Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Pretty funny to see "Amazing Race" start at Red Rocks. What's with everyone riding up in way old pickup trucks? And why is everyone talking about how manipulative they're going to be -- this is the show where that crap matters the least. And why did Phil say "Red Rocks ampee-theater"?

They were just introduced and I'm annoyed by the hippies already. Actually, there seems to be a larger-than-usual helping of jerks and nimrods this time out. So far, I like the nerds and the Glamazons, although I think neither is going to last very long. The dentist and wife and Joseph and Monica are duking it out for the title of "evil-est."

Sweet detour challenge -- assemble a motorcycle or do an aerial search by helicopter. Oh, wait, I'm the only one who thinks assembling a bike is cool. The girls give it a try -- and try to dragoon guys to help them ("Ooh, I'm dizzy.")

How the hay are the old folks walking right by the clue box? That's freakin' amazing.

Things seriously slow down after this point as the teams scurry around. It's funny how jazzed everyone is about the helicopters.

OK, it's over. Seriously bloated at 2 hours, but still... better than "The Apprentice."


I watched the latest "Apprentice" season premiere. I'm sorry I did. Boy am I sorry. That is a show that has run its course more than anything this side of... "The Bachelor."

You'd think Trump would quit while he was ahead (if only ahead of his erstwhile protege Martha), but the man seems to be constitutionally incapable of saying no to publicity, even bad publicity. Maybe especially bad publicity.

"The Amazing Race" debuts tonight -- minus the annoying family ties. I've got high hopes for this one.

UPDATE: America agrees with me! Well, not the part about actually watching "The Apprentice," but certainly the part about it being like so over.

The debut drew a scant 9 million viewers -- fourth in its timeslot, getting pummeled by the likes of "24," "Two and a Half Men" and "Courting Alex" and, mysteriously, "The Bachelor."

"Bachelor" blogging

Intrepid Gazette video game reporter Terry Terrones once again watched "The Bachelor: Paris" so the rest of us didn't have to:

Before I get started on the "Bachelor Paris" finale, I'd like to file a
complaint with DirecTV.

For the fourth time in 2 years, my TiVo died on me. This time right in the
middle of the "Bachelor" finale.

I'd also like to say thank you to DirecTV for making me watch (gasp!)
commercials. I start to watch shows about an hour into them to avoid those
horrible things. Because of this, I missed the first 60 minutes of the finale. I
was also unable to record the Paul McCartney concert on PBS, so I give a hard
wag of the finger to DirecTV.

On to the show. As is my custom for season finales, I do a running

9:00 - 9:15 Just catch the end of Moana and Travis' date. She seems
really into him, but as usual Travis doesn't have anything interesting to say.
He doesn't smile, doesn't respond to compliments, he's too reserved. Most boring
Bachelor ever! Bring back Charlie O'Connell.
9:15 - 9:22 Time for some pre-final rose ceremony sound bites
from Moana and Sarah. Moana just sounds more passionate. Sarah sounds like she's
talking herself into loving Travis. I ain't buying it.
9:22 Great Pizza Hut commercial with Ms. Piggy. MISS Piggy.
Maybe Travis should pick her.
9:25 The wife and I place our bets. My money's on Moana. My
wife? She's not sure, Travis' flat demeanor is frustrating her. She takes Sarah
just to spite me.
9:30 A limo pulls up, Moana's first (not a good sign).
Host Chris Harrison walks her to the doorway, bringing the obligatory "how can I
get Chris Harrison's cushy job" questions from yours truly.
9:40 Travis says the word "amazing" for the 567th time this
9:42 But! Something you never want to hear a member of the
opposite sex say to you after being given a ton of compliments. Which is exactly
what Travis does to Moana. I'm stunned and proceed to hand $10 over to my
9:45 Says Moana in the post-rejection limo: "I feel like such a
fool", "A guy like that doesn't marry a girl like me," "How could I have been so
wrong?" If you were ever curious to see what it looks like when someone
gets their heart crushed, this was your chance.
9:53 Travis chooses Sarah and they couldn't be less

Random Thoughts - ...Travis and Sarah make a great couple, they're both
about as interesting as watching water boil...Looking back Sarah was the only
choice Travis could have made, this guy just plays things safe...I guarantee
that if you surveyed 10 men, 9 of them would have taken Moana, she's just more
exotic, sexier and mysterious....Watching Moana break down in the limo reminded
me of why I talk my 22-year old brother out of applying for reality TV

Monday, February 27, 2006

Coming up

In tomorrow's TV Talk, I'll be looking at how local stations covered the killing of Springs police detective Jared Jensen, plus doing a round-up of responses to last week's question, "Why aren't you watching the Olympics?"

I know, it's an odd pairing, but I got maybe 50 or 60 responses to the Olympics thing, so the question clearly touched a nerve among some readers.

Sunday round-up

The closing ceremonies were seven kinds of boring all rolled into one. The only saving grace was that I could flip over to the "Dancing with the Stars" finale, which was itself excruciatingly boring (except for ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne complaining, apparently in all seriousness, about the judging and getting cut off. That was high comedy).

That said, the 50K cross country race actually had an exciting finish, which I caught in passing. And all the Vancouver-Whistler stuff during the ceremonies got me a little pumped up for the next Games (I grew up in Seattle and was actually up in Whistler a couple years ago for a story on how they're getting ready for the Olympics, so I've got some hometown curiousity to see how things turn out.)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Thursday ratings

Just to update how Thursday night's 7 p.m. logjam turned out: Idol won the hour with 23.1 million viewers, followed by the Olympics with 17.7 million and then a tie between "Survivor" and "Dancing with the Stars" at 14.8 million.

The Olympics did much better later at night, once the medal contenders in the women's figure skating took to the ice. "Dancing" picked up steam after "Idol" signed off, too.

You really can have it all

Thanks to a quick hand with the remote, picture-in-picture on the tube and nothing better to do, I discovered last night that it's entirely possible to watch four reality shows at the same time (well, three plus the Olympics, but who's counting?).

Seriously, I saw every dance on "Dancing with the Stars," every performer on "Idol," caught all of the intrigue on "Survivor," and tuned into the Olympics often enough to catch the B-list skaters along with the aerials NBC was mixing in during the first hour. It wasn't even that hard.

I don't think this would be possible to do during "24" or "Lost." In a scripted drama or sitcom, you'd simply lose plot points too quickly and end up confused. But reality shows are always divided into these neat segments that you can jump into and out of without breaking a sweat. And fortunately, there was no shortage of reality on Thursday night.

Anybody else catch all four?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Can your TiVo keep up?

NBC's Dick Ebersol told the New York Times that tonight could be "the most competitive night in the history of American television."

Not to hype it or anything. So we've got women's figure skating at the Olympics against the first fan elimination round on "American Idol" versus "Survivor" against "Dancing With the Stars." All at 7 p.m. Mountain.

Decisions, decisions. Not just for you -- I had to choose between a photo of leggy wrestler/dancer Stacy Keibler and intense Russian Irina Slutskaya. Hmm, that would actually be a pretty good cage match for the WWE (the initial line would favor Keibler, but Slutskaya's got those sharp skates, so....)

Naturally, I took both.

My bet? In order, singing, skating, dancing, surviving.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sharp skates and sharper tongues

Here's an interesting question, brought up by deputy features editor Joanna Bean: She thinks Dick Button, one of NBC's figure skating commentators, is really, really mean. And a little wacky.

I think Button isn't nearly as harsh as Peggy Fleming used to be -- but all these ex-skaters sound hypercritical to a casual viewer. And really, he ain't nearly as tough as Simon Cowell.

So is Button an ogre? Can 17-year-old skating phenoms take the heat? Or should announcers just shut the heck up and let us watch the action?

(Actually, I was pretty impressed by the delightful sounds of silence from the announcers during the ice dancing finals. Maybe figure skating, being more about the jumps and athletics than the moves and aesthetics, lends itself to more analysis).

BONUS POINTS: Here's a neat little Dick Button drinking game to keep you busy tomorrow night -- http://www.frogsonice.com/skateweb/articles/dick-button.shtml

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

More from non-Olympics watchers

I'm continuing to get a lot of e-mails and calls from readers saying why they're not watching the Winter Olympics. What's really fascinating is that so many people care enough to write or call. It seems to me that that must mean that plenty of people still care about the Olympics, or want to care, but feel they're being cheated of the full experience in one way or another.

My prediction is that ditching the time delay will fix many of the objections I'm hearing, which should mean good things for Vancouver/Whistler in 2010.

Odd weekend

My wife and I went to Crested Butte for the weekend. Unbeknownst to me, our hotel room came sans television. After spending so many hours watching the Olympics (along with my usual slate of favorites), going cold turkey for a weekend was a little jarring. Let me know if I missed anything good...

