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North Texas Idol recap; earthbound ratings for V

Duncanville's Tim Urban -- now officially "Teflon Tim" -- smiled and laughed through another beatdown from Idol judges Tuesday. Meanwhile, Fort Worth's Casey James continued to bask in their afterglow. Our weekly summation, with Uncle Barky again acting as 5th wheel -- is here. Also, ABC's much-hyped return of V had less than stellar ratings in D-FW Tuesday. Maybe it was that super-annoying, super-imposed V countdown clock during Lost? Get the latest ratings and more here.

Also, the 69th annual George Foster Peabody Awards winners were announced Wednesday. And some shows you've heard of have actually won. Get the details here.
Ed Bark

Publishing problem resolved

A puzzling technical problem kept your friendly content provider from publishing anything in the last half day or so. But it's suddenly and rather magically been fixed. So look inside, if you would, for a new local Nielsen ratings snapshot that spotlights an uncharacteristic problem for WFAA8's 10 p.m. newscast, which blew a big ratings lead-in Monday in the key 25-to-54 demographic.

Also, did ABC's Dancing with the Stars beat American Idol last week in the national ratings? That would be historic. And the answer is yes and no.
Ed Bark

Badu does Dallas -- and local TV stations are happy to give you an eyeful

Erykah Badu's nude music video in Dealey Plaza surroundings got plenty of play on early evening newscasts Monday. Let's look 'em over.
Ed Bark

24 going down for the count

24's ongoing Season 8 will be its last, Fox and the groundbreaking show's producers announced Friday night. See our complete story on the Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

Here's to your health: ABC launches Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution in Fat City (updated)

Many of our kids aren't all right. Instead they're increasingly fat. ABC's Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution tackles the problem in an eye-opening, six-episode series set in flabby Huntington, W. VA. Our review is here. And for an interview with Oliver, visit my home away from home, locatetv.com. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings show little love for Thursday night's NCAA "Sweet 16" action.

Plus, Lifetime Movie Network's newest, Amish Grace, is a guaranteed, gender-spanning tearjerker. In other words, not just women will be pumping the tear ducts. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Promotion/addition at NBC5

Fort Worth-based NBC5 has a new permanent post for Lindsay Wilcox and a new hire in Julie Tam. Get all the details here. Plus, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in, and three of the four reigning First Ladies of D-FW television news will share the same stage Friday. Also, Sarah Palin gets a new TV series on TLC as part of our wealth of new postings on the TV Bulletin Board page.
Ed Bark

Verne 'n' Dale: faces of WFAA8 sports for 43 years and counting

Few if any TV stations in the wide world of sportscasting can say they've had just two lead dogs in the past 43 years. But WFAA8 can, and it was good to see incumbent Dale Hansen and predecessor Verne Lundquist chatting away recently on Good Morning Texas. You can find the video, nicely salted with Lundquist clips, in this here space. Also, Uncle Barky's latest locally flavored American Idol dispatch is in the house. So are the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings, with Idol and Lost again topping the charts.

NOTE TO READERS -- We earlier publicized the America's Got Talent event at Fair Park, which will be held on Thursday and Friday of this week. If you still want to attend a taping, go here for more information and then scroll down to the bottom item for a link on how to get tickets.
Ed Bark

CW's Fly Girls soars on wings of eagles (just kidding, of course)

Another new CW reality series, Fly Girls, joins the CW lineup Wednesday. Its bar is a bit higher than the existing disease known as High Society. See our review here. Also, a new TV Bulletin Board has lotsa fresh tidbits. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are very good news for ABC and D-FW affiliate WFAA8.
Ed Bark

Jagged little pills: Nurse Jackie back on Showtime

Edie Falco continues to have a bravura encore for The Sopranos when she returns Monday to play the title role in Showtime's Nurse Jackie. See our Season 2 review here. Also, the weekend D-FW Nielsen ratings are in.
Ed Bark

Sucky Bucky: Uncharacteristically defenseless UW Badgers buried by other Big Red

Your friendly content provider's alma mater came up utterly empty against Cornell Sunday afternoon. The horror show mercifully ended at 3:51 central time on ncaa.com.

