Monday, April 11th, 2005




#1 Program on Oxygen with Adults & Women 18-49
Beating high profile cable originals: Gastineau Girls (E!),
Family Plots (A&E) & Project Greenlight (Bravo)


Source: Nielsen Galaxy Explorer, 3/28-4/3/05, Cov Rtg. Series=Trackage, Movies=TC.  Murder=Sat 8p.  Tie #1 W18-49 w/Roseanne Sat 2:30p.



Good morning.  It’s Monday, April 11, 2005, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Voom’s days are numbered. Cablevision’s Board of Directors, including James Dolan/CEO, has voted to close down the satellite service as of April 30, but will keep its 21 hi-def channels and market them to other cable providers.  When last we heard, Chuck Dolan’s baby got a stay of execution in early March, giving him until March 31 to raise funds to buy Voom from Cablevision’s Rainbow DBS unit. Voom launched in 2003 and as of today has just 46,000 subscribers. In 2004, Voom lost $661 million, and was on track to lose another $400 million this year if it were to continue as is. Voom’s satellite was sold to Echostar for $200 million in January.  Charles Dolan had been negotiating with Cablevision and his son Tom Dolan to buy the remaining Voom assets, and when they were not able to come to terms by the March 31 deadline, the Board voted to shut down the service. Wall Street agreed with the Board; the stock was up at the close on Friday by 1.3%.

ABC will keep Grey’s Anatomy on Sunday nights at 10p through the end of the current season. The show was originally scheduled to air just four times, with Boston Legal returning for the May sweep to finish out its final 5 episodes.  After pulling in an average of 7.4 A18-49 rating in its first two outings, it seemed smarter to leave it where it is. Boston Legal will return next season with 27 new eps which include the 5 originals not shown this season.

UPN has given Veronica Mars a shot in the arm with a pick up order for next season.  This season the show aired on Tuesdays at 9p and averaged a 1.0/2 A18-49 rating.  Still on the fence at UPN is Kevin Hill.

Tonight’s Finale:
WB:      Summerland – 2 hr finale 8-10p


Sony Pictures Television has signed a development deal with Tom Fontana for two drama scripts.  One script will be a procedural drama, the other a character driven.  Tom also has a project brewing this development season at the WB called The Bedford Diaries (Warner Bros. TV/HBO Indy Prods), set in a Manhattan college and more specifically about the lives of a group of students attending a class in human s#xuality and behavior, starring Matthew Modine, Audra McDonald, Ernest Waddell, Penn Badgley, and Milo Ventimiglia.

Warner Bros. Television has signed a two year development deal with Becky Hartman Edwards, who will create and exec produce series for WBTV, per Variety.  Becky’s credits include S#x and the City, The Larry Sanders Show, American Dreams on NBC.

A new project is coming to HBO City Hall comes from directors Joe and Anthony Russo, the guys behind Arrested Development.  The new project is billed as semi-autobiographical and tracks a family of politicians in Cleveland.  The Russo family has been deeply involved in Cleveland politics since the 1960s.


A drama project in development at Fox titled Over There (20th) from Steven Bochco, set in and during the war in Iraq, will premiere on the international stage, available via pay TV.  Fox will roll out the project this week during the MIPTV conference in Cannes, per Hollywood Reporter.  Pay TV services that have picked up the show include Sky Italia (Italy), Premier (Germany) and Canal Plus (France). The show will be seen here in the US beginning this summer when it makes its debut on FX.  The show is an ensemble drama about the members of an Army unit sent to Iraq on their first tour of duty that also looks at the effects of war on those soldiers’ families at home. Cast includes Erik Palladino, Josh Henderson, Keith Robinson, Luke MacFarlane, Sticky Fingaz, Lizette Carrion, Nicki Aycox, Sprague Grayden, Jimmy Pinchak and Lombardo Boyar.

In 1984 Apple Computers made waves by urging people to “Think Different.” In 2005, the broadcast networks have struck out trying to apply that credo to upgrade the sitcom. Judging by the proposed pilots for next season, it’s apparent the networks have given up for now trying to regain viewers who have flocked to such “edgy” series as HBO’s dyspeptic Curb Your Enthusiasm and the dark humor of the absurdist Six Feet Under.
The apparent failures of NBC’s The Office, and Fox’s highly praised but scantily watched Arrested Development are written all over the new pilots. In are high concept shows with names like Tori Spelling (playing herself) and Freddie Prinze Jr. Out are laugh-track challenged comedies that make too many demands on the audience.
No one is sure yet whether Fox will renew Arrested: The network has so many holes that it might as well keep a prestigious show that has the side benefit of attracting talented people to the company. But industry veterans know why the show hasn’t caught on.
“It’s a very twisted, dysfunctional, broadly played, wonderfully executed show, but it doesn’t have characters you can relate to. It’s not Cosby or Ray Romano’s show,” said Allen Sabinson, who should know from edgy. At Showtime he oversaw the revolutionary comedy It’s Garry Shandling’s Show. Sabinson, now Director at the Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies at Drexel University, agreed that this year’s pilots “certainly look more commercial … than in any recent year I can remember.”
But some executives make a cogent argument for risk-taking. “There’s no difference, comedy, drama, edgy, non-edgy. Nine out of 10 shows fail,” noted Gary Chapman, President and CEO of LIN Broadcasting. Moreover, luck plays such a major part in the success of any series, it’s sometimes difficult to say why one failed. “Part of it is how it is promoted, how it was pre-sold, the time period, the network it’s on,” said Alan Frank, President and CEO of Post-Newsweek stations.
But that doesn’t mean that intelligent sitcoms like “Curb” have no homes outside of cable. Media buyers say clients are willing to support a few low-rated shows if they carry strong viewer loyalty because those audiences tend to pay more attention to the ads.  “We’re not just concerned with a number,” said Andy Donchin, EVP/Director of Broadcast at Carat. 
Sitcom tastes run in cycles, and history shows that the most desperate networks are the most likely to take a chance, as ABC did this year with Lost, a show that Michael Eisner reportedly hated, and as NBC did with Seinfeld.
 “Failure is the rule, not the exception in TV,” said John Rash, Director of Broadcast Negotiations at Minneapolis’ Campbell Mithun Advertising. “So the nets have all realized they have to continue to be innovative in order to be able to discover the formula that can rebuild the sitcom audience.”

Weekend Box Office Estimates: April 8-10, 2005
Sahara (Paramount)                                   $18.5 million – opening weekend
Sin City (Dimension)                                   $14.1 million – 2 wk total $50.7m
Fever Pitch (Fox)                                        $13.0 million – opening weekend
Guess Who (Sony)                                     $7.1 million – 3 wk total $51.1m
Beauty Shop (MGM)                         $7.1 million – 2 wk total $26.4m
Robots (Fox)                                              $4.7 million – 5 wk total $111.0m
Miss Congeniality 2 (Warner Bros.)           $4.1 million – 3 wk total $37.5m
The Pacifier (Buena Vista)                         $3.0 million – 6 wk total $100.5m
The Ring Two (DreamWorks)                   $2.9 million – 4 wk total $72.3m
The Upside of Anger (New Line)                $2.6 million – 5 wk total $12.4m
Source: Box Office Mojo


Bunim-Murray Productions has upped Scott Freeman to SVP/Current Programming and Development.  Scott will continue to work closely with and report to Philip Segal, EVP/Current Programming and Development.  In his expanded position, he will be responsible for co-creating, acquiring, developing and pitching new programs for Bunim-Murray Productions, and he will continue to provide creative input for the company’s slate of both scripted and unscripted series.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting‘s President, Kathleen Cox, resigned last Friday.  Kathleen came on board at CPB a year ago, agreeing at the time to a one year contract. Her resignation followed the completion of an internal study at CPB by McKinsey & Co., looking at several things including the corp’s major giving and audience appeal.  In reading the statement offered on the CPB website, it would seem Kathleen was brought in specifically to oversee the implementations of the McKinsey study, and now that the “McKinsey process is completed, Kathleen and the board believe that the time is right for new executive leadership.”  Kenn Ferree, currently EVP/COO, will act as interim President while a search for a new president gets underway.


