Friday, September 29, 2006

Hal Kennedy dies

Hal Kennedy, the man known as the Walter Cronkite of Colorado Springs, died Sept. 21 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

He was 82.

Kennedy started as news anchor at KKTV/Channel 11 in 1956 and was a fixture on local televisions for 33 years. When he retired in 1989, Kennedy had served more years at a single station than anyone else in the country.

“I think he had credibility above and beyond what most people achieve,” said Mike Madson, the former KKTV meteorologist. “If Hal said it, it was true.”

Kennedy hired Bill Huddy, now a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs communications professor, twice — first as a reporter and later as an anchor. He remembers the enormous amount of trust Kennedy earned in his years on the anchor desk.

“The viewers here came to depend on Hal,” Huddy said, “not only as a source for information, but as a bedrock of the community.”

Current KKTV anchor Don Ward grew up watching Kennedy.

“I remember turning on the news and his was the face you saw and the voice you heard,” Ward said.

When Ward took the anchor position at KKTV last year, “I remember thinking it would be an honor to have the same job he once held.”

For all the gravitas Kennedy projected on the air, his friends and family say he had a great sense of humor and loved practical jokes when he was off camera.

“I always told him, ‘Hal, you’ve been here since Custer was killed,” said KKTV sports anchor John Owens, who was hired by Kennedy in 1981. “Hal was such a great guy. He joked, he laughed.”

KRDO/Channel 13 news director Dave Rose was one of Kennedy’s competitors, but also a friend, for nearly two decades.

“He just loved the business. He loved television news,” Rose said. “All of the enduring anchor people leave a mark on the industry. I think Hal’s in that category.”

Behind Kennedy’s public persona was a dedicated family man, who shared dinner with his wife, Connie — who died in 1997 — and three children between the 5:30 and 10 p.m. newscasts. He and Connie were married 50 years.

“He had the opportunity to go to much bigger markets, even New York, but chose to stay here because he wanted to raise us kids here,” said his daughter Sherry Thompson. “We were a priority for him.”
When Thompson’s daughter Caitlin was 2, she saw her grandfather on TV and held up a book for him to read to her.

“She was quite disappointed that he didn’t talk back to her and read her the book,” Thompson said.
“My dad was a humble man,” said Susan Prutting, Kennedy’s daughter. “He never engaged in anything that he wasn’t 100 percent up front proud of, that could stand any test of scrutiny.”

Although Kennedy was born in North Dakota and began his broadcasting career there, he became deeply devoted to Colorado Springs, where he moved after serving in World War II.

“Colorado Springs mattered to him,” said Diane Benninghoff, assistant vice president for advancement at Colorado College who worked with Kennedy for 13 years and was a weather forecaster on KKTV. “He had countless opportunities to go other places and he chose to stay in Colorado Springs.”

And the city seemed to love him back. In a poll the Gazette held in 1999, 10 years after he retired, readers named him the best local broadcaster of the century. He was also honored as the Colorado Broadcasters Association broadcaster of the year and earned the group’s broadcast achievement award. Benninghoff said KKTV was the top-rated local station for 17 years in a row during his tenure there.

Kennedy is survived by his three children, Thompson, Prutting and his son Scott Kennedy, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, and his longtime companion Sylvia Kalish.

A memorial service for Kennedy will be held 1 p.m. Oct. 10 at Pulpit Rock Church’s West Campus, 301 Austin Bluffs Parkway.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I got an e-mail from a reader complaining about the Bailey school shooting coverage:

"...last night... Channel 13 interrupted a "Lost" re-cap for a fairly useless press conference. For one thing, this was an outlying community whose name I can't recall because I don't have today's Gazette handy. For another, the event was over by this time with the gunman dead. The officials speaking could not identify the gunman nor the teen hostage he had killed.
The press conference was 15 minutes of repeated "We can't say; the investigation is ongoing."...