By the way, this morning's column on the poor Olympic ratings has drawn a big response. Some leading theories from readers: the U.S. isn't winning, so no one's watching; the Olympics are complete overkill and no one can watch that much TV; the events are cut up into little pieces, sapping the drama; too many commercials; and KOAA isn't broadcasting the Games in high definition.

Weigh in with your theory, too. Meanwhile, we'll see if women's ice skating can rescue NBC's ratings.

Friday, February 17, 2006


I called DirecTV the other day to see about adding another TV to my account. Just wanted to see what it would cost, what equipment I'd need. Today I get an automated call saying they'll install the upgrades tomorrow -- which I never agreed to or even asked for. So I have to spend 10 minutes on hold to cancel an appointment I didn't want.

Being the TV guy, I hear a lot of complaints about Adelphia. A lot. So consider this a reminder that nobody's perfect. And I think it's generally true that any time a call center is involved, bad things will happen.

Speaking of "Extreme"

I've got a short story on tomorrow's TV page about Joe and Laura Kubena, who nominated Joe's brother John and his family for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

John and his wife, Monica, have twin daughters, both of whom suffered through leukemia as toddlers and one who relapsed last year after 5 years cancer free. John Kubena and family will be on Sunday's episode (7 p.m., ABC).

It sounds like a real tear-jerker, so watch Sunday whether you read the story or not.

Extreme close-up

OK, mostly I think NBC is doing a good job covering the Olympics. The ratings haven't been there, but I can't blame the network for that.

One thing I do object to are these wacky extreme close-ups on the athletes. NBC was doing this over and over again last night during the men's figure skating finales. We're not talking about a nice tight shot here, we're talking about the face from chin to forehead filling the whole screen. It gives me the heebie-jeebies.

So that gives us at least one reason to be thankful KOAA didn't get high def in time for the Games.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Lost recap

Are you like me -- sick and tired of the "Lost" flashbacks? I don't know what we really learned from Sayid's trips down memory lane to the first Gulf War, other than torture works and it's the Americans who taught him to do it (something there to irritate both liberals and conservatives, I suppose).

So should we take Sayid at his words to Charlie, that he knows the stranger is an "Other" because he feels no remorse for beating him? To be determined, no doubt, although it occurs to me that the stranger's story could be true and he could be an Other. They had to come from somewhere, didn't they?

More intriguing were the previews for the next episode on March 1 (not next week -- that's a repeat of the pilot), when we'll apparently learn what happened to Claire when she was captured. It involves yet another Dharma bunker. It's amazing there's not a subdivision and a zoning board on the island somewhere, what with all the construction.

UPDATE: Here's the roundup from the "Lost" fan listings -- the heiroglyphics that popped up when the timer ran out apparently mean "to cause to die." Cool. And just because nothing happened... doesn't mean nothing's happening. At least I hope so.

When Sayid is in the Army truck, there's a guy across from himi looking at a photo of his daughter. That's Kate's stepdad.

Dude in the balloon? Henry Gale. Name of Dorothy's uncle in Wizard of Oz.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Today luge

Did you catch Matt Lauer and Al Roker running the double luge this morning? Pretty freaking funny -- I mean, doubles luge or dual luge or whatever they call it is pretty funny to begin with, but you put Al Roker on the sled, that's comedy gold. Lauer get squashed beneath his big-boned weatherman was simply the icing on the cake, so to speak.

I've been looking all over for a photo of them and have come up dry. I think America needs to see this again -- and set it as their screen saver for a couple days.

UPDATE: Gawker came through with some screen shots, although they hardly capture the comedy of it all.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Local "Idol" takes a walk

Our old buddy Bishop Stylz... errr, I mean Michael Evans, took the long walk tonight (no, I didn't abandon the Olympics - I'm flipping between this and the men's combined). You'll remember Evans -- he was the guy in the white cape and gold crown at the Denver auditions. I think they showed a clip of his outrageous outfit in every one of the regional auditions.

It's funny -- he played the clown all along, but tonight he was serious as could be given that he was wearing a cowboy hat and paired with a couple of genuine 'pokes from the prairie bashing out a truly horrendous doo-wah-diddy. He even shed tears after Simon berated the group and sent them all packing.

It's sad we never got to hear Evans really sing -- the other two cowboys had pretty decent auditions and Evans must have had some talent, too. But if face time counts for anything, Evans gets an A+.

Photo of the cowpokes can be seen here: http://www.idolonfox.com/photos/?cat=1&sub=19&pic=7960.

