A familiar music face plays the ‘Game’

TV Pipeline

Games of Thrones
Ed Sheeran

Q: Did Ed Sheeran make an appearance in the season premiere of “Game of Thrones”? – Stacy Drew, Kingman, Ariz.

A: He did, and the music superstar’s cameo on the wildly popular HBO drama wasn’t met with open arms by a good number of critics and viewers. “Stunt casting” was a phrase used frequently in post-telecast references, but in fairness, Sheeran had acted before. He was a cast member of the FX series “The Bastard Executioner,” and he had been a guest star on the NBC sitcom “Undateable” – though in the latter case he played himself.

Saturday Night Live
Melissa McCarthy

Q: Now that Sean Spicer is no longer the White House press secretary, does that mean Melissa McCarthy won’t be playing him on “Saturday Night Live” anymore? – Jeff King, via e-mail

A: It’s often hard to predict just what the NBC late-night staple will do before it does it, and that also goes for the “Weekend Update” primetime spinoff that the network is airing for the next several Thursdays.

The more time that elapses between Spicer’s departure and new episodes, the less timely it is to invoke him in sketches … but McCarthy was such a hit in her portrayal of him, we’d never say “Never” if the program still can find sensible ways to work her/him in. We surely wouldn’t rule out flashbacks and dream sequences.

Q: I watched an episode of “20/20: In an Instant,” and it seemed like one I had seen just a few weeks before. Is that possible? – Jane Edwards, Reading, Pa.

A: Very. Relatively few episodes have been made each of the ABC show’s three seasons, so they repeat relatively soon – and that’s the case again this summer. As an example, “Whiteout” (the true story of a snowbound couple) opened Season 3 on June 3, and it repeats on Aug. 22. As primetime broadcast-network reruns go, that’s pretty quick.

Q: I enjoy watching “McMillan & Wife” repeats. Why did Susan Saint James leave the show? – Mike Collier, Stuart, Fla.

A: Reportedly, it was because she and the studio couldn’t agree on a contract for the sixth season, which turned out to be the last for that portion of the  “NBC Mystery Movie” franchise. Her character Sally was said to have died in a plane crash, so with no “Wife,” the Rock Hudson-starring show simply became “McMillan.”

Another cast exit that last year was that of Nancy Walker, who had gotten her own ABC sitcom. With her gone, Martha Raye was brought in to reprise her earlier guest role as the sister of Walker’s Mildred – and San Francisco police commissioner McMillan’s new housekeeper. John Schuck’s appearances as McMillan’s police comrade Enright also were lessened, since that actor also had gotten his own ABC comedy series, “Holmes & Yoyo.’’

Q: Could you please find out when they are going to put “Mackenna’s Gold” on? It stars Gregory Peck and Julie Newmar. – Joyce Gnip, via e-mail

A: That 1969 movie – with a huge cast that also includes Omar Sharif, Telly Savalas and Edward G. Robinson – turns up fairly frequently on the Starz Encore Westerns cable channel, though at the time of this writing, we don’t see it listed for the immediate future there. It also turns up from time to time on Turner Classic Movies, so we’d say that keeping an eye on the listings for those two outlets is your best bet.

Q: I was watching a “Night Court” repeat, and I’m wondering if the actress who played Christine is on “Chicago P.D.” now. – Annie Wade, Bryan, Ohio

A: Yes, Markie Post has appeared in a recurring guest role as Erin Lindsay’s troublemaking mother on the NBC police drama. Her future with that show is uncertain since Sophia Bush – alias Lindsay – isn’t returning, at least not as a cast regular. Mom has had dealings with other characters, notably Hank Voight (Jason Beghe), so it’s possible that she still could be written into episodes even without her daughter being there, but time will tell.

Send questions of general interest via email to tvpipeline@gracenote.com. Writers must include their names, cities and states. Personal replies cannot be sent.
Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

jbobbin has 1360 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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