10/01/20: Presidential debate commission to change rules after “hot mess”



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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Thursday October 1, 2020

Today’s Premieres
AMC+: Gangs of London, The Salisbury Poisonings
HBO Max: A World of Calm
Netflix: Good Morning Veronica, Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood, The Worst Witch
PBS: This Old House at 8p, Ask This Old House at 9p
Peacock: Code 404
YouTube: Released at 11:45p

Tonight’s Finales
ID: Impact of Murder at 9p
Science: Secrets in the Ice at 10p


After Tuesday night’s widely criticized presidential debate (CNN’s Jake Tapper called it “a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck”), The Commission on Presidential Debates announced it is planning changes. The chaotic event “made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,” said the commission. According to CBS News, the new rules could include cutting off a candidate’s mic if they violate the rules. The vice presidential debate is up next, on Wednesday, October 7, followed by a town hall presidential debate on Thursday, October 15, and a final Trump/Biden encounter on Thursday, October 22.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who moderated the debate, told the New York Times, “I never dreamt that it would go off the tracks the way it did.” As for whether he should have jumped in sooner to seize control, Wallace said, “I guess I didn’t realize – and there was no way you could, hindsight being 20/20 – that this was going to be the president’s strategy, not just for the beginning of the debate but the entire debate.”

Meanwhile, presidential candidate Joe Biden will participate in an NBC News town hall
on Monday, October 5, with moderator Lester Holt. The event will air at 8p on NBC, MSNBC and NBC News Now.

NBC renewed The Wall for season four, with Chris Hardwick returning as host. The season three finale of the competition airs October 28.

The Producers Guild of America is moving its 32nd annual awards show to March 24, 2021, and making the ceremony virtual. This year’s awards were held in person, in pre-pandemic (as far as we knew) January. “Our 2021 PGA Awards will look different than previous years with a shift to a virtual presentation, but we’re excited by the opportunity to put on our show in a more accessible, personal, and entirely new way,” said Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher, Presidents of the Producers Guild of America.
The American Cinema Editors’ awards have also moved to a later date, April 18.

People who watch the politics genre on TV in 2020 are 2.7x more likely to be heavy TV viewers and 6% less likely to be light TV viewers, according to a new report from Lotame. Other findings include:
· While politics is one of their top watched genres, the remainder of their TV viewership includes programs that are easy to watch, including travel shows, home & garden shows, variety shows, and game shows.
· They are less likely to tune in to genres that require more investment like drama, science fiction, and action shows.
· The top industries of people who watch the politics genre are in Information Technology (23%) and Healthcare (14%). The least popular industries are Insurance (2%), Banking (2%) and Media + Entertainment (1%)
“Knowing information like what other shows politically engaged viewers watch and what industries they are likely to work in, helps campaigns build a profile of what messaging might resonate best in the last months before ballots are cast,” said Alexandra Theriault, Chief Customer Officer at Lotame.

The FCC withdrew its appeal of an order requiring it to give the New York Times information about web users who commented on the proposed revocation of the agency’s prior net neutrality rules. The rules prohibited broadband providers from throttling traffic and charging higher fees for fast-lane service. The Times had submitted Freedom of Information Act requests for metadata about the comments to the FCC, then sued when the agency refused. “We look forward to receiving the data that the district court ruled we were entitled to under FOIA,” said a Times spokesperson. “We believe the data will assist our reporters in their continuing investigation into how the public comment process at the FCC was corrupted by bad actors.”

Sixty percent of advertisers said they bought less advertising in the 2020 upfronts than in upfronts the year prior, but were able to secure options to buy during the season at upfront prices, according to a new survey by Advertiser Perceptions. As for whether to hold an upfront next year, one third would prefer a calendar year upfront, with annual buys starting January 1; 30% want multiple events throughout the year; and 28% want to stick with the traditional spring upfront.

Call for Submissions: Cynopsis is producing its annual Holiday Programming Guide, which comes out on October 28 and will be sent to all Cynopsis subscribers. If your network has holiday programming airing from October 28 through January 1, please send your listing to Lynn@Cynopsis.com and dilaurojanet@aol.com no later than Monday, October 19 with the subject line: Holiday Guide. To be included, programs must be listed by date, title of program, and start times, in the following format: “Thursday, November 19: Network Name: My One Christmas Wish at 9a, Paper Angels at 11a, 12 Days of Giving at 1p, A Christmas Kiss at 3p, A Very Country Christmas at 5p, Christmas on the Coast at 7p, A Christmas Cruise at 9p”. Holiday-related programs only! A confirmation email will be sent following each submission (if you don’t receive a confirmation email, please resubmit).

