You have questions. I have some answers.
Q: What song has been played the most on TV shows or movies? Not "Happy Birthday" or seasonal songs, but like ones by AC/DC, Patsy Cline – that type.
A: "That's impossible to say," says Jon Burlingame, the award-winning writer about music in TV and movies. "It changes with every decade, as older songs are forgotten and newer ones take their place based on the demographics of the producers (who are the ones who usually insist on certain songs showing up)." He notes that the use of songs onscreen became especially popular after 1984, when "Miami Vice" not only used music but made it part of episodes' narrative.
Still, the use of music is so pervasive, you can find many online lists of songs that get overused in movies and TV shows – and commercials add to the headache. (I've got a serious "Feel It Still" earworm right now because of that.) Some of the songs listed include "Hallelujah," the much-covered Leonard Cohen song; "Over the Rainbow" (whether by Judy Garland or Israel Kamakawiwo'ole), the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone," the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" and Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild."
So, readers, what are songs you've heard too much onscreen? Drop me a note at email@example.com or P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260. Explain why; please include your name and address.
By the way, since you mentioned "Happy Birthday," Burlingame pointed out that it was long unused because it was copyrighted and producers had to pay to include it. They often substituted the public-domain "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" until "Happy Birthday" finally became free.
Q: I have watched the serial "Greenleaf" on the Oprah Winfrey Network since the beginning. My family and I really enjoyed the show. We have been looking forward to seeing new episodes, but I haven't seen anything about a new season start date. I was wondering if you know what's going on and will our favorite church family be returning, if so when?
A: The drama about a family and its Memphis megachurch has a third season in the works, currently set for August. And there will be some changes in the show, including the addition of Patti LaBelle in a recurring role as "a famous Christian motivational speaker and the CEO of a global Christian self-help empire." You can find out more about the series and the coming season at http://www.oprah.com/app/greenleaf.html.
Q: I would like to know when BBC America is going to start the new season of "Doctor Who" that has a woman as the Doctor.
A: As you know, actress Jodie Whittaker made her debut as the 13th Doctor, and the first woman in the role, in December 2017. Her first full season begins sometimes this fall. The series will also boast a new head writer and executive producer, Chris Chibnall, along with new cast members Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole. Mandip Gill and Sharon D. Clarke.
Q: When is "Shameless" coming back? I am wondering as one daughter is now on "Roseanne."
A: So far, Showtime says only that the ninth season of "Shameless" will arrive later this year. Emma Kenney, who plays Debbie Gallagher on "Shameless," has indeed appeared on "Roseanne" as Harris Connor-Healy, Darlene's daughter. It's not unusual these days for actors to appear in more than one show, since production schedules and numbers of episodes can vary, According to EW.com, she made her "Roseanne" appearances while on a "Shameless" hiatus.
But she has had a tough time off-camera. In April Kenney sought treatment for unspecified problems. In a statement to news outlets she said, "I was being naive and very immature, and I was doing things I should not be doing because it was illegal and I'm not 21."
(Do you have a question or comment about entertainment past, present and future? Write to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.)