Q: I've been checking several sources, including your "Kept/Canceled" notes, to determine if the Syfy series "Ghost Wars" will be renewed for a second season. So far there’s no news, which at this point in the production calendar year seems odd (or ominous). I was wondering if you had sources I don't which might shed light on the subject. My motives are cheesy: I have the last five or so episodes backed up on my DVR, but would probably not view them if they will end inconclusively, as I assume they would if there is no second season.
-- MIKE, POINT BREEZE
Rob: Mike’s motivation isn’t cheesy at all: In the current environment viewers are drowning in shows and need any excuse to cut one loose.
As for “Ghost Wars,” linear ratings were pretty lousy, but I’ve learned that can also mean little these days depending on the financial arrangements that brought a show to life.
However, I was able to confirm Syfy will not bring “Ghost Wars” back for a second season. Delete away, Mike!
Q: My favorite new comedy “9JKL” on CBS, was not on this past Monday. Has it been moved to another night? I hope it was not canceled, I think Linda Lavin is great, she is the real star.
-- TOM VIA EMAIL
Rob: It basically is canceled. CBS pulled “9JKL” from its schedule in November. It won’t get renewed, but unaired episodes, if there are any, may be burned off in summer.
I mistook "9JKL" for "Me, Myself & I," which was pulled from the schedule in November. But the rest stands: "9JKL" is highly unlikely to get renewed for a second season, though CBS won't announce its fall schedule until May.
Q: We have watched every episode of PBS "Victoria" including the final one of this season.
Can you tell me how long do you think the program will continue? As you know Queen Victoria had the longest reign up until the present Queen Elizabeth's reign that is.
-- DICK, BETHEL PARK
Rob: PBS certainly seems keen on “Victoria” having a “Downton Abbey”-style run, which lasted six seasons. At this point, “Victoria” has been renewed for a third season and after that we’ll see. I’d certainly anticipate it running a few more seasons beyond that but probably not more than six.
Q: On the TV show “Scrubs,” the final episode of season one was a two-parter where Dr. Cox’s characters' brother-in-law, played by Brendan Fraser, was diagnosed with leukemia and died. It was an extremely well written and well-acted episode that was also very emotional and powerful. Several times I've watched reruns of this and at the end it was simply stated that the character went into remission and lived.
Why the change?
-KEN, BETHEL PARK
Rob: “Scrubs” has such a loyal following I figured I would find something about any change to an episode in syndication online but I had no luck. So I reached out to show creator Bill Lawrence, who said Ken simply conflated several episodes.
“First two eps Brendan did, he got Leukemia, was treated and went into remission,” Lawrence explained via email. “I think a season later he returned and died. (Can’t remember exact timing). He’s just squishing three episodes into two.”
Q: I notice that a lot of TV shows have outside scenes where the trees and other natural vegetation are swaying in the wind, the sky with clouds never move. I assume that it’s done postproduction since the re-shooting of scenes cannot duplicate the actual continuation of the cloud progression. I see a lot of that on the old “Magnum PI” series and “Hawaii 5-0” where there is a lot of usage of outside scenes. Is my assumption correct or are there other reasons for doing that?
-- DAVID, MCCANDLESS
Rob: They definitely didn’t do CGI postproduction work back in the “Magnum PI” days. I think clouds can just move slowly and it doesn’t look like they are moving.
Q: Has Sheldon Ingram left WTAE? I've noticed he hasn't been on the air for several weeks.
-- DONNA, FREEPORT
Q: Haven't seen Sheldon Ingram on WTAE for a while. Doubt it is vacation since he wasn't on during sweeps month.
-- MIKE VIA EMAIL
Rob: Mr. Ingram was out on medical leave but he’ll be back soon.
“I had total knee replacement surgery on January 5th and I will return to work on March 12th,” Ingram explained via email. “Recovery has been very strong. I greatly appreciate the thoughts of our viewers.”
Q: Where did WPXI get some of these reporters like Michele Newell, Erin Clarke, Liz Kilmer and Gabrielle DeLuca? Are they trying to improve their ratings??
-- JANE, WEXFORD
Rob: Local TV newscasts always want to improve their ratings.
WPXI news director Suzanne Nadell said some hires were made to fill recently departed reporters and others took over previously unfilled positions.
Ms. DeLuca, who arrived at Channel 11 last summer, began as a freelancer for the station. Prior to returning home to Pittsburgh, Ms. DeLuca worked in Norfolk, Va.
The other three newcomers arrived in late 2017/early 2018. Ms. Clarke came from NY1 in New York. She grew up in Brooklyn, but she is a Pitt grad, and her mother grew up in Western Pennsylvania.
Ms. Newell, a Pittsburgh native who studied at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, previously produced and wrote for KDKA-AM and KDKA-TV. She also worked at stations in Steubenville and Columbus, Ohio.
Morning reporter Ms. Kilmer arrived from WAVY in Norfolk, Va., and is a Philadelphia native.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” did a segment on Mister Rogers’ 1969 appeal to Congress on behalf of PBS. I can’t embed it here due to the profanity, but it’s a hoot, especially because producers cast Colin Hanks as Fred Rogers. Tom Hanks will play Mr. Rogers in an upcoming biopic.
TUNED IN PODCAST