3/17/22: Injured Fox News journalist “safe and out of Ukraine”

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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Thursday March 17, 2022

Today’s Premieres
ALLBLK: Millennials
Fox: MasterChef at 8p; Welcome to Flatch at 9:30p
HBO Max: DMZ; Minx; Jellystone!
Netflix: Soil
Peacock: Below Deck Down Under; Curious George
Up Faith & Family: Heartland

IN THE NEWS

Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall is “now safe and out of Ukraine,” according to Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott. Hall had been seriously injured while reporting outside Kyiv, in an attack that killed two of his colleagues.

Dating series “The Courtship” has moved from NBC’s Sunday lineup to USA Network on Wednesdays at 11p. The show premiered on March 6 to 990,000 viewers and 0.2 among A18-49; episode two fell 37% in audience and 50% in the demo.

Women feel notably less represented in TV and media compared to men, and the majority feel they are not accurately represented, according to an international survey conducted by Starz in partnership with the Center for Scholars and Storytellers at UCLA. Only 35% of women outside the US reported that their identity is well represented in current media content, compared to 41% men. More than 75% of international audiences reported wanting to see multicultural content, topped by Mexico (88.5%), India (86.1%) and Colombia (84.9%).

Syndicated talker “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” will have its grand finale on Thursday, May 26. After that date, the show will run on affiliate stations during the summer with guest hosts, compilation shows and repeats.

Sinclair Broadcast Group has launched Sinclair Cares: Ukraine Relief, a fundraising partnership with Global Red Cross to help with their humanitarian relief efforts on the ground in Ukraine and neighboring countries. Fundraising will support the delivery of emergency aid and first aid training support.

Charter Communications is now offering a minimum starting wage of $20 an hour including target commissions for all employees across its 41-state service area. The move fulfills a commitment that began in 2018 with the establishment of a $15 minimum starting wage. Charter announced in April 2020 that it would permanently raise its starting wage to $20 an hour in 2022.

Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck is joining Troy Aikman in a move to ESPN with a multi-year deal. The long-time team will be the new voices of “Monday Night Football” and contribute content to ESPN+. “When you have the opportunity to bring in the iconic, longest-running NFL broadcasting duo, you take it, especially at a time when we are on the cusp of a new era in our expanding relationship with the NFL,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content.

Reddit has struck a multiyear commerce advisory partnership with advertising holding company WPP. The deal will see Reddit and WPP continue to collaborate on client campaigns, focusing on lower-funnel education, strategy, and tactics to drive the strongest purchase outcomes. John Baylon, former VP, Global Head of Partnerships at Verizon Media, has joined the team as Regional Agency Lead, EMEA.

“There was an entire generation that didn’t realize television was free, and now those consumers are plugging in new antennas,” said E. W. Scripps Co. President/CEO Adam Symson at the Deutsche Bank media conference this week, noting that about one in four broadband homes use an antenna to get free television. “Typically, they’re doing so to identify live sports and local news – and when they do that they recognize an entirely new universe of premium programming.”

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Judd Apatow is continuing his long-term relationship with NBCUniversal with a new multi-year production deal for TV and film. “We are eager to expand Judd’s longtime relationship with NBCUniversal by making his television home here at Universal Studio Group,” said Chairman of Universal Studio Group Pearlena Igbokwe. “We, like most audiences, are fans of his unconventional characters and unparalleled brand of comedy. We look forward to giving him a creative environment to do what he does best – make us laugh.”

TelevisaUnivision announced the start of production and the main cast of the authorized biographical series about Mexican movie icon María Félix for ViX+. Produced by Carmen Armendáriz, directed by Mafer Suárez and written by Larissa Andrade, Alejandro Gerber, Tania Tinajero and Gabriela Rodríguez, the series will star Mexican actresses Sandra Echeverría (“La Usurpadora,” “La Fuerza del Destino”), Ximena Romo (“Dime Cuándo Tú,” “Yago”) and Abril Vergara, who will portray “La Doña” at different stages of her life.

Tony McNamara (“The Great”) inked an overall deal with ABC Signature that calls for him to develop and supervise projects for the studio. “Tony’s work on ‘The Great’ and ‘Cruella’ is sly, subversive and delicious, and we made it our mission to get this spectacular talent to our studio,” said Jonnie Davis, President, ABC Signature.

