Q: One of my favorite Christmas cartoons was "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol." I remember a lot of laughing, singing and a little bit of tears when watching. I look for it every year in the TV listings and it's never there. I would think the children nowadays would enjoy it as much as I did. Is there a reason why no station shows this cartoon? — Riva, 54, Pittsburgh
A: Sometimes, rights issues keep older programs off the air. Other times, network programmers think that some of these older holiday specials are outdated. I could not find listings for this special or "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas," another reader's holiday favorite.
"Jug-Band Christmas" is available on DVD, and so is "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol," which is also available for online streaming at Hulu.com.
Q: In the new PBS Masterpiece series, "Sherlock," is the outdoor set for 221B Baker St. the same as the one for the earlier Granada Sherlock Holmes series featuring Jeremy Brett? If so, it is a neat and completely plausible reference to the earlier series. — Richard, 55, Bethel Park, Pa.
A: According to a "Sherlock" producer, this isn't a set: "It is a real street a few streets down from the actual Baker Street. We couldn't use the actual Baker Street, as it is full of Sherlock Holmes museums, pubs and souvenir shops."
Q: My wife and I are so impressed with actors on TV remembering all their lines. Example: Jimmy Smits, in his new show, "Outlaw," gave an impressive speech that must have lasted two minutes. I can't believe he could have memorized the whole monologue. I was told actors wear an earpiece and are told what to say word for word, plus have help from a monitor. Is this true? — James, 78, Pittsburgh
A: Actors memorize large chunks of dialogue, whether for a play or a weekly TV show. It's simply what they do. On prime-time series, there are no TelePrompTers or ear pieces.
But given the way shows are put together, they only have to memorize a few pages of dialogue each night before filming, not a whole script.
Q: I have heard rumors that "Parenthood" is going to be canceled. This is such a well-written show with something for every age range, and I would be terribly sorry to see it go. Can you confirm or deny this rumor for me, please? Thanks. — Ruth, 63, Scott Township, Pa.
A: It's true that the ratings for "Parenthood" have been disappointing this season, but NBC is sticking with the show for now and the executive producer says a break in December was planned.
Dist. by Scripps Howard News Service