Good morning. It’s Tuesday, October 19, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing.
Without Sunday night national final ratings from Nielsen, its tough to say who won the night. In the fast nationals which are time period averages only, ABC led the night with a 5.7/14 A18-49, though tied in share with Fox’s 5.6/14, according to Nielsen Media Research. At 7pm Fox began with runover of the NLCS Game #4 earning a a 4.5/13 (approx due to fast national numbers) in the demo, and then the ALCS Yankee/Red Sox match kicked in around 8p and averaged a 6.0/14 until 11pm. Similarly, CBS began primetime with a 30m approx runover of NFL football earning a 6.7/20 for the 7-730p time frame, pushing the remainder of CBS’ primetime back by 30m. For the non-sporting nets, 7pm began with America’s Funniest Videos delivering a 2.0/6 A18-49, followed by Dateline’s 1.6/5 and Steve Harvey’s 07/2. At 8pm ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover fired up a 6.4/16 dousing the competition including a 3.8/9 for CBS, and a pair of 2.1/5 for both NBC and WB. At 9p ABC’s Desperate Housewives game the non-sporting fans the key with an overall 9.4/21 A18-49, and climbing to a 11.9/26 among W18-49. Lest you think men aren’t interested in desperate Housewives, not that anyone is saying that, M18-49 was second only to Baseball on Fox (7.6/17), earning a 6.5/15 for ABC. Law & Order:CI pulled in a 4.1/9. At 10p ABC held some of its momentum for Boston Legal, posting a 4.6/11, tied with NBC for Crossing Jordan.
Tonight’s Premieres: NBC The Biggest Loser at 8pm
Casting / Development / Production:
TBS and Nash Entertainment have signed a development deal whereby Nash will create several comedic reality shows for the cable network to launch in 2005. Bruce Nash is of the industry’s most prolific producers (Meet My Folks, For Love or Money, Who Wants to Marry My Dad), and was exec producer behind TBS’ successful reality series Outback Jack.
NBC has committed to a script for a comedy project from Chris Alberghini and Mike Chessler that will star Tori Spelling, loosely based on Spelling’s pre-marital life as a Spelling.
Dennis Hopper, along with Chris Alberghini, Mike Chessler and Matt LaBlanc’s Fort Hill Prods are developing a comedy project starring Hopper as a free thinking dad who goes to live with his son and not so free thinking daughter in law. With him he brings a new 2-year old daughter, and his free thinking ways bleeds into his parenting skills. The project will be produced by Warner Bros. Television and will be on the pitch road the next couple of weeks.
Aisha Tyler has signed a development deal with CBS to head up a new project targeted for Fall 2005. Also signing a development deal with the network is Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm) based in part on Essman’s real life drama of becoming a new step mother to four pre-teen and teenage children.
On November 3, Fox will introduce its newest reality series – Nanny 911 (Granada Ent). The show imports four proper English Nannies to deal with some out of control little American tykes.
Fox Sports Network has ordered up a second season of Poker Superstars International Tournament, scheduled to ante up in March, running through October 2005. The new season also brings a couple of changes to the format including increasing the number of players from 8 to 24, and to cover all those players, increase the hours from 12 to 36. The finale of the current season is scheduled for Super Bowl Sunday, airing prior to the big game, from 4-6pm.
Tonight on NBC‘s medical comedy series Scrubs, 9:30p we find the good doctors playing the newest edition of Milton Bradley’s board game Operation, featuring Cavity Sam, the perpetual surgical patient. The product integration plan is part of the game’s 39th anniversary, which also adds a 13th ailment to poor Cavity Sam – a Brain Freeze. Milton Bradley and NBC continue to support the new game and episode with a fully integrated marketing program, including print, online and on-air promotion, as well as a national Operation Scrubs sweepstakes (running now-November 30). An online Operation game demo for all to try http://www.hasbro.com/operation/. Go ahead, I won’t tell anybody.
A Cynopsis Question for You: Setting aside the politics in question, do you “agree” or “disagree” with Sinclair Broadcasting’s Group decision to air the anti-Kerry film Stolen Honor? Your Answer: You were all pretty doggone clear about your positions – out of all the respondents only one said he didn’t really care one way or the other. The rest of you used all kinds of adjectives describing the depths to which you do care!
23% agree with Sinclair’s decision to air the documentary, for many agreeing more specifically with the broadcast group’s First Amendment right to free speech.
The remaining 77% disagree, believe in no uncertain terms that Sinclair has no business airing the doc, citing reasons including misuse of the public airwaves and public trust, and Sinclair’s position that it is ‘news.’
