Friday, December 10th, 2004





Good morning. It’s Friday, December 10, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing.

ABC held onto its standing win of Wednesday nights with an overall 5.7/15 A18-49 rating according to final national numbers from Nielsen Media Research.  NBC was #2 with a 3.5/9, followed by CBS 3.3/9, Fox 3.1/8, UPN 2.0/5, WB 1.5/4.  At 8pm Lost delivered a 7.0/19 demo rating, its closest competition was America’s Next Top Model on UPN  with a 2.5/7.  Barbara Walter’s 10 Most Fascinating People drew a 5.4/14, also winning its time period.  The CBS comedies ranked #2 for the hour with a 3.9/10 for King of Queens, and 3.7/9 for Center of the Universe.  West Wing on NBC also drew a 9 share.  The 10p hour was incredible competitive, with Law & Order nosing out ABC and CBS with a 5.0/13.  Wife Swap and CSI NY both earned a 4.5/12.

Casting / Development / Production

  • Steven Bochco is settling in to begin production on a new drama pilot for FX called Over There (Steven Bochco Prods/20th).  The current day story focuses on a group of young soldiers deployed for the first time to Iraq; their lives and the lives of those the left at home.  Cast regulars include Josh Henderson, Luke MacFarlane, Erik Palladino, Nicki Aycox, Keith Robinson, Sprague Grayden, Sticky Fingaz and Lizette Carrion.
  • Showtime is moving quickly to ready a made-for cable movie based on the friendly turned contentious relationship between Michael Eisner and Mike Ovitz, called Two Blind Mikes, per Variety. Writing the script is Frederic Raphael (Eyes Wide Shut), and set to exec prod are richard Waltzer and Jerry Leider.
  • MTV has given a 30-episode commitment to a new series called Next, about speed dating. The project is slated for MTV’s 4-6pm block targeting teens.  Also slated for the same weekday block are 50 additional eps of Boiling Points; 40 more eps of Room Raiders, High School Stories and Wanna Come In.
  • Currently on the pitch circle to the networks is a made-for TV movie about the life and times of Billy Graham (Leigh Murray Prods) based on the book by Marshall Frady, per Hollywood Reporter.

Sony Pictures Television has renewed Judge Hatchett in 80% of the country for the 2005-06 season, including all 25 of the top 25 markets, as well as 21 Fox O&O stations. Judge Hatchett earned a 1.5 HH Rtg in the November 2004 sweep.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of November 22-28, 2004 ranked by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (King World)                 8.2 AA  
Jeopardy (King World)                         7.2 AA
Oprah (King World)                      7.1 AA / 7.3 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    6.4 AA / 7.9 GAA
Seinfeld (Sony)                         5.9 AA / 7.2 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                   5.8 AA / 6.0 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  5.5 AA / 7.1 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       5.4 AA / 5.5 GAA
Judge Judy (Paramount)          5.1 AA / 7.8 GAA
Millionaire (BVT)                       3.7 AA / 4.0 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of November 22-28, 2004 ranked by A18-49
Seinfeld (Sony)                         3.9 AA / 4.8 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  3.8 AA / 4.8 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    3.7 AA / 4.6 GAA
Oprah (King World)                      3.0 AA / 3.1 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                   2.4 AA / 2.4 GAA
Wheel of Fortune (King World)                 2.3 AA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       2.3 AA / 2.4 GAA
That 70’s Show (Carsey-Werner)  2.3 AA / 2.8 GAA
Jeopardy (King World)                         2.1 AA
Will & Grace (Warner Bros.)             2.0 AA / 2.5 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research

Bill Moyers is calling it quits.  After the December 17 broadcast of his PBS show NOW, a show he launched in 2002, he will at the age of 70, retire.  He doesn’t have a big plan, but he does plan to pen a book about his years as a special assistant to President Johnson.  NOW will continue on PBS post-Moyers, with David Brancaccio hosting.

Top 5 Broadcast Spanish Language Primetime Programs for the week of November 29  December 5, 2004 **
UNIV Amor Real (M-F 9p)                                       25.4 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Rubi (M-F 8p)                                                 25.0 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Veremos Todo Miurka Bobby (Tue 10p)        21.6 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Don Francisco Presenta (Wed 10p)               20.1 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Cristina (Mon 10p)                                         19.9 NHTI HH Rtg
Source: Nielsen Media Research
Note: NHTI Ratings are based on 10.57 million Hispanic TV Homes
** Please note that Nielsen Media’s rating parameters are listed for some shows that air Monday-Friday to include the 5 day average instead of listing each individual weekday.

