By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published May 10, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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Jim Tindell has been walking around with what's potentially a million-dollar secret for seven months now.

It was last October that he taped the episode of the syndicated "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" that airs at 2 p.m. today on WMLW-TV (over the air on 58.2, Channel 7 on Time Warner Cable.)

"Oh yeah, I  get asked about it every day," the 22-year-old University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student tells me. "They made it pretty clear that I can't say anything about how well I did."

He is ready and willing to talk about how quickly he got on the show, going to the Web site and learning how to apply by sending in a video, followed by an online test -- "one of the hardest tests I've ever taken."

That effort got him into the contestant pool, where some wannabes stay for up to two years without getting on the show.

"Two days later, I got a call from 'em and they said 'Can you be here next Thursday?'"

The rest is history -- although it's a bit of a secret until later today.

The film studies major won't be in front of a TV at 2 this afternoon. He has work, and a presentation to make as he finishes up his work in advance of graduating.

"So I can't really enjoy the splendors of being on television," he said. "I'll be at work when it's on, and I'll be at class all night."

Well, not all night. He plans to watch the recorded episode later tonight with some friends.

As to his plans after graduation, that's still a bit of a secret.

"I guess that might reveal how I did on the show," says the Rice Lake, Wis., native.

On TV: NBC has announced three new shows for the fall, a thriller called "The Event," and a couple comedies, including
"Love Bites," with Becki Newton of the late "Ugly Betty" and Jordana Spiro of TBS' "My Boys."

  • Channel 4 has become the latest Milwaukee TV news outlet to launch an iPhone app, joining Channels 6 and 12 with a telephone application that offers news and weather updates.
  • The Hollywood Reporter says USA Network's "Psych" will return July 21 in the 9 p.m. Wednesday slot.
  • ABC News launches an eight-part documentary series "Boston Med" on June 24 in the 9 p.m. Thursday slot. Like its Peabody Award-winning predecessor, "Hopkins," the series will look at life inside hospital, this time it's a trio of Boston facilities. 

The Betty White-athon continues: Me-TV's lineup of old television shows salutes Betty White all week at 9 p.m. with episodes of the old "Mary Tyler Moore Show." Me-TV airs over the air on channel 49.1, on Time Warner and Charter cable channel 19, and on Channel 49 for Dish, DirecTV and AT&T Uverse subscribers.

Meanwhile, the early numbers show White's "Saturday Night Live" hosting gig pulled in the show's best numbers since John McCain hosted before the 2008 presidential election and Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impression was a featured part of the show.

One in five TVs on at the time were tuned to NBC, according to the preliminary Nielsen Media Research numbers.

And the show delivered laughs along with the numbers.

White carried the show from its "Lawrence Welk" parody opening though the final goodbye, where she graciously thanked "all these wonderful people on this show who have been so dear to a very scared, but happy host."

And if her 90 minutes on "SNL" wasn't enough for you, here's one of the skits that didn't make the cut Saturday night: 

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.