is shifting programming including Indian Premier League cricket matches, Bollywood film and TV titles, and other specials from streaming service Hotstar US to ESPN+ and Hulu. As part of the programming realignment, Hotstar US will cease to operate by late 2022.

Sports-centric live TV streaming platform fuboTV received approval from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to offer advance deposit online sports wagering within the state of Iowa, a feather in the cap of its subsidiary Fubo Gaming.

Star+, Disney’s stand-alone Star+ streaming service, is now live in Latin America. The new service, available in the UK, Singapore and other territories, includes both scripted and unscripted fare created in Latin America, live sports from ESPN, international originals, animated comedies and movie premieres.

MagellanTV Now, powered by documentary streamer MagellanTV, is bringing an array of new content to Vizio’s WatchFree+ lineup on SmartCast. Among offerings are documentary films and series encompassing science, history, nature and true crime genres. The service will also debut recent MagellanTV Originals and premieres including “Mars Calling,” “We Are Legend and “A Guide to Life, the Universe and Everything.”

AVOD service DistroTV is adding a new bundle of South Asian channels in North America. Called DistroTV Desi, the new bundle includes Times Now, Republic TV, Zoom and Mastiii TV among more than 15 new channels.


Harvey Guillen, who stars in “What We Do In The Shadows,” will host “After The Shadows,” a pretaped social media talk show that kicks off immediately after the season 3 premiere of his FX series on Thursday, September 2. Eps will be available via TheShadowsFX on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and on FX’s official YouTube channel.

Shondaland Audio and iHeartMedia are teaming with author, TV personality and spiritual life coach Iyanla Vanzant (“Iyanla: Fix My Life”) for weekly podcast series. “The R Spot” is set to launch in early 2022 and will engage listeners in conversations examining relationship issues under the guidance of Vanzant.


Newcomer and West Philadelphia local Jabari Banks landed the iconic role of Will, originated by Will Smith, in “Bel-Air,” Peacock’s reboot of ‘90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air… Syfy‘s “Astrid and Lilly Save the World” casted series leads in Jana Morrison (“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”) and newcomer Samantha Maureen Aucoin… HBO Max’s “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin” adds Alex Aiono, Mallory Bechtel and Eric Johnson for the series reboot.

Josh Peck (“Turner & Hooch”) and Ashley Reyes (“American Gods”) landed recurring roles on” How I Met Your Father,” Hulu’s “How I Met Your Mother” spinoff… LeToya Luckett (“Ballers”), Omar Dorsey (“Queen Sugar”), Krystal Joy Brown (“Hamilton”) and Paulina Singer (“Dead of Summer”) will join the second season of Starz’s “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” in recurring roles

Aidan Gillen (“Game of Thrones”) and Hamish Allan-Headley (“Thinly Veiled”) are in as series regulars opposite Jeremy Renner in upcoming Paramount+ series “Mayor of Kingstown.” Also set for recurring roles are James Jordan (“Destroyer”), Nishi Munshi (“Lethal Weapon”), Nichole Galicia (“Defiance”), Andrew Howard (“Perry Mason”), Michael Beach (“Truth Be Told”), Necar Zadegan (“NCIS: New Orleans”), Jason Kelley, Mandela Van Peebles (“Salt N Pepa”), Rob Kirkland (“Criminal Minds”) and Natasha Marc (“The Good Lord Bird”).


UK factual entertainment net CBS Reality is bringing two new crime series to the screen. “Donal MacIntyre: Released To Kill” and “Murder: First on Scene” join the lineup this fall.

Stay Ahead of the Fast-Moving Market of Esports
Esports Business Summit | October 18-20, 2021| Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

If you’re an executive who needs the insider information and smart research that only EBS can provide, our speaking faculty of big-name brands, agencies, publishers, media, leagues, and teams are the quickest road to get you there.




In syndication, desieged game show “Jeopardy!” (4.0 live plus same day national Nielsen, down 23 percent from the week before) saw its ratings slip to a new low for the season in the session ended August 22. The week showcased select “Around the World with Alex [Trebek]” reruns from past years. “Family Feud” (5.7, up 6%) led the games, followed by “Wheel of Fortune” (4.5, unchanged). “Judge Judy” (4.5, down 2%) ruled the court shows for a 1,300th straight week even though it was in repeats. According to Nielsen’s most current live+7 ratings “Judy” (which is ending original production after a quarter century) has been syndication’s highest rated first run strip every year since 2009 and is still the No. 1 show of any type this season with a 5.62 average.

Top 5 Most Engaging Summer Broadcast Primetime Programs
Presented by EDO Inc.
Program (Network), % higher Search Engagement than average Broadcast Primetime Program

The Bachelorette (ABC), 39% higher Search Engagement
Beat Shazam (FOX), 37% higher Search Engagement
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC), 25% higher Search Engagement
The Ultimate Surfer (ABC), 23% higher Search Engagement
Bachelor in Paradise (ABC), 17% higher Search Engagement

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Monday, August 30
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: “Bachelor In Paradise” 3.23 (0.9), “The Ulitmate Surfer” 1.39 (0.3)
CBS: “The Neighborhood” 3.47 (0.4), “Young Sheldon” 2.72 (0.3), “United States of AI” 2.32 (0.2), “NCIS: Los Angeles” 2.16 (0.2)
CW: “Rosewell, NM” 0.66 (0.1), “The Republic of Sarah” 0.33 (0.0)
ION: “Chicago Fire” 1.08 (0.2), “Chicago Fire” 1.14 (0.2), “Chicago Fire” 1.14 (0.2)
FOX: “Hell’s Kitchen” 2.49 (0.6), “House Broken” 0.98 (0.3), “Duncanville” 0.71 (0.2)
NBC: “American Ninja Warrior” 3.54 (0.5), “The Wall” 2.48 (0.4)
Telemundo: “Casa de los Famosos” 1.04 (0.3), “Hercal: Armor y Venganza 1.29 (0.4), “Cafe Aroma du Mujer” 1.01 (0.3)
Univision: “Disenando Tu Amor” 1.61 (0.4), “Si Nos Dejan” 1.71 (0.5), “Desalamada” 1.71 (0.5)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


