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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, May 22, 2008

Today Is Moving Day!

We've moved the blogs today, as I mentioned earlier this week.

I've already posted a couple of things -- Why the Reds-Dodgers game wasn't in HDTV last night... My thoughts on the "American Idol" finale... The Channel 5 story about Jackie Broo (Ken's wife) and her battle with cancer... and Time Warner's plan to expand HDTV channels.

Later today I'll post the May sweeps news ratings on the new blog.

You can find the new blog at

If you subscribe to this blog via a RSS reader, the new RSS feed is at

I won't be posting any more comments on this blog. See ya over at the new blog. I'm outta here.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

WGUC Makes One-Day Goal

Congratulations WGUC... You did it! Loyal listeners obviously appreciated the experimental one-way pledge drive. I just checked the WGUC website tonight and saw that the station exceeded its goal of 800 pledges in one day. The counter says 827.
Great news!

The station also beat its financial target ($85,000) by $373. At least 20% of those who made pledges were new members.

Worth doing again, right? Or maybe try a shorter-than-9-day drive on WVXU? But you've gotta admit the current 'VXU drives are much more listenable than the old Doc King drives filled with Catholic guilt trips and threats to drop popular programming.... They always reminded me of that old National Lampoon magazine cover headline: "Buy This Magazine! Or We'll Shoot This Dog!"

Cincinnati Idol Rip-Off Winners

If only the TV ratings race were this close...

Channel 12's Michelle Boutilette and Cammy Dierking squeaked – and we mean squeaked – past Channel 5's Rani Rico and Eric Green to win WKFS-FM's (KISS107.1) "Cincinnati Television Newsperson Idol Rip-off" karaoke contest by less than one percentage point.

The results:
--Ch 12's Michelle Boutilette and Cammy Dierking, "See You Again" 35.87%
--Ch 5's Randi Rico and Eric Green, "It's Raining Men" 35%
--Ch 19's Tricia Macke, Jack Atherton, Christie Dutton, Zach Wells and the Fox 19 news team, "Sweet Caroline" 29.19%

Voting closed this morning. The winners receive promotional support for their favorite charities – Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Multiple Sclerosis Society – by KISS107.1 morning hosts Tim and George.

It was fun to see the TV personalities goofing around on the karaoke video. They're still up at

Maybe this kind of offbeat exposure for Ch. 5's two personable meteorologists someday will translate into TV ratings. But not tomorrow. When May sweeps end tonight, Ch. 5's newscasts will be a distant third again at noon, 5, 5:30, 6 and 11... and fourth 6-7 a.m. But Ch 5's 11 p.m. news will beat "The Simpsons" again...

One Day Wednesday On WGUC-FM

If you're tired of those annoying public radio pledge drives that go one forever, today you can do something about it.

Classical WGUC-FM (90.9) is experimenting with a one-day fund-raiser today, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The station wants to raise $85,000 in 14 hours from about 800 people. As of 9:30 a.m., 'GUC had 249 pledges.

I listened to it this morning, and at least donor noted that he/she was giving more this time for less (interruptions). If this works, WGUC-FM will try shorter fund drives in the future, says Richard Eiswerth, GM for WGUC-FM and sister WVXU-FM.

So it's time to put up, because they've shut up. You can pledge by phone or on the web at

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Middletown Woman on Millionaire Today

Danielle Sparks of Middletown gets her turn in the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" hot seat at 4:30 p.m. today on WKRC-TV (Channel 12).

Sparks, 23, the daughter of Steven and Terri Sparks of Middletown, taped the episode in New York earlier this year. The 2003 Middletown High School graduate earned a political science degree last year from Ohio State University.

If she wins the million -- or a large stash of cash -- Sparks says she will pay off her student loans, buy her mom a condo, go to graduate school and travel the world.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New Looking Coming To The Blog

Here's a head's up for you: By the end of this week, you'l notice some changes on my blog.

Soon our blogs will be hosted here at by, and not at Blogger. It's all part of a relaunch of coming soon. I hope to make some big improvements, like adding links to the networks and other sites you'll find handy.

When the switch occurs, this old blog won’t go away. You'll be directed to the new blog by a link. Eventually any bookmarks and links to this blog will take you to the new one. My new blog also will have a link back to this blog archives too.

And there will be one more change: You will have to register to post comments on the new site. It's free, but you have to register. All of this is supposed to happen by the end of the week. Stay tuned.


Sarah Jessica Parker: Sex and the Square Pegs

Former Cincinnati resident Sarah Jessica Parker talks about her career – and why the new "Sex and The City" movie almost wasn’t made – on "Inside the Actors Studio today (8 p.m., Bravo). It's a safe bet that host James Lipton will recap her network TV career, which started with CBS' short-lived comedy, "Square Pegs" (1982-83), which will be released on DVD Tuesday.

Parker, 43, was born in Nelsonville, Ohio, (near Athens), and lived in Cincinnati for most of her first 12 years. She attended Clifton Elementary School, and made her TV debut in a Channel 5 "Young People’s Special" production of "The Little Match Girl" in 1974, at age 9. She left Cincinnati for New York in 1977, and joined the cast of "Annie" on Broadway in 1978. (She sings her audition song for "Annie" for Lipton on the show tonight.)

She was one of the high school misfits on "Square Pegs," in a cast that included Jami Gertz ("Still Standing") and Tracy Nelson ("Father Dowling Mysteries"). Guest stars included Bill Murray, Martin Mull, the Doors drummer John Densmore, Devo, and the Waitresses (they did the theme). The 20 shows will be released on three discs.

"Sex and the City: The Movie" opens in theaters Friday, May 30.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Rollergirls Crash ESPN SportsCenter Sunday

Monday morning update: Here's the link to ESPN's "Roller Derby Revival" story which aired on "SportsCenter" last night. Enquirer reporter Lauren Bishop provided the narrative.

The Cincinnati Rollergirls with our own Lauren Bishop smash their way onto ESPN’s “SportsCenter” at 11 p.m. Sunday.

The “SportsCenter” story – which may air at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, and repeat overnight Sunday through Monday morning -- also includes interviews with skates in Austin, Texas, where a 2001 grassroots revival has led to more than 200 amateur women’s roller derby leagues, ESPN says.

ESPN shot part of the six-minute feature about the rebirth of all-female roller derby leagues here last month. A crew spent part of a day with Bishop, the Enquirer pop culture reporter known as “Miss Print” on the team, and taped the Rollergirls’ match against the Fort Wayne Dirty Girls at Cincinnati Gardens.

She says it was strange being interviewed, after spending her professional interviewing others. Read more about the taping here on Roller Derby Diva blog at

Walnut Hills Wins ONN's Brain Game

Walnut Hills High School won the state championship last night on the Ohio News Network's "Brain Game" quiz show over Shawnee High School.

The Cincinnati team advanced to the finals because it scored the most points (455) of the 60 schools in the competition. The Walnut Hills students won $10,000 for the school.

The show was taped in Columbus on Feb. 23, the day after Walnut Hills sophomore won the $75,000 "Jeopardy!" teen tournament. Horn, 15, was an alternate for the four-person team.

Scott Grunder, Walnut Hills quiz team coach and Horn's history teacher, told me in February: "Imagine the look on the other team's faces when they see the 'Jeopardy!' girl is on the bench."

A video is posted at the ONN site, but I haven't had luck opening it.

Vote For The Cincinnati TV Idol Rip-Off

Eric said it would be like this??? Meteorologists from three local TV stations – and some of their co-workers – want your vote for their video in KISS107's clever local "American Idol" contest, the "KISS107 FM's Cincinnati Television Newsperson Idol Rip-off." They karaoke is cheesy and corny, but it's fun to watch the TV folks cut loose and show some personality.

Your choices:
--Channel 5's Randi Rico and Eric Green singing The Weather Girls’ "It's Raining Men."
--Channel 12's Michelle Boutilette and Cammy (Don't Call Me Shy) Dierking singing Miley Cyrus' "See You Again."
--Channel 19's Christie Dutton, Tricia Macke, Jack Atherton, Zach Wells and more of the Fox 19 news team singing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."

Tune in the KISS107 (WFKS-FM, 107.1) Tim and George/Jeff morning show to hear the participants beg for your vote. The winner will be announced Wednesday morning, the day Fox crowns the seventh "American Idol." The team with the most online votes "will get a fund-raiser or public service campaign executed by Kiss Mornings for the charity of their choice," says the station web site. As of this morning, Channel 19 was leading with 42%, followed by Channel 5 at 39% and Channel 12 with 19%.

Channel 9 was invited to participate, but didn’t want to play along. (Why not? Somebody call the I-Team!)

Watch the videos and vote at

Then come back here and post your critique.

What would www.votefortheworst recommend?

Two Guys With National Gigs You Don't Get Here

Chris Seelbach is getting some buzz nationally, but you wouldn't know it in Cincinnati. Same with long-time radio personality Marty "With the Party" Thompson.