Report from the reality front...

Gazette video game writer Terry Terrones goes where no man has gone before -- "The Bachelor: Paris."

Let's see what horrible secrets he's uncovered:

Andy, after last nights episode (which I'm certain you didn't watch), I couldn't resist.

I shamefully admit I sat through 2 hours of the "Bachelor Paris" last night. I watch every week and not because my wife makes me
or because I'm a hopeless romantic. Real romance has as much to do with "The Bachelor" series as real time keeping has to do with "24".

In the world of comedy there's stand-up, slapstick and my personal favorite - Unintentional Comedy. The "Bachelor" series reeks of it.

Last night was a perfect example as raven-haired actress Susan tried so hard to pretend like she was really interested in Travis. Maybe its just me but using trite cliches to describe her "feelings", the complete lack of emotion in her voice and the frequent glances to see where the cameras were gave her away.

Her Oscar winning moment came in the limousine ride after she was not given a rose in the
second to last rose ceremony. It was clear by the look on her face that she was not upset by being sent home, but she knew she had to act like it. Like all brilliant performers she produced the tears on cue. Probably by thinking about when one of her pets died, the time she received a rejection letter from Juilard, or when her foot got run over by a car.

This is why I watch reality TV.

Odds and ends

A features editor (who shall remain nameless) was incensed this morning by the NBC announcer who consistently called the competitors in yesterday's women's halfpipe competition "girls."

"These are world class athletes. They're not girls," she said.

Technically, 16-year-old competitor Elena Hight could probably be fairly described as a girl, but I do see the larger point. After all, many figure skaters and most gymnasts are considerably younger than the snowboarders, and they're generally referred to as women. And nobody called 19-year-old men's gold medalist Shaun White a boy, although he looks young enough to get carded for an R-rated movie.

I also heard some complaints about commercials during the games. We're seeing the same five spots over and over and over and over. It's like watching curling. Little joke there. I suspect it's because NBC signed up a handful of major sponsors and they, in turn, get their ads plastered everywhere, every night.

Look on it as a blessing: Spend four hours a night watching the Olympics for three weeks and you will be in no shape to fit into one of those latex speed skating suits by the time it's done.

Monday, February 13, 2006

KKTV's Nancarrow heading to Iraq

KKTV/Channel 11 reporter David Nancarrow will spend five weeks in Iraq beginning March 6. He and Christopher Heath, a reporter with sister station KWTX in Waco, Texas, will be embedded with the 4th Infantry Division and the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Nancarrow will also be doing a daily blog at www.kktv.com. News director Nick Matesi said the plan is for Nancarrow to file three or four stories a week, providing the soldier's perspective on the war.

"The feedback we’re getting from a lot of viewers is, 'We’re not getting the whole story,'" Matesi said. "These guys are doing a lot of stuff over there and it’s not just IED's and it’s not just taking out insurgents."

Saturday, February 11, 2006

For dinner tonight...

... women's moguls, pairs figure skating and men's speedskating. Very filling.

UPDATE: I was just speaking metaphorically, but last night I noticed my wife messing around in the kitchen. Whatcha doin'? I ask. Cooking dinner, she replies. But it's 10 p.m. at night, I say. She had no idea. The Olympics can do that to you.

How I'm wasting time this afternoon

Nordic combined. A bunch of 5-foot-4, 120-pound dudes from Scandanavian countries who aren't good enough to be either ski jumpers or cross country skiers -- but put the two together and they're off. Is it any wonder the favorite is some 6-foot-2, 185-pound Swede? At least that dude could finish a hamburger.

Again, it is the Olympics and only the Olympics that can make me care about any of this for even 10 seconds... much less the two hours I've killed so far today.

Opening ceremonies

The timing of that actually worked out just fine -- there was so much background and pre-game and build-up, I managed to watch the final four episodes of "Arrested Development" without missing more than a smidge of the ceremonies.

The U.S. uniforms were better than they usually are (remember those cowboy hats and dusters?). What was up with Italy's uniforms? I think that look was popular in the 1980s -- in Greenland.

I still have a soft spot for the 50-something athletes from some tropical country where they lived for 15 minutes who go simply because they can. They were all lugers this year, which I'm sure says something.

Must leave... battery fading... time running out...

