TV Q&A: 'Person of Interest,' 'NOVA' and Betty White

Friday, 30 August 2013 12:18 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 “Person of Interest,” “Nature” and Betty White. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: Where can I write/call regarding the changing of the time for "Person of Interest"? I can't watch it anymore because it comes on at 10 p.m. I don't care what day, I want them to put it back on at 9 p.m. again so that I can watch it. It is one of my favorite programs; watched it every week.

- Rita, 71, Burgettstown
Sorry, but CBS is not going to change its programming strategy to suit anyone’s bedtime. That’s not how the TV business works. But if you’d still like to write to CBS, the address for the entertainment division can always be found on our website

Q: Please tell me there will be a new season of “Full Throttle Saloon” and when?

- Saundra, Springdale

Rob: TruTV just finished filming a new season at Sturgis, S.D. New episodes will air in the winter.


Q: TV Land has been showing some one-hour reruns like “Gunsmoke” on a 70-minute schedule and half-hour shows on a 35-minute schedule. This permits even more commercials where there are already too many. Is this a trend for the future for all TV shows? If that is the case DVR sales will rise even further as viewers find ways to avoid or minimize endless commercial interruptions.

-Tom, Wayzata, Minn.

Rob: Networks are out to make money any way they can. If squeezing in more commercials and/or trimming a show’s running time will accomplish that, then they will continue to utilize novel programming strategies, particularly in non-prime-time hours for shows that are their 80th rerun. I don’t expect to see this practice migrate into prime time where original programming lives.

Q: Do you know why there has been such a lull in production of new episodes of “Nature” and “NOVA” on PBS?  These shows are some of the best programming on television and in the past have kept up with current events.  I'm sure their production costs are high but I hope that hasn't become a limiting factor and new episodes for both will soon be forthcoming.

- Steve, 57, Cranberry Twp.

Rob: “Nature” reps said there were 13 shows in the 2012-13 season, same as usual.

The upcoming 2013-14 season of “Nature” has 19 episodes, including the six-part “Earthflight,” debuting Wednesday at 8 p.m. on WQED-TV.

“NOVA” programs runs from September or October until May and it was the same this year as in seasons’ past.

A new “NOVA” season begins Sept. 11 with “Ground Zero Supertower” about the new skyscraper, One World Trade Center, in Manhattan. It’s an update of a past program, “Engineering Ground Zero.”


Q: I know you read more in the entertainment circle and see more people. Can you tell me which show Betty White prefers to be on? Either "Hot in Cleveland" or "Golden Girls." She seems to like the one-line zingers she gets on “Hot in Cleveland.” She is still stunning on the “Hot in Cleveland” but she doesn't walk around much; she’s mostly sitting. Also, did I miss the episode with Valerie Harper and Mary Tyler Moore.  Love your column.

- Marilyn, 53, Cecil

Rob: The “Mary Tyler Moore Show” reunion episode airs next Wednesday at 10 p.m.

As for which series Betty White prefers, you give me more credit than I deserve. My access is pretty limited except the two times a year when I am in Los Angeles and even then it depends on which programs the networks choose to panel.

But even if I could call her up on the phone, my guess is that White is such a pro she would not choose one show over the other, lest she hurt the feelings of those people she worked with then or works with now. But if I was her, “Golden Girls” would surely be my favorite. Without it, she would not have been likely to have this wonderful, late-in-life career resurgence.


Q: Recently Comcast Mt. Lebanon added two channels Pivot and Inspiration. While most of the Comcast areas get Reelz channel already, we get two new stations but can't get an already established channel, Reelz. Why?

-Tom, 65, Mt. Lebanon

Rob: Comcast spokesman Bon Grove did not address why it’s taken so long for the Mt. Lebo Comcast system to get Reelz but he did say it will be added “in the coming months.” No specific date is available.

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