Monday, February 16th, 2009


Kids are Amped about Disney XD!

Disney XD blasts off to success on premiere night driven by our first
original live action series Aaron Stone.  With a programming mix of live
action, comedy, adventure, original movies and sports-themed content –
Disney XD is unstoppable!

On TV. Online. Everywhere.

Get in early and get to the next level with Disney XD!
For more information, contact Michelle Scarola at Disney Media Sales & Marketing



Good morning. It’s Monday, February 16, 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

Charter Communications Inc. announced late last week it will file a prearranged Chapter 11 bankruptcy by April 1. Charter, the fourth biggest cable operator in the U.S. and headed by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft Corp., made an agreement in principle with debt holders to the tune of $8 billion who will release repayment of their debt. These debt holders in exchange will get common shares or warrants for rights to get common shares, thereby nearly owning the company following bankruptcy. Allen, whose 51% ownership in the company will be voided as well as those of other stockholders, will continue as an investor and have the largest voting interest in Charter. The company confirmed it will pay off suppliers and its trade creditors in full and continue business as usual.

Another company, Young Broadcasting Inc. owner of 10 television stations, including KRON/San Francisco and WKRN/Nashville, will also seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Chairman Vincent Young released this statement: “Our decision to restructure through a Chapter 11 filing will allow the Company to bring its debt in line with current economic realities so that we can emerge a stronger and more financially secure company. It is important to note that we are restructuring our debt, not our operations. We believe that the Company will emerge from Chapter 11 better equipped to thrive in this changing economic environment with less leverage. I strongly believe that our Chapter 11 filing is in the best interests of Young Broadcasting, its viewers, advertisers, employees, and other key constituents.”



Don’t miss the return of TV Land PRIME’s hit original series
Feb 18th at 10/9c.



Top 10 Weekend Box Office Estimates: February 13-15, 2009
Friday the 13th (Warner Bros.)                     $42.2 million – opening weekend
He’s Just Not That Into You (Warner Bros.)    $19.6 million – 2 wk total $55.1m
Taken (20th Century Fox)                            $19.3 million – 3 wk total $77.9m
Confessions of a Shopaholic (Disney)             $15.4 million – opening weekend
Coraline (Focus Features)                            $15.3 million – 2 wk total $35.6m
Paul Blart Mall Cop (Sony)                            $11.7 million – 5 wk total $110.5m
The International (Sony)                             $10.0 million – opening weekend
Pink Panther 2 (Sony)                                 $9.0 million – 2 wk total $22.3m
Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight)             $7.2 million – 14 wk total $86.5m
Push (Summit Entertainment)                      $6.9 million – 2 wk total $19.3m
Source: Rentrak

MIP TV Program Call: If your company will be attending and showcasing programming at MIP TV 2009 in Cannes, France, at the end of next month, Cynopsis will send out a special MIP TV Shopping Guide edition the Wednesday before the conference. To have your programming included, please send only the following info for your top 5 shows: title, availability date, number of episodes, length, type (i.e., movie, series, special, etc.), genre, your terms (barter, cash, etc.) and names and contact info of those attending from your company. If your company is interested in being included in this free guide, please send the details to
by Friday, March 20, 2009.


The Multicultural Event of the Season
March 10 – Hilton New York

Market research firm Horowitz Associates hosts the
9th Annual Multicultural Media for Multicultural America Forum

This Research-and-Strategy driven event will focus on:
Cross-Platform Programming, Branding, & Advertising for
Multicultural Audiences.

Get the newest data on consumers & the market for broadband/mobile video! Register Now!



Disney-ABC Domestic Television announced season two of the first-run syndicated adventure series Legend of the Seeker has cleared in more than 70% of the U.S. The one-hour scripted series has cleared on Tribune Broadcasting’s stations in addition to broadcast groups including Sinclair Broadcasting Group, Cox Television, Belo Corporation, Post-Newsweek Stations, Newport Television, Scripps Howard Broadcasting, Acme Television, Hubbard Broadcasting, Sunbelt Communications and Barrington Broadcasting. ABC Studios produces the series.


E! approved a new reality project combining cheerleaders and paranormal investigation, reports THR. Hot Girls in Scary Places, from Go Go Luckey, takes three University of Southern California cheerleader friends and challenges them to stay overnight in a reportedly haunted hospital. The three girls then compete for a $10,000 cash prize. E! will debut the show as a special/backdoor pilot on Friday, March 13th.

