TV Q&A: 'The Passage,' Billy Gardell's new show, Trisha Pittman and the CBS-DirecTV impasse

Friday, 09 August 2019 12:00 AM Written by 

Q: Do you know if Fox has renewed "The Passage" for another season?


Rob: Sorry, it was canceled in May



Q: Did you find out anything regarding Cobie Smulders new show "Stumptown" at the TV critics press tour? I saw previews on ABC and it looks pretty good.  Is it getting good reviews?

Also, what about Billy Gardell's new show? I saw previews and didn't think it looked that good. I want to like it because he is from Pittsburgh but didn't show promise.


Rob: I wrote about “Stumptown” earlier this week and I liked the pilot. It was quite good for a procedural. I know of a few other TV critics who liked it well enough too.

As for Gardell’s “Bob [Hearts] Abishola,” I wrote a little about it last week. I thought the pilot was OK but not great. Mostly I wasn’t sure where the show would go. Based on the producers’ description of it as less a romantic comedy and more a show about kindness and acceptance and a celebration of the immigrant experience, I’m now interested to see more.



Q: Can you tell me if “Carter” has been renewed, and if so, when the new season will begin? Thank you.


Rob: WGN America renewed “Carter” starring Jerry O’Connell for a second season but the cable outlet has not announced an air date for the new season. 



Q: Why don't I see Brenda Waters anchoring anymore on Saturday mornings? Is she on vacation? Or did they replace her? If they did replace her, why?


Rob: KDKA-TV added an hour on Saturday and a Sunday morning newscast and assigned Lisa Washington to anchor both days. Waters is now reporting Monday through Friday. News director Kathy Hostetter did not offer a reason for the change by my deadline. It's disappointing. I always liked Waters as an anchor (and as a reporter) and I hate to see KDKA veterans, especially, displaced.



Q: A co-worker of mine and I have gone down a rabbit hole on old Pittsburgh TV personalities. We both “clearly” remember a Trisha Pittman reporting the traffic for KDKA morning news in the early to mid-‘90s when John Shumway and Larry Richert were the anchors. I remember I would watch in the morning before high school which would have been some time from 91-95. Is the “Trisha Pittman” we remember the same person who covers the traffic for WPXI today? According to Google, she was born the same year as us and would put her in high school at that time. Thanks.


Rob: I didn’t even remember Pittman being on KDKA, probably because she was not shown in-studio.

I was at KDKA radio and TV for two years,” Pittman explained. “I started there in January 2000 and worked in the morning with John Cigna and in the afternoon with Fred Honsberger. In addition to being on the radio, I also did live traffic hits for KDKA-TV, although I voiced over traffic cameras and was not in-studio. They used my picture on the screen. I joined WPXI in 2002 and have been here ever since.”



Q: Why has Joe Arena of WPXI-TV been moved from the weekday morning anchor to a reporter? He was really good alongside Katherine Amenta.


Q: Has Channel 11 changed the weekday morning anchors? 


Rob: Apparently so. WPXI news director Scott Trabandt refused to comment when I asked a few weeks ago and he and Channel 11 general manager Kevin Hayes did not respond to questions I forwarded them from multiple Channel 11 viewers this week asking who their current weekday morning anchors are.



Q: I am writing to ask what you may know about CBS blacking outa LOCAL STATION--- Channel 2 (KDKA) and CW channel 19 from Direct TV (AT & T).    

We pay for programs and now CBS had just arbitrarily decided to deprive us of Channel 2 and Channel 19 (CW). How can the customer fight back?  


Q: I am a subscriber to Direct TV (2 years) and have not had any significant problems with service or accounting.
Several weeks ago I lost the CBS feed from Direct TV. I surmised there is a contractual dispute between the two companies.
When I call customer service about the issue, all they say is, ”Yes, there is a problem.”
Do you know of this problem and can you call and hopefully receive an answer as to when the problem will be resolved.

Rob: Yes, DirecTV and CBS were at an impasse and had been since late July.It was resolved late Wednesday or early Thursday and CBS-owned channel should be restored by now.

But for future reference, here is what I had written earlier this week, which will all apply the next time it happens. And it will happen again, whether it's these two media companies or others:

Until the two companies resolve their differences, stations will remain unavailable to DirecTV subscribers.

Your options are: Wait for the dispute to get resolved – industry speculation is it will end before football season starts, but that’s just speculation -- or, if you are not under contract with DirecTV, find another cable service and cancel DirecTV.




“Yes, Rob, I just have a comment about the program “Love Island.” I was waiting to see what you would have written about it and to my surprise you did and I’m upset it even has been renewed for next season. I watched the first episode because I had watched “The Talk” and a lady who has something to do with it was on talking about it. I think it’s a disgusting program to be on prime-time TV at 8 p.m. If they’re gonna put stuff like that on TV why can’t they put it on at a later hour? I don’t think it’s appropriate. … It’s not a program a family could sit down and watch. Who wants to watch half-naked 20 year olds romping around in bed? Disgusting.”




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