TV Q&A

By Rob Owen Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Published:

Q: Does The Hallmark Channel intend to run Christmas specials through December or will they return to regular broadcasting soon? I am starting to miss "The Golden Girls," and come on, how many Christmas movies can you watch?

-- Mary, 58, Canonsburg, Pa.

Rob: Get used to it. A Hallmark Channel publicist said the regular programming won't resume until Jan. 2. Hallmark gets its best ratings with its Christmas movies, so you'll be seeing a lot more of them.

Q: Will PBS's "Call the Midwife" and Bio's "The Ghost Inside My Child" and "The Unexplained" be returning or have they been canceled?

-- Mary-Ann, 50, Pittsburgh

Rob: "Call the Midwife" will return for a new season on March 30, and a new Christmas special airs at 7 p.m. Dec. 29. "The Unexplained" won't be back, and the jury is still out on "Ghost Inside My Child," which could possibly return with new episodes.

Q: Has "Lucky 7" been canceled or is it on a different channel?

-- Julie, Canonsburg, Pa.

Rob: It was the first show of the 2013-14 TV season to be canceled. It won't air again.

Q: I enjoy watching Syfy's "Face Off." When are the contestant interviews filmed? After or during each episode or the entire season at once?

-- John, 46, Pennsylvania

Rob: According to the show's publicist, contestant interviews are shot throughout the season during each episode. Gotta do it when the drama is fresh in the contestants' minds.

Q: With all the retro stations showing classic television shows now, I can't seem to find the older comedies like "NewsRadio," "Dave's World," "Murphy Brown" or "Night Court." Are they out there somewhere or is it a contractual reason why they aren't in reruns on TV?

-- Margaret, West St. Paul, Minn.

Rob: A search of TV listings (http://tvlistings.zap2it.com/tvlistings/ZCGrid.do?aid=zap2it) shows "NewsRadio" and "Night Court" are available for online viewing for a fee. The others do not show up there, but you might try Netflix or Hulu Plus. Usually shows air in syndication for a time and then get retired. That's probably what has happened to these older programs.

Q: When will "Longmire" be back on TV?

-- Jan, California

Rob: Sometime in 2014 (my guess is next summer). The show was just officially renewed last week.

Q: Is a movie going to be made for either Showtime's "Boss" or HBO's "The Sopranos" to tie up loose ends?

-- Tom, 51, Ocala, Fla.

Rob: There was never going to be a "Sopranos" movie and with star James Gandolfini's death, there certainly won't be now. There was some talk of a "Boss" movie, but nothing ever came of it.

Q: Do the Stars on "Dancing With the Stars" get paid for every week they survive on the show?

-- Louis, 81, Morningside, Pa.

Rob: Pretty much, yes. In 2010, The Hollywood Reporter offered this breakdown of the pay scale for the Fall 2010 season of the show: "With a $345,000 pot up for grabs during the 10 weeks of airtime, the source said each star makes an initial $125,000 for signing, three weeks of rehearsal before the premiere and competing in the first two episodes, even if the cast member is cut after the first dance. The breakdown for the remaining weeks is $10,000 an episode for Weeks 3 and 4, $20,000 an episode for Weeks 5 and 6, $30,000 an episode for Weeks 7 and 8, and $50,000 an episode for the final two weeks. The production source said contestants forfeit a portion of their salary if they fail to meet the ultra-strict rehearsal schedule."

Q: The DVDs of "Mad Men" Seasons 1-5 arrived replete with classy packaging and special features, including detailed commentaries by the writers, actors and producer Matthew Weiner. Some sets offered two different commentaries per episode. Not so with the Season 6 DVDs. Aside from a few special features, commentaries are absent. Given the show's prestige and popularity of the commentaries, Lionsgate owes fans some sort of explanation.

-- Rich, 62, Hempfield, Pa.

Rob: It is curious because past DVD "Mad Men" releases were always more robust with special features, including commentaries. The best I could get from a Lionsgate spokesperson was that "due to shooting schedules, the timing could not be worked out (to record commentaries) for this release."

Q: Is "Happy Endings" dead? There was some talk about USA or FX picking it up but I would think that with a year gap it is dead now. Was there ever a "finale"? I thought it was a good show with lots of promise.

-- Mike, 40, Pittsburgh

Rob: Sadly, "Happy Endings" did die without any sort of series finale. There was talk of a cable network picking it up, but nothing ever came of that. The stars of "Happy Endings" have moved on: Adam Pally is now on "The Mindy Project" and Damon Wayans Jr. is on "New Girl."

(Ask TV questions by sending your query, name, age, city and state to owenr@shns.com. Follow TV writer Rob Owen on Twitter or Facebook under RobOwenTV.)

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