TV Q&A: 'Extant, 'Crossbones' and Rachael Ray's talk show

Friday, 08 August 2014 09:33 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 “Extant,” “Crossbones” and Rachael Ray’s talk show. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: I was wondering if there were any new episodes of "Airport 24/7" planned to air in the future.

- Darrin, 42, Pittsburgh

Rob: According to a Travel Channel publicist, no new episodes are planned though episodes may be rerun later this year.

Q: Will the program “Crossbones” return?

- Joan, 67, Baden

Rob: NBC has not yet announced the show’s fate. My guess would be that it will not be back due to low ratings and lack of buzz but these days shows with terrible ratings get renewed much to my surprise with some frequency (see: NBC’s renewal of “Undateable”).

But I doubt that will happen in the case of “Crossbones,” which NBC moved to Saturday for its final two episodes which then hit a series low


Q: Is “Extant” going to be a miniseries or will it go into a 13-episode series?
Why isn't the series “Sister Wives” that is shown on TLC on On Demand anymore? It used to be.

Is “Longmire” going to be canceled?
- Rita, Brookline

Rob: A&E has made no announcements about the future of “Longmire,” which got quite a late renewal for the current season.

Whether “Extant” goes beyond a single season depends on the show’s ratings. It is not intended to be a miniseries. The fact that the series finale is airing a week earlier than planned, Sept. 17, suggests a lack of faith on the part of network executives that “Extant” can pull decent ratings during premiere week, which is not an encouraging sign for its future.

Shows come and go from on demand for assorted reasons usually pertaining to rights agreements between networks and cable operators.


Q: I have really enjoyed the “Vicious” series on PBS. How often do we get to see a program so witty and up-to-date as this one? The characters are wonderful; so different than their usual roles in theater. Will we see these guys and gals again.

- Genevieve via email

Rob: The show already has been renewed in England and produced a second season. So I expect PBS will purchase the rights to broadcast these new episodes in America, though there has been no announcement about a season two.

"PBS is actively considering a second season of ‘Vicious,’ and hopes to make an announcement soon," said a PBS publicist in response to Genevieve’s question.


Q: I've noticed that there are more and more 4K high-def TVs for sale these days.   I want to replace my 15-year-old Sony TV with something modern. Anything new is more modern then my tv! LOL

Before I consider any 4K high-def tv I'd like to know if there will be any 4K content offered by the TV networks in the future. As of now, none of the networks offers 4k and there is just a few 4K DVD out there and they need a newer DVD player, etc.

Are you aware if the TV networks will be offering 4K content in the near future?

- Bob Billand, 68, Pittsburgh

Rob: Hardware is not my area of expertise. I am a late adopter to most technologies because I’d rather other folks work out the kinks first and allow the price to drop. That said, I’ve heard no TV network executive talk about 4K programming.

4K is also known as Ultra HD but the Wall Street Journal suggests this high-tech advance may not set off a stampede. And a British expert advises against 4K at this point. calls 4K a flash in the pan and says Ultra HD won’t eclipse HDTV anytime soon. CNET urges consumers to avoid these expensive 4K TV sets


Q: Is there such a thing as a flat-screen TV that will pick up the "guide" function broadcast by over-the-air TV stations? I am not talking about the function that will tell you the current program that is playing. I am talking about the Guide function that will scroll down several hours of scheduled programming on the selected station. This function is available on all analog to digital converter boxes that I have seen, but I have not found it on a digital TV. My budget priced Visio flat screen has a guide key on the remote, but when I press it, I find out that that function is not available. My high-end Panasonic plasma has an information button, which only gives info on the current program that is playing, and a menu button which has to do with setup of the TV. It doesn't even pretend to have a guide function. I am looking for a TV to replace the RCA analog set in my motor home and I'd really like to have the guide function.

- Stanley, 72, Arizona

Rob: Again, hardware is not my area of expertise, so I called on a helpful tech guru who I knew could help, WTAE director of engineering Dave Kasperek:

“All local TV stations broadcasting a digital TV signal in the U.S. are required to embed this information into their over-the-air signal.  The program guide is actually a subcategory function of a much larger technical specification requirement called PSIP, or Program and System Information Protocol. PSIP's larger function is to create a table of data that let's TV tuners find local stations, which operate on a radio frequency channel that is different from the legacy channel assignment viewers know their stations by. It then let's the viewer know they are watching for example WTAE on channel 4-1, while we actually broadcast on channel 51.  
PSIP also makes available many hours of future program information that viewers may find helpful. But as your reader observes, TV manufacturers have no corresponding requirement to equip their products to display all of the program guide info broadcasters provide. Perhaps some Internet research or correspondence with a reputable local TV reseller will turn up a model or two that still do what the viewer wants.”
Thanks to Kasperek for his assistance with this one.

I did try to do some looking around online and at best it looks like the feature Stanely wants is in old TVs, not current models. But if anyone reading this can offer further guidance, please email me and I’ll include it in a future TV Q&A.


Q: My sister and I enjoy watching “Lawrence Welk” reruns "together" on Saturday evenings at 7. She lives in State College and catches them on WPSU.  However, her station plays many more episodes than WQED as her shows are almost never preempted by "Doo Wop" pledge drives. And the shows I miss are never shown on WQED. Why is this? Why doesn't WQED keep their Saturday night schedule and pre-empt other shows on different nights for a change? With Pittsburgh's older population, I'm sure there are many more people who share my sentiments. Thank you!

- Alice, 58, Pittsburgh

Rob: Enjoy your Lawrence Welk co-viewing while you can: WQED is dropping the show altogether after this month.

“The program was very expensive for us to broadcast since it had to be purchased separately from regular PBS programming,” explained WQED spokesman George Hazimanolis. “Because of financial constraints and significantly less donor support for ‘Lawrence Welk,’ we can no longer air the program.”

Beginning Aug. 30, “Antiques Roadshow” reruns will air at 7 p.m. Saturday.


Q: What is going to happen with "Rachael Ray" now that Meredith Vieira is moving to 10 a.m. on WTAE?

- Adam, 16, Munhall

Q: I am a fan of Rachael Ray's TV show and from the promos I am seeing on 4 for Meredith Vieira's new show going on at 10 a.m. and Steve Harvey's show being moved to the 3 p.m. slot (formerly occupied by Katie Couric's show), what does this mean for Rachael? I never saw anything say her show got the ax.

- Ray, 38, Pittsburgh

Rob: “Rachael Ray” moves to 11 a.m. on WPXI starting Sept. 15.

Q: What will air on WTAE at1:07 a.m.? What time and channel will Craig Ferguson's "Celebrity Name Game" air?

- Matt via email

Rob: At 1:07 a.m. WTAE will air new syndicated talk show “The Real,” which is a lot like “The View” and “The Talk.”

“Celebrity Name Game” will air on WPMY, Channel 22, weekdays at 7 and 7:30 p.m. and at 9 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday.


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