10/19/20: Peter Roth stepping down at Warne Bros. TV Group

 

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Monday October 19, 2020

Today’s Premieres
Acorn TV: Darkness: Those Who Kill
Cheddar: Cheddar Capital at 12p
DIY: Restoring Galveston at 9p
ID: Killer Carnies at 10p
NBC: The Voice at 8p
Netflix: Unsolved Mysteries
PBS: Independent Lens at 10p
Quibi: Murder Unboxed

Today’s Finales
HBO: The Third Day at 9p
HGTV: Love It or List It: Hilary and David Tell All at 8p

IN THE NEWS

Peter Roth, Chairman of the Warner Bros. Television Group and a legendary figure in the industry, will step down in early 2021. “Working at Warner Bros. has been the greatest, most meaningful, most rewarding experience of my career,” said Roth. “For the past 22 years, I have had the privilege to be associated with some of the most inspiring creative talent, the most impactful television series and the most dedicated and passionate people I have ever known. It has long been my dream to be able to say farewell at the right time in the right way and for the right reason…I look forward to the next chapter of my career and remaining connected to those people who have meant so much to me.”

Roth joined the company in March 1999 as President, Warner Bros. Television. Since then, 32 scripted primetime series developed under his leadership have successfully reached the 100-episode milestone, among them The Big Bang Theory, the longest-running multicamera comedy in the history of television; Two and a Half Men; The West Wing; Gilmore Girls; Pretty Little Liars; Mike & Molly, and One Tree Hill. Previously, as President of Fox Entertainment, Roth was responsible for the development of programming including Ally McBeal, That ‘70s Show and Family Guy.

Jeff Wachtel is out as President of NBCUniversal Internatonal Studios after almost 20 years at the company, reportedly over issues related to respect in the workplace. Wachtel had previously served as Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and President, Universal Cable Productions & Wilshire Studios, and President of Original Programming and Co-President of USA Network.

Also out is Jane Wiseman, who joined Netflix in 2013 and was VP, Original Series. Wiseman’s departure comes less than a week after Channing Dungey, CP of Original Content and Head of Drama, stepped down.

Fresh off his grilling by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie last week, President Trump has a date for another town hall set for Wednesday, October 21 at 8p. The event is slated to take place at the White House and air on Sinclar Broadcast Group’s CW and MyNet stations and their web sites. Conservative commentator Eric Bolling will moderate the town hall, which takes place the day before the final scheduled debate between Trump and Joe Biden on NBC. As for NBC News anchor Kristen Welker, who is moderating the debate, Trump tweeted Saturday, “She’s always been terrible and unfair, just like most of the Fake News reporters, but I’ll still play the game.”

Ryan Murphy’s Ratched is Netflix’s top new series this year, reports the streamer. The One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest prequel, viewed by 48 million households in its first 28 days, has already been renewed for season two.

Kate Hudson (Almost Famous) will play a lifestyle guru in season two of Apple TV+’s Truth Be Told, starring Octavia Spencer. Production begins October 26 in LA.

AMC Networks and the American Film Institute are partnering to provide grants for thesis productions by Black fellows at the AFI Conservatory. A selection of films will be streamed on UMC.

One day after its season three debut, CBS All Access renewed Star Trek: Discovery for season four. Production begins November 2.

Political ad spend has hit a record $6.7 billion, according to Advertising Analytics, with $4.1 billion going to local broadcast stations and $1 billion to local cable TV platforms; $247 million has been spent on national broadcast and cable TV networks. The presidential race has seen more than double the spending versus 2016, $2.63 billion compared to $855 million, and spending on Senate races has hit $1.67 billion versus $989 million in the previous cycle.

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

HBO has promised The Vow will return, with a second group of episodes slated to air in 2021. Part Two of the docuseries will be set against the backdrop of the federal trial of Keith Raniere for racketeering, sex trafficking, production of child pornography and more, delving into NXIVM’s inner circle. Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer will again direct and executive produce.

Smithsonian Channel and Austria’s Terra Mater Studios (Austria) ordered one-hour wildlife special New Forest: The Crown’s Hunting Ground, from Big Wave. Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) will narrate.

