Thursday, March 5th, 2009



Good morning. It’s Thursday, March 5, 2009, and this is your first early morning briefing.  

Tonight’s Finale:
USA Network: Burn Notice at 10p


FOX announced it will premiere variety series Osbournes: Reloaded, headlined by the eccentric Osbourne clan of Ozzy, Sharon, Jack and Kelly, on March 31 at 9p following American Idol. The show will integrate audience interaction and comedic stunts as well as recurring segments such as “Osbourne in the USA” where the family works in places like a fast-food drive-thru. After its premiere, FOX will air additional Osbournes: Reloaded episodes as a series of specials throughout the season. FremantleMedia North America produces.

NBC Universal announced the day-and-date release of the Focus Features film Milk, winner of two Academy Awards including Best Actor for Sean Penn’s performance as Harvey Milk. The film will be available On Demand (VOD) March 10, the same day it releases on DVD and BLU-RAY HI-DEF from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Next Monday, New Yorkers can check out New York Nonstop, a new 24-hour local information and lifestyle digital channel from NBC Local Media. New York Nonstop will reach 5.7 million digital households with its combination of local entertainment and lifestyle content, events and general news and weather updates presented in a conversational, less scripted tone relevant for people on-the-go. Considered its signature show, New York Nonstop will also include an expanded one-hour version of New York Nightly News at 7PM anchored by New York icon Chuck Scarborough of WNBC.

Golf Channel swings in with a hit as Monday’s premiere of The Haney Project, featuring Charles Barkley, became the network’s most-watched premiere episode of an original series ever. The opening episode at 9p had 800,000 unique viewers and posted a .45 rating among M25-54 and a HH rating of .40. The seven part series follows Hank Haney as he tries to fix Barkley’s bad swing habits and airs each Monday at 9p.

Later on Monday night, History premiered season two of Ax Men at 10p registering 940,000 A18-49 viewers, 968,000 A25-54 viewers and 1.5 million total viewers. 

USA Network kicks off its summer original programming lineup April 19, well ahead of the solstice.  Per Variety, the network will combo an eighth season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent with a sophomore season of In Plain Sight on Sunday nights.  Law & Order: CI will showcase star Jeff Goldblum in half of its 16 episodes while Vincent D’Onofrio returns for the other eight episodes. Starting in June, Burn Notice will join new series Royal Pains on Thursdays, while Monk and Psych will anchor Friday nights. WWE Monday Night Raw will continue in its 9-11p Monday time slot. Premiere dates for all TBA.

UPFRONT 2009: National Geographic Channel (NGC)

For the 2009-2010 season, National Geographic Channel presents ten new primetime series which, added to its current lineup, takes the roster of series up to a record 21 total. NGC, carried on major cable and satellite providers, is currently available to more than 69 million US homes.

New Series in Production:

  • Alaska Troopers – (6 x 60); law enforcement agents investigate wildlife crime.
  • Border Wars – (4 x 60); follows the US Customs and Border Protection as they guard 1,100 square miles of territory daily.
  • Break Out – (8 x 60); incredible stories of prison escapes told by law enforcement officials and the criminals who conducted them.
  • Fight Science – (5 x 60); series combines scientists, motion-capture experts and CGI animators working with various fight specialists to review the best techniques.
  • Hooked – (7 x 60); looks at how differing cultures fish and various methods of used for big catches. Slated to premiere 3Q 2009.
  • Hooked: Monster Shark – (5 x 60); fishing expert/scientist Michael Domeier and master seaman Chris Fischer work together to track and study great white sharks.
  • Jurassic CSI – (6 x 60); paleontologist Phil Manning explores how dinosaurs behaved, lived and how they ultimately became extinct.
  • Known Universe – (6 x 60); series goes inside the cosmos looking at the explosive natural forces.
  • Rescue Ink – (6 x 60); tough, tattooed biker guys rescue dogs and cats where most would not venture.
  • The Sean Riley Project – (8 x 60); Sean Riley, master rigger and host of World’s Toughest Fixes, takes on the biggest repair jobs on Earth.

