TV Q&A: 'Harry's Law,' 'Dancing with the Stars' and 'The Big Bang Theory'

Friday, 02 March 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 “Harry’s Law,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Meteorite Men.” As always, thanks for reading, and keep the questions coming.
- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer
 
Q: Where were “House” and “Alcatraz” Monday night? Who in the world wants this NASCAR garbage? When will Fox gives us these new episodes? Please tell Fox this was a very bad move.
- Ed, 47, Pittsburgh
Rob: No, it wasn’t, at least not from a ratings perspective. When a rain delay pushed the Daytona 500 into prime time, Fox got better ratings than it does from its regular programming. Fox’s regular shows will be back. You won’t miss an episode.
 
Q: Just read yesterday's TV Q&A and a light bulb went off when I read the question about “Downton Abbey.” I have been scouring the Internet lately to see if there is a version of the Season 1 DVD or Blu-ray that has a commentary track. I found one that was ADVERTISED as having "Commentaries, Deleted Scenes, House in History--Downton Abbey, The Making of Downton Abbey." It was the UK, uncut version. Sadly, it had no commentary track.
I absolutely LOVE Julian Fellowes' commentary tracks and was so looking forward to having another one with “Downton Abbey,” as he is so good at offering tidbits of historical and behind-the-scenes points.
I was even trying to locate Julian Fellowes' contact info to write him personally to ask if he even did a commentary track....but alas, I came up empty.
Do you have any resources for finding out if he did a commentary track for Season 1 DVD/Blu-ray discs?
- Mara, Cambridge, Minn.
Rob: There is no U.S. DVD release with a commentary track by Julian Fellowes on the season one or two DVDs of “Downton.” The American DVD folks don’t know what’s included on the UK DVD but the description on Amazon does not mention a commentary track and even if it did, DVDs are region-specific and a DVD from England would not play on a U.S. DVD player.
 
Q: I recently started watching “The Big Bang Theory” – probably about three months ago. It certainly has helped me get caught up to speed being that WTBS shows episodes three nights a week and locally in Pittsburgh Fox 53 shows two episodes per weeknight at 6 and 7 p.m.
What I have noticed is that both channels are showing the same 20-25 episodes spread out from different seasons and just keep airing them. I went to Wikipedia and noticed that there are many episodes that are not yet airing in syndication.
Is this because the channels are only showing the shows that are being made available to them?
It would be great if syndicated shows are broadcast in order from Season One Episode One to the present. For example, it has been difficult to watch a show for the first time from season three and something is referenced and I am not familiar with it only to watch an episode from season one and find out that the plot line referenced in a particular season three episode goes back to a previous episode in season one but because the shows are shown out of order, the viewer is left standing in the dark.
- Steve, 45, Pittsburgh
Rob: For reasons that defy viewing logic (but probably make some sort of business sense), studios often release just batches of episodes of a TV show without much regard for episode order and continuity. Over time, more episodes will be released. I’ve been told in the past that sometimes it’s about releasing the episodes that rated best when they first aired in prime time on their original broadcast home. It’s not an ideal practice from a viewer perspective but I imagine it’s designed to maximize studio profits.
 
Q: What has happened with “Harry’s Law”? It has not been on for several weeks. Has it been canceled?
- Ken, Bethel Park
Rob:
Not yet but its ratings are not great so I think it will be canceled come May. “Harry’s Law” returns to NBC’s prime-time schedule March 11, moving to the 8 p.m. Sunday time slot.
 
Q: What happened to "Bones"? It was scheduled to return at a certain date but that date has passed. What's up?
- Twila, 60, Butler
Rob:
“Bones” was due to return April 5 but it’s only March 2. Earlier this week Fox moved up the return date to April 2.

Q: Last summer there was a very cute show on USA about a psychologist who worked with members of a pro football team. Do you know if there will be a second season? Sorry - I can't remember the name of the show. Keep up the good work - I read you every week in the PG!
- Gerda, 82, Annandale, Va.
Rob:
Gerda is thinking of “Necessary Roughness” starring Callie Thorne, which will return this summer, most likely in June. USA has not announced an exact date yet.
 
