Wednesday, March 16th, 2005


Congratulations to Nickelodeon
Kids’ Choice Awards Nominees!

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Good morning. It’s Wednesday, March 16, 2005, and this is your first early morning briefing.

Nielsen Media Research announced yesterday at its opening day of its day National Client Meeting in Miami that as of January 2006 it would begin including Time Shifted Viewing in their national sample.  Time Shifted Viewing takes into account homes with digital video recorders.  Additionally, Nielsen reported it was looking into Extended Home viewing and whether it would be able to include household members who live part of the year elsewhere (i.e. college students, or people living part of the year in second homes) and include that data into its National People Meter sample.  A feasibility study conducted by Nielsen found that this viewing could be measured with no negative impact on the quality of Nielsen’s sample.  Interestingly, results of its study indicate that college students spend an average of 221 viewing minutes per day (52 minutes in primetime) while away at school, and contribute 21% of all viewing from the their home during the time they aren’t living in the house.  They’ve also found that viewing patterns are considerably different at the alternative location, perhaps because of fewer television sets and different lifestyle schedules. Nielsen will release the cost and time frame necessary to include alternative location homes in its syndication ratings reports.

NBC’s The West Wing (Warner Bros. TV/John Wells Prods) has been reelected for a seventh term (though no official word from any of the players yet), and waiting in the wings is a potential renewal for ER and Third Watch. Armed with contract options for several key West Wing players next season including Alan Alda, Jimmy Smiths, Allison Janey, Bradley Whitford, John Spencer and Richard Schiff, the question remains who will be President next year. This season, The West Wing has averaged 11.4 million viewers; Third Watch 9.4 million.  The licensing fees for West Wing this season is pegged at $6 million per ep, and guesses are for next season that number could be cut by as much as 50%, though ultimately the number will likely be linked with ratings performance. 

WB‘s newest sitcom, Living with Fran (Regency TV) has been scheduled to join the lineup on April 8 at 830p.

Revlon, Inc. announced The Kaplan Thaler Group, Ltd. has been awarded all advertising brand creative for the Revlon cosmetics brand.  Carat has been awarded the media assignment for Revlon, Inc.  Carat has been appointed agency of record for all media for Revlon, Inc.


CABLEready and NY producer City Lights Television to will co-develop a new reality series called Spread (13 x :30), which turns ordinary women into extraordinary cover models – sans surgery.  Each episode will feature a woman chosen to undergo a 48 hour transformation with professional hair, makeup and clothing stylists. After a coached photo session, one photo will be chosen, touched up as needed, and then revealed in a high traffic major city intersection (think Times Square) on a billboard.  CABLEready/City Lights will introduce the format at MIPTV in France next month.



  • Untitled comedy pilot about a teacher who works with gifted children from Touchstone TV and Dan Todd has signed Tina Majorino to join Peter Dinklage who stars as the teacher, and Busy Phillips.
  • Cast in the role of Attorney General for the drama pilot Commander in Chief (Touchstone TV/Battle Plan Prods) is Leslie Hope.  If the show is picked up, this part is categorized as a recurring role.  Filling out the cast are Geena Davis as President of the US, Donald Sutherland as the Speaker of the House, Julie Ann Emery, Kyle Secor as ‘first gentleman’, Ever Carradine, Caitlin Wachs, Jasmine Jessica Anthony, and Henry J. Lennix as outgoing Chief of Staff.


  • Dirtbags (20th) has signed Melissa Joan Hart. The comedy is about a group of twentysomethings living in a blue collar neighborhood in Boston. Dirtbags was originally a play staged at Naked Angels Theatre Co. written by Matt Boren and Doug Segal
  • Deviant Behavior (Regency TV) has added Chi McBride as co-star opposite Johnny Messner. The project, about a team that tracks serial killers, has also signed Marguerite Moreau.
  • The network’s untitled drama pilot set in a fertility clinic now has a name – Bord & Bread (20th/Imagine TV).  Cast thus far are Joely Fisher, Matt Letscher, Nestor Carbonell, Leah Pipes and Phillip Rhys.


