TV Q&A: 'Masterchef,' David Letterman and TV shows on Blu-ray

Friday, 05 July 2013 12:00 AM 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 Late Show with David Letterman,” “Masterchef” and TV shows on Blu-ray. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: I love the new summer show “Graceland.” Even though it has only been on three or four times, it is a real mover!! The characters are decent (don't know them all yet) but I intend to stay with the show. Can you tell me how it does in the ratings and do you foresee some episodes in the winter time once its summer run is over.

- Marilyn, 53, Cecil

Rob: USA will run “Graceland” straight through to a season finale on Sept. 12 with no plans for a winter run of episodes at this point.

Ratings-wise, “Graceland” got off to an OK start with 3.3 million viewers and in recent weeks its ratings have declined then stabilized. We’ll have to wait to see if the 2.7 million viewers it’s averaging are enough to keep it around for another season.

 
Q: Has David Letterman started working only four nights per week, ala Johnny Carson? There seem to be repeats on Friday nights.

- Gerda, 84, Annandale

Rob: Letterman went to a four-day work week in the summer several years ago.

 

Q: PBS ran a series called “Mr. Selfridge” on Sunday nights. It was about an American who owned a department store in London in 1909. When will the story continue? It was very interesting.

- Zenith, Minneapolis

Rob: Another season is in production. I imagine it will air in 2014 but PBS’s “Masterpiece” has not announced a premiere date.

 

Q: Why are they running two “Masterchef” episodes a night?  Are they trying to burn this series off? That would be a shame -- I've come to enjoy it.

- Billy, 29, Squirrel Hill

Rob: When a reality show works for a network they have a tendency to run it into the ground (see: “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” on ABC). Not only will “Masterchef” continue in its current pattern until September but a spinoff, “Junior Masterchef” featuring kid contestants, will air on Fox this fall.

Per a Fox publicist: “The current season of ‘Masterchef’ will air all summer long into September. We recently announced that the season finale will air on Sept. 11 at 9 p.m.  Additionally, we have already ordered two more seasons of ‘Masterchef.’ We are giving viewers more of what they want – and that means more ‘Masterchef.’”

 

Q: Why are “Elementary” and “Castle” not being released on Blu-ray? Is there a petition online somewhere to request these shows on Blu-ray?

- Alyssa, 39, Wexford
Rob:
CBS Video, which publishes “Elementary” on DVD, did not offer a response to the question. ABC Studios, which releases “Castle,” said only, “For the viewers/fans of ‘Castle,’ we’ve found that offering DVD sets is the best way to go. There aren’t plans for Blu-ray release of episodes at this time.”

TV on DVD expert Gord Lacey, founder of the fantastically useful website tvshowsondvd.com said, “Well, my guess is that the studios don't think there's enough market for them to be released. We've seen a number of high-profile shows that are released on Blu-ray for one season, but nothing else [because] that season didn't sell. The marketing people at the studios have likely run the numbers of similar shows to project sales, and used that to determine the shows just aren't going to sell well enough. Of course they could be wrong, and we could see them released down the road, but I'm not counting on it.”



Q: Any idea what happened to Jennifer Abney at WPXI? I was looking at the on-air staff bio's page and noticed her bio had disappeared. Her "WPXI Jennifer Abney" page on Facebook has also disappeared. I know the local stations will pull down these pages when someone is let go or has moved on to another station. I'd be very disappointed if she has been let go. I understand that the local news business is fickle, but I'd like to know if this was a personal move for her, or if she was let go. Why is it when you finally get used to an anchor team or when things seem to be working just right, someone in management feels they "need to go in a different direction"? It makes me not want to watch the local news anymore. Any information you can provide would be great.

- Jason, 42, Etna
Q: Any information on the departure of Jennifer Abney from WPXI? Sure was sudden and mysterious!

- Dave, Coraopolis

Rob: Post-Gazette media writer Maria Sciullo reported on Abney’s departure earlier this week.

Anchor departures, especially when a station opts not to renew an anchor’s contract, are often sudden. I don’t know whether Abney’s contract was not renewed but I assume that’s the case since if she left to go to another station that’s something management usually says or the hire is reported in the anchor’s new market.

It’s not the first time WPXI management sent a staffer packing near the July 4 holiday (see: Dennis Bowman circa July 2000, and Julie Bologna circa 2011).

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