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When last we left Chuck Rhodes Jr., he was fully dressed in his S&M leathers, completely tied up and suspended horizontally from the ceiling. It was the season finale of Showtime's "Billions" and Paul Giamatti, as Rhodes, had decided his manipulative behavior in that episode had been rotten enough to earn much-desired physical punishment by his dominatrix. When Show…

Sports

We the South hit a local series-high rating for the Toronto Raptors’ NBA title-clinching Game Six win over the Golden State Warriors Thursday night. The game averaged a preliminary rating of 11.4 on WKBW-TV (Channel 7), the local ABC affiliate, if you include the first 15 minutes of the pregame show. The figure would go up slightly if you drop the 6.8 rating at game’s s…

Columns

The seven-episode Ryan O’Reilly Show continued to deliver a huge rating in Buffalo for his final act. St. Louis’ 4-1 win over Boston Wednesday night led by O’Reilly’s opening goal in the deciding Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final had a preliminary 13.9 rating on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) if the low-rated pregame activities are counted. The rating grows to a 14.3 if the first 15…

Columns

Buffalo writer Tom Fontana’s award-winning career has spanned four decades in television, but he is doing something for the first time working on Showtime’s “City on the Hill.” “It is the first time in my career that I haven’t been involved in a project from the beginning,” said Fontana in a telephone interview. “But everybody has been very willing to listen to me and l…

Columns

This is what I’m thinking: James Corden’s opening number on Sunday night’s CBS telecast of the Tony Awards celebrated the joy of watching live TV over all the recorded programs carried on streaming services and cable. Unfortunately, not that many Western New Yorkers watched the three-hour telecast celebrating Broadway because most viewers here were tuned to Game 6 of…

Sports

If you are one of those TV viewers who have doubted Nielsen because your favorite show doesn’t get ratings as high as you think it should, the May news sweeps results from a second service appears to give your view some ammunition. And the results from the second ratings service, ComScore, now used by WIVB-TV (Channel 4), may make its owner, Nexstar, second guess its de…

Columns

“Big Little Lies: The Aftermath.” That should be the title of the second season of HBO’s popular miniseries that premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday and is repeated at 10 p.m. In season two, the so-called “Monterey Five” played by Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravitz deal with the aftermath of many of the secrets and lies from season …

Columns

The category on my "Fake 'Jeopardy'" show is "Begins with S." The answer is "The use of clever, but false arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving." The proper responding question should be "What is 'sophistry?' Alex." Sophistry, pure and unalloyed, were, I think, all those mathematical explanations for this week's finale of James Holzhauer's extraordina…

Sports

The Ryan O’Reilly Show is becoming an even bigger hit in Buffalo. The St. Louis Blues’ 2-1 win over Boston Thursday night fueled by an O’Reilly goal and an assist in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final had a series-high 10.4 rating on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) – if the 25-minute pregame show is dropped. The rating was still a 10.1 if only the first 15 minutes of the pregame is dr…

TV

For 40 years, WIVB chief photographer Mike Mombrea Jr. used his camera to become quite the storyteller. But Mombrea Jr., 65, who retired two weeks ago, is quite a storyteller without a camera in his hands, too. His audition story was priceless. A young Mombrea had tired of attending college classes and decided to follow his father, former Channel 4 photojournalist…

Sports

This is what I’m thinking: I can almost hear the telephones ringing inside the WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) newsroom Sunday morning when “Meet the Press” isn’t on. It isn’t Channel 2’s decision, just as it wasn't the station's decision in May when "MTP" was pre-empted for a sporting event. The program moderated by Chuck Todd is off this Sunday because NBC’s coverage of the…

Sports

The Ryan O’Reilly Show was a hit Monday night in Buffalo. On a night that O’Reilly scored two goals – including the game-winner – in the St. Louis Blues’ 4-2 win over Boston to even the Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece, NBC affiliate WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) had a very strong 9.4 household rating. The rating peaked at 12.9 at 9:45 p.m. When the low rating of 5.6 during …

Gusto

James Holzhauer ran out of luck on Monday night. That may sound odd to say about a man who won more than $2.4 million – about $58,000 less than “Jeopardy!” recordholder Ken Jennings – displaying his brilliance over 33 days on “Jeopardy!” But in “Jeopardy!” you have to be smart and lucky. And the odds of the cumulative unlucky things that brought down the Las Vegas…

TV

Spoiler Alert:  If you have been rooting for James Holzhauer to lose on “Jeopardy!” this is going to be your night. As reported by the New York Post, a viral video is making the rounds that appears to show the Las Vegas gambler who has won more than $2.4 million finally losing in the episode that airs at 7:30 tonight on WIVB-TV (Channel 4) in Buffalo. The episode …