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Oscar numbers droop, nationally/locally

ABC says Sunday night's 83rd annual Oscar ceremony drew the 2nd biggest audience since 2007. Which is true. Except of course they're not telling you the full story. Because networks can't handle the truth. Get the complete local and national Nielsen numbers on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Captain Kirk's star turn livens a night of predictable Oscar wins

Sunday night's Oscar ceremony on ABC was designed to attract more younger viewers via hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco. Still, a visitor from Old Hollywood managed to pretty much steal the show. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Feb. 25th's late night D-FW newscasts

Pant-pant, our concluding February "sweeps" compendium is in the books. See what Friday wrought.

Up-close and objective: Feb. 24th's late night D-FW newscasts

All four major TV news providers again led with the same story on Thursday's late nighters. Not surprisingly it was news of the arrest of an alleged would-be terrorist who had been enrolled at Texas Tech University. One station declined to spring for a ticket to Lubbock, though. Which one? Check out our latest compendium, which also includes some advice for longtime Fox4 gumshoe Becky Oliver.
Plus, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in the house.
Ed Bark

Latest Sheen rant prompts CBS to stop production on Two and a Half Men for remainder of season

A Thursday radio in which Charlie Sheen repeatedly insulted the executive producer of Two and a Half Men has finally provoked CBS and the show's production company, Warner Bros. Television, to end production for the rest of this season. Our take is here.
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Feb. 23rd's late night D-FW newscasts

Truth in packaging: Wednesday's collection of D-FW late nighters wasn't exactly spine-tingling. But at least one newscast had enough ups and downs to flesh out our latest compendium. Plus, the curious CW33 case of Candice Crawford and Toni (not Tony).
Ed Bark

With their training wheels finally off, Hathaway/Franco get ready to roll toward Oscars

Anne Hathaway and James Franco, the surprise picks to host this year's Oscars, seem ready to go, judging from their amusing final short film from "boot camp." You can see it here. Whaddya think?
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Feb. 22nd's late night D-FW newscasts

The adventures continue, with Tuesday night bringing a staged pilfering of Fox4 anchor Heather Hays' purse on the big 9 p.m. show. Plus, obese ambulance passengers, distasteful rectal thermometers and "dreaded saddlebags," respectively on NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11. And Pete 'n' Dale go huntin'. Our new compendium is here.
Also, ABC's Tuesday prime-time lineup achieves cult status in D-FW while CBS pounds its chest. The latest local ratings "snapshot" is here.
Ed Bark

Married to the blob -- and hoping to change that on pound foolish Shedding for the Wedding

Resemblances to The Biggest Loser are utterly intentional on The CW's new Shedding for the Wedding. Could that be because they share the same creator/executive producer? Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Feb. 21st's late night D-FW newscasts

WFAA8 joined CBS11 Monday night in ramping up its school budget shortfall coverage -- and giving it a name. Plus there's much more in our latest in-depth look at D-FW's late night news coverage during the ongoing February "sweeps" ratings period.
Plus, see which of Sunday's big sporting events had more local viewers -- NASCAR's Daytona 500 or the NBA's All-Star game. A new "Local Nielsen Ratings Snapshot" is in the house.
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Feb. 18th's late night D-FW newscasts

Lots went on Friday -- at least on two of the four major TV news providers' late night editions. Our latest ratings "sweeps"-tied play-by-play can be found right here. Otherwise, happy Presidents Day!
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Feb. 17th's late night D-FW newscasts

There's lots of new stuff to hash over on Day 4 of our two-week February "sweeps" content analysis-palooza. Including of course that Band of Brothers reunion -- on CBS11 -- of former WFAA8 stalwarts Tracy Rowlett and Troy Dungan. Our latest compendium is here.
Ed Bark

CBS11 still rolling in late night news ratings while rubbing it in with Rowlett/Dungan reunion

WFAA8 took another standing 8 count in the 10 p.m. news ratings Thursday. But this was personal. Front-running CBS11 routed the onetime ratings juggernaut with help from live appearances by two former WFAA8 stars, news anchor Tracy Rowlett and weathercaster Troy Dungan.

