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PBS Mr. Selfridge: a 10-hour PBS drama about the man who "shows early 1900s Londoners how to shop" (but I'm sold)

Mr. Selfridge, the latest miniseries flying under PBS’ Masterpiece Classic banner, stars Jeremy Piven as the American who put the oomph in British shopping, circa the early 1900s. Sounds like that could wear very thin in a hurry, but surprise, surprise. Our review is here.

Thursday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings also are in.
Ed Bark

FX not big enough for you? Try FXX

There’s getting to be way too much TV out there. Or is there? Hoping to capitalize on a good thing -- the FX network -- its owners plan to launch FXX this summer. Further details and programing announcements are on our Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

Game of Thrones renews its vows

It’s gonna be a hectic, hair-pulling Easter Sunday night in fanboy/fangirl land, with the Season 3 premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones squaring off against the Season 3 finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Add the climactic Crucifixion on History channel’s The Bible. A closer look is on the Network News & Reviews page.

Also, Wednesday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings are posted.
Ed Bark

Readers deliver to Uncle Barky's Mailbag

A new Uncle Barky’s Mailbag has been emptied on -- where else? -- the Uncle Barky’s Mailbag page. Also, NBC’s The Voice duels CBS’ NCIS in Tuesday’s D-FW ratings “snapshot.”
Ed Bark

NBC5 reporter Ellen Goldberg signs off after 6 years

Dogged nightside reporter Ellen Goldberg has decided to try something new. After six years with Fort Worth-based NBC5, she’s left the building. More details are on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Philip Roth opens up in new American Masters film (although still not an open book)

Acclaimed and prolific novelist Philip Roth willingly speaks at length in PBS’ new Philip Roth: Unmasked. There are some notable omissions, though, in this 90-minute film, which premieres on Friday, March 29th. Our review is here.

Plus, Monday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings “snapshot” stars a group of prime-time heavy hitters, most notably NBC’s returning The Voice.
Ed Bark

Viewers could use a little protection from Ron Corning's Daybreak sex talk spot

Daybreak co-anchor Ron Corning has been the heavily promoted face of the WFAA8 program for the past year and a half. But his latest spot, a sex talk featuring Corning, two kids and a pair of Barbie dolls, should have been flagged before hitting the air. Video and a commentary are on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Plus, the weekend D-FW Nielsen ratings give a boost to NCAA hoops.
Ed Bark

Brace for Chupacabra vs The Alamo, with Erik Estrada the last line of defense

Syfy network’s Saturday night cheese-fest goes above and beyond with Chupacabra vs The Alamo. Erik Estrada stars, and he’s already cashed the check. But poor Uncle Barky received nothing for braving and critiquing. See our Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

NBC again preparing to say J No to Leno

Jay Leno has never been a critical darling, but he’s still the overall people’s choice in late night. So of course NBC is getting ready to can him -- again. We analyze the implications -- and the stupidity -- on the Network News & Reviews page.

Plus, Wednesday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings yield the usual spoils for Fox and CBS.
Ed Bark

Mirren, Pacino in tune for HBO's Phil Spector

Al Pacino plays the manic title character, but Helen Mirren is the glue in HBO’s Phil Spector, premiering Sunday, March 24th. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

New computers can be hell -- especially when you're running a website

Oh boy, a new computer. Be careful what you wish for.

My 2006 iMac, the one I used to launch unclebarky.com, had been perilously running on a backup hard drive for the past nine months or so. So I finally bought a refurbished 2011 model. Been trying to clear one hurdle after another ever since, particularly with my RapidWeaver publishing system.

It’s finally working, although not as good as it should yet. But for four days, all I could do was tweet and post on Facebook if anything big came up. Something did. Brad Watson surprised his WFAA8 colleagues and station management Monday by deciding to become communications director for Luminant Energy after a stellar 34-year career at the Dallas-based ABC affiliate.

I apologize for not getting that news up in a timely manner. But a lengthy story on Watson, including an interview, at last is posted on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

You also can find the D-FW Nielsen ratings on that same page. Friday’s through Monday’s are here, and Tuesday’s are here. I’ve got lots of other catching up to do, in hopes that the publishing system will get re-ironed out in time. Anyway, thanks again for your patience. Technology is great, except when it isn’t.
Ed Bark

A&E's Bates Motel: check in, check it out and be wowed by Vera Farmiga's Mother Norma

A&E's Bates Motel, a "contemporary prequel" co-produced by former Lost maestro Carlton Cuse, opens its creaky doors on Monday, March 18th. Our review is here.

