Q: What happened to Martin Bashir on MSNBC?
- Charlotte, 75, Sewickley
Q: I loved watching Martin Bashir on MSNBC but I noticed he has not been on the last few weeks and I could not find his show with the guide. Has he left MSNBC and if so, is he on another channel?
- Sandra, 71, Greensburg
Rob: Bashir stepped down earlier this month after making crude remarks about Sarah Palin.
Q: Have you had any comments regarding the very suggestive ad on television for K-Mart, advertising Joe Boxers? My wife and I find this ad in very bad taste and it has appeared several times, especially during family viewing hours, the last we saw it was on TV Land, around 7:35 p.m.
Your article today about the start of the fifth season of “Doc Martin” leaves us slightly confused. We missed the beginning of the series awhile back and did not wish to start watching in the middle of the series, and we were happy to find that WQED started, what we thought until this article ran, to repeat the series - assuming they were
running the first series. Have we missed the first four series completely?
- Barry, Mt. Lebanon
Rob: Yes, you have. WQED was airing some reruns before beginning season five this past Saturday. All six seasons of the series are available for online streaming at Acorn.tv.
I have heard no complaints personally about the K-Mart ad although I know at least one group has its knickers in a knot. I would classify the ad as a bit ribald and cheeky but not offensive in a 21st century context.
Q: I’ve recently noticed – especially on NBC -- references to a “fall finale” for TV series. Is this something new? Is it an indication that the show will be canceled? Or, does it mean that it is a Fall (season) finale and the show will return soon?
- Sharon, 53, Pittsburgh.
Rob: Broadcast channels are taking a page from the cable playbook. After cable networks started breaking a show’s season into two parts – “The Walking Dead” airs a batch of episodes in the fall and another batch in the spring – broadcast networks followed suit as a way to signal to viewers that a special fall finale episode, possibly with a cliffhanger, is airing and more episodes will return in the new year.
Q: Why is it that we continually see specials such as “The Victoria Secret Fashion Show,” and all women in comedies and dramas in low-cut, tight shirts but we can never see stars such as LL Cool J or Shemar Moore shirtless? Why the discrimination? Women watch these shows too!
- Linda, 49, Cecil
Rob: While it’s certainly true that women remain the more objectified gender in prime time, men are often shown shirtless these days, too. Just ask anyone who watches Stephen Amell on “Arrow” or his cousin Robbie Amell on “The Tomorrow People.” Earlier this fall on Twitter they appeared to be having a running contest to see which one would be shirtless more often on their respective series.
Q: I heard a rumor that WPXI was dropping the upcoming “Late Night with Seth Meyers” when it premieres in February and is going to put syndicated programming on instead of “Late Night.”
Is there any truth to this rumor and if there is, why are the doing this?
- Aaron, 24, Murrysville
Rob: No truth to it at all.
“Seth's father is from East Liberty. Seth has a soft spot in his heart for Pittsburgh, and for us, the feeling is mutual,” wrote WPXI general manager Ray Carter. “’Late Night with Seth Meyers’ will air at12:35 a.m. Seth begins in his new roleMonday, Feb. 24.”
Q: What happened to Kevin Benson on early morning andnoonweather? Why did WPXI need an additional weather forecaster?
-Frank, 66, Pittsburgh
Rob: Looks like Benson is moving back to a weekend morning and evening schedule.
“When he agreed to join the weekday team a year and a half ago, we planned it to be a temporary move,” said WPXI news director Mike Oliveira. “He’s such a great guy and a great forecaster. Obviously, we’d love to have him on every single day, but we can’t. He was gracious enough to help us out on that shift and he did a fantastic job. I know he’s excited to go back to the newscasts that made him so popular with our viewers.”
It appears moving Benson to weekdays back in April 2012 was mostly an effort to try to push Mike LaPoint out the door; LaPoint departed in January.
WPXI’s new weather hire, Valerie Smock, is handling mornings and Scott Harbaugh will take over the noon news in the near future.
Q: I was wondering if you were going to publish a list of new and returning programs problems when the new year gets here.
- Robert, Warwick
Rob: Absolutely. That annual list is slated to run next Friday, Dec. 27, as my Tuned In column. It’s a pretty long list of new shows, although not exhaustive. Some programs we know are returning (“Mad Men” and “Vikings,” for instance) do not yet have announced premiere dates.