09/09/16: Wheeler rethinks set-top regs; WB TV snags Meryl Streep, JJ Abrams project; Lifetime walks a new ‘Runway’



Connected apps are coming on strong. Ooyala’s new report from leading research firm Park Associates looks at video apps from all angles: which apps matter most, how to compete effectively, what the future holds, and why a growing number of OTT services are going "app first"

Apps may be affecting your digital video business more than you know.



Good morning. It’s Friday September 9, 2016, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Friday’s Premieres:
ABC: 20/20 at 10p
Food Network: Burgers, Brew & ‘Que at 10p
Nickelodeon: Jagger Eaton’s Mega Life at 7:30p

Friday’s Finale:
WE tv: Million Dollar Matchmaker at 10p

Saturday’s Premieres:
Great American Country: Building Alaska at 8p
Nat Geo Wild: Animal ER at 10p
OWN: Iyanla: Fix My Life at 9p
Reelz: Rich and Acquitted at 9p, Hollywood Homicide Uncovered at 10p

Saturday’s Finale:
NBC: Aquarius at 10p

Sunday’s Premieres:
Bravo: Manzo’d With Children at 9p and 9:30p
Food Network: Guy’s Big Bite at 9:30a
HGTV: Caribbean Life at 9p and 9:30p

Sunday’s Finales:
A&E: Escaping Polygamy at 10p
ABC: Celebrity Family Feud at 8p
CBS: Brain Dead at 10p


A chairman’s prerogative: FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has changed his mind regarding regulations for set-top boxes in an effort to break cable and satellite companies’ control. According to an op ed in the LA Times, Wheeler says he now will propose pay TV distributors offer subscribers free, FCC-approved apps they could download to their device of choice to watch programming. Wheeler’s new proposal still would require pay TV providers to provide information that would enable owners of rival devices to search for shows across services such as Netflix and Amazon, not just on conventional cable channels. But it signals a shift from his previously stated plans, which would have enabled independent manufacturers to change the order of channels offered.

More stars have joined the lineup for Stand Up To Cancer, the cross-network live telecast airing tonight (Friday) at 8p on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, and more than 55 additional cable outlets including Bravo, E!, HBO, Pivot, Showtime and Univision. Newly added are Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Chris Evans, Kevin Hart, Will Arnett, Lena Dunham, Kathy Bates, Eva Longoria, Shannen Doherty, Jordana Brewster, Grace Helbig, Alessia Cara and Charlie Puth, among others. Vice President Joe Biden will also make an appearance.
NY wants to increase the number of television shows made in the Big Apple by women and minorities. The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, the Department of Small Business Services, and the Writers Guild of America, East are launching a mentoring initiative called the Made in NY Writers Room, to support “writers of diverse backgrounds and perspectives… and amplify their voices in the entertainment industry.” Program will provide a six-month fellowship to as many as 12 writers, or teams of two, who will be assigned to mentors with the goal of developing a production-ready drama or comedy pilot.

Rovi closed its $1.1 billion deal to purchase TiVo – and adopted the TiVo name. The newly merged company said it will see $100 million-plus in annual cost synergies, 65 percent of them evident during its first year. “The new TiVo is uniquely positioned to provide ground-breaking offerings that address the rapidly changing media landscape,” CEO Tom Carson said.

The Television Academy announced a trio of juried award winners in interactive media for the 68th Emmy Awards. The honors will be handed out during the first night of the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday (September 10) at the Microsoft Theater in LA. The winners are: Multiplatform Storytelling: Archer Scavenger Hunt (FX Networks, FX Productions); Original Interactive Program: Henry (Oculus Platform, Oculus Story Studio); Social TV Experience: @midnight with Chris Hardwick (Comedy Central, Funny or Die)

Learn how to sync a story with live game action and tailor your ads with audience demos plus much more during our free Sports webinar NEXT WEEK on 9/14. Register to save your spots, or view-on demand.


Entries are open for the
3rd Annual Cynopsis Sports Leaderboard

Have you utilized social media platforms to promote a product to sports fans throughout 2016? From global brands to local stations, social media has proven to be the great equalizer
and we want to see your work.

Submission Deadline: October 21st



Meryl Streep and JJ Abrams are in the house at Warner Bros Television for the adaptation of novel The Nix. Streep will star and produce with Abrams and his Bad Robot; Abrams reportedly will direct several episodes based on the Nathan Hill novel about an estranged son who makes a bid for fame by writing a scathing article about his hippie-era mother, who gained national press exposure for throwing rocks at a conservative governor.

ABC scooped up American Heritage, from Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures, with a script commitment plus significant penalty that could qualify as a put pilot. The multi-generational soap was penned by Nashville co-exec producer Taylor Hamra, and is one of the first major broadcast TV sales for Pascal Pictures, which has an overall deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Veteran TV producer Jamie Tarses is partnering with Bluegrass Films chiefs Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark under the new Bluegrass FanFare banner. The television production company will be based at ABC Studios, where it has a two-year overall deal. The trio will develop comedy and drama projects for the studio.

