Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004





Good morning. It’s Tuesday, March 2, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing. 

ABC was the clear winner on Sunday night with the 76th Annual Academy Awards pulling in 43.5 million viewers.  For the night from stem to stern, ABC averaged a 12.3/30 from 7-11p (subject to change once the final numbers are in) according to fast affiliate ratings from Nielsen Media Research. Well behind was NBC 3.1/8, followed by FOX 2.5/6, CBS 2.3/6, WB 1.2/3.  Barbara Walters Special kicked off the night for ABC and immediately gave the net a big boost with a 5.8/17 for the hour among A18-49, and a 7.3/18 among A25-54, according to time period data.  At 8pm if not on already, TV sets were warmed up for the 830p start of the Oscars, and found the 30m 8pm Countdown to the Oscars show which earned a 9.2 A18-49. And then it was Oscar – averaging a 15.3 A18-49 from 830-11:55p which according to ABC was good enough to rank the Oscars the #1 entertainment show of the season, up 22% vs. last year’s.  Compared with last year (airing during the third week in March), in total viewers this year’s event saw 10.5 million more viewers; the most viewed since the 2000 Awards (46.33 million viewers) when American Beauty was the Best Picture.   The most viewed Oscar-fest in the past decade was in 1998 when Titanic was top dog and 55.2 million viewers tuned in, the most in recorded history of the awards.

TNT has acquired the cable rights to off-net series Alias (Buena Vista Television Dist) for a reported fee of $200,000 per ep, aimed to hit the schedule in Fall 2005.  That fee is considerably less than the ask six months ago, which was closer to the tony $1m neighborhood.  The show was at one time in 2002 repurposed on ABC Family to disappointing ratings.  However, one could argue the environment at TNT will be considerably more desirable to the show, potentially surrounded by the likes of L&O, NYPD Blue, ER and Without a Trace.

USA Network has purchased the cable rights to Along Came Polly (Universal); And according to Variety, NBC has picked up the broadcast rights.  Thus far Polly has raked in $86 million at the domestic box office and according to traditional math in these types of deals, the networks could collectively pay between $13 and $15 million for Polly. USA will get the first airing in the Fall of 2006, then goes to NBC in early 2007.  Thereafter it bicycles between the nets until 2011.   USA also picked up three other Universal’s three titles, Intolerable Cruelty, Love Actually and Honey.   Honey will be shared with the WB network, collectively the nets will pony up approx $4 million. The movie begins at USA for a series of airings, goes to WB for a single run, and then moves back and forth between the nets for the remaining term in the 4-year deal.  USA has an option of finding a broadcast or cable net to share the other two titles, which both have three year terms. Meanwhile, NBC has done a separate deal with Universal for Lost in Translation; Universal is also talking with another cable net to split the fees/runs.

New in Development and Casting:

  • CBS has cast Rob Lowe in the lead role of its doctor-in-the-hotel drama series Dr. Vegas (Bender Brown Prods/Warner Bros. TV/CBS Prods).  And Spencer Breslin has joined the growing cast of CBS’ Center of the Universe starring John Goodman, Jean Smart, Diedrich Bader and Melinda McGraw.
  • ABC brings Alex Desert into its drama pilot Harry Green & Eugene (Frequency Films/Littlefield Co./Paramount) which stars Mark Valley and Jason Segal as brothers – one smart, the other not so much, who own a P.I. firm.  John Patrick Stewart and Josie Davis joined the as yet untitled pilot featuring Jennifer Love Hewitt (Love Spell/Touchstone) about a single mom/sports producer who unwillingly ends up an on-camera reporter.
  • NBC named John Cho to the cast of Men’s Room, a comedy that examines the lives and humor of men in their 20’s through their 40’s.
  • WB has cast Coby Arens and Stacy Edwards in its drama pilot Prodigy about a family of prodigies, most notably the son. The daughter alternatively hides her prodigal talents.
  • Fox‘s drama pilot Point Pleasant has added Cameron Richardson and Brent Weber to the cast. A mix of primetime soap and with a dash of Twin Peaks oddity, this story focuses on a small town irrevocably changed the day a girl washes ashore.

