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"Ghost Hunters" episode shot in Buffalo airs next week

By Alan Pergament

To quote Perry White and Bart Simpson, Great Caesar's ghost.

An episode of the Syfy channel series "Ghost Hunters" that was filmed at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park last fall is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29 on the basic cable channel.

According to a network publicist, the episode features investigations of the USS Little Rock, USS The Sullivans and USS Croaker.

A Syfy summary of the episode, in which TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) travels to Buffalo to investigate paranormal activity on the three former service vessels moored at the Buffalo Naval and Military Park, concludes with the question "On Michelle’s last case with TAPS, will the team be able to reach America’s heroes?"

The Michelle in question appears to be investigator Michelle Tate.

Continue reading ""Ghost Hunters" episode shot in Buffalo airs next week" »

WNED-TV "Sherlock" mystery is solved

By Alan Pergament

The mystery of how long WNED-TV will be hiding the latest episodes of the Masterpiece Mystery! series "Sherlock" has been solved.

While the first of three new episodes starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes begin airing on the national PBS schedule this Sunday, WNED is carrying a program in its place that is 16 years old, according to the Time Warner Cable channel guide.

WNED has confirmed it will begin airing the "Sherlock"' episodes on Thursday, Feb. 13 and run the other two on Feb. 20 and Feb. 27, respectively.

Continue reading "WNED-TV "Sherlock" mystery is solved" »

Ch.2 expands Heaney's contract for doing deeper investigations

By Alan Pergament

After further investigation, the hiring of former Fox News reporter Steve Brown isn't the only way that Channel 2 is going to increase its investigative presence.

All right, it wasn't a deep investigation, more like some of the quickies done by Channel 4 and Channel 2 occasionally.

I made one phone call.

I asked Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner to expand upon about a brief side comment about Jim Heaney of the Investigative Post that he made when announcing Brown's return to the station after almost 20 years.

Continue reading "Ch.2 expands Heaney's contract for doing deeper investigations " »

A blizzard of notes on weather coverage

By Alan Pergament

Shoveling out the the notebook as the weather coverage calms down:

I awoke this morning in time to see two separate reports on NBC's "Today" reference the blizzard in Buffalo.

In one of the reports, the reporter noted that "neither rain, nor sleet nor polar vortex can stop this mail carrier in Buffalo."

Then footage ran of the Buffalo mailman saying "I've never delivered mail in a storm like this."

The poor guy gets his 15 seconds of fame and his face wasn't even shown. It was so covered up that viewers couldn't see who was delivering the mail.

Continue reading "A blizzard of notes on weather coverage" »

The "Downton" season is a well-done downer

By Alan Pergament

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I can get annoyed when WNED-TV delays the airing of national programs like the recent ones on NFL concussions and Marvin Hamlisch.

But I have a bigger bone to pick with WNED's parent, PBS.

I wish PBS would have played season four of "Downton Abbey" at the same time as it was carried across the pond even if it meant running into the fall schedules of new shows on broadcast television.

The truth is the fall leaks about the big plot moments of the season that has already 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.

Continue reading "The "Downton" season is a well-done downer " »

Love, hate, obsession, scandal and obscenity

By Alan Pergament

Didn't that headline grab you?

First things first.

The episode of "48 Hours" about the murder of an University at Buffalo Law School graduate was a national ratings hit Saturday.

CBS reports that the episode, titled "Love, Hate & Obsession," was the No. 1 program at 10 p.m. Saturday with adults 25-54, adults 18-49 and viewers.

They watched a program that focused on the murder of Lanny Horwitz, the UB Law graduate who was shot nine times in the bathroom of his Jupiter, Fla. home. His ex-wife, Donna, was convicted in the case.

Continue reading "Love, hate, obsession, scandal and obscenity" »

Demler Olympic promo is another winner; Russo signs for 3 years

By Alan Pergament

Some quick thoughts a week before Christmas:

A voice in my head suggested I get in the holiday spirit and “say something nice about Channel 2 anchor Maryalice Demler.”

