Monday, July 29th, 2013


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Good morning. It’s Monday, July 29, 2013, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Tonight’s Premieres:
Sundance: The Writers Room at 10p
Univision: La Tempestad at 9p

Tonight’s Finales:
Cooking: The Freshman Class at 10:30p
Discovery: Fast n’ Loud at 9p


pivot: Turn Here for a New TV Network August 1

Millennials.Think they don’t watch the news?
At pivot, we think they are the news.

Introducing Take Part Live, a new LIVE topical interactive series every weeknight at midnight.

Hosts Jacob Soboroff and Cara Santa Maria get beyond the headlines and hashtags to address the stories that matter most to Millennials.

Learn more at:

Mad men merge: Omnicom Group of New York and Publicis Groupe of France announced on Sunday that they would merge to create the giant Publicis Omnicom Group, pending regulatory approval. Between them the conglomerates own a slew of well-known ad agencies like BBDO, Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi. Maurice Levy, chief executive of Publicis and John Wren, chief executive of Omnicom, will serve as co-CEOs. The execs say the merger would allow the companies to be more nimble in emerging markets, faster in handling changes due to digital technology, and afford more leverage dealing with media companies. As for issues like possible defections when rival clients find themselves under one roof (as Coke and Pepsi would), “Do I expect to have difficulties? Yes,” said Wren. “Do I expect there to be solutions? Yes.”  Levy said in a statement, “The communication and marketing landscape has undergone dramatic changes in recent years, including the exponential development of new media giants, the explosion of big data, blurring of the roles of all players and profound changes in consumer behavior. This evolution has created both great challenges and tremendous opportunities for clients. John and I have conceived this merger to benefit our clients by bringing together the most comprehensive offering of analog and digital services.”


Declaring, “The bastard child is now broadcast television,” NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt told reporters at the TCA that event programming will “shake up the landscape,” and lure viewers back to broadcast. Upcoming peacock “events” include Diane Lane playing Hillary Rodham Clinton in a four-hour mini-series, a four-hour adaptation of Rosemary’s Baby, Stephen King’s Tommyknockers and Plymouth, about the Pilgrim’s journey; a six-hour mini-series about Cleopatra is also in development. “I wish we could get more respect for the work we do,” said Greenblatt of broadcast nets versus cable. “If we could put on one show a year, trust me, it’d be the best show you ever saw.”

Greenblatt also said that after the Tonight Show handoff to host Jimmy Fallon in February 2014, he hopes to hold on to Jay Leno. “Nothing would make us happier than to have him – a la Bob Hope  stay on the network,” said the exec. “And he’s got a lot of ideas.”

HBO CEO Richard Plepler shrugs off the suggestion that his net should be concerned about Netflix‘s growing subscriber base and first-time Emmy nom glory. “First it was broadcast,” he said at the TCA, “then premium, then basic, and digital, and Amazon. We live very comfortably among competition and we think there is plenty of room for other people to do good work.”

“It’s like the difference between a grape and a watermelon,” said Pivot president Evan Shapiro at the TCA, comparing his upcoming net to failed Current TV. “We’re a general entertainment network. We start with entertainment, and then hope to spark conversation and inspire action. Last time I checked, I don’t think Current had a scripted comedy, or a musical variety show.” And Current, a news net aimed at 18-34-year-olds, “would never have hired me since I’m a Republican,’ said Meghan McCain (daughter of Senator John McCain and host of Raising McCain, premiering Saturday, September 14 at 10p). “I came to Pivot because I think there needs to be a middle ground between the Kardashians and C-CSPAN.” Pivot also announced Jacob Soboroff and Cara Santa Maria as hosts of the net’s interactive late night series, Take Part Live, a weekday talker will that include viewer participation via social media, and premiere at 12a on the net’s launch date, Thursday, August 1.

