TV Q&A: 'Star Trek: Discovery,' 'Beat Shazam' and KDKA-TV news

Thursday, 23 July 2020 12:00 AM Written by 

Q: Are there any more episodes of “Council of Dads” now?  It is not on the TV schedule tonight (7/16).  Is it over? Please let me know the status of this show as soon as you can.  Thanks.

Rob: We reported NBC canceled “Council of Dads” last month. There will be no more episodes.



Q: With all the game shows being suspended and just doing re-runs, I was wondering how much the networks are saving on prizes. They are still getting a lot of money for commercials.


Rob: The amount game shows spend on prizes is relatively small compared to the production cost and host’s salary. Products named as prizes on game shows don’t cost the production anything; those prizes are given to the production to give away in exchange for the on-air mentions. 



Q: I believe that “Star Trek: Discovery” films in Toronto. Have you heard anything about when season 3 might debut?


Rob: All 13 episodes were filmed before the pandemic. The show is now in post-production and is expected to stream sometime later this year. But a premiere date has not been announced.



Q: I saw the news of “Dancing with the Stars” replacing Tom Bergeron with Tyra Banks, and the explanation of “wanting to go in a different direction,” and wondered if that was prompted by Bergeron standing up to ABC and publicly fighting their decision to bring Sean Spicer into the cast? I remember he was pushing hard for the idea that DWTS was supposed to be a fun show, a place to escape the tensions of the world, and ABC kept bringing on controversial contestants to, I assume, stoke the ratings. Did that work? Before Tyra was announced as the new host, I saw hints that Randy Rainbow was a possibility. 

Rob: Controversial contestants did not really stoke the ratings but I don’t think Bergeron’s statements are what led to him being fired. ABC’s trying to bring in younger viewers and they seem to think Banks will accomplish that. I’m skeptical.



Q: I recently subscribed to CBS All Access. I saw that the series “One Dollar” is still offered. I know it was canceled but being filmed in Pittsburgh I was wondering in your opinion is it worth watching just the one season quality-wise?


Rob: 100% yes. “One Dollar” was a missed opportunity and is a hidden gem on CBS All Access.

As I noted in my August 2018 review “One Dollar” was the first series to really get the Pittsburgh accent right on screen while also exploring the unique mix of social classes that make up Western Pennsylvania.

The whole gimmick of the dollar bill being passed around was a bit of a mixed bag but the characters created, their relationships and particularly the unique denouement to the murder case make the show worth watching.

Since almost no one knew of let alone watched "One Dollar," I'm curious to see if CBS puts it on its fall schedule when they have to fill time because thei regular shows have been unable to resume production due to the pandemic. It seems like an ideal candidate for fill-in programming even though tonally/structurally it's not a great fit for the CBS brand. 



Q: When will “Beat Shazam” be back on Fox?


Rob: Fox did produce a complete season of “Beat Shazam” before the pandemic-forced shutdown. The show has not been scheduled. My best guess is Fox is holding back episodes to use as replacement programming in the event the NFL is not able to play Thursday night games this fall or for when the network runs out of programming on another night of the week.



Q: Can you find out for me when "Unforgotten' on Masterpiece, season 4 will air? I had read somewhere that production had begun in January of this year.


Rob: Production of Season 4 was shut down due to the pandemic. There’s no timetable for when production will resume or when the episodes will air.



Q: Generally speaking, how have the ratings been for daytime talk shows that have performed stripped down, social distancing versions of their programs since the pandemic compared to where they were before the pandemic?  Ex: "Live With Kelly and Ryan", "The View", "The Talk", "Ellen", etc.


Rob: While overall TV ratings rose in the early days of the pandemic, some daytime talk shows saw their ratings erode due to pre-emptions for news coverage

And then came better weather, which often depresses ratings, and the reopening of some cities. The week before 4th of July and again the week of July 12th many daytime series hit or extended their series low ratings nationally.



Q: Is there any news on when Xfinity will add the app for HBO Max?

Rob: There is still no deal between Comcast and WarnerMedia to bring an HBO Max app to Xfinity. So there is no news or timetable as to when that might happen.

A deal was struck to bring the HBO Max app to Comcast on the day HBO Max launched in May but it has yet to show up. Per Comcast’s Bob Grove, “We do have a deal with HBO Max to bring the app to X1 and Flex – it’s coming soon. Currently, Xfinity customers who subscribe to HBO can use their Xfinity ID and password to sign in to the HBO Max website and app on their Smart TV, tablet and more. Soon, they’ll also be able to access the HBO Max app directly on Xfinity X1 and Flex, though I don’t yet have any more specific timing.”



Q: What is going on with Channel 2. First they let Rick Dayton go and Susan Koeppen also, but now they bring John Shumway to the morning news???


Rob: At first I thought maybe Shumway was just subbing in the mornings but his Facebook post from last week suggests morning work is his new assignment, moving him off afternoon reporting. 

Every half-hour from 5-7 a.m. Shumway is in studio to present a local story he’s produced for the morning news. Then he solo anchors the 7-9 a.m. news block on WPCW-TV while doing local cut-ins during “CBS This Morning” on KDKA.

This follows KDKA’s layoff of morning anchor Rich Dayton. Adding Shumway takes some of the load off remaining morning anchor Heather Abraham.



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