Wednesday, December 27, 2006
10. Pardon the Interruption (ESPN). Despite Kornhiser…. And LeBatard….
9. Simpsons (Fox).
8. Arrested Development (Fox). R.I.P.
7. South Park (Comedy Central). Despite a handful of weak episodes, this show still hits the political satire target with success every time, especially with this year’s superb “Cartoon Wars” -- The best episode of any sitcom to air this decade.
6. The Daily Show (Comedy Central). Jon Stewart fake news show is more informational (and fun) than the local news that air opposite it.
5. The Colbert Report (Comedy Central). Who in the land can appear at the White House Dinner and upstage Bush and invent a word “truthiness” that becomes a part of the vocabulary? Colbert! You’re damn right.
4. America’s Next Top Model (CW). Don’t listen to the critics. What do they know? This show is still entertaining, better than the overrated Survivor. (And who in Chicago watches Survivor anyway?)
3. Ugly Betty (ABC). Finally! A show us geeks can relate to! (And no, Misfits of Science doesn’t count.)
2. Heroes (NBC). Are you on the list? You can be if you Save the Cheerleader. Best new show of the season. This show rocks!
1. Family Guy (Fox). I know Matt and Trey are gonna hate on me for putting this here (and putting South Park at #7) but this is easily, the best comedy -- and best show of the year. It’s still fresh, funny, and a bit better than The Simpsons. (I can’t believe I just said that….)
Honorable Mention: Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Adult Swim), King of the Hill (Fox), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), Criminal Minds (CBS) [This deserves a mention for surprising everyone by topping Lost in total viewers and households -- and the fact that "Lost" was well, looked lost all season.]
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
For newly revised NFL schedule for December 31, click here.
UPDATE: The NFL announced that both Fox and CBS can carry doubleheaders this Sunday, thanks to the wild and willy playoff races in the NFC (and to a lesser extent, the AFC.) This marks the first time in history that both networks carried doubleheader games simultaneously. This is only for areas that does not have an afternoon home game this week (such as here in Chicago.)
(Updated 12-29-06 at 22:34 by T Dog)
Monday, December 25, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
We’re taking a breather from blogging as everything slows down due to the holidays (particularly after this wild week!) On Wednesday, I’ll post The Excellent 10 -- the best shows of the year (The Toilet Bowl 10 post is below this one), but we won’t return to full speed until January 2. If there’s any breaking news in the media industry between now and that date, we’ll post it here. Also, when we return that week, we’ll post two important T Dog Think Tank articles as we prepare for the upcoming National Association of Programming Executives (NATPE) convention later in the month: The dominance of WLS-TV here in Chicago, and the crisis looming (it’s actually here) over the lack of new off-network sitcoms in the market.
I will also be tweaking the site during this down time to add more links and to improve it to serve you better. I wish you nothing but good holiday cheer, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! See you January 2nd!
Peace (and hair grease),
Chairman, The T Dog Blog, Inc.
P.S. If your now just getting around to reading this, you should notice the three breaking news stories on top of this. Man, the news never stops, doesn't it?
Here is the worst of the worst. We're counting down the worst TV programs of 2006. Other blogs rank their lists from one to ten. Where's the excitement in that? Why start at Number One? Here at the T Dog Blog, we do things differently. We're counting them down Casey Kasem-style, from #10 to #1. Now, on with the countdown…..
10) Survivor: Cook Islands. (CBS) To rejuvenate the franchise, they decided to split the tribes among races, prompting outcry from the media and politicians (if they didn’t have anything else better to do.) Mark Burnett’s plan was nothing more than a joke, as he merged the tribes after only two episodes. Well, the ratings were down from the previous edition, and the program turned out to be as dull as ever.
9) Stanley Cup Finals (OLN, NBC) Edmonton + Carolina = A dull series and no ratings, despite going seven games. (After all... it is the NHL.)
8) Around the Horn (ESPN). ESPN’s version of Bill O’Reilly, Jay Mariotti, is on this show. Enough said.
7) The Game (CW) Come on, Mara Brock Akli. You can do better than this.
