Tuesday, January 15th, 2008



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Good Morning.  It’s Tuesday, January 15, 2008, and this is your first early morning briefing.   

Taking the lead from ABC Studios last Friday, several other studios yesterday terminated overall deals under the force majeure provision in producers’ contracts, citing the WGA strike as the reason. Warner Bros. Television cut loose less than six deals; CBS Paramount Network TV shaved less than ten pacts; while 20th Century Fox TV slashed about 15 agreements. Universal Media Studios also ended a handful of deals. In general, the force majeure clause in producers’ contracts can allow them to terminate overall deals four to six weeks into a strike. If the writers strike continues, producers may not have to hire these writers and producers back. On the flip side, if the strike continues over a long period of time, the talent may also be able to completely sever the deals. 

Tonight’s Premieres:
FOX: American Idol (2-hour premiere) at 8p
DIY Network: Under Construction at 9p
TBS: 10 Items or Less at 11p

AMC’s Mad Men Lands Two Golden Globes® http://www.amctv.com


The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and independent film, television and digital studio, MRC, formed a comprehensive interim deal with terms similar to the agreements the WGA recently forged with Worldwide Pants and United Artists.

NBC has ordered up a second season of American Gladiators after airing just a handful of episodes in season #1. The show debuted on January 6 with the first of 9 episodes; no news yet on how many eps have been ordered for the new season or when it will debut.

Fox used the Giants/Dallas NFL game as the kick off to the premiere of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Sunday night.  The game averaged 37.3 million viewers; Terminator held onto 18.3 million of them for its big debut, with a 7.6/18 A18-49 rating.

Bravo adds a spin-off of its original series The Real Housewives of Orange County when it debuts The Real Housewives of New York City on March 4 at 11p. This series, produced by Ricochet Television Inc., will feature a group of New York socialites whose lives are a whirl of high-powered careers, homes and social calendars full of charity fund-raising galas and time spent at their estates in the Hamptons. After its premiere, the series moves to its regular time slot on Tuesdays at 10p starting March 11.

ION Media Networks, Inc. and Comcast formed an affiliation agreement allowing Comcast to continue to carry ION Television. In addition, Comcast will now offer ION Media’s 24-hour linear digital networks qubo and ION Life. Currently Comcast carries many of ION’s broadcast affiliates in multiple markets.

The Travel Channel just launched Travel Channel HD, the hi-def simulcast of the original network now available to cable, satellite and telco providers nationally. To increase awareness about the new HD channel, Travel Channel will begin a national marketing campaign titled “Some Things Are Meant for HD” with television spots and ads in consumer and trade print publications.

IFC Entertainment will introduce Festival Direct, a limited time presentation of IFC Films that have premiered at major international film festivals such as Cannes, Tribeca and Telluride. Starting February 29, Festival Direct will be available nationally via VOD service through Cablevision Communication Systems, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Comcast Communications and Charter Communications at $5.99 per film.

Starting January 21, World Wrestling Entertainment will deliver in hi def WWE’s Monday Night RAW and A.M. RAW on USA, ECW: Extreme Championship Wrestling on SCI FI Channel and Friday Night SmackDown on The CW. WWE will also broadcast its pay-per-view programs in HD, beginning with Royal Rumble on January 27. To accommodate programming in HD, WWE made a $20 million upgrade in their Stamford, CT television studios and built new sets for RAW and SmackDown for their HD debuts.


AMC’s Mad Men Lands Two Golden Globes®!

Best Television Series – Drama

Jon Hamm – Best Performance by an Actor
in a Television Series  Drama

“AMC has reinvented itself as the next powerhouse
for cutting-edge programming”
– Newsweek


CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  MySpace reached an agreement with the attorneys general from 49 states and the District of Columbia to add new measures to combat s#xual predators and other felons who use the service to commit crimes. MySpace will implement new protections that will block known offending URLs from posting to the site, encourage users to report inappropriate conduct and provide better software tools to protect underage users. The Fox Interactive Media division will also create a new high school section to act as a safe haven for the under 18 crowd, allowing users to create profiles more mature members will be unable to view.   Full edition: CYN DIGITAL. (Or to listen to the Cynopsis Digital Podcast click here or subscribe to it at iTunes here .)

