John Kiesewetter

Media Blog

John Kiesewetter joined the WVXU news team as a TV/Media blogger on July 1 2015, after nearly 30 years covering local and national broadcasting for The Cincinnati Enquirer. He’ll be posting news about Greater Cincinnati TV, radio and movies; updating your favorite former local TV/radio personalities or stars who grew up here; and breaking news about national TV, radio and media trends. You’ll also learn about Cincinnati’s rich broadcasting history.

The Middletown, Ohio, native joined The Enquirer for a 13-week summer internship after graduating from Ohio University in 1975, and parlayed it into a nearly 40-year career as a reporter (including covering the Beverly Hills fire aftermath), editor and TV columnist. “TV Kiese” regularly traveled to Los Angeles and other cities to preview shows, interview stars and watch tapings of “ER,” “Seinfeld,” Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” and David Letterman’s “Late Show.” He’s also covered filming of George Clooney’s “The Ides of March,” Cate Blanchett’s “Carol” and Don Cheadle’s “Miles Ahead.”

Ways to Connect

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.

Mark Magistrelli archives

Before Adam West comes to the Cincinnati Comic Expo this weekend, I want you to see his most famous appearance here – with crazy movie host Bob Shreve on WKRC-TV’s “Past Prime Playhouse.”

West, in his “Batman” mask and cape, visits Channel 12’s all-night movie show while in town for a custom car show in late 1975 or early 1976. 

TV’s former “Batman” (1966-68) swings onto the set on a rope and tells Bob he’s working on his first case here in Cincinnati. To which Bob says: “It’s funny that you say you’re working on your first case, because I’m working on my third!”

WVXU kicks off a it's fall fund drive Thursday with a $50,000 matching grant, while WGUC listeners’ generosity earlier this month has shortened the on-air appeal on the sister classical music station until  Tuesday.

Thursday morning WVXU will announce the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation matching grant.   Listeners will be asked to thank the Haile Foundation for its support with #ThanksHaile on Twitter, says Sherri Mancini, Cincinnati Public Radio vice president for development.

Some of the fall funds will pay for a new WVXU transmitter to be installed next month, she says.

Unlike recent years, separate campaigns are underway for WVXU and WGUC.

Bill Cunningham Show

Bill Cunningham won’t be commuting to New York City to host his “Bill Cunningham” daytime show on the CW network this fall.

No more taping long radio interviews without callers from his Manhattan TV office to air on his midday 700 WLW-AM show while in the TV studio.

Why?

Motion Picture Corporation of America

Pop star Mariah Carey will make her directorial debut while starring in a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie here in October.

The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission announcement of Carey’s “Melody & Mistletoe” comes five days after news of the Bruce Willis-Dave Bautista “Marauders” movie to be filmed here later this month.

Both films, which could be shooting at the same time, need extras and crew. 

Wikipedia

It’s fitting that PBS’ Walt Disney documentary arrives days after the new wave of “Star Wars” merchandise.

Walt Disney pioneered entertainment marketing deals with his new Mickey Mouse character in the late 1920s… Which led to the creation of his powerful Walt Disney entertainment conglomerate decades later…. Which enabled the company to buy Lucasfilm and “Star Wars” three years ago.

“American Experience: Walt Disney,” 9-11 p.m. Monday and Tuesday on PBS (Channels 48, 54, 16), provides a fascinating, comprehensive look at the fun-loving creative genius who gave us Mickey Mouse, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Mary Poppins and Disneyland… And the vindictive, driven boss who fought unionization at his studio and  claimed union leaders were Communists  before the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee; ignored advice from NAACP leaders before depicting slavery in “Song of the South” (then bristled at their picketing theaters);  and couldn’t interrupt his South American vacation to attend his father’s funeral.

Provided by WKRC-TV

Sheila Gray and Bob Herzog will be working longer starting Sept. 21, when WKRC-TV expands “Good Morning Cincinnati” to 7-9 a.m. on sister station WSTR-TV (Channel 64).

Gray, who jumped to WKRC-TV last year from WXIX-TV, will be competing longer with her old station. Channel 19 airs local news until 11 a.m. Channel 12’s morning show will air 4:30-9 a.m.

