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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

An Oscar for Oscars

OK, I liked the Oscars telecast. I thought Jon Stewart was funny. I liked the fake commercials. I liked the suprises, like “Crash” winning best movie over “Brokeback Mountain.”
Yeah, I’m a homer, but I thought George Clooney was very funny and gracious in his acceptance speech. Loved his opening line (“All right, so I’m not winning director?”), and his joking about his obituary (“Oscar-winner George Clooney, the sexiest man alive in 1997, and “Batman,” died today in a freak accident”). Loved his sense of humor, mentioning “Batman” and not his achievements…
He also showed class in praising the other nominees (“they are stellar performances and wonderful work”) and playing off Stewart’s joke about Hollywood being out of touch (citing the 1939 Oscar for Hattie McDaniel).
I’m sure I’ll get hammered by you for liking the show so much. What did you like or not like?

WB/UPN blues
Thanks for the posting Friday about Ch 64/Sinclair Broadcast Group dumping the WB network and going with Fox's new MyNetworkTV. I had heard about it earlier in the day, and did a short brief Saturday for our Business section.
I'm not totally suprised. Sinclair is a shrewed operator. They got Warner Bros to pay millions back in 1998 to switch Ch 64 from UPN to WB. I'm sure Sinclair got a great deal with Fox for being the largest group owner so far to take MyNetwork TV, and make it viable.
I also wasn't totaly suprised when Elliott Block, owner of low-power Ch 38, told me that he has not had any discussions with the new CW network, the merger of the WB and UPN assets premiering this fall. In the past, UPN and WB first have targeted Ch 64, the full-power station, and much later cut a deal with the low-power station.
Block says the CW hadn't ever returned his phone calls. I bet they will now. My guess is that we’ll see a repeat of what happened in 1995 and 1998. In '95, when UPN signed with Ch 64, later the WB went to Block's low-power station (then Ch 25). In '98, UPN eventually went to Ch 25 (now 38) after Sinclair took the WB. Sometime before the fall TV season, the CW likely will go to low-power Channel 38. There isn't another option. (Cincinnati has fewer UHF stations than other similar size cities, dating back to FCC allocations in the 1950s. We're now blocked in by stations in Dayton, Columbus, Indianapolis, Lexington and Louisville. We're "under TVed," network executives say.)

Another question: If the CW goes on Channel 38, with such hits as “Gilmore Girls,” “Veronica Mars,” “One Tree Hill,” “Charmed,” etc., will Time Warner cable expand its coverage of Channel 38? (Right now it just picks up Ch 38's UPN programming in the evenings.) Don’t count on it; it's nothing automatic. When Ch. 38 (then Ch 25) was the Warner Bros network station 1995-98, the Warner cable system here didn’t carry it full-time. We’ll see what happens.

ABC’s “Miracle Workers” premiere tonight (10 p.m., Chs 9, 22) spends most of the hour with a blind man being treated by Dr. Edward J. Holland, director of cornea services at Cincinnati Eye Institute. “Miracle Workers” sends Todd Heritage, 34, of Kent, Ohio, down here in an effort to restore Todd’s eyesight after 22 years. The music and hype are a little over the top, and the comments from participants are repetitive, but I won’t tell you how it comes out – though you can guess if this is the big prime-time debut, and the show is called “Miracle Workers.”
Your best TV tonight is a “24” double feature (8-10 p.m., Chs 19, 45) since “Skating with the Stars” went away.


at 3/06/2006 10:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charmed Has Been Cancelled

at 3/06/2006 11:20 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is from Todays Cincinnati Post

'Charmed' axed:

The spell is broken. The witches on "Charmed" won't be making the move when the WB network combines forces with UPN to become the CW network in the fall.

A WB spokesman has confirmed a TV Guide report that said the supernatural series, which stars Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan and Holly Marie Combs, will end after eight seasons in May.

With "7th Heaven" having already announced its exit, it means that two WB long-running series won't move to the CW. The WB and UPN will both shut down in September.

The final episode of "Charmed" will air on May 21, TV Guide said.

"It's been a hell of a run," Brad Kern, executive producer, told the magazine. "But all good things must come to an end."

at 3/06/2006 11:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually liked it especially the beginning with the tent scene with Billy Crystal and Chris Rock

at 3/06/2006 12:00 PM Anonymous kreynolds said...

I also enjoyed the Oscars, and while some have said it was bland, they are the same folks who would complain if the show lasted 4+ hours. They kept it to 3 1/2, allowed for some really lengthy acceptance speeches (Reese Witherspoon), and while they could have lopped off one of the montages, they were fine. I think the incessant musical underscore to the acceptance speeches was unnecessary. Jon Stewart did a great job, funny and self-deprecating as always, but pointed out the absurdities (nice blue jeans McMurtry!) and the high points (Three 6 Mafia knew how to accept an award!)

at 3/07/2006 12:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, if you're a Homer, so am I. I really enjoyed the Oscars, thought it was one of the best Oscar shows I've seen in a while. The presenters, the winners, were great. I loved the little added elements (bringing stuffed penguins to the stage), did they think of that or did the producers? I thought Jon Stewart was fabulous, funny and should host next year. George Clooney was classy and Three 6 Mafia knows how to accept an Oscar. Do you think they're still partying?

at 3/10/2006 3:09 PM Anonymous Ginny said...

John, I really enjoyed the Oscars this year although it was really "low key." I thought John Stewart did a fine job. I was happy Reese Witherspoon received best actress, but I think Joachim Phoenix was overlooked for best actor. He was terrific as Johnny Cash and I can't believe he didn't win. I was glad Crash won as best picture because I think it will cause more people to see it. It's a movie we need to see.
You're right about George Clooney - he's not only funny but like the other comments posted - he's classy too.

at 3/17/2006 4:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed the first 12 minutes! it started at 5pm on the west coast, can someone tell me what the tent scene was all about??? It was the best Oscars ever, full of surprises and upsets and GO CLOONEY!

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