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Home on the range for AMC's Halt and Catch Fire is the "Texas Silicon Prairie"

Dallas, circa 1983, is the launch point for AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, which replaces Mad Men on Sunday, June 1st. The 10-episode series, filmed in Atlanta, is about the rise of personal computers and the battle to strike it rich with them. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Playing pirates -- with John Malkovich as Blackbeard -- on NBC's trippy Crossbones

Crossbones is coming to NBC on Friday, May 30th after being held back throughout TV’s so-called “regular” season. John Malkovich stars as Blackbeard, and “Arrgh” doesn’t begin to get at his essence. Not that he’s a terribly believable pirate king. But really, who cares? After all, it’s Malkovich. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Reporter Demond Fernandez segues from Houston's KTRK-TV to join Dallas-based WFAA8

WFAA8’s newest reporter hire is veteran Demond Fernandez, who will be joining the station in June from Houston’s KTRK-TV. More details are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page, including video of an incident earlier this year in which Fernandez had a gun pulled on him by an accused child molester whiie attempting to question him at his home.

Also, Thursday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings “snapshot” is posted.
Ed Bark

CNN's 10-part The Sixties begins with up-close look at TV's role

Barring any urgent updates on the missing Malaysian Flight 370 -- sorry, that joke hasn’t quite played out yet -- CNN will launch The Sixties on Thursday, May 29th. The 10-part docu-series, co-produced by Tom Hanks, is scheduled to run on consecutive Thursdays through Aug. 7th. Our review of Chapter 1, “Television Comes of Age,” is right here.
Ed Bark

Odd couplings on NBC's Undateable

NBC’s new scripted sitcom, Undateable, premieres with back-to-back episodes Thursday night. Insert your own un-. But for me, one of them should not be “unwatchable.” Our review is here.

Also, the latest DFW Nielsen ratings highlights are posted.
Ed Bark

Ten takeaways from Mad Men's May 25th "first arc" ender

Mad Men shut down until next spring with the eventful Sunday, May 25th episode, subtitled “Waterloo.” Here are our weekly 10 takeaways, including a ranking of the seven episodes that aired this spring.
Ed Bark

Peacock punches its summertime clock with The Night Shift

NBC says it’s not going to mess around this summer. The network is offering numerous new scripted series as well as Season 9 of America’s Got Talent. It all begins Tuesday night (May 27th), when AGT leads into the premiere of a frenetically paced medical drama, The Night Shift. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

HBO's The Normal Heart dramatizes the outset of the AIDS epidemic via Larry Kramer's unflinching play

HBO’s The Normal Heart premieres during the Memorial Day weekend as a memorial to millions of casualties outside the theaters of war. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

D-FW's May "sweeps" ratings show Fox4 with most wins, NBC5 with most momentum, WFAA8 hanging tough at 10 p.m.

Our complete report on D-FW’s May “sweeps” ratings shows some big year-to-year changes in the newscast battles among Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11. That’s the case even though WFAA8 repeated as the 10 p.m. champ and Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. competitions. But neither station is the really big winner this time out. Instead it’s NBC5 making big gains virtually across the board. All the details are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Ratings for the last day of the May “sweeps” -- Wed., May 21st -- also are posted.
Ed Bark

Breakout Fargo star and former Dallas stage actress Allison Tolman will live to see more episodes as relatable deputy Molly Solverson

Her character looked pretty dead near the end of Tuesday’s very eventful and suitably bizarre Fargo episode, subtitled “Buridan’s Ass.” But although she can’t say quite how yet, Allison Tolman assures fans of the series that deputy Molly Solverson will remain vertical. A Wednesday interview with the former Dallas stage actress is on our Network News & Reviews page.

Plus, Tuesday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings are in, with only Wednesday remaining in the May “sweeps.”
Ed Bark

Fox's violent, visceral Gang Related would fit right in on FX

Premiering on Thursday, May 22nd -- the day after the end of the so-called “regular season” -- Fox’s bloody Gang Related is no summertime breeze. But it does seem to find its legs during the course of the first four episodes. Our review is here.

Also, Monday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings are in.
Ed Bark

Joe Millionaire redux -- or is it acid reflux -- with Fox's I Wanna Marry "Harry"

Three North Texas gold diggers -- er, idealistic seekers of true love -- are in the mix for Fox’s I Wanna Marry “Harry.”. It premieres on Tuesday, May 20th, a week earlier than previously announced. Our review is here.