Changes to Dancing With the Stars made in response to COVID-19 “improved the show in a really big way,” said showrunner Andrew Llinares during ABC’s virtual press tour. “Removing the audience was something that we were terrified about; we redesigned the set and added these extra screens and I think it looks amazing in there.”

Cynopsis’ Measurement & Data

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November 17-18

Ad Fraud, Addressable TV, Attribution, Ecommerce, OTT, Privacy, Shoppable Ads, Using Data for Storytelling

Sponsored by: Gamut – Tubular – a4 advertising – Nielsen – 4A’s


Chicago Med is taking a two-week break from filming after a production team member tested positive for COVID-19. The hiatus is not expected to affect the NBC medical drama’s season premiere on November 11.

Production has resumed on New Orleans on season five of Queen Sugar, but it won’t be the same show that was planned back in March, before the pandemic. Creator Ava DuVernay has revamped the season during the hiatus, and will address COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter protest movement and the lead-up to the elections.

Athlete-owned network PlayersTV announced a new talk show, ReMaking America, with NBA star and PlayersTV investor CJ McCollum. In development is docu-series Swingman, chronicling the life of MLB Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. PlayersTV also announced a new distribution agreement with Sling TV.

GoldieBlox and Toonz Media Group inked a multi-year partnership to develop a kids and family animation slate that includes GoldieBlox’s characters as well as new series to be co-developed. Each of the animated series and special features will use storytelling fueled by STEM targeted to kids, produced for a variety of platform partners. The collaboration marks GoldieBlox’s first production deal off the company’s owned and operated platforms.

CJC Network issued a season 2 order for 13 episodes of Traveling with Denella Ri’chard. The lifestyle and culture series explores experiences in popular and off-the-beaten-path travel destinations.

Bardel Entertainment Inc. and its Italian-based parent company Rainbow have acquired the rights to the Scholastic book series The Bailey School Kids, with plans to jointly produce the live-action series with Bardel’s CEO Rick Mischel, Kimberly Guidone, and authors Marcia Jones and Debbie Dadey serving as Executive Producers.

The agenda for our most inspirational awards event of the year is available now. Check out Cynopsis’ 2020 Top Women in Media Awards website to see who’s being honored – and when – the week of October 13-16. You can register to attend the virtual gala here.

Netflix has put in development a live-action series based on Conan, reports Deadline. The project comes from Pathfinder Media.


HGTV’s Property Brothers returns for a new season on Wednesday, October 28 at 9p. This time around, Drew and Jonathan Scott help a family with four newly adopted children customize their home.

Season two of podcast This Is Branchburg, from Adult Swim and WarnerMedia Podcast Network, premieres today, October 1. The weekly scripted series centers on the bizarre residents of Branchburg, a fictionalized version of the New Jersey suburb.

Peacock pushed the premiere of Code 404 from today to Thursday, October 8. The buddy detective comedy stars Daniel Mays (White Lines) and Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire).

HBO’s Between the World and Me will debut Saturday, November 21 at 8p, with Mahershala Ali, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Angela Davis, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Mimi Jones, Ledisi, Greg Alverez Reid, Nate Smith and Olivia Washington rounding out the previously announced cast. The HBO Special Event is based on the bestseller of the same name by author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates.

All six episodes of Irish drama The South Westerlies drop on Acorn TV on Monday, November 9. The show centers on a single Dublin mother who goes undercover to quash opposition to an offshore wind farm.


Five streaming services control 83% of connected TV usage, according to LightShed Partners, and just three – Netflix (26%), YouTube (21%) and Amazon Prime Video (17%) – control 64%. Hulu accounts for 14% of OTT viewing hours, and Disney+ 5%. “Investors and the press would lead one to believe that there was an intense streaming war underway with the new entrants utilizing their vast libraries of content, lower prices (sometimes even free with ads) and cross-marketing scale leveraging their other portfolio assets to take share from streaming incumbents,” said LightShed in a note to investors. “Yet, streaming share of time spent tells a very different story.”

YouTube TV notified subscribers they will no longer be able to access 19 Fox regional sports networks owned by Sinclair Media starting today, October 1. YouTube and Sinclair had negotiated an extension deal earlier this year that ended a blackout. The service said it hopes to bring back the Fox RSN’s “in the future.”


UPtv’s Merry Movie Christmas event begins Sunday, November 1 at 7p with A Very Country Christmas Homecoming, the third movie in the Very Country franchise and one of five new TV premiere Christmas movies. In mid-October, the My UPtv Movies app will allow viewers to learn more about upcoming movies on the network, watch movie previews, and request personalized showtime alerts.

