Sunday, May 31, 2009


Channel #10 on the box, #55 over the air (but no reception on most days)
This channel has dual numbers due to its cable and over the air number assignments, and dual call letters due to its cable and satellite assignments.
For years the this channel focused on premium theatrical releases for its primetime line-up and now they have switched to a talk show line-up for its prime 8pm-10pm time slot.
All the movie have moved to midnight and the day is filled with infomercials, reruns, and religious programming.

Started in 1985.
Constantly in court to be allowed on cable, satellite, and for new station numbers.
Is still an independent station.

Movies - Lots of older movies.

Older Reruns - McCloud, Matlock, and others give a nice 1970s - 1980s feel to the station.

McCloud (TV series)Image via Wikipedia

Mixing - Unlike most stations that will show paid programs in one block then reruns in another they intermix movies, news, shows, and infomercials. You basically have no idea what is on at any given time.

College Sports - 'Nuff said.

Logo in corner. The ads mostly local and the infomercials are sometimes very harsh and religious.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pushing Daisies

Interrupting my regularly scheduled nonsense for new episodes of Pushing Daisies.

Dressed to Kill
The first 8 minutes were an artistic assault on the English language.
There was a fake kidnapping and a fake engagement and some real jealousy on Ned's part.
Brilliant episode as usual.


Channel #9 on the box
Optimum cable skips channel #8 for some unknown reason they didn't in the past.
Currently I do not watch this station at all. Once they had Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a few other shows that were syndicated or newly repeated. Now they have massive amounts of repeats and an occasional telethon.
This station now known as My9 is just the little sister of the local FOX station, WYNW, often sharing the same programming they once showed Malcolm in the Middle in a two hour overlapping block.

Started in 1922 on radio, 1949 on TV in New York.
It left the radio part behind in 1987.
Being an independent station leads to low ratings so they focused on alternative programs. Hooking up with British broadcasters this station introduced Benny Hill, Doctor Who, and other British programming to the U.S. Letting the stereotyping begin.
After some national networks issues they moved to New Jersey.
By the 1980s trying to change again WWOR picked up the Morton Downey Jr. Show a first in trash-talk-TV. A gimmick to use ultra-conservative views to pick-up fringe audience followings, that works quite well. After Downey Jr. left he was replaced by Rush Limbaugh who continues the gimmick with a lot less cheesiness. After Downey Jr. left his show he admitted in different interviews to not believing most of what he argued, which happens to all these trash-talk-TV types.
Ten years of dozens of talk shows made WWOR unwatchable so they started to affiliatte:
199o they became Universal 9
1995 they became UPN 9
2006 early in the year they became WWOR 9
2006 late the year they became MyNetworkTV 9
Currently they are My9
Throughout these years show were made, failed, repeats were shown, syndicated shows were partially shown.
Babylon 5 was first on NBC 4 then UPN 9 and was finally but on cable forcing me to get cable in order to see the final season.
The first station to begin a normal schedule a week after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

News - Lots of New Jersey news with little hype and quick stories, Brenda Blackmon among the most notable and trustworthy of NYC anchors is always fun to watch.

Sports - For years the only baseball and tennis source for those without cable.

Highly Unstable - They are constantly changing formats and currently they are focusing on one urban-ethnic audience which is going to fail since NYC does not have one overwhelming dominant ethnic area. We are too diverse for this to truly work.

Logo in corners, any corner depending on program. National and local ads.
Telethons, okay not really advertising, 24 to 72 hours of semi-famous people calling for a cure and money through the TV.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Channel #7 on the box
It's all about family friendliness and specials. Owned by Disney ABC has always catered to the kid friendly programming. They do not push the limits and tend to play it safe.
ABC thrives on special programming like tonight's Un-Broke: What You Need To Know About Money or last nights Scripps National Spelling Bee that went over the time limit with not one complaint.
This is the local station that carries Oprah so they will always dominate the afternoon audience and because of that their soaps are going strong.

Started in 1921 on radio, 1948 on TV.
Knocked off the air on September 11, 2001 and temporarily had the signal relocated to New Jersey.
After an in-studio fire on May 27, 2007 the station was again knocked off the air for several hours. The news team had to relocate to cubicles and broadcast from the world tiniest desk, it was at once awkward and refreshing.

News - Very simple and the anchors are always so happy. Eyewitness News is there trademark for years that called upon the public to share videos, pictures, and stories of interest.

Great Dramas - Grey's Anatomy, The Unusuals, Pushing Daisies, Desperate Housewives, Lost, etc. Female friendly to say the least but still watchable.

