Tag Archives: CBS

Naptown Nostalgia: Don’t touch that dial!

cbs-logo-wide       If you have ever wondered how to seriously screw with the people of Indianapolis, tell them that you are changing the way in which they watch TV. Trust me on this, you will need to get out the riot gear.

While no one is a big fan of change, the people of Naptown seem inordinately averse to it. Sometimes I think the city motto should be “We’ve never done it that way before (and we certainly aren’t going to start now!)” The other day, my entire equilibrium was rocked with the announcement that the CBS affiliate was changing stations. Instead of watching CBS programming on Channel 8 as I have all my life (save for the three years that I lived in North Carolina) I will now have to watch it on Channel 4.

I’m going to be honest…I don’t think I can do this.

I’m a person who tends to be set in her ways. When things switch around on me, I don’t handle it well. I remember years ago when, for reasons that remain a mystery to me, the NBC and ABC affiliates “traded” with each other and really screwed with my head. I was so little at the time that I literally have friends who do not remember this causing me to wonder if I imagined it myself. Thankfully in light of this recent news, those who recall this earth shattering event have come forward proving (at least for the time being) that I am not crazy and that moving things around the dial is problematic for some people. I do remember when Channel 13 was ABC and I watched Donny & Marie on Friday nights. Suddenly they were on Channel 6 and it took me forever to find them. I also remember when, in the early cable era, all of the local affiliates were on their appropriate channel numbers (except for Channel 59 because the cable box didn’t go that high) then all of a sudden, someone in a cubicle somewhere had to completely mess up the system and make Channel 13 show up on Channel 12, Channel 6 is on Channel 5 and Channel 8 is on Channel 7. Seriously, do these people subscribe to the George Lucas method of doing math?

When my son was little, he was a big fan of Sesame Street…no problem. We have a PBS affiliate. Once upon a time we called it Channel 20 and it was on the UHF dial in its appropriate spot between Channel 19 and Channel 21. Now if you ask me “how to get to Sesame Street” I am going to tell you that despite the fact that WFYI is called Channel 20, it is actually located on channel 3. (Don’t judge me, people, I suspect Count Von Count sympathizes with my issue here.)  We have the Christian channel WHMB-TV 40 that, last time I checked, is Channel 9 and as I recall at one point we had a Channel 42 which appeared on Channel 10 before disappearing completely or being swallowed whole by Channel 4. I really do not know what happened to it, but I am begging you…DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL!!!!

And now…we have this. CBS is moving to channel 4. At the moment, no one knows what is going to happen to the people working at the CBS affiliate. Perhaps they will find another affiliation and continue, but unless I am crazy (and the jury is still out on that) I think all of the major networks are accounted for. I have no clue as to what happens to the shows that were previously on channel 4 such as The Carrie Diaries, Arrow, etc…there are rumors that they are being moved to WTTV’s sub-channel 4.2 (seriously? Now we are using decimals?) but that will only help out people who have an antennae. Those of us who simply have cable may be out of luck and have to turn to our apps to see current episodes. and NO one has addressed what will happen to Sammy Terry’s Halloween special when all of this occurs…believe me, heads will ROLL if we do not get to see our favorite ghoul on October 31 on Channel 4. That would be a change we CAN’T live with.

I’m telling you we have already suffered enough this year. We had to contend ourselves with the fact that Jim Neighbors won’t sing at the 500 anymore. I don’t think we can take anything else..give us another 60 years and we’ll discuss another major break with tradition, but for now, I’m begging you. Leave the TV alone.

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March Article for Glo Magazine

IMG_8023          It’s official. I am getting older. There is no other way to rationalize the strange phenomenon that has altered my television viewing practices of late. One night, I went to bed hopped up on 30-minute sitcoms and the occasional reality train wreck and the next day, I woke up with an inexplicable desire to watch hour-long, commercial-free shows heavily laced with British accents.

There is only one logical explanation for this: I’ve reached some mystical age when PBS suddenly becomes cool.

This is unsettling for someone who all but boycotted the network as a child. Oh sure, I was a long-time “neighbor” of Mister Rogers, but I had a problem with any organization whose programs were suspiciously educational. Sesame Street was a little too concerned with things like letters and numbers; The Electric Company was some kind of phonetic utility firm, and Reading Rainbow? Please…I knew a literacy lesson when I saw it. Only Mister Rogers Neighborhood and his Neighborhood of Make Believe appeared to lack pedagogical value (and of course became my favorite PBS show!)

I also had a monumental issue with any station that required the bottom dial of our prehistoric television set. (If you understand that reference, then you are at least as old as I am.) If PBS couldn’t hang on the same dial as ABC, CBS, NBC and the local independent outfit, I didn’t need to tune in. (Lest you think I am biased, I had the same opinion of the religious affiliate that showed a block of Tennessee Tuxedo cartoons in the afternoon before starting their daily Lester Sumrall marathon.)

