Thursday, December 1st, 2005


Martha Delivers in Denver
KCNC/C – 9:00-10:00am
Week of Nov. 21, 2005

  • Up +127% vs. year ago time period
  • Up +84% vs. lead-in
  • Head-to-head beats The View on KMGH by +14%
  • #1 new strip in Denver out-delivering Tyra by +67% and Judge Alex by +56%

 Source: NSI WRAP Overnights, 11/21/05-11/23/05 vs. Nov ’04, Live HH rating, 1/4 hour lead-in, Tyra-KMGH 10am, Alex-KDVR-1:30pm

Cynopsis: Weekender College Edition


Good afternoon. It’s Thursday, December 1, 2005, and this is your Cynopsis: Weekender, our special College Edition. Below are a handful of items, each written by college students from their perspectives about the television industry.  Nearly 75 students accepted our invitation to submit an item, knowing only four would ultimately be chosen.  Below are a representative four, each with a particular point of view we found particularly interesting. As always, some you may agree with or disagree with their comments. So should the need to respond strikes, write back!  Let us all know what you’re thinking.  It’s so much better than yelling at your computer.  (see E-Mails to the Editor below).

What Came First, Reality or Reality TV?
by Jerry Herrera

         The roots of my generation grow on MTV and sitcom. Namely, the roots of how we interact with each other. The entire point of a sitcom or a drama on television is to present life as funnier than it really is, as more intense than it really is, more ironic, fairer, more romantic. Essentially, just “more” in general. A good writer can strip away all semblance of reality in any given situation and turn it into “primetime.” We, the viewers, get heroin reality in turn. Given enough, we start to think this is how things really go on a daily basis.  The chicken or the egg question arises now:  what came first, reality or reality TV?

        Frankly, that terrifies me…

        I’m afraid that the next heartache I feel will mimic something I saw on Dawson’s Creek. I’m afraid that the next time I have a quiet, meaningful moment with someone, she’ll be thinking that it’s just like last week’s One Tree Hill. What if the next argument I have follows the same basic pattern as something seen on The OC?  I am terrified that our social impulses have been entirely conditioned by syndicated pop culture.

        What I see is a sense of reality that is completely warped by the sitcom and the drama.  Girls wonder why there aren’t more guys who look like the ones on Laguna Beach in their neighborhood, while guys are wondering where they can find a girl like Lana Lang. Here I am, expecting a laugh track to come on, when my parents catch me trying to sneak in the house while I’m fall-down drunk. Where are the catcalls and cheers when I kiss a woman almost twice my age (my boss, no less)?  I refuse to believe that my life is that boring and unglamorous and unfunny.  The more witty retorts I retain from last night’s Will and Grace, the less genuine of a person I become.  

        The more I think about it, the less television I watch.  Life does not have a theme song.

        I’ve never seen an episode of Friends.

–Jerry Herrera is a student at Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA, majoring in radio and broadcasting

TV as a Social Tool
by Alex Weprin

        It dawned on me the other day, while watching Lost … or was it Prison Break? Anyway, it dawned on me while watching TV in the common room of my hall, that television had become bigger than just a source of news and entertainment. It is a social tool that miraculously brings people together, people who would otherwise have nothing to do with one another. All those stereotypes frequently found on television in conflict (the geeks and nerds seem to have a running feud) all sit together and watch the same programs. I guess TV has that effect on people.

        Enemies (or at least that guy whose phone always goes off in class) put aside their differences, frequently to watch others engage in conflicts of their own (Law and Order? CSI?). It seems to me that despite what some advocates say, TV doesn’t cause moral decay and conflict in our society, it diffuses it… at least at a localized level. How else could you explain the bookworm sharing popcorn with the slacker?

        Television has become today what movies were in the early 20th century: a social mechanism that brings people together and fuels discussion at the water cooler (or, ahem, keg). Now, of course, movies still bring people together. And I can assure you that in college study sessions are still a great way to make friends. But sitting in the common room with 20 of your closest friends (at least until the credits roll) is still one of the most powerful way to express a shared interest, whatever it happens to be (law, forensics, traversing wide galaxies etc…).

        Right now, there is no greater social mechanism for meeting friends (outside of study sessions, of course [for my Mom]) than chilling with some cool people and sharing in a story on the screen. The Internet is starting to become a great social and informational tool (just look at Friendster and facebook and of course, Cynopsis) but for now, you just can’t beat good old-fashioned TV. Now, if you will excuse me… I believe the Daily Show is on.

