Television 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.
This could be cool: If you go to http://www.fox19.com/ 7-9 a.m. Monday during the "Fox 19 Morning News," Fox 19 folks are promising a behind-the-scenes look at the show. A roving camera will go inside the Green Room, where guests gather before they're on the air. They promise you'll see what Rob and Sheila do during commercial breaks, or during Valerie Abati's weathercasts, and how much coffee they consume. This could be a fun experiment.
Channel 12's Spanish-language "Nuestro Rincon," buried in the predawn weekend hour, will be replaced in late May by a weekday webcast and Spanish-language website through http://www.local12.com/
The move makes sense to me. It seems like a better way to serve the Hispanice community, by providing written and video content 24/7, plus a two-minute on-demand webcast anchored by Sasha Rionda or reporter Richard Jordan.
"Local 12 News En Espanol" debuts May 26. The final "Nuestro Rincon" will air on May 27, says Elbert Tucker, news director.
Rionda, hired in 2004 to debut "Nuestro Rincon," the city's first and only Spanish-language newscast, has received many complaints about her show's lousy time slot. They air at 5:30 a.m. Saturday and 6:30 a.m. Sunday. "Our goal is to reach more people with stories which are more current," Tucker says.
Ch. 12 GM Chris Sehring announced the Internet initiative to local Hispanic leaders at the Su Casa Hispanic Center’s annual dinner Thursday. "The reaction was extremely positive since people understood that a daily news webcast would provide more timely information that an early morning weekend program,” Sehring says.
The Spanish-language Website also will have written and video content available around the clock, Tucker says. "Local 12 News En Espanol" webcasts also will be made available to the Ohio News Network and all Clear Channel TV stations.
Cincinnati Police will be caught on tape on Fox's "Cops" twice during May sweeps.
In a "Cops Police Pullovers Special Edition" about unusual traffic stops Saturday (8:30 p.m., Ch. 19), Cincinnati officers encounter "a passenger in a suspicious vehicle reaching for a gun," according to Fox publicity. The segment was taped 12 to 18 months ago, says Josh Carnavale, Fox publicist for "Cops." Saturday's show also includes stories from Las Vegas and Fontana, Calif., he says.
An entire show will be devoted to Greater Cincinnati on May 19 in a "Cops: Ohio Drug Arrests Special Edition" (8:30 p.m., Ch. 19). It features stories from Cincinnati and Norwood police, and Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies, he says. (I'm told Fox called the show "Ohio Drug Arrests" because folks in LA didn't know that Norwood and Hamilton County are in Greater Cincinnati. Duh!)
A Norwood police spokesman says Fox producers filmed here last year. Fox also rode with Covington police last May. In 2004, "Cops" crews filmed Cincinnati, Covington, Norwood and Hamilton County officers.
Venus Ramey, the 1944 Miss America and former Cincinnati City Council candidate, gets another shot at national publicity on "The Tonight Show" tonight (11:35 p.m., Chs. 5, 2). Ramey, 82, made Enquirer headlines a week ago when she shot out a truck tire of a man she says was stealing from her farm in Waynesburg, Ky., about 140 miles south of Cincinnati. Police then arrested the man and two others. http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070420/NEWS01/704200369 Ramey lived in Cincinnati one and off for about 30 years. She attended Withrow High School. She was crowned Miss America in 1944, representing Washington D.C.
Leno's first guest tonight is Conan O'Brien, who's in California preparing to broadcast his "Late Night" show all next week from San Francisco. Conan's lineup next week includes Dana Carvey (Mon), George Lucas (Tues), Robin Williams (Weds), "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson and Bob Weir from the Grateful Dead, (Thurs) Snoop Dogg and Tom Waits (Fri).
And in two years, O'Brien will take over Leno's show.... (I wish Jon Stewart was replacing Leno, not Conan.) Still no word who will replace O'Brien in '09. Any suggestions? Don Imus, Rosie O'Donnell (just kidding)...
On my drive home the other night, I was surprised to hear Lance McAlister on WCKY-AM (Homer 1530 sports talk) 6-7 p.m. Last night Greg Doyle for CBS Sportsline was on at 6 p.m. What's up?
Starting this week, Clear Channel is repeating the first hour of Lance's 3-6 p.m. show at 6-7 p.m. In the past, 1530 went to Fox Sports at 6 p.m., to protect the local "Sports Talk" franchise on sister WLW-AM 6-9 p.m. But the landscape changed in January, when fired WLW-AM talk host Andy Furman took his act to WFTK-FM, Supertalk96.5.
Clear Channel's Dave Armbruster, who supervises programming on 1530, says adding the rerun at 6 p.m. was a logical extension for Lance, the station's most popular show. (He also says Doyle was subbing for a sick Lance yesterday.) "A lot of people drive home later and later. It makes sense to do it. There's nothing really diabolical here. Lance is our anchor."
Furman definitely believes the move was made to slice into his audience. "They now have two stations to attack me," he says.
So who do you listen to on the way home? Paul Daugherty has been hosting "SportsTalk" for a couple of weeks now... Do you listen to Doc, Furman, Lance or Wayne "Box" Miller on the Buzz for sports on the way home? Or all of the above?
TV sweeps begin tonight -- as if you can't tell by the local news promos popping up all over like dandelions -- marking the beginning of the end of the 06-07 TV season. And tonight, two fairly successful rookie series end their first season, "30 Rock" (9 p.m., Ch. 5) and "October Road" (10:01 p.m., Ch. 9).
All in all, I didn't think it was a bad TV season. We've seen some interesting new shows this year that deserve renewal.
