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Fast break to Windy City

Darlin' daughter Liz is directing an original play, 1512 West Studebaker Place, which has its world premiere in Chicago on Friday, Oct. 30th. So your friendly content provider will be taking a respite for the next three days to see the show and bask in her considerable accomplishment. The play runs through Nov. 22nd under the auspices of Brain Surgeon Theater. So if you happen to be in town, I know she'd love to have you.

Unclebarky.com will resume posting on Sunday.
Ed Bark

See spots run

The November "sweeps" ratings period is on the near horizon. Gear up by watching a mini-marathon of recent CBS11 news promos. Our theater screen is here. Also, the FX cable network premieres the new comedy series The League on Thursday, Oct. 29th. It's about a Fantasy Football League run by -- what else -- hopelessly infantile men with R-rated sexual hangups. See our review here.
Ed Bark

Shine on: Friday Night Lights begins a rousing Season 4 on DirecTV

NBC's made-in-Austin Friday Night Lights kicks off Season 4 Wednesday night -- on DirecTV. As before, the Peacock will wait until later -- this time all the way to summer -- to air prime-time's most under-appreciated drama. Our review is here. Also, how much of a boost did Oprah's Texas State Fair show give WFAA8's 5 p.m. newscast? Monday's D-FW Nielsen ratings are ready to ride. And CBS11 reporter Jay Gormley has a new bride and wanted to share a wedding picture with unclebarky.com readers. So here it is.
Ed Bark

Roll 'em: Stop the Presses at last gets some TV time

Stop the Presses: The American Newspaper in Peril, from Dallas filmmakers Mark Birnbaum and Manny Mendoza, has its long overdue TV premiere tonight (Oct. 26th) on Dallas-based KERA13. National exposure also is in the cards. Get all the details here. Also, the Cowboys' impressive win over the Falcons had mega-ratings, of course. But where does it rank among the six regular season games? The latest D-FW Nielsen ratings "Snapshot" breaks it down. Plus, revisit a classic, cornpone 1987 promo in which a very folksy Dennis Weaver pitched the virtues of WFAA8's newscasts.
Ed Bark

Picking the wrong fight: Obama vs. Fox News

The Obama administration is going after Fox News Channel, charging it with bias. But why be a whiner when you have your own house organs on a rival cable news network? Our commentary is here. Also, a new TV Bulletin Board details the latest venture for Dallasite Angie Harmon. Plus, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in and we have another local news video from the vault.
Ed Bark

Oprah's State Fair show set

Taped earlier this month, Oprah Winfrey's exhaustively chronicled day at the Texas State Fair will consume the Monday, Oct. 26th edition of her syndicated show.

Oprah airs locally at 4 p.m. on WFAA8. Included is a guest performance by country singer Martina McBride and a trip to the fair's fried food vat.
Ed Bark

Nicely suited: White Collar and the USA network

Cable USA network launches another breezy new drama series Friday night while corporate sibling NBC idles in place at the same hour with The Jay Leno Show. Our review is here. Also, Dallas-born ventriloquist Jeff Dunham starts his new series on Comedy Central Thursday night. Ugh, talk about TV for dummies. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are also in play.
Ed Bark

Fox4's Doocy still without a voice (updates)

Complications from a cold and the flu have sidelined Fox4 sports anchor Mike Doocy for the past month. And he's still not sure when he'll be able to return to the Dallas-based station. Acting on requests from readers, we have his latest medical update here. Also, check out our review of CNN's two-part Latino In America documentary, which launches Wednesday night. The latest D-FW Nielsen ratings also are in. And in case you missed WFAA8 traffic reporter Alexa Conomos' hiccup episode, well, here it is.
Ed Bark

Upon further review, are the Cowboys really as bad as many D-FW commentators seem to think they are?

Reality check. The Redskins and Eagles both lost to dogs Sunday while the Giants were pistol-whipped in New Orleans. So really, shouldn't a win be a win -- period -- in today's NFL? Uncle Barky straps on his helmet to make a case for the Cowboys while also playing smash mouth with ESPN radio's Randy Galloway among others. Also, a new "Ask Uncle Barky" addresses the question of why WFAA8 is in a "ratings dump." And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings again show baseball's drama-filled post-season games being obliterated by just about anything played on a gridiron.
Ed Bark

What're you watchin' at 10 p.m.? (updated)

