12/22/15: Fox News lands final pre-Iowa GOP debate; Weinstein teams with tabs; James Franco partners with Lifetime for movie remake


Good morning. It’s Tuesday December 22, 2015, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
HLN: Nancy Grace at 8p, Dr. Drew at 9p

Tonight’s Finales:
HBO: REAL Sports With Bryant Gumbel at 10p
truTV: Adam Ruins Everything at 10p


Jerry Seinfeld landed a big name for the season seven premiere of his Crackle talk show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee – President Obama. Calling taping “an unforgettable day,” Seinfeld said, “The President’s humor and generosity are the only reasons this was even possible. He was so fun and easy to be with.” Round seven is launching Wednesday, December 30 at 11:30p, one week earlier than scheduled. Why the early start? “We’re so proud of this season that we just couldn’t wait until the New Year for people to see it,” said Eric Berger, Crackle GM. In the wings: Will Ferrell, Steve Martin and Garry Shandling, among others.

What would Donald do? Calling into Today the morning after host Steve (“I feel terrible”) Harvey misread the name of the winner during Sunday’s Miss Universe Pageant, Donald Trump, until September owner of the competition, weighed in: He would have made the women co-winners. “Things happen. It’s live television,” shrugged the GOP presidential candidate.

Speaking of live TV and presidential candidates, Fox News is getting another crack at a GOP debate. It’s slated for Thursday, January 28, and it’s a beaut – the last one before the Iowa Caucus. Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace will moderate. FNC’s first primary debate, in August, ranks as the highest-rated non-sports cable broadcast. Ever.

The state of California awarded tax incentives to TV series including Mistresses, relocating from Vancouver, Code Black, Rosewood and TV-movie Sharknado 4. Altogether 11 television projects got a piece of the $42 million set aside this round for the small screen.

Outdoor Channel acquired syndicated cable air rights for the first six seasons of A&E reality show Duck Dynasty. Episodes begin airing Monday, January 18 at 8p. Dynasty family member Willie Robertson’s Buck Commander already airs on Outdoor.

Exclusive: Multicultural Asian-American net Myx TV has teamed with musical talent discovery platform mydiveo for mydiveo LIVE!, a weekly 30-minute music magazine show. “For the first time on television, the real music industry tastemakers and trendsetters, record label A&Rs, high profile artists, and DJs will help curate our programming based on what they are currently listening to,”said Roslynn Cobarrubias, co-founder & CMO of mydiveo. Viewers will also be able to submit their own music videos and performances, to potentially be featured on the show.

The FCC gave the thumbs up to Altice NV’s $9.1 billion purchase of controlling interest in Suddenlink Communications, a deal that hands Altice the reins to a cable operator with 1.5 million customers across 17 states. “We find the transaction is unlikely to result in any significant public interest harms,” said the FCC. Rather,  “the transaction is likely to result in some public interest benefits of increased investment in local networks facilities and broadband services in Suddenlink’s service territory.”


The call for entry is now open for the second annual
Top Women in Digital Awards

Honoring those who excel in digital content, marketing, advertising, social media, and online. These are women who may already be leaders in their fields, or they may be the pros who execute another’s vision. They may be just a few years out of college. Or they may be inventors, tech wizards, or senior-level execs who have helped clear a path in what is still a relatively young industry.

Start your entry TODAY.


The Weinstein Co. is teaming with American Media (The National Enquirer, Globe, Soap Opera Digest) and Jupiter Entertainment on a production unit to develop unscripted TV projects. “Producers have long relied on the investigative reporting from our magazines as source material to create non-fiction television,” said Dylan Howard, AMI VP and chief content officer. “This innovative partnership will directly leverage the world-class reporting of our titles, editors and journalists to create the most authoritative programming in the category.”

James Franco is partnering with Lifetime and Sony Pictures Television for a remake of movie-of-the-week Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?. Franco will get story-by credit and exec produce with Vince Jolivette, Diane Sokolow and Rachel Verno. The 1996 cult fave starred Tori Spelling.

Please Don’t Go, a drama about a ruthless divorce attorney, is in development at ABC. Project from Meaghan Oppenheimer (Fear the Walking Dead) will be exec produced by Pacific Standard’s Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea.

