Q: I enjoy all three of the "NCIS" franchises, and I have to wonder why CBS would keep airing "NCIS: Los Angeles" on Sunday night and then treat it so shabbily. When there's any kind of sporting event on CBS, they never seem to plan adequately. When I go to look at my recording of "NCIS" I often find that some or most of the hour is taken up with the previously scheduled program, all of them having been "bumped" by sports (or, worse, after-the-game sports talk).
More than once, even giving the recording the extra half-hour, which is all that my provider allows, I've missed the ending of the show. I can go look for it on demand, where I am told my fast-forward is disabled, so I can't just catch up with the last 10 minutes or whatever I've missed without sitting through the first 50 minutes again in real time. Why can't they just pre-empt whatever is run over by their sports stuff and leave the rest of the evening alone?
A: You are not alone, as my mail has demonstrated over the years, with the frustration most often involving CBS shows delayed because of late-afternoon Sunday football games. Networks do make attempts to address this — CBS, for one, will often schedule its Sunday night shows 30 minutes later than usual when it has a late-afternoon football game. But live games are unpredictable, leading to the rest of the schedule sliding or, on occasion, a show being dropped from the lineup.
What you have to remember is (A) football is popular and lucrative, as are postgame shows, so they're going to keep happening, and (B) some people love shows like "60 Minutes" and "God Friended Me" as much as you love "NCIS: L.A." and would not want their shows pre-empted to make room for yours. Your best bet is to add as much time as possible to your recording (check again on available added time; my DVR adds up to two hours). If you can't add plenty of time, record the shows following your favorite to get extra time if your show runs too far over.
His day in the sun
Q: Back in the late '50s or early '60s there was a movie where this man would turn into a monster when he went out into the sun. I seem to remember he lived in a cave on the beach. Can you tell me the name of this movie?
A: It appears that you are remembering "The Hideous Sun Demon" from 1958. Robert Clarke produced and directed the film that the Turner Classic Movies website calls "hideously low-budget." But the site also says that the film is "the crowning achievement of his career.
"After being dropped by RKO Pictures following an initial 1945-48 contract, the Oklahoma native found his stride and left an indelible footprint in the genre of classic 1950s sci-fi, in other sci-fi B-movie classics such as 1951's 'The Man From Planet X,' 1957's 'The Astounding She-Monster' and 1958's 'From the Earth to the Moon,' " the TCM site said. The Los Angeles Times added that "Sun Demon" "was made for less than $50,000, including $500 for the rubberized lizard suit. Clarke said he shot the movie over 12 weekends to get two days' use of rental camera equipment for one day's fee." The movie was edited and re-dubbed into a parody, "What's Up, Hideous Sun Demon," in 1983. Clarke was a busy actor for decades; he died in 2005 at age 85.