TBS has put into development comedy series “Stubs,” from writer Lindsay Golder (“Chad”) and “The Mick” creators Dave Chernin and John Chernin. Dave and John Chernin executive produce with 3 Arts’ Oly Obst, Nicolas Frenkel and Katie Newman.

LEGAL CASES

Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo hit CNN with a demand for arbitration and a claim for $125 million, representing the amount of money remaining on his contract as well as “future wages lost as a result of CNN’s efforts to destroy his reputation.” Cuomo was fired in December for his involvement in dealing with sexual harassment allegations against his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Cuomo had no reason to believe that his assistance to Gov. Cuomo was inconsistent with CNN’s or Turner’s policies nor its expectations,” says the arbitration filing.

Byron Allen’s media companies have filed suit against The Nielsen Company, seeking billions of dollars in damages for fraudulent misrepresentation and fraud by concealment. According to the lawsuit, Nielsen told Allen’s companies that its panel system could reliably rate Entertainment Studios Networks even though the networks had limited distribution at the time. The lawsuit alleges that Nielsen knew, but failed to disclose, that the panel system was unreliable across all networks, particularly for networks like the ESN.

One America News might be forced off the air because of DirecTV’s decision to drop it when their carriage contract ends in April, claims the right-wing news network in a lawsuit against DirecTV and AT&T. OAN owner Herring Networks claims violations were committed by AT&T, DirecTV, and AT&T Board Chairman William Kennard when DirecTV announced it would drop OAN after the network was accused of being a major supporter of the Stop the Steal movement and providing Covid misinformation. While DirecTV didn’t break a contract, just declined to sign a new one, Herring claims its advertising deal with AT&T’s Xandr, which runs until 2024, was “proof” the carriage deal would be renewed.

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

Mike Myers’ Netflix series “The Pentaverate,” about a secret society of five men working to influence world events, will debut, appropriately enough, on Thursday, May 5. The date was announced in a teaser posted at 5:55p. Series creator Myers plays eight characters in the comedy.

Disney+ is offering a drawing experience in new series “Sketchbook” with Walt Disney Animation Studios. Starting Wednesday, April 27, viewers will be given an insider’s look into the animation process as some of the studios’ artists teach them how to draw Disney characters, including Kuzco from “Emperor’s New Groove,” Olaf from “Frozen,” Genie from “Aladdin,” Captain Hook from “Peter Pan,” Mirabel from “Encanto” and young Simba from “The Lion King.”

Showtime’s “I Love That for You,” starring and executive produced by Vanessa Bayer (“Saturday Night Live”) and inspired by her story of overcoming childhood leukemia, premieres Sunday, May 1 at 8:30p. SNL alum Molly Shannon and Jenifer Lewis (“black-ish”) also star.

The first four episodes of season two of Norwegian-language crime drama “Wisting” premieres Thursday, March 31 on Sundance Now. The series follows a race against time to stop an escaped serial killer.

Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weldman team again for a third season of paranormal investigations in “Portals to Hell,” premiering Saturday, April 9 at 10p on Travel Channel.

Acorn TV original “Harry Wild,” an Irish mystery thriller starring Jane Seymore (“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”) debuts Monday, April 4 on the streamer.

Home renovation series “George to the Rescue” returns for a new season on Saturday, March 26 on NBC 4 New York/WNBC, NBC stations across the country (check local listings) and on Peacock. The weekly show hosted by George Oliphant celebrates worthy individuals and organizations with life-changing construction renovations.

It’s flashback time on Food Network! “Worst Cooks in America Celebrity Edition: That’s So 90’s” features stars from shows like “The Nanny,” “Growing Pains” and “Boy Meets World,” starting Sunday, April 24 at 9p.

CASTING

Jack Black will reprise his voice role as Po the Panda in Netflix spinoff series “Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight.”… Ruby Stokes (“Bridgerton”) will star in Netflix period drama “Lockwood & Co.”…Sharon Horgan (“Catastrophe”) and Michael Sheen (“Masters of Sex”) will play a married couple in UK’s BBC One drama “Best Interests.”

Scott Bakula (“NCIS: New Orleans”) will star in NBC pilot “Unbroken” (wt) as a retired rodeo champion…Australian actor Lincoln Younes (“Grand Hotel”) has joined the cast of Cineflix Rights drama “Last King of The Cross.”…Chance Perdomo (“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”) landed a lead in Prime Video’s spinoff of “The Boys.”…Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”) will star in an HBO project based on the book Big Swiss by Jen Beagin.

