TV Q&A: 'Smash,' HDTV and local news personalities

Friday, 08 February 2013 12:24 PM Written by 

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TV Q&A with Rob Owen

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This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “Smash,” HDTV and local TV news personalities. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: Enlighten me: “Shawshank Redemption” is a great movie, that said, how come AMC has been running this film back to back to back almost EVERY DAY? Do they have no other films in the archives or is there that much demand for a 1994 movie?

- Donn, McKeesport

Rob: I think that particular film has always done quite well ratings-wise, which could explain it. AMC certainly has plenty of films to choose from. When I checked the schedule after getting Donn’s question I only saw two airings (8-11 p.m. Wed. with a rerun 11 p.m.-2 a.m.) over the next 10 days so I can’t say why the film may have aired multiple times before that in the same week. An AMC publicist did not respond to a request for comment.


Q: I was just curious why you didn't mention the Paul Havery ad in your Super Bowl commercials column?

-Eileen, via phone

Rob: My deadline for the column was 10 p.m. and that ad ran closer to 10:30 p.m. so the column was already filed. Normally the Super Bowl would have been over by 10 p.m. but the blackout ensured it wasn't this year.

I know some people loved the Paul Harvey ad but I found it super-frustrating because it went on and on without telling me what the heck they were selling. And then when they said it was a truck, I was underwhlemed. I would have mentioned the ad alongside the Oprah/Jeep/USO ad, which I thought was a better play for viewer emotion, but the Harvey ad would not have received a rave. On the other hand, I was disappointed that I missed out on praising the Tide Joe Montana Miracle Stain spot. That one was pretty amusing.

We discussed the Super Bowl spots at length in this week's Tuned In podcast.


Q: Could you please tell me how to contact producers of “The Bold and the Beautiful” to tell them how bad their show is -- one topic for how many years!! I want to be sick and wonder really about me who continues to watch it???!!!!

- Jean, Mt. Lebanon

Rob: The address for most TV networks -- including CBS, which carries “The Bold and the Beautiful” – can be found on the Post-Gazette website and on page 11 of TV Week in the Sunday Post-Gazette.


Q: Are they making new episodes of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”? It is a big hit here but it seems like it's the same eps over & over.

- @yinzrreadin via Twitter

Rob: Yes. PBS ordered 40 episodes and we reported last month that more than half have been delivered, giving PBS enough episodes to air the show for a month without any reruns.

Q: We spend a lot of money to buy a big-screen TV and some programs have the picture size reduced by black and silver borders. Why is that?
- Steve, 72, Minneapolis (but a Greensburg native)

Rob: It could be for one of several reasons: You could be seeing older programs that were not shot in HD. Or you could be watching via a cable provider that is not making certain channels available in HD. Viewers won’t see those bars on most new prime-time programming because it’s overwhelmingly shot in HD. But if it’s a rerun, all bets are off.


Q: Why would you write that Andy Mientus graduated from North Hills High School and grew up in Ross but leave out the fact that "Smash" star Christian Borle grew up in Fox Chapel and graduated from Shady Side Academy? 

- Stephanie via Facebook

Rob: Pretty simple, really: This article was about Andy Mientus and Leslie Odom, who we did not write about in the past. The PG published a lengthy article about Christian Borle and his background last year when “Smash” debuted: I’ll have more from Christian and season two of “Smash” here in Tuned In Journal next week.


Q: What happened to Julie Bologna? What happened to Scott, the traffic person on WTAE in the morning (Janelle replaced him)? When will Comcast carry AXS channel?

- Marilyn, Pittsburgh

Rob: Bologna’s contract was not renewed by WPXI in July 2011. Wikipedia claims she’s back at WFAA in Dallas but she’s not listed among the station’s news team. Dallas TV critic Ed Bark reported she was doing fill-in work for WFAA as of last April. According to Bologna’s Facebook page she also appeared in the season premiere of TNT’s “Dallas” but I did not catch her in that episode (then again, I wasn't looking for her so I probably just missed her).

Scott Stiller was let go more than a year ago. It appears he’s now working at a BMW dealership in the South Hills

As for AXS and Comcast, we’ve noted before that Comcast does not tip its hand on future plans until it is ready to announce them. Comcast spokesman Bob Grove said the company has nothing to announce about AXS at this time.

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