Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mmmmmm... wireless HD


Bad timing

At a breakfast for local religious leaders a couple weeks back promoting Tivo's KidZone service, I got to talking with one of the ministers about "Friday Night Lights." And I was going on about how the show portrayed religion and heartland values and was a good show without going all Hollywood and how he should check it out.

Yeah, well the last two weeks, not so much... I mean, I still like the show -- I can appreciate it just for the acting and writing. But there hasn't been a lot of praying recently.The focus has really been more on the promiscuous sex.

Having said that, my problem with last night's episode was how poorly the football scenes were done, which undercut my willingness to ignore the other logical flaws in the story (still hate Lyla sleeping with Riggs and her undergarments didn't look like your average jogging attire, liked but didn't believe Voodoo's "arranged marriage" speech, didn't think Street would glom onto Murderball the first time he saw it, etc.).

Good "Heroes" eppy, though. Mr. Horn-Rimmed-Glasses had a great take when he heard about "Save the Cheerleader," I saw the evil Niki setting up DL thing coming, but still liked it, Hiro continues to rock.

UPDATE: And, upon refelection, is DL (Leonard Roberts) the least-convincing tough-guy thug since Gun (J. August Richards) on "Angel"? I think I'm right about this. Heck, their real names, Leonard? J. August?, ought to make it clear that these guys cannot play tough like, say, Ice Cube. Or even Ice-T.

And, IMDB tells me, Leonard was a guest star on a bunch of "Buffy" epsiodes. I think he was one of the members of the Initiative in the bad Riley years. It all comes together. Gun was way better after he got the lawyer-brain transplant.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Checking in

Busy finishing up reviews for the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival. I'll be back to TV soon. Tomorrow's TV Talk looks at the network maneuverings for November sweeps.

Meantime, the Arbitron ratings came out Thursday - the story is in tomorrow. KCCY still No. 1, KKFM No. 2 (No. 1 25-54). KATC debuts at 11th. KRDO AM-FM stuck at 13th, KVUU gets a big bump from the Peak going away, finishes third. The Beat beats Magic for the first time in a year or so. I dunno, my theme was that all of the changes that happened last summer didn't mean diddly for the ratings. At least, not yet.

If you didn't know, KKML "The Sports Animal" is switching to ESPN radio Jan. 1. Chris Kelly is actually leaving KBIQ altogether (she had planned to continue with Sunday Celebration). And I'm trying to track down Dave Moore for a Danish TV reporter, if you've seen him around...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Sno' fun at KKTV

Man, KK just got nailed, didn't they? Main transmitter down, backup transmitter down, power out at the studio, fire at the studio when the power came back up.

"It was a bad day in paradise," said Charlie Peterson, KKTV's general manager.

They finally got the signal back over the air just past noon today, once the roads were clear and their engineer could get up on the mountain to reboot the transmitter.

KKTV was able to get its signal out to Adelphia and Dish Network even when they were off the air. KK's digital transmitter stayed up, too, so everyone with high def TV's could see them fine.

“We had the worst luck imaginable in that both sites went down at the same time, the transmitter site and our studio site,” Peterson said. “When you’ve got both going down, you just don’t have a leg to stand on. It was one of those days.”

It seemed like the others came through in better shape. KXRM got bumped off a couple times and the generator kicked on. KOAA says they hardly had a blip. I didn't see KRDO have any problems.

So, we'll give KKTV a pass because they were off the air half the day -- who do you think had the best storm coverage and who had the most problems?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

NBC brings back comedy block

Rumors of the demise of scripted shows at 7 p.m. on NBC lasted... about a week. Not only are "My Name is Earl" and "The Office" not moving from 7, they'll be joined by "30 Rock" and "Scrubs" at 8 p.m. beginning Nov. 30.

This probably means bad things for "Twenty Good Years," no great loss. I think "The Office"/"Scrubs" would make a better one-two punch, but I think with this line-up, I'll be more likely to watch all of the shows. Which is, of course, NBC's goal.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Friday Night Lights... one more time

Dude, did you see the guy from "Murderball" (Mark Zupan) do the cameo? That was completely awesome.

Also, "FNL" got a big shout-out at Tuesday Morning Quarterback today. If you're a football fan and you don't read TMQ, what the hay do you do on Tuesdays?

The crestfallen look on the coach's face when Voodoo keeps doing well, and showing Saracen up? That's good.

Thinking about this, though, Saracen's a sophomore. Voodoo's a senior and Street was a senior, so Mattboy gets two more shots after this season no matter what happened. Why should he be stressing? The job's his, barring any more hurricanes dislocating superstar quarterbacks.

And let me leave you with this thought: "I think I told that kid to get our daughter in the back seat of a car."

2-minute-long "24" preview

If you can't possibly wait another two months for the clock to start ticking, Fox has a big, ol' preview posted at http://www.24trailer.com/

Warning: It just got posted and I couldn't get through. But give it a couple more hours.

"Heroes" graphic novels

I'm trying to catch up with the graphic novels NBC created for "Heroes" on its Web site. And I can kvetch a little about what an asinine page design the half-wits at the network came up for this? I've spent 15 minutes trying to read the first two pages of the first one. It's just a graphic -- no flash animation, no video, no interactive stuff.

