TV Q&A: 'American Housewife,' 'Emergence,' 'Pittsburgh Today Live' and weather coverage

Thursday, 06 February 2020 12:00 AM Written by 

Q: Any idea when we will get to see the 2019 “Top Gear” Christmas special or series 28 on BBC America?  I have not been able to find anything online.


Rob: BBC America publicist tells me neither has been scheduled yet.



Q: My wife and I recently watched the 10th and final episode of “Ray Donovan” for the current season. During the episode they played “Desperado” (I believe the full song).

We rewatched the episode several days later and the lyric's to the song were missing.

The song was memorable as to it's timing in the script..

Either we missed something or we have both lost "it."


Rob: A Showtime publicist was unable to provide me with a response to Bill’s question. Showtime canceled “Ray Donovan” this week so there will be no closure to that seventh-season finale cliffhanger.



Q: Has ABC cancelled "Emergence", or is it simply on hiatus for now?

-Joe via e-mail

Rob: So there’s a technical answer to this question and a realistic answer.

Technically, no, “Emergence” is not canceled and has just aired all its first-season episodes. An official decision on its fate will be made by May.

But realistically? I expect the show will not return. Ratings for “Emergence” were never good and got worse as the show went along

While it’s true that in the current TV environment, some very low-rated shows have been renewed – meaning anything is possible -- it still seems unlikely that “Emergence” will be back due to the ratings and because networks are now developing new series for the 2020-21 TV season. Network execs get enamored by a potential new series and hope springs eternal that the new show will perform better than an old show that’s already viewed as a ratings failure.



Q: I have been watching “American Housewife” on Friday nights with Katy Mixon. It is a light-hearted show. Shows that are usually moved to Friday nights end up being canceled. On your press tour, did you hear how this show is doing? Will it be renewed for another season?  Thanks



It’s definitely not a show with buzz but at press tour last month ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke said the move to Friday after a successful run behind “The Conners” last spring has paid off with ratings up 11 percent in the Friday time slot.

“Having been a producer myself, I am sensitive to shows moving around the schedule,” Burke said. “But I have to tell you this crew, this team of actors and producers, are gamers, and they're excited about the opportunities. And they keep winning.”

ABC sent out a ratings release Jan. 27 noting that “American Housewife” was Friday’s No. 1 show in adults 18-49 a few weeks ago, which should be reassuring but a few seasons back ABC canceled “Last Man Standing” when it was not at the bottom of the ratings barrel so who knows. Decisions on whether to renew existing series will be made between now and May.


Q: Why is it that our local newscasts put out so much information about the weather?  The weather is on two to three times during a half-hour segment. Once is enough and it is making me and others I talk to angry. Is it that the local news people are lazy? There is so much news in the world which either gets truncated or no coverage at all. Our stations are turning into the Orlando stations where there is no meat to the broadcasts, only fluff and little or no world events discussed.

So what's the deal?


Rob: The reason stations put on so much weather is because their research shows that’s what viewers say they want. And ratings reflect that, going up when there is weather coverage.

To better themselves in the ratings, TV stations program to what viewers want, not necessarily the information viewers need to be informed citizens.

Contrary to some claims, broadcast television is a business, not a public service. Advertisers are the customers with TV delivering eyeballs – viewers – to advertisers.



Q: I realize that some are obsessed with the weather but my question is why do all the local channels focus just on the tristate area? They never show a map of the weather of the continental U.S. 
I have friends and relatives in California and South Carolina and never see any of their weather, just our tri-state area!

Rob: Local stations assume if you want to know the weather somewhere else in the country, you’ll just look on And I am sure their research shows that viewers say they want LOCAL weather.



Q: Any word on what happened to “Pittsburgh Today Live” rebroadcasts on WPCW at 1 p.m.? I believe they still advertise it’s on but seems to be replaced by a court show.

Rob: “PTL” rebroadcasts were moved to 6 a.m. weekdays on Channel 19, per WPCW/KDKA general manager Chris Cotugno, who did not offer a reason why the change was made but one can assume if the 1 p.m. time slot was financially advantageous, the show would have remained there.



Q: On Jan. 31st WTAE aired their regular daytime line-up instead of ongoing Impeachment coverage. They ran a crawler on the bottom of the screen directing viewers to watch Impeachment coverage on their other digital platforms and channels.  Just curious why they did this? I figure it's because enough viewers complained about the daytime line-up getting regularly pre-empted for something that was airing on several channels and platforms to begin with. 


Rob: I think Joe figures correctly. WTAE general manager Charles Wolfertz III did not respond to Joe’s question when I sent it to him.




Andrew Stockey on WTAE-TV news seems to run many of his words together, even slur some words I’ve noticed. Has this ever been addressed? Seems very unprofessional.
Also, Katelyn Sykes on the same station always looks tired and seems to talk very slow when she does her reports. Any reason?!



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