This is what I’m thinking:
During her show’s latest victory at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Tiny Fey joked Sunday that it would be nice if TV viewers recorded CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” instead of her show for tonight’s series finale of “30 Rock.”
I can’t see that happening in Buffalo where “Big Bang” gets huge ratings and “30 Rock” gets fewer viewers than it has won awards.
OK, I’m exaggerating. But only slightly.
Despite all the Emmys, despite all the Golden Globes, the SAG awards and the Peabody, “30 Rock” has never been embraced locally in significant numbers. The show within a show has consistently been one of the lowest-rated series on Channel 2. Its saving grace is it gets decent demographics for advertisers.
So I’m not expecting WNYers will much care for the hour-long swan song tonight of Liz Lemon (Fey), Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), Jenna Moroney (Jane Krakowski) and Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan). It airs at 8 p.m. on Channel 2.
“30 Rock” was an acquired taste and not many WNYers ever acquired it. Those who did, however, loved its skewering of TV and NBC.
When it premiered, it wasn’t even supposed to be the hot TV show on TV about TV. That was supposed to be Aaron Sorkin’s “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” which only lasted one season.
Today is the 20th anniversary of one of the most celebrated plays in the Buffalo Bills’ Super Bowl history. Twenty years ago today, the Bills lost, 52-17, to the Dallas Cowboys in Pasadena, Calif. The highlight for the Bills occurred when receiver Don Beebe chased down the Cowboys’ Leon Lett as he appeared to be running toward an easy defensive touchdown. I bring this up because on Sunday, CBS’ Phil Simms is conducting “the first ever” Lett-Beebe interview together as part of his “All-Iron Team: Super Bowl Edition” at 1 p.m. According to a CBS release, Lett and Beebe “relive one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl lore.”
The program is going to feature some of Simms’ favorite catches, runs, gambles and blunders. I think you can tell which category the Lett-Beebe play falls under. Simms also is going to list some of the best teams never to win the Lombardi Trophy. It wouldn’t be a shock if the Bills made it by virtue of their first Super Bowl loss to Simms’ Giants made the list.
NBC’s premieres another new drama at 10 tonight, “Do No Harm,” in which former “Rescue Me” star Steven Pasquale stars in what amounts to a modern take on “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Pasquale plays a brilliant doctor by day starting at 8:25 a.m. and turns into a bad guy at 8:25 p.m. who goes to wild parties, abuses woman and his body. He is constantly checking his watch to see how long it will be before his transformation.
Ridiculous? Of course. But I didn’t find myself checking my watch that often in this fast-pace series that co-stars Phylicia Rashad and Alana De La Garza as medical colleagues. Pasquale played an endearingly stupid fireman on “Rescue Me” and he is pretty likable and sympathetic during the daytime in this series, too. “Harm” is getting destroyed by many bloodthirsty critics because it is so ridiculously implausible, but there’s no harm in giving it a try. I think you might be more bothered by all the blood in the medical procedures and the darkness of the plots than the absurdity of the premiere. After all, it is only TV. I liked it a helluva lot more than NBC’s “Deception,” but that isn’t saying much.
Of course, it isn’t always easy to predict how the public is going to react to TV shows or advertising. That became apparent this week on NBC’s “Today” when it aired a proposed Super Bowl ad for Volkswagen which featured a white guy from Minnesota speaking in a thick Jamaican accent in an infectious way advising people to be happy. “Today” interviewed a well-known advertising critic, who called the ad “so racist” and “a mistake in judgment” and suggested that it would be replaced on Super Bowl Sunday by a backup VW ad. A day later, a representative of the ad agency that created the ad said the agency asked about 150 Jamaicans what they thought of the ad and they loved it. Finally, NBC polled its viewers and asked if they thought it went too far and was insensitive. The poll was one-sided – 93 percent didn’t have a problem with it.
I turned on WGR radio Wednesday morning briefly to hear if it would play a replay of Rick Jeanneret’s delayed and excruciatingly long call of Mikhail Grigorenko’s first goal as a Buffalo Sabres in Tuesday’s loss to Washington. As I wrote Wednesday, it might have been Jeanneret’s worst call in his career. I heard the goal being talked about Wednesday, but not Jeanneret’s call of it. Of course, I wasn’t listening for too long and it might have been replayed at some point. But that might have been embarrassing for Jeanneret, who has a made a reputation for seizing the big moments. When Grigorenko scores again, I would hope the broadcasting Hall of Famer has some nickname or catch line prepared or something comes to him spontaneously.