Thursday, May 28th, 2009


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Good morning. It’s Thursday, May 28, 2009, and this is your first early morning briefing.  And as always, if you prefer to watch this morning’s news instead of reading it, click here.  

A controversy erupted yesterday concerning the voting results of last week’s American Idol finale on FOX. It was revealed local AT&T representatives gave Kris Allen fans in Arkansas free text-messaging services and lessons on how to “power vote” at two finale viewing parties. This news made other fans wonder if the voting became skewed too much in favor of Allen over runner-up Adam Lambert. This debate prompted FOX and show producers, 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia to release this statement:

“Fox and the producers of ‘American Idol’ are absolutely certain that the results of this competition are fair, accurate and verified. Kris Allen is, without a doubt, the American Idol. We have an independent third-party monitoring procedure in place to ensure the integrity of the voting process. In no way did any individuals unfairly influence the outcome of the competition.”

AT&T, a corporate sponsor of American Idol, followed with this statement:

“Last week, countless parties were held in homes, bars, and other public places across America to watch the ‘American Idol’ finale. In Arkansas, a few local AT&T employees were invited to attend two local watch parties organized by the community. Caught up in the enthusiasm of rooting for their hometown contestant, they brought a small number of demo phones with them and provided texting tutorials to those who were interested. Going forward, we will make sure our employees understand our sponsorship celebrates the competition, not individual contestants. That said, it’s quite a leap to suggest that a few individuals could have impacted the final results.”


FX acquired the exclusive television rights to this past weekend’s #1 movie at the box office, Night at Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian from 20th Century Fox. FX’s air window for the movie will begin at the end of 2011 with an option to carve out broadcast windows. FX previously bought the TV rights to the 2006 Night at the Museum which recently debuted on the network.

AmericanLife TV Network (ALN), an independent network targeting the baby boomer generation, was purchased by ComStar Media Fund, LP, through its subsidiary ComStar Networks, LLC. The transaction price was not revealed. The network will be managed jointly by ComStar’s Chairman Dr. Robert A. Schuller, best known as Senior Pastor of Crystal Cathedral Ministries and host of the weekly television program The Hour of Power and ComStar President/CEO Chris Wyatt. Under Rev. Schuller’s and Wyatt’s leadership, the network will become a family-values channel targeting viewers of all ages. Rev. Schuller will also return to television with the debut of a new series this fall. Further modifications for the network include a new on-air look, a rebranding effort and changing the syndicated programming. In addition, ComStar will develop new original family-friendly programming to go along with classic programs and movies. Currently, ALN has 12.7 million subscribers and a library containing more than 700 hours of original content.

Bravo sizzles in South Beach this summer as it debuts Miami Social on July 14 at 10p. The series follows four friends who are successful young professionals by day and party hounds at night. Pink Sneakers produces the series for Bravo.

Programming notes:

  • NBC is serving up two hours of The Listener as the drama debuts June 4 with two back-to-back episodes starting at 9p. Following its premiere, the series will air in its regular time period on Thursdays at 10p throughout the summer.
  • Gospel Music Channel (GMC) is moving two of its top gospel music series to Thursday nights starting June 4. The one-hour Gaither Gospel Hour will air twice at 8p and 9p followed by FOUR: Southern Gospel’s Best at 10p.

Classic rock fans will have a front row seat to VH1 Classic’s 100 Concerts in 100 Days beginning July 6. The network will air concerts performed by such rock legends as Led Zepplin: The Song Remains the Same, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live in NYC, Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon, Iron Maiden: Somewhere Back in Time and Live Aid: The Day the Music Changed the World.

DTV Update: In preparation for the June 12 digital switch, there are close to 3.1 million US homes, or 2.7%, that remain completely unready for the transition, Nielsen reports. Since the mid-May update, 200,000 have made the conversion.

2009-2010 Programming Lineup: MyNetworkTV

MyNetworkTV revamps its Monday-Friday programming for fall adding in a weekly Tuesday game night featuring back-to-back 30m syndicated versions of two popular primetime game shows. Additionally, the network picked up The Unit in syndication, airing it twice on Wednesdays and as previously announced will serve up two hours of the syndicated Law & Order: Criminal Intent on Mondays.  Also in syndication and airing in primetime are two rounds of Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, and Deal or No Deal.  Rounding out the schedule during the latter part of the week are movies on Thursdays and WWE SmackDown on Fridays. 

