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Berry's series a local hit; Hanks' "Sixties" series gets Emmy nod

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking;

Buffalo fell much more in love with Halle Berry's new series "Extant" than the nation did.

But that's expected because Channel 4 is one of the strongest performing affiliates in the country for CBS programming.

The Wednesday premiere had a 9.1 rating here, easily defeating a repeat of NBC's reality powerhouse "America's Got Talent" (7.9) in the hour that they went head-to-head.

Nationally, "Extant" had a 6.7 household rating, which analysts described as solid, but unspectacular compared to last season's debut of "Under the Dome."

CBS also repeated "Extant" Thursday night.

It will be interesting to see Sunday afternoon if the Buffalo market approaches the national rating of the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. The game is being carried on ABC.

Argentina's penalty kick victory Wednesday after a scoreless 90 minutes had about a 3.7 rating on ESPN here, well below the 4.3 rating it had nationally when it became the highest-rated and most viewed World Cup game on the ESPN networks that didn't involve the United States men's team. 

Germany's 7-1 destruction of Brazil Tuesday had a 3.0 rating here, well below the 4.2 rating it had nationally.

The local numbers are decent, just not in the range that you might expect in a market that was one of the strongest in the country for NBC's coverage of the Premier League.

As the Buffalo Bills training camp nears, the key local question is whether Channel 7 or Channel 4 will be the first to hire a new sportscaster.

Channel 7's owner, E.W. Scripps, also has posted job openings for a news producer, two associate producers and someone on the assignment desk. Clearly, Scripps realizes it needs help behind the scenes before it hires new reporters and anchors.

Channel 4's newest reporter, Joe Melillo, made his on-air debut this week. According to the station website, Melillo was born in Stony Brook, Long Island and most recently has been a reporter at WENY in Elmira. He is a graduate of Trinity College in Connecticut.  

I enjoyed Thursday night's episode of CNN's series on "The Sixties" that dealt with the British Invasion on the music scene that got a big boost from the arrival of The Beatles. The series produced by Tom Hanks' company had the rare distinction of being nominated for an Emmy Thursday while the series is still playing. The episode on "The Assassination of President Kennedy" was nominated in the outstanding documentary or nonfiction special category. The American Experience program on "JFK" was nominated in the same category.

And National Geographic's "Killing Kennedy'"was nominated in the outstanding movie category.        

The President and the Emmys and more odd details

By Alan Pergament

Some odds and ends from today's Emmy nominations -- with an emphasis on the odd -- after looking at about 50 pages of nominations:

Did President Obama get an Emmy nomination?

Technically, probably not.

But his appearance in the "Funny or Die" bit with Zach Galifianakis called "Between 2 Ferns" was nominated in the category of outstanding short format, live-action entertainment program.

In the brief bit, the president was trying to reach younger people by plugging the website HealthCare.Gov, which at the time was a disaster.

In the same category competing with the president is Bruno Mars' halftime show during the Super Bowl.

Jerry Seinfeld got a nomination in the short format nonfiction program category for his series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." Among his competitors in the category, "Jay Leno's Garage."

Showtime's "Homeland" was snubbed in the best drama category, but I can't see any reason to complain. Last season was pretty routine by its own standards. It took way too long to get going. Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin received nominations for their work on the series that probably should have ended after two seasons.

Netflix, thanks to the "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black," received 31 nominations, which was seven more than Showtime received. The streaming service may be more of a threat to pay-cable channels than the broadcast networks.

With the help of all the nominations for "American Horror Story: Coven," "Fargo" and "Louie," FX networks had 45 nominations, one less than NBC and eight more than ABC.

Billy Crystal's moving HBO special from his one-man Broadway show, "700 Sundays," deservedly got a few nominations. They included one for the writing by Crystal. I loved the special, partly because I grew up on Long Island and his high school basketball team at Long Beach used to play against my high school.

The underrated HBO movie, "Muhammad Ali''s Greatest Fight," got a TV movie nomination. I show that film to my sports journalism class semi-annually. It is about the boxing great's court fight after claiming to be a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war. The case landed in the Supreme Court, which found an unusual compromise to eventually rule in his favor. The film has a great cast that includes Christopher Plummer and Frank Langella. It also illustrates in an entertaining way how Supreme Court justices can fit the law to suit their own social and political beliefs. But if you've been paying attention to the present court, you probably know that.

Jodie Foster got an Emmy nomination for directing an episode of "Orange is The New Black."

It looks like the Aug. 25 Emmy program on NBC will be a coronation for HBO's "Game of Thrones" considering all the nominations that it received. That probably means I'll have to give it another try. My sons, my brother and several of my friends swear by it. But I've tried three times to watch the pilot and couldn't figure out what was going on and gave up each time. Well, maybe the fourth time will be the charm.

