Weekly media notes version 10.27.16: More with Kevin Burkhardt, NLCS ratings, etc.

Kevin Burkhardt and family moved to Hermosa Beach after starting his broadcasting career in New Jersey and New York. (Photo: Fox Sports)

Kevin Burkhardt and family moved to Hermosa Beach after he start his broadcasting career in New Jersey and New York — and took a break from it as a car salesman. (Photo: Fox Sports)

In addition to an update on DailyNews.com/sports on how Kevin Burkhardt has managed to hold his own on the Fox Sports MLB post-season studio show, we have these notables heading into the weekend:

== Mopping up the NLCS ratings: The Cubs’ 5-0 Game 6 win at Wrigley Field over the Dodgers last Saturday was the most-watched and highest-rated telecast in FS1 history: 9.7 million viewers and a 6.3 overnight rating. It peaked at 12.2 million. The Chicago market had a 25.8 rating and a huge 46 share. L.A. added a mere 10.3/23.
That meant the entire NLCS averaged 6.9 million viewers for FS1, up 80 percent from the ALCS that FS1 had a years ago and 56 percent from the San Francisco-St. Louis NLCS in ’14.
L.A.’s average was a 9.9 rating and 19 share for the six games, topping out at a 11.7 rating for Game 3. Chicago’s average was 22.7/37.

moreburkender== A few more Kevin Burkhardt thoughts:
= On the philosophy of what’s going on with the Pete Rose, Frank Thomas and Alex Rodriguez dynamic (and Tom Verducci thrown in for good measure in the postseason): “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had. There are so many layers to it. First, they had to trust me and I had to earn that, knowing I’d never put them in a bad spot, picking them up if they forgot something. They’re the stars of the show and I have to let them go as much as as I can. Sometimes, if the conversation goes stale, I have to move on or change it up or add fire to the ember. I’m also relatively opinionated and I feel OK to throw something out there and they can take it or tell me I’m an idiot.
“I liken it to having four people at a bar, and I’m at the end listening and throwing my two cents in when it’s there. It’s a fine line sometimes, but they make it easy. They really are selfless and self-depreciating. And the best times may be when we’re in the trailer watching the game — it’s non-stop laughing, talking out loud, and I’m making notes about things to ask them in the post-game show.”
Burkhardt said one of the keys to getting aligned with Rose when he first came on board two years ago was a connection to Pete Rose Jr., whom Burkhardt covered for a season in the minor-leagues.
“When Fox was going to hire him, I reached out to Pete Jr., and so Pete came in right away busting my chops … ‘Petey told me you’re a good guy,’ so that didn’t hurt. Alex is someone I’ve become closer with personally and professionally. And Frank is just like a big teddy bear.”
= Another part of the charm for the Fox pre- and post-game shows is the graphics team putting up comments made on Twitter. Some of it is actually as negative as it is positive.
Such as the posts from Wednesday before Game 2 of the World Series (even though some were posted back during the NLCS):

“That’s all cool,” said Burkhardt. “It’s all about having opinions.”

== A hurdle recently thrown in the way for Burkhardt: He is dealing with Celiac Disease and must go with a gluten-free diet. The condition forced him to miss Fox’s recent All-Star Game coverage.

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College football Week 9 in the L.A. TV market: Dress as a Trojan or Bruin for Halloween, ’cause no one’s using the unis

1342889142425_6058980For the first time, and last time, this college football season, neither USC nor UCLA will play a game on Saturday.
USC’s excuse: It has a pre-determined date on Thursday night against Cal at the Coliseum (7:30 p.m., ESPN, Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham, Dr. Jerry Punch),
UCLA’s excuse: It has a bye week.
This allows fans of both the Trojans and Bruins to focus on how AP No. 4 Washington fares at AP No. 17 Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday and take a shot (disallowed in all of Utah) every time Gus Johnson tries to make a clever reference about Mormons.
It’s where ESPN’s College GameDay will land as well before Kirk Herbstreit is required to go to Florida State for the Saturday prime-time contest.
This is what you’ve got:

In the Pac-12:
= Washington at Utah, Saturday at 12:30 p.m., FS1 (Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Shannon Spake)
= Arizona State at Oregon, Saturday at 2 p.m., Pac-12 Network (Roxy Bernstein, Anthony Herron, Lewis Johnson)
= Washington State at Oregon State, Saturday at 7:45 p.m., ESPN2 (Clay Matvick, Dusty Dvoreck, Alex Corddry)
= Stanford at Arizona, Saturday at 8 p.m., FS1 (Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman, Bruce Feldman)

