Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Q and A: Week of September 6
A: You are very welcome, Danan. I like to give everyone a chance to win cool stuff, especially when it’s an autographed copy of a book by one of my favorite authors. I randomly drew four names to win the four copies of the book I have, and you are one of the winners! The other winners are Kimberly Fischer (who won via email entry), Lara Baker (who won via Twitter entry) and Kerri Snow-Hugmeyer (who won via Facebook entry).
I spoke with Victoria to get the inside track on “A Grave Prediction” and her insight behind having Abby working with the LA bureau of the FBI: “It’s an opportunity for Abby to explore the possibility of working with people she doesn’t trust and who don’t trust her. It’s not an easy profession, being a psychic; you get a little flinchy. You get a little defensive because you are always prepared for people to think the worst of you, for people to believe that you’ve got a screw loose or, even worse, that you’re a charlatan. It’s that attitude I really wanted to explore in this latest book. I wanted to throw Abby into a situation where she wasn’t trusted and had to prove herself again.”
Come back tomorrow to read my full and compelling interview with Victoria about “A Grave Prediction,” the end of the Ghost Hunter series, and what she’s got in store for fans next.
Q: I just got my copy of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” and I also can’t wait for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” to open. What else is happening in the Harry Potter world? — Nina F., via email
A: NBC Universal just signed a seven-year deal with Warner Bros. for exclusive broadcast and basic-cable rights to the eight “Potter” movies, as well as the three planned “Fantastic Beasts” movies. In a press release, NBC Universal announced: “Through this deal, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Japan can explore a range of new opportunities, including fan events, movie screenings, and promotional activities tied to the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise and the upcoming ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film series.”
Q: “Casual” is one of my favorite shows, and I already miss it even though season two just ended. Will it be back for another? — Nico T., via email
A: Hulu has picked up the dark-comedy series — starring Tommy Dewey and Michaela Watkins — for a third season. In more Hulu news: “The Path” is in production on its second season, while season five of “The Mindy Project” premieres this fall.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Q and A: Week of Nov. 16
|Scott Michael Foster, courtesy ABC|
A: Scott Michael Foster is the fellow you’re thinking of. The 30-year-old actor was a regular cast member on “Greek,” spent a season on “Californication” as Becca’s boyfriend who Hank couldn’t stand, was on “Once Upon a Time,” and “Chasing Life.” Now he plays Hap Briggs’ (Don Johnson) ne’er-do-well son, Wick, on the nighttime sudster. He recently wrapped on the feature film “My Dead Boyfriend,” which was directed by Anthony Edwards and also stars Heather Graham, John Corbett and Gina Gershon.
Despite the star power of Don Johnson, Amber Valletta and Chace Crawford, ABC recently announced that it has cut back its original order of “Blood and Oil” from 13 episodes to 10, which could mean that this first season of “Blood and Oil” very well might be its last if there isn’t a drastic upturn in its ratings. Look for season one to air its finale in December.
Q: I just found “Mike and Molly” on reruns, and I love the show. Please tell me it has not been canceled. If not, when will it return for a new season? — Tony O. in Florida
A: The hit CBS sitcom starring Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell will be back for a sixth season. While the network (as of this writing) has not yet announced a premiere date, it will be toward the end of this year, so keep an eye on your local TV listings. For late-breaking news about this show — and many other shows, movies and celebrities — be sure to follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/Celebrity_Extra).
Q: Can you give me an update on Masterpiece Mystery’s “Sherlock”? I can’t wait for this series to start back up again! — Diana T., via email
A: While season four of the series doesn’t start shooting until spring 2016, we do have a TV special to tide us over. Called “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride,” Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman reprise their roles of Sherlock and Watson, respectively, to bring us this 90-minute movie. It will premiere on Jan. 1, 2016, in both the U.S. and U.K. — a first for this series, as the U.K. usually airs the series first — at 9 p.m. ET, as well as online at pbs.org/masterpiece.
Q: Where has Chris Vance and his series “Transporter” gone? Will TNT air season three? If he is not involved with the series, what is he doing now? — Laura B., via email
A: As of this writing, TNT has not announced whether “Transporter: The Series” will be back for a third season. However, if you need your Chris Vance fix now, he has a recurring role on CBS’s “Supergirl” as the villain Non. His first appearance is in episode eight, which airs Dec. 14.
Q: Can you tell me what the actress who plays Maeby on “Arrested Development” has been doing lately? — Linda R. in Virginia
A: Alia Shawkat stars in a new TBS dark-comedy series of her own, which is currently in development. It’s called “Search Party,” and it co-stars John Early, John Reynolds and Meredith Hagner. The show follows a group of four self-absorbed 20-somethings who come together when a former college acquaintance mysteriously disappears. The series will debut sometime in 2016.
Q: My wife heard that there is going to be a new “Star Trek” series. Is that true? — Paul T., via email
A: A new “Star Trek” series has indeed been greenlighted at CBS, with an expected debut in January 2017. Prolific writer and producer Alex Kurtzman (producer of the “Star Trek” feature-film reboots) is developing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The new ‘Star Trek’ will introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.” The latest in the “Star Trek” feature films won’t premiere until 2019, but die-hard Trekkies will have plenty to tide them over until then.
|Gatlin Green, courtesy NBC|
A: “Heroes Reborn,” which started airing in September on Thursday nights on NBC, has been billed as an “event miniseries,” although that’s not to say there can’t be another season of this event. I recently spoke with series co-star Gatlin Green, who plays Emily on the show, and she told me she’d be down for continuing her role on the show. Gatlin said: “I think with a show like ‘Heroes,’ or any of these shows that have such big followings, there’s always going to be talk about more seasons, spin-offs and stuff like that. Obviously, anything can happen, and I’d be super happy if something did happen. We’re all on our toes waiting to hear if anything will happen.”
Gatlin gave me some minor spoilers to get you through the rest of the run of this miniseries, which wraps in December: “There will be some romance between Emily and Tommy. And, like ‘Heroes’ always does, I think it’s really cool to see how we’ve started seeing the characters cross paths with each other. There’s obviously intense drama and more conflict in certain areas. I think it will be cool to see what happens with all the different characters and all the different storylines. But definitely look forward to plot twists and drama and romance.”
Check back later for my entire interview with Gatlin.
Q: A local boy was nominated for a Nickelodeon HALO Award for his service to the community, and I wondered where I can watch the ceremony? — Fred R., Miami
A: Hosted, created and executive- produced by Nick Cannon, the “2015 Nickelodeon HALO Awards” is a one-of-a-kind concert event that honors young leaders from across the country. Now in its seventh year, the awards show recognizes teens who are doing extraordinary things in their communities by Helping and Leading Others (HALO).
The ceremony will be simulcast Sunday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. (ET/PT) across Nickelodeon, TeenNick, Nicktoons, TV Land, CMT, Nick.com and the Nick App. Walk the Moon (“Shut Up and Dance”) will perform. The four award honorees are Ethan Cruikshank (16) of Mechanicsville, Virginia; Riley Gantt (15) of Sherman Oaks, California; Joshua Williams (14) of Miami Beach, Florida; and Ruchita Zaparde (18) of Plainsboro, New Jersey.
Q: Can you give me any “Nashville” news? — Eric P., Lancaster, Pennsylvania
A: Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor, singer and guitarist Steve Kazee will join the show as Riff in early 2016. His character is described as a country-music star at the top of his game 10 years ago; however, everything changed when he met Heidi, a Southern beauty with a budding musical career of her own. He fell in love and chose to leave fame and fortune behind for life with Heidi. But since he’s a new character on the nighttime sudster, I’ll assume it didn’t work out and he’s trying to make a musical comeback.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Q and A: Week of Oct. 26
|Greg Nicotero |
(Photo Credit: Jordin Althaus / AMC)
A: Greg Nicotero is the talented man behind those awesome effects. He got his professional start back in 1985, when he worked on “Day of the Dead,” and has scores and scores of film special-effects makeup credit to his name. On “The Walking Dead,” he serves as co-executive producer, director and special makeup effects supervisor. He recently was in Orlando, Florida, for Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights 25 (which runs through Nov. 1) with director John Landis and “TWD” co-star Chandler Riggs, where the two directors discussed their respective haunted houses: “The Walking Dead” house and “An American Werewolf in London” house. And I have to report that “The Walking Dead” haunted-house maze was the scariest house again this year. It’s definitely a don’t-miss attraction.
