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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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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ugly News

Some ugly news for "Ugly Betty" fans: One of the few remaining original "Ugly Betty" episodes won't air tonight on Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO-TV (Channel 9). Instead viewers will see a three-year-old St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital show, "Fighting for Life," with Marlo Thomas.

Channel 9 scheduled the 2005 St. Jude's show months ago, as part of the station's commitment to the hospital. "ABC sprung the new episode on us just recently," says Scott Dailey, a Channel 9 programmer.

You'll have to set your DVR for 1:05 a.m. Friday (late tonight) for Channel 9's delayed broadcast. Those north of town can watch it on Dayton's Channel 22. Or you can catch it online.

One more TV note: "Grey's Anatomy" tonight (9 p.m., Channels 9, 22) is the last original episode of the season, until the writers' strike ends. Also new tonight: "30 Rock," "My Name Is Earl," "ER," "CSI" and "Without A Trace." Most of them are nearly out of episodes too. Then TV really gets ugly.


at 1/10/2008 12:25 PM Blogger skippercollector said...

I can think of a whole bunch of comments or complaints about this ongoing situation, but I won't list them this time. Instead, I'm going to write a letter to ABC about its affiliate that doesn't seem to like a lot of the network programming. If I get a letter back, I'll be sure to tell you.

at 1/10/2008 12:44 PM Blogger Cicely said...

Yikes! No "Ugly Betty" tonight?!? That is truly ugly. I was so looking forward to it. Oh well, I guess I'll get my Tivo fired up at 1am.

at 1/10/2008 2:54 PM Anonymous UglySituation said...

I guess that my comment would be, why couldn't the St. Jude's special be shown during the 7pm hour or during the TV (if you want to call it that) which we have on the weekends. You still honor the hospital and you still honor your fans. I will agree with Cicely, time to warm up the TIVO

at 1/10/2008 2:58 PM Anonymous Greg said...

I wonder how the strike will affect Lost. I understand that they have about 6 episodes completed for the season starting January 31. Which by the way, is a Thursday, did it move nights?
The viewers for that show are a fairly fickle group, myself included. Stopping the season after only 6 shows might prove fatal.

at 1/10/2008 3:13 PM Anonymous elder43 said...

Thanks John, my wife would have been super upset to miss it. There's only 2 or 3 shows that she watches and this is definitely one of them. Hopefully Channel 9 will make that announcement SEVERAL times during their many hours of local news between 4 and 6 pm. God forbid if they cut into their 25 hours of weather coverage today because it is raining as i type.

at 1/10/2008 3:50 PM Blogger John Kiesewetter said...

"Lost" has shot 8 episodes. ABC execs must feel that airing these 8 is better than nothing this season, if the strike continues are there are no more shows. I'm guessing ABC is airing "Lost" at 9 p.m. Thursday to keep a competitive foothold in the "Grey's Anatomy" time slot. "Grey's" runs out of new shows tonight.

at 1/10/2008 4:30 PM Anonymous teresak said...

*Sigh* Channel 9 does not play fair at all. I agree with uglysituation that this St. Jude's show could be shown at 7 pm. Channel 9's late notice excuse is bogus as I found out about a new Ugly Betty episode from The Futon Critic at least two weeks ago and they get their listing info directly from ABC! ABC will be getting a letter about WCPO from me.

at 1/10/2008 7:51 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason why channel 9 does not air the St Judes at 7pm is because that is where they make a lot of money with the advertising that they do in the bought shows of Wheel of Fortune and Jepordy. In airing the show in the 8pm hour they don't loose that much money being that it is a network show that they are covering up and ABC gets most of the advertising time. Like everything it is all about money

at 1/11/2008 12:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey kiese what was up with ABC experiencing sound issues on late night. Was it nationwide or just WCPO. I really wanted to hear the Leno interview on Kimmel.

at 1/11/2008 8:07 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have none of you ever heard of a CONTRACT? I'm sure WCPO has a contract with St. Jude's to air the show on a certain date at a certain time. Airing it at 7pm or on the weekends (when viewership is much less) would violate the contract. I'm sure St. Jude's is paying big $$$ to have it seen in prime time. So you DVR Ugly Betty and watch it tomorrow... I'm sure life as we know it will continue.

And regarding the other ABC shows not seen on WCPO... most networks allow their affiliates a certain number of hours of "network preemptions" per year. These usually do not fall within sweeps months, but each affiliate is allowed to delay network programming to air programming of their choosing, provided that the network programming is aired at a later date. (i.e. overnights or on the weekends). Local affiliates usually use this local programming as a vehicle to air make-goods on their spot inventory, since they have many more local avails than in a network program.

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