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End of "Parenthood" would be a crying shame

By Alan Pergament

In the age of the DVR and On Demand, NBC's "Parenthood" is one of only three series that I watch live and don't time shift.

That's why the first thing I did this morning was to see if NBC announced that the episode at 10 tonight on Channel 2 is the season finale or the series finale.

There was no news about the ratings-challenged series and that's good news.

NBC has been promoting the episode only as the "finale," which made me concerned that the story of the Bravermans was going to end after five seasons.

It would be a crying shame.

Continue reading "End of "Parenthood" would be a crying shame" »

"Mad Men," "Draft Day" are wise selections

By Alan Pergament

Sometimes I am asked more about why I chose not to write about things rather than what I have written about.

Take the case of Sunday's seventh season premiere of "Mad Men."

I tweeted that I had seen it before it aired, which had some people wondering why I didn't review it.

There were a couple of reasons why. It had been a pretty busy week. Something newsy came up every day I planned to review it.

In addition, I was a little concerned about accidentally violating the ground rules that AMC gave critics who were allowed to preview the episode.

Continue reading ""Mad Men," "Draft Day" are wise selections " »

Was that really "Sharknado 2" filming here?

By Alan Pergament

I ran into the filming of a movie on Lafayette Square Sunday morning that I was told had the tentative title of "Alligator Apocalypse" and was produced by the same company behind last summer's campy Syfy channel and social media hit "Sharknado." 

Extras were supposedly battling imaginary alligators last weekend at the corner of Clinton and Washington Streets with chain saws, axes, pitchforks and shovels as Buffalo stood in for New York City, where the film is set.

But was that title purposely misleading by The Asylum, which is the film's production company?

Some suspicious extras believe they were really involved in the sequel, "Sharknado 2: The Second Coming," that is set in New York City.

Continue reading "Was that really "Sharknado 2" filming here?" »

NBC's hostage drama "Crisis" is a winner, relatively speaking

By Alan Pergament

I probably should recuse myself and not review the new NBC drama "Crisis" that premieres at 10 tonight on Channel 2.

You see one of the stars is a relative of mine.

He's playing a brainiac in a high school class loaded with the children of very important politicans, intelligence gatherers and business powers in Washington, D.C.

He knows that he doesn't fit in because he is so smart and he is a bit overweight.

OK, I'm being a bit kind there. Some dialogue in the script says he is "a fat kid."

I thought that was kind of mean even before I learned the actor is a relative.

Continue reading "NBC's hostage drama "Crisis" is a winner, relatively speaking" »

Sochi Olympics, Syracuse hoops, "Downton" winners here

By Alan Pergament

It may have seemed like I was reporting every day during the Sochi Olympics about how high the ratings were on cable's NBC Sports Network and Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate.

I got tired of writing about the local success, and judging by my blog hits you got tired of reading about how the ratings in Western New York were No. 1 for the U.S. women's loss in the hockey finals to Canada and for the U.S. men's hockey loss in the semifinals to Canada.

I never got around to tell you that the U.S. men's hockey 5-0 loss in the bronze medal game to Finland also was No.1 nationally.

However, many WNYers seemed to lose as much interest as the NHL players did in that game. The rating of 6.0 for the loss to Finland Saturday on the NBCSN was about half of what it was here for the USA loss to Canada Friday afternoon.

Continue reading "Sochi Olympics, Syracuse hoops, "Downton" winners here" »

"Downton" has commanding season finale; Ch.2 scores with Olympics

By Alan Pergament

You may recall that my review of the first seven episodes of "Downton Abbey" before the fourth season premiered was that this season of the popular PBS series is a well-acted, entertaining downer.

I suggested the fall leaks about the big plot moments of the season that previously played in Great Britain ruined some of my enjoyment of the exploits of the Crawleys and the people that serve them early in the 20th Century.

I watched the first seven episodes all over the holidays and I almost got as depressed as Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) after the tragic death of her husband Matthew (Dan Stevens) in the season three finale.

