TV Q&A: 'Madam Secretary,' 'The Crown,' 'Hawaii Five-0' and local news crew safety

Thursday, 05 December 2019 12:00 AM Written by 

Q: Why does Tea Leoni always wear a neck tie loosely around her neck in every “Madame Secretary” episode? She always has on suits in the Oval Office & a tie around her neck. I keep on noticing it in every episode.


Answer: I tried to get an answer from the show’s costume designer via CBS but had no luck so I am left to speculate.

Perhaps it is a style thing or maybe there is something that makes her self-conscious that she’s trying to cover up. 

The “Madam Secretary” series finale airs at 10:30 p.m. Sunday – and in a publicity photo from the episode Leoni is wearing an open collar short, no neck tie!



Q: Does Scott Caan have only a part-time deal with CBS? It looks like to me that he only appears in about one half of the “Hawaii Five-0” episodes.  Also,  Is LInda Hunt leaving “NCIS: Los Angeles” or has she just cut back on her workload? Thanks!


Answer: We reported in 2015 that Caan, who lives in Los Angeles while the show films in Hawaii, said he does five fewer episodes per season of “Hawaii Five-0” than star Alex O’Loughlin so he can return home to see him family more often.

Hunt was sidelined recovering from a car accident, which kept her off the show almost all of last season. As for this season, I asked the show’s CBS publicist but never received a response.



Q: My wife is intrigued by the British royals. I guess I'm too American. The thought of "royalty" leaves me cold. She got pumped when the third season of The Crown was released. We've watched the first two episodes and they are going over old news, stuff they've already covered in depth. The difference is the tone. In the initial iteration Elizabeth and Philip had a rocky relationship, continual tension and mucho bitching by Phil.

In this season, so far, they are lovey dovey, laugh together cry together, just "getting on" (as the Brits say) superbly. So...the question: Did the actual Crown put up a (justifiable in my mind) fuss as to how it was portrayed in the first two seasons? And did it mandate...without actually mandating...that the producers and writers better do some revisionist history (revisionist as to the show) and make them look better?


Answer: No, the Royal Family has no input in the making of Netflix’s “The Crown.”

I think the difference in season three is the characters are more settled in their lives together so there’s necessarily less tension in the relationship.

Showrunner/writer Peter Morgan told the New York Times, what is different in season three is that “it has gone from being a story about a woman finding her way, navigating with her partner, to a woman at the heart of a family drama.” 



Q: I was very much looking forward to the new “Nancy Drew” series on The CW, but am now so disappointed in it and its supernatural theme.  I had expected a modern portrayal and was hoping for a smart mystery, not ghosts and hauntings. I don't think I can keep watching. Wondering how it's doing in the ratings and if others seem disappointed also?


Answer: When it comes to The CW, I receive scant feedback from Pittsburgh viewers so I have no idea how others feel about the show. It’s aiming for a twentysomething audience so maybe there is appeal in the supernatural element in that demo if they grew up on supernatural CW shows like, “Supernatural”?

As for ratings, it doesn’t really matter. In recent years The CW has renewed a litany of super-low-rated shows especially if they do well in their afterlife on Netflix, which in turns boosts the ratings for the show in subsequent seasons on The CW. It happened with “All American” this season. But now that The CW has shifted its output deal to HBO Max, it remains to be seen how that will impact The CW’s generally low-rated programming.



Q: I'm curious to know how do the local TV stations protect their news crews I've read about some news crews being verbally attacked  while setting up in other cities I would be disappointed if anything liked that here.


Answer: I put this question to Pittsburgh news directors Kathy Hostetter (KDKA-TV), Jim Parsons (WTAE-TV) and Scott Trabandt (WPXI-TV) with an understanding of the sensitive nature of the query and a desire not to publish a response that gives away anything that could jeopardize news crew safety.

“We’ve had some incidents where crews have been approached and have felt uncomfortable,” she writes. “In every situation, they’ve done the right thing by getting away and calling 911 if they felt it was necessary.  One such instance resulted in filing a police report in case it would become something more.

“Additionally, it’s always been our practice that if a crew doesn’t feel safe at a scene it is always at their discretion to leave. It’s never questioned.  We trust our staff to practice good common sense and practice good situational awareness.”



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