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As ER nears an end, who are TV's all-time top 10 docs?

NBC's ER will end its record 15-season run -- the most ever for a medical series -- with Thursday's two-hour finale. Two of its denizens have made our list of all-time Top 10 TV docs. Plus, your friendly content provider adds his voice to cnn.com's story on ER's impact and legacy. Also, there's great news for NBC's Austin-made Friday Night Lights. And Monday's D-FW Nielsen ratings chronicle a rare occurrence in the local news wars.
Ed Bark

Take a look inside


CBS11's J.D. Miles with DPD officer Robert Powell. Photo: Ed Bark

Tough-worded questioning from CBS11 reporter J. D. Miles put Dallas police officer Robert Powell on the receiving end during an exclusive interview on Monday's 10 p.m. newscast. The details are here. Also, we look at ABC's re-do of its 1998 series, Cupid, which premieres Tuesday.
Ed Bark

Advancing the story: CBS11 lands exclusive interview with Moats case cop

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DPD officer Robert Powell and CBS11 reporter J.D. Miles

CBS11 plans to play catch up in a big way Monday with its own exclusive in the Ryan and Tamishia Moats case.

The station announced early Monday evening that reporter J.D. Miles will interview Dallas police officer Robert Powell on tonight's 10 p.m. newscast.

Powell is on administrative leave after his controversial conduct outside Baylor Regional Medical Center of Plano, where he issued a traffic ticket to Ryan Moats and detained him at length while his hospitalized mother-in-law died.

WFAA8 reporter Rebecca Lopez broke the story last Wednesday and is still in New York after interviewing the Moatses Monday in concert with ABC's Good Morning America. Portions of her interview aired on WFAA8's 5 p.m. newscast, with more to come on Monday's 6 and 10 p.m. reports.

More inside

Live from New York, WFAA8 reporter Rebecca Lopez talks to unclebarky.com about the biggest story of her career. Also, Fox will premiere Osbournes: Reloaded following Tuesday's latest American Idol performance show. It already smells bad, though.
Ed Bark

Waiting game: Ryan, Tamishia Moats go public first on GMA while WFAA8 readies its own local exclusive


Robin Roberts with Ryan, Tamishia Moats on ABC's GMA. Photo: Ed Bark

Ryan and Tamishia Moats were interviewed exclusively on Monday's Good Morning America while the reporter who broke the story, WFAA8's Rebecca Lopez, waited her turn. Get the details here. Also, Tiger Woods' dramatic 18th hole win Sunday gives NBC a short-lived boost in the D-FW Nielsen ratings.
Ed Bark

Moats and wife opt for more visible morning venue (updated)

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GMA's Robin Roberts and Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats

Pro football running back Ryan Moats and his wife Tamishia (also spelled Tamisha in some accounts) have changed morning partners and now will appear exclusively on Monday's Good Morning America to talk about what has become their nationally famous altercation with Dallas traffic cop Robert Powell.

They'll be interviewed by co-anchor Robin Roberts at some point in the ABC program, which airs from 7 to 9 a.m. in D-FW on WFAA8.

CBS11 anchor Karen Borta had told viewers on the station's late night Thursday newscast (delayed by the NCAA basketball tournament) that CBS' The Early Show would have an exclusive interview with Ryan and Tamishia Moats on Friday's program.

But that never happened. As previously reported on unclebarky.com, CBS11 spokesperson Lori Conrad said she was informed that the Early Show interview "was a lock" until Friday morning, "when the broadcast executive producer got an email saying that they couldn't do the interview because Ryan's wife was still grieving."

Early Show easily is the least-watched of the three network morning programs both nationally and in D-FW. In last Monday's local Nielsen ratings, GMA had 93,002 D-FW viewers, followed by NBC's Today (79,716) and Early Show (39,858).

This Just In -- WFAA8 reporter Rebecca Lopez, who broke the story last week, also is in New York for what she says will be the only local station "exclusive" interview with Ryan and Tamishia Moats.