Thursday – A18-49 Analysis:  Must see CBS continues to be the Thursday night mantra for viewers A18-49, as CBS posts an overall 6.4/17 A18-49, according to final numbers from Nielsen Media Research.  NBC was #2 with a 4.4/12, followed by Fox 2.4/7, ABC 1.9/5, UPN 1.8/5, WB .8/2.  At 8p Survivor led the hour with a 7.0/20, Fox’s The O.C. was next with a 3.0/9. At 9p a repeat of CSI led with a 7.3/19, beating an original The Apprentice on NBC with a 6.2/16. And a repeat of Without a Trace beat a repeat of ER, 4.7/13 vs. 4.2/11.

FINAL HOUSEHOLD RATINGS:   Thursday, April 7, 2005, for all Networks – program averages.  Source: Nielsen Media Research. 

CBS     12.2/19  Survivor 11.8/19, CSI [r] 14.3/22, Without a Trace [r] 10.3/17

NBC     6.9/11   Joey [r] 4.8/8, Will & Grace [r] 5.1/8, The Apprentice 9.1/14, ER [r] 6.7/121

ABC     4.4./7   Jake in Progress 3.8/6, Jake in Progress 3.9/6, Extreme Makeover 3.9/6, Primetime Live 3.5/9

FOX     3.6/6    The O.C. 4.4/7, Tru Calling 2.7/4

UPN     3.4/5    WWE Smackdown 3.4/5

WB      1.6/3    Blue Collar TV [r] 2.1/4, Blue Collar TV [r] 2.1/3, The Starlet [r] 1.0/2

A18-49                CBS 6.4/17, NBC 4.4/12, Fox 2.4/7, ABC 1.9/5, UPN 1.8/5, WB .8/2

Friday – A18-49 Analysis:  NBC was in front on Friday night with an overall 2.6/9 A18-49, according to fast affiliate ratings from Nielsen Media Research.  ABC was second with a 2.2/7, followed by CBS 1.8/6, Fox and WB 1.5/5, UPN 1.0/3. At 8p it was a three way tie between ABC, NBC and Fox, all scoring a 1.8/7; CBS was a moment behind with a 1.7/6.  WB’s premiere of Living with Fran delivered a 1.3/5 among A18-49, and a 1.7/7 among W18-34 which tied for #1 with Fox and ABC.  At 9p NBC led the hour with a 2.8/9.  ABC and WB were right behind, each delivering a 6 share.  WB’s second episode of Life with Fran at 930p earned a 1.7/6 A18-49 and a 2.1/8 among W18-34, second only to NBC.  NBC’s new L&O franchise, Trial by Jury, led the 10p hour with a 3.3/10 ahead of 20/20 on ABC (2.7/8).

Fast Affiliate Ratings:   Friday, April 8 2005, for all Networks – time period averages.  Source: Nielsen Media Research. 

NBC     6.5/11   Dateline 6.0/11, Third Watch 6.1/10, L&O: Trial by Jury 7.4/13

CBS     5.4/10   Joan of Arcadia 5.0/9, JAG 5.9/10, NUMB3RS 5.3/9

ABC     4.6/8    8 Simple Rules 3.9/7, 8 Simple Rules [r] 3.8/7, Hope & Faith 4.2/7, Less than Perfect 3.6/6, 20/20 6.1/11

WB      2.4/4    What I Like About You 1.6/3, Living with Fran [p] 2.2/4, Reba 3.0/5, Living with Fran  3.0/5

FOX     2.3/4    Bernie Mac 3.0/6, Malcolm [r] 2.6/5, 24 [r] 1.7/3

UPN     1.8/3    Star Trek Enterprise 1.8/3, Top Model [r] 1.8/3

A18-49                NBC 2.6/9, ABC 2.2/7, CBS 1.8/6, Fox and WB 1.5/5, UPN 1.0/3

Saturday – A18-49 Analysis:  Fox again led the charge on Saturday night with its usual lineup posting a 2.4/9 A18-49, according to fast affiliate numbers from Nielsen Media Research.  CBS was second for the night with a 2.2/8, followed by ABC 1.5/5, NBC 1.4/5.  At 8p and 9p, Fox led both hours with a 2.3/9 at 8p, and a 2.6/9 at 9p. During both hours, CBS was #2, delivering a 1.9/7 at 8p and a 2.4/8 at 9p. CBS also took the 10p hour with a 2.4/7. Repeats of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC earned a 1.5/5 at 9p and a 1.8/6 at 10p.

