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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" " »

Speaking of promos, King, Kurtz, hockey and more

By Alan Pergament

This is what I’m thinking:

Channel 4 has been recently running a promo that tells viewers that it is "holding the powerful accountable."

That follows years of Channel 2 running promos that tell viewers it is "holding people in power accountable."

So I suggest Channel 7 also tweak Channel 2’s slogan by running promos that say it is "holding powerful people accountable."

Continue reading "Speaking of promos, King, Kurtz, hockey and more " »

Mel Brooks stories you won't hear tonight

By Alan Pergament

As many of you know, I continued to blog about local and national television during my three-year sabbatical from The Buffalo News.

I did it for a variety of reasons. The primary reason was because I enjoy writing about television.

Continue reading "Mel Brooks stories you won't hear tonight" »

Ex Bill on ESPN tells EJ Manuel to go to the movies

By Alan Pergament

Former Buffalo Bills defensive end Marcellus Wiley, who has become a TV star, didn't exactly sell Western New York to Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel Friday night on ESPN's "Sports Nation."

To his credit, Manuel wasn't buying Wiley's negativity.

Co-host Charissa Thompson told Manuel on the set that the good news is the Bills need QB competition and the bad news is that Buffalo is "not a thriving metropolis." Then she asked Wiley how his four seasons in Buffalo went.

Continue reading "Ex Bill on ESPN tells EJ Manuel to go to the movies" »

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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 |