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We Just Want Ours Funny

Sitcom malaise and golf fever

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We have survived another Survivor finale, the lukewarm Friends finale, and will see the once-great Frasier fade to black later this week. Is it the natural evolution of the ever-expanding TV universe, or are sitcoms dead, as headlines question these days?

For my nickel, sitcoms are in stable condition, but need some serious antibiotics to bring us some new classics along the lines of a Seinfeld or Cheers. For those of us who still appreciate an honest laugh without the contrived 22 minutes of blustery husband, second banana wife, and obnoxious "children," we can still watch The Simpsons, King of the Hill, and the in-trouble Arrested Development.

When producers realize that real life in skew makes the best comedies, we won't have to suffer through flotsam like Life with Jim anymore. Or at least, we can hope.

I have no doubt that the Wachovia Championship golf tournament last week was positive PR and national recognition for Charlotte, but man. I cannot remember the last time I've seen, read, and heard so much unabashed smooch-n-slurp from local media.Newspaper photos of Tiger Woods jogging in Ballantyne without a shirt and a special section each day! Derriere kissing on sports radio! Nightly local specials on TV! A great CBS blimp shot of the city skyline, hazy air quality and all!

The true heart of this city's power players was finally revealed in all its country club glory. Forget the Panthers. The 18th hole is where it's at, baby, and expect more of the same next year.

SHORT STUFF: Charlotte's Jefferson-Pilot Sports hangs on to its ACC football contract despite new competition and new teams added to the league. Its contract extension goes to 2010, and changes include bigger dollars paid to the ACC, and the addition of Raycom as a partner in 2006, as it does for ACC basketball. If you don't think that morning shows are crucial to radio stations, check out a monster ratings leap for WQNC-FM (more recently known as WCHH). Since poaching the Tom Joyner Radio Show from rival WBAV-FM in January, ratings are up 90 percent due to the change, while WBAV is down 31 percent.

And shame on the tease writer who penned the WBTV News promo about upcoming news reports from Philadelphia, where Southwest Airlines "invaded" the US Airways hub, as the spot put it. What will it mean to "our jobs," it also asked. Our jobs? Whose jobs? Channel 3's? Boosterism, anyone?

Stay tuned.

E-mail at Shannon.Reichley@cln.com

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