Can you explain what the local news stations consider important in general and what their thinking was in this instance? It really seems to me, tragic as the loss of life might be, that this story could have waited for the 10:00 news report."

To which, I replied:

Personally, I tend to be pretty tolerant of television news excess -- better to have them fighting for breaking news than sitting around running features on albino squirrels (actually news story from the other day). In this case, I'm sure the argument they'd make is that viewers were so aware of and invested in this story, the press conference was worth breaking in for. These school stories are always going to be big local news, but especially in Colorado where Columbine is always hanging in the air.

Having said that, breaking in to cover a news conference at which nothing happened is really irritating. It happened just the other day with the John Mark Karr thing. Should TV stations
break just so they won't be scooped on the off chance something new is revealed? I'm sure that's their motivation, but it doesn't happen too often at press conferences.

So, what do y'all think?

UPDATE: Interesting counterpoint this morning, when the sheriff held another press conference and did break a little news-- that the killer had left a suicide note. It happened during the normal news cycle, but something to consider...

Money, up for grabs (read down a little)

I was going to comment on Bravo's Death Watch boards about this, but then I recalled that I had my own spiffy little blog where I can pontificate to my heart's content.

This comment may be the dumbest thing I've read all week.

It's like coroners complaining about the way Gus Grissom uses tweezers on "CSI," or laywers saying the judges' gavels are too big on "Boston Legal."

It's ridiculous regardless of what you think of "Friday Night Lights." Personally, I think it's the most emotionally powerful show in years and, oddly, a lot more realistic than MTV's "Two-a-Days" reality show.

I'll have a review reflecting that on Tuesday, but let me throw this challenge out here on the blog: If you watch the entire premiere of "Friday Night Lights" Tuesday night on NBC and do not agree with me that this show rocks, I will pay you, out of my own meager pocket, one bright, shiny nickel.

Too good to be true? Not at all.*

*No faking disappointment just to earn cash. $2 total payout limit. May not be valid in all states.

Wynkoop TV-watching record success

In the end, seven of the eight contestants shooting for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records by watching television for 70 hours straight at Denver's Wynkoop Brewery made it.

As a professional TV watcher, I can assure you that spending 70 hours in a La-Z-Boy watching the tube is a deeply, deeply disturbed thing to do.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

TV News

KKTV/Channel 11 is moving up the start date for its new MyKKTV 9 p.m. newscast to Friday, since KXRM/Channel 21 is signing off its newscast a day early on Thursday, to give it time to move the set down to Fox21's new studio.

I sat in on KXRM's first practice newscast last night. They were having some pretty significant technical issues, but the guys did eventually make it through the show. They're confident they can work the technical stuff by Monday for their first live newscast. I'd guess that the first show will not be glitch-free, but it seems like they're close enough that things will pull together... with a few late nights from the engineers and production crew.

I've got a behind-the-scenes story on the Fox newscast running Sunday in the Life section. KXRM is running their own half-hour documentary on creating a newscast that will run at 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Compare and contrast!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A little more on Goose

Just talked to KKMG "Magic" program director Chad Rufer. If you're curious about new morning man "Goose," here's what he said:

Goose is from Detroit, but his last gig was in Waterloo, Iowa. He's been doing Top 40.

The show is going to be less gag-driven than the CK and Lazerman version of yore. Rufer says it will be "more Ryan Seacrest, less Dick Clark." So what does that make CK?

It's just Goose, no last name -- which is one of those annoying radio things. Greg "Lazerman" Lazor said he had his real name in the phone book for eight years and got maybe two calls. Plus, if the Springs can fall in love with a Georgiann Lymberopoulos, how bad can Goose's real name be?

Dead Pool update

Variety is reporting that Fox is serious about bringing back "Happy Hour" and "Justice" in November to give them a second chance.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post's Lisa de Moraes says they're both toast and Fox couldn't put together a decent station break, much less a fall schedule.