So I'll give it a whirl.

The latest Channel 2 promo for the Sochi Olympics features Demler walking down a station hallway before it is revealed she is wearing skates. When Demler gets to the end of the hallway, she does a little skater's twirl.

She is quite an actress. It is an adorable, understated, well-performed promo.

Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner reports that the idea for all the clever Olympic promos came from Colleeen Nossavage, the station’s community relations and programming coordinator.

She suggested the station continue the station's weather promo theme that has the slogan, "winter is coming, we're ready, are you?"

"Then Dan Meyers and the marketing team conceived and executed the specific spots," added Toellner.

As I've written before, it is a terrific, clever campaign.

Congratulations are in order for Channel 7 Sports Director Jeff Russo.

Mike Nurse, Channel 7's general manager, reports that Russo has been renewed for three years starting on Jan.1. Russo is a solid sports anchor who would be in the class of Channel 2's Adam Benigni if he would just be more opinionated.

The worst-kept secret in television might be that Katie Couric's syndicated talk show isn't going to be renewed after its second season ends in May and she concentrates on her new job with Yahoo.

Nurse said he hasn't been approached by the syndicator about renewing the program, which has been a big ratings disappointment for Channel 7.

The local TV ratings for the season finale of "Homeland" certainly suggest that critics write too much about Showtime's Emmy-winning series and that includes me. While Sunday's season finale was the highest-rated episode ever nationally, the live rating in Western New York was a .4. That’s four-tenths of a point or about 2,600 households. Of course, many Showtime subscribers watch the Claire Danes series On Demand or on their DVRs so the rating should go over a 1. The semifinal episode had a .6 and two episodes before that had a .9 when DVR playback was added.   

I don't know if this will make Channel 2 anchor Scott Levin come back to work sooner than expected but the station's ratings at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. last week without him were higher than normal. Channel 2 averaged an 11.7 at 5 p.m. and a 14.1 at 6 p.m. for the week, dominating both time periods. Pete Gallivan filled in for Levin alongside Maryalice Demler on several of those newscasts.  Of course, the winter weather undoubtedly also had something to do with the large viewership.

Want to know how to block those offensive synopses in the channel guide for programs on the Adult tier of Time Warner Cable? TWC Cable spokesman Scott Pryzwansky explained that "information in the Guide can easily be parentally controlled with Title block, just like the channels and content themselves… Just go to Settings – Parental Control (must be turned on) - Title Block." To those who asked, you’re welcome.

Channel 4 appears to have added Anthony Congi's replacement. Elysia Rodriguez made her reporting debut on Monday. She previously worked at another LIN Media station in the Springfield/Holyoke, Mass. market.

apergament@buffnews.com

Gallivan, Demler are a Ch.2 team again; Dedes back on Bills Sunday

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

Together again for the first time could be the slogan of Channel 2 co-anchors Pete Gallivan and Maryalice Demler now that Gallivan is subbing for Scott Levin on the primary newscasts while Levin  recovers from back/spine surgery.

Years ago, Gallivan and Demler were co-anchors of Channel 2's morning program "Daybreak."

By the way, Levin has been off for more than two weeks, and he told me Monday that he hasn't taken this much time off since the birth of a daughter who is now 12.

As reported here weeks ago, Time Warner Cable has changed the title of its 24-hour news service from YNN to Time Warner Cable News as it is called in just about all markets now. The funny thing is the channel guide still refers to it as YNN. TWCN also now has new graphics and gives weather on the 1s instead of the 9s, which is probably a good idea considering the local network affiliates often lead with the weather.

 I wish Showtime would say that it faked us all out when it announced earlier that "Homeland" would have a fourth season, and end the series now after Sunday's disappointing third season finale.

 I won't reveal exactly what happened because so many people watch it later On Demand or on their DVRs, but it was a slow-moving episode that lacked emotional punch despite having a major surprise that will change the series significantly going forward.

