Q: On the May 6 episode of "Harry's Law," one of the people they were defending was a very nice-looking, tall, "English" man. He looked so familiar, but I couldn't place him. Who was he and what have I seen him on?
A: That was actor Steve Valentine. You may remember him as Dr. Nigel Townsend on "Crossing Jordan," the 2001-07 NBC drama starring Jill Hennessy. His extensive credits also include acting the series "I'm in the Band" and hosting the reality show "Estate of Panic." Born in Scotland, he has also worked as a DJ, standup comic and magician.
Q: My favorite shows are "Ringer" on the CW and "Missing" on ABC. I heard that both shows were canceled. If so, why? And is possible they could be going to another network?
A: Both shows were indeed left out of their respective networks' plans for next season. "Ringer" looked like a good bet before the season began, with much-liked star Sarah Michelle Gellar playing two roles in the thriller. But it was a bad show, at least at first, and lost some of the people drawn to it. As the Huffington Post reported, the series "premiered last September to mediocre ratings at 2.8 million, but slipped down to 1.2 million by the season finale." The president of the CW did tell the Hollywood Reporter that the network plans to do something else with Gellar: "She will be back on the CW in some form."
As for "Missing," the drama starring Ashley Judd as a butt-kicking former spy searching for her abducted son, a writer for TV.com snarked that its demise proved "America is not really interested in 40-year-old female action heroes who spend all their time running after planes and falling to their knees to cry." Which doesn't seem fair, since I think that at least once she ran after a train before she cried. But, as EW.com pointed out — accompanied, by the way, by a photo of Judd crying — the series "never really found an audience."
Q: Turner Classic Movies recently ran a movie called "Jamboree!" from 1957. Is there anywhere I can buy it?
A: The movie, about a pop-singing duo, remains of interest for its inclusion of musical performers such as Frankie Avalon, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Carl Perkins and Count Basie, and of disc jockeys from the era, among them Dick Clark and Joe Finan. It has been released on DVD; if your local retailer cannot get it, I have seen it for sale online at www.wbshop.com.
Q: I am a big "Herbie" fan. Can you please tell me if there will be anymore "Herbie" movies?
A: I am guessing that you are referring to "Herbie the Love Bug," the Volkswagen that starred in an array of movie and TV ventures. I do not know of plans for a new production but would not rule one out considering how long the screen history is and how much Disney likes to revisit projects. This project began with "The Love Bug" with Dean Jones in 1969, then stretched through "Herbie Rides Again" (1974), "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo" (1977), "Herbie Goes Bananas" (1980), a short-lived "Herbie the Love Bug" TV series in 1982, a TV-movie version of "The Love Bug" and, most recently, "Herbie: Fully Loaded" (2005).
Q: What can you tell me about the skeleton called Geoff on the Craig Ferguson show? When did he start? I don't often stay up that late, but I've seen some of a few shows lately and he is hilarious.
A: The robot sidekick — full name, Geoff Peterson — made its debut in 2010. Ferguson, who calls his Twitter followers the Robot Skeleton Army, wanted a robotic sidekick on the show. According to Entertainment Weekly, Grant Imahara of the Discovery series MythBusters "tweeted to Ferguson that, if the late-night host could get Imahara's Twitter-follower number to exceed 100,000, he'd build Craig a robot sidekick."
Ferguson, a Mythbusters fan, made that happen. Then Imahara came up with Geoff, which he described to NPR.org as "a biology-class skeleton on steroids."
He can speak and move — and may be the only late-night-TV sidekick to get a photo display in the magazine Popular Mechanics.
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