COMING UP

Hulu is diving into live streaming, literally, with a three-hour aerial plane maneuver scheduled for Sunday, April 25 at 7p. In the Red Bull-branded stunt titled “Plane Swap,” two pilots will solo pilot an aircraft, put them into a vertical nosedive, jump out and skydive into each other’s planes. “It’s the pinnacle of my career and my goal is to inspire the world and show that anything is possible,” said one of the pilots, Luke Aikens. “You can set your mind on something that at times seems wild, crazy and unattainable, but through ambition and creativity, you can make it happen.”

Shudder’s “Halfway to Halloween Hotline” of personalized horror movie recommendations returns this April as part of the streamer’s annual “Halfway to Halloween” celebration. The stunt features new original series and films and additions to Shudder’s movie library of horror classics.

The future for TV apps look rosy, according to Samsung Ads’ new Streaming Index -88% of respondents intend to use TV apps more or at the same level, and only 12% intend to cut back. But retaining viewers is tricky: Audiences are pickier than ever about bestowing loyalty; churn remains high at 50% on average, and is growing across all streaming apps. And audiences are also still in exploration and discovery mode – in any given month, nearly a third of TV app audiences (32%) are new.

FutureDude Entertainment will be showcasing “Parallel Man: Infinite Pursuit” and “Oceanus: Act One” on Gunpowder & Sky’s sci-fi streamer, Dust, as part of their development deal. “These films are but a sneak peek into the varied and unique neo-classic universes we’ve been carefully crafting for fans of intelligent and thought-provoking sci-fi entertainment,” said FutureDude’s Jeffrey Morris.

What crossover audiences are there between streamers HBO Max and discovery+, which will combine at some point after the WarnerMedia/Discovery merger? According to AI company Helixa, they both have a high affinity for the other despite some age differences, and 31.35% of discovery+’s audience are also fans of HBO Max. Some details:
HBO Max Audience
* 50.61% Female
* More likely to be under the age of 45 than discovery+’s audience
* 1.40x more likely to be Entertainment Junkies
* 5.07x more likely to be fans of discovery+
Discovery+ Audience
* 68.25% Female
* More likely to be over the age of 45 than HBO Max’s audience
* 1.57x more likely to be Health Conscious
* 5.30x more likely to be fans of HBO Max.

TECH TALK

Google unveiled new ad options for Google Ads and AdMob during the Google for Games Developer Summit 2022 this week. Among the announcements: The company built AdMob’s impression-level lifetime value (LTV) to estimate the average LTV of user segments and identify user acquisition strategies that will bring in the highest ROI, and impression-level LTV has been integrated into attribution platforms Adjust, AppsFlyer and Singular. Other features include Firebase Remote Config personalization (now in beta) that uses machine learning to find the optimal experience for each user.

STREAMING

Forty-two percent of Americans share devices with others in the household, according to a study by The Advertising Research Foundation. Thirty-six percent of Americans share their Netflix account login with relatives and 13% with friends; for Amazon Prime it’s 22% for relatives and 8% with friends; Disney+ 32% and 13%, respectively, and for ESPN+ the breakdown is 16% with relatives and 7% with friends. Among SVOD services, Disney+ is the most co-viewed (53% of respondents in HHs 4+), followed by Netflix and Amazon Prime (30% of respondents in HHs 4+). Disney+ was also the most shared by HHs of 2+ (37% of respondents). The implication for advertisers who assume that devices connecting through the same IP address must belong to the same HH? The study indicates that this practice is missing who and how many in the HH are using the same device for video consumption or for purchases, leading to errors in both measurement and targeting.

In related news, Netflix is testing charging a fee for subscribers to share their login credentials outside their households. Results of the test, taking place in Costa Rica, Chile and Peru, will be evaluated before the extra fees roll out elsewhere. Netflix has always made it easy for people in the same household to share their Netflix accounts, notes Chengyi Long, Product Innovation Director in a blog post, which has “created some confusion about when and how Netflix can be shared. As a result, accounts are being shared between households – impacting our ability to invest in great new TV and films for our members.”

