11/30/20: Amazon cancels “Utopia”


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Monday November 30, 2020

Today’s Premieres
MTV: Ridiculousness at 11p
Netflix: A Love So Beautiful
Travel Channel: Dark Tales with Don Wildman at 10p

Today’s Finale
Fox: Filthy Rich at 9p


Amazon canceled “Utopia” after one season. The series, an adaptation of the British sci-fi drama centered on comic book fans and conspiracy theories, premiered September 25. Originally picked up by HBO in 2014 before moving to Amazon, “Utopia” was produced by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl).

ViacomCBS has agreed to sell publishing business Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House for $2.175 billion in cash. The sale follows a strategic review of non-core assets ViacomCBS undertook early in 2020; proceeds will be used to invest in growth priorities including in streaming, as well as to fund the dividend and pay down debt.

ViacomCBS also canceled “One Day at a Time,” the Sony Pictures Television reboot that ran on Netflix for three seasons before being picked up by Pop TV, with repeats on ViacomCBS sib CBS. Production on season four was halted after six of its 13 episodes were shot due to the pandemic. But is it really the end? “I’m not sad just yet, y’all. We still have some hope for new homes. Hang tight,” tweeted co-showrunner Gloria Calderon Kellett.

Saturday Night Live will wrap 2020 with host Jason Bateman making his second appearance on December 5, with musical guest Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band; first-time host Timothee Chalamet on December 12 with Morgan Wallen; and Kristen Wiig hosting for the fourth time on December 19, with musical guest Dua Lipa.

TikTok was handed another extension, until December 4, to arrange for a sale of its US operations to an American company. President Trump previously signed an order requiring a sale by Chinese owner ByteDance by November 12 – later extended to November 27 – citing concerns about privacy and national security. Lawyers for TikTok have called the order unlawful, and asked that it be overturned in court.

While “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek, who died November 8 of pancreatic cancer, and “Jeopardy!” GOAT Ken Jennings both narrated Trebek’s memoir, Alex Trebek – The Answer Is…, only Jennings was nominated for a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album. “This should 100% be Alex’s Grammy nomination. He wrote the book and reads much of the audiobook!” tweeted Jennings, who will guest host the trivia show when it returns to production today. Publisher Simon & Schuster had submitted both names for consideration.

Production company Banijay informed employees the company suffered a cyber attack. “Unfortunately, we have confirmed that attackers are in possession of some of our data,” said Banijay Rights CEO Cathy Payne in an email. Banijay is working with UK and Netherlands authorities and cypersecurity experts to determine how its technology was compromised.

Comcast Corporation announced the first round of Comcast RISE award recipients. Over 700 businesses will receive consulting, media and creative production services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, or technology upgrades from Comcast Business. “2020 has been a challenge. We literally could not create anything new, because we couldn’t get our suppliers to make it. This has drastically slowed down the opening of our store, COOL Creative, which was slated to open in the spring,” said one recipient, Johanne Pradel Wilson of Hollywood, Florida. “We’re thankful that we now have the opportunity to promote the store through TV advertising from Effectv.”

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Isabella Gomez (“One Day at a Time”) will star in HBO Max’s reboot of 1986-91 sitcom “Head of the Class.” The comedy comes from Amy Pocha and Seth Cohen (“American Vandal”); Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley (“Uncle Buck”); Bill Lawrence and his Doozer Productions; and Warner Bros. Television, which produced the original.

ViacomCBS’ US MTV Entertainment Group has engaged UK-based Lost Art TV to source new formats, with a focus on comedy and unscripted, from international markets for its portfolio of brands. “MTV Entertainment Group is always exploring new formats that reflect and amplify the cultural and social zeitgeist,” said Lily Neumeyer, EVP Development for MTV Entertainment Group.


Documentary “Gay Chorus Deep South,” following a tour by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus aimed at uniting Americans, makes its broadcast premiere on Sunday, December 20 at 9p on Pop, Logo and Pluto TV.

