Q: For some time, I have been watching a British show titled Taggart and can’t seem to understand the origin of the name. It takes place in Scotland, the police are in Glasgow, none of the characters are named Taggart, and neither is the precinct they work out of. So whence the name? — Valentino Macor, St. Lucie West
A: Here’s whence. In the very beginning of the series — which actually is Scottish — back in the mid-1980s, the central character was Detective Chief Inspector Jim Taggart. The actor who played him, Mark McManus, passed away in 1994; the character’s death became part of the show the following year, and evidently as his legacy, the title remained despite the cast and character changes that occurred since. The program actually ended production of original stories in 2011 after 28 years, though the existing episodes remain available to broadcasters internationally.
Q: Does AMC plan to continue the series Hell on Wheels? — Steve Clark, Columbus, Ohio
A: Not only does it, but the start of Season 2 is right around the corner. Its 10-episode sophomore round is slated to begin Aug. 12, with cast members including Anson Mount and Common returning.
Q: It’s hard for me to understand how CBS expects its loyal viewers to return in the fall when they offer nothing to view in the summer but rerun after rerun of NCIS, Criminal Minds, etc. Any reasoning behind this? — Jesse Gray, Waukesha, Wis.
A: Um, yes ... and it’s not a whole lot different from the reasoning the network has used for many summers prior to this one. Even if CBS has less original programming ( Big Brother, 3, Dogs in the City) than some of its broadcasting rivals right now, the network’s comedy and drama series have proved potent ratingswise in warm-weather repeats, so there’s not anything forcing it to seek many new shows to air right now.
That also answers how “CBS expects its loyal viewers to return in the fall,” as you put it. The ratings bear out that many of them are staying with the network this summer, even with episodes they may have seen before. If they’re not straying in the summer, it’s a pretty good bet they’ll return in the fall.