Alan Pergament, The Buffalo News
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Alan Pergament

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Notes, quotes and ratings from a dial-switcher during March Madness: At first glance, the NCAA men's basketball tournament is a huge hit, with ratings up 50 percent on the local CBS affiliate, WIVB-TV, compared to a year ago. But a closer look shows that the huge gain is largely the result of the 2016 tournament tanking here a year ago. Going into Saturday's natio…

Buffalo native Stephen Nathan left his full-time position on the Fox series "Bones" a few years ago, but he came back briefly to say goodbye to a show that has been in his bones for more than a decade. Nathan, who had been the showrunner for several years, is given a "story by" credit for the Tuesday series finale (9 p.m., WUTV). If you watched last Tuesday's episode…

The streaming service Netflix thinks it knows its customers as well as Jerry and George know each other on “Seinfeld.” While looking for “Love” months ago, Netflix advised me that I might also enjoy another romantic comedy, “Lovesick.” And it was right. British humor doesn’t always translate well across the pond. But “Lovesick” is an excellent compa…

As expected, WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) "Daybreak" co-anchor John Beard has been convinced to stay at the station beyond June, the first date he extended a departure originally planned for the end of 2016. In a brief interview, he said his decision to stay for an additional six months until the end of 2017 was made even before Monday's announcement that Channel 2's lead male a…

If you were at KeyBank Center a week ago, you might have thought Western New York was heavily engrossed in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. But the local TV ratings indicate that with only two exceptions, the Buffalo games and a game with a WNY coaching angle were really the only ones that were must-see TV here during the first two rounds of March Madness. Only …

Tuesday night wasn't the same for many of us because the NBC hit "This Is Us" finished its season early. I'm going to miss it and the healthy debates I often have with my fiancée about the behavior of the Pearson family. "Us" and "Blue Bloods" are the only network programs we regularly watch together because we are so invested in the families involved and the ethica…

WIVB-TV (Channel 4) is back in the regularly scheduled sportscast game on its 6 p.m. news. The return to a regular sportscast began Monday after almost a two-year absence under the previous regime under former News Director Scott Levy and former General Manager Rene LaSpina. Dominic Mancuso, the new general manager, and news director Lisa Polster made the decision to…

WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) co-anchor Scott Levin is leaving the station in two months to take a management job with the West Herr Auto Group. "I want to go out on top," said Levin Monday afternoon in a brief interview. "It has been a great ride. It is time." Levin, 53, who became Channel 2's lead male anchor in 1998, said the station asked him to stay through the May sweeps…

The power and influence that local TV anchors and general managers have on the Western New York community apparently is in decline. At least that's the takeaway from the annual Business First survey of the 250 most powerful people here that was recently released. For the second straight year, the only television executive on the list is Donald K. Boswell, the preside…

Before Nexstar took over ownership of WIVB-TV in January, Channel 4’s staff was concerned about the scary nickname the company has because of its cost-cutting reputation: Deathstar. Contrary to that reputation, new general manager Dominic Mancuso has been busy filling the jobs that his predecessor, Rene LaSpina, left vacant. Station sources say 20-25 jobs weren’t fi…

Now it can be told. When former "AM Buffalo" co-host Jon Summers didn't answer my telephone calls last week to discuss his retirement from the program, I suspected he might have been forbidden to talk as part of a settlement with WKBW-TV. Wrong. It turned out that Summers went on vacation in his native Kentucky shortly after exiting Channel 7 on March 1 and his de…

"The Golden Throat" is a little bit under the weather. Verne Lundquist is on the telephone from a local hotel, reminiscing about key moments in his career involving Buffalo and his role in the classic movie "Happy Gilmore" in between occasional coughs while he battles bronchitis. "Yeah, once a year I get it," said the CBS play-by-play man who will be working the firs…

One of the best parts of my job is I don't have to leave home to watch television, especially during snowstorms. One of the worst parts of my job is watching the local news stations hype the snowstorms, which usually translates into high ratings. But surprise, surprise. This morning, the three local news stations on broadcast television were pretty calm about the sno…

WIVB-TV (Channel 4) and WKBW-TV (Channel 7) have made some hiring news that was as expected as the snow in Western New York over the next two days. WIVB-TV's new General Manager Dominic Mancuso has taken the "interim" tag off and named Lisa Polster the station's news director. Polster has been the interim news director since Scott Levy left in August of 2016 to becom…

When it concerned the absence of Syracuse University in the NCAA men's basketball tournament field Sunday, call it the Tale of Two Networks. On the CBS special announcing the 68-team field, analysts Seth Davis and Clark Kellogg pretty much agreed with selection committee chairman Mark Hollis' explanation that the Orange didn't get in because the team's poor road record …