Monday, January 3rd, 2005




CONSTANTINE starring Keanu Reeves
BATMAN BEGINS starring Christian Bale

Available exclusively from
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution



Good morning. It’s January, 3 2005, and this is your first early morning briefing. 

Cynopsis begins the new year with 30,118 subscribers, and an additional 48,189 daily readers via pass along.  We wish you all a happy and prosperous 2005!

Tonight’s Premieres:
NBC  Medium at 10p

Casting / Development / Production

  • NBC has ordered a script for The Assistants (Offspring Ent/20th Television), a comedy slash drama, which focuses on the administrative assistants who work for a variety of different companies, all in one building.
  • TNT has added Robert Gossett and GW Bailey to the cast of its police drama called The Closer.  The pilot stars Kyra Sedgwick as a deputy chief of an elite LAPD unit that handles highly sensitive, and highly visible, murder cases.
  • Adam Baldwin has joined the cast of Fox’s The Inside, a midseason drama starring Rachel Nichols as an FBI agent in the LA Violent Crimes Division.
  • NBC has given a cast contingent pilot order for a dramedy called Book of Daniel.  The story follows the life of a minister who chats with God, helps those in need, and at the same time fights his own addiction to painkillers, per Hollywood Reporter.  Jack Kenny penned the pilot.
  • Steven Spielberg has announced a handful of cast members for his 12 hour maxi-series Into the West which is scheduled to air on TNT in the summer of 2005.  New cast includes Jessica Capshaw,  Beau Bridges, Lance Henriksen, Will Patton, Sean Astin, Gary Busey, Rachel Leigh Cook, Daniel Gillies, among others.
  • NBC is looking at a project with Scott Baio, now 40-something (wow.), who moves in with a guy in his 20’s. Project is from HBO Independent Prods and Tagline Prods.
  • Paul Campbell has joined the cast of WB‘s pilot project, Nobody’s Watching (NBC Univ TV). This comedy is about two guys who win a reality show, and the winning prize is they get to create their own sitcom.  Both are moved into a soundstage where it has been set up as a house, and are required to live there while creating their masterpiece.  What they don’t know is, they are the feature players of yet another reality show (a la Truman). The other lead character has not yet been cast.

One Fox affiliate, thus far, will avoid the controversy with tonight’s airing of Who’s Your Daddy, a reality show follows a game in which a woman tries to determine which among a group of older men is her biological father.  Sounds tragic, tho Fox assures us it’s more heartfelt than heart string abusive.  WRAZ in Raleigh-Durham decided it didn’t want to find out how its viewers feel about the show, and will preempt the 90m special with its own documentary called I Have Roots and Branches: Personal Reflections on Adoption.

History Channel is scheduled to announce a spinoff 24/7 network for next spring, called Military History Channel.  A special preview for cable ops is scheduled for 8pm on Wednesday.  The new channel is an expansion of History’s military block which it successfully launched last March. This is not to be confused with the renaming of Discovery Wings to Military Channel, a switch that happens next Monday.

By the way, Discovery’s Military Channel will kick off with the premiere of a new series called Delta Company. The series showcases the hardships faced on the front line by these soldiers when Mission Iraqi Freedom commenced around Baghdad at the beginning of the military occupation. It premieres Monday, January 10, at 9p.

BBC America will get a new series from UK’s BBC called The Kumars at No. 42.  It showcases a real Indian/English family whose son Sanjeev hosts a talk show in the studio they’ve built in the backyard.  He interviews two celebrity guests per week while interacting with probing family members. The show is described as “North London’s most famous – and exaggerated – Indian family.”  The Kumars at No. 42 debuts on Wednesdays at 10p as of January 12, with the first of six eps.

MTV ordered up 6 episodes of My Super Sweet Sixteen –  six teens are showed prepping for their elaborate “coming of age celebration” – premiering January 18 at 10:30p. Nina Diaz, Dave Sirulnick, and Lily Neumeyer will exec prod.

