Sunday, December 31, 2006

GMC Weekend thoughts?

Heard from a couple of folks about KRDO/Channel 13's new "Good Morning Colorado" weekend edition, with Eric Singer anchoring. Anyone got any thoughts on either Singer's performance or the pluses and minuses of a weekend morning newscast?

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Did you know Sci Fi runs "Airwolf" during the day? That's awesome. Working takes up far too much time that could be better devoted to television.

I wish they'd pair it with "Buck Rogers" and "Knight Rider."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Looking ahead

This week is so dead in television, my eyes are bleeding. But there is the promise of excitement ahead. The local TV Nielsens should be out today or tomorrow, the year in entertainment (local edition) runs on Saturday, there's maybe a dozen new shows popping up in the next two weeks, plus the return of "24" and "Idol."

But meanwhile.... man it's dull. I may take this afternoon off and get some yard work done before the next round of snow.

If anyone out there knows of anything interesting, however tiny, however remotely related, however dimly flickering, give us a shout.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas everybody

I really have been working the last couple of days... well, there might have been a little last minute gift shopping going on.

Pretty brutal time of year for television, though. Even the reruns stink. We're not even to the good bowl games yet (did you watch that BYU-Oregon game? Ble-yech!).

On the plus side, I was talking to someone up on the Palmer Divide, where I lived until two weeks ago, and they said there was six feet of snow in my old driveway. Seriously. So getting away from that is a pretty decent Christmas present in itself.

I'm going on a backcountry hut trip for Christmas with my wife, so my holiday TV-watching will be on a hold until Christmas night. As will running water and electric lights. But I am positeevly guaranteed a white Christmas.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

KRDO earns surprise of the day

KRDO/Channel 13 gave viewers an early Christmas surprise Wednesday morning, as longtime local news anchor Eric Singer unexpectedly showed up to anchor the station’s “Good Morning Colorado.”

Although he was just filling in for KRDO’s Zach Thaxton, expect to see more of Singer on KRDO in the days ahead.“I’m very excited to be a part of this,” Singer said. “It feels wonderful to be at a station where I’m very much appreciated. It was nice to find a home again.”

Singer was an anchor with KKTV/Channel 11 for 17 years, until the station dropped its anchor team of Singer, Melissa Brown and meteorologist Mike Madson in November, 2005. KKTV later replaced them with anchors Don Ward and Shannon Brinias and meteorologist Brian Bledsoe.

Singer has worked in real estate since leaving KKTV and staged an unsuccessful bid for the state Senate. He hasn’t given up his real estate business, but KRDO news director Dave Rose hinted that he’ll be a regular presence on KRDO.

“Down the road, as we add additional newscasts, we suspect that he may be involved in one or more of those,” Rose said. “We’re just happy to have someone with his experience and roots in the market working for us.”

Since KRDO was sold to the News-Press & Gazette company in June, the station has added a 6 p.m. newscast and switched its 5:30 p.m news to 5 p.m. The obvious spot to add another newscast is midday, where KKTV and KOAA/Channels 5&30 have newscasts but KRDO doesn’t.

Singer’s former co-worker Madson said he was thrilled to hear he was back on the air.“As a co-worker of his, I found him to be totally dedicated to getting the story right,” Madson said. “Eric is a pro.”

Madson now does the weather on Friday nights for KOAA in addition to teaching at Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Brown recently remarried and now lives in Fort Collins.“We’re all happy,” Madson said. “I’m sure Eric would tell you the same thing. We’re all doing what we want to be doing.”

If seeing Singer behind the anchor desk Wednesday morning was a surprise, be sure to tune in this morning . Rose says he’ll have Singer on the city’s snowy streets reporting on road conditions.

“He actually volunteered” for the chilly duty, Rose said. “I said, ‘It speaks highly of your commitment. It doesn’t speak well of your judgement.’”

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Comcast transition problems?

