Friday, August 12th, 2005



Good morning.  It’s Friday August 12, 2005, and this is your first early morning briefing. Remember, if you’d rather listen than read, you can sign up for the Cynopsis: In Your Ear podcast available for download each morning by 630a at or via iTunes 4.9, listed in the podcast directory under “News.”

Another lawsuit naming ABC as a defendant was filed yesterday.  This one stems from the re-building of a home for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  Stay with me on this one … Five siblings, ages 15-22, lose both parents in a very short period of time.  A couple in the town who attend the same church, offered to have the children live with them, which they subsequently did.  Enter ABC and EM: Home Edition.  The show re-built the couple’s home to accommodate all the new residents.  Around the same time the show made it to the air, the five kids moved out, claiming the couple drove them from the house by treating them poorly, etc.  Here’s the part that seems to miss the mark – the five kids are suing ABC for break of contract and fraud, saying Extreme Makeover said they would build them a house, when in fact the house was built for the couple. Seems kind of thin.  And I don’t know if it helps that they kids are suing the couple as well. 


The Sopranos fans will have something to celebrate when the show returns with its final season next March on HBO.  Instead of the previously contracted 12 episodes, there will be a full 20 original episodes!  With that, know this will be a long and drawn out final season.  The last 8 eps won’t make it to the air until January 2007.  Makes you question if this really is the final season of the show, as the extra 8 sound more like the start of a seventh season.

Nielsen Media Research and Nielsen Entertainment will launch a research study to assess the factors and effectiveness of product placement. Nielsen has been tracking the physical characteristics of product placement since the beginning of the 2003 broadcast season.  This new study will attempt to determine the effect of product placement on the viewer/consumer, as well as the factors that go into that effect including the show, the brand being used, how its used, etc. Participating in the study are CBS/UPN Television Networks, Discovery Television, Magna Global, Mediacom, OMD, PHD, Sprint, The Weather Channel, and Zenith Optimedia.

Mark Burnett’s The Contender has been ordered for a second season – not on NBC where it aired its first season, but on ESPN.  The new season is scheduled to begin in October 2006 and will include 10-12 episodes. The deal includes an option for the cable network to pick up two additional seasons of the show. ESPN has also become a partner in the series, having and ownership stake in the back end.  Additionally, ESPN will have access to the show for their boxing PPV as well as online.  Sylvester Stallone will be back as an executive producer, and both Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard are still partners in the series, tho the extent of their on-air involvement in the second season is up in the air.

Turner South will debut a new weekly 30m series called Yokel, showcasing and celebrating those things that are uniquely part of the Southern culture.  With hosts Robb “Storm” Taylor, Chris “Skillet” Davison and T. Kevin Nicely, viewers will visit local honky tonks, find the best white lightning, play toilet-seat horseshoes, identify true “redneck ingenuity”, and all things in between and beyond.  The show airs Fridays at 11p beginning September 9.

As you know, Showtime‘s newest series Barbershop: The Series, based on the film, will premiere August 14 at 10p.  What perhaps you didn’t know is the show simultaneously will be available via streaming video on MSN Video.  The pilot episode can be seen at, where it will be available for eight days after the launch.

For those of you mourning the loss of the Victoria Secret Fashion Show on television – it’s back – and it’s on CBS.  The show will be taped in New York this fall at the Lexington Avenue Armory.  Airdate is still TBA.

CBS is partnering with its Viacom sibling Logo on a series of daily segments centering on gay/lesbian topics.  Set to air on Logo, CBS News on Logo will consist of 3-5 minute news pieces produced by CBS and headed up by Newspath producer Court Passant.  Jason Bellini, a former CNN correspondent, will host.  In addition to the daily shorts, CBS News on Logo will produce a number of long-form stories annually. Even though CBS and Logo will belong to separate corporations after Viacom’s division in 2006, they will continue to work on this production.

Online ad agency ValueClick has come to terms to purchase Fastclick for $214 million in stock.  Fastclick brings to the table 9,000 websites, which they say reach more than 112 million internet users.  The deal is expected to be completed in fourth quarter.