Seelbach, a political consultant for various Democratic candidates, has been named the political correspondent for "The Daily Buzz," a nationally syndicated morning show. It airs on 141 stations – but not here. The northern 'burbs might be able to see it 6-9 a.m. on Dayton's WBDT-TV (Channel 26), where the show was first produced in 2002. It has since moved to Orlando, Fla.

Seelbach, 28, a vice president with the Seidewitz Group, auditioned on a live show last Friday in Orlando, while in Florida for a wedding. He's a friend of Steve Bailey, marketing vice president for the show hosted by Andrea Jackson, Mitch English, Andy Campbell and Kia Malone. He’s the liberal balance for conservative Campbell.

The Over-the-Rhine resident will report live from here by Skype video conferencing software. And lobby local stations to carry the show.

Thompson, the former program director at WUBE-FM, WGRR-FM and WLW-AM, now hosts "Classic Top 40" (mostly '70s rock) 7 p.m.-midnight on more than 100 stations. But not here.

The show is syndicated by Dallas-based TKO Radio Networks to stations in Pittsburgh, Denver, Oklahoma City, Evansville and Muncie. You can hear him Monday-Saturday nights online from

This week he was also named vice president for programming when TKO launched 24/7 syndicated programming.

Thompson, 43, broadcasts from his home Hamilton County's Miami Township. Now he's Marty with the Party in his basement.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Only Two New Fox Shows For Fall

Only two new Fox series this fall -- one comedy and one drama -- as Fox follows the other shows in moving cautiously after the 100-day writers strike.

Fox again gets the jump on other networks by starting the season 3 weeks early, the week of August 25 with "Prison Break," "Bones" and "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?"

The new drama is "Fringe" (9 p.m. Tuesday) from J.J. Abrams ("Lost") about the FBI investigating a plane that lands in Boston with everyone dead on board. Joshua Jackson ("Dawson's Creek") stars as the son of a brilliant but institutionalized doctor (John Noble, "Lord of the Rings") who can solve the case.... in 22 episodes or more.

The only comedy is "Do Not Disturb" (9:30 p.m. Weds) with Jerry O'Connell ("Crossing Jordan), Niecy Nash ("Reno 911"), guest star Robert Wagner as wacky operators of "the hottest and hippest hotel" in NYC. It will air after "Til Death."

For midseason, Joss Whedon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") has created "Dollhouse," about people (including Eliza Dushku, "Buffy," "Tru Calling") are members of "a highly illegal and underground group who had had their personalities wiped clean to they can be imprinted with any number of new personas." It will air at 8 p.m. Mondays in January, before "24."

"The Moment of Truth," (such schlock) "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," "Don't Forget The Lyrics" and "Til Death" will be back. But not Kelsey Grammer's "Back to You," or "Unhitched," "K-Ville," "Nashville," "The Return of Jezebel Jones" or "Search For The Next Great Rock Band."

Here's a link to the Fox release:

Fox Plans 24 Peek In November

Good news for "24" fans who have been waiting a year for a new season. Fox will air a two-hour movie Sunday, Nov. 23, to set up the seventh season coming next January. Jack Bauer will be involved in an international crisis in South Africa while a new US president (Cherry Jones) prepares to take office.

Here's the Fox announcement on the movie and season seven:


"Day 7" Season Premiere Clocks-In January 2009

Fans have been waiting almost a year for the return of 24, television’s most addictive drama. On Sunday, November 23 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), the wait will be over as FOX presents a special two-hour prequel event.

Shot on location in South Africa , Jack Bauer battles an international crisis, while here at home the nation prepares for a new president on inauguration day. Taking place just a few months before the new day dawns, the prequel will set the stage and raise the stakes for Season Seven.

"We're excited about the prequel because it explores Jack's complex emotional state of mind and still has all the signature excitement and suspense that fans have come to expect from 24," commented executive producer Howard Gordon. "Shooting in South Africa affirms everyone’s commitment to making this season especially memorable for our fans."

Celebrating its 150th episode this season, the series has resumed production on "Day 7" and will unfold without interruption in its regular time period Mondays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) beginning in January 2009.

Set in Washington, DC, "Day 7" finds CTU dismantled and Jack Bauer on trial. Bauer's day takes an unexpected turn when former colleague TONY ALMEIDA (Carlos Bernard) returns. Meanwhile, President ALLISON TAYLOR (Cherry Jones) leads the country alongside White House Chief of Staff ETHAN KANIN (Bob Gunton) and First Gentleman HENRY TAYLOR (Colm Feore).

A national security crisis prompts an investigation by a team of FBI agents including Agent JANIS GOLD (Janeane Garofalo), Agent RENEE WALKER (Annie Wersching), Agent LARRY MOSS (Jeffrey Nordling), Agent SEAN HILLINGER (Rhys Coiro) and security specialist MICHAEL LATHAM (John Billingsley). Although CTU is no longer, CHLOE O’BRIAN (Mary Lynn Rajskub) and BILL BUCHANAN (James Morrison) are back for another momentous day of shocking events.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Goshen Kid On Ellen Thursday

Of all places, Ellen Degeneres has quite a nice relationship with Spaulding Elementary School in Goshen.

The fifth Spaulding student in three years appears on the "Ellen Degeneres Show" Thursday (10 a.m., Channel 9; 4 p.m., Channel 7) when Sami Stephens, 9, shows off her "sock pizza." (She sewed together two circles of mesh fabric with Velco-sealed wedged-shaped pockets so you can wash and dry socks in pairs.) Sami made the device for Spaulding's annual "Invention Convention" in February.

Third grade teacher Beth Powell says "Ellen" producers have been so impressed with the creative kids at Spaulding that they've asked her to instruct parents of her best young inventors to send videos of their kids inventions every year to the show office in Burbank, Calif.

"They told us that any child we choose, we could have them send a tape to the show. So we send a letter to parents with the instructions on how to send in a video. It's really something," says Powell, a teacher for 11 years.

Diane Stephens says they made a video, mailed it in March and then forgot about it – until the "Ellen" show called in late April. Two weeks later, on May 6, she was in Burbank with her daughter.

Now Stephens wants to take the relationship one step further. Stephens gave producers a letter for Degeneres (she didn't meet the comedian) inviting her to the Invention Convention next Feb. 25, 2009. "She keeps using Goshen children, so she needs to come to the Goshen school," she says.

Whether she comes or not, it's still a cool thing for Spaulding school and Goshen. There must be much bigger schools in bigger towns that would love the national TV attention.

KISS 107 Signs Jordan

Jordan, the afternoon guy on KISS 107, will be around for a couple more years. He has been promoted to assistant program director at WKFS-FM (107.1) in a new two-year deal announced today.

Jordan joined KISS 107 in March 2004 as music director and night DJ, after gigs in WEZB-FM New Orleans and WWHT-FM in Syracuse. Jordan, 3-7 p.m. DJ since September, remains KISS 107 music director, says Mark Anderson, program director.

"I couldn't be happier to be in place for another few years here at KISS 107. I fell in love with Cincinnati as I drove through the 'cut in the hill,' and can't see myself anywhere else but here," he said in a statement.

Jordan also can be heard on "a number of" Clear Channel stations, including KXXM-FM in an Antonio and WNOK-FM in Columbia, S.C.

To learn more about him, check out his vlog – his video blog – at

Five New CBS Shows For Fall

CBS will add three dramas -- only one of them a crime-solving show! -- and two new comedies in the fall.

Again CBS will try to establish a 8-9 p.m. Wednesday block, where so many shows have failed ("Yes Dear," "Still Standing," "Cosby" ""The Nanny," even "Murphy Brown" and "Dave's World"). This time you'll see "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and a new Jay Mohr-Paula Marshall sitcom called "Project Gary." The 8-9 p.m. hour has been a revolving door the past year, with "Jericho," "Kid Nation," "Big Brother" and "The Price Is Right."

Most of the crime dramas are back, with "Without A Trace" moving to 10 p.m. Tuesday (for a new Bruckheimer show at 10 p.m. Thursday) and "The Unit" moving to 10 p.m. Sunday. CBS also has ordered two new runs of "The Amazing Race," which returns to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Canceled are James Woods' "Shark," Jimmy Smits' "Cane," "Moonlight," "Viva Laughlin" and the midseason comedy "Welcome to the Captain." And no more "Kid Nation." Of all of these, I thought "Shark" might hang on for another year, but to be honest, I'd lost track of it being on and off the CBS schedule.

"Rules of Engagement," the best role for Patrick Warburton since Puddy, will return at midseason. (Yeah!) There had been some speculation that CBS would pick up "Back To You," the Kelsey Grammer-Patricia Heaton newsroom comedy (apparently canceled by Fox late Friday), but it's not in the announcement below.

Any suprises here for you?


