Question: We loved "Bates Motel." The last show seemed to leave an opening for a continuing series, but we have heard nothing. Will it return? When?
Answer: The series, a prequel to "Psycho" focusing on a young Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga), will be back for a second season. Look for it in 2014; I have not seen a specific return date yet.
Q: Whatever happened to the series called "Ironside" that was on Wednesday nights? The last time my wife and I saw an episode was last month. Did they cancel it? Why?
A: NBC saw possibilities in an updating of the Raymond Burr series, which originally aired from 1967 to 1975. But the grittier new version, starring Blair Underwood as the detective in a wheelchair, did not connect with viewers. It was yanked after a handful of episodes because its ratings were low to begin with and then declining.
Q: Will the excellent "Foyle's War" return for another series in 2014?
A: That's not clear at this writing. Writer Anthony Horowitz, the driving creative force on the series, has indicated that the most recent episodes will be his last. And even in those, Foyle's war was no longer WWII: He had moved on to the Cold War.
"Nothing is ever certain -- and 'Foyle's War' can always return without me," Horowitz wrote in Radio Times. While there have been other writers on the 25 episodes to date, Horowitz had a hand in more than 20 of them. "That's an awful lot of crimes, clues, bodies, suspects, mysteries and chases," he said.
Q: At the end of the movie "The Shawshank Redemption," it says, "In memory of Allen Greene." Who is Allen Greene?
A: Allen Greene was the agent and close friend of Frank Darabont, who directed "Shawshank" and wrote the script based on a Stephen King story. Greene died of complications from AIDS.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.,A Charlie Brown Christmas
8 p.m. on ABC
When Charlie Brown complains about the materialism he sees around him during the holidays, Lucy suggests he direct the Christmas pageant. He accepts, but it proves to be a frustrating struggle -- and when his attempt to restore the proper spirit with a forlorn little fir tree fails, he needs Linus' help to learn the real meaning of Christmas.
Movie: It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
8 p.m. on The CW
Kermit, Miss Piggy and company mark the holiday season with a TV movie that borrows the theme of "It's a Wonderful Life." A banker (Joan Cusack) plans to tear down the Muppet Theater and build a nightclub, but Kermit tries to talk her out of it with help from a novice angel and his supervisor.
CMA Country Christmas
9 p.m. on ABC
Not for country music fans only, this two-hour special, hosted by Jennifer Nettles, features holiday performances by Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Lucy Hale ("Pretty Little Liars"), Darius Rucker and Willie Robertson.
The Battle of amfAR
9 p.m. on HBO
This new documentary tells the story of how two women -- actress Elizabeth Taylor and scientist Dr. Mathilde Krim -- came together to fight AIDS.
9:30 p.m. on CBS
Well, this is awkward. Bonnie (Allison Janney) has a new love interest: Chef Rudy (French Stewart), who happens to be Christy's (Anna Faris) co-worker. So, guess who is caught in the middle of this arrangement. Nate Corddry also stars.
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