Friday, February 10, 2006

New KRDO meteorologist

Oh, one other note kicking around: KRDO/Channel 13 hired Jayne Smith to fill the gap created when Mark Nelson left the station in December to become a financial planner. Smith comes from a station in Bismarck, N.D. She’ll start on the weekend newscasts beginning March 4. And Matt and Marty will finally get a few days off.

EDITED: To fix spelling on "Jayne."

Radio updates

I know it's "TV Talk," but I've got some radio news I won't be able to get it in the paper until Tuesday, so I'll post it here. I hate sitting on news, even if it's not earth-shattering. Anyway, KKMG (98.9 FM) midday host Romi is rejoining the Magic Morning Show on Monday. Magic has its detractors, but CK and Lazer are funny at least as often as they're raunchy, and I thought the show had a better balance when Romi was there.

Also, over on the Sports Animal (KKML 1300 AM), Tony D and Papi are switching their morning show to afternoons beginning March 6 (Don and Mike will slide to early afternoons).

Subscribe now!

No, not to the paper (although our accountants would certainly appreciate it if you did that, too). To the blog.

At Brian B.'s suggestion, I got with the 21st century and signed Springs TV Talk up at Feedburner. That means anyone who would rather have these musings force fed to their RSS inbox instead of perusing them here can click that orange box on the right and sign up for the RSS program of his or her choice.

Who loves the Winter Olympics?

I love the Winter Olympics. The frigid pageantry, the heady mixture of patriotism and vicarious adrenaline, the parade of white-knuckle sports I only have to pay attention to once every four years. The summer games can't compare. The uniforms aren't as cool, the backdrops not as spectacular. The Summer Olympics lack the danger and speed of downhill or luge. They're too sprawling, too unfocused, too overwhelming.

The Winter Olympics can turn speed skating -- which has all the natural charisma of paint drying -- into high drama. The winter games are silly -- one of my all-time favorite television spectacles was seeing the rock band Kiss slide out on a moveable stage onto the ice at the Salt Lake closing ceremonies. High comedy and a great show.

So yeah, I'll be watching tonight and for the next two weeks.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Grammys, the road ends here for you

"American Idol" drew about twice as many viewers as the Grammys: 28.3 million to15.1 million. Ouch.
Maybe they need to hire Simon, Paula and Randy to pick the winners live. Actually, I'd kinda go for that.

Love's monkey labor lost

Why it seems like only yesterday I was saying "A TV writer just said he liked it: Of course it's gonna be canceled."

"It" being CBS' midseason comedy "Love Monkey." And it was yesterday (it's in the comments). And "Love Monkey" is canceled, according to TV Guide. The curse of critical praise works its evil magic quickly, huh?

Although I'm sure CBS owns the rights and won't give them up, "Love Monkey" would be a great show to pair with NBC's "Earl" and "The Office." Again, that will never happen, but I'm just saying...

Grammys blech

Didn't watch, don't care. I grew up with U2, I think Green Day is a great band, and I find Kanye West undeniably catchy, but music is far too diverse, too Balkanized for it to make sense giving one of them a prize over another. It's just silly.

Now on the other hand, I've heard some complaints about how this year's Oscars are out of touch because none of the Best Picture nominees were big box office successes. I think that's stupid, too. I can't tell you whether Kanye West is a better rapper than Kelly Clarkson is a pop singer -- the genres are too different to make that comparison -- but I can absolutely say that Ang Lee ("Brokeback Mountain") is a better director than George Lucas ("Revenge of the Sith"). That one is a love story and the other is a sci-fi action flick doesn't enter into it.

I can't really explain why that is, but it's why I watch the Oscars and not the Grammys. Anyone got a theory on this?

UPDATE: Listings editor Jen Mulson is with me on this one. Rock critic Adrian Stanley, predictably, disagrees. She thinks you could objectively pick the best album of the year. It's just that the Grammys don't do it.

End of the Spear story

If you have the chance, check out the story I wrote on the back of today's Life section. It's about Malcolm Nurnberg, who was the Air Force major sent in 1956 to the jungles of Ecuador to find a missing group of missionaries. The missionaries were killed by a local tribe, but their families ended up befriending the tribe and living with them for years. The story is the basis for the movie "The End of the Spear."

I had to squeeze the story on the back of Life because the movie was already out when I talked with him last week and if I waited to get a spot on the cover, it might not be in theaters anymore. So I don't know if I did it justice, but let me say here how much I love meeting people like Nurnberg. He fought in three wars, played tennis with the president of Bolivia and watched headhunters shrink down their prizes. The guy's just a river of amazing stories.

