Wednesday, January 7th, 2004


Good morning. It’s Wednesday, January 7, 2004, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Airing all original episodes, CBS and NBC tied on Monday night among A18-49, each posting a 5.8/14 according to Nielsen Media Research.  NBC had the deciding vote at 8pm with twins competing on Fear Factor (6.7/18), outpacing the sitcoms on CBS (4.4/12). The first hour of ABC’s movie Castaway delivered a 6 share, as did WB’s 7th Heaven (which also delivered a hearty 3.3/9 W18-34). At 9p the tide shifted to CBS with a two-tenths lead over NBC: 5.9/14 vs. 5.7/14.  Castaway picked up to a 4.7/11.  At 10p CBS’ CSI Miami was the decided victor with a 6.9/17.  ABC’s final hour of Castaway ranked #2 (5.3/13).  NBC’s debut of Average Joe: Hawaii posted a softer 4.9/12 (down from NBC’s first Average Joe premiere last November 5.8/13), though it did earn a 6.5/15 among W18-49.

You gotta wonder, what happened over the holidays that seems to be influencing some industry heads?  Following the announcement Monday that Sandy Grushow was leaving Fox, yesterday Jed Petrick, President/COO of WB Network,announced he too will be stepping down.  Said Jed:  This decision has been made after too many sleepless nights and much soul searching. I am a builder and I love start-up businesses.  … and this past summer, after almost nine years at The WB, I began to contemplate what the next big thing in my business life could be. I have had many interesting opportunities cross my desk that I couldn’t act upon but they certainly caught my attention and intrigue. The business is going to continue changing dramatically over the next few years.  I now have the freedom to decide how I play in it.”  Jed’s direct reports will now report to Jordan Levin, co-CEO.  Jed will leave the WB in April.

Lest you were wondering what happens next for Gail Berman, President/Fox Entertainment, she has signed for an additional year, which keeps her well planted for the next 18 months.

New in Development:

  • ABC has ordered a script for a comedy called Lisa & Ruby from Shady Acres Entertainment/Touchstone this is described this way:  Based on the idea that 30s are the new 20s, two women move in together and restart their lives, looking for success in the romance and work arenas. Source:
  • NBC has ordered up what is only called at the moment Untitled Matt Tarses/Bill Wrubel project, a comedy about adult siblings who move back in with each other. The project is currently in pre-pro, with shooting to begin in early spring 2004.
  • CBS has ordered a pilot for The Clubhouse, billed as a coming of age drama, from Icon Prods/Spelling TV, with Mel Gibson and Aaron Spelling sharing the exec prod job.
  • Bravo has ordered up 6 eps of a new reality skein called Blow Out (fka The Salon) which uses the same formula as The Restaurant and applies it to the opening of a beauty salon. According to Variety, the project is from Reveille/Magna Global Entertainment,and is set in a new Beverly Hills salon owned by stylist-to-the-stars Jonathan Antin.  Aaron Shapiro and Allison Grodner (both of Big Brother) and Ben Silverman will exec prod.

CBS announced its 2004 PGA Golf schedule which will include 20 tournaments and more than 125 hours of PGA and LPGA golf.  This year’s schedule includes The Masters, the 86th PGA Championship, the McDonald’s LPGA Championship and the Ford Senior Players Championship, as well as 16 PGA Tour events. Kicking off this year’s lineup is the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am on 2/7/04, followed by tournament coverage.  Two years ago Jim Nantz joked at the CBS Up Front that Tiger Woods promised only to win when his tournaments aired on CBS, and at the end of the day, that’s pretty much how it worked out.  I wonder how it will work out this year.

NATPE is just a couple weeks away, and this is always a time for a flurry of sales leading up to the annual confab.  NBC Enterprises has just signed a series of international deals for the Bravo network hit series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (Scout Prods).  The show has been licensed in TF1 France, Network 10 Australia, Channel 4 Finland, TVNZ New Zealand, Antena 3 Spain, Solar in the Philippines and TVB Hong Kong. In Latin America, “Queer Eye” has been sold to more than 20 nations on Sony Entertainment Television, including Mexico, Argentina, Peru and Brazil.  In France, Australia and Spain, they will be producing their own local versions of the show.  The UK has licensed both the show and the format on Flextech’s Living and in Norway, Sweden and Denmark it has been licensed to Viasat. 

TV One, the cable network targeting African American adults scheduled to launch on January 19, has signed Russ Parr (host of nationally syndicated radio show Russ Parr’s Morning Show) and Radio One’s entertainment reporter Alfredas to a deal wherein they will host their own television show on TV One.  The show is called Get the Hook Up, a half dating/half beauty pageant show, which is looking at a spring debut.  Additionally, the pair will be the face of on- and off-air promos for the network.

Here’s a good way to kick of 2004 — HGTV‘s New Year’s Day coverage of the Tournament of Roses Parade helped the network achieve its highest total day impressions in its history with 901,000 HHs and a 1.1/2 HH Rtg.  The Parade itself drew nearly 2.6 million HHs and according to the network, making HGTV the most watched non-sports cable program of the day(basic cable ad supported).

Coming to a set near you in 2005 – Weekend Journal, the weekly series, on Fine Living Network.  Rewind to Fall 2002 – Fine Living and the Wall Street Journaljoined up to produce a one hour special called Weekend Journal.  Jump ahead and Fine Living & WSJ have agreed to do a monthly edition of WJ starting this May.  Jump ahead further to 2005, and the show will become a weekly 30m series.  Fine Living is now available in 19 million homes.

Were you among the 6.4 million viewers who tuned in for the premiere of the final season of S*x and the City? If not, perhaps you are one of the .9 million that watched last June’s season premiere and opted out this time. And did you stick around like 3.3 million others for Curb Your Enthusiasm?  Just asking.

MTV Networks and Mediacom Communications Corporation have inked a long term affiliation agreement solidifying analog distribution for all of the MTVNs (which now includes Comedy Central) on the Mediacom cable systems.  The deal also covers distribution for MTVN’s core digital package (Noggin, Nickelodeon GAS, Nicktoons, VH1, MTV 2, VH1 Classic, and MTV Hits).

Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported Network Rankings among Total Viewersfor the week of December 29,0223 – January 4, 2004:
Primetime        (000)     Total Day            (000)
ESPN                2817      NICK/NAN            1973
USA                   2492      ESPN                   1464
NICK/NAN         2288      TNT                       1318
TBS                   2271     LIFETIME               1299
TNT                   2135     USA                        1297
LIFETIME          1834     TBS                        1291
DISCOVERY    1545      CARTOON             1232
CARTOON        1494     MTV                          804
SCIFI                  1359     FOXNEWS              794
A&E                    1292     A&E                         766
Source  Turner Research from Nielsen Media Research Data. 
All ratings based on Total U.S. Television Universe of 108,400,000 homes

Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported Network Rankings among A18-49 forDecember 29,0223 – January 4, 2004:
Primetime        (000)     Total Day           (000)
ESPN                  1241      ESPN                 754
TBS                     1161     TBS                     726
USA                     1054     TNT                     620
DISCOVERY         932     USA                     602
TNT                       849     LIFETIME             584
LIFETIME              772     NICK/NAN             559
TLC                       740     MTV                      457
SCIFI                     695     DISCOVERY        438
MTV                       669     TLC                      427
FX                          663     COMEDY             365
Source  Turner Research from Nielsen Media Research Data. 
All ratings based on Total U.S. Television Universe of 108,400,000 homes

News Viewer Index for the week of December 29,0223 – January 4, 2004: in Total Viewers 
Total Day 
Total Fox News/CNN/MSNBC/Headline Cable News Viewers  1.718 (000) Total Viewers. (-5% vs. previous week). Of the cable news viewership, Fox News had 46% of the viewing, CNN 28%, MSNBC 13%; and Headline News 13%
Primetime Total Fox News/CNN/MSNBC/Headline Cable News Viewers  2.373 (000) Total Viewers (+1% vs. previous week). Of the primetime cable news viewership, Fox News had 45%, CNN 30%, MSNBC 16% and Headline News 9%.
Source Nielsen Media Research

