Friday, July 11th, 2008



#1 Syndicated Sitcom in May ’08 with Adults 25-54
#1 Ratings Growth Over May ’07 Time Period of any
Syndicated Sitcom with A25-54
#1 Share Gains Over May ’08 Lead-in of any
Syndicated Sitcom with A25-54

Two and a Half Men
From Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
Source: NSI WRAP Sweeps, Live Plus May 08, All Mrkt Wghtd Avg, Mon-Fri Sitcom: CS, Ranked on Rating, 1/4 hour LI



Good morning. It’s Friday, July 11, 2008, and this is your first early morning briefing. 

Yesterday during a meeting at the Sherman Oaks base of the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP), SAG officials walked away from the final contract offer on the table.  A counteroffer was presented to AMPTP and plans to meet and continue the negotiations are on for today.  SAG leaders continue to argue the AMPTP offer does not meet their requirements regarding new media and DVD residuals in addition to product integration and force majeure protections. AMPTP in response called for SAG to put their final offer to a vote of SAG’s 120,000 members. If the studios declare an “impasse” (which an only occur if negotiations break down) and that impasse is confirmed by the National Labor Relations Board, the declarations would permit the studios to impose certain terms and conditions of the new offer put to SAG. 

Tonight’s Premieres:
CBS: Flashpoint at 10p
CMT: Country Fried Home Videos at 10p
SCI FI Channel: Stargate Atlantis at 10p
TLC: Ashley Paige: Bikini or Bust at 10p

Saturday’s Premiere:
Fine Living Network: I Want That! Kitchens at 9a

Sunday’s Premieres:
CBS: Big Brother at 8p
VH1: Brooke Knows Best at 10p


SCI FI Channel’s summer season premiere of Ghost Hunters International on Wednesday night (9p) delivered 1.3 million A18-49 viewers, 1.4 million A25-54 viewers and 2.3 million total viewers. Scare Tactics also debuted this night (10p) with 1.1 million A18-49 viewers, 1.1 million A25-54 viewers and 1.9 million total viewers. A second new episode at 1030p also aired with the same viewership counts among A25-54 and total viewers but slightly higher A18-49 viewers at 1.2 million.

Tennis Channel will air nearly 150 hours of live and same-day game coverage of eight tournaments that comprise the Olympus US Open Series. Starting July 18 through August 17, the network will feature seven primetime Sunday doubles finals as well as semifinals, quarterfinals and more in hi-def.

Discovery Communications revealed several new series over across various networks:

TLC unveiled plans for two new home series:
  • Hope For Your Home (wt) – Real estate expert Kirsten Kemp Becker hosts this series which offers tips to homeowners in financial crisis on how to improve their homes for refinancing or resale. Produced by Actual Reality the show opens August 9 at 830p.
  • Over Designed – Design guru Kenneth Brown works with people who have gone over-the-top with their home designs to make the space livable for all family members while at the same time honoring the original designer’s wishes. Produced by Discovery Studios; premiere dated TBD.

Discovery Channel will premiere a new 13-part series that will take inventions in people’s imaginations to the drawing board and to the building table. Prototype This! will witness a group of electronics specialists, engineers, professors and more create a variety of projects such as a road rage-proofed car to a mechanized butler. The series will open this October as Beyond Productions produces in association with the Discovery Channel.

Animal Planet has four upcoming series that features different people living in the wild documenting and saving specific creatures:
  • The Grizzly Man Diaries chronicles the last 10 years of Timothy Treadwell’s life in an eight-episode series produced by Creative Differences. Each episode will feature archived footage and reveal diary entries by Treadwell as he lived among and studied wild grizzly bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. The series debut is set for August 22 at 9p. 
  • Mr. and Mrs. Wolf (wt) – follows British wolf man Shaun Ellis who has lived embedded in a wild wolf pack at the Combe Martin Wildlife Park in Devon, England. Life will change as Shaun integrates his fiance Helen into the pack and she has to learn to adapt and get along with Shaun’s other “love”. The series opens with two one-hour specials this October followed by a 10-part series produced by Tigress Productions.
  • Whale Wars – takes viewers along with members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as they risk their lives to save the lives of whales from poachers and Japanese whale hunters. Seven one-hour episodes debut this November produced by RIVR Media.
  • Animal Planet has two other new projects in the works from Go Go Luckey Entertainment: Creature that documents strange and bizarre animal encounters which will open this fall; and Jockeys a 12-episode series about the highly competitive world of professional jockeys which will debut in January 2009.

