Friday, February 11th, 2005



The WB’s #1 Series with P12-34, P18-34 & P18-49

Ties Desperate Housewives as Primetime’s
#1 Scripted Series with F12-17!

Available exclusively from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NTI Explorer, 9/20/04–2/6/05, US Rtg. Ties Gil Girls & 7th Heav with P18-49.



Good morning. It’s Friday, February 11, 2005, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Fox again led the night on Wednesday, thanks mostly to American Idol, earning an overall 7.7/19 A18-49 in final ratings from Nielsen Media Research.  ABC was #2 for the night with a 5.4/13, followed by CBS 3.3/8, NBC 3.0/7, WB 1.7/4, UPN 1.1/3.  ABC’s Lost was well ahead of the pack at 8pm delivering a whomping 7.5/19. It’s closest competitor came from Fox which found a 4.1/11 for That 70’s Show, and a 3.9/10 for the latest rendition of The Simple Life. American Idol at 9p fairly whomped the field with a 11.4/26 demo rating, with Alias on ABC a distant #2 with a 4.5/10. With Lost and American Idol out of the mix at 10p, the whomping ended, but CSI: NY led with a 4.7/12, followed closely Wife Swap on ABC (4.2/11) and Law & Order (4.1/10).  (The test here of course was to use the word ‘whomp’ a minimum of three times, slightly different usages. Yes, it’s Friday.)

February Sweep – Week #1 among A18-49 and Total Viewers:
: Fox 11.2/28 (+180% vs. first week of Feb 04 sweep), ABC 3.5/9 (+13%), CBS 3.4/9 (-33%), NBC 3.4/9 (-28%), WB 1.4/3 (-13%), UPN 1.2/3 (-25%)
Total Viewers: Fox 27.9 million (+195% vs. first week of Feb 04 sweep), CBS 11.1 million (-30%); ABC 9.8 million (+12%), NBC 9.6 million (-20%), WB 3.5 million (-10%), UPN 3.1 million (-19%).

In what you could call a “do-over” ruling (same ruling was made in 2001), the FCC yesterday voted down 4-1 (Commissioner Martin being the lone dissent vote) the request by broadcasters that cable systems be required to carry all of the digital channels offered by local broadcast stations, in addition to the station’s primary transmission.  Broadcasters are in the process of migrating from analog to digital, and in that migration many are running simultaneous digital/analog channels, as well as providing new programming on digital channels. Some broadcasters are asking cable systems to pay to carry the extra digital channels and their additional content.  The request in front of the FCC was turned down in part because it did not adequately show the benefit to the public interest would outweigh the FCC’s stomping on the cable systems’ rights to carry what the deem best. Said FCC Chairman Michael Powell, “The record simply does not demonstrate with any strength that vital or important government interests are advanced, sufficient to justify further encroachment on the First Amendment rights of cable providers.”  As far as timing on when everyone needs to be switched from analog to cable, the current rules require broadcasters to turn off analog and transmit via digital only by the end of 2006, or (here’s the tricky part) whenever 85% of the country is able to view digital broadcasts, whichever is later.  The NAB’s Pres/CEO Edward Fritts has characterized yesterday’s ruling as “anti-consumer” and says it will continue to fight for the broadcasters, both in the courts and in Congress.  Robert Sachs, Pres/CEO of NCTA said as long as broadcasters are offering compelling programming without charging the cable systems a fee to carry it, “I think they’ll find very cooperative partners in cable operators.”

The House Subcommittee on Telecommunications has set a hearing date for February 17 to hear how technology can best serve to moving us along in the transition from analog to digital.  Congress would like very much to set a hard deadline for that transition to occur, namely the end of 2006.

In other Washington based goings-on, the FTC yesterday rejected a petition by Commercial Alert that would require television shows to individually identify every promotional product placement incident as a paid advertisement via immediate pop-ups and pre-show notices.  The FTC turned down the request because it does not believe shows are trying to take viewers down the garden path because no claims as to the product’s use or service are being made. Said FTC Associate Director for the Division of Advertising Policies, Mary Engle: “Despite the variety and frequency of product placement and brand integration into programming, your complaint does not suggest that product placement results in consumers giving more credence to objective claims about the product’s attributes.  Indeed, in product placement, few objective claims appear to be made about a product’s performance or attributes.”  Commercial Alert says it will take the matter to Congress.

