Media Watch: Hurry back to television, Jack Ford!Written by Jeremy Baumhower | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Like most of Toledo, I was relieved when I heard that Jack Ford had left the hospital and was headed toward a full recovery. Not because I believe the public sector and school board were missing him, but because I was missing “Coffee with the Fords,” his weekly TV show with his wife Cynthia. It’s a 30-minute gem of television gold that was shown Sundays on 13abc.
Those who have only skimmed by “Coffee with the Fords” are truly missing a local treasure. Not only do I love the 24 minutes of awkward tension, but I think 13abc is sitting on a potential Emmy and ratings generator if it makes it a full-fledge reality show. “Coffee with the Fords” has reportedly been taken off the air, but never has there been a completely contrasting duo caught in the new digital media. If Jack was honing his Jack Benny impression on purpose, he would be hailed as a comedic genius.
Jack’s 30-plus years of public service are known for his behind-the-scenes, get-it-done work ethic, not for his dynamic personality. Let’s be honest — Jack makes Eeyore from “Winnie The Pooh” look like Jim Carrey in “The Mask.”
But deep inside his “Weekend At Bernie’s” personality, I see a true family man. Every week, Jack plays the straight man to his wife. Cynthia, who has a background in puppetry and is clearly the driven behind-the-scenes pusher/producer who influenced her husband to be involved in this project. Cynthia’s over-the-top zany/manic personality makes the show a perfect train wreck of TV glory. Not since Patches and Pockets aired has there been such a local Dynamic Duo.
13abc, like all FCC-licensed stations, has to offer community affairs-type shows like “Coffee With The Fords,” but I would love to see more. For the November sweeps I would like to see a reality show extended-version of the Fords just living their lives here in Toledo. Think of them as our local Osbournes, where Jack is Ozzy, retired but supporting, and Cynthia is a less-British Sharon, working on her career. Let’s see the Fords get up and truly have coffee, maybe a grocery shopping trip or a night out at Tony Packo’s. The perfect team to assemble this with the right touch of sarcasm would be 13abc’s Tony Geftos and Todd Gaertner. Tony and Todd’s “Roadside Attractions” is the best local reoccuring video news piece.
I fully understand that Jack is recovering from some pretty serious health issues. I deeply respect a man who gives his life to public service as he has done. I will admit that when I first heard the news he was hospitalized, I thought maybe that was his way of trying to hide from the show.
When I watched “Coffee with the Fords,” I found myself admiring a man who would do anything for his family. He worked 30-plus years, hearing every decision he made questioned by somebody. This is why I know it was not Jack who created and brainstormed the concept of “Coffee with the Fords.” He did it for Cynthia. And as a formerly married man I understand … If Momma isn’t happy, then no one is. Although you have not said anything to the contrary Jack, I hear you.
For past episodes of “Coffee with the Fords,” visit the website abclocal.go.com/wtvg/explore?tag=coffee-with-the-fords.
Jeremy Baumhower is a media expert who writes and produces for morning radio shows across the country. Follow him on Twitter @jeremytheproduc.