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It ain't heavy, it's my backpack: the changing faces of news in the digital age

ABC News president David Westin sent tremors through his industry earlier this week with his announcement of a major digital age-driven makeover of his division. Does D-FW's ABC affiliate station, WFAA8, expect to be affected? And is unclebarky.com already practicing good "backpack" journalism? We try to sort it all out here.

Also, NBC5 anchor Deborah Ferguson is among a crowded field of national Gracie Award winners while all four North Texan entrants survive the first viewer cut on American Idol. Plus, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings bring you results of the final battle between Idol and NBC's competing Winter Games.
Ed Bark

Applauding Fox4's cornering of Red Cat weasel

"Gotcha" journalism has its perils. But Dallas-based Fox4 was on solid ground Wednesday night in putting a guy on camera who strongly objected. Get the particulars here.
Ed Bark

North Texan youths invade Idol, take beatings

Four of American Idol's 12 semi-finalists are from North Texas. After Wednesday night's live sing-off, it's clear that the Fox colossus would just as soon be rid of three of them. We break down the judges' critiques before adding Uncle Barky's palate-cleansing comments.

Also, my home away from home, locatetv.com, tells you about Friday night's tribute to The Beatles' Abbey Road album on the third season premiere of Sundance Channel's Love From Abbey Road. And Wednesday's D-FW Nielsen ratings highlight the third faceoff between Idol and NBC's Winter Olympics.
Ed Bark

ABC News rocked by impending changes; Two and a Half Men suspends production in deference to Sheen's rehab

Two late-breaking network developments Tuesday shook the foundations of ABC News and put prime-time's most popular sitcom temporarily on hold. Your two unclebarky.com reports are here (for ABC) and here (for Two and a Half Men).
Ed Bark

More snow business -- but little of the actual stuff -- after local TV forecasting fest

Weather rules, pure and simple. And in the end, it just doesn't matter all that much whether you're right or wrong. You simply move on to another dire forecast if at all possible. We assess and parody here.

Also, the Mavs seem reborn in the aftermath of the "J Ho" era. But here come the Lakers.

Plus, D-FW's "The 33" will be adding another half-hour of local news. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in, too.
Ed Bark

The Olympian, gold medal hair of Bob Costas (but shouldn't it be at least a little silver?)

The Olympics roll along on NBC, with the ratings up, the U.S. stockpiling medals and host Bob Costas bringin' it all home. Which brings us to his hair in this penetrating unclebarky.com commentary. Also, the latest D-FW ratings chart the weekend numbers.
Ed Bark

Tiger Woods faces the cameras, but did he face the music, too?

TV networks had blanket coverage of Tiger Woods' live statement Friday. Was he convincing? Should the media be clamoring for more? Our review is here. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in. And on my home away from home, locatetv, check out what Simon Cowell had to say Thursday during a teleconference with TV writers.
Ed Bark

Idol vs. Olympics: Round 2

The Olympics had considerable star power Wednesday night while American Idol sent two more North Texans to its Top 24, increasing the total to four. Who won in their 8 p.m. shootout? Our latest "Local Nielsen Ratings Snapshot" has the details.

Also, HBO's Reporter documentary asks viewers to spend 90 minutes with New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof, who continues to report on genocide in the war-ravaged Congo despite massive stateside indifference. Our review is here, and I hope you'll take a look. Plus, former Friends star Lisa Kudrow talks about her new celebrity-spiked genealogy series, NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? The venue is my home away from home, locatetv.com.
Ed Bark

Four North Texans (and six Texans all together) make Idol's Top 24 live performers

Perhaps you only counted 23 identified and announced Top 24 semi-finalists on American Idol Wednesday night. That's because Duncanville's Tim Urban was a virtual no-show -- although not by his choice -- until show's end. Read all about the weird set of circumstances on unclebarky.com's Dallas-Fort Worth TV page. A late-night Fox news release, included at the end of our story, clarifies to a large extent why Urban was an invisible man. But it still raises questions about why the network couldn't have been more honest with viewers during its on-air presentation.
Ed Bark

Olympics vs. Idol: Who won in D-FW?

Tuesday's D-FW Nielsen ratings show a close battle in this first of five faceoffs between the above two titans. We've got the numbers here. Also, at least two North Texans are among Idol's 24 semi-finalists, with perhaps more to come. Get the details here. Plus a new TV Bulletin Board has another selection of tasty tidbits.

And furthermore, unfairpark.com's Robert Wilonsky has been doing his usual first-rate job of keeping up with current and possible TV and film productions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. You can see his latest compendium here. Also, if you haven't seen them yet, check out your friendly content provider's two pieces on Fox's Code 58 series, which will premiere in May and is set up at Fair Park. Your venues are locatetv.com and here in these spaces.
Ed Bark

New CBS11/TXA21 boss talks about his first priority

Broadcast TV veteran Gary Schneider, named Tuesday as president and general manager of DFW-based CBS11/TXA21, does his first one-on-one interview with unclebarky.com. You can see it here. Also, the latest local Nielsen ratings are in for a very eventful weekend -- plus Monday.
Ed Bark

Glimmering, shimmering: NBC5's new 10 p.m. anchor team

Brian Curtis and Meredith Land debuted Friday night as custodians of NBC5's 10 p.m. newscasts, replacing the deposed team of Jane McGarry and Mike Snyder. What can we realistically expect of them? Get our take here. Also, Cowboys Stadium immediately returns to a national spotlight Monday night with truTV's look back at the emporium's first regular season NFL game. And Barbara Walters is ending her yearly Oscar night specials after next month's.