ABC greenlit LGBT rights eight-hour miniseries When We Rise, written and exec produced by Dustin Lee Black (Milk). Gus Van Sant (Milk) will direct the first episode, as well as exec produce with Black, Bruce Cohen and Laurence Marks.


A special one-hour episode of Spike TV’s Lip Sync Battle features Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum, as well as “the queen of all surprise guests.” Air date: Thursday, January 7 at 10p.

Cozi TV is adding 1980s action series The A-Team to its lineup, slated to air every night except Fridays at 10p. Mr. T and Co. make their debut in a day-long marathon January 1 beginning at 6a.

Mexican star Gerardo Ortiz kicks off the year with TV love. The broadcast premiere of Ortiz’s concert film, Como un Sueno, airs Saturday, January 2 at 9p on Telemundo, followed by the premiere of four-part docu-series Gerardo Ortiz: Sin Censura the next day at 10p on NBC Universo.

Sportsman Channel is adding fishing series Lake Commandos (Saturdays at 8:30a) and Wild Billz (Saturdays at 11a) to its Q1 viewer bait, while sister net World Fishing Network hopes to hook fans with Major League Fishing All Angles (Saturdays at 4p).

HDNet Movies stunt “Sequel Sundays” launches January 3 at 8p with 2002’s XXX, followed by2005’s XXX: State of the Union.

ESPN SportsCenter anchors Hannah Storm and John Anderson will host ABC’s coverage of the 127th Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. Theme of the event: “Find Your Adventure.”

The Farce is with them: Canada’s CBC brings back Air Farce New Year’s Eve on Thursday, December 31 at 8p. Special takes on 2015’s biggest stories with a comedic spin. Last year’s show delivered 1.8 million viewers.

It’s all cops, all day on Epix Saturday, January 16 starting at 6a. “Epix Drive-in’s Finest: Cop Movie Marathon” kicks off with Fargo and wraps at 5:45a on Sunday with Serpico.

BET docu-series Criminals at Work bows Wednesday, January 6 at 10p. Eight-parter uses interviews, crime scene footage and reenactments to explore criminal acts in the workplace.


New mentors Robert Irvine and Andrew Zimmern join vets Alex Guarnaschelli and Curtis Stone on the season premiere of Food Network’s All-Star Academy on Sunday, February 14 at 10p. Cooks are tasked with preparing a dish using the contents of a lunch box.

Season three of IFC’s Todd Margaret will air as a two-night event, with the first three eps launching Thursday, January 7 at 10p, followed by the final three, one week later. Jack McBrayer (The Office) joins the cast.

The season premiere of ABC Family’s Young & Hungry airs Wednesday, February 3 at 8p, followed by the season launch of Baby Daddy at 8:30p. By then, of course, the shows will be under the Freeform brand.

Outdoor’s The Gunfather Presented by Brownells returns for season two Monday, December 28 at 8p. Reality show about “the first family of firearms” focuses on a New Yorker and his family who open a gun shop in Montana.


Fusion is partnering with the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts for a film scholarship challenge aimed at young, multicultural filmmakers and digital journalists. Winners will receive scholarship funding to produce their films, to be distributed across the net’s television, digital, and OTT platforms.


Celebs on hand for the People’s Choice Awards are expected to include Kate Hudson, Britney Spears, Lea Michele, Vin Diesel and others, including a healthy helping of talent from CBS shows. Trophy fest airs Wednesday, January 6 at 9p on the Eye net.

Programmatic? Personalization? Where will we see the biggest changes in the TV industry in 2016? Share your thoughts in the new Cynopsis poll.


Channel 4 grabbed UK broadcast rights to Formula One World Championship after the BBC, scrambling to slash its costs by over $1 billion, ended its agreement. “I am sorry that the BBCcould not comply with their contract, but I am happy that we now have a broadcaster that can broadcast Formula One events without commercial intervals during the race,” said Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone. “I am confident that Channel 4 will achieve not only how the BBC carried out the broadcast in the past, but also with a new approach as the world and Formula One have moved on.”


Scripps Networks Interactive’s HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel have launched on Apple TV. The move makes the lifestyle nets available on all major digital platforms.

The CW inked a new long-term affiliation agreement for Nexstar Broadcasting Group’s nine owned or operated stations that are currently CW affiliates. Mission Broadcasting stations in Little Rock, AK and Evansville, IN also signed deals.





