Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005


Starring Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth
Takes The WB to its BEST FRIDAY of the Season!

#2 in the Time Period with ALL 18-34 Demos

Available exclusively from Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution

Source: NTI, Galaxy Explorer, 9/24/04-2/25/05. TP=2/25/05, 8-8:30pm. US Rtg. Ties NBC w/M18-34 & FOX w/A18-34. Season high & Best Friday claim based on Persons 18-34 & 12-34.



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

Fox wins the night on Monday with an overall 8.2/19 A18-49 rating according to final numbers from Nielsen Media Research for the final Monday of the February sweep.  NBC was #2 overall with a 5.1/12, followed by ABC 3.9/9, CBS 3.8/9, WB 1.7/4, UPN 1.6/4.  At 8p American Idol dominated with a 10.1/24, more than doubling its closest competitor – Fear Factor’s 4.9/11. 24 did well with the A.I. leadin, delivering a time period winning 6.3/14 at 9p.  The finale of The Bachelorette (8-10p) earned a 3.4/8, though did better among W18-49 with a 5.0/10.  Summerland premiered on the WB at 8p and earned a 1.4/3 A18-49, but won the time period among Teens 12-17 with a 3.4/10 and among female teens with a 5.4/16.  At 10p Medium led on NBC with a 5.6/13, beating CSI:NY [r] 4.6/11, and The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose (5.0/12).

February Sweep to date (2/3-2/28/05 – 26 out of 28 days) per Nielsen Media Research data:

A18-49:  Fox 6.4/16 (+60% vs. same period in February 2004),  ABC 4.1/11 (+14%); CBS 3.8/10 (-10%);NBC 3.6/9 (-25%); WB 1.4/3 (-13%); UPN 1.3/3 (-19%)
Total Viewers: Fox 15.4 million (+66% vs. same period in February 2004), CBS 12.4m (-12%); NBC 10.3m (-15%); ABC 11.1m (+8%); WB 3.4m (-13%); UPN 3.3m (-17%).

On the heals of Monday night’s conclusion of The Bachelorette, ABC has announced the start date for The Bachelor as March 28, and this time the bachelor will be Charlie O’Connell. As The Bachelorette series, this round will also be based in NYC.

NBC has scheduled the return of LAX starting Saturday, March 19 at 8p.

CBS and FX will share the broadcast and cable rights to Paramount‘s theatrical film Coach Carter, per a report in today’s Variety.  The film has pulled in approx $66 million at the domestic box office, and will pay an estimated combined $8 million for hte rights, or approx 12% of the box office. The film goes to FX first in September 2007; CBS gets a run the following March during the March Madness week.

Tonight’s Premieres:
UPN      America’s Next Top Model at 8p (last night was a recap of where everyone is now from Season #3, not the new season premiere)

Casting / Development / Production:

  • TNT projects in various stages of development:

    • Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From The Stories Of Stephen King (Ostar Enterprises).  TNT has ordered 8 one hour eps.
    • Confessions (Sony Pictures Television) is a drama project about what happens when a professional hit man suddenly develops a conscience and starts seeing the faces of his many victims all around.  And before he decides on a career change, he has to do something bout the people who know what he’s done.
    • The Dark (Warner Bros. TV/Stephen J. Cannell) has completed its pilot, starring Billy Burke, Michelle Hurd, Erk Jensen, Colleen Porch, Fred Ward and Andrew Ware.  Based on an actual FBI team, The Dark follows a group of men and women called upon to investigate the most disturbing and baffling serial criminals. 
    • Currently in development, Grace (Spelling Television) is about a veteran female cop involved in a car accident on her way home one day, killing the driver of the other car.  After screaming to Heaven not to let the man die, an angel comes to her and erases the event, on the one condition that she change her life and her embittered attitude towards others. 
    • The Midnight Club (Lions Gate Television) is about a NYPD cop trying to track down a member of The Midnight Club, a secret international society of crime lords. 
    • Sanctuary is from exec prod Deborah Joy LeVine and Dan Levine; set in a mental hospital where a young doctor goes against established protocol in an attempt to treat the patients more humanely. The series is told from the points of view of the doctors and patients, giving viewers a rare and provocative glimpse inside the many mysteries of the human mind.  
    • Smoke & Mirrors (Warner Bros. TV/Shephard Robin Co) is set in the world of advertising, with truth spinning and anything that needs to be done to sell the client’s product.
    • Talk to Me (Lions Gate Television) is about hostage negotiators, whose only weapons are their fast talk and even faster minds.
  • TBS projects in various stages of development:

