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Sex and The City 2, Batavia Style

Shame.

Channel 4 and Channel 7 both deserve it for overplaying “Sex and the City, Part 2, Batavia Style.”

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, both stations lead with the story about the alleged picnic table sex at a Batavia park that resulted in a rare adultery charge against 41-year-old Suzanne M. Corona of Batavia. She and Justin M. Amend, 29, of Oakfield, also were charged with public lewdness, a misdemeanor.

Mind you this was the day that former Niagara Falls Mayor Vince Anello was in two federal courts dealing with charges filed by the U.S. attorney’s office.

And the park sex story didn’t really advance much from Monday except for court appearances by the accused. The Buffalo News didn’t carry anything about the story in my edition today.

Sure, the park sex story is bound to be continually talked about, which undoubtedly was behind the stations’ decision to lead with it.

Corona also gave the stations’ something they badly needed – an ill-advised, on-the-street interview that provided video. In the interview with her husband by her side, Corona publicly disputed some earlier statements made by Batavia city police but admitted some “inappropriate” behavior.

According to Channel 7, Corona was given two weeks to find an attorney. If she had an attorney Tuesday, he or she presumably would have told her that TV time is less important than avoiding jail time. There is a good chance an attorney would have advised her to keep quiet unless she is in court.

Channel 7 and Channel 4 also provided some irrelevant details about the case. Both said that Corona told police upon her arrest that her husband was a transgender and they hadn’t been intimate for some time. I’m no lawyer but that didn’t exactly sound like a good legal defense for allegedly having sex in a public park.

Of course, the story is news. It is where and how it was played that seemed so out of line. If the stations had promoted the story on the top of the news and played it 10 minutes later where it belonged, surely viewers would have waited for it.

In a way, that would have played to the stations’ advantage by keeping viewers waiting for 10 minutes and forcing them to watch more important stories.

* Now on to something much more wholesome: Tuesday’s season finale of “Glee,” the Fox series about a diverse glee club that became one of the season’s most-talked about new shows.

Any episode that features songs from Journey gets two thumbs up from me. The music in the episode that featured the regional finals competition was inspiring and top-notch.

The story? Not so much. It was sickeningly sweet as practically every season-long plot ended happily with reunited parents and romantic partners. Even nasty, dirty tricks cheerleader Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) turned into a softie who saved the day – and next year — for the Glee Club supposedly so she can get into director Will Schuester’s (Matthew Morrison) beautiful hair for another season.

Call me a softie, too, because I loved it even while recognizing it may have been a little too feel-good for regular viewers of the series.

pergament@msn.com

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Sex and the City, Batavia Style

How did local news handle “Sex and the City, Batavia style?”

Of course, I’m talking about the case in which city police said a 41-year-old married Batavia woman was found by a police officer having sex on a park picnic table with a 29-year-old Oakfield man.

Suzanne M. Corona and Justin M. Amend were charged with a misdemeanor – public lewdness. She also was charged with adultery, a charge that occurs less often than New York State passes a budget on time.

The “Sex and the City” story certainly was much sexier than the budget crisis, giving the local TV stations a dilemma: Do we lead with a sex story or a money story? Do we lead with a sensational story or a more important story?

In the case of news leader Channel 4, sex won at 6 p.m. Monday. Reporter Luke Moretti’s story topped the newscast. At 11 p.m, Channel 7 was the only station that went for sex over money, leading with the sex story.

That lead to one of the more amusing recent transitions, with anchor Joanna Pasceri saying something like “now on to the state budget.”

She might as well has said “now on to more important but less sensational news.”

Channel 2 practically buried the sex story by local TV standards, making it the third story at 11 p.m. after the state budget crisis and the latest news involving Carl Paladino’s underdog attempt to become governor.

As far as importance, the sex story was vastly overplayed by local TV news. Take a look this morning at where it landed in The Buffalo News. It is down in the bottom of page B1 of the City & Region section and jumped to page B2.

That’s about right. Believe me, people will find it. And they also will find that it explains how rare the charge of adultery is in New York State. According to reporter Denise Jewell Gee, state records show it is the first time the charge has been leveled in four years and only the 12th time in 38 years.

