Tuesday, March 15th, 2005




  • Gilmore Girls
  • Smallville
  • 7th Heaven

Available exclusively from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NTI, Galaxy Explorer. 9/27/04-3/6/05. Rank based on W18-34. Cov Rtg. Min 10+ TC. Excludes Specials/Movies. Smallville ties with Full House for 3rd. Gilmore (M-F 5p), Smallville (M-F 7p) and 7th Heaven (M-F 6p).



Good morning. It’s Tuesday, March 15, 2005, and this is your first early morning briefing.

You may not have cared for the execution of the message, but the FCC has determined that the Monday Night Football/Desperate Housewives opening move with Nicolette Sheridan dropping her towel in the locker room, is not indecent. No violation was made, no fines will be levied.  A statement from Commissioner Michael J. Copps read in part, ” … I would hope that television broadcasters would go the extra mile in exercising self-discipline when airing or promoting programming that may not be appropriate for younger viewers.  There wasn’t much self-discipline in this particular promotion.  As stewards of the public airwaves, broadcasters can and should do better.” 

Tonight’s Premieres:
Bravo:  Project Greenlight at 9p
Court TV:  Impossible Heists at 10p
FX:  The Shield at 10p

Season Finale:
NBC:  Committed at 930p

Fox has set May 24 (8-9p) and May 25 (8-10p) as the finale nights of the current edition of American Idol.  The finale will be held at the Kodak Theatre in LA. 

Fox has rejiggered its Sunday night lineup for the May sweep (April 28-May 25) beginning with King of the Hill at 7p, Malcolm at 730p, back to back The Simpsons at 8p and 83op, Family Guy at 9p and American Dad at 930p. Each of these animated series will air original episodes on May 1, 8 and 15. May 1st will also mark the 350th episode of The Simpsons at 8p. 

NBC‘s American Dreams finale has been scheduled for March 30 at 8p.

Heritage Media Group‘s first run poker series Hip Hop Hold ‘Em has been cleared in six of the top ten markets on Tribune owned WPIX/NY, KTLA/LA; WPHL/Philadelphia; KDAF/Dallas; WNOL/New Orleans and Weigel Bcsting’s WCIU/Chicago. The weekly 60m show is described as a cross between Celebrity Poker Showdown and MTV’s Cribs as the show begins with a tour of a celeb’s digs, before turning to the game at hand – poker. The show is sold on a straight barter basis.


ABC has ordered a pilot called Red and Blue from Touchstone TV/Shady Acres. The project focuses on a man and his father, both looking to politically influence the next generation, per Variety.

Lifetime has ordered a third season of its original drama series Missing (Lions Gate Television), scheduled to premiere on June 12.  Also returning in June is a new season of Strong Medicine with the recently cast Rick Schroeder.



  • Westside Warner Bros. TV/Class IV Prods) has added another lead player – Peter Weller will co-star opposite Peter Facinelli.
  • Commander in Chief (Touchstone TV/Battle Plan Prods) has signed Donald Sutherland as the Speaker of the House, playing opposite Geena Davis portrayal of the first female President of the United States. Other cast members include Julie Ann Emery, Kyle Secor as ‘first gentleman’, Ever Carradine, Caitlin Wachs and Henry J. Lennix as outgoing Chief of Staff.
  • Laws of Chance (20th/Roundtable Ink) has cast Fran Kranz as a DA. The project is centered on a real person, an unconventional Houston District Attorney, played by Kandee Strickland.  Bruce McGill rounds out the current cast.
  • Untitled Chris Kattan project (20th/3 Arts) about a consumer report (Kattan) working at a struggling cable news network, has added James Patrick Stewart and Tinsley Grimes to the cast.


  • Deviant Behavior (Regency TV) about a team that tracks serial killers, has signed Marguerite Moreau to join Johnny Messner.
  • Untitled drama pilot set in a fertility clinic, from 20th TV and Imagine TV and writers/producers Sean Jablonski and Jason Katims, has cast Nestor Carbonell. Filling out the cast are Joely Fisher, Matt Letscher, Phillip Rhys and Leah Pipes.  (This project should not be confused with NBC’s project, same setting, titled Inconceivable). 


  • Inconceivable (Touchstone TV/Tollin Robbins), set in a fertility clinic, has cast Alfre Woodard in what would be a recurring role.  Filling out the cast are David Norona, Joelle Carter, Ming-Na and Jonathan Cake.


  • The Lot (Warner Bros. TV/Silver Pictures), a drama about a group of young production assistants working on the back lot of a Hollywood studio, has cast Gina Gershon as a producer and boss for one of the young assistants.  Cast as one of the assistants is Kelly Overton. 