"First field goal by Wisconsin in 6 hours, 45 minutes," CBS play-by-play man Jim Nantz said with 5:09 left in the second half. He misspoke, but could have fooled me. Final score: Cornell, 85, Badgers, 69. It wasn't that close.

Oh well. My corkscrewed heart now is with the remaining two Texas teams -- Baylor and Texas A&M (if they manage to pull through against Purdue later in the day). Say cheese.
Ed Bark

Badgers barely beat itty bitty Wofford College, waylaying Uncle Barky's plans to jump off a tall building to an enthusiastic standing ovation from NBC5 anchors Brian Curtis and Meredith Land -- to name just two


Your friendly content provider's alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, squeaked into the second round of the NCAA basketball tournament Friday afternoon with a 53-49 win against the smallest school in the field, Wofford College.

The 4th-seeded Badgers survived against the 13th-seeded Terriers on the strength of pro prospect Jon Leuer's clutch basket and free throws in the final minute. He broke his wrist earlier in the season but returned a few weeks ago. Without him against Wofford, Wisconsin would have been a rotting slice of limburger cheese served on month-old Wonder Bread.

The game of course wasn't carried in D-FW, save for the closing minute or so. But the greatness of ncaa.com allowed me to watch the whole thing while growing ever fatalistic about this being the most humiliating defeat in Badger basketball history. It was scrappy Wofford's first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, and I don't want to ever see them again.

The only drawback to ncaa.com is its blocking of any switching to other games when commercials interrupt the game you're watching. But that in itself is genius -- and a very small price to pay in the grand scheme of things.

Wisconsin now will play 12th-seeded Cornell on Sunday. D-FW's CBS11 will have little or no interest in that one either, but ncaa.com again will save the day. Whew. A loss to Wofford would have been truly woeful. But now there's a fighting chance to go to the Sweet 16. And hey, we'll take it.
Ed Bark

RIP Fess Parker: Aug. 16, 1924 to March 18, 2010 (updated)

Fort Worth native and fabled TV frontiersman Fess Parker died Thursday at the age of 85. We fondly remember "Davy Crockett" in this Back Channels look at his life and times as a California vineyard owner. It was first published just over five years ago, with a robust 80-year-old Parker playing the most gracious host imaginable. There's also a companion remembrance of Parker on my home away from home, locatetv.com.

Plus, Thursday's "March Madness" D-FW Nielsen ratings are in. And the TV Bulletin Board page has info. on Christiane Amanpour's new job with ABC News and John King's new show on CNN.
Ed Bark

Meth-od acting: AMC's addicting Breaking Bad remains on drugs

Star Bryan Cranston resumes his Emmy-winning ways when AMC's Breaking Bad launches Season 3 Sunday night. Our review is here. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings have the Peacock people strutting at NBC5.
Ed Bark

Life goes on

Part 1 of the new Discovery Channel series Life is screening for free on Thursday, March 18th at The Magnolia in Dallas. Show time is 7:30 p.m. To gain admittance, simply RSVP to DiscoveryLifeDallas@gmail.com.

The 11-part sequel to the acclaimed Planet Earth premieres on Sunday, March 21st at 7 p.m. central.
Ed Bark

Monster meshing with syfy channel

Syfy channel's newly announced slate of B-movies sends Uncle Barky plummeting into a cesspool of other possibilities. Plus, CBS11/TXA21 weatherman Mike Burger marks a milestone, the American Idol finalists turn Stones' music into mush and the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings put some pop into the premiere of FX's Justified. Also, if you haven't already, check out this very vintage Southwest Airlines prequel to its ongoing "Bags Fly Free" TV ad campaign.
Ed Bark

CW33's The RC Project hits IQ ground zero

Tacked on to Dallas-based CW33's new 5 p.m. local newscasts, The RC Project tests a viewer's will to live. We nonetheless take a closer look here. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are uncommonly served sunny side up for Fox4's Good Day. And at my home away from home, locatetv.com, read all about Betty White's hotness.
Ed Bark

FX's Justified has a sharp edge without all the usual anti-hero additives

FX's latest new drama, the law 'n' order-themed Justified, premieres Tuesday night. The network should be justifiably proud. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Ex-Idol producer critiques his old show, finds it wanting