Also from the TCA: NBC hosted its annual poolside bash at the Beverly Hilton on Saturday evening… Robert Greenblatt, chairman, NBC entertainment was, alas, a no-show at the party. However, there was plenty of A-list on-camera talent: Michael J. Fox (The Michael J. Fox Show), Sean Hayes (Sean Saves the World), James Spader (The Blacklist), and Blair Underwood (Ironsides) chatted and shmoozed between trips to the sushi bar. Fox was sought-after the most… Spencer Grammer (Ironsides) was spotted in line to have her image recorded at the Mirmir station – Mirmir’s the premium photo service that prides itself on making everyone look good… Dempsey Marks, daughter of NBC EVP of publicity Rebecca Marks, was at the shindig, taking it all in; the recent Loyola Marymount graduate is considering following in mom’s footsteps… Linda Lavin (Sean Saves the World) smartly positioned herself in a quiet corner table by the other side of the pool where she conducted a series of interviews… Marcus Lemonis, star of The Profit, which debuts Tuesday, July 30 at 10P, tells Cynopsis that he’s happy to have survived his first TCA. “I learned a lot,” the businessman/philanthropist says… Monica Potter (Parenthood) and her husband had a stop to make on their way home after leaving the party. “We’re going to ‘Toys ‘R’ Us’ to get our daughter a new bike,” Potter says. Co-star Sam Jaeger tells Cynopsis that he’s thrilled about Parenthood’s new Thursday 10 p.m. timeslot. Plus, Michael J. Fox’s new sitcom is its lead-in. “That doesn’t hurt,” quips Jaeger. “I hear that guy’s pretty funny.”

Lifetime’s Witches of East End has a premiere date: Sunday, October 6 at 10p. Julia Ormond plays mom to wild child Jenna Dewan Tatum and librarian Rachel Boston, who have untapped magical powers; produced by Fox 21. Rob Sharenow, Lifetime’s executive vice president programming, confessed to Cynopsis at the TCA, “This show surprised me, frankly; I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I do. The complexity of character and the take on the whole ‘witch world’ was fresh and exciting. There’s an ominous darkness to it, but it has fun with itself.”

Sharknado bites again. The Syfy TV-movie about sharks falling from the sky in LA will get midnight showings in over 200 movie theaters on Friday, August 2. 

Dominic Chu is leaving Bloomberg TV to become a markets reporter for CNBC. “With his background as a Wall Street trader and investor, in addition to his journalism experience, Dominic will be able to offer CNBC’s sophisticated audience a unique perspective on the markets,” said CNBC senior vp Nik Deogun in a staff email. Chu starts at the net on Monday, August 12.

ABC Family will have two of its stars stirring up the Twitterverse tonight. At 8p, guest star Matt Kane will chat with fans during Switched at Birth. In the next hour, series star Sherri Saum connects with fans of The Fosters.

National Geographic Channel and Discovery are both hoping crime pays this summer. Nat Geo debuted six-parter Inside the American Mob on Sunday; first ep started with the 1971 assassination of Joe Columbo, and will track the organization to the present day. On Friday, August 2, Discovery Channel jumps in with a series about the Boston underworld, Saint Hoods, at 10p.

NickMom‘s first original sitcom, Instant Mom, comes from producer/star Tia Mowry-Hardrict, who starred on Sister Sister (1995-1999) – and the net is counting on nostalgia to help bring in viewers. “First-generation Nickelodeon viewers are now moms and will soon be treated to NickMom’s first original comedy with someone they grew up watching and loving,” said Bronwen O’Keefe, senior vp at NickMom, a primetime block that airs on the Nick Jr. channel. Series also stars Michael Boatman (Spin City) and Sheryl Lee Ralph (Moesha). 

CNBC is adding a reality show about sports betting to its prime time block. Money Talks explores the world of handicapper Steve Stevens, whose clients take nerve-wracking risks with big money. Series premieres Tuesday, September 10 at 10p.

Hub Network is holding a nationwide costume competition as part of family friendly Hub Network’s First Annual Halloween Bash. Hosts and musical acts TBA; special airs Saturday, October 26.