Fast Affiliate Ratings:   Saturday, April 9, 2005, for all Networks – time period averages.  Source: Nielsen Media Research. 

CBS     5.5/10   Price is Right 4.9/10, CSI: Miami [r] 6.0/11, 48 Hours Mysteries 5.6/10

FOX     4.2/8    Cops 3.3/7, Cops [r] 4.2/8, AMW 4.6/9

ABC     3.4/6    Little House 3.7/7,  Grey’s Anatomy [r] 3.2/6, Grey’s Anatomy [r] 3.4/6

NBC     3.2/6    Movie: Bowfinger 2.5/5, L&O: CI 4.7/9

A18-49                Fox 2.4/9, CBS 2.2/8, ABC 1.5/5, NBC 1.4/5

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1947 – Jackie Robinson breaks the color line in baseball when he plays in an exhibition between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees.  Robinson plays his first official game in the majors four days later at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.

Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question: This syndicated sitcom version of the old film Topper was available for local stations in 1994.  What was the name of this syndicated series? HEAVEN HELP US – the key word here being ‘syndicated’.  Kudos to: Robin Kenwood-ITN Networks/NY; Howard Konig-CooperDDB/Coral Gables; and Angela Newby-Spot Plus y Mas/Dallas.


Three little letters help detectives solve a lot of cases.
And this time we don’t mean DNA.  We mean…

Psychic Detectives airs tonight at 10PM E/P.
Only on Court TV: The Investigation Channel.

Three more letters that will interest you: ROI.  Visit for information.

Today’s Trivia Question:
   The first two seasons of the Dick Van Dyke Show, and all of the Seinfeld episodes featuring “George Steinbrenner” share a single technique – what is it? (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
04.11.05   5:14am

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JOB OPENING: CREATIVE SERVICES/MARKTNG DIR. Roberts Broadcasting, St. Louis. TV experience; send reel and resume to Bonni Burns, 1408 N. Kingshighway Ste. 300, STL, MO 63113. For complete info on job description go to  (4/16)

SUMMER INTERNSHIP – SCHOOL CREDITINTERN- NY for TV distributor: hands-on experience in the sales process of new TV programming and formats, working with agents, producers and TV networks! Send resumes to:
Unpaid position  (4/16)

JOB OPENING: INTEGRATED SALES MGR – A&E TV NETS – Create integrated ideas/proposals. Execute & manage after sale. BA Mktg/Bus 2 yr exp in cable sales/mktg or prog mgmt. Min 5yr mktg exp. E-mail res & sal reqs:

JOB OPENING: VP INTN’L AD SALES, AETN Intn’l– Provide ad sales strategies & best practices to intn’l affils. Dev global ad sales opps for AETN’s networks. Intn’l exp req’d. Local ad sales exp a+. Res&sal reqs:

JOB OPENING: COORD, VOD, Nick Jr. Pgm Planning/Sched-NY. Create/maintain pgm skeds/stunts/theme wks for VOD, Nick Jr., CBS Nick block. 2+ yrs exp in Pgming; solid online research knwldg. Spanish pref. Apply EOE  (4/15)

SUMMER INTERNSHIP – SCHOOL CREDIT:  Food Network, NY INTERN CONS. MKTG. Summer only, for college credit only. Proactive individual interested in TV adv, mktg and promos. More info: (4/14)

JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT MANAGER, MSA/NY. Must have media industry experience, client service, business development, project management, finance, contract negotiations, and technology implementation. Resume:

JOB OPENING: EMERGING MEDIA AE/ Chicago – sell advertising on, :30 spots & VOD.  4 years media exp.  More info: career section, key word: 18654BR or e-mail

JOB OPENING: EDITOR/WRITER, BROADBAND VOD-Scripps Networks/Knoxville. 5+ yrs exp ed. creative incl writing/editing. Familiar w/video prod; kwldg of web-based interactivity. Resume/cvr ltr:
Ref#4324-U    (4/14)

JOB OPENING: Norwalk,CT, no relo: ONLINE BUYER: all online campaigns. CABLE BUYER: sport or network &/or cable exp; STRATA A+. Mid-level Media Planner: broadcast, print,outdoor, alt. media exp. Email:

