Pop culture Q&A

Pop culture Q&A

By Rich Heldenfels

Q. Will “Sell This House” return?

A. Sort of. After a long run as “Sell This House,” the A&E series was retooled as “Sell This House: Extreme” last year. A new, 11-episode “Extreme” season begins at noon July 7. A&E says the new episodes will be “bigger than ever” as the team tackles “massive renovations” to get homes sold. Tanya Memme returns as host, with construction expert Charlie Frattini and a new designer, Daniel Kucan.

Q. I have viewed a movie starring Kevin Costner as an instructor for U.S. Coast Guard “rescue swimmers” on TNT and USA several times. Unfortunately, I always have missed the opening minutes and never saw the title or actors. Amazingly, this is not listed as one of his films on the Internet. What is the title and year produced? Who played his star pupil, Jake Fisher, and his girlfriend?

A. Amazingly, I saw it listed in several of Costner’s filmographies, including the one on his website. That’s “The Guardian,” from 2006. Ashton Kutcher played Fisher, and Melissa Sagemiller was Fisher’s girlfriend, Emily Thomas.

Q. What happened to the TV show “Brothers and Sisters” that was on ABC for years? Sally Field was the main star, and I don’t remember ever seeing a finale; or was it just canceled?

A. The series, which also starred Calista Flockhart and Rachel Griffiths, had its last new telecast in May 2011 after a five-season run. The last episode was not officially a series finale — the series was formally canceled a bit later — and some plot threads were left unfinished. On the other hand, the show had been in ratings jeopardy enough that it ended on a note that could serve as a conclusion, with the characters dancing happily at a wedding and a summing-up comment by Nora (Field’s character).

The final season — in fact, the entire series — is on DVD, as well as by streaming video on Netflix and Amazon.com.

Q. “Legend” was Richard Dean Anderson’s first post- “MacGyver” product (around 1995?). It was a Western with a humorous flair (I think there was a Ned Buntline-type character played by the actor who was Q on “Star Trek.”) Has it been released on DVD or anything else?

A. “Legend,” which marked Anderson’s return to series TV after some post-“MacGyver” movies and specials, aired in 1995 on the old UPN network. According to “The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows,” Anderson played Ernest Pratt, a writer who assumed the identity of Nicodemus Legend, a character in Pratt’s dime novels. Pratt/ Legend worked with Janos Bartok, a professor and inventor played by John de Lancie — the Kent State alum who played Q on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager.” Unfortunately, I do not know of any authorized release of the series on DVD or other current formats.

Q. Is Ducky dead on “NCIS?”

A. Thank you for thinking that one of TV’s most-popular shows would tell little ol’ me the resolution of its big, season-ending cliffhanger. After all, it included an explosion that could have hit several characters. And Donald “Ducky” Mallard (played by David McCallum), who was not at the explosion scene, had a heart attack just after getting a call and saying, “It’s imperative that no one touch any of the deceased.”

In an online post, “NCIS” executive producer Gary Glasberg said that “you’ll get all the answers you’re looking for” when the series returns for its 10th season in the fall. For now, he said, “Will we be biting our nails all summer in anticipation? I’m afraid so. But revel in it. Laugh at it. Have fun with the possibilities. Get excited about the year that lies ahead.”

Do you have a question or comment for the mailbag? Write to the Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309 or rheldenfelsthebeaconjournal.com. Please mark the email or envelope with “mailbag.” Letters may be edited for publication. Please do not phone in questions. Individual replies cannot be guaranteed.

2012 Akron Beacon Journal

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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