Western New York football fans haven’t been wild about the 2017 National Football League playoffs. The 10 playoff games that ended with the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons qualifying for the Super Bowl on Feb. 5 averaged a 24.2 local rating, down 20 percent from the 30.1 a year ago. Of course, NFL ratings were down this season, especially early when the pr…

It's no small irony that Mary Tyler Moore should die a day after the newest Academy Award nominations were announced. She was one of the greatest Oscar Winners Who Never Was – maybe not as great as "Citizen Kane" for Best Picture but in the running. In 1981, she was nominated for one of the more astonishing performances in that decade of movies, as the hard, unforgivi…

Local public broadcasting leader Don Boswell is concerned about the potential funding cuts the local TV and radio stations he runs would receive from the Corporation of Public Broadcasting. But not overly concerned. Yet. It isn’t like it is the first time that Boswell, the chief executive officer and president of the Western New York Public Broadcasting Association…

March 7 is shaping up to be a must-see television night. That’s the date of the first season finale of NBC’s popular series “This Is Us” and the season premiere of FX’s critically-acclaimed series “The Americans.” By my calculations, that means there are only six episodes left of “This Is Us” this season after tonight. The good news is that creat…

Leftover notes and quotes from La La Land: Considering the hot water that President Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, got in over the weekend for distributing falsehoods that senior adviser Kellyanne Conway laughingly called “alternative facts,” the timing is perfect for discussing the coming HBO movie, “The Wizard of Lies,” and ABC’s series, “The Catc…

If you yearn for a cinematic presentation of Shakespeare’s history plays, then binge-watch “The Hollow Crown.” With superlative casting and bold directing, “The Hollow Crown” perfectly translates the Bard into the language of modern television. Title: “The Hollow Crown” Year it began: 2012 Where it can be seen: BBC; Amazon; PBS; DVD Who’s in it:…

"I will never love my neighbor as myself," admits HBO's "Young Pope" in this weekend's third episode of Paolo Sorrentino's show. "I love myself more than my neighbor," he reiterates a few minutes later in case, we didn't get the point. This Young Pope calls himself Pius XIII. His real name is Lenny Belardo and he's an orphan from Brooklyn. That, of course, makes him the…

A relatively new series on cable’s TLC will investigate the accuracy of claims that the Statler Hotel in Buffalo is haunted in an episode that airs at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27. The series, “Paranormal Lockdown,” follows paranormal investigators Nick Groff (“Ghost Adventures”) and Katrina Weidman (“Paranormal State”) for 72 hours as they are locked inside a h…

WGRZ-TV reporter-anchor Claudine Ewing is celebrating her 25th year in an industry that she knew she wanted to be a part of growing up on Grider Street. Since she lived near WUFO-AM and her mother Claudia worked in the traffic department, Claudine imagined her future in broadcasting while listening to Frankie Crocker and other famous DJs at the station. And imagine t…

CNN's "The Oath," a mini-documentary about the presidential oath of office, takes the viewer to a handful of historic places. Wall Street, where George Washington was sworn in. The United States Capitol. And Buffalo's Founding Fathers Pub. Reporters from CNN filmed the December trivia night at the popular political watering hole, located at 75 Edward St. Starti…

Oh, no! That’s my typical reaction when I see that a Western New Yorker is involved in a reality series. OK, to be honest, my reaction can be a little bit more provocative than that. This leads me to address MTV’s announcement that it will premiere “Stranded With a Million Dollars,” “a provocative new survival series,” at 10 p.m. Feb. 21. The cable …

PASADENA, Calif. -- Notes and quotes from La La Land, without musical accompaniment. When the new version of “24” arrives after the Super Bowl on Feb. 5, Jimmy Smits will be in a familiar role. He is running for president, just as he did on “The West Wing” years earlier when he played Matt Santos. “This is totally different,” said Smits, comparing “Lega…

 The unusual story of former Canisius High School and Penn State football standout John Urschel’s gets another telling on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” at 10 p.m. Tuesday on the pay-cable channel. In a segment titled “A Beautiful Mind,” the feature about the 6-3, 300 pound plus Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman notes that he is pursuing a doctorat…

PASADENA, Calif.— Buffalo News reporters Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck helped many Western New Yorkers understand what drove Pendleton native Timothy McVeigh to commit the deadliest domestic terrorism act in American history. With the help of the two reporters, the rest of the nation will rediscover what led McVeigh to bomb a federal building on April 19, 1995, that led …