    • Sketch Off (One Ho Prods), a project travels across the United States in search of the best sketch-comedy troupe.
    • Loser Leaves Town (Nash Entertainment) has been ordered to series.  The show gives two feuding neighbors the chance to duke out their differences in a series of competitions.  The loser has to move.  (If this sounds like something you might be interested in, check out for more info).
    • Daisy Does America (Coquette Prods) has received a 9 ep order, starring Daisy Donovan.  This British gal Daisy is trying to become the All American girl, which is a bit of a strain for someone who knows nothing about being American.  In her quest, she travels America in hopes of picking up the nuances of the American way.
    • Minding the Store (Shapiro Grodner Prods/Bayonee Ent) stars Pauly Shore and has been ordered to series. Previously announced, this show is about Pauly attempting to bring his mother’s club, the LA based Comedy Store back on track.  The show is scheduled to premiere in 4th Qtr 2005.
  • Fox has order four new pilot presentation – all comedies:  Grandmaster Freak and the Furious 15 (20th) is from David X. Cohen and Ice Cube, an animated project that focuses on the world of hip hop and old-school rap, and at the center is high school student known as Grandmaster Freak. Lonely Island Guys (20th/Original TV) features sketch troupe of the same name.  Freebirds (20th) is a partially scripted / improv comedy.  The last one is as yet untitled, also animated, from 20th’s Fox 21 and the guys who brought you Rugrats Chuck Swenson, about a single guy with three kids who move back in with his parents.
  • UPN has ordered a drama pilot called South Beach (Paramount Network TV / Nuyorican Prods / Flame TV), set in Miami, and focusing on three young and single adults with big dreams. South Beach is exec prod by Jennifer Lopez (Nuyorican Prods. is her prod co.).
  • Stone Stanley & Co. has signed lawyer Mark Geregos (atty for Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson, Winona Ryder, among others) to star in a new reality show called Extreme Justice, according to Variety.  Think People’s Court – only bigger.  Each episode will feature one case with Geregos will representing one of the principles, and other high end attorneys representing the opposing party.  Each lawyer will argue their case, and a judge will decide who wins. the lawyers get a percentage of their client’s settlement.  The project is currently being pitched.  Involved as exec prods are Scott Stone, Sharon Levy, Howard Lapides, and Geragos.

Casting Updates:

  • CBS:

    • Eriq La Salle has signed to star in its drama pilot Conviction (Warner Bros. TV/25C Prods).  Previously cast was Lisa Gay Hamilton in as an Assistant District Attorney. The premise focuses on a prosecutor building his case against the defendant.
    • Sitcom pilot How I Met Your Mother (20th) has added Josh Radnor, as the man who examines his life 20 years ago when he was a single man.
  • NBC:

    • E-Ring (Warner Bros. TV/Jerry Bruckheimer TV) has signed Leonor Varela to join the cast which already includes Benjamin Bratt, Sarah Clarke, Aunjanue Ellis.  E-Ring takes place inside the Pentagon.
    • Fathom (NBC Universal TV) has added Jay Ferguson as an expert diver who discovers a new sea life.  The creature is cute, clever, appealing, and also extraordinary dangerous. Ferguson joins Lake Bell, Rade Serbedzija and Leighton Meester.
  • Fox:

    • Nicole Vicius has been added to the cast of Amy Coyne (20th), about a woman (Ashley Williams) who inherits her father’s sports agency. Other cast members include Bill Bellamy, Tom Berenger, Kate Jennings Grant and Phillip Vaden.
  • ABC:

    • ABC has added to the cast of its drama pilot Laws of Chance (20th/Roundtable Ink) with Bruce McGill, who joins Kadee Strickland. The project is about Strickland’s character, a Houston based DA who theatrics in the courtroom usually add to her 95% win rate.
    • Joining the real estate brokers of Westside (Warner Bros. TV/Classic IV Prods) will be Judith Light. Other players include Ashley Scott and Charlotte Ross.
    • Invasion (Warner Bros. TV) pilot has signed Eddie Cibrian. Invasion refers to aliens, and takes place in a small Florida town after a massive hurricane.
    • Emily’s Reasons Why Not (Sony Pictures TV/Pariah) about a self-help author who could use some help in her personal life and based on the Carrie Gerlach book, has added Emily Schiff as show runner/exec prod, thereby lifting the cast contingency on the project.
  • WB:

    • The net’s untitled drama project from Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson (Warner Bros. TV/HBO Indep Prods) set in a Manhattan college, and more specifically in a course teaching human s#xuality and behavior, has cast Matthew Modine as the Professor of the class.  Other cast members include Ernest Waddell, Penn Badgley, and Milo Ventimiglia.

The Daytime Emmy Awards nominations will be presented this morning at 8:40am on the CBS Early Show.  The broadcast of the awards presentations is scheduled for May 20 at 9p on CBS, from Radio City Music Hall in NYC.

Top Ten Basic Cable Ad Supported Network Rankings among Total Viewers for the month of February 2005:
Primetime       (000)   Total Pgm Day   (000)
TNT              2561     NICK              2103
USA              2244     NAN*              1521
NAN              1969     CARTOON 1398
CARTOON 1911     TNT              1389
LIFETIME         1612    LIFETIME         1086
TBS              1608     USA               1053
FOXNEWS 1569     TBS              964
SPIKE            1520     FOXNEWS 821
ESPN             1474     SPIKE            712
SCIFI            1326     ESPN              679
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 February 2005:
Primetime       (000)   Total Pgm Day   (000)
TNT              1194     TNT               744
USA              1001     NAN*              612
TBS              967      TBS               573
SPIKE            795      USA               520
ESPN             694      LIFETIME         506
SCIFI            683      NICK              474
COMEDY  666      CARTOON 391
LIFETIME         655     ESPN              391
DISCOVERY        580     SPIKE             389
MTV              575      COMEDY   384
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)

Correction:  In an item last week about 20th Television’s decision to push off the launch of The Suze Orman Show to 2006, the station clearances included in the item were not for this show, but for another.  The station clearances for Suze Orman include WCBS/New York, KYW/Philadelphia, WBZ/Boston and KTVT/Dallas, and NBC’s KNBC/Los Angeles, WMAQ/Chicago and KNTV/San Francisco. 

Casting Note:  The makers of Wife Swap are going to take an American family who are divided by conflict and over the course of seven days work with them in an attempt to bring the family back together again. The family members will be accompanied by a “Family Relationship Therapist” who will encourage the members to air their issues, be there to mediate, and hopefully repair the long standing feud that has separated them. The family tries to resolve their differences, relinquish their grudges and rediscover the relationships that made them a family in the first place.  If your family is interested in participating, contact Producer Sandra Philippeaux, RDF Media for more information at
[email protected]

Carat Americas named Elizabeth Amstutz has been to VP/Managing Director, heading up the Chicago operations; and Brent Hardesty as VP/Account Director. Elizabeth Amstutz will oversee the Chicago office and account management team on primary accounts including Orbitz, Papa John’s, Spectrum Brands and Bang & Olufsen. Brent Hardesty is is being promoted within Carat’s Chicago office.

Chris Van Amburg has joined Sony Pictures Television (SPT) as Director/DVD Marketing, reporting to Robert Oswaks, EVP/Marketing, SPT.  Chris will develop and aid in the implementation of DVD marketing strategies for SPT product, working in conjunction with the Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) team.  He will act as the lead contact between SPT current programming and motion pictures for television executives, its productions and SPHE to develop unique value-added elements to produce for the DVD market.