UPFRONT CALENDAR

March 22: NBCUniversal’s One22 Conference at 11a (30 Rock Studio H, NYC)
March 23: Fox’s Content Drives Commerce Brand Partnership Summit (Fox Lot, LA)
March 24: Nickelodeon at 4p (Palladium Times Square, NYC)
March 28: National CineMedia at 11:30a (Film at Lincoln Center, NYC)
April 5: PlayFronts (NYC): Meta (9:20a), Activision Blizzard (9:40a), Frameplay (10a), Niantic (11:05a), Admix (11:25a), Unity (11:50a), Zynga (1p), Bidstack (1:20p), Riot Games (1:45p), Anzu (2:10p), Twitch (3:15p), IGN (3:35p), SuperAwesome (3:301), and PlayerWON (4:10)
April 5-7: Magna’s Equity Upfront
April 6: Disney’s Sports Summit (virtual); AMC Networks at 6:30p (The Peak in Hudson Yards, NYC); National CineMedia at 11a (Academy of Motion Pictures, LA)
April 12: Black Owned Media Upfront at 1p (virtual)
April 13: FETV (Empire State Building, NYC)
April 25: Disney Storyteller’s Showcase
April 26: FETV (Empire State Building, NYC)
May 2-6: IAB NewFronts
May 2: NBCUniversal/Peacock NewFront
May 3: Roku at 11:30a (Caldwell Factory, NYC)
May 16: NBCUniversal (Radio City Music Hall, NYC); Telemundo (Ziegfeld Theater, NYC); Fox (Skylight, NYC)
May 17: Discovery (Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC); Disney (Basketball City at Pier 36, NYC); YouTube Brandcast at 8p; Univision (Javits Center in NYC)
May 18: Paramount (Carnegie Hall, NYC); WarnerMedia (Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, NYC)
May 19: The CW (New York City Center Theater, NYC)

GOING GLOBAL

Boat Rocker announced new deals for unscripted shows, including three in-house productions. Boat Rocker owned Proper Television’s productions “Mary Makes It Easy” and “Motel Makeover,” plus “Anna’s Occasions,” have been sold around the world, while deals in MENA and the UK have been struck for third party distribution for “Chuck” and the “First People’s Kitchen” and “Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure.”

Paris-based children’s entertainment content distribution company Kids First has inked deals with international broadcasters for both seasons of animated series “Nate is Late,” produced by Watch Next Media and commissioned by France Télévisions (France), Super RTL (Germany) and Canal J (France).

Great Pacific Media and SYFY have announced that Hulu and Prime Video have picked up new 10-ep series “Reginald the Vampire” for their streaming services in selected territories. Hulu has acquired second-window US rights to the series, Prime Video in Canada has picked up streaming rights to the series, along with Prime Video in Australia for that country and New Zealand.

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RATINGS

Sunday night’s season 3 finale of Univision’s “¿Quién Es la Máscara? (The Masked Singer) reached 3.8 million Total Viewers as well as reaching 12.1 million Total Viewers during its full run. The series averaged 1.8 million Total Viewers, 594,000 among Adults 18-49 and 220,000 Adults 18-34, marking the program’s highest-rated telecast in its full season 3 run among Total Viewers 2+.

The Saturday debut of Hallmark Channel movieFeeling Butterflies” was the #1 most-watched entertainment cable program of the day among Households, Women 18+, and Total Viewers, elevating the channel to be the #1 most-watched entertainment cable network in Weekend Total Day among Women 18+, as well as Weekend Primetime among Households, Women 18+, and Total Viewers. The film averaged 2.1 million Total Viewers and 198,000 Women 25-54.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, March 15
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: The Bachelor 4.73 (1.1), Abbott Elementary 1.49 (0.4), Abbott Elementary 1.17 (0.3)
CBS: FBI 4.70 (0.4), FBI: International 3.61 (0.45), FBI: Most Wanted 3.48 (0.3)
CW: Superman & Lois .46 (0.1), Naomi 0.33 (0.0)
FOX: The Resident 1.45 (0.3), The Masked Singer 1.31 (0.2)
NBC: Young Rock 2.55 (0.4), Mr. Mayor 2.03 (0,4), This Is Us 4.18 (0.7), The Thing About Pam 2.42 (0.3)
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos 1.06 (0.3), Hercal: Amor y Venganza 1.25 (0.3), Pasion de Gavilanes 0.79 (0.3)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Samuel Di Piazza Jr. will take the reins as Chairman of the Board of Warner Bros. Discovery once the WarnerMedia/Discovery merger closes. Di Piazza served as Global CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers from 2002-2009.