Five New Series Added: Two Comedies and Three Dramas
CBS Expands Comedy Lineup, Adding New Block on Wednesday 8:00-9:00 PM
Two New Dramatic Series to Launch Backed by "NCIS" and "CSI" Lead-Ins
New Series That Blends Comedy, Drama and Romance Joins Fridays Top-Rated Lineup

Eighteen Current Series Return to the Schedule
New Murder Mystery "Harper's Island" Ordered for Mid-Season

CBS announced today its 2008-2009 Fall Primetime Lineup, featuring five new series — two comedies and three dramas — and the launch of a new comedy block on Wednesdays.

The new series include ELEVENTH HOUR, a dramatic thriller from producer Jerry Bruckheimer about a special advisor to the government who investigates scientific crises and oddities; THE MENTALIST, starring Simon Baker as a former celebrity psychic-turned- detective who uses his gifted skills of observation and expertise at "reading" people to solve crimes; THE EX LIST, a sexy comedic drama about a 30-something woman who searches her past relationships to find her future husband; and the comedies PROJECT GARY, starring Jay Mohr and Paula Marshall as dueling ex-spouses and parents trying to move forward with new relationships; and WORST WEEK about a good guy who is always trying to do the right thing, yet something always goes wrong — especially when he's around his girlfriend's parents.

"We've been looking to expand our comedy lineup, and we now have the depth and development to make the move," said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment. "Monday is already television's signature night for comedy and we think we can make the case that CBS is the signature network for comedy overall."

Added Tassler, "Our new dramas put a character twist on the highly successful procedural form with two exciting new leads in Simon Baker and Rufus Sewell. And, rounding out the new slate is a very unique series with a dynamic young actress (Elizabeth Reaser, "Grey's Anatomy") that blends comedy, drama and romance in a concept that will have everybody thinking about their personal 'ex list.' "

The freshman series will join 18 returning programs on the current CBS lineup.

CBS will return network television's Number One drama franchise — CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION; CSI: MIAMI, CSI: NY — the Number One comedy, TWO AND A HALF MEN; the Number One news magazine, 60 MINUTES; and two franchise reality series —SURVIVOR and the five-time Emmy Award-winning THE AMAZING RACE.


The new 2008-2009 schedule is:

On Monday, CBS adds a new comedy to television's top-rated comedy lineup. From 8:00-9:00 PM, the popular young adult comedy block of THE BIG BANG THEORY and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER returns. Television's top comedy TWO AND A HALF MEN remains at 9:00 PM and serves as a lead-in for the new comedy WORST WEEK at 9:30 PM. CSI: MIAMI, the night's top scripted series, returns for its seventh season at 10:00 PM.

On Tuesday, NCIS opens the night at 8:00 PM and the hit drama WITHOUT A TRACE moves to 10:00 PM, creating a hammock position for the new drama THE MENTALIST at 9:00 PM.

On Wednesday, CBS opens a new night of comedy. The critically acclaimed THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE, starring Emmy Award winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus, starts the night at 8:00 PM, leading into the new comedy PROJECT GARY. The successful tandem of CRIMINAL MINDS and CSI: NY return from 9:00-11:00 PM.

On Thursday, CBS adds a new drama to television's most-watched night. SURVIVOR returns at 8:00 PM, where it continues to dominate its time period, followed by the night's highest-rated show, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, which provides a strong lead-in for the new suspenseful thriller ELEVENTH HOUR at 10:00 PM.

CBS adds a unique new series to its top-rated Friday. GHOST WHISPERER, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, returns at 8:00 PM leading into another female-lead show, THE EX LIST, at 9:00 PM, capped by the night's highest rated scripted series NUMB3RS at 10:00 PM.

Saturdays will feature CBS's CRIMETIME programming from 8:00-10:00 PM, followed by 48 HOURS MYSTERY, the night's top-rated program.

On Sunday, the perennial Number One news magazine, 60 MINUTES, kicks off its 41st season at 7:00 PM, followed by the return of the five-time Emmy Award-winning reality series THE AMAZING RACE at 8:00 PM. The successful crime drama COLD CASE remains at 9:00 PM and the action drama THE UNIT joins the night at 10:00 PM.

In addition to the new series for fall, the network announced the pick up of two programs for midseason. The new drama, HARPER'S ISLAND, is a murder mystery that unfolds as friends and family attend week-long festivities at a destination wedding on a secluded and picturesque island off the coast of Seattle, infamous for a homicidal maniac's rampage seven years ago. Also picked up for midseason is the comedy RULES OF ENGAGEMENT.

The new comedies are:

WORST WEEK is a comedy about Sam Briggs, an entertainment magazine editor who will do anything to please his girlfriend's parents … but instead becomes a one-man wrecking crew whenever he's around them. Sam (Kyle Bornheimer, "Jericho") and his girlfriend, Melanie Clayton (Erinn Hayes, "Kitchen Confidential"), have only one hurdle left to clear as they start their life together: breaking the news to Mel's conservative parents that they have a wedding in the works and a baby on the way. Dick (Kurtwood Smith, "That '70s Show"), a stern Judge, and his wife Angela (Nancy Lenehan, "My Name is Earl"), are protective of their daughter, and are really trying to let go of the anger they feel toward Sam … after all, disaster follows whenever he visits their house. But despite his best efforts, every time Sam takes one positive step forward in winning over his future in-laws, he inevitably takes two crushing steps back. But with support and love from Melanie who stands up for him despite his knack for making himself look bad, Sam will hopefully charm his way into her family. Emmy Award winner Adam Bernstein ("30 Rock") directed the pilot. Matt Tarses ("Scrubs") and Jimmy Mulville ("Whose Line Is It Anyway?") are the executive producers for Universal Media Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television.

PROJECT GARY stars Jay Mohr ("Ghost Whisperer") and Paula Marshall ("Nip/Tuck") in a comedy about Gary Barnes, a recently single painting contractor, and his controlling ex-wife, Allison, who face post-divorce mayhem after 15 years of marriage as they each embark on new relationships. He's the fun parent and she's the strict one. Together, they share custody of their two children — Louise (Laura Marano, "Without a Trace"), a politically correct and environmentally conscious 11-year-old, and Tom (Ryan Malgarini, "How to Eat Fried Worms"), their socially awkward 14-year-old son who is nervous around girls. Charming and acerbic, Gary hasn't dated since the split, but finally connects with Vanessa (Jaime King, "The Class"), a single mother whose condo he was hired to paint. He dreads telling Allison about Vanessa because it doesn't adhere to her belief in their marriage counselor's book, "Rules for the Perfect Divorce." However, when Allison tells him that she's engaged to their shrink, all bets are off and Gary decides it's time to move forward. Now, in pursuit of post-marriage happiness, Gary must juggle his eclectic world of an ex-wife, their two kids, their shrink and his gorgeous new girlfriend. Ed Yeager ("Still Standing") and Ric Swartzlander ("8 Simple Rules") are the executive producers for ABC Studios and CBS Paramount Network Television.

The new dramas are:

THE MENTALIST stars Golden Globe Award nominee Simon Baker ("The Devil Wears Prada") as Patrick Jane, a detective and independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who has a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes by using his razor sharp skills of observation. Within the Bureau, Jane is notorious for his blatant lack of protocol and his semi-celebrity past as a psychic medium, whose paranormal abilities he now admits he feigned. Jane's role in cracking a series of tough high-profile cases is greatly valued by his fellow agents. However, no-nonsense Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney, "Prison Break") openly resists having Jane in her unit and alternates between reluctantly acknowledging Jane's usefulness and blasting him for his theatrics, narcissism and dangerous lack of boundaries. Lisbon's team includes agents Kimball Cho (Tim Kang, "Rambo"), Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman, "The Nine"), and rookie member Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti, "The O.C."), who all think Jane's a loose cannon but admire his charm and knack for clearing cases. Bruno Heller (creator of "Rome") is creator/executive producer, and Emmy Award winner David Nutter ("Band of Brothers") is the executive producer for Warner Bros. Television.

ELEVENTH HOUR from acclaimed producer Jerry Bruckheimer follows Dr. Jacob Hood (Rufus Sewell, "The Illusionist"), a brilliant biophysicist and special science advisor to the government, as he investigates scientific crises and oddities. His jurisdiction is absolute and Hood is dogged in his pursuit of those who would abuse and misuse scientific discoveries and breakthroughs for their own gain. His passion and crusade is to protect the substance of science from those with nefarious motives. He is called in at the eleventh hour and he represents the last line of defense. Based on the British miniseries by acclaimed science-fiction writer Stephen Gallagher, the series is executive produced by Bruckheimer ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Pirates of the Caribbean"), Jonathan Littman ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Cold Case"), Danny Cannon ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "CSI: Miami"), Cyrus Voris ("Bulletproof Monk"), Ethan Reiff ("Sleeper Cell"), Mick Davis ("Wake of Death"), and Paul Buccieri ("Fashion House") for Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros. Television.