Of course, the sex story easily will be the most talked about story at the water cooler this morning. Heck, it wouldn’t be surprising if it made Letterman or Leno’s monologue tonight.

* On CBS’ Sunday Morning, Chief White House correspondent Chip Reid speculated that President Obama’s slow response to the massive oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico could put a second term in jeopardy. Of course, Reid isn’t the only reporter doing that.

However, I’m guessing that Reid’s remark may be one reason that the President chose “Today” show co-host Matt Lauer on NBC this morning to play defense during an interview. To his credit, Lauer asked some tough questions and didn’t easily accept the President’s weak explanation of why he hasn’t spoken to Tony Hayward, the head of BP, directly. The President certainly spoke to him indirectly through Lauer, saying he would have fired Hayward for some remarks he has made during the crisis.

Lauer was much softer in the second half of the interview when he quizzed the President on the forced resignation of 89-year-old White House correspondent Helen Thomas over her remarks on Israel. Finally, Lauer threw a soft ball and asked the President about Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig’s decision not to award a perfect game to a Detroit Tigers pitcher, Armando Galarraga, who lost that achievement by a bad umpire call. For the record, the President said he thought Thomas made the right call to resign and Selig made the right call, too.

*I didn’t always tell Buffalo News readers when local residents appear on game shows because it happens so often and there are space considerations. But, hey, they and their family members are potential hits on my blog now. So here it goes. Michael Frank, a 44-year-old warehouseman and substitute teacher from North Tonawanda, appears on “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire” on Thursday, June 17. He is a 1984 graduate of North Tonawanda High School. His wife Kelly sat in the audience during the show, which is shot in New York City. The show is carried locally at 1 p.m. weekdays on WNLO-TV.

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Hockey Beats Hoop Here; No One Tops Bullock

Nobody asked me but:

* Not surprisingly in this hockey town, championship round hockey trumped championship round basketball in a head-to-head matchup Sunday night by almost a 2-1 margin.

The Chicago Black Hawks’ 7-4 victory in Game 5 over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals had a 10.6 rating on Channel 2, the NBC affiliate.

The Boston Celtics’ 103-94 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals had a 5.7 rating on Channel 7, the ABC affiliate. CBS’ afternoon golf coverage of the Memorial Tournament won by Justin Rose even beat basketball with a 6.2 rating on Channel 4, the CBS affiliate.

Nationally, the results were reversed. The Celtics’ win had a 10.9 overnight rating on ABC and the Black Hawks’ victory had a 4.0 rating on NBC. The Buffalo TV market is a rare one in which hockey outdraws hoop.

The good news for both the NHL and the NBA and Channel 2 and Channel 7 is that none of the remaining games will go head-to-head.

*Is it just me, or is NBC’s sound too high at times during the Stanley Cup finals ?

The crowd noise can be so loud that you can’t hear the announcers at times. I know, this is isn’t always a bad thing. And those Pierre McGuire on-ice interviews are ridiculously hard to hear. On Sunday night, he interviewed a Black Hawk after the game while the public address announcer was shouting about who was selected as the game’s three stars.

I’d rather see the three stars skate on the ice than hear — or not hear – a McGuire interview with a player.

* Talk about perfect timing. I took a brief pause from watching the NBA and NHL games Sunday just in time to see Sandra Bullock take over the MTV Movie Awards like the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo took over the game with the Lakers.

Looking radiant in a black sparkly thing – sorry I wouldn’t know Vera Wang from the Bills’ Ed Wang – Bullock seemed to be proving the theory that laughter is the best medicine as she accepted something called The Generation Award.

She had several sparkly jokes about the rumors that have sprung up since she and her hubby Jesse James split. Then she kissed Scarlett Johansson, the wife of Ryan Reynolds, her co-star in “The Proposal.”

It was an impressive performance on what really was a Bullock Awards show doubleheader. On Saturday, she was given the “Troops Choice Award” for Entertainer of the Year at Spike TV’s “Guys Choice” event. That won’t air until June 20.

