Last April in this column, we spoke with Southwest's Florida's Jay Seidl, who – among other things – is the creative force behind the syndicated TV show "Music Mix USA."
The show airs in first-run syndication on 35 TV stations in about 20 states, including here in Southwest Florida on WINK and TV6 (weekends, late night, check local listings). Globally, you can also find the show in Great Britain, Brazil, Africa and Russia.
Now Seidl is expanding his reach. "Music Mix," with nore than 200 episodes in the can, may now be seen on two networks on a daily basis — Tuff TV and My Family TV.
My Family TV is a new channel that is affiliated with more than 40 television stations across the country. Stations will air the channel on secondary digital tiers, kind of like Me TV and ABC 7's relationship here in Southwest Florida.
"Music Mix" airs for a full hour weeknights at 10 p.m. on My Family, which has signed stations near us in Miami, Tampa and Orlando.
Tuff TV is also meant to be a digital subchannel feed, like My Family TV; although it's geared more toward men. "Mix" airs daily at 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tuff only has one Florida outlet thus far, in Key West.
"I'm very excited to have this next level in the show, offering me more coverage, more exposure," says Seidl.
Unlike many syndicated television shows, Seidl produces 52 new episodes a year that features interview with big name musicians across genres, and features music videos. He does most of the work himself, including the camerawork and interviews. In the beginning he hosted the show, but the constant innovator often uses his subject matter as hosts; which frees him up to be more creative behind the lens.
The show is shot on location, generally behind the scenes as musicians rehearse for their shows.
Seidl, a lifelong musician, was born in Canada, grew up in Naples and continues to call Southwest Florida home. He now lives in Fort Myers.
I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of Seidl in the very near future.
Learn to cook — on TV
Melissa Rhodes of Naples is one of the chosen few for Food Network's "Worst Cooks in America."
Rhodes interviewed for the reality show last year in Miami and was the only contestant selected from Florida — and from the whole Southwest United States region, for that matter.
Rhodes and 15 other contestants spent six weeks in New York City taping the show.
Celebrity chefs, Bobby Flay and Anne Burrell take eight contestants each show and attempt to teach them culinary skills. One contestant per team is eliminated each episode. The prize for the winner is $25,000.
The new season premieres at 9 p.m., Sunday. You can vote for Melissa and watch full episodes of the season at www.foodnetwork.com/worst-cooks-in-america.
Rhodes moved to Naples in 2008 from Oklahoma City and resides with her fiancé, David Workinger. She works at Lululemon Athletica at Waterside Shops and is an assistant softball coach at the Community School of Naples.
You must love her
By now you've probably heard that this year's Super Bowl is the most watched television show in history; but what you may not realize is that Madonna's halftime performance is the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show featuring entertainment ever. It was seen by 114 million viewers, nearly 4 million more than last year's performance featuring the Black Eyed Peas (110.3 million).
Where's Universal Sports
Lynn from Naples asks: "I frequently receive e-mails from NBC Universal Sports, a channel that is not carried by Comcast in either its basic line-up or in its sports package. Since Comcast now owns NBC, I find this fact unusual.
"Recently I spoke with a Comcast customer service rep who told me that Versus (Channel 61) was now Universal Sports. This, also, is not true. It is labeled NBC Sports but that is not the same as Universal Sports. I specifically asked if the programming announced for Universal Sports was on that channel and she said 'Yes.' One Friday night at 8 p.m., Universal Sports showed the USA vs. Costa Rica soccer match. NBC Sports showed Yale vs. Harvard college hockey.
"Can you find out what is going on with Universal Sports? When and where will it be on the Comcast line-up?"
As you discovered, Channel 61 on Comcast, formerly Versus, is NBC Sports Network, which just recently launched.
But what you may not know is that NBC is not as invested in Universal Sports as it might appear by the name. And you won't find it on Comcast.
Launched in 2005 as World Championship Sports Network and then rebranded Universal Sports in 2008, the channel has changed its distribution strategy and is basically starting from scratch.
Prior to Jan. 1, Universal Sports, which is majority-owned by InterMedia Partners — with Comcast's NBC Universal holding a small stake — was offered to distributors such as Time Warner Cable for free. Now, Universal Sports wants to be paid by distributors for carriage.
So far, satellite broadcaster DirecTV is the only multichannel video program distributor to have cut a deal with the channel, but its officers say they are confident that they'll be in 15 million to 20 million homes by the end of the year.
Until next time, stay tuned.
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.