TNT ready to give viewers more ‘Leverage’
Q: Please tell me there will be more episodes of “Leverage” and when we can expect them.
— Joy Dunn, Corpus Christi, Texas A: There will be. Encompassing 10 new episodes this summer, the fourth season of the TNT series that stars Oscar winner Timothy Hutton is scheduled to begin June 26.
Q: The series “Chase” has been back on lately, but NBC put it in an “I’m about to be canceled Saturday” time slot. Any idea what’s going on with this show? — Joel Phillips, Colorado
Springs, Colo. A: Actually, in the case of “Chase” at that time, it was an “I’m as good as canceled, but they’re playing off my remaining episodes anyway” time slot. NBC pulled the action show starring Kelli Giddish (who’s just started a role on CBS’ “The Good Wife”) early this year, following a twopart episode that didn’t add any traction to the series’ low ratings. What really sealed the deal was how much better an airing of the game show “Minute to Win It” fared in the time period.
Q: Has the series “Fairly Legal” been canceled, or when will it reappear? — Evelyn Cruikshank,
Columbus, Ohio A: The USA Network show will be back with 13 new epi- sodes starting early in 2012, and production begins this summer. Series stars Sarah Shahi, Virginia Williams, Michael Trucco and Baron Vaughn are slated to return, but rumor has it there may be some tinkering with the law drama for its sophomore round. Upon announcing the renewal earlier this month, a USA executive said the show has “significant creative and commercial upside,” suggesting changes are coming.
Q: I have been disappointed too many times this season with reruns of my favorite series, and I’m wondering why there isn’t a symbol in the listings to advise people about this. — Martha Baldwin,
Ann Arbor, Mich. A: There is, but it works the other way around from what you’re looking for. Years ago, the major networks struck an agreement with listings services to switch the focus from an (R) for “repeat” to an (N) for “new,” indicating an original episode. If you don’t see some form of “new” in the listing, you can assume the given episode is a repeat.
One catch to that, however: If you rely on weekly newspaper supplements for your listings, because of the generally earlier deadlines for those, the episode information might not be known by then ... so there may be no indication of either “new” or “repeat.” That is not the fault of the listings services, who simply might not have received the information about the given show from the network in time. Trust us, we speak from experience on that one.
Q: “Mannix” was my favorite television show in the 1970s. What has Mike Connors done since “Mannix” ended, and can you tell me anything about his family life? — Vickie Davidson, Searcy, Ark. A: After his long-popular CBS mystery series ended its run in 1975, Connors returned to weekly work briefly in “Today’s F.B.I.” during the 1981-82 season on ABC. Mainly, though, he became a staple of the TV movie and guest star circuits. Among the many other shows he turned up on were “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Diagnosis Murder,” “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “The Commish.”
Connors also had a sizable role in “War and Remembrance,” ABC’s mammoth 1988-89 sequel to “The Winds of War” that actually was split into two miniseries because of its length. (Ah, those were the days ... .) And earlier this year, Connors was among the veteran actors commenting on the history of private-eye shows in the second round of PBS’ “Pioneers of Television” miniseries. Married since 1949, he has two children.
Q: Perhaps I missed it, but is there any explanation for the absence of Andy Rooney from “60 Minutes”? — Constance Berry
Columbus, Ohio A: Others have been curious about that lately, but he has no intention of retiring ... at least according to Susie Bieber, long his “60 Minutes” producer, who told that to the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union in April. By all accounts, his reduced appearances on the CBS newsmagazine simply are a function of his being 92 years old, but he isn’t planning to leave the television job he is so famous for.
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Page 19 TV Crossword answer: Brian Benben
Timothy Hutton will return in “Leverage” on TNT.
Mike Connors (right) reprised his “Mannix” role on an episode of “Diagnosis Murder,” starring Dick Can Dyke (left), in 1997.