09/17/20: Lorraine Bracco set to renovate for HGTV


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Thursday September 17, 2020

Today’s Premieres
Amazon: Take Us Home: Leeds United
Crackle: Spides
E!: Keeping Up With the Kardashians at 8p, The Bradshaw Bunch at 9p
HBO Max: The Great Pottery Throw Down
ID: The Killer Beside Me at 10p
Netflix: The Last Word, Dragon’s Dogma
Peacock: Departure
SundanceNow: One Lane Bridge


Frances Berwick unveiled the senior leadership team for her Entertainment Business unit at NBCUniversal. Jeff Bader will head program planning, with six cable nets added to his responsibility for NBC; Val Boreland will oversee acquisitions across all Entertainment and Lifestyle networks, including Peacock; the leader of Peacock’s consumer insights team, Liz Mahaffey, adds research and insights for the entertainment brands to her purview; and Jenny Storms adds entertainment marketing to her NBC Sports responsibilities. “These executives were selected from across the portfolio for their deep knowledge, diverse set of experiences and desire to lean into change as a force to bring our business into the future,” said Berwick.

Amid NBCU’s restructuring, Chris McCumber is stepping down as President, Entertainment Networks – USA Network & Syfy. “After nearly 20 years at this tremendous company, this has not been an easy decision,” he said in a memo to staff. “Yet I believe wholeheartedly that NBCUniversal is taking the right steps by creating a new organization built for the future.” Under McCumber, USA ranked as the #1 entertainment cable network for 14 straight years.

Food Network and History topped the chart on Beta Research’s “Must Have” basic network channels, based on a survey in June. With 34%of respondents naming them as channels they must have on their lineup, they were closely followed ESPN (33%), Discovery Channel (32%), CNN (32%), and National Geographic (31%). The percent and rank for CNN were significantly higher than in the 2019 survey.

Among men, the five favorite basic networks in the Beta survey were ESPN (29%), History (21%), CNN (20%), Food Network (17%), Fox News (16%), National Geographic (15%), and AMC (15%). Among women, Food Network (21%), Hallmark Channel (18%), HGTV (17%), TLC (17%), Lifetime (16%), ID (15%), and History (15%) ranked highest. Versus 2019, rankings increased for CNN and Food Network among men, and Hallmark Channel among women.

Jim Carrey will take on the role of Vice President Joe Biden for season 46 of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. The sketch show launches with five consecutive shows starting October 3, and three new featured players: actor/comedian Lauren Holt; comedian Punkie Johnson (Space Force); and Andrew Dismukes, who has served as an SNL writer since season 43. The show will air in front of a limited audience.

Fox News Media is reducing its workforce by less than 3%. “As Fox News Media has evolved into a streamlined multi-platform organization, we are realigning several functions and restructuring various divisions in order to position all of our businesses for ongoing success,” said the network. On-air talent will not be affected by the restructuring.

The Big Ten Conference reversed its decision to sit out the fall football season, and will try to play ball starting the weekend of October 23-24. The league said those involved would undergo daily COVID-19 testing; any player testing positive would be barred from games for at least 21 days; and teams will stop practice and competition for at least a week in the event of a positivity rate of over 5%.

ABC canceled United We Fall after one season. The family comedy ended its eight-episode run last month with 3 million Live+SD viewers.

The FCC is denying an appeal of its 2019 finding that 18 stations failed to negotiate in good faith with DirecTV and U-Verse, including delaying negotiations. In June 2019, AT&T filed a complaint against Deerfield Media, GoCom Media, Howard Stirk Holdings, HSH, Mercury Broadcasting, MPS Media, KMTR Television, Second Generation of Iowa and Waitt Broadcasting for failing to meet FCC standards for good faith negotiation. The FCC has proposed its first retrans negotiation fines, for over $500,000 each.