THE EX LIST is a comedic drama about Bella Bloom (Elizabeth Reaser, "Grey's Anatomy") – a single, 30-something, successful business owner who is surprised to learn from a psychic that she's already dated her future husband AND there's a catch: if she doesn't find him in the next year, she'll remain alone forever. During a bachelorette party for her sister, Daphne (Rachel Boston, "American Dreams"), Bella learns from the psychic she must revisit her past relationships and sort through the mistakes to find her soul mate. Skeptical, Bella begins to analyze every past liaison and failed romance with her close circle of friends, Augie (Adam Rothenberg, "Mad Money"), an endearing guy who has listened to Bella's love woes since college, Vivian (Alex Breckenridge, "Dirt"), Augie's long-term girlfriend, and Cyrus (Amir Talai, "Campus Ladies"), who's chronically unemployed and full of wry observations. Once Bella witnesses proof of the psychic's other predictions, her cynicism disappears and she begins her search. Along her trip down break-up lane, Bella is determined to remain optimistic and receptive, believing that when destiny reopens doors to the past, every relationship can matter in the future. Diane Ruggiero ("Veronica Mars") and Jonathan Levin ("Charmed") are executive producers for Twentieth Century Fox Television.

Following is the 2008-2009 CBS Television Network primetime schedule:
(N=New, NT=New Time, all times ET/PT)

9:30-10:00 PM WORST WEEK (N)
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: MIAMI

8:00-9:00 PM NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM THE MENTALIST (N)
10:00-11:00 PM WITHOUT A TRACE (NT)

8:30-9:00 PM PROJECT GARY (N)
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: NY

8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR
10:00-11:00 PM ELEVENTH HOUR (N)

9:00-10:00 PM THE EX LIST (N)
10:00-11:00 PM NUMB3RS

10:00-11:00 PM 48 HOURS MYSTERY

7:00-8:00 PM 60 MINUTES
9:00-10:00 PM COLD CASE
10:00-11:00 PM THE UNIT (NT)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Have You Caught Kelch?

Have you been listening to Jim Kelch, the Louisville Bats announcer working with Marty Brennaman on Reds Radio this week?

I think he's doing a good job. I've got to admit I miss the strong opinions of Jeff Brantley (and Thom Brennaman too). Never thought I'd say this, but I miss the Brantley-isms ("right down Broadway" ... "throw him a cookie" ... "that one's going all the way to the wall"...). Though I still miss the Ol' Lefthander's balls to right-left-centerfield too.

Kelch does fine on play-by-play. And he's a nice conversationalist with Marty. In terms of Reds Radio fill-ins, I've liked Dan Hoard (very well prepared; Scully-like storyteller) and Chris Welsh (wish he did more radio). And I'd rate Kelch way ahead of Steve Stewart. (Didt Steve LaMar or Andy Mac ever fill in on radio? Maybe in spring training?)

Kelch, in his 20th season at Louisville, will do games on Wednesday; May 30-June 1; July 18-19; and Sept. 2-4; and Sept. 18-20.

What do you think of Kelch? (And do you have a favorite Brantley-ism?)

CW Adds 90210, Two Other Fall Shows

The CW has announced its fall schedule -- two new dramas, including the "90210" spin-off, and a reality show.

Gone are "Aliens in America," "Life Is Wild" and "Girlfriends." No word on "Beauty and the Geek," which isn't on the season announcement. The "Reaper" will come back at midseason.

Two Sunday comedies ("Everybody Hates Chris," "The Game") move to 8-9 p.m. Friday, because "WWE Smackdown" goes to MyNetworkTV (Channel 64). Sunday programming has been out-sourced to another company.

Here's the release:



Monday Night Features Winning Team of Hit Dramas “Gossip Girl” and “One Tree Hill”

New Neighbors Move in Tuesday Night: “90210” Ensemble Features Original Cast Member
Jennie Garth in a Guest Starring Role, Followed By New Drama “Surviving the Filthy Rich”

Top-Rated “America’s Next Top Model” Leads Into New Fashion Reality Series “Stylista” on Wednesdays

Fan Favorites “Smallville” and “Supernatural” Return on Thursdays

Friday Night Gets a Counter-Programming Comedy Makeover With “Everybody Hates Chris” and “The Game,” Followed By An “America’s Next Top Model” Encore

Three Hours of Original Programming on Sunday From Media Rights Capital

The Devil Returns on “Reaper” for Midseason

May 13, 2008 (New York, New York) ─ The CW Network announced a fall launch date of September 1 and unveiled the schedule for its 2008-2009 season today at a presentation and party for advertisers, affiliates and national media in the Tent at Lincoln Center. The announcement was made by Dawn Ostroff, President of Entertainment, The CW.

“With shows that everyone is talking about, from ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘America’s Next Top Model’ to our upcoming ‘90210,’ our new lineup has the best Monday-Friday schedule flow we have ever had at The CW,” said Ostroff. “We are zeroed in on our target demo of young women 18-34 with both new and returning series, and each programming block provides a strong promotional platform for the following night. We’re confident that the quality of our shows for the fall season will make The CW the destination for young women.”

On Monday, the network will continue the successful combination of GOSSIP GIRL and ONE TREE HILL. GOSSIP GIRL was the most buzz-worthy show of last season and had the highest concentration of female teens of any series on broadcast television. GOSSIP GIRL will return to its 8:00-9:00 p.m. slot, followed by ONE TREE HILL from 9:00-10:00 p.m. ONE TREE HILL’s loyal fan base is the second youngest on television, and the series continued to grow last season despite its time period move.

On Tuesday, 90210, the most eagerly anticipated series of the fall, will premiere in the 8:00-9:00 p.m. timeslot. A fresh interpretation of the iconic 1990’s drama “Beverly Hills, 90210,” this spin-off features a dynamic cast of up-and-coming stars, familiar faces such as Lori Loughlin (“Summerland”) and Jessica Walter (“Arrested Development”), and guest star Jennie Garth, who will reprise her role from the original series. 90210 promises to deliver all the drama and excitement of the original series. In the 9:00-10:00 p.m. timeslot, the new series SURVIVING THE FILTHY RICH brings a distinctively witty note to the Tuesday lineup. Based on the best-selling book “How To Teach Filthy Rich Girls” by Zoe Dean, SURVIVING THE FILTHY RICH stars JoAnna Garcia (“Reba”) as the live-in tutor to wild and wealthy teenage twin sisters in fabulous Palm Beach. SURVIVING THE FILTHY RICH makes the perfect companion piece for 90210.

On Wednesday, The CW’s top-rated series AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL ranked first in its time period in adults and women 18-34 and was the sixth highest-rated show on television among female teens last season. AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL returns in its successful 8:00-9:00 p.m. timeslot, followed by the new fashion reality show STYLISTA. From the creators of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL and “Project Runway,” and starring Elle magazine’s Fashion News Director, Anne Slowey, and Creative Director, Joe Zee, STYLISTA is “The Devil Wears Prada” reinvented as a reality series. With tough weekly challenges, 11 hopeful fashion enthusiasts will vie for a coveted editorial job and great prizes. Together, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL and STYLISTA make up the fall’s most fashionable night of television.

On Thursday, the heroic team of SMALLVILLE and SUPERNATURAL will continue to offer viewers great special effects and gorgeous men. From 8:00-9:00 p.m., SMALLVILLE was The CW’s most-watched and highest-rated scripted series in total viewers and adults 18-49 last season. In the 9:00-10:00 p.m. hour, SUPERNATURAL is The CW’s third most-watched scripted program, despite the highly competitive timeslot.

Big changes are in store on Fridays when The CW will offer the only comedy option of the night with returning hits EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS and THE GAME. The counter-programming theme continues in the 9:00-10:00 hour with an encore presentation of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL.

As previously announced, The CW is partnering with Media Rights Capital to program the Sunday night primetime block. Details on the individual series will be released at a later date.

For Midseason, the critically acclaimed drama REAPER will return for a second season with The Devil and his bounty hunter.

Following is The CW’s 2008-2009 primetime schedule, a night-by-night breakdown and accompanying details on all the programs.


8:00-9:00 PM GOSSIP GIRL
9:00-10:00 PM ONE TREE HILL
8:00-9:00 PM 90210 (New Series)
9:00-10:00 PM SURVIVING THE FILTHY RICH (New Series)
9:00-10:00 PM STYLISTA (New Series)
8:30-9:00 PM THE GAME
9:00-10:00 PM AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL (Encore Presentation)

8:00-9:00 P.M. “GOSSIP GIRL”
Returning for its second season, GOSSIP GIRL is a one-hour drama based on an exclusive group of privileged prep school teens on Manhattan’s Upper East Side whose lives revolve around the blog of the all-knowing albeit ultra-secretive Gossip Girl. No one knows Gossip Girl’s identity, but everyone in this exclusive and complicated vicious circle relies on her website and text messages for the latest scoop. The series stars Blake Lively as Serena van der Woodsen, Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf, Penn Badgley as Dan Humphrey, Chace Crawford as Nate Archibald, Taylor Momsen as Jenny Humphrey, Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass, Jessica Szohr as Vanessa Abrams, Kelly Rutherford as Lily van der Woodsen and Matthew Settle as Rufus Humphrey. Filmed in New York and based on the popular series of young-adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, GOSSIP GIRL is from College Hill Pictures and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Paramount Network Television with executive producers Josh Schwartz (“The O.C.”), Stephanie Savage (“The O.C.”), Leslie Morgenstein (“Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”) and Bob Levy (“Surviving the Filthy Rich”).