CBS will launch Wickedly Perfect (LMNO Prods) with host Joan Lunden on Thursday, Jan 6 at 8pm.  The show features two teams of perfectionists competing to win the title of “the country’s new authority on at-home living.” Competitions range from bake-offs to floral arranging, culinary machismo to event planning. Judges include Chef Bobby Flay, David Evangelista and Candace Bushnell, who will oversee the eliminations. 

Fox’s 24 is being grilled for a planned Jan. 9 episode in which a Muslim teen and family are part of a terrorist organization planning a massive attack on their American homeland. The Council on American-Islamic Relations plans on furthering their concerns to Fox for content portraying an American-Muslim family as conspirators in a train massacre.

Christmas Day and the Yule log still burns bright on WPIX. A tradition from 1966-1989, the log was brought back for your viewing pleasure in 2001. For people without a fireplace, the log burned for four hours Christmas day, playing holiday carols until 12 noon. New York’s WB locked down the top spot with an average of 275,000 viewers.

Weekend Box Office Estimates: December 31-January 2, 2005
Meet the Fockers (Universal)             $42.8 million – 2 wk total $163.4m
Lemony Snicket (Paramount)               $14.7 million – 3 wk total $94.8m
The Aviator (Miramax)                     $11.2 million – 3 wk total $31.1m
Fat Albert (Fox)                                   $10.7 million – 2 wk total $33.9m
Ocean’s Twelve (Warner Bros.)            $9.2 million – 4 wk total $106.9m
National Treasure (Buena Vista)          $7.0 million – 7 wk total $154.8m
Spanglish (Sony)                          $6.3 million – 3 wk total $31.0m
The Polar Express (WB)           $5.7 million – 8 wk total $155.2m
Phantom/Opera (Warner Bros.)             $4.8 million – 2 wk total $16.3m
Darkness (Dimension)                      $4.5 million – 2 wk total $16.5m
Source: Box Office Mojo

Spike TV will launch a radio station with Viacom owned Infinity Broadcasting, Spike 1140 AM in Las Vegas. Spike TV is a division of MTV Networks and hopes to extend its radio influence to other major U.S. Cities.

Note to self:  Science Channel probes Saturn’s moon Titan – cool stuff.  Jan 13 at 8p.

First major rumor of the new year:  Brad Grey to head Paramount pictures?  Various reports have Grey deep in negotiations with Viacom, Paramount’s mother ship, to take over for studio head Sherry Lansing who announced last year she would exit the company when her contract runs out at the end of 2005.  The deal could be signed sealed and delivered by weeks end.  Grey, co-founder with Bernie Brillstein, of the successful talent management agency Brillstein-Grey, has served as executive producer of TV series including series The Sopranos, Dennis Miller’s-They Shoot HBO Specials, Don’t They?, Politically Incorrect, NewsRadio, The Larry Sanders Show, as well as movies including, Happy Gilmore and Scary Movie. 

He seemed like a friend after a dozen years on NBC’s Law & Order.  Jerry Orbach died of prostate cancer at the age of 69.   Beyond his Law & Order days, Orbach was in the 1981 film Prince of the City, in a role that ultimately inspired his L&O Briscoe character.  For those who don’t know Orbach’s talents beyond TV, he also was a standard song and dance man, appearing in a multitude of Broadway musicals including Chicago, 42nd Street, and winning a Tony for his role in Promises, Promises. He was also the voice of the enchanted candelabra, Lumiere in Disney’s animated hit Beauty and the Beast and co-starred with Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. His surviving family members include sons Chris and Tony and wife Elaine Cancilla.

Goodman Media International, Inc.’s new Vice President is former Senior Counselor of Goodman Media since 2003, Bennett Kleinberg.

