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Westward bound for another TV "press tour" extravaganza in sunny Southern California


Le oink a la blanquette, Monsieur Uncle Barky? Photo: Ed Bark

The annual summer Television Critics Association “press tour” beckons anew, and your friendly content provider once again is heeding the call.

It’ll all begin with a bang -- a late Monday afternoon screening of FX’s opening Season 2 episode of Fargo -- before settling into a daily pattern of one interview session after another and usually a nighttime “working” party.

This one stretches all the way from July 27 through Aug. 13th. And for at least one more time, let’s try to go the distance. Which means I’ll again be writing exclusively for New York-based tvworthwatching.com to help make a few ends meet while giving unclebarky.com a break from any postings until my return.

You can find my tvww press tour posts right here, although the site won’t be back up until Monday or at the latest, Tuesday, due to a major server crash. I’ll also be tweeting my brains out -- hopefully not literally -- whenever anything of note happens either on press tour or back in D-FW regarding TV newsroom hires or fires. You can find the tweets via @unclebarkycom.

Meanwhile, I’ve left behind a quartet of reviews of TV attractions that are premiering while I’m away. In chronological order with links, here they are:

***Wet Hot American Summer (Netflix) -- begins streaming on Friday, July 31st.

***West Texas Investors Club (CNBC) -- premieres on Tuesday, Aug. 4th.

***Mr. Robinson (NBC) -- premieres on Wednesday, Aug. 5th.

***America’s Next Weatherman (TBS) -- premieres on Saturday, Aug. 8th.

OK, I think that takes care of everything. And away I go.
Ed Bark

NBC's Mr. Robinson is a school of funk classroom comedy

Craig Robinson, formerly part of The Office cast, gets a chance to front his own comedy series in NBC’s Mrs. Robinson. He’s a funk singer and high school music teacher stuck in a strictly old-school sitcom format. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

TBS' serio-comic (mostly comic) search for America's Next Weatherman

Being a temperature taker is where it’s at in local TV newsrooms across this great drizzly land of ours. So here comes TBS with Funny Or Die Presents The Next Great Weatherman. The winner actually gets something of immediate value beyond a shot at actually being a full-time weatherperson someday. But the search involves a lot of screwing around and play-acting. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

A Rooster (McConaughey) crows in CNBC's West Texas Investors Club

CNBC wanted its own version of Shark Tank. So it went to the dad gum drawling board and came up with West Texas Investors Club.

It doesn’t premiere until Tuesday, Aug. 4th, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves before jaunting off next week to the annual Television Critics Association summer “press tour.” With that said, here’s our review.

Plus, NBC5 hires a new reporter from the Fox affiliate station in St. Louis. And the Wednesday-Thursday D-FW ratings “snapshots” also are posted.
Ed Bark.

Featured early morning reporter Brian Glenn dropped by Dallas-based TEGNA8

Brian Glenn, who joined Dallas-based TEGNA8 in August 2013, is no longer with the station. He was best known for his live segments during the early morning Daybreak program. More details and comments from Glenn are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Back packs and backtracking with Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

Back in 2001, the low-budget film Wet Hot American Summer made little impression on the public or film critics. But its cult status keeps growing by leaps and bounds, in no small part to the presence of Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler and other then largely unknowns. They’re all returning to Netflix’s 8-episode prequel, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, which begins streaming on Friday, July 31st. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Sharknado 3 gives shark Mark Cuban a prime role as the prez

Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban, who only seems to be everywhere these days, gets to chew on a nice-sized cameo role in Syfy’s Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, which premieres on Wednesday, July 22nd. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

ESPN's coverage of The Open's final round eventually leaves viewers Spieth-less

D-FW ratings for Monday’s morning/afternoon coverage of The Open not surprisingly peaked during Jordan Spieth’s last-gasp chance to join the playoff field. But Nielsen numbers for the three man, four-hole playoff were still strong enough to beat Monday’s prime-time Texas Rangers game. We have the breakdown on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

CBS11's Bud Gillett ending long career as D-FW street reporter

The sands of time, not the lure of a public relations position, have convinced CBS11 reporter Bud Gillett that it’s time for him to go.

He announced his retirement on Twitter Monday morning, and we have more details on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Plus, the first three rounds of the rain and wind-ravaged Open golf championship drew relatively little interest in D-FW despite Dallas native Jordan Spieth’s pursuit of a third straight Major tournament victory. The local Nielsen numbers for ESPN’s coverage are broken down here.
Ed Bark

Kings and Kingsley in Spike TV's Tut

It’s been eight years since the Spike TV network has produced an original scripted drama “event.” But it’s wading back in, with the six-hour Tut premiering on Sunday, July 19th. Ben Kingsley’s in it, sharing time with a cast of mostly very telegenic young unknowns. And our review is here.
Ed Bark

HBO again goes to the head of Emmy class

The 2015 Emmy nominations, announced Thursday, again put HBO on top with both the most overall nominations and the top program in Game of Thrones. We break it all down for you on the Network News & Reviews page.