Top 10 Broadcast English Language Primetime Programs in Hispanic TV Homes for the week of November 29  December 5, 2004
FOX     Simpsons (Sun 8p)                                          6.4 NHTI HH Rtg
UPN     WWE Smackdown! (Thu 8p)                           6.2 NHTI HH Rtg
CBS     CSI: Miami (Mon 10p)                                      6.2 NHTI HH Rtg
FOX     Malcolm in the Middle (Sun 750p)                   6.1 NHTI HH Rtg
ABC     NFL Monday Night Football (Mon 9p)             6.0 NHTI HH Rtg
CBS     CSI (Thu 9p)                                                    5.8 NHTI HH Rtg
ABC     George Lopez (Tue 830p)                               5.7 NHTI HH Rtg
NBC     Law & Order: SVU (Tue 10p)                          5.3 NHTI HH Rtg
NBC     ER (Thu 10p)                                                   5.3 NHTI HH Rtg
NBC     Apprentice 2 (Thu 9p)                                      5.2 NHTI HH Rtg
CBS     CSI: NY (Wed 10p)                                          5.1 NHTI HH Rtg
ABC     Lost (Wed 8p)                                                  5.0 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 13,170,000 households. Here are the rankings for the week of November 29  December 5, 2004 – highest rated primetime network programs in African American TV homes according to Nielsen Media Research
UPN     Girlfriends (Mon 9p)                                   16.7 HH Rtg
UPN     Half & Half (Mon 830p)                              15.2 HH Rtg
UPN     Second Time Around (Mon 930p)              14.9 HH Rtg
UPN     One on One (Mon 8p)                                14.4 HH Rtg
UPN     Eve (Tue 830p)                                           14.3 HH Rtg
CBS     CSI: Miami (Mon 10p)                                 13.9 HH Rtg
CBS     Without a Trace (Thu 10p)                          13.7 HH Rtg
CBS     CSI (Thu 9p)                                               13.5 HH Rtg
UPN     America’s Next Top Model 3 (Wed 8p)       13.3 HH Rtg
ABC     NFL Monday Night Football (Mon 9p)         13.0 HH Rtg
Source Nielsen Media Research

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received two intervention filings from the United Church of Christ (UCC) yesterday regarding the refusal to air UCC’s new commercial by a couple of Miami stations.  The filing asked for a license renewal denial (up for renewal in January) for the two stations, CBS affiliate WFOR-TV and NBC affiliate WTVJ-TV.  According to UCC, the stations were not willing to give their audiences access to a different spectrum of social, political and moral beliefs.  The NBC- and CBS-owned stations and the networks stated that the commercial was a one-sided opinion of a political issue.  An interesting footnote to know…UCC’s managing director of communications, Gloria Tristani, is a former FCC commissioner from 1997-2001.

Cynopsis Question for you:  If you had to chose just one, what would you consider to be THE media story of 2004?
Your Answers:  The top choices in rank order were: 

  • 46% – Janet Jackson Wardrobe malfunction and the subsequent FCC regulations, violations, fines and lawsuits
  • 15% – Presidential Election
  • 12% – Scott and Laci Peterson
  • 7% – Mel Karmazin and Howard Stern moving to Sirius
  • 4% – Martha Stewart
  • 3% – Saddam Hussein and the War in Iraq
  • 3% – Brittany Spears marriage
  • 3% – Dan Rather / George Bush military records forgery

Note to Self: Me and George, we gotta date.  Buy movie tickets early.

Three uppings at Starz Entertainment Group:
Debbie Alther has been promoted from Executive Director/Program Planning and Scheduling reporting to Jonathan Shair, VP. Debbie will oversee the programming and promotional long- and short-term planning for all of the STARZ! channels, and develops the programming mix and models for existing and new channels.
Christine Flynn is now Executive Director/Creative Services reporting to SVP Che Che Mata.  Christine oversees the creative staff and all on-air promotional and interstitial programming for the Encore channels, and directs network production services.
Ellen Mednick has been upped to Executive Director/On-Air Promotion, also reporting to Che Che Mata. Ellen will oversee on-air promotion and creation of interstitial programming for the STARZ! channels and several Encore channels. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2004. FINAL Ratings for all Networks – program averages.  Source Nielsen Media Research. Time Period Averages Only. [p] = Premiere; [o] = Original; [r] = Repeat

ABC     10.1/16 Lost 11.4/18, Barbara Walters Most Fascinating People of 2004 10.9/16, Wife Swap 7.8/13

NBC     8.1/13  A Clay Aiken Christmas 5.5/9, West Wing 8.3/12, Law & Order 10.7/17

CBS     6.4/10  60 Minutes 5.1/8, King of Queens 6.5/10, Center of the Universe 5.7/8, CSI: NY 8.0/13

FOX     4.5/7   2004 Billboard Music Awards   4.5/7

UPN     2.9/4   Top Model 3.6/6, Kevin Hill 2.2/3

WB      2.3/4   Smallville (2-hr ep)(OTO)  2.3/4

A18-49  ABC 5.7/15, NBC 3.5/9, CBS 3.3/9, Fox 3.1/8, UPN 2.0/5, WB 1.5/4




Starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon,
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac and Julia Roberts

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

“Two thumbs up for ‘Ocean’s Twelve.'” – Ebert & Roeper

Available exclusively from
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution


Friday Fun Fact:
Did Rod Serling invent the term “Twilight Zone”?  He thought so.  But after the show debuted in 1959, Serling learned Air Force pilots used the phrase to describe “a moment when a plane is coming down on approach and it cannot see the horizon.”