On “Today” this morning, co-host Matt Lauer wondered aloud what the deal was with the Bullock-Johansson kiss.

“Is that required at these award shows now?” Lauer asked co-host Ann Curry.

“You really should make yourself a presenter,” replied Curry.

Not really. The last thing that Lauer needs is more Page 1 material for one of the supermarket rags that seem to stalk his every move.

* Speaking of The MTV Awards, my 17-year-old son advised me that the language got a little rough later in the program (while I was watching basketball) and the censors did about as good a job containing it as the Lakers did containing Rondo. In other words, dialogue from “Jersey Boys” sprung out. (The silliest controversy over the recent performances of “Jersey Boys” at Shea’s was that there weren’t any warnings about the language. I mean the musical is called “Jersey Boys”!).

The language at the MTV Awards was hardly a shock, either. It wouldn’t be the MTV Awards without expletives and same-sex kisses.

* On Tuesday, Fox airs the season finale of “Glee.” If you missed all the fuss about this show — about a high school glee club — that is full of teachable moments, be advised the first season DVD arrives Sept. 14. And Fox – Channel 29 here — is airing reruns this summer.

* My Toronto critic friend Bill Brioux advises via his exceptional blog – “TV Feeds My Family” — that Conan O’Brien’s new 11 p.m. TBS show this fall will air two hours later on CTV (which is on Time Warner Cable) at 1 a.m. That means Conan will air opposite Leno, Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel here at different times.

* Regular readers – OK, both of you – may recall that one of the inspirations for this blog was discovering that my TWC box would re-set to Channel 1 and YNN in the morning every time I turned it on. Bulletin: There’s a way to stop that and set the channel you want to wake up to yourself. Just go to settings and follow directions.

* Smart, cheap move by the CW to bring back reruns of the 2007 CBS vampire series “Moonlight” starring Alex O’Loughlin on Thursdays after reruns of this year’s “The Vampire Dairies.” But don’t think “Moonlight” has any chance of coming back from the dead. O’Loughlin, who co-starred with Jennifer Lopez in this spring’s “The Backup Plan,” already is set to star in a new fall CBS version of “Hawaii Five-O.” “Moonlight” is on the CW because that network and CBS are owned by the same company, Viacom. The show was produced by Warner Brothers Television, the W in CW. “Moonlight” isn’t in syndication because there weren’t enough episodes made to make syndication profitable.

* Hard to believe the old NBC series “The A-Team” is coming back as a big summer movie. If you want to see the Mr. T series that inspired it, tune in to Channel 2’s digitial channel tonight at 8 at 2.3.

*Set your calendars. HBOs’ “Entourage” comes back June 27 with new Sunday night episodes. The NBA finals even will be over by then.

http://www.bing.com/search?q=Sandra%20Bullock%20and%20MTV%20Awards&form=SOLTLB

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Sports on The Air: Ch.4 Waits to Fill Sports Job

It was about a year ago that Channel 4’s sports department was down to a two-man on-air team in sports director John Murphy and backup Paul Peck.

That’s when Robin Adams went on maternity leave. She was supposed to return in mid-December but decided to concentrate on raising her child.

At the time, Channel 4 News Director Joe Schlaerth said he would be seeking a replacement for Adams “fairly quickly.”

I was suspicious of how long it would take to hire someone, suggesting Murphy and Peck would be fortunate if the new staffer is in place by the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Here it is six months later, the Stanley Cup playoffs are about to end and Channel 4 is still seeking a replacement – and undoubtedly saving some money in the process.

But you’d think something has to give shortly with the Buffalo Bills training camp on the horizon. That’s when stations concentrate on covering the biggest sports story in Buffalo any season.

Of course, Murphy and Peck aren’t the only two-man sports team in town. Channel 7 has been going with Jeff Russo and Shawn Stepner for awhile now and there’s no indication that is ever going to change. Channel 2 has four on-air staffers — sports director Ed Kilgore, Adam Benigni, Stu Boyar and Ben Hayes (who anchored Friday night).