Unclebarky.com has some questions about how you choose your local 10 p.m. newscast. Are you a creature of habit, or of the lead-in programming preceding it? Answer back here. Plus, we show you why there's only one network that really cares about the care and feeding of its affiliates' late night newscasts. The latest D-FW Nielsen ratings also are in. And Uncle Barky puts his manhood in a blind trust to review Lifetime's Sorority Wars.
Ed Bark

Bon Jovi exclusive to NBC during "Artist in Residence" stint tied to new CD

NBC Universal's broadcast and cable networks will flog Jon Bon Jovi's upcoming new CD in return for an exclusive arrangement that keeps him off all rival networks. The deal includes an appearance on the NBC Nightly News, which used to be reserved for news. Get all the details -- and ethical problems -- on our TV Bulletin Board page. Also, NBC's prize-winning 30 Rock returns for its fourth season Thursday. Our review is here. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in the house.
Ed Bark

Joan's arc: standout American Masters portrait of Baez gives Dylan his due, too (updated)

Public television's esteemed American Masters series turns to Joan Baez Wednesday night. Our review is here. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings further establish CBS11 as the new newscast to beat at 10 p.m. And you can see it here in case you didn't see Oprah Winfrey's close encounter with WFAA8 sports anchor Dale Hansen. It's since drawn national attention. Plus, another North Texan will be setting sail on The Bachelor when its 14th edition premieres in January. Take a look here.
Ed Bark

Oprah does drive-by anchoring for WFAA8; TXA21 hires new co-anchor for "First In Prime" newscasts

Oprah Winfrey anchored a newscast for the first time since December 1983 by her recollection. Her venue was WFAA8's 5 p.m. Monday edition. We've got the blow-by-blow here. Also, get the scoop on TXA21's new anchor hire. Unclebarky.com breaks the news here.
Ed Bark

Dream World Series still a reality

Fox execs can't admit anything publicly, but you can bet they'll rooting for two teams this weekend as the American and National League Championship Series get underway. We'll tell you why here. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings again put the Cowboys over the million mark. And before Dallas-based KDFW-TV became Fox4, it had a Mike & Mike promo on its hands.
Ed Bark

Fresh posts

Yet another assassination special, History Channel's four-hour JFK: 3 Shots That Changed America, nonetheless is instructive and engrossing for young and old alike. Our review is here. Also, another car chase broke out Friday, with all four of D-FW's major TV news providers along for the ride. Plus, we have a new TV Bulletin Board and the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings.
Ed Bark

New inside

Fans and students of TV can unite around the Archive of American Television and its fully loaded website. Check it out via our Web Browser page. Also, a new TV Bulletin Board includes info. on an animated webisode offshoot of Showtime's Dexter. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings again show CBS11's 10 p.m. newscast successfully feeding off a bounteous network lead-in.
Ed Bark

ABC -- easy as DVD: former D-FW television photographer finds his place in the new world


Film at 11 (10 central): Gregg Primus has worked as a photographer at Fox4, NBC5 and WFAA8. Now he's lately reinvented himself as master of his own DVD domain. Read all about him here.
Ed Bark

What's the worst show on TV?

Or perhaps more to the point, what really grinds your gears? I've got a show in my bullseye and would love to know yours, too. Join our group therapy session on the Network News & Reviews page. Also, we rewind to a rare vintage interview with David Letterman, who first talked to your friendly content provider in 1983. He had a lot to say back then, and it's all on our Back Channels page. Plus, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in the books.
Ed Bark

Packers-Vikes set cable viewing record, smashing last fall's Cowboys-Eagles shootout

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Cable has a new all-time national viewing record, with 21.8 million watching ESPN's Monday Night Football showdown between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers.

The larger-than-life encounter, with QB Brett Favre facing his old team for the first time, wiped out the previous record of 18.6 million viewers for the Sept. 15, 2008 MNF game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys won 41-37, with both teams basically defenseless.

Favre led Minnesota to a 30-23 win over Green Bay, looking like his old laser-beamed self just a few days before turning 40.

Oh what a night: Letterman, Favre, DeLay all in play

Wow, those were some big doings on Monday night. We riff on the continued adventures of David Letterman, Brett Favre and Tom DeLay while also picturing all of them in action on the Network News & Reviews page. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings were boffo for ESPN's Monday Night Football.
Ed Bark

Lotsa new stuff inside (updated)

How important was CBS' decision to pick up JAG after NBC canceled it 13 years ago? Hugely important as it turns out. We explain here. Also, check out our reviews of the new CBS medical series Three Rivers and of a Dallas-based gentlemen's club's showing on Thursday night's Rachel Maddow Show. Plus, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings detail the results of another heavyweight battle between ABC and CBS. And below on this page, we have the bizarre tale of David Letterman's sexual confession.

