Monday, January 01, 2007

sting like a bee

Choosing which Rose Parade coverage to watch this morning was easy. I went with the high-def, commercial free telecast on Discovery HD Theater. It turned out to be (as I had suspected it might) a simulcast of KTLA's coverage. I would have thrown my support behind Knoxville-based HGTV's coverage if it had been available to me in HD (hint, hint for next year, HGTV). The difference in visual quality was enough to keep me from changing channels even if it meant getting irritated at a couple of things about the way KTLA covered the parade.

My blog got a lot more hits than usual today from about 148 people looking for information about Stephanie Edwards' absence from KTLA. Given all the interest, one of the other networks should have hired her for the day (hint, hint again, HGTV). Many will disagree but I thought that Stephanie's replacement, Michaela Pereira, did a very good job. As I listened to her speak after one of Bob Eubanks' comments, the word that kept coming to mind was "perseverance" because it certainly wasn't "chemistry." At the end of the parade, Eubanks announced that his contract was up and that he didn't know if he would be back next year. Now that Stephanie is gone, they may as well replace Bob too. Didn't Bob and Stephanie used to also host KTLA's telecast of the Hollywood Christmas Parade before being replaced?

It's too bad the floats couldn't have been driven a little more slowly. After the last parade entry rode past, Michaela and Bob still had to fill about 25 minutes of airtime. With a two-and-a-half hour time window and no commercials, we should have had plenty of time to see each of the 45 floats and to hear each of the 21 bands. I felt that KTLA spent way too much time instead on the 23 equestrian units. Make that 22 equestrian units plus one llama unit, which was actually somewhat interesting. During one of his overly verbose descriptions of yet another one of the horse entries, Bob described a rider as one of the most famous charros in America. At this point I was thinking that Bob should have just gone ahead and declared him the most famous charro. I mean, can you think of another, more famous charro?

My biggest disappointment was the minimal camera time given to the Grambling State University marching band. The band members were dressed as imperial officers from the "Star Wars" films. The KTLA cameras focused on Darth Vader and the marching stormtroopers and mostly missed the fancy moves of the Grambling band.

KTLA dropped the (audio) ball during Katharine McPhee's performance and during the appearance of their very own Stan Chambers. I understand the difficulty of creating live television but if there is one person on a float that the KTLA audience should have been able to hear, it was Stan Chambers. The audio mistake with McPhee was frustrating but perhaps KTLA can take some consolation in the fact that NBC had a similar audio problem with another "Idol" reject, Lisa Tucker.

I recorded NBC's coverage of the parade and listened to it this evening. I say "listened" for two reasons. First, it was a standard def telecast recorded in medium quality on my old Series2 TiVo, so the floats didn't look anywhere near as good as on the live, HD telecast. And second, I only recorded NBC to hear the banter between Nancy O'Dell and Billy Bush, who did a fine job of being both entertaining and informative. They are comfortable enough to ad-lib with each other and smart enough to revert to the script at the appropriate times. I heard them say their telecast was available in HD. I would have watched them live on my plasma screen if they had been commercial free and if they hadn't gone off the air after only 90 minutes. Best of all, they seemed to spend less time on the equestrian units, except for the llamas, which were somewhat interesting.

For a while I thought that Oklahoma had invaded California and taken over control of the parade. All the famous Oklahomans were riding on the state's two floats. Nothing says Oklahoma to me more than Nadia Comaneci. Too many of the floats featured butterflies and hummingbirds. I especially enjoyed the float from the City of Palmdale. It depicted a family of desert tortoises, much like my late great pet Mo. Unfortunately, Burbank's float didn't win anything this year. The best float was the one with the fire-breathing dragons from Honda.

Here's a final suggestion for KTLA. Stan's grandson, Jaime Chambers was really good on the parade pre-show. Maybe you should test his booth chemistry with Michaela. Or with Lu Parker.

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Blogger bc said...

I watched NBC's coverage of the parade. Billy Bush really dropped the ball when he introduced the Dobyns-Bennett High School Band from Kingsport, TN. He said they were from Kingsport, Texas! I felt bad for the kids from Kingsport, they worked awfully hard to get there and it would have been nice to be properly announced.

Anonymous Mary O said...

Hey Frank!

I was thinking of you Monday morning while I DIDN'T have the Rose Parade on. Yes, I said didn't because, as you know, I HATE parades!! We've had this discussion many times (one was on-air too) and I am proud to say I didn't even see a glimpse of the parade this year. Usually I have to endure a clip from the news or my husband watching for a few minutes. Not this year! Parades are just plain boring. Every float pretty much looks the same and the bands are all really bad. Just thinking about it gets me annoyed. How can anyone waste 2 or 3 hours of their day watching an entire broadcast of the Rose Parade? Oye.

I read your entry about the parade though. I can't believe Michaela Perreira was hosting on KTLA. She's the reason I don't watch the morning news anymore.

Anyway, Happy New Year!!!!!!!!



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