Is your social media strategy up to par? Learn from the best! Join us on Aug. 14 in NY at the Cynopsis Sports Business Summit for our social media panel featuring Lockerdome’s Gabe Lozano, CSE’s John Mitchell, AEG’s Scott Carlis, Sports Illustrated’s Jim DeLorenzo and Michael Spirito from YES Network. The session will be moderated by Bloomberg’s Rob Shaw. Register at

Top 10 Weekend Box Office Estimates:  July 26-28, 2013

Wolverine (20th Century) $55.0 million  opening weekend
The Conjuring (Warner Bros.) $22.1 million  2 wk total $83.9m
Despicable Me 2 (Universal) $16.0 million  4 wk total $306.4m
Turbo (20th Century) $13.3 million  2 wk total $55.8m
Grown Ups 2 (Sony) $11.5 million  3 wk total $101.7m
Reds 2 (Lionsgate) $9.4 million  2 wk total $35.1m
Pacific Rim (Warner Bros.) $7.5 million  3 wk total $84.0m
The Heat (20th Century) $6.9 million  5 wk total $141.2m
R.I.P.D. (Universal) $5.9 million  2 wk total $24.3m
Fruitvale Station (Weinstein) $4.7 million  3 wk total $6.3m

Source: Rentrak


That was quick. Starz has ordered a second season of series Black Sails, from exec producer Michael Bay, before the first season even started. “Based on the strong fan response to the preview screening at last week’s Comic-Con, we felt an early order for a second season would allow the writers, cast and crew enough time and space to continue crafting unique and epic storytelling,” explained Starz CEO Chris Albrecht.

Disney XD is bringing back Lab Rats for season three. The sci-fi adventure series is the net’s number one rated in total viewers (835,000) as well as in target kid and tween categories.

NickMom is picking up docu-com Take Me To Your Mother for a second season. Series follows new mom Andrea Rosen as she solicits advice from other mothers because she doesn’t “want to raise a jerk.”

The Car Chasers, about a team of car flippers, has been picked up by CNBC. Second season premieres Tuesday, October 29 at 10p.

Ke$ha – My Crazy Beautiful Life will return for a second season on MTV.


Dueling docs: ESPN‘s 30 for 30 isn’t the only documentary that will capitalize on Winter Olympics fever by recounting the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan figure skating scandal. NBC announced its own doc, to air during the 2014 Olympics, that will feature an interview with Kerrigan, who was whacked on the knee before the 1994 Lillehammer Games as part of a plot involving rival Harding. ESPN’s Tonya and Nancy is set to air in November. 

Syfy has greenlit supernatural drama Dominion. Based on characters from the 2010 theatrical film Legion, action is set 25 years in the future. Co-writer and director of Legion Scott Stewart will direct and serve as an exec producer; producers are Universal Cable Productions and Bold Films.

NickMom announced four shows it has in development (all working titles). Lounge is a talk/variety series exec-produced by Whoopi Golberg about everyday mothers who “are given an opportunity to be pampered, celebrated and have their dreams come true.” Docu-com Country Mom, City Mom follows Tanya McQueen, who splits her time between Texas and Los Angeles. On Undercover Cupid, children of single parents pick dates for them. Fourth series is another docu-com, this one following a comedian/father of five daughters.

AMC has greenlit two scripted dramas, Halt & Catch Fire and Turn. “The simultaneous greenlights are the first in network history and underscore AMC’s growth and commitment to original scripted programming,” said Joel Stillerman, evp of original programming, production and digital content. Halt & Catch Fire is set in the early 80s and dramatizes the boom in personal computing. Turn is about a farmer in 1778 who turns spy to aid the fight for American independence.

MTV pres of programming Susanne Daniels announced Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie as scribes for the pilot for Scream, going into production in the fall. Daniels said the net also ordered two sitcom pilots: Faking It, about two friends desperate to be popular in high school, and Happyland, about behind-the-scenes goings on at a theme park.


Outside Television, the net aimed at people “who share a deep passion for the active, adventure lifestyle,” has signed a deal with the National Cable Television Cooperative. The agreement with NCTC, along with its other distribution partners, makes two-year-old Outside available in over 40 million homes.


Michael J. Fox‘s wife, Tracy Pollan, will guest star on NBC’s The Michael J. Fox show. “She was great and it was really funny,” Fox reported at the TCA. Pollan and Fox met when she played his love interest on season four of Family Ties (1982-1989). Show debuts Thursday, September 26 at 9p.

