TV Q&A: Hallmark Channel had terrible timing

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

Q: Can you tell me why the Hallmark Channel's "When Calls the Heart" isn't reviewed more in the media? Rob, it is the closest to some of our old series such as "Little House on the Prairie," "The Waltons," etc. My wife and I love this show and feel that far too many people don't know what a great family show it is.

-- Cy, 79, Cherry Tree

Rob: Good question with a frustratingly easy answer. Hallmark Channel did not get review copies of the show to TV critics in time for reviews when it premiered.

When Hallmark did get review copies out, its timing was terrible. It's a show I would like to have written about-- I requested a screener in early December -- but there was simply no way. (Screeners of most scripted cable series premieres arrive on TV critics' desks at least three weeks in advance.)

"When Calls the Heart" debuted Jan. 11. Hallmark Channel did not make the premiere episode available for review until almost 6 p.m. on Jan 8, just three days in advance of the show's premiere.

Jan. 8 also was the first day of the TV critics winter press tour when TV critics are in press conferences daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and filing stories every evening. That did not leave enough time to carve out space in the newspaper let alone to watch and write a review in the midst of press tour. Chalk this one up to a purely self-inflicted wound on the part of Hallmark Channel.

Q: Three quick questions: I really liked Leah Remini on "The Exes." Do you think they will make her a regular? Not a fan of "Kirstie." Do you think it will be renewed? How does it do in the ratings? Lastly, used to like "2 Broke Girls," but it has gone downhill. Do you think it will be renewed? Thanks!

-- Margie, 51, Cecil

Rob: "2 Broke Girls" will be back.

Ms. Remini guest-starred in seven episodes of "The Exes" this year, and a publicist said they hope to have her back next season, but it doesn't sound like there's a deal in place for her to return.

No decision has been announced "Kirstie," but I expect it will likely be renewed.

Q: Since the Style network no longer exists, has "Giuliana and Bill" found a new home? I thought they moved to E!, but have not seen them listed.

-- C.K., 70, Coraopolis

Rob: Reruns had been airing on E! and E! started airing new episodes at 8 p.m. Tuesday in early April.

Ask TV questions at post-gazette.com/tv under TV Q&A (scroll down to find link on right side of the page).


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