Broadcast Daytime Ratings Rankings – Women 18-49, week of Aug 1-7, 2005:
CBS:    Young & Restless         2.2/14
ABC:    General Hospital                 1.9/12
CBS:    Bold & Beautiful                 1.8/11
NBC:    Days of Our Lives       1.8/11
CBS:    Price is Right 2                 1.7/12
ABC:    All My Children          1.7/11
ABC:    One Life to Live                 1.7/11
CBS:    Price is Right 1                 1.4/910
CBS:    As the World Turns      1.4/9
NBC:    Passions                  1.4/9
CBS:    Guiding Light            1.3/8
ABC:    The View                 1.2/9
Source: Nielsen’s Galaxy Explorer, NTI as dated

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of July 24-31, 2005 ranked by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (King World)                  7.3 AA
Jeopardy (King World)                                6.0 AA
Oprah (King World)                                    5.7 AA / 5.8 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)  5.7 AA / 7.3 GAA
Seinfeld (Sony)                                           5.3 AA / 6.7 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                              5.2 AA / 6.6 GAA
Judge Judy (Paramount)                            4.5 AA / 6.9 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                                  4.2 AA / 4.3 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)          4.1 AA / 4.2 GAA
Regis & Kelly (Buena Vista)                       3.3 AA
Judge Joe Brown (Paramount)              3.2 AA / 4.6 GAA
Source: Nielsen Media Research

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of July 24-31, 2005 ranked by A18-49
Seinfeld (Sony)                                           3.6 AA / 4.4 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                              3.5 AA / 4.5 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)  3.2 AA / 4.1 GAA
Oprah (King World)                                    2.3 AA / 2.4 GAA
Wheel of Fortune (King World)                  2.0 AA
King of the Hill (20th)                                  1.9 AA / 2.3 GAA
That 70’s Show (Carsey-Werner)              1.9 AA / 2.3 GAA
Jeopardy (King World)                                1.7 AA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)          1.7 AA / 1.7 GAA
King of Queens (Sony)                     1.7 AA / 2.2 GAA
Source: Nielsen Media Research



  • Grace (Spelling Television): TNT has ordered a pilot of this sci-fi/supernatural drama about a policewoman who meets up with an angel, who offers her an opportunity to redeem herself, per Hollywood Reporter


  • Yo Momma:  MTV has ordered 20 eps of this new competition comedy series wherein the country’s best trash talkers compete.  The show begins by traveling the country and looking for contestants.  In each competition, the contestants have a chance of winning a thousand bucks, and the chance to move along to the next round, per Hollywood Reporter. The show is scheduled to air weekday afternoons for four consecutive weeks beginning in first quarter 2006.  Yo Momma is created and hosted by Wilmer Valderamma. 


  • The Mikes:  A working title for this comedy about two feuding neighbors, who blame each other for all of their lifelong problems, per Variety. The show is from writers Gregg Kavet and Andy Robin, who both were exec prods on Seinfeld and wrote for that show for three seasons. 

Atlantic Video, Inc., has named Shirley Abraham its new VP/Production and Development and Gary Purviance as GM/Executive Producer/West Coast operations.  Shirley was most recently Exec Prod for Crossing Over on the Sci-Fi Network, and she will be based in Atlantic Video’s NY offices.  Gary was formerly Art Director for Artisan Entertainment.

Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. has named Laura Del Greco to VP/Sales Programming Strategy for Turner Entertainment Ad Sales and Marketing, based in New York and reporting to Linda Yaccarino, EVP/ Turner Entertainment Ad Sales and Marketing. Laura will work closely with advertising agencies and their clients, as well as the entertainment groups within each agency to develop and execute messaging through TBS and TNT’s extensive original programming lineup.
IDT Entertainment is pleased to announce two key executive appointments.  Neil S. Braun has been named President/Feature Films and Television for IDT Entertainment.  Also, Jerry Davis has been named Chief Creative Officer/Animated Features.  The executives will spearhead IDT Entertainment’s aggressive expansion of its feature film and television production slate.  Neil will be the lead financial architect for all business deals regarding feature film and television properties.  Jerry heads up the search for and development of creative content and talent for all of IDT Entertainment’s animated feature films.  He will explore content sources from both within the IDT Entertainment framework of subsidiaries and from the larger entertainment community.   

Casting NoteA&E is casting for a series called Spying on Myself where people with various conflicts or relationship issues, solve their problems, in part by going undercover (think the old Jamie Kennedy series on WB -that kind of going undercover), complete with movie style prosthetics, voice and acting coach etc .  If you’re interested, and you must be over 18 to play, email
to set up an audition.


Wednesday — A18-49 Analysis:   NBC and Fox tied on Wednesday with a 2.6/8 A18-49 in fast affiliate numbers from Nielsen Media Research.  ABC earned a 2.2/7, followed by 2.1/6, UPN 1.1/3, WB 0.6/2.  Fox won the first hour of prime with a 2.4/8 for So You Think You Can Dance, with ABC and NBC tying for #2, each posting a 2.2/7.  UPN’s R U The Girl earned a 1.2/4, #5 among A18-49, but was #2 behind Fox among P12-17. At 9p the first hour of NBC’s special Unforgettable Moments in TV Entertainment earned a 3.1/9, while the second hour of ABC’s Peter Jennings: Reporter delivered a 2.8/8.  (Note:  In final household program ratings, ABC’s 8-10p special Peter Jennings: Reporter will not be rated, as it was fully sustaining and contained no commercial interruptions.)  Among the 50+ audience, Peter Jennings: Reporter delivered a 6.7/14. The elimination round of Rock Star: INXS on CBS at 9-930p earned a 1.9/5, third in the time period. A repeat of CSI: NY earned top dog status at 10p with a 2.6/8.

