Friday, May 28th, 2004





Good morning. It’s Friday, May 28, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing.

And so the sweep ends as does the 2003-04 television season.  And it won’t begin again until … well, for Fox that would be in about a week and a half.  Welcome to a whole new era in broadcast television.

Here’s how the season to date shakes out: 9/22/03-5/26/04Note CBS is the only network who was up in these two categories
A18-49: NBC 4.2/12 (-7% vs. last year), Fox 4.1/11 (-5%), CBS 3.9/11 (+3%), ABC 3.2/9 (-16%), WB 1.5/4 (-17%), UPN 1.4/4 (-7%)
Total Viewers: CBS 13.087 million (+4%), NBC 11.011 million (-6%), Fox 9.735 million (-2%), ABC 8.989 million (-10%), WB 3.628 million (-11%), UPN 3.370 million (-4%)
Source: Nielsen Media Research 

Fox has cancelled plans to air a 2-hour reality/game special called Seriously, Dude, I’m Gay.  The point of this show was for two straight guys to try and convince others they were gay.  When Fox announced the show, clearly they knew there would be repercussions from the gay community and in an effort to be proactive, sent an advance copy over to GLAAD.  That organization later characterized the show as “an exercise in systemic humiliation” though does give Fox credit for being proactive first for providing an advance copy, and later for cancelling the special even before GLAAD had a chance to fully voice their concerns.  The show was originally scheduled to air on June 7, and has now been replaced with an airing of the movie American Pie 2.

CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) announced their scheduling plans for the upcoming season and among those plans are two new reality seriesMaking the Cut and The Greatest Canadian.  The latter is Canada’s version of American Idol, but rather than looking for a superstar music artist, the show is searching for the country’s most admirable living (or not) citizen.  The other show, Making the Cut is the preeminent reality show for Canada.  Set in the world of professional hockey, this show follows six hockey hopefuls as they try to find their way into the NHL. 

Mediacom has signed a carriage deal with Reality Central, a new cable network slated to launch this fall.  Reality Central will be carried on Mediacom’s digital tier.  Mediacom’s systems pass approx 2.77 million homes and serve about 1.53 million basic subscribers in 23 states. Additionally, Reality Central has announced another carriage deal with Caribbean Cable Cooperative Ltd., a consortium of more than 50 cable systems in the Caribbean and Atlantic Basin, reaching subs in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Trinidad, some in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. On these systems, R.C. will be carried on both digital and analog tiers.

A&E’s The Biography Channel and History International have cleared another market with the addition of Cox Communications of Las Vegas.  In celebration of the new channels, Cox and Biography Channel will unveil an additional exhibit which will include showings of Biography Channel programs at the Las Vegas themed media library at the Nevada State Museum and Historical Society on June 2.

Today is the day that G4 and TechTV join together as one to become G4TechTV.  With all of the preparation made on-air, online and in print, the merger should be somewhat seamless to viewers who will be able to view the newly unified network on Comcast, Time Warner, Mediacom, Insight, Cablevision, Charter, Adelphia, Cox, Cable One, Dish and DirecTV.  Many of the TechTV show favorites will be found on G4TechTV with the exception of Tech Live and Call for Help, both of which will be sorely missed.  TechTV shows that will be included in the new programming line-up: Anime Unleashed, Body Hits, Eye Drops, Fresh Gear, Future Fighting Machines, Invent This, Nerd Nation, Robot Wars, Screen Savers, Thunderbirds, Unscrewed, and X-Play.  And from the groom’s side G4 shows coming to G4TechTV include: Arena, Cheat, Cinematech, Electric Playground, Filter, Icons, Judgment Day, Players, Portal, Pulse and Sweat.  A day to day programming line-up can be found at

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of May 10-16, 2004 ranked by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (King World)                 8.2 AA  
Oprah (King World)                      7.4 AA / 7.5 GAA
Jeopardy (King World)                   6.8 AA
Dr. Phil (King World)                   5.9 AA / 6.0 GAA
Seinfeld (Sony)                         5.8 AA / 7.1 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  5.5 AA / 6.8 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    5.4 AA / 6.1 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       5.2 AA / 5.4 GAA
Judge Judy (Paramount)          5.0 AA / 7.4 GAA
Live with Regis and Kelly (Buena Vista) 3.5 AA
Source Nielsen Media Research

