Monday, August 26th, 2013



“Farmiga gives a performance to die for.” – Entertainment Weekly

“They may have to invent a new award to give [Vera Farmiga];
I’m not sure “Emmy” quite covers it.” – Los Angeles Times



Good morning. It’s Monday, August 26, 2013, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
Animal Planet: Mud Lovin’ Rednecks at 8p
MTV: Teen Mom 3 at 10p
Syfy: Rewind at 9p

Tonight’s Finales:
A&E: The Glades at 9p, Longmire at 10p
Bravo: Below Deck at 10p
Cooking Channel: El Fogon at 10p
NBC: Get Out Alive With Bear Grylls at 9p

GM made a statement about the sticker shock of Super Bowl ads by sitting out last year’s game on CBS. But despite a price tag that remains upwards of $4 million for a 30-second spot, the car company is back for the 2014 game on Fox. The decision of GM’s former global marketing director Joel Ewanick – before his ouster in July 2012 – to sit on the sidelines was controversial, and one not shared by current marketing chief Tim Mahoney, who said the timing of the big game “lines up perfectly with our aggressive car and truck launch plans.” Bottom line: With Chevrolet launching 12 new vehicles, GM simply can’t afford to not be in front of the biggest television audience of the year.


Time Warner Cable started passing out free TV antennas on Friday so the three million subscribers affected by its CBS blackout could watch the net’s programming. Customers who didn’t pick up one of the freebies were offered a $20 credit at Best Buy toward the purchase of an antenna. The move comes on the heels of a memo CBS chairman Leslie Moonves sent to his staff on Thursday, pointing to Time Warner Cable’s “lack of urgency” in settling the companies’ retransmission fee dispute. “We regret CBS has put our customers in this position by continuing to withhold its channels,” TWC emailed its customers Friday. “We are trying to strike a balance between our desire to restore the channels as soon as possible and our responsibility to all our customers to hold down the rising cost of TV.” In week four of the standoff, BTIG media analyst Richard Greenfield, who predicted from the beginning it would be a protracted fight, tells Cynopsis, “This is going to take a while longer.”

Advertisers are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward Al Jazeera America. While the fledgling news net touted that its limited commercial time – six minutes per hour versus the usual fifteen – keeps the focus on news and avoids clutter, national brands don’t appear to be lining up to grab those minutes. Gillette and ThermoSpas were among national brands that bought time, but network promos and direct-response ads were dominant. And Vonage came and went. “Given the newness of the network and concerns around the historical content of programming outside of the U.S., Vonage has decided to suspend advertising on Al Jazeera America for the foreseeable future,” said the phone service in a statement. 

ESPN insists it pulled out of a project with PBS about head trauma in the NFL over final editorial control issues, not because of pressure from the football league, which is battling a lawsuit from more than 4000 players and their families contending the league knew about the devastating effects of repeated concussions. After the New York Times reported on Friday that the NFL demanded ESPN withdraw from the project, ESPN president John Skipper issued a statement pointing to the investigations the net has done on the issue since the mid-1990s, saying, “We will continue to report this story.” Contributing to the appearance of a conflict is that ESPN will pay $1.9 billion for the rights to highly-rated Monday Night Football this season. On the upside for PBS, while the net will lose the marketing muscle of a partnership with ESPN, publicity from the breakup won’t hurt ratings. The two-part Frontline’s League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis airs October 8 and 15.

Music producer Dr. Luke (aka Lukasz Gottwald) has signed on as a judge for American Idol‘s thirteenth season on Fox. He joins Keith Urban, back for a second round, and Jennifer Lopez, who was on the judging panel for seasons ten and eleven. Idol is giving up star power but gaining industry cred with the choice: Luke’s no household name, but he’s the man behind monster hits like Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone and Katy Perry‘s California Gurls. Idol returns Wednesday, January 15, 2014.

Most likely to succeed honors were bestowed on debuting fall series The Crazy Ones (CBS), The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC) and Sleepy Hollow (Fox) by NewMediaMetrics, which measured consumers’ attitudes about upcoming programming. Least likely to succeed, according the survey, was Super Fun Night (ABC). Over the past seven years, the research firm has had an 80 percent rate of accuracy determining which shows would earn a second season renewal.

