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stars on screen

hollywood q&a By Adam Thomlison TV Media

By Sheila Busteed TV Media

Q: Sean Murray, who plays Special Agent Timothy McGee on “NCIS,” lost quite a bit of weight and looks really fit and trim. I noticed, however, that he then developed a raspy voice that continued for nearly all of this past season. Is he OK? A: There has been persistent concern and speculation about Sean Murray’s health since “NCIS’s” 2010-2011 season (the show’s eighth), enough that he took to the social media site Twitter to explain what’s going on. “To those who have asked what I did to lose the 25 pounds: 14 months of no alcohol and almost no sugar. Ate strictly organic,” he wrote in September 2010. “You can actually see me gradually lose the weight over the 24 eps of Season 7. Slowly, a pound every week or two.” As for the change in his voice, there’s been no official explanation, but a strict diet and a significant weight loss could possibly produce such a change. Q: Where does the term “silver screen” come from? A: “Silver screen,” a term that is now associated with classic Hollywood glamour and class, comes from a surprisingly literal and workmanlike source. It comes from the early days of cinema, when films were projected on screens coated with metallic paint in order to reflect more light — early cinema projectors were rather weak. The Online Etymology Dictionary (a searchable database of words and their histories) traces this practice back to 1921 and says that the term came to be used in the “sense of ‘movies generally’” in 1924. Some of the paint used on the screens was actually silver; however, moviehouse owners often opted for less-expensive aluminum paint. Screens were changed to white in subsequent years, when projectors became more powerful. Q: Who plays Anson, the bad guy in the last two seasons of “Burn Notice”? I know I’ve seen him somewhere before. A: The odds are pretty good that most TV viewers have seen Jere Burns before. The longtime supporting actor has been a smallscreen staple for close to three decades. The odds are best that you remember him from the late-’80s sitcom hit “Dear John,” playing an arrogant ladies’ man. The humor of that character came largely from the fact that he maintained that image while being a part of the lonely-heart support group that formed the center of the series — the show’s main star, Judd Hirsch, learned of his wife’s departure in a letter, hence the show’s name (but in case that was all too subtle, Hirsch’s character also happened to be named John). The next most likely reason you remember Burns is for his starring role in another sitcom, “Something So Right,” which aired from 1996 to 1998. It saw Burns again play a divorcee, who in the show forms a blended family with a twice-divorced woman and the kids they both bring into the marriage. That was his first and last shot at a leading role, but he’s made a good living, and a long career, out of guest and supporting spots. That’s meant he’s had to hustle a bit, though. While playing Anson, the shady former spy who’s been pulling Michael’s strings, on “Burn Notice,” he’s also doing a supporting stint as villainous Wynn Duffy on the critically adored FX hit “Justified.” He started that one in 2010, while he also was doing a short stint on yet another gritty cable drama, AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” Have a question? Email us at questions@tvtabloid.com. Please include your name and town. Personal replies will not be provided.

HEALING FROM CUTS: ABC’s top-rated medical drama is on the cusp of major change now that the network has announced even more comings and goings at Seattle Grace. “Grey’s Anatomy” fans already were devastated by last season’s finale episode that saw many of the characters go down in a plane crash that killed Dr. Lexie Grey (played by Chyler Leigh) and left Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan (Eric Dane) near death, with another segment showing Dr. Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) getting fired. On top of Leigh and Raver’s departures, fans will be left reeling when they have to say goodbye to McSteamy. Dane’s departure won’t be as abrupt since he will be featured in a few of the upcoming season’s new episodes to wrap up his character’s story before moving on to do more work in the film industry. This opens the door to new cast additions, which showrunner Shonda Rhimes has man-

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aged to handle well in the past, and the two incoming actors are bringing plenty of previous success on the small screen with them. Gaius Charles, who is best known for his role in NBC’s “Friday Night Lights,” will help fill the void left by the departing stars. He will be joined by Camilla Luddington in a recurring role through the new season. Fans will recognize her as Kate Middleton in Lifetime’s 2011 telefilm “William & Kate,” as well as from her arcs in “True Blood” and “Californication.” It will be interesting to see how the hospital staff bounces back from the tragedy, and

Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) will be particularly affected by the death of her sister. Considering this fragile character has faced already plenty of hardship, all eyes will be on her as the series resumes. WINNING LOVE: If your spouse is still the one you run to, still the one you belong to and still the one you love, then “The Talk” has a contest made for the two of you. The popular CBS daytime show has teamed with country music sensation Shania Twain for a unique contest celebrating lasting and happy marriages. The singer’s hit song “You’re Still the One” has inspired The Talk and Shania’s “Still The One’ Contest,” which is asking viewers to submit videos to thetalk. com/stilltheone explaining why they feel that their spouse is “still the one.” The winning couple

will receive an all-expensespaid trip to end the year on a high note in Las Vegas, where they will renew their wedding vows and attend Twain’s concert at Caesar’s Palace on Dec. 12, 2012 — a special date to honor a special couple and mark a special occasion. The contest is now open and the entry period will end at noon on Sept. 24 while the contest ends just before midnight on Oct. 8. The winner will be announced on the show later in the fall. Contestants must be U.S. residents, at least 21 years old and registered users of cbs.com. Full contest details are available on the website, where hopefuls also can view other participants’ videos. For Twain fans who don’t win or qualify for the contest, they can always plan their own roadtrip to Nevada to see her in concert. The musician will be doing a string of exclusive shows in The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace throughout the month of December. The shows, called Shania: Still the One, are part of the singer’s new two-year contract at the venue. The Colosseum, which opened in 2003, also has hosted concerts by Cher, Rod Stewart, Celine Dion and Elton John.

Eric Dane has announced he is leaving ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”

PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

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