By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published May 02, 2011 at 11:00 AM

It's a little out of character for me to break out of writing about media and focus on myself. But with the column on unexplained hiatus for the past two weeks, I thought I owed a little explanation to my readers.

I've been writing this column daily since October 1994, first in the newspaper, and, since 2009, here at And other than vacation breaks, the column has been there day-in and day-out.

Then, back on April 18, I found myself in the emergency room at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital, barely able to catch my breath. It ended up being a pulmonary embolism and a complication that left me laid up until I finally got sprung from the hospital on Friday afternoon.

I have nothing but awe, and thanks, for the doctors and nurses who tended to me, and helped me through this crisis. And it's an understatement to say I'm grateful for my friends and family who rallied around me at a difficult time, and to my work family at who have given me nothing but support.

The fact is that this was all part of a larger cancer battle that I'm waging. The column may disappear now and then, but I plan to continue watching and writing about media both locally and nationally.

I hope you'll understand the periodic absences.

Now, back to work: It ends up that nearly 23 million American TV viewers got up early Friday morning to watch coverage of the royal wedding on one of 11 cable and broadcast outlets that had spent the last several months heavily promoting the wedding of the century.

Nielsen Media Research doesn't have similar historical numbers to compare this wedding to the Prince William's parents three decades ago.

There were fewer TV outlets available, of course, but comparing households rather than people, 14.2 million households watched the 1981 wedding on three networks. This generation's royal wedding pulled in 18.6 million households across the cable and broadcast spectrum.

Meanwhile, the BBC's Web site crashed Friday, thanks to interest in the royal wedding.

On TV: The Weather Channel has scheduled a special on last week's killer tornado outbreak. "Inside the Epic Outbreak" airs tonight at 7. 

  • Sunday's planned hurricane-themed crossover episodes of Fox's "Family Guy," "The Cleveland Show" and "American Dad" was pulled in the wake of last week's tornadoes. It will air next season.
  • Meanwhile, TNT wisely dropped multiple airings of the movie "Twister" on Sunday.
  • NBC is finally scheduling Becki Newton's "Love Bites" to run at 9 p.m. Thursdays starting June 2. Let's hope it does better than "The Paul Reiser Show," which lasted two episodes.
  • In case you missed it, the "American Idol" live tour will hit the Bradley Center on Aug. 4. Milwaukee finalist Naima Adedapo will be one of the 11 singers performing.
  • The CW Network has renewed "America's Next Top Model," "The Vampire Diaries,"  "Gossip Girl," "90210" and "Supernatural" for next fall.

Better than SNL: NBC's "Saturday Night Live" was a rerun over the weekend, while news guy Seth Meyers was emceeing the White House Correspondent's Dinner.

Here's his monologue, which was far funnier than his usual SNL material:

Here are the president's remarks at the annual dinner, which targeted Donald Trump and his birther nonsense.

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.