John Kiesewetter: Media Beat

For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media – comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more.

Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU.

Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

NBCUniversal

You’ll never watch Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” the same way after reading this column.

I always learn a lot about TV when former NBC late-night programming executive Rick Ludwin returns to speak to students at Miami University, his alma mater.

On Thursday night, he revealed NBC's camera tricks on Fallon’s top-rated “Tonight Show” to overcome limitations of cramped Studio 6B in New York’s Rockefeller Center – and a few other observations about Stephen Colbert and the changes in TV’s late-night landscape.

NBCUniversal

When you watch this promo for Vanessa Lachey’s new NBC sitcom, “Truth Be Told” Friday, it’s clear what the premiere episode is about: sex and porn jokes.

Lachey plays Tracy, a “tough as nails attorney” married to a Mitch (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, “Franklin & Bash,” “NYPD Blue,” “Saved by the Bell”), who have a 4-year-old daughter.  They live next door to newlyweds Russell (Tone Bell, “Bad Judge”) and Angie (Bresha Webb, “Grey’s Anatomy”).

In the premiere (8:30 p.m. Friday, Channel 5, NBC), Tracy and Mitch search for a babysitter so they can go to a concert with their neighbors. That’s how they find Kim (Antonimar Murphy), a well endowed “delicious” young woman. To make sure you know she has a great body, the sitcom gives viewers a close-up of her cleavage. Then the guys and their wives think they recognize her from pornography.

John Kiesewetter

On this day in TV Kiese history… Over-the-Rhine resident James Hoskins, armed with five guns and 600 rounds of ammunition, held nine WCPO-TV employees hostage inside the station at 500 Central Avenue downtown on Oct. 15, 1980.

Hoskins, 41, gained entry after approaching reporter Elaine Green and photographer John Ehrhart with a semi-automatic rifle in the parking lot about 2 a.m., as they returned from working on a story.

Once inside, he wanted to make a statement on live television. Green instead offered to videotape him. Her 14-minute interview at gunpoint (see a clip below) won a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award.

Hoskins shocked them during the interview when he confessed to murdering Melanie Finlay, 30, in their 12th Street apartment earlier that night. “I blew my girlfriend away tonight. It’s over for me… I killed her,” Hoskins said while waving the rifle.

Wikipedia

“NFL Turning Point” features Andy Dalton leading the Bengals comeback victory Sunday over the Seattle Seahawks on the NBC Sports Channel series Wednesday.

The weekly NFL Films’ program “reviews Andy Dalton’s performance on Sunday and provides an analysis of his consistent play through the first five games of the 2015 campaign. The segment then examines the thrilling conclusion of Sunday’s game and highlights how Dalton orchestrated the Bengals’ comeback win against the Seahawks to remain undefeated,” NBCSN announced.

Time Warner Cable SportsChannel

Before football was a national Sunday obsession, the first professional games were played throughout Ohio in Cincinnati, Dayton, Portsmouth, Akron, Ironton,  Akron, Canton, Massillon and other towns.

“Before The League,” Time Warner Cable SportsChannel’s new six-part series, looks at the kick off of pro football to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the American Professional Football Association, forerunner to the NFL. The first NFL game was played in Dayton on Oct. 3, 1920, when the Triangles defeated the Columbus Panhandles.

With rare photos, film and some re-creations, the documentary looks at the violent early years of the game, and the origins of small town teams like the Triangles, Portsmouth Spartans, Ironton Tanks, Massillon Tigers and Canton Bulldogs, plus the Buffalo (NY) All-Americans, Rochester (NY) Jeffersons, Milwaukee Badgers and Green Bay Packers.

Wikipedia

The new Comet sci-fi channel premieres here Oct. 31 on a new WSTR-TV digital signal, Channel 64.3.

Reruns of “Stargate SG-1” and “Outer Limits” will air on Comet, jointly owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the Sinclair Television Group, which operates WSTR-TV and WKRC-TV.

The 24-hour network will feature “a mix of science fiction, fantasy and adventure fan-favorite titles from MGM” including the “Poltergeist” and “Dead Like Me” TV series, according to the Comet announcement.

Provided by Zac Pitts

Reporter Zac Pitts is leaving WCPO-TV to return to Dayton’s WDTN-TV, the hometown station where he started his career as a teleprompter operator.

Pitts has been a Channel 9 daytime general assignment reporter for 18 months.