So here's my question: What was the best new show for the 06-07 TV season? The ratings say "Heroes," but you might say something else. "Ugly Betty," "Brothers & Sisters," "The Class," "Rules of Engagement," "Jericho," "Shark," "Men In Trees,' the ill-fated "Studio 60," "The Black Donnellys" and even "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader ..... Which was your favorite new show and why? What was the best comedy? If you had the power to renew first-year shows, which would come back in the fall? (Yes, you're allowed to mention shows long gone, like "Kidnapped.") And which new show was the worst?
Rosie O'Donnell is leaving "The View" after less than a year. She just announced it today on the show, saying it was a contract dispute. ABC wanted her to sign a 3-year contract, and Rosie said she only wanted one more year. She says she'll do some TV specials in the future on issues that she cares about. Here is the link to the ABCnews.com report this moring before the show aired: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?id=3077493&page=1 She'll leave the show in mid-June. In a statement, host/exec producer Barbara Walters says "the departure was an amicable one." Do you believe that, given her feud with Trump? And her ripping Rupert Murdoch at the NY Women in Communication awards banquet Monday? Will you miss her? Who should ABC hire to replace Rosie?
Did you see the Cincinnati signs in the "American Idol" audience tonight for Melinda Doolittle? Anyone recognize the people, or know anything about them? Two African-American women held one sign that read: "Cincinnati Loves Melinda Doolittle." An African-American man held another that read: "Cincinnati Family Recruits Melinda For 2007 Idol." The sign was doctored, with the word "Family" over another word that was whited out.
We do know that Doolittle has a Hamilton connection. Her father was born and raised there, and went to Miami University, and then left the area. His parents -- Melinda's grandparents -- lived in Hamilton for 50 years, until moving to Illinois about a year ago.
Did you see the people holding the signs on TV tonight? Know anything about them?
Good news if you're a horse racing fan and a Northern Kentucky resident. Insight cable will offer a free preview of the Horse Racing Television network, which carries Churchill Downs races. The freebie starts Saturday, when Churchill Downs opens, and runs through its spring meet that ends July 8. Churchill Downs owns 50% of HRTV. Digital cable customers will receive programming 24/7 on Channel 564. Basic cable subscribers will get racing noon-8 p.m. on Channel 01 (on analog converters) or Channel 99 (cable ready TVs). The Insight announcement notes that HRTV is not carried by DirecTV.
After nine years of local school classroom presentations, Kathy Wade brings her "Books Alive!" reading program to TV at 7 p.m. today on Ch. 12. "Books Alive! For Kids," a half-hour show, is the first of four programs to be produced this year, and to air on Ch. 12's sister digital station, the CinCW (8:30 a.m. the first Sunday of each month).
Craig "CJ" Thompson Jr., 11, of College Hill, a fifth- grade student at the CollegeHillFundamentalAcademy, stars in the dramatization of the children’s book, "Heaven's All-Star Jazz Band" by Don Carter. It's an adaptation, directed by Alphonzo "Zo" Wesson III, of the school presentations Wade has done through her nonprofit Learning Through Art Inc. The show ends with Wade and her band performing a jazz concert at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
The "Books Alive!" series is Channel 12's first venture into programming with nonprofit arts and community organizations for its new Web site, http://www.cincyscape.com/ The show will be archived there. Channel 12 also tapes and posts Deerfield and Sycamore township goverment meetings on Cincyscape, sort of a public access TV channel on the web.
If you're downtown for lunch, don't forget about the world's largest "WKRP in Cincinnati" theme song sing-along at noon today on Fountain Square. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins and Cincinnati Pops composer/arranger Steve Reineke will lead the group in song.
On the big video board above Macy's they plan to play our "WKRP in Cincinnati" then and now video, a side-by-side comparison of the 1978 opening video and those same locations today, by photographer Glenn Hartong. Here's the link to our WKRP video:
May sweeps start Thursday, the final four weeks of the 06-07 TV season, with all the network prime-time series airing season finales -- or series finales. Some will air after the networks cancel the shows the week of May 14-18, and announce their Fall TV lineups.
Several long-time favorites are on the bubble, and could be canceled, starting with NBC's Law & Order, currently the longest running show on TV. Producer Dick Wolfe is considering reducing the cast, and other budget cuts, to save the show. Other shows in trouble: Law & Order: CI; Gilmore Girls, Friday Night Lights, The Unit, Medium, What About Brian, October Road, Scrubs, Jericho, The Class, Ghost Whisperer, New Adventures of Old Christine, Crossing Jordan, The War at Home, Supernatural and all of the ABC comedies (According to Jim, George Lopez, In Case of Emergency, Knights of Prosperity). USA Today's analysis is at http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2007-04-11-sos-main-story_N.htm
TV Guide is reporting that ABC may pick up Scrubs, which it owns, if NBC cancels it.
USA Today says these shows are dead: Close to Home, 7th Heaven, Veronica Mars, The Black Donnells, Raines, Six Degrees and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
Which shows should be saved? Which would you miss most?
I had a terrific converation with "WKRP in Cincinnati" creator Hugh Wilson the other day, and not all of it could fit into my Sunday stories. So here are more comments. And you folks who are tired of reading about "WKRP" can skip this blog and come back another day...
--WKRP in Rochester?: Wilson considered all kinds of cities to set the radio station.... Rochester, Indianapolis, they just didn't click. Then he thought of Cincinnati, a city he had never seen. "It just sounded right-- WKRP in CINCINNATI."
