TV Q&A: 'NCIS,' holiday programming and ME TV (added: 'Those Who Kill' teaser)

Friday, 06 December 2013 05:23 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,” holiday programming and “Craft Wars”. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: I have two questions for you regarding a couple of my family's favorite Christmas specials.

1:  I don't see any listing for “Olive, The Other Reindeer.”  Last year it wasn't listed either, so I had to search our online TV guide every few days to see if it would show up somewhere.  It eventually did on either the CW or MYTV, but just a couple of days before Christmas and only showed once. I believe two years ago it was shown a couple times on WQED.  Do you have any information about when and where this show will air this Christmas season?

2:  I see in the PG listing that the movie “Elf” starring Will Ferrell is only going to be shown on Starz this year. The Armstong Cable online guide indicates that it will also show on Encore.  Those channels are pay channels with Armstrong Cable and we don't get them. Do you have any info regarding if and when “Elf” will show on any other channels? Last year either TBS or TNT (I forget which one) showed “Elf” what seemed like every few days.

-Candace, Wexford

Rob: Networks often change their schedules and make last-minute additions and deletions. I checked two other holiday programming guides – here and here – and neither of them showed “Olive” or “Elf.”

Your best bet is to continue to check the online listings, which at this point only show “Elf” airing on Encore Love and Starz Edge.

The good news is you can see both shows if you’re willing to pay: “Elf” is $6.99 at Amazon Instant Video and a used DVD sells for $1.23. “Olive” sells for $4 used at Amazon and is free on YouTube.

Q: What is the latest project for Cote de Pablo since she quit “NCIS”? Might there be a chance of her return to the show in the distant future?

-Richard, 66, Monroeville
Like many actors who work 14-to-16-hour days nine months out of the year for multiple years in a row, de Pablo appears to be taking a break after “NCIS.” IMDB lists no new projects for her.

And yes, it’s certainly possible she could return to “NCIS” the same way Jorja Fox came back to “CSI.”


Q: When "Luck" was canceled, last year for "humanitarian reasons," they were said to be into filming their second season. If so, would there be a chance of those episodes ever being released? The show had one of the best casts ever assembled.

-John, Roseville, Minn.

Rob: That seems like ideal material for a DVD release but it wasn’t included on the first-season release. I suppose anything is possible but there doesn’t seem to be much clamor for a re-release of that show on DVD so I doubt it will happen. Also, it’s entirely possible that the episodes, though filmed, were never assembled into any coherent form.


Q: I have been trying to find out if TLC’s “Craft Wars” with Tori Spelling has been cancelled. I assume it has since a new episode hasn't aired since August of 2012.

-Paul, 39, Baldwin
TLC confirmed “Craft Wars” has indeed been canceled.


Q: I like to watch the programming on Audience Network on DirecTV. On the show “Call me Fitz,” is the woman who plays Jason Preistley’s mom Linda Gray from “Dallas” fame? They don't list her on the opening or closing credits. She sure looks like her.

-Steve, Becker, Minn.

Rob: No, actress Joanna Cassidy plays the alcoholic mother of Priestley’s character.


Q: My question is why Fox News Channel is not included in the Post-Gazette TV guide.  The channel is listed with identifying numbers in the front of the TV magazine but I went with my fingers down the listing and it is not included. Please ask the powers that be at the PG if this is their way of censoring what we watch.

-Barbara, 65, Roscoe

Rob: Hmmm, by that logic, the PG is also “censoring” what CNN and MSNBC viewers watch since those channels are not listed in TV Week either.

We took ALL the cable news channels out of TV Week several years ago when we had to make cuts to the listings. We chose cable news channels because their programming is the same day after day. The news channels are still included in the daily listings Monday through Saturday.


Q: Recently you had a question asking about Channel 11.2's running commercials into "The Untouchables". I, too, have noticed it and have sent an email to the station, but of course got no response. The answer they gave you is not valid, because I switch to Channel 9.2 (the ME TV subchannel of WTOV, Channel 9, in Steubenville/Wheeling) during that time period and the program is continued normally after the break. Channel 11.2 runs an extra commercial which cuts into the program anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute, and for them to tell you that the network informs them the length of the breaks cannot be true, because Channel 9.2 should get the same info and they do it right. I now watch 9.2 and don't even bother with 11.2.

-Dan, 67, New Castle
Hmmm, the plot thickens with Dan’s new information. I took Dan’s letter to WPXI program director Mark Barash, who investigated further.

“There was apparently some confusion about format sheets emanating from Me TV,” he said. “We expect this to be an issue that will be cleared up.”

Dan, if it’s still happening in a few weeks, let me know.


In response to printed comment about not being able to fast forward while watching On Demand programs, I have found a way to do this. It is true that you cannot fast forward, but the reverse button still works. I also have a self-programmed button that moves the user ahead 30 seconds (similar to the auto-programmed button that takes you back 15 seconds).  When in On Demand, pushing the self-programmed forward button takes me ahead 5 minutes and then I reverse with the arrow for a short while and eliminate the ads. It saves about 8 minutes in a 30-minute show and 15-20 in a one-hour program. Comcast gives instructions on how to program any button you wish with this feature - we use the small FAV button on our remotes.

-Marna, 67, Blaine, Minn.

Rob: Interesting approach. I wrote about manual programming the Comcast remote in the past but it has been several years. Here’s an updated guide.


Today A&E releaed a teaser trailer for its upcoming filmed-in-Pittsburgh crime drama "Those Who Kill." It's all kinds of ambiguous but it certainly gives a sense of a baleful atmosphere with its focus on the Chloe Sevigny character who clearly has a damaged past:

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