Channel Surfing
by Laura Nachman
Bucks County Courier Times
April 17, 2007


WPHT 1210-AM host Michael Smerconish’s name was mentioned as a possible successor to Don Imus, who was fired from CBS radio and MSNBC last week.  Of course, Philadelphia listneners know that Smerconish replaced Imus in the morning on WPHT a few years ago. 


Congratulations to CNN’s Larry King who celebrates his 50th year in broadcasting this week.  Tonight (Tuesday), Katie Couric will interview King, former president Bill Clinton is the guest on Thursday, and King favorite Bill Maher will host a star-studded salute to “Mr. Suspenders” on Friday.


“Saturday Night Live’s” Amy Poehler is becoming the star of “Saturday Night Live.”  She finally seems comfortable taking Tina Fey's place on “Weekend Update,”  and last week did dead-on impressions of Nancy Grace of Headline News and Dakota Fanning.  She also is co-starring in the hit film “Blades of Glory.”

According to the trade publication, “Mediaweek,” here the top 20 rated cable networks in households for the week of April 2 (with change versus the year-ago week in parentheses):

Nickelodeon: 1.8 rating (+12), TNT: 1.5 (-12), USA: 1.4 (- 7), Disney Channel: 1.4 (-18), Discovery: 1.0 (+43), Fox News: 1.0 (+11), TBS: 1.0 (-9), Cartoon Network: 1.0 (-17), A&E: 0.9 (+29), ESPN: 0.9 (-18), Nick at Nite: 0.9 (-25), Lifetime: 0.8 (+300), Court TV: 0.8 (+33), ABC Family and Sci Fi Channel: 0.8 (+14 each), Hallmark Channel: 0.8 (no change), Spike TV: 0.8 (-11), VH1: 0.7 (+40), AMC and HGTV: 0.7 (no change), Comedy Central, FX, History Channel and MTV: 0.7 (-12).

Here’s my take on those numbers.  It’s surprising that CNN is not in the top 20.  Also, VH1’s “Celebreality” has finally brought the network out of sister-station MTV’s shadow.  And E! has lost it’s way.  VH1 is the go-to channel for entertainment.

Ryan Howard’s appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman” brought up the ratings for the show in Philadelphia 34%.  It would be nice if Howard could increase his own batting average by at least that amount.


6ABC’s Dave Roberts and his son David Boreanaz are the cover story of this month’s “Main Line” magazine.


One of my favorite awards shows of the year, “The TV Land Awards” airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on TV Land. The 5th annual ceremony will honor “The Brady Bunch,” “Roots,” “Hee Haw,” “Taxi,” and Carol Burnett will present the “Legacy of Laughter Award” to Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. on behalf of their mother, Lucille Ball. Ann B. Davis, Florence Henderson, Christopher Knight, Mike Lookinland, Maureen McCormick, Susan Olsen, and Barry Williams will represent “The Brady Bunch.”  Of course, Eve Plumb is the lone hold-out.  Todd Bridges, LeVar Burton, Louis Gossett Jr, Cicely Tyson, Leslie Uggams, and Ben Vereen will represent “Roots.”  Jeff Conaway, Tony Danza, Danny DeVito, and Judd Hirsch will represent “Taxi.” (No Marilu Henner?) 


“Good Night Mr. Walters!”