TV Q&A with Rob Owen

Theories on Penny's last name

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Post-Gazette TV writer Rob Owen answers reader questions online every Friday in Tuned In Journal blog at Here's a selection of recent queries.

Q: On "The Big Bang Theory," does Penny have a last name?

-- Vinnie, 34, New York

Rob: Interestingly, it appears Penny does not have a last name. Here's how CBS lists the show's cast -- everyone has a last name except Penny:


Johnny Galecki (Leonard Hofstadter)

Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper)

Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting (Penny)

Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz)

Kunal Nayyar (Rajesh Koothrappali)

Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler)

Melissa Rauch (Bernadette Rostenkowski)

Ms. Cuoco-Sweeting married professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting on New Year's Eve.

Q: Was what aired last fall the last season of "Homeland"? Or is it possible that Brody really isn't dead?

-- Ettie, 70, Florida

Rob: Spoiler alert from the season that ended late last year: Brody is finally, thankfully, mercifully dead. But the show will go on without him, hopefully as the terrorism drama viewers were promised instead of the doomed romance the show's writers turned "Homeland" into.

Q: I enjoy reading your column and listening to your podcast. I would be interested in your views on the Fox series "Almost Human." I find it mildly entertaining. What are the ratings?

-- Larry, 65, Allison Park

Rob: I thought "Almost Human" was a mixed bag when I reviewed the pilot in November. I watched one more episode after that (sexbots) and haven't tuned in since.

Ratings have been so-so with one ratings handicapping site declaring it a toss-up for renewal or cancellation. I'd put better odds on cancellation. (Fox tends to lose interest in its expensive, shiny new things quickly.)

Q: This past year I discovered four shows on BBC America that my wife and I enjoyed, "Copper," "Luther," "Orphan Black" and one detective series I can't remember. Are any of these returning for another season?

-- Leonard, 74, Scott

Rob: "Copper" was canceled and "Luther" ended its run, although there has been talk of an Alice Morgan spinoff series. "Orphan Black" will return at 9 p.m. April 19.

Q: Our family is delighted that "Hollywood Game Night" has returned. What a refreshing change from endless cop shows, lewd comedies and wretched reality shows. The games are fun and creative. We've copied many of them for our own game nights. The guests seem to be truly enjoying themselves and Jane Lynch is a hoot. Will there be more shows in the second season than in its brief initial run?

-- Norma, 60, Oakland

Rob: Yes, "Hollywood Game Night" was renewed for a second season that began in January and continues to air at 9 p.m. Thursday.

Q: Remember "The Anna Nicole Show"? Season one is out on DVD, but they never released season two. I would have thought they would try to coordinate its release with the recent made-for-TV movie about her. Do you know why they never released season two?

-- Kate, 46, Scott

Rob: Usually low sales for season one translates into no release for subsequent seasons.

Q: Is Alyssa Corfont still with WPXI since Valerie Smock is now doing weekday morning weather and Kevin Benson is doing weekend morning forecasts? If not, is she still in the Pittsburgh market?

-- Lee, 64, Pittsburgh

Rob: According to WPXI news director Mike Oliveira, Corfont left her freelance role at WPXI in favor of a full-time job at WNCN in Raleigh, N.C.

Q: In the TV listing section there should be a legend indicating what the abbreviations stand for. I know that (CC) means Closed-Caption. What is the meaning of (N) and (L)?

Here is an instance of (L) in yesterday's TV listing: 6 WJAC The Biggest Loser (N) (CC); The Voice (N) (L) (CC); Chicago Fire (10:01) (N); News (N); Jay Leno (N).

-- Gary, 60, Pittsburgh

Rob: A few years ago the listings service switched from labeling shows reruns (R) to N for new. We noted the change at the time. The L refers to a program that airs live.


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