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July 22, 2014

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An Ode to Hockey Commentators

by Stephanie Earp, posted May 11th 2010 4:54PM


I didn't grow up watching hockey. I know, that makes me questionably Canadian, but I'm trying to make up for it. Last year, I joined an office hockey pool for the first time, and this year I came within four points of winning the regular season thanks to my judicious picks - both Sedins, Alexander Semin and Roberto Luongo.

I can now say that I love watching hockey. I think I've missed only one game since the playoffs started, though I'll grant you that I do a lot of knitting and laundry-folding during the east coast games (for some reason it's the teams in the west that I really dig). I now have an appreciation for the skill and heart it takes to play the game, but my true admiration is reserved for the announcers and commentators.

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The New Biopics: Undistinguished Canadians

by Stephanie Earp, posted Mar 29th 2010 5:02PM


On Sunday night, I watched 'Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story' on CBC because, as my beloved said, "We kind of have to, don't we?" I think he was thinking of my job as a Canadian TV columnist, our status as hockey fans or maybe he only meant there wasn't much else on.

But watch it we did (the first half anyway - the rest airs Monday March 29, 8 pm, CBC) and frankly, I thought it was pretty good, and I'm a little surprised about it.

CBC miniseries are not usually my cup of tea. The subjects are usually dead white guys who made Important Contributions to Our Country, which I always feel I'm supposed to know about already.

Don Cherry even agrees with me. "I feel like I should be dead," he said at a press conference for the series. "Don't they usually do these kinds of movies about dead people?"

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NBC's Olympic Coverage Stinks, But It Gets Results

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 22nd 2010 8:22PM
NBC's Vancouver Olympics logoComplaining about how NBC covers the Olympics is almost an Olympic sport all by itself. Pretty much ever since the Atlanta games in 1996, NBC has been raked over the coals for tape-delaying events and concentrating on stories instead of the sports themselves.

The outrage has been especially loud when the Games have been held in North America, mainly because the time differences are minimal. The hue and cry has been louder than ever from Vancouver, mainly because, in a world where results can be shot around to every computer and cell phone in the world via Twitter and Facebook, NBC is shooting itself in the foot with what seems to be 1990s thinking.

Here's the rub, though: The Olympics are kicking tail in the ratings, despite all the complaints.

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What's On Tonight: Surviving Suburbia, Hockey, Ghost Adventures

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 12th 2009 4:05PM
The Goode Family
  • At 8, ABC has a new Surviving Suburbia, followed by a new episode of The Goode Family.
  • NBC has the Penguins/Red Wings game at 8.
  • FOX has a new Don't Forget The Lyrics at 8.
  • PBS has a new Washington Week at 8, then new episodes of NOW and Bill Moyers Journal.
  • There's a new Smackdown! on MyNetwork TV at 8.
  • Also at 8: BBC America has a new Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.
  • At 9, History Channel has a new Patton 360.
  • Animal Planet has a new Whale Wars at 9.
  • Travel Channel has two new episodes of Ghost Adventures at 9.
  • Hallmark has the movie Come Dance With Me at 9.
  • At 10, HBO has a new Real Time with Bill Maher.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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What's On Tonight: Mental, Deadliest Catch, Real Housewives

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 9th 2009 4:00PM
  • KimmelAt 8, ABC has a new Jimmy Kimmel Live, followed by the Magic/Lakers game.
  • NBC has the Penguins/Red Wings game at 8.
  • TCM has High Noon at 8.
  • At 9, FOX has a new Mental.
  • Discovery has a new Deadliest Catch at 9.
  • At 10, FX has a new Rescue Me.
  • Bravo has a new Real Housewives of New Jersey at 10.
  • History Channel has a new Life After People at 10.
  • There's a new Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern at 10.
  • Spike has a new ECW at 10.
  • Also at 10: MTV has a new Paris Hilton's My New BFF.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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What's On Tonight: Game Show Awards, Worst Week, Pushing Daisies

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 6th 2009 4:07PM
  • 48 Hours MysteryHBO2 has a True Blood marathon all night.
  • At 8, NBC has the Penguins/Red Wings game.
  • GSN has the Game Show Awards at 8.
  • At 8:30, CBS has a new Worst Week, then new episodes of Harper's Island and 48 Hours Mystery.
  • FOX has a new Cops at 8:30, then a new America's Most Wanted.
  • At 9, BBC America has a new Primeval at 9, followed by a new Graham Norton Show.
  • CNBC has a new Suze Orman Show at 9.
  • Also at 9: Hallmark has the movie Come Dance At My Wedding.
  • At 10, ABC has a new Pushing Daisies.
  • Travel Channel has a new Samantha Brown's Great Weekends at 10.
  • At 12:30AM, Cartoon Network has two new episodes of Bleach.

