You have questions, I try to have answers.
Q: I understand “Unforgettable” with Poppy Montgomery is a summer-only show. I have really enjoyed it and wonder if there’s a chance we’ll see more. I didn’t even realize there was a first season. I loved Poppy in “Without a Trace” and it’s good to have her back.
A: CBS has ordered a third, 13-episode season of the drama for telecast in summer 2014. In addition, there are half a dozen episodes still unaired from the second season that the network will show at some point. For more about summer series, see the next answer.
Q: Will “Mistresses” be returning?
A: Yes. ABC plans to give it another summer run in 2014. Summer series are becoming increasingly useful tools for the networks trying to keep audiences around during a period that used to be filled with reruns, or more recently with a mix of reruns and reality TV.
Summer reruns were for a long time beneficial to networks because they filled air time without networks paying for new shows. But as cable and online have offered more and more original programming during the summer, the reruns did not draw as well, So we now get more scripted series in summer, And several from 2013 – including Mistresses, the previously mentioned Unforgettable and the big hit Under the Dome — were renewed after their summer success.
Q: I am surprised that neither “Hoarders” on A&E or “Hoarding: Buried Alive” on TLC seem to be returning. Weren’t these much-watched series? They certainly are still talked about a lot.
A: You are half right. Hoarding: Buried Alive will be back in spring 2014. Hoarders has ended its run on A&E. It did have six seasons, as well as DVD releases of episodes, I often found its stories of compulsive savers and the horrors of their homes to be fascinating to the point that I could not turn away from a marathon of telecasts. At the same time, there came a point where the tales were sadly redundant, and where A&E likely saw better ways to fill its TV time.
Q: Why are there cameras filming the folks on “The Office”?
A: In a conceit carried over from the original British version of the series, a documentary crew is chronicling the events at the company, although that proved to be a very long chronicle. In the final season of the series, the documentary makers tell Jim and Pam that they have stayed around for nine years to see how the people turn out. Near the end of the series, the documentary — titled The Office: An American Workplace — is finally finished and airs on PBS. In the series finale, most of the Dunder Mifflin staff gathers at the Scranton Cultural Center for a screening and panel discussion about the documentary.
Q: Why did the producers of “Everybody Loves Raymond” change the names of the twins from Gregory and Matthew to Jeffrey and Michael?
A: The names used in the pilot of the series are also the names of star Ray Romano’s two sons (and he has a daughter, Ally, as does the television Raymond). In a DVD commentary on the show’s pilot episode, Romano said he later felt weird about the names and so changed the boys’. (Ally remained.) In the commentary, Romano also says that the parallels between his TV life and his real life were sometimes uncomfortable — that the portrayal of his TV brother, for one thing, did not sit well with his real brother. So he may have wanted to create more separation between the two lives.
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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.