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Oliver's bit on Jills, NFL very funny; Ch.2, Ch.4 honored by Murrow Awards

 By Alan Pergament

Notes left from the cutting room floor:

If you missed the Sunday premiere of the new HBO series, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," you missed a very funny bit featuring the Buffalo Jills.

The bit addressed the lawsuit filed by five of the cheerleaders over their low pay and how they were treated.

In a feature entitled "Workplace of the Week," Oliver named the National Football League as the first winner for the way it treats the Jills and the cheerleaders for other teams. Or should I say allegedly mistreats them.

The hysterically-funny bit included some of the absurd rules about weight and hygiene that the Jills are apparently supposed to follow.

Continue reading "Oliver's bit on Jills, NFL very funny; Ch.2, Ch.4 honored by Murrow Awards" »

New wrinkles impact Bills TV schedule

By Alan Pergament

Buffalo Bills fans may have been a little confused by the 2014 TV schedule announced Wednesday night.

The Fox Sports Wisconsin report two weeks ago claiming that the Bills would play Green Bay on Monday Night Football proved to be as accurate as the predictions that Donald Trump really, really was going to run for governor.

The speculation that the Bills had a good shot at playing at Detroit on Thanksgiving turned out to be a fowl ball.

And the long-held idea that all Bills road games would be carried on CBS affiliate Channel 4, the AFC network, even ended up being wrong.

The Bills season opener at Chicago on Sept. 7 and an Oct. 5 game at Detroit both will be carried by Fox affiliate WUTV in something new this year called "crossover games."

CBS is carrying some games involving NFC teams on the road and Fox is carrying some games involving AFC games on the road.

Continue reading "New wrinkles impact Bills TV schedule " »

"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 " »

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.

Continue reading "WBBZ bragging about new local game show set for June" »

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.

Continue reading "NBC's hostage drama "Crisis" is a winner, relatively speaking" »

"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.

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

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.

Continue reading "Three cheers for local weather forecasters; Time to catch up on new shows" »

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.

Continue reading "Meyers' "Late Night" premiere is nothing special " »

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.

Continue reading "Weather delays low-power channels; Fallon ratings remain strong" »

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.

Continue reading "Fallon's premiere makes him a good bet to succeed " »

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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 |