Monday, October 20th, 2008








Good morning. It’s Monday, October 20, 2008, and this is your first early morning briefing.  
Tonight’s Premieres:
MTV Tr3s: Pimpeando at 4p and 9p
truTV: Ski Patrol at 8p
Lifetime: Rita Rocks at 830p
VH1: Real Chance of Love at 9p; Scream Queens at 10p

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In a memo to staff members on Friday, NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker said the company will carve $500 million out of the 2009 budget equating to about 3% of the total budget. Zucker’s memo based the across-the-board cut backs on the current economic crisis saying in part “We are living in a time of unprecedented economic challenges, and it is increasingly clear that the worldwide economic slowdown will continue well into next year. As we have been working on our budgets and planning for 2009, it has become evident that the decline in consumer confidence and spending will impact our operations.” The memo further stated each business head will have “flexibility in how to meet this goal” however three areas of reduction will be encouraged: decrease promotion expenses; lessen discretionary expenses like travel and entertainment; and third in staffing costs. Zucker, though, did not indicate this meant layoffs were eminent. In a separate announcement, NBCU recently revealed its third quarter profits surged to $645 million representing an overall 10% increase.

During this election campaign cycle, politicians are ratings gold!

  • Late-night shows last Thursday’s with an appearance by Presidential nominee Sen. John McCain on the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS averaged 6.5 million viewers, the biggest audience for the Late Show in three years since Oprah Winfrey’s visit in December 2005. The show also posted a 1.7 rating among A18-49.
  • On the same night, VP candidate Sen. Joe Biden was on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno drawing in an average of 4.6 million viewers.
  • Then this past Saturday night’s appearance of VP nominee Gov. Sarah Palin on NBC’s SNL brought in the best overnight ratings for the show in 14 years, according to THR. Nielsen said the SNL episode averaged a 10.7/24 in the 56 metered markets.

Lifetime filed a motion on Friday afternoon requesting the lawsuit around reality series Project Runway be changed from a state court venue to federal court. In a statement released by Lifetime, the cable network cited “We did this because any issue relating to Lifetime’s exclusive right to air future cycles of Project Runway is a matter of federal copyright law and therefore should be heard by a federal court.” Last month New York Supreme Court judge Richard Lowe found in favor of NBC Universal and gave a preliminary injunction to The Weinstein Company halting the reality series from moving to Lifetime from NBCU’s Bravo. Currently, TWC and Lifetime can proceed with season six production of Project Runway in Los Angeles but the NY judge’s order prohibits them from airing or promoting the show as well as any spinoffs. NBCU said it will dispute Lifetime’s efforts.

TBS ran into technical difficulties on Saturday night that prevented their airing the first 18 minutes of Game #6 of the ALCS championship between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays.  Instead, fans tuning were disappointed to see The Steve Harvey Show – not that there’s anything wrong with that – and by the time TBS was able to regain transmission, fans had already missed Tampa putting the first score on the board.  What was the problem?  In simplest terms it sounds like they blew a fuse and two circuit breakers were tripped.   TBS has been averaging approx 6 million viewers per game thus far this ALCS series.

CBS owned College Sports Network is cutting back on staff by 25% or approx 30 employees, reports The New York Times. The network is making a shift from studio based programs to more and more HD event coverage, with the last of the studio shows to air during 2009 March Madness.  CBS College Sports currently has 25 million subscribers.

Top 10 Weekend Box Office Estimates: October 17-19, 2008
Max Payne (20th Century Fox)                      $18.0 million  opening weekend
Beverly Hills Chihuahua (Buena Vista)          $11.2 million  3 wk total $69.1m
The Secret Life of Bees (Fox Searchlight)      $11.1 million  opening weekend
W. (Lionsgate)                                           $10.6 million  opening weekend
Eagle Eye (Paramount/DW)                         $7.3 million  4 wk total $81.3m
Body of Lies (Warner Bros.)                         $6.9 million  2 wk total $24.5m
Quarantine (Sony/Columbia)                       $6.3 million  2 wk total $24.7m
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Sony)          $3.9 million  3 wk total $26.7m
Sex Drive (Summit Entertainment)              $3.6 million  opening weekend
Nights in Rodanthe (Warner Bros.)               $2.7 million  4 wk total $36.9m
Fireproof (Samuel Goldwyn)                        $2.7 million  4 wk total $20.7m
Source: Box Office Mojo