The two-man teams on Channel 4 and Channel 7 can mean some seven-day weeks for on-air personnel during important local sports events, like when the Buffalo Sabres were in the NHL playoffs. When there aren’t important events and one of the sports staffers is off, Channel 4 has used anchor-reporter Jericka Duncan as the sports anchor.

In an interview, Murphy said he recently asked Schlaerth if a third person is going to be hired and was told that it is going to happen.

The two-man, on-air sports teams at Channel 4 and Channel 7 are a reflection of the decreased attention that national sports gets locally because so much is available on the internet and even on teams’ websites.

It also can have an impact on the coverage of local sports – since a two person on-air staff in a town with the Bills and the Sabres and a Division 1 program at the University at Buffalo can only do so many other local sports features.

* Danny Briere, Brian Campbell, Patrick Kane and the other Buffalo connections to the Stanley Cup Finals are adding up to big local ratings that illustrate the power of network television.

Buffalo is the third-rated market in the finals, behind only Chicago and Philadelphia, who have teams playing for the title.

The Black Hawks’ 6-5 win in Game 1 a week ago on Memorial Day weekend had a 7.3 rating on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate. The Hawks’ 2-1 win in game two had a 10.2 rating last Monday on Channel 2. The two games averaged an 8.8 rating, up about 40 percent from the 6.3 rating last year for the first two games of the Pittsburgh-Detroit finals.

Nationally, the games were averaging ratings in the 3′s and breaking records previously held by Sabres games in the finals against the Dallas Stars (1999) and Flyers (1975).

The Flyers’ 4-3 overtime win Wednesday in Game 3 on cable’s Versus had a 3.7 rating locally, less than half of the rating on Channel 2. That illustrates the power of network TV. However, the 3.7 was up from a 3.6 rating a year ago. Nationally, the game had a 2.0 rating and was the most viewed telecast in the 15-year history of Versus. It would have been higher, too, if Versus covered more than just about 60 percent of households in the Chicago market.

The Flyers’ 5-3 win Friday was the last game in the series on Versus, with NBC getting the next two and perhaps a game seven. As a rule, ratings go up the longer the series lasts, which means Channel 2 can expect ratings in the teens for Games 5 (Sunday) and Game 6 (Wednesday).

Buffalo is a rare television market that often gets higher ratings for the NHL championship series than it does for NBA playoffs.

The Stanley Cup opener a week ago had three times the local audience that night for the Los Angeles Lakers’ game six clinching win over the Phoenix Suns (2.4 rating) in the Western Conference finals on TNT.

The Lakers’ Game 1 win Thursday over the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals had an 8.7 rating on Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate. That was close to the national overnight rating of 10.4 and it’s an indication that ratings here for the NBA finals featuring two of the league’s marquee teams could be competitive with ratings for the NHL finals.

The broadcast team of Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and especially Jeff Van Gundy also adds to the enjoyment of the games when they bicker about foul calls and just about everything else.

* What’s up with Terrell Owens, the one-year wonder for the Buffalo Bills?

VH-1 provided the answer before Owens was scheduled to appear on The NFL Network on Friday.

According to a release announcing the second season premiere of ‘The T.O. Show” at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, July 11, Owens is asking himself “Do I even want to play football next season?”

Of course, it isn’t exactly his call. NFL teams haven’t been lining up to sign him.

Owens has found a therapist “who puts him face to face with his greatest challenge – himself.”

The release added that Owens is making Los Angeles his home base in the off season after being let go by the Bills to be with “his publicists and best friends Monique and Kita as they strive to help him sort out the next phase of his life.”

“He also knows that in the process he might just have a shot at reconnecting with Kari – who has since moved to Los Angeles after he broke up with her during the football season, while also carving out more time with his kids.”

* Play-by-play man Marv Albert won’t be back doing the Monday Night Football games on national radio next season. Boomer Esiason, the analyst on the Westwood broadcasts carried locally on WGR-AM, made that announcement. He said Albert told him he couldn’t do the travel anymore.

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Pasceri Eyes Three More Years at Channel 7

Channel 7 anchor Joanna Pasceri apparently isn’t going anywhere.

