Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Eleven Scorecard Notes About Television in 2011


Eleven things about television in 2011, and in no particular order:

“The Killing.” In April AMC premiered the first episode of the 13-episode drama about two Seattle cops hunting the killer of a 13-year-old girl. Back then I wrote “At its heart, the 13-episode “The Killing” is a complex story about the search for the girl’s killer, a serialized whodunit, if you will, tying together the stories of the detectives assigned to the case, the girl’s grieving family and the suspects all in a moody setting.” I also said it was the best new series of the year I had seen — at least up to that time. Of course what too many people remember about the series is that the murder was not solved at season’s end, though all signs pointed to a Seattle mayoral candidate as the killer who himself may, or may not, have been killed in that last episode. The inconclusive ending to the first season drew complaints from viewers and some critics who figured the girl’s killer would be unmasked in season one. I had no problem with the ending, in fact it made me even more eager for the forthcoming second season in 2012. Now if the show had been canceled, well that would have been a different story.

Daytime soaps. Not everyone is a fan of soap operas, but I was a faithful viewer of ABC’s “All My Children” for years. Sadly, the network ended the show in September and announced it would also end “One Life to Live” at the end of this year. But viewers then learned that a company called Prospect Park would revive “AMC” and “OLTL” on the Internet in 2012. “OLTL” cast members — many of the regulars — signed on for the new venture. Such was not the case with “AMC,” especially since the heart and soul of the show was actress Susan Lucci’s Erica Kane character — and Lucci had not signed on. But no matter, in late November Prospect Park announced it was scrapping plans for both series — economic matters were cited. A sad state of affairs for soap fans. “One Life To Live” is scheduled to air its final episode on Jan. 13, 2012.

“Downton Abbey.” PBS once again came away with a big Emmy win in 2011 for its period drama “Downton Abbey,” about an aristocratic family and their help in the period leading up to World War I. The series took home Emmys for best directing, writing, supporting actress and best miniseries — the category usually won in recent years by HBO. “Downton” is just another in a long line of period dramas that the British do oh so well. And I, like so many others, fell under its spell. Beautiful people, beautiful settings, tidbits of romance, and much drama involving the “upstairs” Crawley family and the “downstairs” “Downton” staff. Season two begins in Jan. 8 on PBS.

More women headline comedy series. Comedies made a big comeback on network television this fall. Granted comedies are not the “kings” of TV as they were in the 1980s and 1990s, but they are back. And, unlike previous years, most of the comedies that premiered in September have been given a full season pickup and are doing quite well in the ratings. The stars of two of the new comedy ratings hits — CBS’ “2 Broke Girls” and “New Girl” on Fox — are women. Ditto for NBC’s “Whitney,” while not a ratings success it has been given a full season pickup. It is nice to see women starring in a comedy series and not just as a girlfriend, wife, best friend or potential girlfriend for a comedy’s male lead. Though ABC’s “Suburgatory” has a male lead in Jeremy Sisto, Jane Levy plays his teenage daughter and the scene stealing and always-watchable Cheryl Hines plays a perky neighbor. Sisto’s the “star,” but Levy and Hines are front and center in almost every episode. Though four of its leads are male, this season CBS’ “Big Bang Theory” has beefed up many episodes with frequent continuing guest stars including Mayim Bialik, along with cast regulars Kaley Cuoco and Melissa Rauch. Add in the returning veteran comedies starring women — “Mike & Molly,” “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock” and “The Middle” — and the so-called fairer sex certainly are making their mark on prime time TV.

Julianna Margulies. Finally this gifted actress got her well-deserved lead actress in a drama Emmy for CBS’ “Good Wife.” I thought she should have taken home the award in 2010, but she won this year for her role as lawyer Alicia Florrick, a woman dealing with a philandering husband and two teenage children.

“Justified.” Speaking of good TV drama, you would be hard pressed to find a drama in primetime on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox or The CW as compelling as this FX series. Timothy Olyphant stars as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, trying to keep the peace back home in rural mining-country Harlan County, Kentucky. And it isn’t easy, what with dirty politics, hidden fortunes and drug dealers among others who make his job harder than hard. And we won’t even talk about his troubled personal life. The show now has an Emmy award on its shelf, courtesy of Margo Martindale who took home the gold as outstanding supporting actress in a drama playing Mags Bennett last season. The series new season (starting Jan. 17) has Raylan’s old nemesis Boyd Crowder back and up to no good. This is must see TV.

“Homeland.” The best new drama of the fall season is, again, on cable. On Showtime Claire Danes stars as a driven, troubled CIA agent determined to prove that a Marine (Damian Lewis) home after being missing for eight years in Iraq has been turned by his captors and might be plotting an attack on this country. Each weekly episode seems to answer some questions, while posing others. If this series were a book, I would be staying up reading it to the very end. The first season ended on Dec. 18, but Showtime has renewed it. Claire Danes is fabulous as the CIA agent and, if there is any justice, will pick up an Emmy Award in 2012.

The USA Network.
The cable channel continues to crank out very watchable dramas. Most of the series started as summer-only shows, but now USA is splitting seasons with some series so they return in late fall/early winter for a few episodes to keep them fresh in viewer’s minds. My favorites are “Burn Notice,” “White Collar” and “Covert Affairs.” This past summer USA premiered “Suits,” about a high-powered law firm and its young, smart, new associate, a college dropout who manages to pass himself off as a Harvard Law School grad. Another winner.

Primetime soaps. While daytime soaps are an endangered species, such is not the case in primetime, thanks to ABC. The network has “Desperate Housewives,” now in its final season, and had “Brothers &Sisters” until it was canceled after the 2010-2011 season. This season ABC premiered “Revenge,” an addictive series about a young woman bent on revenge against those she has marked as responsible for the downfall of her beloved father. Just like any soap, this one is filled with all the good, juicy stuff: beautiful people, sex, lies, murder, rich people, violence and infidelity. You get the picture. Heading the cast as the avenging angel is Emily Van Camp (from “Brothers & Sisters”) and Madeleine Stowe as her main adversary. Fun show and a must watch every week!

Fairy tales. I guess it was only a matter of time until the networks, which have already mined the fields for shows about vampires, ghosts and the undead, turned to fairy tale-based series. ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” and NBC’s “Grimm” seem to have caught on with many viewers, with “Time” doing better in the ratings on Sunday nights while “Grimm’s” Nielsen numbers on Friday nights have only been so-so. Maybe I am biased against these types of shows because, as a child, I had absolutely no interest in fairy tales. Boring. So I guess that explains why I don’t really care for these shows. I find “Time’s” back and forth from fairy tale past to the present annoying. “Grimm” on the other hand is really just a police procedural with the primary hunter of mythological creatures being a cop descended from a group of hunters known as the “Grimms.” Yawn.

The 1960s. It’s 2011 but this fall NBC and ABC decided to go back to the future — the 1960s — for two new dramas. So how did that turn out? Not well. NBC’s “The Playboy Club” earned the distinction of being the first show of the fall season to be canceled. ABC’s “Pan Am” about flight attendants and pilots in the early years of the jet age is hanging on by its fingernails in the 10 p.m. Sunday timeslot. It has gotten an order for a total of 14 episodes, but whether or not it gets a full season pickup is unknown at this writing. What’s next? Perhaps a series set in the 1970s (oops, Fox has already done that) or the 1980s (oops, TNT is bringing back “Dallas” next summer). Who knows what the 2012-2013 will bring? I’ll be watching!

Donna J. Plesh is a veteran television writer and reviewer who also writes stories that may be viewed at www.thecolumnists.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2011



It’s that time of year again – the holidays. A time when many people go crazy trying to find that perfect gift for a relative or friend. If that friend or relative is a TV buff, there are myriad TV-related gifts available that are sure to brighten his/or her holiday season.

Here’s a list some of my favorites, DVDs and games, several of which are in my personal collection. For purchasing, check local retailers, bookstores and Internet retailers. Also check TV network sites, most of them have “company” stores that sell products related to their series.

Let’s start with TV DVDs. Boxed sets of complete series or individual seasons of shows are readily available.

“Rome.” (Two seasons)
This series ran for two seasons from 2005-2007 on HBO and followed the lives of two Roman soldiers who became involved in the historical events of ancient Rome, starting in 52 B.C. The cast includes Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker, Lindsay Duncan and James Purefoy. This is a great gift because it’s part history lesson and part soap opera as lives and loves are intertwined with scheming, murder, vengeance and politics. It’s a must and is on my shelf.

“The Mentalist,” the complete Third Season.
From ancient Rome to modern-day California, this hit CBS drama stars Simon Baker as a fake psychic obsessed with finding Red John, the man who killed his family. Baker’s Patrick Jane goes about his mission to find the killer while working as a consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation on cases. If you are not familiar with “The Mentalist,” this 24-episode set is a good place to jump in and catch up, as Jane gets closer to tracking down Red John. As with most boxed sets, this one includes some unaired scenes and other features. The cast includes Robin Tunney, Tim Kang, Owain Yeoman and Amanda Righetti.

“Chuck,” the complete Fourth Season. This is the little series that could. Every spring it has been on the verge of cancellation by NBC, but yet has managed to make it through four full seasons and now is in its fifth and final season of 13 episodes on the Peacock network. In a nutshell, Chuck Bartowski is a computer nerd who accidentally unloaded national secrets into his brain. When the government got wind of what he had done, they sent two super spies to protect him. Over the years the trio – Chuck, and his protectors Sarah and Colonel Case,y have traveled the globe to protect the country from the bad guys. The 24-episode fourth season finds Chuck trying to reunite his family and figure out how to propose to Sarah. Included are deleted scenes and a gag reel. Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski and Adam Baldwin head the cast.

“Prime Suspect,” the Complete Collection
. This wonderful police drama starring Helen Mirren is likely never to be duplicated again on television. Mirren’s portrayal of the driven, flawed and troubled Detective Jane Tennison won her an Emmy Award, and the series took home Emmys and a Peabody Award. First airing in 1992 on PBS’ “Mystery!” series, the drama continued for six more seasons, ending in 2006. Created by crime writer Lynda LaPlante, “Prime Suspect” featured many top British actors as guest stars over its run, including Ralph Fiennes, Tom Wilkinson, Ciaran Hinds, Tom Bell and Jonny Lee Miller. The boxed set includes a behind the scenes special, photos and cast filmographies. This is a must have for any collector.

“Absolutely Fabulous, Absolutely Everything,” the Complete Collection. When it comes to comedy, this wonderful British series is the top of the top. Well, actually, it’s way over the top. Edina, a London PR agent, and her best friend Patsy, a fashion magazine editor, drink, smoke and carouse through life in a series of hilarious adventures that are side-splittingly funny. Eddy and Pats will try and do anything to recapture their youthful days in 1960s swinging, mod London. Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley star in the series written by Saunders. This nine-disc set includes outtakes, the pilot episode and photo galleries.

“Pride and Prejudice,” 10th Anniversary Limited Collector’s Edition. Jane Austen’s romantic classic that first aired on the A&E Network in the mid-1990s put the spotlight on two young actors who would later become stars – Colin Firth (Oscar winner) and Jennifer Ehle (Tony Award winner). Set in 19th century Georgian England, strong-willed Elizabeth Bennet has to make an advantageous marriage – she has five younger unmarried sisters. But she is opposed to marriage for the sake of marriage — she wants to marry for love. Enter the inscrutable Mr. Darcy, a friend of the Bennets’ new neighbor and a man Elizabeth initially despises. It takes awhile, but Elizabeth comes to realize Darcy is the man for her — but does he feel the same way? Watch and find out (as if you already don’t know!). This three-disc set includes the entire series, plus a bonus disc that goes behind the scenes of the making of the series as well as cast biographies. This is just the DVD to watch on a chilly winter’s night with a cup of tea in hand.

For those of you interested in playing board games tied to TV series, here are a couple of the more interesting ones based on hit series.

“24,” DVD board game.
This game includes a DVD, game board, movers, cards and instructions. Based on the Emmy-winning Fox series, players are agents and they collect clues to try to prevent an attack by terrorists. The DVD provides clues to players, some true, some false, and players must figure out which ones are legitimate as the DVD timer runs down. Series star Kiefer Sutherland narrates.

“Modern Family Game.” The ABC series “Modern Family” has won two straight Emmy awards as Best Comedy series and is a hit with viewers. So naturally there is a board game based on the series and involving its three related families. The game, for two to six players, is a test of your knowledge of the series and its trivia. Included are game board, game cards, answer pad, dice, game tokens and rules. The first player to visit each household and get back to their TV viewing couch wins.

“NCIS,” The Game
. CBS’ top rated series gets the board game treatment for one to six players. Players visit the scene of the crime, take statements and check into headquarters. Plot twists may or may not occur. Players, as a group, must decide who to arrest. If deadlocked, the player who is Agent Gibbs decides. The game includes a board, game cards, crime scene cards, movers, clue manuals and rules.

Donna J. Plesh is a veteran television writer and reviewer who also writes stories that may be viewed at www.thecolumnists.com

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Networks' Fall TV At Midseason: Half-Hour Comedies One Bright Light


It’s nearly December and we are beginning the third month of the fall 2011 TV season. So, how are things going for the new shows ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW premiered in September? Well, I would say so-so and if I was giving a letter grade to the shows it would be a B-.

The one bright light has been the re-emergence of half-hour comedies that, unlike previous seasons (anyone remember the dreadful NBC version of the Brit comedy hit “Coupling” a few seasons back?) viewers are watching them every week as indicated by their ratings.

In addition, women headline four of these comedies. Yes, folks, women. Not like in the comedy series heydays of the 1980s and 1990s when Ted Danson, Bill Cosby and Kelsey Grammer were the marquee names on hit series. This season some relative unknowns (at least to most TV viewers) are fronting what can be considered, at this point, hit new series: Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs and Zooey Deschanel. Dennings and Behrs are the stars of “2 Broke Girls” on CBS Mondays, and Zooey Deschanel headlines the cast of “New Girl” on Fox Tuesday nights. Both series have gotten full-season pickups.

A third series, “Whitney,” airing Thursday nights on NBC and starring Whitney Cummings (also the co-creator of “2 Broke Girls”) has not gotten great ratings but still received a full season pickup from the network. A fourth comedy featuring female leads, “I Hate My Teenage Daughter,” premieres Nov. 30 on Fox. Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran star.

Tim Allen’s return to series comedy with ABC’s “Last Man Standing” on Tuesday nights has received a full season pickup, as has the network’s freshman life-in-the-suburbs-can-be-hell “Suburgatory” airing as part of the network’s Wednesday night comedy block. Also, NBC has given a full season order to the Wednesday night parenthood comedy “Up all Night.”

What needs to be remembered for all new series is the impact of fall sports events on the weekly Nielsen ratings. NBC airs Sunday night football and ESPN has Monday night football which, if impact games are airing, means more eyes will be on the games than the shows on the networks. Also, baseball playoffs and the World Series telecasts drew more eyes away from new network fare.

So the new comedies are doing pretty well. But how about dramas? So-so. But it looks like the fairy-tale themed “Grimm” on NBC Friday nights and “Once Upon a Time” on ABC Sunday nights have caught the fancy of viewers. When it comes to more standard drama fare – police procedurals – CBS’ “Unforgettable” on Tuesday nights is the clear winner. Often winding up in the Nielsen Top 20. On the other hand, NBC’s much publicized “Prime Suspect,” despite multiple weeknight airings one recent week, is not doing well in the ratings. In its regular 10 p.m. Thursday time period it comes in a distant third behind CBS’ “The Mentalist” and ABC’s “Private Practice.” In last week’s Nielsen ratings for the week of Nov. 14-20, “Prime Suspect” was ranked 79, not a good spot for a show hoping for a full-season pickup.
CBS has already given a full season pickup to the Thursday night thriller “Person of Interest,” but the jury is still out on ABC’s Sunday night 1960s throwback series “Pan Am.” The network has ordered more scripts for “Pan Am,” but has yet to commit to giving it a full season. Such is not the case for ABC’s Wednesday night hit “Revenge.” The soap-opera like drama has already received a full season pickup.

Then there is CBS’ “A Gifted Man,” airing Friday nights at 8 p.m. So far this drama about a brilliant surgeon getting life lessons from his dead wife is hard pressed to climb out of the 40s of the Nielsen ratings.

Granted Friday nights are no longer must-see or must watch TV nights, but CBS’s second season “Blue Bloods” seems to have bucked the trend and last week was ranked 13th in the most recent Nielsens. Or maybe it’s because “Blue Bloods” stars long time TV favorite Tom Selleck?

Then there is “The X Factor” music competition show airing on Fox Wednesday and Thursday nights. The show may not be attracting as many eyeballs as Simon Cowell predicted last summer, but is still doing respectably well in the Nielsens (23 and 33) and has been given a full season pickup by the network.

And what about “Terra Nova” on Fox Monday nights? The series about an ordinary family transported back to and living in prehistoric times, is a go until at least December, when it ends its run of 13-hour episodes. Will it be back for a second season? Who knows? It’s very expensive to produce and its ratings (47 in the most recent Nielsens) have not been great.

Over on The CW the network had given full-season pickups for freshmen series “The Secret Circle,” “Ringer” (starring Sarah Michelle Gellar in her return to prime time) and “Hart of Dixie.” The latter, a fish-out-of-water light-hearted drama starring Rachel Bilson as a big city doctor in a small Alabama town, is one of the nice surprises of the season. Though it is not a Nielsen Top 20 show, it still has struck a chord with many viewers who seem to like the slower pace and inherent sweetness of the show.

All things considered, this fall season’s new shows have done better than those of the fall season 2010 shows. Granted there have been some missteps – but enough has already been said and written about the late (and not lamented) “Playboy Club,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Free Agents” and “How to Be a Gentleman.” Soon, if there is any justice, to be joined by “Man Up” on the scrap heap.

Donna J. Plesh is a veteran television writer and reviewer whose stories may also be viewed at www.thecolumnists.com

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Actor Cliff Robertson Dies (LATimes.com)

From LATimes.com

Cliff Robertson, who starred as John F. Kennedy in a 1963 World War II drama and later won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a mentally disabled bakery janitor in the movie "Charly," died Saturday, one day after his 88th birthday.

Robertson, who also played a real-life role as the whistle-blower in the check-forging scandal of then-Columbia Pictures President David Begelman that rocked Hollywood in the late 1970s, died at Stony Brook University Medical Center on Long Island, according to Evelyn Christel, his longtime personal secretary. His family said he died of natural causes.

Cliff Robertson, who starred as John F. Kennedy in a 1963 World War II drama and later won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a mentally disabled bakery janitor in the movie "Charly" died Saturday, one day after his 88th birthday.

In a more than 50-year career in films, Robertson appeared in some 60 movies, including "PT 109," "My Six Loves," "Sunday in New York," "The Best Man," "The Devil's Brigade," "Three Days of the Condor," "Obsession" and "Star 80."

More recently, he played Uncle Ben Parker in the "Spider-Man" films.

Throughout his career, Robertson worked regularly in television, including delivering an Emmy Award-winning performance in "The Game," a 1965 drama on "Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre."

Thursday, September 8, 2011


First, KTTV - New 5 pm Newscast Debuts Monday, airing after new Anderson Cooper

KTTV‘s brand-new 5 p.m. newscast, slated to launch next Monday on the Fox owned-and-operated station in Los Angeles, officially has an anchor: veteran KTTV personality Jeff Michael (pictured, left).

Michael has been with KTTV as a reporter and weekend anchor since 1998. He will be joined on the 5 p.m. broadcast — which news director Kingsley Smith has made a top priority — by reporters Liz Habib and Ed Laskos, as well as entertainment anchor Lisa Breckenridge.

The hour-long broadcast, which will feature opinions and analysis on local issues, will follow Anderson Cooper‘s syndicated daytime talk show “Anderson,” which also debuts next week. Chris Lemire, a former Fox News Channel producer, will be the newscast’s executive producer.

Next, KABC - Lisa Hernandez Going to Houston

After losing Lucy Noland to Los Angeles’ KNBC this summer, KHOU has hired veteran SoCal anchor Lisa Hernandez as her replacement, according to mikemcguff.com.

A California native, Hernandez currently works as a weekend morning co-anchor and general assignment reporter for KABC.

“I am ridiculously lucky,” Hernandez told mikemcguff.com about her new job. “Not only am I joining an amazing news team, I’m moving to an amazing city!”

Before joining KABC in 2004, Hernandez worked as a producer at KESQ in Palm Springs and as a reporter for News 14, a 24-hour cable news channel in North Carolina. She is expected to anchor KHOU’s 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

NEW Tim Conway DORF Collection - 7 Classic Films, 6 NEW Sketches

We all need to be entertained - a laugh, a smile to get us through the day. Here is an opportunity to kick back, relax, and enjoy some wonderful moments with Tim Conway


TimConway.com • AnythingGoesProductions.com
(760) 885-5911 • contactagp@gmail.com



6 All-New DORF Comedy Sketches • Plus All 7 DORF Classic Films

No question about it, Tim Conway is an American comedy icon. A four-time Emmy winner for his work on the Carol Burnett Show, Conway created a memorable role as the bumbling, naïve Ensign Parker on McHale’s Navy. But Conway fans of all ages love him best for his sketch comedy and unscripted antics, often with Harvey Korman, on The Carol Burnett Show.