Fast Affiliate Ratings: Wednesday, August 10,  2005, for all Networks – time period averages. Source: Nielsen Media Research. 

NBC        5.5/9         Outrageous TV Moments 4.3/8, NBC Special: Unforgettable  Moments in Television Entertainment (OTO) 5.8/10, Law & Order [r] 5.6/10

ABC       5.3/9 Peter Jennings: Reporter (OTO) 3.8/7, Lost  2.9/5 

CBS       4.0/7 Still Standing [r] 3.3/6, Yes Dear [r] 3.1/6, Rock Star: INXS 3.0/5, The King of Queens [r] 2.9/5, CSI: NY [r] 5.6/10

FOX       3.8/7 So You Think You Can Dance 4.2/7, Bernie Mac [r] 2.7/4

UPN       1.6/3 R U The Girl 1.7/3, Veronica Mars [r] 1.3/2

WB        1.0/2 One Tree Hill [r] .9/2, Smallville [r] 1.3/2

A18-49            NBC 2.6/8, Fox 2.6/8, ABC 2.2/7, CBS 2.1/6, UPN 1.1/3, WB 0.6/2

Friday Fun Fact: 
When using the first pay telephone, a caller did not deposit his coins in the machine. He gave them to an attendant who stood next to the telephone. Coin telephones did not appear until 1899.

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1676-Metacom, also known as “King Philip,” the sachem, or leader, of the Wampanoag Algonkians of eastern Massachusetts, is killed by an Algonkian ally of the English settlements in the region.  Metacom’s death brought an end of sorts to King Philip’s War, which in turn brought an end to over fifty years of efforts to reconcile English and Indian claims to the landscape of New England.  Whereas Metacom’s grandfather Massasoit was the guest of honor at the first Thanksgiving, held at Plymouth, Metacom’s severed head adorned the gates of that settlement for years after his death.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  Sidney Schanberg’s brilliant novel, “The Death and Life of Dith Pran,” was re-titled and made into a film.  Which movie was this?   THE KILLING FIELDS    Kudos to:  Bill Burke-A & E TV/NY; Jane Pook-Geto & deMilly Inc/NY; Ben Thaler-Davis Advertising/Worchester MA; Nelson Breen-Nelson Breen Productions/NY; Renee Moffit-Fairway Media/Scottsdale AZ;  Steve Weinshel-Transistor Studios; Chuck Lomis-Starz Entertainment Group/Englewood CO; Kyle Krebs-KLTY/Dallas;  Allexis Wallrich-KOCCA USA/LA; Paul Hinkel-TNS/LA; David Chill-DIREC TV/LA; Rita Bonnell Illig-RBI Associates/Grenada Hills CA.


T hank G od I t’s S moking G un F riday!

Let’s talk PARTY MUSIC!

Here’s an idea for a musical theme for your next party:
feature only musicians whose mugshots appear on The Smoking Gun website! 
(Check them out at .) 
It’s a compilation sure to please all musical tastes–from doo-wop to rock ‘n’ roll, from country/western to rap! 
Have a good weekend!

Today’s Trivia Question: 
You know Rosie, and you know her ‘quicker picker upper.’  The question is, do you recall what it was she always quickly picked up off her diner counter?  (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.)

Later — Cyn
08.12.05  – 5:19am
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JOB OPENING: LOCAL AD SALES MANAGER-TV One, LLC. We are actively seeking a highly motivated individual for this exciting new role. Visit our web site for a detailed job description and application details. (8/19)

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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT: Friday, August 12, 2005

ABC              8 Simple Rules [r], Hope & Faith [r], Less Than Perfect [r],  20/20
CBS              Veronica Mars [r], The Cut,  Numb3rs [r]
FOX              Arrested Development  [2hrs]
NBC              Dateline, Crossing Jordan [r]
PAX              America’s Talented Kids [r], Movie: True Heart
UPN              Movie:  American Outlaws
WB               What I Like About You [r], Blue Collar TV [r], Reba [r], Living with Fran [r]
TELE             El Cuerpo del Deseo, Los Plateados, Decisiones
UNIV             Apuesta por un Amor, La Madrasta, El Principe Azul

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