On Sunday's 10 p.m. newscast, Lopez told anchor Shelly Slater that her interview with the couple will air on WFAA8's 5 to 7 a.m. Daybreak program before GMA's network exclusive. WFAA8 is an ABC affiliate, but is not owned by the network.

Lopez said that Ryan and Tamishia Moats have not sought publicity and plan to do only the GMA and WFAA8 interviews.

Nor did the Moatses file a complaint with the Dallas police department, Lopez said. The incident, which occurred on March 17th, came to light only after a Plano officer who witnessed it complained to the DPD, Lopez told Slater. "And that's how this investigation got launched."

Lopez said the Moatses have been "overwhelmed" by all the attention the case has received over the past five days.

More new stuff

HBO's latest new series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, premieres Sunday night. It's the first G-rated scripted series ever from the longrunning premium pay network. Also, Rebecca Lopez's scoop on the much talked-about Ryan Moats/traffic cop incident re-proves the value of experienced beat reporting in times when many local TV stations are giving it up. Also, we have updates requested on several former D-FW television newsies pictured in a vintage WFAA8 promotional video. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings bounce the wrong way for NCAA basketball.
Ed Bark

Inside pages

ABC's new In the Motherhood premieres Thursday. Not to be too judgmental, but if you're in the womb, stay there. Also, Tuesday's Obama-infused D-FW Nielsen ratings are in.
Ed Bark

Sportscaster Gina Miller knows the score as D-FW television's last woman standing


Sportscaster Gina Miller in the CBS11/TXA21 newsroom. Photo: Ed Bark

Dallas-Fort Worth, the country's fifth-largest TV market, now has just one woman sportscaster on the six stations with nightly local newscasts. Post up with Gina Miller in our extended profile.
Ed Bark

Fresh produce

Which D-FW weatherman showed up in a tuxedo to do Monday's 10 p.m. forecast? We've got a picture and some fake reasons why. Also, TBS enters the late night talk show ring with a surprise newcomer of color. And the latest D-FW ratings are in the house.
Ed Bark

Rather hits the century mark -- in HDNet news programs

Dan Rather's weekly HDNet news program will reach 100 episodes and counting on Tuesday. It's turned out to be an optimum marriage for the former CBS News heavyweight and Dallas-based owner Mark Cuban. Rather has plenty to say about this and more in an extended telephone interview with unclebarky.com. Also, we get an update from former Fox4 Good Day anchor Megan Henderson, who's newly on the air at KTLA-TV in Los Angeles.
Ed Bark

New inside

Throwing your voice can be a very good gig, especially if you're originally from D-FW. Check out the latest homegrown ventriloquist who's raking it in. Also, the weekend Nielsen ratings were bullish for both Obama and basketball.
Ed Bark

Local angles -- all nine of 'em

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trophy_nbc_connecticut_right trophy_nbc_los_angeles_right trophy_nbc_philadelphia_left

We recently messed around with NBC5's new "Golden Local" award, which kind of looks like a cowboy giving D-FW the time-tested finger.

But it turns out that our local Peacock, owned-and-operated by NBC Universal, isn't the only O&O to deploy this advertising device. In fact, nine of NBC's 10 O&O stations have a Golden Local in play, with WTVJ-TV in Miami so far the only exception.

The KXAS-TV (Ch. 5) Golden Local is pictured at the top left. Its latest winner, Uncle Julio's, got the most votes in a Mexican restaurant competition with Mi Cocina. Both restaurants' logos, and links to their Web sites, are part of the package. Do you smell corporate synergy?

Let's meet the eight other Golden Locals, all pictured above. Three are billed as "the World's First Human trophy," even if only one really is. But without further ado . . .

TOP ROW (left to right): KXAS (Dallas-Fort Worth); WNBC (New York); KNSD (San Diego)

MIDDLE ROW: KNTV (San Jose, San Francisco); WMAQ (Chicago); WRC (Washington, D.C.)

