Thursday, August 31, 2006


Tonight -- Matt Atherton competes in the finals of "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" 7 p.m. Sci Fi

Saturday -- The Gazette's mammoth guide to fall TV. Don't miss an apostrophe.

Tuesday -- Katie Couric takes over at CBS News.
-- MyKKTV launches
-- "Standoff" premieres 8 p.m. Fox.
-- "Fashion House" and "Desire" premiere on MyNetworkTV, 7 p.m.
-- I invite readers to play "The Deadl Pool" in TV Talk.

Busy few days in TV. Let me know if I'm missing anything.

Katie's comeback

The nation, or at least my voicemail, is awash in Katie Couric detractors, but I really liked her comeback to the "slimmed-down" photo of her CBS posted on its Web site:

She says she liked the original better "because there's more of me to love."

Humor is a huge help in damage control. I wish Kyra Phillips could do the same -- THAT could be classic.

UPDATE: And it may well be -- Phillips is doing tonight's Top 10 list on David Letterman. Can't wait.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

MyKKTV update

If you're already pining for Tuesday's MyNetworkTV premiere of "Fashion House," Comcast has moved MyKKTV to 141. Once again: Not 725, 141. Or 11.2 on your digital television.

UPDATE: To answer a question in comments, KKTV says that "Fashion House" and "Desire" -- MyNetworkTV's launch programs -- WILL be in HD on 11.2 (not on Comcast). We'll see how that works.

Scandals, lies and open mics

You've probably heard about CNN's Kyra Phillips leaving her mic on during a trip to the john while covering President Bush's Katrina speech on Tuesday. If you didn't, check it out. She called her sister-in-law a control freak. At least Matt Meister didn't get in trouble at home.

Funny story: Our own entertainment editor Warren Epstein did the same thing Friday during the "Friday On the GO!" feature he does on KOAA. No in-laws were harmed in the incident, however.

Meanwhile, CBS got caught retouching a publicity photo of Katie Couric to offer a, ah, slimmer profile.

As far as I know, Warren isn't guilty of that one.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Saddam Hussein forced to watch himself on "South Park"

Britain's "The Sun" reports that the U.S. Marines guarding Saddam Hussein have repeatedly shown him "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" by Colorado boys Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

Priceless. I so want to believe that's true.

Monday, August 28, 2006

KOAA's flash flood footage

I was out getting rained on all weekend and missed KOAA's kickin' floating car footage from Saturday, but just caught it on their Web site. That's awesome. I love the windshield wipers still going while the car is sinking like the Titanic.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Emmys blogging

Nice Billy Crystal montage. As usual, "The Office" is by far the best. "I can see us having two or three seasons of will-they, won't-they sexual tension." Hee.

The "House" bit was good, too.

I'm not loving the stand-up bit. Feels cheap, plus Conan was never an actual comedian -- he was a writer, then a host. And now he's doing song-and-dance. I hope Crystal is getting royalties on this schtick.

Supporting actress in a comedy. Megan Mullaly. Everyone was saying they'd give it to her instead of Jaime Pressley, because, just like on the Oscars, sentimentality always wins. Actually, even more so in the Emmys -- which are (as the Conan bit goes to show) a pallid imitation of the Academy Awards in every way.

And Mullaly gets played off. Yay!

Supporting actor in a drama. Michael Imperioli gets a big round of applause... it is so wrong with Gregory Itzin doesn't win. I don't think the voters watch "24," though. So, see my Mullaly comments, it goes to Alan Alda. Who, in fairness, was really good in the final "West Wing" season. But still, this should have been Itzin's all the way.

Let me take this commercial break to mention that I walked in five minutes before this thing started after three days of Biblical rain in Crested Butte (think Noah, ark, pairs of chipmunks and coyotes, etc.) for what was supposed to be a mountain biking trip. It was more of a low-cost mud bath. So, three days without a shower, not sleeping that well... and yet I think this experience has put me in precisely the right frame of mind to evaluate the Emmys. Grouchy, cynical, sarcastic (more than usual, you understand).

Oh, and then they throw Bob Newhart at me. Newhart is the funniest man in TV history. He gets more laughs out of a straight face than Robin Williams ever did with his rubber goober thing. The three hours of air was really funny.

Supporting actress in a drama. Blythe Danner. Keep in mind, nobody not in Hollywood watched even a single episode of "Huff." Which leads directly to: "I guess I have to thank Showtime, even though they canceled us." Heh.

Jaimie Preslley, presenting: "They come from a great network show, a great cable show and even a great canceled show." Which is exactly what's wrong with the Emmys -- movies no one saw get Oscars, but at least you could still catch them on DVD. Technically, you can do that with TV shows these days, too, but there's something a trace masochistic about devoting hours to something that ends so ignominiously as an early cancellation.

Piven wins suppoting actor in a comedy. That was the biggest gimmee in the show. And richly deserved. He had a funny 15-second acceptance speech, too: "My drama coach told me I'd never work until I was in my 40s. I didn't know what to do with myself for 17 years. Becoming a fluffer? I was confused..."

