Tuesday, July 5th, 2005



Good morning.  It’s Tuesday, July 5, 2005, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT), has introduced a bill before the U.S. Senate called F.A.I.R., which stands for Fairness and Accuracy in Ratings.  The bill proposes mandatory accreditation by the Media Rating Council (a process which is now voluntary). A Senate Commerce Committee hearing is proposed for later on this month, with Senator Burns chairing.  Co-sponsors of the bill include: Senators Mel Martinez (R-FL), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and George Allen (R-VA).  Nielsen Media Research’s official response:

         “We are disappointed that political leaders who espouse free market principles would use the power of the federal government to choose sides in a commercial dispute among private businesses.  This bill, which was drafted in cooperation with News Corp., would benefit only those companies who want to maintain the status quo in the television industry. The bill subjects Nielsen Media alone to government control.  No other media survey company is impacted.
         “Contrary to the claims of its supporters, this bill means more federal regulation of television, more bureaucracy, slower introduction of new technology, higher costs, less competition, and less accurate ratings.  It would also violate antitrust laws and transform the Media Rating Council into a virtual arm of the federal government.  We have urged the bill’s sponsors to reconsider their support of this bill in light of its damaging impact on the entire television industry.
         “Despite any claims by the sponsors of the bill, this legislation will not benefit consumers and in fact will hurt viewer choice by delaying the ability of Nielsen to accurately report the audience preferences for the many new and diverse programs that are being made available to the television audience.
         “This bill came about because pro-regulators went to the Federal Trade Commission last year looking for government oversight of the television ratings business.  After careful consideration, the FTC issued a statement on March 30, 2005, flatly rejecting the call for regulation.  Indeed, the FTC said that ‘well-constructed industry self-regulatory efforts can be more prompt, flexible, and effective than government regulation.’   We agree with the FTC.”

Don’t Count Us Out, the group which you will recall has been linked to News Corp., issued this statement from its Executive Director, Cynthia Rotunno:

         “The Don’t Count Us Out Coalition strongly supports the Fairness and Accuracy in Ratings (F.A.I.R.) Bill that was introduced by Senator Conrad Burns today. Over the past year, it has become more and more evident that the Media Ratings Council has all the responsibility but lacks the enforcement authority to hold Nielsen accountable for TV ratings accuracy. There is no mandatory system of checks and balances over Nielsen, and fault rates in existing markets continue to be disproportionately high nationwide, especially among Latino and African American households.
         “The F.A.I.R. Ratings bill is simple and common-sense. It mandates any TV ratings provider to meet minimum standards of accuracy. It requires any TV ratings provider to gain full prior approval from the Media Ratings Council before implementing any TV ratings service in the marketplace. This legislation reinforces the MRC so that it can perform the function Congress intended it to over forty years ago and has the necessary authority to ensure that TV ratings are accurate.
         “TV ratings are a form of currency and are at the heart of programming and content decisions made by broadcasters. Inaccurate ratings can mean fewer employment opportunities and lost wages for people of color and less multicultural programming and fewer role models on TV for our young people. There will always be fault rates-but with accountability we have a mechanism to have concerns addressed and problems fixed.”


Being Bobby Brown debuted on Bravo June 30 with 1.1 million viewers in tow for the airing of the first two episodes, airing back to back.  Among A18-49, 829,000 tuned in, and 768,000 A25-54.  The second half hour increased its viewership by 5% among total viewers, and 6% among A18-49.

Showtime has scheduled the series finale of Queer as Folk for August 7 at 10p, finishing up after its fifth season.  Airing in the half hour prior will be the special Queer as Folk: Saying Goodbye. 

The 10 worldwide concerts of Live 8 this past week had an estimated 3 billion viewers, according to the concerts’ organizer Bob Geldof.  ABC carried coverage on Saturday night from 8-10 and averaged a minimal 1.1/5 rating among A18-49, and an average of 2.9 million viewers according early numbers from Nielsen Media Research.  However, AOL infused life into the American coverage with nearly 5 million users tuning in between 11am-7pm.  The free live video streaming coverage from the website included 175,000 concurrent video streams from the performances.  In addition, MTV and VH1 aired the London and Philadelphia concerts in the earlier part of the day. 

