Monday, October 27th, 2008



Good morning. It’s Monday. October 27, 2008, and this is your first early morning briefing.  

Tonight’s Finale:
A&E Network: Paranormal State at 1030p


NBC will revamp its primetime Wednesday schedule to focus entirely on crime dramas. Starting November 5, Knight Rider remains at 8p while Life gets a chance to rejuvenate by moving into the 9p time period and Law & Order will re-launch in the 10p slot. Lipstick Jungle will then switch to Friday nights. Additionally, NBC pushed back the debut of Momma’s Boys to December 16 following the season finale of The Biggest Loser; the next week Momma’s Boys will air on Monday nights at 9p in the Heroes time slot once it concludes its season. Momma’s Boys was originally slated to debut on November 12.

Game 3 of Fox’s World Series took a dip in the ratings, most likely as a result of the lengthy rain delay which pushed the full out start of the game to after 10p, and ending close to 2am.    9.8 million tuned in to watch the game, according to preliminary numbers – down from the average of 13+ million viewers for games #1 and #2. 

In an email to employees, ABC News President David Westin announced there would be a series of financial considerations made in light of the ailing economy, while keeping an eye toward having all available resources to report the news.  Writes Westin: “We report every day on the economic climate and the effects being felt throughout the country. We are not immune from the downturn. At the same time, the importance of the election and economic stories reminds us how much we have to do to help our audiences absorb and understand what is going on around them. What we need to do — and will do — is to make sure that we have all the resources we need to cover the news.”  Among the reduced administrative guidelines are cutting back on attendance at conferences and conventions, elimination of all holiday parties, cancelling all paper subscriptions to magazines and newspapers (suggesting online use instead), as well as asking high level execs to fly in cheaper seats, and stay at cheaper hotels.

Coinciding with the NBA regular season opening tomorrow, NBA TV is sporting a new on-air look, reports Multichannel News. Operated by Turner Sports and notching 15 million subscribers, NBA TV unveils a fresh graphics package and a new 5,000 square foot set including a dedicated dot-com desk and a real basketball court for demonstrations among other improvements. Furthermore, NBA TV introduces three different themed nights to support appointment viewing among basketball fans. Tuesday nights will be “fan night” where fans can vote at for the live game that airs each week; Wednesday night will contain original content produced by NBA Entertainment and hosted by TNT NBA host Ernie Johnson; and Thursday nights will be dedicated to basketball’s history using vintage footage. More themes may be added as the season progresses.

Super Tuesday Election Night Coverage: An early look at the broadcast and cable networks November 4 Presidential election coverage:

  • ABC, CBS and NBC will broadcast live beginning at 7p, and continuing until 2a, if necessary.
  • ABC will be based from its New York City Times Square studios where Good Morning America and Nightline are broadcast and will project results via its 43rd Street Jumbo Tron. ABC will also stream primetime content live from its broadband Digital Channel hosted by Sam Donaldson.
  • CBS will broadcast from its NYC newsroom, adding more election night analysts. The evening will begin at 630p with a CBS Evening News expanded to a full hour with Katie Couric. Additionally, Couric will begin her webcast online at 2a for post-election coverage consisting of interviews, further analysis and viewer questions.
  • NBC and MSNBC will both broadcast from its Rockefeller Plaza headquarters. In addition, NBC announced plans to add new features such as superimposing a huge U.S. map on the Rockefeller Center skating rink as well as projecting Barack Obama’s and John McCain’s electoral vote tally on the outside of its building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. NBC and MSNBC will also offer a virtual reality component by expanding Tim Russert’s electronic clipboard.
  • FOX, too, will be based in NYC, broadcasting from Times Square and its gigantic Astro Vision monitor.
  • Fox News Channel will introduce two new hi-def studios from its main office at Avenue of the Americas in NYC.
  • CNN will spotlight interactive touch-screen technology with John King’s “Magic Wall” that will boast new features for Election Day.
  • BBC, as reported previously, will combo with BBC America broadcasting to more than 200 countries worldwide with Ted Koppel as analyst.
  • Al Jazeera English will also broadcast a 12-hour marathon from its Washington, D.C. bureau in addition to having reporters in 11 locations throughout the U.S. and in 14 countries. Al Jazeera will then broadcast AHE’s coverage to approximately 53 million international viewers.

KATV/Little Rock anchor Anne Pressly, 26, passed away, the result of injuries sustained in a home invasion attack last Monday.  To date, there are no suspects and police have no leads. Anne grew up in Greenville, SC, before moving with her family to Little Rock where she attended high school. She graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.

