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Oliver's bit on Jills, NFL very funny; Ch.2, Ch.4 honored by Murrow Awards

 By Alan Pergament

Notes left from the cutting room floor:

If you missed the Sunday premiere of the new HBO series, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," you missed a very funny bit featuring the Buffalo Jills.

The bit addressed the lawsuit filed by five of the cheerleaders over their low pay and how they were treated.

In a feature entitled "Workplace of the Week," Oliver named the National Football League as the first winner for the way it treats the Jills and the cheerleaders for other teams. Or should I say allegedly mistreats them.

The hysterically-funny bit included some of the absurd rules about weight and hygiene that the Jills are apparently supposed to follow.

Of course, the Jills lawsuit was fodder for late-night comedians days before Oliver's show aired.

His show has obvious similarities to what he did during a summer run as the substitute host for Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

That's a disadvantage since "The Daily Show" airs four nights a week before Oliver gets a crack at things.

But Oliver has a couple of advantages, too. His show doesn't have to bleep out curse words, as "The Daily Show" does.

And his show doesn't have to worry about offending advertisers because it is on a pay-cable network and doesn't have any.

Besides the jokes at the NFL's expense, one of the funnier bits on last Sunday's premiere had Oliver illustrate some of the absurd claims that advertisers make about the food products they are pitching.

Oliver's show airs at 11 p.m. on Sundays, which gives regular viewers of "Mad Men" a problem. The series about adman Don Draper doesn't end until 11:04 p.m. because AMC is busy selling so many commercials.

After Thursday’s blog on Maryalice Demler's latest ad-lib, somebody whispered in my ear to say something nice about Channel 2.

The station recently earned five regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in the small TV market category. I would think that would take the sting out of being ignored at the recent Buffalo Excellence in Media Awards (BEMAs).

Kidding. Channel 2's regional Murrow Awards are just further evidence of why it is hard to take the BEMAs seriously.

The regional Murrow Awards, which featured competition with TV stations in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, were dominated by local stations Channel 2 and Channel 4.

Channel 2 won for overall excellence, TV newscast, news documentary, hard news reporting and sports reporting.

Channel 4, which dominated the BEMAs, earned three regional Murrow Awards for its continuing coverage of the Buffalo schools crisis, for investigative reporting of the Wilson House Explosion and for its news series, "Dicey Dining."

Of the 12 awards that are listed on the Murrow website, Channel 2 and Channel 4 won two-thirds of them in their region.

The regional winners head to the national competition, with winners announced next month.

Jena Irene, the "American Idol" contestant from Detroit with Western New York roots, made it to the final five Thursday night. She appears to be one of the favorites, if not the favorite.

Her success doesn't seem to have translated into strong ratings locally.

The two-hour performance edition of "Idol" on Wednesday had a 7.8 rating on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate. And Thursday's half-hour results show only had a 5.2 rating on WUTV. "Idol" continues to be on a ratings slide nationally as well. During its glory years, "Idol" had ratings in the 20s here.

apergament@buffnews.com

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New Shows | Sports | Sports on TV | Television | TV news
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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 | apergament@buffnews.com

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