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Bills have fantastic finish -- in TV ratings anyway

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

The Buffalo Bills remain the area's most-watched TV show by a huge margin and naturally their 23-21 loss to the New England Patriots in the final seconds Sunday had Western New Yorkers on the edge of their seats.

The game had a 33.6 rating on Channel 4, the local CBS affililate. It hit a peak of 40.9 during the Pats' final drive and had a 70 share at that point.

Those figures mean 40.9 percent of area households were tuned in and that 70 percent of people watching some TV programming at the end were tuned into the game.

Super Bowls around here generally get in the 40 to 50 ratings range so you can see how fantastic the finish was at least in terms of ratings. The most popular prime time entertainment programs in Western New York get ratings in the high teens.

The 33.6 rating for Sunday's game was about 16 percent higher than the 29.0 rating for the visiting Bills' one-sided loss to the New York Jets in the 2012 season opener.

Fox affiliate WUTV also received at strong 14.2 rating for San Francisco's win over Green Bay that was carried on Channel 29 after the Bills game. And Channel 2 had a 16.2 rating for Dallas' win over the New York Giants on NBC's Sunday Night Football.

Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner said this morning that the station will make a decision this week whether to continue to carry the political debate show "2 Sides" up until the November election. He added that the program featuring politically-active, co-host Kristy Mazurek isn't scheduled to air this Sunday anyway. You know what my vote would be: Drop it at least until the election is over because it has become a public relations headache.

I bet Channel 4 isn't the only CBS affiliate upset that its local news will be bounced by today's men's final of the U.S. Tennis Open. That means Channel 4's early evening newscasts are moving to sister station WNLO-TV, more commonly referred to as CW 23.

By the way, Arsenio Hall's new talk show premieres tonight on CW 23 at 11 p.m. and not at 10:30 p.m. as listed on my cable guide.

WUTV has to be hoping that the Bills' competitive performance Sunday will drive ticket sales and allow the Fox affiliate to carry Sunday's game with NFC opponent Carolina. Since I just received an email offer this morning for a discount on the game, my guess is it isn't close to a sellout yet. It needs to be sold-out 72 hours in advance to be carried on local TV. Of course, the NFL has been extending deadlines lately. And there always is a chance that some organization will step up if it is close to a sellout and buy the final tickets to get the game televised.

Ch.2 pulls "2 Sides"; Sports Extra returns Sunday

By Alan Pergament

In the wake of a controversy surrounding the political activity of co-host Kristy Mazurek, Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner has pulled this Sunday's edition of the public affairs program "2 Sides."

In a text message, Toellner wrote the program "was pulled this week until we get it all sorted out."

He added that a NBC fall preview show that the station is required to carry will air at noon Sunday -- two days before Tuesday's primary elections -- instead of "2 Sides." 

Continue reading "Ch.2 pulls "2 Sides"; Sports Extra returns Sunday " »

Sabres games in NHL Prospect Tourney on new ESPN Buffalo

By Alan Pergament

Entercom Communications, which already programs WGR-AM as a local sports station, has given itself some sports competition.

On Thursday, it changed the format of another of its AM radio stations, the low-rated WWKB at 1520 AM, to ESPN Buffalo. 

Continue reading "Sabres games in NHL Prospect Tourney on new ESPN Buffalo" »

Arsenio's new talk show airing at 11 p.m. on CW23 in reversal

By Alan Pergament

A week ago I told you that WNLO-TV was going to air the new Arsenio Hall talk show at the unusual time of 10:30 p.m. after Channel 4's popular 10 O’Clock News.

Now comes word of something even more unusual.

The distributor of the program, CBS Television Distribution, has told station officials that it can't run the show at 10:30 p.m. because it won't be ready by that time to air after being recorded earlier in Hollywood, Calif.

Continue reading "Arsenio's new talk show airing at 11 p.m. on CW23 in reversal" »

Enthusiastic "Wake Up!" anchor comes from MAD school of talk

By Alan Pergament

At the start of her inaugural broadcast on Channel 4's "Wake Up!" Tuesday morning, co-anchor Teresa Weakley described herself in a way I could never have done.

After saying she was excited to be up early in the morning, Weakley added, "I'm trying to stay perky here."

Katie Couric hated being described as "perky." A male critic can't use the word in a review of a female anchor without appearing to be condescending.

Continue reading "Enthusiastic "Wake Up!" anchor comes from MAD school of talk " »

Ch.2's Beard is in the movies; Local connection to "The Butler"

 By Alan Pergament

I took a Labor Day weekend break from watching television to go to the movies and the U.S. Tennis Open in New York City.

And, of course, I came across some Buffalo-related stories along the way.

One of the movies I saw was "In a World," a cute comedy starring, written and directed by Lake Bell, who TV viewers may remember from her days on David E. Kelley's series' "The Practice" and "Boston Legal" and the short-lived NBC series "Surface."

Continue reading "Ch.2's Beard is in the movies; Local connection to "The Butler"" »

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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 |