How in the hey did NBC manage to make loading a freakin' graphic this hard? This is why technical people should not be allowed to interact with the public -- I'm sure some geek in New Jersey thought this was a sweet way to set it up.

BTW, last night's episode was pretty good. I like how they made Petrocelli fly, I hated that all of the sudden, Hiro is speaking decent English and I'm bugged that I didn't see the stripper's baby-daddy -- creepy mind eraser connection coming.

"Studio 60," on the other hand, was funny. No, not intentionally. The first 30-35 minutes, I'm sitting there thinking that it's a pretty good episode. And then there's the scene in the comedy club with Matt and Simon. That just sucked. Nobody likes to be patronized -- just ask Tom's parents (Nate Corddry). And the thing with the blacklisted writer from the '50s was every bit as awful.

The slo-mo car crash is speeding up!

UPDATE: Eli makes a great point in comments -- creepy mind guy and stripper husband are different guys. As a bald guy, I know how we can all look the same... The fifth (and latest) graphic novel makes this clear -- it just took me two hours to load the darn thing.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I am outraged

Outraged I say.

The Discovery Channel hit upon a winning formula when it paid Canadian Les Stroud to tape himself surviving in the wilderness - alone - for seven days for the Science Channel show "Survivorman."

"Survivorman" is a cult classic, but hasn't been renewed for a second season.

But what is Discovery giving us Nov. 10? "Man vs. Wild" , in which the ridiculously named Bear Grylls, a former British special forces type, goes into the wilderness and survives for a week.

Only, unlike Les, "Bear" brings a camera crew and, in the clip they have on the Discovery Web site, pees on himself. Seriously.

So, other than noting that Bear is a giant doofus and a wuss, can you spot any other differences between super-stud Stroud and giant faker Bear?

[I'll put pix here if Blogger can ever keep its site operating for longer than three minutes at a time]

Yep, Les is a pasty, bald, naked Canadian, whereas Bear is a rugged, square-jawed Continental. It's all about the looks, dontchaknow.

Also, check out this forum for some hilarious Bear bashing for his earlier "Ultimate Survival" show. Hee.

Friday, October 20, 2006

More full orders

CBS gave a full order to "Shark" - no surprise.

And the CW picked up "The Game" and "7th Heaven" for the full season. I guess they have to put something on the air.

Pinkston speaks

On tomorrow's Pop page, you'll find my interview with CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston, who's speaking at Saturday's Colorado Springs NAACP Freedom Fund Gala.

The story is mostly about Pinkston's personal story -- he was part of the first wave of black broadcasters in the South and his first job was at a station so racist that the FCC was eventually forced by the courts to pull its license.

Actually, I have personal connection to that case -- my dad was working for the national headquarters of the United Church of Christ in New York at the time (the UCC was the group that brought the suit against the TV station).

So, as the court case was winding up, they sent him down there to help out the UCC leaders in Jackson, Miss. -- a job that he describes as buying booze for them, dealing with Xerox and riding around in a car with with a white woman lawyer to meet Charles Evers - Medgar Evers brother.

They had to have a white man in the car so their driver, who was black, wouldn't be seen alone with a white woman. It's unbelievable to me that those were the ground rules in parts of this country two years before I was born.

Anyway, Pinkston was a good interview -- something ironically rare in reporters -- and he has an amazing mind for details. You should check him out at the Freedom Fund dinner.

Dead Pool prize

I dropped off a big box of freebie goodness at Mary Betka's home last night and am pleased to report the family seemed to enjoy the weird crap networks send to newspapers. The "Heroes" comic book, which came courtesy of Ethan Beute over at KOAA, seemed to be especially popular.

If you cried yourself to sleep on Tuesday because the Animal Planet dog leash and "How to Kazoo" book weren't yours, fear not. We'll run some other little contest in a few weeks -- just as soon as the loot promoting the midseason shows starts to arrive.

UPDATE: OK, so I was feeling all warm and fuzzy about this, and then I checked in over on San Francisco Chronicle TV columnist Tim Goodman's blog (the wonderfully named "Bastard Machine"). And he just got a talking Mr. T stand-up.

And now I wallow in jealousy.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My heart is full

Outstanding "Office."

Loved "Dwight's Army of Champions." (I'm assuming that's capitalized).
Loved "That's it, that's what you came up with," on the squeaky chair front.
Loved free pretzels.
Loved "Just as you have planted your seed in the ground, I am going to plant my seed in you."
Loved egging Axelrod.
Loved "How many kitchens do you have?"

Best episode of the season. If you missed it, bug all your friends until you find someone who Tivo'd it.


The CW killed off "Runaway," a serial drama starring Donnie Wahlberg whose combined audience could comfortably share a phone booth.

You have to wonder about the CW's future -- the only show that even has a pulse is "America's Next Top Model." The network needs to drum up something that generates, if not ratings, at least enough buzz to keep audiences from forgetting that the channel even exists.

NBC is giving its equally shaky, albeit far better, "Friday Night Lights" a Monday tryout on Oct. 30, taking "Studio 60's" spot for the night. A sign of things to come? Let's hope.

