TV Q&A: 'The New Normal,' 'Work of Art' and local newscasters

Friday, 05 April 2013 06:33 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 “The New Normal,”“Work of Art” and local newscasters. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: Does Netflix have any plans of eventually putting “House of Cards”on DVD for those of us who don't get their streaming?

- Lon, 65, Minneapolis

Rob: They do. Sony will release the series on Blu-ray and DVD on June 11

 

Q: I am really shaken with Cory Monteith from "Glee" going into rehab. Can you please, please print an address where we can write to him to get better and try to return to “Glee.” He and Lea Michele make a beautiful couple.

- Marilyn, 48, Cecil

Rob: My suggestion would be to write to him care of Fox. The addresses for networks are always posted on the TV page of the Post-Gazette website – scroll down and look on the right side for the address link under TV/Radio Resources. 

 

Q: Why is Rebecca Jarvis no longer employed by CBS?

- William, 66, Irwin,Pa.
Rob: Because she quit to take a job at ABC News

Q: On the “New Normal” Boy Scouts episode, I noticed that David wore an almost authentic Boy Scout uniform. The one odd thing was that he was missing the patch for his rank badge (i.e. where the Eagle Scout patch would go).
Why did the costumer decide to omit this element? Was it copyright or respect for the BSA, or what?
Did David, as a gay ex-Scout return his rank badge in protest of the BSA policies?

- Bob, 28, Squirrel Hill
Rob:
According to a “New Normal” publicist, the show’s costume department did not use any real Boy Scouts of America elements in the uniforms.

“You'll notice that the patch on upper right pocket says ‘Scouts of America’ as opposed to the authentic ‘Boy Scouts of America,’” the publicist explained. “The same would be said for the missing Eagle Scout badge. All other badges were generic scout badges. 

So in short, the answer is, the decision was not character or story driven.”

 

Q: Is Bravo ever going to bring back “Work of Art”?

- Karen via phone

Rob: “Work of Art” was canceled last August

 

Q: Why am I still turning down the volume during commercials and turning it back up again during the show? I thought Congress passed a law that went into effect this year making it illegal for television broadcasters to make commercials louder than the programs. Did our bonehead Congress make compliance with this "law" optional or something? 

- Mark, McKees Rocks

Rob: I’ve heard this complaint a lot lately but I don’t really know of a way to quantify it because hearing is such an individualized, personal thing. For instance, I never really noticed commercials being appreciably louder even before the CALM Act went into effect last year (and if the ads were too loud, I just turned the volume down and left it down; it wasn’t a big deal to me). 

I’m sure there’s some decibel reading equipment out there that one could employ to try to prove the TV stations are not in compliance but I don’t have such a piece of equipment.

 

Q: Could WPXI please make up their minds about carrying “Weekend Today”?  It was airing for two hours on Saturday for a few weeks and NOW appears to be airing for just the first hour. The on-screen guide still lists it as two hours.
I can only stand so many hours of repeated (and sometimes pre-recorded) "local" news running on a loop.

- Marcy, 60, Pittsburgh

Rob: WPXI program director Mark Baresh said he doesn’t know what Marcy is referring to.

We air ‘Today’ from 7-9 a.m. on Sat and 8-9 a.m. on Sunday,” he replied via email. “Any deviation is usually due to tennis or golf or some other special report. I do not see any planned deviations from this in the next few weeks.”

 

Q: Whatever happened to KDKA TV newscaster Kimberly Gill?  I have not found her on any news broadcasts lately.

- Audrey, 65, Gibsonia

Rob: V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N.

Several viewers contacted me last week wondering about what happened to Gill but she was simply on vacation and returned to the air this week.

 

Q: On WTOV-9 in Steubenville, Ohio there is a new newscaster by the name of Celina Pompeani. Is she the daughter of sportcaster Bob Pompeani? She looks a lot like him and she has a good on-air personality.
- Cameron, 71, Weirton, WV
Rob:
According to her WTOV bio, she is indeed the KDKA sports anchor’s daughter and she has a sister who’s also in TV news at a station in Erie.

Q: I've emailed KDKA a couple of times about this, but the messages bounce back as undeliverable (email addresses from their website that don’t work include This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ). The comments accompanying their online content are startling. There is blatant racism spewing from these sections. Take a look at the comments section on the story relating to the theft of cakes from the Market Square event held today. These comments could be characterized as "mild" compared to what I usually see. If they don't have the resources to monitor this unenlightened, irrelevant and offensive content, they might consider eliminating the comments altogether.

- Amy, 49, West Deer

Rob: I can’t say I spend much time reading comments on TV news report stories but Amy is right that the comments on this particular story were highly racist with at least two uses of the n-word and other ethnic slurs. It seemed like some of the noxious comments were deleted during the 21 hours I monitored the comments before contacting KDKA-TV news director Anne Linaberger but other nasty comments popped up in their place. I asked Linaberger to respond to Amy’s question and also:

What is the KDKA policy on commenting?

Are comments monitored at all?

Are they screened before they are posted (I’m guessing they are not)?

Do you ever give thought to disabling comments if a story is likely to generate these sorts of comments? Also, are your email addresses down temporarily or is this an ongoing problem?

"We do monitor the comments on our website and use an offensive language filter to help us delete inappropriate language," Linaberger wrote in response. "We also rely on the standard industry practice of having a self-policing community that can flag comments for review.  We can also disable all comments regarding sensitive stories.  If they have concerns, our viewers are always welcome to contact us by sending an email to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ." 

All comments have since been removed from this particular story along with the ability to comment.

Since the inception of commenting on news reports, news organizations have had a tough time implementing workable systems that allow people to have their say but don’t devolve into obnoxious behavior. Facebook commenting, which forces users to take some ownership of their posts by identifying them (unless they set up a dummy Facebook account just for the purpose of being a troll) seems to be the best approach I’ve seen but it still requires newsroom vigilance.

 

Q: Love these weekly columns....why so many questions from Minnesota? Ha!

- Joe, North Fayette
Rob:
Thanks for reading!

TVQ&A is carried on the Scripps Howard News Service wire, dontcha know. And the Star Tribune in Minneapolis runs the column, so that’s why we get a lot of questions from that neck of the woods (ya, sure, ya betcha!).

FEEDBACK

Less a question than a comment...about “The Mentalist,” which my wife and I watch, and wait for, with rapt attention.

The Red John story is the progenitor story for this show, as everything that Patrick Jane does, in his monomaniacal focus, is to find this answer. Once that's solved, the show is over. Jumped the Shark. Whatever. Show creator Bruno Heller had said before that the show was intended to have a story arc that should have finished by now, but of course, as is the case for every successful series, that plan is often derailed by the network that owns the show, pleading (as with “How I Met Your Mother,” “Seinfeld,” “Lost”...shall I go on?) that the studio do “just one more year.”
And you don't want to know what I think about “Survivor.”

- Bob, 59, Ross

KEEP OR CANCEL?

 

It's that time of year again: Networks are debating whether or not to renew their "on the bubble" shows all the while developing new series for fall.

 

And that means it's time once again for the Post-Gazette's Keep or Cancel? poll where you, the viewer, get to play programmer and vote for the shows you would renew and those your would send to the ever-expanding TV show graveyard.

 

Voting continues through April 21 and one vote per computer will be accepted.

 

Cast your ballot now by clicking on this link!

 

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