As for the world:

  • The UK’s BBC reported a 32 share and an average of 4.2 million viewers for its BBC2 telecast from 1 pm-6 pm and 7.8 million average audience with a 42 share when the coverage turned over to BBC1 from 6 pm-midnight. BBC’s top number peaked at 9.6 million viewers.
  • France’s M6 brought over 10 hours of live coverage on Saturday with a Paris performance repeat transmission bringing in the peak audience 1.9 million viewers from 8 to 8:45 pm (roughly 25% of M6’s audience).  The main viewers according to the network were from the 15-34 year old demographic.
  • Spain’s La 2 aired the concert from 3 pm-3 am bring in a 5.2 share on Monday.
  • Italy’s RAI 3 and Sky Italia carried the Live 8 to an audience of over 2 million with its Saturday night concert coverage.
  • Germany’s niche news channel Phoenix covered the concerts with regional public broadcasters picking up pockets of live coverage in between their scheduled programming.  Ratings were not yet available by publishing time.
  • Canada’s CTV pulled in a whopping 10.5 million viewers through the involvement of concert promoter Michael Cohl for coverage of 18 hours of performances.  The peak came with 2.1 million tuning in to see Barrie, Ontario’s concert on Sunday night with Neil Young performing.

A couple of noteworthy changes in the LA local market this fall, per Hollywood Reporter.  As you may know, King World‘s syndicated series Dr. Phil will move from KNBC to KCBS in September, and will continue airing at 4pm, as its lead-in to KCBS’ 5p news.  KCBS currently airs a newscast from 4-5pm, which in the fall will move over to sister station KCAL. The other good news for KCAL, it it gets a second airing of Dr. Phil to air daily at at 7p.

MTV‘s newest cable network LOGO has gained carriage on Comcast’s Digital Plus cable package.  The channel will roll out over the next three months, and could by the end bring in an additional five million subscribers to the current sub base of 13 million.  The deal also has a VOD component wherein Comcast will offer to its Digital Plus subscribers 10 hours of free programming from LOGO every month.

Elsewhere at LOGO, they’ve been busy acquiring a couple of new off-nets:  It’s All Relative which aired for one season on ABC (22 eps) and starred Lenny Clarke as a blue collar tavern owner and as the father of a young man (Reid Scott) whose fiance (Maggie Lawson) is the daughter of a gay couple.  And Wonderfalls which aired for less than a full season on Fox (only 13 eps and nine have never aired) about a young girl (Caroline Dhavernas) who is spoken to by inanimate objects.

Weekend Box Office Estimates: July 1-4, 2005
War of the Worlds (Paramount)                  $77.6 million – opening weekend
Batman Begins (Warner Bros.)                  $18.7 million – 3 wk total $154.1m
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Fox)                            $12.7 million – 4 wk total $146.1m
Bewitched (Sony)                                       $10.8 million – 2 wk total $40.3m
Herbie: Fully Loaded (Buena Vista)            $10.5 million – 2 wk total $36.8m
Madagascar (DreamWorks)                       $7.0 million – 6 wk total $172.4m
Rebound (Fox)                                            $6.0 million – opening weekend
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge/Sith (Fox)   $5.0 million – 7 wk total $366.4m
The Longest Yard (Paramount)                  $3.5 million – 6 wk total $148.2m
Geo A Romero’s Land of the Dead (Universal) $3.2 million – 2 wk total $16.7m
Source: Box Office Mojo

If you haven’t heard yet, Cynopsis has launched a new edition: Cyn opsis: In Your Ear – the podcast version, an audio mp3 file of this daily email – available for downloading and playing on your PC, or directly into your iPod or mp3 player every morning by 630a (okay, maybe 645a). The new podcast certainly does not replace the email version as there are many components to this written version you won’t get in the podcast (ratings charts, classifieds, primetime listings, among others). To subscribe and/or learn more about how to download and what you’ll need (it’s ridiculously easy!), go to Cyn opsis: In Your Ear at www.cynopsis.com. And if you’re one of those folks who say, “I’d never download this every morning, it’s too much trouble” – know the downloading and playing on your PC or copying into your mp3 player can be done completely automatically. You don’t need to do a thing – except listen. By fall look for Cyn: Kids, Cyn: MCE and interviews “live to tape” for Cyn:Weekender, all in podcast form.