Discovery Channel U.S. and Discovery Networks International announced a $500,000 fund to invest in daring ideas for programs about science, adventure, natural history and more. Exec VP and Chief Content Officer of Discovery Networks International Luis Silberwasser described it as a “challenge for producers to bring us ideas as ambitious and innovative as Planet Earth and North America. We have a unique opportunity to enlist the world’s best production companies and make their most ambitious ideas a reality.” Not to mention get first dibs on those bright new ideas.

Uncertainty about ratings didn’t keep advertisers away from Sunday’s Video Music Awards on MTV. After a 50% drop in ratings versus an all-time high of over 12 million viewers in 2011, sponsorship for this year’s show brought “the highest level of revenue we’ve ever produced for a show,” Jeff Lucas, head of sales for Viacom Media Networks‘ music & entertainment, advertising sales & marketing group, told Billboard, crediting a partnership with Twitter Amplify with helping achieve gains. “Last year’s show was still the most social event, generating almost 15 million tweets,” said Lucas. “If you look at last year’s awards, we had 22 deep integrations with clients into the show. And clients were very happy with having the ability to use customized content to reach that very special audience the VMAs can deliver.” Brooklyn rocked last night as the 2013 MTV VIdeo Music Awards were broadcast live from The Barclay Center. Cynopsis Media was there as some of the greats including Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke and Kanye took to the stage. But the highlight of the night was Justin Timberlake, who had the crowd on their feet nonstop. The long awaited N’SYNC reunion was the crowd pleaser of the evening.  

Supermodel Cindy Crawford uncovers secrets from her past in an upcoming ep of Who Do You Think You Are?, which moved to TLC from NBC for its fourth season. EP Dan Bucatinsky tells Cynopsis the show isn’t just about celebs – it “gives a context to history, personalizing big moments we read about in history books.” That was the case with Crawford, says Bucatinsky. “She discovers a link to a literary great she’d heard rumor about – and another that comes as a complete, royal surprise.”  Show airs Tuesday, August 27 at 9p.

Fran Drescher sitcom Happily Divorced won’t be coming back to TLC. After attracting a healthy 2.4 million viewers for its summer 2011 debut, the second season ended in February with only about 1 million total viewers.

Top 10 Weekend Box Office Estimates:  August 23-25, 2013

Lee Daniels’ The Butler (Weinstein) $17.0 million 2 wk $52.3 million
We’re the Millers (Warner Bros.) $13.5 million 3 wk total $91.7 million
Mortal Instruments (Sony) $9.3 million opening weekend
The World’s End (Focus) $8.9 million opening weekend
Planes (Disney) $8.6 million 3 wk total $59.6 million
Elysium (Sony) $7.1 million 3 wk total $69.1 million
You’re Next (Lionsgate) $7.1 million opening weekend
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (20th Century) $5.2 million 3 total $48.3 million
Blue Jasmine (Sony) $4.3 million 5 wk total $14.8 million
Kick-Ass 2 (Universal) $4.3 million 2 wk total $22.4 million

Source: Rentrak


Viewers will see a different side of McDreamy in the Velocity special Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans. The four-part doc follows the Grey’s Anatomy star and his team as they prepare for France’s grueling auto race – and it’s no publicity stunt. Bob Scanlon, GM of Velocity, tells Cynopsis Dempsey could be “the fourth face on Mount Rushmore of racers who can act,” alongside Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and James Garner. Show debuts Wednesday, August 28 at 10p.

Discovery has enlisted Facebook phenom Elise Andrew to host regular video segments on both its Test Tube digital network and Science Channel, based on the Brit blogger’s Facebook page, I F****** Love Science. Andrews has amassed over 6.6 million likes for her musings since launching on the site in early 2012. Discovery is moving headlong into the digital arena – video studio Revision3, which the net acquired last year, created Test Tube as well as upcoming digital platform Animalist. Test Tube eps air Fridays; Science shows will start airing over the next few months and Animalist debuts Thursday, October 3. 


HGTV has ordered new eps of Island Hunters, and is bringing back Hawaii Life for a second season. The lifestyle shows “have caught fire because they not only showcase some of the most spectacular place on earth,” said HGTV GM Kathleen Finch, “they feature homes that are surprisingly affordable.” Island Hunters’ two half-hour specials drew over 3 million P25-54, reports the net, and season one of Hawaii Life attracted over 15 million in the demo.  

