Why Is Ziva Leaving “NCIS”?

October 1, 2013

Mr. Inman: I’m writing about one of my favorite TV shows. What is happening with the cast of “NCIS”? First a female agent is killed by a sniper, then Gibbs’s mentor is murdered and now Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) is being dropped. Do you have any insight regarding Ms. de Pablo? – H.M., Franklin, TN

Dear H.M.: De Pablo is leaving “NCIS” by her choice. She will appear on a few episodes to wrap up her character’s storyline.

The “Quantum Leap” Story

October 1, 2013

Dear David Inman: I remember a show that starred Patrick Swayze as a character who would go back in time but he would take the form of another person, sometimes even a woman. Can you tell me the title of the show and when it ran? – Kyle, Milton, FL

Dear Kyle: Sounds like “Quantum Leap,” which ran on NBC from 1989-93. Swayze wasn’t in the show; our hero was Scott Bakula. He played a physicist named Sam Beckett who became lost in time as a result of an experiment gone wrong. Sam’s sidekick was a hologram named Al, played by Dean Stockwell. Sam’s travels were mostly during the 20th century, giving the producers a chance to make lots of references to the pop culture and music of the time.

Here’s the show opening:

Was Paul Harvey in the Movies?

July 23, 2012

Hello Mr. Inman: I’ve been watching a lot of Turner Classic Movies lately (the most recent one was “The Petrified Forest” with Bette Davis), and I occasionally see the name “Paul Harvey” listed in the credits. I’m wondering if this is the Paul Harvey of radio fame. I say yes; my brother disagrees. A round of golf hangs in the balance. Can you tell us if the famous Mr. Harvey ever appeared in a movie? – Troy, Berlin, MD

Dear Troy: Oh, so you want to hear the rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrest of the story, eh?

Allow me to introduce you to Roy Paul Harvey, born in Sandwich, Illinois in 1882. He died in 1955 at age 73, and among his many film credits are “Spellbound,” “Father of the Bride” and, yes, “The Petrified Forest.”

As you have no doubt surmised, he is not the same person as radio Paul Harvey, who passed away in 2009. Radio Paul Harvey played an announcer in two movies – 1998’s “Everything That Rises” and 1986’s “The Right of the People.”

Who’s Left on “Grey’s Anatomy”?

July 5, 2012

Dear David Inman: My wife and I and half of our bingo buddies believe all the actors on “Grey’s Anatomy,” who were shown in the airplane crash on the season finale, died. However, the other half of our bingo friends say NO WAY, most of them lived. Believe me, it’s a heated problem. PLEASE HELP. – Ernie and Pat, via e-mail

Dear Ernie and Pat: Well, no one associated with “Grey’s Anatomy” is saying for sure, but the prevailing wisdom seems to be that only one doctor – Lexie Gray, played by Chyler Leigh — was killed and that everyone else will be back. Again, nothing is set in stone, but most observers feel that the rest of the cast will be back, so please return to bingo just as if nothing had happened.

An “Animal House” TV Series? Yes

June 22, 2012

Dear David: We were recently watching “Animal House” and I remarked that it was also made into a TV series. No one believed me! Please tell them my memory is still functioning. – R.W., Rochester, NY

Dear R.W.: Kids, pull your chairs up reeeal close to the simulated pot-bellied stove with the virtual fire burning inside while the olllllld storyteller tells you the tale about the three “Animal House” sitcoms that came and went waaaay back in the winter of ’79.

We used to light our candles and sit around the TV in those days, and on January 18, 1979 we saw the “authorized” sitcom version of “Animal House,” called “Delta House.” It had several actors from the movie, including John Vernon as Dean Wormer, Stephen Furst as Flounder and Bruce McGill as D-Day. Also in the cast was a young starlet named – Michelle Pfeiffer!

“Delta House” ran until that April on ABC. The CBS entry into the ripoff sweepstakes was “Co-Ed Fever,” which began and ended on February 4, 1979, since nobody watched it. And the NBC entry was called “Brothers and Sisters,” which featured Chris Lemmon and Mary Crosby, and went away in the spring of 1979 as well.

See how learning can be fun, kids?

Kids?

All About “Here Come the Brides”

June 20, 2012

Dear Mr. Inman: As a young man I loved the TV show “Here Come the Brides.” But all I remember now is that it had Bobby Sherman and an awesome theme song. Can you fill in the details? – G.W.N., via e-mail

Dear G.W.N.: “Here Come the Brides” ran on ABC from 1968-70, and its theme song, “In Seattle,” was a hit for Perry Como in the late 1960s.

The show was set in 1880s Seattle, where the Bolt brothers – Jason (Robert Brown), Joshua (David Soul) and Jeremy (Bobby Sherman) – were running a timber company. But the local lumberjacks desired female company, so the Bolts sailed to New Bedford, Massachusetts and came back with a bunch of prospective brides for the men. The Bolts were in hock to lumber tycoon Aaron Stempel, who financed the expedition, and if any of the women decided to return to the east, the Bolt boys would forfeit their company to Stempel.

Before you could say “knothole,” Jeremy fell in love with Candy Pruitt (Bridget Hanley), adding to the romantic drama. And local bar owner Lottie (Joan Blondell) kept a close eye on everything. The supporting cast also included Candy’s best friend Biddie (Susan Tolsky) and Clancy (Henry Beckman), the
captain of a ship that never seemed to go anywhere.

A Robot Cop Was in “Holmes and Yoyo”

June 19, 2012

David: I recall a television show from the early to mid-1970s about a pair of detectives, one of which was a robot. Is my memory playing tricks on me or am I actually recalling a real show from the ‘70s? – Mark, via e-mail

Dear Mark: It was real, all right – whether it was any good is another story.

It was “Holmes and Yoyo,” and it ran on ABC in 1976. Richard B. Shull played police Det. Holmes, whose new partner was a robot called Yoyo, played by John Schuck. The partnership lasted about three weeks, when the boys were stopped in their tracks by a criminal force known as “low ratings.”

All About “Jason of Star Command”

June 18, 2012

Dear Inman: As a kid in the late 1970s I remember a Saturday morning show that was live action (real people, not cartoons) and set in space. Seems like one of the guys from “Star Trek” was on it. Name and details, please? – Excellent Ted, via e-mail

Dear E.T.: Methinks you mean “Jason of Star Command,” a little cheeseball of a show that ran on CBS from 1978-80. Jason was played by Craig Littler and the man in charge was Commander Canarvin, played by James Doohan, aka Scotty on “Star Trek.” For the second season, he was replaced by John Russell as Commander Stone. The female interests were Capt. Nicole Davidoff (Susan Pratt O’Hanlon) in season one and Samantha (Tamara Dobson) in season two. Apparently there was high turnover at Star Command.

The enemy, in both seasons, was the evil Drago, played by veteran B-movie bad guy Sid Haig.

Orphans Out West? “The Monroes”

June 15, 2012

Dear Dave: I was wondering if you could help me with an old TV show I used to watch either in the late 1960s or early ‘70s. It was about a wilderness family living out west somewhere without their parents and they had a lot of kids. I had a coloring book about them. Please tell me there was such a show! – L.A.,
New York

Dear L.A.: Sure there was such a show! You don’t think they just go around making coloring books willy-nilly, do you?

That was “The Monroes,” which ran on ABC from 1966-67. Michael Anderson Jr. played the head of the clan, Clayt, and assorted siblings were played by Barbara Hershey, Keith and Kevin Schultz, Tammy Locke, and Jerry Mathers as the Beaver. (Just kidding.)

Here’s the opening from the show’s pilot:

Before Her “Housewives” Days, Kim Richards Was on “Hello, Larry”

June 14, 2012

Dear Inman: Every time I see Kim Richards on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” I think about a sitcom she was on in the 1970s. It’s not “Nanny and the Professor” – it was later than that and she played a smart-aleck kid. Can you tell me the title and when it ran? – H.F., via e-mail

Dear H.F.: That would be “Hello, Larry,” which ran on NBC from 1979-80. McLean Stevenson played Larry Alder, a radio talkshow host and a single dad of two daughters – Diane (played by Donna Wilkes and then Krista Errickson) and Ruthie, played by Richards.

Ruthie was the wisecracking daughter, playing a role very similar to that of Arnold (Gary Coleman) on “Diff’rent Strokes.” In fact, there was even a “Hello, Larry/Diff’rent Strokes” crossover episode. I even watched it. And because I cannot forget it, I will now kill myself.

Here are the “Hello, Larry” opening credits:

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