11/04/20: NBC cuts Connecting


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday November 4, 2020

Today’s Premieres
The Africa Channel: Lockdown
DIY: Holmes and Holmes: Retooled at 9p
HGTV: Property Brothers: Forever Home at 9p
Netflix: Love & Anarchy
PBS: Nature: Primates at 8p
PokerGo: High Stakes Feud at 8p

Today’s Finale
NBC: American Ninja Warrior at 9p


Where did campaigns spend the most money over the final two months of this heated election season? Twenty-nine percent of political national TV ad spend for September and October was for ads during news programming, another 17% occurred during NFL football games, and 12% aired during reality TV, according to MediaRadar. The rest of the spend was spread across other programming categories like quiz shows, sitcoms, and college football. Outside of the Big Four, the channels with the biggest national ad spend were Univision, Food Network, HGTV, Adult Swim and Fox News.

Election night in particular was a boon to the major cable news nets. Preliminary pricing for a 30-second ad on CNN was $231,000, versus $92,687 in 2016, according to SQAD MediaCosts: National, while the price at Fox News was $160,000-$180,000, up from $82,319 in 2016, and MSNBC pricing was $125,000 versus $52,496.

Instagram blamed a caching issue for reminding users, “Tomorrow is Election Day” on November 3. “While we turned off the ‘Tomorrow is Election Day’ notice last night, it was cached for a small group of people if their app hadn’t been restarted,” tweeted the Facebook-owned app yesterday.

YouTube is retiring the option for an all-day takeover of its masthead position, starting next year. “For years, advertisers asked us for more flexible options for appearing in the YouTube masthead, which is why we introduced the cost-per-thousand (CPM) Masthead in 2019 and earlier this year told advertisers that it would be our primary masthead reservation option in 2021,” the company said. “This change gives advertisers more budget flexibility and applies across all verticals – not just political advertisers.” The campaign for President Trump reserved the masthead position for the entire Election Day.

NBC yanked coronavirus-themed comedy “Connecting” from its Thursday night slate, replacing it with episodes of “Superstore” through November 19. The October 29 episode of the freshman series, following a group of friends coping during the pandemic, delivered 1.15 million viewers and 0.3 among A18-49. “Connecting” will continue to air on Peacock and NBC.com.

Castle Rock won’t return to Hulu for season three. Season two of the horror anthology series launched in October 2019.

Fox Corp. announced revenue for its first fiscal quarter of $2.72 billion, beating analysts’ expectations. Despite heavy political ad spend, the loss of sports ad revenue for Fox’s broadcast network and local stations caused a $6 million slippage from year-ago, to $1.35 billion, but Fox News revenue rose 18%. Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch was asked during the company’s earnings call about competition from President Trump, who has talked about starting a rival news network. “We love competition,” said Murdoch. “The only difference today versus some years ago is as our audience has grown and our reach has grown, we see our competition as no longer only cable news provides but also as traditional broadcast networks.”

Fox Corp. also reported its AVOD Tubi has averaged a 100% increase year-over-year in total view time – partly because of the pandemic, but also “due in part to the more than 41 Fox titles currently available on Tubi, including ‘The Masked Singer,’ ‘Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back,’ and ‘Lego Masters’,” said Lachlan Murdoch. And the benefits go both ways. “When Tubi began streaming ‘The Masked Singer,’ the show quickly became Tubi’s No. 1 television series overall. We use the show to increase viewers to Tubi and we are also driving them to the platform through marketing across our networks, including the Fox network and Fox News,” said Murdoch.

Jimmy Fallon inked a contract extension with NBC’s “Tonight Show.” Fallon, whose current deal runs through the end of 2021, took over from Jay Leno in 2014.

Comcast is reportedly in talks with Walmart to develop and distribute smart TVs, according to the Wall Street Journal. Walmart would promote sets running on Comcast software in return for a share of recurring revenue. A third party would likely manufacture the TV sets.

AT&T is in discussions with private-equity firms to sell a significant stake in its DirecTV, AT&T Now and U-Verse pay-TV businesses, sources tell CNBC. In the proposal, which would shift legacy assets off AT&T’s balance sheet, AT&T would retain majority economic ownership of the businesses, while the buyer would control the pay-TV distribution operations and consolidate the business on its books.

Activist investor Elliott Management and the Twitter board gave the stamp of approval to current leadership, including CEO Jack Dorsey, at the completion of a strategic review. The committee “assessed the current management structure, new operating plan and procedures put in place by the Company’s CEO, as well as the Company’s significantly improving product, operational and financial performance through the most recently reported quarter,” said an SEC filing. “The Committee expressed its confidence in management and recommended that the current structure remain in place.”

The State of the Media & TV/Video Production Industry Study conducted by Cynopsis analyzes how leading media entertainment and TV/Video production companies are approaching today’s most pressing challenges. While the report is for members only, we will provide a high-level look at the data and findings during this complimentary webinar. Register now and join us tomorrow at 1pm ET.


The Supreme Court declined to hear a case that challenges how NFL teams pool telecast rights and collectively negotiate a licensing package for out-of-market games. In the lawsuit, “National Football League v. Ninth Inning,” retail establishments like bars and restaurants say they are paying too much for DirecTV’s “Sunday Ticket,” when, if it weren’t for collusion, NFL teams could compete with each other by streaming games. After the case was revived by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year, the NFL petitioned for review at the Supreme Court.

The US Department of Justice is asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse an injunction blocking the government from enforcing a ban on WeChat downloads. WeChat provides Chinese authorities with “a powerful avenue to collect vast amounts of sensitive personal data that can then be used to the detriment of all Americans,” argues the DOJ.

Get the tools you need to solve 2021’s cross-platform challenges at Cynopsis’ Measurement & Data Virtual Experience, taking place in less than two weeks. Experts will tackle critical topics from attribution to addressable TV, OTT, privacy, and more. Plus, free stuff! Our sponsors are giving away an Apple Watch, Bose Headphones, and more.

Cynopsis’ Measurement + Data Virtual Experience
SPOTLIGHT: Measuring the Effectiveness of OTT as a Complement to TV

As viewership habits increasingly shift to OTT, advertisers must combine TV & OTT together in their media mix. In less than 2 weeks, on Nov. 17, join your peers at 3:10pm ET to gain insights from Soo Jin Oh, Co-Chief Operating Officer at Gamut, on the latest methods & technologies being used to deliver the real-time actionable data needed to move beyond impressions, to impact – at massive scale.



Amazon greenlit supernatural thriller series “The Rig,” which will be the first Amazon Original filmed exclusively in Scotland. The project comes from writer David Macpherson and Wild Mercury Productions.


Jeremy Irons will play Neville Chamberlain in Netflix’s “Munich,” following a British civil servant and a German diplomat who travel to 1938 Munich for an emergency conference…Hilarie Burton, wife of “The Walking Dead” star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, will play the wife of Morgan’s character in a recurring role.


During 3Q20, smart TV streaming apps were up 200% in viewing time, according to Conviva’s “State of Streaming” report. While CTV devices still dominate streaming ownership, with a 50% share of global viewing time, for the first time they did not keep up with overall streaming growth, up 55% versus 57%. “Streaming has exploded in the past year as illustrated by content like the NFL which saw 41% growth on streaming and remained relatively flat on linear TV,” said Conviva CEO Bill Demas. “As a result, we are seeing more investment in streaming services, advertisers shifting to streaming platforms and consumers adopting streaming-enabled devices and TVs at a rapid pace.”

Pluto TV has secured exclusive rights in multiple territories to Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, the sixth anime series in franchise based on the Yu-Gi-Oh! collectible trading card game. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS will bypass broadcast and other windows in the US, Latin America, and beyond in a deal that is part of a larger initiative to launch an exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh! branded channel on Pluto TV.

Pinkfong’s children’s song “Baby Shark” has become YouTube’s most-viewed video of all time. The viral sensation has been picked up by Nickelodeon for a series set to premiere in 2021, as well as a holiday special.


Charter Communications is celebrating Veterans Day throughout November with Spectrum On Demand movies highlighting military stories. The movie selection features recent titles, including, “Dunkirk,” “12 Strong,” “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” and “Hacksaw Ridge.”

The Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association, an advocacy organization leading a national call-to-action to increase media diversity, announced that Sherri Shepherd and Kym Whitley will host the 5th Annual Multicultural Media Correspondents Dinner. This year, the dinner will be held as a virtual media diversity awards ceremony on Wednesday, November 11. Aida Rodriguez will return to provide comedic relief.

Justin Bieber will perform at the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards, airing Sunday, November 15 at 9p on E!.