Of course, NBC is apparently even closer than the CW to closing up shop altogether -- the network is cutting 700 jobs and vowing to only air cheap reality shows in the 7 p.m. hour, because advertisers don't give a fig until 8 p.m.

Tell it to everyone who ponied up for spots on "Friends" and "Seinfeld," is my reaction. Maybe panic serves some purpose at 30 Rock. The place, not the show. Although that could use some panic, too.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Biggest Loser at Lewis-Palmer

I spent the afternoon up in Monument watching "The Biggest Loser" film at Lewis-Palmer High School. Kim Lyons, one of the show's two trainers, is an alum, and so the producers sent her back to film a special episode that will air Nov. 22.

Although she was a cheerleader and on the homecoming court, Lyons was an Air Force brat and LP was her third high school in as many years, so she had a hard time fitting in, she said.

"High school is a brutal time of life and being the new girl is tough," Lyons said.

Coming back as a TV star with a camera crew in tow has to be pretty sweet, though.

Lyons spoke to the freshman class about fitness and nutrition and then picked eight volunteers to coach one-on-one. If the teenagers meet their fitness goals in the next two weeks, the school will receive a donation for new gym equipment.

Get the whole story in tomorrow's Gazette.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Friday Night Lights recap

Kind of an uneven episode. The recruiting scenes with Voodoo from New Orleans were sharp, but I thought the scene with the abusive fan at the burger joint was overdone.

Maybe I'm out of touch, but I think real football fans would keep a shred of perspective when their starting quarterback is still on his back in the hospital, peeing into a tube. Can a Broncos fan give me their perspective?

The motivational scenes in the rain didn't quite work... they felt sloppy. No pun intended.

And Lila and Jason is getting a little weird. I mean, how much better is Street supposed to be two weeks after he broke his back? Isn't that where we are in the season? I didn't believe the (attempted) break-up scene. And I especially didn't believe Lila and Riggins smooching.

I guess there was just something off about the pacing this time around. But with Voodoo on board, I can't wait to see the next episode... if there is one.

Dead Pool winner

If you missed it earlier, here's Mary Betka's winning entry for the Dead Pool/favorite show contest:

"My favorite new TV show, without question, is 'Heroes.' Could it be the one-of-a-kind storyline? Perhaps. Could it be the everyday characters with their everyday problems combined with their secret powers, that one could only dream of possessing, that draws me in? Maybe. Or is it that I actually have to pay attention and think during this show, instead of being bombarded with mindless chatter, that has hooked me? Sure.

All of these are great reasons, but they do not come even close to the main reason... my teenage boys. The other night, while I was watching 'Heroes,' my sons (ages 15 and 17) were doing their nightly ritual of cruising the fridge when they stopped by the couch, watched a few seconds, and plopped down and watched the entire episode with dear old boring Mom and Dad.

No cell phones, Game Boys, headphones, Ipods, laptops or locking themselves in their rooms for the night. They stayed right there and (gasp) even discussed the plot during commercials. When it was over, they casually mentioned that they would like to see it again next week!

That, my friends, is why 'Heroes' is my new best friend on Monday nights; family time with 'overbooked' teenagers. You can keep your Dr. McDreamy, I'll keep the 'humans' who walk through fire and fly anytime."

"Brothers & Sisters" gets pick-up

ABC just gave "Brothers & Sisters" a full-season order, bringing to four the number of shows getting the big vote of confidence ("Jericho" on CBS, "Heroes" on NBC and "Ugly Betty" on ABC).

I really like "Heroes," like "Ugly Betty," didn't dislike "Brothers & Sisters" as much as I thought I would and continue to very much dislike "Jericho." So I guess I'm batting .500 - sign me up Yankees!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Studio 60... that's still on the air?

I know "Studio 60" is loaded with inside jokes that go over my head here in little old Colorado Springs, but even I caught the Mark Burnett riff. More pretentious tripe - who finds this interesting? Note to Aaron Sorkin, "Survivor" is stinking it up this season, and it's still got way more viewers than your little drama.

I'm actually watching the show at this point just to watch the car crash in super slo-mo. It's mean, but it's all so gawdawful bad.

Earlier, another gripping "Heroes." Love, love, love the Hiro from the future. Love "Save the cheerleader, save the world." Still annoyed by flyboy and duality-woman, but eh, everything else is going great. Suresh is growing on me, heroin boy is a nice bridge and politician brother is perfectly sleazy. It's growing on me -- plus it has a full-season pick up, so I actually get to see where the storyline goes.

Coming Tuesday... and more!

Tell me your magic number in TV Talk. It's not as dirty as it sounds. Unfortunately.

The long, long (long) awaited winner of the Dead Pool. No, it wasn't you.

Later in the week: CBS reporter Randall Pinkston is the keynote speaker at the NAACP Freedom Fund Gala on Saturday. And he's got a pretty interesting story to tell -- well, maybe more interesting if you studied the 1968 "UCC v. FCC" decision back in media law.

Still trying to line up the Kim Lyons "Biggest Loser" thing, looks like Wednesday for Thursday as we say in print-land.