Charles Dolan, 93, has stepped down as Executive Chairman of AMC Networks. The cable TV pioneer has held the post since AMC Networks was spun off from Dolan’s former cable company, Cablevision, in 2011. Taking his place as non-executive chairman will be Dolan’s son, James Dolan, while Charles Dolan transitions to Chairman Emeritus. “The Dolans have led this company from its inception, and both Charles and Jim have provided vision, guidance and support through its long history of growth and evolution,” said Josh Sapan, president-CEO of AMC Networks. “We look forward to their continued leadership as AMC Networks continues to stand out in a crowded environment through the strength and quality of our content and ability to forge strong and lasting relationships with viewers and fans.”

TBS’s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee has launched its “I Know What You Did Last Election” campaign, to encourage people to vote… “or else.” Full Frontal airs Wednesdays at 10:30p.

President Trump said he plans to nominate Nathan Simington, senior advisor at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, to fill the FCC seat being vacated by Michael O’Rielly. Trump withdrew O’Rielly’s nomination for another term as commissioner after he was critical of the president’s attempt to limit liability protections for social media companies.

Charter Communications is doubling its original 2020 commitment to digital education, awarding a total of $1 million in grants to organizations providing broadband education, technology and training. “Through Spectrum Digital Education, Charter is helping to bridge the digital divide in local communities where our customers live and work,” said Rahman Khan, VP of Community Impact for Charter. “Providing these resources, with the help of our community nonprofit partners, allows us to empower those in need and further our mission to give individuals the necessary tools to excel in the digital age.”

ABC Owned Television Stations in California are holding “Day of Giving,” to raise funds for the American Red Cross, today, September 17 from 4a-7p PDT. The campaign is taking place across ABC7/KABC-TV Los Angeles, ABC7/KGO-TV San Francisco, ABC30/KFSN-TV Fresno and 13 ABC affiliate stations throughout California, Oregon and Washington.

Cynopsis’ That Big TV [Virtual Experience]
September 22-24 | 1-4PM ET

Thursday, Sept. 24th at 3:45pm, hear from Discovery’s Engage team about the future plans for linear addressable and cross platform, enabled by OneGraph, Discovery’s new advanced advertising product that will unify audiences across our linear & digital platforms.



CBS All Access is developing a podcast about Melissa Moore, daughter of notorious serial killer Keith Hunter Jesperson, for television, with The Good Fight creators Robert and Michelle King. CBS Television Studios is producing in association with King Size Productions and iHeartMedia.

Showtime picked up a third season of late-night talk show Desus & Mero. Season two continues through October, airing weekly on Thursday and Sunday nights at 11p.

Nancy Cartwright (The Simpsons) is launching CRE84U Entertainment, with producing partner Monica Gil-Rodriguezx and Jaime and Carolina Aymerich. The company plans to acquire IP from around the world to produce for the US market.

Maroon 5 lead singer and former The Voice coach Adam Levine inked an exclusive overall deal with Wheelhouse Entertainment through which Levine and his company, 222 Productions, will produce scripted and unscripted content for TV, film and streaming platforms.

Ayesha Curry (Ayesha’s Homemade, Family Food Fight) signed a first-look deal for unscripted TV with eOne for her Sweet July Productions. Tiffany Nicholson-Horton is onboard as EVP and Head of Development for scripted and unscripted content. “With Sweet July Productions, it will be a new way to create and tell stories with substance about things that matter, and representation will be at the forefront of all that we do,” said Curry. “We are women, entrepreneurs, moms and partners so our stories will always showcase an eclectic and inclusive array of voices and perspectives.”


AT&T will introduce an ad-supported version of HBO Max at a lower price next spring. The new version will have a “light ad load,” AT&T CEO John Stankey told Bloomberg, with some shows remaining ad-free and exclusive to subscribers who pay the full price. “Having an advertising option is going to be important to making sure the broadest cross section of content is available to people moving forward,” said Stankey. “HBO has had to remake itself multiple times over the last few decades, and this is one of those moments where it’s time to remake itself.”

