TV Q&A: 'Trial & Error,' '24: Legacy' and a KDKA-TV news anchor

Friday, 28 April 2017 11:59 PM Written by 

Q: I'm thoroughly enjoying “Trial & Error.” Do you know how the ratings were for it and if they will renew it?
Also really liked “Sun Records.” Any chance there will be a season 2? Billy Gardell was excellent as Col. Tom Parker.

I liked “Trial & Error,” too. Its ratings were marginal, but the reviews were largely positive. NBC will announce its fall schedule May 14, so we’ll know for sure then. You can also now watch an online show about the death of Larry’s first wife, a prequel to the show’s first season. 

“Sun Records” remains in limbo


Q: Will “Trial & Error” be back for another season -- and if so -- will John Lithgow be back? I didn't like it at first -- but got into it. Really quirky.


Rob: In January executive producer Jeff Astrof said the plan would be to focus on a different crime – presumably the one mentioned at the end of the first-season finale -- so that would likely not involve Lithgow as a series regular. But his character could conceivably return because Larry wasn’t killed off.


Q: I just had a question concerning renewal of two shows: “Ice” on the Audience Network and “24: Legacy” on Fox. Any chance you might know the status of these shows?


Rob: We may not know for sure about “24” until Fox announces its 2017-18 schedule on May 15 but it seems likely to be back

It doesn’t appear AT&T’s Audience Network has made a decision on the future of “Ice.”


Q: Does WQED plan to broadcast the “Beatrix Potter with Patricia Routledge” documentary anytime? It has been on several public TV stations around the country since it was released in October 2016, but I haven’t seen it promoted here. 


Rob: This is an APT (American Public Television) syndication offering and WQED doesn’t subscribe to that syndication service, which comes at an extra charge. The documentary is not expected to air locally.


Q: Why do the news stations feel they need to exploit women with sleeveless dresses in the winter? KDKA does this the most. Susan Koeppen had a beach dress on when the outside temperature was at 10 degrees! The men are always in suits but having the women dress like its summer during the cold winter is exploiting women!

Rob: I’ve gotten a rash of these letters so either some viewer is apparently fond of pseudonyms or there are multiple viewers with too little else to worry about in life.

I suppose if these anchors were forced to be outside in the cold, the complaint would make sense. But the anchors are inside. On a set. Under studio lights. Not displaying goosebumps.

My understanding is Ms. Koeppen and others choose their own wardrobes, so it’s not possible for the station to exploit them if they are choosing their wardrobes. Also, where is the outrage about men wearing suits – outside, under the sun -- when it’s hot in the summer?

And finally, sleeveless dresses are a current trend, as KDKA-TV news director Anne Linaberger notes in response: “Sleeveless dresses are in fashion and a wardrobe choice of many television anchors, both local and network.”


Q: I am curious about some of the TV reporters on KDKA -- Marty Griffin, Jon Delano, Andy Sheehan. Their reports are very infrequent. Sometimes Andy

Sheehan only reports about once a month. Are they employed somewhere else and do subcontract work for KDKA? Do they specialize in specific subjects?


Rob: Mr. Griffin and Mr. Sheehan are investigators. Investigations take more time to produce reports because of the research involved, which might explain the perceived infrequency of their appearances. Also, Mr. Griffin hosts a radio show which probably eats into his availability to work on pieces for TV.

As for Mr. Delano, I’m not sure why Bert is not seeing him since the station’s full-time money and politics editor regularly appears daily in the 4, 5 and/or 6 p.m. newscasts and a look at the KDKA website turns up plenty of recent stories

Here’s the response from KDKA-TV news director Anne Linaberger: “All three are on the air regularly. In addition to general assignment reporting, there are areas where they have reporting specialties. They may have been on vacation or on special assignment the days that the viewer was watching. Thanks for watching!”


Q: Has Heather Abraham of KDKA-TV had her baby?


Rob: Yes, pictures were posted on her Facebook page in March.  She’s due back to work in mid-June.

Q: I love "The Amazing Race." With a local contestant on the show (Michael Rado) will you have an article in the paper after the show is over so he can tell us about his adventures? Maybe we can submit some questions to see how things develop behind the scenes that we didn't see. I hope you can do this!


Rob: My colleague Maria Sciullo has been following the “Race” teams with local ties, including Mr. Rado, in her Saturday Reality Check column. (



Just a comment regarding Wendy Bell: I had to STOP watching WTAE because of her diatribes (particularly regarding the turnpike response to the once-in-30-year blizzard, and believe me, I am no fan of the turnpike). I also am aware of quite a few other people who agree with me. Once WTAE got rid of Ms. Bell, I did return to watching the WTAE newscast






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