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1901:  On the fifth anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death, the first Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden.  Nobel, the inventor of dynamite and other high explosives, willed that the interest earned from the bulk of his fortune be distributed as prizes to those whose work most benefits humankind.  It is thought that Nobel’s gift was motivated by the use of his inventions in war.  The first prizes were awarded in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace.  A prize in economics was added in 1968.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:   Who am I?  I’m a small town guy – like to play checkers, do impressions for my friends, eat pancakes (won a pancake eating contest once by eating 57 pancakes in one sitting), go hunting and fishing. I sing in the town choir and manage the kids little league baseball team.  I worked at my dad’s company, which I eventually bought.  I like to shoot the breeze with all my friends in town, sitting on someone’s front porch.  Who am I?  GOOBER PYLE on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW.  Kudos to: John Cesa-Cleveland Media Connect/Cleveland; Chris O’Leary-Kelliher Samets Volk/Burlington VT; Joe Pauly-WMOR/Tampa; Peter Bakalian-Rankin Bass Prods/NJ; Joe E. Dale-MeTV/Chicago; Brett Calvert-KSAT/San Antonio; Phillip Nakov-City PR/Studio City; Sandra Mueller-KTLA/LA; Howard Bryan-GSN/LA; Joe Feldman-Effective Media Services/LA.

Friday’s, not-necessarily-TV-Trivia, Trivia Question: There are certainly plenty of Salvation Army stands around during the holidays, so maybe you know this — what is the Salvation Army’s motto?   (click here with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone with your answer.  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.)


An update from the Scene of the Prime:

Everybody’s talking about

“The Smoking Gun Year-End Special 2004” on Court TV.

Including a psychic’s scoop on celeb misdemeanors to look forward to in 2005!

Encore presentations Dec. 12th at 7PM & Dec. 15th at 11PM.

Court TV: The Investigation Channel. What the cool people are watching.

Later — Cyn
12.10.04  4:43am

In 2005, Cynopsis will offer new ad space. Interested?

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Copyright Cynthia Turner 2004


JOB OPENING:  AFFILIATE RELATIONS, WESTERN REGION/ or Denver. VP or Director. Dist/mrkt all svcs inc. linear vid, VOD and broadband initiatives. 5+ yrs exp cable/ent. MBA pref. 75% travel req. Email

JOB OPENING:  CUSTOMER SERVICE REP-Verance Corp/NY.  Min 3-5 yrs customer service environment.  Familiarity w/media buying, ad agency scheduling systems, trafficking systems & applications  E-mail w/o attachments:

JOB OPENING:  ACCOUNT EXEC-A&E, NY. Exp tv ad sales pro w/proven track record, extensive agency/client relationships. Solid presentation/comm skills. 4 yrs broadcast/cable direct sales exp req’d. Resume:

JOB OPENING:  CASTING DIRECTOR, BANYAN PRODUCTIONS for new reality show. Extensive knowledge of real-people casting req. Start immediately. Send resume to

JOB OPENING: SALES RESEARCH ANALYST, The Golf Channel/ORLANDO. Story-teller w/ 3+ yrs audience/ad sales rsch exp. Nielsen, MRI, etc. Golf/Sports media bckgrnd helpful, not required. EOE. M/F/D/V Fax: 407.363.7976. No calls pls  (12/16)

JOB OPENING:  CLIENT SERVICES DIR/Beck Media & Mktg, LA. PR talent for nat’l TV and ent. tech accts. Exp incl synd/sports or interactive ent. pref; exc writing skills. Resume/cvr ltr:
, subj: Beck Media-LA  (12/16)

JOB OPENING: NBC Universal/BRAVO, PRESS MGR/NY. Publicist level. 3 yrs publicist exp pref in Ent./TV industry. Strong verbal/writing skills, multi-tasker.Strategic thinker, ability to generate buzz a must. Apply: (12/16)

JOB OPENINGINVENTORY ASST./Paramount-NY. Process media offers for natl comm’l buys in Paramount’s synd pgms.Organized, exc. comm skills, MS Word/Excel.4 yr degree pref. Fax resumes to (212) 654-4970.  No phone calls please   (12/15)

JOB OPENINGWRITER/PRODUCER-iN DEMAND/NY. Write, research & produce 5-8 monthly on-air promo spots. Bachelor’s degree; 3-5 yrs on-air promo writer/producer exp. nec. Email