Kantar has appointed Michael Uzielli as Chief Financial Officer. Uzielli will join Kantar in June. He succeeds Ian Griffiths, who is stepping down to take a new role as a Senior Advisor with Bain Capital, Kantar’s majority shareholder. Prior to Cognita, Uzielli was Chief Financial Officer for London Heathrow Airport.

Spanish Scripted label Cattleya Producciones has recruited Denis Pedregosa as Head of Production and Clara Nieto as Content Director, with both also taking on the role of Producer.

ViewLift has added Manish Manwani as Sales Director to oversee strategic outreach in India. Previously, Manwani served as sales manager and senior executive at Planetcast Media Services and Viu.

Adam Bersin has joined Rooster Teeth as Head of Marketing. Bersin most recently served as Amazon Studios’ Global Creative Marketing Lead.

Greg Lipstone has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of American Song Contest Inc. Lipstone has been working with Propagate on foreign sales and distribution of “American Song Contest,” which premieres March 21 on NBC.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM PREMION
 

This Day in History
1762 – The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC took place.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
On which network did “Politically Incorrect” (1993-2002) premiere? “Politically Incorrect” originated on Comedy Central before moving to ABC. Kudos to: Charles Lore/NYC; Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC; Louis Lewow-FITE/Atlanta; John Carlo-Up Entertainment/NYC; Aaron Paquette-AccelerateSG/Fort Worth, TX; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX; John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas; Adam Leston-Weigel Broadcasting/Milwaukee, WI; Alex Petrilli-Nielsen; Mark Selby-Melbar Entertainment Group/Toronto; Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Garber-Loyola Marymount University/Playa Vista, CA

Today’s Trivia Question
In what year was there the first net loss of satellite, cable and telco subscribers over a 12-month period, billed as the first proof of cord-cutting? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com 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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Define the YES App strategy & prioritized roadmap, providing analytical insights & defining success metrics & KPIs. Coordinate w/ internal & external stakeholders on executing app roadmap. Assist with preparation of annual budget, forecasts, & monthly. 2-4 yrs exp in business development, consulting, strategy, product management and/or finance. Full info HERE (3/19)

MARKETING COORDINATOR, STREAMING PLATFORMS
FilmRise/NYC, NY: Maintaining a yearlong editorial calendar to identify marketing & promotional opportunities with streaming partners. Creating and submitting TV & movie recommendations for marketing stunts to streaming partners. Managing brand presence and messaging on YouTube with direct to consumer product team. Experience in the entertainment industry preferred. Full info HERE (3/19)

COORDINATOR, INTERNATIONAL SALES
FilmRise/NYC, NY: Assist the International Sales team with all administrative duties: scheduling meetings, schedule department calls, managing conference/festival schedule & appointments, coordinate travel bookings for department, prepare and submit expense and budget reports, reach out to new contacts as needed, coordinate internally with various departments. Full info HERE (3/19)

ACCOUNT DIRECTOR
FUTURE TODAY (FTI+)
LA, CHICAGO or NYC

Represent FTI+ (independent publisher), selling an expansive portfolio of AVOD apps, focus on kids content along with TEEN, family, entertainment & lifestyle. 5+ years selling linear/OLV exp req. Biz dev position inclusive of direct, pmp/pg. Solid relationships across verticals. Full info HERE (3/18)

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, DIRECT RESPONSE ADVERTISING SALES >>
GAC MEDIA/NYC:
Responsible for prospecting, selling, stewarding, and reporting on all business, as it relates to Direct Response Advertising; work externally with Clients to maintain current business, develop new business and service overall Client needs; strive towards the pricing guidelines that align with the overall Sales team revenue goals. Full info HERE (3/18)

THURSDAY MARCH 17
ABC: Station 19, Grey’s Anatomy, Big Sky
CBS: NCAA Basketball Tournament
CW: Walker, Legacies
FOX: MasterChef [p], Call Me Kat, Welcome to Flatch [p]
NBC: Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Organized Crime
PBS: This Old House, Ask This Old House, Royal Wives at War, Lucy Worsley’s Royal Photo Album
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Hercal: Amor y Venganza, Pasion de Gavilanes
Univision: Soltero Con Hijas, Mi Fortuna es Amarte, Madre

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