Simon Baker’s career was cooking pre-‘Mentalist’
Q: Can you tell me more about Simon Baker and what he’s done in the past?
— Steve Doboszynski, Seattle A: While he’s enjoying his biggest success to date with his CBS show “The Mentalist,” the Australian actor has been around for a while. He did several series Down Under before shifting his career largely to America, a transition that began with a role in the Oscar-winning movie “L.A. Confidential.” Baker then worked for CBS in two other shows, “The Guardian” and the very shortlived “Smith.”
His other movies have included “Ride With the Devil,” “Red Planet,” “The Affair of the Necklace,” “The Ring Two,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Something New,” “Land of the Dead,” “Women in Trouble” and “The Killer Inside Me.” Here’s an interesting side note about two of his three children with his actress wife, Rebecca Rigg: They have Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts as godmothers.
Q: What happened between MSNBC and Keith Olbermann? Where will be I be able to hear his political rantings now? — Jerome Bolle, Whitelaw, Wis. A: Relations had been frosty — and evidently getting colder — between Olbermann and executives at his now-former network for some time, leading to what has been termed the “separation agreement” that prompted Olbermann’s hasty farewell from his program “Countdown” in January. Some had speculated the circumstances of the departure were hastened by Comcast’s thenimminent takeover of the NBC networks’ ownership, though Comcast officials denied they played any direct role in Olbermann’s exit.
As for where he’ll appear next, he has made a deal with the Al Gore-operated Current TV not only for his own program (which he has said will start in June) but also to consult on that network’s other prime-time programming. He maintains he has complete control in his new gig, so if an unfettered Olbermann is what you want, it looks as if that’s what you’ll get.
Q: Is there a date from AMC as to when season five of “Mad Men” will begin?
— Chris Kromrey, Virginia Beach, Va. A: Believe it or not, at this writing, there was no official word yet that there even would be a season five. Given the ongoing acclaim and popularity of the drama, it seems a foregone conclusion that there will be another year of it, but there have been two sticking points ... one involving creator-producer Matthew Weiner’s contract with the show’s studio, Lionsgate, plus Lionsgate’s own contract with AMC to televise the series. The general expectation is that production will ramp back up in early summer for a fall premiere, but there’s a need for signings on
certain dotted lines first.
Q: Please tell me about the boy who plays Max on “Parenthood.”
—Jackie Tandy, Bend, Ore. A: Thirteen-year-old Max Burkholder was featured on such shows as “Brothers & Sisters,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice” and “In Treatment” previously, but he also has a wealth of animation voice-over work under his belt. The series he’s been heard on include “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “The Cleveland Show,“ “My Friends Tigger & Pooh” and “The Land Before Time”; he also was in the voice casts of the movies “Astro Boy” and “The Ant Bully.”
Q: What happened to “Rizzoli & Isles”? Is it ever going to resume? — Claire Reilly, La Habra, Calif. A: “Ever” is a very long time, but to get more specific, the Angie Harmon-Sasha Alexander show will return to TNT for its second season July 11 ... the same night “The Closer” will begin its final season.
Q: Did NBC take “Outlaw” off the air? It wasn’t on the air long enough to have a following. — Matt McKeown, Stuart, Fla. A: The Jimmy Smits-starring drama was one of the current season’s earliest cancellations. It had a promising start with a Wednesday “preview” showing, but as soon as it moved to its regular Friday slot, its ratings troubles began ... fueled largely by the immediate success of its CBS competitor, Tom Selleck’s law-and-order saga “Blue Bloods.” After several weeks of declining ratings, NBC felt it saw the writing on the wall for “Outlaw” and moved the other episodes already filmed to a lesser-watched Saturday period.
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If you miss Keith Olbermann’s commentary on MSNBC, you’ll be able to catch the outspoken liberal beginning in June on Al Gore’s Current TV network.
Aussie actor Simon Baker of “The Mentalist” fame got his U.S. career off to a start in the Oscar-winning movie “L.A. Confidential.”