  • Evolution of Man ((Warner Bros. Television/Bruckheimer Films) from from Ross McCall and Aaron Peters about three young men who seek the help of a life coach to assist them with their female relationships, has cast George Wendt.
  • Mermaid (Spelling TV) has added Roger Daltrey, yes that Roger Daltrey of The Who, as the show’s ‘bad guy.’  Playing the role of the Mermaid who prefers land to sea, is newcomer Nathalie Kelley, and Geoff Stults.
  • The Prince (Warner Bros. TV/Berlanti-Liddell/Ft. Hill Prods) has cast Tim Matheson to star as a NY well-to-do and father of a son.


Animal Planet held their pre-upfront preview yesterday in NYC in part to introduce new programming and in part to re-introduce Maureen Smith to the press community.  Maureen joined the Animal Planet as General Manager last August.  She announced a handful of new programs and is preparing to unleash (her word, not mine) three new programming blocks, rolling them out slowly over the course of the next several months. 

  • The first will launch on March 27 – called Whoa! Sunday (8-10p), with host Mo Rocca, the evening is the new home of some of AP’s more spectacular specials.  Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real airs the week prior, and will be used to introduce the new block.  Rocca will provide wrap-arounds features including animal facts, MOS interviews, etc. 
  • Wild Wednesdays kicks off on June 15 and will introduce new series to the schedule including Corwin’s Quest (Corwin’s second and concurrent series for the network), and Buggin’ with Ruud where the bug’s POV is taken into account and sometimes demonstrated by bug expert Ruud Kleinpaste.
  • Simple Pleasures, a daytime block, is set to debut in August, airing Monday-Friday for one hour.  Included in this hour will be two new series – Backyard Habitat with hosts Dave Mizejewski and Molly Pesce, strives to make life better for all manner of animals – one backyard at a time; and Doga (that is, yoga with your dog) with hosts Kari Harendorf and her dog Charlie.
  • Other specials/series coming to the channel include a worldwide special Tsunami: Animal Instincts about how the animals both reacted and then became part of the rescue effort. Tsunami will air on all of the Animal Planet channels worldwide on April 23 (here in the US) and April 24.  And Caught in the Moment, set for 1st qtr 2006, features a couple on a quest to ‘capture on film an amazing moment in the animal kingdom’ while working on their own relationship at the same time.

Ad sales integration into new and existing programming is top of mind for Animal Planet, with all of the new specials and series developed with that component in mind.  At this point, no deals can be announced.
National Geographic Channel will unveil its upfront plans tonight, and will announce two new seriesBeyond the Bible which looks to unveil hidden truths and seemingly miraculous events using archeological evidence to analyze and explain.  Is it Real? looks behind some of the world’s most infamous supernatural phenomena including Big Foot, crop circles and the Bermuda Triangle, all in search of the truth.  Also being renewed for another season are MegaStructures, Naked Science and Seconds from Disaster.  NGC will also announce Specials on tap for the upcoming year including Blackbeard (doc will air to coincide with the release of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean II); Inside Grand Central Terminal takes you inside the building, revealing some of its architectural secrets and tales of the past; and Living the San Francisco Earthquake using meticulous recreations of the 100 year old earthquake, viewers are witness to the devastation that in sixty seconds changed the city forever.

Cable network AMC and broadcasters ABC News are teaming up to produce/air a series of topical documentaries, all concerning the Hollywood scene.  The first, set to air on AMC on April 26 at 10p, is called Bleep: Censoring Hollywood addresses the issue of censorship vs. artistic freedom in the the practice of sanitizing DVD versions of popular films by removing any potentially objectionable material, per the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act (FECA) passed February 1, 2005.  Four more docs will be produced and air on AMC in the next several months.
While Project Greenlight premieres tonight on Bravo, it also will make its debut on America Online with the premiere episode airing on the internet simultaneously with the 9pm Pacific Time airing of the program on television.  It will also be available on AOL for the next 7 days via AOL keyword: Television or the AOL.com website at aol.com/television. Along with airing the premiere ep, AOL will simulcast the season finale on May 10.

