Q: Are the actors who play Jake on “Two and a Half Men” and Axl in “The Middle” leaving those shows after this season?
A: 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 might be back for a few episodes next season, but he won’t be a series regular. A new character will be added, a child who the deceased Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) never knew existed.
On “The Middle,” although Axl (Charlie McDermott) is going to college, he will be back on the show.
On demand varies by show
Q: Why are some shows available on demand and others are not? I’m a huge fan of “Person of Interest,” but CBS doesn’t offer it on demand. Who makes the decision — the network? The production company?
A: It’s all part of the negotiations between network and studio. There’s no hard and fast rule. Sometimes programs show up on multiple platforms; sometimes they don’t.
Driving isn’t always real
Q: I was watching “The Big Bang Theory,” and I thought it was taped in front of a studio audience. There was one scene (I’ve seen similar scenes on other shows) where they were driving and I noticed it had the reflection of the street on the windshield and the scenery all around, which gave the illusion of actually being in a car driving. It seems unlikely that they were actually outside driving, but instead have some sort of cool machine that has a car in the center and screens around it. How do they do it?
A: Sometimes sitcoms do pretape scenes that are shot at exterior locations and then play the scenes back in front of the studio audience and record their laughter to add to the soundtrack. But often car scenes are simply shot in the studio, often using green screen, operating on the same principle, at root, as the weather wall seen on local newscasts.
‘Vegas,’ ‘Body of Proof’ done for good
Q: You mentioned that “Body of Proof” was being canceled by ABC but might get picked up on cable TV. With CBS having canceled “Vegas,” is there a chance it could get picked up on cable?
A: “Body of Proof” appears to be dead. There has been no buzz at all about a “Vegas” pickup, so I’m pretty certain it’s done for good.
‘CSI: NY’ is truly canceled
Q: Is “CSI: New York” coming back this fall?
A: It was canceled in May due to a combination of ratings (not high enough, not enough younger viewers) and cost (the longer a show goes, the more expensive it becomes to produce).
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