--No 'KRP: Execs at either CBS or MTM first nixed the title, because Cincinnati already had a WKRC-AM and WKRQ-FM. (WKRC dates back to the Kodell Radio Co. ownership in the early 1920s.) Wilson said: "I remember in the beginning a note from the legal department saying we couldn't use WKRP because there was a WKRC in Cincinnati. And someone got in touch with them (WKRC), and they said, "Hell no, that's not a problem." And that's how the TV show got it's title. Long-time residents will recall that WKRC-AM, owned by Taft Broadcasting (owners of Kings Island and "The Flintstones," "Scooby-Do" and other Hanna-Barbera cartoons, reworked the TV theme to "WKRC in Cincinnati." Wonder if anyone at the station still has the ID? Wonder if we'll hear it again with all the renewed attention to "WKRP?"
--Cincinnati sentiment: Wilson was thrilled with the support from Cincinnati folks for the show 1978-82. "Anytime we asked anybody in Cincinnati for help, they said, 'Right away!' I hadn't been to Cncinnati, but I figured everybody there was nice folks. I always felt Cincinnati was full of nice people. I even liked Marge!" When I told him of Schott's practice of rubbing Schottzie hair on Reds players and managers for good luck, he said, "I would have used that in a hearbeat!"
--Springer break: Wilson says he came to Cincinnati only once or twice during the four-year production. He came to town to scout before the show premiered. During that trip he was supposed to meet the mayor -- Jerry Springer -- "but he was busy, and couldn't see us."
--Turkeys away: As an Atlanta advertising exec, Wilson began thinking of creating a pilot about a inept radio station. He contacted an Atlanta radio station manager, toured the station and went to lunch with him to pump him for story ideas. They guy said he didn't have much... but did mention that he had worked at a station in Texas where they gave away turkeys at Thanksgiving by dropping them over a shopping center from a helicopter. That's when the station manager realized that "the @# things can't fly," Wilson said. Which inspired WKRP GM Arthur Carlson's famous line, "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
--Off the air: I've often heard people say that WKRP was canceled too soon by CBS. Over four years, CBS moved it to 12(!) time slots, and it only made the Top 25 one season (#22 for the second season, 1979-80). It also was nominated three times in those four years for a best comedy Emmy. Yet Wilson wasn't surprised when CBS pulled the plug. "Our (ratings) numbers wouldn't seem to go (up) anywhere. I knew we were dead in the water. I was disappointed, but not surprised."
--Caught on tape: "WKRP" was shot on tape, when all of the other Mary Tyler Moore Productions (Mary Tyler Moore, Newhart, etc.) were on film, because the music rights were much cheaper. Being on tape, the half-hour sitcom fell under classification of a TV variety show, with lower costs for music. But to release on DVD, the cost of using original 1970s and '80s rock was prohibitive, he says. "Music license fees have gotten out of sight. They just can't afford to pay the license fees," he says.
--Programming WKRP: Howard Hesseman and Tim Reid picked much of the music their characters played on the show. (They were actually programming WKRP!) Howard first asked to do it, and then Tim heard about it and made the same reuqest. "They were really into music, and did a good job, and had good taste in music. And I wanted to keep them happy. I'm a scribbler (writer). I was usually up in the writers room. So anything that would make the actors happy was OK with me."
"WKRP" QUESTIONS Now for my questions: I've seen some comments on chat boards complaining about the generic music on the "WKRP" DVD. Obviously, some consider "WKRP" a music show with some comedy. I've always considered it a comedy show with some music. So which is it? It is an outrage that the original music has been deleted? Or is it a comedy show in which the music was secondary?
And one more question, if you're still with me. (I apologize for the long blog today, but wanted to wrap up all the "WKRP" stuff in one hit.) What's your favorite episode? And if you say "Turkeys Away," what's your second favorite?
You've been a wonderful audience. Thank you very much.
I had a fun day Friday with photographer Glenn Hartong tying to replicate the scenes in the "WKRP in Cincinnati" opening credits (now posted at Cincinnati.com). My stories about WKRP, the theme song lyrics and other fun stuff will be in Sunday's Enquirer, and more on line tomorrow.
It was amazing how much the city skyline had changed in 29 years, since "WKRP" premiered in 1978. Of course Riverfront Stadium is gone, and replaced with two new riverfront ballparks and the Underground Railroad Freedom Center. But so many other changes: The Genius of Water statue is rotated on Fountain Square. The Central Trust Bank tower is now PNC. Fort Washington has been rebuilt and reconfigured. And there are all the new buildings since 1978 -- Scripps HQ, the Enquirer building, Newport on the Levee, even One Lytle Place.
First we had to figure out what scenes actually were in the open shot by local cinematographer Bob Gerding (PPS Group), who shot all the exteriors here for "WKRP." Most were easy to determine, though finding the exact locations to shoot them from was tricky. The toughest scene to decipher was the downtown street, with people crossing in front of traffic, with two skywalk bridges in the background. We finally figured out it was shot from Fountain Square looking west down Fifth Street. To the right is the old Woolworth's store, and in the next block was the Fifth & Race building (now demolished) which had the Arbys, bookstore (Waldens?) and Arthur Treachers, the Cincinnati Visitor's Bureau, and a skywalk to the Hyatt.
Glenn and I spent about five hours Friday cruising around town trying to match the scenes. The hardest to replicate was the one I thought would be the easiest: zooming in on the WLWT-TV (C h 5) tower in Clifton Heights. We thought it was shot from Central Parkway near Music Hall -- a great view of the tower -- but old Hughes High School was on the wrong side of the TV tower! So we drove along Liberty Street and Central Parkway to Mount Adams, but couldn't figure it out.... until, as a last gasp, went to Union Terminal. That was fairly close. Actually we think it was shot from the Freeman Ave overpass over I-75.
