I was honored, humbled and a bit taken aback to learn that Comcast reads my column. Well, at least one employee does.
You may recall I took them to task a few weeks back for their less-than-stellar customer service. Then, last week, we printed a response from a reader who came to the company’s defense, saying his experience with the new owner of NBC has been terrific.
Dear Mr. Green: I enjoy reading your column and as an employee of Comcast, I was heartened to see a customer come to the defense of our local Comcast products and service. Thank you for printing James’ remarks.
“We have been working diligently to improve our service, products and image, not only in Southwest Florida, but in all of our service areas. You may have seen our TV spots talking about our customer guarantee. We stand by this pledge.
“Comcast wants to provide the best products and services to our customers. If you have a reader who has an issue with Comcast, we want to fix their problem. Please feel free to give them my contact information or forward their contact information to me. We do not want unhappy frustrated customers.
— Sandi Wilson
Community Affairs/PR Manager, for Comcast of Sarasota/Fort Myers
Thanks, Ms. Wilson. You heard her, folks. Have a complaint? Some praise? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll make sure your comments get printed and the right person hears ’em.
We get questions
Mr. Green: Your columns in the Naples Daily News suggest that you might be able to answer a question for me. While I grew up without TV (for which I am thankful) I did succumb as an adult and purchase a set. My wife and I now use hand-me-downs from the children. My recollection is that in those days the season for sitcoms ran from about mid-September to mid-May, and then reruns of the programs began. Imagine our disappointment when, after two or three episodes (of our favorite shows) reruns began to appear.”
— William Price
Most television shows from the late 1940s and early 1950s were performed live, and in many cases they were never recorded. However, television networks in the United States began making kinescope recordings of shows broadcast live from the East Coast. This allowed the show to be broadcast a few hours later for the West Coast. These kinescopes, along with pre-filmed shows, and later, videotape, paved the way for what we know today as reruns.
And you are correct, when I was a wee lad, a show like “All In The Family” would broadcast all its new episodes, for the entire season before reruns would take over.
That made a lot of sense. By the time we watched an entire season, we’d have an appetite to see the repeats. However, the stop and starts of today can be largely attributed to Nielsen, the folks who measure a show’s ratings.
November, February, May, and July are know as “sweep” months. During the first three sweep periods, you can count on new episodes of your favorite shows, the A players. During other times, reruns and the new episodes of the B players take center stage. That’s also when you’ll find cable networks taking advantage of the open real estate by airing their original series, like “The Closer.”
News and notes
TNT re-opening “The Closer”: Good news, “Closer” fans: According to Entertainment Weekly, TNT has ordered six additional episodes of its veteran hit, extending its final season to prepare for a possible spinoff. The network expects to air the previously announced 10 episodes this summer, followed by five in the winter; and now another six in the summer of 2012.
The final six will be the swan song for star Kyra Sedgwick (Brenda Leigh Johnson), while likely introducing a new central character who will headline the spinoff.
The new show’s working title is “Major Crimes.”
Although TNT has committed to the six additional hours, bringing the final season to 21 episodes, there’s still a lot of work to be done to shore up the cast For now, it’s unclear how Sedgwick would be replaced in the spinoff – if at all.
Nevertheless, the pickup should be good news to fans, who helped to make the last season of “The Closer” the most-watched season with 8.4 million viewers.
Hagman in for new “Dallas”: It appears TNT has reached an agreement with Larry Hagman to reprise his role of J.R. Ewing in an update of the 1978-91 prime-time soap “Dallas.”
Super ending: The CW’s drama “Smallville” will finish its 10-year run, which started on the WB, with a two-hour series finale May 13. And everybody’s asking, will Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) return? If so, they’re keeping this news close to the chest.
“X-Factor” reunion?: It appears Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor” (Fox) may include a reunion of sorts, in the form of Paula Abdul on the judging panel.
“We’ve spoken to her, she knows I’m a big fan,” Cowell said of his former fellow “American Idol” judge. “I’ve always said at some point we are going to be working together.”
A decision about who will join Cowell on the four-member panel has yet to be made and won’t be announced for another month or so, he said during an interview and teleconference about “The X Factor.”
Until next time, stay tuned.
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist with a secret life as a couch potato. Contact him at email@example.com.