The Panasonic TV has an advanced power feature in which the TV can be powered on via a cable box switched ac outlet. Basically the TV when unplugged and then plugged back in automatically turns on.
The solution is to use a $50 belkin WeMo switch and plug the TV into it. Roomie is able to control the WeMo device and you can use that to turn off the TV and turn it on!
The way to test is to enable the feature in the TV and then just unplug and then plug the TV back in. Voila!