One of the many things he loves about working on “TWD” is that most of the makeup effects are practical and not CGI. He said: “On ‘The Walking Dead,’ the most exciting thing for me is that it opens practical makeup effects for a younger generation. Growing up, I was really inspired by practical effects. … And it’s not easy. It’s a tremendous compliment that the work that I love, that I grew up wanting to do, is being celebrated more and more.”
Q: A while back you mentioned that ABC Family had picked up a series based on “The Mortal Instruments” books. Is this still happening? I haven’t heard any updates in a while. — Pamela T., Wheeling, WV
A: ABC Family announced at New York Comic-Con in early October that its highly anticipated series “Shadowhunters” will premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. As you mentioned, the series is based on the bestselling young-adult fantasy book series “The Mortal Instruments” by Cassandra Clare, which follows 18-year-old Clary Fray (played by Katherine McNamara), who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is but rather comes from a long line of shadowhunters — human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons.
Q: Is “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” ever coming back? — Violet F., via email
A: IFC recently announced that the third season of its original comedy series “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” starring David Cross will premiere on Thursday, Jan. 7, with the first three episodes of the six-episode series airing back to back beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The remaining three episodes will premiere the following week on Jan. 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Says Jennifer Caserta, IFC’s president: “Since we last saw Todd Margaret” — SPOILER ALERT!— “which we thought was ACTUALLY the last time we’d see him, this show has become a favorite among comedy fans. Only David Cross could write his way around destroying the world to resurrect this character and story in a way that’s mind-blowing and completely hilarious.”
Q: I saw a preview for a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio where he has a beard, is all dirty, and is seeking revenge on Tom Hardy. Can you tell me about the movie? It looks really good! — Douglas C., Annapolis, Md.
A: You are referring to “The Revenant,” which will open on Christmas Day in select cities (to qualify for Oscar consideration), and opening wider on Jan. 8, 2016. Leo plays explorer Hugh Glass, who is left for dead by Tom’s John Fitzgerald, after Hugh is mauled by a bear. Set in 1823, the film is based on Michael Punke’s novel “The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge” and, of course, there is already Oscar buzz surrounding the film.
Q: You mentioned that the Ben Affleck/Matt Damon-produced show “Project Greenlight” would be back, but I haven’t heard anything about it. I watched it on Bravo a few years back, but it’s not there anymore. — Felicia F., via email
A: “Project Greenlight” moved back to its original home, HBO, for its fourth season, which premiered on Sept. 13 and has its season finale on Nov. 1, airing a total of eight episodes. The show made news recently not for the competition itself, but for Matt Damon trying to explain diversity in the film industry to an African-American producer, Effie Brown, who serves as a judge on the show.
|Italia Ricci |
(courtesy ABC Family)
A: I’m sorry to have to tell you, but the tear-jerking season-two finale from last month was indeed the series finale. ABC Family decided not to renew the one-hour drama, which centered on 24-year-old April, played by Italia Ricci, a journalist trying to work her way up the ladder at a Boston newspaper while balancing her career and family. Just as things start to come together for her, she gets the devastating news that she has leukemia. The series finale saw April take her best friend, Beth, and love interest, Dominic, to Italy, where she reveals to them she is not eligible for the clinical trials for her cancer treatment and has decided not to pursue a bone-marrow transplant. She just wants to live out her days in peace. She tells Beth: “It’s not giving up because I’ve already won. I could die happy here.”
Q: Is it true that Richie Sambora and Heather Locklear are back together? I saw pictures of them online frolicking on a beach together. — Nina H., via email
A: The former Bon Jovi guitarist and his gorgeous yet down-to-Earth ex-wife have not gotten back together. They are one of those rare Hollywood ex-couples who others could learn a lesson from: They have remained good friends since splitting up eight years ago, and they take the co-parenting of daughter Ava very seriously. Recently photos surfaced of the trio having fun in the sun and sand in Bora Bora, where the friendly exes were treating their daughter to a family vacation before she goes off to college.
Q: Can you tell me what Aaron Eckhart has been up to lately? — Rita C., via email
A: The handsome and versatile actor is currently shooting Clint Eastwood’s latest film, “Sully,” which chronicles the January 2009 real-life events where Capt. Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger safely landed his aircraft on the Hudson River after a flock of geese knocked out both engines. Aaron plays first officer and co-pilot Jeff Skiles opposite Tom Hanks’ Sully. The film is based on Sullenberger’s 2009 autobiography “Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters.” The film just started shooting, and as of this writing, a premiere date had not yet been set.
Q: Did they cancel “Person of Interest”? I’m getting nervous because I haven’t been able to find it on CBS’s fall schedule. — Paul T., via email
A: CBS did renew the crime drama for a fifth season — a 13-episode order of the series will premiere midseason. Although CBS hasn’t yet made its final decision, show runners are approaching this season as if it could be the final one, as executive producer Jonathan Nolan revealed during this summer’s Comic-Con.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Q and A: Week of Sept. 21
A: I’ll forgive you for missing my column where I let everyone know that “Longmire” was indeed renewed for a fourth season, however, it now airs on Netflix. In fact, the 10-episode season four just started streaming on Sept. 10, and you can also find seasons one through three there if you need to catch up, or just to refresh your memory. Returning cast regulars include Robert Taylor, Bailey Chase, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cassidy Freeman and Adam Bartley. Gerald McRaney also reprises his role as Barlow Connally for a story arc.
Executive producer Greer Shephard revealed this past summer at the Television Critics Association press tour that season four picks up moments after the finale, in which Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) found out who was behind his wife’s murder. Succumbing to his darker impulses, Walt takes off in pursuit of the killer with one thing on his mind: murder. “Now that Walt thinks he knows who his wife’s killer is, how does he go on?” executive producer Greer Shephard asks. As for the future of the show, executive producer John Coveny told reporters that he hopes to be talking to them at the press tour for seasons eight, nine and 10. Everyone involved, including series star Robert Taylor, are all on board for that possibility.
Q: Is it true there is going to be another “Harry Potter” film? — Patty T., via email
A: Sort of. There is a new film slated to open December 2016 that’s set in the world of Harry Potter, however it’s a spinoff of sorts. It’s called “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” — which was a textbook (featured in the films) written by Newt Scamander that the prospective wizards had to read at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry — which J.K. Rowling wrote as a tie-in to the Harry Potter books and made available for us Muggles to read. Starring in the feature film are a bunch of high-profile actors like Collin Farrell (who portrays the aforementioned Newt Scamander), recent Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller and Alison Sudol.
Q: I love CBS’s “Under the Dome,” especially the super-intense season finale! Will there be a season four? — Jack M., via email
A: The struggling summer thriller series, based on the Stephen King bestseller of the same name, will not be back for a fourth season. In a glass-half-full sentiment, “Dome” lasted two seasons longer than it should have. When the script was ordered to series, it was intended as a limited-run event series, however the producers figured out a way to keep the action and intrigue going when CBS ordered another season, and then another. However, the show has officially run out of steam and won’t return for a fourth season.
|Regina King, photo by Ross Ferguson|
A: The drama/fantasy/mystery series, season one of which was based on the book of the same title by Tom Perrotta (who also wrote “Little Children”), will be back for its 10-episode second season on Oct. 4. The second season — starring Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Liv Tyler, Regina King and Kevin Carroll — will be based on all-new material, and will take viewers to the little town of Jarden, Texas. I spoke with series newcomer and recent Emmy winner Regina King about season two, and she can’t wait for fans to see what executive producer/co-creator/writer Damon Lindelof has in store.
“One of the things that has remained since last season is how much Damon helps you through your character because there’s so much secrecy with the show. We don’t know what’s coming from episode to episode. We sign on based on this amazing first script and just the trust that Damon, being so talented, is going to continue with a season as impressive as that first script you read.”