Today, when people talk about Tim Conway, one word pops up – DORF, the diminutive, dark-haired Scandinavian who reprised his goofy accent from his Mr. Tudball character from the Burnett show and engaged in all kinds of wacky sports adventures.

Conway starred in seven classic films, but many have been hard to find – UNTIL NOW. For the first time, the original series of satirical how-to sports videos have been combined with six ALL-NEW comedy sketches in the DVD, “Tim Conway In The ULTIMATE DORF DVD COLLECTION,” a new release from Anything Goes Productions.

“Tim is an amazing talent who is still out there, active and entertaining his fans,” said Pasquale Murena, who produced and directed the new DVD with Conway. “During his tours he does DORF and the audience goes nuts for it. It definitely gets the biggest reaction,” he said.

The new DVD is NOT AVAILABLE IN STORES. Purchase for the low price of $19.99 at TimConway.com. The DVD features include:
• DORF on Golf • DORF on the Diamond • DORF Goes Auto Racing • DORF’s Golf Bible
• DORF Goes Fishing • DORF da Bingo King • DORF in The 1st Games of Mount Olympus

The six ALL-NEW DORF comedy sketches include:

• DORF and the Confession: DORF has worked on many ways to get the upper hand in Bingo, the only problem is he now has to go see the Old Man as the priest and confess all that he has done wrong. DORF tries his best not to get too excited as the Old Man falls asleep, hears the wrong things and forgets where and who he is.

• DORF and the Angry Fan: Our favorite outfielder DORF is not everyone's favorite baseball player as an angry fan makes this DORF's longest game ever. Name calling and throwing everything but the kitchen sink distracts DORF from America's favorite pastime.

• DORF and the New Toga: Join DORF in the Roman Empire as he prepares to dress in his newly made toga to address his loyal subjects. The only problem is his toga is two times too long and his seamstress is two times too dense to help him.

• DORF "Helps" Santa: DORF has one job this Christmas, to help deliver all the little boys and girls’ letters to Santa Claus for iSpotSanta.com. Will his flying jet pack get him in touch with Santa? How about his postal service cannon? Find out as DORF stumbles his way to "help" save Christmas.

• DORF and the Trial: Cheating at golf can get you into a heap of trouble and the world's greatest golf trainer gets no special treatment when he is accused of moving his ball to better his game. DORF gets a hole-in-one with laughs as he is put on trial in this courtroom laugh-fest.

• DORF and the Tee Time: Winning that first tee time is important to most golfers and that is why DORF gets to the caddy shack many hours before it opens. Too bad the head caddy doesn't believe in opening early even when DORF tries to bribe, trick and beg his way on the top of the list.

This is THE ULTIMATE DORF DVD COLLECTION, and a must for fans of Tim Conway, to be enjoyed by everyone for years to come. AND NOT AVAILABLE IN STORES. As a special incentive, a Collector’s DORF photo will be in each DVD case. Some will contain a surprise BONUS – an autographed photo from Tim Conway.

To order “Tim Conway In The ULTIMATE DORF DVD COLLECTION,” go to www.TimConway.com. For $19.99 plus shipping and handling, you will enjoy Conway’s seven classic DORF films and the six ALL-NEW DORF comedy sketches.

As Tim Conway says, “There is a little DORF in all of us.” Buy the new DVD to enjoy a lifetime of lasting memories.

Contact: Pasquale Murena, Anything Goes Productions • (760) 885-5911 • contactagp@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

KTTV (Fox 11) Dropping Veteran Reporter John Schwada

It's always sad to see veteran reporters and correspondents let go by local stations and networks. CBS just dismissed Don Teague, based in Dallas, but well known for his national coverage over the years on NBC as well as CBS. Locally, Fox 11 is saying farewell to John Schwada - my hope is another TV station in town will pick him up. He's one of the best TV journalists around. Here is the story, as reported on the site LAObserved.com:

Schwada has a few words to say

Kevin Roderick • July 19 2011 8:22 AM

Veteran TV reporter John Schwada has posted on Facebook about his firing by Fox 11. He's not happy about it.

A week ago, I was told my KTTV contract would not be renewed. Since then, LA Observed & LA Weekly have reported on my story. But missing in all this has been any public expressions of concern - indignation? – from reporters/the journalism academy. Privately, they have muttered darkly, sympathized. But publicly – in forums where newspeople best practice our craft, express our values – my profession has been silent.

Nearly, two years ago, I wrote a blog about the layoffs of a third of KTTV's newsroom. When it went viral (in the limited world of LA TV journalism), KTTV gm Kevin Hale told me how pained he was that I had hurt the station's image and – perhaps more painful for him – that he had received a bullet from New York//Fox asking why my embarrassing observations were being posted on the station's own website.

Inside, he notes the lack of public reaction from AFTRA or "the journalism academy," and is disappointed in colleagues, especially those "young and pretty and docile," for staying silent.

My "firing" (not effective until Aug. 12) has been a shot across the bow of every KTTV reporter. Privately, my colleagues say: "if they're getting rid of you, who's next?" Actually they have nothing to fear - if they stay young and pretty and docile. And, from their failure to publicly show concern when a seasoned and repeatedly honored reporter, is sacked, I think they're well down the road to…self-preservation.

But really what disturbs me most is the silence from my union, AFTRA, and from the journalism academy. When a veteran reporter for no good journalistic reason is dismissed, where are their independent voices? Some of these folks are even protected by tenure? Their silence is particularly disappointing.

These are my regrets. Now my hopes: Although I believe that KTTV has made a serious error in releasing me in defiance of the high regard in which I am held, my productivity as a reporter, I do believe - I need to believe - that other stations, other venues will value my experience, my courage, my integrity. To succumb to cynicism and despair is a living death.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

KTLA, KFI Score In Early 405 Freeway Shutdown Coverage

Here's my commentary based on the first 12 to 15 hours of 405 Freeway Shutdown coverage. First, KNX/1070 AM gets the nod for continuing reliable coverage. However, for sheer news and entertainment, KTLA and KFI rate applause here.

KTLA/5 Morning News:
Chris Burrous and Mary Beth McDade anchored the Saturday coverage starting at 5 a.m.

Key to success, for me, was it stayed energized - boom, boom, boom -
it kept moving at a crisp pace, and wisely did the non-405 segments frequently, too. No dead spots. And when a show has high energy from the on-air talent and content, the viewer is excited enough to keep watching even when there is not much to watch in terms of the freeway being quiet.

Other key to success: Chris' self-described "nerdiness" - telling us about
some of those construction things and why and how it happens in a way
that was entertaining as well as educational kept me tuned in.

Most importantly, the Saturday show kept what has become signature for the weekday program (credit Joel Tator here) - having fun. Whether planking (Friday's show) or kidding Mary Beth Saturday morning, it just made it fun to watch even as all was quiet in the show I call the freeway frolics. What I'd like to see: more cameras in Lynette Romero's car. A great idea, she is perfect for the assignment, but the lock down cameras prohibited flexibility. Overall, though, KTLA gets an "A" for its Saturday morning coverage.

Next, KFI/640 AM
. Having Tim Conway, Jr. do his Friday night show from the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel with a view of the freeway was a brilliant promotional idea - and executed very well. How do we know? When all the TV stations in town see nothing is happening and the "story" becomes Conway at KFI, you know it has worked. And TC made it funny, yet informative. It was super to have his Dad on for awhile, too. Kudos to Mike Nolan, too. He's part of an endangered species - a pilot who does it all, fly the plane and report traffic. KFI gets an "A" for this one.

Note: the above views represent my Blog commentary, independent from from my radio column for the Orange County Register. I will have follow-up comments on overall radio coverage in next week's radio column.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sherwood Schwartz Dies - Gilligan's Island and more (TMZ.com)

'Gilligan's Island,' 'Brady Bunch' Creator -- Dead at 94
TMZ Staff

Sherwood Schwartz, the television genius who created "The Brady Bunch" and "Gilligan's Island" -- and wrote the theme songs for BOTH shows -- has died ... TMZ has learned.

Schwartz is a TV legend -- back in 1961, he won an Emmy for his work as a writer on "The Red Skelton Show."

Schwartz also served as a script supervisor on "My Favorite Martian" ... and a writer and producer of "Harper Valley PTA."

Sherwood worked in radio before transitioning over to television -- serving as a writer for Bob Hope's radio show. He also worked on the radio version of "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet."

Schwartz died of natural causes in his sleep, surrounded by his family.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pioneering TV Sitcom Writer Sam Denoff Dies (LATimes.com)


A writer for classic television sitcoms such as "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "That Girl" has died, reports the Los Angeles Times. Sam Denoff was 83.

Denoff and his writing partner, Bill Persky, had written for shows such as "McHale's Navy" when they sold a script in 1963 for "The Dick Van Dyke Show," which aired on CBS from 1961 to 1966, the piece notes. Denoff and Persky later shared two Emmys for the series and went on to work on the show as story editors and producers, the story says.

"When they came upon the scene, they saved my life," said series creator Carl Reiner of Denoff and his writing partner. Van Dyke noted Denoff was "a real bon vivant. Sam knew all the best restaurants. ... They don't make guys like that anymore."

Denoff met Persky when working at radio station WNEW, for which they wrote jingles and material for a disc jockey. They moved to California in 1961 and started in TV, eventually creating the series "That Girl" for Marlo Thomas. Denoff wrote the lyrics to the show's opening theme.

"Sam was my greatest convert to feminism as part of our great adventure bringing the first single girl to television," Thomas said in a statement Sunday.

Denoff, who had Alzheimer's disease, died Friday. He is survived by his wife, their two children, and two children from his first marriage, the story notes.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

KTLA MORNING NEWS 20th anni special Thursday July 7

Here is Eric Spillman's Blog on reunion with some of the original members


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Los Angeles: TV Weather Changes At 7, 11

KABC/7 weekender Indra Petersons has been given an early out from her contract, reports Newsblues.com

Word is she will move to Fox/11 to replace Mark Thompson, who did his final show
Friday, June 3 after more than 20 years at the station. He said on K-Earth's Charlie Tuna show he has been overwhelmed by the response from people who said they will miss him.

Thompson also announces some Fox network shows. No word yet on whether those roles continue.

Thompson had a loyal following, so hard to figure why they would let him go.

Stay tuned....

