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Heading West again for network TV "press tour" (but not before leaving behind a slew of reviews)

It can be both a break and a backbreaker. But who’s complaining? Your friendly content provider will be landing in Southern California on Tuesday, July 8th for the annual summer edition of the Television Critics Association “press tour,” which runs all the way through July 23rd.

Included is the 30th annual TCA awards ceremony. I was a presenter at the very first one in 1985. So here we go again.

I’ll be writing periodically but exclusively for the New York-based tvworthwatching website during my time out there. But I’ll also be tweeting frequently on breaking developments and other oddities. The Twitter address is @unclebarkycom.

In the meantime, the unclebarky.com website has posted eight reviews of upcoming new series, beginning with the Wednesday, July 9th premiere of CBS’ Extant and ending with the Thursday, July 17th launch of FX’s You’re The Worst. In order of their air dates, here are the shows and the links to our reviews:

Extant (Wed., July 9th on CBS) -- Review is here.
Welcome to Sweden (Thurs., July 10th on NBC) -- Review is here.
Working the Engels (Thurs., July 10th on NBC) -- Review is here.
Masters of Sex, Season 2 (Sunday, July 13th on Showtime) -- Review is here.
The Strain (Sunday, July 13th on FX) -- Review is here.
Matador (Tues., July 15th on El Rey Network) -- Review is here.
Married (Thurs., July 17th on FX) -- Review is here.
You’re The Worst (Thurs., July 17th on FX) -- Review is here.

Hope these are enough to tide you over. See you in a few weeks.
Ed Bark

CBS11 tabs Mike Garber as news director

Mike Garber

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
D-FW-based CBS11 has named Mike Garber as its new news director.

He replaces Adrienne Roark, who resigned in May after a four-year tenure to become general manager at CBS affiliate KOIN-TV in Portland, Oregon.

Garber, who will join CBS11 later this month, has been news director since 2012 at WPTV/WFLX-TV in West Palm Beach, FL. They respectively are the NBC and Fox affiliates in that area. It’s a big jump for Garber, from TV market No. 38 to No. 5, according to Nielsen Media Research estimates.

“I am thrilled to have someone of Mike’s caliber and expertise join us,” CBS11/TXA21 president and general manager Gary Schneider said Monday. “He is a proven leader with a great track record.”

Garber said that “my new colleagues have long done a terrific job of putting the community first, and I look forward to making sure that we keep that focus and provide the Dallas-Fort Worth area with the highest quality local news coverage in the market.”

There’s work to be done. CBS11 had a rough time in the May “sweeps” ratings, running fourth at 6 a.m. and 5, 6 and 10 p.m. in the key 25-to-54-year-old news demographic favored by advertisers. But the station had a pair of second place finishes in total viewers at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Garber earlier was news director from 2008-’12 for WTLV/WJXX-TV in Jacksonville, FL. He’s a graduate of the University of South Florida and began his TV career as a sports producer a WTVT-TV in Tampa, FL.

His hiring ends a run of women news directors at all four of D-FW’s major television news providers. Susan Tully, easily the dean of the group, continues as news director at NBC5. Robin Whitmeyer and Carolyn Mungo respectively are the news directors at Fox4 and WFAA8.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

KTXD-TV's The Broadcast will be without Suzie Humphreys after July (updated with comments from her)

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Suzie Humphreys, 2nd from right, is leaving The Broadcast. KTXD photo

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Suzie Humphreys, the resident firecracker on KTXD-TV’s (Ch. 47) locally produced The Broadcast, will be leaving the program at the end of July.

The announcement came Wednesday on the program’s Facebook page. “We have SO enjoyed having Suzie on board with us and we will miss her dearly,” it said. “Here’s to the next adventure!”

Humphreys appeared on The Broadcast’s Thursday, July 3rd edition and has been with the show since its Feb. 18, 2013 premiere. The two-hour program airs on weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and is repeated from 4 to 6 p.m. Ratings almost always are “hashmarks,” the TV industry term for no measurable audience. But The Broadcast, which also is shown in other smaller Texas TV markets, has persevered and continues to draw a wide array of guests ranging from local chefs to nationally known stars such as Linda Gray and cast members from Hot in Cleveland.

“My leaving is bittersweet,” Humphreys said in an email reply sent on the Fourth of July. “Half of me wants to remain on the show. Half wants to end the 600-mile round trip commute from Fredericksburg to Dallas (where her husband of 37 years, Fred, resides). I already miss him every time I roll out the driveway and head North.”

KTXD allowed her to do The Broadcast “every other week for as long as I like,” Humphreys said. “But there just comes a time when ‘A lady knows when to leave.’ Can you believe that at 74 years of age I was invited back on television? What fun it has been, too. Every time I throw one more scarf around my turkey waddle neck, I think of an old friend, Ruby Black. She did a double-take when she saw a photo of me when I was younger. She looked at me -- then the photo -- and snickered, ‘Oh Lord. Ain’t time a killer?’ “

Humphreys, at least a generation older than her co-hosts on The Broadcast, was best known for years as D-FW radio legend Ron Chapman’s co-host on his No. 1-rated KVIL-FM morning drive time program. She is unafraid to bluntly express her generally conservative opinions and regularly has clashed with her colleagues on The Broadcast, primarily Courtney Kerr and Lisa Pineiro.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., July 1) -- end of U.S. soccer run no match for Mexico's exit

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Airing on a weekday workday afternoon rather than a Sunday afternoon, the United States’ tense, overtime bow-out to Belgium fell well short of the ratings for Mexico’s World Cup soccer exit versus The Netherlands.

Neither D-FW ratings number takes into account the audiences for watch party or workplace viewings. But the in-home Nielsens still tell quite a story.

Belgium’s 2-1 win over the U.S., running from 3 to 5:32 p.m. Tuesday, averaged 276,951 viewers on ESPN and drew another 156,229 for Univision23’s Spanish language telecast. The grand total of 433,180 viewers is smallish compared to the 703,028 who watched Mexico-Netherlands late Sunday morning and early Sunday afternoon on the two networks. For that match, the bulk of the viewing audience not surprisingly chose Univision23, which by itself had 575,205 viewers.

The United States’ final World Cup match in 2014 also fell short of the combined 546,800 viewers for the team’s Sunday, June 22nd tie with Portugal.

Among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, U.S.-Belgium drew 123,755 viewers on ESPN and 68,391 on Univision23. The total of 192,146 is way behind both Mexico-Netherlands (358,237) and U.S.-Portugal (315,900). It obviously helped that both of those higher-rated matches were on a Sunday rather than a workday.

Still, the disparity in ratings for the U.S. and Mexico exits make it fairly clear that the biggest soccer audiences in D-FW were for Mexico’s team. It seems likely that the local ratings would have continued to tell that story if both teams had advanced to the final eight rather than being knocked out in the round of 16.

Elsewhere Tuesday, NBC’s two-hour edition of America’s Got Talent fell short of the audience for U.S.-Belgium but led all prime-time programming with 312,457 total viewers in the 7 to 9 p.m. slot. AGT also drew the most 18-to-49-year-olds (113,985). Fox4’s local newscast won at 9 p.m. in both ratings measurements.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results.

Fox4 and CBS11 tied for the most total viewers at 10 p.m., but NBC5 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

The Peacock also rose up for a rare sweep of the 6 a.m. competitions and added a 6 p.m. win in total viewers.

Fox4 ran the table at 5 p.m. and notched another gold at 6 p.m. among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., June 30) -- Dome domination also elevates CBS11 late news

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
A rising tide lifts all boats -- latest example.

CBS’ Season 2 premiere of Under the Dome led all Monday prime-time programming with 234,343 D-FW viewers in the 9 p.m. hour.

Nothing else came close, with Fox4’s competing 9 p.m. local newscast placing second with 142,026 viewers. Dome also won its time slot among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, but Fox’s 8 p.m. episode of 24: Live Another Day ranked as the night’s biggest draw in this key demographic.

Demonstrating the continued power of a dominant lead-in program, Dome propelled CBS11’s 10 p.m. news to a runaway win in total viewers with 248,546. WFAA8, inheriting Monday’s worst 9 p.m. lead-in with ABC’s Mistresses, nonetheless managed a distant second place finish with 134,925 viewers.

But CBS11 couldn’t cure its continued malady among 25-to-54-year-old viewers (main advertiser target audience for news programming). Despite another winning performance by Dome in this demographic, the station’s 10 p.m. news ran fourth behind NBC5, WFAA8 and Fox4 in that order. But the difference between first and fourth place was just 15,235 viewers.

Here are Monday’s other local news derby results.

Fox4 won at 6 a.m. in both ratings measurements and NBC5 did likewise at 5 p.m. The 6 p.m. firsts went to the Peacock in total viewers and Fox4 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net