Friday, January 30th, 2009


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Good morning. It’s Friday, January 30, 2009, and this is your first early morning briefing. 

Tonight’s Premiere:
Discovery Channel: Adrenaline Rush Hour at 9p

Saturday’s Premieres:
TLC: Real Estate Road Test at 10p; Deals on the Bus at 1030p

Super Bowl XLIII Preview: NBC presents a full-day of events this Sunday surrounding the Big Game match between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL:

  • At 9a, NBC’s Today will open the network’s coverage with a special two-hour program with Meredith Viera, Al Roker and Ann Curry giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at all the Super Sunday preparations.
  • At noon, Bob Costas will lead the pregame coverage with Road to the Super Bowl. Costas will be joined by co-hosts Cris Collinsworth, Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick; analysts Jerome Bettis and Tiki Barber; and reporter Peter King among other sports contributors and Super Bowl winning coaches. Some of the highlights during the afternoon pregame show include NBC News’ Matt Lauer’s live interview with President Barack Obama from the White House; Bob Costas’ interview with halftime performer, Bruce Springsteen; profiles of players from both teams; Al Roker hosting the Super Suite with pregame celebrity appearances/segments by Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon among others; plus other live musical performances from rock stars Journey and John Legend as well as Faith Hill and Jennifer Hudson singing the national anthem.
  • Super Bowl 2009 game kick-off is scheduled for 628p EST. Last year’s Super Bowl between the Giants and the Patriots was viewed by an average of 97.5 million Americans, making it the most-watched Super Bowl event ever and the most-watched television broadcast in 2008.
  • Even more tune in to the Halftime Show as more than 148 million viewers in the U.S. watched last year. This year’s entertainment will be provided by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. According to NBC, the Super Bowl and the halftime show will be broadcast globally to more than 230 countries and territories.

A couple of extra viewing options surrounding Super Bowl weekend:

  • DIRECTV kicks off its Third Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl on Saturday at 230p EST where more than 30 NFL All-Star players and Hollywood celebrities compete in a game of flag football. The special is preceded by a Pre-Game Show presented by Showtime and Inside the NFL at 130p and followed by a Post-Game Concert at 330p. The event will be simulcast on DIRECTV’s The 101 Network and WGN America.
  • For those wanting something furry and cute, Animal Planet is back with its Puppy Bowl V starting at 3p EST. This year’s Puppy Bowl features adorable puppies rescued from local shelters frolicking on the Animal Planet Stadium; “Pepper the Parrot” singing the national anthem; a “streaker” in the form of a Chinese Crested “Naked” dog; and frisky, lovable kittens “performing” in the Bissell Kitty Half-Time Show.


Recently appointed chief negotiator for the Screen Actors Guild, John McGuire will resume talks next week with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Both guilds will meet at AMPTP offices in Los Angeles next Tuesday and Wednesday. Since last June, SAG has been without a contract as the last one submitted by the AMPTP was rejected by former negotiator Doug Allen and SAG board of directors. The main issue still igniting contention is how actors will be compensated for content created specifically for online.

Disney-ABC Television Group announced yesterday morning it will lay off approximately 200 employees across all divisions. Another 200 open positions, previously put on hold, will also be eliminated. Additionally, approximately 200 jobs were cut at Disney and ABC including 35-57 positions at ABC News. The total cuts represent about 5% of the company’s workforce.

CBS confirmed it will present its annual upfront presentation on May 20 at Carnegie Hall in Manhattan. CBS also said it will stick with a traditional upfront presentation, making no major changes this year. ABC will also have its upfront presentation in New York at Lincoln Center on Tuesday during upfront week. FOX though will move its presentation from Thursday that week to Monday and The CW will remain on Thursday. NBC will continue being the “early bird” network, unveiling some of its 2009-2010 season programming plans to ad buyers and clients at its Universal Studios in Orlando as part of “super-front” during Super Bowl weekend. NBC also will host another “in-front” a few weeks prior to the normal upfront week in May however NBC has not finalized plans for the actual upfront week.

