Friday, November 6th, 2009



Good morning. It’s Friday, November 6, 2009, and this is your first early morning briefing.  And as always, if you prefer to watch this morning’s news instead of reading it, click here.  

Tonight’s Premieres:
MSG Network: The Mike D’Antoni Show at 7p
Travel Channel: Ghost Adventures Live at 8p
WE tv: Platinum Babies at 9p

Saturday’s Premieres:
CNBC: ‘Til Debt Do Us Part at 10p
FOX: The Wanda Sykes Show at 11p

Sunday’s Premiere:
Adult Swim: Metalocalypse at 1230a

Sunday’s Finales:
FUEL TV: The Adventures of Danny and the Dingo at 830p
VH1: Tool Academy at 9p
AMC: Mad Men at 10p


In order to make way for other midseason series, CBS announced it is cutting the episode order of Numbers from 22 to 16 episodes. CBS has several shows waiting in the wings to take over Numbers’ Friday night slot, including the reality series Undercover Boss and new dramas Miami Trauma, The Bridge and returning series Flashpoint. Numbers is currently in its sixth season.

Scripps Networks Interactive is purchasing a 65% portion of Travel Channel Media from Cox Communications, valuing the Travel Channel at close to $1 billion. Scripps Networks and Cox are forming a joint venture over the next several months, with Scripps controlling the 65% stake and putting in $181 million in cash and guaranteeing $878 million in debt that will be indemnified by Cox, which will retain a 35% ownership in the joint venture. The Travel Channel, launched in 1987, currently reaches 95 million US TV households.

Reports jockeyed back and forth yesterday regarding the fate of The Oprah Winfrey Show. One report from Deadline Hollywood Daily said The Oprah Winfrey Show will switch from broadcast syndication when the show’s contract with CBS Television Distribution expires in 2011 and move to Winfrey’s new cable network, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network due to launch Fall 2010. Executives associated with the Oprah show said nothing has been finalized. Additionally, OWN and Harpo Productions said Winfrey would make a definitive announcement by the end of this year. Executives at CBS Television Distribution also concurred that they are not aware of any immediate moves for the show, saying “the decision is Oprah’s to make.”

TLC is adding to its wedding-themed programming this winter with three new series highlighting different ways people get married:

  • Happily Ever Faster – Series showcases the family-owned business The Chapel of Flowers, a popular wedding chapel complex located on the famous Las Vegas Strip. The business, despite serving up to 50 couples per day, still boasts they can offer each engaged couple a top-notch, tasteful wedding. TLC ordered six episodes and will air them stacked, two per week back-to-back. Leftfield Productions executive produces with the first episode opening November 20 at 10p.
  • Four Weddings – Four brides agree to be the guests at each other’s weddings, with all judging which wedding was the best. The winning bridal couple wins a dream honeymoon and the bragging rights. Four Weddings is a TLC production and executive produced by ITV Studios. Ten episodes were ordered with a sneak peak airing on December 11 at 10p with the series premiere on January 30 at 10p.
  • Manhattan Marriage Project with Gino Filippone (wt) – This series follows minister/wedding planner and therapist, Gino Filippone as he creates memorable weddings for his clients on the 55th floor of the Empire State Building. TLC ordered six episodes and this series is a TLC production with Nancy Glass Productions executive producing. A sneak preview episode will air December 18 at 10p with the series premiere on January 8 at 10p.

Tonight, WE tv welcomes the new original series Platinum Babies to its lineup, with back-to-back half-hour episodes at 9p and 930p. In each episode, baby planners to the stars, Jessica Denay and Natalie Klein of The Hot Moms Club, work with the wealthy “platinum” parents to outfit nurseries and throw expensive baby showers in anticipation of the new arrival. Also, professional baby proofer, Kimberlee Mitchell, who has baby-proofed the homes of such famous people as Matt Damon and Britney Spears, will lend her advice about safeguarding homes.