She could tell me only a teeny bit about season two: “It takes place in Jarden, Texas, which is referred to as Miracle, Texas, because we are the one town that no one departed when ‘The Sudden Departure’ happened. All of these people are trying to get into our town so they can be touched with what’s special about it. You’ll discover all these weird things that have come to happen to Jarden, which has heightened to the third power.”
Q: My book club just finished “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” and I loved it. Is it true it’s being made into a movie? — Mallory F., via email
A: “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” which is based on the unpublished diary of Antonina Żabińska, recounts the true story of how she and her husband, Jan Żabiński, director of the Warsaw Zoo, saved the lives of 300 Jews who had been imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto following the German invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. Award-winning actress Jessica Chastain has signed on to play Antonina, and Daniel Brühl and Johan Heldenberg are set to co-star. The movie is scheduled to premiere sometime in 2016.
Q: What has William Hurt been up to lately? — Paul T., via Facebook
A: William Hurt will co-star opposite Billy Bob Thornton in the Amazon Studios series “Trial” from David E. Kelley. “Trial” follows Billy McBride (Thornton) a once-respectable lawyer who was ousted from the high-profile firm he co-founded. Billy now spends his days getting drunk, with the occasional case tossed his way by his ex-wife. His professional life is turned upside down when a young lawyer, who has just been fired from his old firm, brings a wrongful death case that pits him against the head of his former firm, attorney Donald Cooper, played by Hurt.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Q and A: Week of June 1
|Cast of The Unauthorized Full House Story (photo courtesy Lifetime)|
A: The answers are yes, and heaven knows why, in that order. Netflix has confirmed that the monthly subscription online network — which has brought us such masterpieces as “House of Cards,” “Bloodline” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” — is indeed resurrecting the schlocky sitcom (which originally ran on ABC from 1987-95). The new incarnation will be 13 episodes and is named “Fuller House.”
According to “TV Line”: “Candace Cameron-Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber are set to star, reprising their roles as D.J. Tanner-Fuller, Stephanie Tanner and Kimmy Gibbler, while John Stamos will serve as a producer and guest-star as Uncle Jesse. In the continuation, due to debut in 2016, veterinarian D.J. is pregnant and recently widowed, living in San Francisco. Her younger sister, aspiring musician Stephanie, and lifelong best friend/fellow single mom Kimmy, along with Kimmy’s feisty teenage daughter Ramona, all move in to help take care of D.J.’s two boys — rebellious 12-year-old J.D. and neurotic 7-year-old Max — and her soon-to-arrive baby.” Bob Saget, Dave Coulier and Lori Loughlin are also set to return.
In other “Full House” news, it was recently revealed that Lifetime — the network that brought us “The Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story”— is producing “The Unauthorized Full House Story.” The movie will cover the rise of the cast and behind-the-scenes goings-on during the show’s eight-year run. Ron McGee, who wrote the “Saved By the Bell Story,” is set to write the “Full House Story,” which premieres Aug. 22 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.
Q: It seems like I’ve been waiting forever. When will “Orange Is the New Black” be back? — Gina R., Fresno, Calif.
A: You’ll have to wait just a little while longer. Season three of the hit Netflix drama returns with 14 (instead of the usual 13) all-new episodes on June 12 at midnight PST. And, if you didn’t already know, “Orange” has been renewed for a fourth season, which will premiere in 2016.
Q: Can you give me any news about the next “American Horror Story”? — Nina D., Mount Carmel, Indiana
A: The list of big names who have signed on to star in “American Horror Story: Hotel” keeps getting bigger. I previously reported that Lady Gaga, Chloe Sevigny, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Wes Bentley, Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson and Sara Paulson were checking into “Hotel,” and it was recently announced that Angela Bassett has been added to the hotel’s registry. Rumors have been swirling that Alexander Skarsgard and Michelle Pfeiffer would also be on the show, however, that casting news is looking to be more and more like a red herring, unfortunately. I’ll keep you posted on those developments as the premiere date gets closer. Season five is set to premiere this coming October on FX.
|Gillian Anderson and Mads Mikkelsen of Hannibal |
(photo courtesy NBC)
A: Ms. Anderson is one busy lady. “Hannibal” returns to NBC for its third season tonight, where you can see Gillian as Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier. You’ll recall at the end of last season, she and Hannibal Lector (Mads Mikkelsen) were fleeing to France after the bloodbath at Dr. Lector’s house, which included much blood being shed by Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne).
It was recently announced that she will co-star in the Lifetime/A and E/History networks’ joint production of “War and Peace,” which is based on the classic novel by Leo Tolstoy. The limited-series event also stars Paul Dano, Lily James, James Norton and Jim Broadbent, and will be simulcast on all three networks in 2016.
Anderson is also set to return for season three of the BBC2 psychological-thriller series “The Fall,” which should air sometime in 2016. “The Fall” also stars “Fifty Shades of Grey” heartthrob Jamie Dornan.
Q: I’m a huge fan of “The Good Witch” movies on Hallmark Channel, and was thrilled that “Good Witch” became a series. Will it be back for more episodes? — Deenie F., via email
A: The popular supernatural series starring Catherine Bell and James Denton recently aired its season-one finale, and I am happy to report that it will be back for a second season. Says Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming and publicity for Crown Media Family Networks: “Our viewers have fallen in love with Catherine Bell and her enchanting journey, as well as her talented co-stars, James Denton and Bailee Madison. After seeing the tremendously overwhelming response to the series, there was no question that ‘Good Witch’ would be renewed for a second season.”
This fall there will be a two-hour season-two premiere, followed by 10 new hours to follow in early 2016. While there is no word yet on the exact dates of these airings, I’ll be sure to keep you posted as the information becomes available.
Q: I am a big fan of “Secrets and Lies,” but I don’t have a computer. So you can imagine my dismay when I heard that a final, extra scene was available online only. I can’t believe ABC is leaving all of us without computers hanging. Can you tell me what I missed? — Mary B. in Virginia
A: I agree that it’s not fair to those without a computer. I’ll try to sum it up as best I can, and you’ll see that the scene is a setup for season two. The story picks up 14 months later. It’s Natalie’s 18th birthday, and she and Dave are having a simple celebration at a coffee shop. Detective Cornell walks in and tries to convince Natalie to testify on behalf of Ben. Natalie decides she does want to testify and clear her father’s name. Unfortunately, the way they keep referring to Ben, it sounds like he has died, but no one explicitly says that. (Ryan Phillipe recently released a statement that he will not be back for season two because his story came to and end, and a new story will be beginning.) After Cornell leaves, we see her approaching Abby and her mother as they’re on a shopping trip, giving Abby quite a scornful look. The scene fades as Cornell looks like she’s about to speak to Abby.
|Kermit and Gonzo of The Muppets (photo courtesy ABC)|
A: ABC is indeed making a new show involving the Muppets. According to “The Hollywood Reporter,” the new incarnation of the popular puppet/comedy/variety show is described as “a contemporary, documentary-style show that, for the first time ever, will explore the Muppets’ personal lives and relationships, both at home and at work, as well as romances, breakups, achievements, disappointments, wants and desires — a more adult Muppet show, for kids of all ages. Producers filmed a pilot presentation for the ABC Studios-produced series that sources say was incredibly well received.” The pilot episode of “The Muppets” was just made available on the ABC press site, and I’ll be sure to tell you how it is as soon as I’ve watched it.
Q: Can you tell me when “Cedar Cove” will be back? It seems like we’ve been waiting forever! — Donna R., via email
A: You’ll have to wait just a little while longer. The hugely popular Hallmark Channel original series, starring Andie MacDowell and Dylan Neal, will be back for its third season on Saturday, July 18, with a two-hour season premiere starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Q and A: Week of May 11
A: Things are always so hush-hush with these big-budget superhero action movies, and “Fantastic Four” is no exception. I spoke with Shauna Rappold recently, who is in the summer blockbuster, which is due to hit theaters on Aug. 7, and she told me a teeny-tiny bit of what we can expect. “I specifically worked with Kate Mara, who is Sue Storm, and then Reg Cathey and Tim Nelson. My character is in the military, but that’s all I can really say, unfortunately, because it is so hush-hush. I’ve heard things of how it’s going to come out; it’s going to be great. Everyone was phenomenal to work with. And Josh Trank, the director, knew exactly what he was looking for, so it made it easy to deliver and give him just that.”