The Segway podium bit was a funny idea. A catapult or something would have gotten a bigger laugh.

Whoa. Clean-shaven William Petersen. That's probably worth tuning in for all by istelf.

Actress in a movie/miniseries: Kelly McDonald, "The Girl in the Cafe." Another totally bogus award -- not that she wasn't good, but that movie should have had a theatrical release. It should have been up for an Oscar, not an Emmy.

"Daily Show with Jon Stewart" should not win anything for a non-election year. End of story. Even Stewart thinks so.

I'm sort of glad the directing award went for the "My Name Is Earl" pilot -- it was -- unfortunately -- the best episode of the series.

Hear the applause for "The Office's" writing nom? Deserved it, but this goes to the "Earl" pilot, too. Great acceptance speech by Greg Garcia, though. No thanks to social studies teacher, first boss and "God, I'm sure you're responsible in some way, but you took my hair so no thanks to you." Good stuff.

I like the boos for Simon Cowell. He had the grace to seem put-out about it. Decent Dick Clark retrospective. Makes you wish Clark could have bowed out before the stroke, but with a run that long, I can't blame him for thinking he could keep going forever.

Variety. I didn't care who won before, but after Barry Manilow's ugh rendition of "Bandstand," I doubly don't care that he got it. Like Tina Fey's number of Emmy wins, it is physically impossible for me to care less.... but what was he saying about an operating room? Maybe to remove his makeup? Ooh, I'd feel bad if it's something serious.

Wentworth Miller wins the award for stiffest presenter of the night. Guest actor/actress is the category. Who is this guy who won? What did he win for?

Director, drama is next. "Live Together, Die Alone" is still the best title ever for a TV episode. The episode itself, not my favorite. I'm glad "24" won for something, though. This was its best season yet. Who would have thought that concept would get better with age?

Also, his comment "You know what? We're working in the new golden age of television. Let's enjoy it." I happen to totally agree with that, although I think it's poorly represented by the Emmy nominees.

Writing drama. "Sopranos." Sure, whatever. I'm feeling pretty over "The Sopranos." I'm at peace with its passing and ready to let go. It is no longer the best show on television. Or even HBO (if those aren't the same thing. And they may not be this year. Hmmmm).

Actor in movie/miniseries. Jeremy Irons. If you didn't see "Elizabeth I" let me say -- richly deserved. Netflix the DVD if historical dramas don't gag you with a spoon.

Directing comedy. That Megan Mullaly-Howie Mandel intro was oddly painful. And it goes to the Academy Awards guy. Louis J. Horvitz. Not to beat a dead horse, but I don't see the Oscars giving awards to the Emmys. I do like "Get ready to play me off..."

I don't even know what category this [edit, writing for comedy] is with the bears and the guy in the tank and the call center, but that's funny. Best bit of the night, maybe. The Republican lineup for the "Real Time with Bill Maher" was hilarious but probably only in Hollywood. "Daily Show" wins again.

Lead actor, miniseries/movie. Funny bit with Hugh Laurie translating into French -- except "winnowing." Andre Braugher wins. "Thief" was supposed to be a show, it just got canceled before its time. We'll see if the very similar "Smith" on CBS this fall does any better.

Lead actor, comedy. Tony Shalhoub wins for "Monk." That's the shocker of the night. I thought Carell or Larry David were shoo-ins. Tony: "This has been a terrible mistake. I never win anything." True.

Awkward intro to the Aaron Spelling tribute. The only thing that would have been more awkward is if they let Tori on the stage (see the tabloids if you don't get that one). The rundown of Spelling shows is a great reminder of how much I loved his stuff in the '80s, though. Huge "Hart to Hart" fan. Huge.

But they brought back the original "Charlie's Angels." That's a real tribute.

You see how James Woods is looking at Eva Longoria? A little creepy? That's why he's so good in "Shark." Fun show, check it out. What's with Eva's dress, though? Looks a little Bjork to me. "Girl in the Cafe" wins again, for miniseries/movie.

Stewart and Colbert liven things up. Jon - "It's a pleasure to be here tonight." Colbert - "Good evening, godless sodomites." Also, "I lost to Barry Manilow!" That's priceless. "Singing and dancing are not performing. Wolverine [Hugh Jackman] I could have lost to. He's got claws for hands."

Amazing Race wins best reality show. Showing that no one in Hollywood watches reality shows -- and I say this as a "Race" fan. There's just better out there now.

Directing, miniseries/movie - "Elizabeth I." Already covered dat.

Edie Falco (in a verrry low-cut dress) gives a shout out to the troops overseas. Nice departure for Hollywood. Another win for "Elizabeth I" (best miniseries). The night's big winner, even if almost no one saw it. Eh, I can't ding the Emmys for that. It happens at the Oscars , too.