My one regret was that the open did not include the zoom from Fountain Square to the old Enquirer building at 617 Vine, which was the exterior for the station. (Do you remember what they called the Enquirer building in "WKRP?" It's one of the questions in our quiz to be posted Sunday on Cincinnati.com.) But it turned out the new Enquirer building at 312 Elm is located on a 3rd Street stretch from the original opening.
I thought you'd like to see our shot sheet for the opening credits: --Car radio --I-75 northbound shot from Freeman Ave. overpass --Buildings along 3rd Street, going from east to west. --Car radio again. --Fort Washington Way, west from Main Street looking toward Dixie Terminal Building (gone are the bus ramps and Riverfront Stadium walks over Fort Washington Way). --I-75 northbound again from Freeman Ave., tighter shot --Pan of Fountain Square (we couldn't find a bird to shoot), west to east. --Zoom on Tyler Davidson Fountain "To The People of Cincinnati" (harder to read without the gold lettering from 1978) , then wide shot. (Background now smaller 5th/3rd building to north, not DuBois tower to east). --Fifth Street, looking west from Fountain Square. --WLWT (Ch 5) tower from Union Terminal. --Top of Roebling Suspension Bridge, opening to wide shot to see PNC Tower and Carew Tower. Shot from base of Roebling Bridge (east side) in Covington. --Barge going up river, shot from Cincinnati side. --From Immaculata Church in Mount Adams, pan from Newport on Levee to Cincinnati riverfront. --Cincinnati skyline from Newport.
By the way, all the credit for the "WKRP" Then & Now video goes to our photographer Glenn Hartong. He's a true wizard with a camera, still or video. He did the shooting and editing, all I did was drive the car and be the hand model for the shot tuning a car radio. He's an award-winning photog that does wonderful work, and he's the nicest guy on earth to work with.
Later I'll post more of my interview with Hugh Wilson, good stuff that didn't make Sunday's story. I hope you 'KRP fans enjoy.
So you think you can do better than some of the DJs on local radio? (I'm guessing some of you think so after reading comments about the new Big D and Bubba morning team which replaced Ken & Kitty on WOLF 97.3.) Well, here's your chance. Country station WUBE-FM (B105.1) is conducting a "Cincinnati Radio Idol" contest to find a new 7 p.m.-midnight Saturday "All Request Party" host. Marty Thompson, B105 PD, says he's "not necessarily looking for someone with radio experience. I want someone who's creative and fun, with an engaging personality." Aspiring on-air personalities should send audition audio to www.b105.com, or by snail mail to Cincinnati Radio Idol, c/o WUBE-FM, 2060 Reading Road, Cincinnati, 45202. The deadline isn't until May 18. But the first of five weekly finalists will be announced this Monday on the Bill Whyte-Amanda Orlando morning team. Five weekly winners selected through Monday, May 21, each will host one hour 7 p.m.- on Saturday, June 2. Then listeners will vote for their favorite on the station’s Web site. The top vote-getter gets the job on June 9. Big Dave will cut back from from six to five nights a week on that date. (Big Dave has hosted the Saturday show since March, when Whitney Allen's syndicated show moved to sister station, the WOLF (WYGY-FM, 97.3). The "Idol" audition concept isn’t new. WDBZ-AM (1230) and WLW-AM (700) have done similar searches to find talk hosts in recent years. It will be interesting to see if B105 picks a novice or an experienced pro…. Any old-time favorite DJs you'd like to hear back on the air here? Or do you want a fresh new voice?
Ch. 9 I-Team reporter Hagit Limor has won previous Sigma Delta Chi national awards for her reporting, but this one is special: She has won a feature reporting award (with Ch 9 editor Tony Mirones) for a 2006 story about her father, Menachem Limor. It's also the first I-Team report that she shot herself. In December of 2005, Hagit traveled to Germany with her father, now 76. He had sued the German government for Social Security benefits for the time he was forced to work as a child for the Nazis in a Polish ghetto, during the Holocaust. She was her own one-person crew on the story. She also did all the research and writing for the story. It aired in February last year. "What thrills me the most is that my dad and I can share this moment," says Limor, a Channel 9 reporter and anchor since 1994. "This is not for me. It’' for my dad. I'm going to hang it in my mom and dad's house in Nashville." Limor and Mirones will be honored July 20 by the Society of Professional Journalists at the National Press Club in WashingtonD.C. She also won Sigma Delta Chi awards for best documentary in 2002 and investigative reporting in 2001.
More Awards Three area stations and/or reporters have won regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio-Television News Directors Association. They will be considered for national awards in October. --WLWT-TV (Ch. 5) anchor-reporter Dave Wagner, producer Carolyn Hong and photographer Chris Knight won a hard news feature award for their November "Changing Face of Prostitution," about suburban women working streets in downtown and Over-the Rhine. --WLW-AM (700) was honored for continuing coverage of the death of Marcus Fiesel. --Chad Pergram, from Butler County's tiny Jacksonburg and a Miami University graduate, won for his Capitol News Connection report about former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay aired by a public radio station in Houston.
Just a thought about the video manifesto that Cho Seung-Hui sent to NBC....
Because the video was delivered a day late, do we think differently about Cho? It didn't become public until after we had heard so many people describe Cho as a loner who refused to engage with his classmates, teachers and even his roommates. For most of Tuesday and early Wednesday, news reports were filled with people talking about how they tried to get him to participate in class, tried to make conversation with him, etc. One roommate said he didn't know Cho's name until the dorm RA posted his name on the door. So we clearly had a feel that folks tried to reach out to him, but he was very anti-social.