The rest of the nation:
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NFL Week 8 in the L.A. TV market: Let’s rest up, dress up and drink pumpkin beer, pretending to care

hanggesA week after they lost in London, and two weeks after they lost in Detroit, and three weeks after they lost ….
The point is: The Rams’ current hangover may result in not really knowing what city, state or country they belong in at this point, but they have their only bye week of the NFL season to enjoy at this point.
Nothing to do Thursday, Sunday or Monday except give the No. 1 draft pick more reps and re-calibrate until Week 9. (Same for N.Y. Giants, Pittsburgh, Miami, San Francisco and Baltimore).
So what 6-6 tie game is left to focus on? And what game could possibly distract us from the Presidential race this weekend? (Because the latest investigative report/panicked speculation on why NFL ratings are falling has to do, of course, with our obsessive nature concerning who’ll become the next president. There is something to note about today’s TVs: They come with remote controls that allow one to leave an NFL game and go to TVLand whenever necessary).
Fox is bestowed with what amounts to a triple-header on Sunday, thanks to another London affair. CBS takes one for the team — and it has to pick between San Diego and Oakland to send to the L.A. market.
Here’s how it was decided, along with the Halloween-night contest where cheerleaders are allowed to dress as cheerleaders but usually go with some other kind of classy costume:

= Jacksonville at Tennessee, 5:25 p.m., NFL Network (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson)
= Washington vs. Cincinnati at Wembley Stadium in London, 6:30 a.m., Channel 11 (Kenny Albert, John Lynch, Pam Oliver)
= Seattle at New Orleans, 10 a.m., (Justin Kutcher, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman). It goes to 64 percent of the country, but Fox skips over a contest that seems more obvious: The Rams’ NFC West rival Arizona playing at Carolina (10 a.m., going to just 9 percent), as the Panthers play the Rams in Week 9. Also bypassed here: Detroit-Houston.
= San Diego at Denver, 1:05 p.m., Channel 2 (Greg Gumbel, Trent Green). CBS has five choices here, and the obvious one seemed taking Oakland at Tampa Bay in the 10 a.m. slot, considering the Raiders’ new-found success. Instead, they are still aligned with the San Diego market as a Southern California-adjacent entity. So the Chargers will go up against Fox’s designated nationally-televised afternoon contest, and CBS also passes on  Kansas City-Indianapolis, N.Y. Jets-Cleveland and New England-Buffalo in the early window.
= Green Bay at Atlanta, 1:25 p.m., Channel 11 (Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman). Every market but Denver gets this one. Even San Diego. That’s 98 percent coverage.
= Philadelphia at Dallas, 5:30 p.m., Channel 4 (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya)
= Minnesota at Chicago, 5:30 p.m., ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters)

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Play It Forward Oct. 24-30: Kobe Bryant ain’t walking through that door

(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

So this is what life looks like without Kobe Bryant.
Too soon?
The Lakers’ 57th season in Los Angeles undergoes one of its largest Beverly Hills-suggested facelifts in many years, and we get our first look at the future when the Lakers face Houston in the NBA 2016-17 regular season opener Wednesday at Staples Center (7:30 p.m., ESPN). Former role player Luke Walton, just removed as one of the key assistants on the Golden State Warriors, was summoned back with his hard hat to help with a major reconstruction that was beyond Byron Scott’s expertise. Win twice as much as the franchise-low 17 games like last year, and it would be considered major progress.
Now, let’s flip the equation.
The Clippers, in their 32nd Los Angeles season, start the season in Portland, where last season it ended in the first round of the playoffs. The Clippers have been to the post-season on schedule the last five straight years, three of them with Doc Rivers in charge.
More at this link …

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Sunday media: Fame is going, but not gone, with Ken Levine’s play set in the Dodger Stadium press box

Ken Levine, center, with actors, from left: Troy Metcalf, Dennis Pearson, David Babich and Annie Abrams (from KenLevine.com/blogspot.com)

Ken Levine, center, with actors, from left: Troy Metcalf, Dennis Pearson, David Babich and Annie Abrams (from KenLevine.com/blogspot.com)

In “Going …. Going … GONE!”,  the new play that’s out at the Hudson Theater in Hollywood, one might find a connection to the 1970s play “Bleacher Bums,” about a group of fans who commiserates and tolerates each other in the Wrigley Field stands.
img_6901Playwright Ken Levine also seems to channel a bit of the Disney movie “Inside Out” to examine how emotions like joy, anger, sadness, fear and disgust battle with each other. Not just in someone’s head here, but in a diluted press box setting that creates its own angst as it continues on a trend of downsizing with the realism of newspaper layoffs and changing technology.
We saw the play Friday and saw how, as a sportswriter, it does hit home with a lot of truism about how the media, in the role of messenger and historian, may not take the time to internalize their own self worth or, most interesting, how others might view their legacy when they’re long gone.
Here’s our review of the play starring Amy Abrams, David Babich, Dennis Pearson and Troy Metcalf, directed by Andrew Barnicle and continuing a run through Nov. 20.

More info:
= Hudson Guild Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles 90036
Tickets ($30): 323.960.5521 or www.plays411.com/gone
Current schedule of performances:
Fridays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 28, Nov. 4, 11, 18
Saturdays at 8 pm.: Oct. 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12, 19
Sundays at 3 p.m.: Oct. 30, Nov. 6, 13, 20
= A story by SCNG feature reporter Sandra Barerra with Levine as the play began its run.
= Our recent media notes story about Ken Levine’s tribute to Vin Scully.

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