DCD Rights has acquired a line-up of series that increases its drama portfolio to more than 600 hours. The UK-based distributor has sold the new season of “Frankie Drake Mysteries” to S4 in Portugal and to LUK International in Spain.

About Premium Content has secured the first wave of sales for its Australian drama series, “Operation Buffalo.” Acorn TV has picked up rights for the UK and Eire; the series is also being picked up by UPC in Switzerland; RTP in Portugal; NRK TV in Norway and Viasat World for Central and Eastern European territories.

London-based Media I.M. Incorporated has signed three UK broadcast deals for its global pre-school show, “Sunny Bunnies.” UK’s AVOD Ketchup TV has licensed seasons one and two for the UK and Eire; Channel 5’s milkshake! has renewed its commitment with a pre-sale agreement for season five; and season four is now available to watch on Sky Kids and NOW TV in the UK and ROI.

Cynopsis’ Best of The Best Awards
Category Focus: Kids & Family

The attention span of the younger audience is elusive and harder than ever to capture and keep! Which is why Cynopsis is thrilled to honor the breakthrough campaigns and innovative content in the kids, tween and teen media sector. These are the companies that are ahead of the curve and manage to thrive with this tough (but fun) demographic.



“One Royal Holiday” on Saturday averaged a 3.3 HH rating, 3.1 million total viewers and 379,000 W25-54, making Hallmark Channel the highest-rated and most-watched entertainment cable network of the week in total day and primetime among households, W25-54. W18+ and total viewers. The next night, “On the 12th Day of Christmas” averaged a 2.9 HH rating, 2.8 million total viewers and 419,000 W25-54, to rank as the #2 highest-rated and most-watched entertainment cable program of the week among households, W25-54, W18+ and total viewers.

“Tamron Hall” hit a new season high 0.9 Live+SD national Nielsen rating the week of October 19, up 29% from the week before, the strongest increase of all syndicated programs. The talker also rose 33% among W25-54. “Dr. Phil” boasted a season high 2.0 (up 5%), finishing first in the talk category for the 200th time in the past 216 weeks, followed closely by “Live with Kelly and Ryan” (1.9, up 19%). “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was unchanged at 1.1, down 39% from the same week last year.

The season two premiere of HGTV’s “Fixer to Fabulous” delivered a 0.54 Live+3 rating among P25-54, a 60% increase over year-ago levels. The episode also garnered a 0.65 L3 rating among W25-54, a 51% lift over the prior year.

The season four debut of ABC’s “The Good Doctor” on Monday drew a series low 4.68 million viewers and 0.6 among A18-49, versus a season three average of 5.80 million/0.9.

On Sunday night, Univision’s primetime news magazine, “Aquí y Ahora,” delivered week-over-week audience gains among total viewers (+13% to 1.1 million), A18-49 (+66% to 431,000) and A18-34 (+91% to 205,000), marking its highest-rated telecast in the current season.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of October 19 ranked in order by HH Rtg
Family Feud (CTD) 5.3 AA
Judge Judy (CTD) 5.1 AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 5.0 AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 5.0 AA
The Big Bang Theory (WB) 2.3 AA
Inside Edition (CTD) 23 AA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD) 2.2 AA
Dr. Phil (CTD) 2.0 AA
Live With Kelly and Ryan (DAD) 1.9 AA
Last Man Standing (DAD) 1.7 AA

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Monday, October 26
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Dancing With the Stars 5.55 (0.8), The Good Doctor 4.87 (0.4)
CBS: The Price Is Right at Night 4.20 (0.6), All Rise 1.90 (0.2), Bull 2.26 (0.2)
CW: Whose Line Is It Anyway 0.75 (0.2), Whose Line Is It Anyway 0.75 (0.2), Penn & Teller: Fool Us 0.71 (0.1)
Fox: LA’s Finest 1.51 (0.3), Filthy Rich 1.10 (0.3)
NBC: The Voice 7.71 (1.1), SNL Election Special 3.25 (0.6)
Univision: Medicos, Linea de Vida 1.80 (0.6), Imperio de Mentiras 1.39 (0.5), Dulce Ambicion 1.05 (0.3)
Source: Nielsen, live + same day time period averages


Sinclair Broadcast Group appointed John Zeigler to the newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer. Previously, Zeigler was VP of YES Network.

Pam Slay, Crown Media Family Networks SVP Program Publicity, Social Content & Corp Communications is leaving the company after 20 years. On January 11, she will launch her own company, SLAY Media, a communications ideation agency.

