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Views on "Hannibal," "The Office," promos, hats and objectivity

By Alan Pergament

This is what I’m thinking: 

If Western New York is a guide, NBC's "Hannibal" has little chance of getting renewed for a second season despite its strong critical support.

Last Thursday's 10 p.m. episode of the series had a lowly 1.8 rating on Channel 2, finishing fifth in its time slot. If that is a national trend, it usually spells cancellation. "Hannibal" even lost to Channel 2's 10 p.m. news (2.8) on Fox affiliate WUTV.

It is a difficult time slot. CBS' "Elementary" was No. 1 with a 7.1 rating on Channel 4. ABC's "Scandal," which is a national hit, only had a 4.8 rating on Channel 7. That was slightly lower than Channel 4's "10 O'Clock News" (4.9) on WNLO. However, "Elementary'" attracts more old viewers while "Scandal" appeals to younger viewers who appeal more to advertisers. 

It was easy to admire the objectivity of ABC and ESPN play-by-play man Mike Breen during game six of the first-round NBA playoff series between the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. 

Breen, who also does play-by-play for the Knicks, sounded extremely excited while the Celtics were on a run that almost wiped out a 26-point Knick lead in the fourth quarter. The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony took over late in the game to help the Knicks end the series, 4 games to 2, and move into a second round series against an Indiana team that beat them in Game 1 Sunday.

I have to agree with ESPN's Magic Johnson for questioning why NBA MVP LeBron James is in fewer advertisements than Chris Paul or Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers. Advertisers apparently don't think fans or viewers have forgiven LBJ for leaving Cleveland for Miami. Based on his play, LBJ deserves to be as big an ad spokesman as Michael Jordan was in his prime.   

It was amusing to see Ed Helms' character on "The Office," "Andy Bernard, decide Thursday to leave Dunder Mifflin to pursue an acting career despite the overwhelming negativity from his co-workers about his prospects. It was doubly amusing that an ad for the next "Hangover" movie featuring Helms ran during the hour-long episode. Who would have every thought that Helms would become a TV or movie star?   

Is it just me or does Channel 4 seem to be running a lot more promos for its news department?  I've seen so many lately that I can't get the phrase "no one investigates like News 4" out of my head. 

The CBS hit series "NCIS" doesn't need any more publicity, but the piece on "CBS Sunday Morning" on star Mark Harmon made him look like one of the most likable and down-to-earth actors in Hollywood. 

On the other hand, former tennis great Jimmy Connors deserves to be slammed for revealing some details about his long ago relationship with tennis great Chris Evert in a new book that would have been better off unwritten. Is he that starved for attention?

As many readers know, I'm a big fan of CNN's "Reliable Sources," the media criticism show hosted by University at Buffalo graduate Howard Kurtz. I join the chorus of columnists who have noted how bizarre Sunday's program was in which Kurtz allowed two media critics to interview him about a big mistake he made in writing about Jason Collins, the NBA player who announced he was gay recently. The critics also addressed some other mistakes that Kurtz has made. Considering how much CNN has been under fire lately for making mistakes, Kurtz is lucky that Sunday's interview appears to be his only punishment. He relied on talking points in acknowledging his mistakes and promising to be more careful. If I ran CNN, I might have suspended Kurtz for a few weeks because it might be tough for regular viewers like me to watch his show with the same enthusiasm for a little while.      

Have you seen anything sillier than the hat that NBC's Michelle Beadle wore on Saturday's coverage of the Kentucky Derby? I know you were watching because the local Derby rating was so high here.

I don't mean to pick on Channel 2 weekend sports anchor Jonah Javad so much because he has great potential. But he keeps on making strange decisions. Last Saturday on a day in which the Derby was run, Chicago beat New Jersey in game 7 of a a NBA playoff series and there were a couple of NHL playoff games, Javad led his sports report with his views of the Buffalo Bills camp opening Friday. That's right Friday, which was almost a week away. 

During ABC's NBA coverage, analyst Jeff Van Gundy noted that the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony had donated $3 million to Syracuse University to build a practice facility. "It was a terrific gesture for somebody who was only there one year," said Van Gundy. Yeah, but what a year. Anthony led SU to its only national basketball title in 2003.

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Sports | Sports on TV | Television | TV news
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