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Angry sports birds poop on us

Ratings are in for D-FW's twin weekend sports debacles, the Cardinals' World Series win over the Texas Rangers and the Eagles' pulverizing of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Read 'em and weep.
Ed Bark

FX takes a shining to Sheen's Anger Management

Charlie Sheen's will return to the sitcom living next year when FX begins airing his TV version of the 2003 feature film Anger Management. Details are on the TV Bulletin Board page, along with a few other small-screen tidbits.
Ed Bark

NBC5 adds Ben Russell as full-time reporter

NBC5 has hired Ben Russell from WHP-TV in Harrisburg, PA as a general assignment reporter slated to start on Halloween. Get the details and a look at his resume tape on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Rangers' pre-Halloween horror show a smash hit

Game 6 of the Rangers-Cards World Series set two new D-FW ratings records for the North Texas 9. So at least there's that. All the numbers are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Major league error: Fox4 tweet crowns Rangers World Series champs before Cards mount two late inning rallies

Cheerleading Fox4, home of the Texas Rangers' World Series telecasts, made a world chump of itself by tweeting victory for the North Texas 9 before the St. Louis Cardinals rallied not once, but twice to force a Game 7. The details are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Fox's Allen Gregory a nice looking but off-putting addition to "Animation Domination" lineup

Another new Fox cartoon is coming Sunday night. Allen Gregory's pretentious seven-year-old protagonist begins by soiling himself in connection with a crush he has on his crusty 68-year-old elementary school principal. Bring back the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote. Our review is here.

Plus, the Wednesday D-FW Nielsen ratings are in. And on my home away from home, locatetv.com, get primed for the Thursday night return of Beavis and Butt-head.
Ed Bark

Grimm not likely to have a fairy tale ending on hard-pressed NBC

Ratings-impaired NBC trots out the last of its six new fall series Friday night, hoping to somehow light a fire with Grimm. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Game 5 World Series win gives Rangers another local ratings first

Quite a few of you watched the Texas Rangers' dramatic 4-2 World Series win over St. Louis Monday night. How many? Enough to set a peak audience record during Game 5's closing minutes. Get all the numbers on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Jepson touching down in Cleveland after three-year grounding

Former WFAA8 anchor Macie Jepson, laid off by the Dallas-based station in August 2008, has found a new home in the city she used to call home. Details are on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Meet Racine, where the Mars Cheese Castle points the way to Kewpee's hamburgers

Freshly returned from a Navy boot camp graduation followed by a side trip to the Racine, Wis. homeland, your friendly content provider presents a brief excursion in words and pictures. Included are a cow maze, a kringle haven and other Dairyland delights. Plus a pic. of the newly minted seaman and his proud mom. It's all here.
Ed Bark

They want to take you higher: Rangers whip Cards/Cowboys while setting ratings record for Game 4 of Series

Sunday's must-win Game 4 of the World Series turned out to be must-see TV, too. The Rangers 4-0 victory, with Derek Holland pitching the game of his young life, capped a heaven-sent ratings day for Fox4, which also had the Cowboys game as an appetizer. All the details are on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Plus, Katie Couric's new Katie talk show, due in September, officially has a home in D-FW.
Ed Bark

Lengthy search for CBS11 early morning anchor leads to in-house choice -- Keith Garvin

Keith Garvin, initially hired to co-anchor TXA21's "First In Prime" newscasts, is the new early morning guy at big sis CBS11. He joined incumbent Lisa Pineiro on Monday, Oct. 24th. The details are on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Naval gazing

Stepson Carl Morgan, who set up this website a little over five years ago, is graduating from Navy boot camp on Friday morning. So off we go into the wild blue yonder, with apologies for not taking a boat. Unclebarky.com will catch up and resume publishing Sunday after a trip well worth taking. Let's hope there's better news by then for the Texas Rangers after Wednesday night's tough Game 1 World Series loss.
Ed Bark

Once Upon A Time gives ABC a lustrous fable that looks great and tells a pretty good story, too

ABC's last scheduled new fall series of the season is populated with the likes of Snow White, Rumplestiltskin, Jiminy Cricket and their modern-day alter egos. Out review of the ambitious, adventurous Once Upon A Time can be found right here.
Ed Bark

