Did ‘The Bachelorette’ lay down the law to Clare Crawley?


TV Pipeline

Clare Crawley

Q: Didn’t Clare Crawley sign a contract to be “The Bachelorette” for the entire season of the show? Couldn’t she be sued for breaking that? — Heather Ford, via e-mail

A: There certainly would have been some sort of contract since she essentially was the star of the ABC series during her run (no offense, Chris Harrison), but whether that stipulated that she had to remain for the entire time is another matter. All of the shows in the “Bachelor” franchise are based on emotion by definition, and as with others who have left early in the past (though, admittedly, they haven’t been the title star), it’s hard to order someone to stay if life takes an unforeseen path.

At the very least, it made fo a much-discussed television event, which is just what ABC wants “The Bachelorette” and any of its “cousin” shows to be. The network got what it needed out of the development, winning high ratings for that episode than for the season premiere — very possibly thanks to a much-played promo that saw Harrison inform Crawley, “You’ve just blown up ‘The Bachelorette.’ ”


Sean Connery

Q: I was disappointed not to see Sean Connery’s James Bond movies on television in the days following his death. Why was that? — Dan Jordan, Canton, Ohio

A: Actually, most of them were shown. At the time of the actor’s passing, EPIX already had a marathon of Bond films planned for the start of November, so titles including “Thunderball” and “You Only Live Twice” were televised. Also, BBC America ran a mini-marathon of Connery’s first three outings as Agent 007 — “Dr. No,” “From Russia With Love” and “Goldfinger” — but that was announced the day before it was shown, so it’s understandable that people may have missed that.

BBC America will run those movies again as part of another marathon Sunday, Nov. 29, that also features one title each of Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig in the role. (Wherefore art thou, George Lazenby?) and EPIX also has rights to other Connery titles through the end of the year, so those will have several more runs there soon. In fact, EPIX Hits has a couple of them on Saturday, Dec. 5.


Q: Steve Kornacki got a lot of attention for the way he worked the numbers board on Election Night and beyond. How long has he been with MSNBC? — John Whitman, via e-mail

A: For one indication of how prominent he became during that period, all you had to do was type “Steve” — not exactly an uncommon name — into Google, and he was the first one who came up. Kornacki has been with MSNBC since 2013 and has hosted several shows (including his own “Up With Steve Kornacki”), and he’s now NBC News’ national political correspondent. encompassing his present MSNBC duties.

As the first November night of tallying votes stretched across several subsequent days and nights, the hashtags #TrackingKornacki and #FreeSteveKornacki began to appear on social media, turning the anchor-reporter into something of a folk hero for the many hours he continued to man the board. Such attention typically translates into an expanded presence for the person in question, so don’t be surprised to see a lot more of Kornacki across NBC’s platforms in the coming weeks and months.


Q: I enjoy watching Suzanne Pleshette on reruns of “The Bob Newhart Show.” Did she have a series of her own? — Trish Stark, Gainesville, Fla.

A: After doing plenty of guest-star work in her pre-”Newhart” phase, she had her name in the title when “Suzanne Pleshette Is Maggie Briggs” aired in 1984. She played a reporter, but not for long, since the series only got a relative handful of episodes on the air before it was canceled.

Though it couldn’t really be called “her” show, Pleshette turned up several years later in the Aaron Spelling-produced student-nurse drama “Nightingales,” then she went on to play the grandmother of the main character (Mark Feuerstein) in the sitcom “Good Morning, Miami.” She also took a recurring role on “8 Simple Rules” after John Ritter’s passing, and made several appearances as Karen’s (Megan Mullally) mother on “Will & Grace” — the latter turning out to be her final TV part.


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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 2549 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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