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Westward bound for another TV "press tour" extravaganza in sunny Southern California

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Le oink a la blanquette, Monsieur Uncle Barky? Photo: Ed Bark

The annual summer Television Critics Association “press tour” beckons anew, and your friendly content provider once again is heeding the call.

It’ll all begin with a bang -- a late Monday afternoon screening of FX’s opening Season 2 episode of Fargo -- before settling into a daily pattern of one interview session after another and usually a nighttime “working” party.

This one stretches all the way from July 27 through Aug. 13th. And for at least one more time, let’s try to go the distance. Which means I’ll again be writing exclusively for New York-based tvworthwatching.com to help make a few ends meet while giving unclebarky.com a break from any postings until my return.

You can find my tvww press tour posts right here, although the site won’t be back up until Monday or at the latest, Tuesday, due to a major server crash. I’ll also be tweeting my brains out -- hopefully not literally -- whenever anything of note happens either on press tour or back in D-FW regarding TV newsroom hires or fires. You can find the tweets via @unclebarkycom.

Meanwhile, I’ve left behind a quartet of reviews of TV attractions that are premiering while I’m away. In chronological order with links, here they are:

***Wet Hot American Summer (Netflix) -- begins streaming on Friday, July 31st.

***West Texas Investors Club (CNBC) -- premieres on Tuesday, Aug. 4th.

***Mr. Robinson (NBC) -- premieres on Wednesday, Aug. 5th.

***America’s Next Weatherman (TBS) -- premieres on Saturday, Aug. 8th.

OK, I think that takes care of everything. And away I go.
Ed Bark

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed.-Thurs., July 22-23) -- Last Comic Standing laughs last

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
The Wednesday and Thursday prime-time ratings had no real juggernauts. But NBC will gladly take the performances of two venerables -- Last Comic Standing and Dateline.

Wednesday’s 8 to 10 p.m. return of LCS and CBS’ 7 p.m. hour of Big Brother topped all programming in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old measurement. Each drew 91,460 D-FW viewers in this realm, but the Peacock doubled its pleasure with two hours of demographic prosperity compared to CBS’ one.

Wednesday’s top overall scorer was another old reliable, Fox’s Masterchef. It drew 202,246 total viewers in the 7 to 8 p.m. slot.

On Thursday night, NBC’s two-hour Dateline Mystery won both the 8 and 9 p.m. hours in total viewers with an average of 153,428. It drooped, however, among 18-to-49-year-olds, with CBS’ Big Brother controlling the 8 p.m. hour before Fox4’s local newscast took control at 9 p.m. Still, Dateline has been a ratings Colossus for NBC since it supplanted Aquarius and Hannibal, both of which have been exiled to Saturday nights after dismal performances.

Thursday’s season finale -- and possibly series finale -- of Fox’s Wayward Pines ran third from 8 to 9 p.m. in total viewers and moved up to second with 18-to-49-year-olds.

Here are the four-way Wednesday and Thursday local news derby results.

Wednesday -- TEGNA8 remained formidable at 10 p.m. despite another night of skimpy lead-ins from the ABC network. It won in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 methodically ran the table again at 6 a.m. and added twin wins at 5 p.m. TEGNA8 swept the 6 p.m. competitions.

Thursday -- NBC5 edged TEGNA8 at 10 p.m. in both ratings measurements and Fox4 again notched doubleheader wins at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.

NBC5 and CBS11 tied for the most total viewers at 6 p.m., but the Peacock had the 25-to-54 top spot to itself.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.ne

Incoming: reporter Anthony Kiekow joining NBC5

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Fort Worth-based NBC5 is adding reporter Anthony Kiekow, who’s arriving from Fox affiliate KTVI-TV in St. Louis after a three-year stay there.

Kiekow broke the news earlier this month on his Facebook page, saying that his last day at KTVI will be on Friday, July 24th. “I’ll miss St. Louis,” he wrote, “but this is a special opportunity to advance my career. Thank you to all the people who are rooting for me!”

