That’s Ducky: David McCallum is staying with ‘NCIS’
Q: Is it true that David McCallum is leaving “NCIS”? – Pete Douglas, Providence, R.I.
A: He’s not leaving, but he’ll appear as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard in fewer episodes of the globally popular CBS drama than he once did – which was the same situation last season. He explained that he wanted more time with his family when he signed his current contract for the show. That includes his beloved cat, who was featured visually in the Facebook post in which McCallum announced his new agreement ... and for someone who’s been in the television game since his days as iconic spy Illya Kuryakin on “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” in the 1960s, it’s tough if not impossible to not grant him his wish.
Q: Since Aretha Franklin’s career principally was in music, I’m wondering why she was featured so prominently in the “In Memoriam” segment of this year’s Emmy Awards. – Joan Cook, via e-mail
A: Well, for one thing, her rendering of “Amazing Grace” set the tone and the soundtrack for that segment. Also, she made many television appearances over the course of her career – from variety shows to presidential inaugurations (though the latter weren’t exclusively events staged for TV) – so her presence in the segment also can be justified in that way. It’s worth nothing that Sen. John McCain also was included in that “In Memoriam,” and though he also wasn’t a TV personality in the most literal sense, he appeared on screens often ... particularly as a popular guest on the Sunday news-program circuit. Saluting him and music icon Franklin was a measure of their stature in their respective fields, and likely also of the relative proximity of their passings to the Emmy ceremony.