Friday, December 5th, 2008


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Deadline for 2008 entries: January 15, 2009



Good morning. It’s Friday, December 5, 2008, and this is your first early morning briefing. 

Tonight’s Finale:
Travel Channel: Ghost Adventures at 9p

Saturday’s Finales:
ABC: Saturday Night College Football at 8p
CMT: Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling at 8p

Sunday’s Premieres:
WE tv: Rich Bride, Poor Bride at 9p
TNT: Leverage at 10p

Sunday’s Finales:
CBS: The Amazing Race at 8p
Discovery Channel: Storm Chasers at 10p


Viacom announced it is eliminating 850 employees or 7% of its workforce and initiating a salary freeze for senior staff. These moves are expected to save the company between $200 million and $250 million next year. The cuts will affect all divisions such as MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Comedy Central, Spike TV, TV Land, Paramount Pictures, Neopets, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, BET among others.

In a similar move, NBC Universal may cut up to 500 jobs across all company divisions, equivalent to approximately 3% of its total workforce. These projected layoffs are prompted by the current economic crisis and were included in NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker’s strategy plan he introduced in October.

On the heels of announcing its premiere date, ABC decided to only order nine episodes, including the pilot, of midseason drama Cupid instead of 13 episodes, per THR/Live Feed. ABC also reduced the orders for new dramas Castle and The Unusuals to 10 episodes each, including the pilots. In further ABC news, the premiere date of its new reality series Homeland Security USA is scheduled for January 6 at 8p. The series, formerly titled Border Security will replace an hour-long According to Jim on this night.

Will The Oprah Winfrey Show continue in national syndication beyond 2011? Syndicated entertainment magazine show Access Hollywood asked Oprah herself this question Wednesday night in New York where they caught up with her at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 50th anniversary gala and this is her reply:  “I’m not done!” she told Access Hollywood, “I’m a very multi-dimensional woman. I can do a show, I can have OWN, I can have a magazine, I can do radio.”   Okay, not a real answer, but informative nonetheless.

MTV’s finale episode of Paris Hilton’s My New BFF (and if you’re not aware, BFF stands for Best Friend Forever)  last Tuesday night at 10p nabbed the highest rating of the season among P12-34 with a delivery of 1.8.


Have you seen the movie Twilight?  Or read the book?  Okay, let me just interject here for a moment – IMHO:  the book you absolutely must … probably the most compelling read I’ve seen in a really long time, no matter your age.  As to the movie, Showtime Networks Inc. and Summit Entertainment enter into an exclusive output deal, under which the pay cable channel will air up to 42 of Summit’s theatrical movie released between 2008-2012, including Twilight and other films produced from this book series franchise.  Other upcoming film titles include Knowing starring Nicolas Cage and Rose Byrne and Push with Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Djimon Hounsou and Camilla Belle among other titles.  The terms of the deal were not released.  Alex Fragen, Summit’s President/Domestic Television Distribution handled negotiations for the studio. 


TV Land handed real-life celebrity married couple Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin an unscripted project, reports THR. A pilot presentation was ordered by TV Land, allowing cameras into the private life of the couple and their two daughters. Jason Carbone executive produces the project, which, if picked up by TV Land would become a 30m series slated for a 2009 premiere.

Casting Calls:

  • HGTV is casting for a new season of Design Star and the deadline is January 5. Professional designers who have the “wow factor” are encouraged to apply for the reality competition series by downloading the official application at or by calling the ds4 hotline at 323-203-1324. The winner of the series will host their own series on HGTV. Applicants must be at least 21 years old.
  • TV Land’s upcoming new reality dating series The Cougar, produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television, is looking for handsome, adventurous and charming younger men to woo successful, attractive older women. If interested in applying, contact Erika Landin, Casting Producer at 323-297-7106 or send an email to her at

CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY: Job cuts at media and tech companies continued to mount as companies try to adapt to gloomy revenue forecasts and a rapidly shrinking economy. The trickle of layoff announcements seemed to become a torrent on Thursday. Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY: Just out in theaters, Twilight has a TV home.  Showtime Networks Inc. and Summit Entertainment enter into an exclusive output deal, under which the pay cable channel will air up to 42 of Summit’s theatrical movie released between 2008-2012.  The terms of the deal were not released.  Alex Fragen, Summit’s President/Domestic Television Distribution handled negotiations for the studio. Full edition: CYN KIDS.