They're being profiled separately this week by CBS11 anchor Karen Borta. But both were in the house for Thursday's newscast, marking their first on-air appearance together since Rowlett left WFAA8 in 1999. It should be noted that a substantial lead-in audience from CBS' The Mentalistdidn't hurt CBS11's 10 p.m. ratings prospects. But the station retained the bulk of that audience, and Rowlett/Dungan very likely had something to do with that. Get all the details in our latest "Local Nielsen Ratings Snapshot."
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Feb. 16th's late night D-FW newscasts

CBS11's squadron of 10 p.m. reporters has a decidedly different makeup these days. Plus we also scour the late nighters on Fox4, NBC5 and WFAA8 on Day 3 of our two-week look at February "sweeps" news content.
The latest D-FW Nielsen ratings also are in. And on my home away from home, locatetv.com, take a look at the Oscar Q&A, which includes interesting TV pasts for co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco.
Ed Bark

Midway point of Feb. "sweeps" finds CBS11, Fox4 faring best

Overall local newscast audiences are up compared to a year ago, thanks in no small part to the heavy barrage of winter weather at the outset of the February "sweeps" ratings period. At the halfway mark, Fox4 and CBS11 so far are in the best positions to finish with the most firsts. Get all of the details here.
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Feb. 15th's late night D-FW newscasts

He said/he said. "Mullah"/"Go to hell." Fox4's extended live interview with again embattled Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price led the night's coverage of the big public hearing blowup. But one of the four stations took a complete pass. Our looks at what they said/they did are right here. Plus, Tuesday's D-FW Nielsen ratings "snapshot" updates the path toward what could be a mega-upset in the February "sweeps" 10 p.m. newscast rankings.
Ed Bark

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior debuts on CBS (maybe there oughta be a law?)

CBS has tried other drama genres, but viewers keep cringing at pretty much everything except crime 'n' punishment. So here we go again with the Wednesday night launch of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Up-close and objective: Feb. 14th's late night D-FW newscasts

We're in the midst of the four-week February ratings "sweeps," and unclebarky.com again hears that familiar old siren song. So for the next two weeks, we'll again be putting a microscope on the late night newscasts newscasts from Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11. For starters, what's gotten into NBC5?
Plus, Fox4 inadvertently does an on-air promo for its early morning "Godo" Day show. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings show an almost shockingly scant audience for Jeopardy's Watson the IBM computer gambit.
Ed Bark

How the DOA debut of Lone Star shook Fox's world; another CW33 personality leaves the building

While TNT mulls whether to shoot the pilot of its Dallas remake in Dallas, we revisit the shock waves felt at Fox when its modern day Dallas, a k a the critically praised Lone Star, premiered with deathly Nielsen ratings. Plus, weeknight sports anchor Desmond Purnell is the latest to leave Dallas-based CW33.
Ed Bark

Mad Love puts Pie star Biggs in Monday night sitcom menu

CBS' still potent Monday night comedy lineup again shuffles the deck, with Jason Biggs' Mad Love arriving while Rules of Engagement moves on down the road to Wednesdays. Our review is here. Also, Thursday's D-FW Nielsen ratings are in.
Ed Bark

Former CBS11 weekend anchor Suzanne Sena now the diva of Onion News Network

IFC's new weekly Onion News Network series is built around the vainglorious performance of fake anchor Brooke Alvarez. In a not-too-distant earlier life, she was Fort Worth-based CBS11's Suzanne Sena. Our interview with her is here.
Ed Bark

Current TV premieres first scripted series, hopes to someday be real network

Al Gore's Current TV is making as big a splash as it can this week, following its surprise hiring of Keith Olbermann with an announcement of other new programming and the Friday night premiere of a weird, viewer-driven series called Bar Karma. We get current with Current here. Plus, Wednesday's D-FW Nielsen ratings chart the local reception for Matthew Perry's new Mr. Sunshine series among other things.
Ed Bark

Dirk joins Fox's "Animation Domination" lineup

It'll only be a one-night stand. But the Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki is voicing his cartoon self on this Sunday's NBA All-Star episode of Fox's The Cleveland Show. Get your first looks at him on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page. Also, Fox4's 9 p.m. local newscast cleaned up in Tuesday's D-FW ratings as another winter storm prepared to pounce.
Ed Bark

ABC premieres Mr. Sunshine; D-FW stations again offer extended early morning "winter blast" coverage

Former Friends star Matthew Perry's Mr. Sunshine series launches Wednesday night on ABC. Our review is here. Plus, the network morning shows on ABC, CBS and NBC again get iced in D-FW by extended winter weather coverage. Our comments are here.
Ed Bark

Olbermann swims with the Current (cable network); disappointing numbers for debut

Keith Olbermann has joined forces with the currently almost invisible Current TV network, which was co-founded by Al Gore. Go to our TV Bulletin Board page for all the details. Plus, Fox's The Chicago Code falters on opening night, both nationally and in the D-FW Nielsen ratings.
Ed Bark