Who's the Boss? It's Kelsey Grammer in head-turning performance as ruthless Chicago mayor

After two decades of making viewers laugh as Frasier Crane, it's deemed time to change Kelsey Grammer's image in the new Starz drama series Boss. Mission accomplished? Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Second time around for the Rangers

The Texas Rangers resume their quest for a first-ever MLB championship in Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday night in St. Louis. Is it in the Cards? Play ball with our talking points -- and contribute some of your own -- on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Top 10 World Series moments/achievements

On the eve of the Texas Rangers/St. Louis Cardinals World Series, let's count down the top 10 all-time show-stoppers. My personal list -- anyone ever hear of Lew Burdette? -- is located at my home away from home, locatetv.com.

Plus, Monday's D-FW Nielsen ratings are in the house.
Ed Bark

Comedy Central's The Colbert Report twits WFAA8, treats station to wealth of free publicity

Outraged -- but not really -- at Dallas-based WFAA8's alleged refusal to air his latest "Super PAC" ad, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert came out firing during Monday's The Colbert Report. The complete video, plus the station's explanation, is on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

ABC's Man Up! de-pantses the gender -- again

Men resume their appointed tasks as the fall season's designated buffoons in the new ABC comedy Man Up!. Click here if you've got the balls to read our review.
Ed Bark

Urp, HDNet's The Super is opposite of super-duper

Everyone knows their place in the new version of Dallas. TNT photo

Note to readers: The reconstituted cast of TNT's Dallas met with the media for the first time during a mid-January session at the semi-annual TV Critics Association "press tour." We complete our trilogy of reports (a review is here and a reminiscence here) with an account of that event.

PASADENA, Calif. -- The "Big Three" of Dallas, as a co-executive producer dubbed them, fittingly sit front and center during a highly anticipated interview session tied to the fabled serial drama's re-launch on TNT.

Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy at times feel their ages amid the younger generation actors sharing the stage with them.

Josh Henderson, who plays J.R. Ewing's bad seed son, John Ross, remembers the original Dallas as his grandma's favorite TV show during the 1970s and '80s.

"I guess I was born in like Season 4 or something," he says. "I literally would run around the TV and be told to shut up while they (his family) were watching it."

Henderson later is asked how it felt to be "slapped by the iconic J.R." during a clip shown to TV writers before the cast and producers took questions from a hotel ballroom full of TV writers.

"It was an honor, actually," he says. "And I asked for more takes. I told him, 'Just go ahead and hit me.' It's amazing to see them and their characters come back to life, and to be part of it."

TNT initially has ordered 10 episodes of Dallas, with the completed first episode sent to "press tour" attendees several weeks before this gathering. Duffy's Bobby Ewing easily has the most screen time among the Big Three. And his opening scene health scare (to say more would be a heavy-duty spoiler) fuels much of the action to follow in the series' initial hour.

Duffy says the three originals are in every episode so far, with eight of the 10 hours already filmed on location in Dallas.

"That's why we wanted to do the show, because we're trying to tow the load as much as everybody else," he says. "The younger people have more stamina. But we're here and we're performing the functions we did in the original Dallas."

He then dubs Hagman the show's "Obi-Wan" before co-executive producer Cynthia Cidre emphasizes that the Big Three were never intended to be used as "bait for the new show . . . It was really to integrate them fully with the new cast."

Hagman, recently diagnosed with an undisclosed but treatable form of cancer, is mostly working half-days on the new Dallas. But he's still very much a key player, whether slapping Henderson's John Ross or spitting out dialogue such as "I hate to hit a man below the belt, but you know I will."

He re-booted himself as J.R. in order to "work at 80," Hagman says. "How many people do you know working at 80? And doing a job that he loves with the people he loves. Oh yeah, I'm a very lucky man."

Gray, who as Sue Ellen Ewing endured numerous indignities from J.R. before divorcing him, got a chance to slap him in the chops in a scene filmed the day before the cast headed West for this interview session.

Hagman blurts this out before Gray says, "Sshh, you're not supposed to say that."

"Oh, sorry, I take it back. Don't print that," he says before Gray rejoins, "But it was great."

