12/14/20: Michael Douglas takes on Ronald Reagan




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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read


Monday December 14, 2020

Today’s Premieres
Acorn TV: “Reunions”
Facebook Watch: “Peace of Mind with Taraji” at 9a
Fyi: “Haul This House” at 9p
HGTV: “Celebrity IOU: Inside Scoop” at 8p, “Celebrity IOU” at 9p
MTV: “Deliciousness” at 7p
Netflix: “Hilda,” “Tiny Pretty Things”
Snapchat: “Will From Home”
TLC: “The Family Chantel” at 9p

Today’s Finales
Food Network: “Christmas Cookie Challenge” at 10p
HGTV: “Bargain Mansions” at 10p


The Senate followed the House in passing a veto-proof defense spending bill that does not include a repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects web publishers from liability over posts by users that are unlawful, as well as decisions to suppress posts. President Trump had said he would veto the bill if it did not include the repeal, describing it as a threat to national security and election integrity.

A Miami judge ruled that a class-action labor law and sex and age discrimination suit could proceed against CBS Broadcasting. The case was brought by former WFOR-CBS4 freelance reporter and producer Silva Harapetian, who alleges that while she and other “similarly situated” employees routinely worked 50 or 60 hours a week, they were not paid overtime. Harapetian also claims she was paid less than male and younger female reporters. CBS has called the suit baseless, saying it wasn’t presented in a timely basis, and lacks supporting evidence.

The Country Music Association responded to backlash over the death of Charley Pride from complications from COVID-19, a month after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2020 CMA Awards, which were held indoors. “Everyone affiliated with the CMA Awards followed strict testing protocols outlined by the city health department and unions,” said a statement from the CMAs and Pride’s reps. “Charley was tested prior to traveling to Nashville. He was tested upon landing in Nashville, and again on show day, with all tests coming back negative. After returning to Texas following the CMA Awards, Charley again tested negative multiple times. All of us in the Country Music community are heartbroken by Charley’s passing.” The legendary musician died November 12 at age 86.

“The Wendy Williams Show” is halting production following the death of Williams’ mother. The syndicated talker will air repeats to allow Williams to travel and be with her family. “The show will return with original episodes on Monday, January 4th. Debmar-Mercury extends its deepest condolences to Wendy and her family,” said a show spokesperson.

“Night School” didn’t make the grade at NBC. A pilot for the comedy based on the 2018 movie was filmed, but NBC has passed on the show, reports Variety.

The Southeastern Conference’s afternoon Saturday football game will move to ABC in 2024, ending CBS’s hold on the game since 1996. The change is part of a new 10 year contract between ESPN and the SEC that gives ESPN exclusive media rights to SEC football and men’s basketball.

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Michael Douglas will play President Ronald Reagan
in Paramount Television Studios limited series “Reagan & Gorbachev,” adapted from Ken Adelman’s book, Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War. Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”) will play the Soviet Union leader.

Chris Messina (“The Sinner”) landed the lead in HBO Max pilot “Verbatim,” based on Brett Weiner’s New York Times Op-Docs digital series. The anthology series from Weiner, Red Hour Films, Left/Right Productions and the Times centers on actual events, with all dialogue taken from primary sources and presented verbatim.


“Mystery at Blind Frog Ranch,” a new series following the search for gold on a Utah ranch, makes its debt Friday, January 1 at 10p on Discovery Channel. The show will be available on discovery+ starting January 4.

New true crime series “Atlanta Justice” delves into the world of big city detectives starting Monday, December 28 at 9p on ID. Another newcomer, “Fear Thy Roommate,” arrives Thursday, December 31 at 8p, demonstrating the importance of being careful of who you live with.

HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” returns for season 19 on Friday, January 15 at 10p. The talk show is also available on HBO Max.

President Barack Obama and ATTN: have teamed to highlight significant moments and themes from his new book “A Promised Land,” with a five-part social series. Created and produced by ATTN:, formats are custom-made for Instagram, combining original interviews with the former president, his narration in the audio book, and animation in Stories, Posts and Reels.

In the fall of 2019, controversial Youtube star Onision was accused of unconscionable behavior. But after weeks of frantic attention, there was a sudden quiet. What did Onision really do? The question is addressed in limited series, “Onision: In Real Life,” streaming exclusively on discovery+ beginning Monday, January 4.

