Tuned In Journal http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com Tue, 30 Aug 2016 06:58:29 -0400 en-gb 'Cleveland Hustles' -- or does it? http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40398-cleveland-hustles-or-does-it http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40398-cleveland-hustles-or-does-it

cleveland hustles

For its new show about Cleveland entrepreneurs, "Cleveland Hustles" (10 p.m. Wednesdays, CNBC), NBA superstar/executive producer LeBron James (above right) and business partner Maverick Carter (above left) give four small business owners the chance to bring their dreams to reality.

But who chose Steelers colors for the show's promotional T-shirt? See it after the jump. ...

cleveland hustles t shirt

Seriously, they were giving these out at TCA earlier this month (see above) and I couldn't believe the black and gold color choice for a show set in Cleveland given the fierce Cleveland-Pittsburgh rivalry, especially during football season.

Here's how CNBC describes the series:

On CNBC’s “Cleveland Hustles,” premiering Wednesday, August 24th at 10PM ET/PT, NBA superstar/Executive Producer LeBron James and his longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter will give four up and coming local entrepreneurs the chance to realize their own dreams while also helping to revitalize a neighborhood in Cleveland. They have enlisted the help of host B. Bonin Bough and four successful local business leaders to give the fledgling entrepreneurs the chance of a lifetime – financial backing, expert guidance, and a storefront to launch their enterprise. Over the course of the season, viewers will see if the entrepreneurs have the ambition, creativity, and hustle necessary to succeed -- and in so doing, help a neighborhood rebuild.

rowen@post-gazette.com (Rob Owen) Tuned In Journal Mon, 29 Aug 2016 00:00:01 -0400
TV Q&A: Local TV news, 'Little People, Big World,' 'Barefoot Contessa' http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40403-tv-q-a-local-tv-news-little-people-big-world-barefoot-contessa http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40403-tv-q-a-local-tv-news-little-people-big-world-barefoot-contessa

Click here for a link to headlines of recent TV news and views posts.

TV Q&A with Rob Owen

Submit a question to TV Q&A by sending an email to rowen@post-gazette.com (include your first name and location) or submitting online at http://old.post-gazette.com/tv/questions/qaform.asp.

This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “Little People, Big World,” “Barefoot Contessa” and local TV news. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

-- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: I am wondering what happened to the “Barefoot Contessa” programs that used to be on the Food Network at 4 and 4:30 p.m. I can’t find her program at all.

-- Carolee, South Park

Rob: A search of online TV listings reveals “Barefoot Contessa” is airing at 7 and 7:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.


Q: Do you know if the series, “Art Breakers” on Ovation is ever coming back?  There were just four episodes and it seems to have disappeared.

-- Dan via email

Rob: In January, Ovation said six more episodes would air in the third quarter of this year but now Ovation says that’s no longer the plan.

“The network did not continue with the series after the first season,” explained Ovation spokesman Roger Lawson. “There was a programming department decision to put resources elsewhere.”


Q: Why do we see pictures of Jacob on TLC’s “Little People Big World,” but he's never heard from on the show? Will the show be back?

-- Linda via Facebook

Rob: Jacob has publicly disavowed the program, including social media posts claiming the show was faked and that he was ripped off.

A TLC publicist did not respond to inquiries about Jacob’s role in the show or the program’s future.


Q: Why do the news readers, at WTAE-TV, hold iPads that they never look at? It's so phony.

-- John, Cranberry Township

Rob: A few years ago WTAE made the move from paper backup scripts to iPad backup scripts (anchors usually read their copy from the TelePrompTer on the studio camera). So if having an iPad is phony, then having a paper script must have been phony, too.


Q: My question/pet peeve is about the news crawls that appear on ALL of the stations during the news cast. I am one of those crazy early commuters so I watch the 4:30 a.m. KDKA news. At least once a week if not more, the news crawl is for the day before not the current day. Sometimes I miss the weather or other stories while going through my morning routine, but the news crawl is there to fill in the gaps, unless it is the crawl from the day before. Sometimes it’s really funny when the wrong sports info. is there, but it can be terrible when a tragic event has taken place and it is repeated verbatim from the day before. It’s getting really annoying and useless to have the wrong information scrolling across the screen day after day. Can’t someone check that the information they are putting out is correct, or just get rid of it?

