Vegas casinos place their bets on TV tie-ins

LAS VEGAS — Playing slots is a lot like watching television. Both require sitting on your ass and pushing buttons. So it’s no wonder TV show graphics are on many of the slot machines found in Las Vegas casinos. Even The Simpsons –noticeable by its absence in casino slots the last time I visited Vegas… Read on



Is Murphy Brown one re-boot too many?

There should be a rule against re-booting sitcoms that already lasted seven years after they stopped being funny. Murphy Brown ran for 10 seasons on CBS. The 1988 – 98 sitcom had a talented cast, led by Candice Bergen, and featuring strong supporting players, including Faith Ford, Charles Kimbrough, Robert Pastorelli, Joe Regalbuto and Grant Shaud. Buffalo,… Read on


Sunday: The Simpsons air first hour-long episode

PASADENA, Calif. — After 600 episodes, it’s hard for The Simpsons to get much attention at TCA. The series will try again Sunday with their first hour-long episode. Titled, “The Great Phatsby,” the episode finds Mr. Burns (voiced by Harry Shearer) getting conned by a music mogul. Don’t worry; Burnzie gets revenge. Taraji P. Henson, Keegan-Michael… Read on


Gordie Howe 1928 – 2016

I only had one encounter with the great Gordie Howe and while it was indirect, it was a beaut. “Mr. Hockey” died Friday at 88. In June of ’93, Mike Norris, then the sportswriter at TV Guide Canada, invited me along to join him at the opening of the newly relocated Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.… Read on



This week’s podcast: skinny basic brouhaha

This week CHML’s Scott Thompson suggests people are mad as hell about this “Skinny Basic” subterfuge. Get a digital antenna, I suggest again. It’s a low, one-time cost and zero-a-month for more channels than is being offered on the skinny basic cable/satellite provider plans. Are people, however, really surprised by the basic bait and switch? Seems… Read on


This week’s podcast: bad week for Cosby, better for Shearer

What is there left to say about Bill Cosby? News that, 10 years ago, under testimony in a civil trial, he admitted to drugging women for sex should knock any future endorsements or concert revenues out of that Jello-O tree. Word that Whoopi Goldberg is standing by the man for now seems more about the… Read on


Sam Simon: 1955 – 2015

It seems to me there is a great movie in the Sam Simon story. I never met the man–one of the three credited creators of The Simpsons–but he appears to evoke a passionate response with people who did know him (including comedy writer Ken Levine; check his terrific blog in the coming days for a promised… Read on


The week in Canada: Oct. 13 – 19

Some early successes in the Canadian prime time ratings race may have to be tempered with U.S. results. Fox seems to be in free fall, with only Gotham on steady ground. Don’t count on a full season of Gracepoint, for example, no matter how well it does on Global. The impact of Rogers’ NHL deal… Read on