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Dan Dunleavy impresses; 'SNL' ratings soar here

This is what I’m thinking:

Dan Dunleavy, who is replacing a vacationing Rick Jeanneret for a month on Buffalo Sabres play-by-play, is getting deserved plaudits for his call of Evander Kane’s winning goal off a feed from Jack Eichel in the Sabres’ 5-4 overtime win Tuesday over San Jose Tuesday. “Eichel carries, Kane buries,” said Dunleavy. I don’t envy him. He has a tough act to follow in Jeanneret, who I said months ago sounds much better this season that last season. The Sabres-San Jose game had a 7.2 rating on MSG, about a 10 percent bump from the season average.

“Saturday Night Live” is getting a local ratings bump of about 25 percent compared to a year ago by skewering the 2016 election season and the subsequent Trump Administration. The most recent episode hosted by actress Kristen Stewart had a 6.0 same day rating on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate. The corresponding episode in 2016 had a 5.3 rating. But that doesn’t tell the full story. "SNL" also gets plenty of delayed viewing from DVRs and On Demand.

I forgot to DVR the Stewart episode so I had to watch it On Demand, which prevents viewers from speeding through the commercials. “SNL” also gets plenty of online viewing of routines that go viral like Saturday’s in which Melissa McCarthy played an exaggerated version of White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Some White House watchers said McCarthy’s over-the-top performance even led to Spicer calming down in press briefings earlier this week. But the combative Spicer returned in full McCarthy mode in Thursday's briefing.

Channel 2’s new meteorologist Heather Waldman has been impressive since joining the station in January. She delivers a clear forecast almost flawlessly and appears to be mature beyond her years in front of the camera. Whatever that is. She is a 2013 Penn State graduate who came to WGRZ from AccuWeather.

You can see why General Manager Jim Toellner planned to have her and Maria Genero share Kevin O’Connell’s duties before O’Connell decided to postpone his retirement.

The premiere of “24: Legacy” got a local ratings bump from Sunday’s Super Bowl. Starting after 10:30 p.m. Sunday, “Legacy” had a 9.4 live rating on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate. Monday’s second episode dropped to a 3.8. That actually is a decent number for Fox programming on WUTV here.

Attention “This Is Us” fans: The season finale has been pushed back a week from March 7 to March 14 because President Trump’s address to Congress on Feb. 28 will pre-empt an episode. Thanks, Trump.

Cheers to Channel 2 reporter Michael Wooten for his eye-opening and balanced report on how much it costs local communities for their police departments to deal with shoplifters from area Walmarts. As the story illustrated, it is a problem for many communities nationwide.


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