Monday, July 28, 2008

Design Star - votin' time

Think of it as a warm up for November. You can vote for local home boy (literally) Matt Locke, or, I suppose, for the competition, Jennifer Bertrand, at

Or, if you're a nerd, you can text "A" to HGTV1 or 44881 for Jennifer or "B" for Matt.

I didn't get to watch last night's episode, but it's on the DVR - so don't spoil it for me, mmmkay?

ALSO: If you missed it, I did finally talk with Matt last week. That story ran Saturday.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

KRDO goes HD for local news

Can’t say that I’m surprised - it was the next natural step in the game of one-upsmanship the local stations have been engaging in with local news. And HD is still cheaper than a helicopter, right?

High def is a double-edged sword, however - it’s good enough to reveal the slightest little flaws with a news set, a story… or your anchor’s hair.

KRDO did a short behind-the-scenes story on the transition here.

Now the question is, who’ll jump next?

UPDATE: A few more details... the studio cameras are HD, but the news cameras are shooting 16X9 standard definition - that's pretty standard in local news, I believe. KRDO says they kept the move under wraps so the other stations couldn't steal their thunder. Although that makes me wonder why they led off with a noon newscast in mid-July. Why not a 10 p.m. in mid-May? They haven't changed the set yet, but they did have to tweak the lighting (HD cameras like less light than standard def cameras) and Jon Karroll has to put makeup on his neck. Really!

Design Star on Fox 21

Grace Polanski interviewed Matt Locke this morning.

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Keep them bloggies rolling, keep them bloggies rolling... Word Press.

If you've bookmarked this blog or signed up for the RSS feed, be aware the whole shebang is sliding over to Word Press, the official blogging software for Freedom Communications. Don't hold that against it.

The new address is

I'll probably double post everything here for awhile, too, because that's the kind of giving, caring individual I am. And because Word Press has some weird issues I haven't figured out yet.

But soon, TV lovers, soon it will be all Freedom Blogging all the time. And there's nothing anyone can do to stop it. Bwa-ha-ha-ha.

Oh noes! Our TV's is dark

Here's one for any enterprising local station to try come sweeps week. KING-TV up in Seattle is going to shut off its analog transmitter for five minutes during one of its newscasts, so viewers can see if they are truly receiving digital signals. Or so viewers can switch to KOMO. Better scrap that sweeps suggestion.

I got a press release the other day that said 91 percent of consumers are now aware of the digital transition. Sure, but who knows what that really means? They may think the question is about e-mail and iPods.

All of you out there tech-savvy enough to be reading this now may want to set aside a couple hours to help your parents/grandparents/Aunt Delores hook up a converter box come February, 2009.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Matt Locke speaks

But not to me. Apparently, Lisa Lyden scored an interview with Mr. "I'm about to win HGTV's Design Star" that will air at 10 p.m. Wednesday on the ol' KO-double-A.

Speaking of one Ms. Lyden, people keep calling me today to ask if she's married and if she has any kids. Nobody ever asks me if I'm married or if I have any kids. Where's the love, people?

American Gladiators - Warren comes up just short

Colorado Springs contender Vanessa Warren was just a few seconds short in her semifinal match on NBC's "American Gladiators."

In the events, Warren tied in rocketball, then lost in atlasphere and the gauntlet, but won hang tough, lost in skytracks and in powerball. That gave her a substantial time penalty to make up in the Eliminator. She came pretty close, but still needed just a bit more time to catch Ally Davidson, her competition.

When it came to trash talk, though, Warren was way out front. My favorite was, "This show has been hot so far, it's about to be on fire. I am just a ball of energy and aggression and about to tear it up. Arrrrrrgh!"

Do NOT let this woman drive your kids to soccer practice. Unless you're running really late.

You can watch the episode over on NBC.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Galactica back in January

This is what everyone figured, but at least the date's set now. I predict greatness.

CBS finally skates on Super Bowl incident

Maybe better late than never, but a court has thrown out the FCC's $550,000 fine against CBS for the Janet Jackson Super Bowl booboo from, um, FOUR YEARS AGO.

Actually, I'm not opposed to there being some kind of sanction for indecency, I just hate the way the current system is set up and administered. The FCC is the wrong organization to be overseeing this. They're in charge of frequencies and broadcasts standards ... but technical standards, not moral standards. Plus, the process they have is totally insane.