BOTTOM ROW: WVIT (Hartford, Conn.); KNBC (Los Angeles); WCAU (Philadelphia)

And no, you won't this information anywhere else.

On Wisconsin -- off Florida State (updated)


Bucky's ready to slow the game to a crawl tonight. Photo: Ed Bark

Uncle Barky's alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will take on the heavily favored Florida State Seminoles in one of the NCAA basketball tournament's late games Friday.

Few give the Badgers much of a chance, and yes I've heard most of the jokes and have a few myself.

Wisconsin looks and plays like a set-shooting '50s team.

Their games should be televised in black-and-white.

The team rallying cry is a yawn.

They're more deliberate than Dag Hammarskjold.

They make Perry Como look like Billy Idol.

One of their star players is hulking Joe Krabbenhoft, whose name sounds like a specialty sauerkraut dish.

And so on.

The Badgers will enter tonight's game as a lowly No. 12 seed after losing their opening game in the Big Ten Tournament. Florida State is a No. 5 seed after making it to the title game in the rough-tough ACC tournament.

But look for Wisconsin to put a Verne Gagne sleeper hold on the otherwise up-tempo Seminoles. And after the paint has dried and the snores have set in, the Badgers will pull off a 10-9 win in always pulsating Boise.

OK, it's likely to be a bit higher-scoring than that. And Wisconsin should have a strong fan base in Dallas after bequeathing the Mavs both Michael Finley and Devin Harris. It's not the great state of Wisconsin's fault that owner Mark Cuban later coughed both of them up.

So let's get behind a bratwurst-powered team with nothing to lose under the steady leadership of former University of Wisconsin-Platteville coach Bo Ryan. For him, a fast break is a dirty word. But he does do a mean hambone. Check it out and say cheese:
Ed Bark

Postscript: Well, the Badgers beat Florida State by two points in overtime, but then wilted in the second half against Xavier to bow out of the NCAA tournament Sunday afternoon. Wait'll next year, when Wisconsin returns with more slo-mo, rim-clanging hardwood action.

Web-only Rockville CA finds O.C. creator skipping networks


"Resident music geek" Hunter (Andrew J. West) stars in Rockville CA.

The new web-only series Rockville CA is another instance of a prominent TV producer bypassing the conventional networks to play what for now is still small ball. In this case it's Josh Schwartz (The O.C.). Get our take on what he's done on the Web Browser page.
Ed Bark

Take a look inside

Former CBS11 news director Regent Ducas, quite the notorious figure during his brief tenure, has landed a coaching job in North Texas. Get the details here. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in, as is news of two long leases on life for a pair of CBS comedies. Look below on this page as well for an example of how one major TV station humanely handled an anchor layoff.
Ed Bark

Ah, the humanity -- seriously

You know how it is when a D-FW television anchor or reporter is sacked due to downsizing.

Station managers invariably have no comment. They say it's because they have to protect themselves against possible lawsuits. So no one said anything on the record when the likes of WFAA8's Macie Jepson and CBS11's Robert Riggs were let go.

But it really doesn't have to be done this way, as CBS-owned WCCO-TV in Minneapolis is showing. The station's web site has a March 16th story headlined, "WCCO Releases Jeanette Trompeter."

That's a reference to an anchor-reporter who joined WCCO in 2005 from a Des Moines, Iowa TV station. The story includes this passage:

"In a message to the station's staff, Vice President and General Manager Susan Adams Lloyd said economic realities during the recession required that she make a very difficult decision. She wished Jeanette all the best."

Lloyd also is quoted in the story as saying, "Like so many businesses in our community that are adjusting to these uncertain economic times, WCCO-TV, too, had to make one of these tough decisions . . . It's a difficult day for all of us today."

WCCO also provided a link for viewers wanting to wish Trompeter well.

Kudos to the station for handling her layoff in a very classy and humane way. It doesn't take much. And it can make a big difference.