Specials - Like I said before these specials are mostly for education but they also tend to show the big award shows, concerts both live and on TV (Lionel Richie played in the park this morning), and recaps that are basically very well done clip shows.

Cancellation - They are quick to cancel and they don't show repeats.

Reality - They replace new shows with reality-crap in order to boost ratings then after that fails they bring back the scripted shows.

Fluffy - Some of the family friendly shows are just moral lessons that are far from subtle.

Logo in the corner, pop-ups are present.
National ads and quite a few local ads. In-show advertising has been subtle but with Disney as the backer nearly every show has a "Disney trip" episode.
It is not a rare thing to have a TV show character to daydream and have Disney characters appears or other Muppets.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Channel #6 on the box, #41 over the air, #40 digital signal
An all Spanish language station. The news often beats the all English stations for two reasons. First the Spanish media does not censor as much as the American media. If a person dies they will show the death and the body, full graphic detail is common on Spanish stations. Second Rafael Pineda has been reporting since 1972, that is 37 years on air, and is the most trustworthy anchor on any station.
Longevity is common among Spanish personalities. Don Francisco and his show Sábado Gigante have been on since 1962 is one example. Shows mainly consists soap operas, variety shows, news shows, and talk shows. Soap operas are unlike the American versions. They have less convoluted story lines but they due ham up the drama with music and overacting. The reason for this is because the average Spanish soap last 2 or 3 seasons at most. After 10 years they redo the soap with an entirely new cast.
They carried mostly news and targeted Puerto Ricans and Domincans but have recently switched to focus on more South American and Mexican issues.

Started in 1968.
Broadcasting from New Jersey.
Owns a second station, WFUT, 68, also in Spanish.

Unfiltered news - Censors are virtually non-existent. The same news stories told on American stations is presented fully on these shows. Primer Impacto is a news show that focuses on the odd and most tantalizing stories, they spent years chasing the Chupacabra, along with other medical anomalies, and cult stories it reminds most of side show freaks.

Vintage era soaps - Many times these soaps are set in the early 1900s or late 1800s and are just fun to watch.

Soaps - They have old ones, classic soaps, reality based, kids only, and many more. It is fun even if you don't understand.

Dress code - Apparently the tighter the clothes the better. Men and women are all above and beyond the ordinary man. In the original Ugly Betty, Betty La Fea, Betty is always played by a tall beautiful supermodel wearing glasses and a ponytail.

Comedies - The variety shows and few comedies are based on stereotypes. It is not a rare thing to see blackface, abused women, or anything from the vaudeville days as a comedy routine.

Over the top - Anything done on this stations tends to go way over the top and can get annoying after a while.

Sports - Just one, soccer.

Walter Mercado an astrologer and tarot card reader of unknown age has been doing his shtick to a loyal following for almost 40 years.
A cross between Liberace and every TV Evangelical preacher he lost the love of his life ( a lady) in a famous airline crash in 1970 that killed many famous Hispanic celebrities. After some soul searching he came back with the fancy clothes and a gift to use the Bible and the stars to predict the future of whoever asked. For most Spanish people who are staunch Catholics this contradiction is often excused with little explanation. He does horoscopes everyday around 5 or 6pm.

Sometimes logo in the corner, no pop-ups.
Ads are national and not always in Spanish. Best parts are Americans who do ads in Spanish like Mayor Bloomberg and Jim Perdue. Billionaires who know that reaching an audience in person is better than an hiring others to do it for you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Channel #5 on the box
The New York City FOX flagship station and thrives on it's edginess.
Married with Children sums up this channel very well. They take an edgy show, push the limits until someone protests, and then they push the limits even further based on the outrage of a few but loud voices. At the end the show becomes so unrealistic and successful that everyone feels alienated for watching.
Hit shows like The X-Files, The Simpsons, and American Idol show the wide range of programming available. This is all new before the 1990s the station was a place for re-runs, kid shows, and badly dubbed Kung-Fu/Karate movies. I grew up watching some of the worst movies shown on exclusively on WNYW.

Started in 1938.
Bought by Rupert Murdoch in 1986 becoming Fox.
Started tabliod television with A Current Affair.
In 2001 they bought controlling interest of their sister station WWOR (ch.9) and can dual broadcast.
In 2001 they also dropped all their famed afternoon kids programming in favor of talk shows.
They also made popular "It's 10:00 p.m. ... Do you know where your children are?" which starts there 10pm newscast every night. It's cheesy but very comforting after hearing it for several decades.

