Wednesday, July 7th, 2004





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

Nielsen Media Research has added four more members to its Task Force on TV Measurement.  The announcement came from the Task Force Chairman, former US Representative Cardiss Collins. There are currently 11 members on the Task Force, and new to that group will be Mario Baeza, Mario Baeza, chairman of the Baeza Group, a Latino-owned alternative investment firm, and TCW/Latin American Partners, a Latin-American Private Equity firm in partnership with Trust Company of the West; George Takei of Los Angeles who serves on the board of the East West Players, nation’s foremost Asian Pacific American theater (whom you may know better as Sulu on the original Star Trek); Daniel Villanueva, a longtime television executive who is now Managing Partner of Bastion Capital Corporation in Los Angeles; and Karen Watson, Vice President of Government Relations for EchoStar Communications in Washington.  The Task Force was created to assess the work of Nielsen Media Research to ensure that everyone is counted fairly and accurately.

FX has ordered up a pilot for a new reality series from RJ Cutler (The Candidate, The War Room), with a working title of Masterpiece.  The show will feature an up and coming, promising young artist, and will follow his/her career and hopeful notoriety in the art world.  Joining Cutler on the producing side are actor Hayden Christensen and his brother Tove Christensen.

NBC has ordered a pilot for a new reality show called Double or Nothing (LMNO Prods) where a guy agrees to sell all of his worldly possessions and gambles the cash on one spin of the wheel in Las Vegas. How nuts is that? The show is based on a format created by Sky One and Die 4 Prods.  Also on LMNO Prods’ plate is another pilot order, this one also for NBC, called Extreme Reunion, says Variety.  Taking a page from the family reunion page, this series steps it up several notches with huge reunions, and loads of back story.  This project is created in association with, a family reunion website.

WB has set its launch date for Blue Collar, the series starring Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, and Bill Engvall, for Thursday, July 29 at 8pm.  The week prior Studio 7 launches at 9pm.  Reba will get a second airing on Thursday nights at 830p, completing the lineup for that night. Blue Collar will also be repeated on Friday nights at 930p following Reba. 

Casting Updates:

  • Wendy Makkena has been added to the cast of CBS’ Listen Up!, starring Jason Alexander, in the role of Alexander’s wife. Kirsten Nelson played the role in the pilot.
  • Actor Mark Valley (Keen Eddie, The 4400) has signed to play the lead in ABC’s Boston Legal (fka Fleet Street, spinoff of The Practice). He plays the head of the firm’s Washington office, recruited up to Boston and ultimately butting heads with James Spader character, according to Variety.
  • Scott Wolfe (Party of Five) will join the cast of Everwood on the WB this fall as a doctor in town.  Since our hero, Dr. Brown, and his adversary of sorts Dr. Abbott, have decided to commingle their business, the new doctor in town will open his own practice, and sets out to swipe a few patients from across the street.

WE:Women’s Entertainment has acquired the off-net cable rights to Twentieth Television’s Boston Public and Dharma & Greg.  Boston Public comes with 81 episodes and is schedule to begin airing on WE this fall.  Dharma & Greg (119 eps) kicks off next fall, 2005.

Hallmark Channel has added to is expanding subscriber base with two new distribution deals, both Comcast Systems.  The deals are in LA and Washington DC DMAs, and with these two, the total subscriber growth thus far for 2004 is 5.3 million.  Hallmark is now available in more than 61 million cable and satellite homes nationwide.

Coming to a DVD rack near you, well in time for the November elections, is Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. Sony has picked up the domestic home entertainment rights, and is scheduled to release the DVD/VHS this fall.

By a hare’s breadth CBS won Monday night with an overall 3.7/11 A18-49 rating according to Nielsen Media Research, just one share point ahead of NBC’s 3.4/10.  Each hour of prime was won by either CBS and NBC beginning at NBC with NBC’s 3.2/10 for a repeat of Fear Factor, with CBS following (2.6/8). CBS was in front at 9pm with Raymond and Two & a Half Men (4.0/11) over NBC’s finale of the current installment of For Love or Money (3.7/10) – next installment starts next week.  At at 10p CSI Miami on CBS owned the hour with a 4.5/13 over NBC’s Who Wants to Marry My Dad? (3.1/9).  Fox’s two original series, North Shore (2.0/6) and The Casino (1.9/5), ranked third for the night.

If you’re a fan of reality shows such as The Bachelor and For Love or Money, have you checked out Outback Jack on TBS?  Something very entertaining about a group of debutante-ish girls living in the outback, getting filthy, and yet pulling out a compact and lipstick whenever they get the chance and painting their nails. And it’s no real strain to watch the show’s bachelor, Jack. The challenges are both interesting and indigenous, which makes them more fun to watch. Check it out.

Two senior management execs named at Oxygen MediaLisa Gersh Hall upped to President, and Daniel Taitz as Chief Administrative Officer.  Geraldine Laybourne, Chairman/CEO made the announcements.  Lisa is one of the founders of Oxygen, having been with the company since 1998 when it was born, and as COO since 1999. Daniel has also been with Oxygen since the beginning, originally hired as General Counsel.  He will now be responsible for the finance, legal, facilities and HR depts. 