I know some people are having technical issues with the Adelphia/Comcast switchover. If you are or you have, give business reporter Wayne Heilman a call at 636-0234 -- he's doing a story on the transition.

Year in review

So I need to do a short local TV and radio roundup for our year-in-review piece. Give me a few ideas.

I think you've obviously got the KRDO sale and the Hoths bowing out after 50 years in broadcasting. And you've got Hal Kennedy's passing. Rich Hawk retiring from KILO was pretty big on the radio side.

Then we have Comcast finally taking over Adelphia.

Must have been a few other things going on. What have I forgotten?

UPDATES: KXRM/Channel 21 starting its own newscast is a good one. And the new anchor team at KKTV/Channel 11 -- January seems like a decade ago already.

Monday, December 18, 2006

"Help Me" find employment

ABC axed Ted Danson's dumb but likable "Help Me Help You" -- and gave the shiv to William Shatner's "Show Me the Money."

Silly sitcoms come and go all the time, but derivative game shows? Those need to be put down with extreme prejudice.

I find it pretty interesting that the big changes on the schedule are happening at midseason instead of October, like they usually do. I'm not sure what that means, but I'll posit that the networks are all scrambling to get a coherent schedule together before "American Idol" kicks their butts next month.

UPDATE: ABC yanked "Day Break," too. It's a Christmas bloodbath over at the alphabet network!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

KRDO "Rocky" connection

This one's good: A reporter and a photographer from the Philadelphia Inquirer spent a year camping out at the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, capturing the stories of people who came just to re-create the famous scene out of the original "Rocky." They compiled the best stories and photos into a book "Rocky Stories: TAles of Love, Hope and Happiness at America's Most Famous Steps."

One of the stories in the book is none other than former KRDO reporter/anchor Cat Andersen, who made a pilgrimage to the steps after she finally got the job at KRDO (and away from the minimum wages of Grand Junction). Her story is a little tough on KRDO news director Dave Rose (Cat feels she was strung along before finally getting hired). And no word if she made a repeat performance after getting the job in Bakersfield, where she now works at KGET, the NBC affiliate there.

The funniest part, though, is the shot of Andersen at the top of the steps, arms raised in the triumphant Rocky pose... wearing a sun dress and three-inch heels. Running the steps in heels? Now that's impressive.

Here's an NPR story on the book, if you want to know more.

Too much HDTV?

A reader called earlier today hoping to get some follow-up information on today's HDTV-advice story. I felt kind of bad, he was wondering which set to get, which technology and all that stuff. I felt like my choices were to absolutely bury him with information, or to just say "Get the Sony, you'll be fine." (I should note that he specifically mentioned Sony -- I suppose the same advice could apply to Panasonic or whatever). I sort of split the difference there.

I think HDTV may still be too complicated for non-technophiles to easily absorb. There are like 10 different technologies, and then you have to understand the over-the-air stuff and what's available on cable and satellite and what costs what.

If it helps anyone, here's a link to the more comprehensive HDTV story I wrote last year. It goes through the technologies and a little about how things work. Just subtract $500 from the prices!

Catching up with the locals

I've been pretty remiss the last three or four weeks about keeping up with the new faces at the local stations - which is especially unfortunate since everyone's been on a hiring binge. I blame Sylvester Stallone, darn him all to heck!

Anyway, here are the highlights: KKTV/Channel 11 added Ashley Fielder about a month ago (I think I got McKenzie Martin and Rosie Barresi before that, didn't I?), KRDO/Channel 13 added Stephanie Wurtz and is losing Karla Schotts, who will become news director for their Grand Junction sister station after eight years with Pikes Peak Broadcasting. I think I had that they hired Anna Jensen a while back. And has KOAA hired anyone since Mark Hanrahan?

UPDATE: Yes they did. I'd forgotten about Abby Lane. I think that's the whole list.

