News Column

Where did 'The Americans' go?,best bets [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)]

November 4, 2013


Question: I watched "The Americans" on FX every week. What happened to the show? It was great!

Answer: "The Americans," a drama about Russian spies in America in the Reagan era, had a 13-episode first season that aired from January to May. A second season has been ordered, to begin in January 2014. As has been pointed out here from time to time, people accustomed to TV series running from September to May have had to adjust to different scheduling cycles on cable and broadcast. Where a hit broadcast show might make 24 episodes in a season, cable series tend to have fewer episodes; HBO's "The Newsroom," for one, had 10 episodes in its first season and nine in its second.

Programmers might also split those episodes into even smaller bites, so "The Walking Dead's" current, fourth season on AMC consists of eight episodes now and then eight more in 2014.

Q: Is it true that "Lucky 7" was canceled after only two episodes? My husband and I were really enjoying it.

A: It is true. ABC pulled the drama about a group of lottery winners when the ratings proved disappointing, making the unlucky "Lucky" the first broadcast network show of the season to be canceled. But it soon had company. CBS has since yanked "We Are Men" from its lineup -- although the silver lining in that news is that it will bring "Mike & Molly" back Nov. 4 instead of early 2014.

Q: Q: I used to watch a hilarious show about a sock puppet (!) in the late hours on MTV. Can you tell me the name?

A: You are probably remembering "Sifl and Olly," which aired on MTV in the '90s, both in late night and in prime time. Created by Liam Lynch and Matt Crocco, it had two sock puppets in conversations derived from Lynch and Crocco's own odd, real-life chats. And the characters continue to pop up online; in 2012 they appeared in a series of videos discussing video games like "Skulls of Duty" -- which, like other games they talk about, does not really exist.

Rich Heldenfels is a staff writer for the Akron Beacon Journal. Write him at Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44328 or,Antiques Roadshow

8 p.m. on WQED

The new episode "Junk in the Trunk 3" revisits Season 17 with never-before-seen appraisals from its six stops. They include a collection of Boston Celtics memorabilia in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; a diamond and platinum ring in Corpus Christi, Texas; and a book with a mysterious past valued at $35,000 to $50,000 in Rapid City, S.D.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

8 p.m. on Bravo

The season premiere is a crossover with "Vanderpump Rules." Kyle hires Lisa's restaurant, SUR, to cater a party celebrating the centennial of Beverly Hills. During the event, Kyle tries to set aside her differences with Yolanda.

Mike & Molly

9 p.m. on CBS

Molly (Melissa McCarthy) is at a crossroads in her career, which leads her to make a major decision -- we're talking huge here -- in the season premiere, "Molly Unleashed." Brian Baumgartner ("The Office") guest stars as James, Molly's union rep. Billy Gardell also stars.

Bizarre Foods America

9 p.m. on Travel Channel

In the season premiere, "New Jersey: Pigs Blood & Paprikash," Andrew visits the Garden State, where he samples a beloved local breakfast meat, enjoys some popular Filipino dishes and tries a new breed of shellfish called the triploid oyster.

The Blacklist

10:01 p.m. on NBC

As Liz (Megan Boone) and the FBI search for the person responsible for a chemical attack on a subway, she asks Red (James Spader) to help her track down the next person on the blacklist, a brilliant scientist (guest star Robert Sean Leonard, "House"). Ryan Eggold also stars in the new episode "Frederick Barnes."

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