Nate’s, a comedy from Akilah Green (Black Lady Sketch Show) and 20th Television, is in development at ABC. The series revolves around a Black-owned bar in Washington, DC. Green was a DC lobbyist before turning to TV writing.

Adrienne Warren (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical) will star in ABC limited series The Women of the Movement, focused on Mamie Till-Mobley, who risked her life to get justice for her murdered son, Emmett Till.

Last Chance! 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 today, 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).

NEW SERIES

ID’s Evil Lives Here: Shadows of Death explores the ripple effects of a single murder, through different points view. Series debuts Thursday, October 29 at 10p.

Cheddar is launching new weekly show Cheddar Capital today at 12p. The series examines the intersection of business and policy and how congressional leadership and legislation impact industries across the country.

COMING UP

CBS News will broadcast election night coverage on November 3 from the ViacomCBS headquarters in NYC’s Times Square – augmented reality included. “We’re empowering our top political journalists with the latest data visualization and storytelling tools to bring as much clarity as we can to this election,” said Susan Zirinsky, CBS News President and senior executive producer.

A+E Networks sibs History and FYI will broadcast close to 20 hours of live coverage of the Barrett-Jackson 2020 Fall Auction in Scottsdale, from October 22-24. “It’s exciting to see our landmark partnership with Barrett-Jackson ratchet up with our first live auction,” said Christian Murphy, SVP, Enthusiast brands, A+E. “As car enthusiasts ourselves, it’s gratifying to bring fans along for the ride with live content that they’ve been missing these many months.”

The Adult Film Festival will take place on YouTube on Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14. In addition to musical performances and live steams with talent from Rick and Morty and The Eric Andre Show and a Toonami Special Edition, the merchandise store will offer exclusive Adult Swim merch.

Ashley McBryde will join previously announced co-hosts Kane Brown and Sarah Hyland for the 2020 CMT Music Awards, airing Wednesday, October 21 at 8p on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo, Paramount Network, Pop and TV Land.

Univision News is holding a town hall with Dr. Anthony Fauci. COVID-19 Vaccines: Myths and Facts will be held on Tuesday, October 20 at 3p on Univision.

TECH TALK

The Department of Justice filed papers with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals asking to vacate a judge’s decision that prohibits the government from banning new downloads for TikTok. President Trump said TikTok posed a security risk and ordered a ban on US transactions with the Chinese-owned company, which TikTok challenged in court. The DOJ is arguing the judge didn’t adequately consider national security interests in making his decision and incorrectly determined that users’ communications on the app don’t have economic value.

Facebook’s Audience Network will exclusively use bidding to fill ads in iOS apps starting in 2Q21. The move comes ahead of Apple’s iOS14 updates that will affect the ability to collect Identifier for Advertisers data. “Bidding can help publishers ensure they are getting the best price for every impression – even as networks adapt to improve performance – and will help reduce costly time spent managing waterfalls,” Facebook said. “Upcoming versions of iOS 14 are likely to create a two-tier system for developers – higher valued impressions and averaged out, less predictable lower value impressions.” For now, Facebook will continue to support waterfall buying and bidding for Android apps.

Bundle up! RCN, Grande Communications and Wave Broadband have introduced a bundle for broadband-only customers that includes the TiVo Stream 4K, an Android TV-powered device launched in May for $49.99, free for 12 months. “We’re committed to seeking out innovative integrations and partnerships to provide customers choices – it’s a tenet of our organization,” said Chris Fenger, COO of RCN, Grande and Wave. “As a broadband company, our goal is to offer flexible, affordable services so that customers have multiple avenues of getting the entertainment they really want. The TiVo Stream 4K offering works quite well into our strategy moving forward.”

California’s enforcement of its net neutrality law would do “immediate and irreparable harm,” trade groups American Cable Associaton, CTIA, NCTA and USTelcom said in papers filed with a federal judge. The law prohibits broadband providers from blocking or throttling traffic, charging higher fees for fast-lane service, and exempting their content from data caps. Restricting the ability to exempt video streams from data caps leaves carriers the choice of enforcement acton, or ending current practices, which would result in “monetary losses, foregone business opportunities and innovative offerings, and loss of customer goodwill,” say the groups.

