It may be the late date for this year's Super Bowl. Or maybe it was our focus on NBC's Jay Leno mess.
But it almost seems like the Vancouver Winter Olympics have snuck up on us, formally launching tonight with one of the best reasons for owning an HD television set, the opening ceremonies. The color, music and, of course, all those flags and uniformed national teams draw in viewers who won't tune in for a single competitive event.
While there are a few events earlier Friday, the real action won't start until Saturday and there are full schedules of events on NBC and its cable sister channels.
You can find complete schedules at NBC's Winter Olympics site here. By the way, I had a chronic problem with a Chevy pop-up ad on the listings page. If it's not fixed by the time you log on, trying hitting "reload" and it should go away.
The Olympics will eat up NBC's airtime through Sunday, Feb. 28, when the closing ceremony wraps things up. But even though NBC is dropping its normal prime-time lineup for two weeks, the other networks aren't necessarily doing that.
Fox's "American Idol" isn't letting the Olympics slow down its run, wrapping up the Hollywood round next week with the announcement of the 24 semi-finalists on Wednesday night. But some sitcoms and one-hour dramas will air reruns.
So, you'll want to check the listings to avoid disappointment.
Note that the festivities from Vancouver start at tonight at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 4, not the usual network start time of 7. The night's festivities are repeated tonight/Saturday at 12:30 a.m.
Cable's Olympics: Time Warner Cable says that NBC Universal will offer highlights and full events on Sports on Demand Channel 413 for digital subscribers. If you have Time Warner HD service, they're available on HD Showcase on Demand Channel 450.
On the Radio: It shouldn't come as a surprise that Glenn Beck is returning to WISN-AM (1130) March 1 as I reported yesterday. In fact, it's more of a surprise that he hasn't been on the Clear Channel news/talk station for a half-dozen years. His radio show is syndicated by Clear Channel's Premiere Radio Networks and airs in nearly 300 markets.
- WQBW-FM (97.3), better known as the Brew, launches the syndicated Sixx Sense radio show at 7 p.m. Monday, with Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx and co-host Kerri Kasem, the daughter of radio veteran Casey Kasem.
- Sirius/XM satellite radio rolls out "Valentine's Radio" at 11 this morning. It's a limited-run collection of love songs, celebrity playlists and stories hosted by Oprah Winfrey's pal Gayle King. It's available to subscribers on Sirius channel 3/XM channel 23 until 2 a.m. Monday.
- Congratulations to Steve King and Johnnie Putman who celebrate their 25th anniversary as a radio team on Chicago's WGN-AM (720) on Valentine's Day.
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. 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 OnMilwaukee.com.
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.