Friday, February 20th, 2004





Good morning. It’s Friday, February 20, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing. 

Fox again takes Wednesday night with an overall 6.4/16 A18-49 rating according to Nielsen Media Research national numbers.  NBC and ABC were in a virtual tie with 4.3/11 vs. 4.2/11, followed by CBS 3.2/8, WB 2.2/5 and UPN 1.4/4.  At 8pm Fox led the hour beginning with That 70’s Show posting a 5.9/17, and followed with American Idol’s 9.6/25 (11.2/30 among W18-34). ABC was the closest competitor at 8pm with a 3.2/9 for the hour, NBC 3.0/8 and CBS 2.8/7.  At 9p Fox held it’s lead in a direct tie with ABC, each net earning a 5.1/12 for the hour.  CBS delivered a 4.4/11 for King of Queens and a repeat of Raymond; while NBC’s West Wing earned a 3.6/9. WB’s Angel, the show that has not been picked up for another season, earned a 2.0/5 in the A18-49 demo, and a 6 share in each of the young adult and 18-34 demo categories.  At 10p the tide shifted to NBC with Law & Order’s 6.2/16, followed by the finale of Celebrity Mole 4.4/12.

New in Development and Casting:

  • Fox‘s blended family dramedy pilot has cast Taylor Korsak cast as Candace in  in One Big Happy (20th).
  • NBC has ordered a pilot for a reality sitcom which will star Jason Davis, the grandson of billionaire Marvin Davis, from Superdelicious Prods and Schulhof-Zuriff Prods, according to Variety.  The show will take Grandson Davis to Las Vegas where he will attempt to prove that he too has the metal to be a billionaire.  With dreams of owning his own hotels and casinos some day, this 20 year old takes his first step by interning at a casino, and attempting to successfully master all manner of hotel/casino tasks.  From the sounds of it, he’s something of a Paris Hilton when it comes to managing work in an efficient manner.  Elsewhere in NBC casting news, Colin Ferguson has been tapped to play the role of the store manager in NBC’s sitcom pilot Home & Hardware (NBC Studios), joining fellow cast members Allyson Hannigan, Eric Christian Olsen and Katherine Waterston.
  • UPN has ordered up two pilots, both sitcoms, says Variety.  The first, as yet untitled, will star the Latino singing group Soluna (HBO Prods/dePasse Ent), is about an up and coming musical group. The second project is titled Me Me Me (Cosmic Ent/20th) is based in part on the book I Do, I Did, Now What? by Jenny Lee, and is about two NYC friends whose lives revolve entirely around themselves.
  • ABC has signed Justin Chambers to star in its upcoming drama pilot The Secret Service (Touchstone TV), which also stars Sarah Wayne Callies, Shane Brolly, and Shohreh Aghdashloo

Food Network has picked up the US format rights to Iron Chef and expects to have Iron Chef America ready for air this spring. Among the US Iron Chefs will be Wolfgang Puck and Bobby Flay (naturally, he’s been down this road before).  Also coming to Food, a two year initiative that hopes to inspire parents to cook with their children – Cooking With Kids.  The initiative is also set to launch this spring with Emeril Lagasse in front.

Coming to a Charter Communications cable system near you, is, finally,  ESPN with all of its spin off nets.  ESPN and Charter announced a long term distribution deal for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNews, and the launch of ESPN Broadband, ESPN Desportes and ESPN HD.  Additional terms were not disclosed.  In a separate announcement, ESPN has signed a long term distribution deal with Cox Communications, also including all of ESPN’s various networks and services.