NBC wants more of Howie Mandel on Friday nights as the network ordered 12 more episodes of the unscripted 30m comedy prank show Howie Do It. In its initial three weeks, the show averaged a 1.9/6 among A18-49 viewers equal to a 64% increase in the time period compared to last year.

Hallmark Channel can now sell movies and movie-related products from its library via a new online movie shop at and The shop is powered by the Amazon Associates program, offering customers any movie title available in the online retailer’s library. Categories available include Romance DVDs, Holiday DVDs, Hallmark DVDs, Hallmark Hall of Fame, Series on Hallmark, Movies on Hallmark, Hallmark Gifts, Hallmark Ornaments, Books and Other Fun Stuff.


HBO approved a new 30m television pilot starring Ellen Barkin who will also executive produce the yet-to-be-named project, reports Variety. Shauna Cross will write the script about a high-profile woman in her early 50s who divorces, enters the singles market again and develops a close yet platonic relationship with the 24-year old son of her ex-husband. Cross will also executive produce along with Mosaic’s Jimmy Miller; Sam Hansen and Ann Blanchard of Mosaic will serve as producers. This television series project is the first for Barkin who last appeared in the theatrical film Ocean’s Thirteen and will soon be seen starring in the films Happy Tears and Rogue’s Gallery.

ESPN added former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards as a NFL studio analyst. Edwards will begin his new on-air stint mid-February and will appear on NFL Live, SportsCenter, ESPNNEWS and other programs during the year as well as on ESPN Radio and other platforms.

Spike TV hired future NFL hall-of-famer and television personality, Michael Strahan to co-host the fourth season of Pros vs. Joes with NFL journalist Jay Glazer. Production of Pros vs. Joes 4: All Stars begins next month in the Los Angeles area and the eight new episodes will premiere in the spring. The series is produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions and Arthur Smith and Kent Weed will serve as executive producers along with MY Entertainment’s Michael Yudin and Joe Townley, COO.


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  YouTube and the William Morris Agency are close to signing a production deal that would put a number of the agency’s A-listers to work on original made-for-the-web productions on the platform, reports the NYTimes. Other top agencies including UTA, which launched its own web division UTA Online more than two years ago, have been eager to stake their claim in the new media world in the hopes of discovering rising stars and providing ins for their more established stars. But a direct partnership between YouTube and the agency that represents Denzel Washington, J.J. Abrams and Michael Bay could signal a major commitment in developing high-profile, major budget fare for the world’s dominant web video platform.  Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  Turner Broadcasting has commissioned UK-based Archie Productions to produce six European versions of Staraoke (78×30), Finland’s karaoke-style kids’ series, created by Finland’s Intervisio.  Targeted to K7-11, each week Staraoke features two teams, each with its own host playing with them, in head-to-head competition where contestants gain points based their ability to sing in tune, with scoring determined by voice recognition software.  Their renditions in each round will control the course of a computer-generated avatar on a plasma screen.  Avatars will be chosen from characters that appear on Cartoon Network and Turner’s other kids’ channels.  The UK version of Staraoke will be hosted by Laura Hamilton and Nigel Clarke; with hosts for the versions for Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Poland not yet named. Full edition: CYN KIDS.


Wednesday – A18-49 Analysis:  FOX was the obvious winner Wednesday night with 7.3/18 A18-49, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. FOX’s American Idol overwhelmed at 8p with 10.2/26 while the next nearest competitor was UNIV’s Cuidado con el Angel at 2.0/5. ABC found itself at #1 during 9p with Lost at 4.9/12 and FOX came second with Lie To Me at 4.4/10. Then at 10p, NBC had a turn in first with Law & Order at 2.6/7 followed by CBS’ CSI: NY repeat at 2.3/6 and ABC’s Life on Mars in third at 2.1/6.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

FOX: 11.1/17      American Idol 15.0/23, Lie To Me 7.2/11

CBS: 5.3/8           CBS Evening News Primetime Special 3.9/6, Old Christine [r] 3.0/4, Criminal Minds [r] 6.4/10, CSI: NY [r] 6.1/10

NBC: 4.7/7           Knight Rider 3.9/6, Law & Order: SVU [r] 4.3/7, Law & Order 5.9/10

