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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Rich Heldenfels

Television Q&A: Why is Shepard Smith's show no longer on CNBC?

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: Do you know what happened to Shepard Smith on CNBC? He was on one day and gone the next.

A: The former Fox News anchor departed CNBC following the cancellation of his news show after two years on the air. CNBC President KC Sullivan reportedly told staff that “we must prioritize and focus on our core strengths of business news and personal finance.As a result of this strategic alignment to our core business, we will need to shift some of our priorities and resources and make some difficult decisions.” said that when the show got the bad news, it could have wound down the show until later in November but decided instead to shut down immediately; the last telecast was on Nov. 2.

While Smith has a deservedly strong reputation as a newsman, Mark Joyella of Forbes said Smith’s show just did not fit with the rest of CNBC: “Was it a business show stretching to do national news? Or was it a national newscast stretching itself too thin with business news?”

Q: At the end of the movie "No Time to Die" Bond has died and M gives a brief eulogy to a gathering of Bond's associates. Do you know what the passage was that M quoted. And could you repeat what M said? It did seem to sum up Bond's life.

A: The quote is “The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” According to TheWrap, the words were first published after Jack London’s death in 1916 in the San Francisco Bulletin, “which said that the author ‘is known to have said these words, just two months before his death, to a group of friends with whom he was discussing life and living.’”

Britain’s Independent publication noted that “this is not the first time these words have been used to describe Bond. In Ian Fleming’s novel ‘You Only Live Twice,” there is a brief moment where the world thinks Bond has died and his obituary appears in the paper. The same London quote is used as an addendum to the obituary.”

Q: Last year there was a holiday movie on television about an orphan living in the big clock at the train station. It took place during the '20s or '30s. The little boy watched a toy store owner (played by an actor with the first name, Ben). The ending was so wonderful; however, I was unable to get the title of the movie. I wonder if you would know the title and if it will be shown this holiday season.

A: That is “Hugo,” a 2011 film directed by Martin Scorsese and based on a novel by Brian Selznick. The cast includes Asa Butterfield as Hugo and Ben Kingsley as Georges Melies, the toy store owner and a pioneering filmmaker in France. I can’t say for sure that it will be a scheduled broadcast this season, but places you can find it include HBO Max and Prime Video, as well as on DVD and Blu-ray.

Q: What ever happened to the series “B Positive”? Great casting and very funny. Instead they left “Ghosts,” which they bill as hilarious and I haven’t even chuckled at their advertising clips.

A: “B Positive” was canceled last spring after two seasons on CBS. Its ratings were less than great, and according to Deadline the show had several off-camera challenges to deal with, as well as a storyline that changed significantly in the second season. As for “Ghosts,” it has done much better with critics and viewers than “B Positive.”

Q: Many years ago, I saw a documentary-style movie whose premise was what would happen to the planet if all humans suddenly vanished in the first minutes, hours, days, weeks, years. I do not know the name of the show and have not seen it since. I wonder if you could identify and tell me where I could find it?

A: You probably saw “Life After People,” a History channel special in 2008 followed by a two-season series. There have been releases on DVD and Blu-ray. has the series episodes online and via its streaming app. You can also find telecasts on Prime Video, Philo and other services with a fee attached.


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