Monday, August 31st, 2009



Good morning. It’s Monday, August 31, 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:
ABC Family: Greek at 9p
TLC: Ultimate Cake Off at 10p
Tonight’s Finales:
Oxygen: Dance Your Ass Off at 10p
Showtime: Weeds at 10p
VH1: The T.O. Show at 10p

In the Daytime Emmy Awards presented last evening, the Emmy goes to:

  • Outstanding Drama Series: The Bold & the Beautiful (CBS)
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:  Christian LeBlanc / The Young & The Restless (CBS)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:  Susan Haskell / One Life to Life (ABC)
  • Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment:  The Rachael Ray Show / CBS Television Distribution
  • Outstanding Talk Show/Informative: The Tyra Banks Show / Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution
  • Outstanding Talk Show Host: Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd, Barbara Walters – The View/ ABC
  • Outstanding Morning Program:  Good Morning America / ABC
  • Outstanding Game Show:  Cash Cab / Discovery Channel
  • Outstanding Game Show Host:  Meredith Viera / Who Wants to be a Millionaire


On Friday, the US Court of Appeals sided in favor of Comcast and the cable industry when it ruled against the FCC’s 30% cap rule. The court said the FCC’s 30% limit on the number of total US cable subscribers one operator can serve was “arbitrary and capricious” and further stated, “We therefore grant the petition and vacate the Rule.” Comcast filed the lawsuit in March 2008, the only cable operator that falls close to the 30% cap, saying the FCC’s 2007 policy was arbitrary and capricious and an abuse of its discretion. The court also said on Friday “there was ample evidence of an increasingly competitive communications marketplace and that cable did not have undue control on the programming pipeline.” Following Friday’s court decision, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the court’s findings would not be the end of this issue. “As part of the Cable Act, Congress required the Commission to adopt horizontal ownership limits to enhance effective competition in the cable television marketplace,” Genachowski said in a statement. “The FCC staff is currently reviewing the Court’s decision with respect to the limit previously adopted and the Commission will take this decision fully into account in future action to implement the law.”

FX’s drama Rescue Me will conclude its series run in 2011, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York. The drama, produced by Sony Pictures Television will begin production this September on the final 19 new episodes. At this time, it is undetermined if FX will air all 19 as one season or split the episodes into two seasons. The series stars Dennis Leary as a New York City fireman, at odds with himself, who is dating the wife of his cousin who was killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11. The fifth season finale of Rescue Me airs Tuesday at 10p.

Discovery Channel reveals how different ferocious dinosaurs looked and behaved in the new six-part series Mega Beasts. Scientists, using fossils and modern analogues as well as CGI technology, examine how six featured creatures acted, fought and what they ate. Two episodes of Mega Beasts will air September 13 as a sneak preview and the other four episodes will air during the network’s Dino December paired with new dinosaur-themed specials. Episode one on September 13 at 9p will look at “Terror Bird” a seven-foot, bipedal creature weighing 300 hundred pounds and episode two at 10p will showcase the marine monster, “Mosasaur.” Mega Beasts is produced for Discovery Channel by Creative Differences.

National Geographic Channel debuts a new series, Rescue Ink Unleashed about a group of tough New York guys who save abandoned and abused animals. Many of the guys involved with Rescue Ink have had run-ins with the law themselves and are seeking redemption through their passion to help animals. The series premieres September 25 at 10p.

Nielsen reports the estimated total number of television households in the US (including Alaska and Hawaii) is 114.9 million for the 2009-2010 broadcast season. This total number represents an increase of 400,000 homes over the previous year, though the smallest increase in the past decade. Furthermore, Nielsen says the estimated number of Persons 2+ in US TV households will bump up to 292 million.

