Tuesday, February 20th, 2007




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Good Morning, it’s  Tuesday, February 20, 2007 and this is your first early morning briefing.

With both companies facing red ink, the two satellite radio businesses Sirius and XM, have merged in a $13 billion deal, confirming many months of rumors. Mel Karmazin, CEO/Sirius will become CEO of the new and as yet unnamed entity, and Gary Parsons, Chairman/XM, will remain as Chairman. For the time being, operations will continue in both New York and Washington, D.C. where both are headquartered. The merger, which is expected to be finalized at the end of this year, will have to pass rigorous FCC regulatory approval in addition to proving that a monopoly was not being formed. Both XM and Sirius subscriptions will be honored and combined under the new company. Currently, XM has 7.2 million subscribers and Sirius has 5.1 million customers. Over the last few years, the satellite companies have competed for content with XM signing Oprah Winfrey and Major League Baseball, while Sirius has contracts with Howard Stern and the NFL. And, both have long-term agreements with car manufacturers: XM is in new General Motors vehicles, as well as Hondas and Toyotas in North America, and Sirius is embedded in Fords, Chryslers and BMWs.

Tonight’s Premiere:
VH1:  The Agency at 10p


TV One will debut an exclusive, new original series Comics Unleashed: Hot Chocolate on February 24 at 10p. This series is a spin-off of Byron Allen’s syndicated daily half-hour series Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen. This new series will feature four stand-up comedians in panel conversations led by Byron Allen. Some of the comedians include Joe Torrey, Alonzo Bodden, Jimmie “J.J.” Walker, Earthquake, Kym Whitley and more. TV One will air two half-hour episodes each week back to back from 10-11p on Saturdays.
FOX averaged a 10.1/20 HH rating and 17.53 million viewers for its coverage of the NASCAR Daytona 500 on Sunday. This year’s broadcast had the shortest run time since 1995, yet it still ranked as the fifth most watched Daytona 500 in the race’s 49-year history. The Great American Race also culminated in a thrilling win by Kevin Harvick.
Beginning this spring, Delta Airlines flights with VOD service will provide a dedicated HBO channel with full, unedited HBO fare including The Sopranos, Deadwood and Da Ali G Show, as well as HBO movies. Of course, if you’re sitting in the back of the bus, you’ll have to pay a small fee for the service.  HBO says that their programming will likely spread to other airlines within the next 12 months.


Spike TV has ordered up 10 episodes of a new crime reality series called Murder from Bunim-Murray Prods., in which amateur detective solve, or at least attempt to solve, real homicide cases.  According to Hollywood Reporter, Spike is looking for this series to debut this summer. Each episode begins with its host, Tommy Le Noir, a veteran Texas detective, who shows two groups of “detectives” the re-created crime scene. The detectives then have two days to solve the crime and identify the killer.

Fox‘s pilot project The Cure from Warner Bros. TV has cast Esai Morales and Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon as members of the medical team deployed on cases where red tape is ignored and their job is to get to the bottom of the medical problem.

Stepping into the hosting position on NBC‘s The Biggest Loser from Reveille will be Alison Sweeney (who you may know from NBC’s daytime series Days of Our Lives), and stepping away will be Caroline Rhea who has chosen to “pursue other interests”, reports Variety. Production will begin soon on the fourth cycle of Loser.


Nickelodeon’s popular 5-7 pm programming block has been renamed ME:TV to reflect a proliferation of web-based interactive features. Interstitials between episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants will contain short videos of kids participating in polls and games and showcase kids who have submitted videos through Nick.com. Four viewers will be featured each weekday via webcam. Participants at home can go online to ask the hosts and celebrity guests questions.
Olympic and lifestyle sports network World Champion Sports Network (WCSN) announced a four-year multiplatform agreement to cover International Swimming Federation (FINA) meets via WCSN’s broadband and television outlets. Coverage will kick off in March with live coverage of the 12th annual FINA World Championships in Melbourne, Australia. WCSN also entered into a multi-casting deals with Granite Broadcasting to distribute WCSN as a digital multiplex channel in eight markets including San Francisco, Detroit and Buffalo. The channel will be picked up on local cable operators’ digital basic line-ups in each of the markets, reaching nearly 1.5 million subscribers.

Media research company Frank N. Magid Associates launched a new division focused on helping local broadcasters enhance their digital offerings, to be based in the company’s headquarters in Iowa. Recent studies show local stations are struggling to make the transition from offering their content on air to online, via cellphones, digital channels and other platforms and are in danger of losing online marketshare to local newspapers.

Peer-to-peer web video start up Joost announced a Macintosh-compatible version of its beta IPTV service. Joost also added new content offerings including National Geographic Channel documentaries, Lime TV health programming, Bridezillas reality show from September Films and Indie Flix films and cartoons including The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Joost was started by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, creators of online phone service Skype.


BBC Worldwide Productions USA named the following new VPs with all reporting to Paul Telegdy, SVP/Programming and Production.

  • Linda Giambrone was named as VP/Production from her previous work freelancing with the company on projects such as Dancing. She will manage reality series and quiz show productions covering the pilot and series stages.
  • John Hesling has been pulled in as VP/Creative Affairs. His responsibilities include creative development within the BBC and externally.
  • Ian Moffitt is now VP/Programming and Content Strategy where he will run business development and strategy. Ian previously headed Endeavor and IMG’s former global rights joint venture, Transcend.
  • Alice Taylor has been named as VP/Digital Content.  She will manage on Internet, mobile and gaming initiative growth.



