Friday, January 30th, 2004





Good morning. It’s Friday, January 30, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing. 

Once again, the power of American Idol continued on Wednesday night with Fox posting a 7.9/19 A18-49 rating for the night according to Nielsen Media Research.  ABC was second overall with a 3.8/10, followed by NBC 3.3/9, CBS 2.9/8, WB 2.1/5, UPN 1.1/3.  At 8pm AI posted a stomping 11.9/31, a 15.4/42 among W18-34 and a 7.7/26 among M18-34. ABC and NBC tied,each with a 7 share, followed by CBS and WB each with a 5 share, UPN a 2 share.  At 9p ABC jumped ahead with The Bachelorette delivering a 5.0/12, just two share pts ahead of CBS’ sitcom combo (3.9/10). Fox’s The O.C. earned a 3.3/8. At 10p NBC led with a repeat of Law & Order (4.9/14) followed by ABC’s Celebrity Mole (3.7/10) and CBS’ 48 Hours (2.7/7).

NBC has renewed both Las Vegas and American Dreams for next season, giving both a 22 ep order.  It will be Las Vegas second season and American Dreams’ third. Las Vegas has averaged a 4.6/11 season to date in the A18-49 demo, American Dreams 3.2/8.

And with all good news, comes the bad – ABC has officially put Karen Sisco (Jersey TV / Universal) out of its misery. The show has been on hiatus since November after airing seven times and was scheduled to return at the end of this season.  In fact, production for the final three eps was to begin next week, but after reviewing scripts for the final three, ABC chose instead to cut its loses. 

Showtime has ordered up a second season its newest drama series, The L Word, tho it debuted less than two weeks ago. While the network makes it a practice not to discuss ratings, they have said the reason for the quick pickup, the network’s quickest, was the show managed to quadruple the time period ratings in its first two outings.  Production for season #2 begins in June.

Coming to Discovery Channel this June is a new reality series called Big, wherein a team of builders build big versions of everyday simple items, i.e., a light bulb. The show is scheduled to air on Tuesdays at 9p.  Elsewhere at Discovery are numerous other reality shows in development according to Hollywood Reporter, many getting short tests on Friday nights within the net’s American Family block, all under the net slogan: entertain your brain.

In Development:

  • ABC has ordered two sitcom pilots –  one with Caroline Rhea called Plan B (Universal Network TV), and the other titled We are Family (Touchstone) about an estranged father and son who find common ground when both men become fathers to newborns at about the same time. ABC has also picked up an as yet untitled drama pilot about a group of medical residents in surgical training.
  • CBS has ordered three pilots – Wanted (25C Prods/Warner Bros. TV) is billed as a suspense thriller/crime drama set in the LAPD, Dr. Vegas (Warner Bros. TV/CBS Prods) is a drama set in a casino around the hotel doctor, and Sudbury (Warner Bros. TV) is about a family of witches and has Sandra Bullock on board as exec prod.
  • WB has given a put pilot commitment to sitcom Commando Nanny (Warner Bros. TV), exec prod by Mark Burnett which is semi autobiographical about a point in Burnett’s life when he was fresh out of the British army, and working as a nanny in Beverly Hills.
  • Bravo has ordered a pilot of Vin Di Bona’s latest reality show, Straight Dates by Gay Mates wherein two gay men assist a woman in finding just the right date(s), according to her specifications., according to Variety.  The gay mates also help her prepare for her date and at the conclusion of each episode, she decides if she would like to continue dating the chosen guys.  The show is based  on an UK format acquired by Di Bona from Prospect Pictures.

While actor Carmine Caridi may have escaped criminal charges for his part in the internet distribution of AMPAS screeners, he did not escape legal problems.  Warner Bros. and Sony have both filed lawsuits against the 70 year old actor. Warner Bros. suit was filed on Wednesday in the US District Court in Los Angeles and alleges Caridi along with 10 unnamed additional defendants, plotted to distribute digital copes of the movie screeners over the internet.  Similar allegations were made by Sony in their law suit.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of Jan 12-18, 2003 ranked by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (King World)           9.9 AA  
Jeopardy (King World)                   7.8 AA
Oprah (King World)                      7.3 AA / 7.4 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  6.6 AA / 8.0 GAA
Seinfeld (Sony)                         6.5 AA / 8.1 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    6.0 AA / 6.8 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       6.0 AA / 6.1 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                   5.1 AA / 5.1 GAA
Judge Judy (Paramount)          5.3 AA / 7.2 GAA
That 70’s Show (Carsey Werner)              4.3 AA / 5.6 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of Jan 12-18, 2003 ranked by A18-49
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  4.7 AA / 5.6 GAA
Seinfeld (Sony)                         4.5 AA / 5.6 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    3.5 AA / 3.9 GAA
Wheel of Fortune (King World)           3.0 AA
Oprah (King World)                      2.9 AA / 3.0 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       2.8 AA / 2.9 GAA
That 70’s Show (Carsey-Werner)  2.8 AA / 3.6 GAA
Will & Grace (Warner Bros.)             2.3 AA / 2.6 GAA
Jeopardy (King World)                   2.2 AA
Home Improvement (BVT)                          2.1 AA / 2.6 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research

After ten months of trying to negotiate a new agreement, Pixar is ending its discussions with Disney to extend their existing five-picture deal, and Pixar will begin dialogs with other studios to distribute its films beginning 2006.  The two Pixar pictures remaining as part of the Disney deal, The Incredibles and Cars are slated for release in 2004 and 2005 respectively.  Pixar has been clear that moving forward it intends to manage its own projects, which is contrary to the existing agreement in which “Disney will retain the rights to distribute Pixar’s first seven films, with Pixar continuing to receive its current share of the profits in perpetuity, and Disney will have the rights to solely finance and produce sequels to the films if Pixar declines to co-finance and produce them under the terms of the current agreement.”

Jennifer Lopez’s Nuyorican Prods has picked up the US rights to Distraction Format’s Le Grand Tralala, a variety show currently airing abroad. Lopez came across the show when she appeared on it on France2.  It is a live variety show, wherein the host is not given any idea who the evening’s guests will be. The show will be pitched to US networks in the weeks ahead.

At the center of a legal dispute between Telemundo and Televista is Mexican actor Maurico Islas whom Telemundo has hired to come to Miami and star in La Prisoniera, an upcoming primetime novela, according to Variety.  Televista on the other hand says Islas is under contract to them until 2007, and Telemundo acted illegally when it offered to pay the $900,000 penalty fee that would be levied against Islas in the event he broke his contract. A federal judge ruled in favor of Telemundo, tho Televista says they will appeal.

Top 5 Broadcast Spanish Language Primetime Programs for the week of Jan 19-25, 2003
UNIV    Velo De Novia   (Fri 8p)           21.5 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Velo De Novia    (Thu 8p)           21.5 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Velo De Novia    (Mon 8p)           21.4 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Velo De Novia    (Wed 8p)           21.1 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Amar Otra Vez (Fri 7p)            20.1 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  Jan 19-25, 2003 – highest rated primetime network programs in African American TV homes according to Nielsen Media Research
FOX     American Idol  (Wed)                         24.1 HH Rtg / 3.1m Total Viewers 2+
FOX     American Idol  (Mon)                          23.7 HH Rtg / 3.1m Total Viewers 2+
FOX     American Idol  (Tue)                          19.8 HH Rtg / 2.6m Total Viewers 2+
FOX     My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance (Mon) 15.1 HH Rtg / 1.9m Total Viewers 2+
CBS     CSI (Thu 9p)                                      14.0 HH Rtg / 1.8m Total Viewers 2+
UPN     Half & Half (Mon 930p)                      13.3 HH Rtg / 1.7m Total Viewers 2+
UPN     Girlfriends (Mon 9p)                           13.2 HH Rtg / 1.7m Total Viewers 2+
UPN     Top Model (Tue 9p)                           13.0 HH Rtg / 1.6m Total Viewers 2+
CBS     Without a Trace (Tue 10p)                11.3 HH Rtg / 1.5m Total Viewers 2+
ABC     My Wife and Kids (Wed 8p)              11.2 HH Rtg / 1.4m Total Viewers 2+
Source Nielsen Media Research

Frank Detillio has been named VP/GM of Viacom owned WTOG/Tampa, a UPN affiliate. Frank will replace Mike Conway who is retiring at the end of this month.  Frank makes the move to Tampa from WBMA/Birmingham.

Discovery Health channel’s SVP/GM Bob Reid will step down, though his working relationship with Discovery may move into a production deal opportunity. Acting as interim GM will be Eileen O’Neill, VP/Programming.

Wednesday, January 28, 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     10.6/16  American Idol 15.8/24, The O.C. 5.4/8

CBS     7.3/11  60 Minutes II 6.9/10, The King of Queens [r] 8.3/12, Becker 7.9/12, 48 Hours Investigates 6.9/12

NBC     6.6/10  The Apprentice [r] 4.6/7, West Wing [r] 5.3/8, Law & Order [r] 9.9/17

ABC     6.0/9   My Wife & Kids [r] 5.6/9, It’s All Relative 4.5/7, The Bachelorette 7.8/12, Celebrity Mole: Yucatan 5.3/9

WB      3.2/5   Smallville 3.5/5, Angel 3.0/4

UPN     2.0/3   Enterprise [r] 1.7/3, Top Model [r] 2.3/4

A18-49  Fox 7.9/19, ABC 3.8/10, NBC 3.3/9, CBS 2.9/8, WB 2.1/5, UPN 1.1/3



Building from its 60 Minutes Lead-in
Across all Key Women & Adult demos

A Top 10 program for the week!

Available exclusively from
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NTI Explorer, 1/19/04-1/25/04.  Sun 8-9p.  US Rating.  Lead-in based on share.  New Dramas & Top 10 ranks based on total viewers.

Friday Fun Fact:  The Nike swoosh was designed by University of Oregon student Carolyn Davidson in 1964, four years after business undergrad Phil Knight and track coach Bill Bowerman founded the company they originally called Blue Ribbon Sports. Ms. Davidson was paid $35 dollars for her design.

The History Channel presents This Day in History: 
1933 – “The Lone Ranger” was heard on radio for the first time. The program ran for 2,956 episodes and ended in 1955.

Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question: This kitchen accessory was sure to get our star character rich with all of its featured uses including a bottle opener, screwdriver, combination Boy Scout knife and glass cutter, corkscrew, combination nail-clipper and corn remover, scissor sharpener, razor, can opener, self-propelled spearfishing attachment, pencil sharpener, fish scaler, tweezer, combination potato peeler and apple corer, cheese grater and skate key.  What was the name of this kitchen appliance and who was trying to get rich pitching it?  Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton’s THE HANDY HOUSEWIFE HELPER, on the Better Living Through Television episode of The Honeymooners.  Kudos to:  Stacy Stio-Paramount Adv Services/NY; David Metz-Scripps Prods/Knoxville; Jim Bono-Hallmark Channel/NY; John Carlo-WWE/NY; Valerie Reid-MMT/Chicago;  Irv Wagner-Horizon Media/LA; Dennis Aimino-KCBS-KCAL/LA; Lou Fazio-Toon Disney & ABC Kids/Burbank; Gina Gold/LA.

Today’s Trivia Question:    This primetime network character sported a tattoo, the same tattoo his father wore to honor his ancestors, The Rubber Tree People of Central America. Who is this guy?  (
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
01/30/04 5:29am
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Feb 26 at 10P

Five nights of powerful drama and intrigue reveal the real stories and personalities that give Sin City its name and reputation.
Court TV
The Investigation Channel

COURT TV:       
Forensic Fridays
ABC             George Lopez [r], Married to the Kellys, Hope & Faith [r], Life with Bonnie, 20/20
CBS             Joan of Arcadia [r], JAG [r], The Handler
FOX             Totally Outrageous Behavior, World’s Craziest Videos, Boston Public
NBC             Dateline, Ed, Third Watch [r]
PAX             MGM Night at the Movies: Chance of a Lifetime, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             Movie:  The Cell
WB              Reba, What I Like About You, Grounded for Life, Like Family
TELE            Amor Descardo, El Alma Herida, Mujeres Apasionadas
UNIV            Velo de Novia, Te Amaré en Silencio, Casos de la Vida Real

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