Top 10 Weekend Box Office Estimates: October 24-26, 2008
High School Musical 3: Senior Year (Buena Vista) $42.0 million  opening weekend
Saw V (Lionsgate)                                         $30.5 million  opening weekend
Max Payne (20th Century Fox)                         $7.6 million  2 wk total $29.7m
Beverly Hills Chihuahua (Buena Vista)                $6.9 million  4 wk total $78.1m
Pride & Glory (Warner Bros.)                            $6.3 million  opening weekend
The Secret Life of Bees (Fox Searchlight)          $5.9 million  2 wk total $19.2m
W. (Lionsgate)                                              $5.3 million  2 wk total $18.7m
Eagle Eye (Paramount/DW)                              $5.1 million  5 wk total $88.0m
Body of Lies (Warner Bros.)                             $4.1 million  3 wk total $30.9m
Quarantine (Sony/Columbia)                            $2.6 million  3 wk total $28.8m
Source: Box Office Mojo


FX bought the cable rights to three 20th Century Fox movies including Max Payne, starring Mark Wahlberg which opened the previous weekend in theatres at #1, cites THR. The other two films are The X-Files: I Want to Believe starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, and The Rocker headlined by Rainn Wilson. FX paid an estimated $8 million for the trio, based on the standard 10-12% of domestic box office returns. FX likely will have a four-year license term beginning in late 2010/early 2011 while allowing distributor Twentieth TV to offer broadcast network windows for each.


HBO’s sixth season of Entourage will add Gary Cole as a regular cast member, per THR. Cole will portray a Hollywood agent named Andrew Klein who is an old friend of Ari’s played by Jeremy Piven. Fans of the comedy will meet Cole’s character this season in three episodes airing next month. Entourage is currently at the mid-point of its fifth season and will begin production for the new season early in 2009.


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  A senior lawmaker – Rep. John Dingell, Chairman of the House of Representatives House Energy and Commerce Committee – added to the chorus of “White Space” protests led by broadcasters on Friday. Mr. Dingell sent a list of questions to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin asking the agency to identify devices that are causing interference to broadcasters using the band for unlicensed broadband services. The FCC is due to vote on the proposal to open up the spectrum on Nov. 4, the day America votes for its next president.  Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.

Boys know where all the action is – Cartoon Network Every Friday Night!   Click for more info!

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORYThis weekend marked the release of Disney‘s new movie High School Musical 3: Senior Year (HSM 3), and you won’t be shocked to learn that the movie landed at the top of the box office receipts domestically with $42 million.  Based on Disney Channel’s original High School Musical TV movies, the HSM 3 feature film becomes the biggest debut ever for a movie musical, easily beating out the previous record holder Mamma Mia (July 18, 2008) that bowed with $27.8 million, according Box Office Mojo.  Also, HSM 3 is now the biggest open for a live-action G rated movie, surpassing the release of Disney’s Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert (February 1, 2008), which debuted with $31.1 million.  Additionally, HSM 3 is the second largest October weekend opening for a kids movie behind Shark Tale (PG, October 1, 2004) at $47.6 million, and for the 2008 so far, the movie is the third biggest G-rated movie, behind Wall-E (June 27, 2008) with $63.1 million and Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (March 14, 2008), which opened with $45.0 million.  Internationally, HSM 3 earned $40 million across the 22 markets where it also opened this weekend, per Variety.    Full edition: CYN KIDS.

CYNOPSIS INTERNATIONAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:   Gretech Corporation’s GOM TV and Warner Bros. International Television Distribution (WBITD) inked a distribution deal to bring the original Sorority Forever digital series from director/producer McG and Big Fantastic for viewers in Korea via GOM TV.  The  40-episode short-form series debuted last week on GOM TV with one original episode (23 minutes) scheduled to air every weekday.  Full edition: CYN INTERNATIONAL.


Thursday – A18-49 Analysis: CBS outscored the competition Thursday night at 4.3/11 A18-49, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. Survivor: Gabon on CBS held sway at 8p with 4.4/12 with ABC’s Ugly Betty next at 2.8/8. CBS stayed at #1 through 9p with CSI at 5.5/13, albeit just a smidge ahead of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy at 5.4/13. World Series Game 2 on FOX won the 10p hour with 4.4/12 while NBC’s ER placed second at 3.2/8, just a tenth of a rating point in front of CBS’ Eleventh Hour at 3.1/8.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Thursday, October 23, 2008 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

CBS: 9.1/14         Survivor: Gabon 7.8/12, CSI 11.7/17, Eleventh Hour 7.8/13

FOX: 7.6/13           World Series Pregame 4.2/7, World Series Game #2 8.1/13

ABC: 6.8/11           Ugly Betty 5.7/9, Grey’s Anatomy 9.5/14, Life on Mars 5.3/9

NBC: 4.7/7            My Name Is Earl 3.9/6, Kath & Kim 3.1/5, The Office 4.6/7, SNL: Weekend Update 5.3/8, ER 5.8/10

UNIV: 2.4/4          Cuidado con El Angel 2.4/4, Fuego en La Sangre 2.6/4, Noche 10 Gordo Flaca 2.1/3