So, I, your humble scribe, bide my time and wait for a show to definitively be dumped in the shredder.

Goose at Magic FM

So I turned on the radio half an hour early this morning to catch the debut of KKMG (98.9 FM)'s new morning guy, "Goose."

They intro'd with three minutes of honking geese, then a voice-over about how much radio in Colorado Springs stinks -- specifically slamming KIBT, KCCY, KVUU and KKLI, now what do those stations have in common? -- then the Goose himself appeared on the air. And, no, it was not Gossage, just some guy from Detroit.

It's the first day of the new ratings book and of course Citadel wants people to tune in to hear their new DJ, but I don't see why a new radio host has to be such a state secret.

Also, what's up with the animal nicknames at Citadel? Goose, Catfish, Coyote.

Monday, September 25, 2006

TV Talk for Tuesday

Got a review of "Ugly Betty," which premieres Thursday, and some quick thoughts on "Help Me Help You," which premieres Tuesday.

I was going to put another plug in for the Dead Pool, but I think it may be too late now.

Also coming Tuesday morning, "Goose," KKMG (98.9 FM)'s new morning guy. I haven't heard the details, but I'm guessing it ain't Goose Gossage.

Ooh, ooh! We may have a winner...

Fox has put "Happy Hour" AND "Justice" on hiatus.

That's not the same thing as cancelling them, but it's pretty darn close. Maybe we'll get something more definitive shortly, but, assuming those two don't magically pop back up, we'll call them our Dead Pool winners. With Fox, it's always a little screwy because everything gets bumped for the baseball playoffs anyway. Still, "Happy Hour" was a favorite with Dead Pool voters and the ratings for both stank, so...

Friday, September 22, 2006

KXRM and the CW

I've had a few calls wondering why Colorado Springs is currently getting the CW on both Channel 57 (KXTU, channel 7 on Adelphia) and Channel 20 (what used to be WB2 out of Denver). KXTU is supposed to have the rights for the Springs as the local affiliate and GM Steve Dant says he's working on it.

Given that Comcast is still using the Adelphia name in Colorado Springs, apparently just to confuse as many people as possible, I won't be surprised if we have two CW's for some time to come.

Also, given that KKTV/Channel 11 is trying to squeeze high definition programs from MyNetworkTV in alongside high definition programs from CBS, I wondered if Dant had thought about putting the CW in HD on KXRM/Channel 21's digital frequency. He said they'd talked about it, but haven't had time to see if it's really possible (both stations are owned by the same company).

Fox, KXRM's network, broadcasts HD in 720p, which takes up more bandwidth than the HD format CBS uses, 1080i, so there may not be enough bandwidth to go around. It would still be cool to see "Veronica Mars" in HD.

Hmmm.... re-reading that, this is one confusing post. Hopefully, it makes sense to someone other than me.

UPDATE: In comments, Tallguy says he thinks 1080i takes up more bandwidth than 720p. I looked around a little, and near as I can figure, it comes down to the compression scheme -- that either one could take up more or less room than the other depending on how stations configure things. Anyway, CW on a subchannel is just an idea for now.

Grey's Anatomy premiere

I'm getting dissed around the office for not blogging on the epic "Grey's Anatomy" season premiere.

I confess I did not watch said premiere: I can only watch so many chick shows, being not myself a chick.

But feel free to share your McDreamy thoughts in comments.

UPDATE: Now this is interesting: "Anatomy" beat "CSI" with 25 million viewers to the latter's 22 million. Nobody's beat "CSI" in quite some time. Thursday nights may be open season. This may also mean good things for "Six Degrees," which follows "Anatomy" on Thursdays.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Office

I am totally crushed by the Jim-Pam resolution. Heartbroken.

The Oscar gaydar thing is a step toward healing, though.

Laughter is the best medicine.

UPDATE: Roy's DUI mugshot is pretty priceless.

BTW, this show still rocks.

Smith thoughts?

