Monday, February 23rd, 2004





Good morning. It’s Monday, February 23, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing. 

Thursday nights are getting tougher and tougher as the competition for eyeballs heats up.  NBC again took this past Thursday with an average a 10.4/25 A18-49 according to Nielsen Media Research, with CBS pulling an 8.6/21 (a share point closer than last week), followed distantly by ABC 2.8/7, UPN 2.0/5, Fox 1.6/4, WB 1.1/3.   At 8pm NBC’s Friends (10.9/29) and Will & Grace (9.0/22) combined for the hour (10.4/25) to beat CBS’ 8.6/21 for the hour.  With that said, CBS’ Survivor did win the 830-9p half hour in the same demo (9.3/23 vs. 9.0/22).  At 9p CBS’ CSI led the hour with a 10.7/25 over NBC’s The Apprentice (10.0/23). At 10p ER dominated the hour with an 11.1/28 over Without a Trace on CBS (6.4/16). Among A25-54 the gap narrows: NBC 11.5/26 vs. CBS 8.0/18.

NBC takes the prize on Friday night with an overall 3.7/12 A18-49 demo rating according to Nielsen Media Research.  ABC was second for the night with a 2.8/9, followed in quick succession by CBS 2.6/8, Fox 1.7/5, WB 1.3/4, UPN .9/3.  At 8pm NBC and CBS tied, each averaging a 3.1/10, with ABC delivering a lesser 2.6/9.  At 9p NBC stood out on its own with the second hour of its Dateline programming (3.9/12), with ABC’s sitcoms Hope & Faith and Life With Bonnie ranking #2 with a 2.8/9 and 2.4/7, respectively. At 10p NBC’s Third Watch led with a 4.0/13, out delivering ABC’s 20/20 (3.1/10) and CBS’ repeat of Without a Trace (2.5/8).

What has now become a tradition, Fox again won the night on Saturday among A18-49 according to fast affiliate ratings from Nielsen Media Research.  Posting an overall 3.1/11 for the night, Fox beat out NBC 2.7/9, ABC 2.6/9, and CBS 2.0/7 handily.  At 8pm Fox’s Cops/Cops [r] delivered a 2.9/11, ahead of the first hour of NBC’s movie Shrek (2.2/8) and CBS and ABC which tied at 1.7/6.  At 9p America’s Most Wanted again won the hour wtih a 3.2/10, with Shrek just one share point behind (2.8/9).  At 10p the finale of Castaway on ABC led the group with a 3.5/11, its highest rated hour of the 3-hour movie. NBC’s repeat of Law & Order SVU earned a 2.9/9, and CBS’ The District 1.9/6.

Premiering Tonight:
Comedy Central: Straight Plan for the Gay Man (10p)

As of a week ago, this was still an network-unaffiliated program; now The Contender has become a contender for NBC, which has given the project a 16-episode order. This unscripted project from Mark Burnett, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Sylvester Stallone on behalf of Dreamworks TV, dives into the world of boxing and boxer wannabes, beginning with a nationwide search for the next superstar boxer, and ending with a match between two amateur boxers looking for the big title.  NBC is considering a 1st qtr 2005 start.  The per ep license fee, depending on sources, is pegged between $1.5 million and north of $2 million. Additionally, NBC will sell back to the producers of the show six 30′ units at the then going rate, which the producers will resell to advertisers.  While on the face of it you may wonder why would anyone buy the units from Dreamworks/Burnett Prods at an elevated price instead of going straight to NBC, perhaps this is where the product placement ads will show up.

A similarly themed project is also being shopped around the nets by the William Morris Agency on behalf of Jim Lampley’s Crystal Spring Prods – this one puts a group of heavyweight contenders in a house with ex-heavyweight champ/show host George Foreman.  Cameras will be omnipresent as this group trains and one by one eliminates via in-house bouts, until there’s just one standing. 

According to Broadcasting & Cable, ABC‘s Thursday night newsmagazine series Primetime will be reworked, using more of the ABC news talent pool, though Diane Sawyer will likely remain as the central figure.  The new ‘cast’ will include Cynthia McFadden, John Quinones and Chris Cuomo.  Remember with this show originally launched with Sawyer and Sam Donaldson?  Remember when Donaldson would say, “welcome to Primetime Liiiiiiive.”

It’s finally happened.  The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (the Emmy folks) has created a new reality category:  Outstanding Reality/Competition Program.