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AMC renewed Mad Men for a third season although the show’s production company Lionsgate is in negotiations with the series creator/executive producer Matthew Weiner about who will lead the show for the next season. To date, Lionsgate does not have a contract agreement with Weiner for a third season and Weiner is hoping to raise his pay in light of Mad Men’s Emmy last month for best drama series.

While nothing official has been announced, it appears the second major cancellation of the season may have occurred … although let’s say it again, no official cancellation has been announced.  ABC‘s Opportunity Knocks game show will have its fourth episode preempted by Dancing with the Stars tomorrow night at 8p.  It remains to be seen what happens in the Tuesdays at 8p to follow.  To date, the show in this important time period has averaged a slight 1.3/4 among the key demo of A18-49.

Speaking of another Sarah, FOX gave a full season order for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. FOX said yes to the back nine episodes for the sci fi series’ current second season from Warner Bros.


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Online real estate start-ups are being hit hard by the double whammy of the economic downturn and the real estate crisis. Well-funded, which estimates the value of area homes based on publically available data, announced it is cutting 25% of its workforce despite counting 5.4 million unique visitors in September ­- a 42% increase in traffic over this time last year. Earlier last week Seattle-based, which facilitates buying and selling of homes without an agent, announced it was laying off 20% of its employees, despite a 50% uptick in revenues and a 300% spike in traffic. Unfortunately layoff announcements are becoming the par for the course in the tech space. Cutbacks were also reported at the newly-merged Sirius XM Satellite Radio; the hot social network Hi5 (per TechCrunch); video blog commenting platform Seesmic; and search engine start-up Search Me, which according to VentureBeat plans to cut 20% of its staff. Yahoo is expected to announce more than 1,000 job cuts when it reports its earnings this week.    Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.

Delivery for STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS was up by 83%!  Click for More Information.

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORYChapman Entertainment entered into a partnership at Mipcom Junior last week with Pukeko Pictures to produce a CGI animated action series based on its new property, tentatively titled Trooper Tom (26×22).  Targeted to K6-12, Trooper Tom revolves around a futuristic Pinocchio, an experimental android infused with human DNA.  Pukeko Pictures is a new kid’s TV endeavor from New Zealand’s Weta Workshop. Full edition: CYN KIDS.

CYNOPSIS INTERNATIONAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:   The AST Winter Sports Tour kicks off as athletes compete for over $1.5 million with Apparent Gravity Media handling global distribution for the NBC Sports-created events and programming, co-owned with MTV Networks, Inc. Starting in December, the 3-month winter tour TV coverage includes 10.5 hours of live international telecasts and 16 hours of fully produced international television series, available in standard and high-def, for a total of 26.5 hours annually. Full edition: CYN INTERNATIONAL.


Thursday – A18-49 Analysis: CBS stayed in control Thursday night at 4.2/11 A18-49, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. At 8p, CBS’ Survivor: Gabon won with 4.2/12 while ABC’s Ugly Betty came in second with 2.7/8. ABC surpassed the competition at 9p with Grey’s Anatomy at 5.9/15 with CBS’ CSI next at 5.2/13. Expectations were high for the 10p hour as NBC’s ER did best with 3.6/10 while CBS’ new Eleventh Hour was second at 3.2/9 and ABC’s new series Life on Mars third at 2.5/7. 

