Q: Why are they calling it the "New" “Mike & Molly” on the commercials? How is it different?
- Pam, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Rob: We’ll have to watch and see but in an interview I have running on Nov. 3 with executive producer Chuck Lorre, he expresses a desire for the show to make more use of star Melissa McCarthy, and she’s certainly more prominently featured in the promos. My guess is the show has been recalibrated to focus more on her.
Q: I was wondering if there are plans to name another new permanent co-host to the panel on “The View.” Two have departed and only one new one has joined. I am not finding it very enjoyable this year.
- Mary, Rochester, Minn.
Rob: According to an ABC publicist for “The View,” “There will be a number of guest co-hosts this fall. We’ve decided to take our time in filling the fifth co-host chair. Having a guest co-host freshens the conversation and the audience has responded positively to both male and female guest hosts. Our hope is that a permanent replacement will emerge from these guest co-hosts.”
Q: Why did Jimmy Durante say this live: "Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are"?
- Tom, 77, Munhall
Q: I just needed to vent about the poor choices I have when it comes to programs that might interest me. I pay over $90 a month to Comcast for crime stories, sitcoms, reality shows, sports talk shows or talk shows featuring four or five women all screaming over each other, each attempting to prove how intelligent they are. I’ve tuned out of Fox political shows because more than one hour of politics is all I can handle. So, little by little I’m withdrawing from watching TV and am spending more time reading the daily newspaper as well as books, listening to music and news on my Bose radio and music system or surfing the Internet. If I had the guts, I’d get rid of my three TVs. Since I’m a gutless wonder, I’m withdrawing slowly until I can spend a week or so without turning these one-eyed monsters on. Can I do it? I doubt it. I’m hooked on “South Park” and can’t live without Cartman and still need “Seinfeld” reruns to make me LOL. Are any of your other readers expressing boredom with TV?
- Dolores, Ligonier
Rob: I can’t say I have heard a lot of complaints about programming, particularly considering that we’re currently in an era when smart TV shows are generally acknowledged to be superior to movies. But I do know plenty of folks who are tired of paying high cable bills and have cut the cord, relying on online access for watching shows after they air on TV.
Q: Why don't they show them praying on the new episodes of “Blue Bloods”?
- Rita, Plymouth, Minn.
Rob: I’ve tried for three weeks to get an answer to this question but the “Blue Bloods” producers have not respond to Rita’s query. My guess is it was a matter of time and the writers wanted to devote that time to storytelling rather than the characters saying grace.
Q: I was watching “The Good Wife” and the couple Alicia was in court against had the last name Eisenstat. That is my last name and in all my years of watching TV, it is the first character that has used my name. I would like to know how I can find how they went about deciding on the name, since it's not exactly a common name.
- Bob Eisenstat, 56, Level Green
Rob: Writers often use names of friends but then have to get names vetted through legal clearances (if a show is set in Pittsburgh, someone checks the phone book/other sources to make sure there’s no one in Pittsburgh with the same name as a show’s villain to make sure the script isn’t potentially defamatory).
Thanks to “Good Wife” executive producer Robert King for offering a thoughtful explanation. It’s not something all producers are willing to take the time to do (see previous question):
“Dear Mr. Eisenstat,
“I am a collector of unique names. I hate how TV names end up being of the Bob Smith variety. These are the names the legal departments usually find easiest to clear. But unique names are not only fun to say, they often make it easier to distinguish between characters referred to in the third person. Paddy Chayefsky is wonderful at doing this. I usually find names online: in newspaper bylines, in the New Yorker front section, in movie credits. Sometimes you look for names that express a feeling, but often you just try to avoid having names sound too much alike. Not much more to say than that. “Congratulations, Mr. Eisenstat, for having such a great name.
