TV Q&A: 'The Young & the Restless,' 'Orange is the New Black' and 'The Big Bang Theory'

Friday, 29 August 2014 12:00 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 “The Young & the Restless,” a TV news feature and fall TV.  As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: Why did Uzo Aduba (AKA “Crazy Eyes” on “Orange is the New Black”) eyes get a guest star Emmy? She is clearly a series regular on almost every episode.

 -Allison, 60, Mt. Lebanon

Rob: She may have appeared to be a series regular – she’s the heart of the show in my book – but for the first two seasons she was contracted as a recurring guest star and only recently got bumped up to series regular status for the upcoming third season. 


Q: During the summer I watched “Gang Related.” What are the chances this show will be renewed for another season? I just loved the acting and storyline.

-David, 64, Level Green
I’d say slim to none. Sorry!


Q: Could you tell me if the young lady who plays Mariah on “The Young & the Restless” the same little girl who played Cassie many, many years ago? The resemblance is uncanny!

-Peg, Plum

Rob: Evidently, she is. The IMDB page for actress Camryn Grimes lists her as playing both characters: Cassie from 1997-2014 and Mariah in 2014. Evidently it’s a plot that’s been bubbling for some time. Cassie died in 2005 but returned from occasionally as a ghost


Q: Is there any chance that ABC will bring “NY Med” back? I found it most interesting and true to life.

-Harry, 89, Oakland

Rob: Considering this was at least the second summer “NY Med” has aired, it seems within the realm of possibility. But it’s probably too early to know if ABC will air it again in Summer 2015; the show’s ABC publicist did not respond to Harry’s question.


Q: “The Big Bang Theory” stars have received significant raises (in the neighborhood of $1 million per episodes.) Do the writers and directors get compensated as well?  It would seem to me the success of this series falls on their shoulders as well.

-Donald, 62, Pittsburgh
It’s true that TV is a writers’ medium and while TV writers do get paid well for their work, it’s almost always the stars of mega-hit series who make the most money, though series creators/executive producers like Chuck Lorre do extremely well, too.


Q: First off, I’m not in the “target audience," being this side of my 60s, however even in my dotage I still must object to the staggering number of commercials between ever briefer portions of a TV program. Is it just me or are there more commercials than ever. With the advent of the political season,commercials will almost choke the viewing. I understand that the stations are profit making ventures but really!

-Sam, 68, Upper St. Clair

Rob: Political ads are more likely to run in newscasts and I haven’t put a stopwatch to those lately, but the program time in prime-time shows remains between 41-43 minutes for a one-hour program, which is what it has been for about a decade. Now, how they space out those ads has changed with more shows having fewer commercial breaks in their first half-hour and more and longer breaks in the second half-hour. But the total commercial time is pretty consistent in prime time.


Q: First off are Zeljko Ivanek and Stephen Root in a contest to see which can be guest staring in the most shows at the same time?
I don't expect you answer this in this format...but I would be curious to see a future article on the finances of all these current shows and how the networks are able make money on them. For example the new show “Manhattan” on WGN...decent show but I understand less than million people watched first show. Or “Outlander” (didn't watch yet maybe will on demand in future) is already renewed for a second season but had low initial viewership.
I am assuming they can make money thru the years with On Demand and DVD and repeat views but be curious to see how that works out.

-Bill, 45, Upper St Clair
Ivanek and Root are character actors, who often have some of the most enviable careers in showbiz because they get a lot of work.

Evaluating the success or failure of a TV show was much easier a few years ago when it was all about ratings. Now it’s more accurately all about finances.

With ratings down across the board, networks are judging success using more metrics, including DVR, streaming and on demand viewership. Not that overnight ratings no longer matter. They do but now they are just one part of the equation to determine success instead of the whole equation.

“Outlander” airs on commercial-free Starz, so ratings are less important for a premium cable show. But the show did draw 2.3 million viewers over multiple telecasts on Starz and Starz put out a press release touting the show’s 3.7 million total viewers when considering multi-platform viewings. Multi-platform means viewing on TV, online, on demand, etc.


Q: Where will the "Rachael Ray" show be this fall once the "Meredith Viera"  show starts @10 AM?

-Jean, 68, Export

Rob: We’ve noted a few times that “Rachael Ray” will move to 11 a.m. on WPXI next month. I’ll have a full syndicated programming round up in the Tuned In column next Friday.


Q: I'm sure you are familiar with the KDKA-TV feature "Does it Really do That"? If they gave a certain product a bad review or rating, do you think they would air an advertisement for it? Or does money trump truth?

-Robert, 63, Whitehall
By this logic, no newspaper should print an advertisement for a movie that its critic gives a bad review to. That’s obviously not standard operating procedure for newspapers so I don’t see why there would be the expectation that a TV station would follow this path. “Does it Really Do That?” is a feature on the experience of one (or a few) consumers or a consumer reporter; it’s not a definitive condemnation of a product like, say, a government recall.


Q: I live in Florida so I always live-stream the local news. Both channels 4 and 11 stream live but KDKA doesn't. I've attempted to contact the station but received no response. Our local CBS affiliate in Orlando live streams so it must be up to the individual station?

-John, 34, Florida

Rob: Different corporations take different approaches to live-streaming local news. It’s about who owns the station, not the network affiliation. Your CBS affiliate in Orlando is owned by Graham Media Group; KDKA is owned by CBS and their approach is evidently less oriented toward live, free, online streaming.

“Reaching our viewers with the information they need on all available platforms is a high priority for us,” said KDKA-TV general manager Chris Pike. “As a result, streaming newscasts is something that continues to be given consideration.”


Q: Who sings the new KDKA TV news promo now airing? The title is Standup.

-Mike, 57, Beaver

Rob: “The music is from a company named Magatrax,” KDKA-TV’s Chris Pike explained. “We license a library of music from them including most of the music we use for promotion purposes. This was a custom project they did for us.”

Q: Haven’t seen Kelly Brennan on WTAE lately – is she still at the station?  Is she older/younger than Courtney?

-Joanne, 78, Cranberry

Rob: Kelly says she’s five years younger than Courtney and Kelly continues to work her regular schedule on the 11 p.m. news, appearing either at the beginning of the newscast or with a feature story at 11:15. She was away in June for some vacation, she said, but has been a regular TV presence since then.


Q: Will you be printing the fall TV schedule soon?

-Robert, Harmer

Rob: The fall preview – capsule reviews of new series, the fall schedule grid and a list of returning series season premiere dates – will publish in the Post-Gazette’s TV Week on Sunday, Sept. 14, a week before the official start of the 2014-15 TV season on Sept. 21.


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