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TV Notes: A U.S. Foreign Service officer's lament

Saturday, March 08, 2003

'Carey'-ing on

ABC's "The Drew Carey Show," scheduled to return to the schedule yesterday, will be held until June 25. ABC will re-launch it then, moving it back to 9 p.m. Wednesday, its time slot home for several seasons.

Ratings for the comedy have been tumbling for several years, and it would be a goner already if not for the fact that ABC executives of a prior regime signed a long-term contract that will keep the show in production through the 2003-04 season.

(Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor)'

Buzz' goes international

Whamo Entertainment, distributor of Pittsburgh-produced children's business series "The Buzz with Dr. Cindy," has sold the 13-episode first season to the state-run TV network in Malaysia. The series will air there in English with subtitles.

"We are thrilled with the opportunity to showcase what we developed here in Pittsburgh about business education for children in other parts of the world," said Cindy Iannarelli, the show's host and creator.

In America, "Buzz" continues to air weekdays at 3:30 a.m. on the Starz WAM! cable channel.

(R.O.)

WPXI pre-empt

It doesn't happen too often in Pittsburgh, but every now and then a local station pre-empts network programming to air a local special that it can sell all the advertising for and keep all the revenue.

At least WPXI chose wisely, opting to pre-empt NBC's low-rated "A.U.S.A." at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to air "Dateline Pittsburgh: The Blizzard of '93," a half-hour special hosted by meteorologist Steve Teeling that's devoted to the legendary storm that dropped nearly two feet of snow.

Channel 11 will air the pre-empted "A.U.S.A." episode at midnight on March 16.

(R.O.)

Channel surfing

This week's "Are You Hot?" did not air because of President Bush's press conference. It will air Thursday. ... If anyone had problems with cable during the day this week -- 10 minutes or so when a particular cable network turned to snow -- it was likely due to "sun outages" that occur every October and March when the sun is aligned with satellites and the cable companys' receiving dishes. After today, it probably won't happen again until fall. ... An online museum devoted to the late Erma Bombeck -- www.ermamuseum.org -- has added episodes of the Bombeck sitcom "Maggie."

(R.O.)

Karaoke launches winner

A radio karaoke contest became a full-fledged performance debut for guitar-slinging Alice "Mouse" Green of Bulger, Washington County.

Green was among dozens of country listeners who called Froggy (WOGI-FM, 98.3) to sing karaoke-style in a several weeks-long promotion with the station's Danger Frog as host. Invited to the studio with other nonprofessional finalists to sing over tracked music, Green showed up with an acoustic six-string signed by the late Johnny PayCheck and belted out a sincere cover of Jo Dee Messina's "Stand Beside Me."

Her prize package includes a guest performance with Pittsburgh's North Star Band when it opens for "Alright Guy" Gary Allan tonight at the sold-out Pepsi-Cola Roadhouse.

John Hayes, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

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