Casting / Development / Production:

  • Discovery Health Channel has picked up a second season of its new series Dr. G: Medical Examiner, scheduled to kick off in third quarter 2005. The order was for 21 eps from Atlas Media.
  • Fox has ordered a pilot of Kitchen Confidential (20th/New Line TV/Darren Star Prods) about a chef working in a la di da NYC restaurant.  Based on the autobiography of Anthony Bourdain, exec chef at NYC’s Les Halles, who can also be seen on Food Network.
  • CBS cast-contingent pilot project Love Monkey (Paramount Network TV/Sony Pictures TV) has cast Thomas Cavanagh, thereby removing the contingency. Love Monkey is about four single guys in the dating/relationship process, all chronicled by a music producer – Cavanagh.
  • CBS has signed Lisa Gay Hamilton in Conviction (Warner Bros. TV/25C Prods) as an Assistant District Attorney. The premise focuses on a prosecutor building his case against the defendant.
  • Also at CBS, Reiko Aylesworth has been cast in the drama pilot in 3 Lbs. (Paramount Network TV) about three brain surgeons, of which Aylesworth is one.
  • NBC has cast Kyle Chandler in its comedy project Lies and the Wives We Tell Them To (NBC Universal) about four guys and their respective wives.
  • ABC has added Amanda Detmar to the cast of What About Brian? (Touchstone TV/Bad Robot).
  • Lifetime has decided not to go forward with Wild Cards (Fireworks Ent) for a third season, per Variety. Lifetime has ordered a pilot comedy project called The Marriage Bed, about three sisters – one single, one married, one divorced, written by Sally Robinson. No studio attached yet, negotiations continue.  Lifetime is also looking at The Look (Bunim-Murray), a behind the scenes look into the world of fashion.
  • NBC‘s 70’s NY Cop project from NBC Universal, based on real life cops Sonny Grosso and Eddie Egan (The French Connection cops), has cast Kat Foster to join Donnie Wahlberg and Bobby Cannavale.

Comcast Corp. will provide its local Dating on Demand VOD service (currently available in Philadelphia) to its national audience as of Monday, February 14.  The service originally launched locally in August and since then Comcast reports the VOD dates have been viewed approx one million times.  Comcast will make the service available at no charge to all of its VOD subscribers, to both watch the videos and/or to add your own video showcasing your singleness.  “Video on demand is changing the way people watch television, and now it’s changing the way to meet people” says Page Thompsons, VP/GM of ON DEMAND for Comcast.  “With Dating on Demand, viewers can see the ‘real’ person – how they speak, learn what they they’re interested in and what they’re looking for in a date.”  The service launches with singles profiles from Philadelphia and Chicago, with profiles from other cities coming in the next couple of months, including Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; Portland, OR; and Denver.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of January 24-30, 2005 ranked by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (King World)                  9.9 AA  
Jeopardy (King World)                           7.9 AA
Oprah (King World)                        7.7 AA / 7.8 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    7.5 AA / 9.5 GAA
Seinfeld (Sony)                            6.3 AA / 7.9 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       5.9 AA / 6.1 GAA
Judge Judy (Paramount)           5.4 AA / 8.3 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                     5.3 AA / 5.3 GAA
Inside Edition (King World)              4.0 AA / 4.0 GAA
Judge Joe Brown                   3.7 AA / 5.4 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research;
Note: Numbers for Friends are being reprocessed and were not included here.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of January 24-30, 2005 ranked by A18-49
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    4.6 AA / 5.7 GAA
Seinfeld (Sony)                            4.3 AA / 5.2 GAA
Oprah (King World)                        2.9 AA / 2.9 GAA
Wheel of Fortune (King World)                  2.7 AA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       2.4 AA / 2.5 GAA
That 70’s Show (Carsey-Werner)  2.3 AA / 2.8 GAA
Jeopardy (King World)                     2.2 AA
Malcolm/Middle (20th)                     2.2 AA / 2.6 GAA
Will & Grace (Warner Bros.)              2.1 AA / 2.5 GAA
Judge Judy (Paramount)           2.0 AA / 2.9 GAA
King of the Hill (20th)                   2.0 AA / 2.5 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research
Note: Numbers for Friends are being reprocessed and were not included here.

January 2005 Pay Channel Ranker, among A18-49
Total Day       Prime Time    
HBO         0.8          HBO           1.3
STARZ!    0.5   STARZ!      0.7
Cinemax   0.5   Cinemax     0.7
Encore     0.3           Showtime   0.6
Showtime 0.3     Encore        0.4
TMC         0.2          TMC            0.2
SOURCE: Nielsen MarketBreaks A18-49 coverage ratings, M–Su 6A–6A (total day) and M–Su 8P–11P (prime time), Dec.27, 2004–Jan. 30, 2005.

Deborah Forte, President/Scholastic Entertainment (SE) and EVP/Scholastic, announced Juliet Blake as its new SVP/Television Programming and Development for Scholastic Entertainment.  In her new position, Juliet will oversee the development and production of various Scholastic Entertainment television projects worldwide, including international co-productions and the Soup2Nuts production group in Watertown, Massachusetts. She will report directly to Ms. Forte.

Kay Burcher has been upped to Sales Services Manager at Cox Media Hampton Roads (Virginia). Kay is responsible for coordinating the efforts of Promotions, Research, and Sales Assistants in order to give Cox Media’s Hampton Roads Sales Department the greatest support.