CYN OPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY:  In the ongoing joint effort to increase teen safety online, MySpace and the Attorneys General of 49 states and the District of Columbia have established a set of Key Principles of Social Networking Sites Safety to protect teens against predators.  Designed for industry-wide adoption, MySpace improvement plans include making user profiles of 16 & 17-yr-olds private by way of default, as it does with 14 & 15-yr-olds, while also increasing technology to enforce the site’s minimum 14-yr-old age requirement.  MySpace will also explore setting up a kid’s email registry to “empower parents to prevent their children from having access to MySpace or any other social networking site,” while also increasing communications with consumers who file a complaint about inappropriate content or activity on the site.  Additionally, MySpace will organize an industry-wide Internet Safety Task Force to develop online safety tools, specially looking to review identity authentication tools.  Ernie Allen, President and CEO, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has agreed that his organization will serve on the new Internet Safety Technical Task Force.  Full edition: CYN KIDS.

CYN OPSIS INTERNATIONAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY: Five companies, including ESPN, are investing $253 million for an 11% stake in NBA’s NBA China venture in China.  Bank of China Group Investment, Legend Holdings Ltd., Li Ka Shing Foundation, and China Merchants Investments join ESPN in the new entity, which will be headed up by Tim Chen, Microsoft Greater China’s former CEO.  He was hired back in October 2007 to serve as CEO and will be based in Beijing with offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou. Full edition: CYN INTERNATIONAL.


Sunday – A18-49 Analysis:  FOX captured the lion share Sunday night with 9.0/21 A18-49, according to fast affiliate ratings from Nielsen Media Research. FOX had a giant lead during 7p with its NFL Playoff game at 14.5/36 then stayed in first place at 8p with the premiere of Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles delivering a 7.6/18. ABC then was first the last two hours: at 9p Extreme Makeover: Home Edition posted a 5.5/12 and Brothers & Sisters at 10p did a 4.2/10.  As for the Golden Globes Press Conference on NBC at 9p, it averaged 5.1 million total viewers, and pulled in a 1.2/3 A18-49 rating.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Sunday, January 13, 2008 – time period averages. Source: Nielsen Media Research

FOX: 13.0/19         NFL Playoff: Giants vs. Cowboys 21.6/33, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles [p] 11.1/16, Family Guy 7.0/10, American Dad 5.3/8

CBS: 8.0/12         60 Minutes 6.2/10, The Amazing Race 12 6.8/10, Comanche Moon (Part 1) 9.4/14

ABC: 6.6/10         AFV 4.4/7, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition [r] 6.3/9, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 8.3/12, Brothers & Sisters 7.4/12

NBC: 3.2/5        Dateline NBC Going for Gold 3.1/5, Golden Globes Press Conference 4.0/6, American Gladiators [r] 2.7/4

UNIV: 1.4/2        La Hora Pico 1.2/2, Los 5 Magnificos 1.4/2

CW: 0.7/1          CW Now 0.5/1, Aliens in America [r] 0.5/1, One Tree Hill [r] 0.7/1, One Tree Hill [r] 0.9/1

TELE: 0.5/1        Cine en Casa 0.4/1, Cine Millonario 0.5/1

A18-49: FOX 9.0/21, ABC 3.9/9, CBS 3.1/7, NBC 1.4/3, UNIV 1.2/3, CW 0.4/1, TELE 0.4/1



Horizon Media named Vinnie O’Toole as EVP/CFO to supervise daily operations that encompasses the finance group, MIS, real estate management and office services in addition to being a part of the executive management board. Reporting to Vinnie will be Stewart Linder, SVP/Finance Director and Jim Shanney, SVP/CIO.

Univision Communications Inc. hired Lisa McCarthy as EVP/Client Development and Partnership Marketing, effective immediately. Lisa will head the company’s Client Development and Partnership Marketing activities while based in New York and reporting to David Lawenda, President/Advertising Sales. 

Karen Roberts joins Entertainment Studios, Inc. as SVP/Acquisitions where she is charged with identifying and purchasing films that support the overall acquisition strategy involving projects for theatrical, television, home entertainment and new media/digital distribution. Based in Los Angeles, Karen begins her new position immediately.

Alan Amman was elevated to EVP/COO with mPRm Public Relations. Alan will continue to provide oversight of Home Entertainment, Television and Corporate Entertainment, in addition to the Events and Lifestyle practice areas as well as the company’s new viral marketing and PR service, mPRm sPRead Solutions. As COO, Alan will manage daily operations including staffing, account management and other internal functions. Alan reports directly to Rachel McCallister and Mark Pogachefsky, Co-Presidents. 


