T Dog’s Groovy Grab Bag

An extended version of The Bag. Here what’s been going on the last couple of days:

Spike O’Dell signs off: The WGN-AM host wrapped up his eight-year stint in morning drive today with a live show at the Metropolis Theater in Arlington Heights. The building was sold out for the show, as people were lining up as early as 1 a.m. The show was a stop on the station’s Hometown Voices Tour. John Williams replaces O’Dell next week.

Doctors get second season: CBS Television Distribution’s The Doctors has been picked up for a second season – basically easy because most stations signed on for two-year contracts. This comes as the medical advice strip recently tied Deal or No Deal as this season’s top-rated syndicated rookie.

– Litton Entertainment has announced it will launch a new one-hour variety show in syndication next fall featuring R&B and pop star Brian McKnight. The program features comedians, musicians, and other entertainers.

This is the second time Litton has tried a variety show – it produced a syndicated hour featuring “fly jock” Tom Joyner during the 2005-06 television season.

Layoff watch: The cannings continue courtesy of NPR and Raycom, who laid off a staggering fifteen employees at NBC affiliate WMC-TV in Memphis.

Kansas City station dumps sports from news: I knew the Chiefs and Royals were bad, but man… CBS affiliate KCTV in Kansas City has completely dropped its sports segments from its newscasts after the station did not renew its agreement with Metro Sports, the video production company that produced the segments for the Meredith-owned station (can you imagine a newscast in Chicago without any sports segments? Impossible.)

Metro Sports plans to continue producing pre-season Chiefs games for KCTV, but with the team in the crapper, good luck getting an audience. Earth to coach Herm Edwards: “Hello… you play to win the game!”

Don’t forget: The second installment of Jonathan Brandmeier’s Almost Live airs this weekend over WMAQ-TV. You can catch it Sunday after the station’s sports show (around 11:15 p.m.)

Did you know? Almost Live was also the title for KING-TV’s long-running, Emmy-winning sketch comedy/talk show in Seattle from 1984-99, running before Saturday Night Live at 11:30 p.m. Reruns of the series can still be seen on the NBC affiliate. Alumni included Ross Schafer and Bill Nye “The Science Guy”.

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