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Peck is back on local TV as host of Ch.2's UB bowl game special

By Alan Pergament 

Paul Peck is returning to local television.

No, Channel 4 hasn't tried to get back its sports department credibility by bringing back the former sports backup who has become more appreciated in the almost two years since he left local television.

Peck is going to be seen on Channel 4's chief rival, Channel 2. He will be the host of the UB Football Bowl Preview Show on Channel 2 that will air at 7:30 p.m. Saturday as part of the NBC affiliate's new athletic partnership with the University at Buffalo.

It probably was UB's call since Peck also is the play-by-play voice of the football Bulls on 1270 AM.

He left Channel 4 in March of 2012 after 24 years at the CBS affiliate to take a job in the financial services industry and since then has occasionally been seen on sports-related programming on WBBZ.

Peck also is expected to be the host of the second UB football program on Channel 2 that will air after it plays San Diego State Dec. 21 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

The host of the "Bobby Hurley Show" that debuts in January on Channel 2 hasn't been announced. Peck doesn't do UB's basketball play-by-play and Channel 2 might want to use its own sports personnel on that program.

Showtime has announced that it is ending the run of David Duchovny as hedonistic, self-destructive novelist Hank Moody in "Californication" (some would call it soft porn) after 12 episodes of season seven that begin airing in April of 2014. I lost interest in Hank's behavior in about season five but I plan to catch up and be back to see how he ends up.

Speaking of adult entertainment, a reader advised me that Time Warner Cable's new channel lineup carries graphic titles in the program guide for the channels in the Adult tier that start with channel 1800. He wanted some advice on how to shield his pre-teen daughter from reading them. I'd call TWC to see if it is possible to change the settings so those titles -- which have double-entendres that may be laughable to some adults -- don't appear.

ESPN is switching pitchers on Sunday Night Baseball. The very opinionated Curt Schilling is replacing Orel Hershiser as an analyst alongside the underrated Canadian play-by-play man Dan Shulman and analyst John Kruk. Hershiser reportedly is going to work for his old team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, as a broadcaster. The Dodgers’ new regional sports network also recently added former ESPN analyst Nomar Garciaparra.

I loved Monday night's "30 for 30" installment on ESPN that told the incredible story of the 1983 national basketball championship North Carolina State team coached by the late Jim Valvano. It made me laugh, it made me think and it made me cry, which are the three things that Coach V said we should all do every day during his memorable ESPY speech more than 20 years ago when he was battling cancer.  

Speaking of "30 for 30," ESPN announced Tuesday that the documentary "The Price of Gold" about the attack on Olympic ice skater Nancy Kerrigan plotted by skater Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, with his friends, will debut at 9 p.m. Jan.16. It is directed by Buffalo native Nanette Burstein.

YNN's name is changing; Buffalo makes waves on Nightly News

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

Stay tuned for Time Warner Cable News.

The tentative revised lineup of Time Warner Cable here in December includes the name change from YNN, which the 24-hour cable news channel has been know as in Western New York since its inception.

The name change reportedly is part of TWC's national rebranding campaign. 

Continue reading "YNN's name is changing; Buffalo makes waves on Nightly News" »

Roswell Park program tops critically-acclaimed Poehler comedy here

By Alan Pergament

A couple of strange things happened Thursday night in local TV.

First, Channel 2 preempted a critical darling, Amy Poehler's "Parks and Recreation," to carry a paid programming for Roswell Park at 8 p.m. That doesn't happen often since there are network limits on the number of prime time preemptions that affiliates are allowed to do.

I wasn't terribly surprised since "P and R" has never had much of a following on the local NBC affiliate and I've never shared the love my colleagues in the critical fraternity have for this show. 

Continue reading "Roswell Park program tops critically-acclaimed Poehler comedy here" »

Williams' series has "Crazy" DVR ratings; WNED extends "Denial"

By Alan Pergament

 This is what I’m thinking:

The big local winner in DVR and On Demand viewing in Western New York for the first two weeks of the TV season that ended Oct. 6 is Robin Williams. 

His new CBS comedy, “The Crazy Ones,"” experienced a 5.3 ratings point gain for the first two episodes, which was one-third of its overall 15.4 average rating.

"Crazy" is the No. 3 rated series in WNY, behind only "Big Bang Theory" and "NCIS."

Other new series getting big DVR and On Demand boosts include NBC’s "The Blacklist," which is No. 4 among all series here, and Fox's "Sleepy Hollow," which is in the Top 15.

Continue reading "Williams' series has "Crazy" DVR ratings; WNED extends "Denial"" »

TV viewers agree: Sabres unwatchable

By Alan Pergament

A close friend of mine who is a huge hockey fan attended the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 loss to Columbus last week and afterwards declared it "unwatchable."

TV viewers are increasingly coming to the same conclusion.

Continue reading "TV viewers agree: Sabres unwatchable" »

Lottery is a TV loser after Ch. 2 drops live drawing


By Alan Pergament

This is what I’m thinking:

It has been a tough month for the lottery.

The first new TV show of the season to be canceled was ABC's "Lucky 7" about lottery winners. It lasted two episodes.

Western New Yorkers were more concerned about Channel 2's cancellation of the lottery drawings on Oct. 1.

Inquiring minds want to know what happened.

Continue reading "Lottery is a TV loser after Ch. 2 drops live drawing " »

Bills TV rating for Browns game surprisingly second-lowest of the season

By Alan Pergament

For a highly entertaining game that wasn't decided until the final two minutes, the Buffalo Bills' 37-24 loss Thursday to the Cleveland Browns on the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football package had a surprisingly low rating here.

