Monday, March 16th, 2009



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Good morning. It’s Monday, March 16, 2009, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Monday’s Premiere:
MTV Tres:  ReMexa at 6p
The CW:  Gossip Girl at 8p
Travel Channel: Dhani Tackles the Globe at 9p
Monday’s Finales:
A&E: Intervention at 9p
ABC Family: Kyle XY (series finale) at 9p

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart earned its second highest total viewer count of the year on Thursday with 2.3 million viewers (the largest viewer audience was on Inauguration Day with 2.6 million).  Why the big audience?  Stewart’s guest was CNBC host Jim Cramer.  The interview is also available on site, which is reporting its highest traffic numbers in 2009.


America’s Next Top Model held auditions in New York City this past weekend, and before the day was over three people were arrested for inciting a riot and disorderly conduct and six others were injured.  At some point chaos broke out involving hundreds of people outside the Park Central New York hotel, reports the AP, though what exactly happened to create the free-for-all remains unclear.  Once it was all over, the street outside the hotel was strewn with clothing, sleeping bags, beach chairs and shoes, all left by several potential auditioners who had been waiting on line, many overnight.  This particular round of auditions were for shorter women, under 5’7″, the standard height minimum for previous ANTM auditions, and other auditions are schedule in several other cities across the US in the upcoming weeks.

In consideration of the economy and wanting to remain relevant to its viewers, Today‘s Matt Lauer will take his annual Where in the World trip starting May 1st, but Lauer will remain in the United States, visiting a variety of affordable vacation sites.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Nielsen reports 2008 saw a loss in ad spending among key TV industry categories:

  • Broadcast Network TV down 3.5%
  • Hispanic Broadcast TV down 2.4%
  • Syndication down 0.8%
  • Spot TV in the Top 100 DMAs down 0.3%
  • Spot TV in DMAs 101-210 down 4.6%. 

There was some good news tho — two categories are up:  Cable TV +7.8%, and Hispanic Cable TV was +9.6%.  Total US dollars spent on advertising in 2008 totaled $136.8 billion, down nearly $3.7 billion from the previous year.   Newspapers saw the deepest cuts in 2008 with national down 9.6% and local down 10.2%.  Local Sunday supplements were down 11%.  Among the biggest ad spenders, P&G cut its budget by 19.3% last year; Chrysler spending was down by 31.2%; Ford down by 28.5% and GM down by 14.9%.    Only two of the major categories saw increases last year – Direct Response products were up by 9.2% and fast food restaurants were up by 3.8%.

TV Guide Network‘s season premiere of Idol Tonight delivered 325,000 households last Wednesday, marking a 26% increase over last season’s premiere.  Idol Tonight airs ever Wednesday at 8p with hosts Kimberly Caldwell and Justin Guarini.

Two series are set join the MTV Tr3s schedule, both tailored for the MTV Tres Hispanic youth audience:

  • ReMexa is scheduled to debut tonight at 6pm, and showcases Regional Mexican music.  The series features celebrity interview and exclusive performances.  ReMexa airs every weekday at 6pm, with an additional weekly primetime edition – ReMexa De Noche – on Wednesday nights at 9p.
  • Rock Dinner returns for a second season on Monday, April 6, airing at 9pm.  This series begins with a knock on one lucky fan’s front door, giving the fan a once in a lifetime opportunity to cook dinner for their favorite musical artists.  Given a grocery list of the musician’s favorite meal and a limited budget, the fan must set out to shop and cook to impress their superstar guest.  If all goes well, the fan will get a mini home concert. 

IFC will debut the first of six half-hour episodes of Modern Toss within their Tuesday night AUTOMAT programming block tomorrow night, March 17th, at 11pm.  Categorized as an adult British comedy, the series is partially animated and features gross-out moments, profanity and inappropriate cartoon characters. It was created by former journalists Mick Bunnage and Jon Link based on their comic and website, also titled Modern Toss.

