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Good morning. It’s Wednesday, February 18, 2009, and this is your first early morning briefing.
Tennis Channel issued a statement yesterday saying it canceled its coverage of this weekend’s Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai, U.A.E. The network is bowing out of coverage because a single female player was blocked from entering the country and thus the competition because of her nationality. This action was taken by the state’s authorities, and not by the tour or the tournament directors themselves. Tennis Channel further states in part, “preventing an otherwise qualified athlete from competing on the basis of anything other than merit has no place in tennis or any other sport.”
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM TVLAND
A PRIME NEW SEASON
A SHOCKING NEW TWIST Don’t miss the return of TV Land PRIME’s hit original series
HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
~ MORE GOOD STUFF ~
This Friday, Dan Rather will be back on international news program Worldfocus to be part of its weekly Roundtable discussion with anchor Martin Savidge. Worldforcus airs on public television stations nationwide (check local listings).
NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, premiering March 2 at 1130p, tapped stand-up comic/actor A.D. Miles as Head Writer; Steve Higgins as the show’s Announcer; and Dave Diomedi as Director. The show is produced by Universal Media Studios and Broadway Video. Lorne Michaels is the executive producer with Michael Shoemaker as producer and Gavin Purcell as co-producer.
MIP TV Program Call: If your company will be attending and showcasing programming at MIP TV 2009 in Cannes, France, at the end of next month, Cynopsis will send out a special MIP TV Shopping Guide edition the Wednesday before the conference. To have your programming included, please send only the following info for your top 5 shows: title, availability date, number of episodes, length, type (i.e., movie, series, special, etc.), genre, your terms (barter, cash, etc.) and names and contact info of those attending from your company. If your company is interested in being included in this free guide, please send the details to
~ DISTRIBUTION, CLEARANCE & CARRIAGE ~
Starz Entertainment bought four first-run film titles from Summit Entertainment including Penelope headlined by Christina Ricci; the comedy Sex Drive, the action drama Never Back Down and the 3D animated children’s movie Fly Me to the Moon, showing on Starz channel and on-demand services in 3D. The agreement allows Starz to present the four films on multiple distribution platforms including its 16 linear channels, HD, Starz On Demand and on its broadband video download service, Starz Play.
Hallmark Channel acquired the miniseries Comanche Moon, the prequel to the miniseries Lonesome Dove, from Sony Pictures Television. The deal with Sony Pictures also covers two “Stone Cold” movies starring Tom Selleck and a package of 18 classic musical titles for a franchised block on Hallmark Movie Channel. Some of the musicals include Bye, Bye Birdie, Funny Lady, Oliver!, Pal Joey and Pennies From Heaven among others.
FamilyNet Television recently picked up three family-themed classic sitcoms as well as one sci-fi drama from CBS Television Distribution Group. Airing weeknights in primetime, FamilyNet Television schedules double episodes of My Three Sons at 6p; two episodes of Happy Days at 7p; and back-to-back episodes of Family Ties at 8p; followed by the one-hour Early Edition at 9p.
~ PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT ~
The World Poker Tour extended its contract with Fox Sports Network (FSN) for a new season with production beginning soon, reports Variety. FSN will air 26 60m episodes across its 16 O&O affiliates. Previously, World Poker Tour aired on the Travel Channel during its first five seasons then moved to GSN for one season before being picked up by FSN last year for its seventh season.
Cartoon Network is teaming with Marvel Entertainment to present a new animated series targeting boys 6-14, cites Variety. Marvel Super Hero Squad brings together a collection of crime-fighting superheroes consisting of Captain America, Silver Surfer, Hulk, Wolverine and Iron Man. The 30m series with 26-episodes will open later this year with Alan Fine, Simon Phillips and Eric S. Rollman all executive producing. Voice talent already on board includes Tom Kenny, Charlie Adler, Steve Blume and Grey DeLisle.
~ ELSEWHERE IN CYNOPSIS ~
CYNOPSIS DIGITAL – TODAY’S TOP STORY: Sirius XM Radio reached an 11th hour investment agreement with John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. to stave off bankruptcy on Tuesday – the day Sirius was due to pay back investor Charlie Ergen $175 million in notes the company did not have. The deal calls for two phases of investment totaling $530 million in loans from Liberty Media, which will get preferred stock equal to 40% of Sirius’s common equity in exchange. EchoStar Chairman Ergen began buying up Sirius debt last fall in a play to possibly take control of the company. Full edition: CYN DIGITAL.
CYNOPSIS KIDS – TODAY’S TOP STORY: Dailymotion launches DM Kids as a stand-alone video web portal for kids and tweens offering a range of videos including animation, TV shows, music videos and original web series. DM Kids is broken down into two age specific areas, one for preschoolers K3-6 and the other for kids/tweens 7-12. At launch programming on DM Kids includes entertainment and educational content from Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. Universal Music, Hulu, On Networks, and Next New Networks, as well as web series such as Dragonfruit Studios’ Spook House Dave! and FitzRoy Media and Renegade Animation’s Funny Face. The first original web series to launch DM Kids is Ghost Town, from Sunny Boy Entertainment, which revolves around two teen ghost hunters that track down legendary ghosts. Full edition: CYN KIDS.