David Mackenzie, who helmed Hell or Highwater, will direct and exec produce USA Network’s drama pilot Damnation. Written and created by Tony Tost (Longmire), Damnation is a saga steeped in the secret history of the 1930s American heartland, “chronicling the mythic conflict and bloody struggle between big money and the downtrodden, God and greed, charlatans and prophets.”

Comedy 99 Problems – from Greg Garcia, creator of My Name Is Earl, Raising Hope and The Millers, and his CBS TV Studios-based Amigos de Garcia Productions  is in development at CBS. Written by Austen Earl, the series revolves around three couples who have a child in the same first grade class and respond differently to the same inciting problems.

The Jackal Group acquired the television rights to Chloe Benjamin’s forthcoming novel The Immortalists, due in early 2018. The Jackal Group’s Gail Berman and Joe Earley will exec produce the cable drama. The family love story spanning five decades centers on four siblings who, as children, visit a fortune teller who predicts the day each will die. Subsequently, they find their lives spiraling and intertwining in dramatic ways. Recently, the Jackal Group produced The Rocky Horror Picture Show two-hour TV event set to premiere on Fox on October 20.

Sail on: TNT extended its recent renewal for The Last Ship, adding a fifth season of the drama. Currently in its third season, series is reaching an average of 7.1 million viewers per episode across multiple platforms and ranks as one of basic cable’s Top 10 summer dramas with A18-49.

Black Lightning, the DC Comics-based drama produced by Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl) and written/produced by husband-wife duo Mara Brock Akil & Salim Akil (The Game, Being Mary Jane) took a quick flight to Fox, where the Warner Bros. TV-based project has a pilot production commitment.


Telemundo celebrates the life of recently deceased musical icon Juan Gabriel with the premiere of Hasta Que Te Conoci on Sunday, September 11 at 8p. Preceding the premiere episode, Telemundo will broadcast the behind-the-scenes special Amor Eterno, hosted by Maria Celeste Arraras, t 7p.

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be making her third visit to NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday, September 19; the visit helps kick off the premiere week of the new fall TV season.

Discovery Family Channel will air the 100th episode of Transformers Rescue Bots – the longest-running Transformers franchise on television – on Saturday, October 1 at 8:30a. The two-part season finale will air on Saturday, October 22 starting at 8a.

American Humane and Hallmark Channel announced that recording artist and actress Katharine McPhee (American Idol, Scorpion, Smash) will headline as the musical act at the sixth annual American Humane Hero Dog Awards, which tapes on September 10 and is scheduled to premiere on Hallmark Channel Friday, October 28, at 8p. She joins TV personality, author, and animal welfare advocate Beth Stern (Kitten Bowl) and actor James Denton (Hallmark Channel’s Good Witch, Devious Maids, Desperate Housewives), who will take the stage for the third consecutive year as co-hosts.


Fusion hits the trail with the 2016 Presidential candidates of both parties in new six-part series Primaries, premiering with back-to-back episodes on Sunday, September 25 at 9p. Two episodes will air just before the first Presidential Debate on Monday, September 26 and the series will conclude Tuesday, September 27 at 9p with the final two eps.

WE tv series Marriage Boot Camp Reality Stars returns for more counseling beginning Friday, October 7 at 9p. Season 6 follows a new group of dysfunctional celebrity couples, including Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert (Bachelor in Paradise), Jim and Amber Marchese (Real Housewives of New Jersey), and Karen Gravano and Storm (Mob Wives), seeking to bring their relationships back to life.

Then immediately following the Marriage return October 7 at 10p, WE tv unleashes new docu-series My Life is a Telenovela, which follows the drama, betrayal and sex that occurs both on and off-screen in Latino Hollywood. Set in Miami, the eight-ep show features telenovela notables including Maria “Raquenel” Portillo, Sissi Fleitas, Gustavo Pedraza and Enrique Sapene.

Fuse will debut series Uproarious, a new comedy series featuring up-and-coming comedians on the stand-up circuit, on Friday, October 7 at 11p. Actor, comedian, and YouTube personality Jimmy Tatro (22 Jump Street, Grown Ups 2) will host the 10-part, half-hour series; premiere ep kicks off with Mike Polk Jr., Molly Ruben-Long and Jesus Trejo.

Fashion and entrepreneurialism come together with Lifetime’s Project Runway: Fashion Startup, premiering Thursday, October 20 at 10:30p. Series showcases aspiring fashion and beauty entrepreneurs as they pitch their concepts for the chance to secure funds from a panel of expert investors to help grow their budding ventures. The panel includes Katia Beauchamp, co-founder/CEO of Birchbox; founder of plus-size clothing rental startup Gwynnie Bee Christine Hunsicker; fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff; and Gary Wassner, business mentor of the CFDA Incubator program and CEO of Hilldun Corp.