Plus, WFAA8 hires Jenny Doren as the latest addition to its reporting staff.
Ed Bark

Ten more takeaways from the latest episode of Mad Men

Or maybe this time they should be called “takeouts,” in deference to a Mad Men episode that took its cue from a campaign to woo Burger Chef as a client. Our latest 10-pronged look at a very eventful episode is on the Network News & Reviews page.

Also, ABC takes charge of the weekend D-FW Nielsen ratings with two big prime-time specials.
Ed Bark

A lingering look at Barbara Walters' farewell to The View

Barbara Walters cut her last official ties with ABC Friday, ending her charter tenure on The View, which she launched in 1997. Here’s how it went, with some added thoughts on how she’ll be remembered. Check out our Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

Life was grand in Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself

PBS premieres Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself under its American Masters banner on Friday, May 16th. The pathfinder of “participatory journalism” is still not to be missed. Our review is here.

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

Ever heavier on sci-fi, The CW announces its new season plans

The CW announced its new season arrivals and returnees Thursday. Virtually everything is otherworldly. Details are on our Network News & Reviews page.

Plus, Wednesday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings “snapshot” is freshly prepared -- and nutritious, too.
Ed Bark

KTXD-TV's The Broadcast: still unwatched but lately with an afterlife

D-FW ratings for KTXD-TV’s The Broadcast continue to be virtually non-existent, according to Nielsen data. But the program lately has been getting some money-can’t-buy publicity after a co-host walked off during some hot debate on the televised Michael Sams kiss of his boyfriend during Day 3 of the NFL draft. Details and a commentary are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Gannett adds to Texas TV empire but doesn't land the big one in deal with London Broadcasting

Dallas-based KTXD-TV (Ch. 47) remains the property of London Broadcasting, but Gannett Co., Inc. otherwise has bought the company’s six remaining stations located in much smaller markets throughout Texas. Gannett already owns Dallas-based WFAA8 and TV stations in Houston, San Antonio and Austin. Details of the company’s new haul, including why KTXD wasn’t included, are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Plus, Fort Worth-based NBC5 has hired another new reporter, Johnny Archer. More info is here.

Tuesday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings “snapshot” also is in.
Ed Bark

CBS juggles established hits, adds five newcomers to fall lineup

CBS again made bigger news with its shifts of long-running shows during Wednesday’s announcement of its fall lineup. But five new series also are coming. All the details are on our Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

NBC5 reporter Randy McIlwain heading West to KNBC-TV after more than a decade in D-FW

Fort Worth-based NBC5 is losing one of its most experienced and solid reporters in Randy McIlwain, who will soon be leaving to join the news team at NBC-owned KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. More details are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Fox's misnamed Riot is not behind bars

Fox’s new Riot banks on song, dance and sketch challenges while its title suggests otherwise. Executive produced by Steve Carell, it premieres on Tuesday, May 13th, with Carell guest-starring. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

ABC's new fall lineup heavy on Shonda Rimes/diversity

Struggling ABC will enter the fall season with six new series and a Thursday night lineup entirely produced by Shonda Rimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal). All the details, as well as midseason announcements, are on our Network News & Reviews page.

Plus, Monday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings “snapshot” is posted.
Ed Bark

Our latest 10 takeaways from Mad Men

Sorry for the delay, but Fox’s new fall season announcement took precedence (plus a trip to the dentist). Anyway, here are 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Mad Men episode, subtitled “The Runaways.”
Ed Bark

Slumping Fox hopes to regroup with new "Portfolio of Content" (including five fall freshman)

This season was mostly a bust for Fox, but hope springs eternal at all networks large and small. Fox’s plans for this fall and beyond are detailed on our Network News & Reviews page.

Plus, the weekend’s D-FW Nielsen ratings made a wastrel of NBC’s Rosemary’s Baby remake.
Ed Bark

No longer a cowed Peacock, NBC crows about this season's successes, next fall's newbies

NBC picked Mother’s Day to announce its 2014-15 plans. The Peacock is birthing a half-dozen fall series while also making a daringly risky night-and-time switch. All the details are on our Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

NBC5 tabs former Miss Ohio Ellen Bryan for early morning reporting

NBC5’s latest hire is Ellen Bryan, who’s now working the early morning shift as a reporter for the Fort Worth-based station.

