Monday, February 9th, 2009



#1 TV Show on Mondays!

Source: The Nielsen Company, 2009 to-date (1/1-1/25/09), Mondays 6a-6a, Live+SD (000s). The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family (Mon 8-9pm) rank among all television network programs among P/F 12-17, P/F 12-24, F12-34. Details available upon request.



Good morning. It’s Monday, February 9, 2009, and this is your first early morning briefing. 

Tonight’s Premieres:
BBC America: Top Gear at 8p
MTV: The Girls of Hedsor Hall at 9p


Showtime Networks Inc. and mixed martial arts (MMA) event producer Strikeforce are developing a new live series for Showtime featuring MMA events, airing within the Showtime Sports franchise. The multi-year agreement between the two entities allows Showtime to produce and televise up to 16 live MMA events each year including Strikeforce world champion bouts and a series profiling emerging fighters in the sport. The first championship event will air April 11 from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA and the specific fight card is TBA. 

NBC’s summer reality competition show America’s Got Talent will soon name a new host as Jerry Springer, host for the last two seasons, said last week he wanted to leave the show to concentrate on his other ongoing projects. Springer replaced the series’ original host Regis Philbin who helmed the first season. America’s Got Talent is produced by FremantleMedia North America.

Paige Davis (Trading Spaces) will soon appear as emcee on Life for Dummies a new syndicated lifestyle show developed by A. Smith and Co., reports Variety. The series is based on the For Dummies book series from Wiley Publishing and will instruct viewers on a variety of topics. Arthur Smith and Kent Weed, founders of A. Smith and Co. will executive produce while Davis will also produce.

Actress/author Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years, The West Wing) will become lead math correspondent for the weekly Science Channel series Brink, joining host Josh Zepps. In addition, several other top science authors and journalists have been enlisted as correspondents including Garth Sundem, Jonah Lehrer, Joshua Davis, Dr. Kirsten Sanford and Dr. Dwight Williams. Brink airs Fridays at 10p and is produced by CBS Eye Too Productions.

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.

Top 10 Weekend Box Office Estimates: February 6-8, 2009
He’s Just Not That Into You (Warner Bros.)    $27.5 million – opening weekend
Taken (20th Century Fox)                            $20.3 million – 2 wk total $53.4m
Coraline (Focus Features)                            $16.3 million – opening weekend
Pink Panther 2 (Sony)                                 $12.0 million – opening weekend
Paul Blart Mall Cop (Sony)                           $11.0 million – 4 wk total $97.0m
Push (Summit Entertainment)                       $10.2 million – opening weekend
Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight)             $7.4 million – 13 wk total $77.4m
Gran Torino (Warner Bros.)                          $7.2 million – 9 wk total $120.3m
The Uninvited (Paramount)                          $6.4 million – 2 wk total $18.4m
Hotel for Dogs (Paramount)                         $5.8 million – 4 wk total $55.2m
Source: Rentrak


Twentieth Television announced syndicated court show Cristina’s Court will not return this fall, though the show will continue in production and on the air through September 2009. Hosted by Cristina Perez, Cristina’s Court is currently in its third season and won a first-time Daytime Emmy for a court show last year. Prior to this series, Perez hosted La Corte De Familia on Telemundo.


New Pilot Pick-Ups:

  • The CW is collaborating with publisher Alloy Entertainment on a one-hour drama pilot adapted from the book series The Vampire Diaries. Kevin Williamson (Scream) will write and executive produce, working alongside Julie Plec (Kyle XY); Warner Bros. Television and Alloy Entertainment will produce. The CW also approved Body Politic from CBS Paramount Network Television about young political staffers working in Washington, D.C. Jason Rothenberg and Bill Robinson wrote the script and will executive produce with Peter Horton.
  • CBS handed out a slew of pilot orders including a Dallas-based multi-camera comedy called Big D, cites THR. The storyline is about a New York married couple moving back to the husband’s home city of Dallas and the wife dealing with her Southern-belle mother-in-law. Warner Bros. Television will produce.
  • In other CBS pilot news, the network continues its partnership with Jerry Bruckheimer, this time on a medical drama pilot called Miami Trauma about a team of trauma surgeons. Warner Bros. Television and Bruckheimer TV will produce. Jeffrey Lieber penned the script and is executive producing with Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman. KristieAnne Reed is co-executive producer.
  • Late on Friday, CBS approved four more pilots:
    • Three Rivers, from CBS Paramount Network Television, is another medical drama about organ transplants, with stories told from three perspectives – by the doctor, patient and donor. Carol Barbee wrote the pilot and is executive producing with Curtis Hanson and Carol Fenelon.
    • The Good Wife, from CBS Paramount Network Television and Scott Free, is a cast-contingent drama about a politician’s wife who decides to work again as a defense attorney. Robert and Michelle King wrote and will executive produce.
    • Accidentally on Purpose also received a cast-contingent order and the comedy is based on the autobiographical novel by Mary F. Pols about a movie critic in San Francisco who becomes pregnant accidentally and the new family that is created. CBS Paramount Network Television and BermanBraun will produce; Claudia Lonow wrote the script and is executive producing with Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun.
    • The final project for CBS is Waiting to Die from Sony Pictures Television and Tantamount. This buddy comedy is about two simpletons who are happy despite things looking bad from the outside. Will Sasso and Chad Kultgen wrote the script.
  • NBC nabbed a comedy pilot titled State of Romance from writer/executive producers Barbara Wallace and Tom Wolfe and produced by Universal Media Studios. The single-camera project is set in Chicago and is described as a contemporary version of “Pride and Prejudice.”

Jennifer Lopez and partner Simon Field’s production company, Nuvorican Productions is teaming with Fox Television Studios to adapt the Argentinean television series Rebelde Way for the U.S. The plot surrounds a group of private school teens who form a pop band. The U.S. script will be penned by Duane Adler.


