Q: Was Jennifer Lopez’s pole-dancing routine in the Super Bowl halftime show meant to be a comment on her being denied an Oscar nomination for “Hustlers”? — Cathy Baker, via e-mail
A: It’s entirely possible, and her fans speculated that was the reason it was included, though she’d have to be the one to confirm whether or not that was the intent. At the very least, it was a clever way for her to get extra mileage from the training she went through for the film, which was expected widely to nab her a bid for an Academy Award — and not only for the dancing, but for the quality of her dramatic work in the picture. She ultimately was denied that chance, though many opined that her acting career took a big step forward with that performance.
Q: Is “The Blacklist” over for this season? — Ted Simms, Reading, Pa.
A: Not yet. The NBC mystery-drama will be back with the rest of its seventh year starting March 20, and expectedly, there are lots of loose ends to be tied up — not the least of which involves Liz’s (Megan Boone) mother Katarina (Laila Robins), thought by Red (James Spader) to be dead. Joely Richardson is set to appear as another woman from Red’s past.
Q: How many Emmy Awards has Edie Falco won? — Peter Wagner, Norman, Okla.
A: Now back on weekly television as Los Angeles’ first female police chief in the CBS series “Tommy,” the actress has a total of four of those honors to date — and it’s likely not a surprise that most of them were awarded for her portrayal of mob wife Carmela on the show that cemented her as a star, “The Sopranos.” The fourth was for her subsequent series that also had quite a healthy run, “Nurse Jackie.” Overall, Falco has received 14 Emmy nominations, also yielded by her turns on “30 Rock” and “Law & Order: True Crime.”
Q: I enjoy watching ABC’s overnight “World News Now,” but it seems that co-anchor Janai Norman is off from it a lot. Why? — Steve Segal, via e-mail
A: She also does work for “Good Morning America,” so sometimes, it’s to accommodate that. Additionally, she had a vacation at the start of the year, and she and fellow “World News Now” anchor Kenneth Moton had a good time joking around about her being gone for that. Plus, Norman and her husband are expecting their second child, and some of her recent absences may be related to that situation.
Q: Is “The World’s Best,” the talent show that James Corden hosted, coming back? — Ellen Mason, Stuart, Fla.
A: CBS hasn’t canceled the show as of this writing, but at the same time, any plans the network may have for a second season remain unclear. The program got a splashy premiere right after the Super Bowl last year and tons of promotion, and though it got a huge audience sampling on the night of the football championship, its ratings predictably took a huge dip once it moved into a regular weekly time slot. Corden also is (was?) an executive producer of the show, and he certainly has a lot on his plate these days, but he’d likely find a way to make Season 2 work if CBS wanted it.
Q: I watched “The Towering Inferno” on cable recently, and I noticed in the credits that it was based on two different books. How did that happen? — John Cramer, Antioch, Calif.
A: You’ll see that more often with history-based films that use several factual sources, but not as much with fictional films. In the case of the 1974 disaster epic about a skyscraper on fire, producer Irwin Allen was seeking material for a follow-up to his blockbuster “The Poseidon Adventure,” and he found that 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. each owned screen rights to different books that had that tall-building-fire scenario at their center.
Allen suggested that rather than the two studios competing with similar movies, they join forces and make one picture together — something unheard-of at the time, though it’s become a much more common practice since — and split both the cost and the profits. The two books were titled “The Tower” and “The Glass Inferno,” merged to yield the name of the movie that headlined Steve McQueen and Paul Newman … and ended up as one of the monster box-office successes of the 1970s.