NGC Returning Series:

  • Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan – Cesar continues to change the lives of dogs and their owners with this Emmy-nominated series with more than 100 episodes.
  • DogTown – at a 33,000-acre safe haven, veterinarians and trainers take in hardship canine cases, rehabilitating the dogs with TLC.
  • Explorer – topics for 2009 include modern-day slavery, an Aztec tomb and child mummy sacrifice; winner of 55 Emmy Awards.
  • Inside – series goes inside and captures on film places few people have seen such as secret societies and dangerous places.
  • Locked Up Abroad – dramatic stories of real people held in captivity around the world.
  • Man-Made – showcases large engineering and construction man-made marvels.
  • Naked Science – common and sometimes elusive science questions are answered via nontraditional experimentation.
  • National Geographic Channel Presents – anthology of the network’s best programs covering adventure, investigation and exploration.
  • Taboo – series uncovers rituals and customs accepted in some cultures which are illegal or forbidden in others.
  • Ultimate Factories – a look inside the factories building legendary machines.
  • Wild – documents the planet’s most fascinating species in the wilderness.

MIP TV 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.


The Multicultural Event of the Season
March 10 – Hilton New York

Market research firm Horowitz Associates hosts the
9th Annual Multicultural Media for Multicultural America Forum

This Research-and-Strategy driven event will focus on:
Cross-Platform Programming, Branding, & Advertising for
Multicultural Audiences.

Get the newest data on consumers & the market for broadband/mobile video! Register Now!



Twentieth Television, Inc. confirmed My Name is Earl has sold in 100+ markets representing more than 80% of the US. Ready to launch in broadcast syndication Fall 2009, the sitcom is distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution and was recently acquired by the following stations: KTVU/San Francisco, WUAB-WOIO/Cleveland, KTXL/Sacramento, WPGH-WPMY/Pittsburgh, WCCB/Charlotte, WLFL-WRDC/Raleigh-Durham, WZTV-WUXP/Nashville, WSYX-WTTE/Columbus, WSTR/Cincinnati, WXMI/Grand Rapids and WABM-WTTO/Birmingham.

Passion Distribution presents the international launch of Lifetime Television’s reality weight-loss series Diet Tribe at MIPTV later this month. The series, produced by Pie Town Productions with 13 one-hour episodes, follows a group of female friends as they work together to drop pounds. Passion Distribution exclusively represents this series and others from the Lifetime catalog. Pie Town is currently in production on season two of Diet Tribe.


Pilot News:

  • Sherri Shepherd is heading to Lifetime Television as the network approved a multicamera comedy pilot featuring the comedian and current The View co-host, cites THR. The project, originally developed for The CW during the 2007-2008 season, is somewhat based on Shepherd’s own experiences. The script, written by Dave Flebotte, is about a woman who allows her husband’s mistress and illegitimate child move in with them. ABC Studios will produce, with Nina Wass and Gene Stein as executive producers. Flebotte will likely do rewrites on the script and may executive produce.
  • Morris Chestnut will take on a leading role in ABC’s drama V from Warner Bros. TV, per THR. Chestnut will portray the boyfriend with a dark secret. Additionally, Jennifer Finnigan will co-star on ABC’s drama Inside the Box from ABC Studios playing a White House press secretary having an affair with a D.C.-based news anchor.
  • ABC gave a presentation order for a multicamera comedy pilot called This Little Piggy, reports THR. The storyline is about two adult siblings who, after falling on hard times, move in with an elder brother and his family in their childhood home. ABC Studios will produce. Steven Cragg wrote the script on spec and will executive produce with Brian Bradley.

truTV fans will see more of series Speeders and Speeders Fight Back as the network ordered additional episodes of both from Zoo Productions. Speeders, airing Thursdays at 8p, adds 20 new episodes, taking the series’ episode total to more than 100 since its debut in 2006. truTV also renewed Speeders Fight Back for a new season with six episodes slated to zoom on the schedule this summer. Production on both series begins right away.

Daredevil stuntman/entertainer Super Dave Osborne (aka Bob Einstein) will appear on television this summer in a four-part mockumentary-style series for Spike TV. Each 30m episode will watch as Super Dave preps for his weekly death-defying stunt with the likelihood that something goes wrong resulting in bodily injury to Super Dave. Einstein as Super Dave is best known for his Showtime series running from 1980-1985 as well as his animated series Super Dave: Daredevil for Hire and the feature film The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave. Einstein will write the Spike TV episodes and Lee Kernis of Brillstein Entertainment Partners will executive produce with Einstein and Alan Blythe, producer of the original Showtime series.


