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By DAVID ZURAWIK | November 8, 1999
If you thought having "Homicide: Life on the Street" or "Runaway Bride" filmed here put Baltimore on the map, brace yourself for some really show-business-and-civic-pride news: UPN's "WWF Smackdown!" is coming to Baltimore tomorrow.That's right, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chyna, the Undertaker, the Big Show, the Rock and the rest of the World Wrestling Federation troupe are coming to the Baltimore Arena, and their videotaped performance will be shown Thursday on the UPN network, according to Patti McTeague, a UPN vice president in Los Angeles.
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By David Folkenflik and David Folkenflik,SUN TELEVISION WRITER | July 19, 2000
For parents who fear that their Ritalin-proof teens may follow Dr. Seuss' "Hop on Pop" admonition straight through to patricide - help is on its way. Just plunk the kids down in the den and turn on the tube. Hello, "WWF Smackdown," and goodbye juvenile delinquency! That, anyway, is the marvelously counter-intuitive notion of Jib Fowler, a communications professor at the University of Houston's Clear Lake campus, a lone soul defending the beleaguered television executive. The professor argues that, more than three decades of social research notwithstanding, there is little actual proof of any connection between the violent images that appear on television and the increase in violence in American society since the advent of TV. Instead, Fowler contends, the violence we see on TV is good for us as a country, and particularly for impressionable adolescents.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 21, 1999
Prime-time wrestling is the big news in the fall schedule announced by struggling UPN yesterday.UPN's entire Thursday night will consist of two hours of the "WWF Smackdown!" wrestling show, the kind of network programming we haven't seen since prime time in the early 1950s on networks like DuMont. This is the brave, new future of network television?Other new series will include the return of Jaleel White in a sitcom titled "The Grown-Ups," and a spinoff from "Moesha," "Mo'Nique."UPN will schedule its African-American sitcoms on Monday next fall, adding "Mo'Nique" and "The Grown-Ups" to a night that starts with "Moesha" and ends with "Malcolm & Eddie."
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 18, 2000
"The Contender," the UPN (United Paramount Network) drama filmed in Baltimore this spring, will not be on the fall schedule announced today by the network in New York, according to Hugh Wilson, creator of the series. Both UPN and Fox will unveil schedules for the advertising community today, but the big question locally is whether "The Contender," the story of a 19-year-old who forsakes college for a professional boxing career, would become a weekly network series filmed in Baltimore, putting more than $1 million an episode into the economy for up to 22 episodes a season.
FEATURES
By David Folkenflik and David Folkenflik,SUN TELEVISION WRITER | July 19, 2000
For parents who fear that their Ritalin-proof teens may follow Dr. Seuss' "Hop on Pop" admonition straight through to patricide - help is on its way. Just plunk the kids down in the den and turn on the tube. Hello, "WWF Smackdown," and goodbye juvenile delinquency! That, anyway, is the marvelously counter-intuitive notion of Jib Fowler, a communications professor at the University of Houston's Clear Lake campus, a lone soul defending the beleaguered television executive. The professor argues that, more than three decades of social research notwithstanding, there is little actual proof of any connection between the violent images that appear on television and the increase in violence in American society since the advent of TV. Instead, Fowler contends, the violence we see on TV is good for us as a country, and particularly for impressionable adolescents.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 18, 2000
"The Contender," the UPN (United Paramount Network) drama filmed in Baltimore this spring, will not be on the fall schedule announced today by the network in New York, according to Hugh Wilson, creator of the series. Both UPN and Fox will unveil schedules for the advertising community today, but the big question locally is whether "The Contender," the story of a 19-year-old who forsakes college for a professional boxing career, would become a weekly network series filmed in Baltimore, putting more than $1 million an episode into the economy for up to 22 episodes a season.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and David Zurawik and Chris Kaltenbach and David Zurawik,SUN STAFF | September 29, 1999
Nestor Aparicio's year-long experiment in all-sports radio ends tomorrow, with his last broadcast at WNST-AM (1570).Nestor and the gang are inviting listeners to drop by an open house at the studios, 1550 Hart Road in Towson (off Providence Road), for food and reminiscing tomorrow. On the air, the morning team of Spiro Morekas and The Swami ("The PC Banknet Sports Guys") will broadcast from 7 a.m.-noon, followed by Nasty Nestor himself, from noon-7 p.m. (a little longer than usual, but hey, it's his last day)
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | January 30, 2000
LOS ANGELES -- One of the biggest success stories of the TV season involves UPN (United Paramount Network) and how, in just a few months, it has won the loyalty of teen boys and young men. UPN's effort is a case study in identifying a target audience and then creating a brand identity that attracts those viewers. One of the lessons of this year's Winter Press Tour here is that brand identity is everything in network television these days, and the sharper your focus the better your chances of success.
NEWS
By Jeff Barker and Jeff Barker,SUN STAFF | September 27, 2002
It seemed fitting that NAACP President Kweisi Mfume adopted a boxing promoters cadence in introducing last nights gubernatorial debate at Morgan State University. Ladies and gentlemen, Mfume began before the television cameras started rolling. You know, in Las Vegas they say Go to your respective corners. But were not going to do that. But he might as well have. This was the election-time equivalent of WWF Smackdown. It was held in a cavernous college auditorium in which the crowd behaved as if it were watching a television game show.
NEWS
By David Folkenflik and David Folkenflik,SUN TELEVISION WRITER | October 12, 2000
Having given "WWF Smackdown" a try last week, the two men who would be president settled comfortably last night into "Nightline" during their second debate. Astonishingly, Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore spent much of the first half of last night's debate agreeing with each other, particularly on foreign policy questions. And they explored significant and sometimes nuanced distinctions in their platforms with a reduced reliance on pat sound bites. Don't these guys know they're on national television?
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | January 30, 2000
LOS ANGELES -- One of the biggest success stories of the TV season involves UPN (United Paramount Network) and how, in just a few months, it has won the loyalty of teen boys and young men. UPN's effort is a case study in identifying a target audience and then creating a brand identity that attracts those viewers. One of the lessons of this year's Winter Press Tour here is that brand identity is everything in network television these days, and the sharper your focus the better your chances of success.
FEATURES
By DAVID ZURAWIK | November 8, 1999
If you thought having "Homicide: Life on the Street" or "Runaway Bride" filmed here put Baltimore on the map, brace yourself for some really show-business-and-civic-pride news: UPN's "WWF Smackdown!" is coming to Baltimore tomorrow.That's right, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chyna, the Undertaker, the Big Show, the Rock and the rest of the World Wrestling Federation troupe are coming to the Baltimore Arena, and their videotaped performance will be shown Thursday on the UPN network, according to Patti McTeague, a UPN vice president in Los Angeles.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and David Zurawik and Chris Kaltenbach and David Zurawik,SUN STAFF | September 29, 1999
Nestor Aparicio's year-long experiment in all-sports radio ends tomorrow, with his last broadcast at WNST-AM (1570).Nestor and the gang are inviting listeners to drop by an open house at the studios, 1550 Hart Road in Towson (off Providence Road), for food and reminiscing tomorrow. On the air, the morning team of Spiro Morekas and The Swami ("The PC Banknet Sports Guys") will broadcast from 7 a.m.-noon, followed by Nasty Nestor himself, from noon-7 p.m. (a little longer than usual, but hey, it's his last day)
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 21, 1999
Prime-time wrestling is the big news in the fall schedule announced by struggling UPN yesterday.UPN's entire Thursday night will consist of two hours of the "WWF Smackdown!" wrestling show, the kind of network programming we haven't seen since prime time in the early 1950s on networks like DuMont. This is the brave, new future of network television?Other new series will include the return of Jaleel White in a sitcom titled "The Grown-Ups," and a spinoff from "Moesha," "Mo'Nique."UPN will schedule its African-American sitcoms on Monday next fall, adding "Mo'Nique" and "The Grown-Ups" to a night that starts with "Moesha" and ends with "Malcolm & Eddie."
FEATURES
By Kevin Eck and Kevin Eck,SUN STAFF | January 25, 2000
Sure, Baltimore, you could watch "WWF Smackdown" on UPN Thursday night (like you do every week, admit it), but there's nothing like actually being in the arena to experience the scripted mayhem of the World Wrestling Federation. Getting into Baltimore Arena for the show's taping tonight, however, may be more difficult than escaping from Mankind's chokehold -- not to mention as expensive as a year of basic cable. Tickets for the event went on sale Nov. 13, and the 12,000-seat building was sold out before Christmas.
FEATURES
By David Folkenflik and David Folkenflik,SUN TELEVISION WRITER | August 15, 2000
The purchase of Baltimore television station WUTB (Channel 24) by the News Corp., along with nine other stations in Los Angeles, New York and other major markets, could lead to yet another shakeup around your television dial. The News Corp., parent company of the Fox network, has agreed to buy television station operator Chris-Craft Industries Inc. for $5.35 billion in stock and cash, the two firms announced yesterday. Eight of the 10 channels bought by News Corp., including Channel 24, currently broadcast the fledgling UPN network, which is owned by Viacom, CBS' new owner.
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