9:00-10:00 P.M. “ONE TREE HILL”
Returning for its sixth season to the town of Tree Hill, last season ONE TREE HILL made the unprecedented move of taking the storylines four years into the future. Season four ended as the young characters graduated high school and season five began post-college, four years later. The show also dipped into the past, returning to incidents and events that impacted the lives of this close group of friends who call Tree Hill home. The series stars Chad Michael Murray as Lucas Scott, James Lafferty as Nathan Scott, Hilarie Burton as Peyton Sawyer, Sophia Bush as Brooke Davis, Bethany Joy Galeotti as Haley James Scott, Lee Norris as Mouth, Antwon Tanner as Skills and Paul Johansson as Dan Scott. ONE TREE HILL was created by Mark Schwahn and is executive produced by Schwahn, Joe Davola, Greg Prange, Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins. ONE TREE HILL is a Tollin/Robbins Production in association with Warner Bros. Television.

8:00-9:00 P.M. “90210” (New Series)
An edgy, contemporary spin-off of the iconic drama “Beverly Hills, 90210,” the new 90210 looks at life through the eyes of Annie Mills (Shenae Grimes, “Degrassi: The Next Generation”) and her brother Dixon (Tristan Wilds, “The Wire”), whose first day at West Beverly Hills High School leaves no doubt they’re not in Kansas anymore. The Mills family, including dad Harry (casting TBD) and mom Debbie (Lori Loughlin, “Summerland”), has relocated to Beverly Hills to keep an eye on Harry’s mother Tabitha (Jessica Walter, “Arrested Development”), a feisty-but-faded former television star and a charter member of the Betty Ford Clinic. For Annie and Dixon, the awkwardness of being the new kids is made worse by the fact that their dad has taken a job as the high school principal. The school is one big culture shock for Annie, a sweet and friendly girl with a passion for the theater, and Dixon, a star athlete and scholar who was adopted by the Mills family after they took him in as a foster child. Annie and Dixon have a close sibling relationship, which they’ll need to help them cope with all the new cliques and classmates, including Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord, “Nip/Tuck”), a hot, spoiled, rich girl; Ethan (Dustin Milligan, “Runaway”), a popular jock whose abilities rival Dixon’s; Navid (Michael Steger, “The Winner”), an aspiring reporter who heads up the school’s daily newscast; and Silver (Jessica Stroup, “Prom Night”), a rebel who produces and stars in a YouTube-type video series. Even the faculty seems hip and sophisticated at WBHHS, such as smart and funny teacher Ryan Matthews (Ryan Eggold, “Dirt”) and beautiful guidance counselor Kelly Taylor (guest star Jennie Garth, the original “Beverly Hills, 90210”). The Mills family has just begun to realize how much their lives are about to change. 90210 is produced by CBS Paramount Network Television with executive producers Gabe Sachs & Jeff Judah (“Freaks & Geeks”). Mark Piznarski (“Gossip Girl”) is the director and executive producer of the pilot.

9:00-10:00 P.M. “SURVIVING THE FILTHY RICH” (New Series)
Twenty-three-year-old Megan Smith (JoAnna Garcia, “Reba”) has a Yale education, a relentlessly positive attitude and a plan to conquer the world of journalism, despite the fact that she is currently slaving away at a tabloid rag. Megan’s plan is thrown off course when, in one whirlwind day, she gets fired, meets cosmetics mogul Laurel Limoges (casting TBD) and becomes the live-in tutor for Laurel’s twin teen granddaughters in the heady Palm Beach world of wealth and power. The girls, Rose (Lucy Kate Hale, “Bionic Woman”) and Sage (Ashley Newbrough, “The Best Years”), are beautiful, rebellious and less-than-thrilled with their new tutor, but Megan is determined to win them over as she enjoys the perks of her new job ─ breathtaking private suite, gorgeous convertible and live-in chef Marco (Allan Louis, “Stomp the Yard”). Even the neighbors are fabulous in Palm Beach, and Megan quickly catches the eye of Will (casting TBD), the wealthy and
extremely hot dilettante who lives on the estate next door and just happens to be dating Megan’s estranged sister Lily (casting TBD). Completing this romantic quadrangle is Megan’s best friend Charlie (Michael Cassidy, “Smallville,” “The O.C.”), who is secretly in love with her. Despite her own complicated romantic and family relationships, Megan is committed to making a difference in the lives of her two headstrong charges as she navigates the treacherous waters of high society in Palm Beach. SURVIVING THE FILTHY RICH is based on the Alloy Entertainment book “How To Teach Filthy Rich Girls” by best-selling author Zoey Dean (“The A-List”). The series is from Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Paramount Network Television with executive producers Rina Mimoun (“Gilmore Girls,” “Everwood”), Bob Levy (“Gossip Girl”) and Leslie Morgenstein (“Gossip Girl,” “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”). Michael Engler (“30 Rock”) directed the pilot.

Returning for its eleventh cycle, the runaway runway hit series stars Tyra Banks. The show gives real people an opportunity to prove that they can make it in the high-stress, high-stakes world of supermodeling. With mentoring by Tyra Banks and exposure to high-profile fashion-industry gurus, young women of various backgrounds, shapes and sizes must endure a highly accelerated modeling boot camp and face weekly tests to determine who will make the cut as they vie for a professional modeling contract. The executive producers are Ken Mok (“Making the Band”), Tyra Banks and Daniel Soiseth (“Hell’s Kitchen”). The reality series was created by Tyra Banks and developed by Ken Mok and Kenya Barris. AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL is produced by 10 by 10 Entertainment in association with Bankable Productions.

9:00-10:00 P.M. “STYLISTA” (New Series)
If “The Devil Wears Prada” were a reality show, it would be STYLISTA. Eleven aspiring fashion enthusiasts vie for a much-coveted editorial job with Elle magazine. They work as assistants to Elle’s Fashion News Director, Anne Slowey, a demanding but well-respected fashion icon. The competitors will carry out an assistant task and a fashion editorial assignment in each episode. Each week, in consultation with Elle’s Creative Director, Joe Zee, Anne fires one person, until the last assistant standing gets “promoted” to the coveted real-life job opportunity. The grand prize includes a paid editorial position at Elle magazine, a paid lease on a great apartment in Manhattan, and a clothing allowance at H&M, all for one year, valued at $100,000. STYLISTA is from 10 by 10 Entertainment, Inc. and Bankable Incorporated in association with Magic Molehill Productions, Inc. and Warner Horizon Television Inc. with executive producers Tyra Banks, Ken Mok, Eli Holzman, Desiree Gruber and Jane Cha.

8:00-9:00 P.M. “SMALLVILLE”
Returning for its eighth season, this new interpretation of the enduring Superman mythology and its classic characters blends realism and adventure into an exciting action series. Last season, Clark Kent and Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) became the sworn enemies that comic book aficionados have always known and loved. The season also brought storylines of Krypton and the El family, including the arrival of Clark’s cousin Kara, a.k.a. Supergirl (Laura Vandervoort), and the return of Brainiac (James Marsters). There were also exciting guest stars from the Superman mythology, including Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark”) and Helen Slater (“Supergirl”). Clark discovered more about his home planet, who his parents were, what his future holds and why he was sent to Earth. The series stars Tom Welling as Clark Kent, Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang, Erica Durance as Lois Lane and Aaron Ashmore as Jimmy Olsen. Reinterpreting the Superman mythology from its roots, SMALLVILLE was developed for television by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (“Shanghai Noon,” “Spiderman 2”), based on the DC Comics characters. The executive producers are Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson, Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer, James Marshall, Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and Joe Davola. The series is produced by Tollin/Robbins Productions and Warner Bros. Television. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster.

9:00-10:00 P.M “SUPERNATURAL”
Returning for its fourth season, this haunting series follows Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers bound by tragedy and blood to their dangerous, other-worldly mission. This past season, the clock was ticking as Sam and Dean journeyed into the dark world of the unexplained to find a way to break Dean’s deadly contract with the evil Lilith. The series stars Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester. SUPERNATURAL is from Warner Bros. Television in association with Kripke Enterprises Inc. and Wonderland Sound and Vision, with executive producers Eric Kripke (“Boogeyman”), McG (“Charlie’s Angels,” “The O.C.”), Robert Singer (“Midnight Caller”) and Kim Manners (“The X-Files”).

