Tagged: NBC

Watching NBC’s 90th Anniversary special is making me feel 90 years old!

I am currently watching The Paley Center Salutes NBC 90th Anniversary special (in between UFC Fight Night fights), and for me the nostalgia has been at a premium in this production tonight. This review sums it up — it sure seems like there’s hardly any footage pre-1975. There’s been a few, I guess, but it seems like most of the clips are for the last 20 or so years, including even these SNL clips they were showing earlier.

But you know what? The young generation probably thinks Friends, Cheers, Seinfeld and the rest of these Nineties shows are already ancient stuff! By their standards, Hill Street Blues and L.A. Law are old as the hills! And I can’t blame them. I remember when I was a kid watching some of these network TV retrospective shows that aired at the time, and back then “20 years” seemed like a long, long time ago. 

For me, the true “classic” NBC shows include Star TrekGet Smart, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and I Dream of Jeannie. We’re talking “fifty years” for those episodes! Heck, there were even variety shows starring the likes of Bob Hope or Dean Martin that I remember, too. 

I am really showing my age mentioning this. The fact that I can even remember these shows that aired so long ago is depressing — or perhaps this is good, because I haven’t lost my memory yet.

Now they are showing some clips from old cop shows now like Dragnet and The Rockford Files. Man, do I feel old watching this.

Update: they just showed clips from The Facts of Life and Miami Vice. I really feel old.


Megyn Kelly’s hire already creating havoc over at NBC’s Today Show

I’ve been reading about all the drama over at the Today Show recently because of the hire of Megyn Kelly to take over either the third or the fourth hour of Today with her own show. In the process, NBC is officially dumping the 9 a.m. hour of Today previously hosted by Tamron Hall and Al Roker

The reason this announcement came as such a shock was because this show at 9 a.m. was winning in the ratings! It was beating Kelly Ripa! Usually, when your show is winning your time slot you think your job, or show is safe. But not at NBC

So anyway, a lot of Tamron Hall’s fans were upset, and I get she was upset as well. She quit NBC this week, even though they offered a big $2 million or so for her to stay on in another role. She’s right to walk away, because this basically looks like the Ann Curry fiasco all over again.

Moreover, the rumors have been flying that Today co-host Savannah Guthrie could be elbowed out of her role at Today at some point, to make way for Megyn. 

Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson has taken over her old Fox News timeslot, and ratings are way up compared to what Megyn got.

Does anyone else think there is way, way, way too much drama behind the scenes over at the Today Show? It is just never ending over there.

Eat a bunch of M&Ms in honour of Kyle Busch winning the NASCAR Chase; plus some words about NFL fans venting about NBC 

The NASCAR season is over and Kyle Busch is the champion after winning the final race yesterday at Homestead-Miami. It caps a comeback year for Busch after he was out injured to begin the season. Personally I’m happy because I’ve gotten to see his Number 18 M&Ms car in person at the giant M&Ms store on the strip in Las Vegas. Great win for the sport.

Now, a few words about NBC’s coverage of the end of the race. This race, unfortunately, was delayed due to wet weather in the Miami area that pushed the start back over an hour, so that meant the end of the race ran up against NBC’s NFL highlight show Football Night in America. NBC opted to stick with the big race on its main network to the conclusion, and as usual Twitter was not happy. The NFL fans rained down on NBC with a barrage of complaints about their favorite football highlights being preempted by NASCAR.

But here’s my take on it: NBC did the right thing. They respected the NASCAR fans and stuck with the championship race to its final conclusion, and did not shuffle it off to NBCSN. NASCAR fans deserved nothing less. 

Unfortunately for NBC, right after the race ended the main network finally switched to Football Night in America, and the victory celebration and the trophy presentation were shuffled off to NBCSN, so that gave NASCAR fans their turn to be mad on Twitter. 

They were going on and on about NBC disrespecting NASCAR by not showing the trophy presentation on the main network, but really, what could NBC do? This was a no win situation either way. No matter what they did, someone was going to be mad on Twitter. And whether NASCAR fans like it or not, they are always going to be outvoted by the NFL fans. Majority rules.

Social media. Ain’t it wonderful. 