Nigel Lythgoe, who spent seven seasons as co-producer of American Idol before jumping to So You Think You Can Dance, has some pointed opinions about Idol's ongoing Season 9. He shared them with unclebarky.com during a recent stop in Dallas. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings show the first returns for HBO's The Pacific. Plus, a new TV Bulletin Board is stocked with tidbits and we debut a possibly recurring "Fun with Mike and Jane" feature drawn from the at times wacky Facebook postings of NBC5 anchors Mike Snyder and Jane McGarry.
Ed Bark

The Pacific lands on HBO

HBO's long-awaited sequel to 2001's Band of Brothers begins its 10-week run on Sunday night. Our salute to it is here.
Ed Bark

"Cheerleader pop" propels Fox4's Fiona Gorostiza

Good Day adventurist Fiona Gorostiza shook her assets Thursday during Dallas auditions for Fox's So You Think You Can Dance. Pics and blow-by-blow are here. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are a li'l booster shot for CW33's 5:30 p.m. local newscast.
Ed Bark

And baby will make three

Responding to reader inquiries, we've confirmed the pregnancy of a prominent D-FW television news anchor. Congratulations are in order for . . .

Also, two North Texans make American Idol's Top 12 while voters also deal a bland blow to prime-time's most popular show.
Ed Bark

Cuckolded Coco coming to campus near you

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The above is coming to Dallas -- SMU's McFarlin Auditorium -- on May 13th. Tickets are from $39.50 to $79.50. Here's a link.

It all begins in Eugene, Oregon on April 12th, with a scheduled final stop in Atlanta on June 14th. Sometime shortly after that, Coco will be free to be on TV again. I smell an HBO special.
Ed Bark

Glenn Beck goes after little baby barky

Your friendly content provider is under assault from Glenn Beck, who's brandishing formative Barky's Facebook baby picture to underscore his contention that unclebarky.com's Garland corporate headquarters house a "Pinko Commie Leftycrat." So I'm currently in hiding.

Plus, we review Fox's new Sunday night sitcom, Sons of Tucson, and also bring you our newest take on Wednesday night's American Idol performances by the four remaining North Texas males.
Ed Bark

It's Ms. Roark for CBS11 news director post

CBS11 has named Adrienne Roark as the D-FW station's new news director. Get all the details here.
Ed Bark

NBC5 names Friedman as permanent early morning co-anchor

Fort Worth-based NBC5 as expected has tabbed news staffer Scott Friedman to be its new early morning co-anchor. He'll team with incumbent Deborah Ferguson. More details here.
Ed Bark

CW's High Society makes Jersey Shore seem like Washington Week In Review

Wow, The CW strikes again with a new "docu-series" about New York's rich 'n' vacant socialite crowd. Our review of the thoroughly loathsome High Society -- but maybe that's the intent -- can be found here. Plus, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in. And you can find an abundance of March programming highlights on my home away from home, locatetv.com.
Ed Bark

No great shakes in the looks department (but can Bill White somehow confound the TV age and beat the almost criminally handsome Rick Perry?)

It amounts to a case of the tortoise vs. the hair helmet. And that's a lot for Bill White -- or any candidate -- to overcome in times when looks tend to call the tune. We examine the sometimes cold realities of a plain-faced bald man vs. studly Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Also, NBC5 anchor Jane McGarry has launched a Fanpage.
Ed Bark

Original 1979 Elvis movie still rocks with Russell/Carpenter at throttle

ABC's three-hour Elvis movie remains historically important and damned good, too. A very nicely restored DVD version is now available via Shout Factory. Our review and info. on how to get it can be found here. Also a new "Ask Uncle Barky" entertains your latest batch of questions. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings show a burgeoning kingmaker in ABC's Castle.
Ed Bark

No surprise Oscars have surprisingly strong D-FW ratings (updated)

Sunday night's Oscar-cast on ABC had a markedly bigger audience than last year's, according to the D-FW Nielsens. We look at the numbers here and review the show here. We now have a post on the national Oscar ratings as well.