I've never in any way understood those reporters who make up facts or subjects to get a "better" story (and believe me, it's vanishingly rare that it happens, but it has) when the world is full of people like Nurnberg, whose real life is far better than anything fiction you could make up.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sorry about the light posting

Weird week -- I got totally crunched out of the gate on Monday and I'm just coming up for air now. Why, I almost broke a sweat yesterday-- not a risk one normally runs as a television reporter.

So, back to TV: "Idol" finally heads to Hollywood tonight. And I think I speak for all Idol fans when I say "About dang time." Laughing at the rejects starts off fun, but eventually leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

I watched that two-hour "Scrubs" block last night. NBC hasn't made a commitment to Scrubs past this season, so the writers and actors have a seize the day attitude this season that's made for some really fun television. Nevertheless, I still say "The Office" gets the "Most Improved" award for 2005-2006.

And I'm with Terry. I think "Love Monkey" has really started strong and, unlike Tom Cavanagh in "Ed," they're not burning through the dramatic potential right out of the gate. You let the romance blossom too fast, a la Ed and Carol, you've got nothing left after season two. Cavanagh feels too old for the role he's playing, though.

Another note on KKTV: Brinias and Ward seemed smoother already last night. We're running mini-profiles on them and new meteorologist Brian Bledsoe on Monday. I think the headline's "News Kids on the Block." Headline writers are constitutionally incapable of resisting a bad pun.

Love Monkey

Terry Terrones, who covers video games for the Gazette, pitches in with a few thoughts on his favorite new show of '06, CBS' "Love Monkey":

Lovin the Monkey

What's the best new show on TV? "Love Monkey", hands down.

A likable lead character (Tom Cavanaugh), well written story lines, a great setting and plenty of interesting relationship dynamics make for great TV.

"Love Monkey" is plays like the love child of "Moonlighting" (quick witty banter) and "Sex in the City," but for guys. Cavanaugh plays a small NYC record labe exec and the music is a solid mix of rock and roll and easy listening and really flows well into the shows varying plots.

"Monkey" also manages to drag 90210 alum Jason Priestley's career back from the grave. In the show he plays a doctor. Mmmm...West Beverly High, California University! , Johns Hopkins Medical School...that sounds about right.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the characters and their relationships develop.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My take on new anchors

Basically, I thought it was a good job for the first night.

Posters over on News Blab are saying they screwed up a bunch, but I didn't catch anything obvious, other than a little cross-talk at the end. It seemed to me they were a little tight and mechanical -- Brinias was gesturing with her hands the way reporters do when they're walking and talking during a shot and Ward was over-enunciating-- but they didn't screw up any names, leave any awkward pauses or miss a cue.

Of course, these guys are pro's, they should get that stuff right. Once they settle in and get comfortable with each other and viewers get comfortable with them, then we'll have a better basis to judge.

Keep the comments on the new anchors coming, good, bad or indifferent.

UPDATE: My boss, Warren Epstein, was very impressed. Listings editor Jen Mulson missed the 10 p.m. newscast, but caught Betty Sexton's interview with the pair at 5:30. She thought they were likable. Former TV reporter and font of Gazette wisdom Linda Navarro thought they were fine and smooth. "They underplayed it, which I thought was good."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Brinias and Ward start tonight

I was just over at KKTV/Channel 11 and heard that new anchors Shannon Brinias and Don Ward will do their first newscast tonight at 10 p.m.

Drop me a line and tell me how you think they did.

We're going to do a Q&A story to give viewers a little more background on the new guys. That should run sometime next week.

No joy in Mudville, KOAA-HD for the Olympics has struck out

Just got the official word: No high definition for the Olympics. We knew it was coming, but you always hope for miracles (especially a day after watching the Super Bowl in HD).

Here's the text from the KOAA Web site:

KOAA and HDTV - Updated 02-06-06Construction of a new transmitter building
on Cheyenne Mountain is nearly complete, and the installation of equipment can
soon begin. This entire project is heavily dependent on the weather on top of
Cheyenne Mountain. Conditions were severe in December 2005. We recently
learned of additional testing that will be required to insure that the tower can
stand the wind pressures common on Cheyenne Mountain. We expect test results to
be positive, and hope to avoid additional delays. Because of these delays, we
regret to announce there is no way all the work and testing can be completed in
time to air the Olympics in High Definition. We expect to commence HD broadcasts
within the next three months.When we do successfully fire up the transmitter for
the first time, we will have the most powerful digital television signal in
Colorado. Programming will be all “standard definition” digital and will have 4
hours of High Definition in prime time hours, as well as a few programs during
the daytime schedule when it is available. The format (4X3 vs. 16X9) will depend
on the supplier of the programs, our NBC HDTV should always be in 1080i. For
more information on HDTV in general go to the Advanced Television web site.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


So the first new one was the Coke Full Throttle. This one seemed pretty much identical to that Dodge Charger ad where the bikers are chasing the guy down the suburban street. That spot is still on the air, wouldn't you want something that looks different?

