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Heading West -- for TV networks' new season show and tell


The annual summer Television Critics Association “press tour” is coming soon to a tourist hotel not so near me.

So your friendly content provider again will make the trek West, beginning on Tuesday, July 23rd and continuing all the way through August 8th.

One last full dose should be enough. And while in L.A., I’ll be tweeting via @unclebarkycom while also writing periodically for the New York City-based tvworthwatching.com.

During this sojourn, posting on unclebarky.com will go on hiatus. It’s the first such long break since January of 2012. But we’ll be back at it early in the second week of August.

Safe travels to me and to you this summer.

Ed Bark

Scott Padgett joing CBS11 as new early morn meteorologist


CBS11 has named Scott Padgett of Miami’s WPLG-TV as its new weekday morning meteorologist.

He’ll join incumbents Brendan Higgins, Adrienne Bankert and Whitney Drolen on Sept. 16th, the station announced Monday.

Padget replaces Garry Seith, who left CBS11 earlier this month for undisclosed reasons and has not returned a message asking for comment or clarification.

Padgett’s parents, sister and her family live in North Texas.

“It feels like I’m coming home,” he said in a publicity release. “I’m so excited that I’ll get to watch my nephews’ ball games and spend holidays with my folks.”

Padgett, a New Jersey native who has a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Western Illinois University, has been with WPLG since April 2008. He also has worked at TV stations in Oklahoma City, Baltimore, Lexington, KY and Dubuque, Iowa.

Here’s a link to WPLG’s “Get to Know Scott Padgett . . .” video, in which he personably answers various questions and reveals, “I was terrified of the weather when I was younger.” He also lost the tip off an index finger while watching his mom bake chocolate chip cookies.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., July 19-21) -- slipping numbers for sinking Rangers

The post-All Star game Texas Rangers proved to be patsies for the visiting Baltimore Orioles, with viewers also showing signs of taking a hike.

Baltimore’s three-game sweep knocked the Rangers out of the post-season picture for the moment. They now trail the Orioles by one-and-a-half games for the last wild card spot and are three games behind first-place Oakland in the AL West.

Friday night’s series opener on TXA21 pulled in 165,221 D-FW viewers. Saturday night’s game on Fox Sports Southwest slumped to an average of 130,800 viewers. Sunday night’s game, also on FSS, drew 172,105 viewers. That’s a significantly smaller audience than CBS had for its Sunday 7 p.m. edition of Big Brother, which sucked in 206,526 viewers to lead all of that day’s programming.

Earlier in the season, the Rangers were drawing more than 200,000 viewers for most of their nighttime games. The numbers should perk up somewhat Monday night, when Yu Darvish starts at home against the injury-ravaged New York Yankees.

ESPN’s marathon early Sunday morning to noon coverage of The Open, won in dramatic fashion by Phil Mickelson, averaged 96,379 viewers with a peak crowd of 144,568 between 11 and 11:15 a.m.

Here are Friday’s local news derby numbers:

WFAA8 scored everywhere except 6 a.m. The station swept the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Nielsens in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 notched another two wins at 6 a.m., where it remains dominant.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., July 18) -- Big Brother paces dominant night for CBS

Showing no signs of wearing out, Big Brother again ranked as Thursday’s top network draw while leading CBS to a prime-time sweep in total viewers.

The weekly BB eviction episode drew 185,873 D-FW viewers in the 8 p.m. hour, with 111,629 of them in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49 demographic.

CBS’ repeats of The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men and Elementary likewise won their time slots in total viewers. Big Bang also had the most 18-to-49-year-olds from 7 to 7:30 p.m. while Two and a Half Men tied ABC’s second half-hour of Wipeout. At 9 p.m., Elementary ran third with 18-to-49-year-olds behind Fox4’s front-running local newscast and ABC’s Rookie Blue.

NBC’s second episode of Hollywood Game Night had a rough night with fourth place finishes in both ratings measurements. Only 15,947 viewers in the 18-to-49 age range bothered to watch.

