‘Chew’ on weekday ABC show while you still can

TV Pipeline

Carla Hall of "The Chew."
Carla Hall of “The Chew.”

Q: A friend said she heard “The Chew” was canceled. Please say it’s not so. – Dayle Whitman, Deltona, Fla.

A: Sorry, we can’t. After seven seasons, ABC has decided to end the food-themed, Daytime Emmy-winning weekday program, though episodes are slated to remain on the air until September. At that point, the slot will be assumed by a third hour of “Good Morning America” (presumably with an altered title, since it won’t be morning then). Remaining “Chew” hosts Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Michael Symon have tweeted that while they look forward to new projects, they’ll miss the show and working together.

Nancy Travis and Tim Allen
Nancy Travis and Tim Allen in “Last Man Standing”

Q: What led to the decision to bring “Last Man Standing” back after it being gone for a year? – Judy Howell, via e-mail

A: This is one of those cases where we’re glad we hold to our “never say never” rule, especially since there was such an outcry from fans (as well as star Tim Allen) when ABC canceled the sitcom. A few factors account for this, not the least of which was the demonstration by “Roseanne” – before its own cancellation – of how strongly a series revival can perform if the fan base is still there.

Syndicated repeats of “Last Man Standing” have fared quite well, so one has to think that also went into the decision to bring the show back in first-run episodes. And it’s not a small matter that the series is made by 20th Century Fox Television, since with the Fox network bringing it back, the production costs and potential profits stay in the family (at least until a pending sale of part of the company possibly makes those entities not-as-close “relatives”).

Q: When will the second season of “Big Little Lies” be on? – Joyce Smith, Grove City, Ohio

A: It’s been in production for the past few months – with a very notable cast addition by the name of Meryl Streep – so we’d expect HBO to televise it in early-to-mid-2019. With the many awards the original drama won, and the presence of such other stars as returnees Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, the cable network undoubtedly wants to be able to show it as soon as possible.

Q: My neighbors and I are very distressed over the fact that “Designated Survivor” has been canceled. What happened? Is there a chance that it will be picked up somewhere else, like Netflix did with “Longmire”? – Nancy Dupree, via e-mail

A: To start with the last part, there actually have been conversations with Netflix – which streams the existing two seasons of the show internationally – about possibly keeping it going. Though the Kiefer Sutherland-starring drama began with great promise, earning particularly strong reviews for the pilot that saw Sutherland’s Tom Kirkman the lone survivor of the cabinet to assume the U.S. presidency, behind-the-scenes churn gave ABC pause about ordering a third season.

The series’ executive producers changed often, with each one bringing a different vision of what the show should be. It’s not hard to imagine that Netflix would want a guarantee of the creative team staying in place … and with that said, stay tuned.

Q: I’ve noticed that in the James Bond movies, Jack Lord played Felix Leiter first, but other actors had the role after that. Why didn’t he play the part again? – Bruce Hanley, Sinking Spring, Pa.

A: After he portrayed the CIA agent in “Dr. No,” later “Hawaii Five-O” star Lord reportedly was asked to return in “Goldfinger” (Leiter didn’t figure into the second movie, “From Russia With Love”), but he did himself out of the job in several ways. He wanted starring billing along with “Bond” himself, Sean Connery, as well as more screen time and a bigger salary.

That was enough for producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman to decide to recast the role, the first of a number of times when different actors were enlisted to be Leiter. The only actors to play the part more than once have been David Hedison and Jeffrey Wright, each of whom has done two 007 films.

Q: What has Susan Dey of “The Partridge Family” been doing lately? – Karen Dennis, Decatur, Ala.

A: Professionally, virtually nothing. Her last listed credit is the NBC series “Third Watch,” for which she did two episodes in 2004. Of course, Dey also had a long and successful run on “L.A. Law,” and a made-for-TBS 2002 movie titled “Disappearance” reunited her with Harry Hamlin (who had played her initial love interest on the legal drama). In her off-camera life, Dey is on the board of the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Medical Center.

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 1938 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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