Sinclair will air Stolen Honor under the category of News Special. As far as the Equal Time rule is concerned, news programs are generally exempt from FCC equal time obligations. While John Kerry’s campaign argued airing the documentary does not come under the heading of “news”, Sinclair has offered Kerry response time within the same hour. Kerry has asked for response time in a separate time period where the size and demographics of the audience will be similar to those viewing the documentary. No response from Sinclair as yet on that point. More than a handful of you suggested Sinclair air Stolen Hour followed by Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911.
Last evening on CNN’s Paula Zahn Now (10pm ET) Zahn spoke with Sinclair Broadcasting’s Washington Bureau Chief, Jonathan Leiberman, who had been fired by Sinclair. Zahn asked Lieberman what reason he was given by Sinclair for being fired and he answered thusly:
“Today, I was fired because I spoke to a newspaper here in Baltimore this morning about my concerns about labeling this special as a news special. Now, I agree that Sinclair, under the First Amendment, has the right to air part or all of this documentary, but my argument has been, call it commentary, call it editorial, call it programming, but don’t call it news.
“And yesterday, we were called into a mandatory staff meeting and told that the news department would be handling an hour-long special dealing with this documentary, and we were basically told we had no choice but to participate. I stood up and said, I’m not comfortable with this. I think my credibility is at issue. I think the viewers aren’t going to trust us if we call this news. And today, I was fired because I spoke to the newspaper about what I said at that meeting and the concerns that I have over the issue.”
Zahn then read the following statement from Sinclair Broadcasting Group:
“Everyone is entitled to their personal opinion, including Jon Leiberman. We are disappointed that Jon’s political views caused him to violate policy and speak to the press about company business. We have no further comments on the actions of a disgruntled employee or an ongoing personnel matter. Viewers can grade Leiberman’s opinion vs. the reality when the finished product is aired.”
And finally on this same topic, according to St. Louis station WPXS, an Equity Broadcasting Corporation station, it will air the programming preempted on the Sinclair ABC affiliate the night that station is airing the documentary film Stolen Honor – October 22 from 8-9pm. FYI, WPXS also aired the episode of Nightline in which Ted Koppel read the names of the military personnel who had died in Iraq, an episode the Sinclair stations chose to preempt.
The NAACP’s President and CEO, Kweisi Mfume, endorsed Nielsen Media Research’s Local People Meters (LPMs) in a letter this week. In addition to others, he joins several key media players supporting the LPMs including the Reverend Jesse Jackson, TV One’s Johnathan Rodgers and BET”s Debra Lee. Here is an excerpt from his letter to Nielsen’s President/CEO, Susan Whiting:
“After much reflection and personal investigation, I have decided to support the Nielsen Media Research use of local people meters (LPM) as a vastly improved way of measuring television viewership. The LPM is clearly a more accurate and reliable way of tracking household viewing habits than any previous measurement system.
“In order to insure balance and proper weighting of television viewership, it is essential that African Americans, Latinos and others are accurately counted. It is only through a fair count that networks will be further convinced to air substantive programs that are of special interest to ever-growing minority audiences. Moreover, an accurate measurement will decidedly give greater weight and influence to Black, Latino and Asian consumers. I believe that the LPM system will better measure the broader television audience and therefore can be an effective tool in promoting greater diversity in the programming produced by the television industry.”
Clarification: While Pinnacle Entertainment has cleared its Pinnacle Power I movie package on the WB 100+ Station Group, 321 Productions has been hired by Pinnacle to clear the top 100 markets (excluding NYC). The barter + cash pkg have already been cleared by 321 Prods in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston and Atlanta. Newly-formed 321 Productions is headed up by Dan Zifkin, Karen Brooks and Bob Pargament.
Veteran television production executive Michael Weisbarth died on Monday, October 11 following a long illness. He was 61. An Emmy and Golden Globe recipient, Michael was most recently President of Fireworks Television in LA, and prior to that was head of West Coast Drama Programming for A&E. Through his career, Michael held several top exec positions including President of Alliance Television, Prez/CEO of Coastline Prods and EVP of Motown Productions. Donations in his memory may be made to the Tower Cancer Research Foundation in Beverly Hills.
David Doyle has been named VP/Production and Development for Animal Planet, effective November 1, 2004. He will report to Maureen Smith, EVP/GM, and will oversee all aspects of the network’s program production and development to execute the network’s programming strategies. David will be responsible for overseeing development of new content and managing production and development teams and will serve as executive producer on select projects.
MGM has upped Michael Smarinsky to EVP/Corporate and Governmental Affairs, reporting to Sr. EVP Bill Jones. Michael will continue to run governmental affairs for MGM, and supervise content-protection activities.
