Friday, April 16th, 2004





Good morning. It’s Friday, April 16, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Lifetime celebrated their 20th anniversary with an advertisers upfront presentation yesterday morning in NYC.  It included among the many titles of upcoming original movies (19 coming this season vs. 12 last season), and returning series, were these key items:

  • Lifetime Network will soon launch Lifetime Radio, a 4 hour syndicated program block working in partnership with Jones Radio network.  Lifetime Radio is slated to launch later on in 2004.
  • Lifetime Home Entertainment division with Lifetime movies available on DVD, working on conjunction with Warner Home Video.
  • And new series:  How Clean is Your House? from FremantleMedia.  This show features two terribly British cleaning mavens who enter truly filthy homes and with the assistance of the filth owner, clean it up and not without a touch of acerbic flair.  This show is already a major hit in the UK.

New in Development / Casting / Production:

  • Fox‘s primetime serial project The North Shore (20th), which has already rec’d a 13 ep order, has added former Baywatch lifeguard Brooke Burns to the cast. The action takes place in a Hawaii hotel, and Burns has been cast as the hotel manager.  In the net’s comedy project from Michael Jacobs (Jersey/Sony), Valerie Bertinelli has joined the cast as the mother opposite Stephen Root’s role as the father.
  • NBC‘s sitcom project Beverly Hills S.V.U. (NBC Studios) has signed Aron Krader

PAX is starting the summer with two new 30m game shows, and 26 original eps for both On the Cover (Western Int’l Syndication) and Balderdash, based o the popular Mattel board game (co-produced by The Hatchery and Mattel Entertainment).   On the Cover is looking at an early summer launch, while Balderdash will kick off later on during the summer months.

You first heard about this about a year ago — NBC and its affiliate body will launch a digital news-alert and weather channel.  The plan has been a little more solidified.  At an affiliate meeting in NYC on Wednesday, the affiliates voted to move ahead and enter into a 50/50 joint venture agreement with the network.  Also announced at that meeting was the launch of NBC’s Olympic website which will incorporate NBC affiliate websites, set to kick off in June.

The plan presented by FCC Mass Media Bureau Chief Ken Ferree to shut down analog frequencies in 2009, in the hope of lighting a fire under broadcasters to get a move on with the switch to digital, has certainly lit a fire.  Yesterday the NAB fired off letter to the FCC complaining that the 2009 deadline suggesting it would not compel the issue, but rather “retard the primary purpose of the transition – to deliver improved digital signals to the public and replace view reliance on analog-quality service.” Part of the problem is the complete loss of signal to those 15% of the TV HH that utilize over the air analog service.  The deadline for completing the transition from analog to digital is actually in 2006.  This proposal sets a drop dead, no more monkeying around deadline of 2009.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of Mar 29-April 4, 2004 ranked by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (King World)                 9.1 AA  
Jeopardy (King World)                   7.6 AA
Seinfeld (Sony)                         6.3 AA / 7.8 GAA
Oprah (King World)                      6.1 AA / 6.2 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  5.9 AA / 7.1 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    5.5 AA / 6.1 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       5.2 AA / 5.4 GAA
Judge Judy (Paramount)          4.8 AA / 7.1 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                   4.6 AA / 4.6 GAA
That 70’s Show (Carsey-Werner)  3.8 AA / 4.9 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of Mar 29-April 4, 2004 ranked by A18-49
Seinfeld (Sony)                         4.2 AA / 5.2 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  4.0 AA / 4.7 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    2.9 AA / 3.3 GAA
That 70’s Show (Carsey-Werner)  2.6 AA / 3.3 GAA
Wheel of Fortune (King World)           2.5 AA
Oprah (King World)                      2.3 AA / 2.3 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       2.3 AA / 2.4 GAA
Jeopardy (King World)                   2.1 AA
Will & Grace (Warner Bros.)             2.1 AA / 2.5 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research

So here’s the question – after the Donald’s sterling endorsement (note sarcasm), do you think Omarosa will ever work in this business again?

Oxygen Media has signed Stone Stanley Entertainment to a development deal with a reality series currently in the works.   Stone Stanley Entertainment has produced such shows as Celebrity Mole, The Man Show and The Joe Schmo Show.

Anheuser-Busch has decided to align itself with public opinion against indecency as it adapts its so called “raunchy” advertisements following the Janet Jackson fiasco.  The company said it would pull such commercials as the horse flatulence sleigh ride episode (Super Bowl) even though it was ranked as #1 on AOL’s online poll.

TLC launched its newest series Overhaulin’ (BCII) on April 13 and delivered a 1.5 HH Rtg, with a 1.8 among M18-34, 1.5 with M18-49 and a 1.6 among A18-34.  This is the show where the trick someone to take their ordinary or junky car, and then give it a major overhaul – under the hood and on the hood, turning the vehicle into a one of a kind custom ride.

The little syndicated show that could – The Chris Matthews Show (NBC Enterprises) outpaced the weekend network weekly news programs, Face the Nation, This Week and Fox News Sunday, in HH rtgs with a 2.3 HH Rtg.  That nice.  But what makes it remarkable and this syndicated weekly has outdelivered CBS, ABC and FOX in households ratings for the past six weeks (one tie for the week of April 4: Chris Matthews 1.4 tied with This Week and Face the Nation).  Season to date, according to Nielsen data from NBC Enterprises, Matthews has out delivered This Week in viewers and A18-49; and ties Face the Nation among A18-49; and beats Fox News Sunday in total viewers, A18-49 and A25-54.

According to Variety, Miramax’s Jersey Girl will be split six ways — TBS/TNT, AMC, IFC, WE and Lifetime.  The overall license fee is projected at $3.6 million. The window kicks off in July 2006, and over the course of five years TBS/TNT will get the first nine months, then it gets bicycled over to Lifetime for another 12 months, back to TBS/TNT for 3 more months, and then off to Rainbow’s AMC, IFC and WE for two years, and finally returns to TBS/TNT for its final 12 months.

Top 5 Broadcast Spanish Language Primetime Programs for the week of April 5-11, 2004
UNIV Mariana de la Noche (Mon 8p) 20.8 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV Cristina (Mon 10p) 19.5 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV Don Francisco Presenta (Wed 10p) 18.8 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV Mariana de la Noche (Wed 8p) 18.7 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV Mariana de la Noche (Tue 8p) 18.6 NHTI HH Rtg
Source Nielsen Media Research
Note NHTI Ratings are based on 10.57 million Hispanic TV Homes

Top 5 Broadcast English Language Primetime Programs in Hispanic TV Homes for the week of April 5-11, 2004
Fox American Idol (Wed 8p) 8.5 NHTI HH Rtg
FOX Swan, The Premiere Special (Wed 9p) 8.2 NHTI HH Rtg
Fox American Idol (Tue 8p) 7.1 NHTI HH Rtg
Fox Simpsons (Sun 830p) 6.2 NHTI HH Rtg
Fox Simpsons (Sun 9p) 6.1 NHTI HH Rtg
Source Nielsen Media Research
Note NHTI Ratings are based on 10.57 million Hispanic TV Homes

African American television homes in the US represent 12,870,000 households. Here are the rankings for the week of April 5-11, 2004 – highest rated primetime network programs in African American TV homes according to Nielsen Media Research
FOX American Idol (Wed 830p) 15.7 HH Rtg
FOX American Idol (Tue 8p) 15.6 HH Rtg
CBS NCAA Basketball Champ. (Sat 850p) 15.0 HH Rtg
UPN Eve (Mon 830p) 14.2 HH Rtg
UPN Girlfriends (Mon 9p) 13.8 HH Rtg
UPN Half & Half (Mon 930p) 12.1 HH Rtg
FOX Swan, The Premiere Special (Wed 9p) 11.8 HH Rtg
CBS CSI (Thur 9p) 10.6 HH Rtg
NBC Law & Order (Wed 10p) 10.1 HH Rtg
NBC Apprentice (Thu 9p) 10.1 HH Rtg
Source Nielsen Media Research

Do you care what David Beckham does when he’s not playing soccer?  Me either.

Fox once again tore through Wednesday night and came out with a 7.0/19 A18-49 rating, good for the win over NBC’s 4.0/11, ABC 3.8/10, CBS 2.4/7, WB 1.7/5, UPN 1.0/3 according to Nielsen Media Research.  At 8pm, with the help of a 60m American Idol, Fox owned the hour with a 9.4/28 (11.1/33 among W18-34), and its closest competition came from ABC with a 2.5/7.  At 9p Fox dropped off by 57% but still came up with a decent number with a 4.6/12, tied with ABC’s The Bachelor.  NBC’s Dateline Special: Behind the Apprentice pulled in a 4.3/11. At 10p, as you’d expect, Law & Order takes over with a 5.3/14, ahead of ABC’s Extreme Makeover (4.3/11) and CBS’ 48 Hours (2.8/7).

Warner Bros. Television has named Len Goldstein EVP/Development, reporting to Peter Roth.   Goldstein moves up from SVP/Comedy Development, and will now oversee drama, comedy and alternative series development. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2004. Fast Affiliate Household Ratings for all Networks. Fast affiliate numbers which reflect time period data, not program data, and can change slightly once the finals come in, particularly for LIVE programming (i.e. Football). Source Nielsen Media Research. Time Period Averages Only. [p] = Premiere; [o] = Original; [r] = Repeat

FOX     10.2/17 American Idol 13.6/23, O.C. 6.9/11

NBC     7.5/12  The Apprentice [r] 4.3/7, Dateline NBC Special: Behind “The Apprentice” 7.5/12, Law & Order 10.7/18

ABC     6.2/10  My Wife and Kids [r] 5.0/9, The Big House 4.4/7, The Bachelor 7.1/11, Extreme Makeover 6.9/11

CBS     5.9/10  60 Minutes II 5.7/10, The King of Queens [r] 5.9/9, The King of Queens [r] 6.3/10, 48 Hours 5.9/10

WB      2.5/4   Smallville 2.7/5, Angel 2.2/3

UPN     1.6/3   Enterprise [r] 1.4/2, I’m Still Alive [p] 1.9/3

A18-49  FOX 7.0/19, NBC 4.0/11, ABC 3.8/10, CBS 2.4/7, WB 1.7/5, UPN 1.0/3




#1 Time Period ranks with A18-34 & A18-49!

Top 5 Program for the Night with A18-34 & A18-49 — Beating JAG, Joan Of Arcadia, The Big House & Grounded For Life!

8:00 PM on ABC

Available exclusively from
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable

Source:  NTI Explorer, 4/9/04.  US Ratings.  TP rank ties Dateline with A18-49. 

Friday Fun FactAccording to the company, the name “Yahoo” stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1881 – Famous western lawman and gunfighter Bat Masterson fights the last gun battle of his life in Dodge City.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: E.A.R.T.H. Force as a sci-fi crime drama on CBS in 1990.  What did E.A.R.T.H. stand for (no fair looking this stuff up!)?   Earth Alert Research Tactical Headquarters Kudos to bunches of you and you know who you are even if I don’t (a leftover from yesterday’s computer issues at this end).

Today’s Trivia Question:    What was the name of the treasured rose bush Judge Amy Gray had removed from her front yard?   (click here to respond to the trivia question and please be sure to include with your answer your name, company, city and time zone. Only the second four correct responses from each time zone will be listed in tomorrow’s kudo list.)

Later — Cyn

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis
04/16/04   5:22am
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JOB OPENING:   CLIENT SERVICES-Nielsen/NY. Responsible for Installing, Training, Supporting & Maintaining NMR software at client sites. Training and Presentation experience a must. ref:(200401966-JL)  (4/21)

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JOB OPENING:    PROGRAM RESEARCH MANAGER, Oxygen Media/NY. 5+ yrs cable experience.  Strong written/analytical skills. Strategic thinker.  Exp. w/Nielsen systems & MultiTrak. Reports to VP. – Apply to:

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JOB OPENING:   Tribune Media Services seeks Chicago based SALES EXEC to sell print and electronic program guide products to cable clients. Email resume and salary history to

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JOB OPENING:   MTV Networks-MANAGER, MARKET DEVELOPMENT-Manage sales efforts/renewals for Spike TV for all Canadian Affiliates. Develop distribution strategies to maximize Spike TV Distribution in Canada. Apply: (4/17)


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The Investigation Channel

20.3 min A18-49 Length of Tune (#2 in cable)
YOUR SPOT = Great ROInvestigation

Who plays the head U.S. Marshall trying to track down Harrison Ford in the movie The Fugitive?

Click this spot to enter to Win Dinner for 2
Click here for source

COURT TV:       
Forensic Fridays
ABC             George Lopez, The Big House, Hope & Faith, Married to the Kellys, 20/20
CBS             Survivor: All Stars [r], JAG, Cold Case (OTO)
FOX             Major League Baseball 2004:  New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
NBC             Dateline NBC, Third Watch
PAX             MGM Night at the Movies: Romantic Comedy, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             UPN Movie: Blade
WB              Reba [r], What I Like About You, Grounded for Life, The Help [season finale]
TELE            Prisonera, El Alma Herida, Mujeres Apasionadas
UNIV            Mariana de la Noche, Bajo la Misma Piel, Casos de la Vida Real: Edicion Especial

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