2016 Cynopsis TV Awards

Edison Ballroom, New York City
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What better way for Cynopsis to celebrate our 20th Anniversary than by honoring the best of the best in the industry we’re so proud to cover? A reception to celebrate our two decades took place February 7 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City, followed by a dinner highlighted by the presentation of the very first Cynopsis TV Awards, saluting excellence in national television programming. Also, two special awards were presented to honorees Linda Boff, CMO for GE and Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO & Founder for Horizon Media, for their extraordinary contributions to the industry.

The industry’s top advertising talent was celebrated at the inaugural Cynopsis Buyers & Planners Awards. Strategists, communicators and executors of campaigns were recognized for their incredible contributions across broadcast, cable and digital platforms.

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TV Awards Winners


Best Host/Anchor [News or Documentary]

Winners

  • National Geographic Channel: The Story of
    God with Morgan Freeman

    Morgan Freeman displays intellectual curiosity and openness as he travels the world exploring the meaning of life, God and how religion has helped shape society.

Honorable Mentions

  • ABC: 20/20 (Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir)
  • ID : Deadline: Crime (Tamron Hall)
  • Showtime: The Circus: Inside the Greatest
    Political Show on Earth (Mark Halperin and John Heinemann)

Best Host/Judge [Food]

Winners

  • Food Network Guy Fieri

    Irrepressible restaurateur and author Guy Fieri brings rowdiness and passion to Food Network shows including Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy’s Grocery Games.

Honorable Mentions

  • Food Network Bobby Flay
  • Food Network Cast of Chopped
  • Travel Channel Andrew Zimmern, Bizarre Foods

Best Host/Judge [Real Estate]

Winners

  • HGTV Chip & Joanna Gaines

    The chemistry between Chip and Joanna Gaines is a large part of the appeal of Fixer Upper, as the construction expert and the designer team to save seemingly hopeless homes.

Honorable Mentions

  • HGTV Drew & Jonathan Scott
  • HGTV Tarek & Christina El Moussa

Best Host/Judge [Reality]

Winners

  • America’s Got Talent Nick Cannon

    Rapper and comedian Nick Cannon, who began his career in the Nickelodeon sketch comedy All That, hosts NBC’s reality competition with a sense of fun and flair.

Honorable Mentions

  • CNBC Marcus Lemonis of CNBC’s “The Profit”
  • LOGO Lance Bass from Finding Prince Charming
  • LOGO RuPaul from RuPaul’s Drag Race
  • SpikeTV Dave Navarro Spike’s “Ink Master”
  • Univision Alejandra Espinoza

Best Host/Judge [Sports]

Winners

  • Esquire Network Team Ninja Warrior

    The Team Ninja Warrior hosts keep the action moving on this fast-paced American Ninja Warrior spinoff.

Honorable Mentions

  • FOX Troy Aikman
  • PTI ESPN Michael Wilbon
  • PTI ESPN Tony Kornheiser

Best Host/Judge [Talk Day/Night]

Winners

  • VH1 Marc Lamont Hill

    An author and activist as well as host, Marc Lamont Hill puts a pop culture spin on the news as host of VH1 Live!.

Honorable Mentions

  • National Geographic Channel StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson 

  • VH1 Amber Rose

Best Host/Judge [Travel]

Winners

  • Travel Channel Andrew Zimmern

    In Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, the adventurous host follows the paths of famous travelers to delve deep into local delicacies.

Honorable Mentions

  • Taylor Hicks/State Plate An INSP Original Series
  • Travel Channel Josh Gates

Best Host/Judge/Narrator [Adventure]

Winners

  • Travel Channel Josh Gates, Expedition Unknown

    Avid explorer Josh Gates uses his skills and passion for adventure to search for the truth behind unsolved legends.

Honorable Mentions

  • Discovery Mike Rowe, Deadliest Catch
  • Lisa Ling This is Life with Lisa Ling

Best Showrunner

Winners

  • Tribune Studios in association with Sony Pictures Television Misha Green & Joe Pokaski – Underground

    Misha Green & Joe Pokaski created the compelling WGN America drama Underground, following a group of slaves who plan a daring escape.

Honorable Mentions

  • ABC Kenya Barris and Jonathan Groff, Blackish
  • Netflix Ross and Matt Duffer, Stranger Things
  • The CW Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh
    McKenna, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • USA Network Sam Esmail, Mr Robot

Best Marketing Campaign

Winners

  • Alkemy X TruTV “Hack My Life”

    Humorous promos like “Hack My Security” and “Hack My Car Window” helped generate excitement for the return of truTV’s Hack My Life.

