Monday, November 23rd, 2009



Good morning. It’s Monday, November 23, 2009, and this is your first early morning briefing.  And as always, if you prefer to watch this morning’s news instead of reading it, click here.  

Tonight’s Premiere:
ABC: Find My Family at 930p

Tonight’s Finale:
TLC: Jon & Kate Plus 8 at 9p


General Electric and French telco company Vivendi SA, which holds a 20% share in NBC Universal, apparently reached an agreement whereby Vivendi will be paid nearly one-third of the value of its NBCU stake, tho it should also be made clear that the exact amount of that value currently remains in dispute.  The two sides are reportedly split by somewhere between $500 million and a high of $1 billion. Vivendi SA is looking for a pay out of approx $6.1 billion for its 1/5 stake.  GE needs to pick up the Vivendi portion so that it can turn around its 51% stake to Comcast in a joint venture arrangement. Monies for Vivendi’s stake would be paid between the signing of a deal between GE and Comcast Corp. over the sale of NBCU and that deal’s closing.

Soon after the announcement The Oprah Winfrey Show will cease in syndication as of September 2011, Christina Norman, CEO of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network said the new 24-hour channel will premiere in January 2011. OWN, a joint venture of Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications, will launch in nearly 80 million homes on what is now the Discovery Health Channel. David Zaslav, Discovery Communications President/CEO, released this statement following Winfrey’s announcement about The Oprah Winfrey Show: “There is no bigger brand in media than Oprah Winfrey. She has changed the broadcast landscape and how people consume television. Along the way, she impacted our culture and touched us all. We congratulate her and our friends at Harpo for their many achievements, and their years of creating truly ground-breaking television. Discovery Communications has a tremendous partner in Oprah, and we look forward to bringing her and her creative vision, programming and unique voice to approximately 80 million homes on OWN, as well as online through the award-winning”

Lifetime Television’s season six finale of Project Runway last Thursday at 10p scored the highest rated episode of the season in several demos including delivering a 3.2 rating with W18-49; a 3.6 rating with W25-54; and a 2.9 rating among Women 18+. The season ender also averaged nearly 4.3 million total viewers. Following at 11p, the season one finale of Models of the Runway posted a 1.1 rating with W18-49 and averaged almost 1.5 million total viewers. In addition, Project Runway will be back for a seventh season based in New York on January 14 at 10p, shot and distributed for the first time in hi-def. Season two of Models of the Runway will also make a comeback on January 14 at 11p following Project Runway.

TLC is getting into the paranormal with a new four-part docu-series, Ghost Intervention, premiering December 12 at 9p. The one-hour series follows a case manager and a group of female psychics as they try to help families who are dealing with paranormal activity in their homes. Craig Piligian’s Pilgrim Films and Television produces.

Bill Moyers, a fixture on PBS, announced his retirement from weekly television, reports NYT. His program on PBS, Bill Moyers Journal will end its run on April 30, 2010, after having started in April 2007. Moyers was also known for his popular series Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth that aired on PBS in 1988 and the PBS series NOW with Bill Moyers. Moyers who at 75 said he feels “it’s time” to retire from his PBS show, said he was not quitting television altogether though no other projects are planned.

Top 10 Weekend Box Office Estimates: November 20-22, 2009
Twilight Saga: The New Moon (Summit Entertainment) $140.7 million  opening weekend
The Blind Side (Warner Bros.)                    $34.5 million  opening weekend
2012 (Sony)                                             $26.5 million  2 wk total $108.2m
Planet 51 (Sony)                                      12.6 million  opening weekend
Disney’s A Christmas Carol (Disney)           $12.2 million  3 wk total $79.8m
Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” (Lionsgate) $11.0 million  3 wk total $21.4m
The Men Who Star At Goats (Overture Films) $2.8 million  3 wk total $27.6m
Couples Retreat (Universal)                       $2.0 million  7 wk total $105.0m
The Fourth Kind (Universal)                       $1.7 million  3 wk total $23.3m
Law Abiding Citizen (Overture Films)          $1.6 million  6 wk total $70.0m
Source: Rentrak


TV Guide Network made an extended multi-year carriage deal with Comcast. TV Guide Network reaches 80+ million US households.


