TV Q&A: 'NCIS,' 'The Bridge' and local weather readings

Friday, 19 July 2013 09:16 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 “NCIS,” “The Bridge” and local weather readings. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: I hope I can get this message in today's paper. Can you tell me the best way to try to get a card to Lea Michele after the sudden passing of Cory Monteith?  THANKS!

-Marilyn, 50, Bridgeville

Rob: You can always write to an actor care of the network. Network addresses are on page 11 of TV Week and on the TV page. Here’s a direct link.

Q: Why was “Golden Boy” canceled? It was a good show. Tell me again why it's bad when over-50 viewers like a show. Don't older people control some of the spending? 

- Marcia, 62, Hartwell, Ga.

Rob: There’s nothing wrong with older viewers liking a show but in the eyes of advertisers, it’s not optimal. Think of it like a doomed romance: Advertisers covet the viewers they are less likely to have. Younger people tend to watch less TV and advertisers are most keen to reach them because the thinking is that they are less brand loyal and their buying habits are less established.

Older viewers watch more TV so there’s less incentive for advertisers to be interested in them because they will always reach older viewers even in younger-skewing shows.

As far as “Golden Boy” goes, CBS was hoping it would draw more young viewers than “Vegas” and some other CBS shows. It didn’t, so CBS canceled it and will try again with new shows in the fall.


Q: I don't want to waste my time so perhaps you can answer this question: Will “The Bridge” resolve the murder this season or will they make the same mistake “The Killing” did and let it hang on until a possible second season.

- Ron, 60, Bethel Park
Executive producer Meredith Stiehm offers this assurance: “Yes the mystery will be resolved -- before the end of season one.”


Q: I saw somewhere that Cote De Pablo is leaving “NCIS.” Why? I thought she signed for another two years.

- Tom, Good Thunder, Minn.

Rob: Evidently not. All the reporting I’ve seen says her contract was up in May.


Q: The “Lou Grant” show was a great weekly newspaper drama that aired on CBS in the late '70's. How come it's never been available on dvd?
- Jeff, Crystal, Minn.

Rob: Sometimes shows are not released on DVD because rights to the program are in question or there are rights issues related to music on the program. And sometimes the owner of the rights simply doesn’t think there’s any financial upside to releasing a title on DVD because they’ve done marketing research that suggests there’s not enough appetite among consumers.

According to the reliable, 20th Century Fox owns the rights to “Lou Grant.” We can only surmise that they’ve decided it doesn’t make good business sense to release “Lou Grant” on DVD.


Q: Is Syfy's "Ghost Hunters International" still in production?  If so, when may we expect new episodes to air? Usually, when a semi-season of the original "Ghost Hunters" would end, it would be followed by one of "GHI," but I haven't seen nor heard any mention of new "GHI" episodes on Syfy channel, and the "GHI" webpage is all old content.

- John, 54, Green Tree
There are no plans for additional episodes.

Q: On “Storage Wars,” how do the show’s producers keep Dave Hester from showing up at the auctions and bidding? They are open to the public aren't they?

- Paul, Fridley, Minn.

Rob: Interesting question in light of Hester’s legal tussle with A&E.

According to the show’s publicist, “They are public auctions and everyone is welcome to attend,” so perhaps producers find creative ways to shoot around him or they try not to give advance notice of where they will show up to film to avoid being at the same auctions he attends.


Q: In the series "Castle," he has a picture in his study of a staircase.  It is so intriguing.  Is there anyway someone can purchase a copy of this? I love this picture and would love a copy of it for my living room.  Any info you can give me on this would be highly appreciated.

- Rita, 68, Brookline

Rob: But do you love it enough to spend $2,500 on it? That’s the starting price. If someone wants to buy it, let me know and I’ll pass your information along to the production contact.

Q: I was wondering where each of the local stations weather departments get there primary temperature readings for Pittsburgh? It used to be they would report the airport temperature (but as a comedian once said, "Who lives at the airport?"). Each station seems to have a different take on what the current temperature and high & low for the day is. So they can't be getting it from the same source (e.g., the National Weather Service).

- John, 54, Green Tree
I put John’s question to the chief meteorologists at KDKA, WPXI and WTAE. Here’s how they responded:

Mike Harvey, WTAE: “I believe it was George Carlin in the late 70's who told the joke, ‘The temperature is 78° at the airport, for those of you who live at the airport.’
“Well... We still take temperatures from the airport.  The temperature readings you see on our weather maps are taken from official National Weather Service weather stations.  Automated surface observing stations (ASOS) weather reporting stations are located at most major airports as well as key locations around the region.  In Pittsburgh they are located at Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airport.  They are several other … automated weather sites around the region that also give temperature readings.
“Although nobody lives at the airport, except that guy in Moscow, we use the ASOS reporting sites to do our best to keep the environment the same near the thermometer to keep the integrity of the temperature reading.

Harvey said temperatures from both PIT and Allegheny County airports are on the temperature map. The temperature from Pittsburgh International is used in the “current” graphic.

Jeff Verszyla, KDKA-TV: “I always use the official temps from NWS reporting station at Pit Airport.  This location is where all weather records are kept and the numbers used to determine 30-year climatology.  This is the most reliable weather reporting site, since the instruments are regularly checked and calibrated to insure accuracy.  Car, backyard, bank and other thermometers are not entirely accurate and may have a margin of error range from 3-8 degrees depending on a variety of factors. When I report any weather record…temps, precipitation, etc. ….it’s always from the official reporting site, unless otherwise stated (which may be a weather bug site, which is not official).”

Stephen Cropper, WPXI: “At WPXI we use the National Weather Service-Pittsburgh observations for "official" temperature data (i.e. currents, highs, lows, etc.) These readings are taken at the Pittsburgh International Airport. Airports provide the most reliable network of weather data for public and private use while supplemental readings are often added by other suppliers.

 “This is a great question-as it hits on the fact that localized weather data (temperature, rainfall, snowfall etc.) between airports is often difficult to come by-especially in an area such as ours with varied terrain and geographic weather influences. That's why we encourage viewers to send us weather information via social media or email.

“While no one ‘lives at the airport,’ for now, those readings represent the best method we have to gather important weather information. Maybe someday we'll get accurate readings from smart technology on a minute-by-minute basis!”


Q: Is Alyssa Corfont WPXI's new meteorologist? Which WTAE meteorologist is leaving since there is an opening

-Matt via e-mail

Rob: WPXI news director Mike Oliveira said Corfont is a freelancer who is filling in during the regular staff’s summer vacations.

She's originally from Waynesburg,” he said. “It's nice to have someone familiar with the area to fill in.”

As for WTAE, Channel 4 news director Mike Antoniotti did not respond to repeated queries about this ad, which was posted on June 17. We can only assume that either they plan to add a fifth meteorologist, which seems like overkill, or one of the four current staff meteorologists is planning to leave. We’ll have to watch to see which one disappears from the weather center.  finally e-mailed back late yesterday to say:


"We announced internally today that weekday morning meteorologist Demetrius Ivory is leaving WTAE and Pittsburgh to accept a job in Chicago.  He will be joining WGN.  I believe that station today announced he’s been hired.  Demetrius’ last day at WTAE will be Friday, August 2.  Demetrius is an extremely talented meteorologist and we are sad to see him go. As the viewer who contacted you already noted a search for our next weekday morning and noon meteorologist is underway."


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