TV Q&A: 'Hostages,' 'The Big Bang Theory' and local TV news

Friday, 29 November 2013 09:03 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 “Hostages,” “The Big Bang Theory” and local TV news. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: When will “Hostages” be over? It is getting to be one big "Deep Throat." I really liked it in the beginning, but now just want it to FINALLY end. Too many characters and becoming unbelievable. 

- Jean, 75, Lower Burrell

Rob: I wasn’t wild about the “Hostages” pilot and the rest of America was uninterested in the concept, not even bothering to check it out. Ratings have been lousy from the start and “Hostages” will end – with or without much of a conclusion – on Jan. 6 when it has a two-hour finale.


Q: Will FX show a “Justified” marathon before the new season begins?

- Jeff, Minneapolis

Rob: FX has no plans for a marathon of episodes but the most recent season will be out on DVD on Dec. 17.


Q: Just curious if “The Bridge” on FX will be returning; has there been good interest?
- Shaaron, Ramsey, Minn.

Rob: Yes, FX renewed “The Bridge” for a second season that will air in 2014.


Q: What's the story with “Hell on Wheels”??? I can't find anything except "it's taken a hiatus." I find it hard to believe that it's "between seasons" since there were only three shows before it stopped.  Also, it stopped with storylines that were clearly unfulfilled even in the short term.  Finally, why would the network or whomever say it was on a "short hiatus" rather than just calling it the season finale or, like “The Walking Dead,” the "mid-season finale"?

- Ger, 67, McCandless  

Rob: “Hell on Wheels” was renewed for an expanded, 13-episode fourth season to air next year. Not sure what Ger means about only three episodes; there were 10 episodes in the show’s third season, which aired from Aug. 10 to Oct. 5, the same number of episodes the series had in its first two seasons.


Q: A few months ago BBC America announced that the second series of “Ripper Street” would begin airing onDec. 1, and as a fan of this excellent series, I was very happy to hear that they were going to show it so closely to the time when it is airing on BBC1.  It's been hard to resist the articles, blogs, Facebook and Twitter posts. However, looking at the schedule, it's not listed, I've seen no promotion for it, and I'm worried that something is not quite right.  Can you find out when it will return?  I'm not the only American who wants to know what is next for these great characters.

- Linda, 47, Monroeville
A BBC America publicist says a new season premiere date for “Ripper Street” will be announced “in the coming weeks.”


Q: I notice Jayma Mays (who used to appear in “Glee”) is now starring in “The Millers”on Thursdaynight. Was she written out of “Glee” or is she going to be seen in both shows. Her part in “The Millers” is bigger than the part she had on “Glee.” If she is off “Glee,” how did they write her out?

- Linda, 49, Cecil

Rob: She hasn’t been a series regular on “Glee” for a while, but she still makes occasional appearances, including in the Cory Monteith tribute episode this fall.

Q: Why isn't TruTV still covering live/recorded trials on their station anymore?  HLN covers some of them but there is no consistency of purpose that I can decipher.

- Jeani, 68, Gainesville, Fla.

Rob: TruTV made the decision to change its daytime programming from trial coverage to pure entertainment earlier this year. The trial coverage was one of the last vestiges of TruTV’s previous existence as CourtTV. It’s not unusual for a network’s programming to change when a new owner takes over and decides to put its own stamp on the network.


Q: I would like to know why HGTV has changed its format. The network has removed the best shows, i.e., “Divine Design,” “Designer's Challenge,” “Dear Genevive,” “Designed to Sell,” to name a few. Now, all it shows are marathons all day long of the same shows, “Income Property,” “Property Virgins,” etc. It is so boring with episode after episode of the same boring shows. What happened?

- Debbie, 62, Gainesville, Fla.

Rob: Again, networks make programming changes and overall directional changes pretty often these days in an effort to improve their bottom line by drawing larger ratings. If one style of programming isn’t working to aid in those improvements, they’ll switch to another. Right now “Property Brothers” seems to be the hottest commodity on HGTV based on the emails I get from the network promoting shows.


