powered by FreeFind

Apple iTunes

Nov 2013
May 2013
Apr 2013
Mar 2013
Feb 2013
Feb 2012
Jan 2012
Apr 2011
Nov 2010
Apr 2010
Mar 2010
Feb 2010
Jan 2010
Nov 2009
Oct 2009
Jul 2009
Apr 2009
Mar 2009
Jan 2009
Dec 2008
Sep 2008
Jun 2008
Apr 2008
Mar 2008
Jan 2008
Dec 2007
Nov 2007
Oct 2007
Sep 2007
Aug 2007
Jul 2007
Jun 2007
May 2007
Apr 2007
Mar 2007
Feb 2007
Jan 2007
Dec 2006
Nov 2006

Q&A: Feb. 9

There's quite a backlog of "Ask Uncle Barky" questions, so please accept my apologies. The day-to-day watching and writing about the 10 p.m. February "sweeps" newscasts takes up lots of time. But now at last, here are some answers.

Question: The Dallas TV stations appear to supply a great deal of talent to the big show: Rene San Miguel, Rene Syler, Ashleigh Banfield, Betty Nguyen, Kim Miller. And those are just the ones I can remember quickly. Is Dallas well-known as a farm club for the big leagues?
Will Samples

Answer: Network TV news isn't the end-all, be-all it once was, but D-FW indeed has trained a lot of reporters for the national stage. Most have come from Belo8, most prominently Scott Pelley of CBS News. He's a correspondent on 60 Minutes and also has been the network's chief White House correspondent.

One of the very first to move upward was Bob Brown, who's still at ABC News and used to work for Belo8 in the 1970s. Others include Gary Reaves (back at Belo8 after a stint at CBS), former ABC religion reporter Peggy Wehmeyer (Belo8), CBS Sunday Evening News and Early Show anchor Russ Mitchell (Belo8), public television's Charlie Rose (NBC5) and CBS News' Peter Van Sant (Belo8).

Question: I was curious about the ratings for 24 this season. Are they up, down or the same from the previous two seasons? It is by far the best show on TV and I would like to see it continue to do well.
Ed Coffey

Answer: Through the first seven episodes, this season's 24 is performing almost exactly as it did the previous season, averaging 15 million viewers compared to 14.9 million at this time last year. And last season was up from the previous season. 24 isn't doing quite as well among advertiser-craved 18-to-49-year-olds this time, but is in no danger at all of being canceled.

Question: What's up with (Belo8 anchor) Gloria Campos making those hideous laughing noises during Dale Hansen's sportscast? When I was in journalism school, that was strictly unprofessional.
Al Taylor

Answer: She's not the only one. Cracking up off-camera is starting to reach the epidemic stage on local TV newscasts. Consultants and news directors apparently think it's another way to project a "real people" feel into living rooms. Campos clearly is the biggest horse-laugher in D-FW television. NBC5 anchors Mike Snyder and Jane McGarry are starting to pick up a little speed, though, during sports anchor Newy Scruggs' mini-segments.

Question: How are the ratings on Grease: You're the One That I Want? It seems to be a cheesy reality copycat! Our favorite from the beginning was Men In Trees, and it seems to be gaining in popularity. True or false?
Sharon Lowery

Answer: Grease will finish its run, but the American Idol wanna be continues to have a tough go on Sunday nights against heavy-duty competition from the likes of NFL playoff games, the two-hour launch of 24 and the Super Bowl. On this Sunday (Feb. 11), it will have to go against the Grammy Awards on CBS. So there's no relief in sight.

ABC's Men In Trees is doing better on Thursdays than it did on Fridays. But what show wouldn't in a time slot following mega-hit Grey's Anatomy? Still, the audience falloff is putting Trees out on a limb. The most recent episode retained less than half the audience provided by Grey's. So it could be timbe-r-r-r for Trees by season's end.

Question: With Belo8 now going to HD for its newscasts, how long until the rest of the stations make the jump?
Andy Waters

Answer: Station officials at Fox4, NBC5 and CBS11 all say they'll be making the switch, but none will talk specifics yet. Best guess is that it definitely will happen by next fall and possibly in time for the May ratings "sweeps" period.

Question: What's the plan for Studio 60? I hear it's being put on hiatus. Does that translate "canceled?"
Kristine Hughes

Answer: Studio 60 will give way on Monday, March 5 to the new crime drama series The Black Donnellys, produced by Oscar-winning Crash director Paul Haggis. Black Donnellys originally was supposed to give ER a rest in January, but the medical drama's ratings remained too good for NBC to take it off the air.

I've seen the pilot of Black Donnellys and don't think it'll do all that much better than Studio 60. Even so, the latter looks like a real long shot for renewal next fall. NBC has shown immense patience, but Studio 60 is a very expensive show that's having a tough time even beating ABC's competing What About Brian?

So in the end, I think there's a better chance that NBC will bring back the deservedly praised Friday Night Lights, which likewise has struggled in the ratings but draws an overall younger audience and is much more affordable.

Question: Can you please tell me the meaning of life?
John Carman (former esteemed TV critic of The San Francisco Chronicle

Answer: Glad to be of assistance. The meaning of life is elusive yet attainable. It's best achieved by asserting one's independence in times when corporate-think is crushing spirits, squelching free speech. Watching Deal or No Deal on a regular basis also helps.