By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Oct 28, 2011 at 11:00 AM

The important November ratings period started Thursday night, with Channel 4 taking the unusual step of using a contest to bring in viewers.

It follows a less-important October ratings period that didn't include a nughtly  iPad2 giveway.

Nielsen Media Research numbers from the four-week October ratings period showed Channel 4 in the lead at 10 with an 8.3 rating. The rating number is the percentage of TV homes in the southeast Wisconsin TV market.

Channel 12 followed with 7.9, Channel 6 was in third with 5.2, and Channel 58 posted a 5.1 rating.

Now, on to November.

Thoughts and prayers for Jim Cullen: Channel 4 News managing editor Jim Cullen underwent surgery Thursday morning for the removal of a brain tumor discovered earlier this week.

In addition to his newsroom duties, Cullen plays a couple on-air roles, especially during the NBC station's afternoon news.

Remembering Art Langlas: The long-time executive director of the Milwaukee Public TV Friends, Art Langlas, died Wednesday from complications from surgery. He was 65.

He's best known to viewers from his on-camera activities, especially during the public broadcaster's annual fund-raising auction.

On TV: Surprisingly, Charlie Sheen got a cable outlet for the show he's been shopping around. FX has picked up a 10-episode season to run next summer.

  • The Hollywood Reporter is quoting "rumors" that Katie Couric's new ABC-produced talk show will kill "General Hospital." It's going to happen sooner or later.
  • Showtime has ordered a second season of Claire Danes' "Homeland."
  • Joel McHale's "The Soup" moves from Fridays to Wednesdays on Nov. 30 on E! Entertainment.
  • Steve Jobs' legacy may be the death of the TV remote control. The New York Times says the new Siri artificial intelligence sytem would do away with the old style of channel surfing.

"The Simpsons" make Halloween special: The annual "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween episode is usual one of the best "Simpsons" shows of the season. It airs Sunday at 7 on Channel 6, and here's a little preview:


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.