Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005



#1 in its Time Period with ALL 18-34, 12-34 & Teen Demos!

Top 10 for the week with F12-34, P12-34 & ALL Teens
Top 15 with ALL 18-34 Demos!

Available exclusively from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NTI Galaxy Explorer, 1/27/05. Ratings. TP=8-9pm, ties Joey/Apprentice w/W18-34 & A18-34.



Good morning. It’s Wednesday, February 2, 2005, and this is your first early morning briefing.

NBC’s American Dreams has cut back on its season order of 19 eps to 17. The show will also come off the schedule for February, returning in March with new eps.  This Sunday American Dreams will be replaced with an additional episode of L&O: CI.

Casting / Development / Production:

  • Three pilot orders from NBC – one will star SNL alumni Tina Fey as a head writer for a comedy show (think SNL).  Both within the show and in reality, Fey is exec producer.  The other project for NBC also features a former SNL-er, writer Paula Pell who has penned a project about a woman who lost a drastic amount of weight, and as she tries to adjust amid family and friends, who are also overweight.  Both projects are from from Broadway Video TV (Lorne Michaels) and NBC Universal TV Studios.  The third project stars Tori Spelling in Notorious, a drama, about Spelling in the days immediately following Beverly Hills 90210.
  • Jason Lee will star in the NBC pilot My Name is Earl about a thief who wins the lottery and vows to turns his life around.
  • Sarah Bernhard will appear in at least three episodes of Crossing Jordan, playing the role of a hard nosed Boston detective. The first of the three eps airs February 13.
  • WB’s Nobody’s Watching – a comedy about two guys who win a reality show and are given the opportunity to create their own sitcom, which they do while locked inside a sound stage (not knowing they are, of course, the living sitcom) – has cast Taran Killam to play opposite Paul Campbell, as the two winners, and Paul Adelstein has been cast as the studio head.
  • Also at WB, they’ve picked up a pilot project called Pepper Dennis (20th) about a Chicago reporter, her job, her family, her life.  The order for this project is cast contingent.
  • Joining the cast of NBC‘s project Dante are Kevin Hart and Jennifer Westfeldt. Already cast in the lead role is Morris Chestnut as a football superstar who’s image of himself surpasses reality.  Westfeldt will play Chestnut’s agent, while Hart is his best friend.
  • Jerry Bruckheimer’s new project for NBC called E-Ring (West Wing at the Pentagon) from Warner Bros. TV has added director Taylor Hackford, most recently off his feature film Ray for which he has been nominated for an Oscar.  Benjamin Bratt is in negotiations to star.
  • ABC has signed Mick Jackson to direct its new pilot project In Justice (Touchstone TV). Jackson comes fresh off the CBS drama NUMB3RS.
  • Also at ABC, the net has ordered an untitled sitcom pilot about three couples who meet in birthing class, from Warner Bros. TV.
  • Oxygen has ordered a sitcom project called Illeana-Rama (New Line Television), starring Illeana Douglas, based on the Douglas short film Supermarket. The comedy is about a former actress who decides to give up her fame and career for a simpler life, working in a Hollywood supermarket.
  • Family Plots, A&E‘s doc-reality series, will kick off its second season on Sunday, March 6 at 9p, leading in to Intervention which premieres at 10p.
  • Kojak debuts on USA on March 27 at 9p with its two hour pilot.
  • MTV‘s new series Power Girls kicks off on Thursday, March 10 at 1030p.
  • Showtime‘s third season of Family Business is schedule to debut on March 18 at 11p.

NBC delivered the biggest demo numbers on Monday night overall according to Nielsen Media Research final numbers, posting a 4.0/12 for the night.  That’s not to say it wasn’t  a horserace.  CBS tallied a 4.6/11, Fox 4.2/10, ABC 3.7/9, with WB 2.0/5, and UPN 1.3/3 bringing up the rear.  NBC’s Fear Factor owned the 8p hour (4.7/12), CBS’ Raymond & 2-1/2 Men had the 9p hour (5.7/13) and Medium on NBC took the 10p hour 6.1/15. Other relative new to the season shows did fairly well: 24 averaged a 4.9/11, good for #2 at 9p; and Supernanny earned a 4.5/11 at 10p, #3 behind a repeat of CSI: Miami.

Perhaps not a surprise that Letterman’s Monday night show, a tribute to Johnny Carson including the jokes Carson wrote and sent to Letterman, was its highest rated show in nearly two years, earning it a 6.0/15 HH rtg according to Nielsen Media Research, besting Tonight Show’s 4.9/12.  A week prior, Jay Leno did his own tribute to Carson just two days after his death and it delivered an 11.2/26 HH rtg.  (Letterman was not in production last week.)

Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported Network Rankings among Total Viewers for the month of January 2005:
Primetime       (000)   Total Pgm Day   (000)
TNT              2598     NICK              2283
USA              2397     NAN*              1586
ESPN             1962     TNT               1424
LIFETIME         1938    CARTOON  1368
NAN              1887     USA               1219
TBS              1829     LIFETIME         1202
CARTOON 1814     TBS              1089
FOXNEWS 1604     FOXNEWS 924
SPIKE            1486     ESPN              910
HISTORY 1259     ABC FAMILY      705
                          SPIKE             705
Source Turner Research from Nielsen Media Research Data.
All ratings based on Total U.S. Television Universe of 108,400,000 homes
* = Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Primetime listing only includes those networks broadcasting more than 51% of the primetime hours (M-Su 8p-11p)

Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported Network Rankings among A18-49 for the month of January 2005:
Primetime       (000)   Total Pgm Day   (000)
TNT              1204     TNT               754
USA              1138     NAN*              681
TBS              1101     TBS               653
ESPN             834      USA               624
LIFETIME         796     LIFETIME         557
SPIKE            776      NICK              537
SCIFI            623      ESPN              492
FX               609      FX                388
DISCOVERY        603     SPIKE             372
MTV              575      COMEDY   365
Source Turner Research from Nielsen Media Research Data.
All ratings based on Total U.S. Television Universe of 108,400,000 homes
* = Network broadcasts less than 51% of minutes in a 24 hour day. Primetime listing only includes those networks broadcasting more than 51% of the primetime hours (M-Su 8p-11p)

E! Entertainment Television will provide content to Verizon Wireless’ new V Cast multimedia service, available to subscribers for an additional monthly fee.  Content coming from E! will include E! News daily, The Awful Truth, Fashion Police, Red Carpet Moments, Watch With Kristin, E! TV Highlights, Celebrity Bites, and Wild On!.

NBC Universal has inked a deal with CinemaNow, Inc. to make the company’s video content available via CinemaNow’s video-on-demand service.  Under the terms of the agreement NBC Universal will deliver first-run pay-per-view and library titles, including movies and TV event programming, on a 24hr streaming basis via the CinemaNow Website.  Additionally, CinemaNow will offer NBC Universal’s new release films, as well as previously released movies, on the same day they become available in their traditional pay-per-view window.  CinemaNow also offers programming through its video-on-demand for broadband from a number of other content providers including: Fox, Disney, Lions Gate, MGM, Sony, Warner Bros. and many others.

The Home Depot and Mark Burnett Productions have joined together in a multi-year strategic partnership to develop multiple TV programs that feature The Home Depot’s products and services.  According to the agreement, The Home Depot will be folded into Burnett’s current productions including The Apprentice III and The Contender.  Home Depot previously partnered with Burnett on Survivor and The Apprentice II.

Attention Connecticutians — if you evacuated the state yesterday afternoon, turn back, it’s okay, you can come home now.  At the state level yesterday, a message was sent out to broadcasters that Connecticut was being evacuated.  What was supposed to be sent was the usual Emergency Broadcasting System message (the one with the annoyingly long beep).  The mis-send prompted the Governor to issue a statement that all is well, no evacuation necessary. To give you an idea of how effective the EBS system is, following yesterday’s erroneous message, the state police received no phone calls to inquire.  Nice to know the state is ready with an emergency evacuation message .. I guess.

I wonder which lead-in the President prefers: 60 Minutes, American Idol, Lost, SI: Swimsuit Model Search or La Mujer en el Espejo ….

With his five-year contract expiring this year, BET founder and CEO Robert Johnson reportedly has decided to leave his position heading up the network’s daily operations. According to the Wall Street Journal, he will center more of his attention on his other businesses including the Charlotte Bobcats and other real estate, hotels and restaurants enterprises.  Robert Johnson sold BET to Viacom in 2000 for $3 billion. Debra Lee, BET’s COO will run the daily operations.

Fox Broadcasting has formed a new sales group focusing on and, and has named George Blue its VP/Interactive Sales to head up the group.  George will be based in the NY sales office, and report to Neil Mulcahy, EVP/Sales and Jean Rossi-EVP/Sales.

Clear Channel Entertainment Television has named Dennis Spencer, SVP/Managing Director of International Distribution and Programming.  Dennis will work to expand the CCETV International initiatives beyond sports to music and entertainment.  He continues to report directly to Joe Townley, President/Clear Channel Entertainment TV.

Scholastic Entertainment has hired Katherine Benson as Director/National TV Sponsorship Sales, a newly created position. Katherine’s directive is to build sponsorship revenue by selling Scholastic’s critically-acclaimed Maya & Miguel animated TV series airing on PBS KIDS GO! Ms. Benson will report directly to Leslye Schaefer, SVP/Marketing and Consumer Products.