Season 12 of Lifetime’s “Married at First Sight” kicks off with a three-hour premiere on Wednesday, January 13 at 8p. Series firsts include one groom pushing forty, and another divorced. Ahead of the launch comes “Season 12 Matchmaking Special,” exploring the process of matchmaking, on Wednesday, December 30 at 8p, and one week after that is “Kickoff Special,” a preview of the upcoming season.

Keshet International has sold US rights to UK drama “The Trial of Christine Keeler” to HBO Max. The period drama focused on the infamous Profumo Affair was originally produced for BBC One.


Netflix said it will start declaring its true UK revenue, amid controversy over the favorable tax arrangements of tech firms. “As Netflix continues to grow in the UK and in other international markets we want our corporate structure to reflect this footprint. So from next year, revenue generated in the UK will be recognized in the UK, and we will pay corporate income tax accordingly,” a company rep told The Guardian. Netflix’s European headquarters are in Amsterdam, and the company has funneled revenue from its UK subscribers through its Amsterdam office, according to The Guardian.

Netflix is also facing pressure from the UK over historical inaccuracies in “The Crown.” “It’s a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that,” culture secretary Oliver Dowden told The Mail on Sunday. Dowden said he plans to write to Netflix about the issue.

Peacock issued an apology for jokes on its “Saved by the Bell” reboot about Selena Gomez’s kidney transplant that stirred up the Twitterverse. “It was never our intention to make light of Selena’s health,” said a statement from Peacock, NBCUniversal and the show’s executive producers. “We have been in touch with her team and will be making a donation to her charity, The Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research at USC.”

Philo has a Cyber Monday deal of 25% off the first month. Code “Cyber Monday 2020” ends at 11:59 on December 1. In another Cyber Monday promotion, Hulu is offering 12 months for $24.


WarnerMedia’s portfolio of channels are available on 3BB GIGATV, a new IPTV entertainment platform which launched in Thailand.

APC Kids has secured a deal in the UK with Sony Pictures Television Networks for Riki Group’s animated series “DinoCity” produced in partnership with Animax Studio.

Cineflix Rights has struck deals across the Nordic region, including with TV2 (Denmark) for HGTV’s “Brother vs. Brother”, “Property Brothers: Buying and Selling,” “The Property Brothers at Home,” along with “The Queen’s Green Planet” for UK’s ITV.

UK’s Channel 4 has commissioned a documentary from Blink Films exploring the fallout to the producer’s previous film “Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview,” which led to the BBC’s decision to set up an independent inquiry into the methods used to obtain the princess’s 1995 Panorama interview. “The Diana Interview: The Truth Behind the Scandal” offers a follow-up that includes further revelations from Freedom of Information requests and royal insiders.

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[Sponsors: Gamut – Tubular – Effectv – a4 advertising – TVSquared – NY Interconnect – TiVo – Nielsen – 4A’s]



NBC’s broadcast of the stripped-down Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade delivered 20.7 million viewers and a 5.3 rating among A18-49, down 6% in viewers and 3% in the demo versus last year.

Average ratings for NFL games are down 9% versus last year, to 14.5 million viewers. Fox’s Sunday afternoon game is averaging 19.6 million viewers, versus 20.2 million in 2019; CBS’s Sunday afternoon game is drawing an average 17.9 million viewers, down from 18.9 million; and NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” is clocking 16.4 million viewers, down from 19.7 million.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, November 24
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: The Bachelorette 4.47 (1.3), Big Sky 4.46 (0.7)
CBS: NCIS 10.15 (0.9), FBI 8.39 (0.9), FBI: Most Wanted 5.69 (0.7)
CW: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life 0.51 (0.1)
Fox: Cosmos: Possible Worlds 1.21 (0.3), NEXT 0.94 (0.2)
NBC: The Voice 7.06 (1.0), Weakest Link 3.38 (0.7), Transplant 2.98 (0.4)
Telemundo: Domo del Dinera 0.68 (0.2), Todo por mi Hija 1.37 (0.3), Falsa Identidad 0.85 (0.3)
Univision: Vencer el Desamor 1.58 (0.5), Imperio de Mentiras 1.22 (0.,3), Dulce Ambicion 0.15 (0.3)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


This Day in History
1982 – Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was released.


Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Jim Belushi and Michael Keaton starred in which short-lived comedy? “Working Stiffs” (1979). Kudos to: Austin Cassidy-Bold Horizons/Jacksonville, FL, Charles Lore/NYC, Rev. Mark Wajda/Clermont, FL, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, John Kukla-KDFW Fox 4/Dallas, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank, David Garber-Loyola Marymount University/Playa Vista, CA

Today’s Trivia Question
The premiere of which short-lived sitcom was delayed when the star had to be recast because the series he was on was unexpectedly renewed, and the co-star was killed in a car crash? (Email [email protected] 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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Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day

Resp for supporting the implementation of advtg campaigns (on/off-channel), mktg partnerships, promotions, sweepstakes, experiential events, creative adv development & email mktg initiatives. Min 1yr of professional mktg exp within the entertainment industry. Full info HERE (12/11)


A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Assess company-wide developmental needs and drive the design, development, delivery, evaluation and admin of various training and development programs (including leadership training, coaching, DE&I, etc.). 3-7 yrs of developing eLearning training with strong data analysis skill and excellent communication ability is required. Full info HERE (12/11)

Idea generator in developing and vetting program ideas and genres for creating new programs for in-house development, and identifying the right distributor for each property. Min 8 yrs exp and must be able to share ideas and contribute to the strategic vision/direction of the Workshop. Full info HERE (12/11)


Seeking VP, Mktg for the Americas region, to design/implement an audience-led mktg/media strat to dev/enhance the commercial relationship between BBC Studios and its global strategic customers. Must have proven track record within a global Mktg envir, focusing on customer engagement and strong customer brand relationships. Full info HERE (12/10)

EMERGING NETWORKS, LLC/REMOTE: Responsible for development and growth of web, mobile and social platforms. As well as, all overall support for all digital content efforts and tactical responsibilities as it relates to the website and social media strategy. Full info HERE (12/10)

MARKETING MANAGER (Always-On Show Lead) >>
WONDERY/LOS ANGELES, CA: Responsible for developing marketing strategy aligned to business goals to effectively and efficiently launch and maintain key Wondery shows. Must have 3 years of podcast marketing experience. Full info HERE (12/10)

WONDERY/LOS ANGELES, CA: Responsible for developing and executing media strategy including planning, analyzing and optimizing media campaigns. Must have media-buying experience and a passion for podcasts, audio storytelling and entertainment content. Full info HERE (12/9)

A+E NETWORKS/NYC: SME within the Consumer Mktg & Media team. You will develop and manage owned media strategy for the LIFETIME/LMN brands. Partner with Planning, Digital Media and On-Air Scheduling teams. 7yrs exp managing Owned Media within an Entertainment firm with deep knowledge of entertainment landscape, including competitive set and non-linear platform. Full info HERE (12/9)

NICKELODEON/NY, NY: Hardworking, pro-active and inquisitive Mgr for a newly formed Brand Mktg and Strategy team at Nickelodeon. This role will aid in defining Nickelodeon’s brand mission/values as well as Mktg efforts across series, brand, platforms, emerging media and more. Min 5yrs exp in consumer strategy, digital, mktg or media. Full info HERE (12/9)

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME/REMOTE: Seeking motivated individual responsible for the creation of a WBHOF donor base that will increase donations through donor relationships, contributions, capital campaigns and ongoing fundraising efforts. Proven track record with min 5yrs exp managing/forging relationships with multiple donor sources. Full info HERE (12/8)

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 (12/8)

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 (12/8)

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 (12/7)

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 (12/7)

ABC: The Disney Holiday Singalong, CMA Country Christmas, The Good Doctor
CBS: The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola, All Rise, Bull
CW: Whose Line Is It Anyway, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Penn & Teller: Fool Us
FOX: L.A.’s Finest, Filthy Rich [f]
NBC: The Voice, Weakest Link
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Roadshow, Independent Lens
Telemundo: El Domo del Dinero, Todo por mi Hija, Falsa Identidad
Univision: Medicos: Vencer el Desamor, Imperio de Mentiras, Dulce Ambicion


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