TV Q&A: 'World on Fire,' the resumption of TV production and WTAE and KDKA anchors

Thursday, 25 June 2020 12:00 AM Written by 

Q: Regarding the TV Soap Opera "The Bold and the Beautiful" resuming production;  have you heard if “General Hospital” or “The Young and The Restless" will be following suit sooner rather than later?


Rob: An ABC publicist for “General Hospital” did not respond to Zach’s question but “Y&R” is aiming for a July 6th production start per

If the show makes that date – and they don’t have to shut down again due to the ongoing pandemic or testing issues -- new episodes likely will be on the air by later this summer.



Q: To what extent will counties and states have to reopen for large-scale television and film production to resume?  For instance, could something be filmed in a PA county that's currently in the green phase?


Now that we are in the green phase will local movie and television filming resume? Specifically there was a TV show called Rust that never began production. Will that begin or was it scrapped? I had signed up to be an extra.


Rob: Per the Pittsburgh Film Office, once the counties hit green, filming is allowed to resume as long as all CDC Pennsylvania Health Dept. guidelines are followed.

Showtime’s “Rust,” which was about to begin filming before the pandemic set in, has not yet announced when it will resume filming, although I hear they are aiming for sometime in July.

But if you were hoping to be an extra on “Rust” or any other production, don’t hold your breath waiting for a call to report to set. Due to efforts to maintain physical distancing in the COVID-19 era, most productions are writing out large crowd scenes, which is expected to curb the use of extras on film and TV sets.



Q: I’ve been calling WQED but they never return your call. Why did they move on to a new “Masterpiece” show when they never finished “World on Fire”?


Rob: We noted in April “World on Fire” is intended to be an ongoing series and a second season has been ordered. PBS did air all the produced episodes of “World on Fire” but the final episode of season one ended in a cliffhanger



Q: Why is televangelist Joel Osteen on both Channel 2 and Channel 11 at midnight Sunday? I never remember two channels carrying the same guy at the same exact time!

Rob: Religious programs buy time on local channels so for whatever reason Osteen’s ministry has opted to buy time on two channels in Pittsburgh and must be OK with the show airing opposite itself.



Q: I like “This Old House. “ Why does WQED-TV show two episodes one week, then not show another for three or four weeks?


Rob: A WQED representative says the station airs two episodes of “This Old House” on Saturday but the station also has at least one, and sometimes two, pledge weekends during the month. During a weekend pledge period, “This Old House” is pre-empted.



Q: We enjoy watching the unusual “Professor T” on WQED-TV. Every single episode the station brings up a message banner at the beginning that covers up the captions for the foreign language for a significant amount of time.  We miss critical dialogue every episode, and that’s particularly important for a detective/crime show.  Why do they allow this to happen?

Rob: Sounds like a possible automation error that is being corrected. A WQED spokesman said the show will no longer run the 30-second banner during “Professor T” so the English captions for this Flemish language program are always visible.



Q: Any idea on when Janelle Hall is coming back to WTAETV from her injury?


Rob: On June 15 Hall posted to her Facebook page that she’s still recovering from her March leg injuries sustained in a bike accident and doesn’t expect to be able to drive again until August. She indicated she hopes to have a timeline for a return to anchoring after an upcoming doctor’s appointment

“I’ve been so grateful for everyone’s care and concern since my bike injury at the end of March — as I’ve tried my best to stay connected to viewers on my social media pages,” Hall says. “I’m equally grateful for the compassion and understanding from my managers at WTAE who have been so supportive since my injury that required two surgeries on my three broken bones in my leg  and the rehab that’s followed to try to help me walk again (as I had to have three plates and 15 screws in my right ankle/leg.) I have a doctor’s appointment next week and hope to have some good news to share on the date of my return to the air. I can’t wait to get back to work with all of my friends — especially my co-anchor at 6 & 11 Mike Clark who has been an amazing friend to me and my family.”



Q: Where has Heather Abraham been? Last week she was on the early news but not “PTL” all week.


Rob:We had a very unexpected, sudden death in the family. Because ‘PTL’ is a relaxed, fun program filled with a lot of laughing, I wanted to be true to myself and grief and felt it would be best for me to sit out for the week,” Abraham explained. “ ‘PTL’ always provides an hour of positivity and Celina and Mikey did a great job in keeping the smiles and fun going in my absence.”



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