One new wrinkle, KKTV general manager Charlie Peterson was promoted to regional vice president for Gray Communications, which means she'll oversee Gray's stations in Grand Junction, Waco, Texas, College Station, Texas and Sherman, Texas, in addition to running KK. Where in the world is Sherman, Texas, and why does it have its own TV stations?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Fun with the CW

All of us in the Entertainment department were just giggling over a press release from the CW about their new show "Hidden Palms."

First, the show's tagline: "It's easy to get burned in the desert."

Second, it's billed as the CW's "mid-season coming of age drama." That's to contrast with the CW's early-season coming of age dramas, late season coming -of-age drama's and summertime coming-of-age dramas.

Third, the press release includes this fantastic line: "Johnny soon learns that the flashy facade of Palm Springs hides as many secrets as there are bottles of suntan lotion by the local pool."

I love cheese. I'll probably watch this show just based on that big, steaming pile of cheddar.

TV buying tips

A few weeks back, I asked readers for their personal experiences buying high def TV's. I got a lot of thoughtful and informative answers, which we'll run in tomorrow's Life section. Thanks to everyone who shared their HD wisdom!

Sopranos. April.

Be there.


In the box today, we have the new season of "Rome," which premieres Jan. 14. I love this series, but I majored in Roman history so I would. As a TV critic, however, I contend that HBO did a great job humanizing the history and that any soap opera fan could find something to like in the myriad intrigues of Caesar's Rome.
Is there anybody not enamored of legionary tactics and pre-Imperial political maneuverings that's found this show? I need a fellow fan to meet around the water cooler.

Also from HBO, "Friends of God," a new documentary by Alexandra Pelosi. Which includes, naturally Haggard and Dobson interviews. I'll take a peek and maybe try for a filmmaker interview.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wild On Colorado Springs

E!'s "Wild On!" is back at Rum Bay this weekend. I know, I know, you're thinking, "That show's still on?" Or maybe, "Is Brooke Burke still the host?" Apparently, it's back and I have no idea who's hosting these days.

I did not attend the last E! festivities a couple years back, but I seem to recall reports that Colorado Springs outdid itself with a display of PG-13 debauchery.

This has been a strange TV week for me

So I'm all moved into my new place, but the cable/satellite (still deciding) hasn't been hooked up yet, which means I'm left with the basic over the air channels. I haven't been without cable since I was 6, so only having six channels to choose from has been a rude awakening. On the plus side, I can watch everything in high definition, which soothes the pain.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ken Jordan memorial

All the locals will be covering the Jordan memorial service this afternoon. I hope this snow lets up for it.

KKTV will be live streaming it on its Web site, if you don't have a TV in your office:

KTSC high definition schedule

Roy posted this solution to finding the schedule for KTSC's high definition schedule in comments on the previous post:

"If you go to and search for stations in New
Mexico, you can select the Albuquerque station KNME. Their digital station
carries the national HD feed, so the schedule is correct for KTSC as

Where there's a will, there's a way.

Friday, December 08, 2006

KTSC goes HD

Colorado Springs final TV station finally got its high definition signal up and running (OK, technically KXTU/57 "The CW" isn't, but that's a low-power station). KTSC engineering manager Ian Hartley said they turn on the HD goodness last Friday.

They've been struggling with getting the signal up for more than two years. KTSC's digital transmitter was working, but they didn't have the capability before this to broadcast in HD.

Ian says they're in a testing phase right now, so what you're seeing is the national PBS HD feed. I asked him if there were a way of getting the programming schedule for that and he said, "Not that I know of." So it's going to be a grab bag for now. Ian said KTSC plans to make a longterm decision about the HD programming by February. The reason it's not the same as the programming on the standard def channel is that very little of that programming is available in HD.

The reason why it took so long is that Rocky Mountain PBS is trying to build a statewide link out of its Denver headquarters to the affiliate stations in Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Durango. To do that, they take the PBS satellite feed in Denver, then bounce it through a series of four microwave links to Pueblo, then up to Cheyenne Mountain and out to the world. Getting those microwave links established was apparently a huge amount of work. The KTSC feed was the test case - presumably Grand Junction and Durango will benefit from our experience.

