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Miley's TV show flops big time

By Alan Pergament

It looks like Miley Cyrus better plan her next career move.

The Lady Gaga performance act thing isn't working ... on television anyway.

Cyrus' two-hour NBC special Sunday night was a local and national flop on a low viewing night that ended the holiday weekend.

According to Marc Berman of the website Media Insights, the rating for Cyrus' two-hour "Bangerz Tour" program may have hit a historic national low for a Sunday night on NBC.

It had a 1.4 household rating nationally and dropped audience every half hour until the final 30 minutes. It had only 2 million viewers and didn't even hit a 1 rating in the age 18-49 demographic.

It didn't even do as well nationally as a repeat of a reality show that was its lead-in, "American Ninja Warrior" (1.5), or a two-hour ABC reality singing competition "Rising Star" (2.7).

Locally, Cyrus' program had a 2.8 rating on Channel 2, finishing third among network programs in its time slot to "Rising Star" (3.3) and the two-hour CBS original drama competition on Channel 4 of "Reckless" (2.2) and "Unforgettable" (3.7).

In short, you can just about forget about Cyrus ever getting another national broadcast TV special.

"AGT" judges go wild over Buffalo singer; Friona says goodbye Friday

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

Boy did the four judges on "America's Got Talent" go wild Tuesday night over the singing performance of Western New York native Justin Rhodes.

I was watching San Antonio's incredible shooting performance in their game three win over Miami in the NBA Final when Rhodes wowed Heidi Klum, Mel B, Howard Stern and Howie Mandel.

But I was able to catch Rhodes' performance of "Wake Me Up" by Avicili on  You Tube Wednesday. The video -- which had the title "Singer's Avicili Cover Moves His Dad to Tears" -- had about 61,000 hits this morning and you can add to it now.

Before Rhodes sang and Heidi Klum called him "very special" and Mel B declared him "sexy," the 2008 Williamsville East graduate explained he got into some bad things when he moved to New York City to start his singing career and now wants to prove his worth to the father he disappointed. Rhodes, who now lives in Tampa, Fla., didn't disappoint dad in the audience on Tuesday. Rhodes moved to the next round.

Speaking of the NBA Finals, the Spurs' game three win over Miami had a higher rating in Buffalo than the Los Angeles Kings' game three win over the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup finals Monday night. But there should be an asterisk.

The NBA game was on Channel 7, a broadcast channel affiliated with ABC. Game 3 had a 5.9 rating here.

The NHL game was on the NBC Sports Network, a cable network. It had a 4.7 rating here and Buffalo remained the top-rated market in the country outside of the markets of the participating teams.

Attention fans of Channel 2's Mary Friona. And I know there are plenty of you judging by comments on social networks and my emails.

Friona's final day on the station''s morning program "Daybreak" is Friday and she has told her Facebook friends that News Director Jeff Woodard has asked her to put together a goodbye piece.

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The advertisement from a Native American group against the name and mascot of the Washington team in  the National Football League was so effective that it just might be a game-changer. The ad, which ran during Tuesday's NBA game, also is on You Tube. It was low-key, moving and effective in demonstrating that many Native Americans view the name and mascot as racist even if Washington Owner Dan Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell don't seem to understand it. Notably, the name wasn't mentioned in the ad (or in this blog). It ended with a shot of a football alongside a Washington helmet, which featured the name and mascot.

Finally, my Time Warner email has been out of order for a few days and I thought I was alone. But a regular reader informed me that it is a problem throughout the area and advised me to call TWC and ask for a rebate. Sure enough, I did that Wednesday night and had about $4 cut from my bill. If you are experiencing roadrunner problems, I suggest you complain as well.



Surprise, surprise for fan of Broadway and NBA

By Alan Pergament

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a big fan of Broadway and basketball and not necessarily in that order.

One of my favorite Broadway tunes is "She Likes Basketball" from the musical "Promises, Promises." I've even memorized the lyrics, though you wouldn't want me to hear me sing the Burt Bacharach-Hal David song.

I have seen two of Sunday's Tony-nominated musicals -- "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" and "Beautiful" -- so I had some rooting interest.

I expect Miami Heat star LeBron James to end his National Basketball Association career as the greatest player of all time, which is why I was very interested in Game 2 of the Heat's current rematch in the NBA Finals with the San Antonio Spurs.

This is all my way of telling you that I was a little conflicted Sunday night when the NBA Finals on ABC went head-to-head with the Tony Awards hosted by Hugh Jackman on CBS.

Continue reading "Surprise, surprise for fan of Broadway and NBA " »

"Judge Judy" popularity needs more perspective

By Alan Pergament 

When reading a New York Times article about the national popularity of "Judge Judy" that ran on the front page of the Buffalo News on Saturday, I couldn't help but wonder how she is doing in Western New York.

She is doing well here, but some much-needed perspective is in order.

Judith Sheindlin’'s prime time program on May 20 had a 4.6 rating on Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate. That placed it third in the time slot here opposite hour-long recaps of episodes of long-running musical reality series that originally aired on Monday.

In other words, "Judge Judy" finished third here to two reruns, which isn't  that impressive.

The recap of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" performance finale that originally aired a night earlier had an 8.1 rating on Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate. The recap performance finale of NBC's "The Voice" had a 6.2 rating on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate.

"Judge Judy" defeated the actual live performance finale of "American Idol," which would have been very impressive in other years. It isn't so impressive now that "Idol" ratings have plummeted. "Idol" had a 3.7 rating Tuesday on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate. The former No.1 show on television  finished fourth in its time slot, an indication of how far it has fallen.