The Big Three made two Dallas TV movies and then had a cast reunion special after the series ended its 1978-'91 run on CBS. But Duffy says he never envisioned doing a weekly Dallas series again.

"It was the heartbreak of my career because these are my two closest friends," he says of Hagman and Gray. "And I knew somewhere in my heart that we could never work together again because the three of us couldn't come into a scene without everybody saying, 'Oh, there's J.R., Sue Ellen and Bobby.' And that hurt me. I really wanted to work with them again. So this is the best thing that could happen in my career life."

"I got a tear in my eye," Hagman says, seeming to actually mean it.

"He woke up again," Duffy jabs before Gray says the original Dallas "should have been a sitcom because I laughed every single day we were on the set. And nothing has changed. Nothing."

Well, there is the matter of shower scenes. Bobby took the most famous one in TV history in May 1986 after Duffy left the show a season earlier to pursue a movie career that never really clicked. Bobby supposedly had died in a fiery car wreck, with J.R. and wife Pam (Victoria Principal) among those gathered around his death bed. But the writers brought him back to life by having Pam awaken to find him happily sudsing. The previous season and its creative misdirections were then written off as Pam's bad dream.

That was then, though. At age 62 (he's since turned 63), "I don't do showers anymore. That's these guys," Duffy says, pointing to Henderson and Jesse Metcalfe, who plays Bobby's son, Christopher, on the new Dallas.

By the way, Metcalfe was born in the same year that the original Dallas premiered.

"They really bring the history," he says of Hagman, Duffy and Gray. "We're just kind of, you know -- I don't want to say the 'fresh legs' -- but we're the next generation. We're just carrying the torch, but they set the tone."

Henderson then ups the ante, recalling his first scene with Hagman's J.R.

"If you guys saw the pilot, you saw the scene where his eyes opened and he just looked at me. I don't want to say I almost peed my pants, but it electrified the room. It's amazing to see them and their characters come back to life."

Duffy says it's all been a "seamless transition" from the Dallas of old to TNT's new day.

"It was like snapping your fingers," he says. "And we were Bobby, Sue Ellen and J.R. again -- with no interspersing of time in between."

Rangers clinch, Cowboys flinch, ratings flex

So did the Texas Rangers second straight ALCS championship Saturday night manage to outdraw the Cowboys' second straight late game loss Sunday? Get all the numbers on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

HBO's Sing Your Song is chapter and verse on Harry Belafonte's activism

HBO gives activist/singer/actor Harry Belafonte a podium in a documentary produced by his youngest daughter. It touches all of his keys without always being lyrical. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Angels sacked, Koppel signed, Rangers sag in latest ACLS ratings

ABC logged its first cancellation of the fall season by confirming the demise of its Charlie's Angels re-do. In the same week, ABC News icon Ted Koppel got signed by a rival broadcast news network. Details are on our TV Bulletin Board page.

Plus, Thursday's D-FW Nielsen ratings show a big audience drop-off for Game 5 of the Texas Rangers-Detroit Tigers ALCS. Get the numbers on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

The Walking Dead begins Season 2 run

AMC's most-watched series returns Sunday night with 13 flesh 'n' blood episodes. The Walking Dead gets a second look on the Network News & Reviews page.
Ed Bark

Fox4 promo touts its wall-to-wall "most-watched" newscasts; Uncle Barky adds asterisk (add water and stir)

A straight-ahead Fox4 promo touts the station's newscasts as the "most-watched" in North Texas from morning to night. They are if you only count certain viewers. See the spot and our fact-check on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.

Plus, the Texas Rangers lost the game but came close to the one million mark in Tuesday's D-FW Nielsen ratings. Get the details here.
Ed Bark

Corning 'n' Hansen: Part 2; Douglas and Damon, Part 1 -- in HBO movie about Liberace and his lover

Dallas-based WFAA8 continues to sell anchor Ron Corning as the saviour of its early morning Daybreak program. Dale Hansen again co-stars as the kid's Yoda in a second comedy spot.