Knock knock! Who’s there? Nobody, because Ryan Seacrest has been cancelled! Summer TV cancellation news

Summer television is what it is, with lots of talent shows (America’s Got Talent), stupid competitions (American Ninja Warrior) and reality crap (Big Brother). And lots of reruns. It really is a wasteland. Nobody’s watching, especially now that the Bachelorette is done for the season. And now there’s news of some summer shows being cancelled.

One of the shows on NBC getting the boot is Welcome to Sweden, created by and starring Greg Poehler. I found it interesting because, like me, Poehler (Amy’s brother) has a law degree and was actually working as a lawyer in Sweden, only to chuck it all and go into comedy. I actually tuned in to this show a couple of weeks back, but apparently I was “one of the few.” This show got “craptastic ratings”, so it’s gone two weeks into its season. 

And then there is Ryan Seacrest and his FOX show Knock Knock Live, in which he shows up in some neighbourhood somewhere and knocks on a door and someone wins something. Well, nobody cared, so that show is over after two weeks. 

The good news is we have to endure summer programming for only another month and we’ll be into a new fall season.

NBC finally gives Donald Trump his comeuppance: “You’re fired!”


Well, Donald Trump has really done it this time. 

He and his big mouth have succeeded in getting the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants booted off of NBC. This comes right after he got booted off of Univision.

You have to wonder, again, about business people in the USA and why they insist on alienating the very same people who want to do business with them. Which part of the world is interested in Miss Universe the most? Latin America. And yet the Donald insists on badmouthing Latinos, publicly referring to Mexicans as “drug dealers” and “rapists.” Seriously, you have to feel sorry for Mexico, having to put up with this.

Who knows what the future for Miss Universe and Miss USA is now. That organization has just been thrown into chaos. About the only good thing about this entire fiasco is seeing Trump finally get his comeuppance from NBC after all those years of firing people on TV. Trump, you’re fired!!

Boxing making its comeback to prime time network TV tonight on NBC

For the first time in something like 30 years NBC is showing boxing on TV, and in prime time at that. Good on them.

Tonight they are airing Premier Boxing Champions on NBC starting at 8:30pm ET, and plan to employ such eminent people as Al Michaels to call the action. 

I remember the days when network TV used to show the fights repeatedly on weekend afternoons, so I’d certainly like to see boxing come back, simply because I like the sport and want to see it regain more prominence in North America.

Some might see this as NBC’s way to counter Fox Sports and their coverage of the UFC. Others might see this as NBC’s way to jump on the “boxing revival” bandwagon in the wake of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight announcement. I see it as an attempt at filling airtime. 

Let’s face it, February and March represent the absolute dog days for these networks when it comes to showing sports, because football is completely over and it’s several weeks before the major league baseball season starts up again. 

CBS deals with this void by showing golf and NCAA basketball, including the NCAA tournament. ABC copes by showing NBA and NCAA hoops. Fox Sports has NASCAR, the occasional prime time UFC card and surprise, surprise, NCAA hoops. (This seems a common theme.)

As for NBC? They have hockey, the Barclays Premier League, golf, even MMA from the World Series of Fighting, and whatever else they can throw on. Boxing can surely fill their air time, not only on the main NBC network but also on NBCSN, which is truly desperate for material in their fight against ESPN and the Fox Sports channels.

So for NBC’s sake, they are hoping for a hit — something that can help them compete in the whole grand scheme of things. But above all else, they need something right now. Hey, for North American sports fans and sports broadcasters, these really are the dog days.

Celebrity Apprentice is on tonight. Why is this show not cancelled yet?

Yes, indeed, Celebrity Apprentice is back with another star studded season!

Actually, it’s just Donald Trump and the usual second-raters and has-beens including Terrell Owens, Lorenzo Lamas, Geraldo etc. etc. over on NBC starting at 9/8 Central.

And I know your reaction is the same as mine. “This show is still on?!”

Uh, yes, it is. And may I add, it is sooooo last decade.

David Gregory done at NBC’s Meet the Press; Chuck Todd to replace him

The long drawn-out soap opera over the future of David Gregory as host of the sinking NBC Meet the Press show finally ended today, as Chuck Todd has been named to succeed him.

This, my friends, is what I hate about the news business — when hard-working guys like Gregory are left to twist in the wind like this for months before finally getting the boot. Anyway, I hope life is better for Gregory at CNN or wherever he goes next, because it was nothing like that at all for the last few months at NBC.