The results are in from the December 2003 Beta Research Ad Executive studyand Evaluation of Basic Cable and Broadcast Networks conducted over the phone last Sept/Oct with 300 media professionals ranging from buyers to agency managers. Execs were asked to rank 50 cable nets and the Big 4 bcst nets on a 5-point scale where 5 is excellent and 1 isn’t. They were surveyed on network brand image, demo appeal, whether they provide creative marketing and promotional opps, the amount of original programming and services offered, and cost efficiency.  On brand image, 93% of the respondents ranked ESPN with 4 or 5 pts. 90% gave NBC high marks, 84% for MTV, 82% for Lifetime, 80% for Discovery Channel, 78% for Nickelodeon and CNN.  CBS had 69%, ABC and Fox 68%.   On Demo Appeal, NBC led with 80%, Lifetime 76%, ESPN 75%, Discovery 74%, HGTV 71%, E!, Food and MTV all had 68%.  CBS followed with 61%, in the demo appeal category and perhaps surprisingly Fox had only 58%, and ABC 56%.  As compared to 2002, more than 30% of ad exec surveyed said they plan to increase the amount of advertising spent on: ESPN, Discovery Channel, TLC, HGTV, TBS, TNT, VH1, Food Network and E!. For more information in this Beta Research Ad Study, contact Terry McNiff, Beta Research Corporation (516) 935-3800.

Correction:  The most viewed non sports show among A18-49 in 2003 was inadvertently left off this list yesterday. Here is the corrected list of the Top Five:
MTV   Video Music Awards                     8/28/2003     7.04m A18-49 viewers
TLC    Trading Spaces $100,000 Grand    10/5/2003    5.68m A18-49 viewers
TLC    Trading Spaces                                1/18/2003   4.04m A18-49 viewers
MTV    2003 Movie Awards                          6/5/2003     3.81m A18-49 viewers
MTV    2003 VMA Post Show                       8/28/2003   3.72m A18-49 viewers

Cyma Zarghami has been upped to President/Nickelodeon Television, continuing to report to Herb Scannell.  In this newly created position Cyma will oversee all of Nick’s TV business, adding the digital channel Noggin/The N, to her current oversight of Nick’s other digital channels (Nick GAS, Nicktoons) as well as all program development and production for the network and marketing, programming and creative.  

As in previous years, this January Cynopsis will provide its NATPE Syndicated Program Guide listing of NEW SERIES coming to market in preparation for this year’s conference in Las Vegas.  If you have information you’d like listed for a newstrip or weekly series, please send it to me at [email protected] (with NATPE listing in the subject line), and provide the name of the series, #/eps, distributor name/phone/booth or suite number, terms (cash, cash+, barter split), and frequency.  Because of space, no OTOs, specials. quarterly shows or returning series are included in the listing. For Children’s Programming, please send your new series information (please add if its live action/animation and target age group) to Gwen Billings for the Cynopsis Kids NATPE Syndicated Program Guide at[email protected].   Please have your information in no later than January 9, 2004.

Monday, January 5, 2004. Fast Affiliate 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 ResearchTime Period Averages Only. [p] = Premiere; [o] = Original; [r] = Repeat

CBS     10.9/16 Yes Dear 8.1/12, Still Standing 8.6/13, Raymond 12.1/18, Two & a Half Men 10.6/16, CSI Miami 13.0/20

ABC     9.1/14  ABC Movie of the Week:  Castaway  9.1/14

NBC     7.7/12  Fear Factor 8.8/13, Las Vegas 8.3/12, Average Joe: Hawaii [p] 6.2/10

Fox     3.7/5   Fox Movie:  Billy Madison 3.7/5

WB      3.3/5   7th Heaven 4.1/6, 7th Heaven [r] 2.5/4

UPN     2.4/4   The Parkers [r] 2.2/3, Eve [r] 2.5/4, Girlfriends [r] 2.5/4, Half & Half [r] 2.6/4

A18-49  CBS and NBC 5.8/14, ABC 4.5/11, Fox 2.3/6, WB 1.7/4, UPN 1.4/3




YOUNG GUNS – #1 Movie on A&E
SPACE JAM – #1 Movie on VH1

For movies that perform
Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NHI Explorer, 12/22-28/03.  HH Cvg Rtg.  Young Guns ties BH Cop II.  Pure Country ties Smoky Mtn X-mas.

