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Inside stuff

NBC's Today show has hired a former First Daughter to be a "contributing correspondent." Get the details on our TV Bulletin Board page. Also, the weekend D-FW Nielsen ratings show the Cowboys are strong as ever, despite their late-game bumbles. Fox4 also scored big in Friday's local news derby.
Ed Bark

Dancing with the Lone Stars: DeLay, Irvin in inaugural ABC poses

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First poses: Michael Irvin/Anna Demidova, Tom DeLay/Cheryl Burke

Fresh from ABC publicity, here are the official costumed shots of the two Texas connections on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

The network also has provided rehearsal pictures (below) of former House Majority Leader Tom ("The Hammer") DeLay and two-time champ Cheryl Burke. He'll need to loosen up.

There are no hard-at-work shots yet of former Dallas Cowboys star Michael Irvin and his partner, rookie Anna Demidova. But from a purely visual standpoint, he looks to be in good hands and appears to be a happy man.

Dancing's season premiere is Sept. 21st.


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House at home in institution

Network TV's new fall season is nearing. As an appetizer, we'll be rolling out fresh clips of selected favorites, beginning with a look at the Sept. 21st, two-hour Season 6 premiere of House, which finds its cranky doc in a psychiatric hospital. Get a crystal clear first look on our Network News & Reviews page. Also, a Dallas entrepreneur hopes to spread sunshine -- and attract an investor -- on Sunday's episode of ABC's Shark Tank. The latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in, too.
Ed Bark

Fresh posts

TV news has seldom been more sanctified than in a 1998 promo for Dallas-based WFAA8. See it with new eyes on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page. Also, the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings show small appetites for Wednesday's pair of prime-time Ted Kennedy specials. And on the TV Bulletin Board page, check out the latest Texas braggart joining CBS' upcoming Survivor: Samoa.
Ed Bark

New inside

A nationally hatched promo for the web sites run by NBC's owned-and-operated stations didn't sit well with viewers of Fort Worth-based KXAS-TV (NBC5). So it's been pulled from this market, but you can still see it on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Also, the nearly disastrous end to the Rangers-Yankees game vied for ratings supremacy Tuesday night with summertime's biggest hit, the Peacock's America's Got Talent. Get the detailed D-FW ratings here in our latest "Snapshot."

And CMT has a new thang for prime-time game shows. Play along on the TV Bulletin Board page. Plus, the Sept. 20th regular season debut of Jerry's Palace in Arlington will have an even bigger national presence, thanks to NBC's "new look" Football Night In America pre-game show.
Ed Bark

Glee tour does Dallas

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Glee stars Kevin McHale of Plano and Mark Salling of Dallas.

Eight young stars from the Fox series Glee, including two from North Texas, will touch down in Dallas on Wednesday, Aug. 26th for a meet 'n' greet.

The venue is the Hot Topic store at Dallas Galleria, 13350 Noel Rd., where fans can meet them from 3 to 6 p.m. You can get autographs, ask the cast questions and get a sneak preview of the new season.

Among the Glee contingent are Kevin McHale of Plano and Mark Salling of Dallas. Cast members Cory Monteith, Lea Michele, Amber Riley, Chris Colfer, Jenna Ushkowitz and Dianna Agron also are scheduled to appear.

Glee had a one-episode preview last May, following American Idol. The musical comedy's first full season is scheduled to launch on Sept. 9th.

Aging like fine whine: Season 1 of thirtysomething finally hits DVD market

The ABC series thirtysomething, which premiered in fall 1987, at last is available for re-appreciation -- or denigration -- via a 3-disc, Season 1 set from Shout! Factory. Get our re-take here. Also, Monday's D-FW ratings provide a bit of a back-to-school boost for the early morning news shows. Plus, Paula Abdul's got somethin' new to do. See what here.
Ed Bark