This is UPFRONTS week down in the USA, with the various TV networks rolling out their show pickups for the coming season. Variety has the complete rundown of what is happening.

The news that interests me the most this week is NBC”s announcement that Seth Meyers of SNL fame will be replacing Jimmy Fallon when Fallon heads earlier to take over from Jay Leno. Meanwhile, I notice his late-night rival Jimmy Kimmel did his usual routine, ridiculing ABC’s programming again.

“The reason we’re here is because you are about to invest billions of dollars in a network that rolled a 400-lb. comedian off a diving board last week,” Kimmel said, referring to Splash. He also called The Bachelor “a show based on the theory that one in 25 hairstylists is your soulmate.”

Here’s the full transcript of Kimmel’s hilarious presentation — though looking at it closer he seems to go after EVERYONE, and in particular NBC. “NBC is on a roll – oh wait, not a roll. What do you call it? A spiral.” Ha ha.

That was on May 14 . NBC’s upfront was Monday, and here’s what happened with CBS, and FOX. The CW announces their lineup tomorrow.

To be honest with you, I could care less about any of these proposed efforts. It seems increasingly obvious to me that the best shows on TV are the ones on cable. At least, that’s where the shows I am most interested in are being shown.

The major networks still have too many junk reality/talent shows, though I notice the fans are increasingly fed up with them. On FOX, their ex-biggest show American Idol is in chaos, with Randy Jackson now officially gone and the whole rest of the judges also rumored to be on their way out with him. Idol stopped being good the moment Simon Cowell left. They should just cancel that show already.

Speaking of which: here’s a list of all the shows that got the axe.


Here is some big news from the world of late night TV. Jimmy Kimmel Live, after spending years following Nightline at 12 midnight and 11 Central on ABC, has been moved 25 minutes earlier to 11:35 and 10:35, going head to head with Jay Leno on NBC and David Letterman on CBS.

All in all, I think this is well-deserved for Kimmel, who absolutely killed it in his Leno impersonations during that big Conangate scandal a while ago. In fact, it has been a good last few days for Kimmel, who just got engaged to his head writer. 

I guess the reason Kimmel got 11:35pm was because he threatened to quit the network if he did not get the time slot he demanded. Needless to say, Kimmel has more clout than folks at Nightline, who get the shaft from ABC in all of this.

Meanwhile, while there is good news all around at the Kimmel show, it is sad times at NBC as competitor Jay Leno has been forced to take a pay cut, so that the layoffs at his show were not worse than they were.

As for Nightline being bumped back an hour to follow Jimmy now, tough luck, but that is life in TV news. The folks there got the bad news today and they are all devastated. This was exactly the kind of thing Ted Koppel would have quit the network over back in the day. Now, the dreaded move of the show to the darkest reaches of late night has finally happened. I would have thought that given their good ratings as of late that the show would have been safe in its time period. I guess not, and now the fans of Nightline rightfully worry this could be the beginning of the end.

In fact, it seems to be a situation where the misery is being spread everywhere in the TV news business. We had the debacle with the Today Show giving the boot to Ann Curry, and now this Nightline business. But we are also hearing stories that CNN, yes, CNN, might be forced to run reality TV shows in order to boost their terrible ratings.

All I will say about that development is that the day CNN runs reality TV is the day CNN hits rock bottom. That is all for now.


Here in stinking hot Canada we are currently getting non-stop coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games on TV. CTV and the various channels that have the rights to the Games here are going nuts showing them non-stop.

I am not tuning in to much of it, though. I just find I am not that interested in the Olympic Games. I know there are lots of people who are interested, and based on all the TV coverage I surely ought to be interested in the Olympics, but I simply am not.

Maybe that’s the problem right there — this event seems like something other folks are telling me I ought to be interested in. When that happens I always tend to run the other way.

Anyway, those interested in the Olympics are loving life in Canada because we are getting saturation live coverage of the Games — unlike south of the border, where, once again, American Olympics fans are stuck with the usual NBC tape-delay nonsense that we have come to expect.

I’m actually very surprised because I thought NBC, with all the networks at their disposal these, would at least enter the 21st century and show these games live, for a change. But they aren’t. They still insist on delaying it to prime time, long after fans learn of the results on Twitter.