Remember the moving Super Bowl ads from Budweiser, "Puppy Love," and "Hero's Welcome." Both are nominated in the outstanding commercial category. 

"Good Wife" incredibly snubbed by Emmys

By Alan Pergament

Did I hear it right?

That was my first thought while watching the Yahoo! live presentation of the Emmy nominations this year and failing to hear "The Good Wife" be nominated as best drama.

It is my favorite broadcast TV show and was believed to be a sure best drama nominee after having a terrific season.

The six nominees are all worthy -- "Breaking Bad," "Downton Abbey," "Game of Thrones," "House of Cards, "Mad Men" and 'True Detective." Interestingly, none of them is on broadcast television.

But "The Good Wife" certainly had a better season than two of the long-running, nominated shows on my must-see list -- "Downton" and "Mad Men." As consolation prizes of sorts, Julianna Margulies of "The Good Wife" was nominated as outstanding actress in a drama, and Buffalo native Christine Baranski and Josh Charles were nominated for supporting roles on the series.

It is hard to understand why three actors in a series can get nominated when the series is snubbed in the outstanding drama category. But hey, the Emmy nominations don't have to make sense.

It wasn't a good morning for the broadcast networks as James Spader of NBC's popular drama "The Blacklist" failed to get a best acting nomination in a category filled by Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad," Jeff Daniels of "The Newsroom," Jon Hamm of "Mad Men," Kevin Spacey of "House of Cards" and Woody Harrelston and Matthew McConaughey of "True Detective." All of the nominated males have one thing in common -- they didn't appear on broadcast network series.

Less surprising was the absence of "American Idol" from the list of best reality series and the failure of "Late Show with David Letterman" to get nominated in the variety category. Letterman's replacement next year, Stephen Colbert, was nominated for "The Colbert Report" in a category that includes "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," "Real Time with Bill Maher,' "Saturday Night Live," "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon."

The good news is my favorite new comedy, HBO's "Silicon Valley," was nominated as best comedy along with "The Big Bang Theory," "Louie," four-time winner "Modern Family," "Orange is the New Black" and "Veep." Interestingly, "Bang" and "Modern Family" were the only broadcast network series in the category, as critical-favorite "Parks & Recreation" was ignored.

I once mistakenly gave the Fox comedy "Brookyn Nine-Nine" an Emmy award when it actually won a Golden Globe. The Emmys didn't even grant it a nomination.

I'll have more to say after I get a look at all the Emmy nominations. 

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.

'Sharknado 2' scenes shot here in trailer for July 30 film

By Alan Pergament

Remember in April when I speculated that scenes for "Sharknado 2: The Second One" were being shot here near the Hotel Lafayette?

Now it can be confirmed that the area did indeed stand in for New York City, where the sequel to last year's surprise summer hit is set.

The funny trailer for the film, which airs on cable's Syfy at 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, includes a few crowd scenes shot near the Brisbane Building. Here take a look:


Related content:

Berry makes "Extant" well worth a summer look

By Alan Pergament 

If Halle Berry had starred in "Gravity" instead of Sandra Bullock, I might have thought the film was out of this world instead of hating it.

OK, probably not.

But I probably would have been able to tolerate the 90 or so minutes of the overrated space odyssey a little better.

This is my way of saying I was predisposed to liking Berry’s new CBS series, "Extant," which premieres at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

This isn't to say the pilot showcases the beautiful movie star -- who started her acting career in television -- in the best light early. In the first scene, she is losing her lunch and tells her young son "my body is readjusting."

She plays Molly, who has been up in space for 13 months by herself and is getting readjusted to live on earth. The brief time Molly is in space comes during some occasional flashbacks.

Continue reading "Berry makes "Extant" well worth a summer look" »

Goo Goo Dolls, Ronald Reagan movie are front and center

By Alan Pergament 

Leftovers after the long holiday:

The Goo Goo Dolls will be "Front and Center" on WNED-TV and across the nation on Saturday, July 26.

WNED is carrying the performance taped at the Iridium in New York City at 1 a.m., 30 minutes after the publicist for the popular television concert series said it will air in some parts of the country nationally.

That should give concert-goers plenty of time to return from Alternative Buffalo's Kerfuffle at Canalside, where indie pop artists Cage the Elephant, Bear Hands, Big Data, Bleachers, Brick + Mortar, Kongos, The Crystal Method are scheduled to perform starting at 2:30 p.m. July 26.

OK, I admit I’'ve never heard of any of them. (That became obvious when I thought Kerfuffle was the name of a band.)