Check back next week for my entire interview with Shauna.
Q: Can you give me any more info on “11/22/63”? I am so excited for this series! — David F., Birmingham, Ala.
A: The time-travel fantasy-thriller series, based on the book of the same name by Stephen King, finally has its star: James Franco. The nine-hour event series will air exclusively on Hulu, but it does not yet have a scheduled premiere date. James will play the lead character, Jacob Epping, a high school English teacher who travels back in time to try to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Q: Can you tell me what Mireille Enos has been doing since “The Killing” ended? — Kyle F., via email
A: If Mireille isn’t already a household name — although she is in my house — she soon will be, because the red-haired beauty landed the lead role in Shonda Rimes’ latest drama pilot called “The Catch.” The thriller is based on the novel by Kate Atkinson, which is about a woman who is about to get married … and about to get conned. However, because Shonda’s leading ladies tend to be strong ladies who can take care of themselves, thank you very much, our fearless heroine will surely turn the tables on her slippery fiancé.
Q: Now that “Sons of Anarchy” is over, can you tell me Katey Sagal has planned next? — Glenn F., via email
A: The lovely and talented actress is set to reteam with “Sons” creator, Kurt Sutter — who also happens to be Katey’s hubby — for the FX period drama “The Bastard Executioner.” The series centers on a former warrior/knight for King Edward I, Wilkin Brattle, who is overcome by the destruction of war and vows to lay down his sword. When violence finds him, he’s forced to return to his violent ways. Australian actor Lee Jones plays Brattle, with “True Blood” alum Stephen Moyer playing his friend, Milus Corbett. Matthew Rhys, Sam Spruell, Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Darren Evans, Sarah White, Sarah Sweeney and Danny Sapani round out the cast. Production on the series began on March 19, with no word yet on a premiere date.
|Titus (Tituss Burgess) and Kimmy (Ellie Kemper)|
Q: I thought Tina Fey had a new comedy coming to NBC, but I’ve looked all over for it, to no avail. Can you tell me what happened? — Kellie F., via Facebook
A: When NBC passed on the hilarious “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” Netflix swooped in and saved this brilliant comedy from obscurity. “The Office” alum Ellie Kemper stars as the eponymous Kimmy, who recently escaped from being held prisoner underground by a man who claimed the world above had ended in an apocalypse. Kimmy moves to New York City, where she tries to put her life back on track, with the help of new employer Jacqueline Voorhees (played by the always wonderful Jane Krakowski), new roommate Titus Andromedon (the fabulous Tituss Burgess), and landlord Lillian Kaushtupper (the legendary Carol Kane). Season one consists of 13 episodes, all of which are now available for streaming on netflix.com.
Q: Can you tell me if the TV series “The Bridge” will have another season, and if so when will it start? — Peggy E., via email
A: If you are talking about the American series starring Diane Kruger, then I am sad to tell you that FX canceled the series after two seasons. However, if you are referring to the far-superior Danish/Swedish original version of the series — also known as “Bron” and “Broen” — it has been renewed for a third season. You can catch up on the first two 10-episode seasons on Hulu.
Q: Will “Under the Dome” be back for another season? — Terry V., via email
A: CBS’s futuristic sci-fi drama will return for its third season on June 25 with a two-hour season premiere from 9 to 11 p.m. ET/PT. The following week it will move to its regular timeslot of 10 p.m. ET/PT. Based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel, “Under the Dome” tells the story of a small town that is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous transparent dome. This season, Emmy Award-winner Marg Helgenberger will guest-star in an extended story arc, beginning with the premiere episode, as the town’s inhabitants figure out the Dome’s purpose and what it wants from them.
Q: I loved “The Spoils of Babylon.” Please tell me it hasn’t been canceled! — Tina R. in Georgia
A: The second installment of “Spoils” will air on IFC this summer in the six-part miniseries “The Spoils Before Dying.” Returning to the series in brand-new roles are Will Farrell, Kristin Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Sheen, Val Kilmer and many more. New additions to the cast include Chris Parnell, Tim Meadows and Emily Ratajkowski, among others. “Spoils” will premiere as a three-night miniseries event on Wednesday, July 8, Thursday, July 9 and Friday, July 10. Two half-hour episodes of the six part miniseries will air each evening starting at 9:00p.m. ET/PT.
Q: A while back you wrote that “The Mortal Instruments” was going to become a TV series, but I’ve seen nothing about that since. Is it still happening? — Ellie R., via email
A: Back when I reported that, everything was still in the beginning stages of development, so we didn’t have many details. Finally, I can say with certainty that “The Mortal Instruments” book series will indeed be reimagined on the small screen and is called “Shadowhunters.” For those unfamiliar with the book series, the story centers on Clary Fray, who finds out on her 18th birthday that she comes from a long line of Shadowhunters, human/angel hybrids who hunt down and kill demons. ABC Family will air the 13-episode first season, with shooting expected to commence this month. There is no casting or premiere date news just yet, but just knowing that showrunner and executive producer Ed Decter (“Helix,” “Unforgettable,” “The Client List”) is heading up the project makes me feel confident that the TV series will fare better than the not-so-great 2013 feature film.
Q: I am so upset that “Parenthood” is over. Can you tell me what series star Craig T. Nelson will do next? — Paul Y., Indianapolis
A: Craig is all set to reprise his role of Coach Hayden Fox on the NBC revival of “Coach.” NBC gave the show a 13-episode straight-to-series order, with Craig returning as Coach Fox, where the now-retired football coach is called back to become the assistant coach to his own grown son, who is now the new head coach at an Ivy League school in Pennsylvania, which is starting up a new team. There is no word yet on its premiere date or other casting info, but Barry Kemp — who created the original ABC series — is on board to write and executive-produce the reboot.
|Liev Schreiber as Ray Donovan|
A: The Liev Schreiber-starring drama returns to Showtime for its 12-episode third season on July 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. This season’s guest stars include Ian McShane, Katie Holmes and Elliott Gould. “Masters of Sex” returns for its third season as well, which also happens to be 12 episodes, immediately following “Ray Donovan.”
Q: What does Poppy Montgomery have coming up? Also, will “Unforgettable” be back, or has it been canceled? — Ashley W., Medina, Ohio
A: Before “Unforgettable” returns for its fourth season (I’ll get to that in a moment), Poppy has a guest-starring turn in “Signed, Sealed, Delivered from Paris, with Love” on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. The seasonal two-hour movie installment of popular series premieres Sunday, June 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Poppy plays Holly, the estranged wife of lead postal detective Oliver, played by Eric Mabius. Poppy also returns as Carrie Wells, with Dylan Walsh back as Al Burns, in “Unforgettable,” which the A and E network saved from the fire after CBS canceled the show for a second time. Back in 2012, CBS canceled the series after the first season, but then decided to renew it for seasons two and three as a shorter, summer series. CBS canceled it for a second time this past October after season three, and in February, A and E scooped up the show and will air its 13-episode fourth season later this year.
Q: I need some “Devious Maids” news! — Holly K., via email
A: Hold onto your feather duster, Holly, you have a few more months to wait to see who, if anyone, bit the dust after gunfire erupted on the church steps after Rosie and Spence’s wedding. Season three premieres Monday, June 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, where I have a feeling all of your burning questions will be answered. Expect to see some new faces too, including Naya Rivera, Gilles Marini, Cristián de la Fuente, John O’Hurley, Justina Machado, Nathan Owens and Julie Claire.
A: Tia’s comedy series, “Instant Mom,” which airs on Nickmom, will finish out its second season this summer, and they are currently hard at work on the show’s third season. You can also catch Tia in her brand-new show on the Cooking Channel, which is called “Tia Mowry at Home.” The show, which airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET, centers on Tia’s home life with her friends and family — and of course, cooking. Tia told me about the show recently: “The cool thing about the format of the show is it’s not just about cooking or me just telling people how to cook. What I’m really excited about is you will get to see my family and my friends. And one person, in particular, is my dad. My dad is so reserved and so private, but he loves to cook. So, when I asked him to be on my cooking show, he was like: ‘Oh wow! I want to be a part of it.’ He loves to cook. There’s one episode where my dad comes over and we cook an amazing meal together.