Her Happy Talk crack Tuesday night to co-anchor Keith Radford that it is “always a possibility” that she’ll be replaced had no hidden meaning.

According to sources, Pasceri recently signed a new three-year deal at Channel 7. Of course, TV contracts are made to be broken these days. Sources have told me that Channel 7 anchors essentially have only eight to 13-week guarantees before they can be replaced.

The Happy Talk moment I am referring to above was Radford’s way of addressing Pasceri’s decision to temporary wear glasses as she awaits Lasik eye surgery.

Radford said “I keep thinking that Sarah Palin is beside me.” Shortly after that, he added “I thought maybe they got rid of Joanna” and got someone else.

To which, Pasceri replied, laughing: “You never know. That’s always a possibility.”

Pasceri couldn’t be reached for comment. But on her Facebook page, Pasceri wrote that she has to wear the glasses for a few weeks until she has the eye procedure.

* There is little possibility that local satellite viewers will see today’s 1 p.m. telecast of the Buffalo Bisons’ game with the Syracuse Chiefs that features the last minor league appearance of Stephen Strasburg. He’s the Chiefs pitcher who is the top draft pick of the Washington Nationals.

The game is being carried on Time Warner Channel 13 locally. It also is being carried regionally on SNY and nationally on Versus. But those channels, which are carried on satellite TV as well as cable, will be blacked out here. I should say they should be blacked out here. Sometimes, mistakes are made.

Of course, Time Warner wants exclusivity in its own neighborhood because it illustrates that some things it carries aren’t available on satellite.

* The documentary airing at 9 p.m. Monday on HBO, “Smash His Camera,” has a local angle. One of the producers is Linda Saffire, a 1980 graduate of Clarence High School and a 1984 graduate of Niagara University.

Saffire’s brother, Richard, reports that Linda is heading up her 30th high school class reunion this summer.

Surely, the reunion will lead to some talk about “Smash,” which won the best director’s award at the Sundance Film Festival. The film profiles well-known celebrity photographer Ron Galella.

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Buffalo Chef Exits "Hell's Kitchen" Quickly

The Buffalo chef on “Hell’s Kitchen” was the first contestant to be shown the door by host Gordon Ramsay in Tuesday’s season premiere on WUTV.

Stacey Slichta, 38, who listed her hometown as Buffalo, was the first of 16 contestants eliminated on the Fox reality show after she had a very rough day in Ramsay’s kitchen.

Slichta, who said on the program that she has cooked for celebrities Nathan Lane, Martin Short, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, admitted before she was ousted that she had a rough time in the hellish environment of Ramsay’s show.

Once she was out of camera range, Ramsay took a parting shot at her. “It is a good thing that Stacey is a private chef,” he said. “(Her) food wasn’t good enough for the public.”

* Happy Talk moment of the night: On Tuesday, Channel 7 anchor Keith Radford saw co-anchor Joanna Pasceri in glasses and pronounced “I keep thinking that Sarah Palin is beside me.”

Shortly after that, he added “I thought maybe they got rid of Joanna” and got someone else.

To which, Pasceri replied, laughing: “You never know. That’s always a possibility.”

* Today’s Buffalo News has an interesting story by Washington Post critic Tom Shales on the extended versions of the HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” that air on the TV Guide Channel. They feature panel discussions about the show, which will have heavily-edited language in syndication.

What the article doesn’t note is that “Curb” reruns also will be carried locally next fall. Those half hour syndicated episodes will be carried in late night by either WUTV (Channel 29) or Channel 49 (WNYO) starting in September.

“It is not going to have huge ratings, but very strong men’s demographics,” said Nick Magnini, the general manager of both Sinclair Broadcasting stations.

The episodes won’t include the panel discussions on the TV Guide Channel. And that’s probably a good thing.

* In case you wondered, the Buffalo market is No.3 when it comes to national ratings on NBC for the Stanley Cup final series between the Chicago Black Hawks and Philadelphia. Of course, Chicago is No.1 and Philadelphia is No.2. Games 3 tonight and Game 4 (Friday) are on Versus, the league’s cable rights-holder. NBC would get games five through seven, if necessary.