Then comes this video rant with Cho blaming people, saying they made him do this. "You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today." Had this been seen immediately after the murders, we might discount statements made by Va. Tech people about trying to reach out to him as after-the-fact excuses. But now we know they're very believeable, and we can put Cho's statements in context.
I know some of have said we shouldn't see the video, because it gives the killer the publicity he wanted. But I think it gives us amazing insight into Cho, proof that he was as crazy as people said.
Just got an e-mail from "WKRP in Cincinnati" creator-producer Hugh Wilson saying that the "Today" show plans a "WKRP" reunion Friday. Tim Reid, Loni Anderson, Gary Sandy, Howard Hesseman and Wilson are supposed to be on the "Today" show at 8:30 a.m. Friday C9. 5). I'm checking with NBC publicists to see if Matt and Meredith will be back in New York from Blacksburg, Va., by then, and if the reunion is still scheduled, in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre. A reunion would be so cool. If and when I confirm, I'll post an update here. UPDATE: As of 2:30 today, "WKRP" reunion still on for Friday, says NBC publicist Lauren Kapp.
As for WKRP: The DVD release is Tuesday. Our big package of stories runs Sunday. I've talked to Hugh Wilson, Gary Sandy and local fans. We're also planning a poll and quiz.
FYI: Gary Sandy will be here Saturday as one of the grand marshals for the Downtown HopAround. It kicks off 6-7 p.m. Saturday at Sully's, at 7th & Race. For more details see http://www.downtownhoparound.com/
What are the odds of this happening again? Two "American Idol" contestants from last season will be here the same day, along with Oscar-winning actress/radio host Whoopi Goldberg. Elliott Yamin, third last season, will be in town Thursday and Friday. Ace Young, who finished seventh of the 12, will be here Friday.
Yamin will sing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch of the Reds-Astros game at 7:10 p.m. Thursday at Great American Ball Park. He'll also guest on Whoopi Goldberg's national "Wake Up With Whoopi" radio show, when she broadcasts from the Belle of Cincinnati 5-9 a.m. Friday from Newport. The show airs here on Clear Channel's WVMX-FM (MIX94.1).
Standyby tickets for Goldberg's show may be printed from the station's Web site http://mix941.net/pages/wg_tga.html for admission on a first-come, first-served basis if any of the station’s 150 ticket winners do not show when doors open at , says Jessica Martini, MIX94.1 marketing director. (You also might be on the lookout for Whoopi's bus around town. She doesn't like to fly, so she has a big John Madden-like bus. She's doing her show Thursday in Chicago, then coming by bus to Cincinnati after that. )
Young, 26, will pose for photos and sign autographs Friday at the DeerfieldTownship biggs, 9600 Mason Montgomery Road. He's on a seven-city tour promoting five new Edy’s Slow Churned American Idol flavors.
Isn't that the perfect example of the difference between finishing 3rd and 7th in "American Idol?"
Time again for CET's "Action Auction" today through Saturday on Channel 48. I know it's goofy and old-fashioned, but for some reason I'll watch part of it when I see it while clicking around the channels. Maybe it's because it is live TV, and you never know what will happen or be said. I don't know why, really, but I find myself watching some of the "Auction" each year. Maybe it's just a Cincinnati thing. Do you watch?
today through Friday, and on Saturday. You’ll find everything there from a CD jukebox to John Ruthven prints, and from a Carson Palmer autographed football to a baseball signed by Mark Mallory. And there will be tons of wine on Saturday, as usual.
And as usual, the "Action Auction" means PBS pre-emptions. For those of you watching "America At A Crossroads," it's a good thing we're at a crossroads between several PBS stations. Many of you can still catch the week-long "America At A Crossroads" documentary Wednesday-Friday on Dayton’s Channel 16 or on KET2 on Insight cable through Friday.
If you can’t get KET2 or Channel 16, you have several options: --Wait until Sunday and Monday, when Channel 48 airs the final three episodes ( Sunday, and Monday). --Or set the DVR/VHS and record the overnight repeats from PBS broadcast on Channel 48. The Wednesday episodes will play and Saturday (late Friday). The Thursday episodes play and Sunday (late Saturday). The Friday episodes won’t air until and Tuesday (late Monday), after the prime-time Monday broadcast.
My guess is that the "Action Auction" may draw as many viewers as "America At A Crossroads." Do you watch the "Auction?" Got any good "Auction" stories or memories? Ever buy any bargains over the years from the "Auction?"
So where did you find the best information about the Virginia Tech shootings yesterday? Which TV network? Or website? I want to hear your comments.
I switched between CNN and MSNBC much of last night, and watched a little of Fox News. I got tired of seeing the same cell phone video about 10 times an hour, and hearing a lot of speculation about whether there was one shooter or two. I was appalled by Nancy Grace's lack of grace (anything new?) on CNN Headline, and stayed away from her.
This morning I clicked through CNN, ABC, NBC, Fox and MSNBC and they all seemed to be about the same. FYI, CBS and ABC will do prime-time specials at 10 p.m. tonight.
Since several of you asked about my Amtrak trip to Chicago last week with my 2 sons, to see athe Cubs play in Wrigley Field, so here's the scoop:
--Amtrak runs from Cinci to Chicago every other day. That schedule didn't work for us, so we drove to Indianapolis and took Amtrak from there. Amtrak runs every day to and from Indy-Chicago. Tickets were $80 for me and my 18-yr-old; my 14-yr-old was free.
--Amtrak leaves here about 2 a.m. From Indy, it leaves at 6:30 a.m. We arrived in Chicago Union Station at 10:20 a.m. local time, or 11:20 a.m. our time. That was more than enough time to grab a great breakfast at Lou Mitchell's across the street from the station, then catch a cab to the Red Line subway at Jackson & State to get to Wrigley by 1:20 p.m. game. Train ran on time on way up. On way home, it was 90 minutes late after being stuck behind a freight an hour outside Indianapolis. Not fun.
--Wrigley is usually sold out, except for the first week of season when its cold. Believe me, it was cold. (The Weds Cubs-Astros game was snowed out.) Also, first week of season are value days, with half price tickets, because its so cold. I bought tickets about 10 days in advance, and got 1st row of upper deck behind the 1st base dugout. And the game wasn't sold out by first pitch. --Return trip to Indy (and/or Cinci) leaves Chicago at 5:45 p.m. If you want to go up and back in a day, you might have to leave the game early to catch train on time. (I did go up and back in a day with my boys four years ago, but the return train left at 8:30 p.m., giving us more than enough time for the whole game and to catch dinner at the ESPN Zone on Ohio Street near the loop.)
--We opted to stay over one night. We did the ESPN Zone Tuesday after the game. On Wednesday, we caught an express bus from Michigan Avenue to the Museum of Science & Industry and spent most of the day there. (Sears Tower was closed because of low snow cloud cover.) We took bus from museum over to the Red Line, took El back to Jackson Street, and walked 8 blocks to Union Station for trip home.
--Another tip: You can get a 2-day visitors pass for Chicago Transit Authority El/Bus system for $9 each at a machine in Union Station. That saved us a few bucks.
We have a great 2 days in Chicago. I'd recommend it to anyone. What fun!
Well, I guess I should have seen this coming. I haven't taken April vacation since 2001, and that was the week that Rodger Bingham was voted off "Survivor." I'm off this week, and Michelle Yi got voted off the island.
I thought she could last much longer, but "Survivor" changed the game 3 times last night, and she was the victim. First they did a merge, then they split the merged tribe in half with a blind draw for the immunity challenge, with the winning team (half the contestants) winning group immunity -- which had never happened before. And then after Yi's team lost, they immediately went to Tribal Council to vote somebody out without a chance to strategize. And Michelle was voted out 3-2 just like that.
Sorry to see her go. As a competitive rock-climber, she was an athletic assett to her team. She was great at getting along with others. And she was sneaky, being Earl's "spy" to help run the game for her tribe... until the merge... and the new teams for the challenge... and the instant vote. Oh well. It was great fun while she lasted.
Hey, look for me at the Cubs game today. I'm on vacation this week, with my boys on spring break, so we're going by Amtrak to Wrigley Field and see the Cubs play today and Wednesday. And freeze to death. Will be back on the blog next week. Go Cubs! Go Amtrak! --Kiese
Here's what I'm doing Saturday: Having "Cocktails for Two." Served by Spike Jones. And listening to other great comedy/novelty songs broadcast by Tom Sandman as a belated April Fools program 5-7 p.m. Saturday on WMKV-FM (89.3) and on http://www.wmkvfm.org/
Sandman has an awesome classic comedy collection for "Sandman Standards" Saturday: Spike Jones, Stan Freberg, Groucho Marx, Tom Lehrer, Bob Hope, Warner Bros. cartoon voice Mel Blanc, and one of my father's favorite 78s, Tex Williams' "Smoke Smooke Smoke (That Cigarette)." I know this isn't for everyone, but I love this stuff. Thanks, Tom. You'll put a smile on my face all weekend just thinking about Freberg's Lawrence Welk parody, or Spike Jones' butchering a classic like "Dance of the Hours."
So what would you pay for a baseball signed by Cincinnati's most famous Opening Day ceremonial pitcher? I just heard that Mayor Mark Mallory autographed a dozen baseballs Wednesday at CET, where he did the satellite interview for ESPN2's "Cold Pizza." The balls will be availble during CET's "Auction Auction" April 18-21 (Ch. 48). Starting bid will be about $75. Several balls will be offered each day.
By the way, CET still needs stuff for the "Auction," which celebrates its 40th year this year. CET folks need collectibles, sports/theater tickets, gift certificates, antiques, memorabilia, etc. To donate items, or volunteer to answer phones/run bids, call the Auction office a 513-345-6549.
OK, "Survivor" fans -- and I know you're out there -- let's talk about last night's show and UC student Michelle Yi, 23, the 2002 Turpin High School grad. We finally saw that she's definitely helping control the game in her Moto tribe. If you missed it, she was shown sneaking off in the morning with Earl, the influential tribe leader, while most of the others slept in.
I had assumed that she had clout, but this was a revelation two months into the show from Earl: "Michelle and I had our usualy morning meeting because I'm usually the first person up, and then she gets up pretty soon after. We always get up and she briefs me on what's happening, because she is my little spy."
Then Michelle explained that she and Earl, an advertising guy from Santa Monica, want to get rid of Stacy Kimball, 27, a web producer from Boulder, Colo.
This is setting something up, but I'm not quite sure. The promo for next week show everyone going to Exile Island -- could it be for a merge? What's your guess?
How far could Michelle go? Final 4? Final 2? Win it all? She's played a solid game so far, and CBS has kept her under the radar (maybe too much under the radar for a finalist, unless they're holding her emphasis back for future episodes down the line?). She's athletic and strong in challenges. She's smart. What do you think? How far will she go?