Starting Oct. 21, he will appear on Channel 2's “Living Dayton” noon-1 p.m. weekday lifestyle show with co-hosts Katie Kenney and Sallie Taylor, according to TVNewsCheck.

Matt Sledge

Why did WNKU-FM drop “UnderCurrents,” “E-Town” and “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” and move “The Real Mary Peale” and the “World  Café?”

“It’s fairly straight forward,” says Sean O’Mealy, general manager. “The objective is to appeal to and engage with a larger/wider group of music lovers in the Greater Cincinnati region who otherwise are ignored by mainstream radio.”

The new fall lineup implemented this week features more local shows. Former WOXY-FM host Matt Sledge will be heard 2-7 p.m. Saturday, with Peale moving to 5-8 p.m. Sunday nights. She had hosted  “Jelly Pudding” Sunday nights on WOFX-FM (92.5) before joining WNKU-FM in 2009.  "Mr Rhythm Man" now airs 7-10 p.m. Saturday, and Katie Laur's  "Music From The Hills Of Home" airs 8-11 p.m. Sunday. 

This is the second round of changes made by O’Mealy since he arrived in February.

Wikimedia

On this day 29 years ago, the long-awaited “fourth network” began competing with the three-decades TV monopoly of ABC, CBS and NBC.

Fox Broadcasting launched  “The Late Show” hosted by comic Joan Rivers on Oct. 9, 1986.

Prime-time programming would not begin until the following April with a Sunday night lineup featuring “Married… with Children,” “The Tracey Ullman Show,” “21 Jump Street,” “Duet” and “Mr. President.”

I’ll be honest, I didn’t realize the significance when WXIX-TV program director Patrice Mohn told me in summer of 1986 that Channel 19 had picked up Rivers’ show for fall.

Brian Douglas

The New York Times has dubbed Don Cheadle’s “Miles Ahead” an Academy Awards contender, along with that other film shot in Cincinnati last year, “Carol” starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

“Anyone who wants to get a jump on possible Oscar nominees for 2017… should check out ‘Miles Ahead,’ the closing-night film” Sunday at the New York Film Festival, wrote A. O. Scott.

Cheadle made his directorial debut and starred as iconic jazz innovator Miles Davis in the film shot here in July 2014. He also co-wrote the script, set in 1979, about the trumpeter and a Rolling Stone reporter (Ewan McGregor) trying to recover an unreleased recording stolen from the musician’s home at the end of his five-year, self-imposed “silent period” out of the public eye. The Times said:

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Cincinnati’s first movie superstar – silent screen actress Theda Bara – will be celebrated with a panel discussion and rare film clips and photos at the Main Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County downtown Sunday.

Between 1915 and 1920, when she made 40 silent films, Bara's popularity was "second only to Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin, according to The Guardian. She died of stomach cancer in 1955, at age 69.

Her breakthrough role was the sultry femme fatale in “A Fool There Was,” a 1915 silent film inspired by Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Vampire." Her performance inspired the expression "vamp" -- a woman who could entice and exploit honorable men, bringing their ruin – and made her one of the first film sex stars.

Motion Picture Corporation of America

Mariah Carey started filming “A Christmas Melody,” her Hallmark Channel movie, on Tuesday in Cincinnati, according to TMZ.

Carey is making her directorial debut on the film, which will premiere 8 p.m. Dec. 19 on the Hallmark Channel..

“A Christmas Melody” stars Lacy Chabert (“Mean Girls,” “Party of Five”) TMZ says.  Brennan Elliott (“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” “Flight 93,” “Strong Medicine”) also appears in the film, according to the International Movie Database.

The Weinstein Company

Rave reviews are greeting  “Carol” in advance of its New York Film Festival screening Friday.

Flavorwire calls it “flawless” and “gorgeous,” with “astonishing” performances.   The Village Voice gushes about Todd Haynes’ direction.

Haynes' work  “has never been more assured, defined by silken camera work and expert framing that conveys his characters’ loneliness. … ‘Carol’ offers a mature portrait of love struggling to materialize, and survive, in a disapproving society,” the Voice says.

Steve Harris, who put Radio One’s FM sports talk station on the air here in 2013, has died following a stroke, says Tom Taylor’s NOW daily radio newsletter.

