12/01/20: Ajit Pai stepping down as FCC chairman


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Tuesday December 1, 2020

Today’s Premieres
Nat Geo: Atlas of Cursed Places at 9p
Smithsonian Channel: Mighty Cruise Ships at 8p


President Trump-appointed Chairman of the FCC Ajit Pai announced he will exit the agency on January 20, when Joe Biden is sworn in. “I am grateful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity to lead the agency in 2017, to President Obama for appointing me as a Commissioner in 2012, and to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the Senate for twice confirming me,” said Pai. “To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege. As I often say: only in America.” While Pai’s term wouldn’t have expired until June 2021, it’s customary to step down with a change in administrations. With two Republicans and two Democrats on the panel, Pai’s departure allows the Biden administration to create a Democratic majority.

Global linear TV advertising is projected to drop 16% this year, to $155.6 billion, due to the pandemic, according to research company WARC. In a year with heavy political spend, the US market will dip 0.1%, to $54.4 billion. Digital and online video spending is expected to grow 7.9% for 2020, to $52.7 billion.

Dish Network and Nexstar Media are embroiled in a distribution dispute that could lead to Dish subscribers losing access to 164 Nexstar local broadcast channels in 115 markets if an agreement isn’t reached by tomorrow, December 2. “Since becoming the nation’s largest local station owner, Nexstar has increased its annual revenue by $1 billion a year. Now, it has set its sights on Dish customers as their next big payday,” claimed Brian Neylon, Group President of Dish TV. Nexstar said Dish is reaping the benefit of “paying significantly under market retransmission consent fees.”

Ovation is partnering with Charter Communications to recognize outstanding local arts, cultural, and educational organizations and programs in five of Charter’s Spectrum markets. The initiative is part of the arts net’s national arts advocacy platform, Stand for the Arts, which will commit $50,000 to support arts education.

Join us today at 1p ET as we applaud digital media’s champions during the Virtual Cynopsis Digital Awards featuring the Model D and Adtech awards plus the “It List” honorees and more! Will you join us? Click here to view finalists and the run-of-show, then register for free to see who wins!

A little appreciation can go a long way…

Show the up-and-comers on your team how much you notice their hard work by nominating them for this year’s Rising Star Awards.

Meet this Thursday’s deadline to tell us about the Rising Stars – 35 years and under – who are showing exceptionally clever creativity, crafty thinking or going the extra mile to just get the work done. If that person is you, nominate yourself!

Nominate here by this Thursday, December 3!


Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives”) makes her post-college admissions scandal acting debut as the owner of a minor-league baseball team in an untitled comedy from Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment. ABC gave the project a pilot production commitment; Zack Gottsagen (“The Peanut Butter Falcon”) co-stars.

More casting Notes: The voice cast for Netflix animated film “Back to the Outback” will include Isla Fisher, Tim Minchin, Eric Bana, Guy Pearce, Keith Urban and Wayne Knight, among others, as deadly creatures plotting an escape from an Australian zoo…Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“The Morning Show”) will star in Apple TV+ thriller series “Surface”…Jolie Hoang-Rappaport (“Watchmen”) has joined the cast of HBO Max’s “Head of the Class” reboot…Anne Heche (“The Brave”) will recur on season two of CBS’ “All Rise.”

UK’s Channel 5 and PBS Masterpiece have renewed “All Creatures Great and Small” for a second, six-part season. China’s Huanxi Media and BritBox in Australia have picked up the sophomore run.

BBC Studios has added an inclusion rider requiring that a minimum of 20% of on-screen and production team members come from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, have experienced a disability, or come from a low-income background. “These initiatives are by no means a magic bullet and we’re also doing a lot of work on culture and education to make our teams more inclusive,” said Director of Content Ralph Lee. “The talent in front of and behind the camera will give perspectives that will shape our content, making it more authentic and universal in its depiction of our audiences — and ultimately its appeal with them.” LGBT+ talent is part of the on-screen rider, but BBC Studios Production has already exceeded the target.


ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” is back for season eight on Wednesday, December 9 at 8p. Four families will once again face off to take holiday decorating to a new level, and win $50,000.

