Pop culture Q&A

By Rich Heldenfels

McClatchy Newspapers

Q. Is “Royal Pains” coming back? If so, when? I love that show and was so surprised when they announced there were only two episodes left. Then they intimated it would be back in the summer, but when?

A. At this point, USA Network is just saying that “Royal Pains” will return in the summer, starting an 18-episode third season. You were not alone in being thrown by a promo with a big graphic saying “only two episodes left.” OK, so the voiceover added “this season” to the episodes-left declaration. USA obviously wanted you to feel some urgency.

Nor is that the only cause of viewer confusion. Like a number of other shows, “Royal Pains” split the season into two parts with a long hiatus in between, leaving viewers wondering. And, though this show made 18 episodes in its second season, some cable series make 13 or fewer per season, creating long gaps between telecasts, assuming the shows return.

TV scheduling demands a lot more vigilance from viewers — and more questions for the mailbag, as the next couple of questions demonstrate.

Q. Will “Law & Order: Los Angeles” be returning to NBC? We enjoy it very much. Not as good as the original “Law & Order” but very good.

A. New episodes will resume with a two-hour telecast April 11. According to TV.com, it hasn’t had a new show since December. In the interim, it’s undergone several changes.

For one, Detective Rex Winters, played by Skeet Ulrich, is no longer part of the show. Ricardo Morales, played by Alfred Molina, has gone from being a deputy district attorney to a detective and Winters’ replacement as a partner for Tomas “TJ” Jaruszalski (Corey Stoll). Replacing Morales as a deputy DA is a familiar name and face: Connie Rubirosa (Alana de la Garza) from the original “Law & Order.” Cleveland’s Terrence Howard does return to LOLA as Deputy DA Jonah “Joe” Dekker.

Q. I am writing about William Shatner’s new show “$(*)! My Dad Says.” Wondering why it is no longer on the TV schedule.

A. The series had its season finale Feb. 17, after 18 episodes aired. That’s a shorter season than most successful network shows. But we’ll see for sure in May whether it gets another go-round.

Q. During the holiday season, Hyundai ran a series of commercials featuring a young lady singing different Christmas songs. Both the commercials and she were very good. Do you have any information on who the singer is?

A. That was Nataly Dawn, half of the California duo Pomplamoose. (Jack Conte is the other half and could also be seen in the ads.) They are well known to YouTubers, where their cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” has had more than 3.2 million views and their version of Beyonc ’s “Single Ladies” doubled that total. They do not have any CDs as far as I can tell, but their songs are for sale as downloads on MySpace and iTunes.

Q. Is Andrew McCarthy related to Kevin McCarthy?

A. No. Kevin McCarthy was the brother of author Mary McCarthy (“The Group”), who died in 1989. Kevin had a long career on stage and screen, including the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and the 1951 movie version of “Death of a Salesman.” He died in 2010 at age 96. Andrew McCarthy’s early film career included “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “Pretty in Pink”; he also has worked a lot in television and has had a recurring role on “White Collar.”

Do you have a question or comment about movies, TV and other popular culture? Write to rheldenfelsthebeaconjournal.com or the Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, Ohio 44309. Please mark the note for Mailbag and do not phone in questions. Letters may be edited. Individual replies cannot be guaranteed.

2011, Akron Beacon Journal

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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