You could call this the Cincinnati Reds latest greatest hits: Highlight films from the Reds last three World Championships -- 1975, '76 and '90 -- will be released on a single DVD disc on April 24 (the same release date for "WKRP in Cincinnati").
It's called the "Cincinnati Reds World Series Vintage Film Collection: 1975, 1976, 1990" from A&E Home Video and Major League Baseball. Suggested retail is $19.95. It runs 2 hours and 15 minutes. The 1975-76 films are narrated by Joe Garagiola, who did the games for NBC TV. Pat O'Brien narrates the '90 sweeps of the Oakland As. (He was working for CBS, which did the '90 Series).
Reds fans – particularly those who enjoyed the 7-disc set of the entire 1975 World Series released last year – will want more. And some day we might get them. Says publicist Suzanne Dobson: "Hopefully, A&E will be releasing complete World Series sets for those years soon. This title is just one DVD."
Also on April 24, A&E Home Video will release the entire 1977 Yankees-Dodgers World Series (15 hours for $69.95) and the entire 1987 Twins-Cardinals World Series (17 hours for $69.95). And there will be World Series highlight films for the Cleveland Indians (1948), Detroit Tigers (1945, 1968, 1984), Toronto Blue Jays (1992-93) and Anaheim Angels (2002). Each team DVD is $19.95.
Somewhere I have a VHS copy of the Reds 1961 World Series highlight film. I think another Reds film was made in the late 1950s. I don't know what exists from the Reds 1939-40 World Series. (Does anyone know?) I'd also love to see Tom Browning's perfect game, or Pete Rose's 4,192 game (or the game at Wrigley Field the previous weekend when he tied Ty Cobb).
I don't know if any of these things exist, but I'd love to see them. What would you like to see on DVD?
Several of you have asked what's up with Fox Sports Net Ohio Reds games in HDTV and DirecTV, since I had written a while ago that FSNO had a deal with DirecTV for Reds games in HD.
So here's the e-mail clarification I just got from Steve Liverani, FSNO vice president and general manager:
"DTV has the option to pick up the Reds games in HD, but due to bandwidth constraints on their end, they can only select a limited number of games from around the leagues (4-6 per day). DTV reviews the overall FSN baseball schedule on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, and makes their selections accordingly."
Translation? FSNO does have a deal with DirecTV, but not a iron-clad contract to carry HDTV every game?
As for getting FSNO's Reds HD games on Time Warner, he says: "Negotiations are ongoing. That is all there is to report at this time."
Cincinnati native Brette Taylor pops up on "Numb3rs" Friday (10 p.m., Ch. 12) when Don (Rob Morrow) and Charlie (David Krumholtz) hunt for a serial letter-bomber. She plays Catherine Walton, whose husband is killed in a lab explosion.
The New York-based actress had a recurring role on "Rescue Me" in 2005. She is the daughter of former Playhouse in the Park actress Christine Parks. Taylor left Hyde Park and the School for Creative and Performing Arts after eighth grade and moved to New York with her mother.
With Mayor Mark Mallory's hilarous appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel" last night, could he become the city's second mayor to have a TV career? Although Mallory was the third guest on the show, he got as much TV time (15 min.) as the first two guests (Kurt Russell, Rachael Harris) combined.
My favorite moment was the first of his two pitches in the theater lobby, when he threw another wild one into the crowd to the right of the plate (the opposite direction of his Opening Day pitch), while the audience wore batting helmets. When asked by Kimmel if he was sure he was right-handed, Mallory replied: "I write with my left hand, at least on paper. On a chalkboard, I write with my right hand. Maybe I should switch."
Maybe he should switch careers? Become a stand-up comedian? (I'm told he's had some practice as a stand-up.) He's been very funny all week. Does he have Burbank's writers working for him now?
Here's a link to Mallory's second segment, throwing the ball in the lobby to Kurt Russell. Too bad it doesn't include the fake political attack ad ("He throws like a girl!") which run during Mallory's first segment. By the way, the spot was paid for By Cincinnatians Who Want A Pitcher, Not A Belly-Itcher.
Big news today from Time Warner and Walt Disney Co.: They announced a corporate agreement for Time Warner systems to carry ESPN and Disney networks' products and services -- including ESPNU.
When? Hopefully before the college football season, and the next Crosstown Shooutout.
"We'll launch ESPNU later this year. We'll get it on as soon as we can," says Karen Baxter, local spokeswoman for Time Warner, Greater Cincinnati's biggest cable operator.
Time Warner subscribers last December couldn't watch the city's biggest game -- the annual UC-Xavier basketball rivalry --because Time Warner didn't have rights to ESPNU, a college sports network. The shootout had been on ESPN or ESPNU since the 1998-99 season.
Since debuting two years ago, ESPNU has televised several UC, Xavier, Kentucky and Miami University basketball games, and some UC and Miami football games. The channel has been available to Insight cable customers in N KY and on the Lebanon city system.
The joint announcement says Time Warner also will launch ESPN2 later this year, and HDTV channels for ABC Family, Disney Channel and ESPNEWS when they become available in 2008.
"We just got word of this news this morning. We're still working the details out locally," Baxter says.
Time Warner also just announced today that it will launch Universal HD channel at 4 p.m. Thursday, to carry first two days of the Masters gof tournament. Find it on the HD tier in Cincinnati on Channel 972, and in Dayton on Channel 761.
So when will TWC get a deal done with FSN Ohio for the Reds in HDTV? The second of the 33 FSNO HD games is the Reds-Cubs at 7 p.m. today.
