Q: Is there any hidden meaning behind the choice of a baseball card featuring pitcher (and former Pittsburgh Pirate) John Candelaria on "This Is Us"?
-BARB VIA E-MAIL
Rob: Per the show’s writers, “We liked the idea of it being a player who started and ended his career with the Pirates, so that's why John was chosen.”
Q: I tried last Friday and looked again for this Friday (March 6) to tape “American Housewife.” It has not been on. “Shark Tank” has been on at that time.
I checked on-line and didn't see anything. Can you tell me how long it is hiatus?
-MARILYN VIA E-MAIL
Rob: ABC sure likes to move “American Housewife” around. Last seen on Friday nights, the show moves back to Wednesday on March 18 airing in the 9:30 p.m. time slot.
Q: My wife and I enjoy watching “Stumptown” and we were just wondering how the ratings have been and if the show has a chance to be renewed for a 2nd season?
-TONY VIA FACEBOOK
Rob: Seems like a tossup. Ratings have been dropping consistently, which is not a good sign for the show’s viability. But maybe it’s doing well beyond traditional ratings – digital streaming, on demand, DVR playback – which could help sustain it. We’ll find out by May.
Q: A while back my friends and I were watching “A Discovery of Witches” on either AMC or the BBC. I cannot remember which station it was. We really enjoyed it and were wondering if it is scheduled to return any time soon. After all, like any good series it ended with a crisis!
Rob: Seasons two and three have been ordered. Season two will make its U.S. premiere on streamers Sundance Now and Shudder in late 2020.
Q: Why do so many network television programs, scripted drams in particular, not air very many episodes in a TV season nowadays? For example, "Beverly Hills 90210" used to consistently air 30-plus episodes in a season. Compare that with hit drama shows today like "A Million Little Things," "9-1-1," "How To Get Away With Murder," etc. who don't even hit 20 in 1 season.
-IAN VIA E-MAIL
Rob: In fairness, “Beverly Hills, 90210” was an outlier even in its era. Most TV series have traditionally done 22-24 episodes per season since at least the 1960s.
But today there are far more shows that do a shorter run of episodes for a variety of reasons. Some of it is financial. Some of it is creative. The producers of “This Is Us” think they can better maintain quality – and probably not stretch the story past its breaking point -- with fewer episodes. And I think there’s some truth to that. Also, some actors will only commit to a shorter run of episodes. That’s the case with Viola Davis and “How to Get Away with Murder.”
Q: I was hoping you could help me find out what piece of music is used in the MSNBC/NBC commercial “This Is Who We Are.” I have Googled extensively and can't find anything. Is it original or a classical piece? I love the soundtrack! Thanks for your help.
-DEBBIE VIA E-MAIL
Rob: It is an original piece of music that is not available for purchase.
Q: I have another crude language questions for you. I've recorded the TV series “Unforgettable” on Start TV. I know after this show was canceled on a broadcast network, it was picked up by a cable network so the rules of foul language changed. While watching the final season on Start TV, I noticed one specific word that was bleeped out in previous episodes was said loud and proud by two different characters in episode 12 of season four. I went back to make sure the recording was indeed recorded on Start and it was. Is this just some editor dropping the ball or are there some episodes where it's okay to say the s-word or is it always OK for language like this to be aired on Start TV? It was aired Oct. 9, 10-11 a.m. The title is "Bad Company.” The Start TV logo was shown and the TiVo lists the recording from KDKADT2, Comcast channel 1165.
-PAM, ALLISON PARK
Rob: As Pam suspected, this was an error on the part of Start TV that has since been corrected.
Q: I have noticed on Michael Bloomberg's TV ads that the ad over voice pronounces Mr. Bloomberg's last name so that first syllable rhymes with "room". Mr. Bloomberg pronounces his name so that first syllable rhymes with "glum". I thought by now that there would be some consistent pronunciation of his last name. Am I imagining things?
Q: Whatever happened to Dave Crawley? His bio is still on KDKA's website, he's not really heard from anymore, and I think the last we heard, he was suing the organizers of the flugtag about seven months ago. If he's retiring, I feel like that puts KDKA in such an awkward position, because he's been off the air for so long with no comment from the station, but he's been there since 1988 so they can't just unceremoniously remove his bio and not even mention it. Have you heard anything?
-DAVID VIA E-MAIL
Rob: David’s question prompted me to reach out to Crawley’s wife, who does most of the communicating for him, and she put me in touch with his lawyers who announced a new lawsuit against KDKA-TV charging the station with age discrimination and retaliation.
The lawyers also say Crawley’s contract with KDKA was not renewed. This is where things get sticky. At one point in the past few years I remember being told many people were working at KDKA without a contract; their previous contracts had expired and they had not yet been offered new contracts but they were still working there. My understanding is Crawley has not been fired and is still an employee od KDKA but on leave, which is probably why his bio is still posted at KDKA.com.
Regardless, given the lawsuits and his underlying health condition – one of Crawley’s lawyers told me he continues to be treated for his injuries, most significantly with respect to cognitive issues that are ongoing -- it seems doubtful Crawley will return to the air on KDKA.
Q: Has Comcast permanently severed ties with PCNC? I miss it.
-CATHERINE VIA PHONE
Rob: My sense is it’s unlikely that PCNC will return to Comcast. But who knows what future negotiations could bring -- never say never but it’s not looking good.
VOICE MAIL OF THE WEEK
“I just wanted to get to somebody at the PPG and make a comment about Dick Wolf the executive producer of the “Law & Order” series and those “Chicago” shows: There ought to be a Nobel prize for him. I’m a retired police officer and, well, Dick Wolf should have a Nobel Prize of some sort. That’s just what I wanted to say.”
-BOB VIA VOICEMAIL