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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…

I wasn't so sure a few weeks ago that the Buffalo Bills signing of controversial superstar Terrell Owens would lead to more prime time exposure for the NFL team. In fact, I doubted it because historically the league doesn't change its prime time plans for one player, who may be sidelined by the time the scheduled game is played. That said, the deci…

One of the reasons I hate it when the exit of TV stars from series is announced is that it can ruin the suspense involving their characters. Take Sunday's episode of "Desperate Housewives," which ABC's promoted as containing a story line that would lead to the death of one character.  Since the exit of Nicollette Sheridan, who plays …

At the close of his extended interview with President Obama Thursday night, "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno said: "Mr. President, I must say this has been one of the best nights of my life." It certainly was ratings-wise in Western New York. The NBC program had a 12.9 rating on Channel 2, which the station would die for in prime time. The 12.9 rating means…

I received an interesting email today from a University at Buffalo fan asking how he could see tonight's College Basketball Invitational game with host Wichita State on HD Net. Good question. Needless to say, HD Net isn't as easily available as one of the ESPNs on your cable system. It's a high definition channel that is part of Time Warner Cable&#…

Everyone wants to beat up on cable companies like Time Warner. Hey, I do it often myself. But there are a couple of reasons to cheer the Buffalo system now. My column today is about Prime Time on Demand, which enables subscribers to watch marathons of popular NBC, CBS, FX and USA Network series at their own convenience on Channel 1005. It's a terrific feature. If you've tr…

Good idea or bad idea? I'm not talking about the Buffalo Bills signing of controversial NFL star Terrell Owens after he was let go by the Dallas Cowboys. I'm talking about VH1's decision earlier this year to do a reality show with Owens that will primarily focus on his off-the-field adventures. Before the Bills signed him, I doubt too many people h…

We're used to seeing TV anchors being treated with respect out in the world. But that's not always how it turns out -- especially in angry, stressed and contentious times like these. Case in point: Ch. 4's Jacquie Walker was the designated moderator for Gov. David Patterson's town meeting with some angry people in Niagara Falls. The event, the…

The report that the company that owns Channel 7 in Buffalo has dropped most of its news operations at its Syracuse station, WTVH-TV, and is eliminating at least 40 jobs there has added to the anxiety level at WKBW-TV. The moves resulted from an agreement that WTVH-TV made to combine business operations with a competitor, WSTM-TV, in Syracuse. WKBW-TV staffer…

Jimmy Fallon owes Justin Timberlake big time. Timberlake's singing impressions of John Mayer and Michael McDonald were the highlight of Monday's premiere of NBC's "Late Show with Jimmy Fallon." Indeed, Justin was so relaxed and so entertaining that he looked like a better choice to replace Conan O'Brien than Fallon. The one bit featuring…

I've overheard a few people at basketball games and parties declare that they became tired of all the craziness in the Fox thrill ride "24" last season and have stopped watching the series. They're making a mistake. I'm not saying that this year's horrific day in the life of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) hasn't had it…

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that a television executive is planning a 13-episode reality TV series, "Minor League," that will feature the hometown 2009 Red Wings and air on PBS stations across the country a year from now. Presumably, the baseball series would be attractive to WNED-TV, Buffalo's local PBS station, because there should b…

I must admit I've stopping making regular visits to NBC's long-running medical series, "ER," which remains popular here But I DVRed last Thursday's episode, which featured the return of Dr. John Carter (Noah Wyle), and watched it Monday afternoon. A few clues were thrown out to explain why the melancholy Carter returned to Chicago before…