“Another episode has me doing some yoga, and I make a great post-workout meal for my friends. And then another episode we have a cool mommy day with my friends who are moms. I cook for them and then I surprise the kids with a game of basketball with Metta World Peace. One of my favorite episodes is where I plan a dinner date with my husband, and we re-create memories from our wedding day.”
Q: I can’t get enough “Downton Abbey”! Can you please give me some scoop on the show? — Jessie F., via email
A: I also can’t get enough of this wonderful BBC/PBS period drama, but after season six, it will have to be enough. Series creator Julian Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Neame recently announced that the show’s next season will be its final season. Said Neame: “We wanted to close the doors of ‘Downton Abbey’ when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together. We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up.”
Q: I was so happy when Netflix brought back “Arrested Development.” Will there be more new episodes? — Jack F., via email
A: While series producer Brian Grazer hasn’t made an “official” announcement yet, he did tell Bill Simmons, when he appeared on the latter’s “B.S. Report” podcast, that they are making a 17-episode fifth season of the cult-hit comedy series. Grazer let slip: “I love ‘Arrested Development,’ but it was never a huge thing. But people are loyal to it. We’re going to do another 17 episodes.”
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Q and A: Week of March 2
|Billy Campbell as Dr. Alan Farragut|
A: I spoke with series star Billy Campbell not too long ago, and he gave me enough “Helix” scoop to get you through the next few episodes. When we caught up with our season-one survivors when season two began on Jan. 16, we were introduced to two new characters, Brother Michael and Dr. Kyle Sommer, played by Steven Weber and Matt Long, respectively. Billy told me what it was like to work with them: “They’re both, first of all, first-class gentlemen. They are wonderful actors. I’ve known Steven Weber for many years. We first worked together in the mid ’80s and then again on ‘Once and Again.’ And he’s a rake and a rogue and an imp, and I always knew he was a creepy guy inside. And now he had the chance to prove it. He’s one of the funniest and now, I believe, one of the creepiest guys I’ve ever met.”
As far as season two goes, will Billy’s character, Dr. Alan Farragut, continue his quest to uncover the truth behind Ilaria and the virus outbreak? “I would say that I come uncomfortably close to realizing my quest. Everything about the second season ties very neatly into that storyline. If you were shocked and surprised by season one, you will be doubly shocked and surprised by season two. They really outdid themselves. I’m not sure exactly what they were smoking in the writers’ room for season two, but they sure seemed to be having a great time smoking it.”
Stayed tuned later this week to read my full interview with Billy.
Q: I am sad that Will Arnett’s series “The Millers” was canceled. Can you tell me if I’ll get to see him in something else soon? — Jean F., Branson, MO
A: The hilarious and talented actor is set to team up with Netflix again, this time developing a series called “Flaked,” where Will stars as a self-help guru named Chip who’s struggling to stay a step ahead of his own lies. Will also co-created, co-wrote and co-executive-produced it with Mark Chappell. The series will premiere next year with eight episodes.
Q: When will “Mad Men” be back? — Mike D., via email
A: The award-winning drama returns to AMC with its final seven episodes on April 5 at 10/9c. Regarding the finale, series star John Slattery told “Variety”: “It was surprising to the end”; while January Jones said: “It’s a beautiful story. It’s perfect in every way.”
Series creator and writer, Matthew Weiner, told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour that while he hopes fans will be pleased with the ending, “as the person telling the story, I think people sometimes have to be protected from what they want to see happen. To delight them with a surprise, you can’t give them everything they want.”
|Christina Ricci as Lizzie Borden|
A: I do have a few more details about the Lifetime limited series, which sees Christina Ricci taking up her ax again as Lizzie Borden, with Clea DuVall returning as her sister, Emma; the series also stars John Heard, Cole Hauser, Jessy Schram and Jonathan Banks. And more great news for fans: “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles” has been extended from six episodes to eight, with the series airing sometime this April.
“Chronicles” delivers an intense and fictionalized account of actual events and people surrounding Lizzie’s life after her controversial acquittal of the horrific double murder of her father and stepmother in 1892, when the exonerated figure lives a life awash in newfound celebrity filled with scandalous love affairs. But when numerous people close to Lizzie — ranging from her half-brother, William, to Broadway luminaries to business associate/underworld kingpin Mr. Flowers — start to mysteriously die under brutal and strange circumstances, legendary Pinkerton detective Charlie Siringo becomes determined to prove her involvement in their demise. Jessy Schram plays Nancy O’Keefe, an alluring and ambitious actress and dancer who befriends Lizzie; Emmy nominee John Heard portrays William Almy, the business partner of Lizzie’s murdered father.
Q: You told us that “Hannibal” would be back as a midseason show, but I haven’t heard anything about when it will be on. Please help! — Daniel S., via email
A: I promise I did not lie to you, Daniel. NBC merely changed up the timing of the season-three premiere of cult-hit drama. The network announced recently that it will air the series this summer, which I think will actually be good news for the show, which sometimes is lacking in the all-important viewer numbers. With less competition over the summer, maybe more people will find their way to this show and help propel it to a much-deserved fourth season. The new season will take story elements from Thomas Harris’ “Hannibal Rising” and “Red Dragon” novels, and will include a different origin story for Dr. Lecter, according to show runner Bryan Fuller.
Q: I miss Eva Longoria. Will she star in something soon? — Olivia F. in Connecticut
A: NBC has given the green light for 13 episodes of a single-camera comedy called “Telenovela,” which will star Longoria as Ana Maria, the domineering-diva star of Latin America’s most popular telenovela, whose off-screen drama rivals that of her on-screen personality.
According to NBC president Jennifer Salke: “[Longoria] is a perfect fit for ‘Telenovela.’ Her character will try to navigate the hysteria and high jinks that everyone must endure in putting together a daily show.”
A: As I reported earlier, “Heroes Reborn,” which will air on NBC sometime in 2015 (an exact airdate had not been set as of this writing), will be a 13-episode event series. Although this reboot will be a brand-new series featuring new, extraordinary characters, Jack Coleman will return as Noah Bennet, aka HRG. “Chuck” alumnus Zachary Levi has joined the show in an undisclosed role.
Regarding other former cast members returning for the reboot, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt recently revealed: “I’m not trying to be coy, because we just don’t know, but I think you’ll see several of the old cast popping in to episodes.”
Q: I think this season of “Portlandia” might be the funniest one yet. Please tell me I’ll get to enjoy new episodes for years to come. — Paula T., via email
A: I am happy to tell you that you’ll get at least two more seasons of funny from Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. IFC announced that it has picked up the hit comedy for seasons six and seven, each encompassing 10 half-hour episodes.
Q: I wanted to ask about two ABC shows that I very much miss and wondered if there's any chance they'll be aired again: “Red Widow” and “666 Park Avenue.” I very much enjoyed both shows, especially the eye candy in “Red Widow.”—Marsha R., Naples, Fla.
A: Both ABC series premiered in the 2012-13 season — “666 Park Avenue” in September and “Red Widow” as a midseason replacement — to much hullabaloo and fanfare, however, both were canceled due to low ratings. Of the two series, “Red Widow” is available on DVD, in case you are feeling nostalgic, and want to relive the drama and intrigue and eye candy.
Q: I truly hope the writers and producers of “Galavant” know what a superb show it is. I laugh so hard and watch each episode several times since there are so many jokes and bits every second. I thank them for this wonderful production. If it comes out on DVD, I will buy it! — Nancy M., Venice, Fla.
A: I know a lot of people who feel the way you do, Nancy. And they are all hoping for a second season, as I’m sure you are. If anything, it’s just nice to have the option to watch a series that is inventive and unique, and there really is no other show out there like it right now. I believe in rewarding people for thinking outside the box, and I hope ABC does too. While “Galavant” is one of the shows that started out really strong, it then slipped in numbers as the limited series went on. However, since it is a limited series (meaning each season has fewer episodes than a normal series, and it can air at any time during the season as a place-filler or replacement), its low numbers won’t necessary be nails in its coffin, but I’d still place this show very much on the bubble. We’ll keep our fingers crossed!
