Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Zoo' vs. 'Prey,' Nbc's Mystery Wheel, Golf Follows the Money

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Zoo' vs. 'Prey,' Nbc's Mystery Wheel, Golf Follows the Money

Article excerpt

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q.: I have seen promos for "Zoo." It is based on a book by James Patterson. Years ago there was a series called "Prey" starring Debra Messing. It only lasted a year as Debra left to do "Will & amp; Grace." Is this the same show? If not, was it also based on Mr. Patterson's book?

A.: The shows are not the same, and "Prey" is not based on a Patterson book. (And, by the way, Ms. Messing did not leave the show for "Will & amp; Grace." "Prey" was canceled and she landed a new job.) Anyway, "Prey" involved advanced-DNA mutants out to destroy us regular folks. According to CBS, "Zoo" is "a global thriller about a wave of violent animal attacks against humans sweeping the planet" - what is the underlying cause of those attacks?

* * *

Q.: I recall a program during the early '70s that rotated three different shows (at least I think it was three) each week. One was "Columbo," another was "McMillan and Wife" but I cannot remember the third. Could you help jog my memory?

A.: NBC tried several experiments with so-called "wheel" programming in the '60s and '70s, rotating specific shows in a single time slot. One effort was an NBC Mystery Movie, which originally consisted of "Columbo," "McMillan and Wife" and "McCloud," the last a drama starring Dennis Weaver. According to "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows," that lineup proved so successful that NBC moved it from Wednesdays to Sundays and tried a different Wednesday set: "Madigan" with Richard Widmark, "Banacek" with George Peppard and "Cool Million" with James Farentino.

Over the years, the mystery wheel also included shows such as "Hec Ramsey," "The Snoop Sisters," "Tenafly," "Faraday & amp; Company" and "Amy Prentiss." But the only show to come near the success of the three original mystery movies was "Quincy, M. …

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