Tuesday, January 16th, 2007


The next generation of pro wrestling is here!
VIVA LA LUCHA is the first ever LUCHA LIBRE program
shot entirely in English with a Mexican flare.
It’s high flying, acrobatic, eye-popping action!
Come see us at the
First Look Television NATPE Booth #944, Jan. 16-18
Join us for special Mexican Fiestas on
Tuesday from 4-6PM and Wednesday from 11AM-1 PM,
when you’ll be able to meet, greet and have your pictures taken with the
stars of VIVA LA LUCHA!!! 


Good Morning, it’s Tuesday, January 16, 2007 and this is your first early morning briefing, from the NATPE Convention in Las Vegas.

Greg Meidel has been named President, MyNetworkTV, reporting to Jack Abernethy, CEO, FOX Television Stations. Most recently, Greg was President/Programming for CBS Paramount Domestic Television, where he oversaw first-run syndicated fare.
Tonight’s Premieres:
Fox:  American Idol at 8p
Bravo:  Real Housewives of Orange County at 10p


NBC offers quality content that delivers a quality audience … see below for more

On Wednesday at the Television Critics Assoc press tour in California, NBC is expected to announce it will expand the Today show by an additional hour, making the full morning broadcast a four hour show.  No new yet on who will host the fourth hour, tho it’s expected the news dept will go with someone internally.

Mark your calendars – HBO‘s The Sopranos returns on April 8th for its final season.  And immediately following on the same night – Entourage with new episodes.

And for all you Dancing with the Stars fanatics, the show will return to the ABC primetime schedule on Monday, March 19, at 8p, premiering with a 2-hour episodes. Results shows will air on Tuesday at 9p. No word yet on who the dancing stars will be this season.

NATPE Syndication Update:

  • Laugh Off, from Bunim-Murray Prods and distributed by October Moon Television, is available for a Fall 2007 launch on a cash + barter basis.  The first run 30m comedy/game strip series offers unknown comedians the chance for exposure and success on national television.  Each episode will feature two contestants competing in 3 rounds.
  • Program Partners will present Let’s Play Crosswords, from Merv Griffin and the William Morris Agency, as a 30m early fringe strip game series.  Terms are cash only, no barter. The game itself is simple – three players answer questions on a variety of topics, and the one who answers the most right moves on to the lightening round.
  • Warner Bros. has given the official go ahead for their new strip 30m entertainment news series TMZ, based on the online AOL/Time Warner website that focuses on celebrity news. Warner Bros. has already cleared the show on the Fox O&O group in a multiyear deal. The show is a 5x week strip series, 30m, sold on a cash + barter (1-1/2m) basis; with a companion weekend 60m show. The show focuses on what celebrities are doing, rather than what they’re promoting, and will hope to appeal to a younger audience. In addition to the show itself, TMZ will provide local stations a TMZ module for the affiliate website, designed to draw in visitors.  Additionally, TMZ will provide a newsfeed function with information available 24/7 for use by the local stations news department.  TMZ is produced by Telepictures Prods, Harvey Levin Prods and paraMedia inc.
  • Expected today is the announcement NBC Universal will move forward with the Steve Wilkos daytime talk show project.  You’ll recall Wilkos is best known as Jerry Springer’s bald-headed body guard, but make no mistake – this new show will not be a spin-off of Jerry.  Wilkos has his own thing going on.  More on this once NBC U makes it official.
  • Sony Pictures Television‘s three daytime court show strip series have upped their clearance percentages: newbie series Judge David Young has been cleared in 82% of the US including 23 of the top 25 markets. Judge Maria Lopez will return for a second season and thus far has been cleared in 92% of the country, including 23 of the top 25 markets.  And veteran series Judge Hatchett goes into its 8th season with a 97% clearance rate with 24 of the top 25 markets cleared.
  • Buena Vista Television has renewed Live with Regis & Kelly and Who Wants to be a Millionaire thru the 2010-2011 season.  Regis & Kelly have been renewed by several stations from the ABC owned station group, as well as Tribune, CBS owned stations, Sunbeam, Hubbard, McGraw-Hill and the Freedom stations.  Millionaire has been renewed by multiple stations from the ABC owned group, McGraw-Hill as well as the Freedom stations.
  • Lara Spencer has re-upped with CBS’ Television Distribution‘s syndicated strip series The Insider with a new multiyear deal. She has been with the series since it’s launch in 2004. Scuttlebutt is Pat O’Brien may be leaving the show, but nothing official has been offered by CBS Television Distribution.
  • Twentieth Television has reupped its three court shows for 2007-08 season, and an off-net:  Divorce Court now cleared in 73% of the country, Judge Alex cleared in 70%, and Cristina’s Court in 77%. All three have been cleared by the Fox owned & operated station group, among numerous others.  Additionally, Family Guy is now cleared in 82% of the country, most recently adding 12 Sinclair Broadcasting stations to the station list. Family Guy kicks off Fall 2007.
  • GNF Entertainment Network has introduced 2 new 24/7 broadcast programming services, GNF Movie Channel and the GNF Game and Music Channel, designed for broadcasters to use on their digital channels.  The content on the movie channel is targeting the 25-54 viewer and includes more than 3000 titles, travel features, profiles and other family content.  The Game & Music Channel includes a variety of music genres and targets the 18-34 male audience.
Oxygen‘s premiere of its newest reality series Tease with host Lisa Rinna, earned a .4 among W18-49 and W18-34, and a .5 among the younger W18-34 demo when it debuted on Wednesday, January 10th.  Immediately following Tease was the debut of season #2 of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, which delivered a .5 household rating.


