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Former Batavia Teacher on ABC's "The Bachelor"

Attention fans of ABC's "The Bachelor" who live in Genesee County: I need a little help uncovering the full name of one of the 25 women who will be taking part in the 13th edition of the romantic reality show.

According to today's ABC release, one of the women out to steal the heart of Jason Mesnick, an account executive in estate and legacy planning, is a 32-year-old teacher from Batavia, N.Y. ABC has only released her first name -- Sharon. The release notes that she "admits that she quit her job as a school teacher for a chance to be with him."

Since Batavia isn't the biggest city in the state, I''m guessing someone out there knows her last name. If so, email me at

For the purposes of this blog, tell me if having a contestant from the area will be an incentive to watch the show, which premieres Jan. 5. Or have you had enough of this phony romantic show?

The "big" news in this edition, is single mothers will be competitors for the first time in "Bachelor" history. ABC adds that Mesnick is a a single father.

-- Alan Pergament

Bills Rating for Jets Game Takes a Small Hit

I know many Buffalo Bills fans claimed they were going to boycott the team's televised game Sunday with the New York Jets.

But the ratings on WIVB-TV weren't that bad when you consider how the team has been playing lately.

The Bills' exasperating 31-27 loss to the Jets had a 31.2 rating here, which was only about 15 percent lower than the season average of 36.6 for games that were carried on Channel 4 and cable.

Did you watch despite your plans to avoid the game? Will you come back this Sunday to watch the Bills play in Denver? Or have you had enough?

-- Alan Pergament

Lisa Scott Is Let Go After All

The credibilty of Channel 4 General Manager Chris Musial took a little hit today with the news that morning co-anchor Lisa Scott has been let go by the top-rated news department.

Musial had said Saturday that Scott "has not been terminated" and added the station hadn't had any discussions with Scott.

Technically, that was correct. She wasn't officially let go until this morning. However, Musial's denial was a little disingenuous since he surely knew that Scott was being let go today.

On the other hand, you can understand why Musial didn't want Scott to read that she had been let go before she had been told officially.

Scott was understandably "heartbroken" when reached today and said she'll miss her co-workers and viewers.

What do you think of the way Channel 4 handled her departure? And what do you think of the decision to let her go in an economic move?

-- Alan Pergament

Collinsworth Piles on the Bills Game in Toronto

Cris Collinsworth, an analyst for NBC, The NFL Network and Showtime, has never been one to hold back his opinions.

So it wasn't surprising that he had this to say Wednesday on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" about the Buffalo Bills decision to move one of its home games to Toronto. It turned out to be last Sunday's 16-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

"In the history of the National Football League, there has never been anything dumber than the Buffalo Bills selling out their home game against the Miami Dolphins to go play in Toronto and take the cash," said Collinsworth. "Season over. Thank you very much, Buffalo Bills. I hope they spend the money wisely."

Of course, that's a bit of an exaggeration. I'm sure there have been some dumber things in the history of the league. Heck, the Detroit Lions do something dumber practically every year when they select a No. 1 pick in the draft.

In the Bills' defense, they say they didn't pick the Miami game to be moved to Toronto, the NFL did.

But I'm sure Collinsworth's point of view has its supporters in Buffalo. What do you think of his remarks? And can you think of anything dumber in the history of the NFL?

-- Alan Pergament

Leno Is a Ready for Prime Time Player

When Jay Leno is on the road doing stand-up shows he says he is frequently stopped by fans who wish his television show was on earlier.

Next fall, fans of "The Tonight Show" will be getting their wish when he will be moving to 10 p.m. weeknights on Channel 2 and other NBC affiliates.

During a conference call with television critics this afternoon to announce "The Jay Leno Show," Leno was upbeat about his move to prime time three months after Conan O'Brien gets the coveted 11:35 p.m. "Tonight Show" slot.

The cost-saving move comes at a time that ratings for more expensive, new scripted dramas are tanking, which is one large reason that it makes sense for NBC.

During the call, Leno said he would continue to do a nightly monologue and continue other elements of "The Tonight Show" but also would take the show out on the street more.

Naturally, he had several one-liners that came at the expense of NBC and himself.

Asked about reports last summer than he might be heading to ABC, Leno cracked: "That was startled by a disgruntled employee -- me."

Asked about the 10 p.m. start, Leno said: "I will be on right after the last hour of the new 'Today' show."