CYNOPSIS INTERNATIONAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  Comedy Central is heading to New Zealand.  A deal between MTV Networks New Zealand and SKY Television will see the channel launching as the country’s first 24-hour laugher network as of April 2009.   Full edition: CYN INTERNATIONAL.


Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of 11/17-11/23/08 ranked by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (CTD)                                   7.7 AA
Jeopardy (CTD)                                               6.1 AA
Oprah Winfrey Show (CTD)                              5.8 AA / 5.9 GAA
Two and a Half Men (WB)                                 5.5 AA / 7.4 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD)                            4.5 AA / 4.6 GAA
Judge Judy (CTD)                                            4.5 AA / 7.0 GAA
Family Guy (2/T)                                             4.3 AA / 5.0 GAA
Dr. Phil Show (CTD)                                         3.6 AA / 3.7 GAA
Seinfeld (SPT)                                                 3.6 AA / 4.1 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (CTD)                      3.4 AA / 4.4 GAA
Source: NSS Galaxy Explorer, Live+SD

NEW M-F Syndicated Strip Series ratings for HH (11/17-11/23/08):
House of Payne (2/T)                                       2.1 AA / 2.7 GAA
Deal or No Deal (NBU)                                      1.9 AA / 2.4 GAA
Doctors (CTD)                                                1.9 AA
Judge Karen (SPT)                                           1.1 AA / 1.5 GAA
Bonnie Hunt Show (WB)                                    0.9 AA / 0.9 GAA
Family Court (SPT)                                           0.6 AA / 0.7 GAA
Trivial Pursuit (2/T)                                          0.6 AA / 0.7 GAA
Punk’d (TRI)                                                    0.5 AA / 0.5 GAA
Source: NSS Galaxy Explorer, Live+SD

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of 11/17-11/23/08 ranked by A18-49 Rtg
Two and a Half Men (WB)                                3.1 AA / 4.1 GAA
Family Guy (2/T)                                            3.0 AA / 3.5 GAA
Seinfeld (SPT)                                                2.3 AA / 2.6 GAA
Oprah Winfrey Show (CTD)                             2.1 AA / 2.1 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (CTD)                    2.1 AA / 2.7 GAA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD)                                  1.8 AA
Friends (WB)                                                 1.8 AA / 2.1 GAA
King of Queens (SPT)                                     1.8 AA / 2.1 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD)                          1.6 AA / 1.6 GAA
King of the Hill (2/T)                                      1.5 AA / 1.9 GAA
Judge Judy (CTD)                                          1.5 AA / 2.1 GAA
Source: NSS Galaxy Explorer, Live+SD

NEW M-F Syndicated Strip Series ratings for A18-49 (11/17-11/23/08):
House of Payne (2/T)                                       1.3 AA / 1.6 GAA
Deal or No Deal (NBU)                                       0.7 AA / 0.9 GAA
Doctors (CTD)                                                 0.6 AA
Judge Karen (SPT)                                           0.4 AA / 0.6 GAA
Bonnie Hunt Show (WB)                                    0.3 AA / 0.3 GAA
Trivial Pursuit (2/T)                                          0.3 AA / 0.3 GAA
Punk’d (TRI)                                                    0.3 AA / 0.3 GAA
Family Court (SPT)                                           0.2 AA / 0.3 GAA
Source: NSS Galaxy Explorer, Live+SD

Wednesday – A18-49 Analysis:  CBS’ varied night of programming won Wednesday with a 3.4/9 A18-49, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. At 8p, the seasonal favorite Rudolph on CBS was several noses in front of the competition at 4.2/12 followed by the FOX debut of Secret Millionaire at 2.3/7. The second installment of FOX’s new Secret Millionaire claimed the 9p hour with a 3.0/8 while ABC’s Private Practice came next with 2.5/7. Then at 10p, CBS sashayed to #1 with The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at 3.6/10 followed by NBC’s Law & Order with 3.0/8.  

