If it’s Thursday, this must be the mailbag.
Q: Can you tell me why the detective partner on “Blue Bloods” left?
A: Jennifer Esposito, who played Detective Jackie Curatola on the CBS drama, has been dealing with celiac disease, a disorder caused by eating gluten. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, symptoms can include fatigue, weight loss, cramping and other problems. With a doctor’s advice, Esposito asked that her workload on the show be reduced (but not eliminated). Instead, she said, she was expected to maintain her previous schedule and collapsed on the set.
While she was later ready to go back to work, the show decided to part ways. In a statement, CBS’ production company said: “Jennifer has informed us that she is only available to work on a very limited part-time schedule. As a result, she’s unable to perform the demands of her role and we regretfully had to put her character on a leave of absence.”
Fans were outraged and, in a recent Tweet, Esposito said, “Have celiac and it’s not going away but not disabled can work.” Still, the show has moved on, basically writing out Jackie in the episode that aired on Nov. 9 and introducing Megan Ketch as a new detective and foil for Danny (Donnie Wahlberg).
Q: Please say “GCB” is returning and when. And what does the title really stand for?
A: It is not returning. The letters originally stood for Good Christian Bitches, the title of the book on which the show is based. Not surprisingly, some viewers took issue with that. There was a period when it appeared the show was going to be renamed Good Christian Belles. Then it aired simply as GCB, leaving the viewers to decide what it stood for. These days, it stands for Gone, Canceled, Bye!
Q: When you mentioned the end of “Made in Jersey,” your information was not up-to-date. It is coming back on CBS on Saturdays beginning Nov. 24.
A: Hello, Chicago! As some of you may know, the mailbag runs in other newspapers besides the Beacon Journal, after it has appeared here. In this case, the information changed between the time I wrote the answer and the time you read it. But, yes, Made in Jersey fans, the show will get a run on Saturdays on CBS. Still, keep in mind that Saturdays are where canceled shows are sent to air previously unshown episodes. This does not mean that there will be more Made in Jersey once the last few episodes have been televised.
Q: Did John Thaw of “Inspector Morse” have an artificial leg? He appears to walk as if he did,
A: Many viewers wondered about Thaw’s leg, and even speculated that he had a wooden one, according to one obituary after his death in 2002 following a battle with esophogeal cancer. There was no wooden leg, but it appears that Thaw, who played the inspector from 1987 to 2000, did have a problem, and explanations are varied across the Internet. For example, one comprehensive fan site says “he was slightly injured in an automobile accident that permanently damaged a nerve in his leg and left him with a slight limp.” But Thaw’s wife, Sheila Hancock, said in her book The Two of Us that Thaw had a withered leg, much like his grandfather, which Thaw blamed on copying his grandfather’s walk “although a more likely explanation was a neglected ankle injury from a car accident causing him to drag his foot and therefore underuse his calf muscles.”
Do you have a question or comment for the mailbag? Write to the Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 in the HeldenFiles Online blog at www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Twitter and Facebook.