Nat Geo WILD isn’t elfin’ around with 12 festive days of “The Incredible Dr. Pol,” followed by a new season beginning Saturday, January 2 at 9p. The marathon, running from December 21 to January 3, will a include a mix of favorites, and new behind-the-scenes stories from the vet.

The cream of the “Chopped” crop battle it out in five-part Food Network stunt “Chopped: Grudge Match,” premiering Tuesday, January 5 at 9p. Judges face off against past competitors to create meals from baskets of mystery ingredients.

YouTube Originals announced the rollout and expansion of a new global documentary series, “Creator Spotlights,” capturing the stories of diverse YouTube creators who are pushing the boundaries of creative expression. “YouTube Originals amplify the voices and content of creators from all backgrounds, all over the world,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content for YouTube. “The ‘Creator Spotlights’ series is another way we’re able to highlight our diverse creator community through premium content, and further our creators’ ability to tell their stories and grow their audience.” US-based segments debut today, December 14.


While time spent watching reality and documentary programming on Netflix more than doubled, not surprisingly, during the pandemic, and time spent viewing romances doubled, the streamer also reported a 50% jump in US consumption of foreign-language content, led by Spain’s “The Platform,” Germany’s “Barbarians,” and France’s “Rogue City.” Also not surprising: searches for “home baking” shows rose almost 50% in March versus the month prior.

Revenues for Tubi have doubled since the AVOD’s acquisition by Fox Corp. in May – and is expected to soon eclipse broadcast network revenue, shared Fox CFO Steve Tomsic at the UBS investor’s conference last week. “When we look at all the new launches of D2C, they’re really corralled around entertainment programming,” Tomsic said, adding that Netflix’s success with binge, on-demand viewing has proven that “the restrictions of a linear schedule is not what consumers want.”

Disney plans to raise the price of streaming service Disney+ by $1, to $7.99, in March. For all of its DTC services (Disney+, Hulu and ESPN Plus), Disney told investors it expects to have between 300-350 million global subscribers by the end of 2024, up from 137 million on December 2, with Disney+ accounting for 230-260 million of the total.

Sports-first fuboTV has continued its expansion into general entertainment programming with the addition of Epix to its live TV streaming platform. “Adding Epix allows fuboTV to further expand our entertainment offering, providing even more value to our users,” said Ben Grad, Head of Content Strategy and Acquisition, fuboTV. “Epix has a robust lineup that spans across a variety of genres, providing entertainment the whole family can enjoy.”

Nextstar Media Group’s WGN America has also inked a deal with fuboTV, which will start carrying the cable channel in February. The agreement comes amid Nextstar’s carriage dispute with Dish Network, leaving Nextstar stations and WGN America dark on Dish and its streaming bundle, Sling TV. “This agreement with FuboTV is another significant step forward in the strategic expansion of WGN America,” said Sean Compton, President of the Nexstar’s networks division. “We are excited to be adding FuboTV’s customers to the reach of the network.”


all3media International has reunited with Company Pictures and ARD Degeto in Germany, along with co-producers Masterpiece in the US and ITV in the UK, for a second season of detective drama “Van Der Valk,” produced by all3media group’s Company Pictures with NL Film & TV B.V. co-producing. Dutch public broadcaster NPO is also onboard, with additional financing by Netherlands Film Production Incentive. NPO will take broadcast rights for the Netherlands.

Channel 5 announced two new dramas from Clapperboard, set to air in 2021: noir thriller “Deadline,” produced in association with Night Train Media with distribution by Abacus Media Rights, and psychological thriller “Teacher,” created by Barunka O’Shaughnessy ad Mike Benson.

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Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Thursday, December 10
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: “Station 19” 5.58 (0.8), “Grey’s Anatomy” 5.69 (1.2), “A Million Little Things” 3.57 (0.5)
CBS: “Young Sheldon” 4.25 (0.4), “B Positive” 2.89 (0.3), “Mom” 2.77 (0.3), “Mom” 2.56 (0.3), “Star Trek: Discovery” 1/59 (0.2)
CW: “Silent Night – A Song for the World” 0.63 (0.1)
Fox: “NFL Pregame” 9.07 (2.2), “Thursday Night Football 13.64 (3.6)
NBC: “One Night Only: The Best of Broadway” 3.68 (0.5), “Time Person of the Year” 2.31 (0.3)
Telemundo: “Domo del Dinero” 0.84, “Todo por mi Hija” 1.43, “Falsa Identidad” 0.95
Univision: “Vencer el Desamor” 1.53 (0.5), “Futbol Central” 1.13 (0.4), LGA MX 1.68 (0.7)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages


AVOD VUit, launched in September, appointed Chris Brooks as EVP of Programming and Development. Previously, Brooks was EVP and Head of Network Distribution for The CW.

