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The animated TV special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is a holiday classic.

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TV Q&A: No, TV's 'Rudolph' isn't centuries old

  • Article by: Rich Heldenfels
  • Akron Beacon Journal
  • January 5, 2014 - 2:00 PM

Q: When I was a grade schooler in the early ’60s, teachers taught Roman numerals in math class. They must have stopped, because as long as I can remember, the opening credits of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” had the numerals MCLXIV, which is 1,164. If this was meant to be the year 1964, it should be MCMLXIV.

Surely someone caught this over the past 50 years. Could this be an overlooked error for the ages?

A: First, let me praise either the quality of your eyesight or the size of your TV screen, since you noticed this.

It isn’t an overlooked error, having been pointed out on Moviemistakes.com, the Internet Movie Database and EmmyTVLegends.org, among other places. But it’s minor enough that it hasn’t been corrected over the years. Now let’s just hope somebody on the Internet does not claim this is proof that the show was originally made in 1164.

‘Young Rebels’ was short-lived

Q: Back in the ’60s or maybe the early ’70s, I remember watching a show called “The Young Rebels.” I thought it was great. Can I get it on DVD? Also, how many seasons was it on the air?

A: “The Young Rebels” aired on ABC for a single season in 1970-71. It focused on young people during the American Revolution. The cast included Louis Gossett Jr. as a former slave. It was aimed at the young-adult viewers ABC was also targeting with shows such as the hit “The Mod Squad” and “The Young Lawyers,” another one-season wonder.

“The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows” says “The Young Rebels” was meant to provide a parallel to the upheaval among youth in the ’70s, with the main characters “under 30, and British rule … the ‘system’ they sought to overturn.” Curiously, ABC aired it early on Sunday nights, right before the decidedly not rebellious “The F.B.I.”

Big changes for ‘Mentalist’

Q: Was the actor who plays Rigsby on “The Mentalist” a character in an English “Midsomer Murders” episode as a competition rower? Is he English, and will he return to the Rigsby role?

A: The actor you are asking about is a Welshman, Owain Yeoman. Besides “The Mentalist,” his credits include “Troy,” “Generation Kill,” “Kitchen Confidential” — and a 2004 episode of “Midsomer Murders” called “Dead in the Water,” with Yeoman as a rower named Henry Charlton.

“The Mentalist” has made a big change, jumping ahead two years after the resolution of the Red John story. Amanda Righetti, who plays Van Pelt, and Yeoman are reportedly leaving the series this season — but will still be on view for some time after new episodes resume this month.

Send questions about pop culture (with name and address) to rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com.

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