Carina Sposato and Ernest McNealey joined Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment as the company’s first senior-level TV execs. Sposato mostly recently served as SVP of development and production at Scott Free Television. McNealey previously served as a manager on Netflix’s Spectacle and Event team.

SVOD platform operator Tribes Media is bolstering its executive team. Ignacio Landeta, formerly of Disney and co-founder of Tribes Media, is now CEO; Gustavo Otero, formerly of Fox, will serve as CFO; and Dominique Recordon, formerly of Disney, will lead the marketing and content team.

Emerson Coleman, who helped guide numerous shows and careers at Hearst Television and has been a longtime fixture in the broadcast TV industry, is retiring from the company in 2022. A successor will be named at a later date.

Digital creative agency AvatarLabs appointed Jessica Amen, previously director of production at Unfold, as director of client services. The company also promoted James Safechuck to VP, innovation and technology.

Frank Zhu, formerly of Pearl Studio, joined Riot Games as the League of Legends and Valorant publisher’s managing director of China Entertainment.

Visual effects firm DNEG (“Tenet,” “Dune”) promoted Tom Jacomb to president, DNEG Animation. Jacomb previously served as managing director.


Ruth Marx, a singer of classic TV jingles and the mother of pop star Richard Marx, died of lung cancer on August 24. She was 85. The jingle for Chicken of the Sea tuna: “Ask any mermaid you happen to see, what’s the best tuna? Chicken of the Sea!” was among Ruth Marx’s most famous vocal performances and was written by her husband, composer and arranger Dick Marx. Among the pair’s other collaborations were “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” for Virginia Slims, “Two Scoops Of Raisins In a Package of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran” and “Doublemint’s “Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun.”

This Day in History
1952 – Ernest Hemingway’s novel “The Old Man and the Sea” was published.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which character from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970-77) appeared on spinoff “Lou Grant” (1977-82)? Flo Meredith, played by Eileen Heckart. Kudos to: Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NY; Charles Lore/NY; Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NY; Anthony Salerno-Horizon Media/NY; Tom Boyd-WGN/Chicago; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Brian Robin-Bear Titan Publications LLC/San Bernardino, CA

Today’s Trivia Question
The pilot episode for which series featured spoof commercials for funeral homes and products? 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.)

Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe

Executive Director of Sales
Albert Nassour
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox

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UP tv/NYC, NY:
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Responsible for all strategic planning, implementation of growth initiatives, and overall success. Design and pitch campaign growth opportunities and new strategic initiatives to create new Revenue opportunities. Success will be measured by growth rate of accounts; in terms of both Overall Revenue and scope of services.” Full info HERE (9/3)

Robust experience in the Medicare Advantage, Health Insurance, and Life Insurance verticals required. The ideal candidate will have existing relationships at the carrier, broker, and IMO/FMO levels & an intimate knowledge of Lead Generation/Customer Acquisition, with a deep functional understanding of the economics and Customer LTVs in the space.” Full info HERE (9/3)


Develop & execute consumer marketing campaigns. Create innovative & compelling tactics such as sweepstakes, experiential activations, email campaigns, promotions and more for top-tier linear & streaming platforms and brand extensions within Crown Media. Clever, enthusiastic team player with ability to multi-task and interface with all departments. Full info HERE (9/2)

Discovery Inc/NYC or LA: Help lead and promote new content in the docs and doc series space across Discovery Factual and discovery+. Pitch and secure media coverage in a wide range of media outlets as well as launching awards campaigns with established relationships in the premium doc space. Must have 10+ years exp in-house and/or agency setting. Full info HERE (9/2)

Discovery Inc/NYC: Food Network’s Program Integration team is seeking an AP to help project manage integrated content across linear and D+ platforms. Looking for passionate people with television, marketing, or media background and 1-3 years exp in coordinating and project managing. Full info HERE (9/2)

PROCAM TAKE 2/NYC, NY: Procam Take 2 is an ambitious team of individuals who are excited about what we do & our booming industry. We are looking to hire creative and passionate professionals who are always pushing themselves to achieve their best. As our business development manager, you are an integral part of the Procam team and play an important role in our success. Full info HERE (9/2)

Develop & execute marketing campaigns & proactively create, plan, & execute innovative marketing & communication strategies to expand viewership & revenue opportunities. Develop a campaign strategy and identify target audiences and deployment capabilities, and facilitate media buys for Network advertisements. 4+ years of experience in TV required. Full info HERE (9/2)

ABC: Press Your Luck, The $100,000 Pyramid, Superstar
CBS: Big Brother, House Calls With Dr. Phil, 48 Hours
CW: Riverdale, In the Dark
FOX: MasterChef
NBC: America’s Got Talent, Family Game Fight!, Chicago Fire
PBS: Nature, NOVA, Future of Work
Telemundo: Las Casa de los Famosos, Hercai: Amor y Venganza, Cafe con Aroma de Mujer
Univision: Disenando Tu Amor, Si Nos Dejan, La Desalmada



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