Television Q&A: Are all the ‘Shark Tank’ deals successful?

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You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: I like to watch “Shark Tank.” Are all the deals made with the sharks successful?

A: No. As you often see in the non-TV business world, some products don’t become successful, or deals collapse. But there have also been reports about products rejected on the show that became successes anyway.

Q: Many, many years ago when I was teaching a fifth-grade class, we showed the children videos called “The Voyage of the Mimi.” There were several episodes with a story followed by a science segment. A boy named C.T. went on his grandfather’s boat, the Mimi, with a scientific crew to observe humpback whales. This made me fall in love with those whales. I believe that Ben Affleck was the actor who played C.T. Am I correct?

A: Yes. In an interview with Graham Norton, Affleck described his role as “making sixth grade math and science students suffer through belabored explanation of math and science concepts on a child’s TV show.” He was 10 when he started work on the show; it first aired on PBS in 1984.

Q: I remember a show I saw as a kid and I’m trying to figure it out. It was an episode in which a rich female prisoner pays the prison grave digger to hide her in a casket with a dead body and to dig her back up so she can escape. She is in the coffin and finds a matchbook and when she lights the match and sees the dead body it’s actually that of the grave digger. It scared the hell out of me. LOL. Can you fill me in?

A: That was a segment of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” called “Final Escape.” In fact, it’s two segments. It was first done in 1964 for the original Hitchcock series with Edd Byrnes (yes, Kookie from “77 Sunset Strip”) as the convict. When it was redone in 1985 as part of a Hitchcock TV revival, the genders were switched so the main character was a woman played by Season Hubley.

Q: We just found out “Grand Hotel” is not returning. Do you know who killed Santiago, the hotel owner?

A: No. And it may be the show didn’t, either. When the series was canceled last year, executive producer Brian Tanen told that “We left it with a number of possible suspects. It felt like half of the cast was angry with him — Gigi, Mrs. P, the stepdaughters, Felix and Mateo. We were really hopeful that we could do a Season 2 and play out that question. I’ve toyed a lot with various ideas about who it could have been, but honestly, I keep changing my mind. I really like the idea that someone is arrested who did not do the crime and a lot of Season 2 would be about trying to clear their name.” He did not offer any other hints, adding that “somewhere deep in my heart, I’m hopeful that there’s life for the show — if not on ABC then possibly on another platform.” But so far that has not happened.

Q: Could you tell me anything about Dale Robertson? He played on “Tales of Wells Fargo” in the ’60s. How old was he when he passed away, and what year?

A: The man the New York Times called a “popular, strong-minded star of Westerns on television and in the movies” died of complications from lung cancer and pneumonia in 2013; he was 89. Besides “Tales of Wells Fargo” (1957-62), his TV series included “Iron Horse” (1966-68), “Death Valley Days” (where he hosted from 1968 to 1972) and “J.J. Starbuck” (1987-88). He also appeared on “Dynasty” in 1981 and “Dallas” in 1982. He once estimated that 70% of his movie and TV roles were in Westerns. He was a skilled rider in real life and, according to the Times, “never lost his disdain for Eastern actors, who he thought just played at being cowboys. He said you could spot them by the way they walked around a horse.”


(Do you have a question or comment about entertainment past, present and future? Write to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.)


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