Former broadcast executive Paul M. Hughes passed away on Wednesday, March 11, 2009.  He was 70.  Hughes was Chairman of Hughes Broadcasting Partners and OG Holdings until 2000. Before that, he President of King World Broadcasting and President of Viacom International’s Broadcast and Entertainment Divisions.  He had also served as EVP of New York rep firm TeleRep, Inc.   Mr. Hughes is survived by his wife, Maureen, 3 children, Caroleen Mackin, James Hughes and Nancy Hughes, and his sister, Bernardine Hughes, and 7 grandchildren.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in his name to the Convent of the Sacred Heart, One East 91st Street, New York, NY 10128. 

Top 10 Weekend Box Office Estimates: March 13-15, 2009
Race to Witch Mountain (Disney)                   $25.0 million – opening weekend
Watchmen (Warner Bros.)                            $18.1 million – 2 wk total $86.0m
The Last House on the Left (Universal)           $14.7 million – opening weekend
Taken (20th Century Fox)                            $6.7 million – 7 wk total $126.8m
Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail (Lionsgate)    $5.1 million – 4 wk total $83.2m
Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight)              $5.0 million – 18 wk total $132.6m
Paul Blart Mall Cop (Sony)                            $3.1 million – 9 wk total $137.8m
He’s Just Not That Into You (Warner Bros.)     $2.9 million – 6 wk total $89.0m
Coraline (Focus Features)                            $2.7 million – 6 wk total $69.2m
Miss March (Fox Searchlight)                        $2.4 million – opening weekend
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 Thursday 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 CW has cast Mischa Barton in its new drama pilot A Beautiful Life, from CBS Paramount.  The storyline is about a group of young models all living together in New York city.  Barton plays a supermodel doing whatever she needs to do to stay on top. 

ABC added Donald Faison to the cast of The Law, joining Cedric the Entertainer.  The project, from ABC Studios/DreamWorks, is about a group of LAPD reserve officers. 


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  The big news out of SXSW over the weekend (besides AT&T’s poor network coverage in Austin) is the launch of Facebook Connect – the social network’s technology for sharing data between Facebook and other apps – for the iPhone. The integration will allow developers to build or adapt existing applications to share data with users’ profiles including rich media such as photos. Even developers of popular applications like shakeable restaurant review app Urbanspoon have trouble gaining market share due to the sheer explosion of competitors. Now Urbanspoon users will be able to easily share their reviews with friends in their Facebook feeds, exponentially increasing the ability for apps to grow virally. More than 6,000 websites now utilize Facebook Connect to integrate with the 175 million-member social network.  Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  KidsCo has commissioned its first original production, a new arts and crafts series entitled Jass Time! (10×90 seconds).  Produced in the UK by markthree media, Jass Time! will air across the KidsCo channel throughout Europe, Russia, Middle East, Africa and Asia.  Hosted by Jassa Ahluwalia (19), the short-form series features demonstrations of simple craft projects (e.g. puppets, masks, a crown and jewelry etc.) with household items.  KidsCo is a joint venture of NBC Universal, Cookie Jar Group and Corus Entertainment Inc. Full edition: CYN KIDS.


Thursday – A18-49 Analysis:   CBS led on Thursday night in the A18-49 demo, posting a 3.7/10, according to fast national ratings from Nielsen.  Survivor was in front at 8p with a 4.1/12 demo rating, outpacing Bones’ 2.8/8 on Fox and ABC’s Ugly Betty 2.1/6.  At 9p Grey Anatomy on ABC pulled out in front, earning a 5.0/12, and beating CBS’ CSI rating of 4.2/11, and The Office on NBC with a 4.1/11/  At 10p ER – featuring the one time guest return of Dr. Doug Ross (aka George Clooney) was in front with a 4.0/11.