New Pilot Pick-Ups:

  • ABC is adding a comedy pilot called Funny in Farsi based on a memoir by Firoozeh Dumas about her experiences moving to the U.S. from Iran and growing up in 1970s Newport Beach. ABC gave a director-contingent pilot order to this project adapted for television by Jeffrey Hodes and Nastaran Dibai who also wrote the pilot script.
  • ABC also said yes to an untitled Jeff Strauss comedy from ABC Studios, per THR. This project, written by Strauss, will look at marriage and parenthood from the perspective of three couples. Strauss also executive produces with Acme’s Michael Hanel and Mindy Schultheis.
  • NBC picked up another untitled comedy project from Justin Adler, Sony and Tantamount, cites THR, about a family of adult siblings. Adler is executive producing with Mitch Hurwitz, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum.
  • CBS gave a nod to a comedy pilot titled Good Girls from CBS Paramount and Katalyst about two long-time female friends who want to transform themselves after making mistakes when they were younger. Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer penned the script and will executive produce with Ashton Kutcher, Jason Goldberg and Karey Burke.

Casting Call: ABC seeks families for its new parenting show Super-Manny, featuring licensed psychologist Mike Ruggles and produced by Ricochet Television (Supernanny). An open casting call will be hosted by producers from Ricochet Television this Saturday from noon to 4p at Downtown Disney District in California. Producers are looking for families who lack structure in their households; parents with ordinary and extraordinary circumstances; blended families who need help; and fathers who are in over their heads with parenting. Interested parents can send an email right away to Gina Gonzalez at
and include a brief description of your family situation, a recent family photo and daytime phone numbers. For more information, call 1-877-626-6984.


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  The much-anticipated online piracy trial aimed at shutting down P2P streaming site The Pirate Bay once and for all begins today in Stockholm, Sweden. Plaintiffs including Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., MGM Pictures Inc., Colombia Pictures Industries Inc., 20th Century Fox Films Co. and Sony BMG are seeking $14.3 million in compensation for lost revenues. Long a target of studios due to its popularity, cheekiness and utter disregard for copyright protections, The Pirate Bay found itself a target beginning in May of 2006 after Swedish police raided one of the group’s data centers containing servers that facilitate its file sharing activities. With more than 25 million peers at a given time, The Pirate Bay is by far the largest BitTorrent tracker and shutting down the site’s numerous servers could severely disrupt P2P file sharing across the globe, predicts TorrentFreak.   Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  Could Scarlett Johansson be set to join the cast of Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 2 as Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow)?  Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Johansson is in the midst of discussions to do just that.  If that were the case, she would replace Emily Blunt who was to play the role.  Blunt’s commitment to Fox of its feature Gulliver’s Travels could potentially prevent her from being in Iron Man 2.  Full edition: CYN KIDS.


Thursday – A18-49 Analysis: ABC remained steady-eddy Thursday night with 4.7/12 A18-49, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. At 8p, though, CBS swooped in to win with a new season of Survivor: Tocantins at 4.4/13, followed by the NBC comedies My Name Is Earl/Kath & Kim averaging a 2.5/8. ABC was in control at 9p with Grey’s Anatomy at 5.9/15 with CBS in second with CSI at 4.9/12. ABC topped the charts again at 10p with Private Practice at 5.7/15 with CBS’ Eleventh Hour next at 2.7/7 and in a close third place was NBC’s ER at 2.6/7.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Thursday, February 12, 2009 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

CBS: 8.6/14            Survivor: Tocantins [p] 8.0/13, CSI 10.8/17, Eleventh Hour 6.9/12

ABC: 7.8/13         Ugly Betty 4.9/8, Grey’s Anatomy 9.7/15, Private Practice 8.9/15

NBC: 4.4/7          My Name Is Earl 4.0/7, Kath & Kim 3.3/5, The Office 5.3/8, 30 Rock 4.7/7, ER 4.7/8

FOX: 2.6/4             40th NAACP Image Awards 2.6/4

UNIV: 2.2/4          Cuidado con el Angel 2.3/4, Fuego en la Sangre 2.5/4, La Rosa de Guadalupe 1.7/3

