Belzer in Sha Na Na? 'Lights Out' is out

Feb 19 2012 - 8:39am

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Richard Belzer
Richard Belzer

Q: I'd like to know if the man who plays on "Law & Order," I think his last name is Bowzer, is the same man who sang with the group Sha Na Na.

A: You are probably confusing Richard Belzer and Jon "Bowzer" Bauman. Bauman was a member of Sha Na Na for about 15 years and for many its most memorable member. He now performs with Bowzer and the Stingrays; you can catch up on his other recent activities at his website, www.bowzerparty.com. On "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," Belzer plays Detective John Munch, a character who was originally on the series "Homicide: Life on the Street." (After the Baltimore-set "Homicide" was canceled, Munch moved to New York and the "SVU" job.)

Q: I was wondering if you could tell me why they have stopped releasing the "NYPD Blue" season box sets. It seemed they were coming out once a year some time ago and then they just stopped at Season 4.

A: To the frustration of their fans, some shows begin complete-season releases, then stop before the show is done; the reason is usually disappointing sales. And the release pattern for the great police show "NYPD Blue" reflects such difficulties. The first season of the series, which first aired from 1993 to 2005, was released on DVD in 2003, with the second season following later that same year. Sales were apparently disappointing, since it was 2006 before the third season was released, and the packaging was much less elaborate than it had been for the first two seasons. The same applied to the fourth season, also released in 2006. But sales must have been poor again, since that was it for DVD releases. That being said, later seasons five through 12 have at least been made available as streaming video via Amazon.com's Amazon Prime system; you can buy individual episodes or complete seasons.

Q: What happened to the show "Lights Out" that was on a couple of years ago?

A: The boxing series on FX had its admirers, me among them. But its ratings were not up to the network's standards and it was dropped after a single season. One FX executive told the A.V. Club website that many viewers never gave the show a chance. "It seems vaguely familiar if you've seen 'Rocky' or 'The Fighter.' But then you get into it and you find out it's got richness and texture and it's quite different. But if your fundamental point of view is 'I don't want to see something that I've seen before,' it's easy to dismiss both those shows on their face, because in a conceptual way, they're not radically different than other movies and TV shows you've seen."

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