6) ‘Til Death (Fox) What happens when you combine Married… With Children with Everybody Loves Raymond and take out the kids? A program that copies old Too Close For Comfort scripts.
5) The War at Home (Fox) Beginning in January, this program will be paired with above show to form an hour of Mustn’t-See TV.
4) Anything that has ever aired on MyNetworkTV. Instead of listing the shows individually, we grouped all of them under this banner. Because they suck. And that goes for their new shows, Wicked Me and Watch Over the Game, or whatever the hell they're called.
3) According to Jim (ABC). Unfortunately, America associates Chicago with trailer park trash like Jim Belushi instead of people who actually have talent, like Bob Newhart, Jennifer Hudson or Fall Out Boy. And we have this show to thank.
2) The O’Reilly Factor (Fox News Channel) This guy is an asshole, no doubt about it. This piece of shit actually would have been number one if it wasn’t for…. (drum roll please)
1) Show Me the Money (ABC) The worst game show of all time, featuring the worst host of all time, William Shanter. This was the most embarrassing program to air on ABC since Turn-On in ‘69. That program was yanked after one airing. ABC yanked this show after a little more than a month on the air. One airing of Show Me proved to be more than enough.
DISHONORABLE MENTION: The Bad Girls Club (Oxygen), The Book of Daniel (NBC), Big Day (ABC), Deal or No Deal (NBC), Drawn Together (Comedy Central), Lucky Louie (HBO), Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC), Twenty Good Years (NBC).
Friday, December 22, 2006
Bart Simpson: (c) Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.
That's right. You heard me. Bart Simpson this week is picking NFL games on FoxSports.com. (If you're a gambling man, don't take his advice. He thinks the Chiefs play in St. Louis.) He said he once drove to Cincinnati (no doubt to loot in the 2001 race riots), and the Pilgrims still live in New England (obviously next door to his other father, Peter Griffin.)
Yeah, and next week, Eric Cartman will be making the picks - he hates San Francisco (too many hippies), he's picking the Broncos to win (of course), and he thinks the Rams still play in Los Angeles.
The program will also be simulcast on classic rock WLUP-FM (The Loop), where Mr. Wolf does double duty as sports commentator on Jonathon Brandmeier's morning show.
Once again, WMAQ has beaten the competition, launching new morning newscasts in earlier time slots. In 1990, it launched the first 6-7am newscasts (after sister station KNBC in Los Angeles became the first to launch one two years earlier), launched the first 5:30am newscast in 1993, then launched a 5am newscast in 1998.
4:30 am news is nothing new: WMC-TV in Memphis launched a 4:30am newscast several years ago.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
For best comedy they picked The Office, best drama went to The Wire, and best reality show went to The Amazing Race. As for the worst show, they picked now-defunct freshman sitcom Happy Hour. Notably, Deal or No Deal came in third. I wonder if that contestant who came on the show with that ridiculous airhorn influenced the vote total....
Producer: Who is the biggest moron? Jay Mariotti or Bill O'Reilly?
Hmmm. That's a tough one. One is an asshole. The other is an asshole. Both are total dickwipes.
I'll say it's a tie. If there is any two jackasses that need to be blown off the face of the earth, it's Jay Mariotti and Bill O'Reilly. (Ding)
That's it for Toss Up! On tomorrow's edition, we'll debate who is the biggest no-brain loudmouth - Rosie O'Donnell or Donald Trump? Thanks for watching, I'll try to do better the next time.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Both held press conferences, both apologized, and both were told it was their last chance.
Tuesday morning, Miss Universe Organization CEO Donald Trump met Miss USA Tara Conner in New York City to discuss allegations of underage drinking and drug use, and even smooching Miss Teen USA (boy, that'll sell well in the state of Kentucky),among other things. Mr. Trump was going into the meeting about to dismiss Ms. Conner. After the meeting came the press conference, and it seems all was forgiven, with Tara Conner going to rehab.
