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: Now that Jeanne Tripplehorn (Blake) has left “Criminal Minds,” what are the odds that Paget Brewster will reprise her role of Emily Prentiss? She fits in great with the team, and I love the show, but think it’s better when she is in it.
— Linda, 50, Cecil
Rob: Ms. Tripplehorn is definitely gone, but Ms. Brewster won’t be back, at least not on a full-time basis. The show has hired Jennifer Love Hewitt (“Ghost Whisperer”) as a new team member.
Q: I know that all the leads of “Nashville” can sing, and I always wonder did they pick the actors first and then the singers or how did they do it?
— Mary, Penn Hills
Rob: Connie Britton was cast first, and I’m sure producers wanted to make sure she could either sing or be effectively dubbed — as the star, they would give her more options — but I suspect that when it came to the supporting roles they wanted actors who could sing. No reason to pay for two people to voice one character when you can cast someone who can talk and sing.
Q: My wife and I are dying to know what happened to Josh Elliott on “GMA,” and where is Piers Morgan? Did the gun lobby get him?
— Bill, 79, Franklin Park
Rob: Mr. Elliott left ABC earlier this year for a new gig at NBC Sports.
Mr. Morgan’s show was canceled by CNN due to poor ratings and following the installation of a new management regime.
Q: Has “Call of the Wildman” been canceled? If so, why?
— Marilyn, 67, Eighty-four
Rob: The show was canceled in Canada after charges of animal abuse, but a new season aired in America earlier this summer.
Q: Is it just me or does “Dancing With the Stars” change the frame rate of the cameras while the actual dancing is happening? If so, is that new?
Also, my wife and I are big fans of “Modern Family.” This past season just didn’t feel as good as the previous seasons. It seems like the same type of stories, but it feels like the actors are more going through the motions. Do you have any thoughts about this?
— Steve, Brookline
Rob: According to an ABC publicist, “The frame rate of the studio cameras do not change. The only frame rate that might change would be on the [taped] roll-in packages.”
As for “Modern Family,” I still like this comedy series quite a lot. Some episodes this past season weren’t quite as good, but others have made me laugh out loud as usual. I do think as TV series age, it becomes harder to keep them fresh. And sometimes I get the sense that might be happening in some episodes of “Modern Family,” but generally speaking it remains one of TV’s best comedies.
Q: The shows “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race,” what ages are they attracting?
— Pat, 82, Baldwin Boro
Rob: “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” no longer draw young viewers in droves like they once did, but they’re not skewing super old either.
“Survivor” was in the Top 25 of shows among viewers ages 18-49 for the 2013-14 TV season (about 3.1 million of the average 9.6 million viewers watching each week are 18-49). “The Amazing Race” doesn’t do as well, ranking almost 50th (about 2.4 million of the average 8.5 million viewers watching each week).
Q: I enjoyed the A&E show “The First 48: Missing Persons,” but there have been no new shows in quite a while. When I looked at the schedule on A&E it’s under the classic column so it’s canceled it right?
— Mary, Pittsburgh
Rob: Correct. “Missing Persons” is done, but the original “The First 48” continues to air new episodes.
Q: I hear they have canceled “Revolution.” Why do they leave us hanging? Couldn't they wrap it up somehow?
— Denise, 60, Coraopolis
Rob: When a show has terrible ratings and looks likely to be canceled, it’s incumbent upon producers to do the right thing and wrap it up. But all too often producers go for a Hail Mary in hopes that the network will see the light and feel compelled to renew the show against its better instincts. This almost never works and viewers are the ones who suffer with unresolved plots.
Nowadays, most longer-running shows get an opportunity to plan the end, but that’s not always the case. “Revolution” was only on two seasons and by the end of its first season it was pretty clear it would not survive much longer given its declining ratings.
Ask TV questions at post-gazette.com/tv under TV Q&A (scroll down to find link on right side of the page).