Q: I read that Andrew Garfield will no longer star in “Spider-Man.” Does that mean the franchise will be ending? — DeeDee R., via email
A: The franchise will go on — but with a new Spidey. Like Tobey Maguire before him, Andrew is moving on to other things, and a new (not-yet-cast) actor will take his place. The premiere date for the new “Spider-Man” movie has been set for July 28, 2017. Because of this, “Thor: Ragnorak” will now open in November 2017, since Peter Parker and company have taken his release date.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Q and A: Week of Feb. 2
A: Season one of this wonderful FX drama/suspense series — starring Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks, Allison Tolman and Martin Freeman — is now available on DVD. And Hulu recently announced that it has acquired the streaming rights for the series. No exact date has been announced, only that we should be on the lookout for it ahead of the series’ season two premiere this fall on FX.
Q: Can you tell me when “Game of Thrones” will be back for a new season? — Bobby T., via email
A: The phenomenal drama/historical-fantasy series will be back for its fifth season on April 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. HBO also revealed that “Silicon Valley” would be begin its second season at 10 p.m., following the “GoT” premiere, and season four of “Veep” will follow that at 10:30 p.m. All three series will have 10-episode seasons.
In the meantime, you can relive some of season four on the big screen in IMAX format before that. In limited release (about 150 IMAX theaters), the last two episodes of season four’s “Game of Thrones” will be shown the way lots of fans think it should be aired all the time: in movie theaters. Those who do attend these limited showings will also be treated to an exclusive trailer for season five. Check your local listings to see if it is on the big screen in your town. According to “Entertainment Weekly,” there have also been reports of a season-five preview special to air on HBO, perhaps as soon as February. Fingers crossed for that too!
Q: My husband recently introduced me to the “Evil Dead” movies. He heard they are making it into a TV series. Is that true? — Nancy P. in Indiana
A: Your husband heard correctly. Starz is bringing the series to the small screen via an original series called “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” which takes place after the action of the movie series. The series’ star and the director of “Evil Dead” — Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi, respectively — are set to return to the production, which will consist of 10 half-hour episodes. The story begins three decades later, where Ash (Campbell) is forced to face his demons and fight the Evil Dead yet again when a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all mankind.
|Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt in Jurassic World|
Q: I know the project is all hush-hush, but is there anything you can tell me about “Jurassic World”? — George F., Montgomery, Ala.
A: Recently I spoke with James DuMont, who just finished another wonderfully disturbing season of “American Horror Story,” and who also plays a role in the sure-to-be summer blockbuster, which opens June 12. However, things are so hush-hush that he can’t even tell me what role he plays. This is what he could tell me: “I can’t tell you anything about story, plot, my character. I’ve signed all these very heavy-duty nondisclosure agreements up and down the street. But the good news to tell you is that it’s amazing. The cast is amazing. There are so many cool things about this movie. They got it right. Steven Spielberg’s on board. The director, Colin Trevorrow, is amazing. I think it’s going to be a really, really good movie. I’m just excited to be a part of a big movie like this.” Stop by tomorrow to read my entire interview with James.
Q: All last year I read rumors about a “Wet Hot American Summer” sequel, even on your Twitter feed, but I’ve seen neither hide nor hair of it anywhere. Is this really going to happen? — Megan M., via Facebook
A: I have good news for you, and for lovers of this outrageous and brilliant comedy everywhere. There will indeed be a sequel, but not in feature-film form. Netflix, which is quickly becoming my favorite outlet for original programming, has picked it up for an eight-episode limited series. And pretty much all of the film’s original stars will return: Elizabeth Banks, H. Jon Benjamin, Michael Ian Black, Bradley Cooper, Judah Friedlander, Janeane Garofalo, Nina Hellman, Ken Marino, Zak Orth, David Hyde Pierce, Joe LoTruglio, Christopher Meloni, A.D. Miles, Marguerite Moreau, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Marisa Ryan, Molly Shannon, Michael Showalter and Kevin Sussman. To say that I am excited about this doesn’t nearly cover the emotions I am feeling about this series. I’m thinking you’re feeling the same way right about now.
Q: I loved your interview with CCH Pounder about “NCIS: New Orleans” a few months back, and I love the show. Will it be back for another season? — Janice T., via email
A: “NCIS: New Orleans,” which is the No. 1 new TV series on broadcast television, has indeed received a second season pickup from CBS. “Madam Secretary,” which is the No. 2 most watched new series, and “Scorpion,” which is No. 3, have both also received a second season.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Q and A: Week of Jan. 19
|A scene from the season-three premiere of Vikings|
Q: Can you tell me when “Vikings” will be back? It seems like it’s been gone forever! — Jeremy T., via email
A: You don’t have much longer to wait. The History channel’s hit historical-fiction drama will be back Thursday, Feb. 19 at 10 p.m. ET. The new 10-episode third season begins with Ragnar (played by Travis Fimmel) as king, and follows the great responsibility that now rests on the shoulders of the former farmer.
With the promise of new land from the English, Ragnar leads his people to an uncertain fate on the shores of Wessex. King Ecbert (Linus Roache) has made many promises, and it remains to be seen if he will keep them. But ever the restless wanderer, Ragnar is searching for something more — and he finds it in the mythical city of Paris. Rumored to be impenetrable to outside forces, Ragnar and his band of Norsemen must come together to break down its walls and cement the Vikings legend in history.
The gripping family saga of Ragnar, Rollo (Clive Standen), Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), and Bjorn (Alexander Ludwig) continues as alliances and loyal friendships are questioned, faith is catechized, and relationships are strained. “Vikings” tells the extraordinary tales of the lives and epic adventures of these warriors, and portrays life in the Dark Ages — a world ruled by raiders and explorers — through the eyes of Viking society.
Q: I remember a while back you reported that David Letterman was going to retire and Stephen Colbert was to take his place. Do you know when this will happen? — Patty T., via email
A: CBS has announced that David Letterman’s final show as host of “The Late Show” will be May 20. Letterman has been a prominent fixture in late-night television for decades, and upon his retirement in May, he’ll hold the record as the longest-tenured host in late-night talk-show history.
Q: Was “The Blacklist” canceled? I haven’t seen it in a while. — Trudy F., Cincinnati, Ohio
A: The James Spader-starring NBC drama was not canceled; it merely went on winter hiatus. The addictive series will be back with all-new episodes beginning on Super Bowl Sunday, which is Feb. 1.
Q: Do you know yet if “Legends” got picked up for another season? It’s my favorite new show of the year. — Michael J., Brunswick, Ga.
A: The TNT series based on the award-winning book by Robert Latell will be back for a second season coming this summer. So you’ll get 10 more episodes of action-hero Sean Bean kicking butt and taking names.
Monday, January 12, 2015
Q and A: Week of Jan. 12
“When” is told from the point of view of Maddie, a high school student who, when she looks at someone, sees a series of digits floating just above his or her brow, with the digits representing the date that person will die. She and her mom, struggling to make ends meet, use her talent to make extra money. Things get scary when a woman comes to ask about her sick daughter. While Maddie has good news about her daughter — she’ll get better and live a long life — the woman’s middle son is a another story. His deathdate is within days, he soon goes missing, and the FBI thinks Maddie is involved.
To enter to win an autographed copy of this book — which hits store shelves tomorrow, Jan. 13 — just answer this question: If Maddie could tell you your deathdate, would you want to know? There are four ways to enter (and you can do all four): Send a letter to Cindy Elavsky, KFWS, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; email email@example.com; follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/Celebrity_Extra) and tweet your reply to me; and follow my FB fan page and post your answer there.
Q: I thought I had read a while back that a movie about the life of Whitney Houston was going to be made. Is that still happening? — Freesia L., via email
A: It is indeed, and Lifetime is the station that will bring the story of the life of the critically acclaimed songstress whose life was tragically cut short in February 2012. Angela Bassett makes her directorial debut with the Lifetime Original Movie “Whitney,” featuring Yaya DaCosta (“Lee Daniels’ The Butler”) in the lead role, with Arlen Escarpeta (“Final Destination 5”) alongside her as Bobby Brown. The much-anticipated world premiere will be on Saturday, Jan. 17, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. “Whitney” chronicles the headline-making relationship between the iconic singer, actress, producer, and model Whitney Houston and singer and songwriter Bobby Brown, from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity to their courtship and tumultuous marriage. Throughout it all, difficulties followed the superstar couple while they dealt with the overwhelming rewards and consequences of the fame and fortune created by Houston’s meteoric rise, which would soon overshadow them both.