Freddie Prinze Jr. will guest on the season nine opener of FOX‘s Bones. He’ll play an old associate of Booth’s (David Boreanaz, co-star of Prinze’s wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar, in the 1997-2003 series Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Premiere is Monday, September 16 at 8p.

Once Upon a Time has found its Tinkerbell. The ABC drama has enlisted Rose McIver (The Lovely Bones) to play the fairy dust sprinkler in a multiple episode arc. Season three premieres Sunday, September 29 at 8p.

SNL alum Molly Shannon has been cast in a story arc on HBO‘s upcoming Getting On, as well as a recurring role on the fourth season of FOX‘s Raising Hope, premiering Friday, November 8 at 9p.

Philip Seymour Hoffman will star in a new dark comedy from Showtime, Trending Down. The actor will also exec produce, with writer Shalom Auslander, Emily Ziff and Ken Kwapis, through his Cooper Town Prods.

What will happen to Criminal Justice, the HBO miniseries that was to have starred the late James Gandolfini? “Jim’s passing took the wind out of our sails quite a bit,” programming president Michael Lombardo told reporters at the TCA. “It’s taken some time to be able to have that conversation.” While the net is considering casting options, said Lombardo, it would not air the pilot starring Gandolfino.

Maggie Gyllenhall will be joined on Sundance Channel mini-series The Honourable Woman by Stephen Rea (The Shadow Line), Janet McTeer (Damages), Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch) and Eve Best (Nurse Jackie), among many others  the thriller has a cast of almost 100. Broadcast is set for 2014.

Antonio Mora has signed on to news channel Al Jazeera America as host of weeknight current affairs show Consider This. In his eight years at ABC, Mora was a senior correspondent and regular substitute host for GMA, served as substitute host for the weekend edition of World News Tonight and reported for Nightline and 20/20. He most recently anchored Miami’s CBS4 News. Al Jazeera America launches Tuesday, August 20.


Fox International Channels is partnering with Eredivisie Media & Marketing to launch a new 24-hour channel in the Netherlands, for digital TV subscribers of Dutch cable’s Ziggo. Launch date is Monday, August 19.

U.K. broadcaster ITV has purchased local production company Big Talk, as part of its plan to boost its international business. “Big Talk represents another important milestone as we continue to grow our production base and invest in creative talent,” said ITV chief exec Adam Crozier.


Joe Rogan didn’t deliver Bigfoot on Wednesday’s premiere of Joe Rogan Questions Everything, but he brought Syfy something even better: ratings. With 1.3 million total viewers, the show’s 10p bow was the net’s most-watched reality premiere in over five months. And Rogan says the best is yet to come. “What’s fascinating about a show like this is that you find out along the way how few people are actually approaching these subjects objectively,” Rogan tells Cynopsis, “whether it’s Bigfoot or weaponized weather or the possibility of transhumanism. So many questions out there are still unanswered.” The show is produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions.

Thursday A18-49 Analysis: FOX came out on top Thursday night delivering a 2.2/8 among A18-49, according to final primetime national ratings from Nielsen. At 8p, FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen scored 2.1/8 against a 1.9/7 average for CBS’s Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men. CBS surged ahead at 9p with Big Brother’s 2.5/8 to a 2.3/7 for FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen. It was a tie for first at 10p, with NBC’s Hollywood Game Night and UNI’s Que Bonito Amor both drawing 1.3/4.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 time period averages. Source: NTI, Galaxy as dated. Live+SD.

CBS 4.2/8 Big Bang Theory [r] 5.3/10, Two and a Half Men [r] 4.4/8, Big Brother 4.2/7, Elementary 3.1/5
FOX 3.4/6 Hell’s Kitchen 3.3/6, Hell’s Kitchen 3.4/6
ABC 3.0/5 Wipeout 2.3/4, Motive 3.1/5, Rookie Blue 3.7/6
NBC 2.4/4 Winner Is [r] 2.0/4, Winner Is 2.6/4, Hollywood Game Night 2.6/5
UNI 2.0/4 Porque el Amor 1.9/4, Amores Verdaderos 2.6/4, Que Bonito Amor 1.7/3
ION 1.4/2 Criminal Minds [r] 1.4/2, Criminal Minds [r] 1.5/2, Criminal Minds [r] 1.4/2
TELE .9/1 Dama y Obrero .7/1, Marido en Alquiler .8/1, Senor de los Cielos 1.3/2
CW .5/1 Vampire Diaries [r] .5/1, Beauty and the Beast [r] .4/1
UMA .2/0 Cineplex .2/0

