Thursday, January 29th, 2004





Good morning. It’s Thursday, January 29, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing. 

Another big night for Fox and American Idol on Tuesday. According to Nielsen Media Research, Fox’s 9.0/22 A18-49 rating far and away bettered ABC’s 3.6/9, NBC 2.9/7, CBS 2.5/6, UPN 2.4/6, or WB 1.6/4.  At 8pm, American Idol out-delivered all of the other five bcst nets combined (13.0/32 vs. 10.4/26), and according to Fox, Idol was the #1 entertainment program thus far this season among A18-49 and A18-34 on any network. ABC’s sitcoms were #2 at 8pm posting a 3.1/8.  At 9p Fox still led with a 5.1/12 for ’24’, but the margin was considerably closer – ABC’s sitcoms drew a 4.6/11, followed by UPN’s Top Model 3.5/8.  As for Top Model, it ranked #1 among P12-17 (4.2/12) and #1 among W18-34 (5.9/15), a record high for the time period on UPN.  At 10p, Law & Order pulled them in to the tune of 4.5/12 for repeat ep of SVU; ABC’s Line of Fire delivered a 3.0/8, followed by CBS’ Judging Amy 2.2/6.

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has officially announced The Larry Elder Show is a firm go for fall 2004, produced by Telepictures.  The Larry Elder Show, a multi-topic 60m talk strip series, has cleared its launch group with the Viacom Television Stations Group.  Stations clearing the show include KCBS/KCAL-LA; WBBM Chicago, WUPA Atlanta, KYW/WPSG-Philly, KPIX/KBHK-San Francisco, WBZ/WSBK Boston, KTVT/KTXA Dallas, WWJ/WKBD Dallas; WFOR/WBFS Miami, and KDKA/WNPA Pittsburgh as well as WGNT Norfolk and WUPL New Orleans.

NBC and Court TV’s website have come to an agreement whereby will provide information to NBC News in the form of documents, photographs and other materials obtained by the website. will collaborate with NBC on various news stories exclusively, with its co-founders, William Bastone and Daniel Green, appearing as warranted on NBC News Dateline and Today.

Premiering Tonight:
Court TV:  Stories of the Innocence Project at 10p

Lawmakers are more than ever taking the issue of indecency and profanity on television very seriously, particularly during the time of day when children may be watching or during programs rated so that children could be watching.  Representative Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications, is calling upon television stations and networks to clean up their act, review their code of conduct and utilize time delay procedures effectively whenever airing living programming.  A couple of recent issues that were spot lighted included the 2003 Golden Globe Awards when Bono used the “f” word.  NBC was ultimately cleared of violating indecency rules because “the complained-of material  does not  depict or  describe sexual conduct and thus does not  meet the obscenity standard,” said the FCC in its decision. That FCC staff decision is being called “curious” by Rep John Dingell/Michigan (D).  The five FCC commissioners may turn over that staff decision, though whether or not a fine will be imposed remains to be seen. Two other fines were levied in recent days – Clear Channel Comm was slapped with a $755,000 fine for repeated violations on a group of their radio stations, and KRON/San Francisco was hit with a $27,500 fine for a violation during their morning show when a guest unintentionally exposed himself.  The Parents Television Council is also looking for more substantial fines, bigger than the current $27,500 per violation fine currently imposed, calling that figure a ‘joke.’  Congress was presented with legislation just a week ago looking to up that ante to $275,000 per violation with a $3 million, a bill endorsed by the Bush administration.

NBC has taken is Super-Sized format and will apply it to Tuesday, February 10 beginning with a repeat of supersized Friends, and originals eps of Will & Grace and Scrubs.  Law & Order: SVU will maintain its 10-11p position. The Feb sweep begins on

