TV Q&A: 'Revolution,' Tim Gunn and Retro TV

Friday, 16 May 2014 12:24 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 “Revolution,” Tim Gunn and RetroTV. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: In light of “Revolution” not being renewed, I have a few questions concerning the difference between cable and broadcast scheduling.
When a show like “Revolution” does well its first season (I am assuming that it had) and they put it up against a powerhouse like “Survivor” this past viewing season, are they looking to win the time slot or trying to kill it because of a high budget or something of that nature?
It seems to me that it would make more sense for NBC or any network for that matter to try to match up genre with a particular night rather than push it into or up against a show against which it doesn't have a chance (“Survivor,” “Idol,” “DWTS”).
An example I would use would be to hold off “Revolution” until after “Football Night in America” is on and use “Revolution” as the
8 p.m.lead-in for “The Walking Dead.” After May sweeps they can put new ones on to lead into or after “Under the Dome.”
Although I am not a fan of reality type shows, my wife is and I would love for there to be a night or two where she can watch those shows instead of having them an hour here and an hour there.
Maybe I am using too much logic, but I don't understand why a network wouldn't want to win
 its Mondaynight time slot at 9 instead of coming in third or fourthon Wednesday.

- Paul, 40, Baldwin
A couple of things to note: Although “Revolution” had decent-to-good ratings in the first half of its first season, by last May the ratings were trending downward so it made no sense to keep it on Monday. “The Voice” viewers were already abandoning “Revolution”; better to put something new there that might do better – and “The Blacklist” did much better.

NBC’s overall ratings are up from a year ago. So its decisions overall made sense even if on a micro level they did not benefit a returning series like “Revolution.”

As for using a show on one network as a lead-in to a show on another network, the TV business just doesn’t work that way; network executives are only concerned with what makes sense in terms of audience flow on their own network.

Q: I swear one of the voices on Disney Channel’s “Sofia the First” sounds like Tim Gunn. If it is Tim Gunn, how did he get into the voice-over business, when the rest of his career seems to be in reality TV?

- Janelle, 35, Squirrel Hill

Rob: Reality stars have crossed over before. Once a star, there’s no reason you have to be a star in just one TV genre.

Gunn told the New York Daily News that Disney executives sent him the pilot episode’s script to see if he would be interested and he was. 


Q: My mom wants to know is Lisa Williams’ show still on the air and if so what day or days, channel and time?

- Eric, 50, Pittsburgh

Rob: It was canceled by Lifetime and is not on the air anymore.

Q: Nothing sends me faster to my TV’s mute button or my DVR’s fast-forward button than a pharmaceutical commercial for prescription drugs. And no network program is more chock-full of pharmaceutical commercials than the nightly network evening news programs. Tonight I decided I’d catalog the commercials running during the “NBC Nightly News.” Here’s what they advertised:

·        Safelight Auto Glass

·        Axiron (treats “low T”)

·        Publisher’s Clearing House

·        Restasis (treats “dry eye”)

·        Celebrex (treats arthritis)

·        Prudential

·        Andro Gel (treats “low T”)

·        Cialis (treats “ED”)

Does NBC really think its viewers are all arthritic, dry-eyed, impotent men with “low T” and broken windshields who plan to buy life insurance with their prize money from Publisher’s Clearing House?  (Full disclosure:  I once had my windshield replaced by Safelite Auto Glass.)

Or is this merely an indication that the networks can’t sell advertising to any real products or companies because no one actually watches the nightly news anymore?

- Mark, Squirrel Hill

Rob: It’s mostly the latter. Networks put on the ads they can sell. If a network can only entice companies that sell products that seemingly target older viewers, then those are the ads that will be on the air. 


Q: WBGN (channel 59-3 Retro TV) airs "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" weekdays atnoon & 12:30 pm. According to Wikipedia, the show ran from 9/10/07 to 5/16/08. Why wouldn't WGBN edit out the telephone number for possible contestants or visitors to the Los Angeles area to call:323-762-8282? (Of course I tried it & thankfully it's a nonworking number.) Also, this is the only game show I can remember watching where they don't always show the correct answers (completed puzzle) at the end - funny!

- Amy, 33, Monroeville
According to a spokeswoman for RetroTV, the network can’t alter the programs.

“Like the majority of Retro TV’s programming, ‘Crosswords’ is a classic show, airing as reruns on our network. We present the show just as the rights holder provided it to us,” said spokeswoman Emily Cline Bronze. “We don’t have the rights to modify someone else’s copyrighted program.”


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