Why Mike Wallace was a no-show on Sunday's 60 Minutes tribute to Don Hewitt

Sunday's 60 Minutes salute to its creator, the late Don Hewitt, came and went without any new contributions from the program's longtime signature pit bull, Mike Wallace. Unclebarky.com tells you why. Also, Dallas-based KDAF-TV ("The 33") has an official start date for its 5:30 p.m. local newscast. And the weekend D-FW Nielsen ratings chart the ratings haul for the Dallas Cowboys' Friday night debut in their new mega-plex. Plus, Tom DeLay gets a ringwise, two-time champ on Dancing with the Stars while Michael Irvin will be partnered with Season 9's only rookie. Let the heeling begin here.
Ed Bark

It's alive!!! Unique hands-on screenshop co-founded by son is now in business in Austin


Co-founders Michael Fuchs (left) and Sam Ladach-Bark invite you to enjoy the vibe and creations at their brand new Under Pressure screen printing store in Austin. Be sure to tell a friend. Photo: Ed Bark

OK, this is just dad talking. But it's truly amazing what my son, Sam Ladach-Bark, and his business partner, Michael Fuchs, have accomplished in "Keep It Weird" Austin.

Saturday night marked the opening of their new business, the Under Pressure hands-on screen shop at 505 W. Mary St. (just off First Street) in Austin 78704. The website is handsonscreenshop.com, and I hope you'll take a look at it and see what they're all about. Here's another page from the site that shows off their designs.

Customers also can bring in their own designs, for which Sam and Michael will create screens on the spot and then print whatever you want in a wide variety of inks and shirt colors. And the shirts they stock in their store are printed on "100 percent sweatshop free cotton."

This is quite an undertaking for two imaginative guys in their mid-20s. But you have to make your own breaks in today's economy, so they're giving it their all in hopes of making this a lasting business both online, in their store and on the road at various festivals and fairs.

Here's hoping that Under Pressure has a very bright future, which you can brighten by making a purchase or spreading the word. You'll be glad you did.

Take a look inside

Discarded TV anchor/reporter clothing resurfaces for sale on a new North Texas-based website. Its proprietor knows the terrain. She works for an established media training company after first anchoring herself. Check out all the deals on duds via our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page. Also, The Price Is Right is ready to audition you Saturday. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in the house.
Ed Bark

More in store

Fort Worth-based NBC5 is adding a new full-time reporter who's arriving from San Antonio's Peacock affiliate and is a former Scrappy the Eagle mascot at the University of North Texas. Find out more here. CBS11/TXA21 has also added a newser, but he'll be a freelancer for now.

Also, Mark Cuban's HDNet Movies has another "sneak preview" Wednesday. And World's Greatest Dad, coming to theaters this Friday, turns out to be a dark but involving film starring Robin Williams and directed by his longtime friend, Bobcat Goldthwait. Our review is here. Plus, the latest D-FW Nielsens show that Shaquille O'Neal can come close to besting Ben Roethlisberger but has no chance at all against NBC's America's Got Talent.

And one more thing: Scantily-clad Britney Spears' Tuesday reading of Late Show's Top 10 list obviously didn't leave David Letterman feeling the heat -- or spreading any warmth. We've embedded the uncomfortable video here.
Ed Bark

Television news pioneer Don Hewitt: Dec. 14, 1922 to Aug. 19, 2009 (updated)


Don Hewitt, creator of 60 Minutes and architect of the first televised presidential debate in 1960, died of pancreatic cancer Wednesday. He was 86. Our tribute to him revisits his last visit to Dallas, where he spent half a week before picking up a prestigious honor. Please go to unclebarky.com's Back Channels page for all the details.
Ed Bark

New inside

Fox4 reporter Matt Grubs has something new under the sun -- and it's adorning his face. Is it a first in D-FW? Also, a primo Michael Jackson impersonator touches down in Dallas tonight. But there's a reason why there's little attendant publicity. And the latest D-FW ratings show that NBC is still getting mileage out of a pretty raggedy news magazine.
Ed Bark

Inside stuff

Content-sharing continues to fester locally and nationally. For a change of pace, we focus on the way in which The Dallas Morning News camouflages its "special contributors." Also, the newest and largest cast for ABC's Dancing with the Stars includes two out-sized Texans. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are driven by CBS' PGA championship coverage.
Ed Bark

