Tuesday, September 5th, 2006


Debuting September in over 96% of the U.S.

Year Two 98% Coverage
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Good morning. It’s Tuesday, September 5, 2006, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, was killed yesterday while on expedition for Animal Plant on the Great Barrier Reef.  Irwin swam over a stingray and was stung in the chest by the stingray’s barb. His pulling the barb out of his chest was caught on video.  Immediate medical attention was given aboard the Croc One, but by the time a rescue helicopter reached the site, Irwin had died.  Discovery Communications is planning a Steve Irwin Crocodile Hunter Fund, which it plans affectionately call “The Crikey Fund.” The Fund will be established for wildlife protection, education and conservation.  On Sunday Animal Planet US and International will air an all-day marathon in memory of Irwin, featuring the Best of the Croc Hunter.

Today and Tonight’s Premieres:
ABC:  The View with new host Rosie O’Donnell at 11am (check local listings)
CBS: CBS Evening News with Katie Couric at 630p
Fox:  House at 8p; Standoff at 9p
MyNetwork TV:  Desire at 8p; Fashion House at 9p
MTV:  Juvies at 10p
FX:  Nip/Tuck at 10p


Tonight marks the launch of MyNetwork TV with the premieres of Desire at 8p and Fashion House at 9p.  How will the telenovelas fare?  Nobody knows, or will know, until some time next Thursday, September 14.  Here’s the thing:  MNT programming airs 5x a week as a strip series, and the network sells the shows on a weekly basis instead of a nightly basis.  Nielsen reports the national numbers for strip series on the Thursday following the broadcast week. Additionally, MNT will not be included in the daily national fast affiliate ratings.  What it will have is metered market NTI data (including demos in the top ten markets), reporting ratings only for specific markets.

This year’s MTV Video Music Awards hosted by Jack Black live from Radio City Music Hall in NYC, drew in a comparatively modest 5.8 million total viewers, down from last year’s 8 million viewers, and down from the 10.3 million viewers two years ago. The show ranked #1 among A18-34 for the night with a 3.7/12, and #2 among A18-49 with a 2.6/8, second only to CBS for the evening.  The show was also streamed live on MTV’s broadband channel Overdrive, which experienced user traffic for the awards up by 200% over last year’s VMAs, with a total of 3.9 million video streams, the largest number for a single day in Overdrive’s history.

MSG Networks will continue to be home to the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, as the two organizations have reached a ten-year extension for MSG to exclusively telecast the team’s games. In addition, the Buffalo Sabres will sell all commercial inventory for the upcoming season. The new deal starts after the 2006-2007 season through the 2016-1017 season. MSG Networks also broadcasts Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, MetroStars, Liberty, Red Bulls games, as well as more than 300 live college football and basketball games.

Friday, for the first time in Cynopsis history, we ran Emails to the Editor in response initially to a comment I made in the Thursday edition regarding the current complainants of CBS series Survivor.  At the base of today’s issue (and further on the website) are numerous comments that arrived after the publication of Friday’s edition and over the course of the weekend.  Cynopsis will keep this dialogue open as long as you have comments to share, either on the current Survivor topic or any other topic you feel relevant to the readership.  [Note:  all comments are subject to its relevance to Cynopsis readers, and may be reproduced here in full or in part.]

Holiday Weekend Box Office Estimates: September 1-4, 2006
Invincible (Buena Vista)                         $15.6 million – 2 wk total $37.8m
Crank (LionsGate)                                 $13.0 million – opening weekend
The Wicker Man (Warner Bros.)               $11.7 million – opening weekend
Little Miss Sunshine (Fox Searchlight)       $9.7 million – 6 wk total $35.8m
The Illusionist (Yari Film Group)                $8.0 million – 3 wk total $12.1m
Talladega Nights: Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Sony)  $7.7 million – 5 wk total $138.4m
Barnyard: The Original Animals (Paramount) $6.4 million – 5 wk total $63.6m
Accepted (Universal)                             $5.9 million – 3 wk total $29.4m
World Trade Center (Paramount)             $5.8 million – 4 wk total $63.7m
Step Up (Buena Vista)                           $5.5 million – 4 wk total $58.4m
Source: Box Office Mojo


NBC has ordered a script of a mystery/adventure story called Isla Du Sol, about a young woman who travels to a distant island and discovers her past, according to Hollywood Reporter. The project comes from producer Tom Wheeler.

Showtime has ordered pilots for three new projects:

  • Manchild is an adaptation of the BBC series, described as Sex and the City with guys.  On board to develop this project for the US audience is Darren Star, along with Robb and Mark Cullen.
  • Insatiable is a small town tale of how most of the population in this little down is addicted to something, from Linda Wallem.
  • Californication is about a man who is addicted to both drugs and sex, and while dealing with that addiction is also a single father. This project is from writer/producer Tom Kapinos.

Fox has given an encouraging shot in the arm to its Monday night freshman series Vanished – it has ordered up three more scripts from 20th Century Fox TV and show creator Josh Berman, according to Variety.