Miss USA in rehab. Oh, the shame, the shame. The shame of it all. (That's Dr. Smith from Lost In Space saying that, not me. And trust me, any kid who thinks Dr. Smith is a great role model needs to be sent to DCFS, stat.)
Meanwhile, Tank Johnson was busted by Gurnee Police on Friday for having six unregistered guns in his home. That same night, he went to a bar in the River North neighborhood with one of his friends. A fight broke out in the club, someone pulled out a gun and fired, and Tank Johnson's friend was dead. Later on Tuesday, Mr. Johnson met with Bears' management and was suspended by the organization for one game. Bears management was considering cutting Mr. Johnson from the team.
Back in the day, we held celebrities and athletes to a higher standard. They were role models to children. But, oh how times have changed.
Beauty pageant winners and athletes aren't perfect. They're just like you and me. We make mistakes. Ms. Conner, a girl from a small town in Kentucky, got caught up in the whirlwind atmosphere that is New York. (or any other big city.) How can she adjust? As for Tank Johnson, it turns out that he grew up in the suburbs of Phoenix, Ariz., got good grades, and went to a good university. (So much for that image of a "thug" and being from the "ghetto".) Yet, he fell into the same pratfalls that do in some African-American athletes.
It seems that society still hold these people to a higher standard. Why? Because Americans still have this image of their stars being like Marliyn Monroe or Joe DiMaggio. But yet, they weren't perfect, either! If Joe or Jane Schmoo did these things, would anyone care? You wonder if these are the same people who hold politicians to a higher standard. We stopped doing that here in Chicago and Cook County years ago.
I don't condone their actions. But hey, as I said. They're human. Donald Trump, Lovie Smith, and Jerry Angelo are human. That's why Miss USA and Tank Johnson got second chances. Mistakes are made. The messes are cleaned up. But the key here is -- not to make them again. In the words of Stephen Colbert -- They're on notice.
And if they do make these mistakes again, I know a great punishment -- make both them go on Papa Bear's show to explain themselves -- i.e. The O'Reilly Factor.
King of the Hill will enter its 11th season this January.
I went to the Sun-Times TV listings website last night. It didn't work. Good luck, Sun-Times. There goes more subscribers out the door.
By the way, thank you for keeping the AFL in existence, ESPN. Thanks for snatching up a low-rated entity that no one cares about and trying to force down our throats. You know, like Newscorp. is doing with MyNetworkTV.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Viacom has backed out of a proposed video website collaboration that included NBC Universal and CBS (which split from Viacom earlier this year.) that would take on independent video sharing site YouTube. Viacom's pullout now puts the project in jeopardy.
(Disclaimer: The T Dog Blog is not responsible for anyone who has nightmares trigged by seeing and/or remembering this logo. You can bet your Matlock on that.)
Friday, December 15, 2006
- Update: ABC has now decided to yank low-rated and critically blasted game show Show Me the Money off the air immediately, meaning it's gone for good. The program was to move to Tuesday nights beginning January 2, but now ABC will replace Money with Funniest Home Videos repeats.
- ABC has also pulled the plug on Daybreak, after declining ratings, and the fact that the Taye Diggs drama posted its lowest ratings to date Wednesday. Those will be replaced comedy repeats, most likely the returning According to Jim and The George Lopez Show. No word where the remaining episodes of Daybreak will air, though dumping them on the web (a la Vanished and Kidnapped) is a likely option. (On a related note, ABC earlier this week also put Ted Danson sitcom Help Me Help You on hiatus.)
- Both Broadcasting & Cable and TV Week are reporting that changes regarding MyNetworkTV may be in the works. The televonela format clearly isn't working (Two new stripped shows debuted last week to even lower ratings than the ones that were replaced after their 65-episode cycle was completed), and Fox execs are mulling the possibility of scaling back the soap operas to two episodes a week, and adding game shows, reality programs, even a deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization. Changes may happen as soon as this summer, according to inside observers. Broadcasting & Cable also points out that production costs on the televonelas have now ballooned to $1 million a week for each series. In some local markets, MyNetworkTV was getting outrated by reruns of older off-network series such as Mama's Family and Becker, by PBS programs, and far and away by programming on the new CW network, created by the folding of WB and UPN stations. Many MyNetworkTV affiliates are former UPN stations.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
The AFL was formed in 1960, and put its games on the then-upstart ABC network. But it was NBC with a $36 million deal in 1964 that finally put the league on the map and made the NFL take notice. The two merged in 1966, but did not play each other in the regular season until 1970. In 1969, Mr. Hunt coined the phrase "Super Bowl" for the annual (and awkward sounding) AFL-NFL Championship Game. In 1970, The Kansas City Chiefs won their first Super Bowl for Mr. Hunt.
