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Ch.7 takes baby steps in fast-paced morning debut

 By Alan Pergament

 I woke up early this morning just in time to see some local TV history, according to Channel 7 anyway.

 It was the premiere of Channel 7's new morning program, "Good Morning."

Truth be told, I DVRed the 6 a.m. hour rather than get up early to see a premiere that was so heavily promoted during the Bills' 44-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday that one of my Twitter followers made me laugh by writing he didn’t know who Cole and Tiffany were but he hates them already.

Continue reading "Ch.7 takes baby steps in fast-paced morning debut " »

David's HBO movie should have curbed the excess time

 By Alan Pergament

If you're a regular reader, you know that I am a huge fan of Larry David and his HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

 I also was HUGELY disappointed that David isn't making any "Curb" episodes this year.

 That's one reason why I was greatly anticipating David’s HBO movie, "Clear History," which premieres on the pay-cable network at 9 p.m. Saturday and plays several more times throughout the month.

Continue reading "David's HBO movie should have curbed the excess time" »

Jeanneret plans to work 57 games this season

By Alan Pergament

As predicted here Tuesday, the Buffalo Sabres announced this morning that Hall of Fame play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret will substantially reduce the number of games he calls this season for the National Hockey League team.

What wasn't expected was that Jeanneret also announced his retirement after the end of the 2015-2016 season and his replacement has already been named.

Continue reading "Jeanneret plans to work 57 games this season" »

"60 Minutes Sports" look at earlier racism in NFL is must-see TV

 By Alan Pergament

Without taking a scientific poll, I think it is a safe bet that the great majority of Buffalo Bills fans are hoping that first-round draft choice EJ Manuel will win the quarterback duel with Kevin Kolb and start on opening day against the New England Patriots.

And I'd bet the great majority just thinks about winning and the team’s future, and not race.

But it wasn't always that way for African-American quarterbacks as illustrated by a moving, historical 18-minute piece, "The Black Quarterback," by reporter Armen Keteyian that airs on Showtime’s “60 Minutes Sports” at 9 and 11 tonight on the pay-cable channel. Watch a preview of the Showtime piece below.


Continue reading ""60 Minutes Sports" look at earlier racism in NFL is must-see TV" »

Jeanneret to reduce schedule; Fairbanks confirms schedule shift

 By Alan Pergament

 This is what I’m thinking:

 The Buffalo Sabres are expected to announce late this week or early next week how many games in the 2013-14 season play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret will work.

 According to sources, Jeanneret will work a significantly reduced schedule that may require the team to give him a regular backup.

Continue reading "Jeanneret to reduce schedule; Fairbanks confirms schedule shift" »

Ch.4 confirms new anchor hire

By Alan Pergament

Channel 4 News Director Joe Schlaerth announced to staffers late Friday something that they learned earlier in the week from Talkin' TV: Teresa Weakley, an anchor at another LIN station in Youngstown, Ohio, is joining News 4.

In an email to the staff, Schlaerth noted that she plays the violin and the guitar and is a singer, but didn't say where Weakley will be anchoring.

Continue reading "Ch.4 confirms new anchor hire" »

"Dome" Is No. 1 here but could take national hit tonight

By Alan Pergament

This is what I’m thinking:

I might have waited a little longer than CBS did in announcing that there will be a second season of the Stephen King miniseries "Under the Dome."

That pretty much tells viewers not to expect a big finish this season and that may make fewer of them care as the weeks go by.

That said, "Dome" is a big local hit. The last Monday night episode had an 8.0 rating on Channel 4, which is higher than it did the week before. And ratings increase with secondary viewing on DVRs and On Demand.

In the July ratings period, "Dome" was the No.1 entertainment program in Western New York, It averaged a 12.0 rating after viewing seven days after it originally aired is added. More on what WNYers watch later in the week.

During the Television Critics Association meetings in Beverly Hills, Calif. (which I did not attend), CBS president and chief executive officer Leslie Moonves, who overseers Showtime and CBS, was told by one critic that keeping people under the dome too long could be a problem.

"Why can't they be under the dome for a long period of time?" he responded. "This is television. This is science fiction.  They're up on some planet somewhere for many years. 'Under the Dome,' in a lot of ways, is a soap opera.  It's 'Dallas' in the future."