JOB OPENING: SR RESEARCH ANALYST, TBS/TNT Pgming Research-ATL.3-5 yrs Nat’lTV exp; strong analytical skills, ability to interpret/position data;exc. comm skills; info #38452BR; Resume

JOB OPENING: SR LOCAL TV MEDIA BUYER/NY Area. 5+ yrs agency exp; retail exp a +. Strong neg & comm skills; exc relationships in media community; proven ability to manage high profile accts. Resume:

JOB OPENING: ON-AIR SUPERVISING PRODUCER, BBC America/NY; 5-6 yrs cbl/bcst net exp; exp w/ process/project mgmt & detailed knwldge of promo production process; resumes/salary:

JOB OPENING: MGR, PROMO SCHEDULING, BBC America/NY; to develop on-air promo strategies & manage non-program air-time; 3-4 yrs exp w/ promo schedules & creating promo strategies; resume/salary:

JOB OPENING: SR. RESEARCH ANALYST, MTV/VH1 – NYC. Quantitative programming research. Strong data analysis and TV research background. 2-3 yrs experience. Please apply at . EOE  (4/13)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR AD SALES MKTG/Hallmark Channel-NY: Direct/implement adv, direct mail, sales collateral, event related pgms. Min.7 yrs exp. See full posting at . Resumes:

JOB OPENING:  AFFILIATE MKTG MGR/Jericho, NY. Strategic mktg support for the Rainbow Networks affil sales dept. Client service, project mgmt, comm skills exp/skills w/knowledge of cable industry.Apply:

JOB OPENING:  SR. COORDINATOR AD SALES MARKETING /Hallmark Channel NY: Support day to day activities and projects. Must have min. 2 yrs exp. See full posting at . Send resumes:

JOB OPENING: MGR-INT’L CONSUMER PRODUCTS (Home Video/Audio/Interactive)/NY. Day-to-day resp. for Int’l Video/Interactive/Audio Businesses. 3-4 yrs consumer prod, mktg, project mgmt, account mgmt exp req. Apply:  (4/12)


SITUATION WANTED:  DEVELOPMENT/ACQUISITIONS (TV/FILM). Creative head at prod. co. worked on feature at Sundance (Universal Pic.), writer/producer for MTV, PBS. Intl film and business background + creative. Contact:


SITUATION WANTED:  REALITY WRITER/PRODUCER:Seeks position on network/cable show. Experienced in scripted and non-scripted. Story edit/supervisory skills.Very creative. L.A./NY-based.
or call, (310) 435-5238. (4/14)

SITUATION WANTED:  NY/NJ TV PRODUCER with 11 years experience looking for TV producer job. Good person with experience on news shows, reality shows, court shows, fashion and entertainment shows. Email

SITUATION WANTED:  NYC-Talented SMOKE EDITOR/COMPOSITOR seeks creative Co. in TV/film post prod. Has over 11yrs exp working w/top ad agencies. Knowledge includes Avid,After Effects,Photoshop & FinalCut. Email: framefunk
for reel  (4/13)

SITUATION WANTED:  PRODUCER/AP/PROJECT MGR-NYC/LI  8+ yrs TV experience: PBS Docs, live/studio shows, field shoots, intvs, special events. Hard working, A+ references. Seeks permanent position. Avail immed. Contact: 

SITUATION WANTED:  PRODUCTION MANAGER, LA Based with 4 years of experience and great contacts. Background in Film and TV. Email

for rates and specs for Job Openings.

Are you looking for a job? Post your Situation Wanted Ad here — Email
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ABC              EM: HD How’d They Do That?, The Bachelor, Supernanny
CBS              Still Standing [r], Listen Up, Raymond [r], 2-1/2 Men [r], CSI: Miami [r]
FOX              Nanny 911, 24
NBC              Fear Factor, Miss USA 2005 Pageant (OTO)
PAX              AFV, AFV. Mary Higgins Clark Movie: Drive Time Murders
UPN              One on One [r], Cuts [r], Girlfriends [r], Half & Half [r]
WB               Summerland  [F]
TELE             La Mujer en el Espejo, Los Platedos, La Ley del Silencio
UNIV             Apuesta por un Amor, La Madrastra, Christina

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