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: I'm a fan of “Doc Martin” (9 p.m. Saturday, WQED-TV). Recently they switched back to old episodes, and I'm wondering why and if there are any new ones to see.
The last new episode was a cliffhanger, so we are all up in the air over what happened. I will be waiting to hear from you because when I send questions to QED I don't get a response.
- Patricia, 82, Homestead Park
Rob: We reported last on “Doc Martin” in December, and since then WQED has aired the entire sixth season.
“All episodes of season six of ‘Doc Martin’ have aired, and we have been airing repeats for which we have rights,” explained WQED spokesman George Hazimanolis. “We have not received word from American Public Television (APT), the distributor of ‘Doc Martin,’ if and when a new season will be produced.
“’Doc Martin’ is not part of the programming schedule that we receive from PBS, so it must be purchased separately. Viewer contributions to WQED allow us to purchase additional programming like this.”
The show’s star announced a seventh season is in the works. But it’s going to be a long wait.
“Sadly, the team won't go back into production until May/June 2015,” said APT spokeswoman Jamie Haines. “That means that public television stations would not be broadcasting Season 7 of ‘Doc Martin’ until January 2016 at the earliest!
”We have just received another special produced in earlier years, and have re-released some earlier seasons of the series and hope the encore broadcasts will help viewers get through the long Port Wenn-less months!”
WQED does not plan to air the special from the show’s earlier years.
Q: I noticed that both KDKA and WTAE used footage of the driver who went on a rampage in April on the South Side and slammed into multiple cars and into a building without giving credit to the person who shot the footage and put it on YouTube. I thought stations gave credit to the photographers. Has the policy changed?
- Gerry, 47, Baldwin
Rob: Did the person who uploaded the footage to YouTube identify himself or herself by name or by an online alias? That would be my first question. But I was curious what KDKA and WTAE have in place as policy on the matter, so I asked the news directors of both stations. Neither KDKA’s Anne Linaberger nor WTAE’s Justin Antoniotti responded.
I looked on YouTube for the likely clip and found one posted on April 19 by “RANS87IROCZ.” Clicking on that alias provides no other information. Stations could try to message RANS87IROCZ and ask for his or her true identity, but who knows if they did. If those efforts yielded no fruit, I think my policy would be to just make it clear the video was posted to YouTube and provide the online moniker of the person posting. I’m not sure what more local stations could do beyond that.
Q: Is the new “Fargo” TV series really based on real events? It says so in the pilot, but I did a Web search and I couldn't find any news reports of the underlying crimes.
- Bob, 33, Squirrel Hill
Rob: It is not based on real events. That “true story” convention comes from the 1996 movie, which also claimed to be based on a true story but was not.
Q: Why did ABC cancel “Mind Games”? I loved that show. It was a great mix of comedy and drama.
- Christine, Greenfield
Rob: Poor writer Kyle Killen, who loves exploring themes of duality, has three strikes after his third consecutive series flopped. Killen’s first show, Fox’s 2010 effort, “Lone Star,” remains my favorite. NBC’s “Awake” was too dark and unending; “Mind Games” was the most conventional of the three shows, but it failed due to low ratings like most shows do.
Q: The most recent "Community" episode really felt a lot like a series finale. Has "Community" been canceled?
- Jessica, 28, Squirrel Hill
Rob: NBC canceled “Community” in May, but just a few weeks ago Yahoo! picked it up and will produce a 13-episode sixth season to stream online this fall.
Ask TV questions at post-gazette.com/tv under TV Q&A.