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of May 10-16, 2004 ranked by A18-49
Seinfeld (Sony)                         4.0 AA / 4.8 GAA
Friends (Warner Bros.)                  3.7 AA / 4.3 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (King World)    2.9 AA / 3.3 GAA
Oprah (King World)                      2.8 AA / 2.9 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (Paramount)       2.4 AA / 2.4 GAA
King of the Hill (20th)                 2.3 AA / 2.5 GAA
Dr. Phil (King World)                   2.3 AA / 2.3 GAA
That 70’s Show (Carsey-Werner)  2.3 AA / 2.3 GAA
Wheel of Fortune (King World)           2.2 AA
Will & Grace (Warner Bros.)             2.1 AA / 2.5 GAA
Judge Judy (Paramount)          2.0 AA / 2.8 GAA
Jeopardy (King World)                   1.9 AA
Source Nielsen Media Research

Top 5 Broadcast Spanish Language Primetime Programs for the week of May 17 – 23, 2004
UNIV    Mariana de la Noche (Mon 8p)            23.0 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Mariana de la Noche (Tue 8p)            22.1 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Bajo La Misma Piel (Wed 9p)             21.9 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Bajo La Misma Piel (Tue 9p)             21.5 NHTI HH Rtg
UNIV    Mariana de la Noche (Thu 8p)            20.8 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 17 – 23, 2004
Fox     American Idol (Wed 9p)                          9.0 NHTI HH Rtg
Fox     American Idol (Tue 8p)                          8.7 NHTI HH Rtg
Fox     That 70’s Show – Season Finale (Wed 830p)       7.3 NHTI HH Rtg
UPN     WWE Smackdown (Thu 8p)                  6.9 NHTI HH Rtg
CBS     CSI: Miami (Mon 10p)                            6.8 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 17 – 23, 2004 – highest rated primetime network programs in African American TV homes according to Nielsen Media Research
ABC     Motown 45 (Mon 8p)                      19.8 HH Rtg
FOX     American Idol (Wed 9p)                  19.8 HH Rtg
FOX     American Idol (Tue 8p)                  18.1 HH Rtg
ABC     My Wife and Kids (Wed 830p)             14.3 HH Rtg
ABC     My Wife and Kids (Wed 8p)               14.0 HH Rtg
UPN     All of Us       (Tue 830p)                      13.2 HH Rtg
NBC     Law & Order: SVU (Tue 10p)              12.4 HH Rtg
UPN     Half & Half (Mon 930p)                  12.1 HH Rtg
UPN     Girlfriends (Mon 9p)                    12.1 HH Rtg
UPN     One on One (Tue 8p)                     11.9 HH Rtg
Source Nielsen Media Research

Mindy Herman is leaving E! Entertainment Network as Pres/CEO, though will be around for a little while longer as E!’s parent company, Comcast, looks for her replacement.  Herman had been with E! since 2000, and had six months left on her current contract. In a statement provided by Herman she said he was leaving the company to spend time with her family and to pursue other entrepreneurial interests.

I would imagine CBS, ABC, NBC, WB, UPN and PAX are about as excited as Fantasia to have the whole of American Idol over.  Fox blew away the competition on Wednesday night with a major league 12.0/31 A18-49 (15.6 W18-49) according to Nielsen Media Research.  The live broadcast also ran over by 2 minutes, ending at 10:02pm. The highest rated half hour was naturally the final 930-10p block which earned a 15.0 A18-49 rating, with a 19.6 rating among W18-49.  CBS was #2 overall for the night with the Country Music Awards posting a 3.3/9, followed by ABC 3.1/8, NBC 2.9/8, WB and UPN 1.1/3.   The back to back hour of My Wife & Kids season finale on ABC drew a 2.8/8; while the finale of Star Trek Enterprise on UPN posted a 0.6/1 among A18-49, and a 0.7/2 among M18-49.  At 10p, with Fox safely tucked in for the night, NBC climbed to a 4.2/11 for a repeat of Law & Order, CBS posted a 4.0/11 for the same hour, and ABC’s Super Millionaire delivered a 3.4/9.

Peter Alexander has been named NBC News Correspondent effective mid-June.  Peter will contribute to Today, NBC Nightly News  and MSNBC programs.  The announcement was made by NBC News President Neal Shapiro.

