STAY TUNED: ‘Lights’ out at ABC Family; fixin’ CNN; take our TV polls

BILL GREEN
NBC Photo: Virginia Sherwood
Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor in 'Friday Night Lights.'

NBC Photo: Virginia Sherwood Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor in "Friday Night Lights."

What local channel do you watch more often?

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What’s your favorite cable news network?

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Joan Stacy writes: “The time for ‘Friday Night Lights’ was changed, apparently without notice. It moved from Monday-Friday at 6 p.m. to 11 a.m. on Ch. 46. I wish they had given change notice as I missed a few shows until found it. I wonder if you like this show also. I think it was not sufficiently appreciated. I read that the next season will be their last.”

She later writes: “They have gone and done it again. Today ‘Friday Night Lights’ could not be found anywhere on the Ch. 46 schedule. I’ve missed it again. Do you know where it may be on the Monday-Friday listing?”

Joan, you’re not going crazy. ABC Family (Channel 46 in Naples) has been messing around with your show. The cable channel was unhappy with “FNL’s” performance at 6 p.m. and moved it into the midday slot. After a single week there, they pulled it from their schedule entirely.

That’s the bad news. Now for the good news: “FNL’s” fifth and final season premieres on DirecTV on Wednesday.

Although I’ve never watched an episode, I’ve heard a lot of great things about it. And there’s no debating, Kyle Chandler is an exceptional actor. I first saw him in the 1992 George Strait film “Pure Country.” He later caught my attention on the CBS series “Early Edition.” We can only hope the networks have a great project in mind for him as he wraps up this final season of “Lights.”

TV scorecard

The last couple of weeks we’ve been busy telling you about what’s been cancelled to date (“Lone Star” “My Generation” and “Outlaws.”) Now it’s time to talk about some new shows that have received a full-season pickup.

NBC has given a vote of confidence to freshmen dramas “The Event” and “Law & Order: Los Angeles” and the Thursday night comedy “Outsourced.” However this is the same network that gave a full-season pickup to the “Knight Rider” revamp in 2008 and gave us the Leno/O’Brien fiasco of 2009. Meanwhile, Fox has said yes to a full season of “Raising Hope.”

Fixin’ CNN

Last week I told you about CNN’s recent rating’s slide (CNN’s worst ratings in 10 years). I asked for your suggestions on how to turn the cable news network around.

Daniel Camacho says: “Hire Bill O’Reilly and re-hire Glenn Beck.”

Liz Hunziker is a fan of the reporting, but doesn’t like all the graphics: “CNN’s coverage of the miners rescue was better than the others. However, I hate all those messages covering the bottom and sides of the screen … All the news networks do it. I keep hoping they will get the idea that most people like to see the whole picture of the particular activity and not be distracted by all the extraneous junk. If they even limited it to the trailer on the very bottom it wouldn’t be so onerous.”

Lou Altieri is also a fan, but he’d like to see CNN repeat stories less and get better guests. He writes: “I am a big fan of CNN and it is the first channel I go to when turning on the TV. Lately however I am turning away. This week they totally overplayed the miner’s story. I am sympathetic to the miners, of course, but enough was enough. The stories are also overlapping way too much. Each segment is the same news just given by each Larry then Anderson. I’m trying to get into Parker/Spitzer but I don’t like the format. Too many non-notable people on as guests with lots of interrupted talking.“

My two cents? This team is dividing its talent and efforts between two news-centric broadcast outlets, HLN and CNN. And when they achieve mediocre success, as with Anderson Cooper, they shove two hours of him down our throats. He’s the “American Idol” of newsmen. Folks may just be on CNN overload.

And while Larry King’s time may have passed, I hardly view Piers Morgan (King’s replacement) or Katie Couric (rumor is she’s being courted by the network) as the blockbuster talent that will deliver stellar ratings.

And hey, marketing, get CNN out of the default position. If Fox News is conservative, then CNN must be liberal? If Fox News is fair and balanced then CNN is unfair and crooked? CNN cannot just be the anti-Fox News.

Thanks to all our readers who took time to write in. We have two polls you can take this week:

First, what’s your favorite cable news network: CNN, Fox or MSNBC?

Secondly, who do you watch more often locally: NBC 2, Fox 4, WINK, CW 6 or ABC 7?

Vote at naplesnews.com.

Also, if you’d like to be heard, leave a comment online or send it to bgreen@naplesnews.com.

NCAA show on ABC 7

Florida Gulf Coast University is producing a weekly, half-hour show covering the NCAA Division I sports program at the 13-year-old university.

With its debut at 6:30 a.m., Nov. 6, on ABC 7, “FGCU Sports Report” will keep the Southwest Florida community apprised of the FGCU Eagles on a weekly basis through mid-May.

As part of a community partnership agreement, Waterman Broadcasting will be airing the show on ABC 7 and NBC 2 News Now (9 a.m. Sundays on channel 216/cable or 20-2/over the air.) The show is being produced by WGCU Public Media, and will also air on WGCU in multiple showings during the week.

“We believe it’s another way to further our mission of building community in our region,” says Rick Johnson, WGCU general manager. “Intercollegiate athletics can rally a community around a common bond.”

FGCU Athletic Director Ken Kavanagh is enthusiastic about spreading the word on the school’s robust athletics programs.

“Our entire athletics staff is extremely excited about this wonderful new partnership and we know our growing fan base will be too,” Kavanagh said. “ ‘FGCU Sports Report’ will certainly allow us to share inside stories on the terrific, continual accomplishments of our outstanding collection of student-athletes, coaches and dedicated staff.”

Veteran sports journalist Tom James will host the weekly sports show. James was sports director/anchor at NBC 2 from 1999 to 2004. During that time, he did a live broadcast from Alico Arena on the night of the inaugural FGCU men’s and women’s basketball games.

“I am extremely excited to be part of this show, especially covering the hometown team as it is stepping into the big time,” said James, a two-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner for sports reporting.

Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist with a secret life as a couch potato. Contact him at bgreen@naplesnews.com.

© 2010 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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