Musical staff

TV Talk: KDKA-TV Adds Meteorological Staff; Pokémon commercials filmed in Pittsburgh

The stakes are raised in Pittsburgh’s local television battle for weather marketing supremacy: KDKA-TV has hired Falicia Woody, most recently of WKBN-TV in Youngstown, Ohio, to join Channel 2’s weather team.

Assuming none of the four current KDKA weather staff – Kristine Emery, Mary Ours, Ray Petelin and Ron Smiley – leave (I have a feeling this is a new hire with no one don’t leave), Woody will become the CBS affiliate’s fifth meteorologist, matching WTAE-TV’s number one and Channel 4’s refusal to brag about having the most meteorologists of any station in the city.

Research shows that weather is one of the main reasons viewers watch local newscasts, so station leaders often put weather news – especially severe weather – at the forefront in their newsletters and in station promotions.

WPXI-TV has three meteorologists following the departure of Danielle Dozier last summer, although the station plans to hire Dozier’s replacement to bring it back to four.

Woody posted on Twitter about his new job on Thursday, writing, “Dreams come true when you work hard! I am so excited to join such an incredible legendary team.

KDKA-TV news director Kathy Hostetter did not respond to email and voicemail inquiries about Woody’s hiring.

In December, KDKA began advertising for a full-time meteorologist/weather producer whose job would be to produce forecasts, report from the field on major weather events, and fill the airwaves. Presumably, this is the position Woody will occupy.

Woody declined to answer questions about her role at KDKA, but on Sunday she posted a goodbye tweet to Youngstown, writing that she would start at KDKA in a week, but her first on-air appearance is yet to be determined.

Woody grew up in Atlanta and graduated from Lyndon State College (now Northern Vermont University-Lyndon) in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science and an associate’s degree in electronic journalism. Woody joined WKBN in September 2020 after stints at KXXV-TV in Waco, Texas, and WTRF-TV in Wheeling, W.Va.

Pokemon visits Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh-based business manager Andy Keleman was thrilled when the Pittsburgh Easter egg he hid in one of the many commercials he shot locally in mid-December for the new game “Pokemon Legends :Arceus” was spotted and mentioned in a Reddit thread.

WQED-TV producer/host Rick Sebak has a non-speaking role in one of the spots, an “Antiques Roadshow” parody that is interrupted by a crazed, fish-like Pokemon Basculegion puppet. WQED filmmaker Frank Caloiero can also be seen briefly in the background, chased by Pokémon.

“It was just a cool, fun little way to sprinkle on a dose of Pittsburgh,” Keleman, who previously worked at WQED, said of the global ad campaign.

While Pokemon execs came up with the idea of ​​incorporating Pokemon characters into reality TV sets – two commercials evoke “MasterChef”, another has a “Bachelor” vibe – Keleman put his “director’s touch” into it. Flashing back to the mid-1990s, weird video game TV commercials, specifically an ad for Pokemon on the Game Boy where a driver puts his bus full of Pokemon in a trash compactor and presses them into a video game.

“The root of these spots and the reason they hit a lot of people is that they tap into the absurdity of the 90s,” Keleman said.

The spots were translated into foreign languages ​​for use as pre-roll ads on YouTube videos in Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Afterwards, Pokemon posted the spots on its social media in the United States, including YouTube.

Keleman filmed the ads in about a week using locations all over the city. The “Antiques Roadshow” parody was filmed in The Terrace Room of the Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. The “MasterChef” spot shot in a kitchen at Vangura Surfacing Products in North Huntingdon. The “Bachelor” spot filmed at the Revival on Lincoln in Bellevue. A Telenovela spot was filmed at the Inn on the Streets of the Mexican War.

“What’s really fun about these is that they hit the [reality TV] really hard-on-the-head trope, which makes it so much weirder when a Pokemon pops up,” Keleman said, noting that he felt he did the right thing when the official “Antiques Roadshow” account commented approvingly on YouTube at about his parody.

“Our flag means death”

Fans of FX’s “What We Do in the Shadows” will find a kindred spirit in HBO Max’s “Our Flag Means Death,” which airs Thursday. Both shows feature Taika Waititi as executive producer, and both series tap into humor by applying modern sensibilities to a subculture.

This time, Waititi is swapping contemporary vampires for vintage pirates.

Inspired by the true adventures of 18th-century pirate Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby), the series begins in 1717 as the wealthy esthete Bonnet, dressed in finery, tries to lead a crew that sees him as weak. This may be because he fears his crew will return from a “mentally devastated” raid, in which case Bonnet sings songs they should, “Talk about it / as a crew!”

Bonnet advises his crew to “look scary!” during a rowboat raid (Bonnet’s plunder: a dying plant in a tin cup) and then offers “notes” that his crew needs more energy.

“We’re swashbuckling!” Bonnet exclaims. “Have fun with it!”

Later, he asks them all to sew a pirate flag which some denounce as “women’s work”.

In “Our Flag Means Death,” the wacky humor is more of a subtle, self-conscious variety than it plays for big belly laughs.

Flashbacks show that Bonnet’s pirate adventure is actually an attempt to overcome childhood trauma. He was verbally abused by his father and teased by his classmates.

Although the early episodes largely focus on Bonnet, viewers get enough detail about some of the supporting characters to make it feel like even though it’s a much larger cast than ” Shadows” that the writers of “Our Flag Means Death,” led by showrunner David Jenkins (underrated 2016-17 TBS comedy “People of Earth”), has a plan to spruce up all of the series regular characters.

Kept/cancelled/moved

NBC has renewed “The Blacklist” for a 10th season.

Amazon’s Prime Video has ordered a fifth and final season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

HBO Max has renewed “Peacemaker” and “Sort Of” for second seasons.

FX has renewed “Dave” for a third season.

Amazon’s Prime Video has renewed “Harlem” for the second season.

HBO canceled its “In Treatment” revival after just one season.

Netflix has canceled the sci-fi drama “Another Life” after two seasons.

The third season of FX’s “Atlanta” premieres March 24 at 10 p.m., and the series will wrap up with the fourth season coming this fall.

The fourth season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” will premiere in two parts on May 27 and July 1, with the series concluding with a fifth season at a later date.

“Love Island” moves from CBS to Peacock with a two-season order.

The zapping

A $250,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to Fred Rogers Productions will be split between its PBS Kids shows “Alma’s Way” and “Donkey Hodie” to support production and community outreach. FRP also received a $100,000 grant from the Heinz Family Foundation for “Donkey Hodie.” … “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain,” directed by Morgan Neville (“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”), will premiere on CNN at 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Sunday. …Court TV Mystery, broadcast locally on WINP-TV, Channel 16.4, has been rebranded as ION Mystery. … The 15th season of the Canadian hit “Heartland” will have its US premiere on the UP Faith Family streaming service on March 17. … Sherri Shepherd will launch her own daytime talk show this fall which will replace “The Wendy Williams Show” on select television stations. ; Shepherd replaced the sick Williams. … March 5, Oscar Isaac hosts NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” with musical guest Charli XCX; Zoe Kravitz hosts March 12 with Rosalia.

You can reach TV editor Rob Owen at [email protected] or 412-380-8559. Follow Rob on Twitter or facebook. Ask questions about TV via email or phone. Please include your first name and location.