Friday, April 22nd, 2005



Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini

In its 5th run on Basic Cable, #6 Program for the Week
(out of 3,900+ telecasts)!


Source: NTI, Galaxy Explorer, 4/11-4/17/05.  Scooby = Nick, 4/15/05 8:30-10pm.   Based on P2+ 000’s. 



Good morning.  It’s Friday, April 22, 2005, and this is your first early morning briefing.

NBC Universal yesterday issued a statement regarding Paxson TV’s plans to terminate the joint advertising sales agreements it has with NBC O&O stations and various NBC affiliate, an agreement that has been in place for approx three years in nearly four dozen markets.  The news of that termination, effective June 30, was announced within PAX’s annual report to investors last month.  NBC, a one third minority stake owner in Pax, contends that Pax will be in violation of their agreement with NBC if they end the joint ad sales agreements. NBC’s statement reads in part: “Paxson’s attempt to terminate its sales agreements with NBC Universal and to abandon network programming constitutes a breach of the contractual agreements between Paxson and NBC Universal. NBC Universal will not agree to this course of action in the absence of a viable new business plan that preserves and maximizes the value of Paxson’s assets.” 

PAX also made a recent filing with the SEC that said it is not “currently investing substantial additional amounts in new entertainment programming and are evaluating other programming strategies and opportunities that might be available us that could improve our cash flow.” NBC Universal responded to that in their statement: “Paxson apparently intends to abandon network programming and rely primarily on infomercials, direct response advertising and paid programming as revenue sources. NBC Universal strongly disagrees with Paxson’s attempt to terminate operational agreements that sustain the company and its stations as a broadcast network. We believe that the elimination of all sales and local operational capabilities will reduce the long-term value of the company and its station assets. We believe that the adoption of a paid programming model will jeopardize Paxson’s long-term financial prospects in light of its highly leveraged balance sheet, and is not in the best interests of Paxson stakeholders.”

Tonight’s Season Finale:
CBS:    Joan of Arcadia at 8p



  • The rumors of Filmore Middle (NBC Universal) apparent demise has been greatly exaggerated!  Yesterday it was reported here the pilot had postponed its shooting date, which effectively took it out of contention for a fall pickup.  Not so fast !  The show did cancel its audience shoot to accommodate a block & shoot schedule, but according to a source at NBC Universal, it is “still very much in contention for NBC’s fall schedule.” The story was set in a run down middle school and focused on the disillusioned teaching staff.  Starring in the project were Justin Bartha, Sarah Alexander, Phil Hendrie and Deon Richmond.


A&E Upfront Presentation to media buyers was held last night in NYC.  Bob DeBitetto, EVP/Programming presented the upcoming programs and finished up his presentation with a bold move – he “promised” media buyers A&E would end up next year in the top 5 among A25-54 and A18-49.  He probably feels comfortable making that promise based on A&E “double digit growth among all key demos … and the potential of these powerful new series to connect with our target audience”, not to mention A&E’s additions of The Sopranos, CSI Miami, 24 and MI-5 to the schedule next season.
        Among the announcements is the fast-track production of the first of four films for the 2005-06 season, this one tentatively titled Young Knights (Fox Television Studios) starring Ted Danson as an english teacher in a South Bronx high school. Other films focus on the lives of several notables including Johnny Cash, the story of Erik Weihenmayer – a man who lived above his physical impairments and became a world class athlete; the real time events of Flight 93 on September 11, and a film about the blackout that took out power to the eastern and much of the central part of the country a few years ago.  Also on board at A&E is a slate of three new series set to premiere in 2005, and four new series currently in development for the 2005-06 season:
New Series:

  • Inked (Fox TV Studios/Foglight Ent) is a reality show with cameras following the day to day life of Carey Hart and Thomas Pendleton, the co-owners of the Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company, the first tattoo parlor to set up residence in a Las Vegas casino. The shop has a celebrity clientele and a staff of eccentric tattoo artists.
  • Criss Angel Mindfreak (Angel Prods/The Firm) trains the viewer’s eye on Master Illusionist Criss Angel who has created a new form of extreme entertainment he calls Mindfreak. Each episode is performed on the street in front of regular pedestrians and in each episode, Angel ‘defies reality and puts his life on the line” performing all manner of illustion including catching a bullet in his teeth and levitation.
  • Roller Girls (Go Go Lucky Prods) dives deep into the workings of rollerderby with the Texas Rollergirls Rock ‘n’ Rollerderby in Austin. 