Friday, June 3, 2011

JAMES ARNESS DEAD AT 88 (TVWeek.com via LA Times)

James Arness, One of the Biggest Stars in the History of TV, Dead at 88 LA Times

James Arness, who played Marshal Matt Dillon in the long-running TV Western “Gunsmoke,” has died, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Arness died today, Friday, June 3, 2011, of natural causes at his home in Brentwood, Calif. The 6-foot-7 TV legend was 88.

His brother, actor Peter Graves, who starred in “Mission: Impossible,” died of a heart attack just a year ago at 83.

Arness is best known for his 20-year stint on “Gunsmoke,” one of the longest-running shows in TV history. The CBS drama premiered in September 1955, at the dawn of the era of the adult Western. “Gunsmoke” outlasted most of its rivals in the genre, remaining on air until 1975.

Arness reprised the role of Marshal Dillon in a series of “Gunsmoke” TV movies in the 1980s and 1990s. He once said of the character: "Matt is very human and has all the failings and drives common to anyone who is trying to do a difficult job the best he knows how."

The actor received three Emmy nominations for his portrayal of Dillon.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Art Laboe, Joel Tator on KTLA Morning News anniversary shows


Joel Tator, who oversaw the KTLA Morning News in the early days and then later went on to a very successful career with Tom Snyder on the NBC "Tomorrow" show, will return to Channel 5 Morning News between 7 and 9 am Friday (May 20) to talk with the anchors about the show and his memories.

Next, Art Laboe is on the KTLA Morning News Sunday, 6 to 9 a.m. Here is the information

Radio on TV with Art Laboe LIVE on KTLA 5 Morning News Sunday May 22nd 6a-9a

Wake up early or set your TiVo/DVR....

Radio Legend, Art Laboe, will be a TV guest this Sunday, May 22nd on the KTLA 5 Morning News at 7a with Anchors Chris Burrous and Mary Beth McDade. That day the telecast will be renamed the All Request and Dedication Art Laboe KTLA 5 Morning News. Tune in from 6a-9a, as there will be teases in the 6a hour and Art Laboe will appear live in several segments between 7a-9a.

Art Laboe is excited to return to the KTLA studios where circa late 1950s & early 1960s he hosted his own teen dance TV program, The Art Laboe Show. Kids would line up around the block to dance on the show while Laboe played records and introduced appearances and performances by some of the hottest stars of the day. The show ran nearly 3 years and much of that time broadcast from Scrivners, a drive-in restaurant.

KTLA is Channel 5 in Los Angeles and most of Southern California. KTLA 5 may also be viewed via satellite or on KTLA.com.

New OC Register Radio Column Is Online Now (ocregister.com)

Read, and tell a friend

K-Earth Military Weddings, K-Mozart,Lara Scott, Frost Stilwell, 91X and more


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fox Upfront: "Flintstones" Returning in 2013 (TVWeek.com)

At The Fox Upfront, after word of The X Factor, there was this --

In a surprise announcement that somehow didn't leak to the press before today's presentation, Reilly said the network will bring back The Flintstones to its animation roster.

The revival won't premiere until 2013, but production has begun.

Monday, May 16, 2011

MOVIE FANS: Silent Film Exhibit Opens at Old Orange County Courthouse

"On Location: Silent Films in Orange County," has opened at the old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana, CA. Presented by the Orange County Archives and OC Parks, the exhibit opened May 6 and runs through Aug. 5 at the 3rd Floor Museum Gallery at the Old County Courthouse, 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd., in downtown Santa Ana.

Between 1910 and 1928, the county says, OC might well have been called Hollywood's back lot, home to the production of hundreds of films, ranging from comic shorts and newsreels to full-length silent movies.

"The county's silent film history is vast, thanks to the proximity to Hollywood, its sweeping natural vista and pristine beaches. 'The Two Brothers,' filmed in 1910 at Mission San Juan Capistrano under the direction of legend D.W. Griffith, was the first motion picture filmed in Orange County. Movie greats Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and native Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle all appeared in movies in OC, as well as Gilbert Roland, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Lon Chaney and Rudolph Valentino," the release says.

The exhibit includes photos, artifacts, props, movie posters, and replica costumes from Theda Bara's epic 'Cleopatra' and Douglas Fairbanks' 'The Mark of Zorro.'

Exhibit hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The courthouse and the exhibit will be open for a special Saturday open house on June 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. A special screening of Buster Keaton's 'College,' beginning at 2 p.m., will be presented with accompaniment by Bill Campbell of the Orange County Theater Organ Society.

The OC Archives are overseen by the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department. Jean Pasco is Director, Archives and Outreach. Questions, her e-mail is jean.pasco@rec.ocgov.com.

As many of you know, I wrote the Foreword to Manny Pacheco's excellent book, "Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History" and it led to the "Forgotten Hollywood" radio show 3 p.m. Saturdays on KSPA/1510 AM and streamed at www.thesparadio.com.

Pacheco is a well-respected broadcaster who lives in Cypress. Lycan is the radio columnist for the Orange County Register and lives in Santa Ana. Both teach and advise at the Academy of Radio & Television Broadcasting in Huntington Beach. So our Orange County roots are familiar to those who know us, and we both share a passionate interest in film history.

To learn more about the book, the radio show, and local appearances, please visit Manny's site at www.forgottenhollywood.com.

The making of films in Orange County is still a vibrant activity, many locations attracting top directors, producers and actors. Janice Arrington is our Orange County Film Commissioner who works tirelessly to create opportunities and supply location recommendations for films, commercials, TV shows. If you have an interest in filming in OC, contact her at



Fox Axing Weekly America's Most Wanted (Deadline.Com)

'America's Most Wanted' Cut Back to Quarterly Specials Deadline.com

Fox announced Monday that it is essentially canceling “America’s Most Wanted,” although it will keep it around in scaled-back form by slating four quarterly two-hour specials for the show, Deadline.com reported.

Kevin Reilly, Fox entertainment president, said it didn’t make economic sense to keep the show on the network as a regular series, noting that the series has not made money in some time.

Reilly said John Walsh, who hosts and produces the show, is talking with other divisions of Fox parent News Corp. about finding a possible place for the series, which is produced by Fox TV Stations.

The show has reportedly led to the capture of 1,151 fugitives

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Norma Zimmer of Lawrence Welk Show fame Dies (MSNBC / AP)

Posted by MSNBC

By LYNN ELBER AP Television Writer
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Norma Zimmer, the "Champagne Lady" of TV's "The Lawrence Welk Show" and a studio singer who worked with Frank Sinatra and other pop stars, has died. She was 87.

Zimmer died peacefully Tuesday at her Brea, Calif., home, Welk's son, Larry, said Wednesday. Larry Welk didn't know the cause of death but said Zimmer had been living an active life in recent years.

"She was one of the most gracious, likable people that anyone could ever meet. The other people on the show, to this day, just respect and love her," Larry Welk said.

Zimmer performed on Welk's network and later syndicated show from 1960 to 1982 as the "Champagne Lady," the title Welk traditionally gave to his orchestra's lead female singer. Zimmer sang solos, duets with Jimmy Roberts and waltzed with Welk to the strains of his effervescent dance tunes tagged "champagne music."

She appeared on the orchestra's public TV specials that have aired (along with repeats of the series) since 1987. Zimmer took part in a tribute to Welk and his show held earlier this year at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.

Welk, who stopped performing in 1989, died in 1992.

Zimmer, born in July 1923 in Larson, Idaho, grew up in Seattle. The petite blonde sang with The Girlfriends, a quartet that performed with Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby, including on Crosby's famed recording of "White Christmas."

Zimmer made several film and TV appearances, including one with Crosby in the 1950 film "Mr. Music" and in an episode of "I Love Lucy," and was the voice of the White Rose in the 1951 Disney film, "Alice in Wonderland."

Her survivors include her sons, Ron and Mark. Her husband, businessman Randy Zimmer, died in 2008.

Funeral services for Zimmer were pending.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dana Wynter (Invasion of Body Snatchers) Dies at 79 (Zap2It) (AP)

'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' star Dana Wynter dies at 79
By AP Staff - Starred in numerous TV dramas in the '60s

Sunday, May 8, 2011 10:34 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dana Wynter, who ran from the Pod People in the 1956 science-fiction classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," has died in Southern California. She was 79.

Her son, Mark Bautzer, told the Los Angeles Times the actress died Thursday in Ojai of congestive heart failure.

Wynter, who starred in a number of television dramas in the 1960s, was best known for her role as Becky Driscoll in director Don Siegel's paranoid film about townspeople being replaced by emotionless duplicates grown from plant-like pods.

Born in Germany, Wynter grew up in England and studied to be a doctor before turning to acting.

She appeared with Robert Lansing in the ABC series "The Man Who Never Was," and starred in "Wagon Train," "Cannon" and "The Rockford Files."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Remembering Jackie Cooper (OCRegister.com)

Bob Thomas writes a terrific story remembering Jackie Cooper, who died at age 88. Here is the link to the AP story as carried on ocregister.com


Actor-Director Jackie Cooper Dies At Age 88 (NY Times)

Jackie Cooper was a successful actor, director. Beyond the kids movies, he was popular in both "The People's Choice" and "Hennessey." Decades ago, he spent an entire evening sharing stories with radio-TV students at Cal State Fullerton, in a class taught by the late Jerry Lennington. Cooper was gracious, informative, and told it with a straight-shooter kind of style I still remember today.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Summer Cable Drama Series Roundup / By Donna J. Plesh

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a series of television stories to be filed by Donna J. Plesh, a Southern California based television writer.

MAY, 2011

Summer Dramas on Cable: A Roundup

By Donna J. Plesh

Time was, summer TV meant reruns of your favorite, and some not-so -favorite shows. That all changed when the cable networks began programming new original dramas in the summer months.
Two cable networks, USA and TNT, have been the most ambitious with summer series over past few years, and both networks are adding two new series to their stable of returning shows. Also adding two new series this summer is ABC Family. Here’s a roundup to date of summer dramas.