Great dramas - Currently House, Bones, 24, and Dollhouse.

Primetime Cartoons - They are the only channel to successfully keep primetime cartoons since The Flintsones.

News - They have perfected the tease or news-hype. One example is "Can the food you feed you baby can kill them? Find out tonight at 10pm." Of course you wait 58 minutes into the news only to find out that shoving a spoonfuls of year old baby food into a sick baby makes them worse.

Cancellation - Quick to cancel they had 50 canceled shows in a four year period. Famously the booted Family Guy off the air for years and then brought it back. But for a while they were going through dozens of half-hour comedies every year.

Reality - Just horrible. When wondering why so many cancellations the answer is reality. FOX purposefully caused all scripted shows to fail to free up time for reality shows and it succeeded. The most profitable of all TV shows and the least thought provoking.

Full logo pop-up and expansion, although they have been cutting back.
Commercials are national and contains lots of self-promotion. In show ads are plentiful and on their reality shows are constant.
One famous Simpsons episode showed the future where a teacher asked the student "Now turn to the next problem. If you have 2 Pepsis and drink 1 , how much more refreshed are you?...a little girl responds"Pepsi?"...Teacher replies "Partial credit!"
As long as FOX gets you to remember the product part they care little about education. I know Coca-Cola sponsors American Idol but as for the winners all I remember is Kelly Clarkson, the fat guy, the illiterate one, country Kelly, the old guy, 2 nobodies, and the non-flamboyant one from this season.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Channel #4 on the box
The hippest of all the broadcast stations it has had the best line-up for years. The Thursday night schedule was legendary with The Cosby Show, Cheers, Seinfeld, ER, and many others. The channel was never scared to experiment. They have done 3-D episodes (3rd Rock from the Sun), bi-coastal live shows (ER, Will & Grace), and extended episodes from the 23/30 or 46/60 minute format to whatever time was needed. They also have Saturday Night Live, make mini-series and are willing to put on shows from their other holdings (Battlestar Galactica) if popular.

Started on radio in 1928.
Experimental nature started with a low non-TV-tube compatible signal.
Became the first commercially operated station, running ads during broadcast.
This is the flagship station for NBC.

Great shows...once - I can't deny watching this channel more than any other but there are changes coming.

News - Sue Simmons has been an anchor since 1980 and is one of my favorites. She is honest, funny, personal, and severely asthmatic. It is shame she will be remembered by one little mistake after she let the expletives fly over the air. She did apologize a few minutes later.
Still this is solid news and worth watching although they tease stories a bit.

Full Schedule - Meaning they give morning shows, news, soap operas, talk shows, dramas, comedies, sports, movies, game shows, and special event programs.

Filming - Thanks to all the Law & Orders and many other NY based shows they are constantly filming in or around the city. It's virtually impossible not to see an NBC TV production live during the year. They are so common that you can meet the actors without getting attitude or a crowd forming.

Run on Emotions - This is more of a Corporate NBC issue. Someone liked Seinfeld and it wasn't canceled but many other shows despite the same low ratings are booted off the air for little to no reason.
Recently they replaced an episode of My Name is Earl with a cartoon. Why? All I know is that now Earl has been canceled. I will admit recently I stopped watching and missed about 4 episodes but the ratings are not that bad to just give up.

Leno at 10pm - They announced the end of 10pm dramas and will fill the time slot with Jay Leno's new talk show. Experimental yes, appealing no.

Full logo pop-up and expansion. Just 10 years ago I could record a show on tape and keep it forever since the broadcast was clear and uninterrupted. I did this often for series finale because back then they did not sell TV shows. Now in what I can only guess is a way to force fans to buy the DVDs they completely ruin episodes.
During the ER series finale at an emotional and touching scene they took up 1/4 of the screen to announce that next week at the same time is the series premiere of Southland. That was enough to make it that I never watch Southland and stop archiving.
The commercials are all national spots with nothing remarkable.
In show ads are horrendous. Again with My Name is Earl and several other show they forced "green living" on us. The episodes taught lessons on environmental friendliness that was sickening and badly done. Many times your watching some NBC show and can't help but yell out "commercial".

