Still 'Restless,' but in another place

Jay Bobbin /

Published Oct 7, 2013 at 05:00AM

Q: Why is “The Young and the Restless” not on SoapNet anymore? It was for a long time.

— Robert Lehner, Milwaukee

A: Yes, it was ... but after CBS acquired 50 percent ownership in TV Guide Network, which it co-owns with Lionsgate (and which is now identified as TVGN), the network decided to relocate the weeknight telecast of the same day’s CBS episode there, still featuring such longtime cast members as Melody Thomas Scott and Peter Bergman.

That change took effect in July, and it wasn’t the only program to move off another cable network onto TVGN over the summer; “Big Brother: After Dark,” previously seen on Showtime 2, also was transferred there. While it had run uncensored on premium cable in previous years, the TVGN basic-cable showcase meant certain words and actions were subject to censorship.

Q: I’m sorry that “Vegas” isn’t on anymore. Is there any way to see the episodes?

— Jim Sloan, Reading, Pa.

A: Assuming you mean last season’s Dennis Quaid-Michael Chiklis CBS drama, and not the late 1970s-early ’80s Robert Urich ABC detective series (though several seasons of that also are on DVD), “Vegas: The DVD Edition” became available in mid-September as a five-disc set.

Q: While watching promos for the movie “The Butler,” I was reminded of a TV program — possibly a miniseries — that aired years ago. It was titled “Backstairs at the White House,” and it was about those who served presidents and their families. Any chance it might be dragged out of mothballs and run again?

— Jeane Lewis, Columbus, Ohio

A: There’s always a chance for anything to be “dragged out of mothballs” if the interest in seeing it again is high enough. The 1979 miniseries “Backstairs at the White House” — whose cast included Louis Gossett Jr., Leslie Uggams, Lee Grant and Leslie Nielsen — was referenced in quite a few reviews of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which was a sizable success at the box office. That monetary take would suggest “Backstairs” could earn a respectable viewership if shown again, but as of this writing, no network had announced plans for that.

Q: It was so nice to see the women of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” reunited on “Hot in Cleveland.” Is anything similar planned for the men?

— Ellen Tate, Buffalo, N.Y.

A: Ed Asner actually has reunited with Betty White on the TV Land series already, but if a regathering of the male “MTM” regulars was pursued — which it hasn’t been, as of yet — it probably would be easier, since there would be fewer performers to pursue. In addition to Asner, there would be Gavin MacLeod and maybe John Amos, who recurred as WJM-TV weatherman Gordy. Ted Knight, alias anchorman Ted Baxter, died in 1986.

Q: Please settle a debate. I say the most recent Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon was recorded in advance, and a friend says it was shown live. Who’s right?

— Sue Draper, Vero Beach, Fla.

A: You are. Executive producer Richard A. “Rac” Clark — son of the late Dick Clark — explained to us that it was easier to secure the talent for the ABC program if it was prerecorded, since personalities such as Ryan Seacrest, Paula Abdul and Enrique Iglesias could do their segments at different times as their schedules allowed.

Q: I see that Barbara Walters is still on “The View” this season, but I heard that she was retiring. Was that accurate?

— Gloria Burns, Fayetteville, N.C.

A: It was, but in a way, the new season of the ABC weekday show marks the beginning of what could be called the veteran journalist’s “farewell tour.” Her departure from the network is set for next summer, but until then, she’ll be participating in various specials — surely including her final “Most Fascinating People” program in December — as well as doing her day job, especially since she’s also an executive producer of “The View.”