By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Oct 01, 2009 at 11:00 AM

For the past couple months, I've been posting blogs now and then here at

But summer vacation is over, and it's time to get back to work with a Monday through Friday column that will expand my reach beyond television and radio to other forms of media -- from the Internet to a quaint form of communications called newspapers.

So let's get started.

SUZANNE HAD A SECRET: My last blog post told you about Suzanne Schlicht's final episode of "Hell's Kitchen." I've had a chance to talk to her since Tuesday night's episode, and she revealed a little secret about her 12-episode run on Fox's cooking competition hosted by foul-mouthed Brit Gordon Ramsay.

"Going into the show, my big secret was that I really never really thought I was going to win the show. I didn't have the amount of experience I need to be an executive chef," she said. The "Hell's Kitchen" winner will be head chef at Araxi Restaurant in Whistler, British Columbia.

Once she got on the show, the 25-year-old product of MATC's Culinary Arts program and a veteran of Bartolotta kitchens around the Milwaukee area and Las Vegas, tried her best to win.

But after ending up in danger of being axed on three previous episodes, she knew her days were numbered.

"I woke up that morning thinking, 'I kinda feel defeated right now, I am physically, emotionally worn out.' Obviously, you want to fight 'til the end. But I don't think I was at 100 percent," she recalls. That led to some mistakes, including underdone scallops and fish on the episode, which was filmed back in January.

"Fatigue sets in," she said.

The outspoken Schlicht had been a bit of a loner among this season's competitors.

"In the beginning, I kinda tried. And it wasn't terrible at the beginning. But the more I made my opinion very clear, everybody else kinda decided they didn't like my opinion. It's unfortunate, but I can't be who I'm not. You either like me or you don't."

She says this is the end of her TV career, especially in "reality" TV. Schlicht had been interested in trying it since she and a nephew talked about being on MTV's "The Real World" back when she was 18.

"Having been a part of it, I no longer feel the need to do that," she said. "I don't want to be famous, I don't really want to be judged."

She doesn't have a problem with her food being judged, and she's continuing her culinary career. Schlicht starts work in November at a restaurant called The Spice Road opening in Las Vegas' new Vdara Hotel.

Will her time in "Hell's Kitchen" help in the real kitchen?

"There are bits and pieces here and there that I will definitely use. The most beneficial lesson that I learned is my personal growth, learning a bit about everybody that you're working with, and trying to use what they have to offer."

SPEAKING OF "REALITY": Current Milwaukee resident Ra'mon-Lawrence Coleman has been sent home from Lifetime's "Project Runway."

The designer, a Chicago native, who was living in Minneapolis at the time the show was shot, told Minneapolis' that among his dream projects would be to design clothing for Michelle Obama -- or Lady Gaga.

ON TV: Jon Gosselin visits CNN's Larry King at 8 tonight to talk about getting dumped from his old TLC show, which will now be called "Kate Plus 8." He's apparently going to try and explain how he wasn't actually fired.

  • Showtime has announced a Matt LeBlanc comedy with the former "Friends" star playing a version of himself as the star of a British sitcom brought to U.S. TV in a dumbed-down version. Six episodes should air next year.
  • A&E has canceled "The Cleaner" after two seasons of the Benjamin Bratt crime show.
  • TBS has canceled "The Bill Engvall Show" after three seasons.

LONG, SLOW AND BEAUTIFUL: That's my take on the latest from the king of public TV documentaries, Ken Burns. "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" is best viewed in HD. It's hard to be too critical of Burns work. He offers something that TV rarely provides: depth, along with the pretty pictures.

Still, a dozen hours is a major investment of TV time (or DVR space).

Tonight's installment debuts at 7 on Channel 10, repeating at 9. The last part airs at 7 p.m. Friday.

Has "The National Parks" held your attention? Or are you Ken Burnsed out?

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.