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Veteran forecaster Goosmann, young sports anchor Williams leaving CW33

Dallas-based CW33 is losing a pair of full-timers from its newsroom. Plus, the station went anchor-less with Monday's 9 p.m. newscast. Hmm. All the details are on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Also, Monday's Olympics-dominated D-FW Nielsen ratings are in.
Ed Bark

Making a case for NBC's delayed prime-time packaging -- on cnn.com

There's little if any upside to defending NBC's tape-delayed prime-time coverage of the 2012 Olympics, which as of now are on track to become the most-watched Summer Games ever among U.S. audiences. But I try to give the Peacock a break in a requested, unpaid guest commentary for cnn.com. It's already taking a hammering, although many respondents seem to be ripping NBC's U.S.-centric coverage rather than the prime-time packaging. Short memories. The former storied network of the Olympics, ABC, unfailingly took the same "homer" approach.

Anyway, here's a link to the CNN commentary, which is right here.
Ed Bark

Olympics a ratings juggernat here, there, everywhere (although D-FW doesn't make Top 20 list

Friday's prime-time Olympic opening ceremonies crushed all competing programming (including the Texas Rangers) in D-FW. So did the first two nights of competition. But only one Texas city ranks in Nielsen's national top 20 in terms of percentages of potential viewers. And it's not D-FW. Our report is on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Plus, we have a buffet of tasty tidbits on the TV Bulletin Board page.
Ed Bark

London's opening ceremonies: pip pip (no hooray)

Expected to come up short of 2008's awe-some Beijing spectacular, Friday night's Olympic opening ceremonies accomplished that task -- and then some. Were there really many, if any, time capsule moments? Not from this perspective. Our full review is here after a long night of tweeting.
Ed Bark

HBO's About Face a retrospective look at underside/upside of big-time posing

HBO's 85-minute documentary film, "About Face: Supermodels Then and Now, has lots to say from the likes of Jerry Hall, Paulina Porizkova and 81-year-old Carmen Dell'Orefice, who's still putting herself out there. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Emmitt Smith, former DWTS "Twinkletoes," is back for more

Emmitt Smith will try to re-win the Mirror Ball Trophy he took home back in 2006 when Dancing with the Stars presents its first "All-Star" competition this fall. Also returning: former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Melissa Rycroft and Bristol Palin. See the rest of the roster and Emmitt's DWTS stats on the Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

End of the road at NBC5 for longtime traffic reporter Tammy Dombeck

Tammy Dombeck, Fort Worth-based NBC5's early morning traffic reporter for the past dozen years, had her last day Friday. A picture and more details are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page, where there's also an update on Fox4 sports anchor Mike Doocy's cost-saving road trip to Cowboys camp in Oxnard, CA.
Ed Bark

It will be hard to miss the 2012 Summer Olympics

The networks of NBC Universal, NBCOlympics.com, a variety of "social networks" and a boy named Sue will be presenting the Olympics from London, beginning with Friday night's opening ceremonies extravaganza. We take an up-close look on the Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

Network morning show drama on two fronts

If a co-host falls and no one hears it, is it a sound? Sorry, couldn't resist. But the CBS Morning News has replicated NBC's sinking Today by naming its White House correspondent as Charlie Rose's new deskmate. It happened on the same day that ABC's Good Morning America whipped Today in the key 25-to-54 demographic for the first time in almost 17 years. Won in total viewers, too. Details are on our TV Bulletin Board page.

Also, the Texas Rangers again were the No. 1 TV attraction in D-FW Wednesday in their last game before NBC's Summer Olympics begin their 17-day reign.
Ed Bark

One if by land: Fox4's Doocy will be hitting the road to Cowboys training camp

It's a pretty long haul from Dallas to Cowboys' training camp in Oxnard, CA. And this time around, longtime Fox4 sports anchor Mike Doocy will be behind a wheel for the nearly 1,500 mile trip instead of crammed in coach for the far briefer flight. Why? Get the story for public consumption -- and the real story -- on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

New minimalist TV title champ: CBS' 3

CBS launches its newest summertime series Thursdays before shifting it to regular Sunday slot. But just what is 3? Our review is here.

