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Gronks' "Celebrity Family Feud" date is July 19; World Cup does well here

Inquiring minds want to know: When does Rob Gronkowski, his brothers and father appear on ABC’s summer hit “Celebrity Family Feud”?

I understand the confusion. Initial published reports were that the Gronks would face the family of Holly Robinson Peete and her husband -- former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete -- on June 21.

However, that was the premiere date of the series, not the date of the episode featuring the Gronkowskis.

ABC finally announced on its website Tuesday that the episode featuring the Gronks will air on Sunday, July 19. The winning team players earn $25,000 for the charity of their choice.

This has been the reality TV summer of Gronk. On Tuesday, he and his brother Dan competed in the new Fox reality series “Beat the Champions” in which professional athletes are given a handicap to compete with ordinary citizens in sporting events.

I only ran into the show on local Fox affiliate WUTV Tuesday because “Champions” followed the Fox post-game coverage of the United States women’s 2-0 soccer victory over Germany in the semifinal of the World Cup.

Dan threw passes to Rob, who was literally handcuffed at one point, as a 5-foot 7-inch former high school football player tried to prevent him from catching a touchdown pass.

Rob was able to catch TDs on the first two attempts. But the handicap on the third try – several gospel singers joined the former football player in the end zone – was too much to overcome and Dan’s pass fell incomplete. The contestant won $25,000.

I’m not sure what would be more surprising – that Rob could catch a long pass with handcuffs on or anyone who wasn’t paid to watch got through the hour show which also featured swimmer Missy Franklin and former NBA star Scottie Pippen being challenged by regular people.

Local ratings pretty much validate that point. The Gronkowski portion of the program had a 0.7 rating and the entire hour a 0.5. If the national numbers were that bad, we could be talking about instant cancellation.

The low rating came despite the strong lead-in from Fox’s coverage of the United States' victory over Germany in the women’s World Cup. The game had a 5.0 rating on WUTV. The United States’ 1-0 victory over China Friday night in the quarterfinals of the World Cup had a 4.0 local rating on WUTV. Those are impressive numbers for women’s soccer.

However, several other programs Tuesday had higher local ratings, including “Wheel of Fortune” (9.8) and “Jeopardy” (11.3) on Channel 4, and “Entertainment Tonight” (6.3) and “The Insider” (5.2) on Channel 2 in the 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. hour opposite the soccer game.

NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was the big prime time winner Tuesday with a 10.8 rating from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Channel 2.

The intriguing opening episode of the new CBS series “Zoo” had a 6.7 rating on Channel 4, keeping all of the lead-in from a repeat episode of “NCIS” (6.6) that also had a rating higher than the World Cup.

While we are on sports ratings, not surprisingly the first half hour of the NHL Draft on cable’s NBC Sports Netwok Friday had a higher rating here than the soccer game that night. Draft coverage had a 4.3 rating from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in anticipation of the Buffalo Sabres drafting Jack Eichel, then slipped to a 2.3 at 7:30 p.m. Here’s what NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire said on the air Friday after the Sabres drafted Eichel and acquired Ryan O’Reilly in a trade: “The Buffalo Sabres have just become a real player in the Eastern Conference.”

Buffalo native Kevin R. LoVullo appears in tonight's episode of the Oxygen Channel reality series "Player Gets Played." If the name sounds familiar, he is the son of  Kevin J. LoVullo, the host of the Channel 2 program "Spiel the Wine."


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