USA Network’s frosh season finale of Royal Pains attracted 2.3 million A18-49 and 2.9 million A25-54 viewers as well as 5.9 million total viewers. Overall, Royal Pains has become USA’s most-watched first season of an original series ever, topping previous winner, The 4400. In its first season, Royal Pains averaged 2.9 million A18-49 viewers, 3.3 million A25-54 viewers and 7 million total viewers.

Multi-platform healthy lifestyle network ION Life has plans to premiere five new 30m shows opening this Tuesday:

  • The Right Fit – Narrative-driven series highlighting today’s health and fitness topics. Airs at 9a, 630p and 3a.
  • Positive Living – Host/creator Aida Memisevic explores answers to living a more conscious, successful lifestyle. Airs 930a and 7p.
  • My Green House – The Green Team helps one homeowner in each episode find ways to make their home more eco-friendly. Airs 10a, 130p and 8p.
  • She’s Crafty – Host Wendy Russell shows off stylish do-it-yourself designs and projects to cost-efficiently decorate a home. Airs 1030a, 2p, 730p and 12a.
  • Gen’s Guiltless Gourmet – Host Gen shows viewers how to make simple changes in their shopping trips and diet to improve their health and the planet. Airs 12p and 530a.

In addition, ION Life will debut another new series on November 2:

  • Junk Raiders – Half-hour series where host Geoff Woodmansey and the Junk Raiders team have one month to transform an old factory space into a useful loft for work or living, by “freecycling” other people’s trash.

MTV will decide on the fate of upcoming eight-episode series Gone Too Far this next week. The series star, DJ AM whose real name is Adam Goldstein, was found dead Friday night in New York. Investigators think his death was caused by a presumed drug overdose. Gone Too Far was scheduled to premiere October 5 from Ish Entertainment in association with Gigantic Productions. MTV released this statement about the news of Goldstein’s death saying, “an incredible loss to the music community, his friends, family and his fans, and to those of us who had the privilege of working with him. MTV was honored to support him as he helped young people battle their own addictions.”

Prior to the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards broadcast on CBS September 20, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation is hosting a 2nd Annual Emmy Season online auction of television items and unique experiences. Auction items available can be viewed at and include visits to the sets of such television shows as Melrose Place, Medium, The Young and the Restless; VIP seats to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Jay Leno Show in addition to red carpet seating for the Primetime Emmy event. Bidding on the auction items closes September 3, 2009.

Top 10 Weekend Box Office Estimates: August 28-30, 2009
The Final Destination (Warner Bros.)           $28.3 million – opening weekend
Inglourious Basterds (The Weinstein Co.)     $20.0 million – 2 wk total $73.8m
Halloween II (The Weinstein Co.)                $17.4 million – opening weekend
District 9 (Sony)                                        $10.7 million – 3 wk total $90.8m
GI Joe (Paramount)                                   $8.0 million – 4 wk total $132.4m
Julie & Julia (Sony)                                    $7.4 million – 4 wk total $71.0m
The Time Traveler’s Wife (Warner Bros.)      $6.7 million – 3 wk total $48.2m
Shorts (Warner Bros.)                                $4.9 million – 2 wk total $13.6m
Taking Woodstock (Focus Features)             $3.7 million – opening weekend
G-Force (Disney)                                       $2.8 million – 6 wk total $111.8m
Source: Rentrak


GRB Entertainment acquired the international distribution rights for the PBS series NOW. The series with 52 30m episodes is produced for PBS by JumpStart Productions in association with Thirteen/WNET New York. The documentary-style weekly newsmagazine series investigates global current events and issues. In addition, NOW won the 2009 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Coverage and last year won the Edward R. Murrow Award.
Retirement Living TV (RLTV) is now available in the Atlanta market via Comcast. RLTV showcases information and entertainment programming dedicated to adults 50+.