  • Hot Properties (Warner Bros. TV):  has cast Christina Moore in the role originally played by Audra Blaser in the pilot. Other three key cast members are Gail O’Grady, Nicole Sullivan and Sofia Vergara.


  • Just Legal:  Jerry Bruckheimer’s legal drama starring Don Johnson and Jay Baruchel has added another character to the mix and cast Jaime Lee Kirchner as a woman who attended school with Baruchel’s character.

Development Deals:

  • Paramount Network TV has signed a development deal with writer/producer Peter Ocko, two years, 7 figures, naturally.  Ocko wrote the pilot script for the drama project 3 Lbs., which while it was not picked up by CBS for the fall, is according to various reports, still very much alive and a consideration.
  • Warner Bros. TV has signed a development deal with writer Lester Lewis (Larry Sanders Show), per Variety.  Lewis’ first job will be as showrunner on the NBC midseason sitcom Four Kings, as well as develop new projects for the studio.

Pancho Mansfield has been named EVP/Original Programming for Spike TV.  Pancho makes the move to Spike from Showtime, effective July 11, reporting directly to Doug Herzog, President/Spike TV.  Reporting into Pancho are Sharon Levy, SVP/Alternative Programming; and Bill McGoldrick, VP/Original Scripted Series.

Sony Pictures Television has named Kerry Schmidt Hardy as its new VP/Development. Kerry will develop new programming for Sony’s syndication and reality programming units, reporting to Melanie Chilek, SVP/Development and Syndication Programming.


Thursday–A18-49 Analysis:   CBS led on Thursday night in the final tally of Nielsen Media Research ratings, posting an overall 2.8/9 A18-49 rating.  NBC and UPN tied at 2.1/7, followed by ABC 1.9/6, Fox 1.5/5 and WB 1.0/3.  At 8p a one-hour Will & Grace led on NBC with a 2.0/7, while UPN delivered an average of  2.1/7 for its full 2-hour prime block.  At 9p the repeat of CSI earned a 3.8/12, while Hit Me Baby One More Time earned a softer 2.4/7 for NBC. At 10p Without a Trace, a repeat on CBS, was in front with a 3.3/10, besting a repeat of ER on NBC and Primetime Live on ABC.

FINAL HOUSEHOLD RATINGS: Thursday, June 30, 2005, for all Networks – program averages.  Source: Nielsen Media Research. 

CBS     6.9/12   The Cut 3.5/7, CSI [r] 9.1/16, Without A Trace [r] 8.0/14

ABC     3.6/7    Movie: Toy Story  3.0/6, Prime Time Live 4.7/8

NBC     3.6/7    Will & Grace [r] 3.9/7, Hit Me Baby One More Time 3.4/6, ER [r] 3.4/6

UPN     3.2/6    WWE Smackdown 3.2/6

FOX     2.1/4    That 70’s Show [r] 2.4/5, That 70’s show [r] 2.5/5, The O.C. [r] 1.7/3

WB      1.5/3    Blue Collar TV [r] 1.7/3, Blue Collar TV [r] 1.7/3, Beauty and the Geek [r] 1.4/2

A18-49            CBS 2.8/9, NBC and UPN 2.1/7, ABC 1.9/6, Fox 1.5/5, WB 1.0/3


Court TV presents
“A Perfect Day at the Beach for Advertisers”:

The sun.
The sand.
The sea.

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1946 – At a swimming pool in Paris, Louis Reard, a French designer, unveils his scandalous creation: a skimpy two-piece swimsuit.  Reard paid a Parisian showgirl, Micheline Bernardini, to model the swimsuit, which he dubbed the “bikini” after the U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week

Answer to Yesterday’s trivia question: In the film The Godfather, this actor’s character’s name was the same as his birth name.  Who is he?  TROY DONAHUE   Kudos to:  Edward Jones-Millennium Sales & Marketing/NY; Joni Cohen Zlotowitz-TLP/NY; Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing/NY; Scott Aronowitz-Starz Entertainment Group/Englewood CO; Richard Levin-SBC Operations/LA.


The Product.

We can make it happen for you.  Take advantage of innovative product integration opportunities on exciting original programs like the upcoming new series Beach Patrol, only on Court TV.


