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Meredith Vieira of NBC's "Today" certainly went easy on Lynn DeJac during this morning's "exclusive" interview. A day after DeJac's murder indictment was dismissed, "Today" ran a brief summary of the case in which DeJac spent 13 and a half years in prison for the 1993 murder of her 13-year-old daughter, Crystallyn M. Girard. "I know tha…

Channel 7, which has a recent history of technical glitches, had an award-winner Sunday night during ABC's Oscar telecast. About 10 minutes before the show ended at about 11:45 p.m., local viewers accidentally could hear a conversation about the movie "No Country for Old Men" between a cameraman and co-anchors Joanna Pasceri and Keith Radford inside Channel 7's …

After 11 and a half years at Channel 4, sports director Dennis Williams has left the station after being told his contract wouldn't be renewed after it expires this week. The move clears the way for the top-rated news station in town to hire former Channel 7 Sports Director John Murphy as soon as his non-compete clause expires and he is free to work in local TV again. St…

Like many of you, I'm thrilled that the writers strike is over and there is an end in sight to all the reality shows that have been polluting the airwaves. But the euphoria was broken somewhat when I received the latest newsletter from the Television Critics Association. It noted that the summer press tour -- which occurs annually in July so critics can get a first look a…

Western New Yorkers weren't that nuts about the return of "Jericho," the CBS drama that got a reprieve from cancellation after a clever campaign waged by the show's fans. The first of seven episodes Tuesday had a 5.8 rating, representing 5.8 percent of the area's households. It finished last in its 10 p.m. time slot here and lost about 20 percent of the audience…

There was breaking news in Buffalo last night. No, make that BREAKING NEWS as the banner flashed across the TV screen to start a WIVB Channel 4 newscast Monday. Thinking this must be serious, I stopped to watch. To underscore the importance of what they were about to share, the anchors announced "We have breaking news." Cut to Don Paul who announced the breakin…

Good news for fans of four new ABC series -- "Dirty Sexy Money," "Private Practice," "Pushing Daisies" and "Samantha Who" -- that had their rookie seasons interrupted by the writers strike. The network announced today that all four freshman series will return for the start of next fall's TV season. It was no surprise that the netwo…

"Sex and the City" fans know that there will never be anything like it -- especially not on network, broadcast television. Still, there have been a million "Sex and the City" comparisons to two new Network shows -- ABC's "Cashmere Mafia" and NBC's "Lipstick Jungle" -- because they are about women friends. They're friends who seem t…

It is a football outrage. I'm not talking about the performance of Buffalo Bills Owner Ralph Wilson in Toronto, which is getting slammed on local talk radio. I'm referring to HBO's decision to sack "Inside the NFL" after 31 years. HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg said the move was made because it became tougher to re-invent the show because there are so many …

So let's call this "Godawful Commercials II: The Readers Take Over."My Tuesday column on the Life and Arts Page about obnoxious local TV commercials brought a good-sized inundation of nominations from readers of their least favorite ads on the airwaves. Almost everyone agreed with me about the EG Tax Creep, Airport Plaza Jewelers and His Hugeness, Billy Fuccillo.…

Fox play-by-play man Joe Buck and analyst Troy Aikman performed well during coverage of the New York Giants Super Bowl upset of the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. But they were far from perfect. Buck didn't see a fumble recovery by the Giants that viewers could see, was late in questioning a decision by Patriots Coach Bill Belichick to pass on a 49-yard field g…

Were you as blown away by the season premiere of "Lost" as I was ? The big revelation I was talking about in Thursday's review was Hurley's declaration that he was one of the "Oceanic Six." That suggests that only six people made it off the island to the mainland, but with "Lost" you never know. And we already know three people who made it ba…

Fulfilling their public service role, the three local news departments dropped network and syndicated programming this morning for extensive coverage of the day's weather problems. Channel 4 was the only station among the three to provide video as several of the area's leaders at City Hall explained how government was coping with the weather issues that closed schools and…

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  Can Oprah save Patti Novak's "Confessions of a Matchmaker"? Cable's A&E already has announced that Novak's tough-love dating series set in Buffalo has been canceled. But Novak is appearing on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Friday, and we know that Oprah has the power to change things. If Novak's appearance on Oprah doesn't cause A&E to re…

Truthfully, the only thing impressive about the debut of the Fox reality show, "The Moment of Truth," was its local ratings. Wednesday's post-"American Idol" premiere had a 16.1 rating on WUTV if you count the first few minutes of the hour that were still "Idol." "Idol" had a 16.0 rating, the lowest-rated of the early season. But t…