Thursday, December 30, 2004. Fast Affiliate Ratings for all Networks – time period averages.  Source Nielsen Media Research. Time Period Averages Only. [p] = Premiere; [o] = Original; [r] = Repeat

CBS     9.3/16   Cold Case [r] 7.0/12, CSI [r] 11.5/19, Without a Trace [r] 9.5/15

ABC     5.0/9    Movie: My Best Friend’s Wedding 5.3/9, Primetime Live 4.4/8

NBC     4.5/8    Joey[r] 4.5/8, Joey[r] 4.2/7, Joey[r] 3.9/7, Will & Grace [r] 4.0/7, ER [r] 5.2/9

UPN     2.8/5    WWE Smackdown 2.8/5

FOX     2.5/4    The O.C. [r] 2.5/4, The O.C. [r] 2.5/4

WB      1.0/2    Movie:  Heathers 1.0/2

A18-49  CBS 4.5/13, NBC 2.9/8, ABC 2.3/7, Fox 1.7/5, UPN 1.5/5, WB 0.6/2

Friday, December 31, 2004. Fast Affiliate Ratings for all Networks – time period averages.  Source Nielsen Media Research. Time Period Averages Only. [p] = Premiere; [o] = Original; [r] = Repeat

NBC     4.3/9    Dateline (2 hrs) 5.0/10, New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly 2.8/6

CBS     4.0/8    Joan [r] 3.0/6, JAG [r] 3.6/7, Without a Trace [r] 5.4/12

ABC     3.9/8    8 Simple Rules [r] 4.0/8, Savages [r] 3.2/7, Hope & Faith [r] 3.3/7, Less than Perfect [r] 3.1/6, Dick Clark’s Rockin New Year’s Eve 4.7/10

FOX     2.6/5    Movie:  Bait 2.6/5

UPN     1.4/3    Movie: The Best Man [r] 1.4/3

WB      1.3/3    What I Like About You [r]1.3/3, Grounded for Life [r] 1.1/2, Reba [r] 1.5/3, Blue Collar TV [r] 1.3/3

A18-49  ABC 1.9/7, NBC 1.8/7, Fox 1.7/6, CBS 1.5/6, WB and UPN 0.8/3

Saturday, January 1, 2005. Fast Affiliate Ratings for all Networks – time period averages.  Source Nielsen Media Research. Time Period Averages Only. [p] = Premiere; [o] = Original; [r] = Repeat

ABC     8.9/15   Rose Bowl (30m) 12.3/21, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl 7.3/12

NBC     6.4/11   L&O [r] 5.8/10, L&O CI [r] 6.8/12, L&O: SVU [r] 6.4/11

CBS     4.4/8    Andy Griffith Show Reunion [r] 4.1/7, Navy NCIS [r] 4.8/8, 48 Hours 4.4/8

FOX     4.0/7    Cops [r] 4.0/7, Cops [r]3.6/6, AMW  4.0/7

A18-49  ABC 4.7/13, NBC 2.9/8, Fox 2.7/7, CBS 1.7/5


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1959 The state of Alaska officially became the 49th state in the USA.  As the largest state, it is two times the size of Texas!


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Today’s Trivia Question courtesy of New Line Television:  Which star of The Notebook recently returned to the small screen on “8 Simple Rules”?  (click here with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone with your answer.  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
01.03.05  4:57am

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JOB OPENING:  National Geographic Television & Film seeks a SR. WRITER for EXPLORER. Reqs: 4-6 yrs award-winning, TV writing exp, incl superior post-production skills.  To apply, visit E/O/E. (1/8)

JOB OPENINGSALES ASSISTANT/Galavision,Miami. Detail-oriented, exc comm & math skills; prof at MS Office, to asst Sales Team w/presentation prep/reports/clerical work. Spanish speaking highly pref. EOE. Resume:

JOB OPENING:  Starz Ent. Group, FILM EVALUATOR-Screen/evaluate films for 15+ pay tv nets. Broad film knowledge, strong written/verbal skills. Industry exp or BA in Film Studies. No pd reloc. Job #402-10323CY. Apply (1/8)

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ABC              The Nokia Sugar Bowl
CBS              Still Standing, Listen Up, Raymond, 2-1/2 Men, CSI: Miami
FOX              Who’s Your Daddy [90m], That 70’s Show
NBC              Fear Factor, Las Vegas, Medium [p]
PAX              AFV, AFV, Mary Higgins Clark Movie
UPN              One on One, Half & Half, Girlfriends, Second Time Around
WB               7th Heaven [r], Everwood [r]
TELE             La Mujer en el Espejo, Gitanas, Te Voy a Ensenar a Querer
UNIV             Rubi, Amor Real, Cristina

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