If I forget to mention it, there's a shout-out to Colorado Springs on "30 Rock" Wednesday night, although I can't for the life of me remember what it is. It's just something I wrote in my calender weeks ago -- I assume there's a reason I did.

A TiVo executive is in town Thursday morning to demonstrate to local religious leaders how parents can use TiVo to set limits on television. Might be a column for next week or a story for Saturday.

Over on radio, KKMG (98.9 FM) program director and afternoon guy Chad Rufer is leaving the end of the month to be closer to his family in Florida. KBIQ (102.7 FM) morning host Chris Kelly is headed back to Focus on the Family.

And nationally -- "Ugly Betty" and "Jericho" both earned full-season orders.

The New York Post has a sweet story about Masi Oka, the breakout star of "Heroes," who, it turns out, is an even bigger geek in real life.

The second-greatest TV columnist in the land coins an awesome phrase: "TiNo"

And there's something else I was meaning to pass along, but can't remember.

Nothing like ending on a cliffhanger...

UPDATE: Oh yeah, in the mail today was "Television Without Pity: 752 Things We love to Hate (and Hate to Love, about TV)," from the folks at TWoP, a really rockin' Web site run by people with truly massive amounts of time on their hands.

Funny book, I'll give it away to a blog reader when I'm done.

Lyons at Lewis-Palmer

Lewis-Palmer grad Kim Lyons of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" is in town doing two days of filming at her old stomping grounds. I guess her folks still live in the neighborhood.

She's apparently offering current students some fitness tips and, I'm assuming, making the guy who stood her up at Homecoming insanely jealous.

I'm setting up an interview on Wednesday for Thursday's paper.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thursday night thoughts

I've been down on "Earl" this season, but this was a pretty funny episode. Of course, I used to have a cat just like Sebastian, so I'm bound to be partial. The bit with Randy and the collar was good, too.

And a darn funny "Office." Love Jim and the new girl flirting. Love the bird funeral. You'da thunk Ryan or someone would have figured out Michael's angle on things sooner and used it to their advantage (Michael was upset that no one seemed to care that the former branch manager had died, implying that no one would care if he, too, was decapitated in a tragic semi accident). But whatever, still funny.

Consider this an open "Grey's" thread, too, if you've got thoughts to share.

More favorite shows

Actually got one in the mail today! It's so... 20th century.

MB - "My favorite new TV show, without question, is 'Heroes.' Could it be the one-of-a-kind storyline? Perhaps. Could it be the everyday characters with their everyday problems combined with their secret powers, that one could only dream of possessing, that draws me in? Maybe. Or is it that I actually have to pay attention and think during this show, instead of being bombarded with mindless chatter, that has hooked me? Sure. All of these are great reasons, but they do not come even close to the main reason... my teenage boys. The other night, while I was watching 'Heroes,' my sons (ages 15 and 17) were doing their nightly ritual of cruising the fridge when they stopped by the couch, watched a few seconds, and plopped down and watched the entire episode with dead old boring Mom and Dad. No cell phones, Game Boys, headphones, Ipods, laptops or locking themselves in their rooms for the night. They stayed right there and (gasp) even discussed the plot during commercials. When it was over, they casually mentioned that they would like to see it again next week! That, my friends, is why 'Heroes' is my new best friend on Monday nights; family time with 'overbooked' teenagers. You can keep your Dr. McDreamy, I'll keep the 'humans' who walk through fire and fly anytime."

BM - "One of my favorite shows this season is Friday Night Lights. As you stated, the acting and writing are both outstanding. I love the camera work and the fact that it seems like each episode takes place over a week. What a shame that the ratings are suffering because it's up against (gasp!) Dancing with the Stars. I can't believe that so many people would choose that abomination over such a well rounded TV show. I'm sorry, but the rumba and the waltz don't have anything on the drama of football in Texas. Hopefully NBC won't jump the gun on this show and will move it to another time instead. If they keep it in that time slot it's going to go up against American Idol in January so it's still going to suffer."

BL & EL - "Our favorite new t.v show is FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. PLEASE, by all means keep this show on the air. Its presentation is something new and fresh. Its rapid fire scenes are totally unique to television. It shows a slice of American life that actually exists. Thank you."

RF - "First, as far as surprises among the new shows, "The Class" really waylaid me. Critics or viewers notwithstanding, I have had very little use for even the most popular of the CBS Monday night sitcoms for the past year or so. But "The Class" has the unenviable task of juggling a relatively large cast in a story told in 22-minute chapters in a sink or swim environment. And I think it's swimming.

Great lines like, "You never know how much sister you have until you have to give her a sponge bath" are frequent enough to watch the whole episode. And as much as we all loved John Ritter, I think people are pulling for his kid to succeed, too. Another reason to watch. There are lame moments, to be sure. Only so much humor can be derived from failed suicide attempts. But there's material on which to build."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Another frustrating "Lost" episode

I mean come the freak on, Sun's still hesitating?

Any normal person would so completely be over this by now: If you see an Other, shoot them.

Don't wait, don't talk, don't torture, don't play with the food machine, don't break rocks, don't eat breakfast, don't drop the gun.