In memoriam - It's always interesting to see who gets the biggest applause. Don Knotts and John Spencer seem to be the winners. Odd Richard Pryor didn't get more -- he even got a laugh in the clip!

Lead actress in a miniseries or movie. Helen Mirren - Elizabeth I. Definitely the story of the night. Helen Mirren is looking good tonight. Maybe just, um, classier than some of the people we've seen tonight.

Lead actress, drama - Mariska Hargitay. SVU, representin'. Interesting that a spinoff gets a shout-out. Don't see that much come awards time.

That "Office" preview got my heart racing. Greatest second season ever, is what I'm saying.

Actress comedy. Julia Louis Dreyfus wins. Color me surprised -- I thought Jane Kaczmarek was a lock. "I'm not somebody who really believes in curses, but curse this baby." Heh.

Ray Liotta and Virginia Madsen presenting. Madsen's dress appears to be cut down to her knees. And Liotta is sporting Brandon Routh's doo from "Superman Returns." Maybe he's playing Bizzarro in the sequel - he looks like a corpse. "Smith," which both star in, is still kick-butt, however.

Kiefer Sutherland wins. Yay 24!

Best comedy - The Office. Yay!

Best drama - 24. Wouldn't have predicted it, but I like it.

Isn't it odd that they're rushing through the biggest awards like they were "best assistant cinematography in a car commercial"? That's the Emmys.

That's a wrap. If I think of any witty follows, I'll throw it in Tuesday's TV Talk. See ya.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Comings, goings

Three new folks at KKTV: McKenzie Martin, who was quite literally thrown to the lions (well, lion) when she arrived in the Springs. She did the story on the mountain lion that got into the house Tuesday night. Stephanie Ross also joins as a reporter. And Michelle Molison will be the anchor on the new 6:30 and 9 p.m. newscasts on the equally new MyKKTV digital subchannel (Comcast channel 725), that launches Sept. 5.

One coming, one going at KOAA: Matt Clough joined... I think it was week before last. And Katie Moore is leaving Sept. 1, headed for New Orleans.

Nothing new at KRDO, although news director Dave Rose said he should have some news next week.

And down at KXRM, news director Joe Cole has been so busy hiring people that he hasn't had time to tell me who he's hired. I know the weekend anchor, weekend meteorologist, producer, Web producer and two or three or four reporters are on board, I just don't have names yet.

UPDATE: Speak of the devil, Joe just called with those names. May not mean much to you (yet), but here's who's on board: Grace Polanski, weekend anchor, Matthew Kruger, weekend meteorologist/reporter, Rachel Regalado, reporter, Mike Conneen, reporter, Christina Salvo, reporter, Shane Crigger, executive producer, Kelly Brown, web producer, Dennison Howard, photographer, Adam Drake, photographer-editor, Pedro Laumbach, photographer. Still to come: One more reporter and an assignment editor.

Oh, and lest I forget: Stephanie Pytlinski and Terry Gerbstadt will be making the move from KKTV, meaning the new newscast will look a lot like the old newscast.

KOAA HD on Comcast Sept. 5

Just got word that KOAA's high definition broadcast will finally get up on Comcast Sept. 5. If you subscribe to Comcast's HD package, you'll find it on channel 705.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Survivor goes profiling

So, you hear the new "Survivor: Cook Islands" is dividing the contestants up by race this season?

Pitting whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians against one another is hmm-mmm creepy.

Was everyone at CBS so bored by the old "Survivor" formula they had to reach into the cheap publicity stunts bag for this one? You remember that last season ABC canceled "Welcome to the Neighborhood" before it ever aired. And I've read that that show had at least some redeeming lessons.

With "Survivor" kicking off Sept. 14, however, I imagine it's far too late for CBS to backtrack on this.

Got a strong feeling on it? E-mail me --

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Broncos game goes digital... digital cable that is

Sunday's Broncos-Houston Texans game will be shown on the NFL Network. And only the NFL Network.

If you're scratching your head and wondering what exactly this NFL Network thingee is, you may be in trouble.

The NFL Network is the cable network the NFL started two years ago to provide round-the-clock football to the faithful. It had interviews, it had analysis, it had highlights... it had everything but actual games.

This year, the NFL Network gets those, too. Including Sunday's Broncos preseason game and -- brace yourself -- the Thanksgiving Day game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 23.

If you have digital cable, DirecTV or Dish Network, no problem. You'll find the NFL Network on Channel 177 on Adelphia, err Comcast. Watch and enjoy.

Denver fans will get to watch the game on KDVR/Channel 31, the local Fox affiliate. The NFL Network isn't allowing any other Colorado stations to show the game, however.

Monday, August 21, 2006

TV Talk on Tuesday

Tomorrow's column will provide a quick look at the new fall shows -- our big fall preview is running Sept. 2 -- and some of the MyKKTV stuff (pretty much what I've already posted here).

Pleae note that the TV page, including TV Talk, is now inside the Life section. It's still above the TV grid.

