Time for another installment of Ask Alan, as I take your questions about the past, present, and future of TV.
First up this week is a belated query about Amazon’s plan to spend the gross national product of a small nation on securing the TV rights to Lord of the Rings, with no creative team attached, as part of Jeff Bezos’s extremely literal attempt to find “the next Game of Thrones.”
After that, we get into the messy business about shows that are canceled after cliffhanger finales. The flip side of what I talked about in the video is shows that did incredibly definitive endings that had to be dealt with when the shows were surprisingly renewed, usually involving the death of a main character. Thomas Magnum walked off into Heaven at the end of what was supposed to be the final season of Magnum, P.I., for instance, and both Crime Story and Sledge Hammer! had to work around seasons that ended with atomic bomb explosions. (Spoiler: Sledge Hammer! solved the problem by making season two a prequel.)
And we close things out with a question about what episodes someone might want to sample while reading Breaking Bad 101 (still available anywhere book are sold, and a fine holiday gift for the TV lover in your life) if they didn’t have time to re-binge the entire series.