Monday, May 17, 2010

Q and A: Week of May 17

Q: While I love hearing about all the “Twilight” kids, I’d really like to know what my favorite vampire, Peter Facinelli, has in the works. — Ingrid S., via e-mail

A: Peter Facinelli, aka Dr. Carlisle Cullen, is ready to prove his action credentials — he’s reportedly signed up to star as World Lightweight Champion Vinny Pazienza, called “Paz.” The boxer stunned doctors by returning to the ring just three months after a near-fatal car crash in the 1990s. The movie is set to start shooting next year. Peter also has written a movie for the Hallmark Channel, in which wife (and “90210″ alum) Jennie Garth will star. He’s also keeping busy on the small screen as Dr. Fitch Cooper on Showtime’s critically acclaimed series “Nurse Jackie.”

Q: I was so happy that TNT picked up “Southland” earlier this season when NBC failed to renew it for the second season. Is there any word yet on whether TNT plans to give it a third season? — Gerry F., Scranton, Pa.

A: TNT recently announced — to the delight of many die-hard fans — that it has renewed the critically acclaimed cop drama “Southland” for its third season. The 10-episode Season Three will begin airing in January 2011. TNT executive vice president Michael Wright praises “Southland” as “a challenging, visceral show that engages viewers with its immersive style, provocative story lines and complex characters.” And by the looks of my mailbag, many of the show’s fans agree.

Q: I first saw “Avatar” on the big screen in 3-D at Christmastime, and I wasn’t too sure I’d like it as much watching it on DVD on my small screen at home, but I am glad to say I was wrong. I am amazed that such an epic movie can also be so warm and intimate, as I find it to be this way on my 50-inch television screen. What do you think? — Davey P., via e-mail

A: I couldn’t agree more. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that “Avatar” is not just an action/special-effects vehicle, it also is a wonderful story. When I spoke with CCH Pounder (who played Mo’at) recently about her attraction to the story line, she had this to say: “There are a couple of things that made me really happy. Regardless of the fact that this is a fairly familiar story, it’s a very strong story. It’s a story of our journey. It’s a story about people. And while you are watching the story of these people, you get to see this extraordinary life form all around you.”

Q: When will the new “Sex and the City” movie be out? I think I might explode in anticipation. — Nikki R., Fort Worth, Texas

A: Hold on just a few more days! “Sex in the City 2″ is due in theaters on May 27. Note that this is a Thursday, and not the usual Friday (or Wednesday) opening day.

Q: I am thrilled that so many of my favorite shows from the 1970s and ’80s are beginning to show up on DVD. Can you tell me when “Falcon Crest” will be out on DVD. I can’t wait! — Janet U. in Florida

A: Wait no longer. “Falcon Crest: Season 1” is now out on DVD, and can be found wherever DVDs are sold and rented. I also can’t wait to re-live those Tuscany Valley memories, with Angela’s scheming, Lance’s lady-killing and Maggie’s voice of reason. It is especially fun to see Susan Sullivan’s portrayal of Maggie back then compared with her hilarious Martha Rodgers (Castle’s mom) on “Castle.”

Q: I love the addition of Rob Lowe to NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” What else does he have coming up? — Irene T., Brunswick, Ga.

A: Along with his “Parks and Rec” duties, Rob Lowe will guest star in the fourth season of the Showtime series “Californication.” Rob will play Eddie Nero, a neurotic yet talented movie star who is in the running to play Hank Moody (David Duchovny) in the film version of Hank’s hit novel. Rob will appear in at least one episode, but could become a recurring character.

Q: My mother and I are loyal viewers of the daytime soap opera “As the World Turns.” We were so sad to hear that Helen Wagner, who had been on the show since it premiered back in 1956, had passed away. How are the other cast members taking the news? — Shelli F., via e-mail

A: Helen Wagner, 91, who passed away May 1, was a soap opera icon. She even held the Guinness world record for playing the same character on TV for the longest period of time. I spoke with longtime friend and cast mate Eileen Fulton (who has played Lisa since 1960) about Helen’s passing, and she told me she felt a little shell-shocked. “My one regret is that she didn’t hang on a little longer to wrap the show up (which ends its run in September). That’s the thing that keeps haunting me. She spoke the first words on the show; we all were hoping she’d have the last words too.”

Q: I was a faithful viewer of the sitcom “Becker,” and I would like to know what the star, Ted Danson, is up to lately. — Sara S., Fort Worth, Texas

A: Ted co-stars in the Glenn Close legal drama “Damages,” which airs on FX. He also co-stars in the HBO comedy series “Bored to Death.” When Ted’s not working, you can find him tending to his organic garden at his and wife Mary Steenburgen’s home in Ojai, Calif.

READERS: A few months back, I held a contest for five lucky readers to win a DVD of Taylor Hicks’ “Whomp at the Warfield” concert DVD. Scores of loyal Taylor Hicks fans (and Celebrity Extra readers) correctly answered this question: What songs did Taylor sing in the “American Idol” finale, which ultimately crowned him the winner? (The songs were “Living for the City,” “Levon” and “Do I Make You Proud?”) Winners in the drawing were: Tammy Krebs of Groton, Conn.; Amy Hicks (no relation to Taylor!) of Theresa, N.Y.; Dorothy Mayes of Roanoke, Va.; Nicholas Russo of Norwell, Mass.; and Nancy McConnell of Stansbury Park, Utah. Keep an eye on your mailboxes, folks. Taylor Hicks is on his way!

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