CBS will stay ‘Equalizer’-ed for a while


Queen Latifah

Q: Will “The Equalizer” be back next season? — Peter Young, Reading, Pa.

A: It will … and the season after that, too, since CBS recently took the step of renewing it for two years at once. It wasn’t much of a surprise that the Queen Latifah-starring crime-drama reboot got an order for at least one more year, since not only has it performed strongly in ratings terms, but a change in the series’ producers was announced shortly before that. Particularly at that point in the television year, there’s not much need to do that if the show in question isn’t returning.

Q: How did the makers of “This Is Us” keep Miguel’s death a secret before that episode got on the air? — Cindy Barker, via email

A: Credit it to a cast and crew (and network executives, who would have known what wax coming) that respected the NBC drama’s process throughout its six-year run, which meant not giving up surprises that were meant to catch the audience off-guard. That certainly was the intention with Miguel’s (Jon Huertas) passing in the show’s fourth-to-last episode, designed to send the message to viewers that even though the series was in its home stretch then, executive producer Dan Fogelman and his team still had some shockers up their collective sleeves.

Jon Huertas

Q: I was sorry to learn from Turner Classic Movies’ recent tribute night that Yvette Mimieux had passed. What was the last movie she made? — Allison Carter, via email

A: In feature-film terms, it goes all the way back to 1985 and a drama titled “The Fascination,” which also starred Max von Sydow and Steve McQueen’s son Chad. However, her final acting credit was the 1992 television miniseries “Lady Boss,” adapted from a Jackie Collins novel. After that, Mimieux retired from acting and took up a business venture selling items with Haitian-inspired designs. She later went into real estate, and she also took up painting in the years prior to her death last January, a week after she turned 80.

Q: How did Whoopi Goldberg manage to take so much time off from “The View” recently? — Jane Carmichael, Norman, Okla.

A: As she said upon her return to the weekday ABC program (for which she’s currently Daytime Emmy-nominated, along with her regular co-hosts), the Oscar winner still likes to be able to go off and do an acting project if one appeals to her. That’s what happened during her time away from the show in April, when she was in Scotland filming the forthcoming Prime Video version of Neil Gaiman’s book “Anansi Boys.”

We suspect Goldberg has it in her “View” contract that she can take such absences, along with her absences from the table virtually every Friday. Goldberg also needed some days to film her reprise of the “Star Trek”-franchise part of Guinan in the second Paramount+ season of “Picard,” which title star Patrick Stewart invited her to do during an appearance on “The View.”

Q: Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore always seem very familiar with each other when one is on the other’s talk show. Didn’t they make a movie together? — Kim Phelps, Wheeling, W. Va.

A: They did, indeed. It was the baseball-themed 2005 comedy “Fever Pitch,” and it (and Barrymore) also played a major role in Fallon’s personal life. During the shoot, he got to know Barrymore’s production partner, Nancy Juvonen — who married Fallon in 2007. (They had met earlier, briefly and casually, at “Saturday Night Live.”) They have two daughters, and Barrymore obviously has remained a very close friend of the couple.

Q: It’s nice to see Meg Ryan coming back into the spotlight as the director and star of an upcoming movie. Didn’t she begin her career in television? — Alan South, via email

A: Though she had roles in the movies “Rich and Famous” and “Amityville 3-D” early on, Ryan did get a big start in TV, appearing on “Wildside” (on which she was the female lead) and “Charles in Charge” as well as in an ABC “Afterschool Special.” She arguably got the most attention during that period as Betsy on the serial “As the World Turns,” then things moved fast for her movie-wise, starting with her 1986 part as Goose’s (Anthony Edwards) wife in “Top Gun.” Ryan’s film “What Happens Later,” which also stars David Duchovny, is being planned for a 2023 release.

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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.

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