New: Gabriel Macht stars in “Suits,” a legal drama about a top corporate lawyer out to hire a new associate. The guy who impresses him and who he hires (Patrick J. Adams) is a brilliant college dropout who, though he lacks a degree, has book and street smarts. Gina Torres also stars in the drama executive produced by Doug Liman (“Covert Affairs,” the “Bourne” trilogy). It premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday June 23.
New: In “Necessary Roughness,” Callie Thorne (“Rescue Me,” “Californication”) stars as a therapist who takes a job with a pro football team in order to make ends meet. She is so wildly successful with her tough love brand of therapy that she is soon sought out by musicians, politicians and others living in the spotlight who need her help. She’s great at the job, but the job causes problems in her home life as a single mom raising two teenagers. Marc Blucas, Scott Cohen and Mehcad Brooks also star. The series premieres at 9 p.m. Wednesday June 29.
The network has also announced the dates for its returning summer series. “In Plain Sight.” starring Mary McCormack as a U.S. Marshall, is back for a fourth season Sundays at 10 p.m.
“Covert Affairs,” last summer’s hit series about a young CIA operative (Piper Parabola), is back at 10 p.m. Tuesday June 7.
“White Collar,” about the partnership between a con artist (Matt Boomer) and an FBI agent (Tim DeKay), returns for its third season at 9 p.m. Tuesday June 7.
Season five of “Burn Notice” kicks off at 9 p.m. Thursday June 23. Jeffrey Donovan stars as a blacklisted former CIA agent who takes on all types of crime-solving jobs while he tries to get his agency job back. Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless and Coby Bell also star.
It’s summer and Mark Feuerstein returns for a third season as the “doctor for hire” in The Hamptons in “Royal Pains” at 9 p.m. Wednesday June 29.

New: What happens when aliens invade Earth? Its remaining residents fight back in the new sci-fi drama “Falling Skies.” The story begins six months after an initial alien invasion when survivors band together to fight occupying alien forces. Noah Wyle stars as a resistance leader, and Moon Bloodgood co-stars. Steven Spielberg is the executive producer of the series that premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday June 19.
New: Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Brecken Meyer play two young seat-of-their pants lawyers in “Franklin & Bash,” premiering at 8 p.m. Wednesday June 1. Malcolm McDowell also stars as the head of a button-down law firm who hires the two young hotshots because they get results.
Back for a second season is “Memphis Beat,” premiering at 9 p.m. Tuesday June 14. Jason Lee plays a Memphis police detective and Alfre Woodard is his very demanding boss.
Jada Pinkett Smith stars in the hospital drama “Hawthorne,” which begins its third season at 10 p.m. Tuesday June 14. Michael Vartan also stars.
Season four of “Leverage” kicks off at 9 p.m. Sunday June 26. Timothy Hutton heads a gang of thieves, grifters and con artists who help people get even against the big shots that have destroyed their lives. Gina Bellman also stars.
Boston’s notorious criminals are the targets of police detective Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) and medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander)
as “Rizzoli & Isles” begins its second season at 10 p.m. Monday July 11.
The seventh and final season of the police drama “The Closer” begins at 9 p.m. Monday July 11. Kyra Sedgwick, who stars, won a 2010 Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Los Angeles deputy police chief Brenda Leigh Johnson.
Season 2.1 of “Men of a Certain Age” returns at 10 p.m. Wednesday June 1.
Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher star in this drama about three men facing the challenges of midlife.

ABC Family
New: “Switched at Birth, “ premiering at 9 p.m. Monday June 6, tells the story of two teenage girls who discover they were accidentally switched as newborns in the hospital. One grew up in a wealthy family, while the other who lost her hearing at an early age, grew up with a single mom in a working-class neighborhood. Things come to a head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls. Katie Leclerc, Vanessa Marano. Lea Thompson, Constance Marie and D.W. Moffett star.
New: In “The Nine Lives of Chloe King, “ Chloe is looking forward to celebrating her birthday until she develops heightened abilities and discovers she is being pursued by a mysterious figure. She soon learns she’s part of an ancient race that has been hunted by human assassins for millennia and that she may be their only hope for survival. Skyler Samuels and Amy Pietz star in the drama premiering at 9 p.m. Tuesday June 14.
Back for its second season is “Pretty Little Liars,“ the story of an outwardly perfect little town filled with many secrets… with some of the ugliest ones belonging to the prettiest girls in town. When one of the girls disappears, the others vow to never tell what happened the night she disappeared. This season that mystery surrounding her disappearance resurfaces, and the girls’ loyalties to each other will be tested. Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell, Troian Bellisario, and Sasha Pieterse star. The new season begins at 8 p.m. Tuesday June 14.

Bryan Cranston stars in “Breaking Bad” as a terminally ill high school teacher who turns to a life of crime to secure his family’s financial security.
The series begins its fourth season on July 17.

“Damages” is moving from FX to DirecTV for its fourth season. Glenn Close stars as brilliant and ruthless lawyer Patty Hewes, and Rose Byrne plays her protégée. This season’s guest cast includes Judd Hirsch and Griffin Dunne. The series will air in July at a date and time to be announced.

“Rescue Me” returns for its seventh and final season at 10 p.m. Tuesday July 12. Denis Leary stars in the drama about the personal and professional lives of a group of New York City firefighters.

Brooke Elliott stars in “Drop Dead Diva,” which returns for a third season at 9 p.m. Sunday June 19 on Lifetime. Elliott stars as Jane, a wannabe model who dies in an accident and returns in the body of a brilliant, plus-size attorney. Margaret Cho also stars.

New: In “Alfas,” a team of ordinary citizens with extraordinary mental and physical powers, investigates cases to uncover what the CIA, FBI and Pentagon have not been able, or willing to solve. David Strathairn stars. The series premieres at 10 p.m. Monday July 11.
Back for season three is “Warehouse 13” at 9 p.m. Monday July 11.
The series follows a team of government agents who work at a top secret storage facility that houses every strange artifact, mysterious relic and preternatural souvenir collected by the government. Saul Rubinek, Eddie McClintock and Joanne Kelly star as agents investigating reports of supernatural and paranormal activity as they search for new objects and retrieve ones missing from Warehouse 13.
“Haven,” about the strange supernatural goings on in the small town of Haven, Maine, returns for a second season at 10 p.m. Friday July 15. Emily Rose stars as an FBI agent unraveling the mysteries of the sleepy town, which has been a longtime refuge for people with supernatural afflictions.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Is Streaming Everywhere the future of TV? (TVWEEK.COM)

A end-of-month commentary from Multichannel News, re-posted by Chuck Ross at TVWeek and offered here. Much to think about while sipping your cup of coffee today...Gary

Today's Must Read: Hints From DirecTV and Time Warner Cable That the Future of TV is Streaming Everywhere Multichannel News

By Chuck Ross

Is the future of TV streaming everywhere? So hints both DirecTV and Time Warner Cable, in two separate articles in Multichannel News.

In one piece Todd Spengler writes, "On Tuesday, DirecTV sent some customers a survey asking them whether they’re interested in a 'Netflix-like service for a flat fee per month,' according to blogger Dave Zatz.

“ '[W]e would like you to evaluate a new service that DIRECTV is thinking about offering to their customers. DIRECTV plans to offer a streaming-only Netflix-like service for a flat fee per month, which would appear as a line item on your monthly bill,' the survey reads. The service 'would allow you to stream thousands of movies and television shows over a broadband Internet connection to your television, computer or tablet,' and include past seasons of current shows as well as older TV series and movies released 'more than 5 years ago.'

"Note that the satellite operator has run comparative national ads, pointing out that it offers many pay-per-view new releases 28 days ahead of Netflix."

In an odd, unconvincing response to Spengler inquiring about the survey, a DirecTV spokesperson told him, " “I would not read into this too deeply. We are constantly reaching out to customers with various surveys and taking the temperature in the marketplace. It does not mean we are necessarily moving forward with anything contained within the survey, but merely checking in on the consumer mindset to keep our business strong.”

Spengler also notes in his piece, "Besides competition from the likes of Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime, “We also think Dish Network is likely to launch a substantial subscription streaming effort under the Blockbuster brand,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells wrote in a letter to investors Monday [April 25, 2011]."

Also in Multichannel News, in a piece by Mike Farrell, were revealing comments by Glenn Britt, Time Warner Cable's longtime chairman and CEO: "Britt told analysts Thursday that its controversial decision to stream live television over iPad devices [via an app] inside the customer home is just the tip of the iceberg, adding the technology will allow the cable operator to address the emergence of Smart TVs.

Quoting Britt, Farrell adds, "about 70 channels are available on the app and by the end of the year nearly all of the linear channels carried on the cable system will be available, including broadcast stations in select markets. Next month the product will be updated to include a remote control function and the ability for the customer to remotely program their DVRs."

Farrell continues, " 'I want to emphasize that our iPad app is not a one-off product,' Britt said. 'Rather we are investing in a development process and a development team that will introduce capabilities to customers in rapid succession. The consumer electronics industry is embracing the idea of devices such as Smart TVs with built-in intelligence and 2-way communication capability all built on IP standards. The technology we're using to simulcast video to iPads will eventually feed all these devices. Over time this may lead to a world without set-tops, which could enable a much better customer experience.' "

Much food for thought here in these two items about DirecTV and TW Cable..

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Voice of Aflac Duck Named (Radio-Info.com)

New voice of the Aflac duck is a Citadel radio sales exec in Minneapolis.

From Tom Taylor's Radio-Info.com

KQRS and “Love 105” KGVX sales manager Dan McKeague has been doing voiceovers on the side, and he’s named today as the successor to comedian Gilbert Gottfried in the competition to voice the Aflac duck.

Monday, April 25, 2011


KCET announces sale of studio to Scientology
4:14 PM Monday April 25

As posted on LAObserved.com:

The public TV station has agreed to sell its 4.5-acre studio lot on Sunset Boulevard to the Church of Scientology. The station will relocate within a year to a new production facility, Variety reports. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. "We are now implementing Phase Two of our transformation from a PBS affiliate to an independent public media center for the 21st century," KCET president Al Jerome said in announcing the sale. "New facilities and equipment will allow us to augment the quality, award-winning content that our fans love."

TV NEWS: Gaylen Young Dies In Car Accident (TVSpy.com)

Gaylen Young was a TV news anchor who worked in Bakersfield before moving to Utah. He was in a car accident. He also had reporting duties at KTLA and KTTV

In another TV note from TVspy.com

Struggling KTVX Names Larry Perret News Director
By Andrew Gauthier on April 7, 2011 9:44 AM

Larry Perret, a TV news veteran who previously served as news director at LA stations KCOP and KCBS, has been named ND of Salt Lake City’s KTVX-KUCW. KTVX, an ABC-affiliate, and KUCW, its CW-affiliate sister station, announced that Perret would assume management of their joint news department on May 16th.

“We’re thrilled to bring a broadcasting pro with Larry’s talent and background on board,” said Matt Jaquint, general manager of KTVX-KUCW, in making the announcement.

Most recently, Perret has been working as a news producer for “Entertainment Tonight.” Before joining the syndicated programming world, Perret worked in an array of markets across the country, including Phoenix, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and San Diego, in addition to Los Angeles, and his experience as a one-time senior consultant for Frank N. Magid Associates means that he’s accustomed to revamping news departments.

And KTVX is in desperate need of some revamping.