Mr. Hunt was also an original investor in the Chicago Bulls, and charter investor of the Major League Soccer.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
While there are problems with local news, it's not up to special interest groups (left or right) to determine what should be on newscasts, let alone what programming should be on local television stations.
Update: Here is Third Coast Press' website and FCC filing. It's an independent newspaper only available on the web (which they don't seem to update that often.) While I'm all for independent media (especially as alternatives for the two rotten big dailies), their execution of this license challenge was just outright pathetic. They should have done more research instead of the let's-group-everyone-in-this-corner approach. While Broadcasting & Cable reported on this today, Robert Feder figured it wasn't worth mentioning. (but hey, there may be good deal on that house Walt Disney lived in.)
Updated 12-16-06 at 12:18p
He played Frank Barone, a role he was Emmy nominated for eight times on Everybody Loves Raymond. He also won an Emmy for a guest appearance on The X-Files, and appeared in the movies Young Frankenstein, Joe, and Scooby-Doo 2 - Monsters Unleashed. Mr. Boyle passed away Tuesday night at the age of 71. :-(
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
- News-talk rules in this region as WGN and WTMJ top the charts.
- Among CHRs, WBBM-FM (B96) is tops while WKSC (Kiss 103.5) slips a little.
- WZZN's oldies format is a big winner -- best ratings for that frequency in 18 years.
- WKQX (Q101) may be headed for a format change after posting the worst numbers in at least 30 years.
- WVON is still trying to find its footing after frequency switch to 1690AM.
- WILV's (Love FM) numbers are now about as bad as the former WNND's.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Well, it could be worse... We could be getting Vince Vaughn or R. Kelly....
Friday, December 08, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
NBC affiliate KSDK in
KSDK carried Cardinals baseball from 1947 until 1987. In 1987, KSDK had the number one network lineup, and didn't want to pre-empt top-rated network programming to carry baseball games. They passed the rights off to KPLR, which has been the home of the Cardinals since 1988.
With NBC prime-time not doing much these days, KSDK has decided to re-acquire the package, with some games certain to air in prime, pre-empting NBC fare. KSDK will air 20 Cardinals games in high-definition (including road games -- hear that, Comcast SportsNet?), plus two spring taining games and a weekly television show devoted to the team. The games will also be carried through a network of TV stations spanning eight states, including Illinois.
With the move, KSDK, already far and away the number-one station in the market, will likely become more dominant. The station airs top-rated programs such as Wheel of Fortune, Jeporady! The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Ellen, plus a successful local daily program, Show Me St. Louis.
With the Cardinals now out of the picture, this brings up, once again, the possibility of KPLR becoming an ABC affiliate. ABC had a rocky history with former affiliate KTVI (now a Fox O&O) and with Sinclair-owned KDNL, Channel 30, which is among the lowest-rated ABC affiliates in the country. The station dumped its newscasts five years ago in a cost-cutting move. KDNL is also held in low regard by St. Louis residents. (The Grey's Anatomy Super Bowl debacle comes to mind.)
KPLR nearly became an ABC affiliate in 1988, but that was snuffed out when it acquired Cardinals baseball. With owner Tribune in the mode of possibly selling off its TV stations, the current CW affiliate could be in the best position in years to land the ABC affiliation. KPLR however, still owns the broadcast rights to Blues hockey games.
Fox Sports Net Midwest continues to own the cable rights to Cardinals games.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
He was missing for several days after going for help after he and his family was stranded in the snow in Oregon, but was found dead today in the southwestern part of the state.