HBO ordered three new pilot projects:

  • Treme – drama set in post-Katrina New Orleans from David Simon (The Wire) and Eric Overmyer.
  • The Washingtonienne – comedy set in Washington, D.C. based on the Jessica Cutler book with Sarah Jessica Parker as executive producer.
  • Drama set in 1920s Atlantic City based on the book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City from Terry Winter and Martin Scorsese.

Scott Bakula rounds out the starring cast of TNT’s drama pilot Men of a Certain Age. Scott joins Ray Romano and Andre Braugher as all three play college pals, now in their 40s, who maintain a strong male bond.

Brooke Burns and TV personality Mark Thompson were selected as hosts for the new Fox game show Hole In the Wall produced by FremantleMedia North America. Production on the new U.S. version started this week in Los Angeles. The show has two teams and all members must be quick and agile as speeding walls come towards them making them maneuver their bodies to fit through the walls or be swept away into a pool of water. Japan’s Fuji TV first launched the show in 2006 and now versions are being produced in multiple countries worldwide by FremantleMedia.

Fox Reality Channel announced it has finalized the cast for the new original series Gimme My Reality Show! where celebrity reality stars compete for a chance to star in their own show. Host George Gray and previously announced cast members Traci Bingham, Santino Rice and Gretchen Bonaduce will be joined by Kato Kaelin, Ryan Starr and Bobby Trendy. The show opens October 11 at 12a and is produced by Natural 9 Entertainment.

Lifetime is moving forward with an original daytime talk show starring Carson Kressley, formerly of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.  According to THR, the format is still being determined, tho the plan is not to focus on celebrities, but rather some of the real folks behind the celebrities; and of course fashion will take a major role. An official announcement is expected from Lifetime today when it presents at TCA in California. 


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY: The general consensus among reviewers is that there are not many differences between the first IPhone and the new 3G model coming out today at 8 a.m. But it’s a lot faster (up to 6 times faster depending on where you live,) enabling higher quality video, richer media and better audio. Developers are ready with more than 500 native applications available at the App Store, some for free, most going for between $1-$10. And it’s quite a bit easier on the pocket book ($199 for 8GB model with a 2 year contract) for new customers and existing AT&T customers who qualify for an upgrade. And don’t forget MobileMe, new software enabling the IPhone to sync with corporate email and calendar systems such as Microsoft Exchange and ActiveSync. O.K. – so there’s a lot that’s new. If you plan to buy one don’t underestimate the demand for these suckers. Go early to your neighborhood Apple Store or directly-owned AT&T outlet (authorized resellers don’t have them.) Apple has put together a nice primer on what to bring and how to get your data ready to sync. Oh, and good news for the 6 million folks out there who already own an iPhone (2.3 million in the U.S.):  many of the new (non GPS-enabled) apps as well as the “iPhone 2.0” operating system will work just fine on the older models.  Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY: If you are both a Batman and Harry Potter fan you might want to go see Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight in IMAX when it opens on July 18 … because … a 15-second trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will run ahead of the IMAX presentation of The Dark Knight, per a Coming Soon and any number of other sites.  Note that report specifies that the trailer will only run attached to The Dark Knight in IMAX.  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is scheduled to for release on November 21, 2008.  The Dark Knight is rated PG-13.  Full edition: CYN KIDS.

