Q: The other night I was all set to watch Jamie Lee Curtis in a movie on cable called "Blue Steel," only to find out it was a western with John Wayne. Aren't the titles of TV shows and movies registered? How is it possible for there to be duplicates?
A: A check of the Internet Movie Database finds three movies named "Blue Steel," including the two you mentioned. The Guardian once found 34 movies and TV shows called "The Awakening." According to the U.S. Copyright Office, "copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans or short phrases." This means some names and phrases get used and reused.
'The Code' has been cracked
Q: I enjoyed watching "The Code" this summer, and it is no longer on. Will it be continued, and if so, when? I could hardly wait to see it each week.
A: Ratings for the CBS military drama indicate not many viewers were as enthusiastic as you. The first-season finale on July 22 appears to be the last episode, since CBS did not renew it.
Missing some 'Heat'
Q: I have been trying to buy all eight seasons of the TV series "In the Heat of the Night" and no one has all the episodes. Is there conflict of some kind, and will the missing episodes ever be available?
A: The 1988-95 drama starring Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins, inspired by the Sidney Poitier/Rod Steiger movie of the same name, has released DVDs from all eight seasons. But as you have found, some sets are missing episodes. It appears that not all their rights were secured for home-video release. In most cases that issue involves music rights. Occasionally distributors substituted music for the original material to release a show or episode. But I've seen no news of progress with "In the Heat of the Night."
He likes his Jeep
Q: Is the car Tom Hanks drives in "Sleepless in Seattle" the same car given back to him when he returns in "Cast Away"?
A: The answer is yes and no. In "Sleepless in Seattle," we see Hanks' character and his son loading a Jeep Cherokee. In "Cast Away," Hanks' character also drives a Cherokee, but according to the Internet Movie Cars Database, the "Sleepless" model is a 1993 and the one in "Cast Away" is a 1997.
What's up, 'Doc Martin'?
Q: Is "Doc Martin" still being aired?
A: "Doc Martin" is not a PBS show but a syndicated program, like "Jeopardy," that is sold to individual stations instead of being distributed via a network. The most recent season in circulation is the eighth. Stations' schedules vary, so you would have to consult your local broadcaster on date and time. But before they get to broadcast, U.S. presentations are on the streaming service Acorn TV, which will present weekly telecasts of the latest, ninth season of "Doc Martin" beginning in September; each of the eight new episodes will arrive the day after it premieres in the U.K. Find out more at acorn.tv, including subscription rates (about $6 a month) and available programs.