“Robert (bland name) King”
This weekend’s episode of “The Good Wife” (9 p.m. Sunday, KDKA-TV) is a real winner. Read more about it in today’s Tuned In column and come back for more “Good Wife” news in Monday’s Tuned In Journal blog post. (Here’s a link to the Tuned In Journal index page if you’d like to bookmark it: http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in-journal)
Q: Can you tell me if the next season of “Doc Martin” will be presented on WQED? We have enjoyed the past seasons. It is a fun show.
- John, 76, Butler
Rob: Here’s what to expect for “Doc Martin” into early 2014 from WQED spokesman George Hazimanolis: “The last episode of season 4 of Doc Martin will air on Saturday. We will then go into four repeats from the first season. (We are re-airing the four episodes from season 1 because we still have the rights to those.) Season 5 will begin onSaturday, Dec. 14 (there will be two pre-emptions during fundraising drives onNov. 30 and Dec. 7). Season six will begin on Feb. 22, 2014.”
Q: OH NO!!!!! IT HAPPENED AGAIN!!! On Oct. 16 those buffoons at WQED ran the previous day's “Nightly Business Report” at 7 p.m. for approximately 10 minutes.
Instead of running Wednesday's program, they ran Tuesday's program, then somehow discovered their mistake and seamlessly went into Wednesday's program without an apology.
I am sure Ms. Acklin won't want to fess up to yet another moronic mistake, but maybe you can ferret out yet another excuse from those weasels.
Perhaps their satellite feed was hijacked by squirrels, but I think it was (once again) human error. Isn't anybody at 4802 Forbes Ave. accountable for their blunders?
The FCC should pull their licenses and put on reality programming, home shopping or the Yule Log instead of these chumps.
- Elizabeth, 29, Regent Square
Rob: WQED has made its share of technical blunders of late, but this one was not the station’s fault, according to WQED spokesman George Hazimanolis. Blame PBS instead.
“PBS started feeding a repeat of Tuesday's ‘Nightly Business Report’ on Wednesday at 7 p.m. They found the error and started to feed the correct show in progress about midway through the program,” he said. “PBS is investigating the error. We apologize to viewers who missed the first portion of the program. WQED also rebroadcasts each evening's ‘Nightly Business Report’ on the Create Channel at 9:30 p.m.”
Q: Has anyone else noticed that Stephen Cropper has had a bandage on his thumb since July. What's the deal, did he lose a nail or did he cut off the tip and had it reattached. Either way, three months with a bandage seems like a long time for something to heal. I know, too much time on my hands.
- Robert, 52, Pittsburgh
Rob: “No more ‘thumbs up’ for me,” Cropper explained. “I chopped part of my left thumb off with a hand ax while at Cub Scout Camp in July. After a week of tornado warnings, rain in our tent and good times, we decided to have one last campfire the last night. I was splitting kindling and looked away at the wrong time. Fortunately no kids were around. Doc tried to sew it back on, but no luck and it's taken some time to heal. Moving in the right direction now though, and I hope to get my whittling chip back soon! Always ‘Be Prepared!’”
Q: I know Brittny McGraw broke her foot a while ago. Is she still on leave or has she departed WPXI. I really enjoyed her as a weekend anchor. That Shelby Zarotney gets on my nerves. She needs to take it down a few volts and learn how to inhale without sounding like she's gasping for breath.
- Ruby, Pittsburgh
Rob: According to WPXI news director Mike Oliveira, “Brittny is still on medical leave and recovering from breaking her foot in a fall. We’re excited to get her back in a few weeks.”
Q: Where did Demetrius Ivory, the morning weatherman on WTAE, go?
- Brenda, 65, Clarion
Rob: In July he took a job with a TV station in Chicago.
Q: I would like to know what happened to Sally Wiggin from WTAE-TV.
- Kelly, 45, South Park
Rob: Earlier this year the station announced she would leave her anchor position on the noon news to concentrate on a series of prime-time specials, the first of which aired in August.
Channel 4 news director Justin Antoniotti said the next episode of “WTAE Chronicle” will likely air in December and focus on sports-related concussions among children.