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After further review, it is too close to call whether the Buffalo Bills game with the New York Giants on Dec. 23 will be flexed from Sunday afternoon to NBC's Sunday Night Football. The Bills (7-6)  Giants (9-4) did their part Sunday afternoon. Both won and each currently has a winning record. However, there is a 50-50 chance that the NFL, which makes the flex decis…

Don Rickles was at Melody Fair getting dressed to go on. I was on a couch in his trailer peppering him with bright-eyed, marginally relevant questions. The only other man in the room was Rickles' man Harry Goins -- valet, personal assistant, keeper of the surprisingly delicate Rickles psyche -- who handed him a scotch as we talked. Rickles turned to Harry and asked tes…

     A postcard arrived on my desk a few weeks ago, asking, "If you only had a minute, what would you write?" It stopped me cold on a busy day. What an amazing question. I wasn't sure why I only had a minute, but if that were the case, what would I write and to whom? The flip side of the postcard showed that it was an ad for the Hallmark Channel o…

Well, it didn't come in time for the 2007 baseball season, but WNGS-TV is about to touch base with DirecTV. Neal Ardman, the vice president of operations for station owner Equity Broadcasting, reports the local independent station will join the satellite service lineup on Dec.19. The absence of WNGS from DirecTV has been upsetting to major league baseball fans because the…

Charlie Rose was sitting at his big polished table schmoozing with some of American journalism's higher profile TV critics --including the Washington Post's Tom Shales, the N. Y. Times' Bill Carter and Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker. Charlie was ticking off the names of the TV season's new offerings hoping to get a response--the verbal version of a thumb in some direct…

The University at Buffalo is proud to have three professors involved in a disastrous TV program. The History Channel's "Mega-Disasters: The Next Pompeii?" repeats at 4 p.m. Saturday. It first aired Nov.27. Michael Sheridan, UB's professor emeritus of geology and director of the Center for Geohazards Studies, conducted research about Vesuvius that inspired the la…

I hate the network promos that have the tendency to ruin episodes of popular shows like ABC's "Desperate Housewives." All week long, ABC ran a promo showing Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman) looking at something in horror and screaming as if the world was about to come to an end. Or at the very least her world. So watching Sunday's episode, "Something's Com…

They may not have scored a touchdown Sunday, but the Buffalo Bills hit ratings paydirt with their last-minute, 17-16 victory over the Washington Redskins. The game averaging a 34.1 rating on Channel 4, was up about 10 percent from the season average of 31.2. Of course, the weather may have had as much to do with that as the game featuring five Rian Lindell field goals. In…

     The crowning of race-car driver Helio Castroneves and his partner Julianne Hough as champions of "Dancing With the Stars" continues to prove that reality show winners don't have to be the best, just the most popular. (How else do you explain Maria Osmond's appearance in the show's final three?)     The win by Helio and Julianne …

The season-long game of "Survivor" played on the Fox hit show, "House," ended terrifically Tuesday with the lesson that "life is a b----, and then you die." Or at least your character gets killed. After an episode focusing on the mysterious illness that threatened the life of a rock star, the only candidate ousted from the Final Four fellows…

At least one broadcast network is acting like it expects the writers' strike to end in a reasonable amount of time. NBC announced late Monday that it has ordered nine more episodes of "Life" and "Chuck" to bring each to a full season order of 22. Of course, those episodes can't be written or produced until the strike is over. It is a network show of c…

Time Warner Cable hasn't exactly announced a rate hike, but it has sent subscribers a glossy, eight-page circular titled, "Best of Winter," that shows that customers' worst fears are warranted. On page 6, there is a half-page devoted to 2008 rate information that reveals the hikes are coming in February. The amount of the hikes will depend on the services a subs…

The popularity of ABC's new series, "Private Practice," continues to be baffling. Last Wednesday's episode of the "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff featuring the high school-like behavior of doctors certainly hit a new low. Literally. Dr. Addison (Montgomery (Kate Walsh) met a good-looking and well-dressed guy (Josh Randall of "Ed") at a coffee shop a…

Here we go again. Another husband named Peterson is under suspicion because his wife is missing. And NBC's "Today" show is all over the case. Just like all the media was when Scott Peterson became the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, Laci, before he was charged and convicted. "Today" co-host Matt Lauer followed his "exclusive" …

Some programs are benefiting from the writers' strike. Like ABC's "Cavemen," the Tuesday comedy widely viewed as the worst new show of the season. If it hadn't been for the chances of a strike, it probably would have been history by now. But all the networks are hanging on to their new shows because they'll be scrambling if the strike continues into 2008. The o…