You have questions. I have some answers.
Q: Be honest: Aren’t you astounded that “Supernatural” lasted a whopping 15 seasons, longer than the iconic “Bonanza’s” 14 seasons?
A: I can’t say I’m astounded, since my entertainment astonishment tends toward other things. How, for instance, was “Freaks and Geeks” only one season? What was David Caruso thinking when he left “NYPD Blue”? Who really thought “BH90210” was a good idea?
“Supernatural’s” run — with its 15th and final season beginning Oct. 10 — is not a TV series record. Just among current scripted shows. “The Simpsons,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “NCIS” and “Grey’s Anatomy” all predate “Supernatural.” But it’s a run that most series would envy, and proof that a loyal audience has long existed for the CW thriller, even if you and I may not have watched.
Q: Any chance for “The Good Cop” to get another season? That was the most delightful new show we have seen! I mean, Josh Groban with Tony Danza, but with Tony doing all the singing? How cool is that?
A: Netflix decided one run was enough for the series. As Deadline.com reported last year, the show “had not been able to cut through the clutter” of so many other programs to get most viewers’ attention.
Q: Where is James Norton from “Grantchester”? Is he on another show? We are a group of women who want him back.
A: As I mentioned in a previous column, Norton decided to leave “Grantchester” awhile back. And he has apparently been busy. He is in the new version of “Little Women” directed by Greta Gerwig and coming to theaters Christmas Day. For AMC he is in “McMafia,” the crime thriller which had a first season last year and has been renewed for a second. Other upcoming projects include “The Nevers,” an HBO series from writer-director Joss Whedon, and a miniseries, “The Trial of Christine Keeler.”
Q: I am looking for a program where outlaws in the 1880s rob a bank and are chased by a sheriff and his posse when a big storm comes on. The next morning, they wake up to a strange sound — a jet passing overhead. They have been transported to the present day. I would like to know the name and if it is available in any format.
A: That’s “Outlaws,” which aired on CBS in 1986-87 for 12 episodes, including a two-hour pilot. Rod Taylor played a Texas sheriff in 1899 in pursuit of a bank-robbing gang (William Lucking, Charles Napier, Richard Roundtree and Patrick Houser); after a storm they find themselves in the present day and set up a detective agency. I do not know of an authorized home-video release. Episodes, including the pilot, are available on YouTube.
And, as long as we’re talking Western tales …
Q: Please, please, please tell me why in the third season of “The Lone Ranger,” Clayton Moore was replaced by John Hart, and then Moore returned for the fourth season.
A: As anyone who grew up watching the show can tell you, Clayton Moore was the one true Lone Ranger. (Let’s just forget Klinton Spilsbury and Armie Hammer in the role, OK?) But Moore was indeed replaced for a time by John Hart, and different theories have been offered, including that Moore asked for more money or that there were creative differences between Moore and “Lone Ranger” producer George W. Trendle. The 1999 New York Times obituary for Moore says he never was told why he was fired, or why he was rehired. Moore’s daughter Dawn, in a 2014 interview available on YouTube, says Trendle believed Moore wanted a share of the merchandising revenue from the show. Since he considered actors playing a masked man were interchangeable, he fired Moore (who, according to Dawn, never would have asked for the merchandising money). But when Hart proved less appealing to audiences, Moore was brought back.
Do you have a question or comment about entertainment past, present and future? Write to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or email@example.com. Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.