I've gotten a few opinions on "Smith." One caller said it reminded her of "Heat" -- which I can certainly see -- and a commenter here said it "sucked."

Anyone else catch the premiere?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Coming this week

Tuesday's TV Talk includes reviews of CBS' "Smith" (starring Ray Liotta, shown), NBC's "Kidnapped" and CBS' "Jericho."

On Thursday, you'll find reviews for CBS' "Shark" and ABC's "Six Degrees."

I predict that by a week from Wednesday, we'll have a winner of our Dead Pool.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

TV thoughts

Midway through a long, NFL-fueled Sunday, I've got a couple thoughts floating around:

- That Peyton Manning Sprint commercial, with the moustache? Funny. Jake Plummer, same moustache? Not as funny.

- 1080i on CBS-HD looks better than 720p on Fox. Maybe it's just my TV, but I'm noticing the difference more today than I ever did before. 1080 does have more motion artifacts, but the clarity makes up for it. Makes me wonder what 1080p would look like (not that my TV can show that or that anyone broadcasts in it).

- Judging by the number of promos CBS is running, the network expects "Shark" to be their hit new show, while my favorite, "Smith," is doomed. Only seen two promos for that one. And CBS is really, really excited about "Two and a Half Men" and "CSI: Miami." Don't ask me why.

- Andy Reid needs to kick some behind down in Philadelphia.

- Fox's studio crew is way better than CBS'. No offense against Shannon Sharpe, but it's true year after year.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Heroes episodes 2 & 3

Just watching the second and third episodes of NBC's "Heroes" now. It's good, but it's still so slow-moving that I'm very afraid that audiences won't stick around. Very afraid, because after the third episode, I really want to see where it's going.

Things get interesting. If you're a comic book fan, or if you if like the weird parts of "Lost," turn in for this one.

George Carlin drops the f-bomb

If you're a George Carlin fan, I put up a clip from my interview with him on (click on the audio link beneath the picture).

Fun interview -- he was on a cell phone and I recorded it on tape, so sorry about the audio quality. And there is some objectionable material, for the sensitive souls out there.

Nancy Grace on GMA

Anyone else catch Nancy Grace on "Good Morning America" this morning? I had to mute the sound after a couple minutes. Can't stand that woman. Grace could well be right about the case that's got her into hot water -- she browbeat the mother of a missing child, basically saying she did it. The mother committed suicide just before the interview aired -- but I hope not.

What was it Jennifer Anniston said about Brad Pitt? There's an empathy chip missing from that woman's soul.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Survivor, ethnic edition

OK, I bit. Mark Burnett hooked me with his gimmick.

Well, I might have watched anyway, but I'm watching more closely now.

And, so far, pretty interesting. The tribes are certainly seeing and describing themselves in some stereotypical terms. The Latino tribe and the black tribe are making noises about pulling together over their ethnicity, but the Asian group may be going the other way. I'm sure the rest of the tribes will be bickering soon enough: What's race really mean when there's a million dollars on the line?

Dog behind bars

Bounty hunter and frequent Colorado Springs visitor Duane "Dog" Chapman was arrested by U.S. Marshals today in connection with caputring Max Factor heir Andrew Luster three years ago in Mexico.

I vaguely remember the case -- it's what made Dog famous -- but I thought the Mexicon government had dropped the case against him.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Rock Star finale

I'm picking this up after Magni was sent packing. I think Dilana just won it, though, with the Cranberries' "Zombie." She was the early favorite and is just clearly a better singer and performer than the other two. I mean, the only reason they wouldn't pick her is A) they want a guy to front the band, or B) she's just waaaay too short.

Both legit reasons, in my opinion. But we'll see in a second here.

... and so naturally they give it to Lukas. Eh, I was never going to buy a "Supernova" album anyway. I put that in quotes because a judge issued an injunction against the band using that name because a punk band's had the name since the early '90s. Funny.

Hope they get a more interesting band next year. Something about Lukas just makes me want to smack the guy. Can he even sing? And final song... the answer is no.

Who dat?

The sharp-eared among you may have already picked up on this, but once and future KXRM/Channel 21 anchor Joe Cole has been doing the voice-overs for the channel's 9 p.m. news for a couple weeks.

Cole will return to the anchor desk, joining Stephanie Pytlinski, on Oct. 2, when the Fox affiliate kicks off its in-house news program. In the meantime, Cole thought the voice-overs would be a good way to ease himself back into the public eye... err, ear.

"We thought it’s a good way to start getting my voice back on the air," Cole said.

New promos with Cole and Pytlinski should be on the air by the end of the week.

Vieira debut

Anyone got any strong feelings on Meredith's debut on "Today" this morning?

She and Lauer didn't seem quite in rhythm yet, but she's always had a good, relaxed TV presence. I don't expect any problems.

I was not, however, a fan of the new set. It felt like retro-mod '60s stuff. I found the color scheme cloying (I know, I know, I'm watching too much HGTV with the wife. Debbie Travis rubs off, what can I say?).

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Standoff update

I was watching Fox's "Standoff" again tonight. I'm seriously considering adding this one to my regular schedule. Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt are really fun to watch. Check it out yourself, Tuesdays at 8.

Goldfish memory?

I can't believe no goldfish lovers have called to complain about the lead on today's TV Talk ("It's said a goldfish can only remember events three seconds in the past").

It is said, of course, but is apparently not true ("MythBusters" tackled this one with a goldfish maze and others have done studies. Heck, my goldfish always knew what was what).

Anyway, coming up: Meredith Vieira joins the "Today" show on Wednesday. Premiere week begins Monday. And other fun stuff.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Great minds think alike

As do feeble ones. If our Dead Pool contest to name the first fall TV show to get the axe doesn't fulfill your need for schadenfreude, check out Bravo's "Death Watch."

Still time to enter the Dead Pool, too. Just e-mail which of the new fall shows will be the first to fall to Winner gets all the network promotional loot we receive in the month of September.

So far, not so great on the prize front: We got a couple weird dioramas from TCM, a bunch of postcards from Cartoon Network, a few DVD sets and a drink bottle. But the month is yet young!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Some jokes will be funny forever

... and Christopher Walken probably figures in most of them:


MyKKTV will add the local 6:30 p.m. newscast and the rest of its syndicated programming on Monday. No word on when the primetime programming will be updated to HD, but that's still the plan.

They're trying to get the new weather channel onto Comcast, but no word on a channel assignment yet. KKTV also plans to add live reports and updates, just like KOAA does on WeatherFirst Now.

Let's see, a few new faces to come at KRDO/Channel 13. Notably, morning meteorologist Marty Ventincinque is going on paternity leave for a couple weeks (congrats, Marty), so John Keyes from sister station KJCT/Channel 8 will be filling in. Shortly after Marty returns, the new weekend weather guy will show up, Ben Legg. At about the same time, they'll add a reporter, too: Anna Jensen. KRDO plans to add a fourth weather guy in 2007, too.

KOAA has a new reporter coming, too, but haven't gotten the name.

And I'm off on a float trip over the weekend, so no updates until Monday.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Differing opinions?

The fall previews have been coming in fast and furious in the last few days and -- surprise surprise! -- not everyone agrees with me (see the fall preview on Sept. 2 for all the details).

In the interest of fairness and full disclosure, here's where the pundits agree and disagree:

"'Til Death" -- Brad Garrett's new sitcom, which premieres Thursday on Fox, has been roundly panned by nearly everyone. Except me. I still got a bunch of good laughs in the premiere. Watch with caution.

"Knights of Prosperity" -- I hated this sitcom, formerly titled "Let's Rob Mick Jagger." Other people have found it charming. They're just dead wrong. I'm sorry, but I ain't backing off on this one.