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

CBS: 8.3/13     Survivor 7.3/12, CSI  10/3/16, Eleventh Hour 7.2/12

ABC: 6.6/11     Ugly Betty 4.8/8, Grey’s Anatomy 9.1/14, Private Practice 5.9/10

FOX: 5.2/8      Bones 6.0/10, Hell’s Kitchen 4.5/7

NBC: 4.6/7      My Name is Earl [r] 2.7/4, Kath & Kim 2.5/4, The Office 4.5/7, 30 Rock 3.9/6, ER 6.9/12

UNIV: 2.2/4     Cuidado con el Angel 2.4/4, Manana es para Siempre 2.6/4, La Rosa de Guadalupe 1.7/3

CW:  1.9/3      Smallville 2.2/3, Supernatural 1.7/3

MNT: 0.9/1      My Thursday Movie: Passenger 57   0.9/1

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

ION: 0.4/1      Movie: Tango & Cash  0.4/1

A18-49:  CBS 3.7/10, ABC 3.5/9, Fox 3.2/8, NBC 3.1/8, UNIV 1.9/5, CW 1.3/4, MNT 0.5/1, TELE 0.5/1, ION 0.2/1


Craig E. Engler upped to SVP/GM of SCIFI Digital, reporting to Dave Howe, President/SCI FI Channel. Craig previously served as SVP/SCIFI.COM and SCI FI Magazine.  He will oversee the business and content development of SCI FI’s digital portfolio and SCI FI’s mobile and broadband offerings.

This day in History: 1850 – The novel “The Scarlet Letter,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was published for the first time.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: This successful ad campaign created by the McKinney & Silver ad agency in North Carolina, was launched in 2003, and it still runs today.  It is based on a European and UK practical joke.  What is the campaign and who is the client?  THE TRAVELING GNOME for TRAVELOCITY  Kudos to: Darryl Diamond-PCI Communications/Alexandria; Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing/New York; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton; Terry Powers/Irvine; Gina Carey/Westwood; Jason Lang-Optimedia/Seattle; Yvonne Vega-Fox Mobile Group/Beverly Hills

Today’s Trivia Question:  Who am I?  I am three times divorced and a widower. I am now probably considered something of a loner, tho i most often seen in the company of four others.  I live by an extensive list of rules, and generally require those around me to adhere to the same rules.  For those who don’t go by my rules, a quick smack generally gets them to see things my way.  Who am I?      (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.)


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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: MGR/SPIKE MOVE STUDIO PRODUCTION/MTV/NYC: Promo production for movie studios. 3-5 yrs exp. in production & mktg. Passion for movies and exp with talent. Dynamic personality, EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply (3/21)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR, INTEGRATED CONTENT & BREAK STRATEGY/MD: Work with Programming/Development, Ad Sales, Marketing& Digital for TLC. 8+ yrs in sales is required. Apply: #8817 (3/21)

JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR – OPERATIONS/LA: work with special projects relating to new business development with TLC. 5+ yrs in buds. dev.& production required. Apply: #8836 (3/21)

JOB OPENING: MKTG MGR/General Electric/NY: Responsible for working w/NBC &’s sales team to dvlp sales prgrms & mktg solutions. Apply:   (3/21)

JOB OPENING: EXEC ASSISTANT, CONTENT DEVELOPMENT/MTV/NYC: 2+yrs exp. Exec Assist, Strg org/detail skills, Superior Cust. Service, Strng comm/comp skills, Able to prioritize/Meet deadlines EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply (3/20)

JOB OPENING: RSRCH PROJECT MGR/CNN/ATL: Supporting Strat Mktg & On-Air Promo w/ ability to translate raw data into useable & actionable insights. Solid media math skills/5+ yrs. brdcst and/or cable TV Apply:

JOB OPENING: SR. COUNSEL, BUSINESS & LEGAL AFFAIRS/NY: Negotiate production, programming & talent agreements for AMC NETWORK. L.A. Contacts, JD & 8+ yrs ent law experience required / M&A exp a +. 