Returning for its fourth season, this hit comedy was inspired by the childhood experiences of comedian Chris Rock. Rock also serves as the narrator of this hilarious, touching story of a teenager growing up as the eldest of three children in Brooklyn, New York during the early 1980s. Uprooted to a new neighborhood and bused into a predominantly white middle school two hours away by his strict, hard-working parents, Chris struggled to find his place. At the conclusion of season three, Chris’ excitement over graduation from middle school was ruined when his best friend announced his plans to attend a different high school in the fall. This responsible, resilient adolescent brings a distinct, funny spin to his everyday trials and traumas, in the Golden Globe- and People’s Choice-nominated comedy EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS. The single-camera comedy series stars Tyler James Williams (“Unaccompanied Minors”) as Chris, Terry Crews (“The Longest Yard”) as Julius, Tichina Arnold (“Martin”) as Rochelle, Tequan Richmond (“Ray”) as Drew, Imani Hakim as Tonya and Vincent Martella (“Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo”) as Greg. EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS is a production of CBS Paramount Network Television in association with Chris Rock Enterprises, Inc. and 3 Arts Entertainment. Co-creator and narrator Chris Rock (“Head of State”), co-creator and writer Ali LeRoi (“Head of State”), Michael Rotenberg (“King of the Hill”), Dave Becky (“Lucky Louie”) and Don Reo (“My Wife and Kids”) are executive producers.

8:30-9:00 P.M. “THE GAME”
Returning for its third season, THE GAME is a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of the wives and girlfriends of pro-football players. This comedy tackles the way these women deal with egos, groupies and image consultants and shows how THE GAME is really played among the women behind the athletes. The series stars Tia Mowry (“Sister, Sister”) as Melanie Barnett, Coby Bell (“Third Watch”) as Jason Pitts, Pooch Hall (“Miracle’s Boys”) as Derwin Davis, Hosea Chanchez (“For Your Love”) as Malik Wright, Brittany Daniel (“White Chicks”) as Kelly Pitts and Wendy Raquel Robinson (“The Steve Harvey Show”) as Tasha Mack. THE GAME is a production of Happy Camper Productions and Grammnet Productions in association with CBS Paramount Network Television. Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier,” “Girlfriends”), creator Mara Brock Akil (“Girlfriends,” “Moesha,” “The Jamie Foxx Show”) and Steve Stark serve as executive producers.

9:00-10:00 P.M. “AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL” (Encore Presentation)
Returning for its eleventh cycle, the runaway runway hit series stars Tyra Banks. The show gives real people an opportunity to prove that they can make it in the high-stress, high-stakes world of supermodeling. With mentoring by Tyra Banks and exposure to high-profile fashion-industry gurus, young women of various backgrounds, shapes and sizes must endure a highly accelerated modeling boot camp and face weekly tests to determine who will make the cut as they vie for a professional modeling contract. The executive producers are Ken Mok (“Making the Band”), Tyra Banks and Daniel Soiseth (“Hell’s Kitchen”). The reality series was created by Tyra Banks and developed by Ken Mok and Kenya Barris. AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL is produced by 10 by 10 Entertainment in association with Bankable Productions.

Details on the original series from The CW’s partnership with Media Rights Capital will be released at a later date.

Returning for its second season, REAPER blends suspense and humor as it follows Sam, a slacker whose world turned upside down on his 21st birthday when he learned that his parents sold his soul to the Devil before he was born. Charged by the Devil himself to be Hell’s bounty hunter, Sam, with the aid of his goofball friends, Sock and Ben, and loyal girlfriend Andi, must track down evil-doers and send them back where they belong. Along the way, Sam has learned a lot about friendship, trust and the line between good and evil. The series stars Bret Harrison as Sam Oliver, Tyler Labine as Bert “Sock” Wysocki, Ray Wise as the Devil, Missy Peregrym as Andi Prendergast, Rick Gonzalez as Ben Gonzalez, Valarie Rae Miller as Josie Miller, Donavon Stinson as Ted and Andrew Airlie as Mr. Oliver. REAPER is from ABC Studios with executive producers Michele Fazekas (“Ed,” “Law & Order, Special Victims Unit”), Tara Butters (“Ed,” “Law & Order, Special Victims Unit”), Mark Gordon (“Grey’s Anatomy,” Criminal Minds”), Deborah Spera (“Criminal Minds”) and Tom Spezialy (“Desperate Housewives”).

ABC Adds Only Two New Fall Shows

Only two new shows on ABC's fall lineup announced today, so ABC is playing it safe.

With viewing down since the writers' strike, ABC has opted to bring back five promising shows cut short by the strike his year: "Pushing Daisies," "Private Practice," "Dirty Sexy Money" (with Lucy Liu added to the cast), "Samantha Who?" and "Eli Stone."

Back are "Boston Legal" which was on the bubble (it moves to 10 p.m. Monday), along with "Grey’s Anatomy," "Brothers & Sisters," "Desperate Housewives," "Ugly Betty" (with Lindsay Lohan for five shows), "America’s Funniest Videos," "20/20," "Dancing with the Stars," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Wife Swap," "Supernany" and Saturday night college football.

"Scrubs" has been snatched up from NBC for a midseason play along with "Lost," "According to Jim," "The Bachelor" and "The Good Family," a cartoon from Mike Judge (“King of the Hill").

Left off the schedule – and likely canceled – were "Notes From the Underbelly," "Miss Guided," "October Road," "Women’s Murder Club," "Men In Trees," "Big Shots," "Carpoolers" and "Cavemen."

The only new drama is "Life On Mars," about a present-day police detective who, after a car wreck, finds himself working as a police detective in 1972. The clip at looks fun: Det. Jason O’Mara ("Men In Trees," "Grey’s Anatomy") finds himself in an old school time warp with no DNA tests, cell phones, text messaging, Internet, etc. But the pilot could be different from the series. David E. Kelley developed it from a BBC series, but ABC has drafted former "October Road" producers to run the show. The cast includes Rachelle LeFevre ("What About Brian", Colm Meany, Lenny Clarke and Richard Benjamin. At 10 p.m. Thursday, following "Grey's Anatomy," it could be a hit in the making.

ABC’s other new show is "Opportunity Knocks," a reality show from Ashton Kutcher in which a truck filled with prizes pulls up to a house for a family to win, if they answer questions correctly about family members.

A video clip and fall schedule grid are posted at

Were you surprised by any of the cancellations? (Other than "Cavemen," of course.)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tom and Linda Brinkmoeller In The News

Long-time Enquirer readers will recognize the name Tom Brinkmoeller. He was my predecessor, the Enquirer's TV critic from 1980 or so (after Steve Hoffman) to 1985.
He and Linda and their two children moved to Orlando in 1985.

Nine years ago, Linda suffered a stroke. Here's an update in an Orlando Sentinel story published last week:,0,5329493.story

Pondering Leno's And Conan's Future

OK, the clock is ticking now on Jay Leno's exit from "The Tonight Show." NBC hiring Jimmy Fallon today to replace Conan O'Brien’s "Late Show" is the first step in the plan announced in 2004 for O'Brien to replace Leno next year.

No transition dates for either were announced by NBC announced, because Leno's future remains unresolved. Last Thursday night he joked in his monologue: "I'm getting inspired by Hillary (Clinton). Maybe I won't leave either!"

NBC wants to keep him someway; ABC, Fox and others want to sign Leno, who’s still the No. 1 late-night TV star. (If he opts to leave, NBC could quickly pull him off the air next year and install Conan.) See our AP story today:

So here are my questions:

--If you’re Jay Leno, what do you do? Stay with NBC? Jump to ABC (going head to head with Letterman and O'Brien?) or to Fox (would he do OK at 11 p.m. on Fox stations against local news?) or a syndication company (it worked for Arsenio, but not for most others)?

--If you’re Conan O'Brien, what do you do? Can you do the same humor at 11:35 p.m. that viewers like at 12:35 a.m.? Or must you change your style and comedy to appeal to the top-rated traditional "Tonight" audience? I think it's a double-edge sword: Remember how some Leno fans criticized him for going soft and changing his act to appease the 11:35 p.m. audience? Is Conan in the same can't-win situation moving to 11:35 p.m.? If he doesn't change, will "Tonight" show ratings drop? If he does change, will he lose his core viewers? It's a sticky situation... which likely will make David Letterman No. 1 again at 11:35 p.m.

If you're Leno and Conan, what do you do?

