Thursday, February 12th, 2009



Good morning. It’s Thursday, February 12, 2009, and this is your first early morning briefing. 

Tonight’s Premieres:
CBS: Survivor at 8p
WFN: Getting School’d with JP DeRose at 830p
Animal Planet: Animal Armageddon at 9p
MTV: Making the Band 4 at 9p
Bravo: The Millionaire Matchmaker at 10p
Adult Swim: Delocated at 1030p


Yesterday, President Obama signed the DTV delay bill, making the analog-to-digital transition date officially June 12, 2009. In a statement President Obama said in part, “This law, which was crafted in a bipartisan way and passed overwhelmingly in the House and Senate, ensures that our citizens will have more time to prepare for the conversion. Millions of Americans, including those in our most vulnerable communities, would have been left in the dark if the conversion had gone on as planned, and this solution is an important step forward as we work to get the nation ready for digital TV.”

In related news, the FCC announced yesterday stations in 19 markets, comprising 5.1 million TV households, have asked to make the DTV switch by the original transition date of February 17. In these 19 markets all four major network affiliates are ready and in 17 of those markets all local stations are completely prepared. An additional 15 markets, representing 2.3 million TV households, cite most of their major network affiliates are all set to go. The FCC is currently reviewing which stations can proceed and make the switch prior to June 12 and which ones will have to wait. Those stations wanting to go ahead and make the analog-to-digital transition total 491 and were required to alert the FCC of their goal by February 9.

SOAPnet continues its foray into original series unveiling the new docu-drama Southern Belles: Louisville slated to premiere May 21 at 10p. The series, with 10 60m episodes, follows five single female friends in their 20s and 30s, living in Louisville, as they develop their careers, hope for love and look to their futures. The series, described as a real-life Sex and the City set in a modern Southern city, will air on Thursdays at 10p and is produced by Endemol USA in association with ABC Media Productions.

TeleFutura welcomed back the original version of Yo Soy Betty, La Fea (I Am Ugly Betty) on February 9 at 10p, delivering 574,000 A18-49 viewers, 368,000 A18-34 viewers and 947,000 total viewers.

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 Wednesday 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.


Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD) signed multi-year agreements for the off-network syndication launch of The Closer and a third syndication cycle of Without a Trace.

  • To date, The Closer is sold in more than 85% of the U.S. for a fall 2010 launch in a two-year deal for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons. Previously announced, The Closer was sold to the Fox Television Stations in 16 markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The drama, in its fourth season on TNT, has also been sold to additional station groups such as CBS Television Stations, Raycom, Capitol Broadcasting, Local TV, Hearst-Argyle Television, Tribune Broadcasting, Young Broadcasting, LIN TV, Turner, Newport Television, Weigel Broadcasting, Post-Newsweek Stations, Four Points Media Group, Meredith, Cox Television, Grant Television, Gannett Broadcasting, McKinnon Broadcasting, Freedom Communications, ComCorp, Bonten Media Group, Barrington Broadcasting Group, Hubbard Broadcasting and ACME Television.
  • Without a Trace, currently in its seventh season on CBS, has also cleared in 85% of the U.S. through the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons for a third off-network syndication cycle. The drama was sold to the CBS Television Stations in 18 markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, among others in addition to stations owned by such groups as Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Broadcasting, Raycom, Meredith, Newport Television, Post-Newsweek Stations, Four Points Media Group, Media General, Belo, Freedom Communications, New Vision Television, Barrington Broadcasting Group, Bonten Media Group, McKinnon Broadcasting, Dispatch Broadcast Group, Weigel Broadcasting, Journal Broadcast Group, Allbritton Communications, Grey Television, ACME Television and Hearst-Argyle Television in addition to others.

Bravo, part of NBC Universal’s roster of networks, launches in hi-def this Friday throughout North Carolina.

Lifetime Networks made an affiliation deal with NewWave Communications allowing NewWave to carry Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women, Lifetime HD and Lifetime Network HD in specific systems during the term of the agreement.


Bravo and production company Magical Elves (Top Chef) introduces a new series for food lovers, Top Chef Master. Twenty-four world-famous chefs will compete against each other in weekly challenges to make it to the final round with the winner receiving the title of “Top Chef Master” and a prize for their charity of choice. Kelly Choi, food journalist will host joining judges Gael Green, restaurant critic, James Oseland, culinary expert and Jay Rayner, food critic. Tom Colicchio will serve as consulting producer.