Start of game

Bud Light Easter Egg Hunt -- Four stars. Simple, but pretty funny.

Burger King Whopperettes -- Three stars. Weird, but they've been playing that up lately. Fun.

Sierra Mist -- Two stars. I'm tired of their little reperatory player thing. Try something new.

Bud Light Magic Fridge -- Four stars. Simple and funny. They're on a roll.

Fed Ex cave men -- Four stars. "But Fed Ex hasn't been invented yet." "Not my problem."

Bud Light Grizzly Bear -- Four stars. Definitely a roll.

Diet Pepsi Can -- Two stars. This one kind of dragged on. And I'm sorry, Brown and bubbly is a nasty tagline.

Ameriquest -- Three stars. Don't judge too quickly. But this was one of those commercials where you remember the spot, but immediately forget what it was for.

Bud Light Cleaning the gutters -- One star. The streak is over! Kinda pointless and not much of a punchline.

Dove- Two stars. This is one of the handful of Super Bowl ads aimed at women, a new trend this year. Attractive, but not especially moving (to this man, anyway).

Ford Escape -- Three stars. Can't go wrong with Kermit whitewater kayaking. "It's not easy being green. Oh, I guess it is." Good stuff.

Michelob Ultra Amber -- Three stars. "Light beer just got a little dark." Good tagline, but seeing a woman getting body-slammed got a few whoas in our room.

Go Daddy -- One star. This is even lamer in HD (see earlier post). They could have gotten just as much buzz for having their ads rejected, and saved themselves $2.5 million.

Poseidon -- One star. Mostly I'm not commenting on the movie ads, because they rise or fall on the movie they're promoting, but this one raises a question: If your movie stars Kurt Russell, shouldn't it be 1988?

Gillette Fusion -- No stars. Why are razor ads always so terrible?

Ameriquest Flight -- Three stars. Nice follow-up -- woman snoozing on an airplane, tries to go to the bathroom, gets caught in a compromising position.

Blogging is slowing down a little, what with the game heating up and the Seahawks unable to hit a freakin' field goal.

Budweiser young foal -- One star. Awwwwwww. Do cute commercials really sell beer? I can't imagine.

Master Card MacGuyver -- Four stars. This got a few shouts from Patty and Selma.

Honda Mudflap girl -- Two stars, pretty risque for Honda, but still dull.

The beer institute -- One star. I looked up www.herestobeer.com and I still don't know who "The Beer Institute" is. Mysterious commercials skeeve me out. Plus, the Web site was really, really loud.

Game over.

Hey, Pittsburgh, team of destiny. Can't argue with destiny. Or some pretty questionable Holmgren play calling at the end there (but it probably was too late to matter). Hope you enjoyed the game. And, of course, the commercials.

Checking in

OK, so the first new commercial was the Coke Full Throttle spot, and as far as I can tell, it's absolutely identical to the Dodge Charger commercial (where the bikers chase him home, then turn into little kids on bikes).

And whose idea was it to have the Seahawks come out to "Bittersweet Symphony"? Good song, but not exactly "We Are the Champions."

We interrupt this Super Bowl ramble

Blabbing Mike over at www.newsblab.com saw new KKTV Shannon Brinias coming into the office earlier today, so she and fellow new anchor Don Ward could be starting tonight. Getting all the kinks out on a slow night maybe. Or they could be filming promos or something.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Super Bowl madness.

UPDATE: Huh, well guess not. We'll see them tomorrow or Tuesday then.

Counting down...

Well, we're pretty much set here. We've got blue and green tortilla chips on the table, Starbucks frappuccino iced coffee in the fridge and Redhook ESB in the cooler. Truth be told, we're far from diehard Seahawks fans -- my family roots predispose me to the Packers -- but it's hard not to be a little excited for all the folks back home.

More to the point, we've got count 'em 40 Super Bowl ads to look forward to at $2.5 million each. Lessee, that's... um... a bunch of money. How can you not get up for that kind of massive display of capitalism?