In Development and Casting News:

  • CBS drama project Numbers (Scott Free Prods/Paramount Network TV) has tapped David Krumholtz as the lead, in this reminiscent of Beautiful Mind idea – brainiac numbers guy is hired by FBI to solve crimes. The CBS drama project The Webster Report (25C/Warner Bros. TV) has added Bobby Cannavale to the cast in the role of Leo Webster.
  • UPN has cast Enrico Colantoni as the male lead for its drama pilot Veronica Mars (Silver Pictures/Warner Bros TV), joining Kristen Bell as the private detective/father to Bell’s character.  And in Nikki & Nora, the Warner Bros. TV project about two gay private detectives, Christina Cox and Liz Vassey have been cast in those lead roles.
  • ABC has given a pilot presentation order to a comedy project from Victor Fresco (Paramount Network TV). Comedian Lewis Black has a principle role … literally, as principal of the high school where the action takes place.  ABC’s drama project Eyes (McNamara Paper Products/Warner Bros TV), starring Tim Daly, has added A.J. Langer to the cast. This project is set in a large risk management corporation.
  • NBC‘s comedy pilot from Marsh/McCall (Warner Bros. TV) has founds its male lead – Tom Conti who plays the recently divorced father/university professor. NBC’s comedy project The Friendlys (NBC Studios) has added Dave Foley to the cast.
  • Fox’s thus far untitled pilot project from Katherine Bigelow/Kessler brothers (Imagine TV/20th), has cast Rachel Nichols in the lead role as undercover detective in a high school setting. Elsewhere Jennifer Morrison has been signed to the cast of Fox’s Paul Attanasio/David shore pilot (Heel & Toe Prods/Universal) about a group of doctors who work only on those cases everyone else has walked away from.
  • Sources:, Hollywood Reporter, Variety

Weekend Box Office Estimates – Feb 20-22, 2004
50 First Dates (Sony)                                 $21.0 million – 2 wk total $73.3m
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (Disney) $9.2 million – opening weekend
Miracle (Disney)                                          $8.0 million – 3 wk total $50.5m
Welcome to Mooseport (Fox)                     $7.0 million – opening weekend
Eurotrip (Dreamworks)                               $6.6 million – opening weekend
Barbershop 2 (MGM)                                  $6.3 million – 3 wk total $53.2m
Mystic River (Warner Bros.)                        $3.1 million – 20 wk total $79.2m
Against the Ropes (Paramount)                  $3.0 million – opening weekend
Butterfly Effect (New Line)                           $2.9 million – 5 wk total $53.1m
LOTR: Return of the King (New Line)         $2.8 million – 10 wk total $361.1m
Source: Box Office Mojo

Coming to Outdoor Life Network in April are new series leading up to the network’s coverage of the 2004 Tour de Force.  The Lance Armstrong Chronicles is a 13 part reality/doc series, shot in HiDef,  following Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service Team as they make their preparations for the annual race. The show debuts on Thursday, April 29 at 8p. The Road to the Tour, premiering on the first of April, follows Armstrong as well as many of the other competitors, as well as provide news updates from embedded correspondents.

Correction:  UPN’s pilot orders count three — that is one untitled starring the Latino singing group Soluna (HBO Prods/dePasse Ent); Me Me Me (Cosmic Ent/20th); and the third is based in part on the book I Do, I Did, Now What? by Jenny Lee, and is about two NYC friends whose lives revolve entirely around themselves.

Thursday, February 19, 2004. Fast Affiliate 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

CBS     14.7/22 Survivor All Stars12.9/20, CSI 18.4/27, Without a Trace 12.8/20

NBC     13.4/20 Friends 15.2/24, Will & Grace 12.1/18, The Apprentice 12.1/18, ER 14.4/23

 ABC    5.2/8   The Bachelorette: Men Tell All (OTO) 4.2/6, Extreme Makeover 5.7/8, Primetime Thursday 5.6/9

UPN     3.4/5   WWE Smackdown 3.4/5

FOX     2.8/4   Movie:  Planet of the Apes 2.8/4

WB      2.0/3   Steve Harvey 2.4/4, All About the Andersons 2.1/3, The Surreal Life 1.8/3

A18-49  NBC 10.4/25, CBS 8.6/21, ABC 2.8/7, UPN 2.0/5, Fox 1.6/4, WB 1.1/3

Friday, February 20, 2004. Fast Affiliate 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     8.2/14  Dateline 8.4/15, Third Watch 7.8/14

CBS     7.3/13  Joan of Arcadia 7.7/14, JAG 7.5/13, Without a Trace (OTO)[r] 6.7/12

ABC     5.2/9   George Lopez 5.0/9, Married to the Kellys 4.2/7, Hope & Faith 5.1/9, Life with Bonnie 4.3/7, 20/20 6.2/11

FOX     2.6/4   The Great American Celebrity Spelling Bee (pt 2) 2.6/5; Man vs. Beast #2 (OTO) 2.5/4

WB      2.3/4   Reba 3.1/6, What I Like About You 2.2/4, Grounded for Life 1.9/3

UPN     1.5/3   Movie: Chill Factor 1.5/3

A18-49  NBC 3.7/12, ABC 2.8/9, CBS 2.6/8, Fox 1.7/5, WB 1.3/4, UPN .9/3

Saturday, February 21, 2004. Fast Affiliate 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