The back page of Life is no longer TV-centric. It's now Pop, with more movie and music stuff than we had before.

Friday, August 18, 2006

"I'm tired of these mutha---- snakes on this mutha----- plane"

"Snakes on a Plane" hit movie theaters last night. The film wasn't screened for critics in advance (we have a review up on now, however), because, with the huge Internet hype and the greatest movie title ever, the studio figured it didn't need to.

But as the reviews trickle in this morning, they're all pretty good. Better than the reviews for "Accepted," for instance, which was screened for reviewers.

This naturally is raising the debate over whether reviews matter anymore. I argue that they still do.

You're never going to be able to re-create the hype behind "Snakes" -- look at all the movies that tried and failed to copy "The Blair Witch Project's" success. And hype doesn't always translate into ticket sales. True, if your entire audience is going to be under 25 (e.g., the Duff sisters' "Material Girls," which wasn't screened either), a newspaper review is not going to matter. And if you're making a sequel to a hit movie, the reviews won't matter either (e.g. any of the second "Star Wars" trilogy, "X-Men: The Last Stand" or "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest").

But most movies don't have a built-in audience or a pre-existing hype machine. Those movies still need word of mouth and movie critics generate that. Critics don't even have to be widely read or heard, as long as the people reading and hearing them are the taste-makers who spread the word to their friends.

Sure, all the critical praise in the world can't turn an art house film into a blockbuster, but it can get that art house film a wider release. And if that blockbuster is dumb fun -- like "Snakes" say -- it can give the film longer legs and a slightly wider audience.

Now, the question here at TV Talk is... does any of the above also apply to television? Discuss amongst yourselves.

UPDATE: "Snakes" opened to $15.3 million. Good enough for No. 1 this weekend, but hardly something to jump up and down about. And how much better would that have been with a few three star reviews? Case closed to me.

UPDATED UPDATE: Seventh place in local theaters. Heck, the Duff sisters' "Material Girls" managed ninth place. That's just horrible.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Really, the last of the previews

Remember "Groundhog's Day"? Bill Murray plays a weatherman doomed to repeat a single day over and over again.It's considered a bit of a modern classic. "Daybreak" is the same thing, only as a crime drama. Taye Diggs stars as a cop framed for murder and hunted by a shadowy conspiracy. Over and over again. Actually, this will remind you more of "24" than "Groundhog's Day." The action is intense, the acting pretty good (well, better than "24" for what it's worth). And, in the pilot at least, the premise stays fresh. Looks like a winner to me.

The CW's only new drama, "Runaway" stars Donnie Wahlberg as a lawyer framed for murder and forced on the lamb with his whole famly. The premise works kinda well, but it the characters feels a little awkward. And why is the family along for this thrill ride? I guess it's that WB DNA showing -- anything can be turned into a teen drama. I'm not left feeling like I want to spend more time with this family. Also, Donnie' s forehead is just as creepy looking as it is in the ads.

So that's the fall season (if you look back through the archives here on the blog)... pretty good stuff, in my considered opinion. We'll have a complete roundup in the paper Sept. 2 -- yeah, we'll miss the premieres of Fox's "Vanished" and "Justice," but no big whoop there. If you've been following along with me, there won't be much new in the reviews, but clip 'n save anyway since we'll have the schedules and premiere dates in one handy, easy-to-use package.

Whither jazz?

I've probably had 50 calls and e-mails from Sax fans now, wondering where they can find more jazz. Not much I can tell them, of course, except for KCME's weekend jazz programs and the stuff available over the Internet.

I wonder if another station will make the switch. It's not a huge audience, but it's loyal and there's a 1.7 rating waiting to be picked up -- which is better than some stations get.

My KKTV preview

So My KKTV will launch Sept. 5 to coincide with myNetworkTV's launch. KK's hiring a new anchor and a new meteorologist for the 6:30 and 9 p.m. newscasts, although the 9 p.m. won't launch until KK's contract with KXRM runs out Sept. 30. MyKK will also rebroadcast KK's regular news at 7-9 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 11 p.m.

myNetworkTV's programming will be in HD on the subchannel in 720. So KK will be airing side-by-side HD on CBS and the subchannel. Emily Edwards at KK says there's enough room. We'll watch on Sept. 5 and see.

In addition to myNetwork's slate of short-run soaps (each program will air five nights a week for 13 weeks, then give way to something new), myKK will air "Oprah" at 9:30 p.m., "The Insider" at 6 p.m., plus some other syndicated stuff like "Blind Date" at 11:30 p.m., "Mad About You" at 10:30, "Judge Alex" at 3-5 p.m., "Geraldo" at noon and 5 p.m.

In repsonse to the question in comments, there were no cookies at the launch party. But there was ice cream and apple pie. Mmmmmm.

One follow-up note to Tuesday's TV Talk: As part of its partnership with KK, Clear Channel's four stations are airing the JonBenet press conference

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Off to My KKTV

I'm off to the My KKTV preview party. My KKTV is KK's new digital subchannel, which will feature programs from the myNetworkTV mini-network (beginning Sept. 5), two new newscasts from KK at 6:30 and 9 p.m. and some syndicated programming.