Dish Adds 22 HD Channels

Dish Network this morning announced plans to add 20 national HD channels today, and two more on Wednesday. Here’s the list:
-- ABC Family HD (DISH Network Ch 180)
-- Biography HD (Ch. 119)
-- Bravo HD (Ch. 129)
-- Cartoon HD (Ch. 176)
-- Cinemax 5 Star (Ch. 381)
-- Cinemax HD West (Ch. 380)
-- CNBC HD (Ch. 208)
-- CNN HD (Ch. 200)
-- Disney HD East (Ch. 172)
-- ESPNews HD (Ch. 142)
-- Hallmark Movie Channel HD (Ch. 187)
-- MGM HD (Ch. 385)
-- Sci Fi HD (Ch. 122)
-- Smithsonian HD (Ch. 374)
-- Tennis Channel HD (Ch. 400)
-- Toon Disney HD (Ch. 174)
-- Travel Channel HD (Ch. 215)
-- USA HD (Ch. 105)
-- Weather Channel HD (Ch. 214)
-- World Fishing Network HD (Ch. 396)

Two Comcast HD Channels will launch nationally on Wednesday:
-- Comcast Sports Network Bay Area HD (Ch. 419)
-- Comcast Sports Network New England HD (Ch. 435)

Friday, May 09, 2008

King Records Celebration Saturday

This is quite an eclectic gang -- country singer Bonnie Lou, Otis Williams from the Charms, drummer Philip Paul, bassist Ed Conely, the daughter of country singer Cowboy Copas and Syd Nathan's nephew...

They'll all be at the main Public Library downtown Saturday for two panel discussions celebrating the 65th anniversary of King Records, Syd Nathan's old Evanston studio where James Brown recorded.

--At 1 p.m., King Records 1950s country and bluegrass music will be discussed by Bonnie Lou; Steve Halper, nephew of King Records founder Syd Nathan; Cathy Hughes, daughter of country singer Cowboy Copas; Shake It Records owner Darren Blase; and music historians Randy McNutt and John Simon.

--At 3 p.m., Williams talks about King Records' R&B years with Paul, Conley and music historian Larry Nager.

--At 11 p.m., on WVXU-FM's (91.7) "Blues" show, Lee Hay will replay an hour of her "King Records: Cincinnati Legacy" documentary with Williams, the R&B singer from The Chamns, a vocal group discovered while students at Withrow High School. On 11 p.m. on May 24, she'll repeat her "King Records" hour with Bonnie Lou and guitarist Rusty York.

Those who come downtown Saturday probably won't be disappointed. The library's 2006 panel on "Twilight Zone" writer Rod Serling's Cincinnati days was excellent. This one sounds like lots of fun too.

Setters Leaves WLW For WLWT

After free-lancing for WLWT-TV (Channel 5) since October, Andrew Setters has made the move permanent.

Today is Setters' last day as WLW-AM (700) assignment editor and anchor. The 10-year radio veteran starts Monday at Channel 5 as an evening news general assignment reporter.

"The biggest change is that I won't be able to wear jeans to work, like I've been able to get away with at the Big One. But after years of working early mornings, I'll finally get to sleep in some," says Setters, 31.

"I've had 10 years with 700 WLW and the people here are great, so yeah, it was a tough decision to leave... Over the past six months of working both jobs, everyone with Ch 5 has been really welcoming. I'm eager to get started, and I can't wait to see what comes next."

I thought Setters adapted very well to TV, as others have done over the years (John London, Brian Patrick, Tricia Macke, Edie Magnus, Dan Carroll). He should prove to be a valuable, knowledgeable addition to News 5.

Confessions Of A Recovering Survivor Addict

I confess: After eight years of watching "Survivor" -- from the first one with Rudy and Richard Hatch -- I scratched it off my Must See TV list this year. Maybe it had something to do with Jonny Fairplay being back on this Fans vs. Favorites game this time.

I didn't go completely cold turkey (my wife continued to watch religiously), and I'm glad. I had seen enough to want to watch last night's episode -- which turned out to be perhaps the best in "Survivor" history. The four remaining women convinced idiot fan Erik Reichenbach (a 22-yr-old art student/ice cream shop employee from Michigan) to give up his immunity necklace.... and then they voted him out (4-1) while the jury howled. It was a classic Survivor moment!

I really don't care which woman wins the million in the two-hour finale Sunday (8-10 p.m., Ch 12, 7) from past players Cirie Fields, Parvati Shallow, Amanda Kimmel or newcomer Natalie Bolton. But I’ll definitely watch the reunion show at 10 p.m. for the discussion on last night's stunning vote.

Are you still watching "Survivor?" Was this season better than most? Did you laugh out loud last night at Erik's stupidity?

Randy Michaels Running All Of Tribune

This should be fun to watch: Randy Michaels, the former Q102/WLW-AM/Jacor/Clear Channel executive has been named chief operating officer of the Tribune Company by Sam Zell, Tribune chairman and CEO.

Michaels will be responsible for all aspects of the company's publishing, broadcasting and internet divisions. He had been executive VP and CEO of the Tribune's interactive and broadcast divisions since Dec. 20, when Zell took over the company. Zell helped Michaels revive Jacor here.

I'm sure some people who remember Randy's infamous pranks question the move. They might worry that the Chicago Tribune will never be the same. But I'm not surprised by the move. This could be very good for all the Tribune divisions. One thing many people don't know about Michaels is his great love for media history, despite his snippy comments at times. (When he took WLW-AM in 1983, he said he was going to teach the grand old lady of Cincinnati broadcasting "how to dance," as I recall. Back then it was ranked like #7, despite its 50,000-watt blowtorch signal.)

His old Jacor office in Covington was lined with framed newspaper pages about WLW-AM history and Powel Crosley. You can name a city, and he'll rattle off the stations call letters, frequencies and probably the antenna height. If he has the same passion for newspaper history, the Trib will do fine. He's also a media visionary (wasn't he the one who registered internet domains for Q102 and other rival stations in the 1990s?), and should be what the company needs at this time. In the Tribune news release Michaels said: "People are saying newspapers are dead.... Despite the problems, we have world-class brands with unlimited potential."

During his years in Cincinnati, he kept all competitors on their toes. The same likely will happen in all the Tribune markets. This should be fun to watch.

Here's the AP story:

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Loggins Robs The Cradle On MTV

I'll be honest, I was never a big Twister Sister fan, but I think Dee Snider's son got robbed on MTV's "Rock the Cradle" tonight.

Jesse Blaze Snider lost in the fan vote to Crosby Loggins, Kenny's son.

Based on showmanship alone, Snider was the better of the two. His shirtless rocked-out version of Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time" was great fun to watch. But the subdued Loggins won the $100,000 and recording contract. You can call him the reluctant winner. He told the Associated Press after the April 3 premiere that he had turned down an invitation to appear on the show three times, before finally agreeing to do it.

My guess is that Jesse Blaze Snider, who writes and sings with Baptized by Fire (BFX) will have a long rock career... maybe as long as his father's...

Did you watch? Did you think Loggins deserved to win?

Paul Harvey Returns Today

For you Paul Harvey fans: WDJO-AM (1160) website says the station will start Harvey reports today at noon and 5:55 p.m. (for the "Rest of the Story"). Harvey reports are scheduled to air at 6:40 a.m., 8:40am, 12 noon and 5:55 p.m.

Harvey, 89,hasn't returned to broadcasting yet. Ron Chapman of Dallas was still subbing for him yesterday. Harvey's wife died last Saturday. He has been off the air since Feb. 29.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Dara Lost It All On Jeopardy

Now I can figure out why Dara Lind, a Yale junior from Symmes Township, never called me back to talk about her experience on the "Jeopardy!" college championship.

Lind, 20, a 2005 Sycamore High Schgool graduate, lost it all on "Jeopardy!" tonight.
She finished last with no money in the first round.

Lind incorrectly guessed that John Quincy Adams – not Theodore Roosevelt – was the youngest U.S. president to leave the White House in final Jeopardy.

The daughter of Joel and Sherry Lind of Symmes Township was in third place most of the night behind eventual winner Joey Beachum, 22, of Mississippi State University, and Andrew Chung, 20, of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif.

In the first round, Lind missed four of 10 questions to finish with negative $100. By the end of the second round she was up to $11,900 – but that was $7,900 behind Beachum. The two-week tourney ends May 16.

No Sports? Not Us

I guess we'll never know which TV station was considering dropping sports from local newscasts.

None of the local TV stations say they know anything about a telephone survey conducted here last month asking viewers how they would feel if a local TV station dropped sports. Some other stations in other cities have done this over the years, including WSYX-TV (Channel 6) in Columbus in 2005.

I've spoken to all the stations, and here’s what they said:

Ch. 9 GM Bill Fee: "It's not us."

Ch. 5 News Director Brennan Donnellan: "No, we are not considering that and we're not doing a survey."

Ch. 12 News Director Elbert Tucker: "It's not us."

Ch. 19 GM John Long: "There is no interest in dropping sports here. This is not a new idea. This has been going around for a long time." (Some news consultants recommend it "because of the plethora of sports news" on ESPN, other cable channels and the web.

I think dropping sports reports in this city – with high interest in pro, college and high school sports – would be a huge mistake... except maybe in the 5-6:30 weekday p.m. block some days. I think the station which dropped sports would lose more viewers than it would gain by the boast of having "more news." Don’t you?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hey, That's Jay!