MGM announced the appointment of Daniel Taylor as President of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., following completion of the sale of MGM to the Consortium.  The Consortium of investors is comprised of Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, DLJ Merchant Banking, Sony Corporation of America and Comcast Corporation.  MGM is currently in the process of being acquired by the Consortium for $12.00 in cash per share, plus the assumption of MGM’s approximately $2.0 billion in debt, subject to closing conditions and regulatory approval.  As President, Dan will be responsible for overseeing all operations of the independent privately-held MGM, including development and production of a smaller slate of theatrical and television product through co-financing and distribution with Sony.  Additionally, he will play a major role in leveraging the modern film library while working with Comcast to expand MGM’s reach by identifying new platform, content and channel opportunities.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005. FINAL Ratings for all Networks – program averages.  Source: Nielsen Media Research.  [p] = Premiere; [r] = Repeat

FOX     10.5/16  That 70’s Show 5.6/9, Simple Life 3  5.4/8, American Idol 15.4/23

ABC     8.1/13   Lost 11.6/18, Alias 6.7/10, Wife Swap 6.1/10

CBS     7.1/11   60 Minutes 7.0/11, King of Queens 6.0/9, King of Queens 5.6/8, CSI: NY 8.5/14

NBC     6.4/10   SI: Swimsuit Model Search [Finale] 3.8/6, West Wing 6.5/10, Law & Order 9.0/15

WB      2.3/4    Smallville 3.1/5, Jack & Bobby 1.5/2

UPN     1.7/3    Road to Stardom 2.1/3, Kevin Hill 1.4/2

A18-49  Fox 7.7/19, ABC 5.4/13, CBS 3.3/8, NBC 3.0/7, WB 1.7/4, UPN 1.1/3

Friday Fun Fact: The rings of a tree are always farther apart on the tree’s southern side. A good woodsmen can read tree rings to find the compass points.  Are you paying attention? This is important stuff!  You could need this on Survivor one day …

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1990 – Anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela freed from prison after 27 years.
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  The late Johnny Carson & Frankie Crocker made history by becoming the first television and radio hosts to have their names mentioned in a song that became rap’s first smash hit.  Name the Group, the Song and provide the Lyric.  SUGARHILL GANG’s RAPPER’S DELIGHT.  Lyric:  I like Johnny Carson on the late show, I like Frankie Crocker in stereo …”  Kudos to:  Jonathan Bokor-ABC Enhanced TV/NY; Karen Neal-TNT/Atlanta; Troy Bynum-MTV Networks/NY; Maralynn Montes-Wall Street Journal Radio Network/NY; Kenny Mueller-Comcast Spotlight/Dallas; Chris Coffee-KLFY/Lafayette; Nicky Skubal-Charter Media/Minnesota; Daniel Radman-Starlink Worldwide/Chicago; Andrew Wainrib-KCW Prods/Malibu; Rose Pacatte-Pauline Center for Media Studies/Culver City; Robert Ward-Ward Comm/LA; Jeff Ratner-Kajan Mather & Barish/Beverly Hills.


Court TV’s Valentine’s Tip of the Day

“Love is all about sharing.”

Share your hopes, share your dreams, and above all, share the remote.

A new episode of Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege and Justice tonight at 10.
Only on Court TV: The Investigation Channel.

See for details.

Today’s Trivia Question: In an episode of I Dream of Jeannie, the cast travels to Hollywood.  While there, they run into a handful of cast members from another hit primetime series.  Was it Adam-12, Bonanza, Get Smart or Laugh-In?  (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.)

Later — Cyn

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Job code#5465BR (2/15)

JOB OPENING:  SALES ASSISTANT/Galavision, NY. Detail-oriented, exc comm/math/MS Office skills; to asst Sales Team w/presentation prep/reports/clerical work. Spanish speaking highly pref/not req’d. Resume:

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JOB OPENING:  MEDIA RESEARCH ANALYST/Univision, NY. Develop/maintain inventory, estimates, viewing trends & presentations with NSI/NHSI ratings for Spot Sales. Detail oriented, analytical. Email:

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EOE   (2/12)

JOB OPENING:  COORD, PROGRAMMING & SCHEDULING, Oxygen/NY Sched and maintain prgrm database & assist w/ all sched needs. Strng writ/oral skills, TV knwldge, detail oriented, & cable prgmg exp. Gabriel a+. Apply:
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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT: FEBRUARY 11, 2005:  February sweep 2/3/05 – 3/2/05

ABC              8 Simple Rules, 8 Simple Rules, Hope & Faith, Less Than Perfect, 20/20
CBS              Joan of Arcadia, JAG, NUMB3RS
FOX              Bernie Mac, Bernie Mac, Johnny Zero
NBC              Dateline, Third Watch, Medical Investigation
PAX              America’s Talented E/I, MGM Movie: The Waterdance
UPN              Star Trek Enterprise, Road to Stardom
WB               What I Like About You, Reba, Reba, Blue Collar TV
TELE             La Mujer en el Espejo, Gitanas, Te Voy a Ensenar a Querer
UNIV             Rubi, Amor Real, La Verdad de Mi Verdad (OTO)


Because some Voices are meant to be heard.
The History Channel salutes the people and events that gave African Americans a voice in our nation’s history.
Ordinary people with extraordinary stories share their memories
of the civil rights era.
Saturday night 8pm/7c
Click here for more

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