I'm just sick of this cycle of stupid. OK, the Red Sox joke was funny. But the correct response to Henry/Ben saying "Do what I say and you'll go home?" is to say "How many people will I have kill to get there?" and then to hit him until he makes you stop.

If your plot depends on your protagonists making the same dumb mistakes over and over and over, I think it's pretty natural if your audience gets fed up and finds something less annoying. Another episode like this and I'll be doing just that.

UPDATE: Warren, my boss, thinks I'm off base here (see comments), but I think hard core fans often get swept away by their enthusiasm... just sayin.'

Also, "The Nine" last night. Another pretty good episode, although the characters are feeling less real to me as the show goes on, which is odd. I still can't see how anyone expects this thing to go multiple seasons. There's just not enough mystery to be unveiled there, it seems to me. I haven't seen the ratings, so multiple seasons may not be a problem the producers have.

Extreme Makeover back

ABC announced today it was bringing back the original "Extreme Makeover" show, with plastic surgery, cosmetic dentistry and, of course, makeovers.

On a related note, I got a call from "Access Hollywood" a few minutes ago looking for a number for James Bower and Kacie Searcy, the local couple who met on the show, fell in love and got married. I had looked up their whereabouts a month or so ago after a reader asked for the latest, so I called them up and talked for a second with Kacie.

Turns out, she just had a baby girl to add to the baby boy they had last year. Pretty cool. Apparently, everything is going well for them in Los Angeles.

As a side note, I have kind of a weird job, don't I?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Friday Night Lights? Anyone?

Seriously, if you're not watching this show, what the heck are you watching?

Remember when "The Sopranos" was worth $12.95 a month, just so you wouldn't miss out on a single episode? This show is that good. It really is. There's nothing else on TV like it.

UPDATE: I did successfully convince a couple of female co-workers to watch last night's episode. They agreed the acting and the writing were very good and that there's nothing like it on TV, but they couldn't get past the football thing. Everytime someone mentioned football or there was a football scene, they just tuned out.

I think this is weird. I don't stop watching medical dramas because hospitals smell funny, you know? I guess if you're not a football fan, living in Broncos country can make you feel like an oppressed minority.

Another co-worker is with me on "Lights." One thing we both agree is refreshing is the way the show deals with religion.

It's not a central theme, like "7th Heaven" and it's not saccharine, but it's part of the fabric of the characters' lives.

The people in "Friday Night Lights" pray when someone's in the hospital. I can't remember seeing that on "ER" ever, even though it's the most natural thing in the world. And they pray before football games. And sometimes before dinner.

I don't think the religious stuff is put in the show to appeal specifically to Christians - if it is, it sure ain't working. I think it's in the show because that's the way people in small-town Texas live. Anyway, I like it because it feels real and it's not something Hollywood usually does.

Favorite new show entries

Forthwith, a few feelings for fans' favorites from the fall:

AH -
"SHARK" - James Woods stars in the Thursday night, CBS show, "Shark," and, without ANY doubt it is the VERY BEST show in the entire Fall 2006 TV line-up. There isn't a better actor on TV today than James Woods; Woods isn't just a good actor - he is a GREAT actor. He takes the (lead) actor role to new heights and dimensions in his scathing portrayal of a (former) defense attorney (for the rich "stars" of the Los Angeles, CA area) turned cut-throat (Assistant?) District Attorney (in the famous/(infamous?) Los Angeles District Attorney's Office. Woods'fast-paced, often sarcastic, always caustic delivery adds to the believability of this CBS drama.
"Shark" (aptly nicknamed for his fierce and relentless legal maneuverings) is really Sebastian Stark - not a really lovable man - but a man of such intense commitment to his profession - (his main slogan is: "A trial is war. Second place is death") that one quickly grasps the concept that this is not just a "job" to this character - winning in court is a "life and death" matter and nothing to be taken lightly at all.
"Shark's" only "tender spot" lies with his one and only child, his beloved 16 year-old daughter, Julie, who chose to live with him (in L.A.) over her Mother - who has moved to New York State to live. He genuinely loves her and works hard at each and every encounter with her to "prove" his love as a single-parent in a fast-paced and scary world. "Shark" loves and adores his daughter and goes to great lengths to protect her- including utilizing his devious "courtroom tactics"(like bribing a driving-class instructor to "pass" her so that she can get her drivers license.) "Shark's"relentless addiction to "winning at all costs" - makes this show the most electrifying piece of drama on television today."

MC -
I have enjoyed the new show called"Men in Trees", its cute, funny and very refreshing to watch, the blonde gal does a super job with her character,a show we can all relate to and the Alaska setting is great!! A very good show!!!! Mina Coonts

GS -
The only new show you talked about that I did watch was Friday Nite Lites and was looking forward to seeing it again but looking at the tv guide it is on tonite at the same time as NCIS which is another favorite of mine so I will have to tape it or miss it. It seems like if I watch something they always put it on the same nite so I have to choose and there are lots of nites when there is nothing on I watch. Tonite on NBC and CBS there are 6 shows opposite each other all that I like .