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

NBC: 6.4/10         Christmas in Rockefeller Center 2008 6.5/10, Life 5.3/8, Law & Order 7.5/13

CBS: 5.3/9           Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer [r] 6.2/10, Grammy Nominations Concert Live! Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night 4.3/7, The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 5.4/9    

FOX: 4.5/7            Secret Millionaire [p] 4.1/7, Secret Millionaire 5.0/8

ABC: 4.2/7            Pushing Daisies 3.2/5, Private Practice 5.4/8, Dirty Sexy Money 3.9/7

UNIV: 2.2/4          Cuidado con El Angel 2.5/4, Fuego en La Sangre 2.5/4, Don Francisco Presenta 1.7/3

CW: 0.9/1            Stylista [r] 0.9/1, Stylista 0.9/1

TELE: 0.7/1          Dona Barbara 0.6/1, El Rostro de Analia 0.7/1, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso 0.9/2

MNT: 0.6/1           Eyes on Kenya 0.6/1

A18-49: CBS 3.4/9, FOX 2.6/7, NBC 2.5/7, ABC 2.0/5, UNIV 1.7/5, TELE 0.6/1, CW 0.5/1, MNT 0.2/1


Scott M. Sassa was appointed by the Hearst Corporation to the position of President/Hearst Entertainment & Syndication in addition to taking on duties as SVP, Hearst Corporation. Hearst Entertainment & Syndication is the operational arm overseeing the company’s interests in the cable networks ESPN, Lifetime, A&E and History; television production and distribution; newspaper syndication; and merchandise licensing. Bruce L. Paisner who has served as EVP of this division, announced his retirement from Hearst after 27 years. Bruce will stay on with the company as a consultant.  Well done, Scott!

Fox Sports International added Bhavesh Patel as VP/Interactive Media where he will manage the daily operations, business development and editorial direction for the interactive digital media facets of the company. Bhavesh will also be involved with developing future digital content relationships and purchases as well as negotiate digital programming rights for all FSI properties. Bhavesh will report to David Sternberg, EVP/GM.

Sloane Cooper advanced to Head/Production and VP/Production with Nick Davis Productions. Sloane currently manages the company’s budgets and schedules and she will now function as supervisor in the areas of finance, human resources, planning, analysis and reporting. Sloane is also managing the company’s pilot for TLC and series for National Geographic and The Science Channel and a documentary for The Sundance Channel.


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Friday Fun Fact:  If you were to spell out numbers, you wouldn’t see the letter “A” until you hit “o-n-e  t-h-o-u-s-a-n-d”

This day in History:  1908 – For the first time numbers were used on college football uniforms. The University of Pittsburgh Panthers displayed their new numbers in a game against Washington and Jefferson.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  On Happy Days when Lori Beth gave birth, Fonzie was right by her side, filling in for Richie in his absence. What country was Ritchie in?  GREENLAND Kudos to: Sean; Ian Young-Wieden + Kennedy/ NY; Bob Eisenstaedt-Granite Springs Productions/NY; Sharon Cauthen-Barnard College/NY; Adam Leston-WDJT/Milwaukee; Dan Whitford-RPM Advertising/Chicago; Keith Paxton-KDFW/KDFI/Dallas; Kathy Alexander-SpotPlus/Dallas; Robin Schmelling-
BCMI/Rancho Mirage, CA; Peter Keir-Horizon Media/LA; Julie Bank-Group M: Matrix/LA; Hank Hope-MGM Mirage/Las Vegas

Today’s Trivia Question:  Put on your Way Back Hat and see if you can answer this one – Thorny Thornberry was the neighbor with a knack for giving ill-timed advice on which classic sitcom?   (Email
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

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JOB OPENING: STRATEGIC MARKETING MANAGER/SciFi/NBCU/NY: Develop and execute cross-platform marketing solutions to drive revenue to SCI FI and BA & 5 yrs industry exp. , job#853374 (12/12)

JOB OPENING: ANALYST, RESEARCH/Music Choice-Support sales, mktg& prgmg across multiple platforms w/ accurate & actionable research. BA/BS 2-4 yrs media research exp. req.