Casting Notes:

  • Matthew Levy was added to FOX’s new comedy Sons of Tuscon as a series regular, reports THR. Levy will portray Brandon Gunderson the eldest of three brothers who hire a charming hustler (Tyler Labine) as stand-in for their real father who is serving time in prison.
  • ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy tapped Jesse Williams in a multi-episode storyline as a new medical professional, though details about his character have not been revealed, per THR. Williams is best known for his roles in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 and ABC Family’s TV series Greek. He will be seen in the upcoming The Cabin in the Woods from MGM.

Former first daughter, Jenna Bush Hager will become a monthly correspondent on NBC’s Today show. Hager, who is also a reading coordinator in Baltimore, will begin her new part-time position with NBC’s Today next month covering topics related to education and literacy.


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  If cable customers are going to have access to shows online then satellite TV customers are going to want to enjoy the same convenience. Liberty Media’ DirecTV Group is now in talks with Time Warner’s TNT and TBS to provide its satellite TV customers with online access to the networks’ programming using an internet-based authorization system, per the AP. Time Warner Cable and Verizon’ FiOS service unveiled their own “TV Everywhere” trials late last week. Verizon’s system is already being tested with TBS and TNT programming in about 500 homes, enabling up to 5 programs to be streamed at once.  Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.    

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  Disney Channel‘s premiere of its new original movie, Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie, on Friday, August 28, 8-9:55p, becomes the top entertainment telecast of the year, according to preliminary ratings, among K6-11 (4.5 million) and Tweens 9-14 (4.0 million).  The movie also becomes the top cable telecast of the year with Total Viewers 2+ (11.4).  The Wizards of Waverly Place Movie, the network’s 77th TV movie, is Disney Channel’s second most watched movie among K6-11, Tweens 9-14 and Total Viewers 2+ behind High School Musical 2 (August 17, 2007).  The movie was also the top telecast on both cable and broadcast for Friday with K6-11, Tweens 9-14 and Total Viewers 2+, that latter being the number one Friday night telecast of the summer (June 1  August 28).  Additionally, immediately following the movie the network debuted the half-hour special Lights, Camera, Take Action! Backstage with Disney’s Friends for Change (9:55p) earning an average K6-11 (1.9 million), Tweens 9-14 (1.7 million) and Total Viewers (4.8 million).  Full edition: CYN KIDS.    


Thursday  A18-49 Analysis: FOX earned a first place standing Thursday night with a 2.3/7 among A18-49, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. CBS topped the pack at 8p with Big Brother 11 at 2.7/9 with FOX’s NFL Preseason match-up following at 2.5/9. FOX led at 9p with NFL Preseason action at 2.3/7 while UNIV’s Manana Para Es Siempre came next at 2.0/6. FOX remained at #1 through 10p with its Preseason game at 2.3/7 ahead of second place The Mentalist repeat on CBS at 1.9/5.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Thursday, August 27, 2009  time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

CBS: 5.2/9          Big Brother 11 4.8/8, CSI [r] 5.5/9, The Mentalist [r] 5.5/10

FOX: 4.1/7           NFL on FOX Preseason: Miami at Tampa Bay 3.7/7

NBC: 2.5/4          30 Rock [r] 2.4/4, Parks and Recreations [r] 2.0/3, The Office [r] 2.5/4, 30 Rock [r] 2.1/3, Law & Order [r] 2.9/5

ABC: 2.3/4          Grey’s Anatomy [r] 2.3/4, Grey’s Anatomy [r] 2.4/4, Private Practice [r] 2.2/4

UNIV: 1.9/3         En Nombre Del Amor 1.8/3, Manana Para Es Siempre 2.4/4, La Rosa De Guadalupe 1.4/3

CW: 1.1/2           Supernatural [r] 1.1/2, Supernatural [r] 1.0/2

MNT: 0.7/1          My Thursday Night Movie: Sweepers [r] 0.7/1

TELE: 0.6/1         Mas Sabe El Diablo 0.6/1, Ninos Ricos 0.5/1, Victorinos 0.6/1

ION: 0.5/1          Thursday 7PM Movie: The Specialist 0.4/1, Thursday Night Movie: The Specialist [r] 0.5/1

A18-49: FOX 2.3/7, CBS 2.1/6, UNIV 1.5/5, NBC 1.4/4, ABC 0.8/2, CW 0.7/2, TELE 0.5/2, MNT 0.3/1, ION 0.1/0


Kevin Z. Smith was named President of the Society of Professional Journalists for a one-year term, succeeding Dave Aeikens of the St. Cloud Times in Minnesota. Kevin is an assistant professor of journalism at Fairmont State University.