Bravo will launch a new interactive broadband series called Watch What Happens, which you’ll recognize as the cable network’s tagline, is a show where fans can interact with their favorite reality show cast members. The online series will be hosted by Bravo’s own SVP/Programming & Prods, Andy Cohen.  THe show is scheduled to air weekly on WEdnesday nights at 11p at www.bravotv.com, as of January 17, immediately after a new episode of Top Chef.  On a weekly basis, the show will include one of Bravo’s reality show competition winners, a loser, a judge and a favorite show personality, and talk about what happened on that evening’s show.   Viewers will be invited to call in, email or text messages, comments, questions, or rant as they see fit. Sounds like fun!

SCI FI.com has created SCI FI Drive-in, set to launch on January 21st, a new broadband service, which will feature hard-to-find Sci Fi classic TV series, films and shorts such as Flash Gordon, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Giant Gila Monster. Additionally Sci Fi Pulse, the channel’s original online content area, will introduce Battlestar Galactica Video Maker Took Kit, a new user generated content area.
Program Partners will launch a broadband video initiative for their broadcast affiliates in support of the syndicated series Da Vinci’s Inquest.  Using Brightcove Internet TV service, Program Partners will launch video channels as well as provide exclusive content including behind-the-scenes footage, to affiliate stations’ websites promoting the show.  Da Vinci’s Inquest is cleared in 98% of the country and airing on more than 200 station affiliates, including all major markets


WeTV has ordered up a new series – Wife, Mom, Bounty Hunter from World of Wonder, focuses on Sandra Scott who manages her family, meetings at the kids’ schools, as well as her bounty hunter case load and all the while carries here glock 9mm.  WeTV has ordered 10 half hour episodes, together with a 60m premiere ep. Additionally, the network has ordered a third season of Secret Lives of Women, scheduled to premiere May 8 at 10p.

Three announcements out of cable network Bravo:

  • A docu-series on the life and times of Paula Abdul – not the on-camera Abdul you see on American Idol, but a personal and up close view of the Idol judge, as a choreographer, a business woman, producer and singer. Hey Paula! is produced by Scott Stern Prods, the documentary will be added to the schedule later on this year.
  • The reality competition series Shear Genius, formerly known as Top Hair, has added Jaclyn Smith as host, and Sally Hershberger as been  added as lead judge, all focusing on the high end world of hairstyling. Bravo has ordered 8 episodes and plans to premiere the show this Spring.
  • Tim Gunn, whom you know best from Bravo’s series Project Runway, has earned his own show.  Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style has been picked up for a series, in which Gunn will help unskilled people maximize their fashion potential, whether it’s helping with their everyday wardrobe, or preparing for a special event.
Sundance Channel has give the go to a 13-part series called Big Ideas for a Small Planet, scheduled to air in the networks The Green block, a 3-hour block focused on environmental topics  launching April 17.  Big Ideas for a Small Planet will kick off the block at 9p.