Plus, in an unrelated but head-turning pairing, Michael Douglas and Matt Damon will star as Liberace and his live-in lover, Scott Thorson, in a new HBO movie.
Ed Bark

Rangers get a prime-time window -- and smash hit ratings

Monday's Game 2 of the Rangers-Tigers ALCS, relegated to a mid-afternoon start after Sunday's prime-time washout, extended itself and reaped a ratings whirlwind for Fox4. Get all the info on the after-dark festivities, courtesy of our latest "Local Nielsen Ratings Snapshot."
Ed Bark

A fond, festive farewell to Bert Lozano

Former WFAA8 reporter Bert Lozano, who died on Aug. 30th at age 42, had the full attention of friends and family Sunday at a celebration of his too short life. Our coverage is on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Rain dampens opening game ratings for reigning ALCS champs, although nearly three-quarter of a million viewers hung in for post-midnight final pitch

Saturday's rain-drenched Game 1 of the Ranger-Tigers ALCS championship series took a hit in the local ratings, too. But still . . . Get the details on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

Allen wrench: His new ABC sitcom is more of same

ABC has a very well-known TV commodity in Tim Allen, who returns to the network Tuesday night for the first time since Home Improvement departed 11 years ago. Any resemblances between the old show and his new Last Man Standing are utterly intentional. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

D-FW viewers warm up for ALCS by flocking to watch Yanks-Tigers elimination game

We now know that the Texas Rangers will face the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS. But we didn't know that until late Thursday night, when the Motowners eliminated the New York Yankees in a tense game on TBS. D-FW viewers acted accordingly, amassing in big numbers for the closing 45 minutes of the game. Get all the stats in our latest "Local Nielsen Ratings Snapshot."

Plus, enjoy a way-back-when ABC promo in which Anne Francis of Honey West tried to act excited about promoting the network's Friday night lineup on WFAA8 -- plus the local late night news. The video is on the Dallas-Fort Worth TV page.
Ed Bark

HBO's Enlightened indeed is one of new season's brightest lights

Not to get all Pete Hammond-y on ya, but your friendly content provider really loves Enlightened. HBO's most grown-up half-hour series ever, starring a letter-perfect Laura Dern, premieres Monday, Oct. 10th. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Modern Family officially arrives as ratings Colossus

ABC's Modern Family has emerged as a certified ratings giant after recently winning its second Emmy as prime-time's best comedy series. And that's against tough Wednesday night competition. Check out our latest D-FW ratings snapshot.

Plus, the TV Bulletin Board page has a catchup round on both network votes of confidence and the fall season's first cancellation. And on my home away from home, locatetv.com, there's an eclectic selection of celebrity tweets on the passing of Steve Jobs.
Ed Bark

HBO's elongated George Harrison documentary at last makes him the star

Although not consistently great, HBO's George Harrison: Living in the Material World fleshes out the life and times of a Beatle who seemingly saw the light as an ex-Beatle. Or at least he tried mightily. Our review is here.
Ed Bark

Shock value: American Horror Story serves up chills but sometimes could use a chill pill

FX and the co-creators of Glee and Nip/Tuck are daring to do a lot with American Horror Story. Scare up our review by going here.
Ed Bark

Four-year vets Ashanti Blaize and Susy Solis out at Fort Worth-based NBC5, which hires Turner Sports anchor/reporter to co-anchor 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts (updated)

It looks like quite a shakeup at Fort Worth-based NBC5. The NBC-owned station has hired a new 5 and 6 p.m. newscast anchor who comes directly from the sports world. And incumbents Ashanti Blaize and Susy Solis, each of whom spent four years at the station, are in their last days at NBC5. There are other additions and subtractions, too. Get the details here.

Plus, we also have the weekend Cowboys and Rangers ratings on our Dallas-Fort Worth TV page. And Debbie Denmon has returned to anchor weekend newscasts on WFAA8 while in the midst of her discrimination suit against the Dallas-based ABC affiliate.

Also, it's another new month, meaning that heavily posted unclebarky.com pages will be moving to the September archives. Please remember to support your friendly content provider by first clicking on any unclebarky.com amazon ad before making the purchases you were going to make anyway. A small commission on sales then goes to little old me.

You also can follow me on Twitter at unclebarkycom.
Ed Bark