Furthermore, Curb Your Enthusiasm's mock Seinfeld reunion begins taking shape Sunday night, with all four principal cast members returning. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Letterman's latest Late Show talker is his own acknowledgment of sex with staffers and a tell-all extortion plot (updated)


On the night before his confession, David Letterman shared pizza with Madonna on his No. 1-rated CBS' Late Show. CBS photo

Well, it's always something -- but this is really something.

In one of the more bizarre 10 minutes of television in the medium's history, David Letterman outlined a $2 million extortion attempt on Thursday's CBS Late Show before finally telling viewers, "The creepy stuff was that I have had sex with women who worked on this show."

His studio audience alternately laughed and applauded throughout, giving Letterman pause just once.

"Well, now why is that funny?" he asked good-naturedly after the audience laughed at his assertion that "I felt menaced by this. And I had to tell them (a grand jury Thursday morning) all of the creepy things that I had done."

Robert J. "Joe" Halderman, an employee of CBS' 48 Hours program with whom Letterman met three times, was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with attempted grand larceny in the third degree, the network subsequently said in statements. In cooperation with authorities in what amounted to a sting operation, Letterman first had written a "phony" $2 million check to keep the "creepy stuff" quiet. The alleged extortioner had threatened to write both a screenplay and a book, Letterman said.

Letterman, 62, and Regina Lasko, with whom he began a relationship in 1986, were married in March. That surprising news also was first revealed on Late Show. They have a son, Harry, who will be six on November 3.

In outlining the events that led to the arrest, Letterman made no mention of when he had his dalliances with Late Show staffers. But he acknowledged that the extortioner has proof that they occurred. It was contained in a package that Letterman found in his car "three weeks ago yesterday," he said on Thursday's Late Show.

"It's been a very bizarre experience," Letterman said. "I feel like I need to protect these people. I need to certainly protect my family. I hope to protect myself, hope to protect my job."

Letterman's initial revelation of the "creepy stuff" involving staffers was met with silence from the studio audience. But he then drew applause after reiterating, "Now, my response to that is, 'Yes, I have. I have had sex with women who work on this show.' "

"Would it be embarrassing if it were made public?" Letterman added. "Perhaps it would -- especially for the women." The audience laughed and applauded.

"I don't plan to say much more on this particular topic," Letterman concluded before noting that Woody Harrelson would be his first guest after a commercial break.

Letterman's latest imbroglio -- he's also had spats with John McCain and Sarah Palin in the past year -- comes in times when Late Show is on a triumphant ratings roll versus NBC's Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.

As word of mouth spreads, his ratings likely will go up even further in the short term. But the joking manner in which he disclosed his sexual relationships with staffers might not play favorably with some women viewers, even though Letterman said that at base level, "I am just a towering mass of Lutheran Midwestern guilt."

Here's a link to Letterman's remarks Thursday night. The best available video early Friday morning is out of sync with the audio. But the audio is crystal clear.

Newt's topless trip-up moves to national TV stage

Newt Gingrich's dalliance with a Dallas-based gentlemen's club continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. Here comes the first wave of national TV coverage, with the details here. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in, and we have a nicely stocked TV Bulletin Board page.
Ed Bark

Archival action

It's another new month, which means that September posts will be archiving on various unclebarky.com pages. We begin with the first October post on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page, where you'll find news about former WFAA8 anchor Jeff Brady and current Fox4 sports anchor Mike Doocy. Also, if you still haven't read where WFAA8's Darla Miles is going, click on this archival post.

Archives for any and all pages are along the right-hand border. Just scroll down a bit and click on the month you're interested in.

Also, thanks again to all who made their amazon.com or netflix purchases after first clicking on the ads on unclebarky.com. We get a small percentage of the proceeds, and it helps in small ways to keep this site functioning. Special thanks to the reader who bought both the mono and stereo Beatles boxed sets on amazon via unclebarky.com. That meant double-digit dollars for your friendly content provider. It may sound like peanuts, but it feels like a windfall. Plus my heart goes pitter-pat.

Take a look at our other advertisers as well. And you can place your own ad by clicking on the red "Advertise on Uncle Barky" logo on upper right hand borders.

OK, monthly reminders accomplished. Above all, thanks for your continued interest and readership.
Ed Bark