The ABC-affiliate finished in fourth place in audience share during the recent February sweeps period and staffers often complained about the mercurial nature of former news director Pat Livingston, who was let go in March after just over a year with the station.

“I’m thrilled to join the team at ABC 4 and CW30,” Perret said, “and look forward to working with the many talented individuals at the station”.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

KOCE Airing Original "An American Family" Marathon Saturday Night


After watching Lawrence Welk, I discovered PBS SoCal - KOCE - is airing all 12 episodes of the original PBS series "An American Family" starting at 11 pm Saturday (April 23). This is excellent, so people who missed it can appreciate the ground-breaking nature of this series, and compare it to the HBO movie based on it. If you can't sleep tonight here in Southern California, check out a couple of episodes.


You have probably heard, but here we go

+++NBC axed Paul Reiser's show after two episodes

+++Elvis Mitchell is out as Movieline reviewer. Reasons not totally clear yet.

+++CBS ousted the creators of Tom Selleck's "Blue Blood" series. Reports say CBS wants it to be more procedural, but less is better, in my opinion. Selleck was guiding the show in the right direction, hope he still has a voice they listen to.

+++NBC's Parenthood, a personal favorite, had an excellent season or series finale, full of rich storytelling and superb performances by one of the best ensemble casts in television. It got good ratings, too, last Tuesday night, so I hope when NBC gets around to its new fall line-up, it keeps around one of the best shows on television.

+++Thank You, TCM, for bringing back the serials on Saturday morning as the lead-in to the entire in-order Tarzan movies. Two episodes of Buck Rogers with Buster Crabbe aired April 23. Universal had the best serials by far, and there are dozens of them that would be great fun to see again.

If you have any TV comments - good, bad, local or national - or a question or two - e-mail me at garylycan@sbcglobal.net. Until next time......


Friday, April 22, 2011

I Love Lucy Co-Writer Madelyn Pugh Dies (Chuck Scott, TVWeek.com)

A Toast to One of the Greats. She Was, Indisputably, One of the Most Important Writers in the History of Television. The Co-Creator of 'I Love Lucy,' and the Co-Writer of All 180 Episodes of the Series, Madelyn Pugh Davis, Dies TVWeek; New York TImes; AP

Friday, April 25

By Chuck Ross

Madelyn Pugh Davis, who co-created one of the most popular shows in the history of television, "I Love Lucy"--and who co-wrote all 180 episodes of the series--has died after a brief illness at age 90, according to a number of media reports.

Her importance to the success of "I Love Lucy" cannot be underestimated says our good friend Tom Gilbert. Gilbert was the Executive Editor of this publication until earlier this year, when he went to the News Corp's "Daily."

"Madelyn made an essential contribution to the success of 'I Love Lucy,' Gilbert told us. "Besides professionalism, wit and inventiveness, she brought to the table the sensibilities of a female, and a lady, which she most definitely was. She softened the edges of the Lucy Ricardo character and made her more likable. I feel certain she was the force behind the marvelous interplay between the Lucy and Ethel characters as well."

Ethel was the character played by Vivian Vance.

Gilbert knows of what he speaks. He wrote THE book about "I Love Lucy." Literally. Gilbert is co-author of "Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz," which comes out in a new edition in August.

"I Love Lucy" was based on a radio show Lucille Ball was in called "My Favorite Husband." Davis and her writing partner, Bob Carroll Jr., first hooked up with Ball on that show. On the program Ball's husband was played by actor Richard Denning.

When CBS expressed an interest in transferring "My Favorite Husband" to TV, Ball said she wanted her real-life husband, Desi Arnaz, to play her husband on the show.

CBS wasn't so crazy about that idea, Gilbert says. So, to prove she and Arnaz could click in a TV version, they took "My Favorite Husband" on the road, to a number of cities, with Arnaz taking the part Denning played on the radio version. It was during this time that Davis and Carroll and Jess Oppenheimer really honed what was to become "I Love Lucy," Gilbert says. The show debuted on CBS on Oct. 15, 1951, and has been playing in syndication ever since.

For the first four years of "I Love Lucy" the show was co-written by Oppenheimer, Davis and Carroll. In 1955, a second writing team signed onto the show, Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf. Of the five, only Schiller is still with us. He'll be 93 later this year.

Gilbert also noted that "Davis was a big fan of Desi Arnaz, and never passed up an opportunity to praise his contributions to the series and television as a whole."

Not only did Davis and her cohorts write all the dialogue for the show as well as the plot points, they also tried all of the physical shenanigans that they would then ask Ball to do on the show.

According to the New York Times, " 'Lucy would do anything we suggested,' Ms. Davis said. Really? 'The only time she ever said she didn’t want to do something was when she saw an elephant on the set and ran up to her office,' Ms. Davis recalled. The script called for her to retrieve $500 from under the elephant’s foot.

“ 'Then the phone rang and it was Vivian Vance,' Ms. Davis said. 'Vivian said, ‘It’s O.K., I told Lucy that if she didn’t want to do that funny thing, I’ll do it.’ And Lucy said, ‘O.K., I’ll do it.’ So she talked into the elephant’s trunk and got it to lift its foot.”

Under Gilbert's direction, TVWeek--then called Electronic Media--did a big salute to "I Love Lucy" on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the show. Gilbert got Davis and Carroll to write a superb piece about the show that was part remembrance, part tribute, exclusively for us. It's a wonderful read, and you can do so if you click here.

Davis was married twice, first to TV producer Quinn Martin and then to an M.D., Richard Davis.

She is survived by her son, Michael Quinn Martin, and, according to the AP, " by stepchildren, grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Services will be private."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Forgotten Hollywood: what the movie blogger is reading

Manny Pacheco takes a moment to share with his bloggers the literature he has read over the years that are his personal favorites. To get an idea of his library, go to the Shelfari entry on his wonderful movie blog:


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Memory Lane: When Brits Took Over Channel 9 (Franklin Avenue)

This is a wonderful stroll, another walk down memory lane at Franklin Avenue courtesy old TV Guides.

"Here in Los Angeles, the appetite for British programming was so strong that in June 1979, KHJ Channel 9 (now KCAL) turned over a week of its primetime airwaves to the Brits. Thames TV, which was then the most prolific producer of British fare, programmed a full week of Channel 9 -- right down to the 10 p.m. newscast, which was made over for the week to emulate British-style news. (I can't imagine any TV station being willing to mess with its programming like that today, even in the summer.)

"Back in 1979, KHJ/Channel 9 was owned by RKO, which also had done a similar thing on its station in New York, WOR/Channel 9 (now WWOR). Here, in another installment of "things I found in an old issue of TV Guide," are the ads from Channel 9's week-long experiment as "Thames 9""

KTLA NEWS Goes Live With Saturday-Sunday Morning Newscast

I caught the new Morning News on KTLA and liked it. Chris Burrous and Mary Beth McDade are a strong anchor team. Chris comes from NY where was also with Tribune, but his family is here in LA and now he can be with them. Solid start. 6 a.m. both days, but three hours on Sunday.


SIDE NOTE: My Time Warner system has added Antenna TV, a KTLA Digital channel offered nationwide and now at Channel 139 on my TW system in central Orange County. A nice romp through TV's past with Father Knows Best, Dennis the Menace, Maude and others. And, by the way, Father and Dennis are lead-ins to the Morning News on Saturdays and Sundays on Channel 5.


Manny Pacheco Remembers Sidney Lumet on "Forgotten Hollywood"

Director Sidney Lumet dies; his passing is noted in an excellent blogging by Manny Pacheco at Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fox News TV To Drop Glenn Beck Daily Show (ocregister.com)


Fox News Channel on Wednesday said it was dropping Glenn Beck's afternoon talk show, which has sunk in the ratings and suffered financially due to an advertiser boycott.

Fox and Beck said the show will end later this year.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Stan Laurel's Final Years (courtesy LAObserved.com)

Fans of Laurel and Hardy - and who isn't? - will love reading this story.


Monday, March 28, 2011

K-Mozart Returns April 4, Replaces Retro On 1260 AM (OC Register)


K-MOZART CLASSICAL RETURNS MONDAY, APRIL 4. It replaces the Retro adult standards format on 1260 AM, which moves to the Internet. I broke the story about 12:30 pm Monday, prior to the station announcement planned Monday afternoon. Of interest: orchestra conductor and contemporary jazz pianist will be one of the on-air personalities. Here is my link


I will have more details in my regular radio column later this week.



++++Soupy Sales is back on JLTV - Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings. Both black and white shows from WNEW in New York and color shows produced later in Hollywood.

++++Bishop Fulton J. Sheen's Life Is Worth Living is on Sundays on EWTN. Color episode I saw featured Sheen as the excellent orator and, well, entertainer that he was for decades on early TV. Episodes are now available on DVD, too.

Friday, March 18, 2011

KFI'S Bill Handel Doing Well Following Heart Surgery

11 AM, March 18

Handel Heart Surgery
‘Text book Perfect’

KFI/640 AM’s Bill Handel had “textbook perfect” open heart surgery, his wife Marjorie told KFI Program Director Robin Bertolucci Friday morning.
Handel told his morning show listeners Thursday he would have open heart surgery Friday to replace an aortic valve.
“I just hung up with Marjorie and I'm happy to report the surgery was ‘textbook perfect.’ The surgery went so smoothly that it went even faster than expected. Bill is now in recovery,” Bertolucci e-mailed at 11 a.m. Friday.
“Knowing Bill he'll be back very, very soon....that guy doesn't stay still for long. Thanks to everyone for your good wishes,” she added.
While Handel, 59, recovers, his team of Gary Hoffmann, Rich Marotta and Michelle Kube will fill in from 5 to 6 a.m., with Bill Carroll joining from 6 to 9 a.m. Carroll will also continue his daily noon-3 p.m. weekday program.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kevin and Bean Look Back and Forward on 21 years at KROQ-FM

It's a fun column this week - Kevin and Bean - 21 years and counting.



Monday, March 14, 2011

Gottfried Fired As Voice Of Aflac Duck (EW.com, Chicago Sun-Times)

Gilbert Gottfried Fired as Voice of Aflac Duck. Reason Tied to Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

EW.com's Inside TV blog; Chicago Sun-Times

Comic Gilbert Gottfried, who has often pushed the envelope with his humor, pushed too hard in recent days and has lost his job as the voice of the Aflac duck, according to a number of media reports.