  • Lies and the Wives We Tell Them To (NBC Universal Television) has added Jessica St. Clair.  She joins Jeremy Garrett, Johnny Sneed, Kyle Chandler and Ed Helms in this comedy about four guys, all married, and their relationships with their wives.


  • The Prince (Warner Bros. TV/Berlanti-Liddell/Ft. Hill Prods) has signed three more to the cast which already is headed by Tim Matheson.  Added are Chris Egan as the Prince, Amber Heard and Noel Fisher.  Matheson is the wealthy dad of the young princely teen.


The Tennis Channel has signed a multiyear affiliation agreement with Comcast Cable, for the traditional linear network, as well as provide opportunities for video on demand (VOD) content.

TIVO has entered into a deal with MSO Comcast in which Comcast will offer TIVO service to its 21.5 million subscribers as an added option.  The Comcast service will provide a set of DVR features including enabling the on-screen display of digital photographs, downloading video from the internet, and playing music.  Other features crossing between TIVO and the Comcast DVR service are still being determined.  The service is expected to be offered by Comcast in 2nd qtr 2006.

Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported Network Rankings among Total Viewers for the week of 3/7-3/13/05:
Primetime     (000)    Total Pgm Day   (000)
TNT               3101     NICK                 2093
NAN              2169     NAN*                1712
USA              2139     TNT                    1535
TBS              1846      CARTOON        1363
LIFETIME     1821    LIFETIME           1161
CARTOON  1787     TBS                     1041
FOXNEWS  1654     USA                    1030
SPIKE          1652     FOXNEWS         944
SCIFI            1306     SPIKE                755
HISTORY    1235      ESPN                 731
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 week of 3/7-3/13/05:
Primetime       (000)   Total Pgm Day   (000)
TNT              1624     TNT               836
TBS              1095     NAN*              682
USA              968      TBS               619
SPIKE            878      LIFETIME         554
LIFETIME       804     USA               517
MTV              706      NICK              460
SCIFI            692      SPIKE             428
AMC              625      FX                400
DISCOVERY  609     ESPN              399
FX                  583      MTV               382
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 10 Broadcast Network Programs among A18-49 for the week of 3/7-3/1305:
Fox      American Idol Wednesday             11.7/28
Fox     American Idol Tuesday                   11.7/29
CBS      CSI                                              10.4/25
Fox     American Idol Monday                    10.1/26
CBS     Survivor                                          8.1/22
ABC     EM: Home Edition                          7.7/18
CBS     Without a Trace                              7.6/20
CBS     CSI: Miami                                     7.3/18
NBC     The Apprentice                               6.7/16
Fox      House                                              6.6/16
Source:  Nielsen Media Research, Galaxy Explorer – week of 2/28-3/6/05
Correction :  National Geographic Channel’s upfront will be held tonight, Wednesday (not last night). So if you went to GCT last night and nobody was there ….

If you’re interested in a sneak peek of NBC‘s new sitcom The Office, check out which will air Episode #2 tonight at 8pm.  The show debuts on NBC March 29 at 930p.


Brian Philips has been upped to EVP/GM of Viacom owned CMT.  Brian will oversee the day to day management of the network including programming, production, talent relations, marketing/promotional strategies.  He continues to report to Van Toffler, President, MTV Networks Music/Logo/Films Group.

Susie Romano has been upped to VP/Marketing at Fine Living TV Network, responsible for developing and executing strategic marketing and branding initiatives.  In addition, Nicole Radford has been elevated to Director/Creative Services, taking on broader strategic direction for the network.

Interpublic Group of Cos. named its COO Murray Dudgeon as the interim CEO for its Universal McCann agency until a replacement is found for Robin Kent.  Robin will be assigned to unnamed media initiatives for the company.  He has been CEO for the last 3 years and with the media buying and planning company since 1996.

A&E Television Networks President/CEO Nickolas Davatzes announced his plans to retire, effective April 1, 2005.  Stepping up to fill the vacancy will be Abbe Raven, President of A&E.