CBS Paramount Domestic Television has hired two new executives, Abra Potkin and Joe Ferullo, and each was named VP/Programming and Development. Both will be based in Hollywood and will report to Terry Wood, President/Creative Affairs and Development, CBS Paramount Domestic Television and King World Productions. Abra and Joe will be charged with talent and new series development, as well as heading up new media brand extensions for current and new programming. Together they will continue to work on the programs Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and Dr. Phil.



Thursday – A18-49 Analysis:  CBS led a clean sweep Thursday night and was #1 with 3.6/10 A18-49, according to fast affiliate ratings from Nielsen Media Research. CBS’ Big Brother brought in the biggest ratings at 8p with 3.4/11. CBS kept up its surge at 9p with an encore of CSI delivering a 3.9/11. CBS brought in its final win at 10p with a repeat episode of Without a Trace at 3.6/10.

Live + Same Day Ratings: Thursday, August 31, 2006 – time period averages. Source: Nielsen Media Research

CBS      7.5/12     Big Brother: All Stars 6.1/10, CSI [r] 8.1/13, Without a Trace [r] 8.1/14

ABC      5.4/9      Grey’s Anatomy [r] 5.3/9, Grey’s Anatomy [r] 5.9/9, Primetime 5.0/8

NBC      3.9/7      My Name Is Earl [r] 4.8/8, The Office [r] 4.0/7, The Office [r] 3.9/6, The Office [r] 3.8/6, Windfall – Finale 3.5/6

FOX      3.6/6       Celebrity Duets [r] 3.6/6

UNIV     2.4/4      La Fea Más Bella 2.4/4, Barrera de Amor 2.5/4, Aqui y Ahora 2.2/4

UPN      1.4/2      Everybody Hates Chris [r] 1.6/3, Love, Inc [r] 1.3/2, Eve [r] 1.3/2, Cuts [r] 1.3/2

WB       1.4/2      Smallville [r] 1.5/3, Supernatural [r] 1.3/2

TELE    0.6/1   Tierra de Pasiones 0.6/1, Amores De Mercado 0.6/1, Decisiones 0.6/1

A18-49: CBS 3.6/10, ABC 2.4/7, NBC 2.0/6, UNIV 2.0/6, FOX 1.8/5, UPN 0.8/2, WB 0.8/2, TELE 0.4/1



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The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1847-Infamous outlaw, Jesse James, is born. James and his gang became celebrated outlaws, despite their criminal and violent acts. Journalists used James’ exploits to spin tales of the wild West for Eastern readers.

Answer to Friday’s Trivia Question: This car was originally a customized Ford Lincoln Futura designed by William Schmidt that had also been seen in a 1959 movie, It Started With a Kiss.  You know the car as what?  THE BATMOBILE   Kudos to:  Vito Altamura-Tribune Entertainment/NY; Ron Yurman-Music Choice/NY; Kristen Liebmann-Mediaedge:cia/Atlanta; Dennis R. Nance-Turner Broadcasting, Inc/Atlanta; Mat Tombers-Intermat Inc; Dan Whitford-RPA/Chicago; Kathy Yarbrough-The Graham Group/New Orleans; Kenny Mueller-Time Warner Cable; John Bain-KLJB-TV, Davenport, IA; Sam Zoda-Granada America/LA; Randy Ross-Santa Monica;  Derek Bartholomaus-FremantleMedia/LA; Alan Perris-Television Academy/North Hollywood; Shari Siskind-Koladich-The Comedy Network/Toronto

Today’s Trivia Question: Who am I?  I was born with the name Carl and was very good at playing the Trumpet. I was head of a band, and would sometimes substitute for Ed as the announcer and sidekick to my boss.  Who am I? (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
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JOB OPENING: MGR, VOD PRODUCT/Playboy/LA: Will execute on tactical VOD issues w/ internal depts & external partners; 2yrs + VOD work exp in cable TV bus. w/ a Ntwrk Prgrmr, MSO or VOD transport req’d. Res: [email protected].EOE (9/12)

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FALL INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. They are posted for free, and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at trish@cynopsis. com.

FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: APT has two unpaid COMMUNICATIONS openings in Boston. Students must be available 15 hours per week per semester. APT is a leading distributor of television programming. Send resume: [email protected]. (9/12)

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FALL INTERNSHIP CREDITS ONLY: RADIO DISNEY NY needs internship applicants in all departments.  If you have an interest in working with the most recognized name in family entertainment email: [email protected] or fax 212-615-3268 (9/8)


SITUATION WANTED: Enthusiastic, sharp MFA FILM (w/ BA in English) seeks position in NYC Entertainment Industry. Solid office skills and experience within industry. References available.  Contact [email protected] (9/9)

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SITUATION WANTED:  AWARD-WINNING ON-AIR PROMOTION WRITER/PRODUCER seeks freelance or staff position in NY metro area.  Experience in field producing/directing and working with talent. [email protected] (9/7)

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E-mail Trish Pihonak for rates and specs for Job Openings.

