Q: Last week on "The Today Show," it was said that Sherri Shepherd will be leaving "The View." Also, that Jenny McCarthy will leave when Sherri leaves.
I didn't hear anything mentioned on "The View." If this is true, did Sherri decide to leave the show or was her contract terminated?
- Janice, Kennedy
Q: After several months off the schedule, ABC started re-airing the last six episodes of the miniseries, “The Assets,” two weeks ago, and has shown two new episodes.
However, it is not listed this coming week.
Has ABC killed it off for good? And if so, will they at least make the final four episodes that never aired available for viewing on ABC.com?
- Bruce, 55, Raleigh
Rob: Looks like “The Assets” delivered bad ratings to ABC prime time yet again.
The remaining episodes will air on Sundays at 4 and 5 p.m. July 27 and Aug. 3.
Q: I'm a fan of “The Young & the Restless.” Recently they started using outdoor scenes of buildings, homes, etc. I spotted the Pittsburgh jail and police dept. being used for the Genoa City Jail. Can this be? Where are all the other parks, skyscrapers, homes located that they are now showing as Genoa City?
- Marcia, 66, Squirrel Hill
Rob: We answered this in February when “Y&R” first started using footage that had been shot locally in the 1990s when the show would occasionally come to Pittsburgh to film segments. It’s possible the producers have also shot or acquired other establishing shot footage that may not be from Pittsburgh; perhaps that’s what Marcia is seeing and not recognizing.
Q: There is a Sprint ad that is accompanied by a song that is so happy and upbeat: "Go, you chicken fat, go!" I believe this is a song from an old time movie...do you know the movie and the name of the song?
- Jean, 75, Lower Burrell
Rob: There is an Apple ad airing currently that uses the song, titled “The Youth Fitness Song” (hear it here), with those lyrics. And though it’s possible the song was used in a movie along the way, it was commissioned by President John F. Kenney for a physical fitness campaign. It was written by Meredith Wilson, composer of Broadway’s “The Music Man,” and sung by “Music Man” star Robert Preston.
Here’s the iPhone ad that uses the song:
Q: I'm a fan of the "Little Couple" on TLC. The children are adorable and I am enjoying seeing them grow. Please let me know if this show will continue next season.
- Janice, 65, Kennedy
Rob: A TLC publicist said the show will be back later this year.
Q: I read your article about getTV in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Do you know if Comcast will be carrying WPGH's new channel as of July 1st?
- Marc, Highland Park
Rob: Comcast will carry getTV on Channel 208 as part of the limited basic package. Verizon’s FiOS TV will carry getTV on Channel 494.
Q: I have to know....what is up with the "cutesy" WTAE morning newscasts?
The staff constantly feels the need to "chuckle" or "laugh" at the stupidest stories trying to make it more "fun" than it should be with fake enthusiasm. And the newscast as a whole now comes across as so contrived that I believe it really puts viewers off.
They even now have Ryan Recker doing his "about town" segments almost every morning. They put him in embarrassing situations like riding merry-go-rounds at some local amusement park or presenting his "fake" enthusiasm talking to someone about how they make breakfast at their local diner.
WPXI and KDKA give meat-and-potato newscasts, which give the viewer, you know: JUST THE NEWS without all the cute delivery.
I'm all for newscasts thinking outside the box in how they present themselves. I can't stand when they do cookie-cutter stuff like go "live" to Mount Washington to a reporter talking about a story that happened in Beaver County....having nothing to do with Mount Washington.
The WTAE on-air talent all seem to be nice people. But, can't they do any better than this?
- Rob, 39, Jefferson Hills
Rob: Since I began watching WTAE in 1998, the station has always trended toward lighter stories with a greater willingness to do features, to cover movies/TV shows airing in the area before that became as frequent as it is now, to cover popular culture. And I always kind of like that. I remember before Sonic ever came to town they did a story announcing Sonic was coming. As a fan of Sonic cherry limeade, I was glad to hear the news and I was glad WTAE covered it. There is nothing wrong with a newscast covering features in addition to hard news, just as a newspaper or magazine has sections devoted to harder and softer news.
But it’s possible to do all that without the cloying, overly enthusiastic or overly-emotive anchor chit-chat and banter. Some of that is fine but clearly for Rob in Jefferson Hills, WTAE is going overboard. And it’s definitely a purposeful choice on the part of the station and perhaps not a bad strategic choice. If others view WPXI and KDKA as “just-the-facts” operations, maybe WTAE is trying to carve out a niche that will appeal to viewers who might like a lighter touch.
The best option for any viewer who doesn’t like the tone of a newscast is simply to switch the channel.
I sent Rob’s observation/question to WTAE news director Justin Antoniotti for a reaction. He did not respond.
Q: It seems like it's been about three weeks since I've seen Shannon Perrine on WTAE. Any news on that?
- Paul via Facebook
It’s summer and even folks who work in TV get vacation time. Perrine was back on the air this past weekend.