Any Word Yet on Whether WREG Will Keep a Presence at Peabody Place and I’ve Got a New Favorite Network

Still no word on whether WREG will maintain its presence at Peabody Place. Not too long ago I posted on the big changes planned for PP which for those not familiar with it started out as an upscale shopping destination attached to the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.  WREG opened a small studio in PP which served not only as a base of operations for the Live @ 9 show but also served as the set for the 4 and 4:30 news. But the old “Build it and they will come” saw didn’t work and Peabody Place has slowly lost businesses after opening to great fanfare. In the past few days another article appeared in the Commercial Appeal about efforts to change the upper levels of PP into rooms for paying guests and keeping the lower level for retail space. A short list of businesses that are staying was named but WREG was again NOT among those listed. That doesn’t mean that the station DOTR won’t be staying but it doesn’t mean it will either.   So the questions still remain: Will WREG stay and try to make it business as usual while the construction to the upper levels is going on or will they (WREG) try to vacate the premises while the construction is going on and come back or vacate the premises for good? If they leave, where will the show with its emphasis on “live” events take place? WREG has a second studio but it’s small, at least for the types of stuff that goes on during “live @ 9” such as cooking, music, fashion shows.   On the plus side, if they do end up back in the “second studio” it will mean everyone is under one roof again should problems occur. With the decent numbers the Live @ 9 show appears to be pulling, I can’t imagine that the managers would pull the plug on the show but stranger things have happened.

Moving on. My wife and I have a new favorite network we can turn to. It doesn’t feature silly reality TV shows. It’s managed over the past year to crank out some intriguing shows. Not many mind you but something beyond the mindless drivel that generally passes for entertainment on the tube. That network is AMC. The shows: Madmen and Breaking Bad. Madmen, for those not fortunate to have seen an episode is set in 1960 around an advertising firm calling Sterling Cooper and located in Manhattan.  If one wants to see how bizarre things used to be check out what appears from all accounts to be a snapshot of 1960.  It’s almost enough to make your head spin.  Men run the world ,  women have a role but it’s primarily subservient .  (One female office worker on the show said the men primarily want something between a mother and a waitress and that’s just at the office.  Outside the office it gets even more chauvinistic. )  And everybody smokes and they smoke everywhere including elevators.  A new season started this weekend and my wife and I have been trying to watch the first season episodes during a “Madmen” marathon that started Sunday.  Another cutting edge show is called “Breaking Bad”.   It’s about a talented high school chemistry teacher in a dead-end career who turns to cooking what is described as “primo” crystal meth to help pay for his cancer treatment.  There are a lot of shades of gray in this series as well as Madmen and you never really know where things are going.  The writing is clever and the videography great.  You know, all those things you used to expect from the original networks that have turned to reality shows to fill space.

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2 Comments on “Any Word Yet on Whether WREG Will Keep a Presence at Peabody Place and I’ve Got a New Favorite Network”

  1. Jack Church Says:

    Hey Joe,

    We just discovered Madmen a few months ago and absolutely love the program. The look and feel of the program is very authentic. As for the treatment of women and all the smoking it is a great wake up call on just how far we have come in 40+ years. Like you and your lovely bride we too endorse this program as some good tv viewing. Speaking of smoking, I remember working in a Columbus, Georgia newsroom in the early 80s and having a guy chain smoking over my shoulder while I was editing with ashes falling on top of the editor!

  2. Richard Says:

    An opposing view…
    I have yet to see this show called Madmen nor do I plan to see it. I am, in fact, disgusted with almost all of the “cable” channels and what they show now. I remember when AMC showed nothing but movies and they were un-cut. I remember when TLC had shows that you could learn from but now most of their programming is about fashion. Even the History Channel is into the “reality” show concept, as well as Discovery. Come on now, what is history about “Ice Road Truckers” or “Axe Men”? And why do the networks have to keep reminding us of upcoming shows with all the little animated messages or the “watermarks” they post in one of the corners of the screen?

    I’m through ranting now. Let’s all go watch “Live @ 9″…..
    Uh-oh…it’s over for now!


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