If you want to have some input on what KTSC-HD should show, e-mail

More Adelphia fun

Even by Adelphia standards, this one was pretty good:

As regular readers know, I'm moving right now and contemplating my Internet and television options. A co-worker helpfully brought me an Adelphia mailer she had received with a promotion offering digital cable and cable Internet for $33 each for six months.

So I call Adelphia to check this out and, after getting hung up on twice, I get a bored customer service agent who at first doesn't know about the promotion and then tells me that the $33 each is on TOP of the regular $45 a month fee for basic cable.

I'm guessing the CSA was totally making that up, but I couldn't talk her out of it. Digital cable usually costs $12 more a month than standard cable, so paying $33 a month extra would be a really, really crappy deal.

Pretty comical. I think I may swing by the Adelphia office to see what they're telling real, live potential (although that's becoming highly dubious) customers.

As far as service goes, I'm leaning toward Dish Network and Qwest DSL.

Earl thoughts

Another good episode of "My Name is Earl" last night. That show has really been coming on strong lately, rebounding, to my mind, from a lackluster second half of its freshman season. I'm still a bigger "Office" fan, but I try a little harder these days to get home in time to catch "Earl." The wedding stuff was pretty great and I think John Leguizamo has become the most reliable guest star on TV (remember his dramatic turn on "ER" a while back?).

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Biggest Loser at Lewis-Palmer

Heh: That scene where Kim leads the group into the gym required like four takes. I was standing right behind the camera. It looked pretty cheesy at the time, but better on TV.

I talked to Ryan's mom the other day -- the kid who wants to beat his dad down the ski hill. She says he's lost like 17 pounds and he's doing great.

Bob and Kim were pretty tough on the school cafeterias. Eh, I dunno: For four years in high school, I ate two Mother's Double Chocolate Fudge cookies and a Cherry Coke. Every. Single. Day. Tater tots would have been a major nutritional improvement.

Although the idea behind this episode was to highlight child obesity, the "Loser" folks told me they had a hard time coming up with really heavy kids at Lewis-Palmer. I give props to all the kids for coming forward. I never, ever would have done that when I was in high school.

You notice how they went to Kim's high school but not Bob's? I never found out why that was. Maybe Bob's school didn't want to get harshed on on TV, or maybe Bob had really, really bad memories of high school.

And the happy ending: $15,000 for the L-P phys ed department. The unhappy ending: They only gave the kids 45 minutes before switching to the regular show. Oh well.

Finally, if you missed Tuesday's TV Talk, apparently Kim is planning to come back to L-P later this month, sans cameras, to follow up with the kids. Which is kind of cool.

Time's up for Day Break

It looks like ABC's "Day Break" will be consigned to TV-on-demand hell come January. ABC is giving the serial's slot to "Knights of Prosperity" and some other sitcom. Don't know if the show will be pulled earlier than that or not.

I loved the pilot for this and I still think Taye Diggs is great in it, but the show hasn't pulled me in. I can't quite put a finger on what's missing. Maybe it's, because of the unique "Groundhog's Day" plot, there's not the requisite element of "24" urgency. A thriller without suspense is just a mystery, and would be better off played that way.

"Day Break" was supposed to replace "Lost" for that show's entire 13-week midseason hiatus, but it's hemorrhaged viewers since it lost its "Dancing with the Stars" lead-in. Ah well.

Spending a little quality time in customer service heck

I'm moving, so I've been calling around to compare prices from the different cable and satellite services. Which has pretty much sucked, not that I didn't expect it. Not to whine, but I am amazed by how difficult it is to get actual information from companies' Web sites. You'd think offering useful information on the Web would be a cost saver. Whatever.

