Monday, April 18, 2011

Q and A: Week of April 18

Q: The other day I stumbled across a show on MTV called “The Hard Times of RJ Berger” — I absolutely loved it! The actress who plays RJ’s mom looks very familiar. Can you tell me about her? — Stan R., Nashville, Tenn.

A: Actress/comedian Beth Littleford portrays Suzanne Berger, RJ’s unconventional (and always entertaining) mom in the MTV scripted comedy — the first-ever sitcom on MTV. You might remember Beth from her four years on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” I chatted with Beth recently (check back later this week for our full interview), and she told me how excited she is about season two.

“This season goes really deep. It continues to push the envelope on a lot of levels, but there is also a lot of really hard, squeezing angst,” she said. “No one is who they appear to be, and life is more complicated. My character continues to be a little bit cartoonish, but then goes deep. You see the love and you see the heartbreak. And because the parents are regular characters this season, I get some juicier story lines.”

You can catch Beth this summer in the Steve Carell comedy “Crazy Stupid Love,” as well as part of the super-mega-all-star cast of “Movie 43.”

Q: I know this is the final season for “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” but can you tell me when her final show will air? — Annie L., via e-mail

A: Oprah’s Harpo Productions, which produces “Oprah,” confirmed that the final original episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will air May 25. Oprah tweeted last month that she was “hard at work planning the final shows” of TV’s top-rated talk show for more than 20 years. Check your local listings for time and station — I have a feeling the entire month will be packed with stuff you won’t want to miss!

Q: I heard that because of contract negotiations, “Mad Men” won’t be back for a fifth season. Please tell me this isn’t true! — Heather F., via e-mail

A: Don’t fret. The show is getting a late start because of contract-negotiation specifics with “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner, but it will return for its fifth season in early 2012.

READERS: It’s time for our third contest! On Tuesday, May 10, the Ovation network is premiering its original series “In Search of Food.” The program spotlights the popularity and resurgence of the “locavore” movement — cooking with locally sourced ingredients — that has invigorated local growers and farms around the country. Barton travels to Minneapolis, New York and San Francisco, where he meets local farmers, chefs and food craftsmen. “In Search of Food” is hosted by acclaimed chef, author and sustainability advocate Barton Seaver. I have five copies of Barton’s “For Cod and Country,” a beautiful hardcover cookbook highlighting cooking with fish. Write to me at or at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, and tell me how far you have gone in search of good food. Deadline is May 31.

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