I spent the better part of my life believing that PBS was for old people like my father who routinely pre-empted my Saturday morning cartoons to watch This Old House, The New Yankee Workshop, and The Woodwright Shop. He had a special affection for PBS staples such as Cosmos and Nova not to mention every in-depth study of the Number Seven the network could come up with. He even went so far as to donate money during Pledge Week.

In my young opinion, Pledge Week was proof positive that PBS was a ruse. Let’s face it, the only time PBS broadcast anything worthwhile was during Pledge Week. For seven days, the network offered programs never seen throughout the year while talking heads at the phone banks begged for money and promised more high-quality programming like the show one was currently watching. They may have guilted my father into making a donation with their plea, but they weren’t fooling me! I knew that when the lights went out and the phone lines closed, they packed up their Suze Orman lectures and Ed Sullivan retrospectives, leaving with the same shows we had before.

This makes the current turn of events even more disconcerting. Either I’m getting older, PBS programming suddenly resonates with me or they finally got that windfall they were looking for because the lineup has radically improved. I’ve caught myself tuning into Masters, the American Experience and BBC imports such as Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, and Paradise at an unhealthy rate. I downloaded their app as part of my conversion to “quality” programming and have spent hours online watching documentaries on everything from the Kennedys to that guy in the Philippines who became the lead singer of Journey. Good times, I tell you.

My family is worried that prolonged PBS viewing could lead to Matlock and Murder, She Wrote marathons. They have begun to keep track of the number of times I tune into, mention or recap some show I have recently watched on the local affiliate and I suspect an intervention is on the horizon. Maybe they will lock me in a room with loud rock music until I come to my senses.

That’s fine by me. I hear PBS recently did a documentary on Jimi Hendrix. Maybe I can stream it!

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Fabulous Fridays-Why I can never go on a reality show

Not that I am being pursued by the networks or anything, but I’ve been thinking about this and I have come to the conclusion that I can never go on a reality-based competition show. I spent half of my summer following the antics inside the Big Brother house (hours out of my life I can NEVER get back, by the way) and with each passing week, I found myself adding to my list of reasons as to why I would not make a good contestant.

survivor_cover   1. I’m not much of a competitor. This piece of news may come as a big shock to some, particularly my sons who I take pride in beating at every game we play, but I’m really not into to cut throat, do-or-die battles. There’s too much pressure and if I’m competing for basic necessities such as a bed to sleep in, food to eat and hot water to wash in…I’ll pass.



Big-Brother-slop-2    2. I’m too picky, especially when it comes to food. In every reality competition I have ever seen, it always seems that contestants are expected to eat some kind of weird concoction of food. Yeah…not so much. I remember when the penalty food on Big Brother used to be Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, which didn’t sound too bad to me, but when they moved to the “slop” I knew this girl would not be auditioning for that show any time soon. If I ever had to eat a bug, ice cream and relish mixed together or any other gastronomical equivalent to Chernobyl, it’s not worth it.

survivor-heroes-vs-villians-final   3. I may not be a “people person” after all.  I enjoy meeting new people as much as the next person and I really applaud folks who are willing to live with a bunch of strangers in the bush, on an island, race around the world with them, etc…but I can’t see myself being flexible enough to adapt my living habits to suit several personality types all living in a unique setting and do what I would have to do in order to get along with the group. Ask anyone who knows me, I’m rather set in my ways, am not always pleasant to be around and have a tendency not to “play nice” with the other kids.

Big_Brother_8_Cast    4. I lack the personality that these shows tend to attract. Seriously, where do they FIND these people? While some contestants admit that their behavior is all an “act” I can’t help thinking that for some of them, this is EXACTLY who they are and that’s just a bit disturbing to me. (For the record, I LOVED Evel Dick of BB8, but something tells me that sooner or later I would do something to tick him off and I have a feeling that his bad side is not the place I would want to be.)

reality_tv_collage    5. It’s just not my thing. I am amazed by the amount of people who regularly audition for reality shows like it is a profession, but have no desire to put myself out there like that. If I want to get rich, I guess I will do it the old fashioned way, through hard work, discipline and setting attainable goals-not by backstabbing people and talking smack in hopes that the American public will find me irresistible and reward me for my tolerance.

I probably would be on a reality show if it was based on my family, though we hardly create enough drama to be interesting and we aren’t big on throwing each other under the bus. Still I doubt any network would find a show about three people who love and care about each other nearly as impressive as a bunch of lying, scheming people ready to kill for $1 million.  There is always hope though that someone will realize that Vincent could carry a half hour situation comedy all by himself and make us an offer we can’t refuse, but until then I will remain happily on my own island with no one watching me.

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