~ RATINGS ~
Friday – A18-49 Analysis: ABC claimed a victory Friday night at 2.4/8 A18-49 each, according to final national ratings from Nielsen Media Research. CBS won the 8p hour with Ghost Whisperer at 2.4/8 with UNIV’s Cuidado con el Angel next at 1.8/6 and tying for third was ABC’s Wife Swap and FOX’s season opener of Terminator at 1.4/5 each. During 9p, ABC’s Supernanny took charge with 2.2/7 and another tie occurred, this time for second place between FOX’s Dollhouse series debut and UNIV’s Fuego en la Sangre at 2.0/6 apiece. ABC stayed at #1 through 10p with 20/20 at 3.5/11 followed by CBS’ Numbers at 2.1/6.
Live + Same Day Household Ratings: Friday, February 13, 2009 time period averages. Source: NTI Galaxy, as dated. Live+SD.
CBS: 6.0/11 Ghost Whisperer 6.6/12, Flashpoint 5.6/10, Numb3rs 5.8/10
ABC: 4.5/8 Wife Swap 2.8/5, Supernanny 3.9/7, 20/20 7.0/13
FOX: 2.6/5 Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles [p] 2.4/4, Dollhouse [p] 2.8/5
NBC: 2.6/5 Howie Do It 2.5/5, Howie Do It [r] 2.2/4, Friday Night Lights 2.1/4, Dateline 3.2/6
MNT: 2.2/4 WWE Friday Night Smackdown 2.2/4
UNIV: 2.0/4 Cuidado con el Angel 2.2/4, Fuego en la Sangre 2.4/4, La Rosa de Guadalupe 1.5/3
CW: 0.8/1 Everybody Hates Chris [r] 1.0/2, The Game [r] 1.0/2, 13: Fear Is Real 0.6/1
TELE: 0.6/1 Dona Barbara 0.6/1, El Rostro de Analia 0.6/1, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso 0.7/1, Cartel F 0.6/1
A18-49: ABC 2.4/8, CBS 2.1/7, FOX 1.7/5, UNIV 1.7/5, MNT 1.2/4, NBC 1.1/4, TELE 0.6/2, CW 0.5/1
~ EXECUTIVE MOVES ~
Geoffrey Gilmore joined New York-based Tribeca Enterprises as CCO where he will lead the company’s international content strategy, development efforts and brand expansion. Geoffrey will also be a part of Tribeca’s Board of Directors. Previously, Geoffrey spent 19 years with Sundance, serving most recently as Director of the Sundance Film Festival.
Effective immediately, David Smyth has become VP/Sales with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution in Europe. David is charged with increasing Fox’s efforts in the co-production and scripted format arenas in addition to selling feature films and scripted television properties to free and basic broadcasters within Europe. Based in London, David reports to Yoni Cohen, SVP/International Development and Sales.
Cross-platform production and management company Generate expanded its corporate management team:
Island Def Jam Music Group named Christopher Hicks as EVP/Def Jam Recordings to manage the acquisition and development of new talent, supervise producers and lead the creative and brand vision as the label celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Christopher reports to Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Chairman and to Steve Bartels, President/COO, both of Island Def Jam Music Group and he will dually be based in Atlanta and New York.
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question: In a rare outing, before his election to his first term as president, Richard Nixon appeared in an episode of what variety show? ROWAN AND MARTIN’S LAUGH IN Kudos to: Nancy Chiller Janow/South Orange, NJ; Jennifer Hayoun-Rosetta/NY; Ty West-NOW on PBS/NY; Dick Cox-DCA/Stratford; Jim Roche-Weigel Broadcasting/Chicago; Kathryn Kieser-Haworth Marketing and Media/Minneapolis; Gretchen Brady-KDAF/Dallas; Aaron Hall-Brom Enterprises/Dallas; Javier Willis-Cuervo Entertainment/Encino, CA; Jimmy Cuomo/Hollywood; Terry Williams-San Diego Press Club/San Diego; Lee Toft-Mike Mathis Productions/Pasadena, CA; Arthur Reinstein-Canwest Broadcasting/Toronto
Today’s Trivia Question: In 1950, the residents of Hot Springs, New Mexico voted to rename their community after what game show? (Email
Later — Cyn
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SITUATION WANTED: DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE Currently working Los Angeles based television development executive seeks new platform. I created/sold twelve series in the past four years and currently have six on the air. Email:
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SITUATION WANTED: NON-FICTION PRODUCER/WRITER/DIRECTOR. Reality/Ent/Docs. 3 Emmy Noms.; Field and Post; NBC; Dis; TLC; CMT; VH1; E!; Runs on Batteries. LA based.
SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH DIRECTOR 20+ yrs media, Nielsen, Hispanic, & sales experience. Contract basis. Save money over a FT director. Let’s talk.Email:
SITUATION WANTED: 5 PRIME TIME EMMYS/ DOC. PROD, DIR., WRITER in L.A. Credits: National Geo, PBS, Discovery, History CH, TLC and MSNBC. Contact email:
SITUATION WANTED: DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/MANAGER: Major Network and Cable live News and Sports experience. Start-up, operations, editorial and production specialist. Available to meet your schedule Coast to coast!
SITUATION WANTED: TV PRODUCER reality with network and cable credit seeks show producer/field producer position at prod. co. or network. Most recently series produced show airing on NBC O and O’s. (NY based)
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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2009
ABC: Lost [r], Lost, Life on Mars
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