Frankie Laine's silver dollars
The late singer Frankie Laine was such an avid collector of silver dollars that in some of his gigs in Las Vegas he demanded to be paid in bags of silver dollars, from which he culled the best pieces and rarest dates. What happened to his collection?
Jimmy Marino and Benny Hollman of Team Frankie Laine e-mailed to say that Laine disposed of his silver dollar collection years ago, using most of them to purchase his property in Point Loma, Calif. Laine, a versatile singer with a long and successful career, died in 2007 at the age of 93.
'Pillars of the Earth' on DVD
Any chance of The Pillars of the Earth coming out in CD?
The Pillars of the Earth, an eight-episode mini-series set in 12th century England and starring Ian McShane, Donald Sutherland, Matthew Macfadyen, Hayley Atwell and many others, was broadcast last summer on the USA Network. The DVD is released Nov. 23, and you can now order it online from, among others, amazon.com.
Shows aren't coming back
Will the Bill Engvall Show and Rita Rocks return?
The Bill Engvall Show, which also starred Nancy Travis and Tim Meadows, was canceled on Sept. 25, 2009. Its 30 episodes were shown on the TBS network from July 2007 to September 2009.
Rita Rocks, starring Nicole Sullivan, premiered on the Lifetime network Oct. 20, 2008. It was canceled Jan. 11, 2010, after 40 episodes.
Quiz shows are monitored
On the TV show Wheel of Fortune, are the contestants given information on clues or answers to puzzles before the show airs?
If they were, no one would admit it. That would be cheating. The quiz show scandals of the 1950s forced significant changes, and game shows are heavily monitored by network standards and practices departments.
But only the naive would think it couldn't happen on some show. Earlier this year, Fox's Our Little Genius was killed before airing after a contestant's parent alleged a member of the production staff gave the child and parent questions and answers the child "needed to know." The FCC is looking into the allegations.
Game show prizes are taxable
We watch Cash Cab on the Discovery channel. When the people win large amounts of cash, do they have to pay taxes on it?
Game show winnings that exceed $600 in a year are taxable. The IRS considers the winnings as ordinary income, and therefore it wants its cut.
When merchandise is involved instead of cash, things get a little trickier. Fair-market value is generally used. Example: If you win a $2,000 flat-screen TV and you're in the 31 percent tax bracket, you'd owe $620 in taxes.