Friday, February 13th, 2009


Disney XD is Here!

The wait is over – Disney XD launches TODAY!
Disney XD’s first original live action series, Aaron Stone, premieres tonight.

Disney XD is a multi-platform entertainment brand for Kids 6-14, boy-focused; girl-inclusive.  It’s where kids have fun challenging themselves and discovering their strengths.

On TV. Online. Everywhere.



Good morning. It’s Friday, February 13, 2009, and this is your first early morning briefing.  

Tonight’s Premieres:
AMC: StoryMakers at 8p
FOX: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles at 8p; Dollhouse at 901p

Saturday’s Premiere:
Fox Reality Channel: Battle of the Bods at 10p

Sunday’s Premieres:
CBS: The Amazing Race 14 at 8p
FUEL TV: Fuel TV Presents Camp Woodward at 830p
HBO: Eastbound & Down at 1030p

The FCC granted 368 television stations the ability to make the analog-to-digital switch as planned next Tuesday. A total of 491 stations asked the FCC if they could proceed and the remaining 123 stations will not be allowed to transition until certain conditions are realized. One requirement includes having someone in the market staying on the analog system for 60 days after February 17 with local news, public affairs, DTV and emergency information, all referred to by the FCC as “enhanced nightlight” service. The FCC has other stipulations for those 123 stations and they have until 6p today to comply with the conditions. Out of the 368 stations approved to move forward, 100 said they will continue running their analog transmitters for about two weeks past February 17 for DTV and emergency information.


Wolverine and the X-Men is the BIGGEST series premiere on Nicktoons Network ever!

  • Slashing the competition – Fri. 8p premieres have outperformed Toon Disney by +31% with B6-11.
  • Wolverine was extra sharp on Nickelodeon – #1 in its timeslot on cable with B9-14 and P2+!

Source: The Nielsen Company 1.NKTNS, K6-11, 9/24/04-2/12/09, LSD CVG AA%, Ori. Prem. 2.NKTNS Prog Avg vs TDSNY TP, 1/23-2/8, F 8-830P, LSD CVG AA% 3. Nick vs Ad Supp Cable, 1/24/09, Su 2-3P, LSD AA (000)


FX opens the 22-episode fifth season of Rescue Me, headlined by Denis Leary, on April 7 at 10p. On top of debuting a new season, the network ordered a sixth season of Rescue Me from Sony Pictures Television. Additionally, Leary will hit the road with The Rescue Me Comedy Tour stopping in eleven cities for a live comedy show featuring Leary, other comedians and Rescue Me co-stars Adam Ferrara and Lenny Clarke. The live comedy show on April 2 at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall will also screen the first episode of season five as a benefit for The Leary Firefighters Foundation. Ticket information through the Foundation can be found at or 212-343-0240. A full comedy tour schedule is also available at denisleary .com.

National Geographic Channels International will debut the new series By Any Means on Nat Geo Adventures later this month. The six-episode series is co-produced by Big Earth productions, based in the U.K. and is a travelogue following Brit actor/adventurer Charley Boorman as he traverses from Ireland to Australia using a variety of transportation modes.

USA Network canceled The Starter Wife starring Debra Messing, per Entertainment Weekly, who reports the reason is poor ratings.  The original six-hour miniseries in 2007 attracted around 5 million viewers yet paced much lower at 2.4 million viewers during its second season last fall.

Comedy Central’s premiere of Important Things with Demetri Martin on Wednesday at 1030p posted a 1.5 rating among A18-49 viewers, a 3.6 rating/1 million viewers with M18-34 and a 6.6 rating/800,000 viewers with M18-24 as well as 2.4 million total viewers.

MIP TV Program Call: If your company will be attending and showcasing programming at MIP TV 2009 in Cannes, France, at the end of next month, Cynopsis will send out a special MIP TV Shopping Guide edition the Wednesday before the conference. To have your programming included, please send only the following info for your top 5 shows: title, availability date, number of episodes, length, type (i.e., movie, series, special, etc.), genre, your terms (barter, cash, etc.) and names and contact info of those attending from your company. If your company is interested in being included in this free guide, please send the details to
by Friday, March 20, 2009.


CBS College Sports Network HD is available now via Time Warner Cable in New York City on TWC’s Sports Tier. College Sports Network, featuring men’s and women’s college sports, original programs, live studio shows and documentaries, has a reach of nearly 84 million U.S. homes.


Tony Reynolds and his production company Reynolds Sports and Entertainment Television (RESET) formed a distribution deal with sports cable network VERSUS to produce Xtreme Monster Mashups. The 20-episode weekly half-hour reality series will roll out March 18, showcasing extreme sports feats caught on video and viewers will vote on their favorites.

New Pilot Pick-Ups:

  • ABC added several more comedy pilots to its slate:

    • One features Cedric the Entertainer called The Law (wt). Cedric also executive produces the single-camera pilot about weekend cops working for the LAPD. ABC Studios and DreamWorks TV will produce; along with Cedric the pilot is executive produced by Bob Fisher (who also wrote the script), Charles Segars, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey.
    • ABC gave a cast-contingent presentation order for Planet Lucy based on the book Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill about a professional career woman who exchanges that lifestyle to be a stay-at-home mom. Sony Pictures TV and ABC Studios will produce; Gabby Allan wrote the script and is executive producing with Jamie Tarses.
    • Next, ABC handed a showrunner-contingent order for Canned, a multi-camera ensemble comedy about friends who were all fired from their jobs on the same day. Kevin Etten penned the script and is executive producing with Peter Traugott; ABC Studios and Brillstein Entertainment Partners will produce.
    • ABC okayed a presentation order for an untitled project with Christian comedian Anita Renfroe from Sony Pictures TV and Tantamount. The multi-camera project has a parenting theme based on the notion family comes first at any cost. Robert Hanning and Amy Welsh wrote the script and are executive producing with Mitch Hurwitz, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum.
    • ABC also gave a nod to Cougartown starring Courtney Cox as a 40-year old newly single mom with a 17-year old son. The project is from ABC Studios and creator Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel.
    • And lastly, ABC approved the Kelsey Grammer/Tucker Cawley multi-camera comedy with Grammer in the lead as a Wall Street big wig losing his job and trying to reconnect with his family. Warner Bros. TV and Tom Werner’s Good Humor TV produces.
  • CBS took charge of two more drama pilots:

    • The first is a medical program called Eastmans about a family of doctors from Warner Bros. TV. Margaret Nagel wrote the script and will also executive produce. This is the third medical drama pilot for CBS this pilot season.
    • Confessions of a Contractor from Twentieth TV is based on a book of the same name by Richard Murphy about thriving contractors in Los Angeles. Murphy wrote the pilot and will co-executive produce with Jeff Okin and Paul Green; Shawn Ryan will executive produce.
  • FOX gained Cop Town, a comedy pilot from writer Adam Resnick (The Larry Sanders Show) and Twentieth Television. The single-camera pilot is set at a halfway house for disturbed cops. Resnick will executive produce with Marty Adelstein and Michael Thorn.

CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  The Federal Trade Commission issued a strongly-worded report detailing its ongoing examination of online behavioral advertising practices as a last chance olive branch to encourage the industry to step up and insure the protection of users’ privacy. The report sets forth four revised principles: Transparency and Consumer Control; Reasonable Security, and Limited Data Retention for Consumer Data; Affirmative Express Consent for Material Changes to Existing Privacy Promises; and Affirmative Express Consent to (or Prohibition Against) Using Sensitive Data for Behavioral Advertising. A cross section of interactive advertising trade groups quickly formed a task force to respond to the FTC’s challenge: The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) also joined the effort.   Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  Animation house Copernicus Studios partners with Ireland-based Kavaleer Productions to co-produce the new 2D animated series Garth and Bev (52×11), which is targeted to k4-7.  Created by Kavaleer founder, Andrew Kavanagh, Garth and Bev is set to air in March 2010 on BBC UK/Cbeebies and in September 2009 on RTE (Ireland).  The series is being distributed by BBC Worldwide and Picture Box for Canada.  The show follows the adventures of Garth and his sister Bev, who live back in the Bronze Age with their Druid Grandfather Lir, as travel through time learning about science and invention and meeting the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Einstein, while teaching these greats a thing or two as well.  The creators are attending KidScreen Summit this week looking to make additional Canadian presales as well as licensing and publishing opportunities. Full edition: CYN KIDS.


Top 5 Daytime Programs among W18-49 ranked by rating for week of February 2, 2009:
CBS    The Young & the Restless       1.8/1.20 million
ABC    The View                             1.6/1.08 million
ABC    General Hospital                    1.6/1.03 million
NBC    Days of Our Lives                  1.4/927,000
CBS    The Bold and the Beautiful      1.2/827,000
ABC    All My Children                      1.2/788,000
ABC    One Life to Live                     1.2/779,000
Source: NTI, Live + Same Day:  Week of 2/2/09. All ranks based on rating unless otherwise noted All percent changes based on 000s).