Today’s Trivia Question: 
In the 1970’s movie Terror on Flight 847 starring Lindsey Wagner (recently shown on TV Land) played a stewardess on the terror-stricken flight.  Before leaving home, her husband gave her a birthday gift. What did he give her?    (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’ve been mentioned in any of the Cynopsis editions, you can’t be mentioned again that calendar week.)

Later — Cyn
07.05.05  – 5:19am
Cynopsis Ad Sales – Barbara Shapiro – 203-583-1224 /

Classified Ad Sales – Trish Pihonak – 203.381-9096 /

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Copyright Cynthia Turner 2005

Cyn opsis  CLASSIFIEDS —

JOB OPENING: RESEARCH DIRECTOR position available at Univision & TeleFutura TV stations. 4-6 yrs broadcast research req. in medium to Top 10 TV market. 4yr deg. req. EOE. E-mail cover letter & res:

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JOB OPENING: Dailies Assists/Ascent Media: CREATIVE SERV DIR. Work in various facilities: high end episodic TV. Positions being filled ASAP. 2-3 yrs of exp. Respond: “dailies assist C Turner” in subject

JOB OPENING: SR TALENT EXEC / Current TV-LA, CA. 5+ yrs. exp. in celebrity booking. Dynamic, proactive, self-starter with superior social skills a must! Email
, “Sr. Talent Executive” in subj. line. EOE (7/12)

JOB OPENING: EXEC ANALYST STRATEGIC SALES SERVICES, SALES PRICING & ANALYSIS/Discovery- NY: Pricing & Planning exp within the media industry, spreadsheet application proficiency req’d. See full posting at: http://www.discovery.com (7/12)

JOB OPENING: LOCAL RESEARCH SR ANALYST/ABC Burbank.1-2 yrs exp in TV research, apt at Nielsen/WRAP, strong written & analytical skills, college degree req. Resumes:

JOB OPENING:  DIRECTOR, PLNNING & ADMIN, AFFIL RELS, ABC TV Net, Burbank. 5+ yrs exp. w/media co. Coord contract devl, administer provisions w/stations. Basic knowldge fin analysis. Excel/Word prof. Email:

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JOB OPENING: DIRECTOR OF TRAFFICNY, Cable Network, EDI experience, is required -to apply:

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JOB OPENING: TV TRAFFIC COORD/MARTHA STEWART OMNIMEDIA/NYC: Resp for daily trafficking of 2 syndicated shows. Detail-oriented, able to work under deadlines & a team player. 2+ yrs exp. req’d.  Resumes to

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, AFFILIATE MARKETING, OLN- Stamford, CT – Develop/execute affiliate and LAS promos for anchor pgming. 5yrs affiliate mktg exp at cable network or system.See www.olntv.com Resume/salary:

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JOB OPENING: ABC Family/SALES PLANNING MNGR-NY: 5+ yrs tv exp in sales revenue, planning, or agency buying req’d. Detail oriented and strong excel skills. College degree. Resume to
  incl ref # MON78087AA  (7/06)

JOB OPENING: DIR PROG RESEARCH/ Sony Intl/LA: Mng analysis & presentation of research for Intl Distrib, Prodctn, Ntwks. Actionable rsh expertise, 2+ yrs mgt, Proficient Nielsen & Intl software.  www.sonypicturesjobs.com (7/20)

SUMMER INTERNSHIP POSITIONS are all non paying jobs, available for school credit only. Nobody here gets paid – not even Cynopsis for the listing.  To learn more about posting your Internship position here, email

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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT: Tuesday, July 5, 2005

ABC              My Wife and Kids [r], George Lopez [r], According to Jim [r], Rodney [r], Empire
CBS              Celebrity Weddings Unveiled (OTO), Fire Me Please, 48 Hours Mystery [r]
FOX              Trading Spouses [r], House [r]
NBC              Average Joe: The Joe Strikes Back, I Want To Be a Hilton, L&O: SVU [r]
PAX              Lie Detector,  Diagnosis Murder, Early Edition
UPN              All of Us [r], Half and Half [r], Girlfriends [r], The Bad Girl’s Guide
WB               Gilmore Girls [r], One Tree Hill [r]
TELE             La Mujer en el Espejo, Los Plateados, Decisiones
UNIV             Apuesta por un Amor, La Madrastra, Casos de la Vida Real

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