Stephen Burke has been upped to COO of Comcast, overseeing the cable systems as well as the cable networks (E! and Style). Additionally, David Watson has been upped to EVP/Operations responsible for the cable system’s field divisions as well as Comcast Spotlight, high speed internet and phone services. Mike Tallent has been named EVP/Finance adn Administration managing finance, administration, pgm admin, engineering ops, customer service and Comcast SportsNet.

Dianne Doctor has been upped to SVP/News Director for WCBS/NY.  The announcement was made by Pres/GM Lew Leone.  Dianne has been with the station since August 2002.

TV Guide Television Group, a division of Gemstar-TV Guide Int’l that includes TV Guide Channel and TV Guide
Interactive, has announced three new hires to the Marketing Group.  Margot Davis has been named VP/Marketing & Promotions overseeing the development and execution of all national consumer mktg and promo campaigns.  Todd McNulty joins as VP/On Air Promotions responsible for the strategy, creative and production of on air campaigns and branding.  And Melissa Van Meter has been appointed VP/Marketing & Advertising handling targeted national consumer advertising initiatives.  All three, based in Los Angeles, report to Doug Yates, SVP/Mktg, TV Guide Television Group.

Atlas Media has added two executives to its management team – Alison Murphy as Senior Director/Operations and Kim Pierce as Post Production Supervisor.  Alison will oversee all aspects of operations, post-prod and facilities management, report to Bruce David Klein, President/Exec Prod.  Kim will be responsible for post production ops with a particular emphasis on managing the 15 edit suites running 24/7. Kim reports to Alison.
Monday, July 5, 2004. Fast Affiliate 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     7.2/12  Still Standing 5.0/9, Yes Dear 5.2/9, Raymond 7.7/13, Two and a Half Men 7.7/13, CSI: Miami 8.7/15

NBC     5.1/9   Fear Factor 4.8/9, For Love or Money 5.4/9, Who Wants to Marry My Dad? 5.1/9

ABC     3.2/6   My Wife & Kids 3.9/7, George Lopez 3.3/6, According to Jim 3.2/5, Hope & Faith 2.7/4, Weddings  3.2/6

FOX     2.9/5   North Shore 3.0/5, The Casino 2.8/5

WB      1.6/3   7th Heaven [r] 1.9/3, Summerland [r] 1.3/2

UPN     1.5/3   One on One 1.6/3, Half and Half 1.7/3, Girlfriends 1.4/2, Half and Half 1.4/2

A18-49  CBS 3.7/11, NBC 3.4/10, Fox 2.0/6, ABC 1.8/5, UPN 1.0/3, WB 0.8/2




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The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1976 – Women enroll at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, for the first time. On May 28, 1980, 62  female cadets graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants.

Answer to yesterday’s MOVIE Trivia Question sponsored by IFC:   What 1978 short film directed by Sam Raimi is the basis for the film Evil Dead? Within the Woods.  Kudos to: Dennis Camlek-Horizon Media/NY; Rob Boris-CNN/NY; Alyssa Lee-Mediavest/NY; Kevin Day-Mindshare/NY; Katie Murphy-KMOT/Minot; Donna McConnell-Charter Adv/St. Louis; Tim McNerney-Starcom/Chicago; Leslie Creason-Bulldog Media/Oklahoma City; Susan Goldberg-Beverly Park Prods/LA; Hannah Jin Cho-Grey Ent./Burbank; and Caroline Godin-Ellis Ent/Toronto.

Today’s MOVIE Trivia Question sponsored by IFC:    What actress starred in Heathers?   (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.)


IFC presents: Ultimate Film Fanatic
Thousands entered… 42 finalists were chosen… but
There Can Be Only One!
Premieres July 9th at 10:30p E/P

IFC’s Ultimate Film Fanatic is NOT a game – it’s a challenge…
Film Fanatics go head to head in three rounds  Trivia; Debate; and Obsession

Click here to take the ultimate movie trivia challenge!

Later — Cyn

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis
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File it under: “What a baby!”
Sharon Stone’s movie set demands include Pilates equipment, armed guards & what for her son?
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COURT TV:       
The I-Zone, Forensic Files, I, Detective, Trace Evidence
ABC             My Wife & Kids, My Wife & Kids, Drew Carey, Drew Carey, Ultimate Love Test
CBS             60 Minutes, King of Queens, Still Standing, 48 Hours
FOX             That 70’s Show, Quintuplets, Simple Life 2, Method & Red
NBC             Next Action Star, L&O, L&O
PAX             AFV, AFV, Early Edition, Diagnosis Murder
UPN             Star Trek Enterprise, Star Trek Enterprise
WB              Smallville [r], Smallville [r]
TELE            Prisonera, El Alma Herida, Protagonistas VIP
UNIV            Mariana de la Noche, Amarte es mi Pecado, Don Francisco Presenta

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