CBS     5.7/11  Star Search 4.8/9, Hack 5.9/11, The District 6.4/12

FOX     5.0/9   Cops 4.5/9, Cops [r] 5.2/10, AMW 5.1/9

NBC     4.8/9   Movie: Shrek 4.6/8, Law & Order: SVU 5.4/10

ABC     4.6/8   Movie: Castaway 4.6/8

A18-49  Fox 3.1/11, NBC 2.7/9, ABC 2.6/9, CBS 2.0/7




#1 Movie on FX (#1 Program)

#2 Movie on FX (#2 Program)

#1 Movie on TURNER SOUTH (#1 Program)

#2 Movie on WGNC (#3 Program)

Available exclusively from
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NHI Explorer, 2/9/04-2/15/04.  HH Cvg Rtg.  Love Affair ties Terms-Endearment.  Glimmer ties Under Siege 2 (Tue 8p). Two-By Sea ties Spaceballs, Will & Grace, Home Impvmt.

The History Channel presents This Day in History: 
1917 –  The Russian Revolution begins

Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question:  What well known primetime television star said the best way to a successful television show was: “Open big, have a good comedy set, put in something for children and keep the show clean.”? ED SULLIVAN.  Kudos to:  David Larson-CBS/NY; Richard Walsh-OMD/NY; Michael Grueter-Empower MediaMarketing/Cincinnati; Patrick Bladon-Blair/Atlanta; Robb Gray-Apex Media/Tucson; John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas; Dan Whitford-RPA/Chicago; Dale Warshaw-KWBA/Tucson; John Amato-20th Television/LA; Alan Berger-PHD/LA; Dirk van de Bunt-Carsey Werner Mandabach/LA; Alan Perris-Perris/Hubert Prods/LA; Bill Irwin-CILK FM/Kelowna BC; and Caroline Godin-Ellis Ent/Toronto.


Keep Their Eyes On You

Television Upfront 2004
A Special Advertising Section in The New York Times
Tuesday, May 11

Extend the reach of your ad sales efforts by promoting your broadcast,
cable and syndicated programs in Television Upfront, a stand-alone
advertising section, co-written by Cynthia Turner.

To advertise or for more information, contact Brad Kolodny at
or visit

Today’s Trivia Question: On what series will you find on the wall of its main and arguably most often used set, a framed piece of sheet music titled The Diarymaids?  (
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
02/23/04 5:27am
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Copyright Cynthia Turner 2004


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JOB OPENING:  RESEARCH PROJECT MANAGER, TNT, New York. 4-6 yrs ad sales rsch exp needed; develop presentations & special projects; exp in Nielsen national systems required; apply to req # 19832BR  (2/28)

JOB OPENING:  SR RESEARCH ANALYST, CARTOON NETWORK/KIDS WB/ADULT SWIM, New York Ad Sales. Strong analytical/writing skills. Nielsen software experience.  2 yrs exp as rsch analyst req’d. Apply to: req #20288 BR  (2/27)

JOB OPENING:  NY Asian TV Network seeking articulate, motivated AD SALES PROFESSIONAL with exp. working with/for Asian Ad Agencies. Mainstream advertising experience a plus. Please send resume to

JOB OPENING:   AD SLS RESEARCH MGR/Discovery Nets-NY: 6+yrs exp in research at Cbl/Bdcst net. Exp w/all Nielsen systems, MRI, MMR and solid comm/analytical skills req. Prior mgrl exp a must. Apply:

JOB OPENING:  AD SALES RESEARCH analyst/ Galavision/ NY: 2-3 yrs experience; Proficient Knowledge of National Nielsen products; strong analytical skills required. Email
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INTERNSHIPS – SCHOOL CREDIT ONLY: Evolution Film & Tape/LA. PRODUCTION INTERN and CASTING INTERN needed. Hard worker, punctual, organized, able to multitask, and handle fast paced environment. Email resume to:


SITUATION WANTED:  NY/LA, TV DEVELOPMENT/CASTING DIR., Kid & Tweens TV.  Have 15 yrs exp. Excellent organizational, interpersonal and communication skills (Very energetic & enthusiastic). Email:

SITUATION WANTED:  ENTRY-LEVEL/PA (LA) Looking for any type of entry level job for TV or Film. 

SITUATION WANTED:  ON AIR  WRITER/PRODUCER  N.Y. – based. Desire work promoting Family oriented ; Christian  friendly programming. 12+ yrs branding & commercial exp. Pls. Contact: Anna 718  398 0731  (2/27)

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20.2 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, Forensic Files, The Investigators
ABC             ABC Movie: The Fast and the Furious; Super Millionaire
CBS             Yes Dear, Still Standing, Raymond, Two and a Half Men, CSI Miami
FOX             The Littlest Groom (part 2 of 2), Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance [finale]
NBC             Fear Factor [90m], Average Joe: Hawaii [90m]
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, Cristina

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