Q: Are the actors who play Axl in "The Middle" and Jake in "Two and a Half Men" leaving these shows after this season?
A: Although Axl (Charlie McDermott) is going to college on "The Middle," he will be back on the show.
But the actor who plays Jake (Angus T. Jones) on "Two and a Half Men" has been outspoken in his criticism of the raunchy jokes on the sitcom. He may be back for a few episodes next season, but he won't be a series regular. A new character will be added, a child the deceased Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) never knew existed.
Q: I just watched (via Kindle) the two seasons of "The Riches," one of the best shows ever on the airwaves. Canceled (yes, years ago -- I do know that). And I subscribed to Starz ONLY to watch "Boss." Canceled! Both stellar shows with breakout acting. Both canceled. Am I the only one in TV land that cannot bear to think of another reality show hitting the airwaves? Any plans for stations to bring back "The Riches," ''Boss" or "Zen," even if for a wrap-up for the series in question? Why the surplus of reality shows on TV? Is this what really sells?
A: While there was some talk of a "Boss" wrap-up movie on Starz, nothing has come of it and I don't expect it will happen. "The Riches" has been gone far too long for a wrap-up. BBC One canceled "Zen" in 2011.
Reality shows can be less costly to produce than scripted series, which is why they proliferate. Also, people watch them, which is the goal of a commercial broadcaster: to have viewers. Just like any other genre, some reality shows are good, others are bad. They will continue to exist as long as people watch them.
Q: Haven't the TV stations started running HUGE numbers of commercials? The cable networks are the worst. When cable first started up, didn't they claim that by paying for the access, there would be less or no commercials? Some run five minutes of the shows and up to seven minutes of commercials in a row. Watching a one-hour program, you might see the same commercial several times. I'm ready to throw out my TV and cancel cable.
A: The number of minutes devoted to commercials (about eight or nine minutes in a half-hour show; 18-20 minutes in a one-hour show) hasn't changed appreciably in a decade. The way programs are formatted -- fewer commercials at the top of the hour, more commercials later in the hour -- has changed a bit.
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