CYNOPSIS INTERNATIONAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  Watch, GOLD and Alibi are the names of UKTV‘s redone entertainment channels with all three set to make their re-grand entrance in the beginning of October.  The first, formerly UKTV Gold +1, will be a subscription network airing current BBC shows as well as original commissions such as the weekday Richard and Judy talk show.  The GOLD, previously UKTV Gold, is an acronym for Go On Laugh Daily, will switch over from a classic series channel to one airing classic and current comedies in addition to two new shows, Blackadder Exclusive: The Whole Rotten Saga and Blackadder’s Most Cunning Moments.  UKTV Drama becomes Alibi, which will broadcast only crime programs. Full edition: CYN INTERNATIONAL.


Wednesday – A18-49 Analysis:  FOX continued its Wednesday night winning streak at 3.2/10 A18-49, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance was sure-footed and won at 8p with 3.1/10 and again at 9p with 3.3/9. During 10p, NBC’s Celebrity Circus won by a skosh at 1.9/6 while ABC’s Primetime: Crime and CBS’ CSI: NY repeat tied for second at 1.8/5. 

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Wednesday, July 9, 2008 (July Sweep Day 7) time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

FOX: 5.5/10         So You Think You Can Dance 5.5/10

CBS: 5.3/9          Price Is Right Primetime [r] 4.9/9, Criminal Minds [r] 5.0/9, CSI: NY [r] 5.9/10

NBC: 3.5/6          Baby Borrowers [r] 3.0/6, Baby Borrowers 4.4/8, Celebrity Circus 3.2/6

ABC: 3.2/6          Wife Swap [r] 2.6/5, SuperNanny [r] 2.8/5, Primetime: Crime 4.3/7

UNIV: 2.0/4         Al Diablo con los Guapos 2.2/4, Fuego en la Sangre 2.2/4, Don Francisco Presenta 1.6/3

CW: 0.7/1           America’s Next Top Model [r] 0.8/1, Pussycat Dolls: Girlicious [r] 0.7/1

MNT: 0.6/1          Under One Roof [r] 0.6/1, Whacked Out Videos [r] 0.5/1, Twilight Zone 0.6/1, Twilight Zone 2 0.7/1

TELE: 0.6/1         El Juramento 0.4/1, Victoria 0.8/1, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso 0.8/1

A18-49: FOX 3.2/10, NBC 2.1/7, UNIV 1.7/5, CBS 1.6/5, ABC 1.5/5, TELE 0.5/2, CW 0.4/1, MNT 0.3/1



Titan Worldwide hired Shareef Dajani as Chicago Sales Manager where he will lead sales efforts for the company’s Bus and Rail Advertising agreement with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). Titan also landed a 10-year contract to sell digital advertising for the CTA.

Bravo tapped Lara Spotts as Director/Programming for the network’s Programming team. Lara’s previous experience includes casting, production, development and scripted projects with various networks such as VH1, MTV, Logo, Showtime, Disney Channel and ABC.

MTV Networks International, a division of Viacom Inc. added three to its Corporate Communications team:

  • Linda Alexander as EVP/Corporate Communications, MTVNI will head the group which expands her current duties with MTVN Latin America. Linda will oversee MTVNI’s media relations and communications efforts and she and her team will offer communications support and direction for the division’s business units such as channel services, ad-sales, digital media, consumer products and more. Linda will continue to be based in Miami and report to Bill Roedy, CEO/Chairman, MTVNI and Bob Bakish, President, MTVNI.
  • Seema Alibhai joined as Director/Corporate Communications, MTVNI in London and Sandra Lee also was tapped as Director/Corporate Communications based in New York. Seema will execute media and communications campaigns for MTVNI business and creative efforts, corporate initiatives and internal communications. Sandra will focus on developing media efforts for MTVNI surrounding international programming and events, digital media, corporate responsibility and research.

Thirteen/WNET appointed Ben Kim to the new position as Senior Director/Creative Initiatives where he will work closely with top management to create traditional and non-traditional partnerships in addition to heading the organization’s foundation and government initiatives. He reports to Barbara Bantivoglio, VP/Institutional Advancement. Additionally, Andy Halper takes on the new position as Deputy Director/National Production where he will be the interface between Stephen Segaller, VP/National Production and the organization’s national and local production teams, independent producers and other content contributors who work on shows such as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Secrets of the Dead and more.

