Monday, February 16th, 2004





Good morning. It’s Monday, February 16, 2003, President’s Day (a holiday for some) and this is your first early morning briefing. 

As has been the trend of late, Thursday night was a competition between NBC and CBS, and once again NBC won in the A18-49 demo (10.0/25 vs. 8.2/20) as well as A25-54 demo (10.7/24 vs. 10.3/23), tho CBS takes total viewers (24.4m vs. 21.4m), according to Nielsen Media Research.  Armed with time period demo ratings only, not program ratings reflecting the 45m episode of Friends or the 75m ep of The Apprentice, we’ll take a look at Thursday night hour by hour.  At 8pm, NBC delivered a 10.7/27 for Friends and the first 15m of The Apprentice, to CBS’ 8.0/20 for Survivor All Stars.  At 9p the tide shifted to a CBS win for CSI vs. the remainder of The Apprentice (10.2/24 vs. 9.2/22).  At 10p NBC’s original episode of ER outpaced CBS’ Without a Trace (10.3/26 vs. 6.3/16).

Tonight’s Premieres:
Fox:  The Littlest Groom (part 1 of 2) at 8p
Univision:  Bajo la  Misma Piel at 9p

The House of Representatives Subcommittee passed HR3717, that is the Broadcast Decency Enforcement which increases the fines the FCC can impose on a broadcast station or network, or on the radio, from $27,500 per violation to $275,000.  The bill, originally sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Michigan) next goes to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill has also been endorsed by President Bush. 

The WB has decided not to renew Angel for another season. The news came just days after the show celebrated its 100th episode. There is potential Angel could return as a couple of special movie events next season.  In a statement explaining the move, Jordan Levin said, “We have a lot of veteran shows that are aging” (read: Charmed, 7th Heaven), “and we’re going to have to make room for new programs. I know this will make lots of fans unhappy. But we have to have more at-bats, and we need to create timeslots where we can repeat shows.”

Canada is not happy with Conan O’Brien.  After paying to have the show travel to Canada for a week (approx $750,000), televised by CHUM Television, some Canadians categorized aspects of Conan’s show (particularly those that include Triumph the Insult Dog, a hand puppet) ‘utterly vile’ and “racist filth”, while others seek to completely disassociate themselves from O’Brien’s comments.  Even CHUM offered an official statement which said “We offer our apology and assurance that it is never our intention to air programing that offends any of our viewers.”  NBC has not made any official statement. The show was paid by the province of Ontario to bring the show to Toronto for a week to promote the city after last year’s SARS outbreak.

Another apology from CBS.  This time it was directed those American Indians offended by a performance by Outkast at last weekend’s Grammy Awards.  The Native American Cultural Center (NACC) has called for the boycott of CBS as well as Arista Records, OutKast the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.  The NACC has also filed a formal complaint with the FCC.   The performance of OutKast’s song Hey Ya its lead singer Benjamin dressed as a Native American, and women dancers dressed in fringed costumes with their hair braided and sporting feathers.  According to the NACC, they liken this performance to a group of white people dressed in black face or wearing yarmulkes.

A quick review of the Disney/Comcast moves following Comcast’s bid to the Disney board —

  • Disney’s board is still considering Comcast’s takeover bid, though with Disney stock now up, and Comcast’s down, Comcast is now working on a new offer.
  • Pixar Animation Studios is contemplating its own bid for The Walt Disney Company, according to both the New York Post and The Times of London who were first to report on the possibility.  No specifics about a potential offer were included in either report, other than to note that Pixar would likely lead a consortium of investors.
  • Ongoing reports of other potential bidders, bids and partnerships include Comcast’s courtship of Pixar to join in its takeover efforts.  A logical move that might entice Disney shareholders (particularly those frustrated by Disney’s inability to ink a new deal with Pixar) to embrace a deal from a suitor with a formal relationship with successful animation studio.
  • And the most recent to join in on the all the fun is Microsoft who is reportedly considering his own bid for Disney, potentially to assist Comcast in upping its ante.  Microsoft owns 7.4%, and is the MSO’s largest outside shareholder.

Weekend Box Office Estimates – Feb 13-16, 2004
50 First Dates (Sony)                                 $41.0 million – opening weekend
Barbershop 2 (MGM)                                  $15.6 million – 2 wk total $44.1m
Miracle (Disney)                                          $14.0 million – 2 wk total $37.1m
Butterfly Effect (New Line)                           $5.7 million – 4 wk total $48.9m
You Got Served (Screen Gems)                 $5.1 million – 3 wk total $32.1m
Along Came Polly (Universal)                      $5.1 million – 5 wk total $81.6m
Catch That Kid (Fox)                                   $4.4 million – 2 wk total $10.9m
LOTR: Return of the King (New Line)         $4.2 million – 9 wk total $356.4m
Cold Mountain (Miramax)                             $3.7 million – 8 wk total $87.5m
Mystic River (Warner Bros.)                        $3.5 million – 19 wk total $74.5m
Source: Box Office Mojo

KELO-TV, the Young Broadcasting CBS affiliate in Sioux Falls, has launched that market’s first digital-only TV station, UTV a UPN affiliate, on January 27, 2004.  UTV is carried on the local Midcontinent Communications cable system, reaching more than 80% of the cable households within the Sioux Falls market.  UTV airs the UPN M-F primetime lineup from 7-9p, and Dr. Phil weeknights at 9pm.  UTV also airs KELO’s morning news program from 530a-7a weekdays.