Cinelatino October programming stunt Mes del Terror (Month of Terror) will feature a selection of exclusive weekly premieres beginning Sunday, October 4 with El Fantasma de Mi Novia at 9p.

Also set to scare viewers silly is Midnight Pulp, the streaming channel for fans of horror, thriller and action programming. Each week in October will celebrate a different theme – Asian Horror, Giallo Week, J-Horror, Slashers and Indie Week.

Not to be outdone, Telexitos will air a Halloween movie marathon on Sunday, October 4, with films including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994), An American Haunting (2005), Wolf (1994), and more.

The 14th annual PaleyFest Fall TV Previews will feature cast and creative team conversations from Amazon, AMC, CBS, Disney+, Fox, HBO, Hulu, IMDb TV, NBC, Netflix, Peacock and Showtime on Verizon’s Yahoo Entertainment channel. The event kicks off on Friday, October 2 at 8p, with additional programs premiering on Saturday, October 3, and Sunday, October 4. In more Paley Center news, PBS at Fifty: An Anniversary Celebration premieres tonight, October 1 at 8p on the Paley Center’s dedicated channel on Yahoo Entertainment.

TV5MondeUSA and the Seattle International Film Festival are again entering a content partnership, with the channel’s Cinema On Demand platform presenting the French Cinema Now festival curated by SIFF. Six of the SIFF-selected films will be having their U.S. premieres and are available starting Friday, October 2.

Jennifer Lopez will receive The People’s Icon Award at the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards, airing Sunday, November 15 at 9p. Lopez is being honored “for paving the way for artists around the world and single-handedly increasing Latinx representation in music, film, television, and fashion.”


Whip Media Group announced a new movie analytics solution offering consumer data insights to media companies as they are shifting releases from theatrical to premium on-demand-platforms. The new CVM (Content Value Management) Insights for movies monitors spikes in audience interest and consumption to help clients adapt their windowing, marketing and distribution strategies. “Movie consumption behavior across theatres and streaming platforms was converging even before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Carol Hanley, Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer for Whip Media Group. “Now as theatrical windows are closing, understanding consumers interest in a given title across the movie’s entire lifecycle, from pre-release to SVOD distribution, to determine how a movie will ultimately perform, makes CVM Insights movie data a central component to decision making.”

Samsung Ads has launched self-service demand-side advertising platform Samsung DSP, which will be available directly to programmatic buyers and include access to Samsung Ads proprietary inventory along with customizable audiences and data from across 45 million households. The company said it will provide a view of ad frequency across all its channels and let advertisers incorporate linear ad exposure into their household frequency cap. “With the massive shift in consumer viewing behavior, combined with the fragmented ecosystem, advertisers and agencies want to simplify their campaigns and actively manage them in flight,” said Tom Fochetta, VP of Advertising Sales and Operations at Samsung Ads. “With Samsung DSP, marketers can now access Samsung Ads proprietary data and ad units alongside third-party audiences and inventory, all in one simplified, programmatic platform.”


Aaron Ashmore and Hallea Jones have been upped from recurring to season regulars on season two of Netflix’s Locke & Key, while Brendan Hines (The Tick) is joining the cast as a season regular…Set for NBC comedy Young Rock, inspired by the life of Dwayne Johnson, are Uli Latukefu (Marco Polo), Stacey Leilua (Lovebirds), Ana Tuisila (Liliu), and Joseph Lee Anderson (Harriet).


UK’s Drive will distribute new Sky History UK competition series The Chop. The series whittles down 10 of the UK’s best carpenters to see who will be crowned “Britain’s Top Woodworker.”

Cineflix Rights has signed a multi-series deal with Topic for Icelandic political thriller The Minister and Canadian dark comedy Happily Married, as well as Seasons 1 and 2 of Russian drama An Ordinary Woman.

AMC Networks streamer Acorn TV is arriving in Portugal today and will be available on telecommunications companies’ MEO and NOS, with a catalogue consisting of British drama, mystery and comedy series from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Canada.

French animation studio Xilam Animation is hosting its inaugural Online Showcase event for TV channel and platform buyers from October 20-22. The event will showcase the studio’s new programming.

Endemol Shine Brazil has been commissioned by Stella Artois to produce a new reality format, Fora de Rota (Off the Beaten Track). The six-episode series will premiere on Globo TV’s streaming service GloboPlay and on Stella Artois’ You Tube channel.