The expanded “Good Morning Cincinnati” premieres Sept. 21, the week most of the new fall TV prime-time series debut.

The majority of daytime changes start the week of Sept. 14, including WCPO-TV’s new 7 p.m. half-hour newscast.  See the list below.

Wikipedia

Score it Error: Ferrell. Or #FarrellFail.

Comedian Will Ferrell’s HBO special Saturday about playing all nine positions for Major League Baseball teams last March was a colossal disappointment.

“Ferrell Takes The Field, available on HBO the rest the month, features the “Anchorman” and former “Saturday Night Live” star playing for 10 teams – including the Reds – in a marathon March day in Arizona.

Unfortunately, Ferrell fixated on the misguided concept of staying in character – as a 47-year-old man who believed he had the talent to play in the big leagues. To me, the hour was filled with far too much phony  bluster and braggadocio, and artificial angst about being traded or released, as he bounced from club to club.

Wikipedia

When does your favorite returning show premiere this fall?

Or the new fall shows you don’t want to miss?

Here’s my annual list of premiere dates for new and returning TV series in chronological order, and quick blurbs on every new fall TV series. New fall show titles are in bold italics:

Wikipedia

Extras are needed for “Marauders,” a new thriller starring Bruce Willis, Christopher Meloni and Dave Bautista shooting here later this month.

Willis (Die Hard,” “The SixthSense,” “Armageddon”) plays a corrupt bank owner being investigated by the FBI.  

Bautista, a former pro wrestler and mixed martial fighter, starred in  “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Meloni, Emmy nominee for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” has appeared in “Man of Steel”and “42.”

Comedian-actress Rain Pryor headlines a comedy show before a screening of her autobiographical “That Daughter’s Crazy” film Thursday at the Carnegie in Covington.

The daughter of the late Richard Pryor also will talk about the film and answer questions from the audience with producer Daryl Sledge after the screening.

Before the film at 7:30 p.m., Cincinnati area comics will perform, says Kat Steele, director of the Cincinnati Film Festival, which organized the event. Scheduled to perform are Ally Bruener, Kelly Collette, Teri Foltz, Kristen Lundberg and Ky Platt.

NBCUniversal

It’s hard to settle on any one trend for the 2015-2016 TV season. Pick one:

SUPER HEROES: Get ready for more super heroes: NBC’s “Heroes Reborn” and CBS’ “Supergirl” join “Gotham,” “Arrow,” “The Flash” and “Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”  By next spring you’ll also see “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” on the CW, and more of ABC’s “Marvel's Agent Carter.”

REVIVALS: Prepare for more revivals: “The Muppets” (ABC) and “Heroes Reborn” (NBC) this fall, and reboots of “The X-Files,” (Fox), “Fuller House” (Netflix), “Twin Peaks” (Showtime) and more of “The Odd Couple” (CBS) early next year.

MOVIE ADAPTATIONS: Watch how big-screen movies get revamped for the big screen in your home: CBS’ “Limitless,” from the 2011 Bradley Cooper film about the pill which enhances brain power, and a new version of Stephen Spielberg’s “Minority Report” (Fox). Coming to TV at midseason are “Rush Hour” (CBS) and “Uncle Buck” (ABC).

SPIN-OFFS: You’ve got to have a spin-off, and NBC has one.

Wikipedia

On this date in TV Kiese history…

Sept. 7, 1998: Former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason debuts as an ABC “Monday Night Football” analyst.

Esiason retired from the Bengals after the 1997 season and walked immediately into the “MNF” booth with Al Michaels and Dan Dierdorf, after Frank Gifford retired.

He didn’t last long - dumped after two seasons and replaced by comedian Dennis Miller and former quarterback Dan Fouts - but that didn’t hurt his broadcasting career.

A&E

Less than a week before the season finale, an A&E publicist says there’s “no word” yet on a renewal for the Nick and Drew Lachey reality series filmed here.

“Lachey’s Bar” ends its first season with back-to-back episodes 10-11 p.m. Wednesday. The brothers shot 10 half-hour programs about opening their Over-the-Rhine bar last winter. Will it be back?

“No word on a renewal at this point but you can check back with us,” an A&E publicity assistant tells me in an email.

The series ends Sept. 9 with a show called “In Cincy To Stay?,” when Nick considers "relocating his family to Cincinnati full time.” But – Spoiler Alert! – that can’t happen because Vanessa will star in a new fall NBC sitcom produced in Los Angeles.

Wikipedia

Will Stephen Colbert on CBS’ new “Late Show” Sept. 8 be as funny as the self-important character Colbert played hosting Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report?”

He’s no dummy. He won six prime-time Emmys, two Peabody Awards and a Grammy for his satirical “Colbert Report” on Comedy Central from 2005 to 2014.  And if he’s not an immediate sensation – as Jimmy Fallon was replacing Jay Leno – I think he’s smart enough to figure it out in the first few months hosting the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (11:35 p.m., CBS, Channel 12).

It comes down to this: Will the real Colbert be as entertaining on CBS as the fake Colbert was on Comedy Central?

That’s the question I asked WKRC-TV’s Brad Johansen, who interviewed Colbert for Channel 12 promos on the air now and a story to air Tuesday night before Colbert’s premiere. (Have you seen the one where Colbert calls him “Brad So Handsome?”)

Wikipedia

  After “Carol” opens in November, Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett could be seen as Lucille Ball in a feature film about her 20-year marriage to Desi Arnaz.

TheWrap says Blanchett, who filmed “Carol” in Cincinnati last year, “is attached to star in an authorized biopic” to be written by Emmy-winner Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing,” “Moneyball,” “The Social Network”).

The film would focus on Lucy’s 20-year marriage to Arnaz, and how they created and produced the classic “I Love Lucy” sitcom in the 1950s. Their two children, Lucie and Desi Arnaz Jr., will produce the film, the story says.

John Kiesewetter

Operators of Christian WAKW-FM are selling 12 acres by its College Hill tower, studios, school and church for 2016 Citirama – but the money won’t go to the station’s $195,000 campaign to upgrade aging broadcasting equipment.

Thirty-six homes will be built on an extension of Collegevue Place, which now dead-ends at three Pillar of Fire Church entities: WAKW-FM (Star 93.3), Eden Grove Academy and City Church. The Cincinnati Planning Commission approved plans for the Gershom Grove subdivision last month.

Proceeds from the property sale will go “in the bank,” and not to fund the church, school or radio station, says John Archer, Pillar of Fire building and grounds superintendent.

John Kiesewetter

The Bearcats’ home opener in renovated Nippert Stadium will air live 7 p.m. Saturday on Fox Sports Ohio.

After a year playing at Paul Brown Stadium, UC will host Alabama A&M Saturday on the Clifton campus at Nippert, where the Bearcats have played since 1924.

Immediately after the game FSO will repeat “Revealed: Nippert Stadium,” a 30-minute special about the history and expansion of the stadium hosted by UC radio voice Dan Hoard.  

Wikipedia

NBC has benched a revival of Craig T. Nelson’s “Coach” weeks before the fall TV season starts.

In May the network announced a mid-season comedy to follow-up the popular 1989-97 ABC sitcom starring Nelson as football coach Hayden Fox. 

“Coach” was one of several TV revivals planned for the 2015-16 season. Still in production are reboots of “Heroes,” “The X-Files,” “Full House,” “The Muppets” and “Twin Peaks.” 

“Big Brother” fans can watch Thursday’s episode live on WSTR-TV (Channel 64) when the final Bengals preseason game airs Thursday on WKRC-TV (Channel 12).

The CBS feed will air live in its regular time period (9:01-10 p.m.) Thursday on Sinclair sister station Channel 64, says Rick White Sinclair Broadcast Group regional program coordinator.

The reality show also will be broadcast on delay on Channel 12 at 11:37 p.m., after the 11 p.m. news.

The Channel 12 lineup Thursday:

Wikipedia

Full disclosure here: If I still worked at the Enquirer, I’d be writing about Lee Hay and her latest effort to celebrate Cincinnati’s rich broadcasting and recording history.

Up next for Hay: Another five-week series about Cincinnati’s iconic King Records, to celebrate King Records month.

On “The Blues with Lee Hay” at 11 p.m. Saturday on WVXU-FM and WMUB-FM, she interviews music historian Brian Powers and Steve Halper, nephew of King Records founder Syd Nathan, about the history of the record label and the many musicians who recorded there.