  • Discovery Channel Shark Week 2016

    There was no escape for viewers as Discovery Channel found a myriad of ways, and marketing partners, to make a splash with Shark Week – including a Shark Week-themed aircraft.

Honorable Mentions

  • Crown Media Family Networks (Hallmark
    Channel)
    Countdown to Christmas Marketing Campaign
  • Discovery Channel Harley and the Davidsons
  • E! Entertainment- E! News “Be Pop Cultured”
    Marketing Campaign
  • LeadDog Marketing Group The People v. O.J.
    Simpson: American Crime Story
  • Spike Lip Sync Battle Season 2
  • WME-IMG Road to Vegas

Best Social Media Campaign

Winners

  • Alkemy X Syfy “The Blair Witch Project”

    What if 1994’s Blair Witch Project were shot today? Social media posts offered intriguing peeks at Syfy’s update.

Honorable Mentions

  • Campfire at SapientNitro Stand with Malala
  • HGTV Fixer Upper Season 3 Social Media
    Campaign
  • INSP INSP Original Series Premiere Launch of
    State Plate
  • Spike Lip Sync Battle Season 2
  • Telemundo Media Telemundo El Poder En Ti’s
    #YoDecido

  • WME-IMG #FindingMiss52 Campaign

Best Branded Integration

Winners

  • NBCUniversal NBC News Election Night Amazon Integration


    NBC News launched its first Alexa product on Amazon Echo, allowing users to access the latest information on the presidential election.

  • The Weather Channel State Farm The Weather
    Channel Augmented Reality Integration

    The Weather Channel and State Farm teamed to use augmented reality to bring State Farm’s brand promise to life, educating consumers about the safest places to be during severe weather.

Honorable Mentions

  • HGTV Fixer Upper/LEGO Integration
  • Insight Production Company Ltd Big Brother
    Canada

  • NBCUniversal Candy Creations
  • NBCUniversal Hispanic Group Allstate “Mala
    Suerte” & Premios Tu Mundo

  • Poker Central The Super High Roller Bowl
    poker game advertiser integration

  • The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Ellen
    DeGeneres Show and Chevrolet

  • The Weather Channel L.L.Bean Official
    Outerwear Provider of The Weather Channel
  • Viacom Velocity Universal Orlando + VH1’s
    ‘Barely Famous’

Best Commercial

Winners

  • Discovery Channel Harley and the Davidsons

    The Harley and the Davidsons spot brings the miniseries roaring to life, conveying the intensity and drama of a moment in history.

Honorable Mentions

  • Alkemy X XFINITY On Demand “Fall TV”

  • Discovery Channel Racing Extinction

  • Discovery Channel Shark Week 2016

Best Documentary Special

Winners

  • OUR TIME PROJECTS and DOCUMENTARY
    GROUP Production In Association For A&E
    Indie Films
    Cartel Land

    Cartel Land takes a hard look at the state of the ongoing drug war along the U.S.-Mexican border.

  • Peacock Productions Guns on Campus: Tamron Hall Investigates

Honorable Mentions

  • BCII Extreme RVs Kiravan Special
  • National Geographic Channel Before the Flood

  • Peacock Productions The Rise and Fall of El Chapo
  • Tennis Channel Signature Series: Barnstormers

Best Made For Television Movie

Winners

  • National Geographic Channel Killing Reagan

    An adaptation of the Bill O’Reilly book, Killing Reagan tells the story of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Honorable Mentions

  • ION A Firehouse Christmas

  • VH1 The Breaks 


Best OTT Service

Winners

  • Hulu

    In addition to offering next-day streaming of current shows and a catalog of complete seasons, Hulu distinguishes itself with strong film and anime content.

Honorable Mentions

  • CBS Interactive CBS All Access


  • The Weather Channel television network Local Now

  • Univision Communications Inc. Univision NOW
  • WWE WWE Network

Best New Series [Comedy]

Winners

  • Universal Television The Good Place

    The Good Place is a high concept comedy about the afterlife with a stellar cast and intriguing twists and turns.

Honorable Mentions

  • ABC American Housewife

  • FX Better Things

  • HBO Insecure


Best Series [Comedy]

Winners

  • 20th Century Fox Television Fresh Off The Boat

    In Fresh Off the Boat, a Taiwanese-American family running a steakhouse deals with culture shock. The comedy offers laughs even as it deals with racial and ethnic divides.

