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Q&A: April 1

Question: Is there anything we can do to bring back Life on Mars? I am so tired of my favorite shows getting canceled after less than a season! Surely the brilliant minds at the networks must know that if you put a high-concept show on holiday hiatus, bring it back on a different night, schedule it opposite Law & Order and then fail to advertise it, the show is going to lose ratings. Following Lost didn't work because the Mars audience is not the same as the Lost audience. The Mars fan has a lot more in common with The Sopranos and Law & Order fans. Once upon a time viewers brought back Seinfeld and Cagney & Lacey. What do you think?
Andy Allen

Answer: I feel your palpable pain, Andy. But Mars didn't work -- ratings wise at least -- when it followed the potent Grey's Anatomy earlier this season on Thursday nights. I don't think ABC has a compatible show on its schedule, although audience "flow" no longer matters nearly as much as it once did. CBS' CSI: Miami doesn't exactly mesh with its Monday night lead-in, the network's Rules of Engagement sitcom. But viewers flock to it anyway.

Mars, scheduled to have its final telecast on April 1st (no fooling), is no doubt lost for good. Viewers saved CBS' Jericho by deluging CBS corporate headquarters with bagged nuts. But the ratings were no better the second time around for the seven additional episodes.

I'd recommend that you catch the British-made Mars sequel, Ashes to Ashes, which currently is airing on Saturdays at 8 p.m. central on BBC America. The Brits know to treat their series. Although in fairness to ABC, the network didn't scrimp on promotion for Mars and gave it two of its best available time slots.

Question: Why did ABC drop the 7 p.m. (central) rerun, with captioned commentary on Lost, that preceded the week's new episode? I loved those reruns and the insight I got from the pop-ups.
Rachel Dillard

Answer: Low ratings again are to blame. I found the Lost recaps very useful as well, but most viewers looked away. Not that Scrubs is doing any better. We all live in a hellish TV world at times. Were it me, I'd throw the Lost recaps back in there. Meanwhile, ABC's "Lost Untangled" feature on the network's Web site might help some. Although it's pretty damned cartoonish compared to what we had before.

Question: Whatever happened to local voice and sometimes TV talent Nancy Jay?
Tom Unterberger

Answer: Unclebarky.com had a feature on Nancy Jay in September 2007, when she had a brief role as a news anchor on USA's Monk. She's been freelancing of late, and was the off-camera voice of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in a Papa John's pizza commercial that aired that year. That's about all I know at present.