Monday, February 28, 2005. FINAL Ratings for all Networks – program averages.  Source: Nielsen Media Research. 

FOX     11.1/16  American Idol 13.5/20,   24   8.7/12

CBS     8.1/12   Still Standing [r] 5.7/8, Listen Up [r] 5.3/8, Raymond [r] 9.4/14, 2-1/2 Men [r] 9.5/14, CSI: Miami [r] 9.3/14

NBC     7.8/12   Fear Factor: Reality Stars (8-10p) 6.7/10, Medium 10.0/16

ABC     6.5/10   The Bachelorette: Finale (8-10p) 5.9/9, The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose 7.8/12

WB      3.4/5    7th Heaven 3.9/6, Summerland [p] 2.9/4

UPN     2.5/4    One on One 2.2/3, Cuts 2.4/3, Girlfriends 2.7/4, Half and Half 2.6/4

A18-49  Fox 8.2/19, NBC 5.1/12, ABC 3.9/9, CBS 3.8/9, WB 1.7/4, UPN 1.6/4

The History Channel presents This Day in History:
1969 – The Concorde, the world’s first supersonic passenger jet, makes its first flight, lasting 27 minutes. A joint venture between France and England, the plane went into regular commercial service in 1976; it was retired in October 2003, a victim of declining revenues and escalating maintenance costs.
Answer to Yesterday’s TV Trivia Question: TV Quote — what TV Character said this:  “After all, one man’s goose is another man’s dander.”   ARCHIE BUNKER.  Kudos to: Marge Pistulka-Empower MediaMarketing/Coral Springs; Gerry Bixenspan/NY; Jeffrey Tuchman-Documania Films/NY; Lisa Verderosa-WFLX/West Palm; Brett Calvert-KSAT/San Antonio; Sharon Levi/Anaheim Hills; Andrew Wainrib-KCW Prods/Malibu; Jason Rosenberg-Pulse; Michael Dender-E Poll/Encino.


Attention amateur cryptographers!

See if you can decipher this group of numbers and symbols:

44, A, %, 34, +, 18

The solution – A18-34 +44% is the Saturday Night Solution.

Ratings are up in this key adult demo for a hosted line-up of programs like
Forensic Files, Body of Evidence, Psychic Detectives, and The Investigators
Court TV: The Investigation Channel.

Source: Nielsen Media Research.

Today’s TV Trivia Question:
  This item is also known as the Rigid Digit, the Winged Weenie, Wonderful Wiggler, and the Nifty Knuckle.  What was its real name?  (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

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PRODUCTION OFFICE SPACE: Turnkey Production Space, West 37th Street NYC, 7,000 sq. ft. space w/ Exec. Offices, Conf. Room, 5 edit suites, and phone & furniture for 50 included. Below Market & Ready-To-Move In! Contact: Alison 917-351-8432  (3/8)

JOB OPENING:  CLIENT SERVICE ASSOC/Nielsen, New York. Service National cable networks in the area of Nielsen LOCAL products. 3+yrs research industry exp. Sales exp. a must. Cable experience a+. (200502369-JL)   (3/5)

JOB OPENING:  RESEARCH MANAGER, MTV Networks, LA. Pro-active team leader w/3-5 yrs media research exp supp. Ad sales, etc. using tradtl. research & innovative category,consumer resources. Apply: (3/5)

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WHAT’S ON TONIGHT:  MARCH 2, 2005:  Last night of the February sweep!

ABC              Lost, Alias, Wife Swap
CBS              60 Minutes, King of Queens, Yes Dear, CSI: NY
FOX              That 70’s Show, That 70’s Show, American Idol, The Simple Life
NBC              Dateline, West Wing, L&O
PAX              Doc, Sue Thomas F.B.Eye, Early Edition
UPN              America’s Next Top Model #4 [p], Road to Stardom
WB               Smallville, Jack & Bobby
TELE             Rumbo al Mundial: Mexico v. Colombia (730-930p), Anita no te rajes, La Mujer en el Espejo
UNIV             Rubi, Amor Real, Don Francisco Presenta

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