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  Yet another set-top-box content service has emerged. A start-up called has lined up agreements with Disney, 20th Century Fox Television, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution to offer 1,500 on-demand movies and shows delivered directly to the television set via a broadband-connected box build using Hillcrest Labs technology. (Hillcrest built the user interface and the system’s Wii-like motion sensor remote that allows users to access bugs across the entire screen.) Zillion will partners directly with ISPs and content providers to offer a triple threat model, allowing viewers to choose between free addressable ad-supported content, rentals, or download-to-own titles depending upon what options are offered by each content owner tied to each specific program. (For example, television content from NBC Universal will be available via “buy to own.”) Purporting to deliver iTV features the MSOs have so slow to develop, Zillion will also make money with interactive and t-commerce options allowing viewers to request additional info or purchase products directly from the set top. There’s even a rewards program – the more commercials viewers watch, the more points they earn.   Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  Hit Entertainment looks to the big screen with the establishment of Hit Movies.  The new movie division will initially develop family-targeted feature films based on its library of properties (e.g. Thomas & Friends, Barney, Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina etc), but also plans to look for new stories and characters.  Julia Pistor has been tapped to head Hit Movies.  Most recently, Pistor was EVP, Nickelodeon Movies.  Hit has also signed with United Talent Agency (UTA) as a strategic advisor, to help establish Hit Movies and its development slate, and create opportunities in film, TV and digital entertainment.   Full edition: CYN KIDS.


Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of 2/16-2/22/09 ranked by HH Rtg
Wheel of Fortune (CTD)                                    7.6 AA
Jeopardy (CTD)                                               6.3 AA
Two and a Half Men (WB)                                 5.5 AA / 7.4 GAA
Judge Judy (CTD)                                            4.6 AA / 7.1 GAA
Oprah Winfrey Show (CTD)                               4.6 AA / 4.7 GAA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD)                             4.5 AA / 4.5 GAA
Family Guy (2/T)                                             4.1 AA / 4.8 GAA
Seinfeld (SPT)                                                 3.8 AA / 4.3 GAA
Dr. Phil Show (CTD)                                         3.6 AA / 3.6 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (CTD)                       3.4 AA / 4.4 GAA
Source: NSS Galaxy Explorer, Live+SD

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of 2/16-2/22/09 ranked by A18-49 Rtg
Family Guy (2/T)                                            3.0 AA / 3.5 GAA
Two and a Half Men (WB)                                2.8 AA / 3.6 GAA
Seinfeld (SPT)                                                2.4 AA / 2.7 GAA
Everybody Loves Raymond (CTD)                      2.0 AA / 2.7 GAA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD)                                  1.9 AA
King of Queens (SPT)                                      1.8 AA / 2.2 GAA
Jeopardy (CTD)                                              1.7 AA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD)                           1.7 AA / 1.8 GAA
King of the Hill (2/T)                                       1.7 AA / 1.9 GAA
Friends (WB)                                                  1.7 AA / 2.0 GAA
House of Payne (2/T)                                      1.7 AA / 2.1 GAA
Source: NSS Galaxy Explorer, Live+SD

Tuesday – A18-49 Analysis: FOX held a commanding lead Tuesday night with 9.0/23 A18-49 according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. American Idol on FOX won easily at 8p with 8.3/23 over NBC’s Biggest Loser at 3.2/9. Also this hour The CW’s Reaper debuted with a 0.9/2. During 9p, FOX’s American Idol surged to 9.7/24 with NBC’s Biggest Loser staying in second place with 3.9/10. Part two of ABC’s Bachelor: After the Final Rose special led the pack with 4.1/11 while NBC’s Law & Order: SVU encore came next with 2.4/6.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated.  Live+SD

FOX: 13.8/21        American Idol 13.8/21

CBS: 7.8/12             NCIS [r] 8.6/13, The Mentalist [r] 8.1/12, Without A Trace [r] 6.8/11

NBC: 5.3/8            The Biggest Loser 7 5.5/8, Law & Order: SVU [r] 4.7/8

ABC: 4.5/7             Homeland Security USA 3.9/6, Scrubs [r] 2.2/3, Scrubs [r] 2.2/3, Bachelor: After the Final Rose 2 7.4/12

UNIV: 2.2/3           Cuidado con el Angel 2.3/4, Manana para Siempre 2.4/4, Aqui y Ahora 1.8/3

CW: 1.1/2             Reaper [p] 1.5/2, 90210 [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 0.7/1, Cartel T 0.7/1