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This day in History: 1974
– Happy Days premiered on ABC-TV.

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: What movie star began portraying street kid Joshua Hall in 1973 at the age of 12 on the soap opera One Life to Live?   LAURENCE FISHBURNE  Kudos to:  Alex Leff-ABC Family/NY; Theonia Myrie-Williams-Superstation WGN/NY; Ed Goode-Connelly Partners/Boston; Valerie Cooley-Elliott–D.M. & M. Media Group, LLC/Reston, VA; Bob Sieber/Birmingham, AL; Buffy Johnson-Charter Media/St. Louis; Robin Schmelling-BCMI/Palm Desert, CA; Pat Brady-Cunningham*Escott*Slevin*Doherty/LA; Lorrie Shilling-DIRECTV/El Segundo, CA; Sarah Fraser-Corbis/LA; Sheldon Wiebe-EclipseMagazine.com/Calgary

Today’s Trivia Question: Long before winning an Academy Award, this actor made guest appearances as a stoner on Taxi and a childhood rival of Fonzie on Happy Days. Who is he?  (
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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RE: UCTC/93360BR (1/19)

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JOB OPENING: SR WRITER/PRODUCER/iN DEMAND/NYC:  Write, research & produce promo spots monthly.  Manage edit & audio sessions. 3-5 yrs on-air promo exp.  Reel required.  Apply
.  EOE. No relo. (1/19)

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JOB OPENING: SR MGR, MEDIA RELATIONS/NPR/DC: PR pro with great business/ad/trade/tech placement exp to promote NPR’s extensive gvt relations, digital, business, HD radio activities. http://www.npr.org/about/jobs/positions.html. (1/18)

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res: www.cablevision.jobs ref #5076BR (1/18)

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EOE  (1/17)

JOB OPENING: AUDIENCE DEV. DIRECTOR/ LIFETIME TV NY: provide strategic direction and consulting, for performance-based campaign management, optimization, and ROI. Apply at: http://www.lifetimetv.com/about/jobs.html (1/17)

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JOB OPENING: TRAFFIC SUPERVISOR/CABLEVISION/Jericho, NY:  Min. 4 yrs Traffic exp. Working knwldg of Open TV/Eclipse Traffic & Billing/Strata/ TIM Proposal system. View full posting and apply to www.cablevision.jobs req id #5027 (1/17)

JOB OPENING: WRITER/PRODUCER/Nick Jr./Noggin/NYC:  Min 5+yrs creating on-air promos/ad campaigns for TV or ad industry; Exp dev & mgt project budgets; Fluent in all aspects of post production. EOE/M/F/D/AAP apply www.mtvncareers.com (1/17)

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WINTER AND SPRING INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. They are posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED … Interested in posting your Video Resume?  Contact
for more information ….

SITUATION WANTED: Former long time MTV staffer looking for work in TV & film prod industry. Exp in music composing/prod, music video, direction, & documentary film making. Vast ntwrk of connections & interesting res.

SITUATION WANTED: REALITY SHOWRUNNER/PROD. : Makeover, Docusoap, Lifestyle, Competition/House formats. Resonant leader, excellent writer/director, creative, always on time and on budget.

SITUATION WANTED: Selective-college grad, excellent communicator, writer, fast learner, creative thinker (idea person), reliable, organized. Leadership experience. Would like to get feet wet in media industry


for rates and specs for Job Openings. 

Interested in posting your Video Resume?  Contact
for more information ….

Are you looking for a job? Post your Situation Wanted Ad here — Email
for specs.

WHAT’S ON TONIGHT – Tuesday, January 15, 2008

ABC: Just for Laughs, Just for Laughs [r], According to Jim, Carpoolers [r], Boston Legal
CBS: NCIS, Comanche Moon
CW:  Reaper [r], One Tree Hill
FOX: American Idol [p]
ION: Mama’s Family, Mama’s Family, Drew Carey Show, Drew Carey Show, Who’s the Boss?, Who’s the Boss?
MNT: Street Patrol, Street Patrol, Jail [r], Jail [r]
NBC: The Biggest Loser, Law & Order: SVU
PBS: Nova, Frontline [r], Independent Lens
TELE: Madre Luna, Victoria, Pecados Ajenos
UNIV: Amar sin Limites, Pasion, Aqui y Ahora

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