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TV Notes: Rex concert to help local TV show creator

Saturday, August 10, 2002

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

A benefit will be held at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Rex Theater on the South Side for Matthew Craig of Squirrel Hill, creator of the children's nature show "The Magic Woods."

Craig, who's in the process of trying to sell "The Magic Woods" to a national outlet and begin production of additional episodes, was injured while playing softball earlier this summer. He is now blind in one eye and deaf in one ear and undergoing physical therapy. The benefit will help pay his medical bills.

A songwriters circle in a theater setting, the benefit will include performances by Dave Hanner, Joe Grushecky, Carol Lee Espy, Heather Kropf, Phil Harris, Paul Hannon, Jim DiSpirito and others.

"The Magic Woods" pilot will air on WQED at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 2.

Repurpose-palooza

Two summer series are getting second runs on different networks.

Beginning next week and for four weeks, episodes of USA's "Monk" will air at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC.

Already VH1 is airing episodes of NBC's "The Rerun Show" at 11 p.m. Fridays.

WPCB airs 'Comfort'

Christian station WPCB, Channel 40, will produce and air a five-hour telethon 7 p.m. to midnight Tuesday to benefit victims of recent suicide bombings in Israel.

Cornerstone TeleVision will produce the program, titled "Comfort My People," for airing on stations across the country as "an expression of compassion the Christian community has for the suffering," according to a station press release.

Guests will include Janet Parshall, host of the Washington-based "Janet Parshall's America." The United Jewish Federation will receive a full accounting of all money raised during the broadcast.

Sweeps ratings

Ratings for July sweeps, the least important of the sweeps months, showed a few noteworthy developments.

The debut of KDKA's 4 p.m. newscast halfway through sweeps helped put the station in second place in the time period (behind WPXI's "Judge Judy," but ahead of WTAE's "Oprah Winfrey Show") and helped boost its ratings at 5 p.m., where KDKA and WPXI tied for first.

WPXI and WTAE were in a virtual dead heat for second place at noon (KDKA was first), with WTAE in the lead by a hair.

Ratings for WPGH's 10 p.m. newscast were up compared to May, when it has stiffer competition from original episodes of 10 p.m. drama series.

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