TV One reports holiday movies A Royal Family Holiday and A Royal Family Christmas were the number one holiday-themed movie premieres among Black 25-54 in their premiere months. Docu-series Rickey Smiley for Real is ranked as the number two cable original series on Tuesday at 8p among Black P25-54.

The Man in High Castle has become Amazon’s most-streamed original show ever, announced Amazon. Series launched November 20, and has been renewed for season two.

Up against football, Sunday’s telecast of the Miss Universe Pageant – moved to Fox this year from NBC – averaged a respectable 6.2 million viewers and 1.7/5 rating among A18-49. (Without NFL competition last year the contest scored 7.7 million viewers/2.0). Of course, that’s not counting a post-Steve Harvey-gaffe viral video extension.

The second annual Premios Univision Deportes reached 3.2 million total viewers 2+ and grew its audience by 95% among total viewers 2+ and 29% among A18-49 versus the 2014 telecast.The sports awards show averaged 1.5 million total viewers and 573,000 A18-49. Sunday’s show aired at 8p on Univision with a simulcast on Univision Deportes Network.

TV PLAYBACK RANK, based on the difference between Nielsen’s first-reported Live + Same Day and the final Live + 7 Day rating for the week of 11/30/15
Program/Live+SD A18-49 US AA%/Live+7 US AA
(FOX) 4.5, 6.6
Modern Family (ABC) 2.4, 4.2
Quantico (ABC) 1.2, 2.3
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) 1.3, 2.4
Black-ish (ABC) 1.6, 2.7
The Goldbergs (ABC) 2.0, 3.1
Criminal Minds (CBS) 1.6, 2.7
Gotham (FOX) 1.6, 2.6
Chicago Fire (NBC) 1.9, 2.9
Nashville (ABC) .9, 1.8
The Flash (CW) 1.4, 2.3
Source: The Nielsen Company DVR playback rankers, based on the difference between Nielsen’s first-reported Live + Same Day and the final Live + 7 Day ratings (for regular, original programs only).

SHAREABLEE SOCIAL TV RATINGS: Top U.S. Shows Overall by Engagement for the week of December 14, 2015
Program, Date, Total Actions (000), Total Content, Actions per Post (000), Fans/Followers (000)
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Warner Bros./synd.)
7416, 92, 81, 9569
Miss Universe (FOX)
1989, 376, 5, 4532
The Tonight Show (NBC)
1545, 194, 8, 12671
Good Morning America (ABC)
1509, 715, 2, 8162
Today Show (NBC)
1471, 478, 3, 9040
TMZ (Warner Bros./synd.)
1112, 1107, 1, 10168
The Voice (NBC)
1108, 331, 3, 18675
Saturday Night Live (NBC) 1050, 160, 7, 6978
The 700 Club (CBN/synd.) 832, 72, 12, 1590
Steve Harvey TV (NBCU/synd.)
820, 130, 6, 8431
Source: Shareablee Inc. The total actions metric includes the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments. Total content includes all posts, tweets and media posted by each TV property across all platforms. Actions per post metric notes the average e number of actions garnered by each TV property. Total fans/followers includes Facebook and Twitter and Instagram followers.
NIELSEN TWITTER TV TOP TEN for the week of December 14, 2015
Program, Date, Unique Audience (000), Tweets (000)
CNN Republican Debate (CNN, CNN en Espannol)
12/15, 8491, 2396
Democratic Debate (ABC) 12/19,
5159, 850
The Voice (NBC) 12/15, 2926, 206
Adele Live New York City (NBC) 12/14, 2412, 121
Love & Hip Hop (VH1) 12/14,
1905, 434
The Voice (NBC) 12/14,
1622, 143
WWE Monday Night RAW (USA) 12/14,
1411, 207
Saturday Night Live (NBC) 12/19,
1377, 57
Survivor (CBS) 12/16,
1087, 88
Billboard Women in Music 2015 (Lifetime) 12/18, 910, 48
Source: Nielsen. Nielsen Social captures relevant Tweets from three hours before through three hours after broadcast, local time. Unique Audience measures the audience of relevant Tweets ascribed to a program from when the Tweets are sent until the end of the broadcast day at 5am. The data includes new/live primetime and late fringe programming only and excludes sports events. For multicast events, networks are listed alphabetically and metrics reflect the highest Unique Audience across all airing networks.

