Friday, March 18th, 2005



#1 Sitcom on Network Television Last Week
Top 10 in Primetime

Available exclusively from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NTI Galaxy Explorer, 3/7-3/13/05, HH Rtg.



Good morning. If you were a little too Irish last night, I’ll try to whisper.  It’s Friday, March 18, 2005, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Changes afoot at DirecTV. The company has reorganized the satellite service into three components:  DirecTV Entertainment Group, DirecTV Sales and Service group, and DirecTV Latin America and New Enterprises. Heading up the Entertainment group will be Fox Sports Chairman/CEO David Hill, who will in turn report to Chase Carey, President CEO DirecTV Group. Overseeing Sales and Service will be John Suranyi as President; and Bruch Churchill as President will be responsible for Latin American and New Enterprises.  Hill remains a non-executive Chairman at Fox Sports, and Fox Sport Prez Ed Goren will step up and take on new responsibilities.

NBC official renewals for next season: The West Wing for a 7th term (currently paying $6 million per ep, tied to ratings performance, next year – half that?), along with Joey, Las Vegas and Crossing Jordan.  ER has been extended for two more years. No real surprises here.  Previously announced renewals include The Apprentice (a two year deal last year), Medium and all of the Law & Orders.

HBO has renewed The Wire for a 4th season with an order for 12 new eps.  The new season is looking at a 2006 premiere; the 3rd season ended last December 2004. Not everyone can get away with such a long lag time between seasons, but it seems to work for HBO.

Ladies and Gentlemen!  In this corner we have 22 lawmakers who earlier this month collectively asked the Federal Trade Commission whether it plans to step up and deal with Nielsen Media Research’s Local People Meters, more specifically that Nielsen plans to move forward with the LPMs even though they have not received accreditation from the Media Ratings Council.  And in this corner, we have Rep. Jesse Jackson (R-Ill) and Rep Dan Burton (R-Ind) who delivered a letter to fellow lawmakers yesterday suggesting the debate over ratings belongs “in the boardroom, not [in] the halls of Congress.” The letter further questioned whether the government should not take on the responsibility “to inform Americans that ‘American Idol’ was last week’s #1 show”.  Finally, it asked if it was “truly wise [to] use taxpayer dollars to create a Federal Department of Television Advertising just to set the price for Super Bowl Advertising? We think not.”

Okay, you’re in the television business, you know about this issue – today’s Cynopsis query:  Should the Federal Government become involved in the ratings system, regulate and oversee Nielsen Media Research?  Shoot your comments to me at
– a see a sample of what your fellow TV wizards have to say here on Monday.



  • Adopted (20th) has cast adopted Christine Baranski to join the cast about 20-something writer (Andrew Walker) who first learns he is adopted and then tries navigate life under the influence of two mothers, one played by Baranski, the other by Bernadette Peters. Jodi Lyn O’Keefe is also cast as the writer’s sister.
  • Untitled comedy pilot about a teacher who works with gifted children from Touchstone TV and Don Todd has added Dave Foley as the school principal to the lineup which already includes Peter Dinklage who stars as the teacher, Tina Majorino, and Busy Phillips.
  • Comedy pilot formerly titled Neighbors (Touchstone TV) (now Untitled) has cast Brian Benben to spar with Lenny Clarke – two contentious neighbors, whose wives and children all getting along famously.
  • Hot Properties (Warner Bros. TV) has added Stephen Dunham to the cast of real estate agents that also includes Gayle O’Grady, Sofia Vergara and Nicole Sullivan.


  • Untitled project set in a Las Vegas wedding chapel (Spelling TV) has been titled:  Hitched, about a brother and sister who own the 24/7 service. Along with adding a title, the production has added Tara Reid as an unwanted third partner in the Chapel business. Filling out the cast are Leslie Bibb as the sister and Mark-Paul Gosselaar as the brother, and Megalyn Echikunwoke.
  • Everybody Hates Chris (Paramount Network TV/3 Arts) starring Chris Rock has signed Reggie Hudlin to direct the pilot. The project is a biographical comedy about Rock’s life growing up in Brooklyn in the early 1980’s.  The pilot is narrated by Rock (a la Wonder Years).  Rock is the eldest of three kids living in a strict home and attending a predominantly white high school.