MNT: 0.6/1            Street Patrol [r] 0.7/1, Street Patrol 2 [r] 0.6/1, Whacked Out Videos [r] 0.5/1, Whacked Out Videos 2 [r] 0.5/1

A18-49: FOX 9.0/23, NBC 3.1/8, CBS 2.5/6, ABC 2.3/6, UNIV 1.7/4, CW 0.6/2, TELE 0.6/2, MNT 0.3/1


Former AOL executive, Inna Kern was appointed VP/Sales Marketing with iVillage Networks. Inna will provide oversight of advertising sales marketing efforts across the entire iVillage Network including, a leading online community targeting women. Inna will report directly to Jodi Kahn, EVP, iVillage Networks.

CBS Television Distribution (CTD) upgraded both Joseph Jerome and Amy Freisleben to the position of SVP/Legal and Business Affairs up from VP/Legal and Business Affairs. Joseph manages legal issues involving the syndicated entertainment newsmagazine The Insider as well as lends support to Entertainment Tonight. Amy concentrates on legal matters pertaining to the court shows Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown.

Norman Miglietta joins Golf Channel as VP/Marketing, New Media Ventures where he will manage all sponsorship integration, advertising and marketing duties. Norman will also be involved with brand strategy for and other new media outlets falling under the Golf Channel brand. Previously, Norman was Director/Advertising and Marketing for Turner Sports New Media in Atlanta. In his new capacity, Norman reports to Shannon O’Neill, SVP/GM, Golf Channel New Media.

Carat tapped Steven Feuling as EVP/Chief Client Development Officer to head the company’s marketing and strategic initiatives and manage new business development. Steven will report to Martin Cass, President. 


Scripps Networks. Brands (for Life).
Quality.  RELEVANCE.   Stability.  Trust.  Value.

Transforming Loyal Viewers Into Lifelong Consumers
By Leading the Industry in Audience Engagement

DIY #1   Food Network #2T   HGTV #2T   Fine Living Network #4   

Source:  Simmons Multimedia Engagement Study 2008. Top 6 motivational attributes for advertisers. A25-54 ranked among 80 ad-supported networks. For source details and marketing opportunities, visit

This day in History: 1770 – “The Boston Massacre” took place when British troops fired on a crowd in Boston killing five people.  Local Boston attorney John Adams (the John Adams) defended the accused British soldiers in court, and won. (I watched the HBO Miniseries … can you tell?)

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:   If you’re asked to do the Dance of 1000 Tails as part of your club initiation, what club are you trying to get into?  THE COBRA CLUB on Mama’s Family  Kudos to: Steve Kurtzer-Zimmerman/Ft. Lauderdale; James Tiedemann-The Nielsen Company/NY; Gerry Bixenspan.TV Marketing/New York; Chris Day-The Weather Channel/Atlanta; Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg–M and S Entertainment/LA; Troy DeVolld/Northridge; Lorrie Shilling-DIRECTV/El Segundo

Today’s Trivia Question:  Another TV gift of fatherly advice – this time given by one of Springfield’s own to his son:  “A fellow just hates to admit he’s wrong. It takes a little courage to do it, and swallowing of pride, but it’s one of the paths to wisdom.” What Springfield insurance man said this? (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.)


Is Today’s New Media Hiding Your Audience?

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The CTAM Research Conference examines:
What consumers watched – How they used multiple media concurrently – How much attention was paid to each medium – What they were exposed to outside the home.

Don’t miss the findings of this eye-opening, innovative study.

Register Today And Save $200 Before Friday!
CTAM Research Conference: Apr. 5-7, Wash.,DC

Later — Cyn

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ABC: Ugly Betty, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice [r]
AZTECA: Lo Que Callamos Las Mujeres Edicion Especial, Historias Engarzadas, Al Extremo
CBS: Survivor, CSI, Eleventh Hour
CW: Smallville, Supernatural
FOX: American Idol, Hell’s Kitchen
ION: Movie: The Outlaw Josey Wales
MNT: My Thursday Movie:  Into the Blue
NBC: My Name is Earl, Kath & Kim, The Office [r], 30 Rock, ER
PBS: This Old House, Antiques Roadshow, Pledge Programming
TELE: Dona Barbara, El Rostro de Analia, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso, El Cartel
UNIV: Cuidado con el Angel, Manana es para Siempre, La Rosa de Guadalupe

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