"Men in Trees" -- Anne Heche's "Northern Exposure" ripoff, which I roundly ripped, was a best-pick in "Entertainment Weekly."

"Jericho" -- I called this post-apocolyptic drama the worst show of the fall. Entertainment Weekly made it a must-see. Decide for yourself if nuclear holocausts make for a fun evening.

"Smith" -- To me, this Ray Liotta-Virginia Madsen crime drama would be worth paying for in a theater. USA Today's Robert Bianco called it inept and unlikable. I call Bianco jaded.

"Vanished" -- Critics seem to agree with me that NBC's "Kidnapped" is a way better show. But readers have voiced their support of Fox's version.

OK, it's not like I'm off on a planet all my own. There are a few shows everyone seems to agree on:

"Friday Night Lights" -- I haven't read one bad word about this NBC football drama.

"Shark" -- Everyone agrees that James Woods shines in this courthouse thriller.

"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" -- Maybe it's just that TV critics are huge Aaron Sorkin suck-ups, but this show's superior writing is attracting rave reviews.

"Ugly Betty" -- Not every review is entirely positive, but everyone is intrigued by the premise.

"Happy Hour" -- Haven't read one kind word for this Fox sitcom.

"Help Me Help You" -- Mostly positive notices for Ted Danson's latest sitcom.

I guess the bottom line is, don't take my word for it. Sample widely and make up your own mind...

...and then you'll see that I'm right.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

MyKKTV? Anyone?

Anyone getting KK's new digital subchannel on 11.2? I've tried automatic and manual searches and gotten nada. I'm getting mid-70s for signal strength on 11.1, so that's not the problem.

And I was so looking forward to "Desire" tonight...

UPDATE: OK, I'm getting all three (THREE?) this morning. I talk to the KK people all the freakin' time and nobody ever said anything about a weather station -- although this is just rolling graphics, no meteorologists like KOAA does. Interesting.

TV Talk on the radio

I'll be on KVUU (99.9 FM) tomorrow/Wednesday morning sometime between 6:30 and 7 a.m., talking about the fall TV season and our fabulous Dead Pool (e-mail your pick to

So if you want to hear what I sound like stuffed up and half asleep, by all means tune in!

It's Katie time

A little rough off the line, I'd say. She sounds hoarse and looks a little tired. Maybe she has a cold. I do.

In terms of changes, she's promising a talk-back segment, with a promo from Morgan Spurlock, and the news portion kicks off with a long, meaty story on the resurgence of the Taliban.

Next we get an analysis on the President's speech today, rather than a straight news story on it, followed by a sitdown with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times. Probably not mollifying Rather critics with that one-two.

Katie is better in the interview setting, which was always her strength on "Today."

Short bit on Bill Ford stepping down at Ford, then a quickie on Steve Irwin's death.

Next, "Eye On Your Money," with a look at a new oil field in the Gulf of Mexico. The story has far more information on Katrina than it does on the new field, or what it could mean for consumers or energy independence. Annoying, re-hashing Katrina in a "news" story.

The segment is called "freeSpeech." Spurlock is just the first commentator. He rants about TV pundits - "We're not a nation divided at all. We've just bought into the hype." Blah, blah: Talking about having a civil discourse instead of actually having one.

Katie says Rush Limbaugh will be doing it on Thursday. That might be interesting.

Next up "snapshots," with ancient photos of Prince Charles? Nope, it's an intro into photos of Suri Cruise. Tabloid crap. I. Don't. Care. About. Celebrity. Babies. Ever.

Next, a feature story on a Nicarauguan orphanage and an American artist painting portraits of the children. Weird kind of outreach: They'd probably prefer an X-Box. The reporter portrays it as an awareness thing. Eh.

"All summer long, people have been asking me, 'How will you sign off at the end of your newscast?' I've been wracking my brain and nothing has won out." Instead, she goes to a montage of past anchors' sign-offs (including Will Ferrell's Ron Burgundy). She invites viewers to write in with their ideas.

