T Dog’s Grab Bag: “Futurama” to end run

Bender's not happy "Futurama's" ending.
Bender’s not happy “Futurama’s” ending.

Plus: North Carolina media news, Glee is renewed, and somehow Jim Laski gets back on the air

– Unlike the fate of The Cleveland Show, this cancellation is confirmed: Comedy Central announced the end of Futurama after seven seasons. The animated comedy from Simpsons creator Matt Greoning ran on Fox from 1999-2003 for 72 episodes, and was picked up by Comedy Central to resume production in 2010 for three more seasons.

Ratings for Futurama have fallen off over the last two years as viewers (like yours truly) lost interest. The series concludes on September 4, but will remain on Comedy Central and in weekend broadcast syndication in reruns.

– On the other hand, Fox announced the renewal of Glee not only for another season – but two more seasons. Even though ratings for Glee are down from its heyday, the series is averaging a 3.6 ratings in adults 18-49 this season in its new Thursday night time slot opposite powerhouse Grey’s Anatomy on ABC. This fall, Oxygen begins airing Glee five nights a week, while broadcasters air a double-run in syndication. No word on the fate of The Glee Project, a reality show Oxygen airs which casts one lucky person on Glee.

– Guess who has wormed his way back onto Chicago radio – none other than former WGN Radio evening host Jim Laski. On April 27, Laski begins buying time on WCPT-AM and its three FM sister stations to air his two-hour radio show, which runs Saturdays from 4 to 6 p.m. As you recall, former WGN program director Kevin Metheny hired the convicted felon to host a nightly talk show, which turned out to a ratings and critical disaster. The Chicago Way strikes again – if you can’t earn your way to a slot – buy it.

– Some North Carolina media items for you: jilted by ABC in 1978 and more recently by Fox, WCCB has now turned to the arms of a young Carrie Bradshaw for comfort. The Bahakel-owned station has signed an affiliation contract with The CW, which is effective July 1. WCCB will air series such as Supernatural, The Carrie Diaries, The Vampire Diaries, and more shows without the name Diaries in it. including daytime talker The Bill Cunningham Show and Vortex, CW’s Saturday morning kid lineup.

The station’s Fox News Edge has been since renamed WCCB News Edge, which once employed the services of Christopher Frederick, a.k.a. Brotha Fred, who now holds down the morning shift at WKSC-FM (103.5 FM) here in Chicago.

Fox announced its intention to purchase current CW affiliate WJZY and My Network TV affiliate WMYT back in January, giving Fox their tenth Fox-My Net duopoly (and another NFC team in its arsenal, since Charlotte is home to the Carolina Panthers.) Signing on in 1987, WJZY became an UPN affiliate in 1995 and became a CW affiliate in 2006 when the UPN and WB merged.

– It’s an end of an era in Greensboro: CBS affiliate WFMY announced this week it was shifting reruns of The Andy Griffith Show from its long-time 5:30 p.m. time slot to 3 p.m. and is also adding a 3:30 p.m. airing. Beginning Thursday, the Gannett-owned station launches a new consumer-investigate program called 2 Wants to Know, hosted by anchor Julie Luck, who was hired away from cross-town rival Fox affiliate WGHP.

The early fringe block is being branded as After School Andy, and has aired from 3-4 p.m. for the last month, swapping time periods with CBS’ Let’s Make A Deal, which replaced an Andy rerun block at 10 a.m. WFMY has aired Andy Griffith since its debut on CBS in 1960, as a network daytime offering (retitled Andy of Mayberry), and in off-network syndication since 1971, when it acquired Andy Griffith from Viacom Enterprises (which spun off from CBS, only to buy the network 28 years later and split from it in 2005.) In October 2012, Andy Griffith averaged a 5.4/10 household rating/share at 5:30 p.m., finishing third behind newscasts on WGHP and NBC affiliate WXII.

Since 2006, Andy Griffith has been distributed by CBS Television Distribution.