Tubi Monthly Active Users hit 33 million in August, an increase of 65% year-over-year. Total View Time surpassed 200 million hours streamed in April and has been above 200 million hours each month since, with an average increase of 104% year-over-year. Internationally, year-over-year TVT rose by 95% in Canada, and 242% in Australia. “Tubi’s surge in viewership is a testament to 2020 becoming the year of AVOD,” said Farhad Massoudi,” CEO of Tubi. “As we further grow our offering and capitalize on our partnership across FOX’s IP, we continue to develop a unique value proposition for many of today’s households seeking cost-free premium entertainment.” Tubi is a division of Fox Entertainment.

Speaking of Tubi, dedicated Spanish-language destination Tubi en Español launched within the Tubi app on Roku devices in the US. Presented by Metro by T-Mobile, it offers over 1000 titles free to viewers. “Tubi en Español marks one of many milestones in our commitment to super serving underserved audiences,” said Adam Lewinson, Chief Content Officer of Tubi.

Gracenote, a Nielsen company, has launched Gracenote Streaming Sports Catalogs, enabling TV providers to connect fans to live games and related content available across different OTT sources. The data solution makes sports content easily searchable and discoverable across previously siloed TV platforms, services and devices. “While increasing consumer choice, the rapid rise of sports driven OTT services is making it ever more challenging for sports fans to find and watch their favorite teams play,” said Simon Adams, Chief Product Officer of Gracenote. “Our breakthrough Streaming Sports Catalogs solution allows TV providers to connect sports programming to its most fervent fans in a simple way that enables powerful new engagement opportunities.”

And now, for a different kind of streaming study. OnBuy’s TV Cinematic Department created a Netflix and Feels Index, to find out which series on the streamer were the saddest and made viewers shed the most tears. Breaking Bad scored the highest, with 74,200 searches for keywords like “sad” on Reddit, and 271 character deaths. Stranger Things came in second, Orange Is the New Black placed third, and 13 Reasons Why was fourth.


The Sopranos’ Lorraine Bracco renovates a home she purchased for one euro in new HGTV series, My Big Italian Adventure, launching Friday, October 30 at 9p. The show follows Bracco’s journey in a tiny hilltop town in Sicily, which sold vacant homes cheaply to encourage families to return. Joanna Gaines she is not, Bracco is the first to admit. Of her centuries-old home with no electricity, running water, kitchen or bathrooms, Bracco said, “I’m not a contractor. I’m not a decorator. I’m an actress…. I have no idea what I’m really getting into!”


DirecTV and INVIDI Technologies have entered into an alliance with Adcuratio Media to build a platform for national addressable inventory across network cable and broadcast. DISH Media has also joined with Adcuratio, which has programmer partners including A+E Networks, FOX Corp and ViacomCBS. The new agreement significantly expands the distribution footprint and national network inventory available for ad-versioning addressable television across all DMAs. “Our plan has always been to scale the local-break addressable business via our national sales force to a sufficient level of maturity, which we have done, and now are more than ready to enable the programmers’ national minutes,” said Jason Brown, who leads national sales efforts for DirecTV’s addressable TV business. “Programmers’ advertising teams no longer have to be selling a single spot with the same creative to all households.”


Additional guests on ABC’s Emmys broadcast on Sunday, September 20 include Jason Bateman, Sterling K. Brown, Laverne Cox, Sesame Street’s Count Von Count, Morgan Freeman, Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, D-Nice, Randall Park, RuPaul, Patrick Stewart and Jason Sudeikis. Jimmy Kimmel is hosting.

So what will the virtual Emmys show look like? “We decided let’s not do the easy route here, the sanitized route here, and do lots of prerecorded things and put them all together, bolt them back to back and put out something that’s sort of generic,” said producer Ian Stewart during a press conference. “A stumbling block can be a stepping stone depending how you use it. This is a time to be a bit loose and have some fun.” And what if things go wrong? “We’ve got Jimmy Kimmel, who loves live TV and the chaos of live TV,” said Stewart. “I think he’s actually hoping things do go wrong, to tell you the truth.”

