By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Sep 08, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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NBC unveiled the 36th season lineup for "Saturday Night Live," adding four cast members and announcing Amy Poehler and Katy Perry as headliners for the Sept. 25 season premiere.

The four new cast members, joining as "featured players," are likely unknown to you: Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah.

Pharoah, a stand-up comic originally from Virginia, may be the one to watch, due to his Obama impression.

Fred Armisen has been SNL's Barack Obama, but his impression has never yielded much laughter.

Here's a look at Pharoah's edgier take on the president:

By the way, the addition of new cast members means some are leaving. Already announcing his departure is veteran Will Forte, but reports that Jenny Slate isn't coming back for her sophomore year.

Slate is memorable for letting the f-word fly in a sketch during her "SNL" debut last season.

The "Real Milwaukee" numbers: Overnight numbers from Nielsen Media Research show Channel 6's new "Real Milwaukee" came in a solid second in its time period, behind the established "Live With Regis and Kelly" on Channel 12.

"Live" had a 17 percent share of TVs on at the time, and "RM" had a 15 percent share. Channel 4's "Morning Blend" -- which isn't as dependent on the ratings as other shows, came in fourth in the time period with a 4 percent share, behind "Let's Make a Deal" on Channel 58.

On TV: CNN made it official this morning, Brit Piers Morgan will take over Larry King's 8 p.m. slot in January.

  • Speaking of CNN, it says that its new 7 p.m. show with conservative pundit Kathleen Parker and disgraced former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer will be called "Parker Spitzer." It debuts Oct. 4.
  • The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd blogs the exclusive news that MTV is reviving a live afternoon show, with a half-hour program called "The Seven," debuting Sept. 27.
  • Fox has ordered a second season of Gordon Ramsay's "MasterChef."
  • Michael Douglas, recently diagnosed with cancer, will be one of the celebrities appearing on Friday night's "Stand Up to Cancer" fundraiser,  airing on the big broadcast networks and a number of cable channels. The one-hour show airs at 7 p.m.

"Bonanza" creator dies: The man who brought "Bonanza" to TV as a vehicle for selling newfangled color television, David Dortort, has died at the age of 93.

The cast, led by Lorne Greene, was relatively unknown when the show launched in 1959. But the show made stars of Greene, Michael Landon and Dan Blocker.

"Bonanza" ran 14 seasons, peaking in the mid 1960s as the most-watched show on television.

Here's a look at one of TV's most memorable openings:

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.