FOX 2.2/8, CBS 1.8/6, UNI 1.7/6, ABC 1.0/4, NBC .9/3, TELE .7/3, ION .5/2, CW .3/1. UMA .1/0


Former ESPN exec Keith Clinkscales has signed on as CEO of Revolt TV, the upcoming cable net targeted to urban millennials. Sean “Diddy” Combs told reporters at the TCA of the venture, “My mission is to bring kids back to television,” with a music channel that’s “looking for greatness… There are other places artists will get great exposure, but when you make it to Revolt you will feel you’ve been authorized.” Launch is due in late October.


David “Kidd” Kraddick, the radio host also seen on nationally syndicated TV’s Dish Nation, died suddenly on Saturday. He was at a golf tournament in the New Orleans area to raise money for his Kidd’s Kids Charity. “Kidd devoted his life to making people smile every morning, and for 21 years his foundation has been dedicated to bringing joy to thousands of chronically and terminally ill children,” said a statement from YEA Networks. “He died doing what he loved, and his final day was spent selflessly focused on those special children that meant to world to him.” Kraddick was 53.


Cynopsis: Sports Women of Action

A sampling of the powerful line-up of speakers:
Susan Cohig – SVP, Integrated Marketing (NHL)
Erin Harvego – VP, Marketing (Big Ten Network)
Mary Lobbestael – VP (Octagon)
Laura Gentile – VP (espnW)

View the complete list of speakers & register:

This Day In History sponsored by Discovery Fit & Health:
1957  Ben & Jerry’s and Jerry Garcia agreed on a new ice cream flavor: Cherry Garcia.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question: Which late, great Academy Award-winning actress spent a year (1969-1970) on the soap Search For Tomorrow? Jill Clayburgh. (Many people named Joan Crawford, who filled in for her daughter, Christina, on Secret Storm in 1968.) Kudos to: David Stern-BARD Entertainment/NYC, Linda Grillo-Viacom/NYC, Alicia Hill-Viamedia/Lexington, KY, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, Joanne Milano-RJ Palmer/NYC, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA/LA, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA. 

Today’s Trivia Question: 70s Sitcom Theme Week: Which band was The Brady Bunch‘s (1969-1974) Greg playing with when he was caught smoking? (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.).


Cynopsis: Kids Webinar
How to (Really) Increase Kid Brand Revenue through Licensing
Tuesday * August 27, 2013 * 1:30-3:00 p.m. ET

Hosted by: Cathy Applefeld Olson, Editor, Cynopsis Kids
Daisy Kline –
VP, Marketing & Brand Management at Scholastic
Pete Yoder –
VP, U.S. Consumer Products at Cartoon Network Enterprises
Melissa Segal – SVP, Global Consumer Products at
The Jim Henson Company &American Greetings Properties

Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey

Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group 

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP Sales & Marketing | 203-218-6480
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ABC: The Bachelorette, Mistresses
CBS: How I Met Your Mother [r], Mike & Molly [r], 2 Broke Girls [r], Mike & Molly [r], Under the Dome
CW: Hart of Dixie [r], Breaking Pointe
FOX: Raising Hope [r], Raising Hope [r], New Girl [r], The Mindy Project [r]
ION: Criminal Minds [r], Criminal Minds [r], Criminal Minds[r]
MyTV: Law & Order: SVU [r], Law & Order: SVU[r]
NBC: American Ninja Warrior, Get Out Alive With Bear Grylls, Siberia
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Roadshow [r], POV
Telemundo: Dama y Obrero, Marido en Alquiler, El Senor de los Cielos
UMA: El Tigre y el Dragon, La Guerra de Connor
Univision: Porque el Amor Manda, La Tempestad, Que Bonito Amor

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