In Thursday’s local news derby results, WFAA8 won at 6 and 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. The station also notched a 5 p.m. first in total viewers.

Fox4 as usual swept the 6 a.m. Nielsens and added a 5 p.m. win among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

WFAA8 tabs Colleen Coyle for major role on new 4 p.m. newscast and sets a start date

coyle Jason+Wheeler

WFAA8 meteorologist Colleen Coyle and anchor Jason Wheeler.

The picture is getting clearer for WFAA8’s first-ever 4 pm. weekday newscast.

News director Carolyn Mungo said Thursday that incumbent Colleen Coyle will be the program’s full-time meteorologist and also “present other content during that hour.”

“We are very excited to have Colleen in this new role,” she added via email.

Coyle joined WFAA8 in July 2010, and is considered to be a rising young talent that the station doesn’t want to lose. In June of 2011, she made a favorable impression as a guest weathercaster for a week on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Mungo also said that the newscast’s premiere date is Sept. 9th. And she confirmed a previous report on unclebarky.com that Jason Wheeler will solo as news anchor in the early going.

The newscast, which will compete against existing local news hours on NBC5 and CBS11, may or may not have a sports segment, Mungo said. “We’re still formulating.”

WFAA8 also has been advertising on its website for a new weekend early morning meteorologist. But the position hasn’t been officially filled yet.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net.

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., July 17) -- Big Brother again sets pace

CBS had Wednesday’s top prime-time performer with Big Brother before crime reruns made it an also-run.

BB led off at 7 p.m. with 234,063 D-FW viewers while also leading all network programming among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds (130,765).

NBC’s America’s Got Talent won the 8 p.m. hour with 206,526 total viewers, but Fox’s competing Masterchef had the most 18-to-49-year-olds with 60,599).

Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast then swept that slot with respective totals of 172,105 and 47,841 viewers.

Over on ESPN, the annual ESPY awards show, hosted by Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, managed 61,958 total viewers and 35,083 in the 18-to-49 motherlode.

In Wednesday’s local news derby results, WFAA8 won at 10 p.m. by large margins in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 again ruled the 6 a.m. ratings roost in both measurements.

CBS11 had the most viewers at 6 p.m. while WFAA8 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds. The 5 p.m. golds were split between NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Fox4's Doocy will wing it this time to Cowboys training camp


Put an X through this graphic. He gets to fly this time. Photo: Ed Bark

Last year at this time, Fox4 sports anchor Mike Doocy and photographer Chris Hanks were about to embark on a management-mandated, cost-cutting 1,500 mile road trip to the Dallas Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, CA.

So what’s the mode of travel this time?

“I’m flying!” Doocy replied gleefully via email, seeming like one of Peter Pan’s ecstatic new recruits the first time they got airborne. “I couldn’t possibly hope to duplicate last year’s life-changing journey across the Great Southwest. So why even try?”

Doocy and Fox4 tried to turn his lampoon-able highways and byways jaunt into a promotional plus last July. All of his competitors were allowed to go by plane, of course.

“You waste an opportunity by actually flying over all these states on the way to California,” Doocy gamely told Good Day co-anchor Lauren Przybyl during a live segment. “Let’s drive through and get a little feel for the nation . . . It’s all about America. It’s all about loving America. That’s why we’re driving to Cowboys training camp.”

In reality, he pretty much had a choice of loving it or leaving it. Either go by ground or be grounded. But that was then, and the Fox4 piggy bank apparently is a little fatter this time around.

During last year’s 22-hour, one-way jaunt from Dallas to Oxnard, Doocy and Hanks experienced the joys of the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo and the Lizard Lounge in Tucumcari, NM before making the stretch run from Flagstaff, AZ. They rode in a Fox4 company car for Doocy’s 19th Cowboys training camp.

