News Column

Pop culture Q&A: 'The Bridge' will return on FX; other shows in limbo

November 12, 2013

YellowBrix

Q: I was a fan of "The Bridge" on FX. It was discontinued and one of those horror programs is in its place. I wonder why "The Bridge" was taken off and will it continue sometime?

A: As has been noted here before, some shows, especially on cable, have relatively short seasons, so it seems as if they have been cut off when in fact they have just ended their seasonal run. "The Bridge" is one of those. Its 13-episode first season has aired, and it will be back for a second season in 2014.

Q: It was reported earlier that CBS was putting on a program titled "Intelligence" starring Josh Holloway, one of my favorite actors from "Lost." It was supposed to start in the fall but has not been on. I wonder what happened to it.

A: When CBS announced its 2013-14 schedule in May, "Intelligence" was on it _ but always as a midseason series. In order to put on large-scale thrillers but not overwork the idea, CBS planned to have "Hostages" in the 10 p.m. EST Monday slot through the fall, and then have "Intelligence" succeed it in the winter. And so it will be, with "Intelligence" premiering Feb. 24.

Q: Who did the music for the MasterCard commercial with the little boy dressed as a pirate? It sounds a lot like Mannheim Steamroller, but I can't find it on any of my Mannheim albums.

A: The music was done by an Australian company called Silencio for the commercials. In fact, you can see the Australian and U.S. versions of the ad on YouTube _ essentially the same ad, with the same music, but with an Australian woman doing the voice-over at the end of one, and an American man on the other.

Q: I remember a television program titled, "Whatever Happened to the Class of '65?" Can you tell me something about it and if any episodes are available on CD or online?

A: I think you are remembering the show "What Really Happened to the Class of '65?" It aired on NBC in 1977-78 and was inspired by a book of the same name by Michael Medved and David Wallechinsky. While the book was about a real-life high-school class, the TV series dealt with the graduates of the fictional Bret Harte High School. Tony Bill played Sam Ashley, a member of the class, who was the narrative link to the episodes about different individual graduates. "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows" says other actors on the show included Leslie Nielsen, Larry Hagman and Jane Curtin. I do not know of an authorized DVD, nor have I found it streaming online, other than a clip of the theme song on YouTube.

Q: Whatever happened to the show "Siberia?" Did all of those people get out of there OK?

A: Let's clarify something about the NBC series: It was pretend. NBC at times acted as if it was real; the online synopsis, for instance, referred to "16 reality-show participants (who) descend on Tunguska unknowing of the land's mysterious past. These contestants, from varied walks of life, will attempt to battle the elements and each other in a quest to survive the harsh winter and claim a large cash prize." And, as Entertainment Weekly noted, "the characters are named after the actors who play them, and some of the details of their bios are the same." But it was still fully scripted and acted, though how well has been argued. EW's Melissa Maerz said, "Cliches found on reality TV are sometimes interesting: it's always fascinating to understand why a real human being would want to portray herself as a total stereotype on television. But cliches that are scripted are just cliches."

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