Monday, May 25, 2009


Channel #3 on the box, #31 over the air
Formerly Pax-TV then i: Independent Television now ion TELEVISION.
They went from religious to odd to rerun central. For a while they had original or at least first-run programming but now it's all about what is profitable. Half of the schedule consists of Paid Programming (half-hour commercials). Four hours of the early morning is dedicated to televised ministries preaching the words of their particular Bible.
They just added Ghost Whisperer to their line-up of Reba, Family Feud, Quantum Leap, M*A*S*H, and NCIS.
Possible new logo as they go through another change, it looks like they're going family-centric.

ion+ TELEVISION Positively Entertaining

Started in 1924 on the radio as WNYC it's one of the oldest network signals in the U.S.
When the television portion was developed it carried Municipal Broadcasting System programming and Public Television System(PBS) programs.
By 1995 under Mayor Giuliani this city owned radio and television station was sold to private owners.
By 1996 the station had signed off.
12 hours later it reappeared as Classic Sports Network, WBIS, showing old sporting events.
During the attacks on September 11, 2001 the signal was lost and days later the transmitter was moved to New Jersey becoming very weak until the final move to the Empire State Building.
After several changes in programming and several near deaths it became PAX then i then ion.

Ancient Repeats - Occasionally I enjoy an old episode of Quantum Leap or Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. The also bought ER.

Television Movies - Are fun, when they air.

Bad Planning - Once in while they announce a show or exclusive movie but at the last minute the cancel it and show more repeats.

Bankruptcy - They filed once and apparently are filing again. Spending so much to acquire the rerun rights while not advertising is not smart.

Like I said previously most of the broadcast is Paid Programming with great names like:
There are more but after getting free money with your knives while looking young what else can you possibly need. Most of the others ads are religious in nature or self-promoting. The logo is never seen in the corners during Paid Programming or religious shows.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Channel #2 on the box
Known for years as the old folks network even if the rating did not show a significantly older demographic. They got this reputation for hanging out with the elderly. Angela Lansbury, Andy Griffith, and Dick Van Dyke all had hit shows on the network for years.
Trying to break the stereotype CBS picked up failed shows from other networks like a Golden Girls spin-off(NBC) and Family Matters(ABC) hoping to attract the faithful viewers. Despite this soap operas like The Young and the Restless and As The World Turns kept the mornings full of youngster and the housebound. The Price is Right became a fixture for decades and only contributed to it's old feel even with Drew Carey as the new host.
It wasn't until Survivor appeared along with The Amazing Race that a new adventurous side started to emerge. Soon new edgy sitcoms, dramas about the supernatural, and crime shows flooded the network. They did a rare thing of revamping their image but what of the elderly. Shouldn't they have their own place on the TV landscape?

Started in 1928 on the radio.
In 1937 Guiding Light premiered on radio.
By 1940 a color television signal was being broadcast.
From the 50s to the 80s CBS made ratings history with, "Who Shot J.R.?" and the final M.A.S.H episode.
Due to its antenna location CBS is one of the few stations unaffected on September 11, 2001. They lent their broadcast to UPN channel 9 and many South American networks.
2009 sees the cancellation of Guiding Light due to poor ratings and high costs.

Monday night comedies - Granted they quickly become annoying but they are still good for a laugh or two. The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men are among the better.

- Occasionally I watch a few of the CSI, NCIS, LOL$%$OMG*, etc. Great science but horrible acting.

Friday dramas
- Ghost Whisperer and Numb3rs are worth watching yet the constant cast changes are disturbing.

Football - Real American Football games carrying the Giants or Jets with extra games when possible. NY has some ridiculous laws about how many games can be shown at once so often overtime leads to problems.

Reality - I did see the first Survivor and it was okay. Two minutes after watching the second season I realized the contestants were all acting, not scripted but being fake. It stopped being about survival and was an hour long audition tape. Never got into Amazing Race because I don't get the concept, are they running or playing games, and is the whole thing a setup or can you jump borders and dodge bullets?

News - The weakest of all the news providers they replace Dan Rather with Katie Couric. This is the equivalent of replacing a ladder with a pogo-stick. They play down every story and even if 60 Minutes got an interview with Bin Laden live there is good chance I would fall asleep through it.

College Sports - I hate college sports and every year two weeks of regularly scheduled programming gets interrupted for team spirit and athletes that we will never see again.

National ads, the logo is not always seen on screen, and few noticeable in show product placements. CBS did start a trend on the soap opera As The World Turns by revolving a storyline around one female lead who was feeling old and decided to get her hair colored with an in-home hair treatment product. It was forced and awkward and I can't fully recall the product so it was also ineffective. During sports event the ads are overwhelming, now with computer generated ads the grass and walls of different events carry commercials only the viewer will see.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Before I start I'll explain my setup. I have a regular non-HDTV set it has a Scientific Atlantic: Explorer 1850 cable box with remote. This box is not the most advanced and limits the amount of channels I can get because it is not capable of interactivity. There are certain video game, house buying, and other channels that are blocked because they are too advanced.
Cablevision is the cable company under the name of Optimum and I have the iO Gold package. This package includes nearly all of their alleged 385 channels for a final price of about $105 (it changes all the time and I'm always late paying). I think it's a bargain since the internet access is great. Plus they just started a Wi-Fi access point in the neighborhood.