Brain Games, in the midst of production for season three, is under pressure to pass the science test each episode. “It’s essential that the science is accurate,” says EP Jerry Kolber, an Emmy nominee for the NatGeo series (along with Atomic Entertainment producing partner Adam Davis). “We work with experts from the beginning, from underlying formulas for the games to checking the scripts and having an expert on set. Post-production is a whole other round of vetting. There are always eight or nine checkpoints to make sure the science is spot on.” As for that Emmy nom, Kolber says, “I keep thinking this category should be called ‘Best Informational Series or Special Made by a Nerd Who’s Fun to Hang Out With.'” Series returns in 2014.


Associated Television International is launching weekly entertainment news show Planet 360 into national syndication after a summer test run on TVGN. Hosted by American Idol alums Diana DeGarmo (runner-up, season three) and husband Ace Young (top seven, season five), the show is shot inside the Planet Hollywood resort and casino in Las Vegas. TVGN has extended its order for the show through 2013.


Dutch media tycoon John de Mol, who created The Voice, is holding “Pitchfest” with Talpa Media USA to find the next big reality show. In Talpa’s business model, series go on the air in Holland first (as The Voice, Big Brother, Deal or No Deal and Fear Factor did), and are then exported. “Airing shows first in the Netherlands lets us see what works and what doesn’t,” CEO of Talpa Simon Jones tells Cynopsis. “It allows a show to get its sea legs before expanding to international audiences.” Innovators interested in meeting with de Mol in L.A. in September can send a short bio and credits (if applicable) to: [email protected] before Friday, September 6.

Ryan Seacrest sold comedy Me and My Needs to NBC, about a daytime talk producer looking for love. A pilot of the show was produced by ABC in 2001, inspired by comedian-writer Judy Toll‘s real life. Toll passed away at age 44 in 2002 after battling melanoma; NBC is proceeding with the project with the support of her family.

Chefs get a taste of everyday cooking challenges in Guy’s Grocery Games. In the cooking competition, hosted by Guy Fieri and set in a supermarket, four culinary whizzes are tasked with whipping up dishes with scarce ingredients and on limited budgets. Now in production, the series, premiering in October, joins Food Network cooking competitions including Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen and Chef Wanted with Ann Burrell; Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives also airs on the net.

ABC Family is gunning for comedy, greenlighting three sitcom pilots. Tori Spelling stars in Mystery Girls as a crime-solving former starlet. Along with reality TV projects, Spelling (Beverly Hills, 90210) starred in short-lived but well-reviewed 2006 VH1 sitcom So NoTorious. Also in the hopper are workplace comedy Work Mom and Young and Hungry, about a tech entrepreneur who hires a food blogger as his personal chef.

Animal Planet and Discovery Networks International have joined forces for a six-part documentary with Dave Salmoni. Since 2003, Salomi has hosted eight AP and Discovery Channel shows. Series will premiere on Discovery Channel in 224 countries and territories in spring 2014, with Animal Planet launching it in the U.S. in summer 2014.

Reality Bites is heading to NBC. Helen Childress, who wrote the screenplay for the 1994 film starring Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke and Ben Stiller, will pen the script, with Stiller, who made his directorial debut on the film, on board as EP for Red Hour.


Michael Ian Black has joined Fox midseason sitcom Us and Them, starring Alexis Bledel, as a regular. He appeared in the pilot as a guest star. Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi has been cast in a recurring role.

Stephen Moyer (True Blood) will play Captain Von Trapp opposite Carrie Underwood‘s Maria in NBC‘s The Sound of Music. The live holiday special, based on the 1959 stage production, airs Thursday, December 5 at 8p.

Former James Bond Timothy Dalton has joined the cast of Showtime‘s upcoming psycho horror series Penny Dreadful, joining Eva Green and Josh Hartnett. Series is scheduled to premiere in spring 2014.

Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap) will recur in HBO‘s eight-ep dramedy, Looking, about three gay friends exploring their options in San Francisco. Series premieres in 2014.

Jaime Ray Newman (Drop Dead Diva) has won the role of a con woman in ABC midseason drama Mind Games, starring Christian Slater and Steve Zahn.

Phoebe Strole will recur on season five of Glee as Penny Owen. She joins former Spring Awakening alum Lea Michele. Glee returns Thursday, September 26 at 9p.

Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill) and Patrick Flueger (The 4400) have joined NBC‘s upcoming Chicago PD. The Chicago Fire spin-off premieres midseason.


Viacom is fighting to have Cablevision‘s antitrust lawsuit dismissed. Cablevision has accused Viacom of illegally bundling “must-have” networks like Nickelodeon with the likes of lesser-viewed Palladia. Viacom said in its motion to a New York judge on Friday, “Notwithstanding the fact that Cablevision admits – even touts – that it bundles the products, it sells, Cablevision has nevertheless implored this Court to invalidate the licensing agreement as an invalid tying arrangement and to reform the contract to its liking to keep only the rates and terms it would like to have.” Reacting to the motion, a Cablevision spokesperson called Viacom’s “all-or-nothing approach to selling programming… illegal and anti-consumer.”


Oscar winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) will direct a pilot, police drama Babylon, for U.K.’s Channel Four.  

Looks like Europe’s RTL Group wants to get out of Russia. “It is expected that RTL Group will exercise its put option on September 16 for the 7.5 percent shareholding in National Media Group,” said the company. NMG is Russian’s fourth-biggest private media company.

ITV was named Britain’s channel of the year at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. New program award went to ITV series Broadchurch.

U.K.’s ITV acquired the rights to new CBS sitcom Mom, about a newly-sober single mother. Series, which will air on younger-skewing ITV2, premieres Stateside on Monday, September 23 at 9:30p.


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Syndicated talker Kris ended its six-week test run on Fox stations with a bang, notching a 1.7 household rating as Kanye West debuted a much-awaited photo of his daughter – and host Kris Jenner‘s granddaughter – North West. It’s the first pic of the baby, born June 15 to West and Kim Kardashian, but it might not be enough to convince Fox to renew the show, which over the summer averaged .8 in households.

Ratings for CNN‘s new morning program, New Day, are slipping, but it’s not for lack of star power. Despite exclusive interviews last week with Prince William on Monday and Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, the show averaged 75,000 A25-54 Monday-Wednesday, versus 229,000 for Fox NewsFox and Friends and 117,000 for MSNBC‘s Morning Joe. That’s down from its 10-plus week average of 111,000 A25-54 – but still up over 30% from the time period a year ago, making it the only cable news morning show up versus the same period prior year.

Thursday A18-49 Analysis:  CBS and Univision tied for first, grabbing the most A18-49 viewers Thursday with 1.6/5, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. At 8p, CBS led with 1.9/6 for sitcom set Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, followed by the 1.6/6 Univision drew for Porque el Amor Manda. CBS’s Big Brother won the 9p hour with 2.1/6, with Univision’s Tempestad settling for second with a 1.7/5. Univision wound up the night on top, drawing 1.5/5 for Que Bonito Amor at 10p, ahead of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night’s 1.2/4

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Thursday, August 22, 2013  time period averages.  Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.

CBS 3.7/6 The Big Bang Theory [r] 4.8/9, Two and a Half Men [r] 4.4/8, Big Brother 4.0/7, Elementary [r] 2.4/4
ABC 2.9/5 Wipeout 2.2/4, Motive 3.1/5, Rookie Blue 3.5/6
NBC 2.2/4 America’s Got Talent [r] 2.2/4, Hollywood Game Night [r] 1.9/3, Hollywood Game Night 2.3/4
UNI 1.9/3 Porque el Amor Manda 1.9/3, Tempestad 2.0/3, Que Bonito Amor 1.7/3
ION 1.3/2 Criminal Minds [r] 1.1/2, Criminal Minds [r] 1.3/2, Criminal Minds [r] 1.4/2
FOX 1.1/2 Glee [r] 1.2/2, New Girl [r]  .9/2, Mindy Project .9/2
TELE .8/1 Dama y Obrero .7/1, Marido en Alquiler .9/1, Santa Diabla .7/1
CW .4/1 Vampire Diaries [r] .4/1, America’s Top Model [r] .4/1
UMA .2/0 Seleccion .2/0, Cloroformo .1/0

  CBS 1.6/5, UNI 1.6/5, ABC 1.1/3, NBC 1.0/3, TELE .6/2, FOX .6/2, ION .4/1, CW .2/1 UMA .1/0

Wednesday A18-49 Analysis: FOX topped the chart Wednesday night, delivering a 1.8/5 among A18-49, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. At 8p, CBS’s Big Brother led with 2.2/8 over Univision’s 1.7/6 for Porque el Amor Manda. At 9p FOX’s MasterChef outscored NBC’s America’s Got Talent 2.4/7 to 2.1/6. Univision’s Que Bonito Amor won the 10p hour with 1.3/4, with CBS’s CSI second with 1.1/3. 