Don -
Well since Vanished is going to die and with the show out of the 9PM slot on Monday nights, I have to say I watched an episode of Heroes. The first impression is great so I will go with "Heroes" as my new favorate show.I thought this show would be another "Surface." I was dead wrong.I did like the ideal behind Vanished but they better wrap that one quick like Kidnapped.For the record I thought Heroes would bomb in my TV predtions on MY blog.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Monday night thoughts

I'm more of a college football fan, but watching everyone shivering up in Denver sort of underscores my belief that pro football is a sport best appreciated on TV.

Kind of NBC to schedule a repeat of "Heroes" tonight. Given that this show got a full-season pickup, I might as well try to stay current with it.

The Hummer commercial with the astronomer who sees the end-of-the-world asteroid and rushes out to trade in his little electric car for an H2? Hilarious. The H3 spots? Crappy. I've always thought Hummer's ad agency has come up with some of the best commercials of all time. - the go-kart race comes to mind, but also all the iPod trippy ones. I've also always thought that those ads must be targeting the group of consumers least likely to ever buy a Hummer. Am I right about this?

UPDATE: "Studio 60" tonight went completely off the rails. I bashed it in tomorrow's TV Talk and boy, I'm glad I did.

Dead Pool resolution

OK, what I decided to do was, rather than have people predict the second show to be canceled or something, I would have people write a paragraph about which new fall show is their favorite and why. Pretty simple.

I'll post any good ones up here (e-mail me if you want to be anonymous).

We'll pick a winner on Friday.

Coming this week

Gazette Broncos reporter Frank Schwab has a story in sports today about the Herculean effort ESPN is putting in to bringing Monday Night Football to Denver tonight.

Tuesday's TV talk will be about the Dead Pool and related schedule changes. It'll be better than that sounds, I promise.

Wednesday, we'll get to reviews of "30 Rock" and "Twenty Good Years." I'll also be going to Hal Kennedy's memorial service on Tuesday, so I may write something about that.

Thursday, I'll have an interview with supercoach and local overachiever Chris Carmichael about his new Fine Living show "Me vs. Me."

And Friday? I may take a nap.

UPDATE: Oh, one more thing - I was just talking to Susie Howery, whose cousin Molly got married on the Today show on Friday. I'll do a little story on behind the scenes at the wedding for Wednesday.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Dingdingding! We have a... err... winner

CBS has OFFICIALLY pulled "Smith."

Which means my glowing review of the star-studded crime caper was, officially, a waste of my time and yours.

And it means the winner of the Gazette's Dead Pool contest is... err... nobody. No one picked "Smith." Everyone went for "Men In Trees," "Happy Hour," or "Jericho" (plus a couple of votes for "Kidnapped").

However, I've still got a whole bunch of promotional junk on my desk - dioramas from TCM, a dog leash from Animal Planet, a football from the Weather Channel, a bunch of other stuff. Too weird to keep, too unusual to just throw away.

Give me an idea for an equitable method of determining a winner... and I'll probably just give the loot to you.

Dead Pool update

So NBC is cutting back "Kidnapped" to 13 episodes and banishing it to Saturday nights (beginning Oct. 21).

Can I get a ruling on this? If the show is going to be on the air for two more months, does that count as a cancellation?

Also, CBS is apparently sharpening the axe for "Smith." Oh well. "Friday Night Lights" is sure to be next.

Fox is doing its post-baseball playoffs shuffle, sending "Vanished" to Friday, "Justice" to Monday, and swapping "House" and "Standoff" on Tuesdays. I take that to mean "Vanished" is dead, the network still has hopes for "Justice" and it'll try to give "Standoff" a shot at life with a lead-in.

Hey, one piece of good news - "Heroes" is getting a full season pick-up.

Open "Grey's Anatomy" thread

I get grief around the office because I don't blog about "Grey's" and they can't get enough of it. Well, I still didn't watch, but at least anyone who's interested can fire away on last night's episode in comments.

The extra-large McSteamy photo's for you, Pam.

CW swaps Sundays and Mondays

This is weird, although I know they had to do something (the times are Eastern):


The CW Comedy Block Moves to Monday, Effective Oct. 9 "7th Heaven" and "Runaway"
Head to Sunday Night on Oct. 15

October 5, 2006 (Burbank, CA) - The CW is switching its Sunday and Monday nights of programming, effective October 9. On October 9, The CW's comedy block of "Everybody Hates Chris," "All of Us," "Girlfriends" and new series "The Game" will move to Monday from 8:00-10:00PM. The CW will rebroadcast each comedy's season premiere on Monday, October 9, with original episodes returning on Monday, October 16. Starting October 15, The CW's new Sunday line-up will begin with an encore of the previous Wednesday's "America's Next Top Model" (7:00-8:00PM) followed by original episodes of "7th Heaven" (8:00-9:00PM) and freshman drama "Runaway" (9:00-10:00PM).

To clarify, we'll be getting new episodes of the comedy block Sunday night, the season premieres of those shows on Monday, and then more new episodes Oct. 16.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Crowded Thursday nights

We've got "Ugly Betty" and "The Office" on picture-in-picture. The wife wants "Betty," I am, of course, a huge "Office" fan.

It may be time to pony up for the DVR.

BSG is baaack

"Battlestar Galactica" starts its third season tonight.

It might be the best show on television. It's definitely in the top five, and if "Friday Night Lights" gets canceled, it will be moving right up the charts.

