Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Williams, Fox series debuts are local winners in different ways

By Alan Pergament

Monday morning quarterbacking, TV style:

You can look at round one of the Thursday head-to-head ratings battle between Robin Williams' CBS comedy "The Crazy Ones" and Michael J. Fox’s NBC comedy with his name in the title in two ways.

Before we do, let's look at the Buffalo results, which are consistent with what happened nationally.

Williams’ series had a 12.9 rating on Channel 4 at 9 p.m. Fox's series had a 7.2 at 9 p.m. on Channel 2 and a second episode that followed it had a 7.0.

So it looks like Williams’ won.

Continue reading "Williams, Fox series debuts are local winners in different ways" »

107.7 to add on-air talent; Buffalo near top in NFL rating Sunday

 By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

Some readers of my blog wrote Thursday that they were happy to see that 107.7 FM has returned to a music format similar to The Lake, which occupied the frequency before WBEN-AM took it over two years ago.

However, Greg Ried, the general manager of Entercom Radio stations in Western New York, notes that The Lake "was not alternative." The new format is alternative. Ried said The Lake was classic rock and is still carried on 107.7 HD-2 and online at

Continue reading "107.7 to add on-air talent; Buffalo near top in NFL rating Sunday " »

107.7 fm drops WBEN, goes back to music

By Alan Pergament

The WBEN-AM simulcast on 107.7 ended at noon today after two years and the FM station is now back playing music and called itself "Buffalo's Alternative."

One of the station's slogans is "your home for new music discovery."

The station also is billing itself as "the New Alternative for a New Buffalo."

Even an old-timer like me recognized the first two songs -- The Lumineers'  "Ho, Hey, I Belong with You" and Semisonic's "Closing Time" (which I'm told is 15 years old).

Continue reading "107.7 fm drops WBEN, goes back to music" »

"Blacklist," "Agents," "Goldbergs," open strong here; "Lucky 7" DOA

By Alan Pergament

It is only four days into the new TV season officially, but the networks are already proclaiming victory for new shows.

Western New York has generally gone along with national trends, though the older audience here tends to favor long-running CBS shows.

For example, WNYers predictably turned to "NCIS" (16.8) on CBS affiliate Channel 4 over ABC's  heavily-promoted "“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" (7.1) on Channel 7 in the battle of scripted series at 8 p.m. Tuesday.  

But that is household ratings and the networks are looking for the age 18-49 demographic that turned to ABC’s "Agents" nationally. "NCIS" is more popular with older viewers.

Continue reading ""Blacklist," "Agents," "Goldbergs," open strong here; "Lucky 7" DOA " »

Ch.2's Levin and Dudzik a comedy team; Schultz hire a bad PR move

By Alan Pergament

I don't know if Channel 2 co-anchors Scott Levin and Kelly Dudzik are intentionally trying to make me laugh but they manage to do it occasionally during happy talk. And I imagine I am not the only one who gets a kick out of their repartee.

On the 5 p.m. newscast Tuesday, they began talking about Justin Timberlake's Feb. 22 concert at the First Niagara Center.

"He’s like the old Justin Bieber," said Levin.

I thought it was an apt comparison since Timberlake was a teen recording star before he matured into his multiple entertainment roles today that include singing, dancing, acting and being a natural comedian.

"Old?" replied an aghast, but smiling Dudzik, who apparently didn't  understand her older co-anchor's comparison. "He's not old. He's like 30."

Actually, Timberlake is 32. And Levin wasn't really calling him old, just saying by Bieber standards he is old. Bieber is 19.

"I know who he is," added Levin. "He's a great dancer."

Dudzik replied "pfft" or some sound effect like it and gave a funny look.

Levin, who just turned 50, replied with a funny look to Dudzik that seemed to say, "what are you doing trying to make me look out of touch?"

It was classic happy talk that wouldn't have looked out of place in the upcoming "Anchorman" sequel.

The only thing unintentionally funnier Tuesday was the National Hockey League's decision to suspend Toronto star Phil Kessel for three meaningless preseason games for swinging his stick wildly at the Buffalo Sabres' John Scott in Sunday's preseason game. They don't call the NHL a Mickey Mouse league for nothing.     

The Levin-Dudzik happy talk wasn't the only TV news moment that made me laugh Tuesday.

After doing a story about a snag in the announced hiring by Buffalo Schools Superintendent Dr. Pamela C. Brown of former Channel 4 reporter Lorey Schultz for an $115,000 public relations job, Channel 4 reporter Rich Newberg noted that Schultz hadn't returned his telephone call for comment.

The idea of a former Channel 4 reporter declining to return a call from a former colleague made me laugh.

I can't think of a worse public relations move by the superintendent during the current school crisis than to add a second high-paying public relations job to the $82,000 public relations position already held.