Bryan also was Miss Ohio 2011. More details on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

CBS11 news director Adrienne Roark heading West after 4-year tour in DFW

Adrienne Roark, who became CBS11’s news director in March 2010, has resigned and will soon be heading to a new post at another CBS station. Details are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

NFL draft is No. 1 pick for D-FW viewers

In the heart of the May “sweeps” ratings period, the NFL’s annual draft dominated Thursday’s prime-time and late night hours. Its only speed bump in the D-FW Nielsens was a 7 to 7:30 p.m. win in total viewers by CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.

Get all the details -- which you won’t find anywhere else -- on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page. They include draft ratings during the 15-minute increment in which the Dallas Cowboys passed on Johnny Manziel and instead chose Notre Dame guard Zack Martin with their No. 1 pick.
Ed Bark

Sunday spooky Sunday is nigh with Showtime's Penny Dreadful, NBC's Rosemary's Baby remake

Sunday night (May 11) gets the blood running with two macabre attractions.

NBC offers a two-part re-do of Rosemary’s Baby, and our review is here.

Showtimes launches the weekly Penny Dreadful, and our review is here.

Plus, Wednesday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings “snapshot” is posted right here.
Ed Bark

Former Fox4 weathercasters Ron Jackson, Fiona Gorostiza map out new Texas jobs

Ron Jackson and Fiona Gorostiza, members of Fox4’s weather team until she switched to full-time feature reporting, have found new venues after leaving the Dallas-based station. Details are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Shout! Factory strikes again with Hill Street Blues: The Complete Series

Enough time has passed to leave many viewers clueless regarding how Hill Street Blues undeniably changed the face of TV drama and ushered in a new era that’s really never stopped. Now, for the first time, all 144 episodes of this landmark 1980s NBC police drama are available via a Shout! Factory collection. Our detailed look back is on the Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

24 returns with nice numbers in D-FW ratings

Fox’s 24: Live Another Day, which marked the return of world-saver Jack Bauer after four seasons in exile, fought hard against NBC’s The Voice in Monday’s D-FW ratings. The end result was a solid moral victory. Details are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Last local Nielsen numbers for this season's Mavs

Two weekend post-season games, one pulsating and the other a rout, closed out the Dallas Mavericks 2013-14 season. We’ve got all the D-FW ratings details on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Plus, the weekly 10 takeaways from the latest Mad Men episode are on the Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

Layoffs at WFAA8, CW33

WFAA8 has laid off an undisclosed number of off-camera staffers while CW33 took some of the final steps toward its new anchor-less NewsFix program by dropping the remaining on-camera staffers for the lame duck Nightcap. The WFAA8 story is here and the CW33 story is here.

Also, Thursday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings “snapshot” charts some tough times for two new spring series -- and American Idol.
Ed Bark

A new arrest warrant for WFAA8 anchor Shon Gables, with bond now set at $100,000 by Michigan judge

WFAA8 anchor-reporter Shon Gables, who has been with the Dallas-based station since January 2010, continues to be on the losing end of legal battles with her ex-husband. The latest warrant for her arrest, issued on Wednesday of this week by a Michigan judge, increases the price on her head to $100,000. Details are on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

The Simpsons as Legos: block out some time

Episode 550 of The Simpsons (Sunday, May 5th) finds the show’s main and supporting characters throwing Springfield’s biggest block party. And they all look good as Legos. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Louie's back after an extended, battery-recharging break

FX’s acclaimed Louie revs up Season 4 on Monday, May 5th, with back-to-back episodes each week for seven weeks. Our review is here.

Also, Wednesday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings “snapshot” spotlights the numbers for Game 5 of the Dallas Mavericks-San Antonio Spurs playoff series.

And since it’s another new month, here’s a friendly reminder to help unclebarky.com out when you make Amazon purchases by first clicking on any of the Amazon ads bordering our pages. If you do that, a small percentage of whatever you were going to buy anyway winds up as a commission for your friendly content provider.

Unclebarky.com will always be free of charge. But if you’re a regular reader, this is a way to painlessly keep things rolling. End of mini-pledge drive. And thanks as always for your support.
Ed Bark