–Alex Weprin is a Government major at Clark University in Worcester, MA, and will be graduating with the Class of 2006

Twisted or Trendy?
by Brandon Crawford

        I dream in Technicolor.

        Growing up, I teethed on the TV remote, suckled on the teat of late night entertainment, and had my breakfast with Saturday morning cartoons. Being forced to teach myself values through the experiences of Wile E. Coyote, and Bugs Bunny gave me a rather skewed perception of how the world works.  Thankfully, that twisted view of the world has been straightened out by trendy new reality TV shows.

        Yogi Bear and his little pal Boo-Boo taught me that it’s not your material possessions that define you, but what’s on the inside that counts.  Thankfully shows like Laguna Beach and MTV Cribs wiped that crazy notion right out of my brain.  Now I know that having a Bentley and a summer house on the beach is what makes you a good person.  Thank God for reality television.

        I used to think “The Golden Rule” was to treat others as you’d like to be treated.  I owe everything to Survivor and The Apprentice which revealed to me the truth: lying and deceit is the key to happiness and can make you rich and famous.

        Thanks to reality TV, I discovered that lacking talent is even better than having it genuinely. And heck, why date one person at a time when you can date five? 

        In all seriousness, it seems Newton Minnow’s “vast wasteland” has returned to television.  One can’t blame the networks for this predicament.  The guilt lies with the uninformed consumer.  Parents plop their children in front of the television without considering the messages behind the programming their children are viewing.  Claiming these shows are an accurate representation of true life is like pretending C-SPAN is entertaining … it just isn’t so.  The television is an amazing device.  It can bring us up-to-the minute news, warn us of impending disasters, and act as a political forum.  But as with most great inventions, it can and has been misused.  The key is keeping the border between “Reality TV” and “Reality” a thick black line.

–Brandon Crawford is a Junior at Michigan State University in East Lansing, majoring in Telecommunication

Rat Race
By Ellina Gurvits

        In this society filled with dizzying stimuli and instant gratification, where pop culture rules, and the fabulous life is headline news, it is hardly surprising that the youth is uninterested in the dull stories filling local news.  And, why should they be?  The fact of the matter is local news caters to a solidified middle-age audience.  The same group who is established and likely to be married with children.  The same group most interested in the joys of family and unlikely to stir major changes in its personal, professional, or public life.  Ironically, it is the finicky, a-intellectual youth that will generate future leaders in the community at large; the same generation that is searching for passion, innovation, inspiration, identity, and a space to cultivate.

         Unfortunately, despite the endless possibilities, many will forego their dreams and continue on a beaten, predetermined path, of mundane, risk-free, presumably happy lives.  As they blankly gape at television screens saturated with celebrities, innovators, public figures, and business moguls, they are inspired and encouraged to dream big.  More often than not, those dreams are left on the imprints of the couch.  Aside from creating false illusions, success stories of heiresses do not provide the necessary information required to realize an idea, a dream!  Arguably, pop television is deterring and deteriorating the innovative spirit by alluding success is inherited or at least imminent, rather than a process.

        The road block is lack of knowledge, business savvy, mentors and resilience.  This is the time for local news to impact the community through its ability to create awareness and form relationships.  Unlike any other medium, local news has the ability to reach the greatest audience.  Furthermore, it is the only medium that genuinely lives among its audience.  Without question, the most effective way to nourish the entrepreneurial sparkle is through example.  The local news has the ability to profile up and comers in an array of industries, with an underlying theme translating the idea that “resilience furthers.”  The key is to provide knowledge and availability of resources, which the local news has the means to research and report.  Responsibility must be embraced! After all, the human story is the most interesting story, at least for those who are driven by ratings.