E! News yesterday launched original weekly episodic Snapchat Discover series The Rundown, hosted by E! News correspondent Erin Lim. Series is designed to keep fans in the know on the biggest trending stories of the week and offer a unique and humorous take on all things pop culture.


Podcasters are back in the business of wooing brands and agencies with an Upfront-esque presentation for a second year. This week podcast producers including HowStuffWorks, ESPN, NPR, Panoply, WNYC and Time Inc. staged all-day event put on by the Interactive Advertising Bureau that was heavy on talent including podcast celebs Ira Glass and Marc Maron, and long-tenured media stars including Katie Couric, Malcolm Gladwell and Shaquille O’Neal. About 57 million people, or 21 percent of US citizens over the age of 12 listen to a podcast monthly, according to an Edison Research report from May.

A study from the Council for Research Excellence focusing on how viewing on nonlinear platforms including VOD, computer, tablet and smartphone impact ad engagement concluded that viewing on bigger screen leads to more a positive viewing experience overall. In other key findings:
*  Ad load and platform combine to have a strong influence on ad attention and engagement.
*  TV screens can support full ad loads with reasonable recall.
*  Tablets and phones have a recall advantage when load is moderate or light.
*  Computer recall is low across the board.
*  Pre-roll ads are more likely to be tuned out than ads running during shows.
*  Ad repetition helps with recall but leads to a more negative viewing experience.
*  One of the main culprits in ad disengagement is multitasking. Digital and work-related multitasking significantly reduces attention and recall, and both types (digital and work-related multitasking) are common when viewing on a computer or VOD, and when ad load is full. Tablet and phone users watching with light/moderate ad loads are much less likely to multitask, making tablet/phone + moderate/light load a sweet spot for attention and recall.


Discovery Communications and AT&T expanded their relationship via a long-term renewal agreement that covers Discovery’s linear networks, an on-demand offering and TV Everywhere distribution. Discovery’s content will be available to AT&T DirecTV U-Verse customers via their set top boxes, streaming and temporary download on DirecTV’s and U-Verses’s TV Everywhere platforms, as well as through Discovery’s websites and apps.


Scripps Networks Interactive announced the upcoming launch of HGTV in Poland. In January 2017, HGTV will be added to the channel portfolio of TVN, the leading Polish media company wholly owned by Scripps Networks.
Production is under way on the third and final season of CBC and Temple Street’s original drama series X Company, which centers around World War II espionage. The final season returns the ensemble cast to see the team of Camp X operatives finish their final mission together.

BUZZR is expanding to the Canadian market exclusively on YES TV, through a deal brokered by FremantleMedia International. In a new agreement with the Canadian network, BUZZR will provide a three-hour weekly programming block Monday through Friday from 1a-4a beginning Monday, September 12. Content will include programming from the BUZZR vault and will branded “BUZZR After Hours.”


Tuesday, September 20, 2016 | 1:30 PM ET

How far have you gone over-the-top?
Hear from CBS Interactive, Brightcove, Frank M. Magid Associates & People Entertainment Weekly Network
and learn how to maximize the monetization of OTT content & increase your chances for success.

Sign up your team.


NBC News’ Commander-In-Chief Forum drew nearly 15 million viewers Wednesday night across NBC and MSNBC. More than 3.43 million viewers tuned in live via MSNBC. The one-hour program averaged 4 million viewers in the A25-54 news demo; 856,000 of them watched on MSNBC.

Matt Lauer may be taking some heat for his moderating tone, but the debut of MSNBC’s 11th Hour with Brian Williams on Tuesday at 11p attracted 1.007 million viewers; 242,000 viewers fell in the news demographic. In overall audience, Williams’ show saw a 52 percent rise for the timeslot compared to 2016 to date. Compared to the timeslot’s August average, the premiere was 11th up 6 percent in total viewers.

Brit Hume’s debut as interim host of Fox News Channel’s On the Record attracted 2.4 million total viewers and 429,000 in A25-54 age bracket on Tuesday night. Viewership was up 38 percent in overall audience and 83 percent in the news demo, compared to the same day last year; and up 13 percent in total audience from the prior week when Greta Van Susteren was still in the host chair.

Last week Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County delivered a season high among P18-49 and P25-54, earning 1.8 million P18-49 (up 11 percent versus the prior week’s episode), 2 million P25-54 (up 8 percent), and 3.1 million total viewers (up 6 percent), according to Live+3 Nielsens. Among P25-54, this was the highest rated episode since 2013.

