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've really been enjoying “CBS This Morning.” It is like the NPR of television. They show a lot of city shots from CBS stations across the country. Have they used any Pittsburgh shots from KDKA? I don’t get to watch all the time, but I haven’t seen any. With a view like Downtown and a CBS-owned and -operated station, I figured we would see Pittsburgh a lot more.
— Craig, 29, Waynesburg
Rob: I agree with Craig that “CBS This Morning” is the best morning viewing option going, especially in its first half-hour.
And there’s a reason why we haven’t seen Pittsburgh more often.
“They have taken a shot of Pittsburgh but not recently,” explained KDKA-TV general manager Chris Pike. “We currently do not have a fixed HD beauty shot of the city from Mt. Washington. All of the cameras we have access to are steerable. They prefer to use fixed camera shots that are guaranteed to be aimed at the desired location so that they can take the shot whenever they choose without requiring any communication with the local station. We are looking into re-establishing a fixed shot.”
Q: I have been told that Allegheny County Council meetings are recorded for future showings On Demand, but they hardly ever are shown. With all the controversy about the gas well digging at Deer Lakes Park, I think the public should be kept informed. We all can't attend the council meetings live.
— Dick, 81, Bethel Park
Rob: Comcast spokesman Bob Grove said, “Meetings are posted On Demand after we receive them, and customers can view them by selecting Get Local/Government/County Council. We are working with Council’s production company to streamline that process.”
Q: Is “The Crazy Ones” being canceled, and how is it and “The Millers” doing in the ratings?
— Sheila, 61, New Castle
Rob: CBS canceled “The Crazy Ones” but renewed “The Millers” for the 2014-15 TV season.
Q: What happened to “Intelligence”? Did it run all of its episodes or was it canceled? It hasn't been on for a while.
— Traci, 41, Wilkins Twp
Rob: All 13 episodes aired and then CBS canceled it in May.
Q: Syfy’s “Bitten” ended with an emotional cliffhanger. Do you know if it will return and when?
— Kenette, 60, Pittsburgh
Rob: Syfy renewed “Bitten” for a second season to air in 2015.
Q: I remember growing up and watching the Johnny Carson version of “The Tonight Show” and being slightly disappointed when he was on vacation because he had a guest host. When did late-night talk shows stop having guest hosts and go to repeats? At least the guest hosts gave you a breath of fresh air, and the humor was topical and timely. I think I'd still rather see a guest host than a repeat, no matter how recent.
— Bob, 49, Shaler
Rob: It’s a good question I couldn’t find a definitive answer to so I’ll take my best guess. I think a few factors may be at play.
The fact that in the Carson era frequent guest host Joan Rivers got her own show on Fox – and was branded a traitor by Mr. Carson – might have contributed to the decline. But also, Jay Leno never liked to take vacations, so there were not as many opportunities. (On “The Daily Show” last summer, John Oliver subbed for Jon Stewart, and now Mr. Oliver has his own weekly series on HBO.)
But I suspect the No. 1 reason is simple economics: A rerun is cheaper than producing a new episode with a guest host.
Q: Consumer expert Clark Howard made appearances on HLN, including hosting the “Afternoon Express” show. The show was canceled, but is he still a part of the network?
— Mike, 50, Beaver County
Rob: It doesn’t sound like it. Here’s the response from an HLN publicist: “Clark Howard, who had been a co-host of the former HLN weekday program ‘Evening Express’ and contributed reports to ‘Morning Express With Robin Meade,’ completed his contract on HLN, after five years, in November 2013. HLN recently rebranded as the first TV home for the social media generation (millennials and millennial-minded) and has made alterations to its program lineup as a result.”
Ask TV questions at post-gazette.com/tv under TV Q&A (scroll down to find link on right side of the page).