— Ellina Gurvits is a Senior at the University of New Mexico

* WEEK’S RECAP *Monday, November 28, 2005

  • The CBBC has picked up a raft of new kids programming for in-house production ( CynKids)
  • Noriyuki Morita, better known to audiences as Pat Morita, passed away at the age of 73 ( CynKids)
  • Sony Pictures TV’s Judge Maria Lopez has been picked up by TV stations in 45 of the top 50 markets for a 90% national clearance (CynMCE )
  • Fox Latin American Channels launched a new mobile phone programming service named MyFox (CynMCE )
  • Arabic-language Discovery channel will debut in the Middle East region in the near future (CynMCE )
  • Warner Bros. International Television Distribution has signed a first run pay-TV deal with Africa’s M-Net TV operator (CynMCE )
  • ABC has announced this will be the last season for Alias ( Cynopsis)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

  • Fuji TV and Production I.G. have signed a deal to open a joint digital post production movie studio, called FILM LLP ( CynKids)
  • TV Tokyo will launch an anime website in 2006  ( CynKids)
  • A Review:  The WB’s American Girl TV movie, Felicity: An American Girl Adventure  ( CynKids)
  • Cox Communications has signed a carriage deal under which PBS Kids Sprout  ( CynKids)
  • The Entertainment Software Association says all three new next generation video game consoles will feature parental controls  ( CynKids)
  • Si TV inked a distribution agreement with Sony Entertainment Television (SET) Latin America for its series The Rub (CynMCE )
  • PBS will focus on three Latin American women out of the over 100,000 undocumented domestic workers in a new Independent Lens documentary titled Maid in America  (CynMCE )
  • Dentsu Inc, along with five Tokyo-based commercial broadcasters, have teamed up to launch an internet-based distribution company  (CynMCE )
  • Sky will launch National Geographic on its new high-definition TV service  (CynMCE )
  • Three Week Avgs of November 2005 Sweep-to-Date  ( Cynopsis)
  • Threshold, Reunion and Hot Properties cancelled? ( Cynopsis)
  • WE: Women’s Entertainment will debut three new original or acquired series this month  ( Cynopsis)
  • E! Entertainment Television has picked up and will order all new episodes of The Simple Life  ( Cynopsis)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

  • Restaurant chain Chuck E. Cheese has entered into an advertising partnership with Sorpresa!  ( CynKids)
  • Grosset & Dunlap’s launch ofkid’s book series based on HHK Entertainment’s Hip Hop Kidz dance program   ( CynKids)
  • Opening up shop this week is Hyboreal Games, a new videogame development studio   ( CynKids)
  • Activision has inked a deal with Spider-Man Merchandising   ( CynKids)
  • Jakks Pacific, Inc. has entered into a licensing agreement with Universal Studios Consumer Products Group for interactive products based on the new animated Curious George TV series   ( CynKids)
  • Stan Berenstain, who with his wife Jan created The Berenstain Bears book series, passed away   ( CynKids)
  • Hispanic television and print ad spending in 2004 grew by 4.7% from the year prior  (CynMCE )
  • Second- and third-generation Hispanics do prefer English-language TV  (CynMCE )
  • African Americans are more inclined to buy a big-ticket item over the next 90 days than whites  (CynMCE )
  • Nielsen Media Research has created an Asian Pacific American Advisory Council to advise the company on issues connected to the sampling of Asian Pacific Americans for TV audience measurements  (CynMCE )
  • American Idol fans – no worries!   ( Cynopsis)
  • CSI: NY integrates cellphone ringtone music by Coldplay into show  ( Cynopsis)
  • Producer Rome Hartman has been named the new Exec Producer of the CBS Evening News   ( Cynopsis)
  • Tiki Barber hanging with his friends at Fox and Friends First   ( Cynopsis)
  • WE: Women’s Entertainment announced five new series for 2006, and one for 2007   ( Cynopsis)

Thursday, December 1, 2005

  • New bill introduced: The Family Entertainment Protection Act, prohibiting selling M-rated (mature) video games to minors   ( CynKids)
  • The N has begun production on Whistler, an original drama ( CynKids)
  • Nelvana Home Entertainment and Criterion Pictures have inked a 5-yr distribution agreement  ( CynKids)
  • Comcast Cable has added AZN Television to its Northern New Jersey systems  (CynMCE )
  • Buena Vista International Television Asia Pacific has sold Commander in Chief to six networks on the first day of the Asia TV Forum  (CynMCE )
  • Time Warner Cable will expand its here! offerings to include SVOD (CynMCE )
  • UPN announced launch dates for South Beach and Get This Party Started   ( Cynopsis)
  • Fox announced Midseason schedule for January  ( Cynopsis)
  • The Megan Mullally Show clearances set by NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution ( Cynopsis)
  • Actress and comedienne Wendie Jo Sperber has lost her battle with cancer at the age of 46  ( Cynopsis)