-Theresa, Monongahela

Rob: Hmmm, not sure about the timing of when the headlines get changed, but KDKA says they are updated daily.

According to KDKA-TV news director Anne Linaberger, “We change our morning news crawl daily. We have a choice of new national news headlines of the day which we select and we input the latest local news headlines.”


Tuned In podcast


rowen@post-gazette.com (Rob Owen) Tuned In Journal Fri, 26 Aug 2016 23:59:01 -0400
Tuned In podcast: Olympics coverage, 'Braindead' late-night talk shows http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40402-tuned-in-podcast http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40402-tuned-in-podcast

tuned in podcast logo

Post-Gazette online features editor Sharon Eberson and media writer Maria Sciullo join me to discuss NBC's Olympics coverage, CBS's "Braindead" and the state of the late-night talk shows.

Find the podcast link after the jump. ...

Access the Tuned In podcast on the PG Soundcloud site  or below: 


rowen@post-gazette.com (Rob Owen) Tuned In Journal Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:22:01 -0400
SundanceTV debuts Italian crime drama import 'Gomorrah' http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40393-sundancetv-debuts-italian-crime-drama-import-gomorrah http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40393-sundancetv-debuts-italian-crime-drama-import-gomorrah


One of the challenges of the #PeakTV era is that even a TV critic cannot keep up. I had every intention of getting to SundanceTV's "Gomorrah" (10 tonight), even taking the discs with me to press tour last month, butI never managed to watch them.

"Gomorrah" is billed as Italiy's all-time most popular TV series, Italy's version of "The Sopranos" supposedly.

Here's how Sundance describes it:

Set in the suburbs of Naples, the series focuses on the inside story of the Camorra, the fierce Neapolitan crime organization, told through the eyes of Ciro Di Marzio (Marco D'Amore), the right hand of the clan’s godfather, Pietro Savastano (Fortunato Cerlino). Produced by Sky Atlantic, Cattleya and Fandango in association with La7 and Beta Film, “Gomorrah” is written by Stefano Bises and directed by Stefano Sollima, Francesca Comencini andClaudio Cupellini. The series was developed for television by Giovanni Bianconi, Stefano Bises, Leonardo Fasoli, Ludovica Rampoldi andRoberto Saviano.

Read more and watch a trailer after the jump. ...

Since I haven't seen "Gomorrah" yet beyond the trailer, which admittedly looks somewhat intriguing, here's how some other critics reacted to the series.

And here's a preview:


rowen@post-gazette.com (Rob Owen) Tuned In Journal Wed, 24 Aug 2016 07:37:01 -0400
AMC's 'Halt and Catch Fire' returns http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40292-amc-s-halt-and-catch-fire-returns http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40292-amc-s-halt-and-catch-fire-returns

halt catch s3

Low-rated but critically-acclaimed “Halt and Catch Fire” (9 -11 tonight) returns for its third season with back-to-back episodes set in March 1986 as start-up company Mutiny, led by Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis) and Donna Clark (Kerry Bishe), leaves Texas for Silicon Valley as Donna’s husband, Gordon (Scoot McNairy), tries to find his place in his wife’s company.

Joe McMillan (Lee Pace, “Pushing Daisies”) reinvents himself in a way that sends him back into the lives of his old Mutiny partners.

Read more and watch a trailer after the jump. ...

After this week, episodes will regularly air at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Here's a behind-the-scenes glimpse at season three:


This item originally published in Sunday's print edition.

rowen@post-gazette.com (Rob Owen) Tuned In Journal Tue, 23 Aug 2016 10:11:01 -0400
'Homicide Hunter' Joe Kenda is back on Investigation Discovery http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40388-homicide-hunter-joe-kenda-is-back-on-investigation-discovery http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40388-homicide-hunter-joe-kenda-is-back-on-investigation-discovery


Western Pennsylvania native Joe Kenda is back on the case in the sixth season of Investigation Discovery's "Homicide Hunter" (10 p.m. Wednesday).

Watch a trailer after the jump. ...

