Monday, August 23rd, 2004





Good morning. It’s Monday, August 23, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing,, coming to you live from sunny downtown Burbank.  Okay not really Burbank, but LA, so if the timing of the delivery seems a little earlier than usual all this week, you’ll know why.

NBC continues to pull in viewers with the Olympics and Thursday was no different – the net posted an overall 11.1/31 rating in the A18-49 demo according to Nielsen Media Research, with 30.1 million viewers.  The high point of the night came at 10:30pm when the demo rating was a 14.3/37 with 37 million viewers. Over the course of its first seven nights, the Olympics have attracted a total of 165 million unduplicated viewers.  Elsewhere on Thursday evening, Fox’s preseason football game between the Giants and the Panthers drew a 2.1/6 demo rating, improving slightly among male demos up to a 9 share. CBS’ original episode of Big Brother at 8pm posted a 3.5/11; UPN’s evening of WWE Smackdown earned it a 1.7/5, and WB’s Blue Collar TV at 8pm delivered a 1.8/6, on par with last week.

The halo of Olympics ratings has spread to the syndicated series Access Hollywood, distributed by NBC Universal, wherein for the first time it out-performed all other prime access magazine shows in metered markets (Mon-Thu, 8/16-8/19),posting an overall 3.8 HH Rtg.  This was also the first full week the show was hosted by Nancy O’Dell and her new co-anchor, Billy Bush.  The show has been hosted from the Olympics venue in Athens and has featured many Olympic-related stories.

In the upcoming and third season of the syndicated series Who Wants to be a Millionaire (Buena Vista Television), a new lifeline will be introduced called Switch the Question, available to contestants after the 10th question is answer correctly.  Another new piece to be introduced this season is an expansion on the Ask the Audience lifeline.  Buena Vista has partnered with AOL, wherein AOL subscribers, AOL Instant Messaging subscribers, can participate in the Ask the Audience question by adding MillionaireIM to their buddy lists.  During the taping of a show when the contestant utilizes this lifeline, the question will go to the studio audience as well as to the AOLers who have signed up to receive the questions.  Both in-studio and AOL results will be presented to the contestant.  Non-AOLers can go to the website to download free AOL IM so they too can participate.

Anchor change at syndicated series Good Day Live (distributed by 20th Television) with the exit of Dorothy Lucey and the entrance of Arthel Neville and former The View host Debbie Matenopoulos who will both join Steve Edwards.  (However, it should be noted that Edwards along with Lucey and Jillian Barberie will continue to host the local version of the show on KTTV in Los Angeles.)  This fall Good Day Live will kick off its third season in syndication this fall.

Casting Notes:

  • NBC’s The West Wing will get some new faces this season beginning with Alan Alda as a republican senator from California.  Also, Marley Shelton returns as a feature reporter who becomes the W.H. deputy press secretary.  No news yet if anything has been finalized with Jimmy Smits, but Mary McCormack will return this season as a regular character.

Adding insult to injury?  Fox has announced it will debut its new reality series Next Great Champ even earlier than originally anticipated – instead of September 10, the show premieres on September 7 …. opposite NBC’s Father of the Pride premiere from DreamWorks. According to Daily Variety, the show will air on Tuesdays instead of Fridays.  September 7 is also one day prior to the hearing in the LA Superior scheduled to take an upclose an personal look at the concerns raised by the California Athletic Association.  Once Fox decided to move up the premiere, and after a swiftly scheduled court hearing on Friday, the hearing re: CAA concerns has been scheduled for the morning of September 7. And add to that a second agenda item, scheduled for a hearing on August 27, to determine if Fox’s First Amendment rights being violated in preventing the show to air in the first place.

Weekend Box Office Estimates: August 20-22, 2004
Exorcist: The Beginning (Warner Bros.)  $18.2 million – opening weekend
Without a Paddle (Paramount)            $13.7 million – opening weekend
Princess Diaries 2 (Buena Vista)                $13.2 million – 2 wk total $61.3m
Alien v. Predator (Fox)                 $12.5 million – 2 wk total $63.1m
Open Water (Lions Gate)         $11.7 million – 3 wk total $14.8m
Collateral (DreamWorks)         $10.5 million – 3 wk total $70.1m
The Bourne Supremacy (Universal)        $6.6 million – 5 wk total $150.6m
The Manchurian Candidate (Paramount)   $4.2 million – 4 wk total $54.7m
The Village (Buena Vista)               $3.7 million – 4 wk total $107.0m
Garden State (FoxSpotlight)             $3.2 million – 4 wk total $6.7m
Source: Box Office Mojo