There wasn’t a whole lot of happiness or laughter going on in the first seven episodes as Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael), Anna Smith (Joanne Froggart), her husband Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle) and Tom Branson (Allen Leech) all faced crises and serious issues.

Continue reading ""Downton" has commanding season finale; Ch.2 scores with Olympics" »

Beatles give Olympics "Back in the U.S.S.R." a battle locally

By Alan Pergament

While watching "The Grammys Salute to the Beatles" Sunday night, I tweeted "will be interesting to see if Beatles special on CBS causes NBC to shout HELP! when its Olympic ratings come in."

My comment was based on my Twitter followers, who seemed more interested in the Beatles celebration.

The local ratings have arrived and they were very interesting.

The Sochi games in the former U.S.S.R. averaged a 17.9 rating for four hours of coverage on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate.

The two-and a half hour Beatles special averaged a 12.1 rating on Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate.

Continue reading "Beatles give Olympics "Back in the U.S.S.R." a battle locally" »

Chicken wing story mildly amusing; Kane put in great company


By Alan Pergament

Notes from the cutting room floor:

Inquiring minds want to know: What did you think of Mo Rocca's chicken wing piece on CBS' "Sunday Morning"?

I was on an airplane when it aired but DVRed the program as I often do and watched it before the Super Bowl.

It was mildly amusing. But there's no dancing around it, I was a little disappointed because it didn't match the hype and I am a big Rocca fan.

Other than Rocca's attempt to spice it up by dancing while eating a wing as Lance Diamond sang, there wasn't much meat to it.

Continue reading "Chicken wing story mildly amusing; Kane put in great company" »

Steve Brown, Bruce Smith, Greg Kinnear, Sherlock and more

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

Here's one for the bet-you-didn't know department.

When Channel 2's new investigative reporter Steve Brown first worked at the station two decades ago, his roommate was then Channel 7 reporter Steve Boyd. They were college friends.

Boyd left the business to become a lawyer. The two have remained good friends and Boyd recently looked over Brown's new Channel 2 contract before he signed it.

You can read more about Brown's return to Channel 2 and Buffalo in Sunday's Buffalo News.

Continue reading "Steve Brown, Bruce Smith, Greg Kinnear, Sherlock and more " »

Buffalo's Cliff Robinson in cast of next "Survivor"

By Alan Pergament

Former Riverside High, University of Connecticut and NBA All-Star Clifford Robinson is one of the castaways in the next edition of the CBS reality series "Survivor."

It is called "Survivor: Cagayan," named after a province of the Philippines.

For its 28th edition, "Survivor" reportedly has 18 castaways and a "Brains versus Beauty versus Brawn twist."

Robinson, who played in the NBA for 18 seasons, is listed as a member of the Brawn Tribe. He is now 46, with CBS listing his hometown as Newark, N.J.

That is sure to upset his fans from Buffalo.

Robinson, an All-Western New York basketball pick out of Riverside, was named to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

He played at the University of Connecticut and made 17 appearances in the playoffs during his 18-year NBA career. He scored 19,951 points, which in 2009 was good for 35th place in NBA history and also was considered a good defensive player.

Robinson's answers to questions from CBS in a brief bio given to critics indicate he might have been a fan of the series. Here is what he told CBS:

Inspiration: Muhammad Ali, because of his strong belief system and what he stood for.

Former Survivor I'm Most Like: Boston Rob, because he had a good way of getting people to trust him.

Why I'm on Survivor: The challenge of the show being so tough and the million dollars.

Why I'll ''Survive'': I know how to fish, cook, and have good athleticism.

Why I'll Be Sole Survivor: I think I would do well in challenges. I also have a good ability to make people feel comfortable with me.

David Samson, the president of the Miami Marlins, is a member of ther Brains Tribe.

The next edition of "Survivor," which still does reasonably well in the ratings considering its age, begins with a two-hour episode at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb.26. It will be carried by Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate.

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