ABC has ordered up two new projects – Judy’s Got a Gun from Touchstone TV, a drama about a detective and single mom, balancing her professional career and her personal life; and Dirty Sexy Money from Berlanti Television and Touchstone, about a lawyer whose #1 client is one of the wealthiest families in the city and assisting them in handling their legal needs isn’t always as above board as it should be.

Sci Fi Channel has a few projects in development, both regular and limited series:

  • This just in from the planet Mongo … it’s a go for the Flash Gordon (22 episodes) series, which is to be based on Alex Raymond’s 1930s comic strip.  Produced by Reunion Pictures, the series is slated to debut July 2007.  Under an agreement with King Features Syndicate, RHI Entertainment will produce the new series.
  • Tin Man (wt) – Alan Cumming is set to star as Glitch, a man with half a brain, in a sci-fi take on Frank L. Baum’s book, The Wizard of Oz.  From RHI Entertainment, Tin Man is set to bow in December 2007 with the first of six episodes.
  • Diamond Age – Executive Produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov of Smokehouse Productions, based on Neal Stephenson’s novel The Diamond Age: Or a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer. Six episodes have been ordered
  • Avery House – Produced by Mark Burnett and Tagline Entertainment’s Kelly Kulchak and Ron West; NBC Universal Television Studio is the production company for this scripted dramedy about a family that moves into house left vacant for years … that’s when strange things begin happening to those living/staying in the house and in town.
  • Untitled project from Darren Star and writer Mike Werb (Face/Off), both serving as Exec. Producers, follows four convicts who are given new identities and technologically enhanced bodies. The four wind up working for a covert wing of the US Government.  Produced by Darren Star Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.
  • Revolution follows pioneers in an outpost far out in the galaxy, which comes under siege from their home planet, Earth. CBS Paramount Network Television is producing the series.
  • Middletown is an action adventure show about a small town in Middle America inhabited by eccentric characters, and is also the battle ground for Earth when an evil race of aliens arrive. This project is from Fox TV Studios.
  • Johnny Midnight is a dramedy about a slacker who becomes a reluctant hero when he finds he has unique powers. 
  • Starcrossed – A comedy where the fourth wall comes down to reveal the behind the scenes antics of a long-running sci-fi space soap, from NBC Universal Television Studio.
  • Witch School isn’t your daddy’s Hogwarts.  The project is described as a docusoap about Ed Hubbard and his real Witch School.  From Sci Fi Channel and Stick Figure Productions
Casting Note:  Who Wants To Be A Superhero? has been green lit for a second season on Sci Fi Channel, starring Stan Lee as your host.   The network is holding local auditions for the reality series in association with WrestleMania’s annual Fan Axxess Tour, which kicked off this past weekend.  If you’d like to be a superhero, check out www.whowantstobeasuperhero.com for all the vital info. Who Wants To Be A Superhero? is a production of Nash Entertainment, in association with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, Inc.


Rainbow Media Holdings has named Jennifer Caserta as EVP/GM of its music television network, fuse, reporting to Ed Carroll, President, Rainbow Entertainment Services.  Jennifer will oversee the day-to-day operations enhancing fuse through inventive marketing, scheduling, production and programming strategies across its multiple platforms, each designed to broaden the channel’s coveted community of tech-savvy, trend-setting young adults. 

SZDT Entertainment Company has added Steven M. Schiffman as Director/Legal and Business Affairs.   Steven will serve two main functions:  advise on all domestic legal and business affairs issues; and to take the lead with our international presence. 

Lauren Gellert has been upped to VP/Alternative Programming at Court TV.  Lauren will continue to develop prime-time series and specials for the network, as well as oversee numerous projects in various stages of development. She will also focus on multi-platform content development and outreach to production companies, agents and producers to draw new talent to the network.

Rita Rodriguez, U.S. CEO of Enterprise IG, has named Drew Zoller VP/Business Development, reporting to Rita.  Drew will oversee new business development for the agency across the U.S. Enterprise IG represents such global brands as Hewlett-Packard and American Express.