But his 20th anniversary jaunt should be considered a little more special. So this time, Doocy will get to touch down instead of pulling in. More power to him. -- and safe travels to all.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Garry Seith no longer in CBS11's weather picture


Veteran meteorologist Garry Seith, who has been working the weekday early morning shift at CBS11, is “no longer with the station,” director of communications Lori Conrad confirmed Wednesday evening.

His bio already has been removed from the CBS11 website, and Seith could not immediately be reached for comment on his future plans.

He spent seven years at CBS11 and sister station TXA21, arriving in August 2006 from KPLR-TV in St. Louis, where he also worked for seven years.

Conrad said that incumbent meteorologist Jeff Jamison is filling in on weekday early mornings while the station seeks a replacement.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Fox4 photographer in the line of duty during high speed chase

Proud parents in pic from Lauren Przybyl’s Facebook page.

Co-anchor Lauren Przybyl of Fox4’s Good Day and her husband, Shane, are first-time parents.

Przybyl announced the birth of their daughter, Landry Elizabeth, on her Facebook page Tuesday. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces.

“We are in awe,” Przybyl said.

The Baylor University graduate replaced Megan Henderson on Good Day in the summer of 2009. The early morning show currently ranks No. 1 in the D-FW Nielsen ratings and has dominated its local rivals in the most-watched 6 to 7 a.m. segment throughout 2013.

Fox4 has been rotating co-anchors during Przybyl’s recent absence, with longtime mainstay Tim Ryan remaining in place.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., July 16) -- All-Star game dominates but scores far fewer viewers than last year's

The score was much closer and Texas Rangers reliever Joe Nathan closed the curtain with a 9th inning save.

Still, the American League’s 3-0 win over the National League on Fox took a deep dive in the D-FW Nielsen ratings while otherwise easily outdrawing all competing prime-time programming.

Tuesday’s game, which ran from 7:20 to 10:25 p.m., averaged 309,789 viewers, with 146,712 in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 demographic. Last July, the NL’s 8-0 win over the AL drew 426,768 viewers and 208,150 in the 18-to-49 age range.

Prime-time’s second most-watched program, CBS’ 7 p.m. repeat of NCIS, had 199,642 total viewers. NBC’s usually potent America’s Got Talent ran third with 178,989 viewers, but was the night’s second choice of 18-to-49ers with 76,546 viewers.

Overall, baseball still scored a big win. But the audience drop-off is notable -- in D-FW at least. Nationally, the All-Star game Nielsens were roughly the same as last year’s. Perhaps this year’s comparatively small contingent of Rangers played a role in the D-FW shortfall, with only Nathan playing a significant role while Nelson Cruz struck out in his only at bat and Yu Darvish watched the entire game from the dugout.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby numbers:

Just two winners emerged among the four major combatants.

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. and 5 and 6 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

NBC5 won a downsized three-way 10 p.m. race in both ratings measurements.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Mon., July 15) -- doubleheader split for Dome vs. home run derby

Episode 4 of CBS’ Under the Dome upped its week to week audience slightly in the national Nielsen ratings, but took a big dip in D-FW opposite the closing hour of ESPN’s All-Star game home run derby.

Dome drew 199,642 D-FW viewers in the 9 p.m. hour, a major falloff from last Monday’s 309,789. The home run derby, which ended at 9:55 p.m., had 178,989 viewers in direct competition with Dome. That tied Fox4’s 9 p.m. newscast for second place in the time slot.

The derby swatted Dome aside among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, though. Its 9 to 10 p.m. portion pulled in 102,061 viewers in this key demographic. Dome slumped to 70,167 viewers in placing third behind Fox4’s news (73,356).

Also, for the first time Monday, ABC’s 7 to 9 p.m. edition of The Bachelorette drew a larger overall audience than Dome with 206,526 total viewers. It also tied the 9 to 10 p.m. portion of the home run derby for prime-time’s biggest draw among 18-to-49-year-olds.

