TV Talk: ‘Uniontown’s Hogans on’ Family Feud; ‘ Mt. Lebanon native Hollander fired from Showtime series

Bob Hogan of Uniontown and his family will appear on Wednesday’s episode of the syndicated daytime game show “Family Feud” (7 pm, WPCW-TV) and it all started in the fall of 2019 when Hogan and his brother Greg and Brad were watching the show at their parents’ home.

“We just had a conversation about how fun it would be and wondering how people get on the show,” Bob Hogan, 40, said Monday.

The next day, Hogan was scrolling through Facebook and an ad showed up in his feed encouraging people to apply to be on “Family Feud.” So he submitted an application without telling his family, “not expecting it to go anywhere.”

Then he got invited to a November 2019 in-person audition in Charleston, W.Va., at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center, and he had to tell his family what he’d signed them up for.

“They were great with it,” Hogan said.

The family traveled to Charleston and watched other families audition, essentially playing practice games.

“They pit two families against each other just to see the interactions, the gameplay, the charisma, how well you play the game,” Hogan said. “It wasn’t about answers but about how well you interact with the host.”

After their practice game, a producer pulled the Hogans aside and asked them to film a promo video to take back to producers in the show’s Los Angeles casting department. The Hogans were told if they were picked they’d get a postcard in the mail.

Hogan checked his mailbox every day and in February 2020 the postcard arrived, followed soon after by the global pandemic that shuttered TV production worldwide. The family’s tape date of late April / early May got pushed more than a year and in that time, production on “Family Feud” shifted from Los Angeles to Atlanta. Finally, in June 2021 the Hogans got their taping dates for mid-July.

Hogan said he thinks the family was chosen for several reasons: They interact well with one another and were comical, they play off one another’s energies and they have a motivational / inspiring story to tell that Bob included in the initial application: “I used to be an emergency medicine physician in West Virginia and I started self-medicating with opiates to deal with a traumatic case in the emergency department, ”Hogan said. “I ended up losing my medical license and going to federal prison. But since then, I’m now over eight years in recovery. My family, my mom and dad, have been by my side throughout everything. They encouraged me to get better, to do better, and I now work in drug and alcohol recovery [services]. ”

Hogan was the captain of the “Family Feud” team joined by his father, “Big” Bob Hogan, a retired school teacher; mother Marlene, who worked in the dean’s office at West Virginia University; brother Greg Hogan of Uniontown Chiropractic and cousin Bob Olech, an engineer in Pittsburgh. (Brother Brad Hogan couldn’t get out of work, which is how Cousin Bob got recruited.)

Hogan said “Family Feud” producers took good care of the family during their Atlanta visit with three free days to explore the city (following covid testing) before their tape day.

As for the taping itself, Hogan doesn’t remember a lot about the questions asked because the whole experience “was a blur.” But he does know it took almost 90 minutes to tape one 25-minute episode. Aside from wardrobe changes, Hogan said host Steve Harvey was on stage for the taping of multiple episodes all day.

“He never left the stage, even for the parts they weren’t filming,” Hogan said. “He was either doing stand-up [comedy] or motivational speaking from 11 am until 8:30 at night. ”

He remembers Harvey giving Cousin Bob a fist bump for one answer. And he recalls this realization: “It’s a lot easier watching it and playing along [at home] and saying, ‘This game show is easy,’ than to be up there on stage with Steve Harvey standing in front of you wanting an answer in less than a second! ”

Local on ‘Jeopardy!’

Julian Glander, a Pittsburgh-based animator, will be on “Jeopardy!” (7 pm weekdays, WPXI-TV) Friday.

Hollander out at ‘Gigolo’

Mt. Lebanon native David Hollander, creator of CBS’s Pittsburgh-set “The Guardian” (2001-04), long-time showrunner of Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” and creator of Showtime’s upcoming series adaptation of “American Gigolo,” has been fired from that series and no longer has a production relationship with Paramount Studios.

Deadline.com broke the news Saturday, reporting that Hollander was let go following a misconduct investigation that “involved comments made by Hollander that were not of [a] sexual harassment nature. ”

“American Gigolo,” executive produced by Hollander and, among others, 1990 Bishop Canevin High School grad KristieAnne Reed of Bruckheimer Television, stars Jon Bernthal (“We Owen This City”). “Gigolo” will continue production with co-executive producer David Bar Katz stepping in as a showrunner.

Contacted Saturday, Hollander and Reed both declined to comment.

On Monday, The Hollywood Reporter said Hollander had been “let go” from the CBS sitcom “How We Roll” although his creative involvement with that series was minimal, it already wrapped its first season and seemed unlikely to be renewed even before this imbroglio due to low ratings.

Channel surfing

Filmed-in-Pittsburgh “A League of Their Own,” which does not yet have a premiere date on Amazon Prime (my guess is it will be late June or July), will have its world premiere at New York’s Tribeca Festival, June 8 -19. … Epix renewed “From” for a second season. … 2018’s “Waco,” about the Branch Davidian siege in Texas, will get a sequel in 2023 on Paramount +. “American Tragedies: Waco – The Trials” will feature John Leguizamo reprising his role as an ATF agent.

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

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