MyNetworkTV Fall 2009 Primetime Schedule:
Monday: Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Tuesday: Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?, Deal or No Deal, Deal or No Deal
Wednesday: The Unit, The Unit
Thursday: My Thursday Night Movie
Friday: WWE Friday Night SmackDown

Additional MyNetworkTV note: On October 2, the network will celebrate the tenth anniversary of WWE Friday Night SmackDown with a special called Decade of SmackDown containing highlights of memorable bouts and moments. The network will also air this fall the 2009 World Music Awards and 2009 World Magic Awards as well as feature a cadre of holiday movies and specials during December including the 2009 Hollywood Christmas Parade.



All GSN originals have cross-platform content.

And the answer is … TRUE! All GSN originals enable our audience
 to participate online with cross-platform content like BINGO AMERICA receiving
over 13 million card downloads to date; GSN LIVE with its
2.5 million contest entries per month; and CATCH 21, one of GSN’s
most popular online games!



Effective immediately, US-based Granada America, a production unit of UK-based ITV Studios PLC is changing its name to ITV Studios, Inc. Granada America, now ITV Studios, Inc., is behind such reality shows as FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, CMT’s Nanny 911 and the upcoming US version of I’m A Celebrity …  Get Me Out of Here! slated to premiere on NBC June 1 with a two-hour special at 8p.

Speaking of NBC’s I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!, the network named Damien Fahey and Myleene Klass as co-hosts for the competition reality series. Fahey is a broadcaster and best known as host of MTV’s Total Request Live (TRL). Klass, a TV host, entertainer and musician, is a star in the UK and also a former contestant on the 2006 UK version of I’m A Celebrity, earning the nickname “Queen of the Jungle.”

John Lithgow will play a serial killer, joining the cast of Showtime’s Dexter. Lithgow’s character, Walter Simmons (aka the Trinity Killer), will appear in all 12 episodes of the drama’s fourth season set to open in September.


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:   Standardization issues and metrics discrepancies continue to plague the online video space. Online video analytics start-up TubeMogul hopes to change all that by releasing a new metric tool for free that can track a variety of usage stats and define what constitutes a view once and for all. Fifteen video publishers including Brightcove, Dailymotion MetaCafe, and have agreed to implement code from TubeMogul to track views, engagement, referral sites and even unauthorized or pirated views of their videos – data that mainstream media companies pay ComScore and Nielsen handsomely to get their hands on. The company hopes giving away the tool and the data it generates will help it gain critical mass and eventually sign the two biggest online video portals – YouTube and Hulu.   Full edition: CYN DIGITAL

CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY:   Looking to expand its US business, BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, appoints Susanna Pollack as SVP/Children’s and Children’s Business Development and Matt Forde is named EVP/Sales and Co-Productions.  In her new position, Pollack will head the effort to launch an English language CBeebies, the BBC’s preschool channel, in the US and be responsible for growing BBC Worldwide’s kids brands in North and Latin America.  Pollack moves up from SVP/Sales, Co-Productions and Children’s, BBC Worldwide, Americas.  Previously she managed TV, home entertainment and licensing business for Star Farm Productions and before that she toiled for BBC Worldwide in several areas including overseeing business development of kid’s properties.  Forde, who joins the NY-based team from BBC Worldwide in London, will lead sales and co-production activity across all genres in the US and Latin America.  Most recently, he was Director of Investment, of all BBC Worldwide’s investments in BBC programming.  Previously, Forde was Head of Commercial Development, Independents, and before that, he ran BBC Worldwide’s Global TV Sales business in Scandinavia and the Benelux countries.   Full edition: CYN KIDS


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Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported Network Rankings among A18-49 for the week of: 5/18-5/24/09
Primetime      (000)          Total Pgm Day        (000)
TNT                1751         TNT                        790
ESPN              1163         NAN*                      669
USA                1155         USA                        605
TBSC                902         ESPN                       584
FX                    755         ADSM*                    576
VS                    653         NICK                       530
DISC                 612        TBSC                        519
AEN                  546         FX                           400
SPK                  528         AEN                         341
NAN                 496         DISC                        340
Source: Turner Research from Nielsen Media Research Data.
All ratings based on Total U.S. Television Universe of 114,500,000 homes
* = Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Primetime listing only includes those networks broadcasting more than 51% of the primetime hours (M-Su 8p-11p)

Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported Network Rankings among Total Viewers for the week of: 5/18-5/24/09      
Primetime       (000)        Total Pgm Day               (000)
TNT                3323        NICK                           2021
USA                2822        NAN*                          1509
ESPN              2220        TNT                             1480
FOXN              1890        USA                             1420
TBSC              1531        FOXN                           1100
NAN               1420        ADSM*                         1001
FX                  1333        ESPN                             971
AEN                1175        TBSC                             845
DISC              1113         TOON                            841
VS                  1091        AEN                               686
Source: Turner Research from Nielsen Media Research Data.
All ratings based on Total U.S. Television Universe of 114,500,000 homes
* = Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Primetime listing only includes those networks
broadcasting more than 51% of the primetime hours (M-Su 8p-11p)