Expo Communications has announced the launch of Expo TV, a 24/7 network dedicated to helping consumers make better choices, available in 3rd qtr 2005.  Expo TV is the first consumer-information to offer consumers a TV-based video catalogue showcasing the best product demonstrations available. Think of it as a sort of Consumer Reports with a variety of inhouse experts, VJ guides and editorial content, covering items from electronics to technology to beauty, fitness and entertainment.  Programs in primetime will include Plug and Play featuring home electronics; and Now Boarding covering the travel industry.  Programs in daytime will typically lean more toward beauty, fitness.  Weekend programs, as you might expect, will cover the realm of home improvement, and outdoor and sporting gear. Leading the effort of Expo TV is CEO Daphne Kwon and President Bill Hildebolt.  Joining them is a list of familiar executives and investors who all hail from the cable industry, including Dick Beahrs, former President/Court TV, Lisa Gersh Hall, Pres/COO of Oxygen Media, Nick Nicholas, former CEO/Time Warner, and Thayer Bigelow, former President/HBO.  More info check out www.expotv.com.

FremantleMedia Licensing Americas and Mobliss, Inc., announced their plan to produce new programming – comedy, drama, reality – specifically for mobile video use, and ‘broadcast’ exclusively by the Thumbdance Channel. The first original series (or collection as they call it) to air will be Baywatch Best Beach Moments.  FremantleMedia will produce new programming specifically for the ‘smallest screen’, as well as tap into its content library.   FremantleMedia and Mobliss currently work together in the production of American Idol and the voting via cellphones for fan favorites. Check out www.thumbdance.com for more.

Sorrent, Inc., creator/publisher of mobile entertainment, released preliminary findings of its second quantitative research that looks at the usage and purchasing behavior of mobile entertainment consumers in the US.  The full report will be released in coming weeks.  Among the initial research findings of the new study it is tweens (K10-13 yrs for purposes of this study) that have emerged as the group that uses mobile gaming and entertainment content the most:

  • 84% tweens reported playing mobile games one or more times a day vs. 64% of the general population of mobile gamers playing one or more times a day.
  • 80% of tweens say they play games on their mobile phones while at home.
  • 40% of tweens share their mobile games/entertainment content with family members and friends.
  • 82% of tweens actively text message, 83% use ringtones and half of tweens surveyed use picture mail.

Sorrent’s full consumer research report, set to be released in the next few weeks, also looks at several other areas of mobile entertainment including, 3D, multiplayer gaming, price elasticity, and carrier preferences, buying behavior and consumer brand preferences.  For this study Sorrent partnered with research firm U30 Group, which in turn executed 754 web-based surveys.  Respondents were evenly split across men and women and ranged in age from 10-35 yrs.

Note to self:  The dude who bailed on American Idol will be on Regis & Kelly this morning … wonder if they can get him to say why he left the show.

NBA TV has struck carriage deals with eleven more cable systems, thereby expanding their subscriber base to 67 million homes in the US.  New systems carrying the sports network include Starstream Comm., Utilicom Networks, Grande Comm., Eagle Comm., Hometown Cable, EATEL, Dalton, Southern Coastal Cable, and Guadalupe Valley Cable. This group is added to NBA TV carriage deals already in place with 6 of the top 10 cable and satellite companies including Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, Dish and DirecTV.

San Diego‘s viewers will soon be able to see a new indie Spanish-language TV/cable channel from NBC Universal Television Stations.   Set to launch April 8, Mi San Diego TV 43 will air on KBOP with a combination of local news, sports and entertainment shows.  In addition to broadcasting live Padres Baseball games and local shows from KNSD (NBC-owned San Diego station), the channel will have access to programming from NBC’s LA-based KWHY.


ABC News and exec prod Shelley Ross have delivered a joint statement announcing Ross will step down from her post as exec prod of Primetime Live.  Filling in for the time being will be David Sloan, ep of 20/20.  Ross will take on new duties at ABC News, including development of new programs for the news division as well as other network divisions. 

Univision Communications Inc. upped Jasmine Rezai to VP/Affiliate Marketing for Univision Television Group.  She will oversee Univision, Telefutura and Galavision Networks’ cable and satellite affiliate marketing and promotions as well as for Univision and Telefutura stations.  Jasmine was previously Director of Western Region Affiliate Relations for Univision. She will be based in LA and report to Tim Krass, EVP of Affiliate Relations.

Discovery Networks US have appointed Victoria Lowell and Patrick Lafferty as SVPs/Marketing.  Victoria, upped from VP/Mktg at Discovery Health Channel and FitTV, will add Animal Planet to her marketing efforts. Patrick who hails from Leo Burnett USA, will be responsible for Travel Channel, The Science Channel, Military Channel and Discovery On Demand.  The announcement was made by Ken Dice, EVP/Marketing for Discovery Nets US, to whom both Victoria and Patrick will report.