New Pilot Pick-Ups, per THR:

  • ABC okayed a single-camera comedy based on a British series called No Heroics about superheroes with limited powers hanging out in a bar. Jeff Greenstein (Will & Grace) wrote the pilot along with original show creator Drew Pearce. ABC Studios is producing the U.S. version; Greenstein and Pearce are executive producing with Tiger Aspect’s Andrew Zein, producer of the series for ITV in the U.K.
  • CBS added the crime procedural drama I Witness about a female detective/professor who taps her psycho-physiological talents to solve crimes. Pam Veasey and Trey Callaway wrote the script and will executive produce; CBS Paramount will produce.
  • Cable network FX approved two drama pilots. The first called Lights Out is about an aging former boxing champ who takes a job as a debt collector while dealing with a neurological disorder affecting his memory. Fox TV Studios and FX Productions will produce while the pilot is penned by Justin Zackham and Phillip Noyce; Zackman, Noyce and Ross Fineman will all executive produce. The second is a pilot written by Graham Yost from Sony TV and Timberman/Beverly Production and based on a short story by Elmore Leonard called Fire in the Hole. This plot centers on a tough Kentucky U.S. Marshal, Raylan Givens as he works on cases and deals with his personal life. Sarah Timberman, Yost and Carl Beverly are executive producing.

Casting Call: MTV is casting for a News and Docs show titled Teen Cribs featuring teens living in amazing spaces built by their parents. To be considered, teens must be 13-21 years old and have something distinctive with their personal space and examples include swimming pools, game rooms and theaters to deluxe bedrooms, tree houses and indoor bowling alleys among other ideas. For more information and to apply, send an email to


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  Under pressure to right the sinking U.S. economy, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives hammered out an agreement on the Stimulus Bill yesterday to a tune of $789 billion, just one day after the Senate agreed to a $838 billion version. Both Senate and House versions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contained several tech-related provisions – including money for a smart energy grid, provisions to digitize health records and several billions to improve broadband access it rural areas. But it was unclear late Wednesday which survived the final agreement. (For instance the Senate ended up recommending $7 billion for broadband deployment, while the House recommended $6 billion.) The next step is for the FCC to decide which underserved areas will receive funding.  Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  Belgium-based Studio 100 establishes its new animation studio, Studio100 Animation.  Based in Paris, Studio100 Animation is part of Studio 100’s strategy to extend its business into animation through both self-funded and co-financed development opportunities.  A subsidiary of Studio 100, Studio100 Animation will initially produce two animations per year, beginning with Super Mega Hyper Pets a new joint venture with Amberwood Productions in Canada and Rescue 4U with Ireland’s Magma FilmsJo Daris will head the operation as GM, Studio100 AnimationJan Van Rijsselberge joins the new studios as Creative Officer.   Most recently Rijsselberge toiled for animation producer/distributor Alphanim for a dozen year, where he served as Creative Producer, Creator and Designer on a range of productions.  Additionally, Djamila Missoum is named Line Producer and Thorsten Wegener becomes Head of Business Affairs for the new animation studio.   Full edition: CYN KIDS.


Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of 1/26-2/1/09 ranked by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (CTD)                                   8.0 AA
Jeopardy (CTD)                                               6.6 AA
Two and a Half Men (WB)                                 5.6 AA / 7.6 GAA
Oprah Winfrey Show (CTD)                               5.2 AA / 5.3 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD)                            4.7 AA / 4.9 GAA
Judge Judy (CTD)                                            4.7 AA / 7.3 GAA
Family Guy (2/T)                                             4.3 AA / 5.2 GAA
Seinfeld (SPT)                                                 3.9 AA / 4.4 GAA
Dr. Phil Show (CTD)                                         3.6 AA / 3.7 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (CTD)                       3.6 AA / 4.8 GAA
Source: NSS Galaxy Explorer, Live+SD

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of 1/26-2/1/09 ranked by A18-49 Rtg
Family Guy (2/T)                                            3.1 AA / 3.6 GAA
Two and a Half Men (WB)                                3.1 AA / 4.1 GAA
Seinfeld (SPT)                                                2.5 AA / 2.9 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (CTD)                      2.1 AA / 2.8 GAA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD)                                   2.0 AA
King of Queens (SPT)                                      1.9 AA / 2.2 GAA
Friends (WB)                                                  1.9 AA / 2.2 GAA
Jeopardy (CTD)                                              1.8 AA
Oprah Winfrey Show (CTD)                              1.8 AA / 1.9 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD)                           1.8 AA / 1.9 GAA
Source: NSS Galaxy Explorer, Live+SD

Tuesday – A18-49 Analysis: Week to week, FOX declined yet still prevailed Tuesday night at 6.8/17 A18-49 according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. American Idol continued to dominate for FOX at 8p with 9.2/24 while CBS’ NCIS was second at 3.7/10. Competition was tight during 9p as NBC’s Biggest Loser won at 4.5/11 followed closely by CBS’ The Mentalist at 4.2/10 and FOX’s Fringe at 4.1/10. NBC got a little breathing room through 10p as Dateline did best with 4.0/10 and CBS’ Without a Trace was second at 3.4/9.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated.  Live+SD