Digital subchannels are, as the name implies, subchannels you can pick up with an HDTV. KK's CBS stuff will be on the main channel, while My KKTV goes on the subchannel. Last I heard, KK hadn't gotten a deal with Comcast for the channel, but I'd expect it to be available on the digital tier even to people without HDTV's.

It's an interesting new wrinkle. KXRM/Channel 21 has a music video subchannel, The Tube, while KRDO just puts its regular programming on a subchannel, probably just as a placeholder until they figure out what they want to do with it. KOAA hasn't said, but I expect they'll put their WeatherFirstNow cable channel on a subchannel, once they get the bugs out of their HD broadcast.

I'll report back later.

KRDO's Web site is up

The new look is up over at Pretty nice, I'd say. Worth the wait.

They should have picked more flattering photographs for the mugs at the top of the page -- the photo the Gazette ran on Monday's TV page of Jon and Nina (at right) is way better than the one on their own home page.

And I think they ought to have more news headlines in each category. It feels a little sparse right now.

Still, the graphics are sharp and the weather pages are really nice. The drop-down menus to navigate are a nice design, too.

And finally, I like that it's instead of the old (although that link works, too).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Last of the previews!

The Wedding Album
Bruno Campos plays a wedding photographer afraid of relationships. Each episode is one wedding (at least, based on the pilot). He picks up a sidekick/assistant/potential love interest, and away we go. There's something very believable about this show, or most of it, but I'm not sure believable is what viewers are looking for in this kind of material. I wanted to like this more than I did. I'll be interested to hear other people's reactions to it.

The Game
A spinoff of Girlfriends about the wives and girlfriends of pro football players. Kinda funny, in a sitcommy sorta way. Well, it's funnier than the BBC's "Footballers' Wives," the appeal of which I never quite saw.


OK, I was overly optimistic. Still have to see Runaway.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Fox dramas

Justice -- The camera pans will leave you dizzy, the cuts will hurt your eyes, the acting will leave you cold.

Even tabloid TV doesn't show bodies. Only dramas go to that gruesome extreme.

I do like that the a recurring theme is the fictional "American Crime" celebrity crime newsmagazine -- obviously modeled after every real Fox newsmagazine and probably headed to the tube by this time next year, if this show gets any viewers.

And there are some really, truly, amazingly cheesy CSI-style techno-zooms.

And the show's big gimmick? Showing what "actually" happened at the end. Huge let-down in the screener. Huge.

Standoff -- The first two minutes are 20 times better than that "Justice" crap. Ron Livingston is just really charismatic. There's a certain "Moonlighting" vibe going on. Some of the dialogue is substandard, though. There is so much good stuff this season, this ought to be a cut above what it is.

The kicker is outstanding. Even if you don't watch the rest of the series, stick around for that bit. You'll know what I mean.

Vanished -- This appears to be an exact duplicate for "Kidnapped" over on NBC. Maybe not as stylish. Definitely not as good. It's totally paint-by-numbers, with no life to it at all. It's unbelievable how bad Ming-Na is in this. This is in the running with "Jericho" for worst new show of the year.

It's now 40 minutes in. Forty minutes I'll never get back. Make it stop.

KRDO unveils new stations, new look

I knew KRDO would be taking the wraps off of its 1240 AM/105.5 FM news duopoly this morning, but I wasn't sure they'd be launching the new look on the TV side of things.

I like the Pikes Peak backdrop -- Zach and Kellie are still stuck behind the same old desk, but it set looks a decade more modern without that nasty orange everywhere. Nice of Zach and Marty to wear blue this morning to coordinate the color scheme.

The"News Channel 13" bug in the corner looks like somebody drew it with an Etch-A-Sketch, though.

And they seem to have killed the news crawl that's become a standard part of the morning news package. I have mixed feelings about that. Maybe KKTV's election results snafu convinced them to give it the heave-ho.

Weigh in with comments on the look, the radio station, or explanations of why we now have one 4:30 p.m. newscast and two more at 5 p.m. when no one I know gets home from work before 6:30.

UPDATE: And, in response to comment #1, they said the new Web site would be up later today. Agreed that it's much-needed.

UPDATED UPDATE: In response to comment #13, on the drive home, Dan Cochell and Mike Lewis were saying the Web site will be unveiled later this week. It's supposed to be underpromise and overdeliver, guys.

More Sinise

As you hopefully saw on Sunday, "CSI: NY" star Gary Sinise made a stop Saturday night to play a show with his Lt. Dan Band at Fort Carson. He just talked for a minute with us media types, so I didn't get a chance to talk TV much, but he seemed genuinely happy to be there and playing for the troops.