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 time period averages.  Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.

NBC 3.9/7 America’s Got Talent [r] 3.8/7, America’s Got Talent 5.7/9, Camp 2.1/4
CBS 3.7/6 Big Brother 4.0/7, Criminal Minds [r] 3.1/5, CSI [r] 3.9/7
FOX 2.6/4 MasterChef Encore [r] 1.8/3, MasterChef 3.4/5
ABC 2.1/4 The Middle [r] 2.3/5, Last Man Standing [r] 2.3/4, Modern Family [r] 2.2/4, The Neighbors [r] 1.6/3, ABC’s The Lookout 2.0/3
UNI 2.0/3 Porque Amor Manda 2.2/4, Tempestad 2.0/3, Que Bonito Amor 1.8/3
UMA .8/2 Futbol .4/1, Natl TMS Intl F Rnd 1.0/2
TELE .7/1 Dama y Obrero .6/1, Marido en Alquiler .8/1, Santa Diabla .7/1
CW .7/1 Arrow [r] .8/1, Supernatural [r] .5/1
ION .7/1 WWE Main Event .8/1, Flashpoint [r] .6/1, Flashpoint [r] .6/1

A18-49:   FOX 1.8/5, UNI 1.5/5, NBC 1.4/5, CBS 1.4/5, ABC .8/2, TELE .5/2, CW .3/1, ION .3/1, UMA .2/1


Stage, film and TV actress Julie Harris passed away on August 24. She was 87. Harris won five Tonys for acting, as well as a lifetime achievement award that gave her a record six trophies; three Emmys (out of eleven nominations) and was nominated for an Oscar for 1953’s Member of the Wedding.

Former CBS News correspondent and Today anchor Lew Wood died of kidney failure on August 21. He was 84. After a distinguished career in broadcasting, during which he marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. and covered John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Wood entered the public relations field, retiring in 2006.


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– The use of toilet paper was first recorded in China. 

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: What was Norm Peterson’s real name on Cheers (1982-1993)? Hillary. Kudos to: Cheri Rice-Moroch/Atlanta, Matt Denerstein-Mindshare/NY, Ree Thelen-Trifecta Entertainment/Western Springs, IL, Ron Salcedo-Zimmerman/Nashville, Larry Glazer-WTTW-TV/Chicago, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA/LA, Steven Wishnoff/LA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, Cammie Buerry-Station Casinos/Las Vegas.

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INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected].

FALLINTERNSHIPCREDITS ONLY: PRODUCTION INTERNS: Hayden5 ( is a young, boutique PROD co in the Flatiron District looking for eager, hard working interns. Req’s a min of 2 days/wk from 9:45-6pm. Res/cover letter to [email protected] (8/27)

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED… There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad… for more information contact Trish Pihonak at [email protected].

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 888.702.3858 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

Are you looking for a job? Post your Situation Wanted Ad here — Email [email protected] for specs.


ABC: Shark Tank [r], Castle [r], Mistresses
CBS: How I Met Your Mother [r], Mike & Molly [r], 2 Broke Girls [r], Mike & Molly [r], Under the Dome
CW: Hart of Dixie [r], Breaking Pointe
FOX: Raising Hope [r], Raising Hope [r], New Girl [r], The Mindy Project [r]
ION: Criminal Minds [r], Criminal Minds [r], Criminal Minds [r]
MyTV: Law & Order: SVU [r], Law & Order: SVU [r]
NBC: American Ninja Warrior, Get Out Alive With Bear Grylls, Siberia
PBS: Antiques Roadshow [r], Antiques Roadshow [r], POV [r]
Telemundo: Dama y Obrero, Marido en Alquiler, Santa Diabla
UMA: Desafio Mortal, La Seleccion, Cloroformo
Univision: Porque al Amor Manda, La Tempestad, Que Bonito Amor

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