CTV/OTT advertising platform Premion announced the addition of two new regional sales leaders. Amanda Dunlap, most recently West Coast Regional Sales Director for NBCU’s NBC Spot On and Digital Sales Director for NBC and Telemundo broadcast properties, will serve as Southwest Regional Sales Director. Tracy Kalfas, formerly Group Director of Investments in the Chicago office of Initiative, is joining as Midwest Regional Sales Director.


Actress Carol Sutton died December 10 of complications from COVID-19. She was 76. In addition to theater and film roles, Sutton appeared on TV series including “Treme,” “True Detective” and “Lovecraft Country.”

This Day in History
1969 – Broadway musical “La Strada,” starring a 21-year-old Bernadette Peters, opened and closed after one performance.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
What was the name of Jeannie’s evil twin sister on “I Dream of Jeannie” (1965-70)? Jeannie’s twin was also named Jeannie. Kudos to: Ken Nice-TeamPeople/Falls Church, VA, Adam Sumrall-FETV/South Bend, IN, Luke Watson-Entertaining Concepts/NYC, Anthony Salerno-Horizon Media/NYC, Eric Litt-Nextstar/Chicago, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX, Richard Quan-Heat/San Francisco, David Garber-Loyola Marymount University/Playa Vista, CA, Jerry Jones/Walnut Creek, CA, Richard MacDonald-Curve Media/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
Which TV character invented the holiday, “Festivus”? (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


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 3 yrs exp in executing video playback in live control room environment. Plus 1yr exp with Ross Tria or EVS. Full info HERE (12/23)

TELEMUNDO/SACRAMENTO, CA: Responsible for partnering with local clients, both on the agency level and direct, to create innovative and unique mrktg and adv solutions that target a client’s demos and products/services. AE will also need to deliver quarterly results and meeting individual budget requirements. Min 2 yrs direct sales exp with 3 yrs of media sales exp. Full info HERE (12/23)

BBC STUDIOS/NY, NY: Resp for building relationships with key retail accounts at the buyer/mrktg levels. Partner with licensee’s sales teams to pre-sell BBCS franchises and meet the needs of key buyers across retail. Build retail strategies that drive brand strategies set by the franchise/licensing teams. 10yrs exp in licensing or entertainment focusing on retail development. Full info HERE (12/23)

NEWSMAX MEDIA/NY, NY: 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 3 yrs exp in directing Live television news, studio-based programming or similarly related professional media productions. Full info HERE (12/23)

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 4 yrs exp. Full info HERE (12/23)

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 3 yrs tech managing, or equivalent knwldge. 5 yrs in live TV prod. Full info HERE (12/23)

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 3 yrs of exp in graphic and character generation, plus 1yr exp with Ross Xpression. Full info HERE (12/23)

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 2 yrs exp in graphic and character gen in television news, creative services, studio-based prog or related profession. Full info HERE (12/23)

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 (12/23)

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 (12/23)

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 (12/23)

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 (12/23)

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 (12/18)

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 (12/18)

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 (12/18)

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 (12/17)

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 (12/17)

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 (12/17)

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 (12/16)

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 (12/16)

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 (12/16)

ABC: “The Bachelorette,” “The Shot: Race for the Vaccine”
CBS: “The Neighborhood,” “Bob Hearts Abishola,” “All Rise,” “Bull”
CW: “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2020,” “Whose Line Is It Anyway”
FOX: “L.A.’s Finest,” “Cosmos: Possible Worlds”
NBC: “The Voice,” “Nurses”
PBS: “Antiques Roadshow,” “Christmas With the Tabernacle Choir Featurig Kelly O’Hara and Richard Thomas,” “Independent Lens”
Telemundo: “El Domo del Dinero,” “Todo por mi Hija,”Falsa Identidad”
Univision: “Vencer el Desamor,” “Imperio de Mentiras,” “Dulce Ambicion”



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