  • Filmore Middle (NBC Universal) has signed Justin Bartha to the comedy project, and that signing removes the Cast Contingency albatross off the project.  The focus is on the teachers at this middle school
  •  Confessions of a Dog (NBC Universal/Doozer) has cast Biaca Kajlich, the first and thus far only cast member for this comedy pilot about three friends, two of whom are moving into the “spouse & family” portions of their lives, the third the consummate bachelor, from the creators of Scrubs, Bill Lawrence and Eric Weinberg.


  • Mindy and Brenda (Carsey Werner / Martin-Stein Co), a pair of girls in a buddy comedy based in NYC, has added Noureen Wolfe in the role of Mindy, playing opposite Virginia Williams as Brenda. Other cast members include Simon Rex and Josh Janowicz
  • Dog Town Lawyers, formerly the Untitled Jonathan Shapiro pilot (Warner Bros. TV / Jerry Bruckheimer Prods) has cast Amy Aquino as a guest star portraying a judge. The show is about a prodigy lawyer, age 17 (Jay Baruchel) and his jaded elder mentor (Don Johnson).


Verizon Wireless is bringing 1 minute original episodes to its phone service (called mobisodes) to its V Cast subscribers.  The content is called e: Interns, and was produced exclusively for this usage – and based on the Fox series Th Simple Life: Interns.  V Cast subscribers can view each episode at the cost of 99 cents per, beginning April 6.

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, aka the Emmy people, are considering ways to help make the Emmy kudoscast move along a little better. That doesn’t necessarily mean handing out awards faster – in fact their goal is quite the opposite.  They’re looking at ways to slow down the award giving, and having more time for stuff between awards, while maintaining a good pace to hold the viewing audience’s attention.  That presents them with the problem of which awards are the best to present in primetime, and which ones, if any, should move over to the Creative Arts ceremony, not seen on broadcast television.  Naturally, nobody wants their award moved out of primetime, so there’s plenty of debating and discussing going on and you shouldn’t expect a resolution any time too soon.  All of this is in part due to last year’s ratings for the show on ABC – with 13.78 million viewers, the smallest audience to tune in since Fox’s show in 1990 (12.3 million).  Generally, the program draws in between 17 and 19 million viewers.  This year’s event is scheduled to air on September 18; the Creative Arts Ceremony to air on September 11.

Jerry Springer has been signed to host a daily daytime talker across the pond on British television by ITV.  The show will run for a month in either May or June, and ITV promises it will be tamer than Springer’s US series.

Twentieth Television‘s syndicated series A Current Affair has signed Arthel Neville to join as West Coast correspondent.  The show kicks off on Monday in first run syndication on the Fox O&Os.

March 16 was a big day for Court TV – 1.2 million viewers tuned in at 5pm to learn about Scott Peterson’s sentencing, second only to Fox News.  And from 6-7pm, cameras were in the court room when the jury returned with a not-guilty verdict for Robert Blake, and 1.0 million viewers were watching Court TV for their coverage, again second only to Fox News.

On April 4 NPR will debut its project This I Believe, based on the 1950’s radio show hosted by Edward R. Murrow.  Each week, NPR will feature a three minute essay read by its author and introduced on Jay Allison’s newsmagazines Morning Edition or All Things Considered.  Numerous notable Americans that have agreed to participate, including President Bill Clinton, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, William F. Buckley Jr., John Updike, Newt Gingrich, Ron Howard, Her Majesty Queen Noor, Gloria Steinem, musician Laurie Anderson, and many others. More than 600 public radio stations across the country carry NPR.  This I Believe essays will also be available online at

Note to self:  Monster House airs on Fridays now, starting tonight at 8p on Discovery.  Take notes re: who not to hire when redoing the house, especially Dr. Wood who seems to make better TV than houses.


Anthony White has joined Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel as VP/Marketing.  The announcement was made today by Laura Masse, Senior Vice President, Marketing, for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, to whom Anthony will report.  He will be based in the LA office and oversee the strategic development and implementation of all marketing related activities for Affiliate Marketing, Consumer Marketing and Media Planning. 

Andy Alford has been named VP/GM of Meredith Broadcasting Corp.’s WGCL/Atlanta.  Andy was upped from Station Mgr/GSM, replacing Mary Berryhill.


Wednesday – A18-49 Analysis:  Fox pulled out another win Wednesday night despite airing just a half hour of American Idol, delivering a 5.7/15 A18-49 for the night according to fast affiliate ratings from Nielsen Media Research.  CBS was #2 with a 4.9/13, followed distantly by ABC 3.1/8, NBC 2.7/7, UPN 1.4/4, WB 0.8/2.  At 8pm CBS’Survivor, airing on a special night to accommodate the NCAA Basketball tourney, delivered a 6.8/18, ahead of #2 Fox’s 3.9/11 for back to back repeats of That 70’s Show.  Lost on ABC, a repeat, earned a 2.6/7.  UPN’s America’s Next Top Model saw its highest adult number among W18-34 with a 4.6/13, #2 behind Survivor. At 9p Fox dominated the hour with a 11.6/18 for American Idol/Simple Life.  Idol by itself drew a 14.9/23, while Simple Life fell off modestly to a 8.3/13, still winning its half hour. At 10p NBC grabbed the win with a 8.3/14 for a repeat of Law & Order, CSI:NY earned a  7.0/12, while Wife Swap on ABC pulled a 5.4/9.

FINAL HOUSEHOLD Ratings:  Wednesday, March 16, 2005, for all Networks – program averages.  Source: Nielsen Media Research. 

FOX     8.4/13   That 70’s Show [r] 4.8/8, That 70’s Show [r] 5.7/9, American Idol 14.9/23, Simple Life 8.3/13

CBS     8.2/13   Survivor (OTO) 10.7/17, King of Queens 7.1/11, Yes Dear 6.8/11, CSI: NY  [r] 7.0/12

NBC     6.3/10   American Dreams 4.1/6, West Wing 6.5/10, Law & Order [r] 8.3/14

ABC     5.6/9    Lost [r] 5.9/9, Alias 5.6/8, Wife Swap 5.4/9

UPN     2.5/4    Next Top Model 3.5/5, Kevin Hill [r] 1.6/2

WB      1.4/2    Smallville [r] 1.8/3, Jack & Bobby [r] 1.0/2

A18-49                Fox 5.7/15, CBS 4.9/13, ABC 3.1/8, NBC 2.7/7, UPN 1.4/4, WB 0.8/2

Friday Fun Fact:  The theme played at the beginning of the “Green Hornet” series was the “Flight of the Bumble Bee” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1963 – The U.S Supreme Court rules in Gideon v. Wainwright that the state is obligated to provide public defenders for defendants in felony cases who are too poor to afford a lawyer.
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  The song “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral”, a 1913 Irish lullaby written by James Royce Shannon, was made popular in what Hollywood movie?  GOING MY WAY (1944) with Bing Crosby.  Bing recorded the song for Decca on July 7, 1944. It quickly became another million-seller for him and spent 12 weeks on the Billboard charts in 1944, reaching as high as No. 4. The song was also used in the 1992 film Housesitter, but Going My Way made it a hit. Kudos to: Marieclair Odell-Discovery Nets Int’l/Silver Spring; Peter Gordon-The Golf Channel/Orlando; Eli Bailin-Coca Cola City, Mediavest/NY; Chris Walch-Island Def Jam Records/NY; Dave Copple-Fox Station Sales/Chicago; Tim Olsen-Media First Int’l/Minneapolis; Keith Gifford-KIDK/Idaho Falls; Kathie Bowers-KECI/Missoula; Drew Hallman-Pie Town Prods/LA; Lou Zaccheo-Video from Video/LA; Pierre Vudrag-Fox Cable Networks/Beverly Hills; Randall Bosley-Studio Talent Group/Santa Monica.


The world’s largest sapphire.  It’s beautiful.
If all goes well, they’ll have it in their hands in just a few minutes.
Hearts are pounding. Listen. What’s that sound?  It’s footsteps. A security guard is coming..

Impossible Heists airs Tuesdays at 11PM e/p on
Court TV: The Investigation Channel.

Looking for a captive audience to watch your ads? We’ve got it.  See for details.

Today’s Trivia Question:
   Actors who have played the title role in “The Saint” in the movies or on television include Hugh Sinclair, George Sanders, Louis Hayward, and Roger Moore.  Who am I leaving out?  (click here 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
03.18.05   5:36am

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JOB OPENING: VICE PRESIDENT, CMT Dukes of Hazzard Institute.*  Forget working for Donald Trump, the real dream job is getting paid $100,000 to watch television. Stress-free job responsibilities include: watch The Dukes of Hazzard weeknight at 7 and 11 ET/PT on CMT; know the words to The Dukes of Hazzard theme song, Good Ol’ Boys; write The Dukes of Hazzard Institute online blog for ; serve as expert on all things The Dukes of Hazzard and maybe take The General Lee for a spin now and then. Job Application: .  *The position requires the execution of a one-year, $100,000 Independent Contractor agreement with GREAT!   (3/25)

JOB OPENING: ACCT REP, AFF SALES/AETN, NY. Support NE Aff Sales thru presentations, client events, trade shows. BA/BS req’d. 2 yrs aff or local ad sales or cable op exp. Significant travel req’d. Email:

JOB OPENING: ASSOC MGR/AD SALES MKTG/Nat Geo Chan. 3-6 yrs cable ad sales mktg exp., bachelor’s degree; develop and implement new ideas for on-air, online, and off-air sponsorship promo and pkgs. apply online:  (3/25)

JOB OPENING: Sales Reps: Triptych TV, a full service creative consortium for television branding and content development is looking for Sales Reps – primary emphasis US and Canada. Contact:

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, AFFILIATE MARKETING, OLN- Stamford, CT – Develop/execute affiliate and LAS promos for anchor pgming. 5+ yrs affiliate mktg exp at cable network. See Resume/salary:

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH MGR/BET-Chicago. 3-5 yrs cable or agency res exp; Skilled w/MRI, NMR Systems & var. res tools; MS Office proficient. Analytical, detailed, pgm/rtg savvy spec to African-Amer mkt. Email:

JOB OPENING: CLIENT SERVICES -Nielsen Media Research/NY. Responsible for Installing, Training & Supporting NMR software at client sites. Training and Presentation exp a must. Ad*Views a+ ref:(20052482-JL) (3/24)

JOB OPENING: SALES ASSISTANT/Galavision, NY. Detail-oriented, exc comm/math/MS Office skills; asst Sales Team w/presentations/reports/clerical work. Spanish speaking highly pref/not req. Resume:

JOB OPENING: TRAFFIC MGR/KVVU, Las Vegas/Henderson. 5+ yrs station exp, HS Grad req. Wide Orbit or PC based traffic sys. A +. Will supervise 3. Detailed oriented, problem solver, team player.  Apply at:

JOB OPENING:  Sony Pictures TV seeks SR ANALYST IN AD SALES for RESEARCH DEPT. 3-5 yrs experience req. Nielsen software proficiency req. Midtown Mnhtn. Please submit resume to
for consideration.   (3/23)

JOB OPENING:  Sony Pictures TV seeks EXEC DIR OF AD SALES FOR RESEARCH DEPT. 5-10 yrs exp; able to create sales materials and monitor/anticipate trends. Exc comm skills. Nielsen rtgs software. Contact

JOB OPENING: NETWORK SALES PLANNER – Galavision, NY. Exc. written/verbal comm skills, quantitative skills a must, org., team player, prioritize projs. Prior DealMaker exp a +; Excel req. email:

JOB OPENING: MEDIA ASSISTANT-O.C./Los Angeles.  Maintain station invoices/makegoods. Learn to buy. Must be good on phone and multi-tasking. Fun shop, Media exp. a plus. Resume:

JOB OPENING: PR/MRKTG for Anim. Studio & Dist. Co/LA. Innovative self-starter w/1-3 yrs. related exp. Write releases/pitch consumer press, etc. New position w/great opp. for growth.  F/T w/benefits. Apply

Production Office Space: Turnkey Production Space, West 37th Street NYC, 7,000 sq. ft. space w/ Exec. Offices, Conf. Room, 5 edit suites, and phone & furniture for 50 included. Below Market & Ready-To-Move In! Contact: Alison 917-351-8432    (3/19)

JOB OPENING: SALES ASSISTANT, INVISION/NY. College degree, 2+ yrs exp. media sales. Knowledge: Ad Sales process. MUST HAVE DealMaker sales system. Prepare & attend sales presentations, demos & trade shows.

JOB OPENING: COORDINATOR, PGM PLNG & SCHEDULING, Nickelodeon. Pgm sked incl dayparts, premiere rollouts, changes. Min 1-2 yrs TV Pgming exp, detailed oriented/self starter. Interest in kids pgming a +. Apply: (3/19)

JOB OPENING: LINE PRODUCER, The N/NY. Manage/supervise prod finance for Dev & Series. Min 7 yrs exp Production Mgmt &w/scripted series. Knwldg of Union Guild Rules. Strong finan./contractual/neg skills. Apply: (3/19)

JOB OPENING: OFFLINE CAPTIONER/Starz Entertainment Group, Colorado. Strong written, computer and typing skills needed to create closed captioning for SEG programming.  More information at , Ref 406 10359  (3/19)


SITUATION WANTED:  FREELANCE CINEMATOGRAPHER Detroit, all Midwest. 17 yrs exp; Disc, History, HGTV, Food, Travel, ABC, BBC, CBS, PBS, ESPN, et al.Details on credits, equip, www.ekcine.comor 248-705-8798 or ekcine

SITUATION WANTED:  PERSONAL ASSISTANT with experience both on location and in office available to start immediately. Email
or 512.517.2615  (3/24)

SITUATION WANTED: REALITY SEGMENT PRODUCER; Major network experience; Creative; Results oriented; Great with comedy, games, surprises, and hidden camera; Great interviewer as well. 
LA based  (3/23)

SITUATION WANTED:  NYC OPERATIONS/PRODUCTION MANAGER. MBA. Twenty-five years experience network/local station level including fifteen at CBS and NBC. Seeking staff position with progressive company.  Contact:

SITUATION WANTED:  LA – A confident and assertive TV industry prof. w/ an MBA and 1.25 yrs of exp. as a TV RESEARCH ANALYST (Galaxy Explorer/Marketbreaks/NPower/SNAP/WRAP)seeking a TV Research Analyst position.

SITUATION WANTED:  NYC: Trained SCREENWRITER exp’d in reality TV development, casting & production seeks opportunity in TV WRITING on a show: sitcom, drama, factual, etc. Assistant position ok. Samples available.


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ABC              8 Simple Rules, 8 Simple Rules, Hope & Faith, Less than Perfect, 20/20
CBS              NCAA Basketball (12n-5p and 7p-12m)
FOX              Bernie Mac, Bernie Mac, That 70’s Show, That 70’s Show
NBC              Dateline, Medical Investigation, L&O: Trial by Jury
PAX              Young Blades, Early Edition, Cold Turkey
UPN              Star Trek Enterprise, Top Model [r]
WB               What I Like About You [r], What I Like About You [r], Reba [r], Blue Collar TV [r]
TELE             La Mujer en el Espejo, Gitanas, Te Voy a Ensenar a Querer
UNIV             Apuesta por un Amor, El Gran Final de Amor Real [especial]

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