I only got to stay for the first four songs, but I got to say: They sounded better in rehearsal.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

More fall previews

The Black Donnellys -- Young Irish thugs-in-training steal stuff, brawl with each other and everyone around them and pine after the girl next door. Tommy is trying to keep his wayward brothers out of jail, or the hands of the Italian mob, while they do everything they can to wind up there. His brothers are so incredibly stupid, it's obviously a losing battle.

NBC is counting on this one to be a winner, but I don't see it. It's all "Goodfellas" flashbacks and artifice.It can't seem to build any momentum and the parts dn't seem to come together. It's a pre-"Sopranos" mob drama -- like nobody realized the bar has been raised for this kind of show and murky visuals and tough talk aren't enough anymore.

Kidnapped -- The teenage scion of a wealthy family is abducted in a professional, albeit bloody, heist. Which leads directly to this choice bit of diaglogue: "Look, I know a guy. Or I know of a guy. He's a specialist."

Hee. Pretentious, stilted, utterly unbelievable. Kind of fun.

There's more, too: "You're not very good with people, are you Mr. Knapp?" "No, but I'm good at finding them." There's a bunch more like that, too. If you're a connoussier of cheezy lines, this is the mother load.

"You the accountant?" "I balance the books, yeah." Take a guess what happens next.

"I followed procedure." "Yeah that's the problem with you people and your rule book. You don't understand that you're the only one following the rules."

And, my very favorite thing ever, it ends with a montage.

The Nine -- The nine survivors of a botched bank robbery struggle to put their lives back together. At the start, this so seems like a spoof. I'm not sure a spoof of what, but a spoof. And then it takes a very dramatic (OK, overly dramatic) turn that will make you wonder where the heck this thing is headed.

This is a big gamble for ABC. There's some good stuff here, but the unknowns outweigh the knowns and it seems like it will be hard for audiences to get a grip on the characters and the storyline. I don't even know if this is a relationship drama or an action thing or what?

Six Degrees -- "In New York City, they say you're going to walk by the person you're goign to marry three times before you meet them." Yeah, so now you know the gimmick -- although be aware that the intertwining stories are played more for pathos than humor. The characters don't really resonate and some of the acting is just bad. It's all strangely blah, despite some decent ideas to work with. Now it does have Campbell Scott, who I always love, although he's not doing much beyond looking scruffy. Wish the rest of the cast were as good doing nothing.

Friday Night Lights -- I didn't read the book, didn't see the movie, don't usually like fictional football (XFL anybody?), but this one's a keeper. If you don't know the story, it's based on a nonfiction book about a season at a school in the heart of Texas, where high school football is as serious as breathing. The kids turn in outstanding performances, the director tugs at your heartstrings expertly, the cinematography is great. If you don't love this pilot... um, I've got nothing. You just should love this pilot.

Friday, August 11, 2006

KRDO at 5 and 6 on Monday

Just a reminder that KRDO/Channel 13 will switch its 5:30 p.m. newscast to 5 p.m. and add a new 6 p.m. newscast beginning Monday.

KRDO AM&FM will also switch to news bright and early Monday morning -- 5 a.m., so if you've been a sports talk fan (1240 AM) or a smooth jazz listeners (105.5 FM), you'll need to be looking for a new station come Monday.

I'll have a note about that along with a bunch of radio changes in Saturday's TV/Radio notes column.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ehhhhhhh.... I don't know 'bout that

Watching "The Daily Show" tonight, the first commercial was that Sierra Mist spot where Kathy Griffin is the airport security guard wanding the other guy and faking beeps so she can confiscate his bottle of pop. Mmmmm, sort of inappropriate tonight.

But hey, I dropped my dad off at the airport this morning. Maybe I'm a little sensitive.

Band camp

There wasn't room to do a story for the paper tomorrow, so I'll pass it along here.

I went down to Tinseltown tonight to see what was going on at the DCI Quarterfinals. That's Drum Corps International, to you and me. They had a live feed on one of the theater screens from Madison, Wis. (birthplace of your faithful correspondent), of the final 17 drum corps ("don't call them bands") performing at the championships.

About 100 people showed up, both current marching band members and some former band folks who are still fans.

So consider: Tickets to the event were $18 each. And the quarterfinals were supposed to last about six hours. Those are some dedicated fans.

It was interesting -- sort of a football game halftime show on steroids. The uniforms, the drills, the showmanship were all taken up a couple notches over what I've seen before. Plus, they had play-by-play and color announcers, even a field reporter. Pretty entertaining really, although six hours would have been a leeetle much for me.


I know my faithful readers don't share my enthusiasm for Sci Fi's "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" -- and it's not as much fun now as the pilot -- but I was perusing the Sci Fi bulletin boards while watching tonight's episode. And Feedback himself, aka Matt Atherton, has been responding to posts there. Which is kinda cool. Look for the Feedback Fan Club at

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Will the last person leaving Springs radio please turn off the mic?

The latest is Uncle Steve Etheridge, program director and morning host at Salem Christian music station KBIQ (102.7 FM). He's headed to a new Clear Channel Christian adult contemporary station in Austin, Texas.