The combined rating from local station WBBZ (18.9) and the NFL Network (12.0) was a 30.9, which made it the second-lowest-rated of the five Bills games played this season.

The Bills win over Baltimore last Sunday had a 33.7 rating and the Bills loss to the New York Jets in a late afternoon game Sept. 22 had a 39.7 rating.

However, Thursday's rating was higher than the 30.5 rating the Bills-Panthers game had on WUTV on Sept. 15.

Of course, calling the rating for the Bills-Brown game low begs for some perspective. The rating was more than three times that of the Buffalo Sabres' opening game loss (9.8) to Detroit carried on the NBC Sports Network.

And the Bills rating was more than double the local rating for any prime time network program Thursday. CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" on Channel 4 had a 15.2 rating at 8 p.m. before the Bills game began.

Most network prime time programs took big hits here opposite the Bills game. The 8:30 p.m. premiere of CBS' "The Millers" (11.2) on Channel 4 was the only other network show to hit double figures. Robin Williams' new CBS comedy "The Crazy Ones" (7.3) took a big hit here from its premiere rating.

None of NBC's programs Thursday had higher than a 3.3 rating on Channel 2, including Sean Hayes new comedy "Sean Saves the World" (3.3) and "The Michael J. Fox Show" (3.3).

Over at Channel 7, ABC's highest-rated program was "Grey's Anatomy" (6.3), which has been playing longer than any Bill on the roster. "Grey's" out-scored the premiere of the popular 10 p.m. show "Scandal" (5.2) here.

Fox's "X-Factor" had a 2.4 rating on Channel 29.

Interestingly, the CW series "Vampire Diaries" (2.0) on WNLO-TV out-rated NBC and ABC programs here. That doesn't happen too often.

Of course, almost all of Thursday's shows will be On Demand, which means a lot of people watching the Bills have a lot of catching up to do this weekend on their favorite TV shows.

Ch.4's Walker hits another career milestone; Sabres No. 1 in ratings

By Alan Pergament

Channel 4 anchor Jacquie Walker is celebrating her 30th anniversary at the CBS affiliate today, a milestone not often achieved by a news anchor at one station in any TV market.

She arrived at Channel 4 on Oct. 3, 1983 from a Rochester station and began her Buffalo career as the noon anchor. She later anchored the Channel 4 noon news alongside co-anchor Kevin O'Connell and the two also launched the 5 p.m. news on the station together.

O'Connell now does weather at Channel 2, but he and Walker have remained close friends.

Continue reading "Ch.4's Walker hits another career milestone; Sabres No. 1 in ratings " »

WNED's Boswell wishes TWC asked for local input

By Alan Pergament

Notes from the cutting room floor:

WNED-TV president and chief executive officer Don Boswell isn't thrilled by Time Warner Cable's plans to change the channels local stations will be carried in early December.

Channel 7 will be on Channel 1200, Channel 2 will be on 1203, Channel 4 will be on 1209, Channel 29 will be on 1206, CW 23 will be on 1212 and WNED will be on 1221 after the realignment.

"My wish would have been that Time Warner would have contacted us and all the commercial stations in the marketplace to get our input and advice," wrote Boswell in an email. "We don't have any idea from Time Warner of the strategic alliances that should go into moving channels.  I'm not sure they do unless they discuss with us and receive our opinions. This would allow us to make recommendations that they may not have considered for the best interest for the communities we serve."

Channel 7 has named the studio where "AM Buffalo" is held daily "The Linda Pellegrino Studio" in honor of the long-time host who entered the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Family Saturday.

Channel 4 meteorologist Don Paul, who incredibly isn't in the Hall, had a good excuse for missing the event. He got married over the weekend at what I was told was a bonfire wedding. Congratulations Don. His wife’s name is Debbie.

The "Breaking Bad" finale, "The Good Wife," "Homeland" and "Revenge" season premieres and other Sunday shows overshadowed the Sunday premiere of a neat new HBO comedy "Hello Ladies" that stars Stephen Merchant  (co-creator of Britain's version of "The Office") as an awkward single guy in Hollywood who will drop his friends in a minute to meet women who couldn’t be less interested in him. Merchant's self-involved character has the comedic rhythms of "Office" co-creator Ricky Gervais. He's just a foot taller. Sunday's premiere and this week's second episode had more laughs than any broadcast network sitcom I have seen so far this season.

Buffalo writer Tom Fontana, best known for his work on the TV series "St. Elsewhere," "Homicide" and "Oz," is being honored here on Sunday, Oct. 13 with the Federation of Italian American Society's 2013 Person of the Year Award.  The local event raises money for many worthwhile charities.

Williams, Fox series debuts are local winners in different ways

By Alan Pergament

Monday morning quarterbacking, TV style:

You can look at round one of the Thursday head-to-head ratings battle between Robin Williams' CBS comedy "The Crazy Ones" and Michael J. Fox’s NBC comedy with his name in the title in two ways.

Before we do, let's look at the Buffalo results, which are consistent with what happened nationally.

Williams’ series had a 12.9 rating on Channel 4 at 9 p.m. Fox's series had a 7.2 at 9 p.m. on Channel 2 and a second episode that followed it had a 7.0.

So it looks like Williams’ won.

Continue reading "Williams, Fox series debuts are local winners in different ways" »

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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 |