In Development:

  • Spying on Myself (Scott Sternberg Prods) uses state of the art makeup and disguise techniques to transform participants into a completely different person. They will then undergo rigorous training by acting coaches and CIA operatives on how to speak, walk and behave with a new identity. Finally the person is sent out on the mission: to find out the truth about themselves in their own world.
  • Random 1 (Random 1 Prods) scours the streets of America, seeking to help random everyday people in need.  Once found, a team of producers in a high-tech mobile production machine known as RV-1 immediately tackles problems and opens initial doors for the unsuspecting strangers, while utilizing help in real-time from an on-line interactive audience pool. 
  • Single Again (True Entertainment) features a couple who have been together for years and gives them an opportunity to find out what life would be like if they were single again for one month. 
  • Little Red Man (Granada) is a little red guy (not sure if that’s literal) who’s mission is to pop up in a person’s life and basically cause them discomfort and perhaps embarrassment, all the while dropping hints as to why he has been hired to annoy the target.  Usually the reason is the target has forgotten his anniversary, or he has failed to pay back a loan to a friend.  The only way for the target to be rid of the nasty little fellow, is to figure out what they’ve done wrong.

The History Channel also presented their Upfront plans last night, celebrating their 10th year on the air.  New series coming to the network this season include:

  • Man Moment Machine (M3) – Premieres 3rd Quarter 2005 (14 x 60m) – Explores the history-making intersection between a dynamic leader, a significant moment in time, and important technology.
  • Weird U.S. – Premieres 3rd Quarter 2005 (14 x 60m) – Based on the best-selling book of the same name, the series takes viewers on a deliciously demented weekly tour of offbeat American history. 
  • Shootout! – Premieres 3rd Quarter 2005 (13 x 60m) – Some took minutes. Others, several hours. Each engagement was a battle of wits, strategies, technology and luck. Each episode explores a famous shootout in history – from the perspective of both sides of the fight and examines the personalities, the weapons, the firepower, and the leadership needed to defeat the enemy.
  • True Heroes – Premieres 4th Quarter 2005 (10 x 60m) – A series that tells the stories of heroes from WWII to present day.  From Military Special Forces-Delta Force Operators, CIA Field Officers, SAS Commandoes, Navy SEALS, Mossad Agents, British M16 – to Special Crime Fighting units – DEA, SWAT, Bomb Squads, Federal Marshals, FBI – to the Rescuers and Protectors – Military Para-Rescue Jumpers, The Coast Guard, Special Forces Medics, Diplomatic Security Agents.
  • Declassified – Premieres 1st Quarter 2006 (14 x 60m) – Using materials from former secret organizations like East Germany’s Stasi, the Kremlin, the CIA, and state television in Korea, Declassified mines formerly guarded vaults and archives around the world to reveal the untold stories of modern history.
  • Where Did It Come From? – Premieres 2nd Quarter 2006 (13 x 60m) – Former ABC News correspondent Michael Guillen explores the historical origins of things used in everyday life-from razors to ketchup, public toilets to fast food, sports stadiums to earthquake detectors.
  • The American Revolution – Premieres 3rd Quarter 2006 (13 x 60m) – These are the up close and personal stories of the major characters involved in the birth of our nation-from the Boston Tea Party in 1773 to the Ratification of the Constitution in 1787.  
  • Pacific: The Lost Evidence – Premieres 3rd Quarter 2006 (8 x 60m) – Recounts the moments of key battles in the Pacific with veterans from both the Allied and Japanese perspective through the use of never before seen aerial photographs that were taken in the days before the battle as well as during the actual engagement.

There are lots of people who wish for stardom in their lives, but when stardom reaches this point, you gotta wonder.  Yesterday Paris Hilton issued a statement that read in part, “It’s no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends … Nicole knows what she did, and that’s all I’m ever going to say about it.”  When I have a tiff with a friend, I rarely make a national public statement, but then again, I’m not famous nor am I Paris Hilton.  Little favors.  As for her show on Fox, The Simple Life, the network has made any statements of its own regarding the casting of the series and whether or not Rod Stewart’s daughter will replace Richie.  That statement was made by Paris to USA Today last week.

Yesterday, Cynopsis launched its newest edition, Cynopsis: Weekender.   This weekly (comes out every Thursday afternoon) goes to the entire subscriber list of Cynopsis automatically. There is no need to subscribe anew.  However, if you don’t want to receive it, you can use this link to unsubscribe: (scroll down, unsubscribe is at the bottom of the page).


Larry Divney, President, MTV Networks Ad Sales, announced the appointment of Ronald H. Furman to the position of SVP/Ad Sales, for MTV, MTV2, mtvU and, effective immediately. Ron will oversee ad sales for all MTV brands across a wide variety of platforms, including on-air and online.  Furman will report to Hank Close, Executive Vice President, Ad Sales, MTV Networks Music and Comedy Group.  Ron spent the last seven years as EVP/Sales and Marketing for Univision Television Network. Well done, Ron!

Jill Lindeman joins Disney ABC Cable Networks Group as VP & Creative Director/Marketing, Disney Channel.  In her new post, Jill is responsible for the creative direction and management of on-air promotion for Disney Channel, Toon Disney, Jetix, Playhouse Disney and ABC Kids, including the development and production of interstitials for Disney Channel.  Additionally, she will oversee the creative direction for off-air initiatives including print production, on-line development and marketing.  She reports to Matt Palmer, SVP/Marketing, Disney Channel. 