The folks on all social media have had a field day bashing NBC. Stories about it have been running on HuffPost, at the Guardian and at PCWorld among others. The Guardian was also going nuts over NBC’s usual pro-USA jingoism. (Gawker has noted, though, that criticism of US Olympics coverage on TV is nothing new.) 

One poor guy, Guy Adams of the Independent, got kicked off of Twitter, having his account suspended over his anti-NBC tweets.  I suppose he gave out some NBC executive’s phone number for people to call and complain, a big no-no.

Anyway, it really doesn’t matter. Americans can do all the complaining in the world, and nothing will ever change about the Olympics coverage.

I have an easy solution for all those bitter folks in the USA who have to always put up with crummy Olympics coverage on TV: move to Canada! Not only is the Olympics coverage much better, but we also have more jobs than in the USA!

As a bonus, there are also far more hockey games on TV, too. Life is great here in Canada.


Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!! (Okay I admit it, I like Erin Andrews.)

In the same week that Ann Curry gave her tearful goodbye to the Today Show on NBC comes word that the popular and ridiculously-hot sideline reporter Erin Andrews has parted ways with ESPN.

Erin was one of several sportscasting free agents out there this year and the word is that she is headed elsewhere, likely to FOX which is stepping up coverage of many of the college sports that Erin is so famous for.

I suppose we should not be surprised given that ESPN is infamous for being cheap to its talent — also, we’ve seen so many top ESPN people leave for greener pastures over the years that it is a joke (Dan Patrick, Keith Olbermann, Rich Eisen etc.).

Plus, I think maybe Erin might have had an unhappy time generally at ESPN for all kinds of reasons (ie. the stalker situation), so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised she’s left for a new start elsewhere given what she’s gone through personally.

As I said, there has been a lot of free-agent movement in the sportscasting world this year. Michelle Beadle had earlier departed ESPN for NBC Sports, where she’ll cover the Olympic Games and also get some entertainment assignments with NBC on the side.

Also, word is that famed Twitterer Darren Rovell has left his prominent business-sports gig at CNBC to go back to ESPN.

I dunno about you, but this sounds like a terrible deal to me. ESPN acquiring Darren Rovell for Michelle Beadle and Erin Andrews?

If this were sports talk radio, there would be angry calls to fire the GM. This really is a scandal.


IN OTHER NEWS from the world of TV, the rumors continue to fly about the Today Show and what will happen to it. Reports are that Savannah Guthrie has already taken over.

Also, according to the New York Post, word is that Natalie Morales is unhappy after being passed over again for a top job on the Today Show and may quit NBC. She might be interested in a certain sideline reporting job open at ESPN right now.


As someone who has some first-hand knowledge of the television business, I thought I would talk about the usual nonsense that is going on with that industry, such as this latest Ann Curry nonsense at NBC.

As you know, not too long ago Curry replaced Meredith Vieira as co-host of the Today Show. Since then the ratings for the show have tanked as ABC’s Good Morning America has shot right past them in the ratings. Who is getting the blame? Why, who else — the newbie. So rumors are flying and reputable establishments are reporting that Ann Curry is going to be shipped right out of there, probably to be replaced by either Hoda Kotb or Savannah Guthrie. Besides, they just re-signed Matt Lauer so they can’t airlift him.

This is yet another instance of how brutal the TV news business is and how trigger-happy they are at the top. This sort of reminds me of what went on with that whole Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien business not long ago, when Conan got the shaft. But this is TV news, and this sort of thing seems to happen all the time.

It seems like it is commonplace in the TV business. Times are tough, but instead of blaming the people who ran the economy into the ground to being with, or blaming Steve Jobs for inventing the technology TV has to compete with these days, they are instead blaming the talent. So the talent always ends up under fire, and it seems like it’s always the female co-anchor that takes the fall. The guys look like they get off scott-free.

It’s not just the Today Show. A few weeks back the FOX station in LA made big changes at their morning show Good Day LA and ashcanned Dorothy Lucey, the co-host. Meanwhile, the NBC station in New York gave the boot to its coanchor Sue Simmons.

Seriously, this is getting ridiculous — the amount of firings going on of top TV talent.

(Oh, and there is some other news from the world of TV sports, but I will get to that later this weekend.)