Information is still sketchy, but the "Deal or No Deal" casting bus will roll into Indianapolis near the end of the month. NBC's press release says the casting session will be April 30 in conjunction with NBC affiliate WTHR-TV in Indianapolis, with time and location to be determined. The NBC website says the Indianpolis casting will be May 1. Indy is the second-last stop on the tour which ends in Detroit on May 5. It starts Saturday in San Diego. If you're interested, I suggest you keep looking at the NBC site http://www.nbc.com/Deal_or_No_Deal/castingtour/index_08.shtml Or watch the WTHR-TV site for details http://www.wthr.com/ The station's phone is 317-636-1313. Not sure if the Indy session will be open casting, or limited to Channel 13's viewership area.
So how many of you love your neighbor.... but hate their front yard? Hundreds? When TV producer Jay Shatz asked me and others to help him solicit nominations from people next to ugly front yards, he was surprised to receive over 300 nominations. From those 300 come his new 26-episode series, "Desperate Landscapes," on DIY (10 p.m. Thursday). All of the episodes were shot in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The premiere features a Park Hills homeowner. Shatz, the former Ch 9 reporter and "Around the House" host, has produced more than 1,000 hours of programming at his Newport-based JayTV.
THIS JUST IN @ 4:30 pm Thurs 4/5: NBC replacing "The Black Donnellys" on April 16 with two "My Name Is Earl" reruns. So last "Donnellys" this coming Monday, unless NBC pulls that one too. --JK
NBC's pulling the plug prematurely on "The Black Donnellys," the dark Irish mob family drama at 10 p.m. Mondays. It will be gone after April 16, and only 8 episodes.
When "Heroes" returns on April 23, it will be followed by "The Real Wedding Crashers," a reality show from "Punk'd" producers Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg inspired by the hit movie. Five impro actors will disrupt a wedding; only the wedding couple are in on the joke, NBC says.
Six one-hour shows have been filmed, enough to get through May sweeps.
What's your prediction: Will "The Real Wedding Crashers" do bigger ratings than "The Black Donnellys?" Bigger than "Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip," which was pulled from that time slot in February? Will you miss "The Black Donnellys?" Was anyone watching?
PS: ABC has canceled "Dream Vote" after two broadcasts. Was it the worst show of the season?
Did you see Mayor Mark Mallory on Ch 5 this morning, talking about what was probably the worst ceremonial first pitch in Opening Day history?
During a traffic segment with Pete Scalia he said: "There's no excuse. It was a terrible throw, a terrible throw. So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to try out for the Bengals next week, and if that doesn't work, I'm going to do Dancing with the Stars."
Today I've got the job many of you would want: Being paid to listen to Opening Day. I was a bit surprised that Marty didn't say more about doing his first Opening Day game with his son, Thom, before the game began. It certainly wasn't as emotional or long as his comments for the the spring training opening March 1. Maybe its because they've been working together for a month. Marty spent more time talking about the gorgeous weather than about Thom as his partner.
Marty said he was thrilled to be working with Joe Nuxhall again (the Old Lefthander will do the 6th and 7th innings today). And then he said, "I'm equally thrilled to have my only son, Thom, sitting next to me." That was about it.
Thom, who did Opening Day for Channel 5 in 1989 (with Johnny Bench), then chimed in: "I've been gone so long I almost forgot how big Opening Day was here."
Then they quickly began talking baseball -- about Aaron Harang, the team improving its defense, the Cubs off-season spending spree, etc. Their timing was unnoticeable, meaning that unlike the March 1 game, they didn't step on each other's comments. (That's what they worked on in spring training, Thom told me.) Thom had never done color commentary; he had always done play-by-play. But he's been insightful this spring. He's a natural, having learned from the master (his dad).
Thom called Marty "Dad," as he's done all spring. I'm getting used to it. Although I noted last weekend, Thom opened the an inning by introducing his father by saying, "Here's Marty."
Are you listening? Have you enjoyed Marty & Thom this spring?
3RD INNING: Hey, Nux just joined the broadcast with Thom. Either Joe Nuxhall was late to arrive in the booth, or more likely, he let Marty and Thom have the spotlight for the opening innings. Thom welcomed Nux, and then asked how he was feeling. (Nux began chemotherapy for four new tumors found on his left leg in February, during spring training.) Joe spoke in a way might concern longtime Reds fans: "We're making progress, Thom. We have our good days and our bad days. We're living with it. But we're here. It's Opening Day and the Reds are leading2-0. What more can you ask?"
BOTTOM OF 3RD: Here's what I like Thom, and what I didn't like about Steve Stewart. As soon as Adam Dunn swung, it was clear from the excitement in Thom's voice the ball was leaving the ballpark, for his second home run. With Steve's monotone, often you couldn't tell. When Thom (and Marty & Joe) get excited, listeners get excited. You can tell both Marty and Thom had some theatrical training in school.
TOP OF 5TH: Here's what I love about Joe (and Marty, for that matter), when Ryan Freel misplayed the fly ball into a run. Freel broke back, then in, and missed a fly, and then threw it into the dugout behind 3B. Joe just said three words: "Ryan knows better."
TOP OF 6TH: No disrespect to Thom, but here's what we've been waiting for: Joe to do 6th and 7th innings, with Marty doing color commentary.
TOP OF THE 8TH: Hey, it just keeps getting better! Pete Rose just dropped by the radio booth. Pete, Marty & Joe & Thom!
BOTTOM 8TH: Did you hear Marty just call rookie phenom Josh Hamilton "Joey Hamilton," who was the over-the-hill RHP the Reds had a few years back? Whoops.