Monday, April 14, 2014

Who's watching what in Boston (and the 305)

Who wins in the "Game of Thrones?" The Starks. The Lannisters. The dragons? How about Boston viewers. The HBO series was the seventh most watched program last week, scoring 258,000 total viewers for the season debut.  But CBS's cadre of sitcoms and dramas drew the most audiences, capturing five out of the top 10 shows.  Also of note: NESN's broadcast of Red Sox games came in #15 (236,000 viewers), #18 (214,000) and #22 (201,000 ).

Here's a look at the most watched programs in Boston from March 31-April 6.

   1. WBZ-CBS Big Bang Theory 535,000 total viewers.
   2. WBZ-CBS How I Met Your Mother 476,000
   3. WBZ-NCIS  432,000
   4. WBZ-CBS NCIS:LA  325,000
   4. WCVB-ABC Dancing w/ Stars 324,000
   6. WHDH-NBC The Voice 267,000
   7.  WBZ-CBS  Friends w/Better Lives  258,000  
   7.  HBO Game of Thrones 258,000
   7. WHDH-NBC The Voice 256,000
 10. WBZ-CBS 60 Minutes 255,000
 10WCVB-ABC The Middle 253,000
10. WBZ-CBS The Millers 253,000
10. WCVB:ABC Modern Family 252,000

source: The Nielsen Company

And over in Miami-Fort Lauderdale, here's my roundup for those ratings as well as some local newscasts.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Still rocking after 30 years


This South Florida band has been together for 30 years, which is rare in the tropics where trends and radio formats come and go like cruise ships and bands peter out. Here's my story on the Fabulous Fleetwoods

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Boston (and Miami's) most watched

The dead live it up in the ratings at least in Boston. AMC's "The Walking Dead"  was the third most watched program last week when it drew 307,000 bodies.  It was the only cable program to crack the top 30 for the week of March 17 through last Sunday except for NESN's March 18 broadcast of a Bruins game which scored 220,000 viewers (or #12 for the week.) 

Here's a look at the most watched programs in Boston.

   1. WBZ-CBS NCIS  418,000 total viewers.
   2. WBZ-CBS 60 Minutes 341,000
   3. AMC Walking Dead  307,000
   4. WBZ-CBS NCIS:LA  287,000
   5. WCVB-ABC Dancing w/ Stars 285,000
   6. WHDH-NBC The Voice 269,000
   7.  WBZ-CBS How I Met Your Mother 267,000  
   8.  WHDH-NBC The Voice  256,000
   9. WCVB-ABC Castle  248,000
 10.WBZ-CBS Two Broke Girls 227,000
 10. WCVB-ABC Shark Tank 226,000

source: The Nielsen Company

And for Miami, here are the most watched shows for the same week.

 1.  WPLG-ABC Dancing w/ Stars 172,000 total viewers
 2.  WFOR-CBS 60 Minutes 166,000
 2.  SUN-FOX Sports NBA (Heat game) 165,000
 4.  WFOR-CBS NCIS 161,000
 5.  SUN-FOX Sports NBA (Heat game) 156,000
 5.  AMC The Walking Dead 155,000
 7.  SUN-FOX Sports NBA (Heat game) 148,000
 7.  WLTV-UNI Nuestra Belleza (beauty contest) 147,000
 9.  WLTV-UNI Sal y Pimienta (gossip show)  142,000
10.  WFOR-CBS NCIS: LA 138,000
10.  WLTV-UNI Que Vida Me Robo (telenovela) 137,000
12. WSVN-FOX American Idol  (Wednesday) 134,000
source: The Nielsen Company

Friday, March 21, 2014

Landing Mr. Right

Dating is now a (board) game. For women (and gay men) who have struggled to find Mr. Right here or anywhere else, there's a new board game that helps to literally land Mr. Right.  Girlfriends Alys Daly and Victoria Brewer created "Landing Mr. Right,'' a "Candy Land"-inspired game that sparks conversation about what women and gay men want from their own Mr. Big.  You roll the die and land on a space which instructs you to pick a date from six different types of guys. Along the way, you talk about your own experiences with that type and why things didn't work out. It's Sex in the City but as a board game. Here's my article on the game.

The girls behind "Landing Mr. Right."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wasn't Tomorrow! A review

Quick, where did the phrase "Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?" come from? If you're a child of the '80s (like other Goonies), you'd know that it's a song by The Waitresses.

But for another generation, that title has a new meaning - the name of a memoir by Kenneth Walsh, the popular New York-based gay blogger and copy editor. I befriended Kenneth at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalism Conference in 2007 in San Diego where we were booth buddies manning the New York Times Co. table. I remember during one of our conversations at a taco place, this tall stylish goateed guy kept lacing his stories with 80s references, something I easily related to being a pop culture junkie and a fan of NBC's "Facts of Life"  and the ultimate girl car, the Volkswagen Cabrio. 

Kenneth takes the good, he takes the bad and he takes them both and puts them to good use in his book. (sorry, '80s reference there). He chronicles his journey as "a nice boy from Michizona" (the suburbs of Detroit and then Phoenix) where he followed tennis stars Chris Evert and  Billie Jean King's every serve to his ultimate bright-lights destination - Manhattan where he dreamed of one day, hanging in the same circles as Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry. Kenneth was desperately seeking New York. (Sorry, another '80s reference there.)