Anything Good on Tonight? An Editorial by John P. Turner, III         Nothing to watch on TV?  Do what the guys do.  Watch everything.  Having Dish TV I can check on the Mormons on their channel.  Watch a cattle auction on RFD-TV, The Arts Channel has a clip of Barishnakov in his prime.  TV Land has a bit of Green Acres.  ESPN has women’s college volleyball.  CCTV has the latest news about making Chinese refrigerators.          A bunch of channels have Law and Order. Court TV has low budget forensics (it’s always the husband or boyfriend who did it). TCM has a Dick Powell festival.          CNN and Fox News Channel have just about everything that’s happening in the world….”you decide.” TV Japan has a news show from NHK that shows every meeting and state visit in Asia.  And, Sumo Wrestling to boot!  For Football fans there is Saturday College Football. Sunday NFL football.  Sunday Night NFL Football game: Monday NFL Football. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday night. Colleges you never heard of Football and Friday night College Football with teams you have heard of.  And, of course, the 1991 Rose Bowl on ESPN Classic. (I had missed it back in 91).          There’s skating scheduled opposite this melange of Football. And two teams from Europe playing soccer.  Martha Stewart is back and ready to cook, clean and decorate America.  Tyra Banks is doing a talk show?  Not to worry Oprah. HGTV is horrifying someone who let them redecorate their family room. And on and on and on.          Just get the channel selector in one hand and a glass of ice cold Fresca (add a dash of cranberry juice) and “Watch some TV!”  I saw all of the above in, like, one hour increments.  Ah, my window on the world.          The trouble is there is too much to watch on TV.  That’s why I listen to Old Time Radio on XM satellite channel 164.  Them were the good old days.  Just close your eyes, settle back and listen to Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy or Jack Benny!  Maybe that’s the answer to “ain’t nothin’ to watch on TV.”  Did I mention they broadcast 1000 Hockey games a year on XM Radio?  What an embarrassment of riches…if you’re a Canadian.  — Mel Smith  This space is for you. Your chance to fire back!
Feeling the need to speak up about any of the stories or other’s comments in Cynopsis: Weekender? Go for it! If you’re concerned about having your name published with your comment, no problem, we’ll dub you “Anonymous.”

Send comments to Weekender at
, subject: E-Mails to Editor.
Cynopsis reserves the right to choose which comments will be included and to edit and/or shorten the text.

Later — Cyn

Cynopsis Ad Sales – Barbara Shapiro – 203-583-1224 / barbaracynopsis

The Weekender edition is published every Thursday and includes a few items to ponder over the weekend, as well as the highlights from the week. It is delivered to the entire Cynopsis subscriber list, unless you specifically request to be unsubscribed.

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your email subscription, to click here.

Emails to the Editor:
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Copyright Cynthia Turner 2005


and you can hear their prophecy only at

Students propelled last year’s mtvU Woodie Award winners like
FALL OUT BOY and THE KILLERS to mainstream success.

And it’s already happening this year with

730 campuses – ON CAMPUS with 100s of events – ONLINE at
And now streaming 24/7 and on-demand with UBER – mtvU’s broadband channel.

Check out what college students are watching at

What’s On This Weekend:

Saturday: 8-11p, December 3
ABC:    Dr. Pepper ACC Championship
CBS:    SEC Championship, Academy of Country Music 40th Anniversary Celebration
FOX:    Cops,  FOX Special: The Interrogation Room, America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back
NBC:    Crossing Jordan, Medium, L & O: SVU
i:          Feed the Children Miraculous Mission, Gaither Homecoming
TELE:   Noche de Paz [7], Cinemundo del Sabado
UNIV:    Sabado Gigante

Sunday: 7-11p, December 4
ABC:    AFHV, EM: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy
CBS:    60 Minutes, Cold Case, CBS Miniseries: Pope John Paul II  Part 1
FOX:    The Simpsons, King of the Hill, The Simpsons, The War at Home, Family Guy, American Dad
NBC:    Dateline NBC,  The West Wing,  Law & Order Criminal Intent, Crossing Jordan
i:          Young Blades, Ponderosa, Night of Joy, Livin It: Unusual Suspects
WB:     Reba [r], Reba [r], Felicity: An American Girl Adventure [r]
TELE:   Sin Fronteras, Accion Extrema, Cinemundo Premier
UNIV:   La Parodia, Ver Para Creer

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