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Cynopsis: 10th Anniversary Special Edition: “2001”


Greetings! It’s Monday, August 13, 2007 and this is your Cynopsis Special Edition, taking a look back at the Year 2001.

2001 was all about reality programming — Survivor II and III; The Mole, Manhunt, Temptation Island (Parents Television Council really not happy with this one), Chains of Love, Combat Missions, Boot Camp, Lost (I know, same name, but different show), Amazing Race, The Real Cannonball Run 2001, Big Brother 2, Elimidate Deluxe, Spy TV, Murder in Small Town X, gross out Fear Factor, and Love Cruise among others.

Robots robots robots — Battlebots on Comedy Central, Robotica on TLC, and Robot Wars on TNN

The economy takes its toll early in the year with layoffs and hiring freezes at NBC, CNBC and MSNBC … and they weren’t alone, be it the economy, attrition, reorgs or merger, these entities were also under hiring freezes for some of 2001: ABC/Disney, CNN, PBS, Nickelodeon, Emmis, Viacom, Oxygen, BET, Winstar, Columbia Tristar, Worldgate, Tribune, Tivo, Digital Convergence, Yahoo, New York Times, Pearson, Wall Street Journal, Tech TV, E!, Discovery Networks, WWF, Cablevision.

And our world changed the morning of September 11th.  Thousands of lives are lost including David Angell and his wife Lynn, Barbara Olson and Fox Sports Net cameraman Tom Pecorelli die aboard American flights … New York local TV station engineers posted atop the World Trade Center are lost … airports close down … nobody moves. News is carried on networks and channels that don’t usually carry news …  baseball, football, golf, car racing, soccer games and tournaments all cancelled … the Emmy Awards and the Latin Grammys are postponed … television production stopped … Broadway goes dark …. RTNDA and NCTA cancelled … the official launch of the 2001-02 fall schedule is pushed back … 60.5 million people turn to broadcast network news. “Inappropriate” episodes of new fall series are canned or postponed … the trailer for the film Spider Man is pulled to edit out a single shot that included the Twin Towers … film release dates are postponed including Collateral Damage, Training Day, Hearts in Atlantis, Big Trouble … Men in Black 2 will change the ending to not include the Twin Towers backdrop. Virtually every broadcast and cable network sign on for the America: A Tribute to Heroes special/telethon with 59.3 million viewers and raising more than $150 million. Hollywood studios put on high alert … West Wing schedules a special OTO episode relevant to 9/11 … the Super Bowl is delayed by one week … The World Series goes to seven which among other things meant seven incredible and moving opening ceremonies and some terrific baseball … ad revenue losses for the first week following the September 11th attack total $312 million for broadcast and cable networks, and local TV station sales.  And then, slowly, we regained our footing … banded together and continued.

A very busy year – take a look ….


Television networks prepare for potential writers and director strikes which could put a real dent in the fall schedules … after five weeks away from the bargaining table, WGA, networks and studios resume talks prior to the June expiration date … talks stall, making everyone nervous … deadline near, talks resume … WGA contract expires, talks continue past midnight …  deal finally signed four days after expiration of original contract … phew!

HBO launches MAX Pack multiplex of 15 cable channels

Lifetime launches its new original program The Division, and it turns out to be one of its top rated series

WWF and NBC launch the XFL in February and NBC bails in March  …  by May, Vince McMahon has not found another player for XFL and announces it will hit the showers

FCC okays merger between AOL and Time Warner

TNN goes on a shopping spree – picks up the Star Trek series franchises, CSI, the Godfather movies, Baywatch, VIP, Mad TV, 66 film package from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable and an 8 film package from MGM

Millionaire is aging ABC — pre Millionaire the median age was 41.7, post Millionaire the age ups to 46.1

WB continues to be the youngest skewing network at 28.8

Odyssey Network renamed Hallmark Channel

USA Network picks up cable synd rights to Law & Order: SVU

Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews star in a live performance of On Golden Pond on CBS

Lou Dobbs returns to CNN

Friends gets super-sized (40m) for February vs. Survivor II

PAX TV signs a four year deal with the PGA Senior Tour to air 33 golf tournaments

Buffy moves to UPN, Roswell follows

MTV’s Jackass series comes under fire as naive young teens try to duplicate the show stunts

Oxygen picks up several women’s sporting events — WTA Pan Pacific Tennis Open, Avon Running Global Championships, World Cup Gymnastics Finals, Women’s World Ice Hockey Championships, and the FIS Snowboarding World Cup

The WB celebrates the 100th episode of 7th Heaven which in turn earns an 8.2/12 HH rtg for the hour, ranking #2 at 8pm

HBO and Universal Television & Networks Group sign 8-year output deal

UPN’s All Souls doesn’t make it past two, but Special Unit 2 finds the fall schedule

Court TV and TNT pick up NYPD Blue – Court TV for primetime, TNT for all other times

USA Cable’s digital channel Trio launches June 10th with 11.3 million subs via satellite and digital cable

Univision will launch a new network called Telefutura

Yankees Entertainment and Sports (YES) announces launch date of March 1st

NBC will rent its Saturday morning block to Discovery; Fox is looking for a similar set-up


House Calls from BVT is the first syndicated show of the new calendar year to receive its cancellation notice

Paramount says goodbye to the controversial Dr. Laura

Columbia (now Sony) replaces Cybill with five hosts for Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Syndicated Seinfeld stations finally get a second run

Regis finds Kelly

Paramount pulls Caroline Rhea Show, Warner Bros. lines her up as the successor to Rosie

Pearson dresses Baywatch and sends it packing after 13 years

20th launches Texas Justice slowly and then officially

Moral Court is cancelled

Iyanla will be the first new syndicated strip series to debut for the upcoming season, hitting the air in mid-August, but even today nobody knows how to pronounce her name

Weakest Link and Millionaire get syndicated, and old-time game show $100,000 Pyramid will return with Donny Osmond

Dr. Phil gets syndicated

Crossing Over with John Edward is the highest rated new syndicated strip series of the season, Everybody Loves Raymond the highest rated new off-net, and highest rated weekly hour is Mutant X

Pearson is renamed Fremantle Media and by year’s end virtually all Pearson NYC folks will be let go … Tribune picks up the exclusive distribution deals for Pearson shows Family Feud, To Tell the Truth and Card Sharks

Tribune’s Talk or Walk and 20th’s Power of Attorney are cancelled

Card Sharks from Fremantle is cancelled


Just when it looks like Barry Diller may acquire something new – namely Rainbow Media, he steps away from the deal

TBS sells its ownership share of WCW to Fusient Media Ventures

News Corp. gets official okay to acquire Chris Craft

MGM acquires 20% of Rainbow Media for $825 million

Universal Studios Television Distribution folds into Universal Pictures

WWF acquires WCW

Brill Media Holdings acquires Powerful Media’s, both will be jettisoned in whole or in part by year’s end

Speedvision is acquired by Fox Cable Networks

Univision acquires the 13 USA Broadcasting stations

Tribune Ent. and Hearst sign agreement for Tribune to manage administrative and operational functions for Hearst’s programming

USA Networks and Barry Diller pick up 75% of Expedia Inc. for $1.5 billion

Fox gets official okay to acquire Chris Craft group

Disney acquires Fox Family Worldwide for $5.3 billion

Discovery Networks buys The Health Network for $155 million

NBC acquires Telemundo

Clear Channel acquires Ackerly

Echostar acquires DirecTV for $25.8 billion in cash and stock

24/7 Media acquires Real Media Inc., in a deal valued at $1.9 million

Vivendi buys USA Networks and all its assets for $10.3 billion in cash, stock and assumed tax liability

NBC will buy KNTV from Granite for $230 million

Comcast Corp. wins bid for AT&T Broadband for approx $47 billion in stock and an assumption of $20 billion in AT&T debt

etc …

Viewers for Quality Television, the group originally created to keep Cagney & Lacey on the air, closes its doors after 16 years

All in the Family turns 30

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution pulls out of NATPE, taking a suite at the nearby Venetian – many more follow

Stacey Stillman files suit against Mark Burnett and Survivor

Jon Stewart signs on to host the Grammy Awards just six days before the show … at the Grammy’s Eminem sings with Elton John and nothing happens

Bye bye Napster

Rep. Billy Tauzin invites the head of all networks to appear before a congressional panel to discuss the snafu of Election Night 2000

Network Affiliated Stations Alliance files a petition with the FCC alleging the television networks have undue influence over their stations

FCC votes to allow dual network ownership between a major network and an emerging network, more specifically CBS and UPN

Robert Downey is in trouble again and his deal at Ally McBeal is cut short

Ellen DeGeneres named host for the 53rd Annual Academy Awards scheduled for September 16th on CBS, which are pushed back due to 9/11 attack; Ellen is amazing