JOB OPENING: OFFICE MGR/MGM AD SALES/NY: Mng all aspects of A/R including prep of wkly & monthly accounting reports. Provide sales & admin support to dept. Back up Sales Plan & Traffic Mgrs. Apply #6440 (3/19)

JOB OPENING: TRAFFIC MGR/MGM AD SALES/NY: Resp for proper plcemnt of commercials & copy assgnmnt. Mng prod & reconcil of logs. Liaise betw Ad Agncies, Sls, Mktg & Prog depts to gather fitting copy materials. Apply #6441 (3/19)

JOB OPENING: DEV EXEC/VA: Join team to create and pitch new TV programs, esp character-based. Must have exp in developing factual programs and knowledge of US cable net slates and players. Apply:

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

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: MARKETING/ user-generated public opinion site. Resp: Prdct dev, mkt expansion, corp svcs, for innovative startup. Work remotely, w/ few meetings in NYC. ~35hrs/wk. Send cv & CL to

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: PROGRAMMER/ user-generated public opinion site. Resp: prgrm’ing & user interface design for innovative startup. RubyOnRails exp. Work remotely, w/ few NYC meetings. ~35hr/wk. Send cv&CL to

SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:  Doc production co. seeks exp’d, orgnzd & energetic JRS/SRS. Driven to gain exp in fast-paced envir. Pls specify “dvlpmnt” or “prod” in app. Resp. incl office, shoot, & post-prod & dvlpmnt asst. Email

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED …  There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad … for more information contact Trish Pihonak at

SITUATION WANTED: INTERN IN MEDIA/ THEATRE: Seeks work in Film / Theatre in NYC. Theatre and Media Studies at ScrippsCollege. Work experience in communications. Email:

SITUATION WANTED: MARKETING/PROMOTIONS/Boston: Marketing/promotions professional seeks television, web marketing, social networking focused position. Experienced in international markets. Creative + will travel.

SITUATION WANTED: NON-FICTION PRODUCER/WRITER (STORY & FIELD).10+yrs exp. NBC, VH1, CMT, TLC, E!, Disney, CNN, etc.; reality, ent, news, talk, developmt; LA based, will travel.

SITUATION WANTED: PRODUCER/ ASSOC. PRODUCER (LA) Out-of-the-box thinker, creative, award- winning, all formats, all genres. Budgets, schedules, breakdowns, crewing, casting, post and more. Over 20 yrs. exp.

SITUATION WANTED: Top-tier agency ACCOUNT MANAGER/SUPERVISOR seeks full-time employment in LA area. If your agency needs a professional w/ multi-platform technology, entertainment or interactive experience, e-mail

SITUATION WANTED: SR. MARKETING/BRAND MANAGER with home video, TV, animation and indie film experience is seeking a dynamic opportunity with a Los Angeles area studio or agency. E-Mail
for a resume (3/18)

SITUATION WANTED: Award winning COMEDY WRITER/PRODUCER in L.A. Credits: WB, UPN, TBS, MTV, Discovery etc. Check out pilot, You’re Joking, Right? at Contact email:

SITUATION WANTED: WRITER. I’ll gladly write/re-write what you don’t want to write! Summaries; reports; proposals, human resource materials; updates; copy; web content; synopses; and more. Contact Bernie.

SITUATION WANTED: BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT EXPERT/TELEVISION PRODUCER seeks consulting work, long or short term. Over 15 years experience working with brands, multi-media/faceted talent. Contact:

SITUATION WANTED: GROW YOUR BUS/MAKE IT THRIVE/NYC: MBA w/15yrs int’l exp: turnaround & startup mgmt, strategic partnerships, negotiating, fundraising. Proj/Consult/FT. Contact:

SITUATION WANTED: STORY DOCTOR: Are your scripts too weak to make it to the bay? Got a rough-cut on life support? 20+ years crafting nonfic series, specials, sizzles and web content. Contact:
(LA) (3/17)

or call Trish Pihonak at 203.926.9878 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

Are you looking for a job? Post your Situation Wanted Ad here — Email
for specs.


ABC: Dancing with the Stars, Castle
AZTECA: Los Que Callamos Las Mujeres Edicion Especial, Historia Detras del Mito, Al Extremo
CBS: The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Rules of Engagement, CSI: Miami
CW: Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill
FOX: House, 24
MNT: Masters of Illusion, Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed [r]
NBC: Chuck [r], Heroes [r], Medium  [r]
PBS: Antiques Roadshow [r], American Experience  [r], Betty Ford: The Real Deal
TELE: Dona Barbara, El Rostro de Analia, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso, El Cartel
UNIV: Cuidado con el Angel, Manana es para Siempre, Cristina

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