Fox badly lagged in both ratings measurements from 7 to 9 p.m. with its quartet of sitcom reruns. In total viewers, for instance, the network’s 8:30 p.m. episode of The Mindy Project had a piddling 20,653 total viewers before Fox4’s news high-jumped all the way up to 178,989. Fox4 management should be springing for banana splits or something, because that’s an incredible leap in audience levels. Absent any treats, the staff gets an invaluable unclebarky.com gold star, which otherwise has absolutely no retail value.

NBC’s Siberia was the night’s biggest 9 p.m. loser among the Big Four broadcast networks, with just 34,421 total viewers and 9,568 in the 18-to-49 demographic. The Peacock’s preceding second episode of Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls had respective totals of 68,842 and 28,705 viewers before Siberia nose-dived.

Here are Monday’s four-way local news derby results:

WFAA8 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming. The station also ran the table at 5 p.m.

Fox4 scored a pair of wins at 6 a.m., with co-anchor Lauren Przybyl returning to the air after maternity leave.

The 6 p.m. wins were split between CBS11 in total viewers and WFAA8 among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., July 12-14) -- CBS triple bogeys PGA tournament coverage

Sunday night’s delayed new episode of Big Brother and three Texas Rangers games showed the most signs of life over the weekend. But the potential big one got away.

D-FW ratings had started to build for the PGA’s John Deere Classic when Texas teen sensation Jordan Spieth got into a three-way playoff and eventually won the tournament on the fifth overtime hole. In doing so, Spieth, 19, became the first teenager to win a PGA tournament in 82 years. Alas, CBS couldn’t be bothered, bailing out at 6:18 p.m. for a rerun of 60 Minutes after a bloc of commercials.

The three-way playoff began at 5:30 p.m., with the local audience building from 89,495 viewers to 137,684 before CBS cut away and left the remaining 42 minutes of drama to the Golf Channel, which many area viewers don’t have on their cable or satellite packages. Spieth, a graduate of Dallas’ Jesuit high school, sunk a two-foot par putt to clinch the win against David Hearn and Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion.

D-FW ratings for Golf Channel’s coverage were not available, although it’s safe to say they dropped sharply from those of CBS.

Locally, CBS11 is both owned and operated by its parent CBS network. But regardless, stations affiliated with CBS are contractually required to carry the designated feeds for their time zones, according to those with first-hand knowledge of this policy. In this particular case, West coast viewers were able to see the rest of the tournament while stations in central and eastern time zones got stuck with the 60 Minutes repeat.

Overall, it makes no sense. But golf for some reason is considered expendable while other sports championships are carried to their conclusions. Imagine cutting away from an elongated World Series, Stanley Cup or NBA Finals game. Particularly In D-FW and Austin, (Spieth led the University of Texas golf team to a national championship in his year there), many viewers were left without a way to see a local kid make history. Handing off to the Golf Channel is better than nothing. But how many of you out there have access to it?

Sunday’s episode of Big Brother, delayed from a 7 to 7:20 p.m. start time, drew 178,989 viewers to rank as prime-time’s most-watched attraction. Earlier Sunday, the Rangers’ road loss at Detroit averaged 137,684 viewers on Fox Sports Southwest.

Saturday night’s Rangers win over the Tigers drew 199,642 viewers on Fox. TXA21’s weekly Friday night game, a lackluster 7-2 loss in Motown, still led all prime-time programming with 137,684 viewers.

Here are Friday’s four-way local news derby numbers:

WFAA8 edged CBS11 at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 notched another 6 a.m. sweep. CBS11 topped the 6 p.m. Nielsens in total viewers but WFAA8 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 and WFAA8 shared the 5 p.m. lead in total viewers, with WFAA8 again tops with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Dallas-made True Tales strips down the Carousel Club and headliner Tammi True


Tammi True at the Texas Theatre after seeing her last picture show. Photo: Ed Bark

Tammi True considers herself a little too old to take it off in public anymore.

So the 75-year-old former headliner at Jack Ruby’s Carousel Club let the Ruby Revue burlesque dancers get down to G-strings and pasties Thursday night. They contributed an extended warm-up for the world premiere of True Tales at Oak Cliff’s even older Texas Theatre.