GOING GLOBAL

In North America and LATAM, Wing Wowkidz secured deals with US-based streamer Olympusat Entertainment for 221 half hours of catalogue titles including Vir: The Robot Boy, Eena Meena Deeka and Chacha Bhatija along with new show Harry. In India, Disney+Hotstar has acquired online rights for 130 half-hours of the library of shows.

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RATINGS

In a surprise to media observers, Joe Biden’s town hall on October 15 averaged 14.14 million viewers on ABC, surpassing the 13.46 million viewers for President Trump’s event the same night simulcast across NBC (10.9 million), MSNBC (1.8 million) and CNBC (720,000).

The season three midseason premiere of Love After Lockup brought WE tv franchise high audiences of 1.3 million Live+3 viewers, 780,000 A25-54 and 635,000 A18-49.

The trailer for ABC’s upcoming David E. Kelley drama, Big Sky, was viewed 25.5 million times across social media platforms in its first three days. The series debuts Tuesday, November 17.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Thursday, October 15
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Vice President Joe Biden Town Hall 14.14 (3.0), Emergency Call 3.36 (0.7)
CBS: Big Brother 4.01 (1.0), The Neighborhood 1.82 (0.3), The Neighborhood 1.80 (0.3)), Star Trek: Discovery 1.82 (0.3)
CW: Supernatural 1.07 (0.3), The Outpost 0.59 (0.1)
Fox: Fox and FS1 MLB 5.04 (1.5)
NBC: President Trump Town Hall 13.46 (2.2), Connecting 0.97 (0.2), Dateline 2.42 (0.3)
Telemundo: Domo del Dinero 0.72 (o.2), Todo por mi Hija 1.23 (0.3), Trumo o Biden 0.69 (0.2)
Univision: Medicos Linea de Vida 1.40 (0.4), Imperio de Mentiras 1.22 (0.3), Dulce Ambicion 0.98 (0.3)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Donna Coleman has been named interim CFO of AMC Networks. Most recently VP, Finance of Madison Square Garden Co., Coleman is stepping in for Sean Sullivan, who left to join SirusXM and CFO.

Cineflix Rights has appointed Tom Misselbrook to the newly created role of SVP, Scripted Sales and Development. Misselbrook’s most recent roles include Executive Director, Sales APAC, based in Sydney and London and Director, Sales EMEA, both at Miramax.

IN MEMORIAM

Actress Rhonda Fleming died October 14 at age 97. The film and theater star guested on TV shows including Wagon Train, Police Woman, and The Love Boat.

Actor Anthony Chisholm died October 16. He was 77. In addition to Tony-nominated theater roles and film work, Chisolm appeared on Oz, and his experiences were the inspiration for HBO’s Vietnam Story.

Actress Doreen Montalvo died October 17, a month after suffering a stroke. She was 56. In addition to numerous theater roles, Montalvo appeared on Elementary and Madam Secretary.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM NY INTERCONNECT
 

This Day in History
1988 – The Senate passed a bill curbing ads during children’s TV shows.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
The title character in which short-lived 1990s sitcom worked for the electric company by day, and was a hotel doorman at night? Lenny Callahan, in Lenny (1990-91). Kudos to: Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
On which sitcom did Jay Leno, Julie Andrews and Florence Henderson guest star as themselves? (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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MONDAY OCTOBER 19
ABC: Dancing With the Stars, Emergency Call
CBS: Big Brother, One Day at a Time, One Day at a Time, Manhunt: Deadly Games
CW: Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Penn & Teller: Fool Us
FOX: L.A.’s Finest, Filthy Rich
NBC: The Voice [p], Weakest Link
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, Tell Me More With Kelly Corrigan, Independent Lens [p]
Telemundo: El Domo del Dinero, Todo por mi Hija, Falsa Identidad
Univision: Te Doy la Vida, Amor Eterno, Como Tu No Hay Dos

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