Wednesday – A18-49 Analysis:  FOX ushered in a ratings surge Wednesday night at 9.5/23 A18-49, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. At 8p, FOX’s American Idol posted a #1 rating at 9.1/24 that was three times greater than the next nearest competitor: UNIV’s Eternos Rivales at 3.1/9. The second half of FOX’s American Idol did even better through 9p at 9.9/23 well ahead of ABC’s Lost at 4.4/10. CBS won the 10p hour with CSI: NY at 3.1/8 followed by UNIV’s Fuego en la Sangre at 2.4/6.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Wednesday, February 11, 2009 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

FOX: 14.0/22      American Idol 14.0/22

CBS: 6.6/10          Old Christine 4.2/7, Gary Unmarried 4.2/6, Criminal Minds 8.0/12, CSI: NY 7.6/13

ABC: 3.9/6           Lost [r] 2.9/5, Lost 5.7/9, Life on Mars 3.0/5

NBC: 3.9/6           Knight Rider 3.5/5, Life 3.2/5, Law & Order 5.0/8

UNIV: 2.6/4         Eternos Rivales: USA vs. Mexico 2.6/4 [7p start], Cuidado con el Angel 2.4/4, Fuego en la Sangre 2.6/4

CW: 0.7/1           Privileged [r] 0.7/1, 90210 [r] 0.6/1

TELE: 0.7/1         Dona Barbara 0.7/1, El Rostro de Analia W 0.7/1, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso 0.8/1, Cartel W 0.6/1

MNT: 0.5/1          World’s Funniest Moments [r] 0.7/1, Under One Roof [r] 0.3/0, Under One Roof 2 [r] 0.3/1

A18-49: FOX 9.5/23, CBS 2.7/7, UNIV 2.6/7, ABC 2.6/6, NBC 1.6/4, TELE 0.5/1, CW 0.4/1, MNT 0.3/1



Correction:   Yesterday’s edition erroneously stated that Jon Mandel’s first name was Joe.  It’s not.  It’s never been, and as best as we can tell, never will be.  Our apologies, Jon.

Maryam Banikarim resigned as CMO with Univision Communications Inc., with February 11 being her last day, per Multichannel News. Univision said her position will not be filled. Maryam joined the Spanish-language media company in 2002 and she supervised marketing initiatives across Univision’s properties including television, radio and online.

MTV Networks Latin America elevated Tatiana Rodriguez to SVP/Programming and Creative Strategy for Nickelodeon Latin America. Tatiana will continue to supervise the operations and programming for the network, working together with production, creative and international teams as well as ad sales.

Kari Jacobs is the new LSM with Cox Media Hampton Roads where she will manage one of the local sales teams.

Independent film/DVD production company Paragon Pictures established its own in-house distribution division called Osiris Entertainment charged with selling Paragon’s roster of feature films and those from other independent producers to broadcast entities globally and the home entertainment market. In making this move, Heidi Meier was tapped as VP/Distribution for Osiris Entertainment to oversee the sales and marketing functions.

Vince Casillas was recruited as Partner to supervise Balsera Communications’ new Washington, D.C. office. Most recently, Vince was the national Hispanic press secretary for the Obama campaign.

Friday Fun Fact:  In the middle ages, people would pin the name of their sweetheart to their sleeve on Valentine’s Day and keep it there for a week, hence “wearing your heart on your sleeve.”

This day in History:  1961 – Frank Sinatra unveiled his own recording label, Reprise

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:   On the series The King of Queens, Gary Valentine plays Danny Heffernan, Doug’s cousin. What is their real-life relation?  BROTHERS Kudos to: Michael McVehil-AMNS/Stamford, CT; Kristin Wendell-The Tyra Banks Show/NY; Rachael Guadagno-Nickelodeon/NY; Crystal Schuy-A&E Television Networks/NY; Rachelle Graham-Continental Television Sales/Chicago; Steve Krone-MMT/Chicago; TJ Szymczak-YPM, Inc./Irvine, CA; Sandy Archila-Disney Television Group/Burbank; Janet Daily-Daily Planet Productions/L A; Tony Munoz-CBS Studio Center/Studio City, CA; Malcolm Dunlop-Rogers Broadcasting Limited/Toronto

Today’s Trivia Question: In the romantic comedy, You’ve Got Mail, what were the two screen names that Kathleen (Meg Ryan) and Joe (Tom Hanks) used when communicating with each other on line?   (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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ABC: Wife Swap, Supernanny, 20/20
AZTECA: Lo Que Callamos Las Mujeres Edicion Especial, Extranormal de Impacto, Al Extemo
CBS: Ghost Whisperer, Flashpoint, Numb3rs
CW: Everybody Hates Chris [r], The Game [r], 13-Fear is Real
FOX: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles [p ], Dollhouse [p ]
ION: Movie: Soldier [7p], Soldier [9p]
MNT: WWE Smackdown
NBC: Howie Do It, Howie Do It [r], Friday Night Lights, Dateline
PBS: Washington Week, Now on PBS, Bill Moyers’ Journal, PBS Preview We Shall Remain: American Experience
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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