Powers also talks about the many activities scheduled to honor King Records during the September celebration around the city. (See list here.)

The station which started the first weekday 7 p.m. local newscast here in 1979 returns to the time period with “9 On Your Side at 7PM” Sept. 14.

WCPO-TV anchor Julie Dolan and chief meteorologist Steve Raleigh will provide “fast-paced news of the day and Cincinnati’s 9 First Warning Forecast,” the station announced. The half-hour program also “will feature in-depth news stories integrating digital journalism from WCPO.com.”

It will be the only local newscast at 7 p.m. But not the first.

Disney-ABC Television Group

Update 11:55 a.m. Friday Aug. 28:

The Oktoberfest Zinzinnati winner appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” is no sure thing, contrary to my original post below, says Rich Walburg, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber communications director.

Walburg just called me back to say he was wrong about the local winner going to "Kimmel." The winner of the Sam Adams Stein Hoisting Competition Sept. 19 on Fountain Square COULD appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” – if he or she has one of the top three times for holding the beer stein in similar contests across the country, he says.

The three strongest men and women – those who held a full beer stein the longest – will go to the “Kimmel” show, he says.

So start working out!

Provided by WLWT-TV

  High school football fans will see many more Friday game highlights with the premiere of WLWT-TV’s “Blitz 5 Extra” on sister station MeTV (Channel 5.2) immediately following the 11 p.m. news.

Channel 5 is taking advantage of its deep sports team, with the addition of former WCPO-TV sports videographer-producer Mark Slaughter earlier this year and freelancer Zach Wells, the former sports anchor-reporter for Channels 12 and 19.

Provided by Clyde Gray

  A year after leaving TV news, Clyde Gray says life is “wonderful.” He’s getting more hugs and kisses from his daughter and wife, as he had hoped when he voluntarily left WCPO-TV a year ago.

And he laughs when it snows – because he doesn’t have to leave home to go to work.

Gray, 60, a TV newsman here for 33 years, is building his Blackboard Marketing public relations and marketing firm from his Symmes Township home office, and enjoying evenings with his wife and 8-year-old daughter.

Wikipedia

 On this date in TV Kiese History…

Aug. 26, 1939:  The Cincinnati Reds played the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first televised Major League Baseball game seen by the few people with TV sets in the New York City area 76 years ago today.

Red Barber, who started his professional sports announcing career doing Reds radio for Crosley Broadcasting’s WLW-AM and WSAI-M, broadcast the game on NBC’s experimental TV station W2XBS.

During the game from Ebbets Field, Barber also did the first TV commercial -- for Procter & Gamble’s Ivory Soap.

ABC Entertainment

Well, that was quick. A year after joining the “Good Morning America Weekend” anchor desk, former WCPO-TV sports anchor-reporter Paula Faris was named a co-host on ABC’s “The View.” 

Faris, actress Candace Cameron Bure (the former “Full House” cast member and “Dancing with the Stars” contestant) and original co-host Joy Behar will be co-hosts on ABC’s daytime talk show for the 19th season starting Sept. 8.

Anchor Scott Schneider is leaving WXIX-TV soon… And news director Kevin Roach and investigative reporter Hagit Limor are gone from the staff, although Limor may freelance some for Channel 19.

Main co-anchor Schneider; award-winning former WCPO-TV investigative reporter Limor; and former WLWT-TV anchor-reporter Amy Wagner were hired by Roach shortly after he arrived in March 2013. He was revamping Channel 19's newsroom staff after the announced departure of anchor Ben Swann.

Now more changes are coming under WXIX-TV Vice President-General Manager Debbie Bush, hired in February to replace Bill Lanesey.

Provided by CET

  One of the “Antiques Roadshow” programs filmed in Cincinnati three years ago repeats at 8 p.m. Monday on Channels 48, 16 and KET 2 Channel 54.2 (Time Warner 980).

Appraisers evaluate a wood bust of Abraham Lincoln, apparently the first version of the bust now atop a World War II memorial at Ezzard Charles Drive and Cutter Street in the West End a few blocks west of WCET-TV; a 1920s Weller dog lawn ornament; a 1930 Martin ukulele; a 1920s toy horse and buggy; an 1870 mantel clock; and a 1905 French advertising poster.

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