Return of Former QVC Host Bob Bowersox Brings Stage Presence to Fringe Festival – Delco Times

Bob Bowersox is a restless soul. A broadcaster, writer, actor, producer, cook and restaurateur, he’s always on the lookout for the next different thing he can do.

Bowersox was one of the first host executives at television retailer, QVC, and the first face to appear on that network’s airwaves. In 22 years, from 1996 to 2008, he built a following of QVC products, but also hosted his own show, “In the Kitchen with Bob”, which started like almost everything Bowersox did, as a risk qu he took to reinforce something he already was. Do.

Or because he needed to start over.

“My grandfather once told me,” Bowersox recounts over the phone from his Delaware home, that I, like him, would never have a career because we were interested in too many things and could do everything we wanted.

“He was right,” Bowersox continues. “I’ve had a lifetime of serial and sideline careers.”

Before Bowersox made a name for himself on television, he played in the Philadelphia area. When he left QVC, he and his wife, Melody Moore, moved to Key West, Florida, and the theater came back to life.

“I was writing plays and needed something to do, so I rented a theater in Key West during the dark period between shows and put on my own seasons, which taken.”

Bowersox calls his company “Theatre XP”, the letters departing from the word Experimental, and he and Moore have done shows ranging from Albee to comedies to Bowersox’s own work.

Saying that “the cruise lines have ruined Key West,” Bowersox and Moore decided to return to Delaware. Bowersox says he’s always been aware of the vibrancy of Philadelphia’s theater community.

On Thursday, as part of the Fringe Festival, he and Theater XP will make their local debut at Plays & Players, 1714 Delancey Street, Philadelphia, a venue that fits Bowersox’s vision of renting rather than owning theater space.

The show is called “Fresh Ink Shorts” and offers 11 tracks that follow one another, without interruption, without a set-up break. Shows are 1 to 20 minutes long and range from serious to comedic.

Bowersox says “Fresh Ink Shorts” is a local introduction to Theater XP and will be followed by other productions. One of his plays, “Crossing the Veil”, will appear at Plays & Players in November.

Bowersox got his job at QVC by answering an ad in a local newspaper. “In the Kitchen with Bob” evolved when he got inspiration to cook, his own recipes, instead of melting blocks of plastic into nonstick cookware that QVC hawked.

“The producer called and said, ‘I don’t know what you did last night, but the phones are ringing non-stop for your scallop recipe. After that, I had a cooking show.

Theater and writing are Bowersox’s current interests. It will be interesting to see where he takes them.

Networks looking for ideas

It’s been clear for over a decade, maybe two, that the original networks – NBC, ABC and CBS – lack the cachet they enjoyed before the advent of cable and the final nail in the coffin over the air. , diffusion.

A look at the nominations for next week’s Emmys undoubtedly shows that the best programming these days comes from a growing group of providers – HBO, Netflix, Showtime, Apple+, Disney+. Hulu, Prime, Peacock and Paramount+. Shows from former Big Three and more recent upstarts Fox and The CW are barely mentioned. If it weren’t for ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” traditional websites would almost entirely be left out of Emmy luster.

Networks are beginning to respond to viewers’ (and critics’) preference for streaming. NBC has moved one of its long-running soap operas, “Days of Our Lives,” from its air to its Peacock platform. Popular programs such as ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and NBC’s “The Voice” will have a major streaming component in their upcoming seasons.

The latest news, which I find disturbing in terms of nostalgia, shows that NBC is considering losing an hour, the 10-11 p.m. timeslot, of its primetime schedule and moving more product to Peacock.

It makes sense that NBC would be the first to consider this move. It is, after all, owned by Comcast, which helped bring the concept of cable to life and knows how to build TV networks and stations in addition to providing the technology and hardware to bring them into people’s homes.

In a broadcast world losing its last prime time, original programming would end at 10 p.m. (9 p.m. in the Central and Mountain time zones).

That means 21 hours minus a week of original episodes, newsmagazines and quizzes.

From a television perspective in 2022, NBC’s idea makes sense.

Fewer and fewer viewers watch network programs and tune in at prime time rates. Games, music and other preferences have reduced potential audiences as much as cable and streaming programming.

Without a consistent and adequate customer base, why keep the store open for latecomers who might come?

Especially considering a growing segment of the audience who don’t remember a three-channel world and never based their viewing on the limitations of such an entity. Television, for them, is everywhere remote controls can go.

Come to think of it, with the exception of NBC’s “The Weakest Link” and ABC’s “The Chase,” I never watch network TV from 10 to 11 a.m.

