‘Broke’ but not forgotten: Remembering a sitcom

TV Pipeline

"Two Broke Girls"
Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings in ‘Two Broke Girls’ now in syndication.

Q: Did “Two Broke Girls” get canceled? – Wanda Vasey, via e-mail

A: It did, a year ago – and that was something of a surprise, since CBS still had been counting on it as a reliable back-up player when other series had to be pulled and the network needed a ready replacement. The good news is that Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs still can be seen in widely syndicated repeats of the show, the fact that it is so available being a testament to its staying power, even without new episodes being made.

"When Calls the Heart"
Daniel Lissing in “When Calls the Heart” on Hallmark Channel.

Q: Why did they kill off Jack on “When Calls the Heart”? – Kathy Szerszen, Belmont, Ohio

A: Daniel Lissing, the actor who played the part on the Hallmark Channel show, says it was his idea to leave. During a Facebook Live appearance after the development that caught many viewers by surprise, he explained, “Circumstances arose for me where I needed to leave ‘When Calls the Heart for reasons that are very personal to me.”

He didn’t get more specific than that, but that left the show’s producers only a couple of options … namely, recasting the role or taking the route they ultimately took. The decision not to recast either could have been a noble move that respected the audience, or the concern that viewers might not accept another actor as Jack this far into the series.

Q: Will “The Night Shift” be back this summer? – Jodie Rush, Reading, Pa.

A: Sadly for fans of the medical drama, no. NBC canceled the series after it completed its fourth season last year, with the producers expressing appreciation to those in its filming location of Albuquerque, N.M. As for one of its cast members, we fully expect to see Jill Flint reprise the recurring role she’s played on CBS’ “Bull” when that series resumes new episodes for its third season starting this fall.

Q: I remember that “Supergirl” started on CBS. Has its move worked out for the CW the way it was hoped to? – Scott Davenport, Boynton Beach, Fla.

A: You’d have to assume so, since it’s been renewed for its third CW season (and its fourth season overall). It’s one of the top-rated attractions on its current network, and whenever The CW does one of the crossover stories that involves most of its DC Comics-inspired shows, “Supergirl” is where the saga starts. That wouldn’t happen if the network wasn’t pleased with the series’ performance.

Q: I’m surprised to see “Ransom” back with new episodes. Does that make sense? – Jack Spector, via e-mail

A: We aren’t often asked whether questions sent to us make sense, but we do understand in this case, since the CBS show didn’t exactly set the world – not the ratings – ablaze in its first round. The key to the show getting a second season on the network is that it’s very cost-effective; it’s an international co-production, with Hungary (where the series is filmed) and Canada being the main countries that foot the bill for it. Thus, CBS gets fresh programming for Saturday, a night where that hasn’t exactly flourished for broadcast networks for a number of years now.

Q: Please settle an argument. How many partners did John Steed have on “The Avengers”? – Harry Martin, Clermont, Fla.

A: Eight … and, with some, not always at different times. When the 1960s series began, Patrick Macnee’s Steed was teamed with Dr. David Keel, played by Ian Hendry. That first season was the only time Steed would have a male partner for an entire year of the show, since the second season alternated Jon Rollason as Dr. Martin King, Julie Stevens as singer and amateur spy Venus Smith, and – quite famously – Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale.

Blackman stayed for two seasons, until her commitment to a “little” movie called “Goldfinger” necessitated her departure from the show. Her character had set the formula for a reinvention of “The Avengers,” though, and that was continued (and, in the view of many, advanced) by the introduction of Diana Rigg as the iconic Emma Peel. Rigg also left the series to play (among other parts) the female lead in a James Bond adventure, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.’’

As Tara King, Linda Thorson succeeded Rigg, and while she was Steed’s last partner on “The Avengers,” he would have two more on the mid-1970s spinoff “The New Avengers.” That show found Steed working with Mike Gambit (Gareth Hunt) and Purdey (Joanna Lumley, who would reboot her career later in the comedic “Absolutely Fabulous”).

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 1722 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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