Birmingham-based digital services company Dirextion Inc. recruited Michael Szczechura as an Advertising Sales Partner. Michael will work from his home in Dover, Del., and will develop and oversee local, regional and national advertising clients on behalf of Dirextion.

Atlanta-based promotion agency GREAT! elevated Mary Chris McKnight to Marketing Manager for its Nashville office. Mary Chris started with GREAT! in February 2008 as a Marketing Coordinator focused on such travel experiences and events as A&E’s Criss Angel Mindfreak, BET Awards, CMT Music Awards, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, Spike The Ultimate Fighter and TV Land Awards.

This day in History:  1998 – “Titanic” became the first movie in North America to earn more than $600 million.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  The character Harriet Winslow appeared regularly on what two series?  PERFECT STRANGERS (she was the elevator operator) and then FAMILY MATTERS  Kudos to: Jennifer Hayoun-Rosetta/NYC; Dave Bourla-D&BD Productions/New York; David Falcone-NAHB Productions Group/Washington, DC; Peter S.P.; Karen Frost-Columbia College Chicago/Chicago; Bryan Wallace-HKS, Inc./Dallas; Marisa Fuller-GroupM Motion/Chicago; Sally Zikas-Weigel Broadcasting/Chicago; Matthew Morse-CBS-47/Fresno;TJ Szymczak-YPM, Inc./Irvine; Michael Rosenzweig-Primestor Development/Beverly Hills; David Olsen-GSN/Santa Monica

Today’s Trivia Question:  You remember when John Stossel got his ear drums popped by a professional wrestler during a 20/20 interview when he suggested this sport is all staged … the question is, who was the wrestler?     (Email
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JOB OPENING: SR. COUNSEL, LEGAL AFFAIRS, AMC /NY:Structure/negotiate complex contracts and transactions & handle diverse legal issues for network. Must have JD, 6+ yrs relevant inhouse and/or law firm experience. Apply:

JOB OPENING: DIR PR-MSG MEDIA & ENT (2) NYC: 5-7 yr exp. in media. or ent. PR or with agency. Dev PR Campgns. Resp for Trade & Consumer Press. Strong media relationships needed. Rez to:
“DIRPR” in subj. (9/5)

JOB OPENING: LINE PRODUCER/ReelzChannel TV About Movies/ABQ : Help launch a daily primetime show about movies and entertainment.Creative approach a must. Resume to:
or fax 505-212-8772. EOE (9/5)

JOB OPENING: ASSOC WRIT/PROD ON AIR PROMOS/Nickelodeon-TeenNick/NYC: 3+yrs writ/prod exp. OnAirPromos/TV/Adv, Strng concept abilities & aesth jdgment, Editing A+, Knwldge of NICK brand EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply (9/5)

JOB OPENING: INTERACTIVE TV CLIENT SERVICES MGR/DISH Network/NYC4+yrs acct/project mgmt exp. in Adv/Online,Highly organized & detailed,advanced media interest, Design bckgrnd a+. Resumes to

JOB OPENING: COORDINATOR, WEBSITE MARKETING SERVICES/Burbank: Support with user approvals, upload written, art, video assets to the website. 1-2yrs exp. Intermediate Flash and HTML required.Go To:

JOB OPENING: SHOWRUNNER /Nancy Glass Productions/Phila/NY: immediate opening for experienced docusoap/reality series showrunner-pre to post production. Resumes to:

JOB OPENING: DIR/MEDIA/ DISC/SS: Strat dev of all media activities w/ pd & internal assets. BA, 8+ yrs exp. Demo dev/imp of successful media campaigns. Exp. in TV ind. & Nielsen proficiency perf. Apply: Req#9115 (9/1)

JOB OPENING: CONTRACT ASSISTANT/CBS Television Distribution: Contract Assistant for NYC office. Must have Ad Sales/TV Business experience. Apply at: . Reference Cynopsis (9/1)

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

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: AD SALES MARKETING INTERN/NYC: Assist in execution of mktg collateral & promotional projects. MS Office & strong comm skills required. (Requisition #981) (9/5)

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDIT ONLY: Coburn Communication is a mid-sized PR firm in NYC, specializing in Beauty, Media, Retail & Food/Beverage clients. Interns will work between 2-3 days/week 9AM-5PM. Please e-mail resume to

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDIT ONLY: AD TRAFFIC Intern/The Hotel Networks, NY: Updating show titles, quality control/ brdcst logs/data entry. Majors: Media/Comm, Bus/Fin/Acctg– Analytical, PC, Detailed, Customer Srvc. Resumes:

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: SOCIAL MEDIA/MARKETING INTERN/NYC: Need hard-working, web-savvy college student for assisting in the execution of online mktg prgrms for Good writing and comm skills a must. Res:

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: EDITORIAL INTERN/NYC: Need hard-working, web-savvy college student for assisting in the execution of online editorial initiatives for Good writing & comm skills a must. Res:

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: ORIGINAL MEDIA SEEKS INTERN internship is 3-4 days/wk 10AM-6PM. Involves working on prod of our shows & in the office. Duties include: running day-to-day operations in office & aspects of post-prod.

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

SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH DIR/STRATEGIST: 20+ yrs media, Nielsen, Hisp, research, sales, presentation experience. How can I help you? Email:

SITUATION WANTED: EIC/LINE PRODUCER with 10+ yrs exp. Variety, Docu-Reality, Game Show, Scripted, Competition/Elimination- Mngd biz of Prod. Co’s. for major TV & cable nets. Looking for next project.

SITUATION WANTED: 5 PRIME TIME EMMYS/ DOC. PROD, DIR., WRITER in L.A. Credits: National Geo, PBS, Discovery, History CH, TLC and MSNBC. Contact email:
t (9/5)

SITUATION WANTED: SCRIPT EDITOR/DEV CONSULTANT for kids programming. US & UK/EU cred, creative and network experienced. Oversee creative for TV & related media plus outreach materials.

SITUATION WANTED: Seeking a MARKETING MANAGER position in Long Island, NY. Strengths include Marketing collateral creation, development of marketing plans, media relations, trade show management etc. email

SITUATION WANTED: 20+ yrs. experience in TV Broadcasting & Cable ACCOUNTING/FINANCE. Seeking FT/PT or Temp-to-Perm position: immediate start. Please contact

or call Trish Pihonak at 203.926.9878 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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ABC:  CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock
AZTECA: Lo Que Callamos Las Mujeres Edicion Especial, Extranormal de Impacto, Al Extremo
CBS: How I Met Your Mother [r], How I Met Your Mother [r], Two and a Half Men [r], Big Bang Theory [r], CSI Miami [r]
CW:  One Tree Hill [r], Gossip Girl [r]
FOX:  House [r], Lie to Me [r]
ION:  Ghost Whisperer, Movie: The Matrix Reloaded
MNT: Twilight Zone, Twilight Zone, Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed [r]
NBC:  L&O: Criminal Intent, L&O: Criminal Intent, Dateline
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, History Detectives, Great Performances
TELE: Mas Sabe el Diablo, Ninos Ricos Padres Pobres, Victorinos
UNIV: El Nombre del Amor, Manana es para Siempre, Cristina

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