Mailbag: O’Donnell mending, ‘Deadwood’ done, KITTs counted

By Rich Heldenfels
Beacon Journal popular culture writer

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In this Sept. 2010 file photo, Lawrence O'Donnell, political analyst for the cable news channel MSNBC, appears on his set in New York. O'Donnell was injured with his brother Michael in a taxi accident on Saturday, April 12, 2014, while vacationing out of the country. The network did not specify where. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

You have questions. I try to have answers.

Q: Can you tell me what happened to Lawrence O’Donnell of “The Last Word?” The show still airs with his name on it, but he hasn’t been on for at least a month.

A: O’Donnell and his brother Michael were injured in a taxi accident overseas in April. O’Donnell reportedly broke his hip and required surgery, and has been off the air. He did call in to his MSNBC show in mid-May, the Huffington Post reported, and said he hoped to be back at the helm in June. A Last Word representative said on June 2 that O’Donnell would most likely be back this month, although no date had been set.

Q: Could you please tell me if “Carrie’s Diary” will return in the fall?

A: The Carrie Diaries, the CW network prequel to Sex and the City with a younger Carrie Bradshaw, has been canceled after two seasons.

Q: What happened to “Deadwood” on HBO? I loved it. It just disappeared. P.S. I’m 85. Please do not take forever to answer my question.

A: The 36th and final new episode of Deadwood aired in 2006. Since that did not complete the story planned by series creator David Milch, there was talk about a couple of HBO movies to complete the saga, and Milch has had an ongoing deal with HBO which, after Deadwood, led to John From Cincinnati and Luck. But there’s still no Deadwood, nor is anything expected since the principals have moved on to other projects. Timothy Olyphant, who played Seth Bullock on Milch’s show, has spent five recent seasons on FX’s Justified, which will have its sixth and final run in 2015.

Q: With so much violence, blood, gore and sexual shows, my husband and I have gone back to watching good older series like “The Waltons,” which is our favorite. On Good Friday there was a special, two-hour Waltons Easter special. We missed all but the last 15 minutes. We want to see it so bad, but have been unable to get a copy. Could you get us a copy? We would even pay for it if need be.

A: I don’t sell or broker deals for TV shows, but I can point you to a place to find the special. There is a DVD set called The Waltons Movie Collection with six productions, among them 1997’s A Walton Easter. You should even be able to find it at a modest price; recently listed the set for $17.59.

Q: What year did “Knight Rider” starring David Hasselhoff go off the air? And did producer Glen Larson really give KITT to Hasselhoff, or did someone buy the original KITT car?

A: The original Knight Rider aired on NBC from 1982 to 1986. Hasselhoff reprised his role in the 1991 TV-movie Knight Rider 2000, and in the pilot of the short-lived 2008-09 Knight Rider series revival. As for KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand), I reached out to experts on the show’s props, Joe Huth and A.J. Palmgren of They told me that, when the original series ended, about 12 cars were demolished under an agreement between the studio, Universal and Pontiac, which made the Trans Am that was the basis of KITT. Five KITTS remained, two of which are in museums, and three in private collections. Hasselhoff never had an original KITT, but one fan made him a full-sized replica, which was sold for $152,600 earlier this year when Hasselhoff auctioned it off for charity, “There are a LOT of replicas out there,” Huth and Palmgren said.

Do you have a question or comment for the mailbag? Write to the Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309 or send email to Please mark the email or envelope with “mailbag.” Letters may be edited for publication. Please do not phone in questions. Individual replies cannot be guaranteed.

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and, including the HeldenFiles Online, He is also on Facebook and Twitter.

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