Discovery Home & Leisure Channel is getting a makeover.  Come March 29, this channel will be known as Discovery Home Channel, with a new logo, new graphics, new branding spots, as well as newly expanded slate of original programming.  Categories of programming will include decorating, cooking, landscaping, home improvement, among others.  New programming includes: Houselift which follows a couple as they renovate their 1907 Dutch Colonial (premieres 4/2 at 8p); Friends for Dinner (premieres March 30 at 10p) features 8 friends trying to whip up a gourmet meal for friends, and who thankfully have top chefs to help out; cooking series Kylie Kwong: Cooking with Heart and Soul kicks off in 2nd qtr this year; No Repair Man Needed (working title) is a self-help home improvement show set to debut in 3rd qtr 2004; and Picture This is a lifestyle makeover series for 4th qtr 2004.

Yesterday cable network Trio launched TrioPlus, the channel’s new broadband initiative (www.triotv.com/plus) designed for those who don’t get Trio on their cable, and more content for those that do.  Content includes never before episodes or scenes from Trio programs, as well as acquired programming including 49 eps of Mr. Bill (CinemaNow), 24 short films from Lions Gate Entertainment featured at the digital film festival RESFEST, and 16 eps of Hidden Celebrity Webcam (Icebox).   TrioPlus will also include a the premiere of a controversial new animated series from South Park creators Matt Stone/Trey Parker called Princess which has never been seen because of its content.  Princess kicks off with the premiere webisode on March 8 along with the Trio orig doc Shocked which looks at why shows like Princess never made it to air.

Oxygen has ordered 10 more episodes of Real Weddings from The Knot.  The new eps will be scheduled to coincide with Oxygen’s Wedding Weeks in October 2004 and January 2005.  Each episodes follows couples in the final weeks leading up to their wedding, their frustrations and delights, good news and bad, with narration from the bride.

Animal Planet will debut a new series on March 30 called Venom ER – a San Bernadino hospital ER that specializes primarily with snake bits, spider bites and scorpion stings. The premiere episode airs from 8-10p and thereafter the show will air on Tuesdays at 9p.

Public comments will be accepted by the FCC up until March 19 on the question of how UHF stations are counted.  Traditionally, a UHF station is counted as 50% of their market, unlike the full 100% like their VHF counterparts.  With the national ownership cap set at 39% thanks to a recently signed appropriations bill by the President, the question of UHF discounts comes into play. In the event the FCC decides to count UHF stations as reach the full 100% viewership in their respective markets, many station groups could find themselves over the 39% cap.

The new Spanish language newspaper Hoy was available on newsstands in LA yesterday for the first time.  The paper is already available in New York and Chicago where it has a total circulation of more than 110,000 (94k in NY, 18k in Chicago).   In a content deal with Telemundo, the net will tie in with Hoy for its newscasts in NY, Chicago and LA, where viewers will be directed to the newspaper for additional information on various news topics. 

Update: Dennis Miller is due back in front of the camera on CNBC on March 9.

A&E Television Networks has restructured its national ad sales group. AETN has appointed several ad sales executives to new positions, including Macie Huwiler to SVP/National Ad Sales; Vice Presidents Rob Edney and Brian Granath will oversee all of the ad sales efforts for A&E’s Eastern Region; Melinda McLaughlin to SVP/Integrated Sales and Marketing; and Mike Peretz to VP/Pricing & Planning.  The announcement was made today by Mel Berning, EVP/Ad Sales, A&E Television Networks. 

José Antonio Hidalgo has been named Director of Business Development for Telemundo Television Stations with offices in Mexico City.  Enrique Pérez, SVP/Telemundo Station Group Sales made the announcement. José  will report directly to Pérez and will work closely with Telemundo’s National Spot Sales offices and owned and operated stations.  He most recently was Director of Affiliate Sales at VISAT, Televisa’s cable distribution company.

MGM Studios Inc. attorney Laura Tunberg has been upped to VP/Intellectual Property Enforcement. The announcement was made by MGM Senior EVP/Secretary William A. Jones, to whom Laura reports.  She also reports to MGM Senior EVP/General Counsel Jay Rakow.  Laura is MGM’s representative on the committee overseeing the Motion Picture Association’s worldwide anti-piracy programs.  She also oversees security for MGM’s entire process of film and TV production and enforcement actions against copyright violators of MGM’s products on the Internet, optical discs and other formats and platforms.

Televisa Cine will open an LA-based film distrib office headed by Mike Doban who will oversee day to day operations. Doban makes the move to Televisa Cine from Arcangelo where he was head film buyer for the Metropolitan Theatres in the US.  Targeting the growing US Hispanic audience, Doban’s first assignment will be the distribution of  A Day Without a Mexican, produced by Televisa Cine and scheduled for release on May 14.