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Thursday, October 16, 2008 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

CBS: 9.2/15          Survivor: Gabon 7.8/13, CSI 11.8/18, Eleventh Hour 7.8/13

ABC: 6.9/11            Ugly Betty 5.7/9, Grey’s Anatomy 9.6/14, Life on Mars 5.4/9

NBC: 5.1/8            My Name Is Earl 4.3/7, Kath & Kim 3.9/6, The Office 4.9/7, SNL: Weekend Update 5.4/8, ER 6.0/10

FOX: 2.3/4            Hole in the Wall 2.3/4, Hole in the Wall 2.3/4, Kitchen Nightmares [r] 2.3/3

UNIV: 2.2/4          Cuidado con El Angel 2.4/4, Fuego en La Sangre 2.4/4, Rosa de Guadalupe 1.8/3

CW: 2.2/3             Smallville 2.5/4, Supernatural 1.9/3

TELE: 0.7/1          El Juramento 0.3/1, Dona Barbara 0.7/1, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso 1.0/2

MNT: 0.6/1           My Thursday Night Movie: Antitrust [r] 0.6/1

A18-49: CBS 4.2/11, ABC 3.7/10, NBC 3.5/9, UNIV 1.8/5, CW 1.4/4, FOX 1.4/4, TELE 0.5/1, MNT 0.2/1


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This day in History:  1910
– A baseball with a cork center was used in a World Series game for the first time. The Philadelphia Athletics and the Chicago Cubs were in competition for the championship.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  Mr. Phillips (Jack Collins) was the boss of what well-known, iconic TV father?  MIKE BRADY (The Brady Bunch) Kudos to: Paul Prange-WWJ/WKBD/MI; Kathy Raab-Retirement Living/Baltimore; Tom Winiarski-Turner Entertainment Sales/NY; Jay Vincini-FKQ/Clearwater, FL; Bob Sieber/Birmingham, AL; Norman C. Berns-ReelGrok/Minneapolis; Beth Stockton-KCTV/KSMO/Kansas City; Mandy Durbin-ION Media/Burbank; Coleen Raymann-Disney ABC Domestic Television/Burbank; Odette Felix-Dark Horse Media/Tucson; Carol Gleeson-Media Solutions/Sacramento

Today’s Trivia Question:  What was the first song performed by the Beatles on their first Ed Sullivan Show appearance on February 9, 1964?   (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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JOB OPENING: AE, ONLINE AD SALES/Comcast/LA: Rep Comcast Nets, E! Online,,, to our external customers, develop, generate and maintain business for all networks. (10/25)

JOB OPENING: SR. MGR, RESEARCH/Music Choice: Support sales, mrktng & prgrmng initiatives across multiple platforms w/accurate & actionable research. BA/BS, plus 6-8 yrs relevant media research exp. required

JOB OPENING: NEWS WRITERS/CNN “NO BIAS, NO BULL”/NY: Exp’d news writers wanted for prgrm w/ compelling & engaging copy, full of attitude, flair, passion, sass, & appropriate outrage. Writing samples/Res:
EOE (10/25)

JOB OPENING: NYC BROADCASTING CO- ADV PRINT PRODUCTN TRAFFIC MGR: 4/5yrs ad agcy exp: collateral/outdoor tactics-knwldg MediaBuy-Mac/filemkr strong commun skills/deg pref’d. Resume:
om’; document.write( ‘‘ ); document.write( addy_text51515 ); document.write( ‘</a>’ ); //–> (10/24)

JOB OPENING: SR BRAND MGR/HiT Entertainment/NYC: Dvlp/execute global creative & bus strategy to grow assigned brands & achieve financial targets. 7+ yrs brand mgmt exp kids ent and/or licensing. Res:

JOB OPENING: DIR. PROD/DEV/Discovery/LA: Dev proj. across key genres, w/10+ yrs broad/cable exp Exp in writing, post prod and talent management. Apply: , Req#8361 (10/24)

JOB OPENING: FREELANCE MKTG COPYWRITER/Fuse/NY: Create PPT pres, prgrm descrips, mktg pkgs, newsletters. Responsible for content of Ad Sales site. Excl. writing skills/creativity/MS PPT. Rez:
“FMCF” in sub (10/24)

JOB OPENING: MGR. AD SALES TRAINING & SYSTEMS/Comcast/NY: Responsible for overall training, quality assurance & staff support on all Comcast Ad Sales systems. Apply: or (10/24)