Check your local TV listings for more.

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What's On Tonight: Password, Ice Road Truckers, Breaking Bad

by Bob Sassone, posted May 31st 2009 4:07PM
  • Law and Order: CIAt 8, CBS has the season premiere of Million Dollar Password.
  • NBC has the Penguins/Red Wings game at 8.
  • Food Network has a new Challenge at 8, then a new Iron Chef America.
  • At 9, PBS has a new Masterpiece Mystery!
  • USA has a new Law and Order: CI at 9, followed by a new In Plain Sight.
  • History Channel has the season premiere of Ice Road Truckers, then the series premiere of Expedition Africa.
  • MTV has the 2009 MTV Movie Awards at 9.
  • Lifetime has the miniseries Maneater at 9.
  • Also at 9: GSN has a new High Stakes Poker.
  • At 10, AMC has the season finale of Breaking Bad.
  • HGTV has HGTV's $250,000 Challenge at 10.
  • At 11:45, Cartoon Network has the season finale of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, then a new Squidbillies.

Check your local TV listings for more.

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What's On New Year's Day

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 31st 2008 7:18PM
Leave it to BeaverHere's what's on TV tomorrow. Lots of marathons, movies, and bowl games.

  • Sci-Fi's Twilight Zone marathon continues from last night.
  • AMC is showing classic westerns all day.
  • Cartoon Network has Looney Tunes all day.
  • Hallmark has Christmas movies all day.
  • At 6am, USA has a Monk marathon.
  • At 7, NBC's Today, ABC's Good Morning, America, and CBS' The Early Show will all have New Year's tips, predictions, advice, and recipes.
  • At 8, TNT has a Bones marathon.
  • History Channel has Ice Road Truckers episodes all day starting at 8.

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SoapNet mixes drama with hockey in new series

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 2nd 2008 10:23AM
soapnetThe success of last summer's General Hospital: Night Shift was the harbinger of things to come. And now they have. SoapNet announced a new 10-episode drama series called MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives.

It makes sense that SoapNet would take another stab at creating its own dramas. Last year's Night Shift, the channel's first attempt at that kind of original programming, proved more popular than the reruns of daytime soaps it had been running at 11 o'clock at night. But the difference between this new offering -- about the ladies in the lives of professional hockey players...hockey and soap? -- is that Night Shift was based on General Hospital and used popular stars from the daytime show for the spin-off. If Steve Burton (Jason), Kimberly McCullough (Robin) and Jason Thompson (Patrick) were not in Nightshift, would SoapNet viewers have tuned in?

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NBC's new hockey strategy: market the young stars

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 24th 2006 3:57PM
NHL on NBCFOX had a flaming puck. ESPN had blanket coverage and Barry Melrose's mullet. And Versus has... well, since no one can see them, no one really knows what they have. Almost every network has tried to make hockey a more attractive game to national viewers, and they've universally failed. So what is NBC, in the second season of its broadcast deal with the NHL, going to try? Think youngsters in skates.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC's strategy this year will be to highlight the young stars of the league, especially in their primary game of the week. They will still show three regional games every week, but will concentrate marketing efforts on the main game, which will often feature up and coming players like Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. In fact, the Penguins will play the Philadelphia Flyers in the first NBC Game of the Week on January 13. Anything should help; the Peacock Network averaged a 1.0 rating in their games last year, down a tenth of a point from ABC's coverage in the pre-lockout season of 2003-04.