Film Movement announced the reorganization of its executive staff with the promotion of Adley Gartenstein to President, a role previously held by Stuart Litman along with that of CEO.  In this new role, Adley will oversee all day-to-day activities of the business in addition to retaining his responsibilities as Head of Acquisitions and Head of Business Affairs. Mr. Litman will continue to be responsible for the overall growth of the business in his role as CEO.

Today in Cynopsis Kids, or listen to the audio version here:
  • BabyFirstTV to premiere Shushybye Dreams
  • Magi Nation, a new animated series to be introduced at NATPE
Today in Cynopsis International and Multicultural Edition, or listen to the audio version here:
  • Granada signs deal with HBO Latin America
  • FremantleMedia signs slew of int’l deals for The Martha Stewart Show
  • CTV will be exclusive Canadian broadcaster for Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg’s On the Lot

Saturday – A18-49 Analysis:  It was game day and Fox came to play, winning Saturday night with a huge 9.2/25 A18-49 rating, and the Saints came to play as well, holding the Eagles at the 40 yard long enough to win the game.  According to Nielsen Media Research, during the first hour of prime, Fox scored an 8.9/25 in the demo, more than four times the demo share than the #2 show, NCIS which delivered a 2.2/6.  At 9p Fox upped the rating ante to a 9.1/25, beating both ABC and CBS in share five times over.  NBC’s airing of Psych delivered a 1.1/3.  And at 10p Fox scored a 9.5/26.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Saturday, January 13, 2007 – time period averages. Source: Nielsen Media Research

FOX     14.3/24  NFL Division Playoffs: Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints  14.3/24

CBS     5.2/9   NCIS 5.4/9, CSI: NY 5.0/8, 48 Hours Mystery  5.1/8

ABC     4.0/7   Movie: The Terminal   4.0/7

NBC     3.3/5   Dateline 3.9/7, Psych 2.4/4, Law & Order: SVU  3.5/6

UNIV    1.5/2   Sabado Gigante  1.5/2

TELE    0.4/1   Vas o No Vas [7] 0.5/1, Seguro Y Urgente 0.3/0, Cinemundo Sabado  0.4/1

A18-49:  Fox 9.2/25, ABC 2.0/6, ABC 1.7/5, NBC 1.4/4, UNIV 1.0/3, TELE 0.3/1

Sunday – A18-49 Analysis:  CBS won the night on Sunday, largely a result of a significant 90-minute runover in the football game, which upped the average across the board.  CBS averaged a 7.0/16 A18-49 for the night, with Fox ranking #2 with a 4.7/11, according to Nielsen Media Research.  At 7p, Football Runover averaged a 11.6/24 in the adult demo, clearing winning the time frame.  The premiere of 24 on Fox won both the 8p and 9p hours. It began with part 1 at 8p and averaged a 5.8/13 among A18-49, and a 6.2/14 among M18-49.  At 9p, part 2 of 24 delivered a 6.3/14 among adults, and a 6.8/15 with men.   The premiere of Crossing Jordan on NBC at 10p averaged a 2.2/5, ranking third behind time period winning Brothers & Sisters on ABC (4.8/12) and the 10p hour on CBS with a 10 share.

Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Sunday, January 14, 2007 – time period averages. Source: Nielsen Media Research

CBS     13.6/20  Football Runover (ending at approx 830p) 19.7/29; 60 Minutes (830-930p) 11.1/16, Cold Case (930-1030p) 9.3/14, Without a Trace (1030-1130p) 8.6/14

ABC     7.5/11  AFV 4.6/7, EM: Home Edition 6.6/10, Desperate Housewives 10.6/15, Brothers and Sisters 8.3/13

FOX     6.8/10  The Simpsons 2.6/4, The Simpsons 3.3/5, 24 [p-part 1] 8.4/12, 24 [p-part 2] 9.1/13

NBC     4.9/7   Deal or No Deal 5.6/9, Grease: You’re the One That I Want 4.9/7, The Apprentice LA 4.7/7, Crossing Jordan [p]  4.4/7

CW      1.6/2   Reba 1.6/2, Reba 2.2/3, 7th Heaven 2.0/3, Beauty and the Geek 1.0/2

UNIV    1.6/2   La Hora Pico 1.3/2, Bailando por la Boda de mis Sue

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