TLC handed an order for a new reality series Mall Cops: Mall of America based on the success of an earlier special on the network. The series will follow behind-the-scenes as the mall’s cops patrol the huge 4.2 million square foot complex, the largest mall in the US. Production has already begun though a premiere date has not been set. TLC ordered 12 half-hour episodes from September Films; Peter Davey and Sheldon Lazarus will executive produce.

Three more were cast in co-starring roles for the TNT 60m pilot Delta Blues from George Clooney about Dwight Hendricks (Jason Lee), a Memphis cop who lives with his mom and moonlights as an Elvis impersonator. Sam Hennings will play Dwight’s partner Whitehead; Robyn Lively will play Dwight’s ex-wife Charlene whose catering company received a contract from the Memphis Police; and Leonard Earl Howze will portray a detective who works closely with Dwight and Whitehead. The pilot is produced by Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures and Warner Horizon.

New premium channel, Epix tagged Sam Shepard to helm its first original drama pilot Tough Trade. Produced by Lionsgate Television, Tough Trade focuses on the Tucker family, a family dynasty steeped in the Nashville music industry for three generations. Shepard will portray the family patriarch. Production will begin in Nashville on December 3.


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Thursday  A18-49 Analysis: CBS bumped up to first place Thursday night by posting a 3.7/10 among A18-49, according to final national ratings from Nielsen. At 8p, CBS won with Survivor: Samoa at 3.8/11 and FOX’s Bones came in second with 2.7/8. ABC had the cure at 9p with Grey’s Anatomy at 5.1/13 with CBS’ CSI next at 3.5/9. During 10p, CBS’ The Mentalist unseated the competition by delivering a winning 3.7/11 while ABC’s Private Practice was #2 at 3.1/9 and NBC’s The Jay Leno Show was third at 1.6/5.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Thursday, November 19, 2009 (November Sweep Day 22) time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

CBS: 8.8/14       Survivor: Samoa 7.2/11, CSI 9.2/14, The Mentalist 10.0/17

ABC: 6.8/11         Flash Forward 5.1/8, Grey’s Anatomy 9.1/14, Private Practice 6.0/10

FOX: 5.0/8          Bones 6.3/10, Fringe 3.7/6

NBC: 3.4/6         Community 3.1/5, Parks and Recreation 3.0/5, The Office 4.5/7, 30 Rock 3.6/6, The Jay Leno Show 3.1/5

CW: 2.0/3           Vampire Diaries 2.3/4, Supernatural 1.6/3

UNIV: 2.0/3         En Nombre del Amor 2.0/3, Sortilegio 2.4/4, Rosa de Guadalupe 1.4/2

ION: 0.7/1          Ghost Whisperer 0.6/1, NCIS [r] 0.7/1, NCIS [r] 0.7/1

TELE: 0.7/1         Mas Sabe El Diablo 0.9/1, Ninos Ricos 0.6/1, Victorinos 0.6/1

A18-49: CBS 3.7/10, ABC 3.5/10, FOX 2.3/6, NBC 2.3/6, UNIV 1.5/4, CW 1.4/4, TELE 0.6/2, ION 0.2/1



Active International, a global corporate trade company, hired Dennis Quinn as SVP/Director of Network and Business Development. Dennis will have responsibility over expanding the company’s extensive media portfolio by developing new products and services as well as enhancing the company’s existing roster of offerings. Dennis will report to Alan Brown, EVP/Global Media.
Angel Zhang was added as Project Manager at independent creative agency Woods Witt Dealy & Sons. In her new role, Angel will work with the clients Homedics, Hickory Farms, Manhattan Motorcars and GoodAdds.
David Tochterman joined Innovative Artists to head the company’s expansion in comedy, digital media and television literary. David previously founded his own company Versatility Media, offering production, content business development and consulting for various digital companies.