Univision Communications Inc. upped Cesar Conde to VP/Operating Manager of Galavision. He will oversee operations (including administration, programming, promotions, talent relations and technical operations) in addition to his current responsibilities as VP of Corporate Development for Univision.  Cesar will be based in Miami and will report to Joanne Lynch, Galavision’s SVP/General Manager, for his VP/Operating Manager role and continue to report to Ray Rodriguez, President/COO of Univision Communications Inc.

Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. upped Yotam Ben-Ami to VP of Worldwide Anti-Piracy Operations for its North America territory.  Yotam was previously manager of corporate business development and strategy.


Monday – A18-49 Analysis:  NBC won the night on Monday according to final numbers from Nielsen Media Research, posting an overall 4.8/12 A18-49 rating for the night.  Fox was a close #2 with a 4.5/12, followed by CBS 4.0/10, ABC 2.9/7, UPN 1.4/3, WB 1.3/3.  At 8pm NBC and Fox were in a virtual tie, each posting an 11 share for Fear Factor [r] and Nanny 911.  At 9p Fox’s 24 won the hour by a share point with 4.9/12, while CBS and NBC tied with an 11 share.  The winner at 10p was quite definite – NBC’s Medium earned a 5.7/15 for the hour, beating repeats of both CSI Miami (4.8/12) and Supernanny (2.8/7).

FINAL HOUSEHOLD Ratings:  Monday, March 14, 2005, for all Networks – program averages.  Source: Nielsen Media Research. 

CBS     8.5/13   Still Standing [r] 6.0/9, Listen Up [r] 5.6/8, Raymond [r] 9.8/14, 2-1/2 Men [r] 9.6/14, CSI: Miami [r] 10.0/16

NBC     8.1/13   Fear Factor [r] 6.2/10, Las Vegas 8.0/12, Medium 10.0/16

FOX     6.9/10   Nanny 911 6.6/10, 24  7.2/11

ABC     5.3/8    EM: HD How’d They Do That? 5.7/9, Extreme Makeover 5.0/7, Supernanny [r] 5.2/8

WB      2.5/4    7th Heaven [r] 2.7/4, Summerland 2.2/3

UPN     2.0/3    One on One [r] 1.9/3, Cuts 2.0/3, Girlfriends [r] 2.1/3, Half & Half [r] 2.0/3

A18-49                NBC 4.8/12, Fox 4.5/12, CBS 4.0/10, ABC 2.9/7, UPN 1.4/3, WB 1.3/3

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
Birthday of comedian Jerry Lewis (1926) and Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci.
Answer to Yesterday’s Trivia Question:  What show are you watching if dad is reading The Chronicle, the local newspaper where he also works? PATTY DUKE SHOW – her father, Martin, worked at The Chronicle.  Kudos to: Michael Cascio-National Geographic Channel/Washington; Mary Moonen-WFSB/Hartford; Andy Grossman/NY; and Don Cole-Fletcher Martin/Atlanta.


New York City is filled with stars.
Eight determined people are obsessed with one star in particular.
The Star of India.

Two rival teams race to get their hands on the world’s largest sapphire.
Impossible Heists airs Tuesdays at 10PM e/p.
Only on Court TV: The Investigation Channel.

Your ads will shine in our environment.  Visit for details.

Today’s TV Trivia Question:
   So, say you’re an elk.  And your name is Lawrence – though that’s not really pertinent, but you wouldn’t want to be a nameless elk.  And not only are you an elk, but you’re a performing elk on TV.  Intriguing?  Who do you work for? (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
03.16.05  5:23am

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ABC              Lost, Alias, Wife Swap
CBS              Survivor (OTO), King of Queens, Yes Dear, CSI: NY
FOX              That 70’s Show, That 70’s Show, American Idol, Simple Life
NBC              American Dreams, West Wing, Law & Order
PAX              Doc, Sue Thomas F.B.Eye, Diagnosis Murder
UPN              Top Model, Kevin Hill
WB               Smallville [r], Jack & Bobby [r]
TELE             La Mujer en el Espejo, Gitanas, Te Voy a Ensenar a Querer
UNIV             Apuesta por un Amor, Amor Real, Don Francisco Presenta

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