True Tales, still awaiting a TV network home or future theater bookings, is a 72-minute film from Andy Streitfeld’s Dallas-based AMS Pictures. True (real name Nancy Myers) is on screen constantly, whether rasping her way through reminiscences or in period photos. She’s also played in reenactment scenes by a young local actress.

Asked on-stage about the overall experience of making the film, True joked (presumably), “It’s been a pain in the ass. I’m gonna turn you in for senior citizen abuse.” But she later made it clear she had a “wonderful” time and likes the finished product.

True Tales is one of numerous new productions tied to the 50th anniversary of the Nov. 22, 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas. Ruby, owner of the long defunct downtown Carousel Club, then famously shot the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, on national television. Police were transporting him to another jail on Nov. 24th when Oswald met his fate at the end of Ruby’s .38 in the basement of the Dallas Police Department building. Oswald had been arrested just two days earlier at the Texas Theatre.

True, who said she had been “very close” to Ruby, never visited him during his incarceration. In short, she didn’t need the publicity.

“My kids were really young (she has two daughters) and so I wanted to keep them out of it as much as I could,” True explained after the screening.

Ruby died on Jan. 3, 1967 after being convicted of Oswald’s murder. The film shows True making a recent pilgrimage to his grave in Northridge, Illinois to pay her last respects and reach “closure.”

One of True’s old Carousel Club dance mates, Joyce Gordon, also attended Thursday’s screening. She happily motored up and down the Texas Theatre aisle in her wheelchair during the Q&A session. The Club’s drummer at the time, Bill Willis, likewise made the scene, with the aid of a walker.

True never returned to the Carousel Club after Ruby’s death. She remarried and worked in the “banking industry” for 15 years, True said. “So I wasn’t really totally stupid.”

She now refers to her breasts as “hanging baskets,” and can still shake them some. True also claims to still be in the market for “young guys” willing to show her a good time. And if True Tales gets enough exposure, that could end up being a realistic proposition.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs., July 11) -- CBS scores with repeats, Big Brother

Paced by Big Brother, CBS continued to win big against its Big Four broadcast rivals Thursday.

For the second straight night, BB ranked as D-FW’s most-watched prime-time attraction, drawing 185,873 in the 8 p.m. hour with 111,629 of them within the 18-to-49 motherlode.

The Texas Rangers’ loss to Baltimore on Fox Sports Southwest rode in second overall with an average of 165,221 total viewers. But baseball nipped BB for first place during the 8 to 9 p.m. portion of the game while running second with 18-to-49-year-olds.

CBS’ 9 p.m. Elementary rerun won in both ratings measurements against both broadcast and cable network competition.

The network’s 7 p.m. repeat of The Big Bang Theory bested competing ABC, NBC and Fox programming, but not baseball during that half-hour. The Rangers-Orioles game also ranked No. 1 in both measurements from 7:30 to 8 p.m., but a sluggish start in the 6 to 7 p.m. portion kept the overall game average behind Big Brother’s.

NBC’s 9 p.m. premiere of Hollywood Game Night ran fourth at that hour with 89,495 total viewers. It improved to second with 18-to-49-year-olds, though, trailing only Elementary.

Syfy’s intendedly super-cheesy Sharknado movie sparked a feeding frenzy on Twitter, averaging almost 5,000 tweets a minute according to reports. D-FW ratings were not immediately available, but the film drew just 1.37 million viewers nationally. That’s well less than one-third of the audience for History’s Pawn Stars, Thursday’s most-watched cable program with 4.84 million viewers.

In Thursday’s local news derby results, two stations gobbled up all the spoils.

WFAA8 ran first at both 6 and 10 p.m. in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 swept the 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. competitions.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Wed., July 10) -- Big Brother/big numbers

Amid controversy over racial comments made by some inhabitants, CBS’ Big Brother maintained its drawing power in the D-FW Nielsens.

Wednesday’s weekly 7 p.m. episode easily led all prime-time attractions in both total viewers (213,410) and advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-olds (105,250).

Two new dramas also made their debuts, both at 9 p.m. NBC’s Camp had 82,610 viewers with 41,462 in the 18-to-49 range. FX’s The Bridge outpointed Camp in total viewers with 89,495 but lagged with 18-to-49-year-olds (35,083). CBS’ Criminal Minds rerun topped the 9 p.m. hour in both measurements with 123,916 viewers and 47,841 within the 18-to-49 motherlode.

At 8 p.m., Fox’s second hour of Masterchef and CBS’ finale of The American Baking Competition tied in total viewers with 123,915 each. But Masterchef badly burned the bakers among 18-to-49-year-olds by a score of 63,788 to 28,705.

Over on Fox Sports Southwest, the Texas Rangers’ 6-1 loss at Baltimore averaged 123,916 viewers before ending a bit after 9 p.m.

ABC went largely unwatched all night. So much so that its 9 p.m. program, The Lookout, trailed CW33’s competing Nightcap news in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Here are Wednesday’s four-way local news derby results:

CBS11 had the most viewers at 10 p.m. while WFAA8 topped the field among 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 and WFAA8 tied for first at 6 a.m. in total viewers, with Fox4 alone at the top with 25-to-54-year-olds.

Both 5 p.m. golds went to Fox4; NBC5 likewise ran the table at 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., July 9) -- Talent tops Rangers

NBC’s America’s Got Talent rose to the top of Tuesday’s prime-time heap, controlling the 8 to 10 p.m. slot in a breeze.

AGT drew 240,947 D-FW viewers, with 105,250 of them in the advertiser-prized 18-to-49 age range. Nothing else came close.

The 7 to 8 p.m. portion of Fox Sports Southwest’s Ranger-Orioles game had the most total viewers in that hour with 185,873. But Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance nipped the Rangers for first place among 18-to-49-year-olds. The entire Rangers game, which they won, averaged 165,221 total viewers.

In the have-not arena, both CW33’s 9 p.m. Nightcap news and D magazine’s 9 to 11 a.m. D: The Broadcast on Ch. 47 had “hashmarks” (no measurable audience) in both ratings measurements. TXA21’s 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. edition of The Fan barely fared better, with 6,196 total viewers and hashmarks with 18-to-49-year-olds. All three 5 to 8 a.m. hours of CW33’s Eye Opener also came up empty in the 18-to-49 demographic while the 7 a.m. hour had the most total viewers with a sub-scant 5,507 in a market of 6.88 million potential viewers.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results among the four major providers:

WFAA8 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 and NBC5 tied for first place at 6 a.m. in total viewers but the Peacock won handily with 25-to-54-year-olds.

NBC5 and WFAA8 shared the golds in both ratings measurements at 6 p.m. The 5 p.m. firsts went to NBC5 in total viewers and Fox4/WFAA8 in the 25-to-54 demographic.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Mon., July 5-8) -- Dome still dominates

Although it’s starting to crater creatively, CBS’ third episode of Under the Dome remained sky high in Monday’s D-FW Nielsen ratings.

The Stephen King adaptation easily ranked as prime-time’s top draw, with 309,789 viewers in the 9 p.m. hour. That’s down a bit from last week’s 337,326 viewers but identical to the audience for the Monday, June 24th episode. All three Domes also have dominated among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds.

NBC’s entertaining 8 p.m. premiere of Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls drew 82,610 total viewers, the same haul as the Peacock’s preceding American Ninja Warrior. Both hours ran fourth in their hours, beating only Fox’s lineup of sitcom repeats while losing to ABC, CBS and the Texas Rangers game on Fox Sports Southwest. Get Out Alive moved up to third place among 18-to-49-year-olds, outdrawing CBS’ sitcom reruns.

The Rangers’ Monday night win at Baltimore averaged 192,758 total viewers, the same crowd drawn by Sunday afternoon’s home win over Houston on FSS.

