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If you are a regular reader of this column, you know I’m a big fan of “Fleabag,” the British comedy carried on Amazon Prime. Whenever I’m asked what program to recommend, “Fleabag” is near the top of the list. In a column last month, the second season of “Fleabag” was high on my list of nine programs to binge watch on a rainy day. The series stars Phoebe Waller-Br…

Columns

Abraham Lincoln said it best. But then, he made a habit of doing that. "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you really want to test a man's character, give him power." A cruel test has just been performed on the American character, which had to endure impotence at its ugliest so that television could test its political omnipotence. The American public withstoo…

Columns

David Milch, the Buffalo native who started his television writing career in 1982 with an Emmy-winning script for the groundbreaking series “Hill Street Blues,” is being honored this weekend with the career achievement award by the Television Critics Association. Milch, a Nichols School and Yale University graduate and former Yale lecturer before entering the television…

Gusto

Its lengthy name is a hint that there's a lot going on at the Western New York Movie Expo and Memorabilia Show. The fourth annual event, to be held from Aug. 1 to 4 in the Buffalo Grand Hotel (formerly the Adam's Mark Hotel), is a classic film festival, a celebration of vintage TV and collector's candy store - with a twist. In the more than 100 movies, shorts and tel…

Let's talk about opinions. We are, after all, drowning in them these days. Please don't tell me the problem with all the most conspicuous journalists -- especially on TV news -- after Robert Mueller's anti-climactic appearance before two congressional committees last week was that they suddenly and awkwardly turned into "drama critics." No they didn't. Not unless the…

Food and Drink

We admit, we are big chickens. Especially when it comes to sharks. We rarely dip our toes in anything other than a swimming pool, including Lake Erie. (We understand a lake doesn't have sharks, but you really never know.) It’s ironic that we look forward to the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week (July 28 to Aug. 4). Like a striking Great White, Shark Week joyfully rip…

TV

The ABC “Nightline” program that will feature the award-winning coverage by Channel 7 investigative reporter Charlie Specht on the sexual abuse allegations in the Buffalo Diocese finally has a tentative air date. WKBW-TV General Manager Michael Nurse said he was told by ABC this week that barring a last-minute change it is scheduled to be carried on Channel 7 at 12:30 a…

Forget Mies van der Rohe. Sometimes you have to listen to Cecil B. DeMille. In other words, less isn't always more; sometimes only more is more. If HBO was going to force a whole new season out of the Emmy-winning "Big Little Lies" -- as the premium cable grandees did with original novelist Liane Moriarty and all the principals in front of and behind the camera -- they …

Local News

Under former host Jon Stewart, "The Daily Show" over the years has enjoyed tweaking New York's senior senator, Chuck Schumer. Now the new incarnation of the show, hosted by Trevor Noah, is getting in on the fun. A recent segment featured "news" correspondent Jaboukie Young-White visiting a high school in Rhode Island to talk to students who have launched a high-profi…

Gusto

The light is on. Time for applause. We have a new winner. Actually we have a very old winner but it's one that has suddenly sprung up in a new and radically different era. In other words, the 21st century when new TV series are routinely dropped all at once to be binged at leisure. The contest that has been won this era is this one: even with binging now possible, wh…

Columns

You might expect a news station to report accurately on a story in which it was involved. You might be wrong. A misleading story was carried on the WIVB-TV website Tuesday about the dispute between its owner, Nexstar Media Group, and DirecTV owner AT&T concerning a letter written by Rep. Brian Higgins to the executives of both companies about the absence of WIVB …

Soccer

The U.S. women’s soccer team’s 2-0 World Cup championship game victory over Netherlands also was a big winner for local Fox affiliate WUTV. The game had a 9.5 local rating on WUTV, slightly below the 10.0 rating the game had in overnight ratings in metered markets. The rating doesn’t include viewers streaming the game or the local viewers who watched on Telemundo or in …

TV

The Larry David in me became annoyed over the long holiday weekend at nonstop crawls run by WIVB-TV (Channel 4) and WNLO-TV (CW23). The crawls, which appear to have ended this morning, claimed DirecTV’s owner “abruptly” dropped the channels and asked viewers to call a phone number to tell the satellite service owned by AT&T to put the channels back on. It was a c…

"I hated it." So said CNN's former CIA terrorism expert Phil Mudd. "Can't we have one day without a politician?" he asked, echoing what is perhaps the major question of the entire Trump era. You think that's harsh, you should have watched CNN and seen retired Rear Admiral John Kirby call Donald Trump's July 4 speech "a sepia toned and saccharine" version of American mil…

TV

This is another edition of What Is Western New York Watching: The United States women’s soccer team’s 2-1 win over England in the semifinals of the World Cup had a 6.0 rating Tuesday on WUTV, the local Fox affiliate. The rating peaked at an 8.3 at game’s end. To put the rating in perspective, the highest-rated prime-time program Tuesday, “America’s Got Talent,” had a…