Also, Tuesday's D-FW Nielsen ratings give the Texas Rangers all they can handle -- from a local newscast.
Ed Bark

Sherman Hemsley dead; made George Jefferson his own

Sherman Hemsley, the actor who ignited The Jeffersons, died Tuesday at age 74. We take a look back on the Network News & Reviews page.

Museum pieces (er, seasoned vets) mostly in place for D-FW's new Texas Daily newscast

Dallas-based KTXD-TV goes back to the future (sorry, but the cliche really fits here) with retro Texas Daily news hour stocked with the likes of Tracy Rowlett, Troy Dungan, Midge Hill, Gary Cogill and John Criswell. Our detailed report, complete with interviews, is on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Also, Monday's D-FW Nielsen ratings are in, with the Rangers this time winning it all with a two-pronged cable network attack. A little "Cookie Talk" post mortem, too.
Ed Bark

Carey on: she'll be newest Idol judge

Fox officially named singer Mariah Carey an American Idol judge Monday after rumors swirled -- or whatever they do -- in recent weeks. Details are on the Network News & Reviews page.

Also, the Texas Rangers keep winning in the ratings, even when losing on the field. Our weekend "Local Nielsen Ratings Snapshot" underscores how powerful they've become.
Ed Bark

DFW television news pathfinder Eddie Barker dies at 84

Eddie Barker, the first reporter to break the news of John F. Kennedy's death on television, died Monday morning at age 84. Our appreciation of him is on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Traffic-stopping former L.A. entertainment reporter Whitney Drolen is CBS11's new early morning traffic reporter

CBS11 continued its early morning news revamp Thursday by naming Whitney Drolen as the new traffic reporter, with incumbent Teresa Frosini shifting to the D-FW station's reporting staff. All the details, and video of Drolen, are on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Prime-time Emmy nominations: still no nod for Emmylou Harrris, but . . .

The latest prime-time Emmy nominations were announced Thursday, with both the usual suspects and a tasty batch of newcomers invited to the party. But ugh, Emmy also plays very fast and loose with the best miniseries or movie category. Our complete report and analysis is on the Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

Anchor Debbie Denmon out at WFAA8 (updated with Denmon quotes)

Veteran WFAA8 anchor Debbie Denmon has left the station after a nearly 12-year tenure. The Dallas-based station quickly removed her bio from its website Wednesday. Early details on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

TBS' Sullivan & Son: bellying up to this bar could cause your brain to go belly up

TBS, the "Very Funny" network (hah!), has a sorry excuse for a sitcom in Sullivan & Son. It's set in a Pittsburgh bar, and you'd really be better off drinking alone. Our review is here.

Plus, the Texas Rangers returned to action Tuesday, and the D-FW Nielsen ratings responded accordingly.
Ed Bark

Ex-NBC5 anchor McGarry still mum on future plans, but blooms anew on Facebook/Twitter pages

Her First Amendment free speech more or less restored, former NBC5 anchor Jane McGarry hot dogs it -- literally -- on her Facebook and Twitter pages. Our commentary, including a riff on basic media company hypocrisy, is on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

NBC5 tabs KOCO vet Rick Mitchell as new early morn meteorologist

"Santa Gordo" joins GMT hosts at show's end. Photos: Ed Bark

Had WFAA8 waited just two more days -- until Thursday -- it could have preempted an inconsequential rerun of ABC's FlashForward, which won't be returning until March.

Nuh-uh. D-FW viewers expecting to see A Charlie Brown Christmas and a new holiday-themed Disney special (Prep & Landing) instead were subjected to a live edition of the station's Good Morning Texas After Dark. This is naughty, not nice.

GMT, as noted here previously, basically is a collection of mini-infomercials sharing space with actual non-paid program content. It has its place, I guess, in WFAA8's overall bottom line scheme of things. But that place is at 9 a.m. weekdays, not in prime-time. And especially not on a night when you're rubbing out two family-targeted Christmas shows in favor of GMT hosts tra la la-ing about products whose purveyors buy air time to hawk them.

Co-host Amy Vanderoef almost apologized at the outset. "We love Charlie Brown, too, so we wanted to make sure you didn't miss this holiday tradition," she said.

