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: "Good morning, Charlie, Norah and Gayle," "Good morning Charlie, Norah and Gayle." What the heck, Rob? How many times does CBS have to say howdy to the morning crew. The correspondents are reporting to me the viewer, and every time there is a story change, it's the same maddening greeting. I'm just glad there aren't two more members on set.
Rob, this is ridiculous. Why don't they just "Hello"? It drives me mad as I read my beloved PG in the morning. I tried calling the network number in the PG but to no avail. I know Charlie and his female correspondents, and I don't have to be reminded within two segments who they are.
— Nancy, 78, Whitehall
Rob: I’ve noticed that affectation, too, and I have to assume it’s an edict.
“CBS This Morning” executive producer Chris Licht explains, “We have the correspondents say our anchors’ names for a couple of reasons. First, we think it’s a polite and natural way to greet someone in the morning. But in addition, it sometimes serves as a production element that lets our anchors and control room know when a correspondent has finished reporting. That said, we appreciate the feedback – We’re always trying to grow and evolve the show.”
Q: I thought I read once where networks are legally obligated to run the credits at the end of a show. Is there a loophole that says these credits don't actually have to be legible? I refer to two situations: 1) the end of a first-run network or cable show where the credits are mortised on a screen along with previews of coming episodes and are barely decipherable. 2) the umpteenth run of a theatrical movie where they zip the credits by at light speed, and even if you freeze the frame, the letters are so pixilated it looks as though everyone concerned is in witness protection. I realize that time is money. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
— Jay, 64, Pittsburgh
Rob: There is no law that end credits must be run, but there are some guild contracts that stipulate credits must be shown. But the language must be loose enough to allow for the zooming, squished credits we now see regularly on TV.
Q: I recently started watching “Chopped” and “Guy's Grocery Games.” I'm curious as to why the chefs have to prepare four plates of food when there are only three judges on each show. It doesn't seem as though Ted Allen (host of “Chopped”) or Guy Fieri (host of “Guy's Grocery Games”) taste the food during the judging process. Any ideas?
— Lin, 46, Pittsburgh
Rob: My understanding is the fourth plate is there to give viewers a close-up of the finished dish.
Q: I have two questions:
1. I've been watching the show “Farm Kings” about the family from Butler. My question is about the dad, or lack thereof. Is he around, divorced/deceased? Mom has done a great job raising such a large family and running multiple businesses.
2. Regarding Chris Harrison from “The Bachelor” — he no longer wears a wedding ring. Does this mean he's no longer married? Maybe he should be the next Bachelor!!
— Sue, 57, Whitehall
Rob: On “Farm Kings,” the parents are divorced, and the dad has a nearby farm, which was a plot point in season one.
And, yes, Harrison announced he and his wife were divorcing in 2012. Given that he’s been around “The Bachelor” and knows all the dirt, I can’t imagine he’d want to go on the show.
Q: I love Hallmark Channel’s “When Calls the Heart.” Do you know if there will be a season 2? There are only three episodes left, and everyone is asking about it. Is there a deadline to make the decision?
— Stacie, 43, Florida
Rob: “When Calls the Heart” has been renewed for a second season.
Q: Do you know as yet if/when my two favorite summer shows will return on USA – “Royal Pains” and “Necessary Roughness”? Thanks for keeping us up-to-date!
— Gerda, 85, Annandale, Va.
Rob: “Necessary Roughness” was canceled, so it won’t be back. “Royal Pains” returned this past week and will continue airing at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Ask TV questions at post-gazette.com/tv under TV Q&A (scroll down to find link on right side of the page).