Leslie Zeller Schwartz has been named Director of Media Relations for MSNBC.  Leslie makes the move to MSNBC from Goodman Media International where she was VP.  Leslie’s husband Todd Schwartz is head of Alternative Program Development for Court TV.   Yeah Leslie!

G4techTV has named Gaynor Strachan Chun as SVP/Marketing.  Gaynor will oversee all areas of G4techTV’s brand and communication efforts including advertising, on-air design and promotion, consumer marketing, Internet, communications, and research. 

NBC has upped Sumithra Barry to SVP/NBC West Coast Program Research, NBC Entertainment.  In her new position, Sumi will be responsible for expanding on her previous role of Director/Program Research, to oversee all of the network’s primary research for all NBC programming. 

Wednesday, May 26, 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

FOX     16.0/26 American Idol, American Idol (ending at 10:02pm16.0/26

CBS     7.2/12  The 39th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards  7.2/12

NBC     6.5/10  L&O [r] 4.7/8, L&O [r] 6.2/9, L&O [r] 8.6/14

ABC     5.8/9   My Wife and Kids [season finale, part 1] 5.1/9, My Wife and Kids [season finale, part 2] 5.4/9, The Bachelor: After the Final Rose 5.4/8, Super Millionaire 6.8/11

UPN     1.8/3   Star Trek Enterprise [season finale] 2.5/4, I’m Still Alive 1.1/2

WB      1.7/3   Movie: Ace Venture: Pet Detective 1.7/3

A18-49  Fox 12.0/31, CBS 3.3/9, ABC 3.1/8, NBC 2.9/8, WB and UPN 1.1/3



Delivered its highest A18-49 ratings EVER!

Delivered the Time Period’s second highest
A18-49 ratings in over Two Years!
(2nd only to last year’s Everybody Loves Raymond Season Finale)

#1 Time Period ranks with HH & All 18-49 demos!

Available exclusively from
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NTI Explorer, 5/24/04 or as noted.  TP=Monday 9:30-10pm. Excludes specials.

FRIDAY FUN FACT:   London, England, it is illegal to drive a car without sitting in the front seat.  Drive safely this weekend.

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1987 – In Washington, DC, thirteen-year-old Stephanie Petit wins the National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling “staphylococci.”

Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question:  Financial advertiser The Dreyfus Fund used a symbol designed to illustrate its Dignity, Power and Confidence.  That symbol was an animal. Can you remember what kind of animal it was and what specifically was the setting? Hint:  It was an on-location shot in NYC.  THE LION EMERGING FROM THE SUBWAY.  Kudos to:  Joe Pedri-New Solutions/Atlanta; Corey Miller-PUSH/Orlando; Todd Braverman-TV Guide Television Group/NY; Deborah Kapetanakis-Active Int’l/Pearl River; Mark Edwards-KEZK FM/St. Louis; Rich Ambrose-TeleCom Sales/Minneapolis; Ginny Windham-Optimedia Int’l/Dallas; David Hauptman-KUSA/Denver; Victor Miller-Wordsmith/Alameda; Mark Corte-Turner Bcsting/LA; Mike Kimmel-The Actor’s Network/Studio City; Dan Greenblatt-At Leisure Inc/LA, and Karen Markham-KYES/Anchorage.

Today’s Trivia Question:  Who did Corporal Rusty own?  (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.)


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Later — Cyn

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis
05/28/04   5:22am
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COURT TV:The Investigation Channel

Forensic Files
A18-49 audience up 31% vs. 2003
Great ROInvestigation

Who at The Media Edge has a 17 year old frog named Sammy?
Click this spot to enter to win a Flat Screen TV
Click here for source

COURT TV:       Forensic Files
ABC             George Lopez, Married to the Kellys [r], Hope & Faith [r], Life with Bonnie [r], 20/20
CBS             Joan of Arcadia, JAG, 48 Hours
FOX             Movie: Someone Like You
NBC             Dateline NBC, Las Vegas
PAX             MGM Night at the Movies: Getting Even with Dad, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             Movie: Repli-Kate
WB              MLB Baseball: New York Mets at Florida Marlins (Live)
TELE            Prisonera, El Alma Herida, Mujeres Apasionadas
UNIV            Mariana de la Noche, Bajo la Misma Piel, La Escuelita VIP



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