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Thanks to its post-writers' strike takes on Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, "Saturday Night Live" is back in the limelight. But other than its satirical openings and "Weekend Update" co-hosted by Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers, the show hasn't been any funnier than it has been in recent years. Have you come back to wa…

Thanks to some happy talk courtesy of Channel 4 anchor Jacquie Walker, viewers learned Monday that Mary Travers Murphy, the wife of sports anchor John Murphy, cried when she saw her husband work his first day on Channel 4. Of course, some wag suggested that she was just happy to get him of the house after leaving Channel 7 six months ago and into our living rooms. Using …

Some thoughts about the early coverage of today's resignation of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer: It says something about the state of Channel 7 news that I had to switch away from its coverage this morning because of a sound problem that occurred while he was talking. With all the recent technical problems at the station, I assume it wasn't only happening at my house. Chann…

Since we give the local TV weathermen so much grief when they cry wolf about the snow, I suppose we should give them credit for nailing the forecast of Friday and Saturday's heavy snow. It came pretty much as predicted. But this doesn't mean the weathermen get a pass on scaring the area to death. Their reports made many people feel like they were risking their lives to …

The son of a prominent local TV weathercaster is in legal trouble. What does the station do? Channel 2 news first decided to address the legal troubles facing Kevin O'Connell Jr., a Kenmore chef, on its website. Then the station ran a story on its noon news today. The 33-year-old son of weathercaster Kevin O'Connell is on the front page of The Buffalo News today because …

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.…