OWN’s Queen Sugar delivered the highest-rated two-episode debut in network history on September 6 and 7. From filmmaker Ava DuVernay (Selma) and executive producer Oprah Winfrey, Queen Sugar averaged a 1.9 W25-54 rating and 2.416 million total viewers over its two-night premiere. In the W25-54 demo, Queen Sugar was the highest-rated two-episode debut in network history.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 based on time period averages.
Source: NTI. Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD
NBC: 5.5/10
America’s Got Talent 7.1/12, Better Late Than Never 4.2/8
CBS: 3.8/7
NCIS [r] 4.9/9, Zoo 2.8/5
ABC: 2.7/4
Bachelor in Paradise 3.8/7, Bachelor in Paradise 2.6/4, Mistresses 1.9/3
FOX: 8.1/1
Brooklyn Nine-Nine [r] .9/2, New Girl [r] .7/1, Lucifer [r] .9/1
Rosa de Guadelupe, Color de la Pasion, Seliccin Mexicana
Telemundo: 1.0/2
Silvana Sin Lana .9/1,
Sin Senos Si Hai Paraiso 1.0/2, Senora Acero 3: La Coyote 1.1/2
CW: .5/1
Flash .6/1, MadTV .4/1
Wednesday A18-49: NBC 1.7, CBS .8/2, TELE 0.8/3, ABC 1.0/4, UNI 0.6/2, FOX 0.4/2, CW 0.3/1


Anna Geddes joined Scripps Networks Interactive as director of programming for Travel Channel, based in Knoxville. Geddes previously served as a showrunner for series including TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress, Bravo’s Newlyweds, The First Year and Ladies of London and Discovery’s American Treasures. She also worked as an exec producer and director of production for Discovery, where she helped launch shows including Naked & Afraid and American Guns.

Digital media company Kin Community hired Shauna Miller as director of programming. In this newly created role, Miller oversees the development, production and distribution of content on Kin O&O channels. She most recently served CEO and founder of Penny Chic, a multichannel content, apparel and entertainment brand.

Friday Fun Fact: The Salvation Army started National Donut Day in 1938. Each year on the first Friday in June, the “hole-i-day” honors the approximately 250 Salvation Army volunteers traveled to France during WWI to make and serve fresh, complementary donuts for American soldiers serving there.

This Day in History: 1776 – Congress officially renames the country as the United States of America. It formerly was the United Colonies.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What career change did Rhoda make after her split with Joe on Rhoda (1970-1974)? Rhoda went to work at the Doyle Costume Company. Kudos to: Jim Kelly/Lee Hecht Harrison-NY; Marion Z Murphy/GroupM Direct-NY; Anthony Salerno/Horizon Media-NY; Andy Pittman/TAMU-College Station, TX; Susan Nessanbaum- Goldberg/M and S Entertainment-LA; Dan Haberer-/Creo Entertainment-Playa del Rey, CA; Jim Katz/Radcliffe Road Pictures-LA; Len Klatt/The Winning Run; David Westberg/SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union-Burbank;

Today’s Trivia Question: What kind of beach stand did Hannah Montana’s Jackson and Oliver open after Rico fired Jackson from Rico’s Surf Shack? (2006-2011) (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.).

TV Show Anagram with a French Accent: Math Et Silent (Email [email protected]; first three respondents with the correct answer who aren’t in trivia – will be posted along with the answer on www.Cynopsis.com.)
Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey: Editorial Director @Lynn_Leahey
reported by Cathy Applefeld Olson

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group 

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SR SALES ANALYST/PLANNER/SIRIUSXM/NYC: Wide Orbit & Media exp req’d. 4+ yrs exp Pricing & Plan’g or sales analysis in media. 2 yrs exp w/inventory and avails reports, max rev, optimize, analyze ad rts, bld scheds. BA deg or equiv exp. Full info/apply HERE (9/15)

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JOB OPENING: BROADCAST PRODUCER/TV ONE/Silver Spring MD: Responsible for breaking news & hands-on leadership of the AM staff as assigned by the Executive Producer & a successful seamlessly execute live, morning daily brdcst. Min 8 yrs TV exp w/5 yrs exp producing. Exp in Nat’l mkt envir pref’d. Full info/apply HERE (9/14)

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ABC: Stand Up To Cancer, 20/20 [r], 20/20
CBS: Stand Up To Cancer, 10th Annual ACM Honors
CW: Masters of Illusion, Masters of Illusion [r], Penn & Teller: Fool Us
FOX: Stand Up To Cancer, MasterChef [r]
NBC: Stand Up To Cancer, Dateline NBC
PBS: Washington Week with Gwen Ifill, Charlie Rose: The Week, Live From Lincoln Center
Telemundo: Silvana Sin Lana, Sin Senos Si Hai Paraiso, Senora Acero 3: La Coyote
Univision: Desperatar Contigo, Tres Veces Ana, El Color de la Pasion

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