Note to readers: The eventful weekend D-FW Nielsen ratings have been delayed because of President's Day. We expect to have them for you tomorrow.
Ed Bark

NBC5's McGarry talks about life after NBC5's 10 p.m. newscasts

NBC5 anchor Jane McGarry, whose portfolio suddenly no longer includes the station's 10 p.m. newscasts, talked at length with unclebarky.com in a telephone interview Friday. You can find it right here.
Ed Bark

McGarry out, Land in as NBC5's new 10 p.m. co-anchor

Jane McGarry's nearly 20-year reign as co-anchor of NBC5's 10 p.m. newscasts ended abruptly Friday with the Fort Worth-based station's announcement that incumbent anchor/reporter Meredith Land will be replacing her. She starts tonight after NBC's telecast of the Winter Olympics' opening ceremonies while McGarry re-routes to the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts. Get the details here. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings show some big numbers -- particularly in the early morning -- for a snow news day.
Ed Bark

More snow, more coverage, more pictures

Unclebarky.com productions presents a second look at the day in snow, as portrayed on D-FW television screens.
Ed Bark

Cowboy Colby tangles with varmint Russell in Big Tex subplot on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains

CBS' Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains launches Thursday, Feb. 11th with a two-hour edition. We've got pics and interviews from last month's big 10-year anniversary party. Also, take a look at D-FW's snow 'n' tell street reporters who braved the elements on Thursday's early morning newsers. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings show NBC5 with a bit of a skip in its step now that Jay Leno's prime-timer is gone.
Ed Bark

Latest North Texas Idol angles

American Idol's Hollywood rounds kicked in Tuesday night, with 17 North Texans among the nearly 200 hopefuls. Check out some of their fates here. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in our house. Plus, downtrodden NBC finally finds some slippery slopes to its liking when the Winter Olympics start Friday. See what new shows the Peacock will be promoting while also trumpeting Jay Leno's March 1st return to The Tonight Show. The venue is my home away from home, locatetv.com.
Ed Bark

Fox's Past Life is present-day lifeless

Fox blesses another new series with a post-Idol launch Tuesday night. We review Past Life here. Also, Fox4 has added a bit of bell/whistle to its 9 p.m. newscasts. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in, too.
Ed Bark

Super Bowl XLIV mashes M*A*S*H finale to become most-watched program in TV history

Records are made to be broken. But the last episode of CBS' M*A*S*H stood for nearly 27 years as the show with the largest audience in TV history. Preliminary national Nielsens for Sunday's Super Bowl XLIV say there's a new title-holder. Get the details here. Plus, truTV lamely tries to capitalize on pro football's massive popularity with Monday's launch of the six-part NFL Full Contact. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Letterman, Leno play-act in surprise Super Bowl spot

Super Bowl XLIV's best spot was a surprise, one-time-only 15-second promo for Late Show with David Letterman that also made room for Jay Leno and Oprah Winfrey. Get the details and another look here. Also, the big game blew past last year's matchup in the D-FW Nielsen ratings. Our breakdown is here.
Ed Bark

Old, tired, disheveled Mavs lose at home to roadkill Timberwolves

All right, I've had it. I wanted to believe in this year's Dallas Mavericks, but what's the point after Friday's desultory 9-point home loss to the toothless Minnesota Timberwolves. Time to vent while hoping that Dirk gets traded to a team that might someday get him a ring. That team is not the Mavs.

Also, take an offbeat Super Bowl quiz on my home away from home, locatetv.com.
Ed Bark

Undercover Boss works well in post-Super Bowl slot

Houston-based Waste Management, Inc. and its well-disposed COO are on display in CBS' Undercover Boss, this year's Super Bowl followup act. Hey, whatever works. And this mostly does. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

A great Danes performance (lame pun intended) in HBO's Temple Grandin

The year is young. But in its infancy, you won't see a better performance on any sized screen than Claire Danes as the autistic title character in HBO's Temple Grandin. Our rave review is here. Also, WFAA8 gets off to a fast start in the truncated February "sweeps" sprint at 10 p.m.
Ed Bark

Exactly how many North Texans are in Idol's Hollywood mix?

An answer to the above question requires some research on americanidol.com. But after due diligence, we've got the complete list of North Texans plus the contingent from other parts of the state.

Also, you may have noticed that mix 'n' match duos lately are the favored gambit of music awards shows. In that context, we bring you video of a still smokin' hot one from 1969, when Tom Jones went toe-to-toe with Janis Joplin. The latest D-FW Nielsen ratings also are in.
Ed Bark

Season 6 Lost premiere holds two Jacks, a pair of Kates, etc.

Lost continued to throw curves Tuesday night, giving its principal characters parallel lives. Our assessment is here. Also, Lost finds a nice-sized audience in the D-FW Nielsen ratings. And we have a new "Ask Uncle Barky," too.
Ed Bark

Lost takes last cracks at finding its way

ABC's Lost starts its sixth and final season Tuesday with a two-hour episode. Get our thoughts here, and also check out two new videos.

Plus, what was up with NBC5 anchor Jane McGarry and that "Sickening Smell" graphic Monday night? The latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in, too.
Ed Bark

WFAA8 throws a debate, debuts an anchor

WFAA8 had an eventful weekend, with a finely tuned Republican gubernatorial faceoff on Friday night and Sunday morning's debut of the Dallas-based station's weekend morning anchor. Plus, we have some more D-FW news items as another month begins and January is archived. It's all on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Also, Conan O'Brien goes out a winner with a big week in the late night ratings while Sunday night's Grammy telecast on CBS goes out with a whimper during a top-heavily censored three-way rap among the genre's elite. Check out the Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark