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I got a kick at 11 p.m. Wednesday about the way that Channel 2 anchor Maryalice Demler introduced a story about the Federal Aviation Administration's investigation of whether Colgan Air violated federal rules by overscheduling its pilots. "We're learning," said Demler, "a week before holding hearings on the crash of Flight 3407 …

The promos that NBC is running for its new police drama "Southland" are unintentionally funnier than anything on the network's must-see Thursday night comedies. If you're to believe the promos, America is close to falling in love with the series from "ER" producer John Wells. Actually, the ratings have been going south in the four weeks i…

I know that TV series like to end their seasons with cliffhangers. But the Thursday night season finale of "Private Practice" had a disgusting one. In the final minute, a very pregnant Dr. Violet Turner (Amy Brenneman) was helpless in her home while one of her psychologically-disturbed patients was about to cut into her stomach to extrac…

Isn't it ironic that the Retro Television Network, which carries classic television shows, is going to be saved locally by a technological advance? RTN, which was carried on WNGS until late January, is expected to return shortly on the third digital channel of WGRZ-TV, the Gannett-owned NBC affiliate. Thanks to digital, stations can have four separate c…

It looks like Maria Genero is a candidate for a weekend weather job at Channel 2. Genero, who used to be a weather anchor at Channel 4 and in Los Angeles and Miami, popped up over the weekend to do weather on WGRZ-TV. It is unclear if Genero, who left a Saturday morning program, "WNY Living," on Channel 2 to work for the Buffalo Sabr…

Tired of watching reruns and discovering your favorite network shows are on at surprising times? Those annoyances will end Thursday when the May sweeps officially begin. It's been awhile since the networks loaded up on specials during the sweeps, when advertising rates for affiliates are traditionally determined. And after taking a quick look at ne…

It's hard to call the decision of 73-year-old announcing legend John Madden to retire a "shocker." But it's still a surprise because from the day he began calling NFL games in 1980, Madden seemed like an ageless kid who loved his job. He had a solid final game alongside Al Michaels calling Pittsburgh's 27-23 victory over Ar…

Have no fear, the Buffalo Bills prime time game with the New York Jets in Toronto on Dec. 3 on The NFL Network will get double coverage here on a local network affiliate if it is sold out 72 hours in advance as expected. At this point, we just don't know which station will get the simulcast. A Bills spokesman confirmed this morning that no local station owns the …

Just once I wish the local TV news departments would surprise me after a Buffalo Bill gets in some off-the-field trouble. It didn't happen Monday when the local newscasts went heavy with reports about safety Donte Whitner being Tasered in front of a Cleveland nightclub and spending much of Saturday in jail after being accused of trying to join a "near riot."…

I learned today how serious fans of the ABC series "Life on Mars" are about the canceled series. In my column today about last week's series finale, I said that the series had Michelle Obama being the President in 2035. I made the assumption that the President Obama referred to near the end of the episode was Michelle beca…

I didn't see that one coming. The big surprise on Monday's powerful episode of "House" wasn't that Meat Loaf (credited as Meat Loaf Aday) did such a fine job as a patient on the medical series.. It was that Dr. Lawrence Kutner, played by actor Kal Penn, apparently committed suicide. I say apparently because Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) w…

We're used to studio analysts saying things about sports that boggle the mind. But Brian Engblom's analysis of the Buffalo Sabres play after the first period of their 4-1 loss to Detroit was a real head-scratcher on Versus. He seemed to think the game was being played in Detroit, rather than in HSBC Arena.  "The Detroit Red Wings can overwhel…

Fans of NBC's exceptional "Friday Night Lights" got a scare from Sunday's TV Topics and Time Warner Cable's channel guide when the service that provides those listings had a locally-sponsored golf show  listed in the place of "Lights" this Friday on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliiate.  I received two email…

My sister-in-law called me frantically this week with two questions: "'Are they really canceling 'Life on Mars?' Why do they always cancel shows I like?'" The answer to the first question is yes, ABC has canceled the series, which was based on a popular BBC series about a police detective who was transported back in time to the 1970s. The…

If you're looking for C-Span today on Time Warner Cable, turn to Channel 96. The channel, which carries Congressional and governmental meetings and public affairs programming, was moved from Channel 9 to make room for Time Warner's new 24-hour news channel, YNN as in Your News Now. The new news channel, which has four anchors and nine reporter…