What do you think of Leno's fall move to 10 p.m.? Will you watch his new show more because it will be on 95 minutes before "The Tonight Show"?

For more on this story, read Wednesday's Buffalo News.

-- Alan Pergament


Letterman Favors Ball State Over UB

I don't know if this is bulletin board material, but "Late Show with David Letterman" has already booked Ball State Coach Brady Hoke to present the show's Top 10 list on Monday.

Letterman, of course, is a graduate of Ball State, which plays the University at Buffalo tonight for the Mid-American Conference title. The booking of Coach Hoke suggests that the show is presuming that undefeated Ball State -- a 14 and a half point favorite -- won't have much trouble with the underdog Bulls.

But hey, if the Bulls upset the Fighting Cardinals, it would only be fair if UB Coach Turner Gill was invited to present a Top 10 List somewhere down the line.

Meanwhile, Gill got quite an endorsement Thursday night from TNT's Charles Barkley. Barkley, who played basketball at Auburn University, was asked during the network's NBA coverage who he thinks should be the next football coach at his alma mater after the firing of Tommy Tuberville.

"Jay Jacobs, (Auburn) athetlic director, I've got your coach," said Barkley. "Go get Turner Gill at (the University at Buffalo), it's time... Auburn family, I love you all. Alabama, I love you, too. But it's time.. go get Turner Gill at Buffalo. RIGHT NOW!"

It is unclear how much weight the opinionated Sir Charles has in this decision by his alma mater.


-- Alan Pergament

"Boston Legal" Makes Case Against TV Ageism

You have to give ABC credit. In the semifinal episode of "Boston Legal" Monday, it allowed writer-producer David E. Kelley to take several shots at the direction of broadcast television.

The teleplay, written by three people including Kelley, had a sub-plot in which attorney Carl Sack (John Larroquette) took a case inspired by Catherine Piper (Betty White) that concerned broadcast television's belief that viewers over the age of 50 are irrelevant.

Sack argued passionately before Judge Clark Brown (Henry Gibson) that broadcast television's refusal to make shows that appeal to older viewers is discriminatory because the airwaves are a public trust and those viewers don't want to watch the reality shows, the game shows and the sex-crazed shows aimed at younger viewers that appeal more to advertisers.

"Old people, the ones with intelligence don't want to watch that crap," argued Sack. "We're fed up. The networks might think we're dead but we're not. We're very much alive with working brains. Give us something to watch, damn it."

At one point, Sack was about to say that "Boston Legal" is the only TV show "unafraid to have its stars over 50" but he stopped himself. "I can't say it because that would break the wall," said Sack, alluding to the imaginary fourth wall that separates the audience from the action of a performance.

Of course, characters in "Boston Legal" often come close to breaking the wall by indirectly discussing things that obviously pertain to the show. In the closing scene Monday between Alan Shore (James Spader) and Denny Crane (William Shatner) they indirectly discussed the lack of promotion for the show. 

Judge Brown, noting that there are 87 million people in the demographic the networks ignore and they spend more time watching TV than younger people, allowed the case to proceed.

"If I am to assume that the industry is not run by a bunch of idiots, I can only conclude that it is dominated by prejudice," ruled the judge.

He was making a big assumption. The primary reason the networks make shows aimed at younger viewers is because advertisers believe older viewers have already made up their minds on what products to buy.

"Legal" ends its run with a two-hour finale on Monday, with Crane and Shore heading to the United States Supreme Court to argue a case and Sack and Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen) heading to the altar.

What do you think of Sack's argument, the judge's decision and the end of "Boston Legal"?

-- Alan Pergament 

Igoe May Exit Channel 2

Channel 2 consumer reporter Mike Igoe has accepted a buyout being offered companywide by the station's owner, Gannett, to employees 55 and over who have worked for it for 10 years and don't have a personal services contract.

Now, Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner has two days to decide whether to accept Igoe's decision or to keep the veteran reporter on the payroll.

Igoe would celebrate his 20th anniversary at the station in February and has been active in the community. However, his longevity means he's probably one of Channel 2's higher paid reporters and consumer reporters have become an endangered species in tough economic times in broadcasting.

Do you think Igoe would be missed and Channel 2 should try to keep him? Or do you think it should let him go?

-- Alan Pergament


About Talkin' TV

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament

Alan Pergament has continued to blog about television topics since retiring in 2010 as The News' television writer after 28 years on the beat. From local on-air personalities to ratings to the latest on network and cable programming, he keeps you informed.

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