Q: Do you know why, all of a sudden, there is voice captioning happening during "A Million Little Things"? The last two episodes have had this and it's very odd. I opted to watch it On Demand instead and there is no voice captioning going on there. Just wondering if anyone else is having this issue.
Rob: It sounds like Rebecca accidentally hit the SAP button on her remote control – SAP is secondary audio program -- which provides descriptions of a show for blind viewers.
Q: I noticed that certain shows like “The Sinner” on USA Network and “Very Cavalleri” on the E! network have the first commercial break only one minute long and have a clock count down the minute but the rest of the commercial breaks are normal. What is up with that? What are they trying to accomplish?
-REBECCA VIA EMAIL
Rob: Both USA and E! are NBC Universal networks. I’ve also noticed this same phenomenon on “Project Runway” (Bravo, another NBCU network) and on NBC’s “This is Us.” The one-minute ad break is an effort to keep viewers, especially younger viewers, from tuning out when watching TV live.
NBC asked advertisers to pay a premium for their spots to appear in these “prime pods,” the first commercial break, with the thinking being that viewers are more likely to stay tuned and pay attention to commercials that air during a briefer ad break.
Q: What happened to all the Legos used on Fox’s “Lego Masters” after they filmed the first season? Were they donated to children’s charites?
-JUSTIN VIA E-MAIL
Rob: According to the show’s Fox publicist, some of the 3 million Lego bricks used in season one will be donated to children’s charities. Some will be stored for potential future seasons.
Q: Is “The Bachelor”/”The Bachelorette” scripted or do you think there is any reality to it? They don't even try to be credible anymore by having people run into their exes as if it is coincidence. I don't believe the show is what it claims to be but I wonder how much is contrived and how much might actually really occur.
-JOY, SCOTT TOWNSHIP
Rob: I think it is fair to say “The Bachelor” franchise shows are heavily produced, meaning that a lot of situations on the show are concocted by producers but what goes on during those contrived scenes may be closer to real.
Q: Do sweeps months mean as much as they used to in previous years? During this past February sweeps period, I noticed several shows on network television airing reruns.
-JEREMY VIA E-MAIL
Rob: Sweeps still means something, more to local stations than networks, but a lot less than sweeps once meant.
There are still less likely to be reruns in a sweeps month but networks do think strategically so if it’s a question of whether to air an original or a rerun opposite a big TV event like the Super Bowl or Oscars, which both aired in February sweeps, then the network will save an original and air a rerun even though it is sweeps.