I guess if you’re ABC or Regis, you gotta hope the viewers for Super Millionaire aren’t the same ones that are planning to watch the final installment of S*x an the City at 9pm on Sunday night.   Or for that matter are fans of CSI Miami on Monday, Law & Order SVU on Tuesday, Without a Trace or ER on Thursday, and possibly Third Watch on Friday.  And I guess you gotta hope that the younger viewers who watched it before at 8pm, aren’t that important to driving the older viewers to watch it this time at 10p.  It’s all like hoping you win ten million dollars.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of Feb 2-8, 2003 ranked by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (King World)                 9.9 AA  
Jeopardy (King World)                   8.1 AA
Oprah (King World)                      8.1 AA / 8.2 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       6.9 AA / 7.1 GAA
Seinfeld (Sony)                         6.5 AA / 8.0 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  6.4 AA / 7.9 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    5.8 AA / 6.6 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                   5.6 AA / 5.6 GAA
Judge Judy (Paramount)          5.2 AA / 7.6 GAA
Inside Edition (King World)                         4.5 AA / 4.6 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of Feb 2-8, 2003 ranked by A18-49
Seinfeld (Sony)                         4.5 AA / 5.5 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  4.5 AA / 5.4 GAA
Oprah (King World)                      3.3 AA / 3.4 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    3.2 AA / 3.5 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       3.1 AA / 3.1 GAA
Wheel of Fortune (King World)           3.0 AA
That 70’s Show (Carsey-Werner)  2.8 AA / 3.5 GAA
Will & Grace (Warner Bros.)             2.3 AA / 2.6 GAA
Jeopardy (King World)                   2.2 AA
Judger Judy (Paramount)                           2.1 AA / 2.9 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                                   2.1 AA / 2.1 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research

MTV will launch the third season of Making the Band 2 on Thursday, March 4 at 10, following the band members of Da Band as they try to take the band to the next level under the close direction of P. Diddy. If you need to catch up first, the previous eps will be shows in marathon style the Sunday prior beginning at 1p.

Top 5 Broadcast Spanish Language Primetime Programs for the week of Feb 9-15, 2003
UNIV    Velo De Novia    (Thu 8p)           23.8 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Velo De Novia    (Tue 8p)           23.6 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Velo De Novia    (Wed 8p)           22.8 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Velo De Novia    (Mon 8p)           22.4 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Velo De Novia    (Fri 8p)           21.8 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 12,870,000 households.  Here are the rankings for the week of  Feb 9-15, 2003 – highest rated primetime network programs in African American TV homes according to Nielsen Media Research
FOX     American Idol (Tue)                                20.7 HH Rtg / 3.8m Total Viewers 2+
UPN     Girlfriends (Mon 9p)                                19.1 HH Rtg / 2.5m Total Viewers 2+
UPN     Half & Half (Mon 930p)                            17.4 HH Rtg / 2.97m Total Viewers 2+
UPN     America’s Next Top Model (Tue 9p)       17.3 HH Rtg / 3.0m Total Viewers 2+
UPN     Eve (Mon 830p)                                       17.3 HH Rtg / 2.9m Total Viewers 2+
FOX     American Idol  (Wed)                             15.8 HH Rtg / 3.2m Total Viewers 2+
UPN     All of Us (Tue 830p)                                14.7 HH Rtg / 2.6m Total Viewers 2+
ABC     My Wife & Kids (Wed 8p)                       14.4 HH Rtg / 2.5m Total Viewers 2+
UPN     The Parkers (Mon 8p)                             14.4 HH Rtg / 2.4m Total Viewers 2+
CBS     CSI (Thu 9p)                                           14.0 HH Rtg / 2.5m Total Viewers 2+
Source Nielsen Media Research

Bill Moyers is leaving PBS.  Leaving his show, Now, and his 30-years in TV news after the November election, to write that books he’s been thinking about for so many years, about Lyndon B. Johnson.  Moyers served with Johnson before he became President, and then during half of his presidency.

ClarificationGemstar is in search of a President for TVG (TV Games Network), not the TV Guide Channel.

Heather Vincent joins BET as Executive Producer of BET Nightly News.  The announcement was made by Nina Henderson Moore, BET EVP/News, Public Affairs and Programming Acquisitions; and John Frazee, SVP/News Services, CBS News.  Heather’s will be responsible for weekday evening news program anchored by Jacque Reid, which is headquartered at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York, with a news bureau in Washington. 

Max Kellerman is migrating from ESPN over to Fox Sports Net, where he’ll host a daily 30m talk show, scheduled to launch in April.  Kellerman’s show will be based in NYC, the first of the Fox Sports Nets programs to produce out of New York.

