Rob Owen

Rob Owen

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 clicking here.

This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “House of Cards,” “The Good Witch” and a departed WTAE reporter. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

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Keep revised KC logo 2013

It's time again for the Keep or Cancel? poll to open, giving viewers a chance to play programmer and vote for shows from the 2014-15 TV season to keep or cancel.

Read more -- including a link to voting -- after the jump. ....

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Post-Gazette media writer Maria Sciullo and online features editor Sharon Eberson join me to discuss "Glee," "The Royals" and "iZombie."

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More TV news bloopers

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 00:00

God bless the person who puts together these TV news blooper reels. One from January went up a while back and it's included below and the February edition can be found after the jump.

The January clip contains some mild, fleeting profanity, lots of Tom Brady saying "balls" and shows what happens when you send a young, inexperienced reporter -- who presumably did not grow up in a snowy part of the country -- out to cover snow.

Here's the YouTube clip:

Watch the February compilation after the jump. ...

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HBO debuts Scientology doc 'Going Clear'

Monday, 23 March 2015 08:39

goingclear01

However one feels about Scientology as a religion, HBO’s “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” (8 p.m. Sunday) offers devastating testimonials by former high-ranking church members about the alleged operating principles and alleged abuses by church leaders.

The church has denied the film’s allegations in print ads, through a Twitter account, online article in a church publication and somewhat childish-sounding take-downs of the film’s participants. (Rather than responding directly to charges made in the film, a church spokesperson ignored questions from The Hollywood Reporter and instead tried to dish dirt on the movie's participants, which does little to help the church's credibility.)

Based on the book by Lawrence Wright, who appears as an on-screen talking head, “Going Clear” is written and directed by Alex Gibney, who previously made the sex-abuse-in-the-Catholic-Church documentary “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.” It's an interesting and damning film but not as engrossing as HBO's recent "The Jinx" series.

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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 clicking here.

This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “CSI,” “Lt. Joe Kenda: Homicide Hunter” and The Weather Channel. As always, thanks for reading and keep the questions coming.

- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

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The health risks of binge-watching TV

Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:23

HOC s2 

We're in an era of binge TV viewing by some viewers thanks to outlets like Netflix that usually make all episodes of a show's season on the same day. Last month the streaming service debuted a new season of "House of Cards" (see above), earlier this month it was "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and as I write in today's Weekend Mag, this week it's new drama "Bloodline."

But research suggests watching TV shows in a binge may not be in the best interest of viewers' health.

Read more after the jump. ...

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empire s1 cd

Fox's soapy "Empire" (8-10 tonight, WPGH) turned out to be a bigger hit than anyone at the network expected, which is why the series will end its 12-episode first season in March rather than running through to the end of the TV season in May. By the time the show got on the air in January and subsequently became an unprecedented hit, it was too late to order more episodes for this season (also, the producers don't really want to do that many more episodes per season).

A soap about a family running a music entertainment empire, the series has mixed the frothy fun of “Dynasty” with the exploration of homophobia.

“Empire” began when Cookie (scene-stealer Taraji P. Henson) exited prison and re-entered the life of her ex-husband, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), who was diagnosed with ALS and trying to decide which son should inherit his kingdom. Would it be bi-polar bean counter Andre (Trai Byers), talented songwriter Jamal (Jussie Smollett) or young rapper Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray)? Lucious has battled with all of them, most notably Jamal, who is gay, much to his father’s homophobic disgust.

The show has also become a music trend-setter with songs from episodes released much the same way as “Glee,” with digital music from each episode sold weekly on iTunes and a first-season soundtrack, pictured above, is now in stores and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200(Take note: There are two versions of the season one soundtrack. The standard, 11-track CD version is missing the season’s catchiest songs, Hakeem’s “Drip Drop” and Jamal’s version of “You’re So Beautiful,” which are included on the 18-track digital deluxe edition of the soundtrack.) 

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For today's review of "iZombie" on The CW, click here.

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Post-Gazette media writer Maria Sciullo joins me to discuss "The Jinx," "Community" and "American Crime."

Find the podcast link after the jump. ...

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izombie premiere

The CW is on a role this season, launching breakout hit “The Flash” and critical darling “Jane the Virgin” last fall and now the network scores again with the clever, entertaining enough “iZombie” (9 tonight, WPCW).

Based on a comic book and translated to TV by “Veronica Mars” vets Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggerio-Wright, ‘iZombie” offers a cute concept clinging to a stale procedural, spine that’s improved by an unexpected serialized element hinted at in the premiere and expanded upon in the second episode.

Ambitious doctor-in-training Olivia “Liv” Moore (Rose McIver, “Masters of Sex”) always makes the responsible choice until one night her fiancé (Robert Buckley, “One Tree Hill”) encourages her to cut loose and attend a party on boat. The party ends badly when zombies attack and Liv becomes one of the walking dead.

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