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Pop culture Q&A



Published: Sun, September 16, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Rich Heldenfels

Q. What happened to Mark Steines of “Entertainment Tonight”? I haven’t seen him in awhile.

A. In late July, Steines ended a 17-year run with the show, eight of those as a host. Beginning Oct. 1, he will be co-hosting a new weekday series, “Home & Family,” on the Hallmark Channel. Sharing the hosting duties will be another familiar TV face, Paige Davis of “Trading Spaces” fame.

Q. Could you tell me if the show “The Lying Game” is coming back to ABC Family? I sure hope so.

A. The drama, which ended its first season in March, will be back for a second sometime this winter. And ABC Family says Charisma Carpenter has been promoted from recurring character to regular for the next go-round. Carpenter, best known for her work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel,” plays Rebecca Sewell, now revealed as the birth mother of identical, separated-at-birth twins Emma Becker and Sutton Mercer.

Q. Have the movies “Sunshine Christmas” and “Run Wild, Run Free,” made it to DVD?

A. “Sunshine Christmas,” from 1977, was a follow-up to a 1973 TV movie called “Sunshine” and a 1975 TV series of the same name. The title came from John Denver’s song “Sunshine on My Shoulders.” “Run Wild, Run Free,” was a 1969 film from Great Britain, with Oliver’s “Mark Lester.” I do not know of authorized DVD releases of either film and do not recommend unauthorized ones.

Q. As a big fan of “Gilmore Girls” and Sutton Foster also, I eagerly anticipated a summer of entertainment in ABC Family’s “Bunheads.” Now that the summer season (series?) has ended, what did you think?

A. First, that was the “summer finale” for the show, since programmers are no longer satisfied with just season and series finales. As ABC Family so breathlessly put it, “’Bunheads’ will be back this winter with more ALL NEW episodes! How awesome is that?!” Really? OMG!!!! Which, for people my age, is said to stand for “Oh, my gout!” and “Ouch, my groin!”

Since you signed your note, “Sadly, Disappointed,” I guess you didn’t care for the series. I will concede that it is not yet on the level of “Gilmore Girls.” It hasn’t entirely figured out how to balance the story lines about the younger characters with those about the adults, especially Foster’s character Michelle and the awesome Kelly Bishop’s character Fanny. And the dance numbers sometimes seem almost randomly included (although just the thought of the “Paper or Plastic” dance still makes me smile).

That should tell you I have watched every episode so far. I have laughed a lot. Foster is adorable, if sometimes scarily thin-looking, Kaitlyn Jenkins as Boo is enjoyable and Bishop is, well, Kelly Bishop. I look forward to more of the show.

Q. We really, really enjoy Aaron Sorkin’s “Network News” — the best program since “West Wing.” How have the ratings been? Will we get another season?

A. “The Newsroom,” Sorkin’s series for HBO, will be back in 2013. Although the reaction to the show has been mixed, the network ordered a second season early in the drama’s first-season run.

Q. What has happened to the series “Longmire” on A&E? Has it ended for the season or been canceled? I thought it was very good; stories were interesting; and cast was believable. I hope they decide to give it another chance to acquire an audience.

A. The 10-episode first season of the series, based on the novels by Craig Johnson, has aired. A&E says that the show has had more viewers on average than any other series on the network, ever — and a second season has been ordered for telecast in 2013.

2012 Akron Beacon Journal

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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