Results of Fridays Cynopsis Poll:  The informal poll taken here last Friday asked the question – is it wrong for NBC, or any other network for that matter, to use all the resources at hand to create a surge of interest over one of its own shows or people, within its News programming?  Approx 650 of you responded and the answer came back a resounding 5-to-1 that No, it’s not wrong.  83% said a network that uses its own news programming to promote itself is just using good marketing strategies.  Many of those 83% also allowed they didn’t much care for it, but understood the now common practice.  The remaining 17% were very definitely opposed, speaking at length about the definition of News and how that definition has been bent and toyed with to an extent it has become difficult to identify. 

The FCC will boost its 3-hour per station kid’s programming requirements when the FCC votes on the rule September 9, according to a report in Broadcasting and Cable Today.  The kid’s educational programming increase is targeted to stations that multicast more than one channel simultaneously.  The report indicates that three hours of kid programming will be required for each additional channel, though cumulative hours of kids programming need not air on each channel.

In a week long gig attempting to set new Guinness World Records that has exec prod Gelman’s fingerprints all over it, it was still fun to end the week on Live with Regis & Kelly with Regis’ entry in the record books as having appeared in more hours of television than any one else.  The previous record holder was Hugh Downs, the record set at 10,511 hours.  Regis record at the end of Friday’s episode stands at 15,188 hours, beginning as a local news anchor in San Diego in the 1950’s.

Casting NoteUPN‘s sitcom Half and Half will incorporate a reality component into the upcoming season and the network is now accepting applications for vocal talent and/or a musical group. On the show, characters Mona, Spencer and Adam will screen and talk abut the video tapes submissions, and in February will announce five finalists. The finalists will be featured on the where ultimately a single winner will be chosen.  To find out more, including submission information and contest rules, go to All submissions must be in by November 1.

NBC Universal has named Ray Giacopelli to the position of VP/USA-Sci Fi Research.  He will head up the quantitative research efforts for those networks, working closely with the programming teams.  Ray makes the move from Comedy Central where he held the position of VP Research, Ad Sales. Go Ray!

Thursday, August 19, 2004. Fast National 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

NBC     18.7/31 Olympic Summer Games 2004 (8p-12m = 18.8/32)

CBS     6.6/11  Big Brother 5.7/10, CSI [r] 7.6/12, Without a Trace [r] 6.4/10

ABC     2.9/5   Extreme Makeover 3.4/6; ABC Movie: Road Trip 2.6/4

FOX     3.6/6   NFL Preseason Football: NY Giants vs. Caroline Panthers 3.6/6

WB      1.8/3   Blue Collar TV 2.7/5, Reba [r] 2.0/3, Studio 7 1.2/2

UPN     3.0/5   WWE Smackdown 3.0/5

A18-49  NBC 11.1/31, CBS 3.5/10, Fox 2.1/6, ABC and UPN 1.7/5, WB 1.1/3



Comedy Central’s
#1 Movie for the week (22nd Run)
with HH, Total Viewers and All Key Demos!

Top 4 Comedy Central Movie
Season to Date  out of 800+!

Movies Make Basic Better
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NHI Explorer, 8/9/04-8/15/04. Mon, 8-10PM.  Cvg  Ratings. STD rank based on HH.  Key demos=18-34/18-49/25-54.

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1927:  Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian workmen with radical political views, are executed for the murder of two payroll guards in Massachusetts.  The two were convicted, sentenced, and executed despite the fact that both men had alibis.  Between their 1921 arrests and executions, their case grew into a national controversy.

Answer to Friday’s Trivia Question: This Ralph Edwards show had a buzzer nicknamed Beulah, heard when the wrong answer was given.  What was the name of the show? TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES.  Kudos to:  Derek Cason-Onyx Media/NY; Andy Weinberger-MMT/NY; Roger Lyons-WBZ/Boston, Lewis Cosby-WMAK/Knoxville; Richard Farrester-KATV/Little Rock; Brett Calvert-KSAT/San Antonio; Ed Worthington-KHWB/Houston; Larry Chase-RMM/Boise; Warren Baker-NBC/LA; Ken Spaulding-KESQ/Palm Springs; Michael Lopez-DAS Ent/Silicon Valley; Steve Leblang-FX/LA.

Today’s Trivia Question:  Whose CB handle was Puce Goose?  (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.)


Investigate this!

Court TV: The Investigation Channel
Kicks off
Forensics Week

 Experience brand-new episodes of our hit show

Forensic Files
Premiere episodes air all week long!
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Later — Cyn

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis
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Copyright Cynthia Turner 2004


JOB OPENINGRESEARCH ANALYST-King World/CBS-Short Hills, NJ. 1-3 yrs exp analyzing local mkts data, writing research-based sales pres.; knwldg of Nielsen, WRAP Sweeps, Ovnt systems; Pwrpnt, Excel. Resume:

JOB OPENINGSALES PLANNER/Paramount Ad Services, NY. Minimum 1yr exp req in buying/sales. Work closely with sales team/agencies. Great launching pad for sales career. Apply online at

JOB OPENINGDIRECTOR OF PUBLICITY/Beck Media & Mktg, NY. Oversee PR ops for daily TV series.5+ yrs relevant exp including daytime/synd/news pref.; exc writing skills.Resume/cvr ltr:
, subj: NY PR Dir  (8/27)

JOB OPENINGRESEARCH MGR /The WB Network, NY. 3+ yrs research exp in nat’l ad sales brdcst/cble. Strong user of Nielsen/MRI req. Prev exp analyzing data/creating presentations/one sheets req. Send CVs to:

JOB OPENINGSony Pictures TV seeks SR ANALYST IN AD SALES for Research Dept. 3-5 yrs experience req. Nielsen software proficiency req. Midtown Manhattan. Please submit resume to
for consideration  (8/27)

JOB OPENING:  FREELANCE PRODUCER, Scholastic Inc./NY. Produce several consumer software titles. Manage creative & technical dev, product’s budget & sked. 2 yrs interactive exp. Apply at Job #38972922    (8/26)

JOB OPENING:  SR.PRODUCER/Disney Channel/Media Relations/Burbank/ Job Ref# CYNSRAP/ Email resume: A

JOB OPENING:  RETAIL DEVELOPMENT MGR, HIT ENTERTAINMENT/DALLAS Develop & execute strategies/programs to maximize revenue at assigned accounts & classes of trade. 5+ yrs exp in retail sales/promotion mktg.

JOB OPENING:  MANAGER OF AUDIENCE RESEARCH/MTV Networks, Chicago. If you are ready to take your career and research skills to the next level, please apply at Relocation assistance available  (8/25)

JOB OPENING:  ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS, PRODUCERS, SUPERVISING PRODUCERS/BET. TV prod exp & a love for our culture, w/bckgrnd in entertainment. Please e-mail resume, salary history, and why you’re right for BET to t
EEO  (9/1)

JOB OPENING:  SALES PLANNER, Telemundo, LA. 1-2 yrs planning exp at cable net or agency; prep/exec sales proposals, oversee/maintain accounts, liaison btwn AE & client. Bilingual preferred. Apply job# 370690  (8/24)

JOB OPENING:  DIRECTOR, DEVELOPMENT/OLN, CT 5+ yrs program dev exp; Resp for review of program proposals, dev of new programs, relationship dev w/producers/prod companies. Resume/salary: j

JOB OPENING:  COPY TRAFFIC COORDINATOR, Hallmark Channel/NY. Handles traffic instruction & tape inventory. 1 yr database exp; cable exp pref. See full posting Send resume: r

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/ Fax: (212)255-9232   (8/24)


SITUATION WANTED: ADVERTISING MANAGER with experience in Production from Creative through Completion seeks opportunity. Ten years experience-great people skills. Call (516) 902 8700 or e mail

SITUATION WANTED:  Highly creative TV WRITER/PRODUCER w/ overhead development deal seeks salaried opportunity. Contact g

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SITUATION WANTED: French Associate Prod. with masters deg. in Journalism + 2 yrs exp in NY (Nickelodeon, WETV) and Paris (Canal +) seeks AP POSITION. Hold visa. Speak French, English, Japanese.

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ABC             NFL Preseason Football: St. Louis vs. Kansas City
CBS             Still Standing [r], Yes Dear [r], Raymond [r], 2-1/2 Men [r], CSI Miami [r]
FOX             That 70’s Show [r], That 70’s Show [r], Casino
NBC             Olympic Summer Games 2004
PAX             On the Cover, Balderdash, Early Edition, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             One on One [r], Half & Half [r], Girlfriends [r], Girlfriends [r]
WB              7th Heaven [r], Everwood [r]
TELE            Prisonera, Gitanas, Protagonistas VIP
UNIV            Mariana de la Noche, Amarte es mi Pecado, Cristina

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