Tiffany Smith has been upped to Director/Publicity for CBS Entertainment.  The announcement was made by Chris Ender, SVP/CBS Communications Group, and she will report to Phil Gonzales, VP/Communications, CBS Entertainment. 

Darren Schillace has been upped to VP/Advertising and Marketing, and Victoria Chew has been promoted to Director/Marketing for ABC Television Network.  The announcement was made by Mike Benson and Marla Provencio, SVPs/Marketing, Advertising and Promotion, to whom Darren and Victorial will report.  Darren will oversee all paid media and marketing efforts for ABC Entertainment, including all primetime and late-night programs. Additionally, he will be managing the in-house team, as well as various outside creative and media agencies.  Victoria will be responsible for all non-paid media, alternative word-of-mouth marketing, marketing partnerships, research-related marketing initiatives, as well as seeking promotion opportunities for primetime and late-night.

Monday, January 31, 2005. FINAL Ratings for all Networks – program averages.  Source: Nielsen Media Research.
[p] = Premiere; [r] = Repeat

CBS     9.5/14   Still Standing 6.9/11, Listen Up 6.6/10, Raymond [r] 11.6/17, 2-1/2 Men 11.2/16, CSI Miami [r] 10.2/16

NBC     8.0/12   Fear Factor 6.7/10, Las Vegas 7.0/10, Medium 10.2/16

ABC     6.4/10   EMHD: How’d They Do That? 5.2/8, The Bachelorette 6.3/9, Supernanny 7.6/12

FOX     6.1/9    Trading Spouses 5.3/8, 24 6.8/10

WB      3.6/5    7th Heaven 4.4/7, Everwood 2.9/4

UPN     2.1/3    One on One 2.1/3, Half and Half 2.2/3, Road to Stardom 2.1/3

A18-49  NBC 4.9/12, CBS 4.6/11, Fox 4.2/10, ABC 3.7/9, WB 2.0/5, UPN 1.3/3

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1979 – Sid Vicious, the bass player for the Sex Pistols, dies of a heroin overdose in New York. His death comes after a night of partying to celebrate his release on $50,000 bail on charges that he murdered his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  You know what Chariots of Fire is in the movies; but what is it on primetime TV? NEWSPAPER WAGON on EVENING SHADE.  Kudos to:  Gloria Price-CBS News/NY.  ooooooooo, tough one! 



Court TV’s got ’em all.

The bad guys get sacked in an eight-episode Forensic Files blitz.

Super Sunday night from 8 ’til midnight.

Only on Court TV: The Investigation Channel.

Advertisers: check out for more info on our winning percentage.

Today’s Trivia Question: This TV series used excess footage from the films The Great Escape and Battle of the Bulge for backdrop. Some footage was also shot in Spain, but the majority in Yuma and California.  What show is this?  (click here with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone with your answer. 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
02.02.05    5:07am

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JOB OPENING:  WRITER/PRODUCER, ON-AIR PROMO/OLN,NYC. Conceive, write and produce on and off-air promos/radio spots/sales tapes. 5+ years related exp req’d. See for more info. Resume/salary:

JOB OPENING:  COORD, SCRIPTED DEVELOPMENT MTV/NYC. Experience w/scripted series & animation, Strng Knwldg writers&agents in animation. Agency/Studio/Network exp in development/prod. pref. EOE/M/F/D/AAP. Apply (2/9)

JOB OPENING:  OFFICE ASST (2) in Westchester & NYC.  Exc multi-tasker, professional manner, detailed, organized, can handle confidential info, proactive, computer proficient. Clg Grad. Apply:

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JOB OPENING:  Consumer Prdts, Nickelodeon, NY. ALL LEVELS OF POSITIONS. Must have licensing, product development experience. Qualified Candidates apply via EOE (2/8)

JOB OPENING:  BROADCAST RESEARCH SUPERVISOR, MEDIAVEST/NYC. Quantitative programming research. Strong data analysis and TV research background. 2-3 yrs experience. Please e-mail resumes to

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ABC              Lost, State of the Union Address
CBS              60 Minutes, State of the Union Address
FOX              American Idol, State of the Union Address
NBC              SI: Swimsuit Model Search, State of the Union Address
PAX              Doc, Sue Thomas F.B.Eye, Early Edition
UPN              Road to Stardom, Kevin Hill
WB               Smallville, Jack and Bobby
TELE             La Mujer en el Espejo, Estado de la Nacion (State of the Union Address), Te Voy a Ensenar a Querer
UNIV             Rubi, Amor Real, Don Francisco Presenta  (Note: State of the Union Address will be seen on Telefutura at 9p)

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