Q: Wish TV Land would show some of the old shows like “Father Knows Best” and “Donna Reed Show” and others like that.  Also wish the TV show “Brooklyn Bridge,” which aired from 1991-93, would be shown again.
Wonderful show!

- Dianne, Golden Valley, Minn.

Rob: I’m with Dianne on “Brooklyn Bridge,” a short-lived but terrific series from the creator of “Family Ties,” the late Gary David Goldberg.

As for TV Land, it has moved on from older reruns and is now concentrating on more recent shows and originals. Some older programming, including “The Donna Reed Show,” can be found on digital channel ME TV.


Q: What happened to the Style Network and the “Giuliana & Bill” show. Will I be able to watch it on another network?

- Susan, Bloomington, Minn.

Rob: Style became Esquire in September. Reruns of “Giuliana & Bill” now air at 10 p.m. Tuesday on E! A new season has not been ordered so far but I expect it will happen.


Q: When is Sheldon's hot sister going to reappear on “The Big Bang Theory”? Seems like lots of material possibilities in reviewing the two of them growing up in Texas, not to mention that it looked like Raj was finally going to catch a break.

- James, 74, Jonesborough, Tenn.

Rob: She last appeared way back in season one so if she hasn’t reappeared by now my guess is the writers/producers have opted not to go down that path again.

A spokesperson for the show’s production company, Warner Brothers, said there are no current plans to bring Missy Cooper (Courtney Henggeler) back to the show. But in the upcoming Dec. 12 episode, Sheldon goes to visit his family in Texas and Missy will be referenced. 


Q: Will “Pit Boss” ever return to Animal Planet?

-Anna, Level Green

Rob: It doesn’t look like it.

“Animal Planet does not have plans to produce new episodes of ‘Pit Boss’ anytime soon, but our relationship with Shorty Rossi has continued to evolve,” a network spokeswoman said. “In 2013, we launched a successful web series with Shorty called “Shorty’s Top Dog” and we’re developing a new web series set to launch in 2014.”


Q: What happened to Ross Guidotti on the KDKA morning news? Is he reporting at a different time or did he leave KDKA?

- Linda, 56, Washington, PA
We noted in October that Guidotti moved to KDKA’s Westmoreland County bureau and Trina Orlando became the station’s morning news reporter.

Q: Why do local station weather people completely ignore the "northern coast" of Pennsylvania when giving weather forecasts?  I never see the name of Erie on the Pennsylvania map but daily see Cleveland, Buffalo, Akron, Indianapolis, Louisville listed on the wider map of the eastern US even though these cities do not receive KDKA as their local CBS affiliate. The same goes for WPXI and WTAE. Summer time is particularly bad when so many people in the Western Pa. region have vacation cabins up north in the Erie region yet the weather up there is never mentioned unless there's a tornado or something bad heading south from there. Why such a stigma for the use of the word "Erie"?

- Joe, 55, City of Pittsburgh
That is odd. I put the question to WPXI’s Stephen Cropper, WTAE’s Mike Harvey and KDKA’s Jeff Verszyla but only Verszyla responded.

“Erie is a separate television viewing market from Pittsburgh with three local Erie stations (WICU, WSEE, WJET),” he wrote. “My primary job and focus when formulating the daily forecast is for the Pittsburgh television viewing market. While, at times, a severe weather situation in a neighboring market may warrant coverage outside of the local Pittsburgh viewing market…my regular focus will always be on local weather first.”

This still doesn’t explain why Erie would be excluded from maps that include Cleveland and Buffalo, except that it’s a smaller city than those two.


Q: I read your answer to Jennifer about the "glitch" on “Good Morning America” at (approx) 7:15each morning.  I have noticed the same glitch.  My question is a bit more technical.  If the glitch is caused by the switch from network to local production, why is it only occurring at7:15?  They switch to local weather more than once per broadcast.

-Dorothy, McKees Rocks
According to WTAE chief engineer Dave Kasperek, “A momentary time slip occurs every time we switch from GMA to studio control room, whether the viewer sees or hears it is a different matter.

“Depending on what’s occurring at the moment we switch, it could be virtually unnoticeable by the viewer. For example if we switch on a moment of silence or a still graphic image there would be nothing to see or hear out of time.”

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