Television Q&A: Richard Belzer’s bye-bye, Josh Elliott’s new gig

 

Akron Beacon Journal

Q: I have been watching “Law and Order: SVU” for years and all of a sudden this year Richard Belzer, who plays Munch, is no longer on there and there is no mention of him. What happened?

A: You may have missed a couple of episodes last year. In the long-running series’ telecast on Oct. 9, 2013, it was said that Munch had put in his papers. (“SVU” executive producer Warren Leight told Zap2it.com that Belzer, at 69, was well past the mandatory retirement age for an NYPD detective, and the show tries to resemble the real world.) The episode airing a week later was a farewell to the character as a series regular. But Munch’s new job, working in the district attorney’s office, has kept him in the “Law & Order” universe, and Belzer will guest-star as Munch in the “SVU” episode on May 21.

Belzer first played Munch, then a Baltimore police detective, on “Homicide: Life on the Street” when that series premiered in 1993 and was a charter member of “SVU” when it began in 1999. He is widely credited with having played the same character on more shows than any other actor, including not only the “Law & Order” programs but also “The X-Files,” “The Wire,” “30 Rock” and other shows.

Q: Could you please tell me what happened to Josh Elliott who was on “Good Morning America”?

A: He jumped networks. Elliott joined NBC’s sports operation, where his hiring announcement said he will cover “the NFL, the Summer and Winter Olympics, and Triple Crown horse racing, among other high-profile sporting events.” He made his on-air debut for the network during its Kentucky Derby coverage.

“The offer to stay at ABC was terrific, but in the end, for me personally, I grew up a sports fan,” said Elliott. Earlier in his career he was a writer for Sports Illustrated and spent seven years at ESPN.

Q: My husband and I got hooked on “Shameless” on Showtime and had a marathon viewing from Season 1 up to the 10th episode of Season 4. Suddenly and without warning, “Shameless” is no longer showing on Showtime. Why was it taken off? There were at least 2 more episodes (if not more) till the end of the season. What happened and will it be coming back?

A: The fourth season of the series consisted of 12 episodes, the last of which aired on April 6. They all appear to be available via Showtime on Demand. The show, starring William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, has gotten an order for a fifth season to air in 2015.

Q: What is going to become of “Resurrection”? The season finale left everyone hanging.

A: ABC has ordered a second season of the series to air at 10 p.m. ET Sundays in the fall.

Q: I saw an animated show called “Little Bush” (based on President Bush and his Cabinet) on television one night. It was so very clever and entertaining. Is it available for purchase or rent?

A: “Lil’ Bush: Resident of the United States,” a comedy presenting George W. Bush and his administration as children, aired for two seasons on Comedy Central in 2007-08. Both seasons have been released on DVD; if your local retailer does not have them, they are for sale through Amazon.com at this writing, although the number of copies is shrinking.

Do you have a question or comment for the mailbag? Write to the Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309 or email rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com. Please mark the email or envelope with “mailbag.” Letters may be edited for publication. Please do not phone in questions. Individual replies cannot be guaranteed.

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