JOB OPENING: VP/PROD/ Leading CDN non-fiction Prod Co: Oversee variety of Factual & Fact Ent prgrms. Successful candidate must possess strong budget dvpmnt/mgmnt skills. Prior exp w/ est. brdcstr pref’d. Res to:

JOB OPENING: MEDIA INDUSTRY BUSINESS SYSTEMS ANALYSTS. Multiple-NYC: Exp. w/ad sales, traffic, programming, production, rights mgmt. and requirements gathering. Use case development a plus. Apply to:

JOB OPENING: AFFILIATE MKTG MGR/NY: Spanish-fluent mgr to dvlp affil materials incl. cross-channel, web, VOD, etc. Direct agencies, support sales staff, mng budget, US Hispanic mktg experience req. EOE

JOB OPENING: SR SCHED./Discovery/MD:Resp for sched daytime/manage acquisitions process. Min 3yrs exp in scheduling, programming, research. Apply: #8386. No relo. (12/10)

JOB OPENING: SR DIRECTOR of SALES/Vancouver, Canada: Bus development & key account mngmnt; knwldg of LA Film business & North American post production communities. 10 yrs exp in sales/mktg. Apply to:

JOB OPENING: FREELANCE PROMO PROD/Rising sports TV network/Glendale: Head up its promo dept.Previous promo producing exp REQ’D, pref @ ntwrk level, & sports promo exp is advised. Res/reel link:

JOB OPENING: FREELANCE PROMO EDITOR/Rising sports TV network/Glendale: Master-class FCP skills, pref w/After Effects knwldg.Previous promo editing exp REQ’D, pref at ntwrk level & sports promo exp. Res/reel link:

JOB OPENING: FREELANCE POST SPRVSR/POST PROD/Rising sports TV network/Glendale:Knwldg Final Cut Pro hrdwr/sftwr systems a must.3yrs + of post sprvsng exp.Post coord doesn’t count.Res:

JOB OPENING: FREELANCE SR EDITOR/Rising sports TV network/Glendale: Knwldg of Final Cut Pro hrdwr/sftwre systems. Previous sports event editing exp REQ’D.res/reel link:

INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free , and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at

WINTER/SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: RLR Associates Ltd. seeks intern w/interest in Sports & Ent with strong creative & writing skills. Rsch./writng/broadcast reels/website updates/mkting. 2-3 days/wk Resume to Bella:

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED …  There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad … for more information contact Trish Pihonak at

SITUATION WANTED: Shooting in NY? Need a great PRODUCTION ASSISTANT? For trained, experienced and motivated PA’s who are certified by the NYC Mayor’s Office call the MINY hotline 24/7 at 718-757-5816. Our service is FREE. (12/12)

SITUATION WANTED: MKTG/ADV/PROMOTIONS/NYC prof w/exp in ent & TV seeks opp. w/ agency/network/prod. company. Skills: Web Analytics,SEM, Event Prod., Premiums,Re-branding.Email:

SITUATION WANTED: EXCEPTIONAL MARKETING PRO adept at strategy, project management & implementation, whatever needed. Good thinking! Smart, savvy, hands-on, good humor. Freelance, part- or full-time.