Latin music star Maluma will perform at the Billboard Latin Music Awards and be honored with the “Billboard Spirit of Hope Award” for his altruistic efforts. The show airs live on Wednesday, October 21 at 7p.

Estrella Media has partnered with Sony Music Latin for the production of a special edition of its talent search show, Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento. The record label
will be part of the casting process and competition, with five winning contestants forming a new band and collectively receive a grand prize total of $100,000 from EstrellaTV, as well as the opportunity to obtain an exclusive recording contract with Sony Music Latin. The new season debuts Monday, September 21 at 8p.

Vice Versa: Between Musk and Mars premieres on Vice TV on Monday, September 21 at 10p. The doc looks at the holdouts who refuse to leave their isolated Texas village, which Elon Musk hopes to use to launch rockets and build a luxury resort.

MeTV is treating viewers to themed episodes of classic shows in the days leading up to Halloween, starting Saturday, October 24 at 6p with The Beverly Hillbillies and “Ghost of Clampett Castle.”

First-run daily newsmag Law & Crime Daily will air an exclusive interview with Amanda Knox in most markets today, Thursday, September 17 (check local listings). Knox spent almost four years in an Italian prison following her conviction for the 2007 murder of a foreign exchange student; she was acquitted in 2015.


Court TV has launched in the UK, available on Sky Television Channel 179. The network is planning content to explain the differences between the US and UK court systems. Because of the time difference, daytime trial coverage in the US will air in primetime in the UK.

Abacus Media Rights has pre-sold documentary special Lennon’s Last Weekend ahead of the 40th anniversary of Lennon’s murder in December this year. The doc has been acquired by Britbox (US/Canada); SBS (Australia); DR (Denmark); Movistar+ (Spain) and TV4 (Sweden). Abacus also secured sales of CBC original series Trickster to Sky in the UK (SyFy); NITV and SBS On Demand in Australia, Globoplay in Brazil and KinoPoisk (Yandex) in Russia ahead of its launch on CBC in October.

Viasat World announced a new two-year licensing agreement with ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group, which will increase the amount of upcoming content on the Viasat TV channels and ViP Play online cinema available in Russia and CIS countries by 20%. This agreement will bring Viasat TV channels and the ViP Play online cinema over 150 hours of new content from Paramount Pictures’ renowned library, including recent blockbusters.

Cynopsis is gearing up to recognize the 2020 Class of Top Women in Media – trailblazers who are pushing the industry forward, while empowering & inspiring others. On October 13-16, we’re excited to have the following guest presenters announce the honorees:
-Ana Jurka – Anchor & Reporter – Telemundo Deportes
-Monica Raymond, Star of Hightown – Starz
-Sheereen Russell, Group VP Ad Sales/Client Partnerships & Inclusive Engagement – OWN

(sponsored by Turnkey Search)


The September 14 debut of syndicated daytimer The Drew Barrymore Show delivered a 1.0 HH rating in metered markets, up by double digits from both its lead-ins and prior Monday time periods in numerous key cities. Even better was the season two premiere of Tamron Hall (1.1/4 metered market average), up 83% from the previous Monday, with an exclusive interview with Andrew Gillum, who lost the race for governor of Florida.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series the Week of August 31, in order by Nielsen HH Rtg
Judge Judy (CTD) 5.6 AA
Family Feud (CTD) 5.4 AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 4.6 AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 4.3 AA
The Big Bang Theory (WB) 2.6 AA
Inside Edition (CTD) 2.3 AA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD) 2.2 AA
Hot Bench (CTD) 1.9 AA
Dr. Phil (CTD) 1.9 AA
Last Man Standing (DAD) 1.8 AA
Source: Nielsen