HGTV has upped two execs: Chad Youngblood has been named VP/On-Air Promotion, and Sharon Fleischhacker as VP/Special Projects. Chad will oversee the production of on-air creative for HGTV and contribute new strategies to the brand. Sharon will continue to support off-air creative endeavors, including the production of corporate video presentations for the network’s affiliate and advertising sales teams.
Sunday, October 17, 2004. Fast National Household Ratings for all Networks – Time period Averages only, particular for Live Sports Programming. 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
FOX 9.4/15 NLCS #4 Runover 8.1/14 (7-8p est); ALCS #4 Yanks & Red Sox 9.8/15 (8-11p est)
ABC 8.7/13 AFV 4.6/8, Extreme Makeover Home Edition 8.6/13, Desperate Housewives 12.8/18, Boston Legal 7.6/12
CBS 8.7/13 NFL Runover 12.2/21, 60 Minutes 11.0/17, Cold Case 9.5/14, Movie: Perfect Strangers 5.3/8
NBC 6.5/10 Dateline 5.1/9, American Dreams 4.3/7, Law & Order: CI 8.0/11, Crossing Jordan 8.5/13
WB 1.9/3 Steve Harvey’s Big Time 1.5/2, Charmed 2.9/4, Jack & Bobby 1.4/2
A18-49 ABC 5.7/14, Fox 5.6/14, CBS 3.4/8, NBC 3.2/8, WB 1.3/3
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Catch an all-new episode of CAUGHT TONIGHT @ 10:30pm
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The History Channel presents This Day in History: 1781: Lord Cornwallis, commander of British forces in America, finds himself surrounded at Yorktown by a combined Franco-American force and surrenders his 8,000 soldiers and seamen. The defeat of the British army under Cornwallis effectively ended the American Revolution, although peace would not be signed until 1783.
Answer to yesterday’s Trivia Question: Death Valley Days was hosted by two gentlemen – one was Stanley Andrews. Who was the other man who was often seen riding a horse, and who’s fame is probably stronger today than back in his Death Valley Days? RONALD REAGAN. Kudos to everyone in the free world of a certain age.
Today’s Trivia Question: Peter Jenning’s first job as an adult was: a) librarian; b) copyboy; c) bank teller; d) circus barker? (click 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.)
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Later — Cyn
Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis 10/19/04
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JOB OPENING: SALES ASSISTANT, NBC Universal TV Networks, LA. 1-2 years experience, preferably in ad sales, organized, detail-oriented. Knowledge of Nielsen, MRI and media math desirable. Apply www.gecareers.com, job# 380775 (10/26)
JOB OPENING: NEWS/TALK SHOW PRODUCERS & AP’S wanted for LA production featuring controversial, pop-cultural and weighty faith-context topics. Strong civilian/celebrity booking exp required. Email resumes: (10/26)
JOB OPENING: MGR, SALES RESEARCH & MKTG/ABC SOAPnet-NY. 3-5 yrs Media Research exp w/cable (pref), bcst net or adv agency. Prof in research applications incl Nielsen systems, Simmons, MRI. Resumes:
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JOB OPENING: CLIENT SERVICES-Nielsen Media Research/NY. Responsible for Installing, Training, Supporting & Maintaining NMR software at client sites. Training and Presentation exp a must. www.NielsenMedia.com ref:(200402277-JL) (10/23)
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JOB OPENING: ADMIN ASST, PRODUCTION & OPERATIONS/OLN-Stamford, CT.Entry-level, supporting busy VPs.Proficiency in Excel, strong numbers aptitude, attention to detail req. More info: www.olntv.com Resume/salary:
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JOB OPENING: NYC company seeks PRODUCER. Must have 5+ yrs exp doing one-hour shows. Must be creative, able to tell a story and work with music while keeping a tight edit schedule. Email resumes (no attachments):
JOB OPENING: CREATIVE SERVICES DIR/Evansville. 3-5 yrs exp, handle promo/prod/ops of new digital/HDTV facility. Resumes to Lyle Schulze, GM. WAZE/WB19, 1277 N. St. Joseph Ave., Evansville, IN 47720 EOE or email lschulze m (10/20)
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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2004:
ABC My Wife & Kids, George Lopez, According to Jim, Rodney, NYPD Blue CBS NCIS, Clubhouse, Judging Amy FOX MLB: ALCS Game #6: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees NBC The Biggest Loser [p], Scrubs, L&O: SVU PAX Second Verdict, Cold Turkey, Doc UPN All of Us, Eve, Veronica Mars WB Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill TELE Prisonera, Gitanas, Te Voy a Ensenar a Querer UNIV Rubi, Amarte es mi Pecado, Casos de la Vida Real
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