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South Park: Stanley's Cup

by Adam Finley, posted Nov 16th 2006 9:31AM

south park(S10E14) After relentlessly satirizing current events for several episodes, the minds behind South Park took a nice departure with this episode, offering up a hysterical take on mainstream movie conventions, complete with a voiceover and musical score provided by a man who follows Stan around to clue everyone in on what's happening while he plays music on a portable record player.

Following the old comedy standby that pain is always funny, this episode sees Stan trying to become responsible, but having more pressure put on him from the town's adults than he can handle. First his bike is towed (that's right, I said "towed"), so he can't do his paper route, and if he can't make money from the paper route, he can't get his bicycle back. He ends up enlisted to coach the pee-wee hockey team, a group of toddlers who can barely skate and never score a single goal.

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The Five: Best sports to watch on TV

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 27th 2006 9:00AM

MLB logo1. Baseball: This sport was really made for television. It's slower than other team sports, perfect for those warm summer nights, a cold drink in your hand, maybe a breeze coming in the window as you watch. And unlike other team sports, the pace gives the viewer time to figure out their own strategies for the game (hockey and basketball are too fast, and football has too many players doing too many things at once for the average Joe).

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The Simpsons: Lisa on Ice

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 20th 2006 8:57AM

simpsons(S06E08) Me fail English? That's unpossible! -Ralph Wiggum

I have a friend who hates what he calls "Lisa episodes" of The Simpsons. It's a good-natured disagreement he and I have had for a long time, because I absolutely love "Lisa episodes." Almost every story ever written has a character that most reflects the writer's own personality, and I think Lisa is, to many of The Simpsons writers, exactly that character. She's the quiet, beleaguered outcast cursed to live in a completely illogical world; the only one who can clearly see the jive bullsh*t that is the guiding ethos of those around her.

A school assembly is held at the beginning of the episode, and Lisa learns she's failing gym. Her teacher says she won't fail Lisa as long as Lisa takes up a sport outside of school. After failed attempts at basketball and volleyball, she joins a rival hockey team opposite Bart's team when it's revealed she has a natural talent as a goalie. Milhouse, on the other hand, does not, even after being tied to the goal.

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What's on tonight: The Closer, Saved, Hell's Kitchen, Lovespring

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 19th 2006 4:32PM
  • The CloserAt 8, ABC has a repeat Wife Swap, followed by a repeat Supernanny, then a new How To Get The Guy.
  • CBS has repeats of King of Queens, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Old Christine, and CSI: Miami.
  • NBC has Oilers/Hurricanes hockey action at 8.
  • Over on FOX at 8, a repeat Hell's Kitchen, followed by a new ep.
  • On the WB, two repeats of 7th Heaven, while UPN has repeats of One on One, All of Us, Girlfriends, and Half & Half.
  • Also at 8: Food Network has a new Emeril Live, where he cooks "More Quick and Easy" recipes.
  • At 9, TLC has a new Honey We're Killing The Kids.
  • Food Network has a new Unwrapped at 9.
  • TNT has a new ep of The Closer at 9, followed by a new ep of Saved.
  • Lifetime has the new movie, A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story. It's on at 9 too.
  • At 10, E! has a new ep of 7 Deadly Hollywood Sins, focusing on "Gluttony."
  • At 11, Lifetime has a new ep of Lovespring International.

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What's on tonight: Stanley Cup, U.S. Open golf, Superman, Cops, Emeril

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 17th 2006 5:40PM
  • EmerilAt 7:30, Cartoon Network has Superman: Brainiac Attacks, followed by new eps of Naruto, One Piece, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, and IGPX.
  • At 8, ABC has the movie Lady and the Tramp, followed by a new episode of The Evidence.
  • CBS has repeats of CSI: NY and 48 Hours Mystery.
  • NBC has Hurricanes/Oilers Stanley Cup action at 8.
  • Over on FOX at 8, a new ep of Cops, followed by a repeat ep, then a new America's Most Wanted.
  • TBS has the Cheaper By The Dozen remake at 8.
  • FX has the Busch Series Meijer 300 NASCAR race at 8.
  • Emeril has a "Summertime Party" at 8 on Food Network.
  • Also at 8: AMC has Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai.
  • At 9, TBS has Signs.
  • At 10, the Golf Channel has U.S. Open highlights.
  • Just after 11:30, Encore has The Bourne Supremecy.

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