You have questions. I have some answers.
Q: I started watching “Page Six TV” about six weeks ago. It seems that they have different hosts on and on one recent show, it was just the three regular reporters. Are they looking for a fulltime host?
A: John Fugelsang, who hosted the syndicated show when it began last year, departed the show in March. Broadcasting & Cable magazine noted that the series planned to finish the first season with guest hosts before naming a replacement for the second season, which has already been announced. The only explanation of the change I have seen is that it was a mutual agreement. On the day Fugelsang’s departure was announced, he simply said on Twitter “… and that’s a wrap” — with an image of Luke Skywalker brushing dirt off his shoulder after a massive barrage in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
Q: My husband and I loved the movie “29th Street” with Anthony LaPaglia. We liked it so much we would play it over and over on our VHS player, which we no longer have. Nor do we have the tape. I can’t find a copy of it anywhere! Why is that? And are we never able to see it again? (I saw something on Amazon for $60 or more! No thank you!).
A: The abundance of streaming, cable and other services makes it seem as if every movie ever made is available somewhere. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, even of movies with big stars. (Movie critic Lou Lumenick listed more than 200 not on DVD a few years ago). As Lumenick said, “Most commonly, there are rights issues with literary sources or music that block a DVD release. In other cases, existing negatives are in such poor shape they can’t support DVD-quality transfers, or scenes may be missing. Sometimes, the owners decide there isn’t sufficient potential profit to justify the cost of remastering and releasing a film on DVD.” And this can apply to recent films as readily as ancient ones.
In the case of “29th Street,” it was released on DVD in 2005 (via a company that’s no longer around) but then went out of print. I don’t have a guess as to the reason, other than an old report saying that even the theatrical release in 1991 had some complicated ownership issues. I checked several streaming and On Demand lineups and did not see it there, either. This explains why the price for the old authorized DVDs is high. It has been offered at a lower price by unauthorized vendors as well, but I do not recommend them.
Q: I just watched first episode of “Blue Bloods.” The boys who started on the show as Danny’s sons are still with the show, but it was a different young girl playing Erin’s daughter at that time. What caused change? When did they change?
A: TV series often make changes in casting and other elements between the pilot and the production of a full season. Reasons may include a change in tone or the character being portrayed, or that an actor is no longer available for a series role. But the pilot may still be aired to save the cost of reshooting. “Blue Bloods” had a young actress named Marlene Lawston as Nikki in the pilot, but for the series cast Sami Gayle (who has remained in the role to this day). It’s possible that Lawston simply decided to leave screen acting; her last credit on the Internet Movie Database is that “Blue Bloods” pilot.
Q: On the Steve Martin album “Let’s Get Small,” there is a cut called “Excuse Me.” When this is played backwards, “In the heat (garbled sound) when it’s hot” can be heard. Is this just me, or have others heard this?
A: To be sure there are plenty of examples of backmasking in recordings. But on this one, as far as I know, it’s just you.