You have questions. I try to have answers.
Q: Did Kathy Bates do much acting before “Misery?”
A: Decades of it, on stage and screen. Before winning the best-actress Oscar in 1991 for that adaptation of a Stephen King tale, she received a 1983 Tony Awards nomination for her performance in the stage version of ’Night, Mother — although Sissy Spacek played the role in the screen version a few years later. Bates won a 1988 Obie (off-Broadway) for her performance in Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune; but when that was made into the movie Frankie & Johnny, Michelle Pfeiffer had Bates’ role. It can take time for talent to be recognized.
Bates was in both stage and screen versions of Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean; the movie was released in 1982. Other pre-Misery work includes the movie Straight Time (with Dustin Hoffman), daytime drama All My Children (where she played the mean cellmate of Susan Lucci’s Erica Kane), and guest roles on TV series. And 1990 was noteworthy for Bates not only for Misery, but for three movies released earlier the same year: Men Don’t Leave, Dick Tracy and White Palace.
Q: When will “Death in Paradise” be back?
A: The drama about a British detective inspector assigned to a Caribbean island will return to the BBC in early 2014; it should pop up that same year on the American public-TV stations carrying the show.
Fans should be prepared for a big change. Ben Miller, who played DI Richard Poole, will leave the series during the upcoming third season. Replacing him is Kris Marshall as what the BBC calls “a bright, but rather disorganised and gawky DI, Humphrey Goodman, who is stuck in a mid-life rut and is looking to find a new life and fresh start.” You may remember Marshall as the lecherous Colin Frissell in Love Actually.
Q: I am so disappointed to learn my favorite show, “Magic City,” was canceled after only two seasons. The second-season finale on Aug. 9 was excellent. Why was the show canceled by Starz? Any chance of another network picking it up?
A: I wouldn’t hold out much hope for the period drama finding a new home. Deadline.com noted that “despite a significant marketing campaign and buzzy guest castings — including a James Caan arc in Season 2 — Magic City received little critical attention and did not grow its audience in the second season, something networks want to see, especially on a pricey show like Magic City.” I gave the show more than one try and found it stylish but not interesting enough to stay with.
Deadline further noted that Starz is looking for a different kind of show these days and canceled not only Magic City but another gritty drama, Kelsey Grammer’s Boss, after two seasons.
Q: Can you tell me why “The Young and the Restless” is no longer on SOAPnet?
A: Corporate wheeling and dealing. The long-running daytime drama has moved to TV Guide Network. CBS, which airs first-run episodes of Y&R, not long ago bought a 50 percent interest in TVGN and soon after the Y&R deal was made. Check your local cable/satellite guide for TVGN; Time Warner Cable in the Akron area has it on Channel 230.
Q: I have been waiting to hear the fate of “CSI:NY.” The last I heard the CBS execs had not decided if the series will come back for another season. Will it be coming back?
A: You’re one of several readers who have asked recently about the fate of the drama starring Gary Sinise. CBS decided in May to end the show.
This was not really a surprise. The Huffington Post noted that the ratings have been in decline not only with the viewing audience as a whole but in the coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic. It has long appeared to be on the bubble at renewal time, and the last couple of seasons have seen it with reduced numbers of episodes.
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Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including the HeldenFiles Online, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter.