"Community" is in trouble after being pulled from the mid-season schedule.
"Community" is in trouble after being pulled from the mid-season schedule.

OnMedia: It sounds like curtains for NBC's "Community"

NBC's announcement this week that "Community" was being replaced in the 7 p.m. Thursday hour early in January certainly isn't good news for one of network TV's most innovative comedies.

Nothing's been said by NBC about "Community," which some fans see as a glimmer of hope.

I've been a fan of the show, as well as a booster of its creator, ComedySportz veteran Dan Harmon. It's not necessarily Milwaukee-flavored comedy, but Harmon is a unique talent.

In fact, it's a sitcom that's hard to fathom if you're not into its rhythm. Here's a sample from last week's episode.

I can't criticize NBC for programming arguably its best comedy, "30 Rock," at the opening of its crucial Thursday comedy lineup. And I have to admit I was surprised when "Community" didn't make the list.

But I will be sad if this smaller, less conventional comedy doesn't land somewhere.

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Herman Cain's video made at least the NBC and ABC newscasts.
Herman Cain's video made at least the NBC and ABC newscasts.

OnMedia: JS Online shoots Herman Cain video to networks

Herman Cain sat down with members of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial staff Monday, and gave the paper's JSOnline a five-minute clip that got plenty of buzz, and crossed over from cable news to the networks.

It was the number two story on NBC's "Nightly News."

Anchor Brian Williams opened the story thusly: "Herman Cain took a stumble on camera."

The National Review offered a transcript of the question and answer opening with Cain's first attempt at a response to whether he agreed with the president's Libya policy:

"Okay, Libya. … President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of Qaddafi. Just wanted to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say yes, I agree, or no, I didn’t agree.

"I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason … no, that’s a different one …I gotta go back, see … got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me that I agree or … disagree with Obama?"

Here's the clip from the Journal Sentinel:

To be fair, the Journal Sentinel lucked into the interview – the Cain campaign offered the candidate for a 30-minute session. And the question should have been easier for the guy who's been the front-runner.

The smart move was to take that five-minute clip – far longer than a TV clip – and quickly post it on JS Online. Thinking digitally paid off.

On TV:  So far, it looks like "Community" is off NBC's mid-season schedule. That's bad news for Milwaukeean Dan Harmon's innovative, but gives a home to returning "30 Rock." "Up All Night" moves to 8:30 Thursdays, while the abysmal "Whitney" goes to Wednesdays in January.

  • Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has been hired by NBC News as a special correspondent. Former first daughter Jenna Bush already reports for NBC's "Today."
  • CBS' "Rules of Engagement" has been cut back to 13 episodes. CBS had originally ordered 18 episodes.
  • There's talk. just talk so far, of…
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Yes, that's Christmas music you hear.
Yes, that's Christmas music you hear.

OnMedia: A busy, busy few days

My column was gone a few days last week. Frankly, my ongoing cancer treatment kept me from focusing on writing. I felt exhausted.

I'm feeling a bit better, and today I'll try and catch you up on a handful of changes, local and national. I was watching TV and reading my iPad as I was curled up in bed, after all.

Let's start with an annual broadcast ritual.

It's Christmas on your radio – already: WMYX-FM (99.1) made the flip to an all-Christmas music format at 5 p.m Thursday, according to the Christmas Music on Milwaukee Radio page on Facebook.

WRIT-FM (95.7) came in second, flipping 55 minutes later. It was clearly caught off guard by its rival.

I know these holiday flips make some listeners grumble. But as long as this music makes 'em money, we'll have two all-Christmas outlets.

Some departures from Channel 4: Two familiar faces have ended their runs at Channel 4.

The talented Diane Pathieu is returning to her native Chicago where she has a new job at WLS-TV, the ABC station.

Meanwhile, hard-working investigative reporter Jay Olstad is off to KARE-TV in Minneapolis. His last day at Channel 4 is Wednesday.

For all the conspiracy theorists who always give me an "ah hah!" comment when somebody leaves Channel 4, these two left for jobs in bigger TV markets.

A whole slew of Emmys for Channel 6: I'm not a big fan of lists of local TV awards. They're nice for the winners, but not that interesting to readers.

But Channel 6's haul in the Chicago/Midwest Emmys is worth noting. Eleven employees of the Fox station picked up 21 awards.

The only other commercial Milwaukee station winning a single Emmy was Channel 4.

You can find the complete list of winners at the Emmy website.

Billy Crystal ends up hosting the Oscars: It was supposed to be Eddie Murphy, who was certain to bring an edge to the usually overlong awardscast.

Then, Murphy's pal, Brett Ratner left as Oscar executive producer after a gay slur.

Now it's certain not to be edgy.

Roger Ebert is looking f…

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There's something spooky - or at least cheap - about the FCC's announcement.
There's something spooky - or at least cheap - about the FCC's announcement.

OnMedia: Don't be afraid, it's only a test, a national test

I remember the weekly air raid sirens that went off during recess in my grade school days in Chicago. The guys would regularly say, "Why don't the Russians just attack us during that weekday morning test?"

Of course, we figured this wasn't just a Chicago test.

Well, if you're watching TV or listening to the radio at 1 p.m. Wednesday, get ready for that big national test of the Emergency Alert System.

It covers cable and satellite TV, as well.

The planning for the event has been a little clunky. It was originally supposed to tie up your TV and radio for three full minutes. In our short-attention span age, that's a heckuva long time.

The bureaucrats wised up and cut it back to a 30-second test. But not before producing this awkward 30-second public service announcement that's been airing recently:

Isn't there something odd about that PSA? It's as if it's been locked in a basement for 12 years. Even the on-screen graphics identifying the stiff speaker are faded and hard to read.

Whatever, the big test will be over by 30 seconds after 1 p.m. Wednesday. And let's hope the Russians don't figure out that this is national.

And remember, it's only a test.

Talk about a Packers' win: Nielsen Media Research numbers show Channel 6 averaged 466,000 southeast Wisconsin homes for Sunday's Green Bay Packers win. That's 51.1 percent of all TV homes in the Milwaukee market, and a 76 percent share of TVs on at the time.

To measure how big a deal those numbers are, Channel 6 reports it was the highest-rated regular season Packers game since the 1997 season.