Harris, a former ESPN and ABC radio programmer, came here in 2010 as program and operations manager for Radio One’s WIZ, MOJO and WDBZ-AM in summer 2010. He changed MOJO to WCFN-FM (100.3) in January 2013, the short-lived FM sports talk station with Tom Gamble, Richard Skinner, Will Chambers, Chad Brendel, Rich Ucchino, Rick Broering and former Reds pitcher Joe Price.

The Weinstein Company

Cate Blanchett’s “Carol” and Don Cheadle’s “Miles Ahead” filmed here last summer will have special Cincinnati screenings.

“They will premiere here,” says Kristen Erwin Schlotman, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film Commission.

Details have not been finalized. “I have no dates,” she says.

“Carol” and “Miles Ahead” will be screened this week at the New York Film Festival.

John Kiesewetter

Unlike “Carol” and “Miles Ahead,” Cincinnati will play a major role – as itself – in the “Marauders” bank heist feature filming here with Bruce Willis, Christopher Meloni, Adrian Grenier and Johnathon Schaech.

Wikimedia

Presidential candidate Donald Trump helps Sinclair Broadcast Group launch its new Sunday morning public affairs program this weekend airing here on Sinclair’s Channels 12.2 and 64.

Trump discusses immigration on “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson,” the first national series produced by Sinclair. The Baltimore-based company owns or operates 162 stations, including WKRC-TV, WSTR-TV and Dayton’s WKEF-TV (Channel 22) and WRGT-TV (Channel 45).

“Full Measure” premieres at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on Channel 12.2, and repeats at 10:30 p.m. Sunday on Channel 64.

On Oct. 11, it moves to 11 a.m. on Channel 12, replacing “Good Morning Cincinnati Sunday.”

Premiere Networks

Bill Cunningham’s flagship station has benched his national Sunday night talk show for NFL football.

“Live On Sunday Night, It’s Bill Cunningham” airs on nearly 350 stations – but not on Cunningham’s hometown WLW-AM, his long-time employer, this fall. Both WLW-AM and his national syndicator, Premiere Networks, are owned by iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel).

“It’s a contract issue with iHeartMedia,” Cunningham says.

Fox Broadcasting

 After roles on BET, CW, Spike TV and Showtime, College Hill native Gabrielle Dennis says she’s having “super fun” on the biggest acting role of her TV career on Fox’s new “Rosewood” medical drama.

The 1996 Hughes Center graduate plays Pippy, younger sister of Dr. Beaumont Rosewood (star Morris Chestnut) on “Rosewood” (8 p.m. Wednesdays, Fox).

She’s a toxicology expert in Rosewood’s sophisticated private autopsy lab in Miami, and the one who nags him about missing family dinners with mom (Lorraine Toussaint) and getting tickets for running red lights. 

Hamilton County Sheriff's Department

The public is invited to a “community conversation” about media coverage of the July shooting death of Sam DuBose by former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing 7:30-9 p.m. Oct. 8 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s Harriet Tubman Theater.

Fox Broadcasting

Four new fall TV series debut this week – including the heavily promoted Fox comedies starring John Stamos and Dayton native Rob Lowe – but the biggest TV event is the reboot of “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah Monday night.

The South African comedian has the unenviable task of taking over the anchor desk from Jon Stewart, who won 22 Emmy Awards there, including best Variety Talk Series and best Variety Talk Series Writing last week.

Al Jazeera America

If you live in Northern Kentucky and want to see Soledad O’Brien’s one-hour “Heroin USA” documentary filmed in Northern Kentucky, you’d better have Dish Network or DirecTV.

“Heroin USA: A Soledad O’Brien Special Report” airs 10 p.m. Sunday on the Al Jazeera America channel -- which is not carried by Cincinnati Bell Fioptics or by Time Warner’s Northern Kentucky franchise, the former Insight cable system.

Wikipedia

Hollywood rolls into Fourth Street downtown again Friday, the first day of shooting for the “Marauders” bank theft thriller starring Bruce Willis, Dave Bautista and Christopher Meloni.

The first scenes will be filmed all day at the Dixie Terminal Building, 49 E. Fourth St., according to the film location managers.

No parking restrictions will be posted on Fourth, Walnut and Third Streets from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday.  

That means some downtown parking spots won’t be available for the 7:10 p.m. Reds-Mets game at Great American Ball Park.