JOB OPENING: STORY PRODUCER (thru March)/N. Hollywood: Extensive clip show exp needed.Locate/bring in clearable clips. Great self motivation a must. Bring new story ideas for wkly pitch meetings. Resume:

JOB OPENING: ASST MGR BRAND & NEW MEDIA MKTG/Hachette Book Group (Little, Brown Books, Young Readers div) NY: Req’s both creative mktg & new media/web exp.Apply: (10/22)

JOB OPENING: ASSOC PROD, FASHION & BEAUTY/Lifetime/NY: Research celebrity photos, prod Web pages, update content. Spot celeb fashion trends to create celebrity content. Industry Cont a +. (10/22)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL AD PRODUCT MGR/AETN/NY:Execute day-to-day objectives of Digital Ad Ops specializing in ad product mgmt. Exp online w/ ad products, tagging & mapping.Apply: (10/22)

JOB OPENING: HR GENERALIST/LA: Hndle HR functns w/ emphsis on recruitmnt, emp relations, perfrmnce mgmt, HR procss & procedres. Recruiter and/or Generalist exp. Computer prof & HRIS sys. Res to

JOB OPENING: DIR, BUS STRAT & DEV/LA: Updte/dev fin & biz mods fr affl negt/frecast/bdget/tacts; sup VOD. Exp: mgmt consltng/prduct/strtgy/wrk in media/cble ntwrk/anlytc skls. BS in Fin/Mgmt/Acct. Res to

JOB OPENING: VP, FIELD SALES/LA: Exc strtgy&prdc demnd to max dist & subscrbr/rev goals/dev relatns w/MSO’s/ovrsee contrct compl & bdgts/5+ yrs lead in sales team/Strg strtgic & anlytl skls. Res to

JOB OPENING: SPECIAL PROJ F/L POS/LA: Wrk w/ Mrktng on full lfe cyc cncpt/campgns to Pre/Pro/Pst Prd. Exp in prd mgmt & shts (EPK-lrge commrcl campgns). Bsic Pst Prd shoots, vfx comp & grphc pkgs. Apply:

JOB OPENING: SERIES PRODUCER, WRITER-PRODUCERS, AP’s, COORDINATORS, LINE PRODUCERS/Atlas Media/NY: Seeking all levels for new shows. Strong skills, ability to manage tight deadlines. 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

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: The Research department at CBS Television Distribution is looking for qualified Interns for Fall 2008. Please send resume to

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: The Media Relations department at CBS Television Distribution is looking for qualified Interns for Fall 2008. Please send resume to

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SITUATION WANTED: Exp. PROD/WRITER/DIR. NBC; Discovery, TLC, CMT, E!, CNN, Disney; Celebrities, Ent., Animals, troubled souls. Reality/Non-fiction. LA based, willing to travel.

SITUATION WANTED: 2 Time Emmy-Award Winning Producer (LA): Can direct, script, oversee editing of lifestyle, news, reality, doc or entertainment style projects of any length. Highly exp’d in-studio & with demos.

SITUATION WANTED: Looking for work as a PRODUCTION MANAGER/LINE PRODUCER Contact 818-384-8045 or

SITUATION WANTED: EXEC. IN CHARGE OF PROD/LINE PRODUCER: 15+ Ntwrk & cable exp ,Exec in Charge, Coord Prod, Line Prod, Prod Mgr seeking work in synd TV shows, sports, kids series, event prod opps, NY/NJ/CT. E-mail:

for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT –  Monday, October 20, 2008

ABC: Dancing with the Stars, Samantha Who?, Boston Legal
AZTECA: Camino a la Fama, Historia Detras del Mito, Al Extremo
CBS: The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Worst Week, CSI: Miami
CW: Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill
FOX: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Prison Break
ION: Boston Legal, NCIS, ER
MNT: Celebrity Expose, Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed
NBC: Chuck , Heroes, My Own Worst Enemy
PBS: Antiques Roadshow [r], American Experience [r]
TELE: El Juramento, El Rostro de Analia, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso
UNIV: Cuidado con el Angel, Fuego on la Sangre, Cristina

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