Friday, June 11th, 2004





Good morning. It’s Friday, June 11, 2004, and now on with your first early morning briefing.  Today has been declared by the Federal Government as a national day of mourning.  Federal offices will be closed.

ABC has announced its fall season premiere dates.  The majority of their schedule will kick off beginning Tuesday, September 21, though The Benefactor and Monday Night Football both debut the week before on September 13, and Wife Swap on Wed at 10p debuts on 9/29.  Returning by popular demand and arriving to you over the weekend via email to all subscribers, is the 7-Network Fall Primetime Schedule attached an an excel spreadsheet.  This is the only one Cynopsis will be sending out, so you’ll have to take care of further updates on your sked as you see fit. 

ABC has also ordered up a fourth midseason sitcom starring John Stamos as a NY publicist (Brad Grey Television Productions in association with 20th).  The other three midseason series for ABC are Blind Justice, Eyes and Grey’s Anatomy. 

PAX has found its host to its newest primetime game show based on the Mattel board game: Balderdash hosted by Elayne Boosler (produced by The Hatchery LLC). Balderdash is set to premiere later on this summer, airing Monday through Thursday at 830p.

Fox’s The Casino from Mark Burnett Productions, will have two versions – the domestic and the foreign, the ‘sanitized’ and the ‘sin city’ versions, the pre-Super Bowl and the post-Super Bowl.  According to Burnett quoted in Variety, Fox has asked him to tame down the Las Vegas reality series to meet their broadcast standards, and that has Burnett wondering if it will become too sanitized, believing the show’s story will suffer.  Blurring the inappropriate in a scene with naked people, or removing the scenes referring to the whipped cream bikini and removing any mention of the word ‘sex in the dialogue, all has Burnett concerned – “it’s hard to tell a story about Sin City with out sin.”  For the foreign sold versions (CTV/Canada and Nine/Australia), all of those parts will be reincorporated. Burnett also says that there is ” nothing acrimonious between me and Fox on this. I’m just not used to pages and pages of broadcast standards notes.”

Top 5 Broadcast Spanish Language Primetime Programs for the week of May 31 – June 6, 2004
UNIV    Amar Otra Vez (Thu 7p)                  22.5 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Mariana de la Noche (Thu 8p)            21.7 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Mariana de la Noche (Tue 8p)            21.7 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Amar Otra Vez (Tue 7p)                  21.3 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Mariana de la Noche (Wed 8p)            20.8 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Amar Otra Vez (Wed 7p)                  20.2 NHTI HH Rtg
Source Nielsen Media Research
Note NHTI Ratings are based on 10.57 million Hispanic TV Homes

Top 5 Broadcast English Language Primetime Programs in Hispanic TV Homes for the week of May 31 – June 6, 2004
ABC     NBA Finals – Game 1 (Sun 9p)            8.0 NHTI HH Rtg
UPN     WWE Smackdown (Thu 8p)          6.7 NHTI HH Rtg
NBC     Miss Universe Pageant (Tue 9p)          6.0 NHTI HH Rtg
Fox     That 70s Show (Wed 9p)          5.2 NHTI HH Rtg
Fox     That 70s Show (Wed 830p)                5.0 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 May 31 – June 6, 2004 – highest rated primetime network programs in African American TV homes according to Nielsen Media Research
ABC     NBA Finals – Game 1 (Sun 9p)                    22.8 HH Rtg
UPN     All of Us (Tue 830p)                            11.3 HH Rtg
UPN     One on One (Tue 9p)                             10.9 HH Rtg
ABC     NBA Hangtime Finals – Game 1 (Sun 830p) 10.4 HH Rtg
UPN     One on One (Tue 8p)                             10.0 HH Rtg
ABC     My Wife and Kids (Wed 830p)                     9.9 HH Rtg
CBS     Without a Trace (Thu 10p)                       9.6 HH Rtg
CBS     CSI: Miami (Mon 10p)                            9.5 HH Rtg
UPN     Eve (Mon 830p)                                  9.4 HH Rtg
UPN     Girlfriends (Mon 9p)                            9.3 HH Rtg
Source Nielsen Media Research

Ray Charles, 73, musician, entertainer, Father of Soul, lost his battle to liver cancer last night.  According to his manager, Joe Adams, “Mr. Charles was conscious and engaged almost to the end, and wanted the world to know that he will miss the chance to entertain his many family and friends, as he had done, up until last summer, for the past 58 years.” His first hit song was recorded in the 1950’s for Atlantic Records, called I Got a Woman, considered by many to be the first true soul record. His first hit on the country music charts came in the late 1940’s with a song called I Can’t Stop Loving You.  His latest album was recorded in 2002 called Thanks for Bringing Love Around, which includes Georgia on My Mind, Hit the Road Jack and many other Charles hits. He had been working on a series of duets with such notables as Elton John, Willie Nelson, and others, and that CD is scheduled to be released at the end of the summer.