Honorable Mentions

  • 20th Century Fox Television Modern Family


  • 20th Century Fox Television Speechless
  • 20th Century Fox Television The Last Man On Earth

  • IFC Documentary Now!


  • TV Land Teachers
  • TV Land Younger
  • Universal Television Brooklyn Nine-Nine

  • Universal Television The Good Place

  • • USA Network & Universal Cable Productions Playing House 


Best Series Writing [Comedy]

Winners

  • BYUtv Studio C 


    Studio C is a sketch comedy show offering clean, family-friendly comedy for a national audience.

Honorable Mentions

  • ABC American Housewife
  • Cartoon Network Stephen Universe

Best Casting [Drama + Made for TV Movie]

Winners

  • VH1 The Breaks 


    The Breaks, starring Afton Williamson, Wood Harris and Mack Wilds, chronicles the lives of three friends during the 1990s hip-hop boom.

Honorable Mentions

  • BYUtv Winter Thaw
  • Tribune Studios in association with Sony 
Pictures Television Eric Dawson & Megan Lewis

Best New Series [Drama]

Winners

  • Tribune Studios in association with Sony 
Pictures Television Underground 


    This sometimes harrowing fictional account of slavery features sharply drawn characters and a riveting narrative.

Honorable Mentions

  • FOX Pitch
  • Syfy & Universal Cable Productions The 
Magicians
  • The CW Frequency

Best Series [Drama]

Winners

  • 20th Century Fox Television This Is Us 


    Dan Fogelman’s uplifting ensemble dramedy broke the broadcast mold this fall with moving stories and emotional twists and turns.

Honorable Mentions

  • 20th Century Fox Television Empire
  • 20th Century Fox Television Pitch
  • A+E Studios for Lifetime UnREAL
  • Tribune Studios in association with Sony 
Pictures Television Underground

  • USA Network & Universal Cable Productions Mr. Robot

Best Series Writing [Drama]

Winners

  • Tribune Studios in association with Sony 
Pictures Television “Underground” – Misha Green & Joe Pokaski 


    Misha Green & Joe Pokaski wrote an epic series about a group of escaping slaves and their suffering, courage and hope.

Honorable Mentions

  • AMC Better Call Saul
  • SundanceTV Rectify

Best Series [Sports]

Winners

  • MLB Network MLB Central

Honorable Mentions

  • Golf Channel Feherty 

  • Pilgrim Media Group- FS1 The Ultimate Fighter

Best Series Writing [Sports]

Winners

  • El Rey Network Lucha Underground

    Compelling stories of good and evil are told through the tradition of freestyle wrestling.

Honorable Mentions

  • ESPN PTI 

  • TNT Inside the NBA

Best New Series [Reality Competition]

Winners

  • BYUtv Relative Race


    BYUtv’s Relative Race combines drama and humor as couples dash across the country and meet new relatives along the way.

  • NBC Sports Group Shotgun 


    NBC Sports Group goes full throttle with Shotgun, a high octane auto racing quiz show that tests contestants’ automotive knowledge.

Honorable Mentions

  • Esquire Network Team Ninja Warrior

  • Food Network Kids BBQ Championship 

  • Lifetime Project Runway: Fashion Startup
  • Logo Finding Prince Charming

Best Reality Competition Series [Dating]

Winners

  • Logo Finding Prince Charming

    Modeled after The Bachelor, Finding Prince Charming focuses on a cast of gay suitors looking for love.

Honorable Mentions

  • E! Catching Kelce 

  • MTV Are You the One?

Best Reality Competition Series [Fashion/Style]

Winners

  • SpikeTV Spike’s “Ink Master”

    Ink Master features tattoo artists who face a variety of challenges to prove their artistic skill.

Honorable Mentions

  • Logo RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars
  • Syfy Face Off

Best Reality Competition Series [Food]

Winners

  • VH1 Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party

    Ultimate odd couple Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg team to prepare a themed dinner, but it’s less about cooking than good company.

Honorable Mentions

  • Cooking Channel Sugar Showdown
  • Food Network Beat Bobby Flay
  • Food Network Chopped
  • Food Network Cooks vs. Cons
  • Food Network Food Network Star

  • Food Network Guy’s Grocery Games 

  • Travel Channel Bizarre Foods with Andrew 
Zimmern


Best Reality Series [Adventure]

Winners

  • CNBC CNBC’s “Adventure Capitalists”

    Adventure Capitalists gives entrepreneurs the chance to showcase their products in the great outdoors.