Adelphia's customer service representatives knew nothing about the offer they just mailed out -- not surprising to anyone who has ever dealt with them. I suppose I could wait a couple weeks and deal with Comcast instead, but I'd hate to miss the "Ghost Hunters" season finale.

DirecTV couldn't help me, wasn't interested in offering me a deal and apparently isn't too keen on keeping me as a customer. Always remember that, Adelphia customers: One company's customer service is never so bad that some other large, impersonal company is not willing to match it endless voicemail menu for endless voicemail menu.

Oddly, Qwest was really helpful in offering me everything DirecTV wasn't (they re-sell DirecTV service).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Friday Night Lights recap

Good episode tonight. The "Smash" storyline was good, and I'm glad the Lyla-Riggins plot has moved from the guilt to the punishment phase of things. Lyla's dad finally got to be something other than a booster idiot, which was nice. And Saracen's date was pretty great all around.

OK, the football scenes were crappy. Kind of hurts to watch that, but you've got to focus on the fact that this is not about the game.

Police press conference

The locals pulled out all the stops for the police officer shooting and everyone broke in with the 4 p.m. press conference.

One interesting coverage note -- KXRM is carrying the press conference live. That's the first time that I know of that they've done that.

KOAA has it up on WeatherFirstNow, too. I'm guessing KKTV has it on 11.2? KK is streaming it live on their Web site. They seem to have the streaming thing down now.

Whatcha payin'?

I'm moving this week, which raises the old question: Do I continue to dance with the one that brung ya, or do I switch horses in mid-stream?

I've had DirecTV/Qwest home phone/Qwest DSL, which I think costs like $105 a month.

Would I be better off switching to Adelphia digital cable/cable internet?

In a perfect world, you'd think wecould save some dough by ditching the home phone service (which we only have for the DSL -- my mom's the only one who calls us at home), but from what I've seen, it would be more expensive that way.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Monday recap

"Heroes"... not so much. Well, I loved the painting with Hiro and the T-rex. And Peter blowing up? Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Sylar I'm bored with. Anyway, we're done with it until the end of January. Anybody got a take on that?

"Studio 60" was actually kind of funny -- when it wasn't showing the "comedy" show. The FCC bit was truly stupid, though. Like networks get upset anymore when the FCC fines them. Or like the FCC hands down those fines in less than a year. Or two. Speaking of which, anyone heard anything on those Meister complaints?

Lord, though, the skits on the show within the show blow. It sort of makes you appreciate the not-completely-humorless mediocrity of "Saturday Night Live," which usually gets a couple of smiles in a 90-minute show. And the Katrina refugee musicians thing -- yeah, I know the city isn't rebuilt yet, etc., etc. But still, did Hiro just jump back in time or something? Is Aaron Sorkin permanently stuck at least 12 months in the past? Can I write a paragraph without using multiple question marks?


Eli responds to my "Heroes" thoughts in comments:

First Heroes... not so much? Were we watching the same show, because it was excellent!

First, you have Sylar playing possum in his cage. Dude could have popped out anytime. And what Eden did!? She blew her brains out because she didn't want him to "consume" her power. Thus... a hero was in fact lost.

Hiro saying he had to find that sword was classic! Can't wait till we see him turn into future, kick ass Hiro. And what was with Godzilla in the pic?! Come on, that was Godzilla! Hiro is from Japan... Godzirra is from Japan...

Isaac discovers that he can in fact paint without the drugs.

Peter blowing up... that either means the Radiation Man is close by, or Sylar got to Rad Man, consumed him, and is near Peter. The question is, what caused Peter to pass out and have that dream? Was it a byproduct of Claire's healing power? I'm starting to think Peter is the crux to the whole thing. In his dream, all the heroes are near Peter, which makes him equally as strong as Sylar.