You know about the NBC networks’ 1,200+ hours of Olympic coverage, but the question is, how do you know where and when your favorite sport stuff will be on? NBC and TV Guide Channel have teamed up to provide an Olympic guide with 24/7 information via a variety of elements and programs.  The standard scroll as you’d expect. Other elements include daily tune-in information incorporated into the channel’s daily What’s On show which will air at the top of every hour from 7-11p during the Olympics; a TV Guide Interactive icon which viewers can click on to get current and upcoming listings, and a series of three Olympic specials which will air in August in the days preceding the games. TV Guide Channel will be available in 80 million homes by August, and TV Guide Interactive is available in 11 million homes.

NBC’s Last Comic Standing earned a 4.8/14 A18-49 rating on Wednesday night according to Nielsen Media Research.  The other relatively new reality on the schedule that evening was ABC’s Ultimate Love Test at 10p which delivered a much softer 17/5, while CBS’ 48 Hours at 10p found a 2.6/7 demo rating.

As it enters its fifth year, MBC Network is changing its name to the Black Family Channel as of October 1.  The name change is another part of the network’s move to identify itself as a producer of pioneering, positive African American family programming.  MBC is currently in 30 million households.  The network is owned by Willie Gary, Evander Holyfield, Cecil Fielder, Marlon Jackson and Alvin James.  As Black Family Channel, the network will pursue its partnerships with corporations, African American churches and communities nationwide.  It will continue its present sports, news, film, kids, faith/church and entertainment themes.  In addition, the network will maintain its multi-year deal as the major black college sports conferences’ exclusive cable representative.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of May 24-30, 2004 ranked by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (King World)                 8.1 AA  
Oprah (King World)                      7.0 AA / 7.1 GAA
Jeopardy (King World)                   6.8 AA
Seinfeld (Sony)                         5.7 AA / 6.7 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                   5.4 AA / 5.5 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  5.3 AA / 6.4 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    5.2 AA / 5.9 GAA
Judge Judy (Paramount)          4.8 AA / 7.2 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       4.7 AA / 4.8 GAA
Who Wants to be a Millionaire (BVT)     3.6 AA / 3.8 GAA
Source Nielsen Media Research

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of May 24-30, 2004 ranked by A18-49
Seinfeld (Sony)                         3.8 AA / 4.3 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  3.7 AA / 4.4 GAA
Oprah (King World)                      2.9 AA / 2.9 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    2.9 AA / 3.3 GAA
That 70’s Show (Carsey-Werner)  2.3 AA / 2.6 GAA
Wheel of Fortune (King World)           2.2 AA
Will & Grace (Warner Bros.)             2.2 AA / 2.6 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                   2.1 AA / 2.1 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       2.1 AA / 2.2 GAA
Jeopardy (King World)                   1.9 AA
Source Nielsen Media Research

Correction:  VH1’s series is called From Flab to Fab. It was backwards in yesterday’s edition, and that would be an entirely different show and not very nice.

The FCC has introduced its third in a series of exhibits on the history of various communications technologies.  The new exhibit focuses on the history of the Internet, including the communication technologies used to access the Internet. It goes back to where the internet started in the 1960’s and takes you through how it was developed and the underlying communications that made it possible.  You can view the exhibit online at  The first two parts of the history project focus on the technological history of television ( and the pioneers behind technology that gave us the radio (

Andrea Wong has been upped to EVP/Alternative Programming, Specials and Late-Night. She had been SVP.  In her new position, she will continue to develop and oversee alternative series and special programming for ABC Primetime Entertainment, while also continuing her daily supervision ABC’s Late-Night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live. 

Jim Pastor has been named President/GM of WZZN-FM (94.7 ZONE) and WMVP-AM (ESPN1000) in Chicago. Jim will have overall responsibility for WZZN-FM (94.7 ZONE), an adult/alternative rock station, and WMVP-AM (ESPN 1000), an all-sports station which programs a variety of local and national sports-oriented talk shows and play-by-play.   Jim’s appointment is part of a bigger management restructuring of all four ABC owned radio stations in Chicago.  As a result, Zemira Jones has chosen to resign his position as Pres/GM of WLS-AM (NEWS/TALK 890), WZZN-FM (94.7 ZONE) and WRDZ-AM (Radio Disney AM1300), and Bob Snyder has resigned as station manager of WMVP-AM (ESPN 1000).

