Tuesday, September 21st, 2004





Good morning. It’s Tuesday, September 21, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing.

As anticipated, CBS NEWS’ Andrew Heyward, President, issued a statement yesterday afternoon regarding the documents regarding President Bush’ National Guard career:

“60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY had full confidence in the original report or it would not have aired.  However, in the wake of serious and disturbing questions that came up after the broadcast, CBS News has done extensive additional reporting in an effort to confirm the documents’ authenticity.  That included an interview featured on last week’s edition of 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY with Marian Carr Knox, secretary to the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, the officer named as the author of the documents; the interview with Bill Burkett (aired last night on CBS Evening News) and a further review of the forensic evidence on both sides of the debate.  Based on what we now know, CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic, which is the only acceptable journalistic standard to justify using them in the report.  We should not have used them.  That was a mistake, which we deeply regret.  Nothing is more important to us than our credibility and keeping faith with the millions of people who count on us for fair, accurate, reliable, and independent reporting.  We will continue to work tirelessly to be worthy of that trust.”

And this statement from Dan Rather:

“…after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where — if I knew then what I know now –I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.  But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.  Please know that nothing is more important to us than people’s trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.”

CBS News will conduct an internal investigation into their own process by which these documents were reported, and will make the results of that investigation public.

CBS won the night on Sunday with an overall 4.2/11 A18-49 according to Nielsen Media Research, with ABC‘s presentation of the Emmy Awards tying in share with a 3.9/11 for the evening. Let’s get to the Emmys first – the awardfest ran from 8p-11p and averaged a 3.5/10 in the demo with a total of 13.96 million viewers, down 22% in total viewers from last year’s event on Fox with 17.9 million viewers. In fact, looking back over the years and total Emmy viewers, it was the smallest group of total viewers since 1990.  The lead-in Countdown to the Emmys pulled in a soft 1.2/4 demo with a total of 6 million viewers. CBS began the evening with an overrun of NFL coverage before 60 Minutes kicked in approx 30m late.  From 7-8p CBS led with a 4.7/17, giving way to ABC at 8pm (ABC 3.4/11; CBS 2.2/7). NBC gave ABC a little run for its money from 9-10p (ABC 3.6/10, NBC 3.3/9), and in fact overtook The Emmys during the final hour of prime: NBC 3.5/11, ABC 3.3/10.  The second week of WB’s new Sunday night schedule slipped a bit week to week (with the exception of Charmed), perhaps in part due to the Emmys and Titanic.  Steve Harvey’s Big Time averaged a 0.7/3 (down from a 1.0/3 last week), Charmed a 2.2/7 (flat in share week to week) and Jack & Bobby 1.4/4 (down from a 1.8/4).  In Jack & Bobby’s stronger teen demo of P12-17, it earned a 2.0/6, down from its premiere last week (3.3/11).

Just because not as many gabazillions turned in to see the Emmys, doesn’t mean pieces of the broadcast won’t pull in a pretty penny on EBay.  Twenty foot squares of the red carpet (current bid is $75), souvenir Official Programs (described as in ‘near mint’ condition) and an Official Invitation are all up for auction on EBay.  Also noted in the description of each item is that 70% of any proceeds from these items goes to The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation.

Tonight’s Finales:
CBS: Big Brother [finale]
UPN:  Amish in the City [finale]

Tonight’s Premieres:
ABC:  My Wife & Kids (60m) [p], According to Jim [p], Rodney [p], NYPD Blue [p]
NBC:  L&O: SVU  [p]
UPN:  All of Us [p], Eve [p]
WB:   Gilmore Girls  [p], One Tree Hill  [p]

TBS will launch a new program block on October 1st called Too Funny to Sleep, airing Friday nights starting at 1:15am.  Included in the lineup and appearing in time period order are: Family Guy, Futurma, Mr. Show, Baby Blues, Family Guy, Futurama, Mr. Show ands Baby Blues. The new block ties in with TBS’ new tag this season, Very Funny.

ESPN Classic will team up with CBS News Production and 60 Minutes to package a “new” show called 60 Minutes on Classic. Each episode will be 30m long, and each classic segment will focus on leading sports figures. The show will be hosted by Steve Kroft and is expected to run initially for 13 episodes. 60 Minutes on Classic will air Tuesday nights at 8pm beginning in late October.

Goodlife TV has signed a 3 year programming deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution which will ultimately add ten new series to the Goodlife’s fall schedule. Among the new series are: China Beach, Man from UNCLE, Girl from UNCLE, Chico and the Man, I’ll Fly Away, Harry O, Kung Fu, and others.  Other shows returning to Goodlife this fall include F Troop, Homefront, The FBI, 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick and many others. Additionally, Goodlife plans to launch a new theme night on Wednesday evenings with the umbrella title American Spies. 

Casting / Development / Production:

  • Director Rod Lurie has signed a two year deal with Touchstone TV and via that deal has received a script commitment for a drama project called Commander in Chief.  The project is about the first female President of the United States.
  • J.J. Abrams has two projects in the hopper. With the WB, Six Degrees (Touchstone TV/Bad Robot) has received a premium script commitment with penalty, and will be written by Raven Metzner and Stu Zicherman, with Abrams as exec prod along with Thom Sherman, per Variety. The show focuses on six post-college adults who’s lives cross in various ways. With ABC, Pros and Cons (I know you’ve heard this title before, but this one is different!) about a group of ex-cons now working for the good guys, and also written by Metzner and Zicherman.
  • TLC has ordered up 20 episodes of a new unscripted show from Evolution Film & Tape called 10 Years Younger.  In this reality show, participants at the hands of able stylists, get a non-surgical makeover designed to make them look ten years younger.  According to Hollywood Reporter, this show is expected to join TLC’s daytime lineup early next year.

