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Dinges: ‘The Daytripper’ hits the road for Season 4

Gary Dinges
gdinges@statesman.com
Oprah Winfrey’s producers helped track down Kris and Daisy’s mom. The brother and sister, who live in Austin, hadn’t seen her in more than a decade.

“The Daytripper” is ready to hit the road for a fourth season.

The show, which airs on 12 PBS stations statewide, introduces viewers to interesting destinations — some of them well known; others, not so much — across Texas.

The first of several new episodes will air at 7:30 p.m. Thursdayon KLRU Channel 18, with host Chet Garner hitting Kemah, just south of Houston.

Stops include the Kemah Boardwalk, Space Center Houston, the Butler Longhorn Museum and Hoagie Ranch.

Thirteen episodes will be produced this season, with the first six airing in the fall. The rest will be rolled out in late spring. Upcoming installments include visits to Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Dripping Springs, Kingsland and La Grange.

“We always talk about how big Texas is,” Garner said, “and for Season 4, I’m ready to show how big Texas is. We are going to be tripping all over this great state, from coast to high plains and prairies to mountains. But our main goal remains to inspire other Texans to follow in our footsteps and embark on a daytrip adventure of their own.”

If you miss Thursday’s season premiere, don’t fret. Repeats air at 10 a.m. Saturdays and 5:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Get more details at thedaytripper.com.

Oprah revisits Austinites

It’s “the story Oprah couldn’t shake.”

Five years after Oprah Winfrey introduced America to two Austin children who’d been abandoned by their mother, Kris and Daisy are still on the TV host’s mind and in her heart.

Now, in a new series airing on Winfrey’s fledgling OWN cable network, they’re set to see their mom, who was discovered in a Texas jail, for the first time in more than a decade.

The reunion is “dramatic, painful and emotional,” producers of “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” promise.

Subsequent episodes of the show will offer updates on folks such as couch-surfing O.J. Simpson pal Kato Kaelin and Mary Jo Buttafuoco, who shot Amy Fisher, her hubby’s mistress. There’s also an interview with Rodney King filmed shortly before he died earlier this year.

Catch the show at 5 p.m. Oct. 14 on OWN, Time Warner Cable Channel 225.

Candidate files FCC complaint

A Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate seat who wasn’t invited to participate in a debate that aired statewide this week has filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.

John Jay Myers, a North Texas resident, fought unsuccessfully to be included in the broadcast, which originated from WFAA in Dallas. Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Paul Sadler were the only two candidates present.

In Austin, the debate aired live on KVUE Tuesday night. Both stations are owned by Dallas-based Belo Corp.

A WFAA spokesman never responded to my request for comment, but on its website, the station lists several criteria candidates must meet to be included. Myers said he meets some — but not all — of those criteria.

“The metrics have no objective thresholds, and none of the candidates meet all of the standards,” Myers said. “They claimed to be impartial, but without these specifics their criteria are meaningless, leaving the decision to be based solely on their own biases.”

The complaint alleges, in part, that “WFAA has based its candidate invitations on partisan favoritism rather than object considerations of newsworthiness.”

Early voting begins Oct. 22 and runs through Nov. 2. Election day is Nov. 6.

Stations get Emmy noms

The 2012 Lone Star Emmy nominations are out, and Austin TV stations were front and center in several high-profile categories.

KVUE is up for the state’s best morning and evening newscasts, KXAN’s Chris Willis is a contender for top investigative reporter, and the Longhorn Network is a finalist in the uber-prestigious station excellence competition.

LHN is up for Emmys in several other categories, as well.

And I can’t forget the fine folks at KLRU, Austin’s PBS affiliate. They had nine nominations, a staffer proudly told me.

Winners will be announced Nov. 10 during a ceremony at Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

Good luck to all!

To see the full list of nominees, head to my blog, austin360.com/tvblog.

Channel surfing …

The feud between Dish Network and AMC continues, leaving customers without access to some much-loved shows. Fans of “The Walking Dead” who feared they’d miss the show’s season premiere are in luck. The cable network announced this week it will live stream the episode at 8 p.m. Oct. 14. Dish customers who want to tune in must head to amctv.com/thewalkingdead4dish to register. … Follow @gdinges on Twitter to get the latest updates on local radio and TV stations.