3:20 p.m. Thursday Sept. 24 update: The ramp from I-75 southbound to Second Street will be closed 3 a.m. to 11 am. Saturday for filming a commercial, the  Ohio Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

A company named Shooterz requested the permit, says Elizabeth A. Lyons, Ohio Department of Transportation public information specialist. "They stated it was to shoot a commercial. That’s all we’ve got; they didn’t specify what the commercial was for," she said. 

Original post 12:15 p.m. Thursday: The ramp from I-75 southbound to Second Street will be closed 3 a.m. to 11 am. Saturday for filming, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced Thursday morning.

The road closure is needed “to film a commercial for an upcoming movie being filmed in Cincinnati,” says Elizabeth A. Lyons, Ohio Department of Transportation public information specialist.

She did not identify the movie. Filming starts Friday on “Marauders,” the bank theft thriller starring Bruce Willis, Dave Bautista, Chris Meloni and Johnathon Schaech.  

Wikipedia

It’s time again to look for the lights, cameras, action!

Filming is set to begin on “Marauders,” the bank theft thriller starring Bruce Willis (Die Hard,” “The SixthSense,” “Armageddon”), Dave Bautista (“Gaurdians of the Galaxy”) and Christopher Meloni (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Man of Steel,” “42”) and Johnathon Schaech (“That Thing You Do”).

Director Steve C. Miller announced on Twitter last Friday that he was “one week out from principal photography.”

Al Jazeera America

Soledad O’Brien came to Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati suburbs for her one-hour “Heroin USA” documentary because Greater Cincinnati “has recently become the center of the nation’s heroin epidemic," says the show publicist.

“Heroin USA: A Soledad O'Brien Special Report,” airing at 10 p.m. Sunday on the Al Jazeera America network, will be told through three area residents: Olivia DeLand; Sarah Kordenbrock , a former Covington high school volleyball captain; and the late Mike Heffron, who died from a heroin overdose in 2013.

The network describes them this way:

NBCUniversal

 The 2015-16 TV season arrives this week with many of your returning favorites and most of the highly anticipated new series: “Scream Queens,” “The Muppets,” “Heroes Reborn,” “Limitless” and “The Player.”

The first week ends Sunday with a goodbye to a long-time favorite, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” in a two-hour CBS movie.

Below is my list of new fall series (titles in bold italic) and returning shows this week. All returning series are season premieres, unless noted.

If your favorite show doesn’t return this week, here’s my list of Fall TV premiere dates.

Wikipedia

In case you missed the 67th annual Prime-Time Emmy Awards on Fox Sunday night, you didn’t miss much.

With all the competition from Netflix, Amazon and other online services, the 2014-15 was one of the best TV seasons ever. And the Fox telecast hosted by comedian Andy Samberg was perhaps the worst, or at least the raunchiest with references to porn and oral sex in the first hour.

If you stayed around for the end, the best moments came in the final hour:

--Comedian Tracy Morgan walking on stage 15 months after the New Jersey traffic accident which took life of his friend James McNair, to present the best drama award to HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” the big winner Sunday night. (See full list below)

--Viola Davis (ABC’s “How To Get Away With Murder”) quoting former slave Harriet Tubman after becoming the first African-American woman to win the drama best actress award. She also said:  “Let me tell you something: the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

Jerry Springer Show

Twenty-five years of the “Jerry Springer Show?” Really?

No.

Springer celebrates the start of his 25th season today (9 a.m., Channel 64). So technically, the daytime “Springer” show is only 24 years old. But that’s still an extraordinary achievement for the daytime program which started at WLWT-TV’s old Crosley Square studios at 9th and Elm Streets on Sept. 30, 1991.

On only five TV stations.

CBS Television

On this date in TV Kiese history…

Sept. 18, 1978: “WKRP in Cincinnati” premieres on CBS with the first of a two-part episode about new program director Andy Travis (Gary Sandy) switching from boring elevator music to rock ’n’ roll.

Although never a big ratings hit, “WKRP” had a loyal audience for four seasons because of its great writing, actual rock music (selected by the actor DJs) and great cast: Howard Hesseman, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson, Richard Sanders, Tim Reid, Frank Bonner, Jan Smithers and Sandy.

Baby, if you’ve ever wondered:  Atlanta advertising executive Hugh Wilson had never been to Cincinnati before creating the show. He based the series on an  Atlanta radio station.

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