Plus, Wednesday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings “snapshot” highlights ABC’s three-hour ESPYs telecast, featuring Caitlyn Jenner.
Ed Bark

FX's Dennis the menace returns in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

Denis Leary, the balls-out star of FX’s long-running Rescue Me, returns to the network with his pants and tongue on fire in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. His character is old-line rocker Johnny Rock. And you still wouldn’t want to take him home to meet mama. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Fox's All-Star game vs NBC's America's Got Talent

Fox’s All-Star game in large part went up against NBC’s America’s Got Talent Tuesday night. Who won the D-FW ratings battle? Details are on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

TV Land strives to cut deeper with The Jim Gaffigan Show and Impastor

Gradually evicting itself as the home of broad, laugh track-driven sitcoms, TV Land looks for a further “edge” Wednesday night with two new single-cam comedies.

The Jim Gaffigan Show stars the standup comic, bestselling author and father of five as his befuddled self. Our review is here.

Impastor is the saga of an indebted gambler on the lam and into a new role as the faux gay pastor of a small Lutheran church. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Spieth win means Deere in the headlines

CBS ruled D-FW’s afternoon and early evening ratings Sunday via Dallasite Jordan Spieth’s playoff win at the John Deere Classic. Details are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Also, Frontline’s up-close “Escaping ISIS” offers one more reason to despise their “purity”-fouled terrorism. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Latoya Silmon joins Calvert Collins in talkng about why she left Fox4, what she'll be doing next

On Monday, unclebarky.com was first to report that reporters Calvert Collins and Latoya Silmon had both decided to leave Dallas-based Fox4. Now the rest of their stories are complete, with Silmon commenting Friday on her decision and her next venture. Her comments have been included in our original story, which is right here.

Also, Thursday’s D-FW ratings “snapshot” is in.
Ed Bark

Showtime's Masters of Sex fast-forwards, regains steam

Season 3 of Showtime’s Masters of Sex re-calibrates and is reinvigorated as a result. It officially launches on Sunday, July 12th, although the first episode already is available On Demand on many cable systems. Our review is here.

Also, return with us now to a 1985 WFAA-TV promo that harkens to simpler, homegrown times and includes one present-day carryover.

Plus, Wednesday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings “snapshot” is posted.
Ed Bark

British import Dates debuts on The CW; Rectify returns for Season 3 on Sundance TV

Thursday, July 9th brings two series of note. Following its British run, the scripted half-hour series Dates joins The CW for nine half-hour episodes. It’s a more “grown-up” show than usual for a network that still has a target audience of 18-to-34-year-olds. Perhaps some of their moms and dad will watch. Our review is here.

Sundance TV also also restarts Rectify for a shorter season of 6 episodes, compared to 10 in Season 2. An overall sadness still permeates these proceedings, and our review is here.
Ed Bark

World Cup soccer finale tops half a mil viewers in D-FW; reporters Latoya Silmon, Calvert Collins leaving Fox4

Fox stations across the nation struck it rich Sunday night with the U.S. women’s rout of Japan to win soccer’s World Cup. In D-FW, more than half a million viewers got a kick out of it. Details are the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Plus, Fox4 reporters Calvert Collins and Latoya Silmon, both of whom joined the Dallas-based station in 2012, have decided to move on. You’ll also find this news on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Making a list -- of top 10 iconic TV characters whose portrayers never won an Emmy

Some of television’s all-time iconic characters didn’t just happen by themselves. They needed someone to play them. As the latest Emmy nominations near -- on Thursday, July 16th -- our Making a List page charts the top 10 losers, all of whom should have been Emmy winners at least once.

Also, the TV Bulletin Board page highlights TV’s new home for the Donald Trump-tainted Miss USA pageant. Wednesday’s D-FW ratings “snapshot” also is posted.
Ed Bark

Catch it if you can: reviewing newly released The Fugitive: The Complete Series

ABC’s original The Fugitive, which aired from 1963 to ’67, is newly available on DVD at a bargain price for all 120 episodes of the influential series.

Dr. Richard Kimble’s pursuit of the “One-Armed Man” and Lt. Philip Gerard’s pursuit of Kimble resulted in one of the most satisfying TV denouements ever. Not only that, it held the record for most-watched series episode until the M*A*S*H finale surpassed it 16 years later.

You can get The Fugitive at a bargain price on amazon.com. And since it’s another change of the month, this also prompts a friendly request to be an unclebarky.com backer. You can do so by clicking on any Amazon ad on any of our pages before making the buys you were going to make anyway. That way, a small commission on each purchase goes to your friendly content provider.

That said, here’s our look at The Fugitive: The Complete Series -- on the Network News & Reviews page.

Also, Tuesday’s D-FW ratings “snapshot” highlights the U.S.-Germany World Cup soccer semi-final match and the debut of Zoo on CBS.
Ed Bark