CW: 1.4/2            Smallville [r] 1.5/2, Supernatural [r] 1.2/2

MNT: 0.7/1           My Thursday Night Movie: Mississippi Masala 0.7/1

TELE: 0.7/1          Dona Barbara 0.7/1, El Rostro de Analia 0.8/1, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso 0.8/1, Cartel R 0.6/1

A18-49: ABC 4.7/12, CBS 4.0/11, NBC 3.1/8, UNIV 1.9/5, FOX 1.4/4, CW 0.9/2, TELE 0.6/1, MNT 0.3/1


Nielsen announced the retirement of Jack Oken; his last day was February 13. Since 2007, Jack was responsible for Client Processes under Media Product Leadership among other duties, serving as the liaison between Media Client Services and the Audience Measurement Product Leadership team. He also was instrumental in establishing and building Nielsen’s early Diversity Council and Employee Resource Group efforts, and he was the sponsor of Nielsen’s Asian & Pacific Islander- American Advisory Council.  Congratulations Jack!

FSN Networks tapped Chris Hannan as SVP/Marketing for Fox Regional Sports Networks. Previously, Chris was SVP/Marketing and Promotions for FOX Sports and FSN and will now be in charge of all strategic marketing duties for FSN. Chris’ priority will be to support advertising sales across the company’s 19 O&O regional sports networks. Chris will be located at the company’s Los Angeles headquarters.

Carat recruited Theresa LaMontagne for the position of SVP/Data Analytics and Insights where she will increase the company’s insights, analytics and measurement capabilities by merging behavioral information with consumer research. Earlier this month, Carat appointed Mike Hess as EVP/Research, Marketing Science and Consumer Insight and Theresa will report to him as well as work closely with Michelle Lynn, SVP/Carat Insight who will continue to work with offline media research and insights.

This day in History:  1968-The country’s first 911 phone system went into service in Haleyville, Alabama.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:   In the romantic comedy, You’ve Got Mail, what were the two screen names that Kathleen (Meg Ryan) and Joe (Tom Hanks) used when communicating with each other on line?  SHOPGIRL & NY152 Kudos to: Maria Abu Nerahoo-Nick Jr./NY; Beth Krinock-Zenithmedia/NY; Laura Hamilton-Comcast Spotlight/Arlington, VA; Mike Seidel-CBS Television Stations/NY; Lauren Grady-The Richards Group/Dallas; Danielle Lamoureux-Scripps Networks/Chicago; Sue Coogan-Starcom Mediavest Group/Chicago; Bernadette Rivero-The Cortez Brothers/LA; Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg- M and S Entertainment/ LA; Terry Austin/Denver; Susan Chalfant-FOX Interactive Media/LA; Laura Meador-Super Channel/Edmonton

Today’s Trivia Question: What was the last name of Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler, Alfred?   (Email
with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: Only the second four correct answers from each time zone will be mentioned; and once you’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Later — Cyn

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JOB OPENING: SR ACCT EXEC/ACCT DIR Out-of Home media sales/NY: 5+ yrs nat’l sales exp w/clients & advrtsng agencies strat. plan’g groups. Proven track rec of new bus/acct dvlpmnt req’d. Exp w/Youth mkt a + Res to:

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR DEVELOPMENT/Story House Productions/DC: Lead creative development and sales process. Min 10 yrs exp in tv dev and prod req. Strong client contacts req. Apply: (2/18)

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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

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:  Exposure to business side of television. Work on program decisions, marketing & sales opportunities for client TV stations.   COX REPs-NY-Strong comm. & math skills required, Contact: 
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ABC: The Bachelor, True Beauty
AZTECA: El Milagro de Los Santos, Historia Detras del Mito, Al Extremo
CBS: The Big Bang Theory [r], How I Met Your Mother [r], Two and a Half Men [r], Worst Week, CSI: Miami [r]
CW: Gossip Girl [r], One Tree Hill [r]
FOX: House, 24
MNT: ISU Grand Prix Figure Skating, Masters of Illusion [r]
NBC: Chuck, Heroes, Medium
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, American Experience , Simon Schama’s Rough Crossings
TELE: Dona Barbara, El Rostro de Analia, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso
UNIV: Cuidado con el Angel, Fuego on la Sangre, Cristina

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