PBS International has licensed The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Biden to more than 30 broadcasters covering 90+ countries around the world including SBS (Australia), ARTE (France and Germany), NHK (Japan), ORF (Austria), Rai (Italy), SVT (Sweden), Direct TV (Latin America), NRK (Norway), MBN (Middle East) and PBS America (UK) with more buyers to come.

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Part one of Showtime’s The Comey Rule drew 626,000 viewers to its linear premiere on Sunday and Monday, with an additional 375,000 across on-demand and streaming as of Monday. The show helped the network nab its third biggest premiere day for streaming signups.

With production of its scripted series delayed by the pandemic, CBS viewership was down 61% from premiere week last year, averaging 2.7 million viewers. NBC drew an average 5.5 million viewers, Fox had 3.9 million and ABC drew 3.8 million. Overall, viewing was down 13% versus the same week last year.

TV Time’s Binge Report for the Week of September 21
Ratched (Netflix) – 2.69%
Lucifer (Netflix) – 2.61%
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) -2.16%
Modern Family (ABC) – 2.08%
The Office (NBC) – 1.72%
Baby (Netflix) – 1.70%
Friends (NBC) – 1.47%
The Boys (Amazon) – 1.37%
One Piece (Fuji TV) – 1.29%
How I Met Your Mother (CBS) – 1.06%
The weekly Binge Report ranks shows with the most b http://www.yahoo.com/inge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the TV Time app within a given day.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, September 29
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Trump vs. Biden: The Main Event 5.65 (1.1), The First Presidential Debate 12.6 (3.2)
CBS: Love Island 2.48 (0.6), The First Presidential Debate 6.38 (1.4)
CW: Whose Line Is It Anyway, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Tell Me A Story 0.32 (0.1)
FOX: Cosmos: Possible Worlds 1.79 (0.4), First Presidential Debate 6.93 (1.6)
NBC: Weakest Link 5.93 (1.2), First Presidential Debate 9.67 (2.7)
Television: Decision 2020 1.32, Decision 2020 1.45
Univision: Dulce Ambicion 1.12 (0.3), Destino 2020 Presenta: El Primer Debate 1.36 (0.4)
Source: Nielsen, live + same day time period averages


Team Whistle President Michael Cohen has been appointed CEO, and is joining the board of directors. Former Electus CEO Chris Grant will join the company as a senior advisor. CEO John West will transition to be Founder and Executive Chairman.

Facebook named Alex Schultz as CMO. Schultz previously served as VP of Product Growth, Analytics and Internationalization at the social media giant.

Studiocanal has appointed Sarah Doole as CEO at RED Production Company. Doole joins from Fremantle, where she was Director of Global.

Heath Banks has been elevated to Chief Operating Officer of ITV America. Most recently, Banks was EVP of Operations.


Country singer and songwriter Mac Davis died September 29 following heart surgery. He was 78. Davis hosted The Mac Davis Show from 1974-76, and starred in TV movies Beer For My Horses and Where the Fast Lane Ends.

Australian singer Helen Reddy died September 29 at age 78. In addition to starring in a summer replacement variety show in 1973, the “I Am Woman” singer’s TV credits included The Bobby Darin Show, The Carol Burnett Show and The Midnight Special, among others.

This Day in History
1982 – Marvin Gaye released his last studio album, “Midnight Love.”

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Who moderated the first presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon? Howard K. Smith. Kudos to: Charles Lore/NYC, Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Paul Gluck-TUTV/Philadelphia, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA

Today’s Trivia Question
In which sitcom did the US president’s wife leave him at the beginning of the second season? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four answers per time zone.)


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JUMA ENTERTAINMENT/Remote: Looking for creative and highly motivated individual to access and clear videos for network prime time clip series. Must possess a love of TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and be able to navigate platforms. Full info HERE (10/9)

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS/STAMFORD, CT: Resp for accessing and leveraging internal/external data, as well as building models to support Charter’s various business grps (Programming Acquisition, Original Content, Spectrum Nets, Mktg, Product, etc.) on critical initiatives and decisions. Min 5 yrs exp in data modeling and analytics. Full info HERE (10/9)

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. (10/9)

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 (10/9)

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 (10/8)

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 (10/8)

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 (10/8)

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Newsmax Media/NYC:
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ABC: Celebrity Family Feud, Press Your Luck, Match Game
CBS: Big Brother, Love Island, Star Trek: Discovery
CW: Mysteries Decoded, Penn & Teller: Fool Us
FOX: The Masked Singer, Let’s Be Real, Family Guy
NBC: The Wall, Dateline NBC
PBS: This Old House [p], Ask This Old House [p], Islands of Wonder, Antiques Roadshow
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Todo Por Mi Hija, Falsa Identidad


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