NBC Universal is gearing up for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games from February 12-28, 2010 by announcing a comprehensive affiliate marketing campaign. The program targets multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) and their subscribers with customizable campaign packages and multi-platform offerings to support the Winter Olympic programming. The marketing campaign will encompass an Awareness Campaign where NBCU will feature Olympic programming on its networks; under Digital Services Offering, for the first time each sport venue will be filmed in hi-def with hi-def coverage available on the NBCU networks; NBCU will make Olympic highlights and full event rewinds available On Demand; and through Interactive TV (iTV), customers will be able to access special features such as medal counts, athlete bios and team USA updates.


The Tribune station group made a renewal agreement with NBC Universal Television Distribution for three of its syndicated talk shows, Maury, Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos through the 2011-2012 season. This renewal order also makes it certain that all three shows will continue for three more years. The trio of shows were renewed on a cash-plus barter basis. Recently, Tribune station group also re-upped a handful of stripped shows distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution through 2012 including Judge Mathis, People’s Court, TMZ and Judge Jeanine Pirro in addition to the weekly This Old House.

National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) made a deal with Tourism Queensland and Beyond Productions to acquire the upcoming six-part docu-series Best Job in the World. Ben Southall, known as Tourism Queensland’s Island Caretaker, will star in the series available on NGCI’s Nat Geo Adventure Channel and the National Geographic Channel in 2010. Australian-based Beyond Productions will follow Ben on the job as caretaker during his six month stint.

CNBC acquired three seasons of the Canadian financial makeover series ‘Til Debt Do Us Part from Canadian-based Picture Box Distribution. The Canadian series with 104 half-hour episodes opens on CNBC this Saturday at 10p and again at 1a. Double episodes will air each Saturday night until further notice. The popular series, produced by Frantic Films in association with Canwest Broadcasting’s Slice, follows financial guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade as she uses her brand of tough love to save families from financial ruin. In addition, Picture Box Distribution has sold the series internationally to Discovery Asia, Zone Media in the UK, Talit Communication in Israel and to Sweden’s TV4.


Comedy Central handed a pilot order to The Onion for a 30m scripted comedy series inspired by the popular online video series, Onion Sports Network. The yet-to-be-titled series will feature all modern sports – the teams, players, leagues and fanatical fans as well as the products and overly-hyped sports coverage. Julie Smith, Onion News Network producer and director Will Graham will executive produce the series. Lisa Leingang is the executive in charge of production for Comedy Central.

FX has a period Western drama series in development titled Reconstruction from Joshua Brand, co-creator of St. Elsewhere and director/producer Peter Horton, cites THR. The drama will be set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction period and focus in on Jason, a dignified East Coast gentleman who, after returning from the war, seeks sanctuary in the border state. Brand will write the script while Horton will direct; both will executive produce along with Aaron Kaplan.

Reiko Aylesworth and Sarah Wynter, who together appeared during season two of FOX’s 24, are both joining the FX drama series Damages, per THR. Wynter will play a mysterious security specialist helping the assistant DA (Martin Short) investigate a financial scam while Aylesworth will play the wife of Campbell Scott’s character.


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Wednesday  A18-49 Analysis: FOX polished a major win Wednesday night at 7.3/20 A18-49, according to final national ratings from Nielsen. Game 6 of the World Series was a win not only for the NY Yankees but for FOX as well delivering an overall 7.4/20 with A18-49 and 22.3 million total viewers. The 2009 World Series on FOX was up 41% among A18-49 versus 2008 and was the highest rated World Series in five years with A18-49 and total viewers. At 8p, FOX delivered a 6.2/18 while the average of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried on CBS came next at 2.0/5. FOX drove up the ratings during 9p to a 7.9/20 with CBS trailing again in second with Criminal Minds at 3.4/9. FOX and the World Series held steady through 10p at 7.8/20 with CBS once again at #2 with CSI: NY posting a 2.8/8.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 (November Sweep Day 7) time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

FOX: 13.5/22      World Series Game 6: Philadelphia at NY Yankees 13.4/22

CBS: 6.6/11          Old Christine 4.5/7, Gary Unmarried 4.1/6, Criminal Minds 7.8/12, CSI: NY 7.7/13