Channel # 1 on the box.
This is a 24-hour local news channel. Unlike CNN or the others this station tones down the hype and pundit speculating and just report the news. They do lots of local stories, obviously, and many interviews of residents. The slant is very much towards New York residents meaning officials, businesses, and the authority can seem a bit cold and uncaring. Still they are very fair with their handling of important stories.

Started in 1991 it uses the "half-hour news wheel" format and relies heavily on digital video technology. Currently located in the Chelsea Market building it took over the studio seen in Oz.

NY1 Minute - A 60 second rundown of the top stories and upcoming segments every half hour.

Weather on the Ones - Every ten minutes from the ones of the hour (:01, :11, ..., :51) the devote a few seconds to give the 24 hour and 7 day forecast. It's very accurate and one of the best around.

In The Papers - Done every morning the anchor grabs about 6 or 7 local papers and goes through the stories he/she finds interesting. Most are headline stories and occasionally odd news, here the anchor is quick to give their opinion of the value of each print story.

In Transit - A 15 minute segment every weekend that tells us the status of the public transit system. Half of it consist of what train or bus lines is not working.

On Stage - An hour weekend show highlight the latest in theater news. Interviews with celebrities are great since they always stick to the art of acting and whatever play they are in.

The World Beyond New York - This segment reminds New Yorkers that news exist outside NY. State news, national news, and international news is rounded up for a minute long rundown, just enough to keep us watching before we yawn.

Other things that make this one of my favorite channels is that they follow up. Often you here of some person getting into an accident or keeping a tiger and two alligators in their apartment and after the "incident" nothing else is known. NY1 will keep following up for years.
Also during events they have insight to shut up. During a news conference they just let the entire thing play out and wait until it is over to talk. For New Year's celebrations or other holiday events they stay quiet during the high points even if you just hear crowd noise.
Since they are a 24-hour local station they also have the privilege of allowing a breaking story or council meeting to play completely through. Sure at time it's dull but you see the entire thing uninterrupted and without the clipping that often brings about media bias.
No running crawl at the bottom of the screen unless it's an emergency like blizzards, steam pipe explosions, strikes, etc.

Most of the commercials are local, lots of public health ads. The best is no pop-up ads during the shows or news. Any sponsored segments are mentioned up front.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What's new?

Finally done with all my finals and when it came to formulas and computer programming I did well. As for writing I also did well but it took me twice as long to write a paragraph then it did to make a force, moment, and torque diagram.

So I'm making a pledge to write something on each blog I have everyday. With little to watch on TV for the next few months I will blog the TV channels that I have on my cable. Hopefully this will improve my writing skills.

What have I been watching?
Glee: Pilot
A typical Fox show with young kids played by young adults who don't quite fit in but find a home in the Glee club. The main character is the teacher who put together the club but the most interesting is Rachel Berry, played by Lea Michele.

Berry is an overachiever with two dads and a hate for everyone but the popular boy. She is picked on in the most vicious ways and is on the verge of a breakdown. Michele plays this stereotype with a mixture of Tracy Flick and every character Andrea Nemeth ever played. The show does have a Boston Public feel without the heavy drama.

The music is great but Journey makes every show great. They are packaging the show with American Idol which is just wrong since after Kelly Clarkson there has not been any other true American Idol, country does not count. With the cancellation of The Sarah Conner Chronicles and a shorten season of Dollhouse expected next year Glee will make a great alternative.

News: Every Station
I have no idea why the rest of the country cares about Idol, pageants, or anything "reality" based. In NYC the top stories have been constant H1N1 virus(swine flu) news with Mayor Bloomberg speaking in fine English and the worst Spanish since I last tried speaking Spanish. Still he gets an A for effort.
They even broke into the breaking news of the flu report to mention a group of Muslims tried to blow stuff up in and around NY.
Another big story is any time a job fair is announced a line of 2,000 people deep encircle the place until everyone gets rejected interviewed.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

This is Why They Make TV

Scrubs: My Finale

Damn good!

Mo' Money Links

Mo" Money

TV is educational. If you can't learn something everyday your box is broken.