By Alan Pergament
Monday morning quarterbacking, TV style:
You can look at round one of the Thursday head-to-head ratings battle between Robin Williams' CBS comedy "The Crazy Ones" and Michael J. Fox’s NBC comedy with his name in the title in two ways.
Before we do, let's look at the Buffalo results, which are consistent with what happened nationally.
Williams’ series had a 12.9 rating on Channel 4 at 9 p.m. Fox's series had a 7.2 at 9 p.m. on Channel 2 and a second episode that followed it had a 7.0.
So it looks like Williams’ won.
But if you look at another way, Fox is the winner.
Williams' series dropped 5.6 ratings point from its lead-in, the extremely popular "Big Bang Theory." Fox's series grew 3.0 points from its low-rated, NBC lead-in "Parks & Recreation."
As hard as it is for many people to believe in the age of the remote, lead-ins still matter. Fox's show actually had a higher live rating here than ABC's 8 p.m. Tuesday series "Marvel’s Agents of "S.H.I.E.L.D."
Of course, this Thursday we will learn if viewers will come back to watch either sitcom, neither of which were laugh out-loud funny.
"Crazy" and "Fox" both will take a big hit in Buffalo this Thursday because they will be competing with the Buffalo Bills game in Cleveland that is being simulcast on WBBZ-TV and the NFL Network.
Because the Bills are playing on Thursday, Fred Jackson's WBBZ show won’t be airing until 7:30 p.m. Friday. WBBZ is playing an extra 30 minutes of "The Bucky and Sully Show" tonight at 7.
I had to laugh at the wire feature story that ran Saturday in this newspaper that praised the CBS comedy "We Are Men" that stars Tony Shalhoub, Jerry O’Connell, Kal Penn and Chris Smith. The show, about three divorced men and a fourth guy who is about to avoid the altar, has every divorce cliché in the book and made my worst list of five shows. And I wasn't alone.
The big question with the CBS Monday drama "Hostages" after the pilot aired last week is how can it keep alive the story about a doctor who has to kill the President to save her family?
Well, CBS sent along the second episode of the series starring Toni Collette as the doctor and Dylan McDermott as the hostage taker and I can report it isn't as compelling as the pilot. The episode deals with the repercussions the doctor has to deal with after refusing to kill the Prez and focuses on a secondary character viewers have no reason to care about. And, then, of course, there is the implausible elements of the show, like why wouldn't the Secret Service be watching the doctor's every move when it is suspicious of her behavior?
I wouldn't be surprised if former Channel 4 reporter Lorey Schultz gets her job back working for Mayor Brown after her six-figure job with Buffalo Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown fell through. The mayor's office hasn’t filled her job and re-hiring her also might ease the chances of there being a lawsuit that could cost the city big bucks.
Time Warner Cable had technical problems that prevented me from DVRing "Saturday Night Live" with guest host Tina Fey so the old guy had to stay up. But after 20 disappointing minutes when Fey couldn’t manage to reach expectations, I decided to go to bed anyway. After all, there is always On Demand's shorter version of "SNL" available. Anyone who missed Aaron Paul, a/k/a as Jesse Pinkman on "Breaking Bad," make a surprising appearance in the opening about Obamacare, should head to On Demand or online to catch it.
By the way, I will wait to address Sunday’s "Bad" finale a day or so to give more viewers time to catch it On Demand. For now, I will just say it more than met my expectations. I enjoyed it as much as Walter White (Bryan Cranston) apparently enjoyed cooking crystal meth all these years.
Would you believe? NBC's Rodney Harrison said something nice about the Bills Sunday night. Here is his quote: "I'm buying in to Buffalo. They are a young team. They play very hard each week. They are competitive and loaded with talent. It starts each week with their quarterback EJ Manuel. He's so mature." Absolutely shocking coming from Harrison, who blasted Mario Williams' decision to become a Bill last season.