News Column

Fox's 'Profit' lived in cardboard box,best bets [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)]

July 1, 2013


Question: I remember a TV series from the 1980s that ran for only a few weeks. It was about a ruthless business executive, and the explanation for his behavior was that he had been abandoned as a child and grew up with no human contact except watching TV. Does this sound familiar? What was the title of the show?

Answer: That was an interesting show called "Profit," which ran on Fox in 1996. Adrian Pasdar played the title character, Jim Profit, who had grown up in a cardboard box with TV for a baby sitter.

The box came from a company called Gracen & Gracen, and when Profit grows up, after setting his abusive father on fire, he joins the company and tries to become part of its "family" by ruthlessly working his way up the ladder. Profit often addressed the camera, a la Kevin Spacey in "House of Cards," and he creates his own identity, a la Don Draper of "Mad Men." The show is on DVD.

Q.: I recently saw that the host of "Cash Cab" won an Emmy. I loved that show, but have not seen it recently. Is "Cash Cab" still on the air?

A.: If it is, it's a repeat episode. "Cash Cab" ended a seven- season run last year.

Q.: About 15 years ago, I heard about a movie where an elderly man uses a riding mower to go visit his dying brother. Nobody seems to remember the name of the movie. I don't know who was in it, but I would really like to see it if it is on DVD. Can you help?

A.: That's the 1999 film "The Straight Story," with Sissy Spacek and Richard Farnsworth.

The movie is based on a true story, and Farnsworth plays Alvin Straight, who drove a riding mower across Iowa and Wisconsin to visit his brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton), who has suffered a stroke. Spacek plays Farnsworth's daughter, and the film was directed by David Lynch. It's on DVD.

Write David Inman in care of The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier- Journal, 525 W. Broadway, P.O. Box 740031, Louisville, Ky. 40201- 7431; or email him at incredibleinman(AT) Questions of general interest will be answered; personal replies are not possible.,American Ninja Warrior

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