Police Man discovering the Haitian's power is key, because now he can use that knowledge. Oh, and we learned that the Haitian can in fact talk and appears to be working AGAINST Horned Rim Glasses man 9at least when it comes to Claire) because while he erased everyone else's mind, he wouldn't do it to Claire, and in told her a lot of info!

Next we have Nikki and Jessica. Bit confused over that one since for a brief second (at the stream) it showed them as 2 different persona's existing in the same time/space.

Not so much? Man, you musta been a sleep during most of this one! ;)

To which, I respond:

1) It's clearly a T-Rex -- Hiro says he'll change history if he steps on a bug, and I'm assuming he's not referring to 1960s Japanese cinema.

2) I think Eden turned off some sort of containment field so that she could use her power
on Sylar. That's why he was able to grab her telekinetically. "I'm going to go by myself to kill the bad guy" is a horror movie cliche.

3) Isaac is more interesting stoned.

4) Peter blowing up... I have mixed feelings about. He's got the Christ-figure persecution complex going on, so I sort of saw it coming, and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy, but yeah, it's sort of cool. I figured his brother was approaching him to either fly him off to safety (for the city, not for Peter, I'm thinking), or so Peter could sacrifice his own sorry self. Anyway, I'm thinking that's a dream sequence, not a strict premonition in the Isaac sense.

5) The Haitian talking to Claire seems obvious. Her relationship with her father from this point onward could be pretty interesting, though. I don't think Parkman knowing the Jamaican's secret means anything.

6) Like the rest of America, I'm tired of the Nikki/Jessica storyline. And if she ever manages to
get herself together (that's an Adam West "Batman" level of bad pun, isn't it?), she'll be even more boring.

Nothing like a comment fight!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Festival of Lights

KKTV is covering the Festival of Lights parade on its digital subchannel 11-2. Cool -- I hadn't heard they were doing that (gimmee a break, I'm moving this weekend).

Everyone looks really, really, really cold. Especially Don and Shannon. If you were down there tonight... I hope the doctors can save your toes.

The video quality on 11-2 is atrocious - and stretched to 16X9, so everyone looks fat - but Arkansas-Florida on 11-1 looks pretty good.

Despite the utter lack of video quality, I love it when the stations use their subchannels (or KOAA's WeatherFirst Now cable channel) to offer expanded coverage. It seems like what Congress had in mind when it handed out the digital frequencies.

UPDATE: It took me a couple of tries, but I got KKTV's live webstream coverage of the parade working. That's even cooler: If you read my story on Internet TV on the Life cover today, you'll know that even the networks don't have streaming totally figured out.

Friday, December 01, 2006

3 lbs. delivers bulimic ratings

... and gets pulled. Ouch. Three episodes? And "Jericho" is still on the air?

BTW, Sly Stallone was a pretty good interview. They gave us like 25 minutes -- that's a lot for a movie interview, and the TV and radio guys were just getting 5 minutes. Must be my good looks and charming personality.

Anyway, the highlights:
- Everybody asks if he's short. Not exceptionally -- he was about the same height as me (5-9), but he has this ginormous head and huge hands (and he's still pretty ripped), so he gives the impression of being bigger than he really is.
- He didn't want to end with "Rocky V" because it, well, sucked.
- He had a lot of trouble getting the studio to finance the film. The old head of MGM thought it was a terrible idea. The wife of the new studio head read the script and loved it.
- He's working on a script for "Rambo IV," but thinks it would be weird to do another Rocky and another Rambo back to back. Which it would be.
- A lot of "Rocky Balboa" is autobiographical -- him coming to terms with his own family and growing older.
- He says he didn't make the movie to reach out to new fans. He was more interested in ending the story for the people who have watched since the beginning.
- He auditioned other real fighters before settling on light heavyweight Antonio Tarver to play the fictional champ, Mason "The Line" Dixon. He needed a fighter who could speak his lines, but also someone who wasn't so physically overwhelming that Stallone would look ridiculous in the ring with him (although that was the entire plot of "Rocky IV").