If you're watching the "Today" show Thursday, keep an eye out for Jay Shatz, the Covington-based TV producer and former Channel 9 reporter.

Shatz, who produces the "Desperate Landscapes" yard make-over show for Scripps' DIY Network, will be watching four finalists from the "America’s Most Desperate Landscape" contest compete on a Rockefeller Plaza obstacle course. (He thinks it will be in the 8:30 a.m. half-hour.) The four contestants are from Wayne, Penn.; Miami, Fla.; Fontana, Calif.; and Ohio’s Sagamore Hills Township, near Akron.

The winner receives a free yard makeover from "Desperate Landscapes," DIY's top-rated series. On June 5, "Today” will broadcast from the winner's beautiful new yard. Then Shatz will produce a one-hour "Desperate Landscapes" speical for DIY about the transformation of the winner's property. For more info about the series – which has been shot mostly in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky – go to

What a promotional coup for Shatz and his JayTV shop in Covington. Two live shots on TV’s No. 1 morning show! Way to go, Jay!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Garrison Keillor Coming Back To Music Hall in November

Warm up the Powdermilk Biscuits, Garrison Keillor is coming back to Music Hall. Keillor broadcasts his second Thanksgiving weekend "A Prairie Home Companion" in three years from Music Hall on Nov. 29.

Keillor is truly enamored with Music Hall. He called it "the grandest hall we've ever done our show in" on his broadcast here on Nov. 25, 2006.

Folks at Cincinnati Public Radio (WGUC-FM/WVXU-FM) figured they had a good chance of getting Keillor back here from his open display of affection for Music Hall and Cincinnati’s rich music/radio history. Before the show, he walked off the stage and into the center of the hall to look up at the "painted dome of naked ladies." After the show, Keillor mingled with people and signed autographs -- which he seldom does. Still, getting him twice in three years is a coup.

Tickets will be available Oct. 1 to members of Cincinnati Public Radio stations (WVXU-FM, WGUC-FM). Last time they sold out in several hours. (You can become a member during the stations' fund drives later this month. Of course.)

In 2006, Keillor reminisced about Rosemary Clooney, Roy Rogers, King Records, Chet Akins, Doris Day and WLW-AM. How can he top that? Maybe by showcasing some of Cincinnati's great musical talent? Maybe Over the Rhine? Bonnie Lou? Katie Reider?

WVXU-FM may be asked for talent suggestions, so let's start a list. Who would be a good fit for "A Prairie Home Companion?"

Omar Williams, Rest In Peace

Dayton has lost a TV icon. Long-time Channel 2 sports anchor Omar Williams died Saturday at his Florida home. He was 83.

Williams was a Cincinnati native -- all my years doing this job, I never knew that until I read his obituary -- who worked at Channel 2 for 45 years (1951-96). Channel 2 called him "The Dean of Dayton Sportscasters." If you wanted to see Dayton area sports, or get a Dayton take on Cincinnati sports, you either tuned in Omar Williams on Channel 2 or Tom Hamlin on Channel 7.

Here's the Dayton Daily News obituary:`N\NUOcNYUbTTUWUXUaUZTZU\UWUcUVUZU]UcUcTYWYWZV

Angel Harvey, Rest In Peace

Lynne "Angel" Harvey, wife of newscaster Paul Harvey, died Saturday after a year-long battle with leukemia.

She developed and edited her husband's "The Rest of the Story" feature. In 1997, she became the first producer inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.

Born Lynne Cooper in St. Louis, she met Paul Harvey when they both worked at a radio station in her hometown in 1939. They married in 1940, and moved to Chicago in 1945, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Paul Harvey has been off the air since Feb. 29. Funeral services are Tuesday in Chicago.

Here's the Sun-Times obit:,CST-NWS-xharv04.article

Here's the story on Harvey's website:

One quick related note: Paul Harvey reports have not debuted on WDJO-AM (1160) yet because the station is still waiting on a satellite hook-up with ABC News, says Rodger Kay, WDJO-AM operations director.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Tim Russert's Campaign Sidetrip To Cincinnati

When Tim Russert agreed six months ago to speak at the Plum Street Temple fundraiser tonight, he figured it would be a quick trip to Cincinnati and back to NBC's Washington bureau. But it turns out tonight's speech conveniently fit into his travels. Tomorrow he's headed to Indiana to cover the primary Tuesday. His guest Sunday on "Meet The Press" will be Barack Obama.

Russert was very insightful, as expected, and funny (telling a couple Yogi Berra stories, and wonderful stories about his father.)

But he was not opinionated.

That surprised me. I figured he might offer a personal take on Hillary Clinton, Obama or McCain. But he didn't. Actually, he made a very persuasive argument on why he remains an objective reporter (unlike many cable news hosts who align themselves with a party or candidate), and why "Meet The Press" continues to have an important role in American political discourse in our talk radio, 24/7 cable news and Internet culture.

"Unlike talk radio, I don't offer an opinion. My job is to elicit opinions, so the public can make up its mind," he says. His Sunday TV show is one of the few places to see a one-hour interview with an objective journalist. He studies the candidates and issues, and then politely asks probing questions. It's a good way to measure a leader. "You cannot make tough decisions, if you can't answer tough questions."

Russert, by the way, implored Ohio voters to do their homework: "You are a swing state. Ohio is a pivotal state. It's essential you get to know the candidates. Immerse yourself in their stance on the issues. Who do you trust? Who could be the best agent for change?"

I can't say I was a regular Russert viewer before tonight, but he really impressed me. And I felt a kinship to him, a son of a hard-working blue-collar guy (from Buffalo). I'll definitely watch his Obama interview Sunday... and make a point to watch his analysis on the "NBC Evening News," "Today" show and election nights.

Are you a Russert fan? Who's your favorite election analyst and why?

WEBN Down, Eddie & Tracy Up In Ratings

Some big surprises for you in the winter quarter radio ratings in today:

--Eddie Finger and Tracy Jones won the afternoon slot with all listeners (age 12 and up) and the 25-54 demographic advertisers want. Some of you will be surprised too (from reading your posts about them on this blog for four months).

--WEBN-FM, Fingers old rock station down the hall from WLW-AM, had its worst ratings book in years, maybe decades.

First a look at the awful numbers for 'EBN:
WEBN-FM, which has won five consecutive "rock stations of the year" awards from the "Radio & Records" trade magazine, dropped to No. 8 among all stations, losing 34 percent of its audience from fall.

Faced with new competition from WFTK-FM (96.5 ROCK), WEBN-FM fell to No. 4 with young listeners (ages 18-34) and No. 7 with the demographic (ages 25-54) sought by most advertisers.

Fingers' old "Dawn Patrol" was beaten by the Tom Gamble and Richard Skinner, the "Two Angry Guys" morning show on 96.5 ROCK. The "Two Angries" were third, behind WIZF-FM (101.1) and WKFS-FM (KISS 107.1) morning shows, while the "Dawn Patrol" was No. 7, possibly an all-time low.

Already Fingers' replacement has been dropped from the "Dawn Patrol." Jason "Shroom" Schumm was sent to the 7-11 p.m. shift three weeks ago, with music director Dave Fritz moving to mornings. (Has anyone noticed a difference?)

As for Eddie and Tracy, they've opened with a grand slam, according to Arbitron. They had a bigger audience share their first quarter than Burbank has had in any quarter the last 2-1/2 years. They've drawn 70,000 more listeners to WLW afternoons, according to Darryl Parks, FM operations director. The audience is younger and more female than Burbank's listeners. You've heard the women callers.

Says Tracy Jones: "Darryl Parks deserves a lot of credit."

Yes, he does. He took a chance, did something different, and the show is a success. He could have continued the comedy with Duke and somebody new, but he decided to pair two well-known guys who never worked together. Will any of you finally give him any credit?

And what would you do with WEBN?

Help Put Gary Burbank Into The Hall Of Fame

Wake up, Uhmerika, and help get Gary Burbank into the Radio Hall of Fame.

Online voting started today at Chicago's Museum of Broadcasting website for the retired WLW-AM afternoon personality. He's one of four nominees as a "Local or Regional Pioneer."

And he'll need all the help he can get. His competition includes long-time Philadelphia Phillies announcer Harry Kalas, Los Angeles DJ Charlie Tuna and Iowa Hawkeyes announcer Jim Zabel.

Unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame voting, you can only vote once. There are four categories. To me, the most interesting balloting will be in the "National Active" category with "Focus On The Family" founder James Dobson against Howard Stern, Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Bob Costas. The four "National Pioneer" nominees are talk hosts Barry Farber and Art Bell, country music icon Ralph Emery and the old "Gang Busters" radio series. Winners will be honored Nov. 8 in Chicago.

Marty Brennaman was inducted in 2005. Also in the Radio HOF are several other baseball announcers -- Bob Uecker, Milo Hamilton, Ernie Harwell, Jack Brickhouse -- so Burbank has stiff competition.

Voting ends at midnight July 15. Spread the word!

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