Q: Have the Pet Smarts and the Petcos heard about “Downward Dog”?
With all the road rage around, the only place where all cars stop, without fail, is front of those stores, when one crosses with one's four-legged companion.
I would think ABC could count on them for ads, could they not?
Is it too late?
-- SUSANNA, HARMAR
Rob: It’s not really a question of ABC’s ability to sell ads for the show. It’s more a question of supporting the cost to produce the show.
All TV shows are made at a deficit. The amount a show brings in in advertising does not usually cover the cost of production. The cost of production gets covered over time through assorted windows of distribution (syndication, foreign sales, streaming deals, etc.)
But when you have small-batch series like “Downward Dog,” which only made eight episodes its first season, the opportunities to bring in more money shrink when there are so few episodes. Also, comedies don’t do as well in foreign distribution as dramas, which is another challenge.
Q: I was wondering if the pilot show “Steel City Rehab” was picked up by HGTV for a regular series.
-- BOB VIA EMAIL
Rob: According to a HGTV publicist, there’s no update on the status of that prospective series so presumably it remains in limbo.
Q: What ever happened to the FX series "The Bridge"?
How many seasons did it run and is there anywhere to view it?
-- STEVE, REGENT SQUARE
Rob: It sort of depends on which version of “The Bridge” as there have been several.
The FX iteration ran for two seasons, ending in 2014.
The show was based on a Danish series that was also adapted into the French-English series “The Tunnel.” Season two of “The Tunnel” began airing last month on PBS and a third season is in the works.
Q: What has happened to the series “Soundtracks” on CNN? After recording and watching two episodes I can't find it anymore. Plus Comcast On Demand only shows one episode -- the first one. Thanks.
-- KATHRYN, CHARLEROI
Rob: CNN says “Soundtracks” will return in September with new episodes, but no exact premiere date has been announced.
Q: I just watched the season finale of “Little People, Big World.” Is this the end of this program or will it return for another season? “The Little Couple” never returned.
-- FLORENCE VIA EMAIL
Rob:Although TLC has made no official announcement about another season of “Little People, Big World,” it is expected to return.
TLC’s “The Little Couple” is back with new episodes at 9 p.m. Sept. 19.
Q: Is there no rule or regulation regarding these disclaimers or legal notices that are so small that they are impossible to read? If these notices are required, shouldn't they be readable? Can anyone be expected to read gray text on a white background in 1-point font that appears for five second seconds?
Just this morning there was an ad for the "Car Cane." Along the bottom were two sentences, the first of which was unreadable, but the second appeared to have something to do with states as there were capital letters such as "CA" or "NY." Later on there was a commercial for the "Sock Slider" and immediately below the website or phone number was black text on their blue background with something about "NY" and "CT." A "Colonial Penn" ad just appeared and, at the end listed what appeared to be local insurance agencies.
I can't be the only older fellow who doesn't have a 50-inch, HD TV but hope this clears up my question.
-- PAUL, WEST MIFFLIN
Rob: My guess is that these companies are adhering to any laws or rules even with the small-size type otherwise someone would surely be drumming up a class-action lawsuit against them.
Q: One of my favorite things to do while watching reruns on Verizon is check the info to see the original airdate/season/episode of a certain program. Recently though, occasionally the year is omitted or it will actually show some random year from the distant future (such as 2110). Why does Verizon do this?
-- TONY, BETHEL PARK
Rob: According to Verizon, it’s an error they are aware of and plan to resolve in an upcoming software update.
Watching the TV news recently brought to mind a letter printed in your column a few weeks ago from a reader who is sick of the numerous stories about dogs.
For anyone from the local or national news media who reads your column: the moment a news story starts about a dog, I change the channel.
Other channel changers are stories about Britain's royal family, pandas, whales, trivial news about some superficial celebrity, and any story that starts with the phrase, "a video that has gone viral."
No wonder more people are getting their news from the internet and hopefully they will start resorting to reputable news organizations.
-- Scott, Bellevue