SITUATION WANTED: Creative and professional AVID AND FCP EDITOR with 9+ years experience in broadcast, promos, and documentaries looking to add to his NYC-area client base. Reel at . Contact

SITUATION WANTED: DOCUMENTARY PRODUCER, DIRECTOR, WRITER in L.A. Five prime time Emmy Awards. National Geographic on NBC and PBS. Discovery, History Channel and MSNBC. Contact email:

SITUATION WANTED: TV DEVELOPMENT EXEC: nonfiction programming, with hits airing now, seeks Manager/Director position at Prod. co. or Network. Most recently was Manager at a Prod. co. (LA based, but would relocate)

SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH DIRECTOR-20+ yrs media, Nielsen, Hisp, & sales experience. Let me be your “Remote RD” for competitive, one-sheets, breakouts, Nielsen probs, etc. Avail – contract basis. Email:

SITUATION WANTED: MKTG CONSULTANT/FREELANCE/NY professional w/ 15+ yrs exp sales/ mktg/sponsorship/product placement in entertainment industry & family/kid oriented universe seeks FT/PT or proj based.

SITUATION WANTED: TONY NOM. B’WAY PROD/THEATRE CONSULT/ACQUIS. & DEV./NYC 30+ yrs exp. in theatre. Superb theatre/film/TV contacts seeks FT or Consulting Position w/Studio/Prod Co. looking for properties. Contact:

SITUATION WANTED: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/NY: With extensive experience in advertising, film, , and web. Proficient with Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, MS office. Will Travel. (12/10)

SITUATION WANTED: ORIGINATIVE KIDS TV PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/EDITOR w/ 18+ yrs hands-on exp. Seeks agent & TV/new media projects. Credits: PBS Kids (Buster, Fetch!, Zoom), History, CBS, BBC. Screen reels & CV: (12/10)

SITUATION WANTED: FIELD PRODUCER/ DIRECTOR: Docusoap, Makeover, Lifestyle Infotainment,Feature Doc formats. Resonant leader, excellent director/ writer, strong storyteller and showrunner. 8+ yrs. Will travel.

SITUATION WANTED: MKTG/ADVERTISING/PROMOTIONS/NYC professional w/exp in entertainment & TV seeks opp. w/ agency/network/prod. company. Skills: Web Analytics, SEM, Event Prod., Premiums, Re-branding. Email:

SITUATION WANTED: UPFRONT FREELANCER/PROJ MGR with 15+ cable TV mktg experience. Can also help with ad sales, consumer and affil mktg related projects inc. promotions, sweeps, events, proposals, trade shows.

SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH DIRECTOR, network experience (ad sales/prog/mktg), sales estimate expert, all Nielsen software, MRI, MS suite, supervisory exp., references. Full-time or consulting.

SITUATION WANTED: ASSOC MEDIA DIRECTOR 15+ years exp. with most media. Strong overall background particularly b-2-b and retail. Agency or client side, also consider vendor-side mktg position.

SITUATION WANTED: TRAFFIC MANAGER with over 12 years exp seeks position in Radio/TV/Entertainment or traffic software in NY/NJ Area only.  

SITUATION WANTED: FILM/TV/ENT PR/NYC: Seeking F/T or Freelance opps. Write press releases/pitch to targeted print/online & brdcst media, track news clips, editorial calendar opps, build press lists w/Cision

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SITUATION WANTED: Emmy Award-winning WRITER/PRODUCER short-form animation & digital content, available for freelance writing/producing work. Reel & resume: or contact

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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT –  Friday, December 5, 2008

ABC: Movie: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas [r], 20/20
AZTECA: Camino a La Fama, Viernes Espectacular: Lonestar
CBS: Ghost Whisperer, Num3brs [r], Num3brs
CW: Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer [r], Story of Santa Claus [r]
FOX: Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Don’t Forget the Lyrics!
ION: Movie: Prey of the Jaguar [7p], Movie: Bloodknot
MNT: Friday Night Smackdown!
NBC: Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown, Lipstick Jungle, Dateline
PBS: Washington Week, Now on PBS, Bill Moyers’ Journal, Pledge Programming
TELE: Dona Barbara, El Rostro de Analia, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso
UNIV: Cuidado con el Angel, Fuego en la Sangre, La Rosa de Guadalupe

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