The University of Minnesota graduate also has worked at stations in Alexandria, Minnesota and Dayton, Ohio.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Dallas-based TEGNA8 drops featured early morning reporter Brian Glenn from Daybreak (updated)

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By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Dallas-based TEGNA8 has decided to part ways with reporter Brian Glenn, best known for his out-and-about live segments during the station’s early morning Daybreak program.

“As you know, that show has been trending down (in the Nielsen ratings) for months now,” Glenn said in an email reply Thursday. “Management has constantly changed the tone and direction of the show. Last Thursday I was told that my performance was not what they were looking for in that particular position.”

Glenn joined TEGNA8 in August 2013 from Beaumont’s Fox affiliate, KBTV-TV, where he had been co-hosting that station’s Southeast Texas Live.

“My mission has always been to entertain our viewers. Period,” he said. “They receive enough bad news throughout the morning. Why not give them a reason to smile or laugh while informing them on all the community events? I felt like I consistently did that on a daily basis. I leave with a smile on my face and no regrets.”

TEGNA8 news director Carolyn Mungo has not returned an email sent Thursday morning asking about Glenn’s status.

“I wish the station nothing but the best of luck, and hopefully they can figure out which direction is best for them,” he said. “I have several options in and out of TV and just need to figure out what’s best for me.”

TEGNA8 has not yet hired a permanent replacement for Glenn. But Brandon Hamilton, fiancee of new CBS11 early morning traffic anchor Chelsey Davis, began filling in on Wednesday of this week.

“Gather around the ole tube!” Hamilton said in a July 21st post on his Facebook page. “I’m back on TV starting tomorrow morning at WFAA News 8 in Dallas!”

Davis replied as part of the same post, “I am so proud of you!!! I can’t wait to watch my handsome and talented man on TV again!!!!!!”

Hamilton also assured well-wishers that “Phoenix will be home again one day! Promise!”

In the May ratings “sweeps,” CBS11 for the first time ever outdrew the 6 a.m. portion of Daybreak among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., July 21) -- Knock Knock Live! a doormat

By ED BARK
@unclebarkycom on Twitter
Proof positive you’re a ratings disaster is when you can’t even outdraw Extreme Weight Loss.

Fox’s premiere of Ryan Seacrest’s Knock Knock Live went unanswered Tuesday night, drawing just 48,818 D-FW viewers in the 8 p.m. hour. Summertime’s previous runaway ratings lightweight leader, ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss, finished third for the first time with a measly 55,792 viewers for its first hour opposite Knock Knock. Mind you, this is in a market of 6.97 million potential viewers, according to Nielsen estimates.

Knock Knock had 18,923 viewers in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-old demographic, good enough to inch past Extreme Weight Loss (15,769) but possibly bad enough to merit a one-and-done verdict from Fox, which had massively promoted the show.

In comparison, the time slot leader from 8 to 9 p.m., the second hour of NBC’s America’s Got Talent, had 237,116 total viewers and 85,153 in the 18-to-49 realm.

AGT also won from 7 to 8 p.m. in both ratings measurements. And the Peacock’s 9 p.m. episode of Hollywood Game Night made it a clean sweep with 146,454 total viewers and 63,076 in the 18-to-49 demographic. Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast perhaps deserves a bronze star, though, for more than doubling the lead-in audiences from Knock Knock.

Also of note: CBS’ Zoo continued to perform decently in the 8 to 9 p.m. slot, with second place finishes in both total viewers (167,376) and 18-to-49-year-olds (47,307). Then again, it’s going against mega-lemons on both Fox and ABC.

Here are Tuesday’s four-way local news derby results.

Overcoming a skinny lead-in from Extreme Weight Loss, TEGNA8 nipped CBS11 for the most total viewers at 10 p.m. while Fox4 comfortably won among 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 also again swept the 6 a.m. competitions and NBC5 stayed strong at 5 p.m. with twin wins. TEGNA8 and CBS11 tied for tops in total viewers at 6 p.m., with TEGNA8 edging CBS11 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net