This is the kind of news that could ruin your entire day. That painting you just spent $41.7 million on?  Fake.  Yep, that’s what the experts are saying about the Raphael painting recently purchased by Britain’s National Gallery, called Madonna of the Pinks.  According to the art expert who inspected the painting, James Beck, Professor of Art History at Columbia University in New York and the President of ArtWatch International, the Gallery never examined the painting.  Go back a few years to 1991 – the curator for the Gallery checked the painting, long thought to be a forgery, and announced it a “rediscovered masterpiece.”  The Gallery had more than a couple dozen experts examine the painting, and 25 confirmed it to be an original.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004. Fast Affiliate Ratings for all Networks. Fast affiliate numbers which reflect time period data, not program data, and can change slightly once the finals come in, particularly for LIVE programming (i.e. Football). Source Nielsen Media Research. Time Period Averages Only. [p] = Premiere; [o] = Original; [r] = Repeat

FOX     8.5/13  That 70’s Show 7.3/12, American Idol 12.4/19, The O.C. 7.1/11

NBC     8.2/13  The Apprentice [r] 5.1/8, The West Wing 7.7/12, Law & Order 11.9/19

CBS     7.5/12  60 Minutes II 8.0/13, King of Queens 8.5/13, Everybody Loves Raymond [r] (OTO) 8.8/13, 48 Hours Investigates 5.8/10

ABC     6.3/10  My Wife & Kids 6.3/10, It’s All Relative 4.7/7, The Bachelorette 7.6/11, Celebrity Mole: Yucatan [finale] 5.9/10

WB      3.4/5   Smallville 3.8/6, Angel 3.0/5

UPN     2.3/4   Enterprise 2.4/4, Top Model [r] 2.1/3

A18-49  Fox 6.4/16, NBC 4.3/11, ABC 4.2/11, CBS 3.2/8, WB 2.2/5, UPN 1.4/4


Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution
Congratulates all of our SAG Awards nominees!

Sean Penn – Leading Role
Tim Robbins – Supporting Role
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Ken Watanabe – Supporting Role

Anthony LaPaglia – Drama Series
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Martin Sheen – Drama Series
Stockard Channing – Drama Series
Allison Janney – Drama Series
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Treat Williams – Drama Series

Friday Fun Fact:  The 1997 Jack Nicholson film As Good As It Gets is known in China as “Mr. Cat Poop.”

The History Channel presents This Day in History: 
1962 – John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth, completing his mission by setting down in the Atlantic Ocean.

Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question:  What happens if you take Absorbitron?  According to an early episode of Dick Van Dyke which eventually led to a bizarre Walnut dream, Absorbitron will cause you to LOSE BOTH YOUR THUMBS AND YOUR IMAGINATION.  Kudos to:  Jodi Mayer-NBC Cable Networks/New Jersey; Mike Whelan-Adam Young/NY; Joel January-Push Creative/NY; Paul Cedrone-Mediacom/NY; Les Stipp-GSD&M/Chicago; Pam Massey-GSD&M/Austin; Robert Ray-HDNet/Houston; Darbi Mahan-KLRT KASN/Little Rock; Christine Oakley-PHD/LA; Jesse Dienstag-Hall & Partners/LA; Sam Linsky-TNT/Burbank; Terry Quan/South Pasadena; Stephen Paniccia-Amaze Film & Television/Toronto; Peter Koll-Global Television/Toronto.

Today’s Trivia Question:  What well known primetime television star said the best way to a successful television show was: “Open big, have a good comedy set, put in something for children and keep the show clean.”? (
to respond to the trivia question and please be sure to include with your answer your name, company, city and time zone. Only the second four correct responses from each time zone will be listed in tomorrow’s kudo list.)

Later — Cyn

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis
02/20/04  5:28am
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The Investigation Channel
Source:  2003 Simmons Spring Full Year Study.  Indexed to Total US.  Networks with 50+MM subs included.

COURT TV:       Forensic Fridays
ABC             George Lopez, Married to the Kellys, Hope & Faith, Life with Bonnie, 20/20
CBS             Joan of Arcadia, JAG, Without a Trace (OTO)[r]
FOX             The Great American Celebrity Spelling Bee (pt 2); Man vs. Beast #2 (OTO)
NBC             Dateline, Third Watch
PAX             MGM Night at the Movies: Stanley & Iris, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             Movie: Chill Factor
WB              Reba, What I Like About You, Grounded for Life
TELE            Amor Descardo, El Alma Herida, Mujeres Apasionadas
UNIV            Velo de Novia, Bajo la  Misma Piel, Casos de la Vida Real

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