New for you

Our latest "Making A List" assembles the "Top 10 TV Stars whose real names bear no resemblance." One that didn't make the cut is Orson Bean, who once upon a time was Dallas Burrows. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings mark the first time a competing show has beaten American Idol. At least in these parts. And unclebarky.com picks a Final Four for American Idol in hopes that at least one of 'em makes it.
Ed Bark

Inside stuff


Jay Harrington has the title role in ABC's new Better Off Ted.

The new ABC workplace comedy Better Off Ted launches Wednesday night. Comparisons to The Office are inevitable, but this one has its own odd charms. Our review is here. Also, avid twitterer George Stephanopoulos "tweets" with late adapter John McCain. And we pick up the pieces.
Ed Bark

"I'll be back at 6 -- unless they fire me between now and then"

OK, maybe we should be glad that traffic reporter Bob Herzog's not plyin' his trade in D-FW. But his Irish thing-a-ma-jig on St. Paddy's Day, 2008 makes Uncle O 'Barky laugh more than just a wee bit.

Herzog channeled his dance at 5:48 a.m. on WKRC-TV's Good Morning Cincinnati program. And a year later, he's still hangin' in at the CBS station. Here's a look at how he stopped traffic:
Ed Bark

New for you

The early morning ratings are getting very grim for WFAA8's Daybreak, which hasn't clicked at all lately in the local Nielsens. I guess you could say it's still early for the stations latest anchor duo of incumbent Cynthia Izaguirre and newcomer Chris Flanagan. But Monday's Daybreak numbers were truly abysmal. We also have the weekend D-FW Nielsens plus news of Sopranos creator David Chase's new miniseries for HBO. And a new TV Bulletin Board notes a big first in the annals of late night TV talk shows. Plus, a new "Ask Uncle Barky" gives you a look at former WFAA8 anchor Jeff Brady's new -- and so far underwhelming -- Web site. There are other answers, too.
Ed Bark

In memoriam: Mike Maza

Today is the memorial for my good friend and former Dallas Morning News colleague Mike Maza, who died last year of cancer. In his memory, there'll be no further postings today. We'll resume on Tuesday. Thank you.
Ed Bark

NBC's Kings deserves some loyal subjects

One of the better new TV dramas of late, NBC's suitably epic Kings, premieres Sunday night. Our review is here. We also apprise George Clooney's little-promoted appearance on Thursday's ER, which didn't fare very well in that night's D-FW Nielsen ratings. And NBC has a summer schedule in place, with which we mess around.
Ed Bark

Earmarking of a different sort: Cell phone usage in a steam room

This basically has nothing to do with TV, although a D-FW station presumably could flip it into a "trend" story. But here goes anyway.

After working out yesterday at a Garland fitness emporium, I hit a very steamy co-ed steam room. So did a woman with her cell phone. She began to loudly yak on it and never stopped. A good 20 minutes later, she was in the whirlpool, still talking away. So much for peace and serenity.

It's the first time I'd witnessed cell phone usage in a steam room and whirlpool. But in more upscale exercise places, perhaps this is commonplace.

Anyway, it pissed me off, maybe for no good reason. Got any odd cell phone usage stories of your own? Or am I just being a grump? Thank ya.
Ed Bark

Idol axes two, bungles new rule

Prime-time's most popular show, American Idol introduced a very lame "Judges' Save" option Wednesday. But it then made a mess of its own new rules. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsens are in. And on the Web Browser page, we commend NBC Universal for finally doing something right, even if it's an embarrassment for one of its owned networks. Plus, Dallas-based KDAF-TV's 9 p.m. local newscast sinks to another low.
Ed Bark

WFAA8 to be hit by more layoffs

Belo Corp., owner of Dallas-based WFAA8 and 19 other TV stations, will be dropping 150 more employees by mid-April. Get further details here. Also, another network cooking competition, NBC's The Chopping Block, steps up to the plate Wednesday night. Our review is served here. Plus, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in. And do grackle poop and Fox4 reporter Matt Grubs mix? Yes, and quite well as it turns out.
Ed Bark