The high definition is set in the "ON" position, the leather couch is fully reclined and we are a "GO" for takeoff... in about an hour.

Bonus feature

What spellcheck does with some of Seattle's favorite nouns: Redhook = reddish; Starbucks = starfish; Frappuccino = barbecueing (?); Seahawks = seesaw. And this could be a bad sign -- Seattle = settles.

Is this a great country or what?

I've got the pre-game on right now and Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl" on picture-in-picture. Makes you proud to be an American.

GoDaddy dud

Did you hear GoDaddy.com submitted 14 versions of its Super Bowl commercial before they found one ABC would approve? The rejected versions (some are just storyboards) are on their Web site, naturally. And, in the interest of objective reporting, I checked it out. Total yawn, sadly. I'm sure they're getting some bidness off of the ersatz controversy, but I'd give them a lot more credit if their final product had been, you know, interesting. Hopefully the rest will have a little more imagination behind them.

Super Bowl Saturday

I was watching the "40 Greatest Super Bowl Commercials" CBS last night (and isn't it fascinating that CBS was cashing on on the hype by promoting commercials on another network?) and it got me to thinking: The day before the Super Bowl stinks. Sure, I changed the oil in the car and hit the store for a few Super Bowl party essentials (my wife and I both grew up in Seattle, so we have a home town rooting interest today).

But there's precious little in the way of football going on the day before the biggest football day of the year. It's a conundrum.

And so I've got an idea. A third-place game. Take the losers of the two conference championship games and have them play for third the day before the Super Bowl. It may take a little time for teams to warm up to playing for Miss Congeniality, but I think the same ingredients that fuel every NFL game -- those being pride and money (not in that order) -- would make into a good game once the players got used to the idea.

And it would be a good game! I'd much rather spend my Saturday watching Denver-Carolina than changing the oil. Who's with me here?

Check in later today and hopefully between Redhooks I'll have witty and insightful things to say about the pre-game shows and commercials.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Hold the presses!

Here's some serious Six Flags scoop: http://www.pauldavidson.net/2006/02/01/mr-six-revealed/

That guy really skeeved me out. I was scared to death I'd run into him at the haunted house up there last fall.

Chappelle on Oprah

I kinda knew the Dave Chappelle interview on Oprah wouldn't live up to the hype, but still...

He blamed the whole Comedy Central fiasco on stress? What's up with that? I'd think $50 million might buy a little stress relief. He should have made up something interesting. I dunno... nuclear hemorrhoids or something.

Plus, it was a pretty boring interview. "The whole media is dumping on me." "With great power comes great responsibility." "I do want to make my show again, provided I can make the proper work environment." "I'd like to give my half of the DVD revenue to the people." "I don't want the money. I just want to have fun again." The big laugh was "Who goes to Africa for medical care?" Um, Africans?

I'd rather have watched an hour of "Chappelle's Show" reruns.

Bottom line: He might finish the season, but don't hold your breath.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

KK is getting a sat truck

KKTV/Channel 11 is getting a satellite news truck of its very own at the end of the month.

The regular news trucks you see around town transmit via microwaves, which are limited to line-of-sight. Satellite trucks relay their signals through a satellite, so they can be used anywhere you can see the sky. News director Nick Matesi said the staff is pretty excited.

"There's never been a story we haven't been able to get out by blood, sweat and tears (but) there have been times I've said 'I wish we had a sat truck,'" he said.
"When we're talking about breaking news in the mountains, we're talking forest fires, it frees us up to gather information and get it back here quicker and do more live reporting."

KKis getting the truck from sister station WCTV/Channel 6 in Tallahassee, Fla. It may be used, but it comes with some history: It's the truck CBS News used to broadcast 36 straight days of coverage on the disputed ballots in the 2000 presidential election.

Super Bowl blogging

If anyone wants to check in during the Super Bowl on Sunday, I'm planning to do some live commentary on the commercials, the pre-game show... pretty much everything other than the game.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

ABC News

We got a wire report this morning that Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson would be helping out ABC's "World News Tonight" (and apparently sleeping in the studio, given the number of hours doing both that and "Good Morning America" would entail). However, we've gotten no follow up confirmation yet.
Time is ticking away and the fate of Thursday's TV page hangs in the balance...

UPDATE: And, with the early deadline hanging over us like the Sword of Damocles, the AP comes through with a write-thru confirmation. The world breathes a sigh of relief.