Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bullet Points: Pre-Valentine’s Day Edition

Mystery Scene’s Oline Cogdill reports that the Edgar Allan Poe House in Baltimore “is in danger.” She goes on to explain that the house, where poet/journalist/author Poe lived from 1832 to 1835
is no longer receiving city funding to keep the historic landmark going. That amounts to about $80,000 a year to pay for the curator’s salary, a security system, utilities and supplies.

Actually, the Poe House hasn’t received any money from the city’s general fund since last summer. It has been operating thanks to money that the curator, Jeff Jerome, has raised through the years. Now Baltimore is saying that the Poe House must be self-sustaining by 2012 or it will close.
You’ll find more of Cogdill’s story here.

• USA Network’s Burn Notice prequel, the made-for-TV movie The Fall of Sam Axe, is scheduled for broadcast on Thursday, April 14.

• This week’s new short story in Beat to a Pulp is a western yarn by Chuck Tyrell (aka Charles Whipple) titled “Line Rider,” about a lonely cowboy and “a beautiful Navajo goddess” who comes calling.

• I never watched Hilarie Burton in the CW drama that first earned the actress acclaim, One Tree Hill, but I’ve certainly enjoyed her performances as determined insurance company investigator Sara Ellis on the con man vs. crime series, White Collar. So I was pleased to read in TV Line that the captivating Virginian will become a regular on USA’s White Collar during its third season, which will begin next fall. In the meantime, Season Two of White Collar concludes on March 8.

• I don’t know why anyone’s surprised to learn this.

• ABC-TV’s Charlie’s Angels reboot has already signed up its three fetching female private eyes, as well as Robert Wagner to provide the voice for their never-seen boss, Charlie Townsend. Now the prospective series has recruited a Bosley, Charlie’s liaison to the ladies, in the form of Puerto Rican actor Ramón Rodríguez.

• The role of love-triangle interest Ophelia in a film version of Don Winslow’s 2010 novel, Savages, has reportedly been offered to Jennifer Lawrence, who was nominated for her performance in Winter’s Bone.

• The Writer’s Almanac reminds us that today would’ve been the 108th birthday of Georges Simenon, “born in Liége, Belgium (1903). He’s one of the most prolific writers of all time, best known for his detective novels featuring Inspector Maigret. He wrote some 400 books, which sold more than 1.4 billion copies from 1935 to 1997. Each book took him on average eight days to write.” Simenon died in 1989.

Ten U.S. states running out of smart people.

• Retrospace’s list of “The Top 40 Greatest TV Cars includes Dan Tana’s 1957 Thunderbird from Vega$, the Ferrari from Magnum, P.I., the Sunbeam Tiger from Get Smart, Rooster’s pimpmobile from Baretta, the 1974 Firebird Esprit from The Rockford Files, Emma Peale’s Lotus Elan from The Avengers, Lieutenant Columbo’s 1959 Peugeot convertible, and ... well, you’ll just have to click here to find the rest.

• James Bond gives up his Aston Martin for a Bentley.

More good news about the future of books.

• While I usually appreciate actress Maria Bello in whatever she does (including the short-lived TV series Mr. and Mrs. Smith), I’m with Salon critic Matt Zoller Seitz on this one: “[T]he news that NBC has ordered a new pilot for an American version of ‘Prime Suspect’ starring Maria Bello gives me pause. The idea of remaking the story of Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) for American network TV seems wrongheaded. The problem is the venue. The U.S. broadcast TV model--with its 42-minutes-a-week, 22-weeks-a-year format, frequent commercial interruptions, and still-oppressive content restrictions--is the enemy of every fine quality that the original ‘Prime Suspect’ possessed.” Read Seitz’s full piece here.

• Robin Jarossi previews the new fourth series of Murdoch Mysteries.

• The latest installment of Dick Adler’s serial novel, Forget About It: The First Al Zymer Senile Detective Mystery, have been posted here. You will find a full archive of the developing yarn here.

• Rachel Brady submits her latest mystery, Dead Lift, to Marshall Zeringue’s notorious Page 69 Test. The results are here.

• And R.I.P., Emmy Award-winning TV writer John McGreevey, who died on November 24 of last year. As The Classic TV History Blog’s Stephen Bowie recalls, the prolific McGreevey penned 21 stories for The Waltons, but also wrote episodes of Ironside, Michael Shayne, The Name of the Game, and Sarge.

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