TV Q&A: 'Dancing with the Stars,' 'Happy Endings' and 'The Mentalist'

Friday, 15 November 2013 05:44 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 “Dancing with the Stars,” “Happy Endings” and “The Mentalist.” As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: Do the Stars on "Dancing With the Stars " get paid for every week they survive on the show?

- Louis, 81, Morningside
Pretty much, yes. In 2010, The Hollywood Reporter offered this breakdown of the pay scale for the Fall 2010 season of the show: “With a $345,000 pot up for grabs during the 10 weeks of airtime, the source said each star makes an initial $125,000 for signing, three weeks of rehearsal before the premiere and competing in the first two episodes, even if the cast member is cut after the first dance.

“The breakdown for the remaining weeks is $10,000 an episode for Weeks 3 and 4, $20,000 an episode for Weeks 5 and 6, $30,000 an episode for Weeks 7 and 8, and $50,000 an episode for the final two weeks.

“The production source said contestants forfeit a portion of their salary if they fail to meet the ultra-strict rehearsal schedule.”


Q: The DVDs of "Mad Men" Seasons 1-5 arrived replete with classy packaging and special features, including detailed commentaries by the writers, actors and producer Matthew Weiner. Some sets offered two different commentaries per episode.  Not so with the Season 6 DVDs. Aside from a few special features, commentaries are absent. Given the show's prestige and popularity of the commentaries, Lionsgate owes fans some sort of explanation.

- Rich, 62, Hempfield

Rob: It is curious because past DVD “Mad Men” releases were always more robust with special features, including commentaries.

The best I could get from a Lionsgate spokesperson was that “due to shooting schedules, the timing could not be worked out [to record commentaries] for this release.”


Q: What happened to “The Mentalist” on Nov. 3? The description said "new" and my DVR is set to only record new shows (not repeats), but the showon Nov. 3 was a repeat. The actual description and then what was played did not match up. Will they, meaning CBS, play what was supposed to be airedon Sunday?

- Traci, 41, Wilkins Twp

Rob: Good question. Networks don’t usually air reruns during sweeps and we’re in November sweeps now, so I was surprised when viewers first started asking about this.

Turns out the football overrun pushed the start time of “The Mentalist” to 11 p.m. on Nov. 3; rather than waste a new episode in a time period that would have gotten lower viewership, CBS decided to sub the rerun instead at the last minute.

The episodes then just bumped down a week each with the episode set for Nov. 3, “Fire and Brimstone,” airing this past Sunday instead.

Q: Will PBS’s “Call the Midwife” and Bio’s “The Ghost Inside My Child” and “The Unexplained” be returning or have they been canceled?

- Mary-Ann, 50, Pittsburgh

Rob: “Call the Midwife” will return for a new season on March 30 and a new Christmas special airs next month at 7 p.m. Dec. 29.

“The Unexplained” won’t be back and the jury is still out on “Ghost Inside My Child,” which could possibly return with new episodes.

Q: Is “Happy Endings” dead?  There was some talk about USA or FX picking it up but I would think that with a year gap it is dead now. Was there ever a "finale"? I thought it was a good show with lots of promise.

- Mike, 40, Pittsburgh
Sadly, “Happy Endings” did die without any sort of series finale. There was talk of a cable network picking it up but nothing ever came of that.

The stars of “Happy Endings” have moved on: Adam Pally is now on “The Mindy Project” and Damon Wayans Jr. is on “New Girl.”

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