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Mayoral debate scores higher than VMAs here

By Alan Pergament 

Inquiring minds want to know:

How big was the local viewership for the controversial Video Music Awards on MTV Sunday?

The two and a half hour show had a 4.5 rating here when it aired live and a 2.2 rating when MTV reran it immediately after it aired live. The first 30 minutes when Miley Cyrus auditioned for her porn career averaged a 3.7. The rating peaked at 5.6 during Justin Timberlake's incredible extended performance.

Interestingly, the rating for the rerun peaked at 3.6 when Cyrus performed, which suggests it was driven by the reaction of social media.

To put the rating in perspective, the live VMA airing was lower than the rating for Tuesday's mayoral debate simulcast on Channel 2 and Channel 17.

On Sunday night, the VMAs were beaten here by NBC's Sunday Night Football preseason game and CBS' "Big Brother" and "Unforgettable."

But the VMAs were more unforgettable.

How do you think Channel 7’s re-airing of the Buffalo Bills disaster Thursday will rate now that everyone knows they lost 35-13 to the Detroit Lions and didn't play their starters very long or at all?

If past telecasts of taped Bills games are any guide, the replay at 8 tonight will get about the same rating as the VMA Awards. After all, Bills fans are gluttons for punishment.

Which is sadder – watching former "Law & Order" actor and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson pitching reverse mortgages or watching Larry King do infomercials?

I'd vote for King.

Will the Mid-American Conference football and basketball deal with Time Warner Cable Sports Channel mean people who subscribe to satellite dishes and FiOS instead of cable won't be able to watch the games featuring the University at Buffalo and its conference partners?

I'm not sure if it is an exclusive deal but TWC is going to get back to me on that one. If so, a big part of the potential audience here won't get it.

Have you laughed louder this week then when a caller to WGR's afternoon program with Mike Schopp and Chris (The Bulldog) Parker suggested the Bills should have signed retired quarterback Donovan McNabb instead of Matt Leinart?

Not really. But that was before Leinart played Thursday. The guy might call back today and say I told you so. The hosts were pretty brutal on him when they just should have dismissed the ridiculous comment and moved on.

If you want to read more answers and more opinions, pick up Sunday's Buffalo News. I have plenty of them where these came from.



Presidential, mayoral politics in the summer get mixed TV results

By Alan Pergament

This Talkin' TV blog may actually belong in the Politics Now section.

That's because it is time to weigh in on how interested Western New Yorkers were in President Obama's visit to the University at Buffalo a week ago and in Tuesday night's mayoral debate simulcast on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) and WNED-TV (Channel 17).

First, let's address the presidential visit.

Continue reading "Presidential, mayoral politics in the summer get mixed TV results" »

Arsenio gets unusual start time on WNLO-TV

By Alan Pergament

Inquiring minds want to know:

Is the new Arsenio Hall talk show going to air in Buffalo?

It will air on WNLO-TV, more often referred to as CW 23. The website for Hall's show says it will premiere on Sept. 9 and air at 11 p.m. weekdays but WNLO's promos say it will air at 10:30 p.m. after the 10 O’Clock News, where TMZ currently runs.

You can understand why Hall's show doesn't know where it is going to run here because a 10:30 p.m. start is unusual for a talk show here. I can't immediately recall one starting at that time. However, it is smart to start after a news lead-in, which is what the 11:35 p.m shows hosted by David Letterman, Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel do. And they air at 10:35 p.m. in certain sections of the country. 

Continue reading "Arsenio gets unusual start time on WNLO-TV " »

Bills hit hard after Kolb's injury makes them relevant on ESPN

By Alan Pergament

The Buffalo Bills haven't been very relevant to National Football League discussions over the past 13 seasons, but quarterback Kevin Kolb's concussion put them briefly in the spotlight of ESPN’s "Pardon the Interruption" Monday afternoon.

It was the second item in the "PTI" rundown, right after discussing the problems of New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan and his job security.

After footage of Kolb aired, Michael Wilbon asked "PTI" co-host Tony Kornheiser: "Who has the bigger problem here -- the Bills or the NFL?"

Continue reading "Bills hit hard after Kolb's injury makes them relevant on ESPN" »

Cash to do traffic on Ch.2

By Alan Pergament

Channel 2 confirmed this afternoon one of the worst-kept secrets in local broadcasting -- the NFTA's Dave Cash is going to lead traffic reports for the early morning show "Daybreak." 

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which employs Cash, has been negotiating with the NBC affiliate since it dropped Channel 7 after 17 years of doing traffic for the ABC affiliate. The NFTA also will provide traffic reports for Channel 2's "First at Five" in the afternoon under terms of the new deal. Channel 2's traffic reports are referred to as Traffic Tracker 2.

Channel 7 replaced Cash a few weeks ago with new traffic reporter Desiree Wiley on its new morning show "Good Morning."


Fast-talking Santos impresses in Ch.4 debut

By Alan Pergament

The debut of Channel 4's new meteorologist Todd Santos this morning was almost as perfect as the weekend weather, which passed much too quickly.

But not as quickly as Santos speaks.

When the sharply-dressed Santos talked about the station's RPM or Rapid Prediction Model I thought the initials stood for his Rapid Performance Model. 

He speaks as quickly as Channel 4 weekend sports anchor Lauren Bril, but his diction is much clearer and he is much more understandable.

Continue reading "Fast-talking Santos impresses in Ch.4 debut " »

Inspiration for ABC's popular "Scandal" to speak here

By Alan Pergament

The inspiration for the lead character in ABC's "Scandal" played by Emmy nominee Kerry Washington is coming to Western New York next month for a speaking engagement at Kleinhans Music Hall.

Judy Smith, who also is one of the co-executive producers of the popular series, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26 as part of the Girl Scouts of Western New York's Leadership Speaker Series.

Continue reading "Inspiration for ABC's popular "Scandal" to speak here" »

More educated thoughts about local TV coverage of the presidential visit


By Alan Pergament 

My Thursday blog and Friday column in the Buffalo News contained my initial impressions of the local TV coverage of President Obama's visit to the University at Buffalo.

Here are some additional thoughts The Day After that resulted from my dial switching during the 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. local news block and the network newscasts Thursday:

Continue reading "More educated thoughts about local TV coverage of the presidential visit " »

Some educational comments about President's trip to UB

By Alan Pergament

I treated President Obama's trip to the University at Buffalo this morning to talk about reducing costs of higher education like it was a Buffalo Bills home game.

In other words, I was in traffic listening to the pregame show analysis on radio (88.7 FM) and got into my seat just in time to see the kickoff of the President's higher education game plan.

With coverage smoothly anchored by Jim Ranney, the public radio station did a strong job explaining the route the President was taking to Alumni Arena and describing the anticipation of the President’s arrival and what he might say.

Continue reading "Some educational comments about President's trip to UB" »

Some other vets missing from Broadcasters Hall of Fame

By Alan Pergament

This is what I’m thinking:

After I remarked a few days ago that I was surprised that Channel 7 anchor Keith Radford didn’t make the 2013 class of the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame, I got a message from someone in broadcasting about other veterans in the business who surprisingly haven’t made it yet.

I won't reveal his name because it was a private message. But the broadcaster had a point.

Besides Radford, here are some other surprises.

Continue reading "Some other vets missing from Broadcasters Hall of Fame " »

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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.

@StillTalkinTV |