Steve's been in local radio 16 years, including six years at KBIQ and seven before that at KKCS, where he was also part of the morning team.

His co-host, Chris Kelly, will carry on solo for now.

Actually, where he's headed is sort of an interesting story, too. It's KPEZ and it will be radio giant Clear Channel's first Christian A/C station. If the format works in Austin, CC may try it other places. Steve will be doing afternoons and also serve as music director/assistant PD.

Friday's his last day.

KOAA HD update

I'm finally getting a signal on 42 (KOAA's HD location), although I haven't been able to get the TV to lock yet (signal strength is stuck at, appropriately, 42-percent). I may have to break down and get a DB4 to hang on the chimney. I was hoping to avoid that -- everything else comes in pretty well on a set-top antenna (unless it's snowing).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

If you have ESP, do you even need the AP?

I heard KKTV was running early election results today... at 7:30 a.m. Pretty good, considering the polls don't close for another 12 hours.

Anyone else catch that bit of whimsy?

UPDATE: Kimberly Price apologized for the error on the noon news -- saying that the resuls in the ticker were just a test that accidentally got put on the air.
"... in fact, those results were only test resuilts. We apologize for any confusion and regret the mistake."

Our political guys tell me that the AP has been sending out tests for the last week to make sure everything works tonight.

EARLIER UPDATE: We just got this news release from the county elections office --

The El Paso County Elections Department learned early this morning that a local television station had been running the results for today’s Primary Election more than two hours before the polling places opened.

According to Bob Balink, El Paso County Clerk & Recorder, “This may have led many people to believe that our office had released results from Early and Absentee Ballot voting but this is not the case.”

He went on to explain, “It is absolutely impossible for anyone to have the results or know any results from today’s Primary Election prior to the polls closing at 7:00PM tonight. At that time we will begin to upload memory cards from Early Voting, Absentee Ballot and Polling Place election equipment. Until then, no member of the Election Department staff would have access or the ability to gather this information.”

At approximately 6:25AM today, Bob Balink was told by a staff member that KKTV- Channel 11 had been running a “crawl” at the bottom of the early morning television program containing the results of the Primary Election.

After numerous telephone calls to KKTV and early morning discussions with station management it was determined that a producer saw test results from the Associated Press which were distributed to media outlets over the last several days. Upon seeing these formatted test results the producer then posted the results over the air.

"In our effort to insure we have a reliable system in place for accurately reporting results this evening, test results were inadvertently aired. We certainly apologize for any confusion this may have caused for our viewers, elections officials, and the various campaigns. We will be thoroughly reviewing our pre-election process to insure this does not ever occur again. It’s important to note these were "test" results that bore NO resemblance to any actual vote totals since no vote totals have been released," said KKTV 11 News General Manager Charlie Peterson.

Balink also expressed concern that this happened since it may mislead eligible electors in the six counties of the 5th Congressional District (Chaffee, El Paso, Fremont, Lake, Park and Teller) and the integrity of the Election Department staff could be called into question.

“Without a doubt, the El Paso County Election Department, under the leadership of Terry Sholdt and Liz Olson, is among the finest in the country and certainly in Colorado” Balink stated. “I would be very disappointed if anyone called into question their integrity or the integrity of the Election Department staff because of this error by one media outlet.”

Friday, August 04, 2006

One more radio thing, then back to TV, I promise

Along with the story on Magic this morning, I had a section on Craig Coffey leaving KVUU, but it got cut because of space -- there's always twice as much news as there is space in the paper.

Anyway, here's the highlights for Coffey fans:

"We love it here, my wife loves it here, but I'm just a city guy," Coffey said, "even though I'll miss all the wonderful people that enjoy the radio station."

Bob Richards, general manger of KVUU and the other Clear Channel stations, said that Coffey has always been one of the most popular voices on Colorado Springs radio. He praised Coffey's community invovlement and fundraising for causes like Hurricane Katrina relief, for which the deejay lived on a porch at the Bourbon Street bar for a week.

"He's been a great community leader," Richards said. "He will clearly be sorely missed."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lazerman and Coffey leaving, CK heads to country

Three of the loudest voices in local radio will be silenced today.

After eight years together and 26 No. 1 finishes in the Arbitrons, CK and Lazerman are breaking up the Magic morning show at KKMG (98.9 FM). CK heads down the hall to sister station KATC (95.1 FM) "Cat Country," while Lazer is hanging up his mic and trying a new careeer in pharmaceutical sales in Washington, D.C. The third half of the trio, Romi, will carry on the show.

CK's been at Magic for more than 10 years, Lazer for a little more than 8. For a long, long time, they were far and away the top morning show in town. The sledding's gotten a little rockier since KIBT (96.1 FM) "The Beat" signed on a year and a half ago, but they've still managed some solid numbers.

Station owner Citadel didn't announce a thing beforehand, but the company is giving the boys an hour-long retrospective at 9 a.m. Friday. Lazer says he'll miss "White Trash Wednesdays" the most. Bless the boy.