Continue reading ""Judge Judy" popularity needs more perspective " »

"Idol" with WNY roots makes final 3; NFL draft ratings soar here

By Alan Pergament

Judging by recent local ratings, many Western New Yorkers seem to have lost interest in "American Idol" but at least there will be a rooting interest in the May 14 semifinals.

Jena Irene Asciutto, the 17-year student from the Detroit area who has WNY roots, earned a spot in the final three after Thursday's results show.

She will compete with the two other survivors, Alex Preston and Caleb Johnson, in the 500th episode of the series next Wednesday to determine who makes it to the two-night season finale on May 20 and May 21.

The trio survived after the elimination of Jessica Meuse on the results show Thursday. Next Wednesday, the trio will return to their hometowns, where residents will select a song from this season that they will perform on the semifinals. The other two songs will be chosen by the judges and Randy Jackson, who is a mentor this season.

Continue reading ""Idol" with WNY roots makes final 3; NFL draft ratings soar here" »

Clearing up the Buffalo roots of "Idol" finalist

By Alan Pergament

I received the nicest correction I've ever gotten Thursday.

It came from an aunt of "American Idol" finalist Jena Irene Asciutto.

She wasn't correcting me as much as she was correcting a relative.

Linda Asciutto, who was born and raised in South Detroit, thanked me for "the nice article" Wednesday on her 17-year-old niece from Detroit.

However, she added she wanted to clear up some things about Jena's Buffalo roots given to me by a Western New York relative who she knew "means very well and is very proud of Jena's accomplishments."

Here's what Linda Asciutto wrote:

"Jena's grandfather (my father) was not Andrew, rather was Gandolf (named after his grandfather Gandolfo). My grandfather was indeed Andrea, who did hail from Buffalo. However, my dad (Jena's   grandfather) was born and raised in Detroit, not Buffalo, and my mother was in fact, Irene. Jena's       middle name was given in honor of my mother. In addition to many of the original Asciutto descendants in Buffalo, offspring are aplenty in the Detroit area as well.

"We appreciate our cousins and other relatives from Buffalo; think highly of our Buffalo roots and the time you took to write your article. No need to make any correction publicly; I just wanted to let you know."


Linda Asciutto

I emailed her back that it was my duty as a journalist to make the corrections.

I'm sure all the Asciuttos in Detroit and in Buffalo were rooting for Jena Irene Thursday night on the Fox results show when she learned her magical "Idol" ride will continue.

She now is one of the seven remaining finalists.


"American Idol" finalist has roots here; "Voice" tour to hit the Falls

By Alan Pergament

When the Elite Eight finalists on Fox’s "American Idol" start singing songs from the '80s at 8 tonight, there will be several relatives in Western New York rooting for 17-year-old Jena Irene Asciutto.

 Yes, there always seems to be a Buffalo angle.

 One of those relatives, Laurie Galbo of Wheatfield, alerted me to Jena Irene's (that's what she is called on "Idol") roots.

Here's an edited portion of the email Jena's relative sent me: "Jena is 17 and from the Detroit area. Her roots are in Buffalo! Her grandfather, Andrew, was born and raised in Buffalo and moved to Michigan after military service. He met his wife, Irene, there and settled down. His brother also moved to Detroit. But the Asciutto family came from Isnello, Sicily and settled in Buffalo. The rest of the Asciutto clan is still in Buffalo!

Continue reading ""American Idol" finalist has roots here; "Voice" tour to hit the Falls" »

Syracuse hoops more popular than the Beatles replay

By Alan Pergament

If you were to read my Twitter feed Wednesday night, you might have thought that everybody in  Western New York is a fan of Syracuse University basketball.

That's largely because my followers include a number of SU graduates who work in the local media, including WGR's Jeremy White and Sal Capaccio, WNLO-TV's Lauren Hall and Channel 2's Melissa Holmes.

Needless to say I was curious to see what the local ratings were for SU's thrilling 58-56 victory over Pittsburgh that ended with an incredible 35-basket by Orange freshman sensation Tyler Ennis.

The basket kept undefeated SU No. 1 in the nation and made it to No.1 on ESPN's "SportsCenter" the next day.

And Buffalo was watching big time.

Continue reading "Syracuse hoops more popular than the Beatles replay" »

Cowell's "X Factor" wasn't much of a factor here; Alt Buffalo hires AM host

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking. Cue the music:

I can't see too many Western New Yorkers being all that broken up about the end of "The X Factor" after three seasons.

Fox announced late Friday that it wasn't going to be renewed, perhaps hoping the announcement that Simon Cowell's show was getting dumped would get lost in all the Olympic hype.

The show produced by Cowell, who also was a judge, wasn't much of a factor on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate, no matter who he brought in to host or to judge.

Continue reading "Cowell's "X Factor" wasn't much of a factor here; Alt Buffalo hires AM host" »

Nasty weather bumps news ratings; WNED isn't airing Seeger special

By Alan Pergament

If anyone is happy about the nasty, brutal, ridiculously cold weather this January, it has to be staffers in the local TV news departments.

Ratings are up in almost every news time period this January compared to January of 2013, illustrating the importance of weather in attracting news viewership.

Viewers are especially tuning in earlier to see if their children have to go school.

Continue reading "Nasty weather bumps news ratings; WNED isn't airing Seeger special" »

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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 |