T Dog’s Grab Bag

A lot of items in The Grab Bag today:

– Warner Bros. and HBO has sold the sitcoms Entourage and Curb Your Enthauism to the Tribune station group for late-fringe time periods begining in 2010 on all-barter basis (meaning stations don’t have to pay a dime – just surrender half of their ad inventory to the syndicator.) Locally, you can catch both shows on WGN-TV.

Meanwhile, Tribune declined to renew another HBO property (Sex in the City) for a second cycle, meaning it will exit broadcast syndication after four years. You can still catch Sex in the City on TBS, which has three more years to go on its deal.

– Also on the syndication beat: WPWR-TV has picked up the Tom Beregron era episodes of America’s Funniest Home Videos to air as a daily strip this fall. The deal with Disney-ABC Domestic Television Distribution also includes nine other Fox-owned My Network TV affiliates, including WWOR-TV in New York and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles.

Repeats of the original version of AFHV (hosted by Bob Saget) has aired in syndication since 1995, and had three syndicators: MTM, Twenteith (who took over after acquiring MTM’s owner in 1998), and currently Disney-ABC. You can still catch them weekday mornings on Me-TV (WWME-TV.)

Ironically, WPWR aired the Saget-hosted version of AFHV from 1995 to 2001.

– What do guys locally think of American Idol? Not much. Thanks to the Bulls and Blackhawks’ playoff run, Comcast SportsNet topped the market in the ratings among all key male demos in prime-time, including American Idol and Dancing With The Stars. Adam who?

– But Stars is still a huge draw in Chi-town. Monday’s episode scored the second-highest household rating among the thirty largest markets (scroll down), with Chicago’s (WLS) 16.6 rating only behind Raleigh’s (WTVD) 17.0.

On the other hand, the return of prime-time lame duck Deal or No Deal landed with a dud with a 2.1 rating in Chicago (WMAQ), and don’t even ask about L.A. (KNBC) and the Bay Area (0.8 each).

– Saga Communications, owners of a few radio stations in Milwaukee, posted a 18% drop in revenue for the first quarter.

– Sad news: Dom DeLuise passed away Tuesday at the age of 75. DeLuise appeared in numerous movies, commercials (for Ziploc Bags), and television shows, including two different versions of The Dom DeLuise Show (1968 and 1987-88.) His sons Michael and Peter, were cast members of 21 Jump Street.