CBS: 10.7/17        NCIS 11.3/17, The Mentalist 12.0/18, Without a Trace 8.9/15

FOX: 10.0/15          American Idol 13.9/21, Fringe 5.9/9

NBC: 6.4/10           The Biggest Loser 7 5.8/9, Dateline 7.5/13

ABC: 2.6/4            Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown Special [r] 2.7/4, Scrubs 2.8/4, Scrubs 2.7/4, True Beauty 2.4/4

UNIV: 2.3/4           Cuidado con El Angel 2.4/4, Fuego en la Sangre 2.7/4, Aqui y Ahora 1.9/3

CW: 1.4/2             90210 1.7/3, Privileged 1.1/2

MNT: 0.7/1            Street Patrol [r] 0.7/1, Street Patrol 2 [r] 0.7/1, Vice Squad [r] 0.7/1, Vice Squad 2 [r] 0.7/1

TELE: 0.7/1            Dona Barbara 0.7/1, El Rostro de Analia 0.7/1, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso 0.8/1, Cartel T 0.7/1

A18-49: FOX 6.8/17, CBS 3.8/10, NBC 3.8/10, UNIV 1.9/5, ABC 1.7/4, CW 0.9/2, TELE 0.6/2, MNT 0.3/1



Jon Mandel, President of NielsenConnect is departing Nielsen after two years, reports MediaPost. In 2006, Joe was hired to launch NielsenConnect, a division responsible for creating new products to integrate Nielsen’s various media and marketing research products and services. According to Joe, he is leaving Nielsen amicably and is considering three different offers in the marketing or media industry. A spokesperson for Nielsen also confirmed NielsenConnect is being disbanded and the businesses it has “jump-started” are now integrated within other units of the company.

This day in History:  1879 – The first artificial ice rink opened in North America at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:   The series Family Matters was a spinoff of what sitcom?  PERFECT STRANGERS Kudos to: Nanette Spring, MD; Joseph Oglesby-Fox Business Network/NY; Robert O’Connor-Eagle TV Sales/NY; Jim Bono-Hallmark Channel/NY; Marium F. Mohiuddin-American Heart Association/Dallas; Crystal Roberts-BET Networks/Chicago; Ryan Ward-Southwest Media Group/Dallas; Melissa Heck-KCTV/Kansas City; Alan Berger-PHD/LA; David Scott Jones-Marleigh Entertainment/LA; Yvette Turner-KPIX/San Francisco; Squirrel Rippley-Dark Horse Media/Tucson; Nancy Dixon Welch-Eclipse Television LLC/Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Today’s Trivia Question: On the series The King of Queens, Gary Valentine plays Danny Heffernan, Doug’s cousin. What is their real-life relation?   (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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Cyn opsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the classifieds page here    .

JOB OPENING: SPECIAL PROJECTS WRITER/PRODUCER/HGTV/Knoxville: Conceptualize, write, direct and produce high end on-air and off channel marketing campaigns.3+ yrs exp in cable net or equivalent. Apply: #262 (2/18)

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JOB OPENING: Director Development/Story House ProdUCTIONS/DC: Lead creative development and sales process. Min 10 yrs exp in tv dev and prod req. Strong client contacts req. Apply: (2/18)

JOB OPENING:  TRAFFIC MGR/THE HOTEL NETWORKS/NY: Mng all traffic functions across 10 ntwrks. Should have understanding of all functions from sale to satellite. 3 yrs exp in brdcst traffic reqd.

JOB OPENING: DIR, FINANCE/Embassy Row TV/NY: All aspects accting & financial reptg. CPA pref, BA & 10+ yrs exp. Entertainment exp. req, TV pref. Apply: (2/13)

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JOB OPENING: ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE (Universal Sports/NYC): 5-7 yrs exp @ sports network/website co., 3 yrs. Sports or digital sales exp req’d. Knwlg effective/creative pckgng strat a must. Res:

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

SPRING INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY:  Exposure to business side of television. Work on program decisions, marketing & sales opportunities for client TV stations.   COX REPs-NY-Strong comm. & math skills required, Contact: 
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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

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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
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ABC: Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice
AZTECA: Lo Que Callamos Las Mujeres Edicion Especial, Historias Engarzadas, Al Extremo
CBS: Survivor 18 [p ], CSI, Eleventh Hour
CW: Smallville [r], Supernatural [r]
FOX: The 40th NAACP Image Awards
ION: Movie: Heat
MNT: My Thursday Night Movie: Mississippi Masala
NBC: My Name is Earl, Kath & Kim, The Office, 30 Rock, ER
PBS: This Old House Hour, Antiques Roadshow, Soundstage: Seal
TELE: Dona Barbara, El Rostro de Analia, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso
UNIV: Cuidado con el Angel, Fuego en la Sangre, La Rosa de Guadalupe

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