Meanwhile, down at KVUU (99.9 FM) "My 99.9 FM," Craig Coffey is leaving his eponymous "Coffey in the Morning" Show after seven solid years. He's headed to Seattle, where we hear it rains less. Co-hosts Coba and Darren McKee will audition some replacements over the next month. In the meantime, we ponder the question: Should it be "Coffee in the Morning" from now on?

KVUU owner Clear Channel was keeping this one under wraps, too. You think they'd want people to tune in, but I guess deejays are supposed to vanish quietly into the night.

There should be a story with some quotes and a few more details in Friday's Metro section. I'll fill you in on the replacements as I get word.

KOAA HD still at low power

From their Web site:
KOAA and HDTV - Updated 08-03-06
KOAA-DT is NOW on the air and broadcasting on channel 5-1, RF chanel 42. KOAA-DT is broadcasting at reduced power due to a problem with the feed line, but reception should be good in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. Rural areas will have a problem receiving our signal at this time, but we hope to have this problem fixed soon. Both Colorado Springs and Pueblo cable systems are currently working on getting KOAA-DT onto their respective systems.
I'm bummed about this. I keep trying, but I can't even get a trace of signal at my house. Maybe by Sunday.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Meister is back

It was business as usual at 5:30. No mention the suspension or the "incident."

Pretty common PR technique: There's no point regurgitating bad news, or making folks who missed the controversy wonder what the heck happened while they were on vacation.

CC hockey headed to KYZX (103.9 FM) "The Eagle"

Colorado College on Wednesday announced a five-year deal with classic rock station KYZX (103.9 FM) "The Eagle" to carry the school's hockey games beginning this fall.

School officials said the deal with the FM music station would allow more people to hear the games than the old partnership with KRDO (1240 AM).

"The coverage is outstanding," said CC hockey coach Scott Owens.

Owens said fans often complained to him that they would lose the signal in the middle of games as they drove over Monument Hill. KYZX can be heard as far north as Parker.

The Eagle will continue to air CC hockey coach Scott Owens' coach's show at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and also add a Friday morning update with Owens at 7:30 a.m.

"I can't even keep it in my skin and keep the grin off my face," said Lou Mellini, general manager for KYZX.

Although hockey games on a music station might seem like an odd pairing, Mellini said FM rock stations in other parts of the country have been successful carrying NFL games. He said the huge local audience for CC hockey would give KYZX a similar opportunity for success.

KRDO carried CC hockey for 16 seasons. The school is also looking for a new play-by-play voice to replace KRDO's Jeff Thomas and is still in negotiations with several cable networks for television coverage of games.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Major changes coming in local radio

If you things were pretty bumpy in local radio over the past few months, brace yourself for some serious turbulence ahead. I think just about every DJ at every station in the Springs is going to be somewhere else by the end of the month. That might -- might -- be an exaggeration.

We'll start slow, with some former KKCS (104.5 FM) staffers: Cody Carlson is taking over nights, 7-midnight on KCCY (96.9 FM). Sam and Craig Morrison, part of the KCS morning team, are headed to Fort Wayne, Ind., to be the morning team at WMEE, an adult contemporary station.

Meanwhile, news stations-to-be KRDO AM&FM (KSKX is officially history) hired Lee Richards from KKLI to do mornings with Kyle Troxel and former "Peak" morning man Dan Cochell will do the afternoons along with program director Mike Lewis.

Salem GM Henry Tippie has done a little shuffling at his three stations (Joe Myers doing news at KZNT is probably the most interesting move, along with Dr. Bob Grant hanging up the mike at KGFT). And I'll have a story in tomorrow about KCMN and KCBR being sold (no staff or format changes are planned).

I've had a hard time confirming some of the other moves, but expect (more) changes down at Clear Channel by the end of the week and some big stuff happening at Citadel in the next week or so.

It may be easier to say who isn't changing... gimmee a minute, darn, I'm drawing a blank. Well, KCME seems to be pretty stable. Famous last words.

I'll have a roundup on Saturday and hopefully a few more details.

KOAA on Comcast channel 705?

Can someone with Adelphia/Comcast HD confirm that for me? Dave Whitaker at KOAA said they should be up on cable in the Springs now (KOAA-HD won't be available in Pueblo for a few more weeks).

Also, he says there were problems with rain or snow or condensation in some of the electrical conduits up on the mountain, which forced the transmitter to cut to low power. Weird, but it's supposed to be back on full power now. I'll check when I get home (no HD at the Gazette, tragically).

Anyone getting KOAA HD?

Just did both a manual and an automatic scan. I got bupkus. Anyone try at midnight last night?

KOAA GM Dave Whitaker says Comcast has some equipment issues and it may be a few days before they can get KOAA - HD up. I don't know what that means for football this weekend. He thought they would get 705, although other people have said it'll be 730. I haven't reached Comcast to see what the deal is from their perspective.