Well, maybe to get the next morning’s weather from Kathy Orr.

Even without viewing, I have a problem. This is what will replace the network tariff if the networks give up scheduling it.

In the 1970s, a brilliant idea was to make the 7:00-8:00 p.m. hour a “preferred access” hour that local stations could schedule as they pleased.

Look what it caused. Instead of smart programming tailored to our regions, the five live shows buy syndicated fare – game shows, entertainment news, reruns of network hits – and forego any effort to program ingenuity.

In the entire history of the local market, only Channel 3’s ‘Evening Magazine’ has come close to achieving ‘priority access’ intentions.

If losing the 10-11 hours of prime time means losing episodic series to more vapid chatter (“Jeopardy!” Except), I support NBC’s potential decision and plead with the Peacock to continue flying in its historical pattern. The alternative is too dark to think about.

Bring on the NFL

The NFL season opener is September 11.

The Eagles will be in Detroit for a game that starts at 1 p.m. against the Lions, on Fox (Channel 29). Sportscasting generalist Adam Amin will handle play-by-play with former Broncos guard and three-time Super Bowl participant Mark Schlereth providing commentary and Kristina Pink reporting from the sidelines.

Amin, Schlereth and Pink are one of six broadcast teams Fox will send to NFL games this season. Typically, the network showing a Sunday afternoon game is based on the away team. Fox has the contract with the NFC, the conference the Eagles are in, so most Eagles games (at least eight of them) will land there.

Three games will be seen on CBS (Channel 3) as an AFC team is at Lincoln Financial Field, two Sunday night games will be shown on NBC (Channel 10) and one each on ABC (Channel 6) which airs the Monday, September 19. against the Minnesota Vikings, Amazon Prime, which airs Thursday night contests, and ESPN, which regularly hosts Monday night contests.

Locally, Channel 6 typically picks up ESPN games, with each station under the Disney fold. I suspect that a “Dancing with the Stars” or “Bachelor” finale, or some other ABC special, prevented Channel 6 from claiming the Nov. 14 game against the Washington Commanders.

The Eagles’ home radio for all games is WIP (94.1 FM). Merrill Reese, a long-time play-by-play genius (since 1977), takes up this familiar task with former Eagle Mike Quick providing color commentary.

Of course, the usual suspects on WIP will provide a plethora of pre- and post-game shows throughout the season. NBCSP commentators will do the same.

On some occasions when Eagles games preempt scheduled Phillies broadcasts, the Phillies game can be heard on WPHT (12:10 p.m.), the team’s radio before it goes to WIP.

Stocker is a budding radio star

I don’t know how it took me so long into the season to find out, but I finally heard from a former Phillies baseball player who was a good partner to Scott Franzke in the Phillies radio broadcast booth.

No, it’s not Larry Anderson. He predates Franzke at the Phillies mic and is considered one of the best radio personalities out there, sports or not.

It’s Kevin Stocker, the player who arrived midway through the 1993 season to take the shortstop job and help the Phillies win the National League pennant under Jim Fregosi. (The Phillies lost the ensuing World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays.)

Stocker’s delivery is smooth, natural and professional. He’s articulate whether he’s talking about a key point in a game or exchanging a banter with Franzke. As soon as I heard it, I said out loud over the radio, “Whoever it is, hire him.”

The Phillies need a traveling team of replacement color commentators for Andersen, who is semi-retired, spending less time, if at all, on the road and for a few weeks at a time rather than calling all the Phillies 162 matches.

Former Phillies wide receiver Erik Kratz was entertaining and had an engaging way of telling a story. He was particularly entertaining when telling club stories or talking about players tending to react to given situations on the pitch.

Kratz animated Franzke in a way that some of the other former players did not.

Stocker turned out to be the gold standard. Every syllable was crisp, every word was interesting, and every story was relevant.

Stocker also offered a solid player’s perspective on events on the pitch.

Besides Stocker and Kratz, the other players joining Franzke in the stand this season were Michael Bourn and Chad Durbin. A replacement for Anderson last season, Kevin Frandsen proved good enough to be hired full-time by the Washington Nationals.

Non-players calling Phillies games on the radio have included local sportscasting veteran Gregg Murphy and, in a one-off stint, retired Sixers announcer Marc Zumoff.

At one point, Stocker and Franzke said they hadn’t seen each other since May. I can’t remember why I missed Stocker in the spring, but it was refreshing and encouraging to catch up with him now.

Neal Zoren’s TV column appears every Monday.

Karl M. Bailey