So, based on this sampling of one program, Couric is trying to make the newscast more viewer-friendly, interactive, and human. I finished the half-hour marginally more knowledgable, if not dancing on the edge of my seat.

Couric made it pretty clear when she was in Denver this summer that she didn't plan to re-invent the wheel or rock the boat much. More like changing the color of the sails. So I'm not blown away or majorly disappointed. I'd watch the freeSpeech feature again if it's somebody interesting. The oil rig story was a big missed opportunity to push a story forward, however.

She sounds better, livelier and sharper in the interview with Don and Shannon on the KKTV interview during KK's 5:30.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Crocodile Hunter dies

Steve Irwin, "The Crocodile Hunter" died after a stingray attack while scuba diving.

In an odd way, I'm glad it wasn't a croc -- it's good that his meal ticket and his passion never turned on him.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Battlestar Galactica

Just got the first four episodes of the new "Battlestar Galactica" season. Mah gawd. I have never seen any television show and maybe one or two movies that dared to tackle subjects this heavy, this political, this serious. Not a light ride, but it's intense and it's very good. Doesn't premiere until Oct. 6, so you've got a wait if you're a fan. If you're not... you've got a month to get the DVDs and catch the heck up.

Brothers & Sisters preview

ABC's long-awaited "Brothers & Sisters" preview finally arrived today. This is the one starring Calista Flockhart, Sally Fields, and about 100 other people. It's like a grown-up, screwed-up "Eight is Enough."

Flockhart plays a right-wing radio host -- Laura Ingraham-ish -- but not very well.

Of her parents: "They're so Ron and Nancy."

Sally Field is good, though.

The rest of the cast is cliches -- the gay son, the working mom with a troubled relationship, the rebellious son (seperate from the gay son in this case), and a few other miscellaneous siblings.

Some OK ideas flowing around. Lot of characters to keep up with, though. And the show lacks zip, pop, pow. Everything sort of limps along until the obnoxious slow-mo faux-dramatic ending.

Still not the disaster people (including me, I suppose) have been predicting.

KRDO updates

If you watched last night, you saw Matt Meister unveil KRDO's new weather system. Actually, Meister says, what he showed last night was only the first stage in what should be a fall full of new tools, toys and techniques at KRDO.

"We’re going to be bringing new things on in bits and pieces," Meister said. "I think people watching will see new things popping up for the next four to six months."

Meister said their system would track lightning, provide micro-forecasts using data down to a 1-meter level, do the 3-D storm thing KOAA does, but also provide cross-sections inside the storm to show developing hail and improve tornado prediction... and so on and so forth.

"When we’re done, we should be able to do weather in a way that it’s never been done before here," Meister said.

One good tidbit: They're working on a weather channel similar to KOAA's "WeatherFirst Now" that will run on a digital subchannel.

Other KRDO stuff: Catherine Anderson left last week for an anchor/reporter job in Bakersfield, Calif. News director Dave Rose said the new job let Anderson move closer to her family.

Josh Simone starts today as a reporter/sports reporter/photographer. Two more reporters and a new meteorologist are on the way.

Marshall Zelinger joins Joe Dominguez as weekend anchor.

And Jennifer Fullerton will take over Kyle Troxel's old gig as "Good Morning Colorado" reporter and fill-in anchor.

British vulgar, PTC claims

Broadcasting & Cable is reporting that the Parents Television Council filed an FCC complaint over Helen Mirren's Emmy quip that she almost fell "tits over ass." Calista Flockhart repeated the comment presenting the next award. Oh those adorable British.

Top 10 Kyra Phillips excuses

Feedback wins

No surprise -- Matt "Feedback" Atherton won Sci Fi's "Who Wants to be a Superhero?"

Had that called from the beginning.

Congrats, Matt.