Today in Cynopsis Kids, or listen to the audio version here:

  • Nickelodeon ME:TV afternoon interactive block launches
  • Jetix Europe has picked up a range of rights for the animated series Iggy Arbuckle

Today in Cynopsis International, or listen to the audio version here:

  • Tentative agreement between Canada’s actors and producers less tentatively off due to Hollywood objections
  • HBO picks up Canadian documentary film, Cracked Not Broken
  • It’s all about the Chocolate: TV One to premiere Comics Unleashed: Hot Chocolate original series; Telemundo new telenovela Dame Chocolate (Give Me Chocolate)


Sunday – A18-49 Analysis:  ABC had a turn in first place Sunday night with 4.9/13 A18-49, according to fast affiliate ratings from Nielsen Media Research. FOX followed with 4.1/11, then CBS 2.7/7, NBC 2.3/6, UNIV 1.5/4, CW 1.1/3 and TELE 0.3/1. At 7p, FOX won with its Daytona 500 coverage and a Simpsons repeat averaging a 4.6/13. After that, ABC had control of the evening: at 8p Extreme Makeover: Home Edition bested the competition with 5.4/14; ABC reached its top score at 9p with Desperate Housewives at 6.9/16; and Brothers & Sisters delivered a winning 4.6/12 for ABC at 10p.
Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Sunday, February 18, 2007 – FEBRUARY SWEEP DAY #18 – time period averages. Source: Nielsen Media Research

ABC       8.2/13       America’s Funniest Videos 5.1/9, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 7.8/12, Desperate Housewives 11.7/18, Brothers & Sisters 8.0/13

CBS       7.1/11        60 Minutes 6.8/11, Amazing Race All Stars [p] 7.0/11, Cold Case 7.2/11, Without a Trace 7.4/12

FOX       5.2/8         NASCAR Daytona 500 8.8/15, The Simpsons [r] 3.9/6, The Simpsons 5.2/8, King of the Hill 4.3/7, Family Guy 5.0/8, American Dad 4.3/7

NBC       4.6/7         Deal or No Deal 5.8/10, Grease: You’re the One That I Want 4.5/7, The Apprentice 3.8/6, Crossing Jordan 4.5/7

CW        2.0/3         Reba – Series Finale 2.5/4, 7th Heaven 2.3/4, Beauty and the Geek [r] 1.0/2

UNIV     1.7/3         La Hora Pico 1.3/2, Bailando por la Boda de mis Suenos 1.8/3

TELE     0.5/1         Cine En Familia 0.5/1, Cine Millonario/Estreno 0.5/1

A18-49: ABC 4.9/13, FOX 4.1/11, CBS 2.7/7, NBC 2.3/6, UNIV 1.5/4, CW 1.1/3, TELE 0.3/1

This Day in History:   1962 – John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia:  Henry Fonda starred in a TV drama in 1971 that ran for about 18 months.  His role was that of Police Detective, Chad Smith.  Also in the show as a 15 year old Ronny Howard.  What was the name of this show?  Hint:  The title is an eponym – and if you aren’t familiar with that work, look it up and you’ll have the answer to the trivia question!   THE SMITH FAMILY    Kudos to:  Chip Garner-Fordham University Graduate School of Business/NY; Wendi Friedman Tush-The Lexicomm Group/NY; Jessica Bumsted/Bronx NY; Pamela Leffler-Comcast Spotlight/Hillsborough NJ; Dale Warshaw-KMSB/KTTU/Tucson; Jennifer Erskine-Wayne Ewing Films/Aspen; Mandy Buhler-GSD&M/Austin TX; Robb Gray Jr-Apex Media/Tucson; Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg – M and S Entertainment/LA; Lorrie Shilling-DIRECT TV/Marina Del Rey; Mark Fabian-Lion Battery/St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec; Nancy Dixon Welch-Eclipse Television & Sports Mktg/Tortola BVI

Today’s Trivia Question: What was the longest mini-series ever shown on broadcast television? ( click here 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 have been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.

Later — Cyn

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Mark Robbins, G.M. / KWKB Quotes:
“A potentially great court show with a new twist”
“Most court shows are successful and yours looks like a true winner”
“I believe you have the next new idea for the court genre”

Visit www.juryduty.tv to view promo
Radar Entertainment (818) 919-9140

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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT: Tuesday February 20, 2007

ABC:  AFV [r], Primetime, Boston Legal
CBS:  NCIS, The Unit, CSI: Miami [r]
CW:   Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars
FOX:  American Idol [2hr]
ION:  Mama’s Family, Mama’s Family, Diagnosis Murder, Kung Fu
MNT: Wicked Wicked Games, Watch Over Me
NBC:  Dateline NBC, Law & Order: CI, Law & Order: SVU
PBS:  Nova [r], Front Line, Independent Lens
TELE: Marina, Zorro,  Decisiones (De Famosos)
UNIV: La Fea Mas Bella, Mundo de Fieras, Camino a Premio Lo Nuestro especial

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