Nicola Pearcey, President of Lionsgate’s UK film and TV operations, is stepping down after 14 years at the company. “My tenure at Lionsgate has been deeply rewarding but the time has come for me to pursue an expanding range of new opportunities,” said Pearcey.

ATX named Dan Whalen as President and CEO. Whalen was most recently Chief Product Officer at ADTRAN.


Former President of the New York branch of the Screen Actors Guild Mel Boudrot died on October 29. He was 87. Boudrot was perhaps best known as a commercial voice-over artist and union activist. “Mel Boudrot truly wanted to make a difference in all that he did,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “When it came to his union, Mel stepped up and served wherever he was needed, with experience, passion and a spark in his eye.”

This Day in History
1841 – The first wagon train arrived in California.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
What did Scandal’s (2012-18) Olivia find out about Fitz that caused her to decline his offer to serve as campaign officer for his re-election effort, and go to work for a rival, Josie Marcus, instead? Olivia learned that during a military action, Fitz shot down a civilian aircraft, and her mother was one of the casualties. Kudos to: Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

Today’s Trivia Question
Which sitcom, in addition to Gilligan’s Island (1964-1967), featured Bob Denver and Alan Hale Jr.? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four.)

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Job of the day



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 (11/5)

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 (11/5)

A+E NETWORKS/REMOTE: Skilled/detailed oriented Curation and/or Operations professional who is passionate and knowledgeable about digital media curation, metadata and dist of content to 3rd Party aggregators. You will Curate A+E owned media content using internal media asset management tool. Quick learner with a min 2 yrs’ exp in video media operations. Full info HERE (11/9)

Build syndicated TV formats, liaise with outside agencies. Deadline & detail-based work, so accuracy and excellent communication skills are a must. 1-3 yrs experience preferred. Full info HERE (11/10)

NBCUNIVERSAL OWNED STATIONS & AFFILIATE RELATIONS/DALLAS-FORT WORTH: The Arthouse, NBCUniversal’s Owned Stations’/Telemundo Stations’ internal design team who supports newscasts is seeking a Sr. Designer with a broadcast design background, solid conceptual skills and 3D expertise. Min 4yrs exp, must be able to work on individual assign and team projects. Full info HERE (11/5)

ION MEDIA NETWORKS/NY, NY, CLEARWATER OR W PALM BEACH, FL: Resp for the assessment, design, implementation, and interconnectedness of key business applications. Must be technically proficient, and disciplined in project mgmt. and be able to work with multiple clients/users/stakeholders to meet their requirements. 10 yrs exp in Systems Ops, Process Diagnostics and Implementation. Full info HERE (11/5)

JUKIN MEDIA/NEW YORK, NY:Seeking an individual who can combine creativity and strategy with a deep understanding of the digital media sales process. Must be able to work with clients, with a min of 2 yrs in advertising/media and a proven track record of building strong client relationships. Full info HERE (11/5)

BBC STUDIOS/LA, CA: Resp for managing sales/co-prod activity in the fiction genres, with clients across both TV/digital. Need to deliver against a stretching bus plan and budget, maximizing the BBC Studios Catalogue through licensing and co-producing programme rights in the US for TV/VOD. 5yrs exp in programme dist, with an understanding of the UK TV industry. Full info HERE (11/5)

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 (11/5)

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 (11/5)

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 (11/5)

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 (11/5)

DISCOVERY INC./NEW YORK, KNOXVILLE: Strong strategic & data-oriented individual to partner on new Magnolia Network & oversee research and performance analytics to optimize Magnolia’s linear & digital presence. 5+ yrs analytics exp req’d. Full info HERE (11/5)

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 (11/5)

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 (11/5)

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 (11/5)

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. (11/5)

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 (11/5)

ABC: The Goldbergs, American Housewife, The Conners, black-ish, The Con
CBS: The Amazing Race, The Amazing Race, S.W.A.T.
CW: Devils, Coroner
FOX: The Masked Singer, I Can See Your Voice
NBC: The Wall, American Ninja Warrior [f]
PBS: Nature: Primates [p], Nova, Secrets of the Dead
Telemundo: El Domo de Dinero, Todo por mi Hija, Falsa Identidad
Univision: La Rosa de Guadelupe, Imperio de Mentiras, Dulce Ambicion


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