Travel Channel’s “Expedition Bigfoot” team is one step closer to finding the big guy, as they reevaluate their algorithm to respond to the uptick in sightings in a special premiering Sunday, January 3 at 8p. Season two launches immediately afterward, at 9p, with new clues and patterns that could lead to the discovery of the legendary beasts.

HBO Max unscripted series “12 Dates of Christmas” offers some twists on the dating genre, following three singles on their journey to find someone to bring home for the holidays. Jilly Pearce, EVP of Objective Media Group America and executive producer of the show, offers insights on how producers “shook up the snow globe” to create a unique holiday offering, in Cynsiders.


“Doctor Who” returns Friday, January 1 on BBC America with a holiday special, “Revolution of the Daleks.” Dame Harriet Walter (“Killing Eve”) will be making her “Doctor Who” debut for the special, alongside Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (“The Trial of Christine Keeler”).

Comedian and “Daily Show” correspondent Roy Wood Jr. will host “31 More Days of Being Home for the Holidays,” a month-long programming block of holiday-themed episodes, weekend movie marathons and new comedy specials. Wood will star in interstitial sketches complementing “31 Days” programming on Comedy Central, with additional content rolling out on social and digital platforms throughout the month.

Saddle up! Season five of “The Real Housewives of Dallas” debuts Tuesday, January 5 at 9p on Bravo. New housewife and physician Tiffany Moon joins the drama this time around.

ABC will simulcast two of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” games: the Buffalo at San Francisco game on December 7, and Buffalo’s matchup with New England on December 28, both airing at 8p. ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” commentator team of Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters and John Parry will call both games.


Cable broadband usage of Zoom on Thanksgiving Day saw a year-over-year 45% jump, according to OpenVault, likely boosted by the platform removing usage limits for the holiday, as well as stay-at-homers. An analysis of data collected by OpenVault shows that average broadband consumption per subscriber was 15.59 GB on Thanksgiving Day, 2020, compared to 10.77 GB on the holiday in 2019. The figure represented increases of 9.7% above usage on the previous Thursday, November 19; and 15% above usage for the previous eight Thursdays.


Amazon Prime Video and Twitch will stream the Saturday, December 26 NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers. Amazon has a digital-rights deal with the NFL that includes one late-season NFL game per season that won’t air on a national TV. “We’re ready to deliver the gift of football for Prime members this holiday season with a week-long slate of original content and in-depth analysis on Prime Video and Twitch, culminating in back-to-back days of live NFL action on Dec. 25 and 26,” said Marie Donoghue, VP of global sports video at Amazon.

Cinedigm has added over 1,000 hours of programming to its library, aimed at capturing a share of the $1.2 billion projected streaming holiday ad spending this season. “Our team has worked over the last few months to fill our library with quality content that will resonate with both streaming platforms and audiences alike,” said Yolanda Macias, EVP, Cinedigm Entertainment Group. “We expect these acquisitions will excite and attract new viewers while taking advantage of vastly increased consumption during the calendar 4th quarter, the strongest period of the year.”

AVOD VUit, launched in September by Syncbak, has added The Washington Post as a streaming partner, providing discussions on pressing issues of the day produced by Washington Post Live. A dedicated Washington Post Live streaming channel will simulcast the news organization’s live programming while also providing viewers access to current and past interviews on an on demand basis.


UK-based production company Three Arrows Media has been acquired by media group Wonderborn Studios. Three Arrows Media was founded in 2015 by David Hallam and Jon Hancock, who will remain with the company.

Filmlance has acquired the television rights from Politiken Literary Agency to the Jana Kippo trilogy from Swedish author, Karin Smirnoff. The series of best-selling novels is set to be developed into a new Swedish drama with international potential.

Japan’s Nippon TV will be taking part in this year’s ATF Online, offering its new scripted format, “A Girl of 35.” The drama series is currently airing on Nippon TV.

Nat Geo Kids has acquired season three and renewed seasons one and two of “Dino Dana” for its feeds across Latin America. In addition, the feature length film “Dino Dana The Movie” was licensed to Nat Geo Kids and will premier in Latin America including on Disney+.

“Cynopsis’ Measurement & Data Conference provided great insights on industry-leading measurement solutions.” -F.J., Amazon

VIEW ON DEMAND > Measurement & Data Conference
View the key executive insights, panel by panel, at your leisure.


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


“The Undoing” is pacing to become Sky Atlantic’s highest-rated US series, after the HBO drama’s premiere was watched by 2.8 million viewers in its first 28 days. The first three episodes are averaging 2.5 million.

Food Network’s “Holiday Baking Championship on Monday, November 23 tied for its highest-rated episode of the season with a 1.1 Live+3 rating for P25-54 and 1.5 among W25-54, +18% versus year ago, and ranking as the #2 non-news/non-sports cable program in its timeslot among P25-54 and W25-54. “Christmas Cookie Challenge” notched its highest-rated premiere since 2018, posting a .7 P25-54, .9 W25-54 Live+3 Rating, +15% versus year ago and ranking as the #1 non-news/non-sports cable program in its timeslot in the demos.

Nielsen’s Top 10 Streaming Shows the Week of November 26
Program, # of Episodes, Minutes (Millions)
The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix), 7, 1850
The Office (Netflix), 192, 1046
The Mandalorian (Disney+), 9, 1032
Schitts Creek (Netflix), 80, 963
Holidate (Netflix), 1, 654
Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix), 361, 624
Criminal Minds (Netflix), 277, 620
NCIS (Netflix), 353, 552
The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix), 9, 535
Great British BakingShow (Netflix), 63, 530
Source: Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix), Nielsen National TV Panel, US Viewing through Television

Shareablee Top 10 Streaming Shows for the week of November 23
Program, Platform, Total Actions, Total Content, Actions per Content, Fans & Followers
Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix), 1M, 7, 144,962, 684K
The Mandalorian (Disney+), 838K, 14, 59,840, 1.7M
The Crown (Netflix), 652K, 17, 38,350, 1.5M
Boruto (Crunchyroll), 578K, 19, 30,418, 1.7M
Umbrella Academy (Netflix), 564K, 3, 188,018, 4M
Netflix is a Joke (YouTube), 363K, 38, 9,543, 2.2M
The Grand Tour (Amazon Prime), 343K, 6, 57,110, 5.7M
Black Clover on Funimation (Funimation), 294K, 14, 20,972, 774K
Lucifer (Netflix), 217K, 6, 36,115, 6.9M
The Boys (Amazon Prime) 185K, 10, 18,515, 1.2M

Shareablee Top 10 Shows for the week of November 23
Program, Network, Total Actions, Total Content, Actions per Content, Fans & Followers
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS), 8.7M, 86, 100,792, 7.9M
American Music Awards (ABC), 4.2M, 304, 13,794, 5.4M
Ellen Degeneres (Warner Bros, Syndicated), 2.6M, 49, 52,745, 204M
Good Morning America (ABC), 2.5M, 906, 2,706, 14.1M
Hannity (Fox News), 1.9M, 179, 10,531, 10.3M
Today Show (NBC), 1.9M, 936, 1,988, 13.7M
Entertainment Tonight (CBS), 1.6M, 533, 2,985, 9.2M
Dancing with the Stars (ABC), 1.3M, 81, 15,828, 9.2M
The Daily Show (Comedy Central), 1.1M, 57, 19,432, 27.1M
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS), 949K, 123, 7,714,


Nielsen Holdings named Jamie Moldafsky as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. Moldafsky was most recently CMO and EVP at Wells Fargo.

fuboTV has appointed Mike Berkley to the role of Chief Product Officer. Berkley has developed new products and businesses for Spotify, Viacom, Comcast and, most recently, Axios, in addition to founding two tech startups.

AMC Networks announced Aisha Thomas-Petit has joined the company as its first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. Thomas-Petit joins AMC Networks from ADP, where she was most recently the Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Corporate Social Responsibility.

Jasmine Johnson has joined Stoopid Buddy Studios as Head of Studio. Johnson was previously a feature animation production executive at Netflix.


This Day in History
1953 – Hugh Hefner published the first edition of Playboy magazine.

