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Another sojurn out West for the annual Television Critics Association "press tour"


Hello, Mr. Uncle Barky. May I offer you a poolside pig in a blanket?

Forgive your friendly content provider, but it's time to head West again for the annual Television Critics Association summer "press tour," in which networks high and low trot out their new fall lines.

Alas, I've been keeping count. And this will be my 32nd such trip; the first one was taken via covered wagon.

So there'll be no posting on unclebarky.com from Tuesday, July 26th through Tuesday, Aug. 9th. But you can still keep up with all the goings-on at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and other environs via locatetv.com, for whom I'll be writing exclusively.

I'm also on Twitter (unclebarkycom), where the brief teases of coming attractions will also be replicated on Facebook. And if anything big happens back in D-FW, I'll try to tweet that as well.

Thanks for your continued patronage, and I hope you'll follow all the press tour developments on locatetv.com.
Ed Bark

P.S. I've left some stuff behind on unclebarky.com, including the recently posted tome on WFAA8's latter day championing of Rentrak as a possibly better way to measure local newscast ratings than Nielsen Media Research. So please feel free to browse and keep the traffic running.

What's a Rentrak? As a rival to Nielsen, WFAA8 hopes it someday will mean big money in the bank

The business of measuring local and national TV audiences has long been the stock in trade of Nielsen Media Research. But Dallas-based WFAA8 has grown disenchanted with Nielsen and at the very least infatuated with the rival Rentrak company. They've been going steady for the past 10 months or so, with WFAA8 ever more bullish on both Rentrak's methodology and the robust numbers it's getting for its local newscasts. Our detailed account is on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Fox4 reporter Matt Grubs leaving Dallas, heading back to New Mexico

Matt Grubs, a heavily used general assignment reporter at Dallas-based Fox4, has decided to leave after a three-year tenure. Get the details on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Last call for HBO's Entourage

The eighth and final season season of Entourage -- with a nicely symmetrical eight episodes -- begins on Sunday, July 24th. The first three episodes were sent for review, and they're evidence that the series will be acquitting itself well down the stretch. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Hollywood Hoff trades places with little Tex namesake in CBS' Same Name

David Hasselhoff and David Hasselhoff criss-cross between Hollywood and Lake Jackson, Texas in a new and surprisingly agreeable CBS summertime "reality" series. Our review of Same Name is here.

Plus, Tuesday's D-FW Nielsen ratings are a late night boost for the Texas Rangers and their pitching-rich, 12-game winning streak.
Ed Bark

The old man at sea: Rupert Murdoch (and son) encounter troubled waters and a shaving cream pie during parliamentary hearing

An array of cable news networks went continuously live Tuesday morning to the Murdochs' joint appearance before a British parliamentary committee. Rupert regularly seemed lost for words while dutiful son, James, sought to fill in the blanks. Both apologized on cue for the burgeoning phone-hacking scandal afflicting their World News Corporation. But neither accepted any direct blame. Our review is here.

Plus, nibble on a varied menu of tidbits on our TV Bulletin Board page.
Ed Bark

Even Mr. "No Spin Zone" rolls over when it comes to his big boss's mega phone hacking scandal

The New York Times has been all too gleeful at times. But Fox News Channel's handling of Rupert Murdoch's mushrooming phone-hacking scandal should be an embarrassment to all concerned. Which, of course, it isn't, with even Bill O'Reilly taking the Fifth so far. Our thoughts on major media hypocrisy are on the Network News & Reviews page.

Plus, the weekend D-FW Nielsen ratings show a huge audience for the climactic closing minutes of Japan's comeback win over the U.S. in the World Cup soccer finale.
Ed Bark

Stalwart reporter Gary Reaves retiring from WFAA8

Gary Reaves, who returned to Dallas-based WFAA8 20 years ago after a stint with CBS News, has decided to retire from the station. More details are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Shaq 'n' "Sir Charles" coming to a TV screen near you

Shaquille O'Neal made his first big post-playing days move Thursday by signing a multi-year deal with TNT. His primary duties will be on a studio show already famously populated with Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and host Ernie Johnson. That's a lot of mouth. Get more details on the TV Bulletin Board page. Plus, Wednesday's D-FW Nielsen ratings also are in.
Ed Bark

CMT's Texas Women scours Fort Worth for its latest collection of Lone Star boobs

Stereotyping Texas is gaining steam again, which probably makes New Jersey jealous. The latest tall tale of a "reality" series, Texas Women, comes to CMT Thursday night. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

HBO again dominates while Friday Night Lights makes big breakthrough in last-ditch chance for Emmy gold

The annual Primetime Emmy nominations, announced Thursday morning, at last put NBC's Austin-made Friday Night Lights in a ring of honor for its fifth and final season. Meanwhile, HBO remained lord and master with more than double the total nominations of any other network. Get all the details on our Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

Danson joins CSI; season premieres for two hard-edged dramas

Ted Danson of Cheers fame will be bellying up to CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation this season as the long-running dramas latest lead actor. The details are on our TV Bulletin Board page, along with clips from two worthy dramas returning for new seasons Wednesday -- FX's Rescue Me and Damages, formerly of FX and now exclusively on DirecTV.
Ed Bark

Baseball and its one-time pariah converge in HBO's The Curious Case of Curt Flood

Personally speaking, HBO's excellent The Curious Case of Curt Flood rekindles lots of memories -- of Chicago Cubs' players robbed by his spectacular centerfield play and of a first-hand meeting with the perpetrator. Our review and reminiscences are here.
Ed Bark

Lifetime offers hanging curveball with new Roseanne's Nuts

Batty Roseanne Barr works for peanuts -- actually, Macadamias -- in the new Lifetime series Roseanne's Nuts. Urp, our review is here. Plus Monday's D-FW Nielsen ratings are in the house.
Ed Bark

"Bobby was always a fool"

TNT's new one-minute tease for Dallas aired Monday night during the network's two most popular drama series. See what it looks like on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

City of Dallas officially announces what's old news to unclebarky.com readers: TNT's Dallas will shoot in Dallas

The City of Dallas came out with a press release Monday that says the new Dallas series on TNT will be filmed in Dallas. Unclebarky.com reported this at noontime on Friday after checking with the network, which didn't say where Dallas would be shooting in its release. Just flyin' our little flag here.
Ed Bark

Fox4's new Good Day Sunday features anchor debut, comical countdowns

Fox4's Adrian Arambulo gets a show to anchor, but his straight-ahead approach is overshadowed in part by Larry the floor director's loud countdowns of recurring "4 Minutes" opinion segments. Just when you thought you'd seen everything. Our review is on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page, where you also can scroll down to see what former CBS11 anchor/reporter Nerissa Knight is up to lately.

Plus, the Texas Rangers ran hot over the weekend in the D-FW Nielsen ratings.
Ed Bark

TNT's summertime Monday blowout -- season premieres of The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles

TNT's pathfinding drama is followed by its latter day most popular one with the Monday night returns of The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles. Our closer looks are here.
Ed Bark

Harry Smith says so long to CBS, heads for Peacock-ville

CBS News veteran Harry Smith, perhaps weary of being bounced and then passed over, is leaving after a quarter-century to join rival NBC. He had been with CBS since 1986, initially operating out of the news division's Dallas bureau. Get more details on the Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

Syfy's new Alphas comes closer to letter z-z-z-z-z

Another batch of made-for-TV super powers emerge in Syfy's Alphas, which premieres Monday. But despite the presence of accomplished David Strathairn, it's all pretty sub-par. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Breaking news: TNT will do Dallas -- in Dallas (updated)

TNT on Friday green-lighted a 10-episode first season of its Dallas re-do. And although the network's publicity release makes no mention of where it will be filmed, network spokeswoman Jennifer Greene has just confirmed via email that "Yes, we will be shooting in Dallas."

A pilot episode recently was filmed in Dallas, with holdovers Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy joining a younger generation cast of Ewings and their love interests. The series is scheduled to premiere in summer 2012, TNT says.

More on this later. Stay tuned.

(You now can get complete details and pictures on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.)

Starz has a star player in Torchwood: Miracle Day

The continuation of the Torchwood franchise moves from the U.K. to the U.S. with Friday's premiere of a 10-episode arc in which people suddenly stop dying no matter how grievous their injuries or illnesses. Our review is here.

Also, three D-FW television news personalities recently got into costume for the annual Top Hat & Tails charity benefit. They were among eight celebrity contestants, with a winner emerging from the trio of Fox4's Fiona Gorostiza, NBC5's Tammy Dombeck and CW33's Rebecca Miller. Take a look here.
Ed Bark

ABC News "exclusives" keep begging a question: How much did they pay?

Wednesday's edition of Primetime Nightline featured an "exclusive" interview with Casey Anthony trial juror Jennifer Ford. I couldn't help watching without also thinking, "Wonder how much they paid her?" Not that I'd fully believe ABC News -- or its competitors for that matter -- if they replied "Not a penny." Our commentary on the new realities of pay-for-play is on the Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

Direct from D-FW: some hellish ground level fireworks

A WFAA8 photographer found himself in a fireworks fire zone during the Fourth of July holiday period. Not sure I've ever seen video quite like this. Action-packed? Definitely. Chilling? That, too. The 39 seconds of video are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Spader's the new bossman on The Office

On paper this sounds like a pretty good idea -- replacing Steve Carell with James Spader, who's no slouch as a smarmy manipulator. Get more details and other TV tidbits of note on our TV Bulletin Board page.

Plus, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings highlight/lowlight the audiences for the Casey Anthony murder trial verdict and resultant network news specials.
Ed Bark

June swoons into archives

Another month is in the unclebarky.com books, with July the new headliner. We'll start with a few appetizers, including a look at what Mark Cuban hasn't been up to lately and three glimpses at Fourth of July night's dueling fireworks spectaculars on CBS, NBC and PBS.

Plus, at my home away from home, locatetv.com, get a chronological compendium of notable new and returning series coming in July.

Thanks again for your continued attendance. And please remember to first click on any of the amazon.com ads on unclebarky.com before making your purchases. Your friendly content provider then will receive a small commission. It all helps to keep this free site alive and well.
Ed Bark