ABC: 4.6/7           Lost [r] 3.3/5, Lost 6.4/10, Life on Mars 3.9/6

UNIV: 2.4/4         Cuidado con el Angel 2.4/4, Fuego en la Sangre 2.6/4, Don Francisco Presenta 2.1/3

TELE: 0.9/2         Dona Barbara 0.6/1, El Rostro de Analia W 0.6/1, Rumbo Pre-Game 0.7/1, Rumbo Al Mundial: Mexico vs. Sweden 1.2/2

CW: 0.7/1           Privileged [r] 0.8/1, 90210 [r] 0.7/1

MNT: 0.6/1          World’s Funniest Moments [r] 0.8/1, Tony Rock Project [r] 0.5/1, Under One Roof [r] 0.4/1

A18-49: FOX 7.3/18, ABC 2.9/7, NBC 2.1/5, UNIV 2.0/5, CBS 1.9/5, TELE 0.9/3, CW 0.4/1, MNT 0.4/1



Christina Norman was selected as CEO of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network following her most recent stint as President of MTV. Taking the helm as of February 17, Christina will provide oversight for all business and creative functions of OWN. Christina will work closely with Robin Schwartz, President/OWN Television to ready the cable network launch in addition to Robert Tercek, President/Digital Media who manages and the upcoming OWN website. Both Robin and Robert will report to Christina. Based at company headquarters in Los Angeles, Christina will report directly to the OWN Board of Directors.

Friday Fun Fact:  No network footage exists of Super Bowl I (January 15, 1967). It was taped over, allegedly with a soap opera.

This day in History:  1969 – At a free concert at their Apple corporate headquarters in London, The Beatles made their last-ever public appearance as a group. Their performance of Get Back was filmed for the movie Let It Be.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:   When was the first interracial kiss seen on American TV?  STAR TREK – November 22, 1968 (Captain Kirk kissed Lieutenant Uhura. Some stations originally refused to air the episode) Kudos to: Matt Meachem-Tribune Media Services/Queensbury, NY; Wendy Stone-Golf Channel/Orlando; Donal Clody-Retirement Living TV/Columbia, MD; Liz Levenson-CABLEready/Norwalk, CT; Ed Worthington- Worthington Productions/Horseshoe Bend, AR; Ryan Kinahan-LBI Broadcasting, Inc./Dallas; Matt Rankin-WDAF/Kansas City; John Heiser-o2 ideas, inc./Birmingham, AL; Nicole Velasco-Dick Clark Productions/Santa Monica, CA; Patti Clements-KXRM/KXTU/Colorado Springs; Bob Quigley-KJZZ/Salt Lake City; Matt Sautter-Dish Network/Denver; Steve Walker-Saatchi and Saatchi/Toronto

Today’s Trivia Question – for NATPE Week, all of the Cynopsis trivia questions will test your knowledge of television history:  MTV debuted at 12:01AM on August 1, 1981. What was the first music-video shown? (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: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, ROILIFE- GAMING/ONLINE MEDIA SALES: Minimum 5 years Ad Sales Experience. Strong On-line or Casual Gaming Sales experience for Fortune 1000 Companies Rez: (2/6)

JOB OPENING: SALES MANAGER/Discovery Communications/New York: Sell national advertising for Discovery’s Kids to US agencies & clients, 5+ yrs on-air ad sales exp required. To Apply: Req#8752 (2/5)

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JOB OPENING: VOD COORDINATOR/FEARnet/LA: Schedule movies. Responsible for creating and maintaining monthly Video On Demand program planners. Horror knowledge req. Apply to

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ABC: Wife Swap, 20/20, 20/20
AZTECA: Lo Que Callamos Las Mujeres Edicion Especial, Extranormal de Impacto,
Al Extremo
CBS: Ghost Whisperer [r], Flashpoint [r], Numb3rs [r]
CW: Everybody Hates Chris, The Game, 13  Fear is Real
FOX: House [r], Lie to Me [r]
ION: Movie: The Diplomat [7p]
MNT: WWE Smackdown
NBC: Howie Do It, Howie Do It, Friday Night Lights, Dateline
PBS: Washington Week, Now on PBS, Bill Moyers’ Journal, Nova
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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