As arbitrary and capricious as the MPAA movie ratings are, at least they're voluntary and independent.

Congratulations Matt Locke!

Matt Locke, the Colorado Springs contestant on HGTV's "Design Star," vaulted into the finals of the reality competition by making over his parents' craft room, back here in the Springs, into a rec room/living room/craft room.

He used one of his now-patented "functional objects" to turn a corner holding a pottery kiln into a TV wall that rolls away to reveal the kiln:

I've been calling Locke the frontrunner since pretty much the first challenge, when his bed design simply blew away the rest of the group.

Locke and fellow finalist Jennifer will be helping some Katrina victims rebuild their homes in the finals held next Sunday.

I'll try to get Matt on the phone this week for a preview, or, barring that, definitely next week after the finals.

Also: The winner is selected by viewer voting, so call early and often.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Springs Gladiator and hometown Design Star

A little preview for the weekend....

Colorado Springs mother of three and Air Force Reserve major Vanessa Warren reaches the semifinals of "American Gladiator" at 7 p.m. Monday. The Warrens are having a viewing part-tay out at Indigo Joe's on Barnes, if you're a fan of the show.

Warren, you'll remember, is the hyped-up trash talker who said, "Some girls like puppy dogs and pink bows, I like speed and fire. Bring it!"

Do not mess with her in a dark alley.

Meanwhile, Sunday night, Colorado Springs designer/frontrunner Matt Locke is coming home. Not literally on Sunday night - I think the episode was shot back in April. Anyway, he and the other two finalists visit home sweet home to do a little design job for their parents. Should be fun.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

SNL's Poehler to star in "Office" spin-off?

I'm not sure what I think of this. I think Steve Carell plays Michael a little more broadly than I would like sometimes, but often makes up for it with the subtle, human touches that give the show depth. I'm pretty confident Poehler can handle the broad strokes, but does she have a subtle bone in her body?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Reality recap

Yeah, I'm still watching "Next Food Network Star," even without Shane. Force of habit now. Plus, it's getting interesting. I'm really disagreeing with where the judges are coming from.

First off, how many Food Network shows are actually straight-up cooking shows? Sure, they exist, but most of the shows are cooking as entertainment. Bobby Flay isn't demonstrating how to cook stuff on "Throwdown," he's showcasing regional specialties and interesting characters. You certainly won't learn much about cooking from "Iron Chef."

But for some reason, in the judge's minds the winner of this reality show has to be a better chef than they are a host. In terms of this show, that makes sense because it's a clearer standard to judge contestants on. But in terms of whatever show the network puts together with the winner, it makes much less sense.

And so we have Lisa, who could turn giving a bowl of milk to hungry kittens into a perfectionist ego fest, advancing while Kelsey gets sent home and Adam compromises his hosting ability in a misguided attempt to impress the judges with his cooking. Actually, Kelsey's downfall was also that she was trying to give the judges what they said they wanted.

I dunno. It seems like a mess to me. Aaron's probably the frontrunner now. Sure, he's terrible on camera, but he's charismatic, he's likeable and he can obviously cook. He'll just have to take a remedial class on hosting and he'll be good to go.

Meanwhile, over on "Design Star" things started to shake out fer reels. Sending two people home at this late date seems wacko, but it will create a cleaner competition in the last two weeks.

My wife hit the nail on the head with the project - she said the kitchen looked like something out of a model home. I mean, I'd love to have it in my house, but in terms of the show, it needed something splashy to impress the judges. That tile for the backsplash Tracee picked out would have actually helped quite a bit - if she had made it back in time instead of picking out placemats for six hours.


It strikes me that this show heavily favors contestants with carpentry skills, like Matt and Mikey, over pure designers, like Trish and Tracee and... pretty much everyone else. You can't just rearrange the furniture and call it a day. You'd think some of the less tool-oriented designers would have taken a class or something to give them the basics.

Anyhoo, Matt is still the one to beat. His little hosting sample was TV ready, whatever the judges said. I think they just didn't want to put both men through at this point.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summertime blues

A commenter in the previous thread asked me if I was on vacation. I wish. There's just bupkus going on in TV right now. It's so massively boring.

I go home at night and find washing the dishes to be more entertaining than the TV.

I tried to watch "Burn Notice's" season premiere last night, but I knew the entire plot after watching about 15 seconds. I think they borrowed it from the "A-Team."