The History Channel presents This Day in History:  
1958 – The Flying V guitar was patented by the Gibson Guitar Company 

Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  In what major city would you find the elite detective squad known as M Squad?  The M Squad, starring Lee Marvin, took place in Chicago.  Kudos to:  Joanne Milano-RJ Palmer/NY; Dave Aiken-WOLO/Columbus; Synda Kollman-NBC/NY; Hector Reyes-Lifetime/NY; Dan Whitford-RPA/Chicago; Tiffany Clark-KHOU/Houston; Robert Ray-HDNet/Dallas; Marge Pistulka-Empower MediaMarketing/Chicago; Sharon Levi/Anaheim Hills; Jim Murphy/San Francisco; Paul Gilbert-Sony Pictures Television Int’l/Culver City; Sam Linsky-TNT/LA 

Today’s Trivia Question:  In what city will you find Frank the Potato Man?   (click here 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.)



*  Have your brand associated with pro athletes and hip-hop artists
*  Ads in Primetime TV Special
*  Product Integration into TV Show, DVD and CD
*  Point-of-Purchase Displays in National Retailers

Call Eileen Simms at (310) 312-9570, or email[email protected] for more info.

Later — Cyn

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis
01/07/04  5:17am
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Copyright Cynthia Turner 2004


JOB OPENING:  RESEARCH ANALYST, SCRIPPS NETWORKS, Knoxville. Assist all aspects of research in producing/dist. TV, new media, demos, lifestyle rpts, analyses, presentations; 2+ yrs research exp.  Contact:[email protected]  (1/10)

JOB OPENING:  Court TV/NYC Seeking extraordinary COPYWRITER for a variety of ads, brochures, presentations, post cards, invitations, show descriptions, etc. Agency experience & writing samples req’d. [email protected]  (1/10)

JOB OPENING:  NY based Asian American net seeks: PROG & ACQ MGR/PROG ASSIST; FINANCE DIRECTOR; DIR OF AD SALES. This is a fun, entrepreneurial & fast-paced environment. Please send inquiries/salary[email protected]  (1/10)

JOB OPENING:  NY based Asian American net seeks: DIR. OF PROD. (ext budgeting, planning, prod. exp); Writer/Exec. Prod (fluent in at least one Asian lang.) Please send all inquires/salary req. to [email protected]  (1/10)

JOB OPENING:  RESEARCH DIRECTOR, Noggin/The N, NYC. An exciting opportunity to join an education/entertaining digital network. Min 7yrs media/mktg. research exp. Expert Nielsen systems.  Apply: (1/8)


SITUATION WANTED:  CREATIVE SERVICES PROF w/ 10+ yrs adv, PR, sales promotion, print design/prod, trade show & event planning exp in TV dist., publishing, theatre, & nonprofit, seeking position in NY or Miami[email protected]    (1/14)

SITUATION WANTED:  Experienced Hard-Worker newly transplanted from NYC seeking position as: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER, WRITER’S ASSISTANT, OFFLINE CLOSED CAPTIONER, OR PROD. COORD. Contact Jared, 818-757-7308 or [email protected]   (1/14)

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Latent fingerprinting involves locating, preserving, and identifying impressions which are not visible to the human eye.


THE Investigation Channel

COURT TV:       Caught (P), I, Detective, Forensic Files, North Mission Road (P), Dominick Dunne 
ABC             My Wife & Kids, It’s All Relative, Life After Extreme Makeover, Celebrity Mole: Yucatan [p]
CBS             60 Minutes II, King of Queens, Becker, 48 Hours Investigates
FOX             That 70’s Show, The Simple Life, The O.C.
NBC             Ed, West Wing, Law & Order
PAX             AFV, Early Edition, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             Enterprise [r], Jake 2.0 [r]
WB              Smallville [r], Angel [r]
TELE            Amor Descardo, El Alma Herida, Presencia de Anita
UNIV            Velo de Novia, Te Amaré en Silencio, Don Francisco Presenta

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