But I've heard plenty of the Goos and some of their tunes are even on my Ipod. The set list includes "Iris," "Slide," "Let Love In," "Naked," "Here is Gone," "Rebel Beat," "Black Balloon," "Come to Me," "Name," "Sympathy," "Stay with You" and "Better Days."

Continue reading "Goo Goo Dolls, Ronald Reagan movie are front and center" »

More from News interview with Jeanneret

By Alan Pergament

Some leftovers from my conversation with Buffalo Sabres announcing legend Rick Jeanneret that pertain to the reaction from Wednesday's story about his diagnosis with stage 3 throat cancer:

With Buffalo's Roswell Park Cancer Institute nearby, the natural question was why wasn't Jeanneret being treated there instead of the cancer clinic in Hamilton, Ont. Naturally, I asked Jeanneret that question:

"That's not the point," said Jeanneret, who is an independent contractor with the Sabres and not technically an employe with insurance. "The point is where you are insured. I am insured in Canada, not in Buffalo. I know that Roswell is world-renowned. That's out of the question at the moment."

I'm sure many Sabre fans wish Jeanneret would get the best treatment in the place that makes him most comfortable no matter which country the hospital or clinic is located in.

About whether he knows the technical term for his cancer:

"That was enough to give me pause right there," said Jeanneret of hearing the words throat cancer. "I didn't pay a whole lot of attention after that."

I imagine that's a plenty common reaction from cancer patients.

About whether he feels sorry for himself because of the location of his cancer in his throat when he makes his living with his voice:

"I didn't choose to have cancer and secondly I didn't choose where it is going to strike," said Jeanneret. "I have every intention of coming back."

In other words, he admirably isn't feeling sorry for himself.

About whether he has reached out to former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, who was treated for throat cancer about 14 years ago and was the focus of at least one story in the local news Wednesday pertaining to Jeanneret's announcement:

"I really haven't had time to think about it," said Jeanneret. "Until this article comes out, nobody knows what my situation is so I haven't heard from anybody. I haven't reached out."

I imagine Giambra or anyone who has gone through what Jeanneret is about to experience would be more than happy to talk to him about it if he wants some comfort. 

One more thing: Besides noting the support he has received from his wife, mother, two sons and stepdaughter, Jeanneret also mentioned his sister. It was my oversight and I apologize to her. She  was mentioned in a subsequent blog Wednesday.




World Cup rating tops all prime time programs Tuesday, local news

By Alan Pergament

The rating in Western New York for the final World Cup game featuring the United States Tuesday was the highest of the four games but it didn't crack double-digits.

Belgium's 2-1 victory in extra time that knocked out the United States had an 9.4 rating here on ESPN from 4 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Each rating point equals about 6,300 households here, so it means about 59,000 households were tuned in. The crowds in bars and at public events aren't measured.

The game in the round of 16 was the highest-rated program Tuesday, narrowly defeating NBC's prime time hit "America's Got Talent" (9.3). The game beat all the local newscasts from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. by a much bigger margin as overall newscast viewing took a big hit from what they normally receive.

The game rating peaked at 11.2 from 5:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. as regulation was about the conclude.

The highest-rated of the three previous World Cup games featuring the United States was an 8.7 for the 2-2 draw with Portugal on a Sunday afternoon. The opening win over Ghana had a 6.5 rating and the loss to Germany a 7.0.

All those local ratings are only for the time the game was actually played and the intermission. Nationally, ESPN includes the 30-minute pregame show, which lowers the rating.

Sabres release statement asking for Jeanneret's privacy

By Alan Pergament

The Buffalo Sabres released a statement this morning about play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret's announcement today that he has throat cancer.

Here's the entire release sent by Michael M. Gilbert, vice president of public & community relations for the National Hockey League team.

"The Buffalo Sabres are deeply saddened to learn of Rick Jeanneret's cancer diagnosis. RJ has been a vital part of the Sabres family and the Buffalo community for 43 years and this news undoubtedly weighs heavily on everyone who has had the privilege of listening to his broadcasts through the years. As he begins treatment in the coming weeks, we will continue to keep RJ, his wife, Sandra, his mother, Kay, his sister, Marcia, his children, Mark, Chris and Shelly, and his grandchildren in our thoughts. We wish RJ a full and speedy recovery and know his tenacity will serve him well in his fight. On behalf of the Jeanneret family, the Sabres are asking for respect of the family's privacy as RJ undergoes treatment -- any inquiries should be directed to Michael Gilbert The team has also set up a dedicated email address,, for fans to send well-wishes and notes of encouragement." 



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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 |