Top 10 Cable Programs among A18-49 (000) for the week of: 5/18-5/24/09
TNT       Cavaliers/Magic 5/24                                       4988
ESPN     Nuggets/Lakers 5/19                                       4775
ESPN     Nuggets/Lakers 5/21                                       4527
TNT       Magic/Cavaliers 5/20                                       4199
TNT       Magic/Cavaliers 5/22                                       3810
USA       WWE Entertainment 10p                                  2541
USA       WWE Entertainment 9p                                    2361
ESPN     Sportscenter Late 5/21                                     2209
TNT       Inside the NBA Playoffs                                    2193
ESPN     Sportscenter Late 5/19                                     2066
Source: Turner Research from Nielsen Media Research Data.
All ratings based on Total U.S. Television
Universe of 114,500,000 homes

Top 10 Broadcast Programs among A18-49 rating/share and (000) for the week of 5/18-5/24/09
FOX    American Idol – Wednesday                         10.0/28      13,180
FOX    American Idol – Tuesday                               8.6/25      11,320
CBS    Two and a Half Men                                      5.3/14       7,000
ABC    Dancing with the Stars Results                      5.2/14        6,800
ABC    Dancing with the Stars                                  4.4/13        5,820
CBS    Rules of Engagement                                    4.4/11        5,830
FOX    Glee Preview 5/19                                        3.9/10        5,200
CBS    CSI: Miami                                                  3.8/10         5,050
CBS    How I Met Your Mother                                 3.7/10        4,890
CBS    The Mentalist                                               3.7/10        4,910
Source: Nielsen Media Research, Galaxy Explorer, Live + SD Data

Saturday – A18-49 Analysis: ABC scored with A18-49 viewers Saturday night at 2.9/12, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. ABC’s NBA Playoffs dominated the evening and starting at 8p, the opening sequence and the beginning of the LA Lakers vs. Denver game posted a 1.6/8 followed by the double Cops repeats on FOX at 1.2/5. ABC’s NBA Playoff game increased steadily to a 3.0/12 during 9p with FOX’s AMW: America Fights Back next at 1.2/4. ABC’s NBA action topped out at a 4.0/15 through 10p while CBS’ 48 Hours Mystery repeat came in second with 1.3/4.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Saturday, May 23, 2009 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

ABC: 4.5/9          GMC NBA Playoff 1.8/4, NBA Playoffs on ABC: LA Lakers at Denver 5.4/11

CBS: 2.7/6           Crimetime Saturday [r] 1.7/4, Crimetime Saturday 2.5/5, 48 Hours Mystery [r] 3.9/8

FOX: 2.3/5           Cops [r] 2.0/4, Cops 2 [r] 2.4/5, AMW: America Fights Back 2.4/5

NBC: 2.3/5           Law & Order: CI [r] 2.1/5, Southland [r] 1.9/4, Law & Order [r] 3.0/6

UNIV: 1.3/3          Sabado Gigante 1.3/3

MNT: 0.5/1           My Saturday Night Movie: A Life Less Ordinary 0.5/1

ION: 0.4/1            Saturday 9PM Movie: The Hunt for Red October [r 830p start] 0.4/1

TELE: 0.4/1          Cine de Impacto 0.4/1, Cine de Impacto II 0.4/1

A18-49: ABC 2.9/12, FOX 1.2/5, CBS 0.9/4, NBC 0.7/3, UNIV 0.7/3, TELE 0.3/1, ION 0.2/1, MNT 0.2/1

Sunday – A18-49 Analysis: During the midpoint of the long holiday weekend, FOX won Sunday night among A18-49 at 1.2/5, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. At 7p, ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos repeat and the average of FOX reruns American Dad/King of the Hill tied for first at 1.2/5 followed by an encore 60 Minutes on CBS at 1.0/4. FOX was the solo winner during 8p with the average of The Simpsons/King of the Hill repeats at 1.3/5 with ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition repeat in second at 1.2/4. CBS claimed a victory at 9p with a Cold Case encore at 1.5/5 followed by more repeat comedies on FOX, this time Family Guy/American Dad averaging a 1.2/4. The final hour had CBS leading with The Unit rerun at 1.1/3 followed by NBC’s encore movie at 0.9/3 and ABC’s Diamonds Part 1 at 0.8/3.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Sunday, May 24, 2009 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