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Buffalo Chef Enters Hell's Kitchen Tonight

Curses. That’s usually my response when I learn that a reality show like “Hell’s Kitchen” has a contestant with a Buffalo angle.

That means I almost feel obligated to watch. And guess what? Gordon Ramsay will be cursing (though it is bleeped out) at a Buffalo woman, Stacey Slichta, in the season premiere of the Fox reality show. It airs at 8 tonight on WUTV.

On the Fox website, Slichta is described as a 38-year-old “private chef” whose hometown is Buffalo but who “currently resides” in Studio City, Calif.

In the preview supplied by Fox, Slichta starts out confidently and notes that her celebrity clients have included Nathan Lane, Don Rickles, Martin Short and Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.

The celebs are undoubtedly easier to please than Ramsay, who opens the program with some praise that is surprising in more ways than one. Don’t miss the opening, which is the most entertaining part of the expletive-deleted hour.

I can’t reveal too much about the episode without ruining it, but let’s just say that Slichta gets her fair portion of abuse from Ramsay. Of course, he spares no one in the field of 16.

* Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller had some interesting things to say about goalie play as the guest analyst on NBC in Saturday’s opening game of the Stanley Cup finals between the Chicago Black Hawks and Philadelphia Flyers. Unfortunately, analyst Mike Milbury interrupted just about every point that Miller made or was about to make. Somebody at NBC should tell Milbury to allow his studio teammates their say. At the end of one segment, intermission host Pierre McGuire said he’d rather listen to Miller than Milbury. Agreed.

* Channel 4 anchor Lisa Flynn has confirmed on her Facebook page that she soon will be ending her anchor duties at 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., as reported on stilltalkintv.com last week. Flynn wrote on a Facebook entry that she plans to go into “semi-retirement” to spend more time with her 7-year-old son Thomas. Sources have said that she would like to work part-time at the top-rated news station in town. Her contract runs out July 1, when her anchor duties probably will end.

* Sad to see that 97-year-old Art Linkletter died last week. But he had a TV great career – “Kids Say the Darndest Things” was one of my favorite shows growing up — and full life. There is another selfish reason that I was sad to see him go. I always used Linkletter’s name in periodic “Dead or Alive” contests with friends. Needless to say, I won a lot because you’d be surprised at how many people didn’t realize he was still alive before his death last week.

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Sports On the Air and The Great Goalie Debate

Maybe Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller can join the Great Goalie Debate during his guest stint tonight as a studio analyst on NBC’s coverage of the first game of the Stanley Cup finals.

You know, whether a National Hockey League team needs an elite goalie to win the Stanley Cup.

The debate has raged on while the Philadelphia Flyers reached the finals with Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton and the Chicago Black Hawks made it with Antti Niemi.

During a conference call Thursday, NBC reporter and studio host Pierre McGuire tried to put all the talk in perspective.

“A big part of what has allowed these goalies to prosper,” said McGuire, “is the fact that both these teams have unbelievable defensemen in front of them.”

In other words, if you don’t have an elite goalie you better have an elite defense.

On the same call, CBC analyst Don Cherry, a huge Leighton fan, said he believed that the goalies will be the key to a series that matches the speedy Black Hawks against the physical Flyers.

“Here they are in the finals and I think it will be which one falters,” said Cherry.

Even before Miller was named guest analyst for tonight’s game one, the finals had extra appeal to Buffalo hockey fans since former Sabres Danny Briere (Flyers) and Brian Campbell (Black Hawks) and South Buffalo native Patrick Kane are all involved. Leighton also was briefly a Sabre property, though he played for the Rochester Americans and never got into a Sabre game.

Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate, got healthy ratings in the 4′s for the conference finals games. In the finals, it should get double-digit ratings that are higher than the ratings for the network’s prime time shows. NBC carries games one and two and five through seven, if necessary. Versus, the NHL’s cable rights-holder that is owned by the same company than owns the Flyers and may soon own NBC, gets games three and four.