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

WHAT’S ON TONIGHT: Tuesday, September 5, 2006

ABC                     According to Jim [r], According to Jim[r], According to Jim [r], According to Jim[r], Primetime
CBS                     Big Brother: All Stars, Rock Star, NCIS [r]
FOX                House [p ], Standoff [p ]
NBC               Fear Factor, Law & Order: CI [r], Law & Order: SVU [r]
i                  Mama’s Family, Mama’s Family, Doc, Diagnosis Murder
MyNetwork TV Desire [p ], Fashion House [p ]
UPN               Veronica Mars [r], Veronica Mars [r]
WB                Gilmore Girls [r], Gilmore Girls [r]
TELE              Tierra de Pasiones, Amores, Decisiones
UNIV              La Fea  Mas Bella, Barrera de Amor, Cristina


Last Friday for the first time in Cynopsis history, we included Emails to the Editor in this daily edition.  All of the comments below (duplicated here in full and unedited) were a result of a comment I made in last Thursdays’ edition following the lead story regarding General Motors, Survivor and the ongoing conversations about the format for the upcoming Survivor series:

Sidebar from Cyn:  It’s been my observation in the current brou-ha-ha over Survivor that the louder someone has hollered about racial issues in the upcoming season of this series; the less likely they have ever actually seen an episode of Survivor. 

Below are your Emails to the Editor rec’d since Friday.  All comments are welcome.

Though I’m becoming a little bored with the Survivor format, I do look forward to the new competition. I agree that knowing a little Survivor history will make one question this current controversy. Viewers of previous seasons know that competitors have been split up into groups without this sort of backlash. Tribes have been split up by gender without the accusation of sexism and split up by age without the of charge ageism.

I’m not sure how the producers could possibly distill the vast number of peoples down to only several teams, but let’s face it, not everyone will be represented. I only hope the tribes will consist of specific races and not labeled generically for their skin color, language or eye shape. Separating people by their race is not as definable as someone’s gender or age.

I assume there will be a Caucasian tribe. I will be watching them closely, not because they represent me as a white male of European descent, but because I secretly want them to fail. What if we knew before the first episode that an older, African American woman won the million dollars, would there be this amount of press?

Let’s all just take a breath and take this for what it is… the producers of Survivor realize that their wave can’t last forever and any press is good press. I just hope that next season the Survivor producers have courage to pit religions or political parties against one another. Don’t we all really want to see the Southern Baptist and the Jew battle on the obstacle course or see how long a Republican can stand on a post in the middle of the water.

Los Angeles, CA

For all of the readers out there who think that the new edition of Survivor is about racism, you need to calm down & get over it. All Mark Burnett is doing is just trying to shake it up a bit (they add a twist to each new season). Each team (at least the first few weeks) WORKS TOGETHER- as a TEAM. If they lose – they vote out one of their OWN. When the teams merge, it’s every man/woman for themselves. Is it really any different than when they separated the teams by age – older & younger men/women? No one screamed ageism.AARP didn’t try to boycott the show. When Survivors were dropped on the beach and told to choose their teams, each leader chose by whom they felt would do best for that team. They didn’t know each other, it was based solely on what they looked like. How come no one screamed discrimination or racism then? People – calm down!!! It’s only a GAME – and Mark Burnett and Survivor are not trying to send a negative message to the world. Take it for what it is – a reality show that’s meant to ENTERTAIN – which it always does.

Me – I can’t wait for the new season to start. I’ll be watching every episode – and cheering for each Survivor – no matter their race!
A.H. – New York

Segregation exists in our country, however these days it’s propagated by the “minority” groups. All across this country we see television networks (not just shows but whole networks) that are geared toward the lifestyles of Hispanics, blacks, Asians, homosexuals, women, men and the list goes on. This happens because people want to feel a connection with their culture, they want to own their heritage. What’s wrong with that? Nothing. rnrnNow a popular television show comes along and segregates their contestants not because one group is better than another or one group is going to get special privileges without earning them. They do this so that culturally diverse viewers can identify with a specific group of contests and cheer them on because of a shared heritage. rnrnTo all of these people who are getting upset about this segregation, why are you  not causing a stir about television networks like BET or Univision or Logo or Oxygen or Christian Broadcast Network or the other networks that seek to segregate our viewing audience?

Robert Hogan

Wow! I can’t believe how this racial issue has spiraled into the size of the current controversy.

My Webster’s New World Pocket Dictionary defines Racism as; Discrimination or Persecution.

If the producers have not provided equal opportunities for each of the four tribes, or persecuted one particular tribe in an effort to give unfair advantage to the other tribes then I would agree that this would be racism as practiced in today’s world.  I don’t believe that to be the case.

Bill Eckenrode
Pittsburgh, PA

MORE EMAILS TO THE EDITOR HERE …. (Just too many to include in one email issue!)

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