The season premiere tackles the morality of suicide bombings, revenge killings, extra-legal tribunals and collusion. Serious stuff? Yeah, and "Galactica" tackles those hot-button subjects without taking sides or insulting the audience. Well, there's a little side-taking at the end, but mostly it's all thrown into the morally ambiguous mix of a clash of civilizations. Remind you of anything?

There are some people around the office you couldn't pay to watch "Battlestar Galactica." For the most part, these are the same people would have signed up for a root canal before watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Silly titles put some of them off, insightful analysis of the human condition is a little much for others.

And I'm not one to say that people looking for a little easy entertainment rather than challenging moral quandaries are wrong. But there's something so rich and satisfying about watching a TV show that's smart (as opposed to pretentious - see Sorkin, Aaron).

It's like reading a John Grisham book: That's a fine way to relax before you fall asleep, but I think it's healthy to mix that up with fare that has a little more depth. Of course, trying to sleep after watching one of these harrowing "BSG" episodes is a difficult proposition.

Citadel climbs The Peak


KSPZ (92.9 FM) changed formats and call letters Thursday morning, switching to KKPK “The New Peak FM” and adopting an adult contemporary format.

If “Peak FM” sounds familiar, that’s because it was the nickname for the old KRDO (95.1 FM). Pikes Peak Broadcasting sold KRDO to Citadel Broadcasting in July, which re-named it KATC “Cat Country.” Citadel also owns KSPZ/KKPK.

“They will hear a lot of the things they liked about the old Peak, with an influx of some of the best from KSPZ,” said Bobby Irwin, Citadel’s operations manager, speaking of KSPZ’s “greatest hits” format and the Peak’s adult contemporary format.

“There were a lot of people that missed that music position the Peak had,” Irwin said.

If you’re wondering how the station will combine greatest hits with adult contemporary music, Irwin offered a sample music block: Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” Bon Jovi’s “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight,” Santana’s “Smooth” and Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock.”

Despite the switch, most of the DJ’s will stay the same, including morning hosts Jim Berry and Tammy Oakland.

The duo launched the new format Thursday morning with a broadcast from atop Pikes Peak to trumpet the station’s new catchphrase, “A Mountain of Favorite Songs.”

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"Lost" no more!

Oh that is cool. Great opening.

Love the bear cage Sawyer's in. That's funny.

Could do without the Jack flashbacks. Network time killers.

I am getting a little interested in what's happening back on the beach.

And, after one episode, I'm finding all these Dharma people really annoying. I kinda hope more of them die. Does that make me a bad person?

Frustrating first episode. Intriguing, but frustrating.

Before we get to "Lost"

I'd been meaning to check back in with "Jericho," since a lot of people liked it and I full-out loathed it.

In the first five minutes, a doctor advised a man with possible radiation poisoning to take iodine, but not with the pickles. "Not the pickles, maybe the peaches." And a woman runs her hand along a muddy ledge and asks "What's this black stuff?" "That black stuff is Denver."

I'm dutiful, not a masochist. This show blows chunks!

Dead pool update

The rumors of shows' demises are coming fast and furious now. I think we'll have a Dead Pool winner any day.

Latest is TV Guide reporting that NBC's "Kidnapped" is a goner. I liked "Kidnapped," but this is TV and I've got a pile of weird promotional junk on my desk destined to go to the pool winner. Only problem is, I'm not sure if anyone picked "Kidnapped." We'll wait for it to become official.

On a related note, Fox just ordered three more episodes of "Justice," making it less likely that that one will immediately end up on the trash heap. It begs the question of "Happy Hour's" future, though.

Smith growing common

After last night, I think maybe everyone else was right about "Smith" and I was wrong. I really, really loved the pilot. I missed episode 2 because I was working, but last night's third episode was blah. The pacing was disjointed, the dialogue was all over the place, and the action... I just didn't care about it.
I had such high hopes, but now, I'm not feeling it.

Also, you all know I LOVED "Friday Night Lights." What'd you think? Anyone want to tell me I was wrong about that one? 'cause I'm not listening...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dead pool update

ABC just kicked the premiere of "Knights of Prosperity" back to maybe January.

I'm happy -- I hated the show, but a lot of (less perceptive) people loved the thing. ABC says it's protecting the show. The network ordered 13 episodes and wants to wait until the schedule thins out a little. Maybe. A big delay is rarely a good thing on TV. Better the scheduling devils you know, you know?

Last word on KXRM

We've all been talking about how they did, but how did they think they did?

Just talked for a minute with news director and anchor Joe Cole.

"Our goal last night was just to make a seamless transition," he said.

He said a few things ran long, which is why the sports segment was cut waaaay back, but that was the biggest glitch. He mentioned a few problems with teleprompters and the audio glitches I noted.

"No huge snafus," Cole said. "We'll get a better feel for this hour."

Over the next few nights and weeks, Cole said he wants to pick up the pace of the newscast, smooth out the wrinkles. Still to come are a new graphics package and some other tweaks.

But, Cole said, he's pleased with the way things came together.

"From the show you witnessed (the first mock newscast last week) to last night was a small miracle," he said. "We'll get there."