Several uppings at TV Guide Affiliate Sales and Marketing: Sharon Metz has been promoted to VP/National Accounts, and Ryan McDermott, has been upped to Director/Affiliate Sales and Marketing for the Southeast Region. New to the company are Andy Clyde, as Director/Affiliate Sales and Marketing for the Southwest Region, and Laurie Silverman as Director/Affiliate Sales and Marketing for the Eastern Region.

Cynopsis will be contributing to The New York Times’ special pull out section Television Upfront which is included in the May 11, 2004 edition.  Among other topics, one of them will be a look at the best of the best new series for the 2004-05 television season, be it broadcast or cable network or from the syndication side.  If you have a show you would like to be considered, drop me a note at
and I’ll be happy to provide you with my mailing address so you can send along a description and/or tape.  All information provided for this NYT piece will be embargoed (even from Cynopsis) until the 5/11 publication of the Times.

Sunday, February 29, 2004. Fast Affiliate Household Ratings for all Networks. Fast affiliate numbers which reflect time period data, not program data, and can change slightly once the finals come in, particularly for LIVE programming (i.e. Football). Source Nielsen Media Research. Time Period Averages Only. [p] = Premiere; [o] = Original; [r] = Repeat

ABC     21.4/33 (7-11p) Barbara Walters Special 12.3/20, Countdown to Oscars 17.3/27, 76th Annual Academy Awards (ends 11:55p)  26.0/40

NBC     6.1/9   Dateline 4.6/8, Law & Order CI 4.9/7, Law & Order 7.3/11, Law & Order CI 7.5/12

CBS     5.2/8   60 Minutes 6.8/11, Cold Case 5.8/9, Movie: Rules of Engagement 4.1/6

FOX     3.8/6   Movie: Star Wars: Episode I 3.8/6

WB      1.9/3   Smallville 1.9/3, Movie: Willy Wonka the Chocolate Factory 1.9/3

A18-49  ABC , NBC 3.1/8, FOX 2.5/6, CBS 2.3/6, WB 1.2/3





Court TV
The Investigation Channel
Source:  2003 Advertising Receptivity Index. A18+. Indexed to Total US. Nets with 50+MM subs included.  Qual. Avail. upon request.

The History Channel presents This Day in History: 
1969 – The Concorde, the world’s first supersonic passenger jet, makes its first flight, lasting 27 minutes. A joint venture between France and England, the plane went into regular commercial service in 1976; it was retired in October 2003, a victim of declining revenues and escalating maintenance costs.

Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question:  What group had a laundry list of rules to live by, including: Rule #111: Treat people in debt like family – exploit them; Rule #52: Never ask when you can take; Rule #162: Even in the worst of times, some one  turns a profit; Rule #266: When in doubt, lie; and Rule #34: War is good for business.  Who are these folks?  No, not the Bundys and no not even the more popular answer, the Bush Family. The alien race FERENGI on STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE.  By the way, a fan points out the Ferengi rule Whisper Your Way to Success was actually created in honor of Paramount Network TV’s chief Kerry McCluggage who always spoke in a whisper.  Kudos to: Barbara Morris-WATL/Atlanta; Scott Hamula-Ithaca College/Ithaca; Brad Birkel-Mag Rack/NY; Marc Altabe-Citigroup/NY; Tim Rank-KDNL/St. Louis; Eric Merrill-GSD&M/Austin; Mark Fiorello-Optimedia Int’l US/Dallas; Charles Starrat-Petry/Chicago; Dirk van de Bunt-Carsey Warner Mandabach/LA; Alan Berger-PHD/LA; Albert Fisher-Fisher Merlis Television/LA; Curtis Kheel-Spelling TV/LA.


Keep Their Eyes On You

Television Upfront 2004
A Special Advertising Section in The New York Times
Tuesday, May 11

Extend the reach of your ad sales efforts by promoting your broadcast,
cable and syndicated programs in Television Upfront, a stand-alone
advertising section, co-written by Cynthia Turner.

To advertise or for more information, contact Brad Kolodny at
or visit nytadvertising.com

Today’s Trivia Question:  What was the name of the bird of prey that appeared for 2 years on a primetime sitcom?  (
to respond to the trivia question and please be sure to include with your answer your name, company, city and time zone. Only the second four correct responses from each time zone will be listed in tomorrow’s kudo list.)