Larry Kamm, member of the ABC Sports Director and part of the ABC Sports team for over 36 years, passed away Friday after a brief struggle with lung cancer.  The winner of 13 Emmy Awards, Kamm had Olympic experience dating back to ABC’s first Olympic coverage — the 1964 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. Since that time he worked all ten Winter and Summer Olympics on ABC and in 1988 he was the producer/director who headed the team responsible for the ‘Point of View’ photography that was a major part of the Calgary Olympics coverage, and for which he won an Emmy Award.  Kamm’s experience in directing other major events were equally impressive: Indianapolis 500, the Grand Prix of Monaco, Super Bowl XXII, Monday Night Football,College Football, Professional Bowlers Tour, Major League Baseball, NBA Basketball, College Basketball, the Bowl Championship Series, including the 2004 Sugar Bowl, the National Championship Game. Kamm is survived by his wife, Claire, and daughters, Lauren and Kristin. Plans for a memorial service are forthcoming.

Great American Country has upped Norma Taylor to SVP/Advertising Sales, effectively immediately. The announcement was made by Jeffrey C. Wayne, President of GAC.  Norma is now responsible for managing the advertising sales business for GAC in addition to overseeing Jones Cable Rep. She is based in New York and oversees the company’s New York sales organization as well as satellite offices in Chicago and Nashville. 

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Walter F. Parkes, Dreamworks, announced several executive changes at the movie studio: Adam Goodman has been appointed Head of Production, DreamWorks.  Goodman, who has served as a Production Executive for the studio since 1996, will take over the post from Michael De Luca who will exit the company this June, having served as the studio’s Head of Production for the last two years.  Walter Parkes and co-head of DreamWorks Pictures, Laurie MacDonald, will be resuming a more hands-on role in the day-to-day operations of DreamWorks Pictures.  MacDonald has recently focused on producing several movies for the studio including Lemony Snicket and The Terminal.

Thursday, February 12, 2004. Fast Affiliate Ratings for all Networks – NBC is hour time period ratings only, not program ratings. 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

CBS     14.6/22 Survivor All Stars 13.0/19, CSI 18.2/27, Without a Trace 12.6/20

NBC     13.9/21 Friends (8-842p) 15.1/23 8-9p; The Apprentice (842-10p) 11.9/17 (9-10p); ER 14.6/23

ABC     5.2/8   Extreme Makeover 4.5/7, Extreme Makeovers 5.5/8, Primetime Thursday 5.5/9

UPN     3.4/5   WWE Smackdown 3.4/5

FOX     2.8/4   Tru Calling 2.7/4, Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance [r] 2.9/4

WB      1.9/3   Steve Harvey 2.3/4, All About the Andersons 1.9/3, The Surreal Life [r] 1.6/2

A18-49  NBC 10.0/25, CBS 8.2/20, ABC 2.3/6, UPN 2.1/5, Fox 2.0/5, WB 1.1/3



Top 10 Cable program for the week with
M/A 18-49 & 25-54
out of over 4000+ telecasts!
#1 Cable Movie for the week with
HH & All Key Men & Adults
out of over 600+!

For Movies that Perform
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NTI Explorer, 1/26/04-2/1/04.  Sat 9pm telecast.  TNT.  Ad supported cable only.  Key Demos: 18-34/18-49/25-54.  Cvg Rating.

The History Channel presents This Day in History: 
1972 – In basketball, Wilt Chamberlain scores his 30,000th point.

Answer to Friday’s Trivia Question:  What was the occasion for this comment and who said it:  “Just think, the only laugh that man will probably every get is for stripping and showing off his shortcomings.” DAVID NIVEN AT THE 46TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS AFTER A STREAKER RAN ACROSS STAGE DURING HIS INTRODUCTION OF ELIZABETH TAYLOR.  Kudos to the entire free world and beyond, as well as to the streaker, 33 year old Robert Opal.

Today’s Trivia Question:  Judd Hirsch has starred, co-starred or was a supporting actor in six primetime broadcast network series: Delvecchio (1976-77), Taxi (1978-83), Detective in the House (1985), and Dear John (1988-92).  Can you name one of the two most recent primetime bcst series he was in?  (Hint: both were short lived.)  (
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.)

Later — Cyn

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis
02/16/04 5:11am
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Court TV’s A18-49 Length of Tune is
20.3 MINS


Court TV
The Investigation Channel

Source:  Nielsen NPower.  Nov ’03. M-Su 8-11p. Networks with 50+MM subs included.  Qualifications available upon request.

COURT TV:       The I-Zone, North Mission Road
ABC             ABC Movie: Jurassic Park III, Primetime Special Edition
CBS             Yes Dear, Still Standing, Raymond, Two and a Half Men, CSI Miami
FOX             The Littlest Groom (part 1 of 2) (OTO), My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance
NBC             Fear Factor, Las Vegas, Average Joe: Hawaii
PAX             AFV, Early Edition, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             The Parkers, Eve, Girlfriends, Half and Half
WB              7th Heaven, Everwood
TELE            Amor Descardo, El Alma Herida, Mujeres Apasionadas
UNIV            Velo de Novia, Bajo la  Misma Piel (Estreno), Cristina

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