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The two-hour installment of NBC's "Dateline" Sunday about three celebrated crime stories in Western New York was misleadingly promoted. It wasn't all new. The first hour of a show titled, "A Common Thread," involving Bike Path rapist Altemio Sanchez and wrongfully imprisoned Anthony Capozzi, was a repackaged version of a report by Keith Morrison that f…

Now that former Channel 7 employees and insiders have given their reasons for the decline of the station's news department in Sunday's Buffalo News, it's time for viewers or former viewers to weigh in. Why have you stopped tuning in to the once dominant news station in town? Is it about the technical glitches? It is the lack of recognizable veteran reporters? Have you ju…

I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that ABC was the only major broadcast network to carry Barack Obama's speech live Tuesday after he earned enough delegates to declare he had won the Democratic nomination for president. But it did seem noteworthy that NBC and CBS decided to carry dramatic show reruns rather than carry a live speech by the first African-American to win a…

Score one for Sumner Redstone, the CBS executive chairman who has publicly criticized his network's decision to carry a mixed martial arts card, Elite Xtreme Combat, as "not socially responsible." Saturday's much-hyped debut featuring heavyweight Kimbo Slice was an embarrassment for CBS on several counts that should force it to reconsider plans to continue the s…

Channel 4 anchors Jacquie Walker and Don Postles didn't quite get the picture right Thursday when discussing the station's deal to be carried on HD on DISH Network, along with sister station WNLO-TV. Postles started the happy talk exchange by saying to Walker: "Know what that means?" "I'm asking them to put the focus out on the camera now," said Wa…

Talk about happy endings. Thursday’s feel-good, season finale of “Grey’s Anatomy” was loaded with them as the good doctors dealt honestly with their feelings and had epiphanies about what is important in life. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) saved a life and talked about building a life (and a home) together. George (T.R. Knight) and Izzi…

But who was in it? That's what watchers of the season finale of "Criminal Minds" on Wednesday night want to know.We've pretty much left cliffhanger season (see my Sunday column in TV Topics) -- those big dramatic and frequently death-dealing finales that allow TV shows to shed cast members. So while most TV watchers were watching the mildly surprising outcome of …

If Simon Cowell can apologize, so can I. "American Idol," which was hit by a significant local drop during the season, made quite a comeback over the last few weeks. The bloated two-hour finale Wednesday -- in which David Cook was named the winner over David Archuleta at the very end -- had a 21.2 rating on WUTV, which was about 8 percent than the rating for the…

Thankfully, Kristi Yamaguchi and ABC's "Dancing With the Stars"' had the perfect ending Tuesday night. The Olympic champion and her partner, Mark Ballas, won the trophy shortly after getting another perfect score of 30 for their final dance. They had perfect scores on all three of their dances in the finals Monday and Tuesday and were awarded the trophy after the…

If Kristi Yamaguchi doesn't win the "Dancing With the Stars" trophy tonight, it will be a less than a perfect ending for the ABC reality series. After all, the Olympic champion skater and her partner, Mark Ballas, received the maximum score of 10 from all three judges after two dances Monday nights as well as incredible compliments. "It is ladies night,&qu…

ABC wasn't exaggerating when it said in its promos that the ending of the season finale of "Desperate Housewives" would have its fans buzzing. In the episode's final scene -- set five years in the future -- viewers learned that Susan (Teri Hatcher) is calling a new man "honey."  He is played by Gale Harold, previously seen on Showtime's "Quee…

Fans of former Buffalonian Jesse L. Martin and "Law & Order" are in a for a treat Sunday on TNT. The cable channel plans to run an 11-hour marathon of "memorable" episodes in the life of Martin's character, Det. Ed. Green. The marathon starts at 2 p.m. and runs through 1 a.m. The marathon includes Martin's first appearance on the popular NBC se…

The local ratings for "American Idol" during the season may have slipped, but viewers tuned in at a very high rate the night that the two Davids -- Archuleta and Cook -- were named the finalists. The Wednesday results show that saw Syesha Mercado exit had a 20.2 rating on WUTV, which was about 30 percent higher than the 2007 show on the same night. It had a 1…

You could debate the news merits of devoting about two hours and 30 minutes to live coverage of the gunman on the 190 on Monday, but it is clear viewers couldn't turn off the standoff even if next to nothing happened for most of the time. All three local news channels experienced abnormally high ratings during the drama. Of course, the high ratings after 8 p.m. could be p…

Judging by my emails and party conversations, the most popular decision that ABC made today was renewing the spring series, "Eli Stone, " for next fall. The series about a lawyer with a brain aneurysm that may have led to his unusual visions is one of several new ABC shows that will be coming back after the unusual 2007-08 season interrupted by the writers' stri…