FX Networks has upped Sally Daws to VP/Creative Services, reporting to Chris Carlisle, EVP/Mktg and Promotions.  Sally will be responsible for the ad sales for integrated marketing initiatives for the network and its corresponding website as well as manage consumer marketing.

Wednesday, June 9, 2004. Fast Affiliate Household 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

NBC     6.0/10  NBC News Special: Ronald Reagan State Funeral 5.3/10; Scrubs 3.9/7, Last Comic Standing 6.6/11

CBS     5.7/10  Ronald Reagan State Funeral 5.4/10, 60 Minutes (joined in progress) 5.3/9, King of Queens [r] 5.2/9, Still Standing [r] 4.7/8, 48 Hours 6.7/12

ABC     3.4/6   Ronald Reagan State Funeral 4.9/9, My Wife & Kids [r] 3.8/7, Drew Carey 2.8/5, Drew Carey 2.9/5, Ultimate Love Test 2.8/5

FOX     3.1/5   Ronald Reagan State Funeral 3.0/5, The Simple Life [r] 3.0/5, The Simple Life [r] 3.2/5, The Simple Life [r] 3.4/6

WB      1.9/3   WB Movie Event:  O  1.9/3

UPN     1.2/2   Enterprise 1.3/2, Enterprise [r] 1.1/2

A18-49  NBC 3.9/12, CBS 2.3/7, Fox 2.2/7, ABC 1.7/5, WB 1.0/3, UPN 0.7/2



George Lopez’ stand-up comedy special ranks as Showtime’s Highest rated Comedy Standup/Comedy Variety program since December 1996 with A18-49!

Catch the hit sitcom tonight!
8PM on ABC

Available exclusively from
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NTI Explorer, 5/30/04 or as noted.  Sun 9-10pm.  Cvg Rating.

Friday Fun Fact:  In medieval times, church bells were often consecrated to ward off evil spirits. Because thunderstorms were attributed to the work of demons, the bells would be rung in an attempt to stop the storms. Numerous bellringers were killed by lightning.

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1880 – Jeannette Rankin, the first woman ever elected to Congress, was born June 11, 1880, on a ranch near Missoula, Montana Territory. A pacifist, she later voted against a U.S. declaration of war in both World War One and Two. In the latter, she was the lone member of Congress to do so.

Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question provided by Dick Cox-DCA Television/NY:  Who was the TV commentator when FDR’s body was marched to the Capitol?  Something of a trick question – it wasn’t on TV – TV was largely experimental still in 1945.  However, on the radio you could hear the voice of ARTHUR GODFREY, a CBS man, April 14, 1945. Kudos to:  Claudia Nelson/Martha’s Vineyard; Alan Strumwasser-MMTSales/NY; Jeffrey Tuchman-Documania Films/NY; Paul Gluck-WHYY/Philadelphia; Rich Ambrose-Telcom Sales Consultants/Minneapolis; Kerri Huyck-KIDK/Idaho Falls; Lance Hanish-LBC/Santa Barbara; Ron Gold/Malibu.

Today’s Trivia Question:  The character of Al Borland on Home Improvement was originally intended only for the pilot.  The actor who was to play Tim’s sidekick was unavailable for the pilot shoot but was supposed to be a series regular.  Who was that actor, and do you his character’s name?  (click here 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
06/11/04   5:01am
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COURT TV: The Investigation Channel

Primetime A18-49 audience +15% vs 2003
Great ROInvestigation
Click here for source

COURT TV:       
Forensic Fridays
ABC             George Lopez, Married to the Kellys, Hope & Faith, Life with Bonnie, 20/20
CBS             Joan of Arcadia, President Ronald Reagan’s Funeral, 48 Hours
FOX             Fox News Coverage of Ronald Reagan Funeral Events
NBC             Dateline, NBC News Special: National Funeral Service for Pres. Ronald Reagan, Las Vegas
PAX             MGM Night at the Movies; Diagnosis Murder
UPN             Movie: The Astronaut’s Wife
WB              What I Like About You [r], Grounded for Life [r], Reba [r], Reba [r]
TELE            Prisonera, El Alma Herida, Protagonistas VIP [premiere]
UNIV            Mariana de la Noche, Bajo la Misma Piel (ultimo episodio), La Escuelita VIP


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