TV Q&A: 'The Good Wife,' awards shows and 'The Little Couple'

Friday, 17 February 2012 12:00 AM Written by 
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TV Q&A with Rob Owen
This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “The Good Wife,” awards shows and “The Little Couple.” As always, thanks for reading, and keep the questions coming.
- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer
Q: What will CBS do about how they derailed “The Good Wife” and placed it on a Sunday night, after a football game and their ratings went down? A good program and since we don't TiVo or DVR we had to sit and wait for it. Poor choice for the night and it needs to be put back on a regular weeknight. Is there anything we regular watchers can do to get it back on a weeknight?
- Carole, 76, Bloomington, Minn.
Rob: No, there’s nothing you can do. CBS will place the show where it best suits its programming needs. It’s possible the network could move the show off Sunday when they announce a new fall schedule in May but I don’t expect that to happen.
The good news is “The Good Wife,” despite ratings erosion, is not in danger of cancellation.
“We all love ‘The Good Wife,’” said CBS president Leslie Moonves at a press tour party I attended last month. “That’s a show you don’t demand the same ratings of as you might of an ‘NCIS.’ … ‘The Good Wife’ is not going anywhere.”
I got an advance look at Sunday's "Good Wife" episode and it's another strong, entertaining hour, particularly for fans of  exasperated Eli (Alan Cumming).
Q: I watched the Grammys on Sunday for the first time in years (maybe the first time ever). While it was extremely long (because of the music performances), I liked that they only really gave out the "big" awards during the show and just mentioned who won the other awards.
Do you think the other award shows (Oscars, Emmys, SAG awards, etc.) would garner higher ratings if they were only 60-90 minutes long and only handed out the "big" awards onscreen? Does anyone really enjoy those (usually) boring performances and skits during award shows?
- Lin, 44, Pittsburgh
Rob: There are economies of scale achieved when an awards show runs three hours rather than one hour. So, you’ll never see any of the big shows cut down to as short a running time as one hour.
As for cutting the number of awards, the other big awards shows experiment with shifting some awards to off-camera ceremonies but there can be a huge outcry from some constituencies when attempts are made to cut their awards from the telecast.
As for performances, there probably will be fewer on the Oscars later this month: Neither of the two best song nominees will be performed, which is a shame since one would feature “Muppets.”
Q: Why are there no reruns of “NYPD Blue.” It was a great series and I am sure I missed a lot of episodes?
- Dave, New Ulm, Minn.
Rob: A search of our online listings shows that a network called nuvoTV carries “NYPD Blue” on Wednesday and Thursday at 9 p.m. and midnight. (I’d never heard of this network either.)
As to why a cable network we’ve heard of doesn’t carry “Blue,” it was carried on a larger cable network closer to when the show was in production but “Blue” has been out of production for seven years.
Q: Is Disney Junior replacing SoapNET this spring? When will NBC bring back “It's Worth What?” This summer?
- Josh, 29, Monroeville
Rob: Yes, Disney Junior replaces SoapNET on March 23.
As far as I can tell, NBC has not ordered additional episodes of “It’s Worth What?” I don’t think it will be back.

Q: What happened to the original host of “Property Virgins” on HGTV?
- Robin, 47, Pittsburgh
Rob: I could not get an HGTV publicist to respond, but the original host reportedly quit the show and is developing a new series.

Q: Is Showtime's Series "The Borgias" coming back soon for the second season?
Are "Body of Proof" on ABC and "The Protector" on A&E coming back?  Also, what about "Prime Suspect" on NBC?
My apologies if you've answered some of these questions already. Thank you.
- Rita, 66, Brookline
Rob: “The Borgias” returns to Showtime with new episodes on April 8.
“Body of Proof” is on the ropes, as I wrote last month. “The Protector” and “Prime Suspect” have been canceled.

Q: Could you tell me when "The Little Couple" will return to TLC? The last episode was shown in the fall of 2011, with the story ending with the surrogate loosing their baby. It was then stated they would be back in January of 2012, I think.
- Jane, 71, Arizona
Season five kicks off at 10 p.m. April 3.
Q: The voice of Miss Brown, the M&M, in the new commercial sounds so familiar; almost sounds like Bebe Neuwirth. I can't find anything online about who voices Miss Brown. Do you know who did her voice?
- Lin, 44, Pittsburgh.
Rob: It’s Vanessa Williams (“Desperate Housewives”).
Q: Ellis Cannon has been off PCNC “Night Talk” for a couple of months now. The substitute hosts (usually Chris Moore and Mike Romigh) mention that they're filling in for him, but he hasn't been seen in many weeks. It doesn't seem to be a vacation situation. Do you know what is going on? Thanks.
- Vic, 45, Cranberry
Rob: PCNC never named an official, permanent host for “Night Talk” following the departure of Ann Devlin in 2007.
Cannon has been away on personal leave, according to PCNC station manager Mark Barash, who said Cannon has plans to return.

Q: What happened to Jim Lokay from KDKA TV?
- Judy, 71, Penn Hills
In October, Post-Gazette media writer Maria Sciullo reported Lokay was leaving KDKA for a job at a Boston TV station, a big loss for KDKA-TV that the station should have done more to prevent.
I think you may have misunderstood Charlotte's question in the February 10th TV Q&A when she asked what "DVS" stands for in TV listings.  You said it stands for "suggestive dialogue (D), violence (V) and sexuality (S)".  But I think what she was asking about was "Descriptive Video Service" which is a secondary audio track intended for viewers who are blind or visually impaired.  I've seen some programs on PBS which advertise DVS availability at the beginning of the program.
- Mark, Squirrel Hill
I think Mark is right. I had a difficult time finding any DVS notations in the Post-Gazette’s TV Week so I thought perhaps the question was about listings in TV Guide or another source where the content ratings might be used. A second, more thorough search of the PG's TV Week grids turned up the DVS notation (for Descriptive Video Service, essentially narration for the visually impaired) on some PBS programs.

First let me say that you're one tough cookie in watching all of the TV shows that you most likely have to view to do your job. Having said that. Many years ago the chairman of the FCC was a man named Newton Minow.
He was speaking publicly somewhere, I forget where, and he stated that, Television is a vast wasteland
.You can imagine I'm sure the reaction of the networks to that comment. I can remember when television did not exist, and I have watched its development over the years.  It's sad to say, but with some few exceptions, Mr. Minow's comment is as valid today as it was then.
I enjoy reading your weekly column.  Please continue it.
- David, 80, Scott
Rob: You’ll rarely catch me complaining about watching TV. It’s hard to imagine a job filled with more variety. Plus, if I dislike a show, I don't usually have to watch it regularly after writing my initial review. That said, there are smart and dumb ways to watch TV. The dumb way is to turn the TV on, never leave the couch and simply let it wash over you. The smart way is to be an engaged consumer of television, to become media literate by reading about the medium and knowing what’s actually on TV. That way you only have to turn the set on when there’s something you want to watch. That way you control the TV; the TV does not control you.
Yes, there’s a lot of junk out there but that’s largely the result of the expansion in the number of channels. There are also smarter, more engaging shows on TV now than there ever were when Minnow gave that landmark speech in 1961. You just have to know where to find the shows that are worth watching. It’s part of my job to nudge viewers in the direction of these better programs.
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