Top Ten Basic Cable Network Live+7 Performance among Total Viewers for the week of: 11/30/2015
Primetime(000)/Total Prog. Day (000)
FAM 2740/ FOXN 1564
FOXN  2729/ NICK 1268
ESPN 2510/ FAM 1161
HALL 2236/ADSM* 1079
TBSC 1812/HALL 1077
DISC 1789/ESPN 1035
HGTV 1556/DSNY 1018
TNT 1542/ TOON 851
USA 1455/TNT 828
DSNY 1410/NAN* 806
Source: Turner Research from The Nielsen Company data. All ratings based on Total US Television Universe of
116,400,000 homes. * + Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Notes: Data based on most currently available Nielsen Data stream; Preliminary: Live+7. Primetime is Mon-Sat 8p-11p and Sun 7p-11p. Total day is Mon-Sun 6a-6a for household and demographic performances.

Top Ten Basic Cable Network Live+7 Performance among A18-49 for the week of 11/30/2015
Primetime (000), Total Prog. Day (000)
FAM 1337/ ADSM* 643
AMC 1268/ FAM 533
TBSC 736/ ESPN 514
ADSM 705/ NAN* 393
DISC 700/T BSC 370
HALL 602/ NICK 357
FAM 579/ USA 314
USA 574/ TNT 302
FX 558/DISC 294
BET 498/ TOON 282
Source: Turner Research from The Nielsen Company data. All ratings based on Total US Television Universe
116,400,000 homes. * + Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Notes: Data based on most currently available Nielsen Data stream; Preliminary: Live+7. Primetime is Mon-Sat 8p-11p and Sun 7p-11p. Total day is Mon-Sun 6a-6a for household and demographic performance.

Top-Rated Cable Shows Live+7 Performance among A18-49 for the week of 11/30/2015
Baltimore/Cleveland (ESPN) 4299
American Horror Story (FX) 3359
Gold Rush (DISC) 2357
The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo) 2321
Into the Badlands (AMC) 2279
Keeping Up With the Kardashians (E!) 2246
South Park (CMDY) 2239
Love & Hip Hop Hollywood (VH1) 2116
Street Outlaws (DISC)1998
Elf (FAM) 1965
Source: Turner Research from The Nielsen Company data. All ratings based on Total US Television Universe 116,400,000 homes. * + Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Notes: Data based on most currently available Nielsen Data stream; Preliminary: Live+7. Primetime is Mon-Sat 8p-11p and Sun 7p-11p. Total day is Mon-Sun 6a-6a for household and
demographic performance.

Friday A18-49 Analysis: NBC had the most A18-49 viewers Friday with 1.0/4, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. Fox topped 8p with 1.1/5 for MasterChef Junior, followed by CBS’s Frosty the Snowman (1.0/4) and Frosty Returns (.9/4). The first hour of NBC’s Dateline won at 9p with 1.0/4, versus .7/3 for ABC’s Shark Tank and Univision’s Pasion y Poder. Dateline held the lead at 10p with 1.3/5; Telemundo’s Senora Acero landed in second with .9/3.

A18-49: NBC 1.0/4, CBS .8/3, FOX .8/3, ABC .7/3, UNI .7/3, TELE .7/3, ION .4/1, CW .3/1

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Friday, December 18, 2015 time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.
NBC: 3.3/6
Caught on Camera 2.2/4, Dateline 3.8/7
CBS: 2.9/5
Frosty the Snowman [r] 2.7/5, Frosty Returns [r] 2.3/4, Home for the Holidays [r] 2.0.4, Blue Bloods [r] 4.3/8
ABC: 2.4/4
Last Man Standing [r] 3.0/6, Yes Virginia [r] 1.7/3, Shark Tank [r] 2.5/5, 20/20 2.3/4
FOX: 1.8/3
MasterChef Junior 2.4/5, Worlds Funniest 1.1/2
Antes Muerta Lichita 1.0/2, Pasion y Poder 1.0/2, Yo No Creo En Hombres [r] 1.2/2
Celia 1.0/2, Bajo el Mismo Cielo .9/2, Senora Acero 1.0/2
ION: 1.0/2
Criminal Minds .9/2, Criminal Minds 1.0/2, Criminal Minds 1.1/2
CW: 0.7/1
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer [r] .8/1, Penn & Teller [r] .7/1

This Day in History:
1864 – Civil War Union Gen. William T. Sherman wrote to President Lincoln, “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah.”

