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IT'S BACK

NICKEL CITY SCENE

WHAT: locally produced TV show spotlighting regional music

WHEN: Airs Saturday at 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. on WUTV

INFO: 875-7740

Call it a comeback. Full Circle Studios' "Nickel City Scene" has escaped from the murky depths of television cancellation to shine its spotlight on regional music once again.

A strong 15-minute video demo recently convinced WUTV General Manager Don Moran to order a trial run of six one-hour episodes of the cutting-edge music show. In its maiden 1995-96 voyage on WIVB-TV, "Nickel City Scene" aired 37 episodes looking at musical artists from Buffalo bands to national favorites, including the Barenaked Ladies, Tori Amos and Tugboat Annie. At first, the show's miraculous return left the digital media production company's director of operations with mixed emotions.

"There was a sense of relief, and then horror because you realize that now you have to make it," Terry Fisher said with a smile. "But the main thing is the rarity of such an occurrence, kind of like being struck by lightning or eaten by a shark or alligator."

Producer Dave Lesinski has been with the show since its inception six years ago and said to expect some positive changes. "We are doing a lot more humor, and there are a lot more creative minds going into it. Last time it was mostly me."

Nickel City's new generation is rounded out by co-hosts Annmarie Kelschenbach and Rob Cadle and production duo Grace Altieri and Jerry MacKay. The tight group's first episode aired last month. It featured an eclectic assortment of music ranging from power pop to reggae. Kelschenbach is quick to say this week's show is a vast improvement on the first.

"I don't think we knew what we were getting into, making an hour-long show," she admitted. "You could tell it (the first show) wasn't as polished as it could have been. I am much prouder of this show."

Some of this month's highlights include interviews with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Sum 41 and Mexican Cession getting kicked out of Chuck-E-Cheese's, as well as a roundup of the Americanarama alt-country festival and more wry humor.

As the young hosts traded insults, Fisher added the show is open to ideas from viewers and members of the music community. He suggested film students getting together with local bands to produce music videos, an almost non-existent medium in the area.

"If it's interesting, we want to see it and put it on the air," Fisher said enthusiastically. "It's not bad to have a potential audience of 4 million people."

Performers interested in being profiled or anyone who wants to share their thoughts on the entertainment scene can send information to: Full Circle Studios, 100 River Road Drive, Suite 304, Buffalo 14207. Information is also available on the Web at: www.fullcirclestudios.com and www.nickelcityscene.com.

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