Here's how ID describes the season premiere:


In the premiere episode, “Avert Your Eyes” airing Wednesday, August 24 at 10/9c, Lt. Kenda explores the shocking case of Pamela Edwards, a beloved mother shot and killed in her own home with her young daughters upstairs. When Kenda arrives to the house, his first task is to shield her daughters from the horrendous scene. Seeing their pain only strengthens his determination to find the killer, and when they close in on him, the story ends with an intense foot chase across Colorado Springs. Additional cases covered this season include one where a dog finds a dismembered head, and Kenda’s very first case as a rookie beat cop, where Kenda was shot at in the line of duty.

And here's the trailer:


rowen@post-gazette.com (Rob Owen) Tuned In Journal Mon, 22 Aug 2016 11:52:01 -0400
TV Q&A: 'The Nightly Show,' 'Criminal Minds' and LMN ghost shows http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40381-tv-q-a-the-nightly-show-criminal-minds-and-lmn-ghost-shows http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40381-tv-q-a-the-nightly-show-criminal-minds-and-lmn-ghost-shows

Click here for a link to headlines of recent TV news and views posts.

TV Q&A with Rob Owen

Submit a question to TV Q&A by sending an email to rowen@post-gazette.com (include your first name and location) or submitting online at http://old.post-gazette.com/tv/questions/qaform.asp.

This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “The Nightly Show,” “Criminal Minds” and LMN ghost shows. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

-- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

Q: I'm shocked and dismayed to hear Comedy Central has terminated "The Nightly Show" in the middle of this bizarre election. Then there is the whole issue of "Black Lives Matter" in this final year of this president’s term in office.

They don't even have a replacement show. The show has steadily improved. The cast is smart, informed, candid, ethnically diverse and hilarious. America needs the measured discussion Larry and Co. bring to the table. Sorry the millennials aren't interested.

So, who do I write to about this very unfortunate development?


Rob: I was surprised about the timing of the cancellation, too, but the reality is if a show gets low ratings on-air and essentially online with little or no buzz, there’s just no justification for keeping it around. Part of me wonders if “The Nightly Show” would have fared better with a stronger lead in since “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” is also pretty buzz-less these days when John Oliver and Samantha Bee are doing such better, buzzier programs.

Jack can register his displeasure with the cancellation by writing to Comedy Central president Kent Alterman using the address on our network addresses page.


Q: I know it's really early to ask this question, but I will anyway! What will happen on “Criminal Minds” with the firing of Thomas Gibson, especially with Shemar Moore also leaving? Is the show doomed?


Rob: Procedurals seem more capable than serials of withstanding cast turnover. Clearly the writers at “Criminal Minds” are scrambling to adapt their upcoming episodes to address the absence of Gibson’s character.


Q: So we go out and spend $1,000-$2,000 on large-screen TVs. Now we have beautiful video sometimes audio, if not we upgrade. So why do we have to have station LOGOS on screen when we know what channel we are watching?


Rob: On-screen logos have been a part of the TV landscape for at least a decade if not 15 years so I’m a little surprised they’re only being noticed now unless they were being cut off previously on a non-HD set.

Networks paste their logo in the corner so that if a viewer is flipping through the channels, she will see the logo and know what channel she flipped to instantly even in the midst of a program. It’s a form of branding, too.


Q: Hated to hear that Tony is leaving “NCIS.” Wonder why. He's so important to the show. With both Ziva gone, now Tony, can't imagine the show can last.


Rob: Actor Michael Weatherly chose to leave “NCIS” because he wanted to try something new. He’s starring in CBS’s fall drama, “Bull,” as a younger version of Dr. Phil McGraw when he ran a jury consulting firm.

“Bull” will air Tuesday nights after “NCIS,” so Weatherly isn’t going far.


Q: Could you suggest to ME-TV possibly airing reruns of the Peter Graves “Mission: Impossible” episodes at a reasonable hour?


Rob: ME-TV is no more likely to listen to me than to any other viewer. A viewer’s best bet is to express concerns directly via the network’s website ) or by sending a letter via snail mail to MeTV Network, 26 N Halsted, Chicago, IL 60661.


Q:I have watched “King of Queens” for many years, but now that Kevin James has a new show coming up in the fall, CBS’s “Kevin Can Wait,” I was wondering if Leah Remini has anything in the works?


Rob: It doesn’t appear she has a new TV show lined up now that “The Exes” is done, but she does have the movies “Handsome”  and “The Clapper” awaiting release.