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, September 15
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Modern Family 2.35 (0.3), Modern Family 2.02 (0.3), President and the People 3.97 (0.6), The Conners 1.74 (0.2)
CBS: Big Brother 4.13 (1.1), Love Island 1.92 (0.5), FBI: Most Wanted 1.65 (0.2)
CW: Dead Pixels 0.36 (0.1), Dead Pixels 0.21 (0.1), Tell Me a Story 0.30 (0.1)
FOX: Fox Movie 1.38 (0.3)
NBC: America’s Got Talent 5.94 (0.7), Transplant 3.63 (0.5)
Telemundo: Exatlon 1.23, Todo por mi Hija 1.38, Enemgo Intimo 0.76
Univision: Rosa de Guadelupe 1.29 (0.4), Medicos Linea de Vida 1.31 (0.4), Dulce Ambicion 1.19 (0.3)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

This Day in History
1972 – M*A*S*H premiered on CBS.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
What was the second show to spin off from Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000)? Models Inc. (1994-95). Kudos to: Michael Hochman-Bowling Alley Lunch Entertainment/Bucks County, PA, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX, Luke Watson-Entertaining Concepts/NYC, John Kukla-KDFW Fox 4/Dallas, Matt Sauter-WideOrbit/York, PA, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

Today’s Trivia Question
The main character in which 1980s drama was pursued by a bounty hunter with the same name as a current popular podcast host? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four per time zone.)

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Job of the day
Newsmax Media

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

Public media leader seeks VP to promote APT brands, impact, marketing strategies, diverse content & engage audiences. Min 10 yrs experience. APT is EOE. Full info HERE. (9/29)

Counter Logic Gaming/Madison Square Garden Sports/LA, CA: Counter Logic Gaming is looking for someone to lead the digital mktg team, with a focus on digital content and social media. Resp for creating/executing all CLG digital/content strat across all social/streaming platforms. Min 5 yrs of digital/mktg exp. Full info HERE (9/28)

Nickelodeon/NYC, NY: Ideal candidate will lead a team of mktg and campaign mngrs in all aspects of marketing across all platforms in support of Nickelodeon series and content. Min 8 yrs exp in marketing, media or a consumer strategy position. Full info HERE (9/25)

Clear Channel Outdoor/NY, NY: Resp for dev mktg strategies, content and compelling programs for clients/agencies to increase awareness and build a value proposition for Clear Channel Outdoor’s products and data solutions. Min 5yrs Mktg exp in a media sales org, focusing on integrated solutions, creating innovating sales tools and building revenue-generating opps. Full info HERE (9/23)

VIACOMCBS/REMOTE: 6 mon, temp maternity cover position starting in mid-Dec 2020. Must have exp in mktg/brand tracking data, market and product research. 10yrs of research exp with background in quantitative/qualitative methodologies. Knowledge of consumer insights within the US TV streaming landscape (part AVOD). Full info HERE (9/23)

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 (9/23)

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 (9/23)

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 (9/23)

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 (9/23)

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 (9/23)

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 3yrs exp with outstanding writing/production skills. Full info HERE (9/23)

GLASS ENTERTAINMENT GROUP/PHILA, PA: Seeking highly motivated, self-starter to work with producers and management on company and show-specific messaging and branding to be promoted online and over social media. Min 3 yrs of social media exp and position can work remotely. Full info HERE (9/18)

INSP, LLC/CHARLOTTE, NC: Seeking ideal candidate with proven, successful exp in managing creative digital-first content, creating websites and digital prop. Min 5yrs exp in mngmt of a website prop and/or other digital products in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. Full info HERE (9/18)

ABC: Celebrity Family Feud, Holey Moley, Match Game
CBS: Big Brother, Love Island, Bull
CW: Mysteries Decoded, Penn & Teller: Fool Us
FOX: Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back, Masked Singer
NBC: Transplant, Transplant, Law & Order: SVU
PBS: This Old House, Ask This Old House, The War
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Todo por mi Hija, Enemigo Intimo
Univision: La Rosa de Guadalupe, Medicos Linea de Vida, Dulce Ambicion


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