By now you’ve heard fo the bru-ha-ha behind CBS’ decision to not allow to advertise during this Sunday’s Super Bowl. The ad itself is categorized by CBS as an ‘advocacy ad’, which puts it smack dab in the middle of a very long-standing policy that is ” … designed to prevent those with means to produce and purchase network advertising from having undue influence on ‘controversial issues of public importance.’ ” according to a statement provided by the network. The policy applies only to network advertising and in no way applies to local advertising by affiliates or by CBS O&O stations. And it should be noted that ‘controversial issues’ should be underscored, that is to say the network’s decisions in the past to air anti-drug ads does not come under this underscored headline since there are few organizations who will publicly allow they are pro-drug abuse.  The ad asks the question who going to pay off Bush’s $1 trillion deficit?” while showing pictures of minor doing hard labor.  26 lawmakers signed a letter to Les Moonves pushing for Moonves to reverse his decision to not carry the ad and suggesting a double standard in that a scheduled spot in this week’s Super Bowl from Phillip Morris USA and the American Legacy Foundation is advocating against smoking. CBS again points to the term ‘controversial issue’, the core of the network policy, “in that the network is unaware of responsible groups that advocate drug abuse and smoking by minors, so it is hard to understand how these laudable efforts would constitute ‘controversial issues.’ “

The WB has ordered six episodes of a sketch comedy featuring the standup comedic talents of the guys involved in the Blue Collar Comedy Tour – Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy.  According to Variety, the show will be exec produced by Fax Bahr and Adam Small (In Living Color, MAD TV), along wtih Foxworthy and JP Williams.

According to USA Today, the top ten Tivo recorded shows for the week of January 18-24 were American Idol (#1, #2 and #3), and in rank order The Apprentice, My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, Will & Grace, Scrubs, Friends, Alias, The O.C. (source information comes from Tivo and is based on analysis of viewing preferences of an anonymous aggregate same of 20,000 HH).

Looking for that perfect Super Bowl munchie recipe?  Apparently, so are approx 100,000 others who logged onto the Good Morning America site to try again Charlie Gibson’s Enchilada Casserole (made with a bag or Doritos).  Charlie mentioned the recipe on yesterday morning’s show which started the avalanche of logger-oners.  If you haven’t tried this particular munchie, I have, and you should. A gimme for this Sunday.

Tom Gutteridge has been appointed to the newly created position of CEO/FremantleMedia North America.  Until earlier this month Tom was Group Creative Director/The Television Corporation, a large UK independent TV production company, heading up the LA office.  Tom will remain in LA in his new role and he will report to Catherine Mackay, Regional CEO/USA/Australasia and Asia, FremantleMedia.

Nickelodeon President Cyma Zarghami announced Tom Ascheim has been named to the newly created position of EVP/GM, Nickelodeon Digital Television.  In his new role Tom will oversee all four Nickelodeon digital TV channels, Noggin/The N, Nickelodeon Games & Sports (GAS) and Nicktoons, as well as Nickelodeon Video on Demand.  Adding to Ascheim’s direct reports are Mark Offitzer, GM/Nick GAS and Keith Dawkins, GM/Nicktoons.  Ascheim has been the GM/Noggin/The N, since its launch in 1999.  Well done, Tom!

Aimee Golden has been upped to Manager/New Media for Hallmark Entertainment, based in New York and reporting to Kelly Coogan-Swanson, SVP/Marketing.  Aimee will be responsible for Hallmark Entertainment’s Internet initiatives, including strategy, rationale and consumer tie-in. She will work closely with Hallmark Entertainment’s subsidiaries and corporate headquarters to implement multiple online synergies and manage all consumer interaction. 

Jim Agius has been named Director of Sales for the newly opened AMC/WE national sales office in Detroit.  Jim reports to Linda Gallo, VP/Ad Sales, Midwest Region.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004. Fast Affiliate Ratings for all Networks. Fast affiliate numbers which reflect time period data, not program data, and can change slightly once the finals come in, particularly for LIVE programming (i.e. Football). Source Nielsen Media Research. Time Period Averages Only. [p] = Premiere; [o] = Original; [r] = Repeat

FOX     11.8/17 American Idol 16.5/24, 24  7.2/11

CBS     7.2/11  Navy NCIS [r] 7.6/11, The Guardian 7.6/11, Judging Amy [r] 6.3/10

ABC     6.0/9   8 Simple Rules 6.3/9, I’m With Her 5.0/7, According to Jim 7.3/11, Less Than Perfect 6.6/10, Line of Fire 5.4/9

NBC     5.6/9   Tracy Morgan Show 3.6/5, Whoopi [r] 3.8/5,  Dateline Special: NH Primary 4.7/7, Law & Order: SVU [r] 8.5/14