Honorable Mentions

  • Animal Planet River Monsters

  • Pilgrim Media Group- National Geographic Wicked Tuna
  • Travel Channel Expedition Unknown

Best Reality Series [Family-focused]

Winners

  • RFD-TV FarmHer

    FarmHer shines a light on women in agriculture.

Honorable Mentions

  • 44 Blue Productions Pit Bulls & Parolees 


  • 44 Blue Productions The Wahlburgers 


  • Animal Planet Pit Bulls & Parolees
  • BYUtv Random Acts
  • CNBC CNBC’s “The Profit”
  • Food Network Chopped Junior 

  • Food Network Cupcake Wars
  • WE tv Growing Up Hip Hop 


Best Reality Series [Music/Arts/Entertainment]

Winners

  • FremantleMedia America’s Got Talent

    The appeal of long-running America’s Got Talent isn’t just sometimes quirky contestants, but its group of opinionated judges.

Honorable Mentions

  • ABC Dancing With the Stars 


  • FOX So You Think You Can Dance
  • NBC The Voice

Best Reality Series [Real Estate]

Winners

  • HGTV Fixer Upper

    Texans Chip and Joanna Gaines turned their passion for buying and remodeling homes into Fixer Upper, where they oversee major home makeovers.

Honorable Mentions

  • HGTV Flip or Flop
  • HGTV Property Brothers
  • Pilgrim Media Group – FYI Zombie House Flipping

Best Reality Series [Travel]

Winners

  • State Plate An INSP Original Series

    Each episode of State Plate revolves around a different state’s most symbolic foods. Former American Idol host Taylor Hicks hosts.

Honorable Mentions

  • Cooking Channel Cheap Eats
  • Cooking Channel Haylie’s America
  • Cooking Channel Man Fire Food
  • Insight Production Company Ltd. The 
Amazing Race Canada
  • Travel Channel Bizarre Foods with Andrew 
Zimmern 

  • Travel Channel Expedition Unknown

Best Reality Series [True Crime]

Winners

  • MTV’s “Unlocking the Truth” 


    True crime show Unlocking The Truth investigates cases of wrongful convictions, in the hopes of overturning them

Honorable Mentions

  • Peacock Productions Deadline: Crime with 
Tamron Hall 

  • Peacock Productions Disappeared 

  • Scott Sternberg Productions & Weinberger 
Media ON THE CASE WITH PAULA ZAHN 
 


Best New Series [Nighttime]

Winners

  • VH1 “VH1 Live!”

    Hosted by award-winning journalist Marc Lamont Hill, weekly late night talk show VH1 Live covers current events in pop culture.

Honorable Mentions

  • TBS Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
  • VH1 Amber Rose Show

Best Talk Series [Daytime]

Winners

  • Food Network The Kitchen

    The Kitchen mixes meal tips and trivia with recipes in a breezy hour for home cooks.

Honorable Mentions

  • CBS The Talk

  • Syndicated Kelly LIVE!


  • Univision El Gordo y La Flaca

Best Talk Series [Nighttime]

Winners

  • National Geographic Channel StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts this science-based late-night show featuring interviews with well-known guests from the worlds of entertainment, politics and science.

Honorable Mentions

  • Comedy Central The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
  • NBC Late Night with Seth Meyers!

Best Series [Documentary]

Winners

  • Lucky 8 TV 60 Days In

    Offering an eye-opening look at corruption and American justice, 60 Days in follows seven individuals posing as inmates in the Clark County Jail in Indiana.

Honorable Mentions

  • 44 Blue Productions Nightwatch

  • Bunim-Murray Productions for A&E Born This Way
  • GRB Entertainment for A&E Intervention

  • National Geographic Channel MARS
  • National Geographic Channel The Story of God with Morgan Freeman

  • Peacock Productions Hate in America
  • RFD-TV FarmHer

Best Series [Limited]

Winners

  • A+E Studios in association with Marc Tobero Productions and The Wolper Organization for History Roots

    This powerful remake of the 1977 miniseries strikes a balance between hope and misery, with deft direction and an outstanding cast.

Honorable Mentions

  • Insight Production Company Ltd. Big Brother Canada 

  • Syfy & Universal Cable Productions Channel Zero: Candle Cove

Best Cross Platform Campaign 
[Originating with a Broadcast/Cable TV Show]

Winners

  • Spike Lip Sync Battle Season 2

    Lip Sync Battle, the most-watched original program in Spike’s history, has amassed over half a billion video streams since launch last April.

  • Crown Media Family Networks (Hallmark Channel) Countdown to Christmas Marketing Campaign

    By Halloween, it’s already Christmas at Hallmark Channel, with classics as well as original holiday movies robustly promoted on social (#CountdownToChristmas) and beyond.

Honorable Mentions

  • Crown Media Family Networks (Hallmark Channel) Countdown to Valentine’s Day 2016 Marketing Campaign 

  • iPowow Lip Sync Battle: All-Stars Live & iPowow
  • NBCUniversal Citi Concert Series on TODAY
  • NBCUniversal Johnson’s & the TODAY 
Parenting Team

  • WME-IMG Global Fan Vote Campaign 



Best Use Of Companion Video For A TV Show

Winners

  • Campfire at SapientNitro Outcast Interactive Trailer: “Possession Begins”

    A creepy promotion for Outcast used 3D audio technology and eye-tracking software to show how it feels to be possessed.

Honorable Mentions

  • AMC Fear the Walking Dead: Passage

  • Bravo Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen


Best Writing [Made For TV Movie]

Winners

  • VH1 The Breaks

    The Breaks, set in 1990, captures the grit, humor and music of the era in New York City as three friends hustle to make it in the music industry.

Honorable Mentions

  • Lifetime Girl in the Box 

  • TV One Definitely Divorcing

Network Diversity

Winners

  • El Rey Network

    Launched by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, El Rey Network is an English language channel targeting young adult Latino audiences, serving it up for “rebels, aficionados and passionate creators.“

Honorable Mentions

  • ABC
  • FOX Broadcasting Company

Best Production Company

Winners

  • Lucky 8 TV


    Lucky 8 TV focuses on unscripted programming for networks such as A&E, Food Network and Animal Planet. Their shows include 60 Days In, Brain Games and Breaking The Rules.

Honorable Mentions

  • Corral360 Los Cowboys
  • Insight Production Company Ltd The Amazing Race Canada
  • Jax Media Jax Media

  • Pilgrim Media Group 



Best TV Group

Winners

  • Scripps Networks Interactive



    Scripps Networks Interactive is a leader in lifestyle content, with brands HGTV, DYI Network, Food Network Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country engaging over 190 million consumers each month.

Honorable Mentions

  • A+E Networks
  • Discovery Communications
  • Univision Communications Inc. – Univision 
Local Media 



Best Broadcast Network

Winners

  • FOX Broadcasting Company 


    While Fox serves up fresh fare like Empire and The Mick, the net’s long-running hits like The Simpsons never get old.

Honorable Mentions

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • NBC

BEST AD-SUPPORTED CABLE NETWORK [Distributed to 1-50 Million U.S. Households]

Winners

  • Univision Deportes Network 


    Spanish-language Univision Deportes Network features sports programs including games, lively discussions, interviews and more.

Honorable Mentions

  • El Rey Network
  • Ovation
  • Smithsonian Channel

BEST AD-SUPPORTED CABLE NETWORK [Distributed to 50-74,999 Million U.S. Households]

Winners

  • Cooking Channel


    Scripps Networks Interactive’s Cooking Channel is dedicated to the passionate food lover, offering recipes, history and how-tos to anyone hungry for culinary content.

Honorable Mentions

  • Centric
  • IFC
  • TV One
  • UP

BEST AD-SUPPORTED CABLE NETWORK [Distributed to 75-89,999 Million U.S. Households]

Winners

  • Investigation Discovery 


    Discovery Communications’ Investigation Discovery is focused on true crime, offering insight into the darker side of human nature.

Honorable Mentions

  • INSP
  • National Geographic Channel
  • WE tv

BEST AD-SUPPORTED CABLE NETWORK [Distributed to 90-100+ Million U.S. Households]

Winners

  • HGTV 


    Scripps Networks Interactive’s HGTV offers design, real estate and renovation inspiration with shows that feature engaging, “real people” hosts.

Honorable Mentions

  • A&E 

  • Discovery Channel
  • Food Network
  • TBS
  • USA

Best Reality Series [Food/Lifestyle]

Winners

  • Food Network Barefoot in L.A.

    Barefoot in L.A., hosted by chef Ina Garten, covers the LA foodie scene.

  • Food Network The Pioneer Woman

    The Pioneer Woman features chef Ree Drummond cooking for family and friends on her Oklahoma ranch.

Honorable Mentions

  • Food Network Brunch @ Bobby’s
  • Food Network Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

  • Food Network Giada Entertains
  • Food Network Trisha’s Southern Kitchen
  • RFD-TV FarmHer
Buyers & Planners
Order Awards