The ‘Finest’ viewing is only for some people, for now

TV Pipeline

“L.A.’s Finest”

Q: I’m not a Spectrum subscriber. Is there any other way to watch the show “L.A.’s Finest”? – Gary Sellers, Buffalo, N.Y.

A: Find a friend who subscribes to Spectrum and invite yourself over. Seriously, at least for now, that cable system intends to keep the Jessica Alba-Gabrielle Union police drama an exclusive “Spectrum Original” offering for itself – just as such forthcoming offerings as a revival of the Paul Reiser-Helen Hunt sitcom “Mad About You” will be.

With that said, we’d expect that with the marketable names Alba and Union have, “L.A.’s Finest” eventually will get a DVD release. That’s an ancillary market that the show’s originating studio, Sony Pictures, surely wouldn’t ignore for the extra profit it can yield; it’s just a matter of letting Spectrum have its exclusive window on the episodes first.

Willie Nelson

Q: My husband and I attended the Willie Nelson tribute concert in Nashville last January, and it was being filmed for A&E Network. Do you know when it will be aired? – Carolyn Marlow, Flagler Beach, Fla.

A: We checked with A&E Network, and as of the time this column was written, no air date had been set for it. However, A&E also confirmed with us that it still intends to show the event … and it will have quite a cast to promote when that time comes, since the show features performances by Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, George Strait, John Mellencamp, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill and Lee Ann Womack, among others.

Q: I recently saw the movie “Blown Away” on EPIX, and I’m wondering if the explosion on the boat toward the end was real. – Shawn Gray, via e-mail

A: It was quite real, as many people in the vicinity of the 1993 location filming could attest. Reportedly, the effect of the pyrotechnics was so powerful, it blew out thousands of windows in East Boston. Watching the 1994 release, it’s pretty obvious that stars Jeff Bridges and Forest Whitaker were superimposed in front of that footage as their bomb-squad characters jumped off a dock as the ship went up in flames, but the overall result still looks impressive.

Q: Is it true that Melissa McCarthy is replacing Steve Harvey as the host of “Little Big Shots”? – Alice Main, Farmington, Mo.

A: It is. From various accounts, even NBC has seemed surprised that the recent Oscar nominee (for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) accepted the pitch to join the showcase for young talents on a weekly basis … a stint that will begin next season.

We have to think that a big factor for McCarthy was the involvement of Ellen DeGeneres, who’s an executive producer of the show and always has displayed a real kinship with McCarthy. Thus, despite the latter’s busy moviemaking schedule that often involves her writing her own projects, this is a done deal.

Q: Since she was a contestant on “American Idol,” why doesn’t Katie Stevens sing more on “The Bold Type”? – Cindy Harris, Andover, Conn.

A: From a creative standpoint, it’s not really part of the makeup of her magazine-writer character Jane on the Freeform series. Stevens has told us she’s happy to focus principally on nonmusical acting in the role, but she adds that she’s pleased whenever the show affords her chance to give her crooning a workout, as when Jane and close pals Kat and Sutton (Aisha Dee, Meghann Fahy) go to a karaoke bar or something along those lines. There will be more chances for that, since the drama has been renewed for a fourth season.

Q: When Decades recently ran its weekend “Mod Squad” tribute to the late Peggy Lipton, was that Richard Dreyfuss as the man who threatened her character Julie in a house on a very stormy night? – Peter Drake, via e-mail

A: It was, indeed. Though he had bit parts in “The Graduate” and “Valley of the Dolls,” Dreyfuss’ movie career really didn’t catch on until the 1973 release of “American Graffiti,” so he did quite a bit of television work before that. That actually was the second of two “Mod Squad” episodes he did, and he also was seen on such shows as “Gunsmoke,” “Bewitched,” “The Big Valley,” “That Girl” and “Room 222.”

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Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

jbobbin has 2549 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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