Q: I would like to know if you know anything about a movie starring Robert De Niro as Vince Lombardi. I have found only a small amount of nondefinitive information on the Internet.
A: There was a film, and then there wasn't.
With more than a little fanfare, ESPN announced plans to make the film in 2010. Eric Roth ("Forrest Gump," "The Insider") was set to write the script. According to ESPN at the time, "The story's narrative arc spans from 1959 when Lombardi was given his first opportunity to be an NFL head coach, taking over the small-town (Green Bay) Packers, then the worst team in the NFL, and runs through his transformation of a group of young, talented but undisciplined losers into five-time NFL champions. Also, the story highlights the long-standing rivalry that existed between Lombardi and legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry, both of whom were assistants on the New York Giants team that lost the 1958 NFL Championship game."
But even with such a seemingly firm plan, the network later decided not to go ahead with the film; an ESPN rep offered no further explanation. "This happens a lot with scripted projects," the rep said. Indeed, every year seems to bring projects that are announced but then stall. Q: Could you please tell me if "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad" is on DVD. It stars Leslie Nielsen, Ricardo Montalban, George Kennedy, O.J. Simpson and Priscilla Presley. I hope you can find it; it's a crazy movie.
A: And one with an interesting history. In 1982, the makers of the big-screen comedy "Airplane!" came to television with "Police Squad," a parody of crime shows. Leslie Nielsen, who had also starred in "Airplane!," played police detective Frank Drebin in the series. It was not a hit, but the idea did not die. In 1988, Nielsen again played Drebin in "The Naked Gun." It proved a top 10 box-office hit for the year, Sequels followed in 1991 ("Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear") and "Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult" (1994). According to "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows," CBS even replayed the TV show, which originally aired on ABC, in 1991.
Now, to what you really want to know: All the movies are on DVD, individually and in a modestly priced collection of all three. The first film is also on Blu-ray, and "Police Squad" is on DVD, too.
Q: Unless I'm mistaken, the actor in the Time Warner Cable commercials who runs away from danger after a grenade lands looks just like the actor and comedian Ricky Gervais.
A: That is indeed Gervais helping promote the company's "Enjoy Better" campaign.
Q: Several months ago, I saw a movie on TCM called "Roughly Speaking" with Rosalind Russell and Jack Carson. I caught the last half and found it interesting. Are they going to feature it again, and if so when?
A: I have not seen a telecast scheduled on TCM. But the movie is available on DVD through the TCM online shop (see www.tcm.com) and the online Warner Archive (www.wbshop.com).Q: I thought I heard at the end of a "Harry's Law" that it was the show's final few episodes. Has the show been canceled? Also, at the end of the last "Fringe" they said it was the season finale but I thought this was the last season. Could you please let me know what's really going on with these two shows?
A: This time of year, ads for TV shows will sometimes amp up viewer interest with bold declarations of a few remaining episodes and a more soft-spoken acknowledgment that those are the last episodes of a season, not a series. But, unfortunately for its many fans, "Harry's Law" has indeed been dropped by NBC. The show was somewhat popular, especially by struggling NBC's standards, but it did not do well with viewers under 50 years old, the audience most networks use to woo advertisers.
As for "Fringe," it will return on Fox in the fall, for a 13-episode final season that can wrap up at least some of its complicated story lines.