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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.

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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.

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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" »

107.7 to add on-air talent; Buffalo near top in NFL rating Sunday

 By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

Some readers of my blog wrote Thursday that they were happy to see that 107.7 FM has returned to a music format similar to The Lake, which occupied the frequency before WBEN-AM took it over two years ago.

However, Greg Ried, the general manager of Entercom Radio stations in Western New York, notes that The Lake "was not alternative." The new format is alternative. Ried said The Lake was classic rock and is still carried on 107.7 HD-2 and online at

Continue reading "107.7 to add on-air talent; Buffalo near top in NFL rating Sunday " »

"Blacklist," "Agents," "Goldbergs," open strong here; "Lucky 7" DOA

By Alan Pergament

It is only four days into the new TV season officially, but the networks are already proclaiming victory for new shows.

Western New York has generally gone along with national trends, though the older audience here tends to favor long-running CBS shows.

For example, WNYers predictably turned to "NCIS" (16.8) on CBS affiliate Channel 4 over ABC's  heavily-promoted "“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" (7.1) on Channel 7 in the battle of scripted series at 8 p.m. Tuesday.  

But that is household ratings and the networks are looking for the age 18-49 demographic that turned to ABC’s "Agents" nationally. "NCIS" is more popular with older viewers.

Continue reading ""Blacklist," "Agents," "Goldbergs," open strong here; "Lucky 7" DOA " »

Bills, Emmys telecasts most watched locally in several years

By Alan Pergament

Judging by the rating for the Buffalo Bills' 27-20 loss to the New York Jets Sunday, WNYers wanted to believe in their National Football League team.

The game averaged a 39.7 rating on Channel 4, which was the highest for a Bills game in almost six years.  The last 15 minutes of the game had a Super Bowl-like rating of 45.2.

Continue reading "Bills, Emmys telecasts most watched locally in several years" »

Emmys fast-paced, unpredictable and as sad as Bills defense

By Alan Pergament

I sure am glad that I didn't predict the 65th Emmys for the first time in 30 years.

Because Sunday night's Emmys were more unpredictable than any in my 30 years covering television. I might have been shutout.

Except for the wins of "Breaking Bad" as best drama, "Modern Family" as best comedy and perhaps Jim Parsons of "Big Bang Theory" as best comedic actor, nothing went according to script.

Continue reading "Emmys fast-paced, unpredictable and as sad as Bills defense " »

ABC's new lineup doesn't earn many trophies

By Alan Pergament

The new ABC series getting the most attention is "Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," who investigate super-human people and extraordinary world events and "protect the ordinary from the extraordinary."

I've only seen brief clips of the pilot, which airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday on Channel 7.

That’s because ABC only showed it at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles and hasn’t made it available to critics via streaming as it has done with every other new series.

This makes me a little suspicious.


Continue reading "ABC's new lineup doesn't earn many trophies" »

It is hard to go really "Crazy" about new CBS series

By Alan Pergament

Under the leadership of president and chief executive officer Les Moonves, CBS has been the smartest network by far in recent years.

It has the best sense of what viewers expect from network TV and it has the good sense not to introduce too many shows in the fall that can get lost in the shuffle.

The network, which is carried by affiliate Channel 4, is especially popular in Western New York because many of its shows appeal to the area's older demographics and viewers here watch broadcast networks at a higher rate than they do in many markets.

Channel 4 usually has the great majority of Top 25 shows here, led by CBS' megahits "The Big Bang Theory" and "NCIS."

Going into this season, CBS is premiering the fewest new series and still has two of the most talked about – the drama "Hostages" and the Robin Williams comedy "The Crazy Ones."

Here's a brief summary of all of CBS' new shows and the chances of success.

Continue reading "It is hard to go really "Crazy" about new CBS series " »

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