Pam Tapscott-Lassiter moves to Ovation TV as Director/Affiliate Distribution. Pam will manage the network’s distribution functions for the Eastern region while based in New York. She will report to Dan Casciato, VP/Affiliate Distribution, East Coast.

Rynda Laurel advanced to the new position of VP/Operations with online marketing agency, Jetset Studios. Rynda is charged with supervising all business operations of the company which includes corporate strategy, account management, business development, marketing and public relations. Based in Los Angeles, she will continue to report to Scott and Patrick Young, Co-Founders/Presidents.

Comcast International Media Group (CIMG) elevated Jene Elzie to VP/International Sales and Strategic Planning where she will now report to Duccio Donati, SVP, CIMG. Jene will manage the program sales team in London which handles distribution for CIMG programming throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa in addition to the ancillary and in-flight sales business in Latin America. Her scope also includes the company’s Hong Kong office for the Asia Pacific territory. One of her main goals will be to grow The Golf Channel and The Style Network brands worldwide.

David Duitch will soon be the News Director at Tribune-owned KDAF/Dallas starting July 28. He joins from Belo Corp. where he was VP in the Washington, D.C. Bureau since 2005.



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Friday Fun Fact:  The fastest growing fingernail is on the middle finger.  Let’s not speculate.

This day in History:  1987 – An eight-pound baby boy, Matej Gaspar, born in Yugoslavia, was proclaimed the five billionth inhabitant of Earth. The United Nations Development Fund, hoping to draw attention to population growth, proclaimed July 11th as World Population Day.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  On The Gilmore Girls, Luke’s Diner was a regular destination. What other Stars Hollow restaurant was commonly referred to, though never seen?  AL’S PANCAKE WORLD Kudos to: Nicole Egidio-Berkeley College of Music/Boston; Heidi Hoffmeister-Bright House Networks/Orlando; Allyson Brunetti-Varsity Entertainment/NY; Jessica DePascale-Diemert Insurance/Pittsburgh; Leigh Ann Schwarzkopf/Minneapolis; Tracy Cipriani-MTV Networks/Chicago; Hilda Castellano-HSBC/Mettawa, IL; Stephanie Klinger-Katz Radio/Minneapolis; Lori Nakama-Hallmark Channel/Studio City, CA; Ginger Sheehy-Warren Miller Entertainment/Boulder, CO; Todd Schliewen-KMSB/Tucson; Avery Cobern/Santa Monica; Caroline A. Godin-One Girl Revolution Inc./Toronto; Laura Schenkel-EM.Entertainment/Munich, Germany; Stephanie Watsa-Canwest Broadcasting/Canada

Today’s Trivia Question:   What was Barnaby Jones’ favorite beverage he’d order, even in seedy bars? (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: AD SALES RSCH MGR, NAT’L TV NTWRK: 4-5 yrs exp brdcst or cable media rsrch. Exp w/ Galaxy/NPower/Mkt Brks. Knwlg of MRIs, AdViews, Star Trak a +. Strong comm. skills & team player a must. Res:

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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT – Friday, July 11, 2008

ABC: Dance Machine, Duel, 20/20
AZTECA: Viernes Espectacular: The Exorcist, Bellezas Indomables
CBS: Ghost Whisperer [r], Numb3rs [r], Flashpoint [p ]
CW: Friday Night Smackdown!
FOX: Movie: 2 Fast 2 Furious [r]
ION: Movie: Great Elephant Escape [7:30], Movie: Jack London’s Call of the Wild
MNT: The Academy [r], Paradise Hotel [r]
NBC: Most Outrageous Moments [r], Most Outrageous Moments [r], Dateline
PBS: Washington Week, Now on PBS, Bill Moyers’ Journal, Great Old Amusement Parks [r]
TELE: El Juramento, Victoria, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso
UNIV: Al Diablo con los Guapos, Fuego on la Sangre, La Rosa de Guadalupe

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