TV Q&A: 'The Amazing Race,' 'CSI: Miami,' TV Land shows

Friday, 27 April 2012 04:42 PM 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 “CSI: Miami,” “The Amazing Race” and TV Land. As always, thanks for reading, and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer
Q: It looked like Mark was down for the count on Sunday’s “The Amazing Race,” until Bopper and the dance instructor convinced him to try one more time -- did someone tell them it was a non-elimination round? If Mark wasn't able to complete the challenge, would they have been out of the race even with the non-elimination out there?
-Shannon, 35, Portland, Ore.
Rob: According to a representative of the show, “No, they were not told that it was a non-elimination leg. Teams are never told that information in advance. As per the show’s rules, had Mark not been able to complete the challenge, he would have incurred a penalty that would have been enforced either at the end of that leg or the start of the next one.”
Q: I know that I am not supposed to ask questions about canceled shows, but “CSI: Miami” is being canceled. I think it stinks. It did not have a chance this past year because other shows and sports events were put in on that time slot
I was very mad that they put it on Sunday instead of keeping it on during  the week. Is there a chance that it will be on another station?
Thank you for your time and I never pass up your column I really enjoy reading it.
- Carol, 69, Carrick
 It’s fine to ask questions about canceled shows, just don’t necessarily expect an answer because often there’s no one left to ask!
Also, “CSI: Miami” has not been canceled… yet.
It’s true “CSI: Miami” is on the chopping block along with “CSI: NY” and I fully expect one or both to be canceled next month when CBS announces its fall schedule. If only one goes, my guess is it will be “CSI: NY.”
Q: My husband likes to watch “American Restoration” while I'm online. I can hear the TV though and it gets to me that the cast seems to know only two adjectives, "cool" and "awesome." Most of these guys are over 40 and sound like Valley Girls. Am I the only one rolling my eyes?
-Betty, 76, Pittsburgh
Rob: If they said “totally awesome” or “gnarly, dude,” maybe I would buy the Valley Girl comparison, but “cool” and “awesome” on their own seem like pretty generic, non-gender specific placeholder words used when someone is simply trying to fill silence. My suggestion: Wear noise-blocking headphones.

Q: Just wondering what the ratings are like for “CBS This Morning”? I asked this same question about a month after it premiered. I feel as if the show has gotten even better. Charlie, Erica and Gayle seem to have great chemistry together. Gayle King has grown on me. I did NOT like her as a third host choice at first, but she's toned down her "inner-Kathie Lee Gifford." Have your views on the show changed as well?
Also wondering what the ratings are like for the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” vs. “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” and “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer”?
As you can tell, I strictly stick to CBS News vs. ABC and NBC.
Also wondering what the ratings are like for the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” vs. “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” and “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer”?
As you can tell, I strictly stick to CBS News vs. ABC and NBC.
- James, 24, Economy
Rob: CBS sent out a press release touting an 11 percent rise in the women 25-54 demo last week for “CBS This Morning” but just as quickly, The Hollywood Reporter had a story about overall ratings being down 9 percent from “The Early Show.”
Early morning viewing habits change slowly so it’s not surprising that a new CBS morning show has not yet set the world on fire. It still remains my viewing choice from 7-7:30 a.m.
On the other hand, CBS’s “Evening News” ratings are up while NBC and ABC are down year-to-year for the first week of April, according to TVNewser. But that’s just a snapshot look at ratings, nothing definitive or predictive of long-term viewing patterns.