Saturday’s Ranger loss to the Astros on Fox averaged a weekend high 275,368 viewers while the weekly Friday night Rangers game on TXA21 had 234,063 viewers. That again made TXA21 the runaway top prime-time performer against an array of network reruns.

Here are the Friday and Monday local news derby numbers:

Friday -- WFAA8 won at 10 p.m. in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 notched another doubleheader win at 6 a.m. and also had 5 and 6 p.m. firsts among 25-to-54-year-olds.

CBS11 had the most total viewers at 6 p.m. while NBC5 won in that measurement at 5 p.m.

Monday -- CBS11 had the most total viewers at 10 p.m. and tied WFAA8 for the top spot among 25-to-54-year-olds.

Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. competitions while WFAA8 dominated the early evening Nielsens with doubleheader wins at both 5 and 6 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Jason take the wheel -- of WFAA8's new 4 p.m. newscasts


Jason Wheeler, who joined WFAA8 in late November of last year, will solo anchor the Dallas-based station’s new 4 p.m. weekday newscasts, several sources confirm.

The University of Houston graduate, who previously spent five years at Austin’s KEYE-TV, has been co-anchoring WFAA8’s weekend newscasts with fellow newcomer Carla Wade. She will now solo on that shift.

WFAA8 news director Carolyn Mungo so far has not returned emails requesting comment on Wheeler’s promotion.

As previously posted, WFAA8 has decided to green-light a 4 p.m. newscast after two post-Oprah years of syndicated programming at that hour. But both Dr. Oz and last season’s Katie failed to provide much lead-in support for the station’s early evening newscasts.

With a likely September start date, WFAA8 will now be competing directly against one-hour 4 p.m. local newscasts on NBC5 and CBS11. Fox4 currently is airing a double dose of Judge Judy from 4 to 5 p.m.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net

Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Tues., July 2) -- Talent wins out

NBC’s America’s Got Talent took Tuesday’s prime-time ratings gold on a night when the Texas Rangers turned potential viewers away with a blowout loss to Seattle.

AGT drew 220,294 D-FW viewers from 8 to 10 p.m. while also ranking No. 1 among advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds. CBS’ 8 p.m. hour of Big Brother took the prime-time runner-up spot in both measurements among the Big Four broadcast networks. ABC had garbage ratings all night with its combo of Extreme Weight Loss and a 9 p.m. repeat of Body of Proof. Both shows drew fewer than 65,000 total viewers.

The Rangers’ 9-2 loss on Fox Sports Southwest averaged 137,684 viewers with a peak crowd of 220,294 between 8:15 and 8:30 p.m. But by 9:30 p.m. the audience had dipped to 61,958 viewers.

Here are Tuesday’s local news derby results:

WFAA8 won at 10 p.m. in total viewers but Fox4 ran first with 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 again swept the 6 a.m. competitions while NBC5 rang up a doubleheader win at 6 p.m.

WFAA8 had the most total viewers at 5 p.m.; Fox4 and CBS11 tied for the top spot with 25-to-54-year-olds.

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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Mon., June 28 to July 1) -- Dome-inatrix

CBS’ summertime smash just got smashier.

Monday’s Episode 2 of the 13-part Under the Dome rolled up 337,326 D-FW viewers in the 9 p.m. hour, improving on the 309,789 it drew last week.

Dome also significantly upped its haul of advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds, from 98,871 to 140,334. Those are big totals for any time of the year, but monstrous for a summer series. Left for dead opposite Dome was NBC’s premiere of the “reality-competition” series Siberia, which ran fourth at 9 p.m. with 61,958 total viewers and just 15,947 in the 18-to-49 demographic.

CBS also won in total viewers from 7 to 9 p.m. with a quartet of sitcom repeats. But ABC’s two-hour edition of The Bachelorette topped those hours among 18-to-49-year-olds.

The Texas Rangers also scored, with nice-sized ratings for their three-game weekend home series against the Cincinnati Reds.

