You have questions. I have some answers.
Q: The current “Jeopardy!” champion, James Holzhauer, has racked up over $1.6 million and is going strong. I wondered how his compensation is paid. Is he given installments until he loses or must he wait until the end of his run?
A: Apparently he has to wait not only until the end of his run, but until his last show airs — which could be months after it was taped. That, according to various reports, keeps contestants from violating signed agreements not to reveal the outcome of their performance until after audiences have had a chance to see it.
And the check may take still longer to arrive. Newsweek.com noted recently that one winner earlier this year was told her check would arrive 120 days after her last telecast.
Q: There used to be a special years ago, before Christmas, called “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Any idea what ever happened to it? I haven’t seen it in years!
A: “Amahl,” which aired for the first time on NBC on Christmas Eve 1951, was composed by Gian Carlo Menotti and is considered the first opera written especially for television. About a boy who encounters the Three Wise Men on their way to the infant Jesus, the hourlong show was sponsored by Hallmark, setting the stage for its “Hallmark Hall of Fame” presentations in ensuing decades.
“Amahl” drew raves, won a Peabody Award and became a holiday season perennial (in live and taped renditions) for 15 years. There were also staged theater productions around the country.
But Menotti was unhappy with a ’60s production that he had neither supervised nor approved in advance and refused to allow further TV presentations when he regained the rights to the opera. “I’d rather see no production at all of ‘Amahl’ than a bad one,” he told the New York Times in 1966. Menotti and NBC did agree to a new telecast in 1978, with him as music director. It was not a success. Still, companies continue to stage “Amahl.” And you can find various versions online; YouTube has 1951’s and 1978’s. There’s also a DVD of a 1955 telecast.
Q: There was a show on television a few years ago called “The Lost World.” It lasted three seasons. The last episode ended by saying “to be continued” but it never did. I was wondering if you could find out why.
A: The officially titled “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World” aired for three seasons in 1999-2002. According to The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, there was supposed to be a fourth season “but the producers ran into financial problems that prevented its continuing in production.”
It was even worse than that: Told a fourth season would happen, writers on the show built a cliffhanger into the third season finale and began extensive planning for a fourth run. While the fourth did not happen, there’s a long written discussion of what the writers had in mind at www.reeves-stevens.com/TLWSUMMARY1.pdf.
Q: What happened to “Sun Records” on CMT? Will it ever come back?
A: As Elvis Presley would say, it’s gone, gone, gone. The series about the early years of Sun ended after a single, eight-episode season in 2017.
Q: Are you aware how unacceptable and immoral “Two and a Half Men” is? Why not show Mary Tyler Moore reruns?
A: I am aware that “Two and a Half Men,” which originally aired on CBS from 2003 to 2015, was an often-popular comedy for adults about men whose lives included a lot of sex and the wanting of same, with almost no use of a moral compass. It was nominated for 47 Emmys, winning nine, including two for star Jon Cryer. “Men” is not on the level of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” an all-time classic, but at its best it could make me laugh. Still can.
Q: On “American Idol” when they were announcing the Top 10, two men were not chosen. However, Lionel Richie comforted them and put them through, I thought. The next show they did not perform. What happened to them?
A: I have gone back through the results announcements on the shows selecting the Top 10 (from 14 contestants) and the ensuing Top 8 and did not see what you described. On the Top 10 show, voters selected Madison VanDenburg, Walker Burroughs, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Wade Cota, Laci Kaye Booth, Laine Hardy and Alejandro Aranda. From the remaining singers, Lionel went onstage, proclaimed Uche a true entertainer and dramatically saved him for the Top 8. Luke Bryan saved Dimitrius Graham and Katy Perry saved Alyssa Raghu.
But salvation can be short term on “Idol.” The following week, Graham and Uche were voted off, and the judges opted not to save either.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.)
©2019 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.