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"Sharknado 2" update is as funny as the first movie

By Alan Pergament

Here's an update on whether the scenes filmed almost two weeks ago at Lafayette Square with extras wielding chain saws, shovels and axes were for "Sharknado 2:" The Second Coming."

A spokesperson for The Aslyum, the production company that shot the original campy success and is shooting the sequel, said Thursday that even the company doesn't know the answer yet for sure.

"It could be for Sharknado 2, it might not be," she explained from Los Angeles, where the original was set.

However, she confirmed one thing: As some of the extras in the scenes suspected, the director of the scenes shot in downtown Buffalo and at the Lockport Cave Attraction definitely was Anthony Ferrante, who directed "Sharknado" and is directing the sequel. According to a source, he was here incognito as "Carl." Ferrnate's involvement led to speculation from extras here that they were filming "Sharknado 2." In addition, Buffalo was a stand-in for New York City, where "Sharknado 2" is set.

However, the spokesperson said that Ferrante is involved in several projects for The Asylum. In addition, the company has done other programs involving sharks, including "Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octupus." (I kid you not.) And there there is the classic "Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark." (I'm not making this up.)

She added that the footage here could be what are referred to "as plates of scenes" that can be inserted into multiple movies in post-production. "They create a lbrary of stock shots," she said. 

"Sharknado 2" currently is in post-production so it won't be long before The Asylum decides if any scenes shot here will make the film that premieres July 30 on Syfy.

"I don't think they even know the answer yet," the spokesperson concluded.

"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?" »

Ellen, Milbury, ex-Ch.2 reporter all take shots

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

While the local ratings for Sunday night's Academy Awards were up 10 percent from a year ago to a 27.2, there was a noticeable dropoff in the final 15 minutes of the program before "12 Years a Slave" was named best picture.

The rating from 11:45 p.m. to midnight on Channel 7 was 24.9, which made it the lowest 15 minutes of the entire 3 and a half hour program. It was 25.3 from 11:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. when Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett won the big acting awards and that was lower than every 15 minutes except for at the program's start at 8:30 p.m. and at 11:45 p.m.

This confirms my view that the best way to watch the Oscars is to DVR the final hour and watch all the major categories on Monday morning before you go to work so you can join the water cooler talk.

Continue reading "Ellen, Milbury, ex-Ch.2 reporter all take shots" »

Oscar rating up 10 percent in WNY

By Alan Pergament

Despite waiting until the last 30 minutes to give out most of the meaningful awards and despite the disappointing performance of host Ellen DeGeneres, the local rating for Sunday night's Oscar telecast was a huge ratings hit locally.

The three and a half-hour live program had a 27.2 rating on Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate. That is about 10 percent higher than the 24.6 rating the 2013 Oscar program hosted by Seth MacFarlane had here.

To put the rating in further perspective, the Grammy Awards last month had a 19.5 rating on Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate.

The only programs that had  higher ratings than the Academy Awards this year so far were the Super Bowl and some of the earlier NFL playoff games. Ratings for Buffalo Bills telecasts next season also are most likely to be higher than the Oscar telecast. Bills games generally have ratings in the high 20s or low and mid-30s.

My deadline for today's review of the program was too early to weigh in on the speeches of Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett after they won the top acting awards.

They both gave strong speeches, which wasn't surprising since they had a lot of time to practice because their awards were the closest thing to being guaranteed.

The predictability of almost all the awards made for a program loaded with scripted speeches rather than spontaneous, emotional ones.

An extremely excited director Steve McQueen fumbled through reading his speech after "12 Years a Slave" was named best picture, but he made up for it with a spontaneous celebratory dance after he was finished.


WNED delays PBS celebration of Hamlisch until New Year's Eve

By Alan Pergament

Many local fans of Marvin Hamlisch have been waiting for the American Masters tribute to the late  principal pops conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra scheduled nationally for this Friday night.

They'll have to wait longer here to see the 90-minute celebration, "Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love."

WNED-TV, the local PBS affiliate that is known for occasionally and annoyingly playing programs at a different time than the national schedule, is delaying the Hamlisch special for four nights.

Continue reading "WNED delays PBS celebration of Hamlisch until New Year's Eve " »

"Breaking Bad" actor Forster to perform at Buffalo State

 By Alan Pergament

The actor who played the character called “The Disappearer” on the next to last episode of “Breaking Bad” is appearing at Buffalo State College next week.

Robert Forster, the Oscar-nominated actor who played the character, Ed, who helped Walter White (Bryan Cranston) hide out in a cabin in New Hampshire in the Emmy- Award winning series, is going to be an artist-in-residence at the Burchfield Penney Art Center on the Elmwood Avenue campus.

Forster, who earned an Oscar nomination as best supporting actor for his performance in the movie "Jackie Brown," will begin his residency with a program billed as a "Conversation with Robert Forster." He is expected to give an insider’s view of the movies and TV -- hopefully including some “Breaking Bad” info -- during the program. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Burchfield Penney's Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium. Admission for students is free. It is $10 for the general public.

Continue reading ""Breaking Bad" actor Forster to perform at Buffalo State" »

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"" »

David's HBO movie should have curbed the excess time

 By Alan Pergament

If you're a regular reader, you know that I am a huge fan of Larry David and his HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

 I also was HUGELY disappointed that David isn't making any "Curb" episodes this year.

 That's one reason why I was greatly anticipating David’s HBO movie, "Clear History," which premieres on the pay-cable network at 9 p.m. Saturday and plays several more times throughout the month.

Continue reading "David's HBO movie should have curbed the excess time" »

A Second Look at "The Newsroom"

By Alan Pergament

The breaking news Monday of Pete Gallivan returning to Channel 2 after four months in public relations bumped my review of the first four episodes of HBO’s "The Newsroom" off the top of the blog on that day.

So I think it is time to refresh the top a little with some new information with the help of Jeff Daniels, who plays the lead anchor, Will McAvoy, of the fictional news network in the Sunday series.

Continue reading "A Second Look at "The Newsroom" " »

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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 |