The debates are coming …  I think! The debates are coming …  I think! Nothing official, nothing confirmed, but it looks like the POTUS debates will be scheduled for September 30, October 8 and 13, and are expected to be carried on CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox, though that has not yet been confirmed either. I guess you can’t confirm something that hasn’t already been confirmed. The VP debate is scheduled for October 5. Unconfirmed.

James Kraus has been upped to President of Carsey-Werner Domestic Television Distribution, up from EVP.  In his new position he will be responsible for all domestic sales marketing and research activities relating to the company’s off-network programs.

The Disney-ABC Television Group will restructure its communications area and in doing so will up two key executives.  Sue Binford to SVP/Corp. Communications, and Kevin Brockman to SVP/Entertainment Communications. The announcement was made by Anne Sweeney, co-chairman, Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company and president, Disney-ABC Television Group, and by Zenia Mucha, SVP/Communications, The Walt Disney Company, to whom they will each report.

Lifetime‘s Jenny Alonzo has been upped to SVP/Production, Promotion Planning and Multicultural Strategies. Jenny will report to Pat Langer, EVP/Legal, Business Affairs and Human Resources, and to Tom Hanft, SVP/Marketing.   In her new role, Jenny will oversee the multicultural strategies initiative aimed at increasing Lifetime’s reach to diverse audiences.

Mag Rack, the network designed exclusively for video-on-demand, has named Daniel Ronayne as SVP/General Manager. Dan will be responsible for the continued development and daily operation of Mag Rack.  He will oversee all aspects of the business, including strategic development, programming and branding.  Dan will also work to expand the scope of these operations, creating strategic alliances with other content and technology providers.

Sunday, September 19, 2004. Fast National 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

CBS     9.2/15  NFL Overage 14.0/26, 60 Minutes (730-830) 10.4/18, Cold Case (830-930) 8.4/13, CSI Miami 7.6/13

ABC     8.2/14  Countdown to the Emmys 4.2/8; The Primetime Emmy Awards 9.6/16

NBC     5.8/10  Movie:  Titanic 5.8/10

FOX     3.0/5   NFL Overage/King of the Hill 2.7/5; Movie: Speed  3.2/5

WB      2.0/3   Steve Harvey’s Big Time 1.4/3, Charmed 2.8/4, Jack & Bobby 2.0/3

A18-49  CBS 4.2/11, ABC 3.9/11, NBC 3.3/6, Fox 2.1/6, WB 1.4/4


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The History Channel
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1993:  Russia approaches anarchy when President Boris Yeltsin dissolves Parliament in a bid to solidify his own power.  By ordering a referendum on his plan to consolidate power in the presidency, Yeltsin hoped to marginalize the Communist opposition in the parliament building, known as the “White House.”  After his clearly illegal decree, the parliament announced an attempted coup.  The standoff was broken when Yeltsin loyalists shelled the “White House” and forced the surrender of the parliamentary opposition.  

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  It has been said that when CBS was offered the series Star Trek, they turned in down in favor of what other space series?  LOST IN SPACE.  Kudos to: Pat McDonald-Northstar Media/NY; David Elliot-Elliot Technologies and Anne Elliot-Nielsen Media Research/Stuart FL; Jake Vander Linden-Carat USA/NY; C. Stewart Knapp-CSK Cable Marketing/Lutherville MD; Keith Paxton-KDFI/Dallas; Greg Armstrong-KTVD/Denver; Dave Baker-Interconnect of the Twin Cities/Eden Prairie; Valerie Heilbron-Heilbron Assoc/Santa Fe; John Amato-20th Television/LA; Steve Martino-KWBP/Portland; Susan Blakely-Fox/LA; Richard Levine-DirecTV/El Segundo; and Gayle Reznik-Core FA/Toronto.

Today’s Trivia Question:  What is the name of the Chef on Rawhide?  (Remember – no fair looking this stuff up!)  (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.)


Investigate this!

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Can a psychic help authorities crack a baffling missing persons case?
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Spot on ROI: Return On Investigation

Later — Cyn

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis
09/21/04  5:19am

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ABC             My Wife & Kids (60m) [p], According to Jim [p], Rodney [p], NYPD Blue [p]
CBS             Big Brother [finale], Amazing Race
FOX             That 70’s Show, Quintuplets, Bernie Mac, Bernie Mac
NBC             Last Comic Standing, Father of the Pride, Scrubs, L&O: SVU  [p]
PAX             On the Cover, Balderdash, Early Edition, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             All of Us [p], Eve [p], Amish in the City [finale]
WB              Gilmore Girls  [p], One Tree Hill  [p]
TELE            Prisonera, Gitanas, Te Voy a Ensenar a Querer
UNIV            Rubi, Amarte es mi Pecado, Casos de la Vida Real


Mathew Tombers, Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., a television consulting practice,
salutes its client, the National Programming Unit of WETA, Washington, D.C.
for the successful completion of its production of
for Outdoor Life Network, premiering in October, 2004.

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