Viewers then were invited to record the two ABC specials on Saturday, Dec. 12th, when they'll be airing from 3:05 to 4:05 a.m. on WFAA8. ABC also plans to repeat Charlie Brown on Wednesday, Dec. 15th and Prep & Landing on the next night. Sorry, but that's still not a fair trade-off.

It'd be one thing if GMT scrapped its usual format and presented an actual Christmas special without all the usual mini-infomercial trimmings.

But that didn't happen at all. The Texas-weaned band Bowling For Soup (think Cheap Trick) provided some respite with three tunes, even if the bouncy, show-closing "Hooray For Beer" sounded more like a young drinker's descent into alcoholism than a Christmas sing-a-long.

Then there was "Santa Gordo," with The Ticket's (1310 AM) super-snarky Gordon Keith no doubt crying at least a little on the inside while periodically dispensing gifts ranging from Mavericks tickets to Metamucil Digestive Fiber to a Grand Torino DVD to a picture of himself.

Keith is a very talented and funny guy -- in the right venue. But trying to make merry on GMT is akin to Ozzy Osbourne singing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen with Andy Williams in Branson. Not a good fit.

Otherwise it was business as usual. The very briefly shown "Promotional Consideration Paid For By" disclaimer in the last commercial break listed Community Coffee, Northpark Center, Market Street and the Dallas Summer Musicals. WFAA8 also notes in fine print that "it does not endorse, sponsor or warrant any product or service referenced on Good Morning Texas. Any mention of products or services is for informational purposes only."

That said, the hosts gushed about everything put before them, sometimes mangling their blurbs a bit.

"Oh my gosh, I love all of this spread of toys that you brought," said Paige McCoy Smith.

Vanderoef similarly went cuckoo over the ongoing and coming attractions being presented by Dallas Summer Musicals, although she stumbled through her initial buildup for 101 Dalmations. Earlier she cooed about the pricey fashion statements being made by three insolent-looking models dressed in designer outfits available at Northpark.

Co-host Rob McCollum in turn got all excited about the products ready for purchase at Market Street. He earlier took a taped road trip to Firsco's Main Event Entertainment complex, where a spokesman tripped over his tongue a bit in enthusing, "We have some new venues and we're thrilled to show you about them."

Once upon a time -- two Decembers ago -- WFAA8 produced and presented A Why Guy Family Christmas Special, hosted by the since departed Mike Castellucci (now with San Diego's KUSI-TV). It was hit and miss, but a good and game effort nonetheless. Not only that, it was infomercial-free.

Your friendly content provider wrote that Castellucci "should be encouraged to try more of these. They're not easy to do, and they can be even easier to criticize. Bravo for putting yourself out there, though. The learning curve won't be quite as steep if there's a second time around."

That obviously can't be said of GMT's holiday-themed After Dark special. It's all too easy to do, should be criticized and shouldn't happen again in the country's No. 5 television market.

That goes double on a night when Charlie Brown gets sacked. And really, for what?

A freeze-frame is worth a thousand words. And to all a good night.

History Detectives returns with motherlode for musicologists

The Tuesday, July 17th Season 10 premiere of PBS' History Detectives includes a fascinating segment on authentication of the guitar Bob Dylan supposedly used to electrify himself at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Dylan's attorneys say nay, but the evidence is pretty compelling. The Beatles and Frank Zappa are included in the other two pieces. Our review, and a closer look at the controversy, is right here.

Plus, the Texas Rangers roll up more scores in our weekend D-FW Nielsen ratings "snapshot."
Ed Bark

Dallas, we hardly knew ye (with final season regulars Sasha Mitchell, Cathy Podewell, etc.)

Based on a potboiling book, ABC's Good Christian Bitches is scheduled to begin filming its pilot episode in Dallas next week. Would the network even consider keeping the title? Or is it just enjoying all the free pub? We take a closer look here.
Ed Bark

J Lo leaving, too

A second American Idol judged called it quits Friday, when Jennifer Lopez told host Ryan Seacrest on his radio show that she'll be following Steven Tyler out the door. Details are on the TV Bulletin Board page.

Also, Thursday's D-FW ratings "snapshot" is in the house.
Ed Bark

Steven Tyler leaving Idol; Breaking Bad returning to AMC for a so far terrific Season 5

Steven Tyler made a surprise exit as an American Idol judge Thursday, upstaging any similar impulses by Jennifer Lopez. He let go in a typically colorful way, with chapter and verse on the TV Bulletin Board page.