Viacom Plus does a one year multi-platform deal with P&G for $300 million

Cynopsis reaches 5,000 subscribers

Sony runs a film ad with a quote from a critic who doesn’t exist

Michael Flatley insures his legs for $50 million

Gomer Pyle promoted from Private to Corporal by the U.S. Marine Corps

Connie Chung gets the Gary Condit interview for PrimeTime Thursday and 23.7 million viewers tune in
The Fantasticks playing at the Sullivan Street Theatre in Greenwich Village announces it will close on January 6th after 42 years and more than 17,000 performances

Anthrax strikes the networks and Washington and now we’re opening mail at home in the garage with latex gloves

Columbia Tristar re-org reduces staff at the network division by 20% and folds the rest into domestic syndication and cable division, newly titled Columbia Tristar Domestic Television headed by Steve Mosko

WPIX’s Yule Log returns for the first time since 1989 and wins the time period in total viewers


Brian Mulligan named new chairman of Fox Television succeeding Chase Carey

Andy Fisher named top dog at Cox Television following the 2000 retirement of Nick Trigony

CNN Headline News prez Bob Furnad retires to teach at Univ of Georgia

After 15 years with Buena Vista Television, Jim Packer moves to EVP TV Sales at MGM

Jed Petrick named President/COO at The WB

Mort Marcus named Chairman of Miramax Television and Video

Walter Liss, Jr., steps down as president of the ABC O&O station group

Don Ohlmeyer retires, Dennis Miller stays

Jamie Kellner named Chairman/CEO of Turner Broadcasting System overseeing much of the free world

Doug Herzog named president of USA Network, Jon Spaet president of ad sales

Robert Friedman named president of AOL TV

Garth rejoins Jamie at Turner

Bonnie Hammer named president of Sci Fi

Rich Cronin named top dog at Game Show Network

Mike Cascio named EVP/GM of Animal Planet

Andy Lack upped to President/COO of NBC

Ira Bernstein named President of Lions Gate Television Distribution

Kenny Solomon to head up soon-to-launch cable network Fine Living

Susan Daniels leaves the WB

Deborah Blackwell named GM of SoapNet

Tom Johnson, Chairman and CEO of CNN News Group, resigns

Martin von Ruden upped to EVP/GM of WE: Women’s Entertainment

Cary Jones unexpectedly resigned as Group President of Meredith Broadcasting

Kay Koplovitz resigns as CEO of Working Woman Network

Barry Wallach named EVP of NBC Enterprises 

Ray Rodriguez upped to President/COO of Univision Networks

Brian Phillips made SVP/GM of CMT

Phil Kent resigns as President/COO at CNN

Paula Zahn jumps from CNN to Fox News

Frank Sesno, Washington Bureau Chief at CNN, steps down

Brian Mulligan resigns his post as chairman of Fox Television

Jerald Kent, President/CEO of Charter Communications resigns

Steve Harrigan jumps from CNN in Afghanistan to Fox News in Afghanistan

Peter Liguori upped to President/CEO of FX Networks

Announcing their retirements this year — Jack Oken, Jonathan Hayes, Dan Greenblatt, Gerald Levin, Frank Bennack Jr., Lonnie Stetz

Stu Swartz leaves KMSP

Geraldo moves from cushy CNBC to field reporting for Fox News in Afghanistan

Kevin O’Brien named President of the Meredith Corp. Broadcasting Group

Edgar Bronfman says he’ll step down as Executive Vice Chairman of Vivendi

Les Moonves takes the reigns of UPN along with his CBS responsibilities

Kerry McCluggage resigns as President of Paramount Network

Tony Vinciquerra, named President of the Fox Television Network

Jim Chabin, president of ATAS learns his contract will not be renewed

Ted Turner renews his AOL/TW contract for 2 more years


Fred de Cordova  … Ray Walston … Neil Hoffman …Dale Earnhardt …Robert Ludlum … Ann Southern … Michael Ritchie … Imogene Coca … Anthony Quinn … Carroll O’Connor … John Cannon … Jack Lemmon …Christopher Hewett … Jack Maple … Lorenzo Music … Alan Rafkin … Justin Wilson … Jack Lease … Isaac Stern … Lani O’Grady … Carol Rubin … Charlotte Coleman … Albert Hague … George Harrison … Dick Waller … Laura Hunter … Dale Evans … Troy Donahue … Perry Como … Dorothy McGuire … Les Brown (bandleader) … Chet Atkins …  Aaliyah, Nigel Hawthorne …

Later — Cyn

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mark Bohn- 203- 583-1224 / [email protected]
Classifieds – Trish Pihonak- 203-926-9878 / [email protected]

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