Sunday – A18-49 Analysis:  ABC led on Sunday night according to fast affiliate ratings from Nielsen Media Research, posting an overall 5.3/13 A18-49 for the night.  NBC was #2 with a 3.7/9, followed by Fox 2.9/7, CBS 2.5/6, WB 1.1/3.  At 7p the first hour of ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition delivered a 4.0/12, four share points ahead of CBS’s 2.6/8.  At 8p, ABC turned that 10 share lead-in into a 7.6/18 for the second hour of EM: HE,  with CBS again ranked #2 for that hour with a 9 share. The Contender ranked #4 behind Fox’s #3 ranked 8 share.  At 9p NBC and ABC tied, each posting a 12 share.  ABC’s back to back debut of Jake in Progress began in the first half hour with a 5.8/13 winning the time period, and dipping slightly to a 5.1/12 for the second half hour.  Fox’s debut of the Kelsey Grammar Sketch Show at 930p was a soft 2.4/5, dropping off by two share points from its Simpsons [r] lead-in. ABC and NBC tied at 10p as well, each earning an 11 share.

FINAL HOUSEHOLD Ratings:  Sunday, March 13, 2005, for all Networks – program averages.  Source: Nielsen Media Research. 

ABC     7.9/13   EM: Home Edition 6.1/10, EM: Home Edition 10.3/16, Jake in Progress [p] 8.7/13, Jake in Progress 7.7/12, Boston Legal 7.1/12    

CBS     7.7/12   60 Minutes 8.3/14, Cold Case 10.5/16, CBS Movie: Saving Milly 6.0/9     

NBC     7.3/12   Dateline 61/10, The Contender 4.3/7, L&O: CI  10.1/15, Crossing Jordan 8.8/14   

FOX     3.8/6    King of the Hill 3.3/6, Malcolm 3.5/6, Simpsons [r] 5.0/8, Arrested Development 3.8/6, Simpsons [r] 3.8/6, Kelsey Grammar Sketch Show 3.5/5     

WB      1/6/3    Charmed [r], 1.4/2 Charmed [r] 1.6/2, Steve Harvey [r] 1.9/3    

A18-49                ABC 5.3/13, NBC 3.7/9, Fox 2.9/7, CBS 2.5/6, WB 1.1/3


Tonight on Court TV, all eyes will be watching two rival teams with nerves of…

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1917 – Under the threat of national railway strike, the U.S. Supreme court upholds the Adamson act (a.k.a the Eight hour Act) setting the workday for railroad workers at eight hours. It is the first time the federal government has regulated the working hours of a private employer. The act paves the way for widespread adoption of the eight-hour workday, which the labor movement had been fighting for since the 1880s.
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  Two different series – setting for both is a wine vineyard.  What are they? FALCON CREST and ENCORE ENCORE.  Kudos to: Jeffrey Hira-MTV/NY; Anthony Salerno-Intermark Media/Syosset; Alex Heyward-Showtime/NY; Synda Kollman-NBC/NY; Kandy Hartsfield-KDAF/Dallas; Lorrie Shilling/Centennial; David Scott Jones-Marleigh Ent/LA; Len Klatt-Premiere Radio Networks/LA; Randall Bosley-Studio Talent Group/Santa Monica; and Sam Ewing-Cookie Jar Entertainment/France.



Impossible Heists premieres tonight at 10pm e/p.
Only on Court TV: The Investigation Channel.

A wealth of marketing opportunities are available.
Visit www.courttvmediakit.com for more information.

Today’s TV Trivia Question:
  What show are you watching if dad is reading The Chronicle, the local newspaper where he also works?  (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.)


Reaching 29.5 million kids aged 2-11!*

*Source: Nielsen Media Research (NPower) 1/05.
ABC Kids Networks defined as Disney Channel (MSU 6A-12A),
TOON Disney (MSU 6A-12A), ABC Kids (Broadcast Saturday Morning
Kids Programming) and Jetix on ABC Family (MF 7A-9A/SS 7A-12N).

Later — Cyn

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ABC              My Wife & Kids, George Lopez, According to Jim, According to Jim, Blind Justice
CBS              NCIS, Amazing Race, Judging Amy
FOX              American Idol, House
NBC              Will & Grace, Will & Grace, Scrubs, Committed, Law & Order: SVU
PAX              Young Blade, Lie Detector, Diagnosis Murder
UPN              All of Us, Eve, Veronica Mars
WB               Gilmore Girls [r], The Starlet
TELE             La Mujer en el Espejo, Gitanas, Te Voy a Ensenar a Querer
UNIV             Apuesta por un Amor, Amor Real, Conteo Final a … Selene Vive! (OTO)

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