“We expect strong ratings,” said Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner. “(Advertising) sales are brisk.”

Of course, the NHL is accustomed to getting strong ratings in Buffalo and this year is no different.

According to Versus, Buffalo is ranked No. 3 among TV markets for the 60 games it carried through the first three rounds with a 1.6 household rating. Pittsburgh is No.1 with a 2.6 and Philadelphia No. 2 with a 1.7.

That’s right, Buffalo is even ahead of hockey mad Chicago, which averaged a 1.4 for all playoff games on Versus. However, a ratings point in Chicago gets many more viewers than a point in small market Buffalo.

Cherry is among those who believe the NHL and NBC should be “jumping for joy” about a match-up that features two teams from large TV markets in the United States.

Keith Jones, the former Flyer who is a Versus studio analyst, added that they also are two teams that have turned it around after “battling for lottery picks” a few seasons ago.

“Both teams have come so far in a short time,” added Jones.

He thinks the Black Hawks will be competing for the Cup for years, while the Flyers realize this is their best chance for some time.

Jones said that the recent HBO documentary, “Broad Street Bullies,” about the Flyer teams that won the 1974 and 1975 Stanley Cups (beating the Sabres in 1975), puts the latest Flyer run in perspective for fans of all ages in the City of Brotherly Love.

“The timing could not have been better,” said Jones. “Young people see it through the eyes of their parents. That brings out a lot of passion.”

Jones added that Briere has been “more Buffalo Sabres-like” since he was forced back to playing center because of Flyer injuries.

Of course, the Flyers are underdogs this time around. Predictably, the analysts on the conference call said they believed the series would be closer than expected.

“(Philadelphia) is a much better team than people are giving them credit for,” said McGuire.

However, Cherry – who thought San Jose got some tough penalty calls in its series with Chicago — also worries that the officiating could be a factor in the finals.

“If they call penalties like they did on San Jose, it will be tough on Philadelphia,” said Cherry. “If they let them play, it will help Philadelphia.”

In other words, the Flyers would be better off if this series was played with the same rules used in 1975 when they beat the Sabres.

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Ryan Miller Joins NBC Playoff Coverage

As if there weren’t enough Buffalo angles to the Stanley Cup finals, NBC has given local fans another reason to watch Saturday night’s opener between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Chicago Black Hawks.

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, who wowed NBC audiences as hockey’s most valuable player during the Vancouver Olympics, will be a guest analyst for game one of the series alongside host Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury.

After the first game, studio analyst Jeremy Roenick will take his regular seat alongside McGuire and Milbury.

Miller, of course, has been the go-to-guy for the Buffalo media after games for years so he should fit right in as an analyst of a game that features former Sabres Danny Briere (Flyers) and Brian Campbell (Black Hawks) and South Buffalo native Patrick Kane (Black Hawks).

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Lisa Flynn Leaving Anchor Seat

Channel 4’s Lisa Flynn plans to leave her weekday anchor duties at 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. at the top-rated news station at the end of June, sources are telling stilltalkintv.

The same sources said that Flynn is leaving on her own terms to spend more time with her seven-year-old son, Thomas, who is finishing first grade.

However, Flynn would like to continue at the CBS affiliate as a part-time reporter, sources said. It is unclear if Channel 4 management will agree to that but they would be foolish not to allow it.

According to sources, Flynn’s contract is set to expire June 30 but her leaving the anchor seat has nothing to do with that or the state of the TV industry. She told her husband, friends and family months ago that she felt her son needed more of her attention.

The report of her leaving comes on the same that the local news ratings during the May sweeps arrived with Channel 4 winning all new time periods.

Both the 5:30 p.m. and the 10 p.m. newscast anchored by Flynn won the time periods by healthy margins.

The most likely temporary solution is to have anchors Don Postles and Jacquie Walker take over Flynn’s anchor duties in July until a final decision is made about how to fill the seat.
There is no truth to the rumor that Flynn — who was one of the inspirations for this blog — also is going to spend more time as a guest TV critic debating the quality of prime time shows with me on stilltalkintv.
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