Q I noticed that a lot of shows aired their season finales in April; some did it even before that. I thought most shows waited until May for their "cliffhangers." Is this a new trend?
A Season finales in April are unusual, at least in the past two decades of TV programming. It seems to be a result of networks moving to more year-round programming.
Because networks want to launch their summer shows in May, they want to use their strongest series to do that. Shows that end in April -- such as Fox's "Raising Hope" -- tend to have lower ratings.
Sometimes networks also end shows early so they can pay more attention to other priorities or get out of the way of the competition. I suspect the latter is the reason CBS executives ended "The Good Wife" on April 29 -- they didn't want it to have to face off against the "Desperate Housewives" finale.
No telling how long for 'Weeds'
Q How many more seasons will "Weeds" run?
A That's the question every season for every show. We usually don't know until a season has ended if a show garners a high enough rating to warrant renewal. With younger shows, it's easier to predict, but for an aging show like "Weeds," it's not as clear-cut.
Frankly, I was surprised when it was renewed for the upcoming season that begins on Showtime July 1. My guess is this will be the last season, but I would have made the same guess a year ago.
Zea has smaller role in 'Justified'
Q "Justified" has to be one of the best shows on TV. The actors appear to be perfectly handpicked for their roles. But without Natalie Zea, the show is just not the same. Her acting, her fire and, of course, her beauty are sorely missed. Are they writing her out of the show?
A It sounds as if viewers should be glad they saw as much of Zea as they did. The actress wanted out after Season 2, but she agreed to return for a few episodes in the recently concluded third season. It appears that will continue to be the case going forward, with Zea set for three episodes in Season 4, according to reports.
Executive producer Graham Yost also said he expects her character, Winona, to be present in some fashion for the life of the series. Zea has just been cast in the midseason Fox drama "The Following," so all bets are off.
Hunting for 'Rachael Ray'
Q Is the "Rachael Ray Show' still on the air?
A It is, but because it's syndicated, you have to check local listings to find it. In the Twin Cities, it airs at 1 p.m. on KARE-TV, Channel 11.
Send TV questions to email@example.com