Brown and Schultz should have known that.  Schultz probably does -- which might be why she didn't answer Newberg's call. It will be interesting to see if the School Board approves her hiring tonight.  

When Entercom Radio switched the former of WWKB from progressive talk to ESPN Radio, some conspiracy theorists questioned why the radio group didn't put ESPN Radio on 107.7 FM, which has been simulcasting WBEN-AM for the last two years.

Some readers viewed the waste of the FM channel as a conspiracy to kill liberal talk here and just give conservatives Rush Limbaugh, Sandy Beach, Tom Bauerle and Sean Hannity another channel to spread their propaganda.

That theory should end now that Entercom announced Tuesday that the two-year experiment to simulcast WBEN-AM on 107. 7 will end at noon Thursday because almost all of WBEN's audience still listens on the AM channel.

Entercom hasn’t announced what the new format will be.

Whatever the new format is, Entercom's goal will be to make more money on 107.7 than it did by simulcasting WBEN. And that shouldn't be difficult.

Judging by comments to my recent story about KB switching to ESPN, the listeners who heard WBEN on 107.7 at work when they couldn't get the AM station will be the ones most upset by the end of simulcasting.  

NBC is running promos for the 15th season premiere of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" at 9 tonight that tell viewers that parental discretion is advised.

I'll say.

The episode concludes the story line in last season's finale in which Mariska Hargitay's character, Detective Olivia Benson, was kidnapped by a clever sociopath (played by Pablo Schreiber) who has been getting away with rapes and murders for years.

I almost didn't make it to the end of the episode, which is so graphic that it becomes a chore to watch after about 30 minutes. It is well-performed, suspenseful and adds some psychological details about the rapist's childhood.

However, it is implausible at times and so difficult to watch for a broadcast network series that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Hargitay recently told the Huffington Post that the episode is "the hardest thing I’ve ever done."

Be warned: Watching it until the end may be the hardest thing you do this broadcast TV season. The episode seems more suited for cable or pay-cable, when the standards of what is acceptable are very different.

I've never been a fan of the series' concept and this women-in- jeopardy, two-part episode reminded me why.


"Dexter" killed here in ratings; Wilbon off mark on Sabre brawl

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

On Monday, I told you about the Buffalo Bills game with the New York Jets and the Emmys getting their best ratings in several years on Sunday.

It didn't appear to hurt the local ratings for the semifinal episode of "Breaking Bad," which won the Emmy as best drama for its previous season.

But somebody has to lose and that apparently was the series finale of Showtime's "Dexter," which ran opposite AMC's "Breaking Bad."

Continue reading ""Dexter" killed here in ratings; Wilbon off mark on Sabre brawl " »

Bills, Emmys telecasts most watched locally in several years

By Alan Pergament

Judging by the rating for the Buffalo Bills' 27-20 loss to the New York Jets Sunday, WNYers wanted to believe in their National Football League team.

The game averaged a 39.7 rating on Channel 4, which was the highest for a Bills game in almost six years.  The last 15 minutes of the game had a Super Bowl-like rating of 45.2.

Continue reading "Bills, Emmys telecasts most watched locally in several years" »

Emmys fast-paced, unpredictable and as sad as Bills defense

By Alan Pergament

I sure am glad that I didn't predict the 65th Emmys for the first time in 30 years.

Because Sunday night's Emmys were more unpredictable than any in my 30 years covering television. I might have been shutout.

Except for the wins of "Breaking Bad" as best drama, "Modern Family" as best comedy and perhaps Jim Parsons of "Big Bang Theory" as best comedic actor, nothing went according to script.

Continue reading "Emmys fast-paced, unpredictable and as sad as Bills defense " »

Little-watched CW looks to the past and the future for female viewers

By Alan Pergament 

The letters CW pretty much stand for Can’t Watch in Western New York.

The most popular program by far carried on WNLO-TV, the local CW affiliate, is the 10 O’Clock News from Channel 4, its sister station.

Its ratings dwarf anything the CW network carries, partly because its shows are geared to younger female viewers and this area has an older demographic.

Clearly, I am not in the demographic. So for purposes of this blog, I have to pretend I am an 18 year-old female when I watch most of its shows.

Continue reading "Little-watched CW looks to the past and the future for female viewers" »

WGR's Bauch leaving; Some Bills games also air on WWKB

 By Alan Pergament

WGR radio is about to lose a good part of its sense of humor.

Greg Bauch is leaving the sports station to be a copywriter for Local Edge, said Greg Ried, the general manager of all local Entercom stations including WGR.

Local Edge is a Hearst Media Services company that is best known for The Talking Phone Book.

Continue reading "WGR's Bauch leaving; Some Bills games also air on WWKB" »

« Older Entries

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 |