CNET Memoriam: http://news.com.com/2009-12-6141617.html
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Surprisingly, his decision to exit radio and politics is not because of the Democrats' winning Congress, or declining ratings, but because of his stint on Dancing With the Stars. Springer is eager to regain his pop-culture status he had in the late 1990's, when his rambunctious talk show earned gigantic ratings.
Given this, its unlikely Springer will give up his talk show, which is very good news for NBC Universal. Look for the syndicator to re-up Springer for a long-term deal when it expires in 2008.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Several interesting finds: 1.) The CW's ratings are down in Kansas City from both WB and UPN. (In Chicago however, CW's ratings have been somewhat successful, thanks in part to WGN-TV's strong overall performance.) 2.) KCWE's overall ratings are up, but the increase comes from Dr. Phil and Oprah reruns (from sister station KMBC-TV), not from the CW lineup. 3.) At 7pm, more viewers are watching reruns of Mama's Family on KMCI-TV than Desire, the dreadful telenovela that mercifully wraps up tomorrow (and so does its equally crapful companion, Fashion House. )
MyNetworkTV is introducing two new telenovelas to replace the exiting shows, effective Wednesday. (Why Wednesday? Shouldn't weekday shows like that debut at the start of the week... like, oh I don't know... on MONDAY?)
One thing we know... Here in Chicago, whatever replaces those two programs will be beaten in the ratings by Chicago Tonight on Channel 11 and Comics Unleashed and repeats of Becker on WCIU. Maybe MyNetworkTV should look into hiring Phil Ponce, Byron Allen, and Ted Danson.
I’ve been complying local sweeps results for 17 seasons now and this is the first time I’m posting these on a blog…..
Local November sweeps stories from around the country…
Dallas/Fort Worth: In Big D, NBC-owned KXAS-TV won its sixth straight 10pm news crown, defeating ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in households and in adults 25-54... KXAS returned to the top spot in 2001, ending the 13-year dominance of WFAA as the market’s news leader. Meanwhile, Wheel of Fortune on CBS-owned KTVT won the 6:30pm time slot, but in the adults 18-49 demo, Wheel was defeated by Entertainment Tonight on WFAA. (Belo8?)
Miami/Ft. Lauderdale: Thanks to Dr. Phil, ABC affiliate WPLG has re-established dominance in local news and in overall ratings for the first time in years… Meanwhile, new CW affiliate WSFL beat MyNetworkTV’s WBFS in prime-time. (If you care, the article also mentions nearby
Baltimore: CBS-owned WJZ-TV got a big boost from the Ravens (an AFC team; CBS carries AFC teams), but it was NBC affiliate WBAL-TV that won all local news time periods, except noon. (Hey Baltimore, remember when WJZ dominated the local ratings and Scripps' WMAR-TV was actually a competitor? Smart move dumping NBC when it was number one, was it Scripps execs?)
We'll have more results in the days ahead as more and more results become available.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Inside Edition debuted on Jan. 9, 1989 in Detroit on WDIV in that exact time slot, leading out of syndicated reruns of The Cosby Show.
Inside Edition currently airs on ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV at 1am.
One station, Allbritton's ABC affiliate WJLA, fell 35 percent at 11p.m. in November, compared to November 2005, despite ABC No. 1 ranking in prime-time. NBC-owned WRC-TV, the market leader, was down 11 percent. Gannett's CBS affiliate WUSA and Fox-owned WTTG (which also has a 10pm newscast) were also down.
Hats off to WDCW-Channel 50, the Tribune-owned CW affiliate, which found success with syndicated shows such as The People's Court, Maury, Judge Mathis, and The Bernie Mac Show, and CW's prime-time lineup, which easily defeated that of crosstown rival WDCA-TV, which featured MyNetworkTV programming. WDCW has come a long way from the days of WBDC and WFTY (its predecessors that occupied channel 50 back in the day), the latter often airing eighteenth-rate programming and practically had NO ratings (literally-- hash marks.)