Weak Shows Don’t Make Sweeps Cut

Here’s another jewell that Melinda Metz found, and sent in!

Published Thursday, November 4, 1999


Weak shows don’t make sweeps cut
NEWS AND NOTES from Planet TV:

Television’s November sweeps begins tonight, touching off a period in which the networks stuff their schedules with major programs designed to inflate ratings and advertising rates.

In the coming days, look for your TV set to be infested with plenty of special guest stars, overhyped movies and miniseries and other kinds of programming shenanigans.

On the other hand, bid a temporary good-bye to several underperforming regular series. The networks don’t want them dragging down their ratings, so they’ll get benched during sweeps.

Among the bottomfeeders not making the cut this time around are “Suddenly Susan” (NBC), “Family Guy” (Fox), “Wasteland” and “It’s like you know …” (both ABC).

I won’t shed a tear for any of them. But I will mourn the absence of “Action” (Fox) and “Sports Night” (ABC), two shows that deserve bigger audiences.

In Hollywood, the copycats run rampant. It was only a matter of time before another glitzy prime-time game show in the vein of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” appeared on the tube.
Tonight, the Fox folks are debuting “Greed” (8 p.m., channels 2 and 40), a game show from Dick Clark Productions that ups the ante to an eye-popping $2 million.

Hosted by Chuck Woolery, “Greed” sounds like the perfect program for our selfish times. It starts with a team of five, but after an initial round, players get the chance to go after each others’ share of the cash.

A press release from Fox says “tune in to see if teamwork or greed will prevail,” but something tells me we aren’t going to see a lot of teamwork.

Guys like NBA bad boy Latrell Sprewell should love it.

It took awhile, but we finally have a winner in our first-ever cancellation pool. He’s Stephen Davis of Pleasant Hill, and he won when CBS mercifully pulled the plug on its lame sitcom “Work With Me.”
Davis, who said he “reads a lot about TV and tries to keep track of the Nielsen ratings,” became one of four finalists, along with Rob Matheson, Karen Wilkinson and Sonia Mansfield, when they correctly guessed that NBC’s “The Mike O’Malley Show” would be the first new series to get axed.

Thanks to all the readers who competed in the pool. We hope to build it into abigger — and more rewarding — contest next year.

WB’s new drama “Roswell” has attracted lots of viewers interested in its blend of sci-fi intrigue and teen romance, but Karen Fink of Livermore has another reason for watching. She’s a 1967 graduate of Roswell High.
“There was nothing to do in the desert, so we used to go to the shallow river and chase fish with a stick,” she told me. “We also used to drag Main, which is now called ‘cruising’ and is outlawed in most California cities.”

Fink says she “loves UFO stories” and shows like “The X-Files”, even though she’s convinced the infamous Roswell flying saucer was just a weather balloon. Her first date was in a downtown theater that now houses Roswell’s UFO museum.

So where does Fink work? At Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

“I know what you’re thinking,” she said, “but it’s just a coincidence!”

Congratulations should go to KRON (Channel 4), which recently had its late-night newscast picked as one of the best in the nation by a respected study conducted through the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
You have to wonder if a little asterisk should be affixed to the findings for a couple of reasons: 1. The Bay Area’s top-rated newscast — KTVU (Channel 2) — wasn’t part of the study; and 2. KRON news director Dan Rosenheim was a member of the board that decided what criteria the study should follow. Hmmmmmm.

Speaking of KRON, I continue to get a lot of inquiries into the whereabouts of Suzanne Shaw. As previously reported, the anchor is on a sabbatical and is scheduled to return in early January. Shaw’s relatives can stop calling.

Just kidding. I miss her, too. When she’s around, KRON’s newscasts are even better.

Chuck Barney can be reached at 925-952-2685 or


not an active member anymore.