Maybe if I had Showtime, I could be watching "Secret Diary of a Call Girl." They did send the first couple "Weeds" episodes, but those were fairly dull, too.

Now, the new season of "Top Gear" begins Monday on BBC America. That's exciting. But there's not a ton beyond that.

A lot of the current malaise is still strike-related. The usual round of misfits and reality shows and a smattering of quality cable shows that usually occupy the summer never got made.

Fortunately, the Olympics are a few weeks away and NBC is planning 2,500 hours of coverage. That should soak up some TV time. And after that, we'll be in football season...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Cindy Brady update

Chris Fonseca gave me a call this morning to speak up for his friend Susan Olsen, aka Cindy Brady. He said the whole thing had gotten blown way, way, way out of proportion.

Yes, he said, they were drinking the night before. But not all night and they weren't driving. And, he said, Olsen tried to wrap up the interview earlier, but the Jet 107.9 DJ's wanted to keep going.

"It amazes me that this was such big news," Fonseca said. "When I had people calling me saying, 'You’re on CNN,' I thought they were kidding. People are dying in Iraq and all of the sudden, the big story is Cindy Brady has a hangover?"

The problem, according to Fonseca, was the camera. If you just listened to the interview, he said, it wasn't anything special. He claims he thought it was a still camera.

"She’s not the first person to go on radio hungover," he said. "Who dresses up for radio at 8:30 in the morning?"

The publicity didn't hurt the standup set at Loonees that weekend, he said.

"The people at Loonees of course were ecstatic," he said. "Everywhere you turned around this weekend, their name was mentioned."

The story may be in the Enquirer this week.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Reality recap... the Shane is down... the Shane is down

This is funny, because my wife and I had dinner at the Blue Star tonight. We were there pretty early and were the only ones in the restaurant. Shane popped out of the kitchen to grab a glass of water or something and came over to say hey. And I was like, we need to catch up when your time on the show is done. And he's "When I get 86'ed? When I get the axe?"

I'd say I jinxed him, if I didn't know this episode was filmed five months ago.

I'm not surprised it was his turn tonight. He obviously had a hard time relating to the kid, and the judges were right that he was a little clinical on the set. I thought maybe he'd sneak through because they liked his food quite a bit.

The bigger reason I thought he'd skate is because Lisa was so freakin' terrible. I mean really, no one is going to want to watch a show starring her. Come on, no one would even be willing to work on a show starring her. But they put her through before Kesley or Shane? Please.

Anyway, that's it for our boy. He said he'd be the Blue Star until Aug. 4, then he's headed to New York to work at a.... French restaurant. Whose name I've forgotten. I'll get it in the paper sometime this week, promise.

The wait staff, by the way, were giving Shane crap: "Oooh, is that Shane Lyons?" And then, as we were leaving, he was called out to meet and greet a table of fans.

Apparently, he's got a pretty sizeable fan base. We were at the Blue Star wine tasting on Wednesday night, Shane's night off, and a couple of the women at the table were asking about him. I regaled them with Shane trivia, most likely coming across as a super creepy stalker

....meanwhile over on Design Star, we had a perfectly forgettable episode. All I can say is that I thought that faux finish behind the bar in the winning room was crap. And I can't begin to understand the pact of silence among Matt and the crew. Come on, just be honest. That doesn't require being a jerk, does it?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Cindy Brady, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you

I took my motorcycle to work this morning, so I missed this live, but Darren McKee over at Jet 107.9 just gave me the heads-up to his interview of Susan Olsen, aka Cindy Brady of "The Brady Bunch," this morning. Olsen is doing a stand-up set at Loonees tonight and Saturday with local comedian Chris Fonseca.
Darren said it was the biggest train wreck he's seen in 20 years of radio.
I dunno... I think she's actually hanging pretty tough for somebody about to puke.
If I was 40-something talking about the Hawaii episode of the Bunch, I'd be a little nauseous, too.

Naturally, the whole thing is on YouTube now (and at TMZ, too). Judge for yourself.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tony D. podcasting

This is odd, because I've talked to or e-mailed Tony several times in the last couple of weeks and he didn't mention this little online venture. Now, podcasts aren't the same thing as a radio show - no phone calls, obviously, and five-minute segments instead of four hours. But if you're itching for the Desiere take on sports, you can get a short daily dose at