Friday’s game on TXA21 averaged 247,831 total viewers to easily rank as the day’s most-watched TV attraction. The Rangers also drew more 18-to-49-year-olds than anything else on the air.

The Saturday game on Fox fared even better with 268,484 total viewers while Sunday afternoon’s Rangers-Reds finale on Fox Sports Southwest had 220,294 viewers. Both games also ruled their time slots among 18-to-49-year-olds.

Here are Friday’s and Monday’s local news derby results:

Friday -- WFAA8 swept the 10 p.m. competitions in total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds, the main advertiser target audience for news programming.

Fox4 ran the table at both 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. while also notching a 6 p.m. win in the 25-to-54 demographic. CBS11 had the most viewers at 6 p.m.

Monday -- Capitalizing on the big lead-in audience from Dome, CBS11 rolled to dominant wins at 10 p.m. in both ratings measurements.

Fox4 had another doubleheader win at 6 a.m. Two more sweeps, at 5 and 6 p.m. respectively went to NBC5 and WFAA8. So yes, it was an exceedingly rare day in which each of the four major local news players controlled one of the four major battle zones. Double-dip Ice cream cones for all.

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Former CW33 Eye Opener meteorologist Laura Thomas now heating up Phoenix


And in another D-FW newsroom shift . . .

Laura Thomas is the brand new weekend meteorologist at KNXV-TV, ABC’s Phoenix affiliate.

She left CW33 last month after joining the Tribune-owned station’s then new Eye Opener program in the late summer of 2011. Thomas, a Texas Tech graduate, arrived in Dallas after five years in Lubbock at Fox’s KJTV-TV, where she was chief meteorologist. On Saturday, June 29th, her first day on the air in Phoenix, the mercury hit 117 degrees.

Thomas’ former employer, Tribune Co., announced on Monday, July 1st that it’s adding 20 television stations to its arsenal. All of them currently are owned by Local TV LLC. None are in Texas.

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WFAA8's latest new hire is Marie Saavedra from Phoenix



Dallas-based WFAA8 has hired a replacement for former anchor/reporter Jonathan Betz.

She’s Marie Saavedra, currently a weekend anchor/reporter at independent station KTVK-TV of Phoenix.

WFAA8 news director Carolyn Mungo confirmed Saavedra’s hiring Monday. Unlike Betz, though, she’ll only be reporting for the station, Mungo said in an email response. Betz, who recently left WFAA8 for the Manhattan-based Al Jazeera America network, also had anchored on weekends. Earlier Monday, Al Jazeera America, which has yet to go on the air, announced it had hired former CNN anchor/reporter Soledad O’Brien as a special correspondent.

Saavedra joined KTVK in August 2011, according to her station bio. She’s a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.

KTVK and WFAA8 are owned by Dallas-based Belo Corp., although not for much longer. All 20 of the Belo TV stations were sold to Gannett Co., Inc. on June 13th. Gannett expects to officially take control of the stations by the end of this year.

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Fox4 anchor/reporter Adrian Arambulo leaving station after six-year stint (updated Monday a.m.)


Fox4 anchor/reporter Adrian Arambulo, a six-year veteran at the Dallas-based station, is leaving for an on-air position at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles.

Arambulo has been anchoring Fox4’s weekend Good Day programs and also reports from the field during weekday editions.

Fox4 news director Robin Whitmeyer confirmed his new destination in a staff memo Monday.

“I know we, and our viewers, will miss Adrian,” she said. “We wish him much happiness and success in Los Angeles.”

The Loyola University Chicago graduate joined the station in June 2007 from KLAS-TV in Las Vegas. He became Good Day’s weekend anchor in July 2011 as a part of a sweetener in his new contract.

Below is a brief video of Arambulo choking up while saying goodbye to Fox4 on Monday’s Good Day. He broke the news to viewers at the end of a live report. His Facebook page since has been flooded with comments from fans of his work. The announcement coincides with Arambulo’s last day at Fox4.

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