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This day in History:  1936 – The first edition of “Life” was published.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:   What was the first feature length film to air on broadcast network television? Hint: The film aired on March 5, 1956, 8 months before The Wizard of Oz aired for the first time in November 1956 on CBS. KING KONG  (Gone with the Wind debuted on TV November 7-8, 1976)  Kudos to:  Lewis Cosby/Knoxville; Eric Stine-EMC2 Creative Partners/NY; Kaitlyn Bergfeld-UniWorld Group/Brooklyn; Bob Cook-B.C. Entertainment/Orlando; Cynthia New-CharterMedia/Cape Girardeau; Ed Horwitz-LMNO TV/Encino; Alex Barkaloff-Lionsgate/Santa Monica; Jenny Shryer-KTVU/Oakland

Today’s Trivia Question:  Who am I? I am/was a professor at Columbus State University. I have great friends tho I’ve also been divorced three times.   (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.)


Call for Entries


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Deadline for 2009 entries: January 15, 2010

Later — Cyn

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Holiday Rock & Roll Bash 9
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Thursday, December 10, 2009
B.B. King Blues Club, New York City
For more information call 516-803-2354 or go to

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JOB OPENING: PREDITOR: LI based media co seeks Preditor with extensive promo exp within the cable/network news, sports or music arena. Must be a Final Cut Pro MASTER. Send resume and link to your reel to:

JOB OPENING: DIR PROMOTIONS/GSN/Santa Monica: Exp in TV/media  securing partnerships and promotions, strategy planning and executing cross platform initiatives. Email Res & CL to

JOB OPENING: ART DIRECTOR/truTv/NYC:  5yrs in tv/cable ntwk. Design & A/D projects for on-air, originals, & ad sales promos. Well versed in broadcast design & mng a team & agencies. Resume:

JOB OPENING: AFFILIATE MRKTG, INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS MGR/Univision/NYC:  Develop/Execute distributor marketing and media partnerships/exp in media and consumer marketing/Spanish fluent a plus. EOE Send resumes:

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JOB OPENING: NETWORK SALES/ION Media Networks/NY: Highly motivated and creative network sales acct exec w/ established relationships and proven track record. EOE. Apply to

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JOB OPENING: DIR PRGRMNG/HGTV/NY: Mng all aspects of commiss’d shows. Maintains & evolves ongoing series. Showrunning Exp req’d along w/6 yrs cable nets exp in program prod or mngmnt w/sig creative input. #1241 (11/24)

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SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:EVENT PROD/MGMNT: Small Elite Event Co. NYC; Needs energetic person;Exc organizational/computer skills,admin support; Flex sched 2/3 days/wk. JR/SR.

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:  TV/Film Development: Superb Entertainment/NBC Universal: looking for an excellent writer to provide administrative support and also contribute to projects as its a small company 2-3 days a week

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: MKTG INTERN/Smithsonian Channel/NYC: Min 12-15 hrs/wk, Must be JR/SR, Projects incl Copywriting, Rsrch, Sales Support, Social Mktg. Mgrs provide guidance. . The Job ID is 2556BR (11/24)

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310.430.1362 (11/26)

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ABC:  Dancing with the Stars, Find My Family [p ], Castle
AZTECA: Lo Que Callamos Las Mujeres Edicion Especial, Extranormal de Impacto, Al Extremo
CBS: How I Met Your Mother, Accidentally on Purpose, Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, CSI Miami
CW: One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl
FOX:  House, Lie to Me
ION:  Ghost Whisperer, Criminal Minds, Criminal Minds
NBC:  Heroes, Trauma, Jay Leno Show
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, American Experience, Elbert Hubbard: An American Original
TELE: Mas Sabe el Diablo, Ninos Ricos Padres Pobres, Victorinos
UNIV:  El Nombre del Amor, Sortilegio, Cristina

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