More inside

The Cowboys pre-season opener against Oakland predictably piled up big ratings Thursday night despite the team's overall inept play. But did it outdraw last August's curtain-raiser? Check out our latest D-FW ratings "snapshot." Also, Michael Vick lines up his first national TV interview since being released from prison. And NBC's upcoming Jay Leno Show has announced its first guest. See the TV Bulletin Board page for details on these two developments and more.
Ed Bark

Mad Men's back

Flush with 16 Emmy nominations for its second season, AMC's Mad Men reloads for Season 3 Sunday night. Do its ad men still add up to TV's best drama series? Our latest first impressions are here.
Ed Bark

Fresh posts

Bravo's got a meal-ticket with its Real Housewives franchise. Now along comes Fox Reality Channel with Househusbands of Hollywood. Can the copycat make its own noise? Our review is here. Also, check out some fun pictures of Julia Child, who seemed to be having a great time during her visit to Dallas a decade or so ago. And the latest D-FW Nielsen ratings are in, too.
Ed Bark

R.I.P. Les Paul: June 9, 1915 to Aug. 13, 2009


Legendary guitarist/inventor Les Paul has died of pneumonia at age 94.

In the past several years, my wife, Madeline, and I were lucky enough to see him on two occasions at the Iridium Jazz Club in Manhattan, where he regularly performed two shows on Monday nights with his combo and guest performers.

The above disc and liner notes were autographed after Paul's second late night show. He always signed for free, and beamed upon hearing I'm originally from Racine, Wis. That's why the disc also is signed "Red Hot Red, WRJN, 1929." That was his radio name back then at Racine's signature AM station.

Paul was born in Waukesha, Wis., and never forgot his roots. We'll always remember those two nights at the Iridium, where his fingers still seemed to fly through his many indelible arrangements. He also enjoyed bringing young musicians to the stage, asking, "What're we gonna do here?" and then happily playing along as though he were just an everyday sideman.

What a terrific presence and inspiration he was, playing nearly to the end of a life lived in full.

Here's video of Les Paul playing by his lonesome before being joined by fellow guitar wizard Chet Atkins.

New inside (updated)

CBS11's late night local newscast accomplished the highly unusual Tuesday. See for yourself in our latest Nielsen ratings "snapshot." Also, take a look back at two promos for KXAS-TV's once-upon-a-time investigative teams. The Fort Worth-based station no longer rolls that way. And while on this subject, we revisit KXAS's controversial hidden camera "Tarnished Star" investigation of Dallas Cowboys star Michael Irvin. It still makes for quite a read on our Back Channels page. Back then -- in 1996 -- local news station execs actually were willing and able to venture opinions during on-the-record conversations with TV critics.
Ed Bark

Larry David's magical, mystical, farcical Seinfeld reunion

Replete with Seinfeld stars, Larry David's seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm comes to HBO on Sept. 20th. So what's he say about it? Quite a bit. Read our story here. Also, Monday's D-FW Nielsen ratings give Who Wants To Be A Millionaire a bit of a boost from Sunday's low-scoring start.
Ed Bark

"This is enough Bark to kill a man in 4.2 seconds"

Bark is kind of a unique surname, ripe for jokes and wordplays, more unusual than Ripperton or Tspwiozbxmt.

Behold then, this street sign captured on his travels by longtime friend and former Dallas Morning News colleague Michael Precker.


Quite a sight, isn't it? Although I've never met Linda Lane.

Furthermore, Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show recently gave viewers a taste of the Discovery Channel's followup to its longstanding "Shark Week." Take a look at "Bark Week," where life and limb are endangered anew.
Ed Bark

This Barry bonds with voters

HBO's The Nine Lives of Marion Barry, premiering Aug. 10th, documents the strange-but-true career of a man who just can't seem to lose an election -- no matter what. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

New inside

Check out our Texas-sized battle of Good Day "music"-makers. Also, how'd Who Wants To Be A MiIlionaire do in D-FW with its 10th anniversary return Sunday night? And Fox has a series finale date for King of the Hill. Get further details on our TV Bulletin Board page.
Ed Bark

Co-piloting The Jack E. Jett Show

Your friendly content provider will be joining the always combustible Jack E. Jett for two hours of co-hosting Saturday on the conveniently titled Jack E. Jett Show.

Start time is 1 p.m. on Rational Radio (1360 AM). Our guests are supposed to include Barbara Eden of I Dream of Jeannie fame. So if you're in the vicinity of a radio . . .
Ed Bark

More inside

Budget cutbacks and downsizing haven't stopped D-FW's four major TV news providers from trekking off to Cowboys training camp. We look up-close at Thursday's latenight newscast festivities from San Antonio. The latest D-FW Nielsen ratings also are in. And unclebarky.com has updated the exclusive story on NBC-owned KXAS-TV's forced outsourcing of promotions and marketing to corporate HQ in New York. That meant more layoffs at the local level, of course.
Ed Bark

Barton out at KRLD, Dean in with Cowboys

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Veteran weatherman Brad Barton and the ubiquitous Jody Dean

We try to pretty much stay away from radio on this site because, frankly, covering local and national television is already way more than enough for one person's plate.

There are exceptions, of course, and one of them is longtime meteorologist Brad Barton. So yes, the web chatter unfortunately is true. Barton, a 31-year veteran of the weathercasting trade, has been dropped by KRLD-AM (1080) radio. So has PM drive news anchor Mark Watkins, sources close to the situation confirm.

Also, Mitch Carr is moving from anchoring KLUV-FM's (98.7) morning news to co-anchoring the AM drive shift at KRLD.

Speaking of KLUV, the station's morning drive host, Jody Dean, will be the new public address announcer at Jerry's Dallas Cowboys Palace, succeeding George Dunham of "The Ticket" (1310 AM). Dean also has been filling in of late on TXA21's prime-time newscasts.
Ed Bark

Further homogenizing/downsizing at NBC-owned KXAS

Fort Worth-based KXAS-TV's marketing and promotions department soon won't exist. They've been strong-armed out of existence by NBC corporate in New York. Get our story and commentary here.
Ed Bark

Inside stuff

Look for a cavalcade of TV tidbits on the Bulletin Board page, including who'll be Jay Leno's first musical guest on his upcoming Mon.-Fri. prime-time show. Also, size still matters when it comes to TV lead-ins. The latest D-FW Nielsen ratings show that many viewers still stick instead of click.
Ed Bark

The case for Paula Abdul (What!!! I must be insane)

Fox apparently is going along with Paula Abdul's decision to leave American Idol after the two sides reached a money impasse. Here's why that looks like a big mistake.
Ed Bark

More new stuff inside

The latest D-FW Nielsen ratings show how good life could be for NBC5's 10 p.m. newscasts if they had America's Got Talent as a lead-in every night. Also, Joan Rivers poses a new question in a TV Land series that finds her in the company of made-from-scratch millionaires, not including Mark Cuban.
Ed Bark

Back in play

Unclebarky.com has returned to the living in D-FW after a few days in Pasadena tied to the 25th anniversary of the Television Critics Association awards.

Some of our July posts already have reverted to the archives. So if you're looking for something, just click on the appropriate month on the right-hand border of all pages. Or you can use our search engine at the upper right. It really works.

Also, thanks to all who bought anything on amazon.com last month by first clicking to it through unclebarky.com. We get a four percent commission on all purchases, which isn't much. But in these times, it all helps. And it's also a small way to support this free website and keep it ticking. You also can buy an ad by clicking on the red "Advertise on Uncle Barky" bug on the right-hand border.

End of commercials and on to the new posts. On the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page, we detail Shelly Slater's new co-anchoring duties on WFAA8's 5 p.m. newscasts, with pictures included. There's also a recap of the 25th TCA awards on the Network News & Reviews page.

As always, thanks for your continued support and readership as we near unclebarky.com's third anniversary.
Ed Bark