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Raguse congratulates himself; "Mistresses" misses

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

One of the more amusing moments of the weekend came when Channel 4 weekend anchor Lou Raguse read a story on Saturday's 11 p.m. news about the station winning five New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association awards in Saratoga Springs.

Raguse was in an awkward position. He started out by noting that he was a winner for overall reporting excellence and then added that reporters Rich Newberg and Ed Drantch and the station's website also were winners.

My immediate thought was, couldn't Channel 4 have found another reporter to deliver that promotional news and not make Raguse look like he was channeling Channel 2's Maryalice Demler by congratulating himself? 



Lou Raguse: Put in Awkward Position


At least on the 10 O'Clock News, Raguse didn't start off by talking about himself during the awards story at the end of the newscast. 

Raguse won four first-place awards for his story about a disabled Dunkirk man who was bullied.

Channel 2's three first-place awards were for best newscast, a feature by semi-retired Rich Kellman and a sports feature by reporter Heather Ly.

On the radio side, WBFO won six awards and WBEN won three awards.

Retrieved from the cutting room floor: My Sunday story about former WBEN newsman Steve Cichon had to be cut slightly for space. One of the things that landed on the cutting room floor was when, how and and why Cichon began wearing his signature bow tie.

"I bought a bow tie at a yard sale when I was a little kid," explained Cichon. "My grandmother taught me to tie it on the back of a pop bottle. I once heard (CBS newsman) Charles Osgood say 'you never know what a guy wearing a bow tie is thinking.' There’s something really goofy about it. I like that. Starting with my internship at 15, I showed up every day wearing a bow tie.”

Speaking of goofy, there's the premiere at 10 tonight of the new ABC series "Mistresses" on Channel 7. I watched a preview Sunday night and want the hour of my life back.

A viewer should know before the opening credits whether this unintentionally hilarious adaptation of a British series will be his or her cup of tea even grading on a summer curve. It is reminiscent of a daytime soap opera.

Alyssa Milano ("Who's the Boss?") and Yunjin Kim ("Lost") play two of the four 30something professional women looking for love in all the wrong places. Milano's character, Savannah or Savi for short, is a lawyer dealing with fertility problems that have destroyed the ego of her British husband Harry (Brett Tucker). She also has to deal with a legal colleague (Jason George) who apparently isn't aware of sexual harassment lawsuits. Kim plays a psychiatrist who got too close to one of her dying patients. Savi also has a free-spirited real estate sister Josslyn (Jes Macallan). The final friend is April (Rochelle Aytes), a pretty widow who runs a home decorating store when she isn't thinking her husband is a ghost.

There isn't a believable moment in tonight's pilot, which is carefully filmed in a provocative way that makes it all a silly tease. The dialogue and silly situations in the hour make you wish "Saturday Night Live" wasn't on a summertime break because they cry out for a parody.

But perhaps I am taking this a little bit too seriously. "Mistresses" will only work as a summer fling if a viewer goes in embracing the silliness and doesn't expect anything but cliches.

On the other hand, "Mistresses" is good counterprogramming for the night's best viewing -- LeBron James and the Miami Heat against the Indiana Pacers in game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals of the National Basketball Association.

The NBA has to be silently hoping that LBJ can carry the Heat to victory because it could be the league's only hope of getting decent ratings for the NBA Finals starting Thursday against the San Antonio Spurs.

One of the more surprisingly things about the Heat-Pacers series is how often James isn't getting foul calls that typically go to superstars. At times, you almost wonder if the officials are all from Cleveland. Somehow, I suspect James will get the calls tonight.




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