Q: I loved “Project Runway All-Stars” and watched every episode. However, the final show never aired, at least not that I know of. Did I miss it or when will it be shown? I've checked On Demand and the last episode is not on there either.
This is regarding the new “All Stars,” not the one with Heidi and Tim. The three finalists were Mondo, Michael and Austin.
- Lois, 59, North Hills
Rob: The season finale definitely aired in two parts on March 15 and 22. Sounds like Lois just missed the second part somehow. Read a recap – including the ID of the winner – at HuffPost.
Q: I sometimes watch “Storage Wars” and have noticed they have lots of bidders and only the main characters of the show win the bid.  Are the other people that bid just for the show or actual real bidders and have been outbid?  Also, do the main characters get paid for being on the show?
- Marlene, 75, St. Paul, Minn.
Rob: According to an A&E publicist, the auctions are public so anyone can come and bid.
“There are many auctions that the cast attend that you don’t see on camera that other people in attendance at the auctions win,” she said.
So basically what you see on TV are the auctions that go the way of the stars of “Storage Wars” so they have stories to tell with the show’s primary characters. This is just one way that reality TV and scripted TV are more alike than they are different.
Q: My husband turns 50 this year on Aug. 13. I was looking for a unique gift to give him. He loves the show "Storage Wars." How hard would it be to have the opportunity to spend some time with these guys and go along and spend a day at one of the auctions. Any feedback would be appreciated
- Kay, 49, central coast Australia
Rob: I suppose you could try to research when auctions happen and try to figure out which ones the “Storage Wars” stars might be at but at the moment none of the stars have any public appearances scheduled that they would talk about.
Q: I have watched a few episodes of Mike Holmes' home inspection/remediation shows on HGTV. He finds all sorts of problems and has to bring in a wide assortment of specialists to fix them, sometimes at great expense.
My question: Who pays for the extensive rework that most of his target homes require?
-Kevin, 56, Ross
Rob: Liza Drozdov, director of communications at Holmes’ production company, offered this response to Kevin’s query: “Kevin is right; often a wide assortment of specialists are brought in to remediate problems on the homes Mike and the crew repair on ‘Holmes Inspection.’ The cost of those repairs is covered in a variety of ways, depending on the situation and the circumstances of the homeowners. All of our construction crew (and Mike of course), are paid through the television production. Most of the sub-trades who come in to help, such as the plumbers, electricians or mold remediation specialists you see on the show, do so free of charge. They are generous and willing to extend themselves to help homeowners, and they benefit by the exposure their companies get from being on television. Sometimes Mike will need to contribute toward the costs of the materials used, but more often they are donated by sponsors to the show. If homeowners are able to contribute to the cost of the repair, they do so.
Each situation is unique and our team scrambles to gather the resources and materials and manpower for each show to help Mike Make it Right.”
Q: TV Land is a great concept. However why is there no programing? They run an endless loop of “M*A*S*H” episodes, and little to anything else. There is so many great old series they could draw upon.
–James, 55, Minneapolis
Rob: I guess I don’t understand the question. A quick check of the TV Land schedule shows the cable network airing “Leave it to Beaver,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza” in the course of a nine-hour period. And “M*A*S*H,” too. Perhaps James just happened upon a “M*A*S*H” marathon one day?
“This is less a question than a comment: I would like to commend the local news stations for their hysteria over an expected spring snowstorm on Sunday, and for continuing to pat themselves on the back for their unbelievable accuracy.
”The amount of snowfall we got in the Pittsburgh area was so staggering that it was actually invisible. All of the money spent on equipment and slickly-produced, self-congratulatory commercials clearly is money well-spent, considering how outstanding of a job they did with this particular storm.
-Zack, 26, Sharpsburg

“This comes to you from Johnson City, Tenn., where we get your TV Q&As
in our Sunday paper. I was reading your column this morning and came across your answer concerning some of the home improvement shows and you used the word ‘nebby.’ I did a double-take because I have never heard anyone else use that word. I was raised in New Kensington, Pa., and when I looked at the top of your column and saw Pittsburgh Post-Gazette I laughed out loud!  I guess we still have some things specific to Western Pennsylvania. Anyway you gave me a laugh.
“Here's some other old Pittsburgh stuff: Do you remember Rosy Roswell as the radio announcer and his "Open the window Aunt Minnie- she's a coming thru" when a long ball would be hit at a Pirates game? That may not be an exact quote but close enough. And Bob Prince and his Babushka Power? Always loved the waving of the scarves when something good happened. And in those days it wasn't too often!
“And this is the truth... to this day - and I'm 68 and have been away from Pittsburgh for many years - I CANNOT buy any ketchup but Heinz. Is that product loyalty or what? Wow, has this been a trip down memory lane - and just because of ‘nebby’!”
-Kay, Johnson City, Tenn.

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