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"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.

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WBBZ bragging about new local game show set for June

By Alan Pergament

WBBZ-TV owner Phil Arno will soon have the bragging rights to producing the area's first new local game show in recent memory.

Starting at 6:30 p.m.on Monday June 9, the independent station will premiere a daily weeknight game show, "Bragging Rights!," hosted by John DiSciullo, who also is the station's production and promotion manager.

It was Arno's idea to do the show and he named the program.

According to the station, "Bragging Rights!" is an interactive, trivia quiz show that fits the format of WBBZ, which relies heavily on classic TV programs carried via the MeTV network.

DiSciullo said taping of the show will begin in mid-May. The plan is to have teams of three players who might have similar jobs compete against each other for prizes supplied by sponsors.

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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.

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"30 for 30" on rise and fall of Big East is instant classic

By Alan Pergament

"What if I told you" that I forgot that Creighton and Xavier are in the Big East now until I saw "Today" host Matt Lauer having fun with their fans Thursday as the conference tournament was about to get underway in Madison Square Garden?

"What if I told you" I didn't realize that the Big East Tournament was now being televised by Fox Sports 1 instead of ESPN until I ran into analyst Bill Rafterry calling a game by accident Thursday night during breaks in the University at Buffalo upset loss in the Mid-American Conference tournament?

"What if I told you" that I had a special interest in watching Sunday's "30 for 30" program, "Requiem for the Big East" because I was covering college basketball when the conference was being started?

If you're a regular viewer of the tremendous "30 for 30" series, you undoubtedly know that I'm playing with the "what if I told you" promos for each episode.

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Three cheers for local weather forecasters; Time to catch up on new shows

By Alan Pergament

Three cheers for the local weather forecasters.

I can't believe I actually wrote that sentence.

But let's give credit where credit is due: The TV forecasters have done a much better job than usual warning Western New Yorkers what was coming this horrendous winter.

And as a rule, they have made their predictions of doom without scaring people too much.

Yes, Pope Don Paul you are not reading a misprint. I actually am praising you and your competitors, which may be a sign of the Apocalypse.

I was so confident of the local TV forecasts and the National Weather Service forecast Tuesday night warning of today's potential blizzard that I canceled my college courses several hours before Buffalo State College made the rare decision to shutdown.

Told of my praise this morning, Channel 4's Paul cracked: "I'm glad you warned me."

The Channel 4 meteorologist said he began getting computer models a week ago that suggested the storm would be in the vicinity.

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Meyers' "Late Night" premiere is nothing special

By Alan Pergament

When jokes in his "Tonight Show" monologue bombed, the late Johnny Carson used to try and salvage them by cracking that you are in trouble when you have to explain them.

This came to mind a few times during the premiere edition of NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers" early this morning.

Meyers had to spell out a few jokes in his monologue, which got the show off to a very slow start that it never really recovered from.

Let me explain something. I really wanted to love Meyers' premiere.

He's been one of my favorite co-anchors on the "Weekend Update" portion of "Saturday Night Live," delivering his dry lines with exquisite timing.

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Weather delays low-power channels; Fallon ratings remain strong

By Alan Pergament

Do you remember a few months ago when Lockport police officer Steven Ritchie said he planned to debut a low power TV station with as many as six channels as early as Feb.1 as long as the weather co-operated?

Well, I don't think I have to tell you that the weather didn't co-operate and that has postponed the debut of WBXZ-TV, Channel 56, by about a month.

The 51-year-old Ritchie was granted FCC approval to take over the license for WBXZ-TV, in August after purchasing it from a Syracuse owner of several low power stations for $25,000. Ritchie said the station has been around for about 20 years and has carried home shopping and music channels before.

Now he says the plan is to install the equipment needed to send the channels from a tower on top of the HSBC building in downtown Buffalo by next week.

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Fallon's premiere makes him a good bet to succeed

By Alan Pergament

I got up this morning doing what I imagine many Western New Yorkers will do later today -- watch the premiere of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on my DVR.

After all, it started at midnight, when I ordinarily fall asleep on the couch watching NBA games.

Many WNYers stayed up to see Jay Leno's replacement.

The premiere had a healthy 7.6 rating on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate, despite its midnight start.

But I am sure the rating will go up a few more points after DVR and other secondary recording is added.

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NBC: Trump will be on "Celebrity Apprentice"

By Alan Pergament

A spokesperson for NBC confirmed this morning that Donald Trump will be on his reality show "Celebrity Apprentice" when it goes into production next month.

I'm no political expert, but it would seem to be awfully difficult to be on a reality series and also run for governor of New York State, as many Western New York Republican leaders have urged Trump to do.

It would also seem to make it difficult for NBC to run the series next fall if Trump is running against Gov. Andrew Cuomo because of the equal time provision of the 1934 Communications Act that "if any licensee shall permit any person who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office to use a broadcasting station, he shall afford equal opportunies to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station."

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Scripps bringing original programs to Ch. 7

By Alan Pergament

Stay tuned for "Let's Ask America," "The List" and "RightThisMinute."

Those are among the original programs that the E.W. Scripps Co. plans to bring to Buffalo once it becomes the owner of WKBW-TV.

Scripps management officials made that clear during a conference call earlier this week after it announced it had purchased the ABC affiliate from Granite Broadcasting and the hedge fund that has controlled it for seven years.

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