NBC: 4.3/7           Mercy 4.3/7, Law & Order: SVU 5.4/8, The Jay Leno Show 3.3/6

ABC: 3.9/6          Hank 3.4/5, The Middle 3.8/6, Modern Family 5.3/8, Cougar Town 4.5/7, Eastwick 3.1/5

UNIV: 2.1/3        En Nombre Del Amor 2.1/3, Sortilegio 2.4/4, Don Francisco Presenta 1.7/3

CW: 1.7/3           America’s Next Top Model 2.6/4, Vampire Diaries [r] 0.9/1

ION: 0.6/1          Ghost Whisperer 0.6/1, Ghost Whisperer 0.6/1, Criminal Minds 0.7/1

TELE: 0.5/1         Mas Sabe El Diablo 0.6/1, Futbol Estelar: Chivas vs. Indios 0.5/1

A18-49: FOX 7.3/20, CBS 2.7/7, ABC 2.1/6, NBC 1.8/5, UNIV 1.6/4, CW 1.2/3, TELE 0.5/1, ION 0.3/1


Continental Television Sales, a unit of Katz Television Group, upped Rebecca Meyer to VP/Director of Sales to manage the East Central station group. Rebecca will be located out of Continental’s Chicago office. Rebecca originally began at Continental in 1990 as a sales assistant.’s Executive News Editor, Mark Schone is joining ABC News in December as Managing Editor of the Blotter, the website featuring the work of Brian Ross and the ABC News investigative team. Mark had been with since 2006, in charge of all news, opinion and political content.


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Friday Fun Fact:  The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley’s gum. 

This day in History:  1967 – Phil Donahue began a TV talk show in Dayton, OH. The show was on the air for 29 years.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:   Will & Grace and The Golden Girls are two of three TV-series to win Emmys for all their principal castmembers. What is the third series to reach this distinguished honor?  Hint:  All three of these series feature four principal characters.  ALL IN THE FAMILY (Seinfeld, a popular answer to this question, while the show and each of the principals were nominated numerous times, the only individual Outstanding Actor or Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmys won went to Michael Richards three times [1997,  1994 and 1993] and to Julie-Louis Dreyfus won once [1996].) Kudos to: Greg West-WATC/Atlanta; Joni Cohen Zlotowitz-WABC/NY; Katie Crowley-Hill Holliday/Boston; Anderson Angad-Media Storm/NY; John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas; RT Harris-WJHG/Panama City; Brian Nyenhuis-SpotPlus/Dallas; Evan Weinstein-The Amazing Race/LA; Al Baldwin-NBC Studios/Studio City; Nielsen Business Concepts/Manhattan Beach; Dennis Aimino-KABC/LA; Tanya Pirozzo-Corus Entertainment/Toronto

Today’s Trivia Question:  For the full run of this series, the Ford Galaxie was the featured vehicle.  Updated regularly as new models came off the line. Who drove this car?  (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: PR COORD/HGTV/NY: 1+ yrs PR exp. Manage dept. admin, press inquiries & requests, assist in pitching and writing press releases, full details:      Job #1186 (11/7)
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ABC:  Supernanny, Ugly Betty, 20/20
AZTECA: Laura de Todos, Lo Que Callamos Las Mujeres Edicion Especial, Al Extremo
CBS: Ghost Whisperer, Medium, Numb3rs
CW:  Smallville, America’s Next Top Model [r]
FOX:  House [r], Bones [r]
ION: Movie: Heist (7-9p), Criminal Minds, Criminal Minds
NBC:  Law & Order,Law & Order, Jay Leno Show
PBS: Washington Week, Now on PBS, Bill Moyers Journal, Hallowed Grounds
TELE: Mas Sabe el Diablo, Ninos Ricos Padres Pobres, Victorinos
UNIV:  El Nombre del Amor, Sortilegio, Lo que No Vio de los Latin Grammy

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