Monday, October 02, 2006

KXRM scorecard

See my previous post for more thoughts and a blow-by-blow of Monday night's inaugural "Fox21 News@9."

Here's a report card on the first show:

Anchors: B
A few glitches, but Joe Cole and Stephanie Pytlinski picked up like they'd never taken that year-long break.

Reporters: B-
More glitches here which proved distracting from their stories.

Weather: A
Smooth. Terry promises there will be more bells and whistles to come.

Sports: Incomplete
We'll see how the no-anchor system works on a big sports night.

Graphics: C+
I didn't see any major problems, but I didn't love the design.

Set: B
Better, but I think KRDO got more mileage out of their new backdrop.

Editorial decisions: B
I think they hit the important stories. I think the biggies could have been more front-loaded in the hour newscast. I also wonder if they shouldn't have popped in a longer investigative or enterprise piece just to show off what's possible with an extra half hour of airtime.

Overall: B
Making it through the first newscast with no serious technical issues and no embarassing lapses must feel pretty good after all the work they've put in over the last few months. Definitely some stuff to work on, but it felt credible to me. The true test will come when a big story breaks and Fox has to go head-to-head against the other guys.

Weigh in with your thoughts and your own grades!

KXRM first look

I'm pulling myself away from a Green Bay Packers game to write about this, so I hope y'all appreciate it...

A few audio problems off the bat. Nothing horrible.

The new backdrop is certainly better than the old one at KKTV, but it seems a little narrow, doesn't it? They hadn't moved the set over or unfurled the backdrop when I was hanging out there last week, so I'm seeing that stuff for the first time. And the top of the set looks weird above that backdrop -- it wasn't that way with the old backdrop at KK, was it?

Joe and Stephanie look washed out. I played with the controls on my TV and it didn't help, so I'm thinking it's the lighting there. The shots from outside the studio look OK, too. J&S are both dressed in solid colors. Apropos of nothing, but note it for the style file.

Some tinny audio on Mike Coneen's school security report. Decent story, but a little hard to hear.

Terry's the smoothest part of the show so far. Terry's such an old pro, you could probably pull him out of a coma and he'd go straight to tomorrow's forecast.

Grace Polanski seems to have a pretty thorough report on the teacher sex scandal in Pueblo. She's delivering it from the green wall, though, and the computer cut-out around her image is really choppy. And having the reporter look like a leprauchan next to a giant picture of a sex offender was probably a bad idea.

I'm not in love with the graphic treatments -- everything feels a little busy. For example, in the around the world in 80 seconds thing, the elements were fighting each other.

Bad transition from the prescription medicine story to the cut-away to commercial. My wife said, "Whoa, that was abrupt," lest you think I'm nitpicking. I think you could hear Stephanie groan a little, too.

Terry looks fine against the green wall. Maybe it was just the solid backdrop causing problems for Polanski? The weather projections behind the Pikes Peak/Pueblo cityscape were pretty cool.

Let me amend my graphics comment - the title cards, like the "Foxlight" celebrity thing, look cool. It's the other stuff that's busy.

Now we've got the requisite story about a Fox show. It's a feature on a stunt man for "Prison Break," which I saw in the Wisconsin State Journal two weeks ago. Just sayin'.

The story on the 2nd BCT deploying proves Joe wasn't BSing about not having reporters do meaningless live shots. Good for him. Rachel Reglado's voice-over was a little rough, but the story appeared to be well photographed. I did not, however, see my buddy Josh in there. Hope you find some whitewater in Baghdad, man.

Laura Forbes story on the baby gorilla is pretty smooth. Won't this story be in the top half of the newscast on the other channels, though? With an hour newscast, there's that balance to strike between having good stories sprinkled throughout the newscast and putting the top stories at the top of the hour. You may disagree about cute animal stories leading the news, but it's pretty well established that viewers like them. I do. The other stations will run that 2nd BCT story pretty early, too. It'll be on the front page of the Gazette.

Regalado gets the annual Venetucci pumpkin story, too. She's better doing the stand-up than the voice-over. Her collar looks like Sally Fields' wimple from "The Flying Nun," though. Pretty funny. Watch out for gusty winds.

You see the tease for sports? KXRM went without a sports anchor. Joe will be handling it - doing the headlines and then something more featurey. I like sports, and nothing against John Owens and company, but I don't think it's a bad way to handle it. We'll see how it works.

Joe's smooth, but it's just the Haynesworth story. The Monday night game is over by now - it would be good to give that score, at least. (Packers got crushed in the second half, curses!). I'll reserve judgment for now.

And that's the show.

Free Showtime

Broadcasting & Cable reports that Showtime will offer a few episodes from several of its series ("Weeds," "Dexter," "Sleeper Cell" and "The L Word.") for free on Yahoo! Oct. 6-13.

I pass this along because I never got a screener for "Dexter," and I'm pretty intrigued about the premise.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

KXRM open post

Chime in with any thoughts about either my story on KXRM/Channel 21's newscast, or what you'd like to see the new kids on the block do or not do.

And, although this post bumps the Hal Kennedy obit, stop for a second and remember one of the giants in Colorado Springs television. Really, maybe the giant.