Along the way with a few pet cats in between, Walsh recounts his coming-of-age (and gay) stories with a chatty tell-it-like-it-is manner, as if he's on the other end of a rotary phone or smartphone detailing the events like an old friend. His writing is smart and witty but it's also deeply personal. I expected some commentary on celebrity sightings and gossip items about New York which have become cornerstones of his blog along with photos of shirtless hot men, but I was surprised by the breadth of themes in the book. Kenneth delved into issues that are universal but that may truly resonate with gay men who grew up watching the hairy-chested "Magnum PI" and "Six Million Dollar Man" and listened to Madonna remix cassettes.

In the chapter, "new balls, please,'' Kenneth describes that suffocating feeling of being "different'' in his youth when he believed he'd be voted as "Most Likely To Be  Fag." Kenneth felt different in another way - he had an enlarged vein on one of his testicles which embarrassed him. He also vividly details the time he was bullied by his tennis teammates who cranked call his house at night, telling his mom if they could come over and have sex because they suspected he was gay.

In "Hi, Anxiety,'' Kenneth introduces readers

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sun, sand, surf and selfies

For this year's Spring Break, the debate is whether to selfie or not to selfie.  Really.  With Ellen's most shared selfie still rippling out there, I hit the beach with another reporter for this story in the Sun Sentinel.

And speaking of selfie, here's one from my recent trip (my winter break?) to Boston.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ellen delivers in Boston

Oscar selfie most shared around the world

And the Oscar goes to...WCVB! The 86th Academy Awards broadcast on the ABC affiliate drew 1.028 million total viewers in the Boston TV market where the show was the most watched program of the week between Feb. 24 and last Sunday. The broadcast performed slightly lower than last year's show, which had 1.038 million viewers.

This year's pre-shows also rocked the red carpet; those broadcasts ranked 2nd, 3rd and 6th of the week's top shows thanks to Ellen DeGeneres and company.  (If you remember back in 2010, WCVB was the first station to announce that Ellen's daytime show would replace Oprah's.)

Also of note,  AMC's "The Walking Dead" stood tall in the ratings coming in #8 with 305,000 viewers. It was the only cable show to crack Boston's top 30 in prime time.

Here's a look at the most recent ratings from Feb. 24  last Sunday.

  1. WCVB-ABC  Oscars 1,028 million total viewers.
  2. WCVB-ABC Oscars red carpet (8 to 830 p.m.) 748,000
  3. WCVB-ABC Oscars red carpet (730 to 8 p.m.) 483,000
  4. WBZ-CBS Big Bang Theory 451,000
  5. WBZ-NCIS 442,000
  6. WCVB-ABC Oscars red carpet (7-730 p.m.) 392,000
  7. WCVB-ABC Modern Family 315,000
  8. AMC Walking Dead 305,000
  9. WBZ-CBS NCIS:LA 289,000
10. WHDH-NBC The Voice 280,000

source: Nielsen

And for the top Miami-Fort Lauderdale TV ratings for the same week...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Bionic Crush

I remember the militaristic drum-drum-drum beat of the opening credits as if it were yesterday.

We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man.... better, stronger, faster!

That was my introduction to The Six Million Dollar Man, the 1974-78 ABC show that starred Lee Majors as Col. Steve Austin, an astronaut fitted with bionic parts (a left eye, both legs, and a right arm) and finds himself working for the OSI, the secret government agency that stands for Office of Scientific Intelligence. I recently rediscovered the show and its spinoff  The Bionic Woman which starred Lindsay Wagner as his female bionic contemporary ( and love interest.) Both shows play on COZI TV during the week and I find myself tuning in out of nostalgic curiosity and total bionic geekdom. It's amazing how an old show can trigger so many memories from one's youth. And in some ways, I feel re-energized, like that fan I was years ago.

Although I was in pre-kindergarten when The Six Million Dollar Man first aired and then in elementary school when the first round of reruns began, I remember some episodes vividly (like most things, I credit that to my OCD.) How Lee Majors ran in s-l-o-w motion (to mimic the 60 mph speeds that he could top.) I remember wanting to be like him, displaying that macho bravado whenever he accomplished his missions - rescuing people and recovering stolen secret plans. 

And of course, the electronic sounds effects from his atomically-powered bionics were well, really really cool.  Whenever he ran like a human cheetah, viewers heard a snythesized electronic strum of a guitar mixed with a spring (or what metal would sound like if it were bent.) I remember always trying to mimic that look, running in slow motion down my street or trying to throw a bionic punch in the air. When he hurled an object, the rebound sound was a lot like a bomb that dropped from the sky. And then there was Majors' bionic hunky factor. Even as a little kid, I couldn't help but look at his tuft of brown chest hair that popped out of his leisure suits.  For some reason (well, I know now), I always looked forward to the scenes when he was shirtless or at least running because his jacket or button-down shirt would shift enough to reveal his mat of chest hair. My bionic crush.