Beacon Journal popular culture writer
You have questions. I have some answers.
Q: I was expecting “Switched at Birth” to be back on the air in January. When I didn’t see it come back, I assumed it would be for the summer season but have not seen it yet. Will it be back and if so, when?
A: The Freeform drama will be back for a fifth and final season beginning in January 2017, more than a year after the end of the fourth season.
“In recent years, Switched at Birth has aired the first half of its season January through March, then unspooled the back half over the summer or fall — June through August or, last year, August through October,” reported TVLine.com. “Perhaps creating a bottleneck in the Freeform pipeline are the new series Guilt, Dead of Summer and Beyond.”
Q: Will there be a second season of “The Path” on Hulu?
A: Yes. In early May, the streaming service announced a second-season pickup for the show about a family in a controversial cult.
Q: I have heard rumors that BBC America will not be carrying season 3 of “The Musketeers” even though season 3 is, or has been, running on BBC in England. Can you shed any light on the situation?
A: Fans of the series’ two-season run on BBC America have been longing for more, and you can find it now — if you use streaming services. Hulu picked up exclusive rights to the third season of the action series, which it began carrying in May along with the earlier seasons.
Q: In the ’50s, I used to watch a wonderful dark and very adult drama-type detective show starring a one-handed or one-armed older detective. I LOVED it and so did my dad. I was probably 10 years old but it was very appealing. What was the show???
A: I think you are remembering a show about a detective called Mark Saber. According to The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, the series had several titles, including Mystery Theater, Mark Saber — Homicide Squad, The Vise, Saber of London and Detective’s Diary.
It originally starred Tom Conway as the dapper, British detective working with an American homicide squad. But in 1955, South African actor Donald Gray became Saber, “a one-armed private detective in London.” Gray, whose arm had been amputated during World War II service, remained with the series until it ended in 1960.
Q: It seems as though in an hour program you have 40 minutes of program and 20 minutes of commercials. Is there an agency that regulates this?
A: No. The Federal Communications Commission used to set a maximum amount of advertising in radio and TV programs. And the National Association of Broadcasters had a standards code for stations, which included commercial limits. But a push for deregulation in the 1980s led to the end of those standards.
Ads in children’s programs are still limited. But overall, broadcasters can have as many ads as they want, as well as product placement in shows and promotional graphics during programs.
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Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal, Facebook, Twitter, Ohio.com and the HeldenFiles Online blog.