You have questions. I have some answers.
Q: HBO has promoted "Perry Mason" returning with a 1930s setting. Is that still a go or a no-go?
A: A definite go, although I am not sure when. The HBO rendition of the defense attorney most famously played by Raymond Burr was not listed for HBO premieres through June in a recent network announcement, but the announcement did list it as in production, with Matthew Rhys of "The Americans" playing Mason. With a cast that also includes Tatiana Maslany and John Lithgow, the drama looks at Mason's development during a sensational case in 1931 Los Angeles.
Q: I would like to know if "The Amazing Race" will ever be on again.
A: The answer is yes. CBS has not yet scheduled the 32nd season of the reality competition, but it is completed. In fact, the series was working on its 33rd as coronavirus became a threat. Production was shut down in February "out of an abundance of caution," a CBS representative told Variety. Contestants and staff went home; the network said no one was infected at the time and continued monitoring was planned.
And speaking of "Race" ...
Q: There was a show before "The Amazing Race" where a group of people were blindfolded and put on an airplane and they didn't know where they were going. When they landed, they were dropped off with no money and no phone and they had to find their way home -- from Mongolia. Do you remember this show? My family thinks I'm nuts.
A: The series, called "Lost," premiered on Sept. 5, 2001 -- which, several references say, was the same night that "The Amazing Race" began on CBS. According to "The Complete Directory to Prime Time and Network Cable TV Shows," "Lost" involved three teams of two strangers "blindfolded and airlifted to a remote location" and tasked with finding their way to the Statue of Liberty. And yes, the first contest involved Mongolia.
"Lost" was not a success; one problem was a delay between its first and second episodes because of coverage of the 9/11 attacks. "The Amazing Race" also faced a delay, yet found an audience that has kept it going to this day. And "Lost" became a title more commonly associated with ABC's plane-crash thriller from 2004 to 2010.
Q: I saw that "FBI" on CBS added a new agent, Hailey, who was on "Chicago P.D." on NBC. What happened to the old agent, is she "temporarily undercover"?
A: Missy Peregrym, who plays Special Agent Maggie Bell on the drama, is on maternity leave and is expected back on the "FBI" beat next season. Tracy Spiridakos, who plays Hailey Upton on "Chicago P.D.," crossed networks to guest-star on "FBI" because both shows come from mega-producer Dick Wolf, the man responsible for the "Chicago" series, the two "FBI" programs and anything with "Law & Order" in its name. According to a CBS rep there are no plans right now for Spiridakos to reappear on "FBI" "but just like with Chicago crossovers, it's never out of the realm of possibility in the future."
Q: Years ago, I saw a movie, I think made in the '40s, about a wealthy British family traveling with their household staff aboard a ship. The ship is wrecked on an island and the butler takes over running the island and his former employers. What is it?
A: That is "The Admirable Crichton" (also known as "Paradise Lagoon"), based on a play by J.M. Barrie and brought to the screen in 1958 with Kenneth More in the title role. Turner Classic Movies' website notes that "films about servants who dominate their masters comprise a diverse catalogue of titles" that often seem to have borrowed from Barrie's play. "Early film adaptations included G. B. Samuelson's 'The Admirable Crichton' (1918), Cecil B. DeMille's 'Male and Female' (1919), and Norman Taurog's 'We're Not Dressing' (1934), which starred Bing Crosby, not as a valet but a deckhand who helps a yachtsman and his party survive being beached on a tropical atoll." But "The Admirable Crichton" title did get used again, in a 1968 production for TV's "Hallmark Hall of Fame."
(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 email@example.com. Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.)
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