Q: Is it true the J.K. Rowling’s latest book series is going to be turned into a movie? — Hal R., Albany, NY
A: Not a movie, Hal, but a series. BBC announced last month that they are going to adapt Rowling’s Cormoran Strike novels into a series, beginning with the first book, “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” Rowling will collaborate on the project in conjunction with BBC and Brontë Film and TV. Brontë Film and TV is also producing Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy” adaptation, a three-part series that will air on BBC One in this February. There’s no word yet when either series will be available in the U.S., but I’m hoping they’ve worked out some sort of deal with PBS (or another station), where we get to see it here across the Pond a few months later that the Brits.
Q: When will “The Walking Dead” return from winter hiatus? I am going through serious withdrawals here! — Larry E., Orlando, Fla.
A: You’ll have to wait just a little bit longer, Larry. Season five continues on Feb. 8 on AMC. Series star Andrew Lincoln told “TV Guide” that this half of the season contains two episodes that are probably his favorite since the pilot episode. Sounds great to me!
|Chris Pratt as Johnny Karate|
A: “Parks and Rec” will be back for a 13-episode seventh (and final) season tomorrow, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. ET. The season begins in the year 2017, with the town of Pawnee not quite the same as when we left it in 2014. Chris Pratt’s fun-loving and dim-witted character of Andy stars in a Johnny Karate TV show (see pic on left); Leslie and Ben have toddler triplets; and Tom is a mogul of some sort. Jon Hamm, Rashida Jones, Rob Lowe, Megan Mullally and Natalie Morales will all pop up during the show’s final season.
Q: I keep hearing great things about the FX series “Fargo,” but I don’t have cable. Is it out on DVD, or is there another way I can watch it? — Frannie D., Springfield, Ill.
A: Season one of this wonderful FX drama/suspense series — which just won the Golden Globe for Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television — stars Billy Bob Thornton (who also won for Best Actor), Colin Hanks, Allison Tolman and Martin Freeman, and is now available on DVD. And Hulu recently announced that it has acquired the streaming rights for the series. No exact date has been announced, only that we should be on the lookout for it ahead of the series’ season two premiere this fall on FX.
Monday, January 5, 2015
Q and A: Week of Jan. 5
A: I was as shocked as you were by the death of the good-boy-turned-bad-turned-good-again Daniel Grayson. “Revenge” returned last night to ABC for all new episodes. [SPOILER] And if you watched, then you know he really is dead, and we got to see the reactions to Daniel’s death of our favorite folks in the Hamptons, including Daniel’s mom, Victoria (played by Madeleine Stowe) and his newly pregnant girlfriend, Margaux LaMarshal (Karine Vanasse). The word “revenge” is definitely going to be taken to all new heights. And although the character is indeed dead, Joshua Bowman reprised his role last night for flashback scenes. (I also was thrilled to see Henry Czerny reprise his role of Conrad Grayson in those flashback scenes during the winter finale, weren’t you?)
Q: I know that “Parenthood” ends after this season, but I didn’t know it was so soon. I haven’t seen a new episode since November. It can’t be over already, can it? — Jeremy T., via email
A: It’s almost over, but not quite. The show went on winter hiatus — that’s the new fad these days, don’t you know? — but it will return on Jan. 8 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC for its final four episodes.
Q: I was really into the ABC show called “Selfie,” but I think it was canceled. Is there any chance to see the remaining episodes? — Gina R., via email
A: ABC and Hulu have partnered to air the remaining six episodes of the low-rated comedy starring Karen Gillan and John Cho. By the time you read this, they all should be available for viewing at hulu.com and abc.go.com.
Q: I am in serious “House of Cards” withdrawal! When will it be back? — Tillie F., Atlanta, Ga.
A: The critically acclaimed original Netflix political drama — starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright — will be return for its third season on Feb. 27. At that time, all 13 episodes will be available for streaming.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Q and A: Week of Dec. 29
A: “The Knick,” which is set in New York in 1900, centers on the Knickerbocker Hospital and its groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff, who push the boundaries of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and no antibiotics. The series has been renewed for a 10-episode second season — in fact, the show was renewed before the first season even premiered. Such an action shows the much-deserved confidence Cinemax has in the show’s high-caliber star (Clive Owen) and director (Steven Soderbergh).
Q: When will “Portlandia” return? — Sue Y., via email
A: The hit IFC comedy returns for its fifth season on Jan. 8 at 10 p.m. ET, with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein leading the goth charge in this fondly satiric showcase of Portland, Oregon’s most eccentric characters. To see a sneak peak of the new season, go to ifc.com/videos, and use the drop-down tab to search for “Portlandia.”
Q: Do you know if “Outlander” on Starz will be available as a DVD set for purchase at the end of the series year? — Rhonda B., via email
A: While as of yet there is no official DVD release date, I can say with confidence that the wildly popular fantasy/romance/time-travel series will be available on DVD once season one has concluded (at the end of May 2015). If I am wrong, may I be forced to time-travel through the Craigh na Dun stones without a protective gemstone somewhere on my person.
Q: I was thrilled to read in your column that “The Good Witch” was going to be a regular prime-time series on the Hallmark Channel. Can you give me some inside scoop about it? — Betty S., via email
A: I do have some news to share, the biggest of which is that “Desperate Housewives” hunk James Denton has been added to the cast of “The Good Witch,” which will have its two-hour season-one premiere on Feb. 28 at 8/7c, and is slated for a 10-episode run. James plays Cassie’s new next-door neighbor, a divorced doctor and single dad who stirs things up in Middleton when he discovers that Cassie’s (series star Catherine Bell) signature charm is more than just a magic touch.
Q: I’ve been waiting and waiting for a new “Celebrity Apprentice.” Can you tell me when or if it will be back? — Jeremy R., Harrisburg, Pa.
Monday, November 24, 2014
Q and A: Week of Nov. 24
A: “The Mentalist” will be back for a seventh and final season on CBS for 13 episodes. The series will premiere Sunday, Nov. 30, at 9:30 p.m. ET, and will air new episodes in that time slot for five weeks before moving to Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET beginning Jan. 7. And if you need to catch up on any episodes, seasons one through six are now available on DVD for your viewing pleasure.
Q: I am so distraught that “Parks and Recreation” hasn’t premiered its new season yet. I thought you said it had been renewed! — Kallie F., via email
A: NBC’s hit sitcom has been renewed. And, like “The Mentalist,” mentioned above, it will also be its seventh and final season, which will consist of 13 episodes and premiere midseason 2015. Leslie Knope and company have not left us dangling, and will be back in a few months to tie up any loose ends.
A: Governor Ventura is still in the public eye, but not on network TV. He has his own Internet show called “Off the Grid,” which can be seen on his YouTube channel and ora.tv, and is filmed from his home in Mexico. A big selling point for Jesse is that he can talk about whatever the heck he wants on his new show; he told me: “That’s one of the reasons I think ‘Conspiracy Theory’ got cancelled after only three seasons, because in many ways, we were going where they didn’t want us to go, and we were asking questions they didn’t want asked. I love the Internet because there are no FCC regulations. There’s no government hanging over my shoulder. If I want to say ‘bullsh!t,’ I can without getting fined or anything like that. For me it was like getting the handcuffs taken off and being able to speak freely. That’s what I love about ‘Off the Grid.’”
The governor hopes to help change the mindset of people who blindly follow what the government tells us, and to pick up where his generation failed, in his words. “I lived through the ’60s, through the hippie generation, and through Vietnam, when I truly thought change was in the wind and that we were the same way. Our generation was questioning authority, much like the New Millennium young people are doing today. I’m encouraging them to stay the course. Don’t drop the ball like my generation did. I’m hoping to help correct that with the New Millennium generation by keeping them on track. I want to be the Timothy Leary of this generation. I want to be the older guy that this generation turns to in order to learn the truth. That’s kind of what I’m working to do.”