CBS: 4.1/8        60 Minutes [r] 5.3/11, Million Dollar Password 3.3/6, Cold Case [r] 4.6/8, The Unit [r] 3.1/6

NBC: 2.8/5         Dateline 3.1/6, NBC Movie of the Week: Last Templar I [r] 2.5/5

ABC: 2.7/5          America’s Funniest Home Videos [r] 2.8/6, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition [r] 2.8/6, ABC Premiere Event: Diamonds Part 1 2.7/5

FOX: 1.7/4         American Dad [r] 1.9/4, King of the Hill [r] 1.8/4, The Simpsons [r] 2.0/4, King of the Hill [r] 1.7/3, Family Guy [r] 1.7/3, American Dad [r] 1.5/3

UNIV: 1.0/2       Selena History Leyenda 0.8/2, Hazme Reir Millonario 1.0/2

CW: 0.5/1         Jericho 0.4/1, The CW Sunday Movie: Love Is All There Is 0.6/1

TELE: 0.5/1       Cine Millonario [8p start] 0.5/1

ION: 0.4/1         MASH 0.4/1, MASH 0.4/1, MASH 0.4/1, MASH 0.4/1, MASH 0.4/1, MASH 0.5/1, MASH 0.5/1, MASH 0.5/1

A18-49: FOX 1.2/5, CBS 1.1/4, ABC 1.0/4, NBC 0.9/3, UNIV 0.7/3, TELE 0.5/2, CW 0.2/1, ION 0.2/1

Monday – A18-49 Analysis: CBS capped off the Memorial Day holiday a winner Monday night with a 2.1/6 A18-49, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. CBS’ comedy repeats of Big Bang Theory/How I Met Your Mother edged out the competition at 8p with an average of 2.0/6 ahead of ABC’s The Bachelorette at 1.9/6. A similar scenario occurred during 9p as CBS’ sitcom encores Two and a Half Men/Rules of Engagement averaged a winning 2.5/7 while ABC’s The Bachelorette played second fiddle again at 2.3/6. At 10p, NBC’s Medium topped with 2.1/6 and ABC’s premiere of Here Come the Newlyweds and CBS’ CSI: Miami rerun tied for second place at 1.9/5 each.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Monday, May 25, 2009 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.

NBC: 4.8/8          Dateline 4.7/8, Medium 5.1/9

CBS: 4.5/8            The Big Bang Theory [r] 3.6/6, How I Met Your Mother [r] 3.2/5, Two and a Half Men [r] 5.7/9, Rules of Engagement [r] 4.6/7, CSI: Miami [r] 5.1/9

ABC: 3.8/6           The Bachelorette 4.0/7, Here Come the Newlyweds [p] 3.3/6

FOX: 3.3/6           House [r] 3.1/5, Bones [r] 3.5/6

UNIV: 1.9/3          Cuidado con el Angel 1.7/3, Manana para Siempre 2.3/4, Cristina 1.6/3

MNT: 0.8/1           Masters of Illusion [r] 0.7/1, Magic’s Biggest Secrets Revealed [r] 0.8/1

CW: 0.7/1            One Tree Hill [r] 0.7/1, One Tree Hill [r] 0.6/1

ION: 0.7/1           Reba 0.4/1, Reba 0.4/1, NCIS [r] 0.7/1, NCIS [r] 0.9/2      

TELE: 0.7/1          Mas Sabe el Diablo 0.6/1, El Rostro de Analia 0.7/1, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso 0.6/1, Cartel M 0.7/1

A18-49: CBS 2.1/6, ABC 2.0/6, NBC 1.8/5, FOX 1.6/4, UNIV 1.5/4, TELE 0.6/2, MNT 0.4/1, CW 0.3/1, ION 0.3/1


Travel Channel announced Patrick Younge, President/GM will step down as of January 2010. Patrick is fulfilling plans he has long made and shared with Cox Communications’ President, Pat Esser and Travel Channel staff, to return to London as his youngest child begins high school. In a statement, Patrick said, “As tough as I will find it to leave my team at Travel Channel Media (TCM), I’m fulfilling a promise I made to my two children, who remained in the UK when I joined TCM in 2005. I have a terrific team here at TCM, and despite these unprecedented economic conditions we are enjoying record ratings, audience delivery and web traffic. We are also recognized as leaders in social media marketing, and through innovative programs like the Travel Channel Academy and mobile products like Travel Channel GO, we are extending our reach and revenue into new arenas. Pat Esser and the TCM staff have long known of my plans, and they also know they can rely on me to continue to give this business 100% through year-end to ensure our upfront commitments are delivered and there is a smooth handover to my eventual successor.”