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: In holiday special Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (1970), what was Mrs. Claus’ first name? Jessica. Kudos to: Dan Quiterio-Viacom/NYC, Meg Ryan-SSRS/Media, PA, Jim Kelly-Lee Hecht Harrison/Melville, NY, Laurie Ulster-Fuse/NYC, Scott Sarra-NBC Sports Group/Denver, Chris Aguilar-Esteem Broadcasting/CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank.

Today’s Trivia: Which Golden Girls star played an intergalactic bartender in1978’s Star Wars Holiday Special? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone.).

Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey: Editorial Director @Lynn_Leahey

Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group 

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JOB OPENING: SR MGR STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS/CMA/Nashville: Dvlp/maint strategic partnerships to meet CMA imperatives-promote Country Music to corp America, create strategic alliances w/companies that can further Country Music & their mission. Resumes HERE (12/25)

JOB OPENING: PROGRAMMATIC SALES DEV ASSOC: Candidate to connect w/ high quality leads.1+yrs exp selling ad solutions or software to Advertisers, Agencies or DSP’s. BA/BS req’d or equivalent exp w/in advrtsng tech ind. NY, SF, LA, Chic, ATL. Full info/apply HERE (12/25)

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JOB OPENING: DIR RESPONSE AD SALES ASST/Crown Media Family Networks/NY: Provide sales support to the Director, Direct Response and Direct Response Team. Including entering sales orders, sending pre and post logs, and updating account info. BS req. Apply HERE (12/25)

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/CNN/NYC: Perform trend & data analyses for current perf of prgrms, ntwrks & media landscape. 1+yrs work exp relevant internship pref’d. BA deg in related field. Strong math skills & ability to master new software. Full info/apply HERE (12/25)

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JOB OPENING: RESEARCH ANALYST/TNT/ATLANTA: Support TNT w/qualitative/quantitative cross platform research creating actionable insights. Min 1+ yrs exp, strong math skills, statistical background. Full info/apply HERE (12/25)

JOB OPENING: COORDINATOR, AD SALES MARKETING/Travel Channel/NYC: Seeking strong communicator to support development and activation of client-specific marketing solutions and maintain communication tools.  www.scrippsnetworks.com #5161 (12/24)

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JOB OPENING: ACCT EXEC/ABC Full Circle/SFO & NYC: (2 needed) ABC Full Circle the business dvlpmnt team of NTVS needs a passionate, career-minded, self-motivated sales professional for team. Min 5 yrs business dvlpmnt exp brdcst & dig platforms. Apply HERE (12/24)

JOB OPENING: SR ANALYST/ESPN/Miami: Deliver creative rsrch initiatives. Promote ESPN properties from a qualitative/quantitative rsrch perspective & support dir of rsrch in cross platform projects Min 3 yrs prof exp w/prior agency, ntwrk or media. Full info/apply HERE (12/24)

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JOB OPENING: NAT’L SALES PLANNER/Pop/LA: Support Ad Sales team w/proposals, allocating & stewarding of accounts. Work closely w/AE’s, Traffic, Mktg and MGT on all aspects of biz. Must have TV exp. Agency a plus. Media Math, Excellent Comm & MS Office. Email resume HERE (12/24)

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ABC: Fresh Off the Boat [r], The Muppets [r], The Year 2015
CBS: NCIS [r], NCIS: New Orleans [r], Limitless [r]
CW: The Flash [r], iZombie [r] [
Fox: The Simpsons [r], Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas [r], Taraji and Terrence’s White Hot Holidays [r]
NBC: Hollywood Game Night [r], Chicago Med [r], Chicago Fire [r]
PBS: Prohibition [r], Frontline [r]
Telemundo: Celia, Bajo el Mismo Cielo, Senora Acero
Univision: Antes Muerta que Lichita, Pasion y Poder, Yo No Creo en los Hombres [r]

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