Akron Beacon Journal

Q: Did author Robert B. Parker live long enough to see Tom Selleck portray Jesse Stone and if so, did he approve? I seem to remember he wasn't too fond of Robert Urich as Spenser.

A: Parker, whose novels inspired both the Stone movies and the various Spenser productions (some starring Urich, others with Joe Mantegna), died in 2010. A fistful of Stone movies had aired by then (and another is coming, for Hallmark). Parker had approved Selleck's casting and once wrote, "Tom nails the character." Parker even helped promote "Thin Ice," the fifth Stone movie, although it was not drawn from one of his books.

As for Spenser, Parker wrote in 2006 that "I don't think the right guy has come along yet for Spenser. Bob Urich had the build, and Joe Mantegna really understood the character. If Robert Mitchum were around and in his prime, he would have seemed about right."

Losing 'Battle Creek'

Q: I really like "Battle Creek," but I heard it wasn't going to make it.

A: I liked the show, too, and the producing combination of "Breaking Bad's" Vince Gilligan and "House's" David Shore seemed winning. So did the interplay among Dean Winters, Josh Duhamel and the rest of the ensemble cast. Alas, not enough other people (especially young adults) watched. So CBS decided not to give it a second season.

Jenna's doppelganger

Q: We recently watched the Tom Cruise movie "Jack Reacher." I was sure that the female attorney was Jenna Elfman, but the credits show that she is Rosamund Pike. They look and sound alike. Are they related?

A: There is no family connection between Californian Elfman and Pike, a native of England whose fame has risen considerably because of her riveting, Oscar-nominated performance in "Gone Girl."

No more 'Gang Related'

Q: I am wondering what happened to my favorite show "Gang Related." I don't think they are coming back but how about a DVD?

A: The series ended after airing 13 episodes in 2014. A DVD set was released in December. If your local retailer does not have it, I have seen it for sale online, including on Amazon.com. The series is also available digitally via iTunes and Amazon.com.

E-mail questions (with your name and address) to rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com.