Q: Will there be another season of "Two Sentence Horror Stories" on The CW or has it been canceled?
-Chad via email
Rob: The show has been renewed but is not in production due to the pandemic so no idea when it will return to the air.
Q: Although there seems to be a market for shows about ghosts and paranormal activities, I question how those shows have overtaken the Travel Channel.
As far as I can determine, there is no travel on the Travel Channel any longer.
Particularly at this time of lockdown (but all the time for many of us) it would be nice to actually have a travel station that has travel on it.
Rob: Alas, the market decides. And those ghost hunting shows seem to draw better ratings for Travel Channel than what one would traditionally consider travel programming.
Once Discovery acquired Travel Channel – and after Discovery’s success with paranormal shows on Destination America, a channel that now seems to be a much lower priority – Discovery execs started moving paranormal shows onto Travel. They wouldn’t have kept adding more if it wasn’t a successful strategy.
My guess is paranormal shows draw younger (re: more advertiser-coveted) viewers than traditional travel programming.
Q: The “Hawaii Five-0” remake just ended its 10-season run. Wondering if any network will start showing reruns like TNT did a few years ago?
-RAY VIA EMAIL
Rob: My understanding, per the studio that produced the show, is that “Hawaii Five-0” is currently only available on subscription streaming service CBS All Access.
Q: I’ve noticed that movies in TV listings (particularly via the cable remote “guide” or “info” button) now list the cast with the Director’s name first, even before the actors. This is new to me. Did the Directors make some sort of arrangement for this change to occur? This comes off as an ego thing to me.
-SCOTT VIA E-MAIL
Rob: That’s just a choice a listings service made. Directors or actors have no control over the order of credits in TV listings.
Q: On “WQED Cooks,” is Kweilin still a regular? And is Nancy Polinsky married to a local newsman on Channel 11?
-SARAH VIA VOICEMAIL
Rob: Kweilin Nasser retired from her job as WQED’s director of corporate support but still serves as pledge talent for cooking specials and other pledge programs, per Chris Fennimore.
“Nancy Polinsky is the co-host of all our ‘QED Cooks’ specials,” Fennimore said. “She also doubles as pledge talent on those shows and many others. … We do a few new programs a year and the rest are repeats. The weekly shows are clips from the cooking ‘marathons’ that we string together.”
And, yes, Polinsky is married to WPXI-TV news anchor David Johnson.
Q: I read with interest your response to the reader who inquired about the, by now, nauseating Westshore infomercials. WPXI’s GM, Kevin Hayes, was quoted as saying “Our commercial landscape is very different now” and “This is a recent shift due to circumstances.” I would like to know how he can make those statements when those absolutely sickening Westshore infomercials started airing last fall far before this pandemic existed and supposedly created a different commercial landscape for WPXI. I thought I would escape having to endure those infomercials by going to Florida for several weeks in February but was shocked to see them being aired in Florida as well! Is there no way viewers can stop this “air pollution”?
-BARRY, CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP
Rob: There is not. It's their business, they can run it as they like. TV stations have long seen advertisers as their customers, not viewers. But viewers do have options: Change the channel, record and watch later zipping through commercials, turn off the TV.
As for when these ads started running on Channel, 11, I sent Barry’s question about timing to Kevin Hayes who did not respond, but the spot I saw talked about COVID-19 so that particular ad could not have run last fall.
Q: Is it too much to expect local TV news reporters to know the difference between “less than” and “fewer”? KDKA, in general, and Andy Sheehan, in particular, are huge culprits. This mistake even occurs in their graphics. Most of the mistakes I noticed lately dealt with the pandemic. For example, “less deaths” was certainly said.
On April 29 (“less than 50 new cases a day,” “less than 50 COVID patients”) in several reports (“less than 10 days” then she redeems herself with “fewer than 50 new cases”). Same thing on April 27 (“less than 50 cases per day” “less than 25 new cases a day”) and April 23 (“less than 50 cases per day”).
And back in February there was the same error in the graphic and the script (“Less than half of Pennsylvania dogs”).
Yes, the pandemic has apparently provided me too much free time.
Rob: I would be bothered more if it was “under 25 new cases a day” since “under” is for spatial (synonymous with below) and not to be used with a number. That’s just a common mistake that always drives me nuts.
Scott has his own bug-a-boo and he is indeed correct that “fewer” should be used for things that are countable (cases, patients, days, dogs) or plural. “Less than” is used for singular things you can’t count (water, potato salad).
Now, if these were extemporaneous mistakes during a live shot, I’d be more likely to jump to the reporters’ defense (everyone misspeaks from time to time) but these are mostly scripted errors that can be avoided.
Q: My question is this: Why does KDKA-TV show Cleveland and Cambridge, Ohio, on their weather map if these cities are not in the viewing area...or are they? The prominent city to the north, Erie, is never shown or talked about, even though it's in the same state despite not being in the viewing area so why are these two Ohio cities, one 140 miles distant and the other 108 miles distant, included in the "local" weather map?
Rob: I would imagine because weather typically comes from the west (not due north where Erie is located) so you’d be more likely to label cities to the west.
“Most of our weather comes from the west towards us, so that's why you sometimes see Ray present fronts coming from Ohio,” replied KDKA news director Kathy Hostetter. “Occasionally lake effect weather patterns can shift south into our viewing area, too, so we sometimes DO reference Erie, especially in snow events that would impact I-80.”