Former QVC host Bob Bowersox returns and brings stage presence to Fringe Festival – Delco Times


Bob Bowersox is a restless soul. As a broadcaster, writer, actor, producer, chef and restaurant owner, he’s always looking for the next and different thing to do.

Bowersox was one of the original squad of presenters at TV retailer QVC and was the first face to appear on that network’s show. In 22 years from 1996 to 2008, he built a following by selling QVC products but also hosting his own show “In the Kitchen with Bob,” which, like almost everything Bowersox has done, started as a risk that he came in to strengthen something he was already doing.

Or because he had to start all over again.

“My grandfather once told me,” says Bowersox over the phone from his home in Delaware, that I would never have a career like him because we are interested in too many things and could do anything we put our minds to.

“He was right,” Bowersox continues. “I’ve had serial and parallel careers throughout my life.”

Before making his name on television, Bowersox had worked as an actor in the Philadelphia area. Upon leaving QVC, he and his wife, Melody Moore, relocated to Key West, Florida, and theater returned to life.

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

Bowersox calls his company Theater XP, the letters stand out from the word Experimental, and he and Moore have done shows ranging from Albee to comedy to Bowersox’s own work.

Bowersox and Moore said “cruise lines ruined Key West” and decided to return to Delaware. Bowersox says he’s always been aware of the dynamics of the Philadelphia 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 theater space rather than owning it.

The show is called “Fresh Ink Shorts” and offers 11 tracks that follow one another non-stop and without a build-up break. Shows range in duration from 1 to 20 minutes and from serious to comical.

According to Bowersox, “Fresh Ink Shorts” is a local introduction to Theater XP that will be followed by other productions. One of his tracks, Crossing the Veil, will be out on Plays & Players in November.

Bowersox got his job at QVC by responding to an ad in a local newspaper. “In the Kitchen with Bob” came about when he got inspiration to cook food from his own recipes instead of melting blocks of plastic into non-stick cookware that QVC peddled.

“The producer called and said, ‘I don’t know what you did last night, but the phones keep ringing for your Coquille St. Jacques recipe.’ After that I had a cooking show.”

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

Networks fight for ideas

It’s been clear for more than a decade, possibly two, that the original networks — NBC, ABC, and CBS — no longer have the cachet they enjoyed before the advent of cable and the final nail in the over-the-air coffin to have. stream.

One look at next week’s Emmy nominations and there’s no doubt 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 the former Big Three and newer upstarts, Fox and The CW, are barely mentioned. Without ABC’s “Abbott Elementary,” traditional webs would be almost completely left out of Emmy glory.

Broadcasters 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, off the air to its Peacock platform. Popular programs like ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and NBC’s “The Voice” will have a large streaming component in the coming seasons.

The latest news, which I find troubling in terms of nostalgia, is that NBC is considering removing an hour, the 10-11pm time slot, from its primetime programming and moving more product to Peacock.

It makes sense that NBC would be the first to consider this initiative. After all, it’s owned by Comcast, which helped spread the concept of cable and knows how to build television networks and stations, in addition to providing the technology and hardware to bring them to people’s homes.

In a broadcasting world losing its latest primetime hour, the original program would end at 10:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. in Central and Mountain time zones).

That means 21 fewer hours per week of original episodes, news shows and quiz shows.

From a television perspective in 2022, the idea of ​​NBC makes sense.

There are fewer and fewer viewers watching the network’s programming schedules and tuning into the primetime tariff. Gaming, music, and other preferences have impacted potential audiences just as much as cable and streaming programming.

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

Especially when you consider a growing segment of the audience who don’t remember a three-channel world and never based their viewing on the limitations of such a unit. For them, television is everywhere where the remote control belongs.

Come to think of it, apart from NBC’s The Weakest Link and ABC’s The Chase, I never watch 10-11 o’clock TV.

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

Even if I don’t see it, I have a problem. This will replace the network tariff when the networks give up programming.

In the 1970’s it was a great idea to make the 7pm to 8pm hour a ‘Prime Access’ time that local stations could program at will.

Look what that did. Instead of smart programming geared toward our regions, the five buy over-the-air shows — game shows, entertainment news, network hit reruns — and forgo any effort to even program with ingenuity.

In the entire history of the local market, only Channel 3’s ‘Evening Magazine’ came anywhere close to fulfilling Prime Access objectives.

If losing the 10 to 11 hours of prime time means losing episodic series to vaguer gibberish (excluding “Jeopardy!”), I support NBC’s potential decision and ask the Peacock to continue flying in its historical pattern. The alternative is too bleak to contemplate.

Bring on the NFL

The NFL season opens on September 11th.

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

Amin, Schlereth and Pink are one of six broadcast teams Fox will be sending to NFL games this season. As a rule of thumb, the network broadcasting a Sunday afternoon game is based on the away team. Fox has the contract with the NFC, which is the conference the Eagles are in, so most of the Eagles games, at least eight of them, will end up there.

Three games will be broadcast on CBS (Channel 3) because an AFC team is at Lincoln Financial Field, two Sunday night games will be broadcast on NBC (Channel 10) and one each on ABC (Channel 6) showing the showdown on 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 usually snags ESPN games, with each station being part of the Disney family. I suspect a “Dancing with the Stars” or “Bachelor” finale or some other ABC special kept Channel 6 from winning the Nov. 14 game against the Washington Commanders.

The Eagles’ home radio for all games is WIP (94.1 FM). Longtime (since 1977) play-by-play genius Merrill Reese takes on this familiar task again, with former Eagle Mike Quick providing colorful commentary.

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

Occasionally, when Eagles games anticipate scheduled Phillies broadcasts, the Phillies game can be heard on WPHT (12:10 p.m.), the team’s home radio before it switched to WIP.

Stocker is a budding radio star

I don’t know why it took me so long in the season to discover it, but I finally heard a former Phillies ballplayer who was a good partner with Scott Franzke on the Phillies radio booth.

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

It’s Kevin Stocker, the player who came in mid-season in 1993 to take the shortstop position and help the Phillies reach the National League pennant under Jim Fregosi. (The Phillies lost the subsequent World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays.)

Stocker’s presentation is fluent, natural and professional. He’s articulate, whether he’s talking about a key point in a game or exchanging views with Franzke about villains. From the moment I heard him, I said out loud to the radio, “Whoever this is, hire him.”

The Phillies need a roving crew of backup color commentators for Andersen, who is semi-retired, travels less if at all and is home a few weeks at a time, instead of calling all the Phillies 162 matches.

Former Phillies catcher Erik Kratz was entertaining and had an engaging way of telling a story. He was particularly amusing when telling clubhouse stories or talking about players who tend to react to certain situations on the pitch.

Kratz animated Franzke in a way some of the other former players didn’t.

Stocker proved to be the gold standard. Every syllable was clear, every word was interesting, and every story was relevant.

Stocker also offered a strong player’s perspective of what was happening on the field.

In addition to Stocker and Kratz, Franzke, Michael Bourn and Chad Durbin were other players in the dressing room this season. Kevin Frandsen, Anderson’s replacement from last season, proved good enough to be hired full-time by the Washington Nationals.

Non-players who called Phillies games on the radio included local sports broadcast veteran Gregg Murphy and, in a one-off stint, retired Sixers announcer Marc Zumoff.

Once Stocker and Franzke spoke of not having seen each other since May. I don’t remember why I missed Stocker in the spring, but it was refreshingly encouraging to catch up with him now.

Neal Zoren’s television column appears every Monday.


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