Answer to Our Last 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? “It’s Not Easy” (1983). Kudos to: Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA

Today’s Trivia Question
In which Hallmark Channel Christmas movie did Ernest Borgnine play a retired actor? (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.)

Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina

Albert Nassour

Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Mike Farina

Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day

Directs, co-develops/delivers locally prod programs and PSA for nat and inter’l audiences. Also oversees prod crew that produces regular, special and live shows related to various political, historical and other appropriate topics. Min 3yrs exp in directing Live television news, studio-based programming or similarly related professional media productions. Full info HERE (12/14)

NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Exp in configuring and setting up all broadcast studio cameras both manned and robotic for daily use. Maintains network-level camera blocking and composition. Monitors/adjusts video signals including cameras, monitors, playback sources, color correction equip/incoming feeds. Min 4yrs exp. Full info HERE (12/14)

NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Resp for managing tech/logistical traffic supporting live news shows. Full knwldge of video and tech workflow throughout all locations. Provide tech guidance to help create better video workflows. Ensure all broadcast feeds are meeting specific tech quality standards. Min 3yrs tech managing, or equivalent knwldge. 5 yrs in live TV prod. Full info HERE (12/14)

GFX Op >>
NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Must be able to set up and play out all graphic elements which are included in pre-recorded or live programming. Mnge graphic content as it corresponds to live and pre-recorded programs. Satisfy all production req for live and pre-recorded programming under the supervision of the show’s director and technical operations mngmt. Min 3yrs of exp in graphic and character generation, plus 1yr exp with Ross Xpression. Full info HERE (12/14)

NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Must be able to perform ingest and playback functions during live and pre-recorded programs. Traffics video clips according to shows’ rundowns. Edits content as necessary. Min 3yrs exp in executing video playback in live control room environment. Plus 1yr exp with Ross Tria or EVS. Full info HERE (12/14)

NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: Operate/executes audio mixing/creation for live and taped broadcasts, in the context of orig produced programs and PSAs. Collaborate with News depart and prod crew that produce regular, special and live shows. Generate timely and pertinent broadcast material. Min 2yrs exp in graphic and character gen in television news, creative services, studio-based prog or related profession. Full info HERE (12/14)

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 (12/14)

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 (12/14)

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 (12/14)

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 (12/14)

CROWN MEDIA FAMILY NETWORKS/LA, CA: 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 Bachelorette, Big Sky
CBS: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Let’s Make a Deal Primetime, FBI: Most Wanted
CW: Swamp Thing, Tell Me a Story
FOX: Cosmos: Possible Worlds, NEXT
NBC: NFL Football
PBS: Nazi Mega Weapons, Nazi Mega Weapons, Nazi Mega Weapons
Telemundo: El Domo Del Dinero, Todo Por Mi Hija, Falsa Identidad
Univision: Vencer el Desamor, Imperio de Mentiras, Dulce Ambicion


Related Stories

04/22/24: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

Video advertising

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM PREMION PREMION Premium CTV/OTT Advertising BUILT WITH THE POWER OF LOCAL Local CTV/OTT Expertise in all 210 DMAs TAG BRAND SAFETY CERTIFIED and TAG CERTIFIED AGAINST FRAUD Premium Brand-Safe Streaming TV Advertising 125+ Leading TV & Media Brands, Precision Targeting, Attribution & Measurement LEARN MORE AT PREMION.COM Monday […]

Cynopsis 04/22/24: CBS cancels “So Help Me Todd”

CBS cancels "So Help Me Todd"

Monday April 22, 2024 Today’s Premieres A&E: Intervention at 8p; Quarter Ton Teen at 9p HGTV: Ugliest House in America at 9p History: Proof Is Out There: Military Mysteries at 9p Magnolia: Restoration Road With Clint Harp at 8p Netflix: CoComelon Lane TLC: 90 Day Fiance: Love in Paradise at 8p IN THE NEWS Decent […]

04/21/24: Cynopsis Jobs

Shaking Hands

DIRECT RESPONSE ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE TV One NEW YORK, NY – HYBRID REMOTE Carry out the entire sales process from initial contact to deal close as well as build and maintain exceptional relationships with advertisers and agencies by communicating TV One Network’s values and brand strength. Full info HERE *** […]