I only watched the second half of the Buffalo Bills' 27-20 victory over Jacksonville Sunday but I was impressed by the play-by-play job done by newcomer Andrew Catalon. Or at least I was impressed by how little criticism he got from my Twitter followers.

After watching quarterback Matt Flynn guide Green Bay to four touchdowns in a 37-36 win over Dallas Sunday carried on WUTV, does anybody else wish Flynn had been given the start over Jeff Tuel when the Bills lost to Kansas City earlier this season?

I know that Bills back C.J. Spiller isn't having the year that was expected of him, but when the weekly statistics come out he'll still be No. 1 or No. 2 among conference leaders in yards per carry.

I don't know what was funnier – Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's claim last week that Santa Claus was white or her later defense that she made that comment about a fictional character in jest. If you watch the replay of her Santa Claus claim, she hardly seemed to be making a joke. But I sympathize with Kelly if she is telling the truth. Some of my jokes often are taken seriously.

Spero Dedes and Catalon, who did the play-by-play on the last two Bills games, aren't exactly household names. Dedes, who got a pretty good local Twitter hammering when he did the Bills game in Tampa, will be back for Sunday's game with Miami alongside analyst Steve Beuerlein. The game is very likely to be the first of the season blacked out unless Ralph Wilson gives fans a huge Christmas present.

apergament@buffnews.com 

 

Golden Globes smartly reward "The Good Wife," flee "Homeland"

By Alan Pergament

What no "Homeland"?

No "Mad Men"?

No argument here.

Those two much-honored cable series were ignored in today's announcement of the Golden Globe nominations.

Continue reading "Golden Globes smartly reward "The Good Wife," flee "Homeland" " »

After further review, some TV predictions and speculation

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm predicting and thinking after talking to industry insiders:

After further review, it looks like Channel 2 may be able to carry an University at Buffalo men's basketball or football game on a Saturday night as part of the partnership announced Thursday by the NBC affiliate and Division I program.

I originally doubted that Channel 2 would preempt any network prime time programs since NBC demands preemptions be kept to a minimum.

However, one or two Saturday nights might be available because NBC primarily carries reruns of series programs on that night. They can be preempted once in a while because they are first carried earlier in the week or month and are available On Demand anyway.

More likely, Channel 2 would carry games on weekend afternoons when NBC Sports isn't carrying anything.

It may not be easy for Channel 2 to find a football game to carry next season. After all, 10 of the Bulls' 12 games this season were carried by the ESPN channels, Fox Sports Network and Time Warner Cable.

The TWC games would be the ones most likely to land on Channel 2 next season. TWC carried two games this season.

The bigger part of the deal will be the up to 10 basketball games that will be carried by one of Channel 2's digital channels, 2.2. The sub-channel is carried by TWC.

The Channel 2-UB deal makes it look increasingly like 2.2, which has been carrying old television series via Antenna TV, will shortly carry a combination of sports, weather and news. The emphasis is likely to be on weather, with Channel 2 also considering carrying reruns of its newscasts on 2.2.

TWC has announced that it plans to carry another Channel 2 sub-channel, 2.3, next month. That most likely will be where Antenna TV moves.

The speculation continues that the owners of Channel 7 and all the stations in the Granite group will be sold shortly. The latest possible player in the possible sale is Scripps-Howard. According to sources, Scripps has had people looking at 7 Broadcast Plaza this week. Sinclair Broadcasting and Nexstar also are considered potential buyers. If a deal happens in the next few weeks, I would guess that Channel 7 staffers would consider it an early Christmas present.

Speaking of rumored sales, Time Warner Cable is believed to be on the market with Comcast, Cox and other cable operators looking into a deal. The idea is to create a cable giant that would be in a stronger position to keep down programming costs. If TWC is eventually sold, it could take months or even years before getting federal approval.

Finally, an item that was extremely predictable. NBC has announced that this year's drama hit, "The Blacklist" with James Spader, has been renewed for a second season of 22 episodes.

apergament@buffnews.com 

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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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