CW: 2.3/4             Smallville 2.6/4, Supernatural 2.0/3

MNT: 0.9/1           My Thursday Night Movie: Nightmare on Elm Street 2 0.9/1

TELE: 0.8/1           Dona Barbara 0.6/1, El Rostro de Analia 0.8/1, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso 1.0/2

A18-49: CBS 4.3/11, FOX 3.8/10, ABC 3.6/9, NBC 3.2/8, UNIV 2.0/5, CW 1.5/4, TELE 0.6/2, MNT 0.5/1


Fox Networks Group‘s Scott Grogin has been upped to SVP/Communication, reporting to Group Chair/CEO Tony Vinciquerra.  Scott will oversee the cross-platform strategic programs in place, the group’s nation and regional cable networks as liaison to the trade, financial and business press, as well as help on communications relating to affiliate relations, sales and government relations.  Well done Scott!

NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution promoted Donna Mills to VP/Marketing and Affiliate Relations up from Senior Director/Affiliate Relations and Marketing. In this new position, Donna will manage all marketing and affiliate relations activities for the unit’s nationally syndicated series Maury, The Chris Matthews Show, The Jerry Springer Show and The Steve Wilkos Show. Donna will also offer marketing support to the distribution company’s advertiser, cable and stations sales divisions.


Curious about Canoe Ventures?

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Join this eye-opening lunch time session Monday, November 10 at 1pm, then get the big picture on Canoe Ventures from CEO David Verklin during Tuesday’s closing panel.

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This day in History:  1904 – The New York subway system officially opened. It was the first rapid-transit subway system in America.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  Who has hosted the Academy Awards ceremony the most times? BOB HOPE Kudos to: Andrew Goldman-HBO/NY; Mitch Burg-Syndicated Network Television Association/NY; Lynn Dee McDonald-Carat/Atlanta; Douglas Hochstadt-ABC Television Network/NY; Kandy Hartsfield-KDAF/Dallas; Amy Sobczak-Charter Media/St. Louis, MO; Dan Radman-Prometheus/Chicago; Zen Cymbala-NBC Universal Television Networks/Chicago; Greg Stewart-Evolution Media/Burbank; Warren Baker/Marina del Rey, CA; Chuck Lomis-Starz Entertainment/Englewood, CO; Cheddy Hart/Studio City, CA

Today’s Trivia Question:  On the series Friends, what was Ugly Naked Guy’s apartment number? (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: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/Rainbow Advertising Sales Corp/ Bronx NY: 3 yrs min exp major market tv, radio sales exp at ad agency level. See full posting and apply to req id 6841BR (11/1)

JOB OPENING: PROD/DIRECTOR /Cablevision/Norwalk, CT: Min. 2 yrs exp all aspects of Writing/shooting/non linear editing. Must know AVID/ Final Cut Pro. See full posting and apply to req id 7053BR (11/1)

JOB OPENING: ONLINE MKTG SUPERVISOR/iN DEMAND/NYC: Savvy marketer wanted with online expertise to maximize web strategies. Deg + 3 years exp. Apply:

JOB OPENING: DIR BRDBND VID/Lifetime/LA/: webst brdbnd vid prod; dev/prod webisde/vid cncpts/prog cntnt; mnge wrkflw vid creat/delvry. 5+ yrs vid prod; FinalCutPro; vid fr wbste; comprsn;stdrds; fld prdcng. Res:

JOB OPENING: EXEC SEC/IFC/NYC: Provide high level admin support to SVP of Orig Prog & Sr. staff. Highly org,detail orient prof w/2-4admin exp. Degree + related industry a +. rez: ref #7452BR (11/1)

JOB OPENING: SR GRAPHICS DESIGNER/Sundance/NYC: Design, concept &exec of branded ent& tent pole campaigns for off-air &Brdcst & Dig platforms.7+ yrs design/BC exp. Excel software skills. rez: ref #7258BR (11/1)

JOB OPENING: SUPRV-PROGRAM INVENT/Rainbow/LI: Resp for Orig Program Invent for AMC/IFC/WE/Sundance. Related exp a must. Data Analysis, database & PM nec. rez: ref #7366BR (11/1)

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JOB OPENING: TV RESEARCH FREELANCER/ABC Burbank: Min 1 year exp in TV research, exp w/ Nielsen analysis, primary research exp, strong written & analytical skills, BA/BS req or equiv exp, (search Req ID-181968) (10/30)

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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT –  Monday, October 27, 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 [r], How I Met Your Mother [r], Two and a Half Men [r], Worst Week [r], CSI: Miami [r]
CW: Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill
FOX: World Series 2008 Game 5
ION: Boston Legal, NCIS, NCIS
MNT: Celebrity Expose, Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed
NBC: Chuck , Heroes, My Own Worst Enemy
PBS: Antiques Roadshow [r], American Experience [r]
TELE: Dona Barbara, El Rostro de Analia, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso
UNIV: Cuidado con el Angel, Fuego on la Sangre, Cristina

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