BBC Worldwide continues to expand its US business and in so doing promoted Susanna Pollack to SVP/Children’s and Children’s Business Development and Matt Forde as EVP/Sales and Co-Productions. Susanna will head efforts to launch CBeebies, BBC’s worldwide preschool channel in the US in addition to increasing the company’s children’s brands in North and Latin America. Matt will relocate to New York from London to supervise sales and co-production efforts for all genres in the US and Latin America.   Whoo-hoo Susanna!!!

Mindshare adds Scott Sorokin to the new position as Head/Digital, Global. Scott will be responsible for worldwide digital media activity on behalf of Mindshare’s client, Unilever, in addition to working in tandem with Phil Cowdell, Head of Mindshare North America to engage and execute digital efforts for all clients. Based in New York, Scott will report to London-based Dominic Proctor, CEO, Mindshare Worldwide.

Los Angeles-based McCann Erickson announced three staffing additions with all reporting to Cathy Saidiner, President:

  • Christian Cocker will become SVP/Director of Account Planning to head the firm’s strategic planning division.
  • Michael Rice was tapped as SVP/Director of Digital to increase the company’s digital strategy and production. He will also be involved with business development and talent recruitment.
  • Joe Bock was added as SVP/Group Account Director for the Nestle account encompassing Nesquik, Coffeemate and NESCAFE/Taster’s Choice brands.

This day in History:  1774 – The First Continental Congress convened in Virginia.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: In 1980 this ad was created by Doyle Dane Bernbach, titled Share the Fantasy. It featured a woman pool side and this female voice over: I am made of blue sky and golden light, and I will feel this way forever” .  What was the product?  CHANNEL NO. 5  Kudos to: Alejandro Sacasa-Between The Screens/Miami; Gloria L. Price-CBS News/NYC; Colleen Stratton-Madison Square Garden/New York; Brenda Jones-El Diario La Prensa/Brooklyn; Roger Bare-KIAH/Houston; Melissa White-SpotPlus/Dallas; Mary Brannen-Merriam-Webster Inc./Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc./Chicago; Skip Engle-Editech Inc/Omaha; Michael Miller-MCFilmworks/Los Angeles; Alan Berger-PHD/LA; Michael Peikoff-20th Century Fox/Century City; Steve Abrams-My Network TV/Los Angeles; Virginie Richard-Group TVA Inc/Montreal

Today’s Trivia Question: This fella has been played by Slats, Jackie and Tanner over the years.  He was first seen in 1928 at the debut of White Shadows of the South Seas.  Who is known better as? (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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EOE (5/29)


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FALL INTERNSHIP CREDIT ONLY:  Interns sought for MSLO Production’s live show “MARTHA” in NYC! Interns MUST be able to receive college credit. Candidates should send their resume to
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SUMMER INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: RLR Associates Ltd. (NYC) seeks intern w/interest in Entertainment w/ strong creative, research & writing skills. Word, Excel, Powerpt. 4-5 days/wk Resume to Bella:

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SITUATION WANTED: TV/PRINT/RADIO/ONLINE/EVENTS MRKTG/PRODUCTION EXPERT NY: Cost cutting, well rounded,client services expert who can get the job done. Fantastic references. Freelance or FT.

SITUATION WANTED: AWARD-WINNING FREELANCE CD/ WRITER/ PRODUCER Former Creative Director for international cable network ready for freelance project work. Visit for samples and contact info. (5/29)

SITUATION WANTED: Dynamic, experienced and results oriented sales professional with an extensive track record of creating new business opportunities. Email
for more details (5/29)

SITUATION WANTED: EXPERIENCED GRAPHIC DESIGNER (LA) Reality-TV, Film, Commercial, Documentaries & Corporate. Creative & Flexible. Seeking Freelance or Staff Position, Remote or In-House. Reel & Contact Info: (5/29)

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
for specs.


ABC:  National Spelling Bee, Grey’s Anatomy [r]
AZTECA: Lo Que Callamos Las Mujeres Edicion Especial, Historias Engarzadas, Al Extremo
CBS: NCIS [r], CSI [r], Without a Trace [r]
CW: Smallville [r], Supernatural [r]
FOX: So You Think You Can Dance
ION:  Movie: Rocky IV
MNT: My Thursday Movie: Just Cause
NBC:  My Name is Earl [r], 30 Rock [r], The Office [r], 30 Rock [r], The Office [r]
PBS:  This Old House, Antiques Roadshow
TELE: Mas Sabe el Diablo, El Rostro de Analia, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso
UNIV: Cuidado con el Angel, Manana es para Siempre, Mujeres Asesinas

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Shelton, CT 06484

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