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  The music industry lost what was once thought to be one of its great digital hopes. Sony/UMG joint venture TotalMusic has officially pulled the plug according to a blog post by VP of Product Management Jason Herkowitz, a little over a year after it was conceived. Envisioned as a direct competitor to the iTunes juggernaut, TotalMusic sought to offer users access to unlimited music by charging device manufactures an upfront charge and a monthly fee that would be passed on to users. (News of its demise became an object of speculation after TechCrunch noticed that college music service posted a cease and desist message – a start-up that was acquired by Total Music last year.) The decision seemed to be mostly about cold feet in tough times, according to Jason’s post. “I regret that we didn’t get to show you guys more about what we built – but in these extremely hard economic times (particularly for those in the music industry) it’s hard to blame them from pulling the plug on a still-highly-speculative offering. I only hope that someone else figures out how to crack this music-on-the-web nut in a way that is a win for everyone in the value chain.”   Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY:   DreamWorks is well on its way to entering into a multi-year movie distribution deal with Walt Disney, following the crumbling of the studio’s discussions with Universal on Friday, according to  Under the deal Disney will release six DreamWorks pictures a year, with DreamWorks paying Disney an 8% distribution fee (they same as it would have with Universal), with Disney offering a $150 million line of credit if DreamWorks needs it for production, per the report.  Additionally, Disney will help DreamWorks raise additional funds for the new company.  Full edition: CYN KIDS.


Thursday – A18-49 Analysis: ABC was in the winner’s circle Thursday night at 4.5/12 A18-49, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. FOX opened the night winning with Bones during 8p with 3.2/9 while ABC’s Ugly Betty and NBC’s comedies My Name Is Earl/Kath & Kim tied for second at 2.3/7. ABC wrested away the #1 spot at 9p as Grey’s Anatomy posted a 5.8/14 followed by two more NBC sitcoms The Office/30 Rock averaging a 3.7/9. ABC remained in first through 10p with Private Practice at 5.3/14 and NBC was again second, this time with ER at 2.6/7. 

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Thursday, February 5, 2009 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

ABC: 7.7/12        Ugly Betty 4.9/8, Grey’s Anatomy 9.8/15, Private Practice 8.3/14

CBS: 5.6/9             The Big Bang Theory [r] 3.9/6, How I Met Your Mother [r] 3.6/6, CSI [r] 7.5/11, Eleventh Hour [r] 5.5/9

FOX: 5.6/9             Bones 6.7/11, Hell’s Kitchen 4.5/7

NBC: 4.3/7          My Name Is Earl 3.9/6, Kath & Kim 3.1/5, The Office 5.1/8, 30 Rock 4.0/6, ER 4.8/8

UNIV: 2.4/4          Cuidado con el Angel 2.5/4, Fuego en la Sangre 2.7/4, La Rosa de Guadalupe 1.8/3

CW: 2.2/3            Smallville 2.4/4, Supernatural 2.1/3

MNT: 1.2/2           My Thursday Night Movie: Honey Drippers 1.2/2

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

A18-49: ABC 4.5/12, FOX 3.3/9, NBC 2.9/8, CBS 2.2/6, UNIV 2.0/5, CW 1.5/4, MNT 0.5/1, TELE 0.5/1



Dan Thomas was appointed as SVP/Branded Entertainment with Sony Pictures Television (SPT) working with clients and agencies to locate projects for Dan also will be involved with product integrations on behalf of television series such as Dr. Oz. Dan will report to Amy Carney, President/Advertiser Sales, SPT.

Martin Pompadur, formerly of News Corporation, Larry Namer, E! Entertainment co-founder, and Jean Zhang, Amerilink founder, have formed Metan Development Group LLC, a new venture to develop and distribute entertainment content and media for the Chinese market.

This day in History:  1997 The Simpsons became the longest-running prime-time animated series. The Flintstones previously held the record.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:   On the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, Penny is employed at what chain restaurant?  THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY Kudos to: Rochelle Schaeffe-JetSetPets, Inc/Ossining, NY; Brian Ricco-MultiVision Media, Inc./Ringwood, NJ; Wendy Logsdon-Tribune Broadcasting/Indianapolis; Melissa Pattillo- Initiative Media/Atlanta; Michele Wilinski-KSHB/Kansas City; Liz Jones-SpotPlus/Dallas; Caitlin Byrne-University of Louisiana-Lafayette/Lafayette, LA; Deirdre LaVerdiere-Bloomberg Television/Chicago; Jim Gray-FrogLight Pdns/Missoula, MT; Kyle Higman -Sleep Country, USA/Kent, WA; Alan Perris-The Television Academy/North Hollywood; Yvette Turner-KPIX/ San Francisco; Jim Snider-CTV Television/Toronto; Kimberly J. Luce-Disney Channel/Spain; Jim Van Dusen-Astral Media Radio/Winnipeg; Mira Laufer-Corus Entertainment, Inc./Toronto

Today’s Trivia Question:  What was the name of the small southern town that was the setting for the series Mama’s Family? (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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ABC: Presidential Press Conference, The Bachelor, True Beauty
AZTECA: Lo Que Callamos Las Mujeres Edicion Especial, Historia Detras del Mito, Al Extremo
CBS: Presidential Press Conference, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory [r], CSI: Miami
CW: Gossip Girl [r], One Tree Hill [r]
FOX: Presidential Press Conference, 24
MNT: Twilight Zone [r], Twilight Zone [r], Masters of Illusion [r]
NBC: Presidential News Conference, Heroes, Medium
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, American Experience , PBS Previews We Shall Remain: American Experience
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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