Plus, NBC and ABC both renew some ratings-challenged series while NBC also announces summertime premiere dates for America's Got Talent among others.
Ed Bark

Idol's North Texas 4 stays intact; now comprises half of remaining 8 males

American Idol's amazing but true North Texas tint remained intact after the latest viewer vote-off Thursday. Get the details here. The latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in, too. Plus, we warm up for the Oscars with a host of host trivia on our home away from home, locatetv.com.
Ed Bark

The Office's "Baby Event" -- wah, wah, wah

NBC's The Office sinks further into traditional sitcom contrivance with Jim and Pam's special delivery Thursday night. No, it's not horrible. But yes, The Office definitely has seen better days. We take a closer look here.
Ed Bark

WFAA8 takes 10 p.m. news prizes in Olympics-addled February sweeps

The February "sweeps" are in the books, although don't read too much into them. NBC's heavily-watched Olympics telecasts stamped a big asterisk on the showcase 10 p.m. results while also having at least an indirect impact on the early evening news ratings. With that said, you can find the final results here.

Also, Wednesday's D-FW ratings have been posted, and there's additional news about a former D-FW television anchor/reporter who's moving from CNN to CBS. Plus, check out a list of prime-time's all-time Top 10 British imports on my home away from home, locatetv.com.
Ed Bark

So long to "The Schack"

WFAA8 weekend meteorologist Jennifer Schack will be leaving the building after her March 7th duties. See where she's going here.
Ed Bark

Uncle Barky's latest American Idol (North Texas edition) recap

Forty percent of the male semi-finalists on America's most popular show hail from North Texas. So that seems worth another recap, in which Uncle Barky's homegrown comments are paired with the so-called experts. In this installment, we stand tall for Arlington's Todrick Hall, who's being very unduly eviscerated.

Also, Wink Martindale's publicists are comparing him to Lady Gaga -- in a fashion sense. But Adam Lambert's more like it. We fall off the map into bizarro land in this urgent dispatch. Plus, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings give you Tuesday's numbers on the election-themed late night newscasts, Leno vs. Letterman, etc.
Ed Bark

A mostly silent witness to the fires on Lower Greenville

Television obviously is a visual medium that often is only as strong as its pictures. And the early Tuesday morning fires on Lower Greenville Avenue certainly underscored that.

NBC5's website, nbcdfw.com, has posted a two-and-a-half-minute video of the tragedy without any breathless reporter interjections. You can find it embedded on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page as an example of how powerful natural sound -- or no sound at all -- can be in bringing this particular story home in stark, unadorned fashion.
Ed Bark

Leno re-takes Tonight and lights up D-FW ratings

Hyped with a "Get Back" campaign during the Winter Olympics, Jay Leno re-emerged for his first Tonight Show do-over Monday. Our review is here. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings immediately put Leno back on top of David Letterman. And our TV Bulletin Board page looks at the latest Dancing with the Stars lineup and the continuing adventures of Dallas flyboy Jake Pavelka, who's segueing from kiss 'n' tell to hoof 'n' puff.
Ed Bark

Third coming of Parenthood gives NBC a little long overdue prime-time patina

NBC is filling one of Jay Leno's vacated prime-time holes with a new version of Parenthood from Ron Howard's production company. We explore its family dynamics here.
Ed Bark

NBC gumbo: Olympics/Young/Conan; Marriage Ref; Leno to Tonight, prime-time takes flight

The Olympics are over, but not without an oddity and an odd intrusion Sunday night. Plus, now comes the new NBC, with Jay Leno reclaiming The Tonight Show while leaving five big holes to fill in the Peacock's prime-time schedule. Meanwhile, stations such as Fort Worth-based NBC5 are more than eager to re-roll the dice with late night newscasts that can't help but be better served without Leno as an appetizer.

Note to readers: March means the immediate filing of recent posts into the February archives on heavily trafficked unclebarky.com pages. It also prompts a reminder to please make your Amazon purchases by first clicking through one of the ads on this web site. It's one way to support your homegrown free-of-charge venue, with each Amazon buy putting a few cents into our little treasury. Thanks again for your support and readership!
Ed Bark