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Alan Pergament: A million little TV things

This is what I’m thinking:

If you want to know why ABC has decided against airing another edition of “Dancing with the Stars” this spring, just look at the ratings in Buffalo. The show has experienced a big viewership drop here and those people still watching are old and unattractive to advertisers.

It was barely in the Top 40 here, dropped 25 percent in household ratings from a year ago, and doesn’t even hit a 1 rating in the key demographic

There is some sentiment that the controversial win by country music radio host Bobby Bones in the most recent edition had something to do with ABC waiting until next fall for the next edition of the show.

But I am not buying that because networks and shows usually benefit from controversies.

If you’ve been to a Dipson theater lately, you likely have seen a preview of the film “Wildlife” starring Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal from first-time director Paul Dano. Dano is currently starring as inmate David Sweat in the Showtime series “Escape at Dannemora.”

“Mrs. Maisel” Update: I warned you in my review that the first few episodes of the second season of Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” were considerably less than marvelous. They were pretty boring. But I’ve now seen the entire 10 episodes and the season improved. Without revealing the cliffhanger ending, I will say that it surprised me.

NBC’s highest-rated series “This Is Us” hasn’t been as compelling in its third season as it was in the first two seasons. It really lost me in the last episode of the year before its January return when the perfect marriage of Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) abruptly hit a rough patch over Randall’s political plans. Too abruptly, if you ask me.

I haven’t seen much to like among the new broadcast TV shows, but I have enjoyed episodes of ABC’s very dark series “A Million Little Things” and NBC’s hospital series “New Amsterdam” more than I did their pilots. I will say the characters in “Million” have an amazing ability to forgive infidelity. The show is moving to 9 p.m. Thursdays in January after “Grey’s Anatomy,” which remains one of ABC’s top-rated programs and will provide a solid lead-in.

The recent Golden Globes nominations weren’t kind to network television. None of the five nominations for drama, best dramatic actress, best dramatic actor, best comedic actor and best limited series or made-for-television movies were from a broadcast network. NBC’s “The Good Place” was nominated for best comedy. Three of the five nominations for best comedic actress – Kristen Bell of “The Good Place,” Candice Bergen of “Murphy Brown” and Debra Messing of “Will & Grace” – were given to network programs at a time when comedies aren’t doing all that well.

My favorite recent movie is “Green Book,” which stars Mahershala Ali as a renowned African-American pianist in the 1960s who hired a  white driver from the Bronx played by Viggo Mortensen to take him and protect him on a road tour of performances that included shows in the Deep South. Ali is the star of the upcoming third season of HBO’s “True Detective,” which is set to premiere on the pay-cable network Jan. 13.

Believe it or not, I hadn’t seen the 2003 film “Love Actually,” which some people consider a Christmas movie, until this month. I ended up wondering what all the fuss was about. I was especially disappointed by the gratuitous porn movie plot line.

I’m all for widowed Dan Conner (John Goodman) to eventually get involved with the bartender played by Katey Sagal in “The Conners.” The character who was introduced in an episode two weeks ago, seems nice. If Dan eventually is ready to date her, it will be an adjustment for him after all those years with Roseanne Conner.

Don Paul ends his run as weekend meteorologist at WKBW-TV (Channel 7) this weekend. Paul, who writes an online column for The Buffalo News, has been a broadcast meteorologist for 34 years in this market and worked at all three local news stations. He joined Channel 7 after his 29-year run at WIVB-TV (Channel 4) ended. He also worked at Channel 2 for three years. I’m told Paul would like to continue working in television, but I don’t see any openings here. His political posts on Facebook probably won’t help him land elsewhere.

The Buffalo Sabres are showing how important winning is when it comes to the team's ratings. Through last weekend, the ratings for Sabres games were up 61 percent from a year ago at this point of the season. The games are getting live ratings in Western New York higher than almost all prime time entertainment programs. However, the Bills ratings are three times as high, which illustrates how much more popular the NFL is than the NHL.

Inquiring minds want to know: What was the rating for the University at Buffalo’s basketball win over Syracuse on the same night the Buffalo Sabres lost to Florida Tuesday night? The Sabres game, which started and finished earlier, had a rating twice as high. The score: Sabres 11.4, UB 5.7.

If you didn’t see the wonderful documentary about Mr. Fred Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” when it came out in the summer, be advised that HBO will start carrying it on Feb. 9. It scored 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. If you don’t have HBO, be advised that it will simultaneously air Feb. 9 on the PBS’ series “Independent Lens.” The film reportedly is the top-grossing biographical documentary of all time.


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