"Dome" was originally planned for Showtime before Viacom decided to move it to CBS. It was a wise decision. According to CBS researcher David Poltrack, "Dome" has had more viewers than the top four new cable entries combined.

Unless a deal is made today, the national ratings for "Dome" should take a hit tonight since CBS owned-and-operated stations in New York City and other large markets are off Time Warner Cable because of another retransmission fee dispute that WNYers are so familiar with.

The owner of Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate, made a deal with TWC recently that has kept CBS programs on here. But the national dispute also is keeping Showtime off the air nationally in Time Warner markets, including WNY. I'm told (I'm out of town) that meant "Dexter" and "Ray Donovan" couldn’t be seen Sunday and other hits will be missing.

I wouldn't fret if I were a local Showtime subscriber. Once a deal is made, the episodes that are missed surely will be available on Showtime On Demand so it will be easy to catch up by binge viewing.  

I wouldn’t expect the contract impasse to last too long because the NFL season is arriving in a month and TWC and CBS realize that New Yorkers and fans in other big CBS markets impacted can’t live without football.



Santos could be Ch.4's weather future

By Alan Pergament

Some quick thoughts about a busy local TV news week:

 I am not trying to rush Channel 4’s chief meteorologist Don Paul out the door or into retirement in sunny Florida.

 I have fun at his expense at times, but he is a legend around here.

Besides, he isn't going anywhere. I reported in April that Paul signed a new three-year deal,  with the station’s option every year.

However, Paul isn’t getting any younger -- he admits to being in his mid 60s –- so his station would be wise to look to its weather future.

And Channel 4's hiring of Todd Santos of The Weather Channel this week makes one think that he could eventually be Paul’s replacement as the station’s chief meteorologist.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, we’ll have to see how he performs once he comes on board in about two weeks.

By the way, I got a note from a Western New Yorker who said he was Santos’ college roommate at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.

The very flattering note added that Santos is an avid skier and mountain biker who has visited Buffalo regularly for 15 years.

That makes sense since Santos is married to a former WNYer whose family still lives here.

If you’re looking to see Santos perform before he arrives here, I’m told one of his Weather Channel shifts is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Here's an interesting side note involving Teresa Weakley, the Youngstown, Ohio anchor at WKBN who has been offered a job by Channel 4. Her husband, Joe Aulisio, is the assistant sports director and a sports anchor at WKBN. The couple has one child. Channel 4 could use another sports anchor or sports reporter but there is no indication that this would be a package deal.

Aulisio was in the news a few years ago when he suffered a concussion and two broken vertebrae in a collision with four high school players at a football practice that he was covering. 

Here was Ginger Geoffery's big announcement on her final day as anchor of Channel 7's "Eyewitness News This Morning." She is going to be the director of social marketing for The Mac Groups. I'm not familiar with the company but a Google search uncovered that it is based in Williamsville.  

The Buffalo Bills have informed me that they have been told that John Murphy’s radio show on WGR is No.1 in its evening time period among listeners age 25-54. You can read more about Murphy and his show in my Sunday column in The Buffalo News.


Ch.7's Geoffery says goodbye Friday to local TV

By Alan Pergament

Ginger Geoffery's last day at Channel 7 is Friday when she plans to announce her next destination on "Eyewitness News This Morning" and on social networks.

She responded to my email inquiring where she is headed by referring me to Twitter on Friday with the hashtag #GingersBigAnnouncement

I'm not making this up.

One thing is clear:  She won't be working in local TV.

Continue reading "Ch.7's Geoffery says goodbye Friday to local TV" »

Briscoe, Harris featured on Showtime special about black QB pioneers

By Alan Pergament

A couple of former Buffalo Bills will be featured on  the next “60 Minutes Sports” program on Showtime that will deal with "pro-football’s open secret:  the quarterback position was for whites only" in the late 1960s.

According to a Showtime release, Ex-Bills Marlin Briscoe and James Harris are two of "a handful of pioneers (who) began to change this in 1968."

Continue reading "Briscoe, Harris featured on Showtime special about black QB pioneers" »

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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 |