Q: Has it been announced yet if and when "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will return for a new season? I was hoping in 2012, but that seems unlikely. Have you heard anything?
A: New episodes won't happen in 2012 and probably not in 2013, either, because "Curb" star Larry David is making a movie for HBO. What does that mean for the future of "Curb"? I asked that question at a press conference with HBO executives last month.
"Well, it means whatever Larry wants it to mean for future seasons of 'Curb,' " said HBO Programming President Richard Plepler. "And we always say, he has essentially carte blanche with us. Don't quote us on that because he'll take it. But he does, and when he wants to come back and do 'Curb,' we'd be thrilled. Right now, he wants to do the movie. So we are thrilled about that."
And, yes, the movie will come first.
"Look, I think, after the last season of 'Curb,' Larry sat down and said, 'What is it I want to do?' " said HBO Co-President Michael Lombardo. "And it was this film that he wanted to do. But I don't think he's closed the door to another season of 'Curb.' I think he wants to do another season of 'Curb' if he has a great idea for another season of 'Curb.' "
"As he said to us, this is what he's feeling right now," Plepler said, "and we said, 'Fantastic.' "
Q: I've really been enjoying "Bunheads" and was wondering how it's doing so far in the ratings. It's kind of quirky, sweet and well-acted; definitely similar in setting and content to the old "Gilmore Girls."
A: I've been enjoying "Bunheads" and wondering the same thing. The show was renewed for additional episodes that are likely to air in January. It will probably need to show some ratings growth at that time if it is to be renewed for a second season.
Q: In regards to "Hell's Kitchen": After a Google search I found that none of the previous winners is working at any of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants. Most have never worked there. How can they continue to say that the winner will be the head chef of a certain restaurant when that obviously is not the prize. Is it all in the fine print?
A: The top prize is not always working in a Ramsay restaurant, according to "Hell's Kitchen" producers who offered this statement in response to Mike's question: "Every season the prize is a position at an exciting U.S. or international restaurant, and announced at the beginning of each season. This year the winner will be working at Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino."
This isn't something I've paid much attention to but others have and there are reports that the purported prize, in some seasons, does not actually exist, at least not in the language the show uses to describe it. The Foodie Gossip blog offers a rundown on winners for the first seven seasons.
As far as how Fox can "get away with it," my guess is it's because no one really cares or expects reality from "reality TV" anymore.