UPN     3.4/5   One on One 2.2/3, All of Us 2.2/3, Top Model 4.6/7

WB      2.8/4   Gilmore Girls 3.1/5, One Tree Hill 2.5/4

A18-49  Fox 9.0/22, ABC 3.6/9, NBC 2.9/7, CBS 2.5/6, UPN 2.4/6, WB 1.6/4




#1 Movie on COMEDY CENTRAL (#3 Program)

#2 Movie on TBS (#2 Program)

#2 Movie on ABC FAMILY (#6 Program)

Available exclusively from
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NHI Explorer, 1/19/04-1/25/04.  Summer Catch ties A Walk In The Clouds.  HH Cvg Rating.

The History Channel presents This Day in History: 
1845 – Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” was published for the first time in the “New York Evening Mirror.”

Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question:  What bad guy organization’s business card had the question “What evil have you done today?” on the front and a picture of an enraged bird on the back? T.H.R.U.S.H. (Technological Hierarchy for the Removal and Subjugation of Humanity) – Man from Uncle.  Kudos to:  Gloria Price-BMG/New Jersey; Dave Ware-WKMG/Orlando; Jennifer Moskowitz-HBO/NY; Joel January-Push Creative/NY; David Ferber-KTTC & KWBR/Rochester MN; Wil Allmendinger-Tribune Media Services/Chicago; Ken Dubow-Modern Ent/LA; Dan Tinianow-Dantini Media/LA; Paula Hinkel-TNS Intersearch/LA; John Selig-KSWB/San Diego.

Today’s Trivia Question:   This kitchen accessory was sure to get our star character rich with all of its featured uses including a bottle opener, screwdriver, combination Boy Scout knife and glass cutter, corkscrew, combination nail-clipper and corn remover, scissor sharpener, razor, can opener, self-propelled spearfishing attachment, pencil sharpener, fish scaler, tweezer, combination potato peeler and apple corer, cheese grater and skate key.  What was the name of this kitchen appliance and who was trying to get rich pitching it?  (
to respond to the trivia question and please be sure to include with your answer your name, company, city and time zone. Only the second four correct responses from each time zone will be listed in tomorrow’s kudo list.)

Later — Cyn

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis
01/29/04  5:26am
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Copyright Cynthia Turner 2004


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JOB OPENING:  ACCT MGR, AFFILIATE SALES/OLN, Stamford, CT 5+yrs cable ind sales/mktg exper; Highly motivated, goal oriented ind. w/strong pres/analytical skills. Email resume/salary to

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JOB OPENING:  BROADCAST OPERATIONS COORD/OLN, Norwalk, CT. Coord network schedule, facilities, staff; oversee on-air cond for live/taped events. Comm degree or related &/or 3 yrs TV prod/ops/eng. exp.Resume/Salary:

JOB OPENING:  TRAFFIC ASSISTANT, TechTV SF– Minimum 1yr exp. Responsible for processing and preparing incoming tapes and copy; organize copy library and arrange for dubs.  Send resume to

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JOB OPENING:  SR. ANALYST/ABC Family, Burbank-Audience analysis of ABC Family & other cable pgming. 1-2 yrs TV Research in cable/bcst/synd/agency. Galaxy Explorer/Navigator sftwr a must. Resumes:
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Forensic Files Watch & Win
All month long, thousands of Loews movie-goers nationwide helped us celebrate our premiere episodes of Forensic Files!

Don’t miss your last chance to log on and play!

Court TV
THE Investigation Channel
Click here for more info.

COURT TV:       Hollywood Justice, Hollywood at Large, Forensic Files, Body of Evidence, Stories of the Innocence Project [p]
ABC             Threat Matrix, Extreme Makeover [r], Primetime Thursday
CBS             CSI [r], CSI [r], Without a Trace
FOX             Tru Calling [r], Survival Test: Dangerous Animal Encounters (oto)
NBC             Friends [r], Will & Grace [r], The Apprentice, ER [r]
PAX             AFV, Early Edition, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             WWE Smackdown
WB              Steve Harvey, All About the Andersons, The Surreal Life [r]
TELE            Amor Descardo, El Alma Herida, Mujeres Apasionadas
UNIV            Velo de Novia, Te Amaré en Silencio, Aqui y Ahora

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