Lea Porteneuve has been named to the newly created position of VP/Publicity, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, reporting to Vivian Mayer, SVP/Publicity.  Lea will work closely with Mayer on internal and external corporate communications and will oversee publicity efforts for the home entertainment releases of Focus Features titles, as well as the company’s TV and made-for-DVD properties. 

Ken Litwin has been promoted to VP/Production and Operations, ABC News. In this new role he will assist in managing operational resources, staffing issues and financial planning for 20/20, Primetime, Good Morning America, GMA – Weekend Edition, and Long Form productions. He will also work on the rollout of digital technology and the associated training in these areas.


Wednesday – A18-49 Analysis:  Fox had the highest ratings among A18-49 on Wednesday night according to Nielsen Media Research, posting an overall 4.9/14, and beating NBC 3.9/11, ABC 3.0/8, CBS 2.6/7, UPN 1.5/4, and WB 1.3/4.  At 8p ABC and FOX tied, each with a 3.1/10 in the A18-49 demo. America’s Next Top Model was second only to Fox among W18-34 with a 3.3/11. At 9p Fox and American Idol were well in front, earning a 9.4/24 for Idol, though falling off dangerously to a 3.8/9 for Life on a Stick.  Stick was still #2 in its 930-10p time period, second to the final half hour of Revelations on NBC.  For the full hour Revelations earned a 4.5/11. NBC was in front at 10p with a 4.9/13 for Law & Order featuring the stylings of Michael Imperioli as Detective Falco.

FINAL HOUSEHOLD RATINGS:   Wednesday, April 20, 2005, for all Networks – program averages.  Source: Nielsen Media Research. 

NBC     7.5/12   Dateline 4.8/8, Revelations 7.6/12, Law & Order 10.1/17

FOX     6.9/11   The Simple Life 4.2/8, Stacked 5.0/8, American Idol 13.4/21, Life on a Stick 5.1/8

CBS     5.8/10   60 Minutes 5.5/9, King of Queens 5.5/8, Yes Dear 6.0/9, CSI New York [r] 6.2/10

ABC     5.6/9    Lost [r] 6.6/11, Alias 5.6/9, Eyes 4.7/8

UPN     2.4/4    America’s Next Top Model 3.0/5, Kevin Hill [r] 1.8/3

WB      2.0/3    Smallville 2.6/4, Jack & Bobby 1.5/2

A18-49                Fox 4.9/14, NBC 3.9/11, ABC 3.0/8, CBS 2.6/7, UPN 1.5/4, WB 1.3/4

Friday Fun Fact:  When it was opened in 1965, the Houston Astrodome was the world’s largest air-conditioned room — reportedly, an 18-story building can fit inside it.

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1922 – Jazz titan Charles Mingus is born

Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question: This hair tonic turned Greg Brady’s hair orange just days before his high school graduation.  Younger brother Bobby was selling the stuff in hopes of making a cool million.  What was the name of this stuff? NEAT & NATURAL HAIR TONIC.  Kudos to: Jeremy White-Nickelodeon/NY; Matt Deprey-Discovery Health & Fit TV/Silver Spring; Kelly Dulin-A. Eicoff & Co/Chicago; Robert Ward-Ward Comm.Santa Monica; Mike Brennan-Writers Boot Camp/Santa Monica; Elizabeth Baisley-ABC, Inc./Burbank.


1986 was a banner year in the annals of forensic science,
marking the first time DNA evidence was used to identify a guilty man,
and exonerate an innocent one.

Forensic Files.  Tonight at 9PM e/p.  Only on Court TV: The Investigation Channel.

Make 2005 a banner year for your clients.  Advertise on Court TV: The Investigation Channel.

Today’s Trivia Question:
  Before Delta, who used the motto:  “It’s the only way to fly”?  (click here with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)


Ride shotgun in a NEW original
from Superstation WGN

Jump behind the wheel as Superstation WGN brings you the fastest new original
program, “Racecar Driver.” It’s your chance to target young audiences with great
new marketing opportunities that will make heads turn. Don’t just go round-and-
round with the other guys, contact your Sales Rep for more.

Later — Cyn
04.22.05  5:12am
Cynopsis Ad Sales – Barbara Shapiro – 203-583-1224 /

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ABC              AFV [r], AFV, [r], Hope & Faith [r], Hope & Faith [r], 20/20
CBS              Joan of Arcadia [F], JAG, NUMB3RS
FOX              Movie: Maid in Manhattan
NBC              Dateline, Third Watch, L&O: Trial by Jury
PAX              America’s Talented Kids, MGM Movie: Love is All There Is
UPN              Star Trek Enterprise, Top Model [r]
WB               What I Like About You, Reba [r], Reba [r], Living with Fran
TELE             La Mujer en el Espejo, Los Platedos, La Ley del Silencio
UNIV             Apuesta por un Amor, La Madrastra, Hospital el Paisa, La Escuelita

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