Inside pages

Dancing with the Stars returned Monday night to the tune of big ratings and high scores for former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader turned Bachelor jilt-ee Melissa Rycroft. One North Texas couple immediately sent a letter of protest to ABC on other grounds, though. Get Dancing's D-FW ratings here and the other stuff here. Also, it was a pinstripes palooza Monday on Fox4's 9 p.m. local newscast. We jest and nitpick here.
Ed Bark

Inside stuff

Dallas-based WFAA8 has named a third Good Morning Texas co-host to fill the spot left by Brenda Teele. Also, WFAA8 is a bit miffed at Houston's KPRC-TV, whose latest news personality promos look more than a little like copycats. The weekend D-FW Nielsen ratings are in, too. Plus, NBC reporter Lindsay Wilcox has a new arrival and a freshly posted TV Bulletin Board page entry tells you what South Park has in mind for the Jonas Brothers on Wednesday's 13th season premiere.

We also have a new paid advertiser, Texas A&M University, which actually is hiring! As you can see from the ad along the right-hand border, they're looking for a Senior Communications Specialist. So by all means check it out if you fit the accompanying job description. And tell 'em unclebarky.com sent ya.
Ed Bark

New for you

It's not every day you hear a fire alarm go off in the middle of a local newscast. See how WFAA8 handled it, pictures and all. Also, we have a review of ABC's new and heavily promoted Castle series, an American Idol update and the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings on Day 1 of the largely inconsequential March "sweeps." Plus, check out unclebarky.com's review of Breaking Bad, which returns for Season 2 Sunday night.
Ed Bark

Stripped of stripes

Fox4 anchor Steve Eagar again called attention to his sinister wide-striped suitcoat Wednesday, this time to swear off wearing it at the order of his "boss's boss." Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are another cuppa cold coffee for WFAA8's Daybreak. We've got our latest American Idol picks, too, and a variety of tidbits on the TV Bulletin Board page.
Ed Bark

Fox4 anchor shows his stripes

He reports, you decide. Fox4 anchor Steve Eagar made a point of wearing his wide-striped suitcoat Tuesday night after he says management told him to bag it. Instead he wants viewers to vote it on or off. Also, Tuesday's early morning ratings are a jolt for new anchor Chris Flanagan, who made his Daybreak debut. And we again pick our three Idol survivors from Tuesday's last in a trio of 12-way sing-offs.
Ed Bark

Another new male delivery at WFAA8

Anchor Chris Flanagan made his Daybreak debut Tuesday on WFAA8, and hopes to last much longer than the previous trio. Our first impressions are here. Also, cancer survivor Judy Jordan, who was D-FW's first woman news anchor, offers a buoyant update and picture. And the latest D-FW Nielsens are rosy for ABC's The Bachelor, where North Texan Melissa Rycroft belatedly got jilted Monday night.
Ed Bark

New inside

The latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are both a plus and a minus for Megan Henderson's last day on Fox4's Good Day. Also, Jimmy Fallon will take a Web-centric approach to NBC's Late Night, where he debuts on Monday, March 2nd. Here's what he has to say.
Ed Bark

Rebooting for March

New posts for March send last month's to the February archives located along the right-hand border of each unclebarky.com page. In our latest Dallas-Fort Worth TV entry, we have news of two former D-FW television news stalwarts battling serious health problems. And 24's latest two-hour "event" again finds its fictional president facing worse problems than her real-life counterpart. Namely, a terrorist invasion of the White House.
Ed Bark

P.S. Again, a monthly thanks to all who have made Amazon.com purchases by first clicking through the Amazon ad on unclebarky.com. And a special thanks to photographer Michael Irvin for his ongoing pre-paid advertisement. It all helps.