Q: Please tell me that “Dallas” hasn’t been canceled! — Karolyn, Lubbock, Texas
Q: I understand “Dallas” has been canceled? Is that true, and has any other network pick it up? — Chuck B., via email
A: I hate to be the one to confirm those cancelation rumors, but it is true: TNT has canceled the nighttime drama after and explosive third season and shocking finale. In this day and age of lots of cable and Internet channels, and with so many other shows being saved from cancelation by other networks (i.e., “Cougar Town,” “The Killing,” “Community,” "Arrested Development" and more), all hope is not necessarily lost, but as of this writing, there is no talk of the show resurrecting somewhere else. But just because I haven’t heard anything yet, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. If there is a deal in the works, odds are it would have to be kept hush-hush while details were ironed out.
Another promising aspect of it possible being picked up by another outlet is that the show’s cast and fans very much support the resurrection of “Dallas” elsewhere. Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing) tweeted: “I for one am not done with Bobby Ewing! Let's see if some network wants the Ewings to live on!” And Linda Gray (Sue Ellen Ewing) agreed, thanking fans for their support and tweeting, “Keep it coming so it can help get us back entertaining you!” You can help by writing/emailing TNT, and if you are on social media, use the #SaveDallas hashtag to show your support. Personally, I think “Dallas” would be a perfect fit for Netflix. What do y’all think?
A: “Covert Affairs” will be back for the second half of season five on Nov. 6 with eight more brand-new episodes. As of this writing, the USA network has yet to decide on its renewal or cancelation, probably waiting to see how the ratings for the rest of the season go. So keep watching, and encourage your friends to as well, and hopefully it will join “Satisfaction” in the renewed column, and not “Rush” in the canceled column.
Q: I read your column every week, and enjoy knowing what’s happening, coming and going. I am hooked on “The Americans.” Will it be returning? — Fran S., Rockford, Ill.
A: FX has renewed the Cold War-era espionage drama, which stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, for a third season. Look for 13 new episodes starting on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 10 p.m. ET. In even-more awesome news, legendary actor Frank Langella will join the show, playing the role of Gabriel, Philip and Elizabeth’s former KGB handler who comes out of retirement to take back responsibility of overseeing them from their previous handler, Claudia (played by Margo Martindale).
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
A: I have some good news for you, Patrick. The USA network’s police drama, which was slated to return for its sixth and final season in early 2015, premiered on Nov. 6 instead. So you can enjoy these last six episodes a little bit earlier than expected, and also start the withdrawal/grieving process a little earlier as well. At least we’ll always have the DVDs: Seasons one through five are now available for purchase at all major DVD and entertainment outlets.
Q: I just got caught up on season one of HBO’s “True Detective,” and I wondered if you could give me any scoop about season two. — Kyle L., via email
A: I can tell you that Colin Ferrell and Vince Vaughn have signed on to star in the next season of the hit HBO series, which is rumored to be about the “bloody murder of a corrupt city businessman found dead the night before a major transportation deal,” and will involve three different police officers from different cities working together.
Q: Can you give me any info about the latest 007 movie? Is it still happening? — Paul T., via email
A: The 24th James Bond film is indeed happening, Paul, with actors Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and director Sam Mendes returning. They start shooting in December, with an anticipated fall 2015 release date. Sam confirmed that the latest film will be the second of a two-part project, meaning it will be a continuation of “Skyfall.”
Q: Now that “Being Human” is over, what is Sam Huntington up to? I was so happy to see him turn up in the “Veronica Mars” movie. — Michelle G., via email
A: The former werewolf star of the supernatural Syfy-channel series is currently working on Jeremy Renner’s new project (Jeremy’s the executive producer) for the Crackle network. It’s a 90-minute, international cyber-spy movie called “The Throwaways,” which also stars the legendary James Caan, as well as Kevin Dillon (“Entourage,” “Platoon” and “The Doors”). The feature follows notorious hacker Drew Reynolds (played by Sam), who is captured by the CIA and given a proposition — work for them or spend the rest of his life in prison. Reynolds agrees to join on the condition that he gets to choose his own team. Instead of picking from the top agents the CIA recommends, Reynolds goes with a group of “throwaways,” those deemed expendable and seemingly the worst in the organization. Led by Lt. Col. Christopher Holden (James), and including gung-ho combat specialist Dan Fisher (Kevin), the throwaways have to track and take down a cyber-terrorist who is threatening mass destruction. Look for the film on Crackle this December.
Q: I am so addicted to “Outlander.” Can you tell me when the second half of season one will air? — Jeanne D., via email
A: “Outlander” returns from its winter hiatus with eight more episodes beginning April 4 on Starz. You, I and millions of other fans will have to wait patiently for almost six months to see Jamie rescue Claire from Black Jack Randall. I know — it’s going to seem like forever. Here’s to hoping they don’t split up season two like that, right?
|Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander|
A: Rumors have been swirling for years about a sequel, and Will Ferrell confirmed in September that “Zoolander 2” is happening, and that his character, Mugatu, will be a part of it. Justin Theroux is rumored to be directing the movie, which he also co-wrote with Ben Stiller, and Ben and Owen Wilson are set to co-star. The plot has Derek Zoolander (played by Ben) and Hansel (Owen) trying to compete against younger models as an opposing company tries to force them out of the business. I guess the Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good didn’t do so well, and Derek had to return to modeling to make ends meet.
Q: I really like the new series on Hallmark called “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Can you tell me when I can see a new season? — Adele T., Clyde, Ohio
A: The comedic drama by “Touched by an Angel” executive producer Martha Williamson, which follows the lives of a group of postal workers who transform themselves into a nontraditional team of detectives to track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail, is moving to Hallmark’s sister channel, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. It is also changing its format: It will return to TV as a movie franchise consisting of a series of two-hour original films.
Debuting on Nov. 23 at 9/8c, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas” will be the first movie in the franchise, with three more slated for 2015. Returning as the “POstables” crew are Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius, “Ugly Betty”), Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth, “Orphan Black”), Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe, “Smallville”) and Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson “Primeval: New World”). According to Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming and network publicity at Crown Media Family Networks, “At their core, the narratives on ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ revolve around mystery and suspense, with compelling characters and dramatic storylines that will be enhanced by an extended format.”
Q: I was happy to hear that “Mistresses” has been renewed for a third season, but sad to hear that Alyssa Milano won’t return. Why did she leave the show? — Eric G., via email
A: Alyssa — who recently gave birth to daughter Elizabeth Dylan, joining big brother Milo Thomas — said in a recent statement: “After two wonderful seasons in Los Angeles, the studio has decided to shoot season three of ‘Mistresses’ in Vancouver, Canada, for financial reasons. It’s with a heavy heart that I have decided that I can’t relocate. I have two babies under 4. Being a mother and wife comes first, and I just cannot uproot my children and separate the family by moving away. I will miss this job desperately and wish everyone the absolute best.”
Q: Please tell me the rumors I’ve been hearing about a “Say Anything” TV series are not true! — Callie F., via email
A: I am thrilled to tell you that NBC’s planned “Say Anything” TV show has been canned. Less than 24 hours after news broke — practically breaking the entire Internet — that a comedy sequel based on the hit 1989 movie (directed by Cameron Crowe and starring John Cusack and Ione Skye) was being planned, NBC pulled the plug on the series. Apparently, Cameron called producer Aaron Kaplan (who was producing the series with writer Justin Adler) and voiced his objections to the project. Aaron and Justin were unaware that Cameron had not been contacted about or approved of the project, so they pulled out of the project. NBC and 20th Century Fox followed suit, and canceled the series.
READERS: I have some exciting book-to-series news for you. Hulu announced that it has ordered a nine-hour series adaptation of Stephen King’s 2011 bestseller “11/22/63,” a thriller in which high school English teacher Jake Epping travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The series is being developed by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions. Of this latest project, Stephen King said: “If I ever wrote a book that cries out for long-form, event-TV programming, ‘11/22/63’ is it. I’m excited that it’s going to happen, and am looking forward to working with J.J. Abrams and the whole Bad Robot team.”