Q: A favorite movie of mine "Night in the City" starring Robert DeNiro and Jessica Lange has vanished.  It isn't shown on TV anymore nor is in available on On Demand, Netflix, Redbox, etc. I've purchased DVDs of many of my favorite movies recently on Amazon and eBay for $4. A DVD of this movie is available for $95!  VHS tapes are reasonable as are Laserdiscs, which don't play on a DVD player. The original version (Richard Widmark) is available, but I don't want that.  What gives?  Was it removed due to legal/distribution issues?


Rob: Because I cover TV and not movies, this isn’t a title I’m familiar with but looking it up it appears to be called “Night and the City” and it was distributed by 20th Century Fox in 1992. It is odd that the DVD is unavailable, but I don’t know a specific reason for this title being out of print.


Q: Inquiring about what happened to the show that wason LMN Saturdaynights, “The Haunting of...” with Kim Russo, where a medium/psychic helped celebrities understand their experiences with ghosts or spirits at one time or another in their lifetime.

It just disappeared without a trace, which was baffling, as they were advertising upcoming shows, new season, etc.

Also, a show that followed that one was “My Haunted House,” that one disappeared at the same time? What's up with that?


Rob: According to a publicist for LMN, new episodes of both “The Haunting Of…” and “My Haunted House” will air this fall on LMN. No premiere dates have been announced.


Q: I noticed that Janelle Hall hasn't been doing morning traffic and noon news daily. Is she part time now? Another staff shuffle at WTAE?


Rob: V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N.

“Your reader sounds like a fan of Janelle Hall,” said WTAE news director Jim Parsons in an emailed response. “Anne from Millvale should follow Janelle on Facebook and she would see what a wonderful vacation Janelle had with her family last week at the beach. We're happy to have Janelle back this week.” 



I just saw your article about the meteorologists at WTAE. When I called the newsroom, they told me Mr. McLaughlin asked to be changed to weekends. Interesting!

-- Anne, Canonsburg



rowen@post-gazette.com (Rob Owen) Tuned In Journal Fri, 19 Aug 2016 09:56:01 -0400
Latest Amazon pilots include a remake of 'The Tick' http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40382-amazon-latest-pilots-include-a-remake-of-the-tick http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40382-amazon-latest-pilots-include-a-remake-of-the-tick

tick blog

Tomorrow Amazon debuts what it bills as its "2016 Comedy Pilot Season," which, like so many things Amazon does, is inconsistent with its own branding. Amazon recently re-dubbed its comedies "half-hours" because often they're not really that funny but someone didn't get the memo and the "comedy" moniker is still around for this pilot season. (This brand disconnect is similar to the confused name of its video service: Is it Amazon Video? Amazon Prime Video? Amazon Instant Video? I've given up trying to figure it out.)

All Amazon customers are again invited to stream the three new pilots and vote on which ones should become series, but it doesn't sound like Amazon puts much of a premium on that viewer vote based on the word salad response from Amazon Studios chief Roy Price when asked about it at a press conference earlier this month.

"So you can take the audience feedback, which has a lot of dimensions," he began. "There's, you know, like, the ratings online, but there are other things.  And then you have the critics, and then you have our own observations.  And you've got to kind of put that all into the mixer and, you know, figure it out, but I think it is helpful."

Of the three new pilots, the most curious is a remake of "The Tick," which originally aired on Fox for a single season in 2001.

Read more after the jump. ....

"The Tick" is based on a comic book of the same name created by Ben Edlund, who was involved in both the Fox series and this Amazon re-do.

Like so many comedies on Amazon, the humor has been mostly drained from this version of "The Tick" which can't compare to the happier original either in its sense of fun or its cast. It's hard to imagine a better group than Fox had the first time around with Patrick Warburton as The Tick, David Burke as sidekick Arthur, Nestor Carbonell as Bat Manuel and Liz Vassey as Lady Liberty.

Peter Serafinowicz (above at right) plays the title character in the new "Tick" but the show might as well be called "Arthur" because the focus is squarely on Arthur (Griffin Newman, above at left) in the pilot. Arthur gets the sad backstory that dovetails with the demise of some superheroes. Arthur is the one on meds for his possible psychosis with a sister (Valorie Curry) who keeps tabs on him.

As the Tick, Serafinowicz sounds more like Adam West in the 1960s "Batman" TV series than he does like Warburton, which isn't a bad trade-off. But the pilot is so joyless -- no Bat Manuel or Lady Liberty in sight -- that fans of the original TV series may not recognize this "Tick" if not for the guy in the big, blue bug costume.

rowen@post-gazette.com (Rob Owen) Tuned In Journal Thu, 18 Aug 2016 09:05:01 -0400
Are TV psychics friends? I asked the star of 'Hollywood Medium' with Tyler Henry http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40373-are-tv-psychics-friends-who-hang-out-together-i-asked-the-star-of-hollywood-medium-with-tyler-henry http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40373-are-tv-psychics-friends-who-hang-out-together-i-asked-the-star-of-hollywood-medium-with-tyler-henry


hollywood medium

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – I’ll admit I’m too much of a cynic to believe in psychics and yet the current young TV psychics seem so wholesome and nice, it’s hard to hate on them. (Then again, maybe that’s their con: Be unflappable and project an air of decency.)

So the only real question I had for the star of “Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry” (8 p.m. Wednesday, E!) was if he’d met Freeform’s “Monica the Medium,” who used to be a student at Penn State.

Read more after the jump. ...

Turns out, he hasn’t met her but would like to. He is friends with an older TV psychic, John Edward.

Henry said he realized he had the gift to hear from the dead when he was 10 – he’s obly 20 now – and woke up and knew instantly that his cancer-stricken grandmother was going to die. Before he and his mom could get out the door, the phone rang with news that she had passed.

“From there, my entire life changed,” he said. “I would go to my day‑to‑day life [and] information would connect about the students that I go to school with and teachers that I would meet while they were, you know, instructing the classes.  And I would share these pieces of information, and they would validate them as making total sense.  From there, I saw the helpfulness that came from these connections and formalized them into readings.”
His mom would drive him from his small central California town to Los Angeles to do readings for Hollywood folks after word of his ability began to spread.

On the show, he said he never knows who he is going to meet before he gets to their home. And he often doesn’t recognize the person who answers the door because he’s not a big pop culture buff.

He said his gift does not come with an on-off switch.

“I really actually compare it more to, like, a volume dial,” he said. “When I go about my day‑to‑day life, I'm always kind of picking up some subtle impressions, either from my surroundings or people, but it really takes kind of taking what's generally in the back of my mind and bringing it to the forefront of my mind before I go to a reading.  That really allows me to kind of get into the zone.  And that's why it's so important that I meditate when I go to these readings and is actually in part why I don't drive to these readings as well, because, for me, I just have to be kind of a blank slate.  I have to be able to figure out what's coming through beforehand, and if I'm driving, that would obviously present an issue.  So don't want to be distracted.”

I still think he’s a charlatan, but he’s such a pleasant, poised kid, it’s hard for me to be a hater.  


rowen@post-gazette.com (Rob Owen) Tuned In Journal Tue, 16 Aug 2016 23:59:01 -0400
CW goes inspirational with doc series 'My Last Days' http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40372-cw-goes-inspirational-with-doc-series-my-last-days http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in/item/40372-cw-goes-inspirational-with-doc-series-my-last-days



BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- The CW gets serious this week with the three-night documentary series “My Last Days” (9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, WPCW), executive produced by “Jane the Virgin” star Justin Baldoni as he chronicles the lives of young people with a terminal illness, including a 19-year-old with cystic fibrosis, a 25 year old with stomach cancer and a 21 year old with Mucopolysaccharidosis.

Last week CW president Mark Pedowitz said a second season of “Last Days” has already been ordered. The project originated as a digital series but Pedowitz and others at the CW thought it deserved a broader audience.

Read more after the jump. ...

“We called Justin up and said there's more to this than just a digital series, and it was more to what we realized that CW Good could be, that our belief is with Justin and with this show, it's different,” Pedowitz said. “We believe that airing it in August was the right time to do it.  It's real heroes, real life.  … And even talking about it today, I feel a sense of, I don't know, maybe personal shame that I haven't grabbed life the way I should have.  But I'm very proud of what Justin did and what CW Seed has done and what CW Good has done in launch with ‘My Last Days.’ If you haven't seen it, it is a very powerful piece of material, and I really, really urge you to watch it.”


rowen@post-gazette.com (Rob Owen) Tuned In Journal Mon, 15 Aug 2016 16:33:01 -0400