Q: Has NBC made a decision on “Prime Suspect”? I know they aired all the episodes they had - hope they plan on making more.
- Ken, 64, Merrick, NY
Rob:
They do not plan to make more “Prime Suspect.” The show was canceled despite network executives’ love of the series.
“You know, 10 or 15 years ago, you could keep a show on the air and slowly over time build an audience, but we do have a lot of evidence that a modern audience, if you don't get them within the first four or five episodes, it's really hard to get beyond that,” said NBC Entertainment president Bob Greenblatt at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in January in Pasadena, Calif. “So, yes, if we really feel the show has some real upside in the long term. I spent several weeks in the Fall trying to build an audience for "Prime Suspect," and we did a number of different things to find that audience and just came to the conclusion that was a painful one that we were never going to find a way to grow that audience.”

Q: Last night, “Parenthood” announced that next week is the season finale. Can you tell me why the season is ending so early? This is one of my favorite shows and I am sorry to see it end so early.
- Joan, 57, Mars
Rob: Most non-freshman TV shows get a 22-episode order that stretches the series from September to May. NBC ordered 18 episodes of “Parenthood” and had fewer interruptions or reruns, which is why the show ended its season this week. NBC will make a decision on keeping or canceling the show by May.
 
Q: What is the name of the man who announces the NBC shows? He has such a great voice and I have been intrigued as to his identity.
- Sheila, 58, New Castle 
Rob:
NBC uses several announcers but Sheila gave me specific examples and the announcer she’s been hearing is actor Dorian Harewood
 
Q: Who is the guy playing the piano on “Glee”? And do they really use student musicians for the songs?
- Dave, New Ulm, Minn.
Rob: That’s Brad Ellis, the show’s accompanist.
 
Q: On shows like “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” the ladies often host parties in their homes where the others arrive in limousines. Does the show pay for the costs of the parties and limos? What about if the event is in another state like when Camille Grammer invited everyone to her Aspen ski lodge or Kyle invited everyone to Hawaii for her husband's birthday? Who paid for airfare and lodging?
- Karen, 66, Laguna Woods, Calif.
Rob: My understanding is it varies depending on the specific situation. Sometimes the hotel provides accommodations to get the publicity. Cars are usually paid for by production especially if there is any drinking. But everything is on a case-by-case basis.  For example, Kyle’s White Party happens every year and that is something she pays for. 

Q: As the season of “Dancing with the Stars” soon begins, how is it determined how the professional dancers are paired up with the incoming stars and also how is it determined what dance and song each team gets each week during the series
- Fay, West Mifflin
Rob: Producers make those determinations based on several factors including height and personality. Each week's music is assigned based on the couples' dance style for the week's competition. Music for a few weeks out of each season are chosen by genre or theme, such as rock or classical week.

Q: What happened to “Meteorite Men” on the Science Channel? They stopped showing the series in the middle of the season and haven't said anything about why or if they will be back on.
- Kay, 72, Minneapolis
Rob: No decision has been made on whether the show will be renewed or canceled.
According to a Science Channel publicist, “We have had to make adjustments in our schedule and shift some shows around. We hope to get ‘Meteorite Men’ back on the schedule but no final decision has been made.”
 
Q: I missed this week's episode of “Restaurant Impossible” which featured Del's Restaurant in Bloomfield.  Can you please tell me when it will air again?
-Glenn, Pittsburgh
Rob: That’s something you can always look up in our online listings. A search there shows several encore airdates, including 9 p.m. Wednesday on Food Network.
 
Q: We watch “Everybody Loves Raymond” everyday on our Dish Network DVR. Some of the shows record from WPCW (Channel 19) and some from TBS. Both channels are HD.
My question is why aren't the shows transmitted the same way on both channels? From TBS, it is obvious that the “Raymond” program was recorded in HD wide screen - even the first season. But Channel 19 transmits the show as if it was not recorded in wide screen. Why is that?
- Donald, 72, Valencia
Rob: According to KDKA/WPCW general manager Chris Pike, Dish does not carry WPCW in HD.
 
Q: What happened to Don Cannon the newscaster with Paul Long? I know he went downhill drinking, but he came back after recovery and was on the news for a short time.
- Therese, 69, McKeesport
Rob: He was on the news again, working at KDKA from 1999 to 2008. But then he had some problems again and eventually retired to California.
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