JOB OPENING:  CREATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR/KMAX-Sacramento. Creative promotion/mktg Dept head for surging, innovative UPN O&O. Support UPN brand, non-trad’l news pgming; and ad sales essential. Resumes:
. EOE  (12/15)


JOB OPENING:  RESEARCH ANALYST, MTV/NEW YORK-Quantitative programming research. Strong with analysis, communication, & PC skills. 1+ yrs industry experience. Please apply at EOE  (12/15)

JOB OPENING:  INVENTORY SENIOR ANALYST, Fox Cable Net/NY Ad Sales. 1-2yrs exp w/Bcst or cable net. Build/maintain rate card. Utilization, liability, added-value, efficiency analysis. Dealmaker exp pref.Apply: (12/15)

JOB OPENING:  DIRECTOR CONSUMER MKTG /NY NBC Universal/ BRAVO seeks a brand leader. 5+ yrs exp. MBA pref. Smart strategist, promo wizard for nation’l guerilla mktg. Job# 390197. Apply at (12/14)

JOB OPENING:  MGR PRIMARY RESEARCH, NBC/NY for cons. projects for News, Sports, Sales. 5+ yrs media research, knowledge of media/social res. methods. Clg deg (research methods and/or statistics). Apply: Job #389979   (12/14)

JOB OPENING:  VP BRAVO PROGRAM RESEARCH, NBC/NY. Monitor/analyze/comm perf of Bravo/competition to Mgmt & Pgming. 10+ yrs exp in Cable Research.  PRIMARY RESEARCH SKILLS a MUST. Apply: Job # 390006  (12/14)

JOB OPENING:  MTV/NY: AD SALES SYSTEM SUPPORT & REPORTING positions. 3-5+ yrs exp cable adv sales & ops. Extensive knwldge of industry/processes; JDS or Gabriel exp a +. Systems savvy/IS aptitude. Resume:

JOB OPENING:  SR.ANALYST, Nielsen Media Rsch-NY/Assist w/client custom analysis/sales pitches of new studies, NPOWER client servicing.Analyze DVR data. Excel, PwrPnt,writing. NPower a+.Apply ref:200402338-JL  (12/11)

JOB OPENING:  VOD COORD-iN DEMAND/NY. Provide support to overall Free On Demand process from start to finish; schedule FOD prior to air. Bachelors degree, 1 year exp. Email:

JOB OPENING:  PUBLICIST/OLN, Stamford, CT. Exceptional verbal and written skills, 2-3 yrs PR exp req’d; cable or sports industry a +. See for more info. Resume/salary:

JOB OPENING:  ACCOUNT EXEC-Galavision, NY. Exp media sales pro w/proven track record, extensive agency/client relationships.Solid presentation/comm. skills.Spanish-speaking strongly pref/not req. Resume:


SITUATION WANTED: NY/LA CONSULTANT, POST PROD OPS/CLIENT SERVICES. 17 yrs exp. w/ clients,editors,tech,admin. I will make your staff a team & make a great client environment. Grow your facility. Proven track record.

SITUATION WANTED:  Graphic Design Student in LA looking for INTERNSHIP.  Knowledge with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.  Email:


SITUATION WANTED:  EXEC. ASST./OFF/ MGR.15 yrs prof’l off. exp. Friendly, energetic, hard working, tenacious, detail oriented, team player a love for fast pace envir.

SITUATION WANTED:  LA based: SEGMENT PRODUCER/CLIP CLEARANCE with 5+ years experience in clip shows, reality TV and variety programming. Great references.

SITUATION WANTED:  LA based SCREENWRITER FOR HIRE. Do you have a great idea for a movie but lack the knack for putting it on the page? I can help. Rate is modest, but talent is abundant. E-mail

SITUATION WANTED: SR. MEDIA BUYER – Available for telecommuting, job-sharing, freelancing or fulltime (Orange Cnty or Riverside Cnty areas, CA only for fulltime). Bought LA& most wstrn mrkts. Contact Erin geshevette

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ABC             8 Simple Rules, Complete Savages, Hope & Faith [r], Less than Perfect [r], 20/20
CBS             Joan of Arcadia, JAG, Cold Case [r]
FOX             Simpsons [r], King of the Hill [r], Family Guy [r], Family Guy [r]
NBC             Dateline, Third Watch [r], Medical Investigation [r]
PAX             Talented Kids, MGM Movie: A Green Journey
UPN             Star Trek [r], Top Model [r]
WB              Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Scooby Doo Christmas, Reba [r], Blue Collar TV
TELE            La Mujer en el Espejo, Gitanas, Te Voy a Ensenar a Querer
UNIV            Rubi, Amor Real, La Escuelita, La Casa de la Risa


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