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JICHA Q&A: You want more Kung Fu?; New Yorkers really shut out
Published December 12, 2004
Q. Is it just me and my friends (ages 55-65) or is this the worst year ever for TV? Maybe you can enlighten us as to how all the nonsense and reality junk gets on prime time. Other than one show on Sunday, three on Tuesday (NCIS, House and Judging Amy) and Center of the Universe on Wednesday, we now find four nights free for a lot of other activities. Do you think there is any chance shows like M*A*S*H, Crime Story, Quincy, Cosby and Kung Fu will ever be made in updated versions? Was Johnny Carson the only one capable of a late night comedy show that is truly funny, entertaining and with no filth? Letterman and Leno bore us with their crude attempts at entertainment and are certainly not funny. What do we want from TV? Shows that are intelligent, thought-provoking, informative, serious and funny; entertainment! -- O.R., e-mail
A. It's just you and your friends. Anyone who praises Center of the Universe and Kung Fu has no right to complain about anything on TV.
Q. What's up (or down) with Alias? It's one of the classier shows on TV. We hope the suits at ABC haven't canceled it for that desperately mindless soap Desperate Housewives. Will Jennifer Garner and company be returning any time soon? -- S.L., Indialantic
A. ABC hasn't canceled Alias for Desperate Housewives, which, your opinion notwithstanding, is an enjoyable hour and the most popular new series of the season. However, the suits have moved Alias to Wednesdays at 9 p.m. starting Jan. 5 with a two-hour season-opener. The shift is fine with Alias creator J.J. Abrams, who also is responsible for its new lead-in, Lost.
And speaking of Lost ...
Q. Will ABC be repeating Lost this season? We missed several episodes following the pilot, and my husband refuses to start watching what promises to be a complex mythology show handicapped by such a large knowledge gap. -- R.B., Fort Lauderdale
A. ABC is giving viewers a second chance to get in on the start of one of this season's hottest newcomers. The first two hours of Lost, which set up the premise, will be rerun on Dec. 15; two additional early episodes are scheduled to air Dec. 22.
Q. There's no question in my mind that Ken Jennings took a dive on Jeopardy. He was struggling to not write down H&R Block in Final Jeopardy. He wanted out. -- H.O., e-mail
A. I'll bet your favorite movie is Oliver Stone's JFK. Can you read everyone's mind or is Jennings an isolated case?
Q. Can you tell me what happened to Lucy Liu, who was on Ally McBeal and in the Charlie's Angels movies? She seems to have disappeared. -- J.S., Boynton Beach
A. Liu will reappear this month as a new recurring character on the Friends spinoff Joey. She'll play the hard-driving, no-nonsense executive producer of the show on which Matt LeBlanc's character has landed a role.Q. The final New York contestants have been eliminated from The Amazing Race. Has anyone from New York City ever won a reality show competition? -- L.M, Plantation
A. I don't have the time or stomach to watch every reality series, but to the best of my knowledge no New Yorker has ever taken the grand prize on one of the more prominent series, such as Survivor, The Amazing Race or American Idol, which is more a variety show than a reality program.
Q. Can you tell me if East of Eden has been released on DVD? Since Giant and Rebel Without a Cause have been released, I am wondering why I can't find this great movie. -- A.V., Margate
A. East of Eden has been released on VHS, so it's probably only a matter of time until it's on DVD. The only reason it won't be released is if sales for the videotape version weren't strong.
Q. Since the James Bond movies play so often on TV I'm going to relay this inquiry to your column. There is some question as to who will be the next James Bond. In my opinion, actor Sean Bean would be ideal. However, I have not seen his name mentioned. What do you think? -- S. S., e-mail
A. Are you his agent? The actor, currently in National Treasure and best known for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, might make an excellent Bond, as would dozens of others. However, like you, I haven't seen his name mentioned as a possibility.
Q. NYPD Blue is mainly about Dennis Franz's Andy Sipowicz and his partner, in the same way that Cagney & Lacey was about the two title characters. Yet NYPD Blue does a better job of giving adequate screen time to the other cops in the squad, more so than Cagney & Lacey did. Any thoughts on this? -- M.S., Dania Beach
A. Just a wild guess, but the fact that the name of the show was Cagney & Lacey might have had something to do with this. NYPD Blue was originally conceived as a star vehicle for David Caruso, with Franz a secondary character. Once Caruso bugged out, producer Stephen Bochco decided to turn it into more of an ensemble piece. Still, thanks to Franz's dynamic performance, Sipowicz turned out to be the character that fans of the show preferred to see most.
Send your questions about local television, the networks or cable to Tom Jicha, TV/Radio Writer, Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2293. Personal replies are not possible, please do not send self-addressed envelopes.
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