TV Q&A: 'The Walking Dead,' 'Ally McBeal' and cable rates

Wednesday, 27 November 2019 12:00 AM Written by 

Q: I've looked everywhere (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.) for the documentary film “You Are Here: A Come From Away Story” and can't find it. Can you help?

-Robbie via email

Answer: The Canadian film focuses on Gander, Newfoundland, in helping international air travelers stranded when their planes were diverted on Sept. 11, 2001. The documentary profiles some of the real people portrayed in the stage musical “Come from Away.”

“You Are Here” screened in U.S. theaters on Sept. 11 and is playing on a Canadian on demand network. It’s not yet available outside Canada “but should be soon,” according to Peter Gentile, the film’s producer.



Q: I see Lauren Cohan is returning to “The Walking Dead.” Will her ABC show “Whikey Cavalier” be back?


Answer: No, ABC canceled “Whiskey Cavalier” in May, which is why she’ll be back on “Walking Dead.”



Q: My wife and I were wondering why we never see "Ally McBeal" reruns. We really enjoyed it's quirky comedy.  

-Jerry, Murrysville 

Answer: All five seasons of “Ally McBeal” are available on the streaming service Hulu.  The complete series was released on DVD in 2009.

As for why no reruns on linear TV, my guess is it’s because serialized shows just don’t do that well in syndication but they do better on a streaming service.



Q: I'm on Facebook quite often and I read the visitor post sections and comments made by various viewers on individual TV show posts.

For example, for “American Idol” there are complaints on the quick, three-month format of the ABC version compared to the more thorough, five months on Fox when we were able to get to know the contestants. There are also complaints about the lack of quality in the judging, the antics of the judges during the auditions up through the live shows, the sound mix between the band and the singers when the band is drowning out the singers, the unfairness of the live voting occurring in all time zones and throughout the entire show when all performers have not sung.

“Big Brother” comments on this past summer’s series include when the various houseguests’ conversations turn offensive in the live feed, occasional comments made by Julie Chen Moonves during the interviews of the just-evicted houseguest, how the eventual winner ruthlessly played the game.

What purpose does it serve to give constructive feedback via social media on various multiple facets of a TV show when, in the end, the comments do not seem to make a difference whatsoever in the overall production of the shows?  Does the production even read what viewers are commenting about?  I would think they would like to know how the audience is receiving the shows, why the ratings of the show are not what they were, etc.

- Jim, Jefferson County

Answer: So networks post about their shows on social media in an effort to promote their shows and draw more viewers to them. I’m not sure they actually care if anyone comments or if anyone at the network reads those comments.

That said, networks do a lot of independent research on their programming so they are probably getting much of the same feedback that way. My guess is if they see trends in viewer comments through research, they might make a change but only if they think the change will positively benefit the show’s ratings, which drive advertising dollars.



Q: Since Ray Petelin has been gone from WTAE for over a year now, is KDKA finally going to officially name Ray their chief meteorologist?  Ray's gone above and beyond over the past year with all that he has done in the on-air weather presentation on Channel 2 and his Facebook weather page.  I remember watching Ray over ten years ago when he worked at WSEE Channel 35 up in Erie.


Answer: We reported over the summer that Petelin was hired full time and made the weekday evening meteorologist, which is essentially the chief meteorologist but KDKA did not give him that title at time. I asked KDKA news director Kathy Hostetter to confirm Petelin was still without the “chief” title and she did not respond.



Q: Why do Comcast and Verizon keep offering my neighbors monthly rates of $70, while charging me over $200 for the same TV, internet and phone service?  I mean, I do understand the economics of it, but shouldn’t they be giving the discounts to their long-term loyal customers? If only we didn’t have to waste a vacation day from work to have the other company come and change it out every few years. I don’t want most of what expanded basic offers. And then they took away Decades.


Answer: Sorry but the way the industry works is enticements at a low rate to start – which you probably had when you started with your cable provider, too – and then they jack up prices later when you’re comfortable with your service and changing providers is a pain. It’s part of the reason cord cutting continues to grow

To be clear about Decades, Comcast did not drop that channel. KDKA-TV parent company CBS opted to drop Decades and replace it with Start TV on the same channel.

Decades has returned to the market but it’s now on Channel 61.6, a low-power station not carried by local cable/satellite companies.



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