Also, Breaking Bad returns to AMC for Season 5 on Sunday, July 15th. So far, so very, very good. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

USA's Political Animals a thinly disguised Bill/Hill howler (except it's supposed to be a drama)

Sigourney Weaver makes her TV series debut on Sunday, July 15th in the USA network's Political Animals, billed as a six-part "limited series event." She plays a secretary of state and defeated presidential candidate whose philandering husband used to be prez. Need we say more? We do, on the Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

Girl No. 1 for WFAA8's Alexa Conomos

WFAA8 Daybreak personality Alexa Conomos has added a daughter to her brood, which also includes two sons. Details and a picture on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Post-vacation local TV news roundup -- yee-hah! (sorry)

Stuff always happens when your friendly content provider is escaping for a while. But now we're all caught up on some intriguing developments involving D-FW television news people. They were tweeted from afar via @unclebarkycom. But there are lots more details on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Plus, how did the All-Star game do in D-FW Tuesday night. We have the numbers and also a wrapup of local news Nielsens from July 2nd to the present.
Ed Bark

Vacation's over -- and so is Jane McGarry's long career at NBC5

You apparently haven't arrived on MSNBC unless you've been suspended.

Political analyst Mark Halperin was the latest to join the list Thursday, even though he first was goaded by Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

Halperin first asked if the seven-second delay button was operative before he ventured to say what he really thought about President Obama's press conference Wednesday. Both hosts urged him to go ahead with assurances that anything too dicey would be bleeped out. Halperin then said, "I thought he (Obama) was kind of a dick yesterday."

Scarborough, previously suspended for making unauthorized donations to Republican candidates, was somewhat taken aback.

"What are you doing!?" he exclaimed. "I was joking. Don't do that!"

The hosts then chastized an on-camera guy in the control booth after he said he'd pressed the wrong button.

Halperin, author of the best-selling 2008 presidential campaign chronicle Game Change, quickly apologized both on the air and in a subsequent MSNBC news release announcing his indefinite suspension as one of the network's analysts. "We apologize to the President, the White House and all of our viewers," the MSNBC statement said in part. "We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air."

The "high level of discourse" part is particularly funny.

"Um, we're going to have a meeting after the show," a frozen-faced Brzezinski said on the air Thursday. That was funny, too.

Keith Olbermann, former host of MSNBC's Countdown, also was suspended by the network -- for unauthorized contributions to Democratic candidates. He then left MSNBC and launched a new version of Countdown earlier this month on Al Gore's Current TV network.

Olbermann should have a field day with this, provided that you can find Current on your cable or satellite menu. Countdown airs at 7 p.m. (central).

MSNBC hosts David Schuster and Ed Schultz also received badges of honor, er, suspensions, for what were deemed inappropriate mouth movements. Schuster accused Hillary Clinton of "pimping out" daughter Chelsea during the 2008 campaign while Schultz branded analyst/author Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut."

Here's video of Halperin's Morning Joe moment.

Happy Fourth!!! (as we take the 5th through 10th off, too)

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday period, everybody.

This seems like a great time to take a vacation, too. So unclebarky.com will be off from July 3-10th, with posting scheduled to resume on Wednesday of next week.

Meanwhile, we've left a review of TNT's new Perception series behind. It premieres on Monday, July 9th. And the weekend D-FW Nielsen ratings again show the strength of live sports.
Ed Bark

Oh happy days for Dallas Film Commission director Janis Burklund

TNT's decision to renew Dallas for a second season makes the Fourth of July seem like an early Christmas for Dallas Film Commission director Janis Burklund. Her reaction, and what on-location filming means to the city, is detailed on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Plus, as June begins receding into the unclebarky.com archives, here's another gentle reminder that you can help D-FW's only homegrown TV website to live longer if not prosper by clicking on any of our amazon.com ads before making the purchases you were going to make anyway. A small commission then goes to your friendly content provider.

Also, follow along on Twitter if you'd like via unclebarkycom. We're closing in on 1,000 followers after belatedly but now enthusiastically embracing the 140-character format as a means to both alert you to new posts and comment on the fly.

Thanks again for your support and readership!
Ed Bark