Later — Cyn

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis
03/02/04  5:21am
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JOB OPENING:  UNIVISION SALES SPECIALIST/Equity Bcsting, Little Rock, AR. Dev. Local/Regional/Nat’l biz for station group. Sales exp necessary; Spanish a +. E-mail resume and cover letter to Sam Smith ssmith
EOE  (3/9)

JOB OPENING:  SALES/MKTG RESEARCH ASST/NBC, NY. Assist NBC/Bravo clients w/ quant/qual research. Knwldge of key sales/mktg tools (Nielsen Galaxy Explorer, NPower and MarketBreaks; CMR MRI MEMRI) a +. Resume:

JOB OPENING:  CUSTOMER SUPPORT REP, Verance Corp, San Diego. Mge ad agency/bcst clients; cust rpt ordering/delivery; resolve issues, mge new cust support. 2+ yrs adv or bcst exp; solid comm & comp skills. Email:

JOB OPENING:  SR INT’L RESEARCH ANALYST/NYC. Analyze TV rtgs data for Latin Am. mkt. Interpret data, formulate sales pres. PC prof. & mkt res exp nec. Bilingual Spanish a +. Attach MS Word doc resume: recruitersr
. EOE/AAE  (3/6)

JOB OPENING:   LOCAL RESEARCH ASSOC DIRECTOR/ABC Burbank. 4+ yrs exp in local/nat’l TV research, apt at Nielsen/WRAP, strong analytical skills, some supervisory exp req., prior financial analysis a +. Resumes:

JOB OPENING:   LA based nationally syndicated tv show is looking for experienced PRODUCERS, ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS, and FIELD PRODUCERS. Candidates must have talk show or reality experience. Email resumes to

JOB OPENING:  DIRECTOR/CORP. COMM., Nickelodeon/NY. 5 yrs PR exp dev./managing comm./media relations for Nick’s pro-social, public affairs, news, educ., corp. & research efforts to TV trade/educ/consumer media. www.mtvncareers.com (3/3)

JOB OPENING:  DIRECTOR, VH1/CMT RESEARCH, New York. 9+ years exp in qualitative & quantitative market research. Excellent communication/presentation skills. Proven analytical skills/strategic thinking ability. www.mtvncareers.com (3/3)

JOB OPENING:  AD SALES RESEARCH ANALYST/ Galavision/ NY: 2-3 yrs experience; Proficient Knowledge of National Nielsen products; strong analytical skills required. Email
  ~ specify research (3/3)


SITUATION WANTED: Organized, multi-tasker, BA Comm, minors Marketing/Psych seeking ENTRY-LEVEL position in TV or Film industry in NYC. Please contact
or call 908-687-5765  (3/9)

SITUATION WANTED:  ENTRY LEVEL/SALES ASSISTANT: (Chicago) Looking to get into television ad sales in NY, Chicago, & LA. contact at:

SITUATION WANTED:  RESEARCH position desired in Miami. 8 yrs Media Rsch exp. in LatAm and U.S. Hispanic Market.Worked closely w/ Ad Sales, Prog., Affiliate, Mktg and Business Development Departments. Pls contact

SITUATION WANTED: ASSISTANT TO PRODUCER (NY) looking to assist Producer in TV or Film.  Smart, quick, dependable self-starter. Contact Lily Shaw 212-928-5778 or [email protected]  (3/5)

for rates and specs for Job Openings. Your ad will be read by 63,760+ Cynopsis & Cynopsis Kids! readers every day. No wonder Cynopsis ads get results.

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





Court TV
The Investigation Channel
Source: 2003 Advertising Receptivity Index. A18+. Indexed to Total US. Nets with 50+MM subs included. Qual. avail. upon request.

COURT TV:       The I-Zone, Forensic Files, The Investigators 
ABC             8 Simple Rules, I’m with Her, According to Jim, Less Than Perfect, NYPD Blue
CBS             Navy NCIS, The Guardian, Judging Amy
FOX             American Idol, Forever Eden
NBC             Whoopi, Happy Family, Frasier, Scrubs, Law & Order: SVU
PAX             AFV, Early Edition, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             One on One, All of Us, America’s Next Top Model
WB              Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill
TELE            Amor Descardo, El Alma Herida, Mujeres Apasionadas
UNIV            Velo de Novia, Bajo la Misma Piel, Casos de la Vida Real

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