Traffic Light shines on Fox while Larry the Cable Guy makes History (formerly History Channel)

Prime-time's latest relationship comedy, Fox's Traffic Light, is well worth a stop Tuesday night. Our review is here. We also critique Larry the Cable Guy's new series, History's Only in America.
Ed Bark

XX random observations on Super Bowl XLV


Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers with Terry Bradshaw. Photo: Ed Bark

Now that I'm reasonably recovered from celebrating the Packers' victory in Super Bowl XLV, here are XX random observations about the game and events surrounding it. Plus, we have all the details on the game's mega-audience in D-FW.
Ed Bark

Fox goes for cops 'n' corruption in The Chicago Code

The latest drama series from Shawn Ryan, creator of The Shield, will get a super-big buildup during Super Bowl XLV before premiering on Monday. See our review of The Chicago Code. Plus, Uncle Barky makes his Super Bowl prediction.
Ed Bark

Winter wonderland (or blunderland)? Friday morning snowfall greatly exceeds forecasts

D-FW's morning TV news programs again went into overtime Friday when the snow accumulation dwarfed the previous day's predictions. We take a closer look here, with our usual array of pictures.
Ed Bark

Idol's hour in Austin gives Fox4 Texas-sized ratings

Frigid weather and an audition show from Austin ballooned American Idol to its biggest D-FW ratings of the season Wednesday while Fox4 also celebrated a landmark January in late night news.

Plus, Bart Starr will be in North Texas Saturday to present an award named after him at the NFL's annual Athletes in Action Super Bowl breakfast But how good was he as the Green Bay Packers' general during the Vince Lombardi glory years? Native Wisconsinite Uncle Barky nears the end of his Packer-packed Super Bowl XLV buildup with a closer look at the Bart before Simpson.

Furthermore, the ongoing icy grip provides another excuse to reprise WFAA8's all-time classic cold weather report. This newly restored video of Valeri Williams' 1992 dispatch from frozen Hedley, Texas is in pristine shape and also has more of the resultant two-pronged crackup by anchors Tracy Rowlett and Chip Moody.
Ed Bark

And Jerry is angling for Super Bowl L (50)? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!!!!!!

Not to snow or sleet on Jerry's rose-colored glasses outlook, but your friendly content provider is certain this will be the first and last Super Bowl in North Texas -- unless they put a plexiglass bubble over everything. See if you agree.

Plus, a woman reporter from a Green Bay TV station visits a local barbecue joint and says during her dispatch, "I'm lookin' at your vast array of meats here." It's all part of Wisconsin native Uncle Barky's ongoing series of Packerland vignettes.
Ed Bark

Icy grip grips D-FW newscast watchers

Tuesday's extended storm coverage on D-FW's major TV news providers led to super-sized ratings for all. But who drew the most eyeballs? You can find our detailed report in the latest "Local Nielsen Ratings Snapshot" post. Plus, CNN correspondents show considerable grace under fire after being attacked in Cairo's Tahrir Square. We have their subsequent video accounts. And The Kennedys miniseries, dumped by History Channel and rejected by other networks, finally has a TV home. The details are here.
Ed Bark

Pilot for TNT's Dallas re-do to include appearances by trifecta of Hagman, Gray, Duffy

TNT officially has greenlighted a pilot for its possible second generation Dallas series, with Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy reprising their roles from the CBS original. But where will it be filmed? Get the details on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Hookers headin' here(?) for Jerry's Super Bowl sex-arama

D-FW's two 10 p.m. ratings kingpins, WFAA8 and CBS11, had dueling stories Monday on the possibilities that prostitutes will be pouring into North Texas for Super Bowl week. See which station you believe. On the same page, we also look at Fox4's first edition of XLV Live. Plus, your latest daily dose of Uncle Barky's native state Packers winds back to the glory days of the team's all-time greatest player. No, definitely not No. 4.
Ed Bark

DFW's early morning TV news troops again leave us cold

Tuesday morning dawned as a bonafide bad weather day, just like D-FW's TV weathercasters said it would be. Our picture page and accompanying text shows what it was like out in the field for the market's early-rising cold warriors.
Ed Bark

One night stands (on CBS11) for former WFAA8 mainstays Rowlett, Dungan

The February ratings "sweeps" start Thursday, with WFAA8 and CBS11 expected to wage another pitched battle for 10 p.m supremacy. Two former WFAA8 biggies, anchor Tracy Rowlett and weathercaster Troy Dungan, will be brought into battle for one night only -- on CBS11. Get the details here as unclebarky.com turns another page and heads into February while archiving January.
Ed Bark