Tuesday's D-FW Nielsen numbers also are posted.
Ed Bark

Showtime whiffs with The World According to Dick Cheney

"Darth" Cheney reveals that his favorite food is spaghetti in Showtime's trumpeted 1 hour, 45 minute documentary about his life and times. Don't look for a whole lot more. Our review is here.

Plus, TNT's very nice sendoff to J.R. Ewing on Monday's Dallas made no big impression in the D-FW Nielsen ratings. Details are on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Networks' latest Pope palooza inspires a Back Channels rewind

The networks are diving into their breathy coverage of the Papal Conclave this week, treating it like a horse race, of course. But harken back to a more majestic time, when TV brought U.S. viewers live, very early morning coverage of Pope John Paul II's funeral. My review is re-purposed on the Back Channels page.

Plus, "Come Home to Channel 5" for this hokey, homey 1986 promo in times when the station had Wheel of Fortune in play. The weekend D-FW Nielsen ratings also are posted.
Ed Bark

Hello Dolly, hello Ovation

Song By Song, a new series spotlighting the music of Dolly Parton for starters, premieres Sunday, March 10th on the Ovation network. I know. Huh? What? But unclebarky.com likes to help the little folks out, and this is a nice reason to make what might be a first date with Ovation. What systems carry it, and our review, are all right here.

Plus, Wednesday's D-FW Nielsen ratings are on the page.
Ed Bark

Local, local, local

Pounding the D-FW TV beat today with stories on:

***Fox4's less than forthcoming crime reporting.

***Suzie Humphreys' dagnabbit persnickety fit on KTXD's D: The Broadcast (and they still love it for now).

***Tuesday's D-FW Nielsen ratings.
Ed Bark

J.R. Ewing's last call a downer in D-FW ratings

Two shots rang out in the closing seconds of Monday night's Dallas. And the late Larry Hagman's J.R. Ewing again was on the receiving end more than three decades after the series' famous "Who Shot J.R." cliffhanger. It was Hagman's final go-around as J.R., with a funeral set for the March 11th episode. Unfortunately, the D-FW Nielsen ratings for last night's Dallas also were pretty funereal. Get all the numbers on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Success of The Bible, Vikings another Sunday night headache for Big 4 broadcast nets

The History network landed another uppercut on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox Sunday night with big ratings for both The Bible and Vikings. AMC's The Walking Dead already has been hammering away on a night that broadcasters once dominated with an array of "Big Event" movies and miniseries. The latest numbers are on our TV Bulletin Board page, along with a few other tidbits.
Ed Bark

Pat Doney is NBC5's new weekend sports guy

Pat Doney from Louisville's Fox affiliate has been named to succeed Matt Barrie as NBC5's weekend sports anchor. Details on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Tons of Texans infest, er, seek true happiness in NBC's Ready For Love

Networks generally cast a Texan or two in their looking-for-love dating concoctions. But NBC's upcoming Ready For Love has to be a record-setter in terms of Lone Star infiltration. Get the names and their details on the Network News & Reviews page.

Also, veteran D-FW traffic reporter Tammy Dombeck is back in play, and we have a picture and a few words on her first official day at CBS11. See the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page, where the weekend D-FW Nielsen ratings also are posted.
Ed Bark

Some tarnish on that "D TV Strikes Ratings Gold" post by magazine's head man

Wick Allison, Colossus of the D magazine empire, bragged in a FrontBurner post Friday that "D TV Strikes Ratings Gold After Only Eight Days."

Well, there were extenuating circumstances Thursday morning. Which he didn't mention. Let alone trying to explain how a preceding Daniel Boone rerun on KTXD-TV (Ch. 47) also drew a bushel of advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. We dig deeper on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Also, History (Channel) goes scripted in a big way Sunday night (March 3rd) with two new miniseries, Vikings and The Bible. Our reviews are here.

Plus, if you haven't seen the February newscast ratings "sweeps" breakdown yet, it's moved to the February archives. You can find it here. The Wednesday/Thursday D-FW Nielsen ratings also are posted.

Furthermore, thanks to all readers for your continued support. And especially to those who shop on Amazon by first clicking on any of the unclebarky.com ads and then proceeding to make the purchases you had in mind.

A small percentage of money from those buys goes to your friendly content provider. And last month, one especially thoughtful reader made some pretty major purchases that helped to fuel a bigger month than usual. Wow, over $100 bucks in earnings! But it really does make a difference in keeping this website going and my spirits at a higher level. And in reality it doesn't cost you a dime to first go through unclebarky.com to Amazon territory.

Thanks again to all!
Ed Bark