Wrote EW.com's Inside TV blog, " Gilbert’s recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac,” Aflac Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna said in a press release. 'Aflac Japan — and, by extension, Japan itself — is part of the Aflac family, and there is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times.' One joke that Gottfried tweeted: 'I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, ‘They’ll be another one floating by any minute now.' "

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, two more of Gottfried's tweets were: “ 'I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. I said, ‘Is there a school is this area?’ She said, ‘Not now, but just wait.’ And this: 'Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.' "

The Chicago Sun Times article said insurance company Aflac does 75% of its business in Japan.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

'A Merry Little Christmas' Songwriter Hugh Martin Dies (Time.Com)

Hugh Martin is seen frequently in TCM and other film documentaries. Time.com posts the story of his passing on March 12 in the story below.

For more information on classic films of the past, go to Manny Pacheco's www.forgottenhollywood.com.

And here is the Time.com story

It's Christmas Eve, 1903, in St. Louis, and some members of the Smith family are anguished about leaving their home for Mr. Smith's new job in New York City. The six-year-old, Tootie (Margaret O'Brien), is especially desolate about having to leave the family of snow people she has helped build in the front yard. Her teenage sister Esther (Judy Garland) has her own miseries, facing separation from the boy next door who just asked her to marry him. To cheer Tootie and comfort herself, Esther sings a seasonal ballad, whose original lyric suggested a suicide note put to music:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
It may be your last.
Next year we may all be living in the past...

Garland and her director, Vincente Minnelli, who were falling in love in 1944 while making Meet Me in St. Louis, asked the film's songwriters, Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, for a slightly less morbid lyric. Martin obliged with...

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Let your heart be light.
Next year all our troubles will be out of sight...

...and set the properly poignant tone for one of the loveliest, most longing of Christmas songs. In a career that spanned 70 years, Martin composed many numbers for Broadway and Hollywood musicals. As an arranger and vocal director he helped stars from Garland to Lucille Ball and Lena Horne find that special sparkle. But at his death Friday at 96, in Encinitas, Cal., Martin's most enduring work was a single song written 67 years ago.

Hugh Martin was born Aug. 14, 1914, in Birmingham, Ala., to an architect father and his wife Ellie, who was, the San Diego Tribune reported, "an accomplished musician and a lover of all things New York." That's where Hugh went after studying at Birmingham Southern College, and at 23 he was performing in (and arranging the music for) the Harold Arlen-E.Y. Harburg satire Hooray for What! Also in the chorus was Blane, born Ralph Uriah Hunsecker 16 days before Martin, and fresh from Broken Arrow, Okla. The young men teamed as half of a vocal quartet, The Martins, that appeared on Fred Allen's radio program; and soon they forged a songwriting partnership.

The pair's first Broadway score was for the 1941 Best Food Forward, which spurred the careers of June Allyson, Nancy Walker and Stanley Donen and produced a hit song, the rah-rah "Buckle Down, Winsocki." Martin and Blane were clearly comers. "In five years they'll be the next Rodgers and Hart," a friend rhapsodized to Broadway impresario Max Gordon. The producer's reply: "Bring them back in five years." Instead, Arthur Freed brought them to MGM, where they worked on the movie version of Best Food Forward, importing most of the original cast and adding Ball as star catnip. (See the top 10 best movie soundtracks.)

The plot for their next project, Meet Me in St. Louis, seemed singularly lacking in incident: a family plans to move to New York, then doesn't. But the Martin-Blane score infused the movie with warmth and verve. It set the time and locale with a jaunty hymn to electric vehicles "The Trolley Song" ("Clang, clang, clang goes the trolley"), cued the wistful tone with Garland's "The Boy Next Door" and served up battered optimism with their merry little holiday anthem. Like the big holiday hits of the previous two war years ("White Christmas," "I'll Be Home for Christmas"), this one served as consolation to women separated by an ocean from the fighting men they loved. After completing the score, Martin left Hollywood to serve in World War II. He and Blane were just 30 that year; neither knew that they had reached a peak they'd never again scale.

The team was unusual, Martin later explained, in that "Ralph and I both wrote music and we both wrote lyrics. Almost always each of us wrote songs unassisted by the other and simply pooled our work." (Martin also said that "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" was totally his composition.) In the '50s they collaborated on two Jane Powell musicals, Athena and The Girl Most Likely, and in 1989 wrote new songs for a Broadway version of Meet Me in St Louis. On his own, Martin wrote a 1948 show for Walker, Look, Ma, I'm Dancin'!"; the 1949 Make a Wish, with a book by Preston Sturges; and the 1964 Hugh Spirits, a musicalizing of Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit. With Alec Wilder's assistance he wrote a symphony, New England Suite. But his main employment was as a vocal arranger and accompanist, for Horne, Debbie Reynolds and, most notably, Garland in her comeback concert series at New York's Palace Theatre.

Martin may also have been the only pop compoer of eminence who was also a Seventh Day Adventist. In latter days he served as musical arranger and accompanist for religious-music contralto Del Delker. With the help of Delker and John Fricke, he rewrote his most enduring song as "Have Yourself a Blessed Little Christmas." In sacred or secular form, Hugh Martin's greatest hit remains a carol for all Christmases.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2058594,00.html#ixzz1GWRSmcuS

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fox 11's Rios Defends Extended Quake Coverage (Franklin Avenue)

March 11, 2011 Franklin Avenue:

KTTV News Director on His Tsunami Coverage, and How Others Underplayed It

Local Los Angeles stations hit the airwaves earlier than usual this morning, as more news emerged about the impact of a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan (and tsunami waves threatened both Hawai'i and the west U.S. coast).

At Fox-owned KTTV, the station returned to wall-to-wall coverage at 4 a.m., just two hours after signing off from a marathon four-hour broadcast (10 p.m. to 2 a.m., led by anchors Christine Devine and Carlos Amezcua) the night before.

KTTV's decision to stick with earthquake/tsunami coverage long after L.A.'s other local stations returned to normal programming impressed several pundits out there, including me (see below) and The Hollywood Reporter's Matt Belloni.

"Tsunami coverage on LA's Fox 11 is far better than on CNN right now," Belloni wrote on Twitter last night. (Thursday night, 3/10/11).

KTTV news director Jose Riostold Franklin Avenue that he was a bit surprised that L.A.'s other stations didn't stick with coverage.

"I thought it got underplayed last night," Rios said. "To me it was just a huge story."

KCBS, KABC and KNBC went back to regular programming at 11:35, after their local news, while KCAL stuck with coverage until 12:30. (KCET ran Al Jazeera English coverage until midnight, while KSCI's digital 18.2 ran a feed of NHK World.)

"It was a big quake for one, and for us in earthquake country, that resonates broadly for us," Rios said. "And while people think that the cable channels will be covering, the fact is, not everyone has cable. We thought it was a public service that everybody would be interested in."

Rios said KTTV attracted a much larger than usual late night audience right up until 2 a.m.

By going wall-to-wall last night and again this morning, KTTV blew out commercials . Rios expected to be back to normal programming by 1 p.m., as the threat of a tsunami in Southern California subsided. But he has no regrets.

The coverage kudos is likely a big morale booster for KTTV's news team, which has been hit hard by huge layoffs in recent years. Given the station's limited resources, Rios said he was "proud of the news team. Everybody worked hard."


Looks like KTTV also won the local news ratings last night (helped, to be sure, by "American Idol" earlier that evening)

Total Viewers

KTTV/Fox 11 (10 p.m.) 370,000
KCBS/2 (11 p.m.) 342,000
KABC/7 (11 p.m.) 319,000
KCAL/9 (10 p.m.) 198,000
KTLA/5 (10 p.m.) 196,000
KNBC/4 (11 p.m.) 142,000

KTTV from 11:30 p.m. to 2:08 a.m.: 243,000

Adults 25-54

KTTV/Fox 11 (10 p.m.) 182,000
KCBS/2 (11 p.m.) 130,000
KABC/7 (11 p.m.) 110,000
KCAL/9 (10 p.m.) 90,000
KTLA/5 (10 p.m.) 83,000
KNBC/4 (11 p.m.) 42,000

KTTV from 11:30 p.m. to 2:08 a.m.: 128,000

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chris Schauble Leaves Ch. 4 for KTLA Early Mornings (mediabistro.com)

Chris Schauble Joining KTLA Mornings as Frank Buckley Scales Back

By Andrew Gauthier on March 9, 2011 6:22 PM (www.mediabistro.com/tvspy)

Anchor Frank Buckley is scaling back his hours on KTLA‘s morning newscast and Chris Schauble, most recently an anchor-reporter with KNBC, is taking his place in the early half of the show. (Schauble also previously co-anchored the morning news on KNBC).

“Starting next Monday, I’ll no longer be anchoring the 5-7am hours of the KTLA Morning News and a new guy will be in the anchor chair,” Buckley announced in a blog post today on KTLA’s website. “I was asked to fill in on the 5 and 6am broadcasts on a temporary basis after the departure of our friend Emmett Miller in October. We thought it would last a month or two. It’s now March.”

Buckley will continue appearing on the newscast between 7 and 10 a.m.

Schauble has been anchoring KNBC’s weekend evening newscasts and working as a reporter throughout the week.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sportscaster Nick Charles In Fight of His Life (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Former CNN Sportscaster In Fight for His Life

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nick Charles, a former CNN sportscaster and current Showtime boxing announcer, is in the fight of his life, battling an aggressive form of bladder cancer, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Charles, who is 63 and was one of CNN's most popular sports personalities, knows that the clock is ticking for him and has chosen an intense chemotherapy treatment to extend his life expectancy so he can enjoy what time he has left with his 4-year-old daughter.

“I made up my mind I want to stay on this [aggressive track] as long as I can, no matter how much it hurts, because I want to see my daughter,” Charles told the paper.

Charles' latest work with Showtime involves hosting the boxing series “ShoBox: The Next Generation.” After a few remaining episodes, he intends to hang up the microphone. “I’ll call it a career,” he said.

Nick Charles is married to CNN International producer Cory Charles.

New OC Register Radio column online - Reba Toney, Dr Laura


Enjoy - Reba Toney, Dr. Laura, Manny Pacheco, and more.....

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Godfather" Home on Staten Island For Sale for $2.9 Million

CBS Sunday Morning did a nice story on the Staten Island home used to film "The Godfather." The son tells the story a man came knocking at the door, said he was from Paramount and wanted to use their home for a movie. The dad said no and closed the door. He walked back into the living room, the wife asked "who was that?" and when he said who it was, she got up, went out, opened the door, and said "Yes." The son has a scrapbook showing the family and the filmmakers - the family lawn chairs were used for some scenes, the garden where Brando's death scene is filmed is now a swimming pool - here's the scoop from the Staten Island Advance.

Staten Island home where 'Godfather' scene was filmed is listed for sale

Staten Island Advance

In 1971, scenes from 'The Godfather' were filmed in this home on Longfellow Avenue, Emerson Hill.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Wanna live like the Godfather?

Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

The stately Tudor mansion on Emerson Hill where Don Corleone threw an extravagant wedding is up for sale.

Listed at $2.9 million, the eight-bedroom, 4.5-bath estate comes with two fireplaces, an English pub in the basement, a four-car garage, an in-ground pool -- and a big piece of American cinema history.

The home on 110 Longfellow Avenue was the centerpiece of a cluster of houses on the block that was transformed into Don Corleone's estate for the filming of "The Godfather" nearly 40 years ago.

The elaborate wedding scene in the opening of the epic film was shot entirely on the home’s four-acre grounds, complete with a fake brick wall and wrought-iron gate to create the illusion of a sprawling well-guarded retreat.

'I Remember Television' Host & Pioneer Ed Rothhaar Dies At 74

I just learned this news Feb. 26. Here is the story from the Inland News Today. Many remember his show. One story noted he was the brother of ‘Paladin’ TV series creator Mary Rothhaar Matzen.

If you recall favorite episodes or have memories, email me at garylycan@sbcglobal.net

San Bernardino public TV broadcaster & 'I Remember Television" host dies
Ryan Carter, Staff Writer
Created: 02/14/2011 07:18:42 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO - Edward R. Rothhaar, 74, a local broadcaster and radio and television personality whose voice and presence anchored popular KVCR-TV (Channel 24) broadcasts, died Monday (Feb. 14) of heart failure, his family said.

Rothhaar, friends and family said, was a pioneer of the area's broadcasting scene.

A native of Pittsburgh, he came to San Bernardino in the early 1960s and taught broadcasting and public speaking, ultimately remaining on the faculty at San Bernardino Valley College for decades, his brother, Michael, said.

While he was at it, Ed Rothhaar helped develop KVCR's public radio (KVCR-FM 91.9) and TV stations.

"He was with it from the beginning," his brother said.

"He was a gentleman of broadcasting," said producer Don Leiffer.
Rothhaar became general manager, which led to him hiring producer Don Leiffer.

Together with director Al Gandos, they developed a signature show for KVCR-TV, "I Remember Television."

With Rothhaar as the show's host and broadcast historian, his resonant voice took viewers back to television shows from the 1950s and 1960s.

Rothhaar opened and closed the show while adding historical context to featured programs such as "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show," "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" and "One Step Beyond."

"He was a gentleman of broadcasting," Leiffer said, adding the show taped for 22 years.

A similar show, "I Remember Radio," was also hosted by Rothhaar, bringing listeners into the world of old radio shows.

"I knew him primarily because of the program he offered - it was a wonderful program," said San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris. "All I can say is he had this wonderfully, gravelly voice. And when he recalled those shows ... these were the shows from my era. I loved it."

Rothhaar put a lifetime of experience into his teaching at the college. He retired in 2000.

He could be strict, but he got the message across.

"Anybody willing to work, he would be their advocate, for whatever they needed - year after year," said Leiffer, who was KVCR-TV's television director from 1968 to 2008.

Rothhaar remained true to radio, loving it to the end, his family and friends said. But he also remained true to the value of learning.

"He was intellectually remarkable," said his brother. "He guided me and kept his eye on me in my career. He would help anybody. He would teach anybody. He was a natural teacher and a natural communicator."

In addition to his brother, Rothhaar is survived by two sisters, Kathleen Basl and Mary Matzen of Pittsburgh.

His family also includes Hyuntae Kim and godchildren Sandra K. Choh and Steven Choh, his brother said.

Funeral services were pending.

Read more: http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_17388019#ixzz1F9nBNcKX

Thursday, February 24, 2011

CBS Pulls Plug For Season On Sheen 'Two and a Half Men" (KTLA.COM)


LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- CBS is puling the plug on the current season of the popular sitcom "Two and Half Men," network officials announced Thursday.

CBS and Warner Brothers released a statement Thursday saying that the show, which is home to one of today's most trouble-ridden celebrities, will not be producing new shows for the remainder of the year.

"Based on the totality of Charlie Sheen's statements, conduct and condition, CBS and Warner Bros. Television have decided to discontinue production of 'Two and a Half Men' for the remainder of the season," the statement said.

TMZ posted a story earlier today quoting Charlie Sheen challenging creator Chuck Lorre to a fight, calling him "a stupid, stupid little man and a pu**y punk that I never want to be like."

Sheen's escapades and recent stint in rehab may be to blame for the sudden halt in production.

The show had already been on hiatus since January when Sheen was admitted to rehab after allegedly hosting a party overflowing with drugs and porn stars.

Wave Event A Love Fest - new ocregister.com radio column online now


Live Local radio thrives in Seal Beach
Reba Toney gone at The Fish
Tom Leykis Rocks On
Ross Porter on Vin Scully Streak

and more....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Paul Johnson Gets Own Freeway In OC (TV Newser, LAObserved.com)

TV Newser reported this story on Feb. 23. It also appeared on www.laobserved.com.
P.S. SEPARATE NEWS NOTE: Mark Kriski due to return to KTLA Morning News Mon Feb. 28

Longtime KNBC traffic reporter Paul Johnson, who died of a brain tumor this summer, is being honored with his own freeway.

A stretch of the 55 freeway in Orange County has been named the Paul Johnson Memorial Freeway.

“In a business that thrives on its breathless reporting of breaking news, developing stories, hourly updates, Paul defined the art of reassurance,” said Keith Esparros, KNBC’s assistant news director, said.

Esparros was instrumental in getting the freeway renamed and he joined Johnson’s widow, Nancy, and others for a brief ceremony along the freeway on Tuesday morning.

Nancy told KNBC that her husband was aware of the honor before he died. “He was blown away,” she said.

Eastwood, DeCaprio Filming Movie in Santa Ana (ocregister.com)

Filming is probably winding down now, but the SA Courthouse has been the scene of a movie on J. Edgar Hoover. Clint Eastwood and Leonard DiCaprio are among the sightings. Amazing how fast word spreads thanks to Facebook photos.....ere is our story on www.ocregister.com.


Monday, February 21, 2011

KTLA Weatherman Henry DiCarlo's Life In The OC (OCRegister.com)

Eugene Fields posted this story on ocregister.com


Thursday, February 17, 2011

KCBS Reporter At Grammys had migraine, doctor says (CNN blogs)

From the cnn.com blogs:

A migraine - not a stroke - caused a Los Angeles television reporter to mangle her words during a live post-Grammy Awards report on Sunday night, according to the UCLA doctors who examined her in the days after the incident.

KCBS reporter Serene Branson suffered a migraine with aura - meaning neurological symptoms that in this case included language problems - causing her to speak gibberish during her report, according to Dr. Andrew Charles, migraine expert and UCLA professor of neurology.

"She’s completely back to normal," Charles said in a telephone interview Thursday, adding that he cleared Branson to return to all activities with no limitation.

Branson's report outside the Staples Center, widely viewed on YouTube early this week before the video was taken down, sparked concerns that she had suffered a stroke.

"A very, very heavy burtation tonight," she said before continuing with incomprehensible words.

Her station said paramedics examined her at the scene but she was not hospitalized, and a colleague gave her a ride home.

Branson was seen early in the week by the chief of neurosurgery at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Neil Martin, and then Thursday morning by Charles, UCLA spokesman Mark Wheeler said.

A scan ruled out a stroke, eventually leading Martin and Charles to diagnose a migraine, which can present symptoms similar to a stroke, Charles said.

Branson's migraine included a headache and three types of aura - the language troubles plus distorted vision and numbness, Charles said.

"It was quite remarkable that she was actually standing and doing the (report) that she was doing, given what she was experiencing at the time," Charles said. "She was aware of what was happening and was upset about it, but there was no time to back out of what she was doing."

Charles said about 20 to 30 percent of migraine patients experience some type of aura, and those who do most commonly experience visual aura – flashing, wavy lines, or blurry vision.

Such a migraine "can be triggered by different life events, like any migraine – changes in patterns of sleep or diet or exercise or caffeine," Charles said.

Charles stressed that anyone experiencing the symptoms that Branson did should get checked immediately. "The symptoms can be indistinguishable (from that of a stroke) initially, so it's important to emphasize the need to rule that out first," he said.

Branson was expected to address the incident in an interview on KCBS Thursday night.

What Do You Think: Jill Is Playlist 92.7 FM (OC Register Radio Column)

My new radio column is online now at OC Register

Playlist 92.7 FM, Ali Lerman covers a CBS Grammy Party, Wink Martindale, a upcoming Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt debate....and more.....


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lakers Leave KCAL, Fox Sports For Time Warner In 2012-13 (ocregister)

Kevin Ding provides the details on a major deal that means Laker fans can only watch games on providers other than KCAL and Fox Sports starting in 2012. Here are details

Lakers starting networks with Time Warner Cable


The Lakers have struck a 20-year deal with Time Warner Cable to broadcast their games on two new regional sports networks, including the nation’s first Spanish-language regional sports network. The new networks are expected to be on all providers (DirecTV, DISH Network, various cable systems, etc.), not just Time Warner Cable.

The deal will take effect in the 2012-13 season and was announced Monday — with the Lakers set to play in Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena, appropriately enough.

“The Buss family is thrilled to join forces with Time Warner Cable in building the TV home for Lakers fans,” Lakers owner Jerry Buss said in a statement. “Time Warner Cable has been producing quality sports programming for over a decade and the Lakers have been producing championship seasons for even longer. I am particularly proud of being part of the first ever Spanish-language RSN in the country. Together I’m confident we will delight our fans.”

The deal promises to be a rich one for the high-profile Lakers, who have had their games on KCAL/9 and Fox Sports West.

“This long-term agreement represents a huge win for all Lakers fans, providing destination channels, more content and more platforms for the Lakers, one of the premier brands in professional sports today,” said Glenn Britt, Time Warner Cable’s Chairman and CEO.

There promises to be greater Lakers coverage with the new networks, which will be available to all providers in existing Lakers country, such as Southern California, Nevada and Hawaii. Besides the games, the networks would have other original Lakers programming.

Time Warner’s announcement promoted the following for Lakers fans:

* A single destination where Lakers fans can find all locally-televised home and away games and a variety of new and original Lakers’ content featuring behind-the-scenes, personality and classic programming.
* All Lakers games will be produced in high definition, with state-of-the-art technology and high production values in English & Spanish. The Spanish-language channel is a stand alone RSN with its own dedicated production of game telecasts and other unique content tailored to Spanish speaking Lakers fans – not SAP feed.

* All games will feature pre- and post-game shows produced separately in both English and Spanish.

* A Lakers news and magazine show throughout the season.

* Joint community-relations initiatives.

* New online and on-demand multi-platform content featuring the Lakers.