Q: So I see that they have now canceled “House of Cards” because of the allegations against Kevin Spacey. The first incident occurred more than 30 years ago. The recent incidents seem to be of inappropriate touching and language. This is disturbing and most certainly not to be condoned in any way. But to cancel the show outright also means that EVERYONE else connected to the show (writers, production staff, other actors, etc.) all lose their paychecks. Does that make sense to you? Is anyone thinking about that? And will these people have a lawsuit against Kevin Spacey for the loss of their livelihood? After all, it seems like it could have been handled in a different way and they might have been able to continue the series for the final season without throwing out the baby with the bathwater. What are your thoughts?
-- KAREN, ORANGE COUNTY, CALIF.
Rob: Well, “House of Cards” has not been canceled. Production has been suspended as they figure out what to do but everything I’ve read suggests the series may move forward with Robin Wright, who plays Claire Underwood, as the lead. That would certainly be my preference so the show has an opportunity to wrap up on its own terms even if those terms end up looking entirely different than what the writers had planned when Mr. Spacey was the show’s lead.
As for the “What about the production crew?” aspect, TV series get canceled all the time and crews find themselves looking for new work. That’s just how the business works.
Q: As a fan of “Poldark” on PBS, I was wondering if Doc Enys has somehow managed to master the art of plastic surgery (all while being held captive in a French prison), as Ross Poldark's wartime facial scar has disappeared this season.
Any insight would be appreciated.
-- BARTLEY, PETERS TOWNSHIP
Rob: It may not have been plastic surgery but the benefits of time, which is known to heal scars at least somewhat.
Producers offered this statement: “It is natural for a scar to fade over time. You can see the scar fade between seasons one and two and again between two and three as the years pass.”
Q: Did I miss the info about Season 8 of “Doc Martin”? Will we be able to see it on PBS any time soon?
-- VIVIAN VIA EMAIL
Rob: The new season became available on streaming service Acorn.tv last month but has not yet been released to PBS stations
“We are still waiting to hear if it will be available in the United States in 2018,” said WQED spokesman George Hazimanolis. “We are airing season seven now and will wrap up with a marathon of the entire season seven on Dec. 31 beginning at noon.”
Q: Some weekly programs are available On Demand as early as the next day while others may not be available until several days later. Do you know why the difference?
-- JOETA, GREEN TREE
Rob: It all depends on the deal that’s been worked out among the many parties involved: The content owner (the studio), the network and the cable provider. So the particulars can vary widely, as Joeta has noticed.
Q: What is the background music used in the UPMC commercial for the Magee Women's Center? The commercial is new and starts with a pregnant woman treading water in a pool. This music/tune is also used as on hold music when calling UPMC.
-- JEFF, ERIE
Rob: My guess is it’s an original composition but I checked with UPMC and UPMC public relations manager Stephanie Stanley said the marketing department reports “all the music for our commercials was written by a composer they hired and all of it is copyrighted.”
Q: Why does Mike Clark match his ties to the ladies’ dresses? This isn’t a prom where you wear matching outfits. I don’t like it…
-- MARY, PITTSBURGH
Rob: This is so not a thing I would notice but clearly Mary did!
“Please tell Mary thanks for her loyalty in watching Pittsburgh’s Action News 4,” Mr. Clark writes in response. “Janelle and I have received lots of positive viewer feedback on our color choices. While we don’t really match all the time, (for example, we don’t match tonight!) we do have conversations and send text messages to each other before work, just to make sure we’re on the same page, and our colors don’t clash. Again, Janelle and I thank you for watching.”
TUNED IN PODCAST