The plight of the sitcom

  What’s happening to the cherished genre these days isn’t funny as it could be reduced to nothing Seven weeks ago, CNN launched The History Of The Sitcom – an unnecessary eight-part documentary on a subject covered to death through books, PBS, and other media celebrating the form stretching from the days of I Love Lucy on your black-and-white mono […]

T Dog’s Media Notepad: President Obama grants interviews with Chicago TV stations

President Obama invites Chicago stations to interview him; Robin Rock returns; ABC 7 launches new anti-fake news campaign; Dish Nation returns for two more seasons.; NBC launches new station in Boston; TCA’s Winter Tour begins  Thursday was a big day for local Chicago TV news operations as in an unprecedented move, outgoing President Obama gave interviews with all five local […]

T Dog’s Grab Bag: A Boatload of Renewals

– Good Friday was a month ago, but it was really a Good Friday for several bubble shows on network schedules as eight shows were officially picked up for next season: NBC’s Parenthood, Chicago Fire, Revolution, Grimm, and Law & Order: SVU; CW’s Hart Of Dixie and Beauty And The Beast; and CBS’ Two And A Half Men, though without […]

Showtime, CW at TCA: Dexter and the Beast

The CW and Showtime – both owned by CBS Corporation – held their presentations at the Television Critics Association Press Tour on Monday, featuring shows about a serial killer, a superhero, and a beast (don’t get these guys in the same room.) – CW executive session: CW network chief Mark Pedowitz has to make the best of many bad situations: […]

Andy Griffith dies

Fans are mourning the loss of television legend Andy Griffith, who died in his North Carolina home on Tuesday at the age of 86. His career spans multiple decades, several movies, and two long-running TV shows. Griffith was born in Mount Airy, N.C. – the town that provided the inspiration for fictional Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show. Griffith got […]

Hallmark cancels “The Martha Stewart Show”

I guess this isn’t a good thing. Hallmark Channel announced the cancellation of the low-rated The Martha Stewart Show after two low-rated seasons. Part of the reason for the program’s demise was due to the series’ high production costs, which included renting an expensive studio to shoot the show in New York City. This story was first reported on Wednesday […]

WISN expands 10 p.m. newscast

In a first for a Midwest Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) affiliate, Hearst’s WISN-TV in Milwaukee is expanding its 10 p.m. newscast from 35 minutes to an hour beginning January 24. The move sends NBC Universal’s Access: Hollywood (the current 10:35 p.m. occupant) to 12:30 a.m., after Jimmy Kimmel Live. Nightline retains the 11:05 p.m. slot, but now gets to […]

New syndicated fare off to slow start; "Martha" tanks on Hallmark

It’s not a good thing: “Golden Girls” reruns had more viewers than Martha’s relocated show on Hallmark. The new crop of first-run and off-network/cable fare has gotten off to a slow start with the The Nate Berkus Show leading the pack with a 1.2 household Nielsen Overnight rating in its first two days. How low is this number? Back in […]

Rue McClanahan dies

I guess celebrity deaths come in threes. Just a week after Gary Coleman and Dennis Hopper passed away, now comes word on the death of Rue McClanahan, who died this morning after complications from a stroke. She was 76. McClanahan’s TV credits include Maude, Apple Pie (a two-episode ABC sitcom clunker from 1978), and Mama’s Family, but McClanahan is best […]

Beautiful Betty tops Chicago ratings

Ugly Betty may be gone from the airwaves (did anyone notice?) but Beautiful Betty is blossoming! Betty White’s much ballyhooed hosting gig on Saturday Night Live – inspired by a Facebook campaign, won its time period with a 8.8 overnight metered-market household rating, according to Nielsen. Among adults 18-49 in the 25 Local People Meter markets, the program averaged a […]

T Dog’s Four Pack

The best and the worst in media for the week ending May 9: Winners: – Perfect. The City of Oakland and the word “perfect” often goes together as Playboy models and science-fiction conventions. But the city gets to celebrate for one day as Dallas Breaden pitched a perfect game Sunday for the hometown Athletics against the Tampa Bay Rays. Now […]

Bea Arthur dies

Emmy-winning and Tony-winning actress Beatrice Arthur (better known as Bea Arthur) died today at her Los Angeles home due to complications from cancer. She was 86. Ms. Arthur starred as the lead in two major influential TV series: Maude (CBS, 1972-78) and The Golden Girls (NBC, 1985-92.) She was also a stage actress, who had performed on Broadway. Before her […]

CBC slammed for airing American shows. Again.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before… The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is being criticized by governmental leaders and actor unions for airing too much American programming on the public network – a practice it has been doing for decades. The controversy comes as CBC dropped two Canadian-produced newsmagazine/lifestyle shows: Fashion File and Steven & Chris, due to low ratings and […]

Estelle Getty, R.I.P.

With all that’s been going on the last couple of days, forgive me if I didn’t mention the passing of The Golden Girls‘ Estelle Getty. She died a few days ago at the age of 84 due to complications from dementia. Of course, Getty played Sophia on the long-running NBC hit show from 1985 to 1992, and also appeared on […]