Q: Is “New Amsterdam” ever coming back? I thought it was doing well.– Dennis Reed, Providence, R.I.
A: It is, and it is. The New York-based NBC hospital drama that stars Ryan Eggold had its start of production on its newest season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, like so many other shows, but its third round will begin in the series’ customary Tuesday slot on March 2. It wasn’t a coincidence that the network scheduled the Canadian pickup “Nurses” there while waiting for new “New Amsterdam,” since it wanted a similarly themed drama to keep that hour warm.
Q: Why have there been so many repeats of “This Is Us” lately? — Sue Whitaker, via e-mail
A: Frankly, production ran behind, so the NBC show’s cast and crew needed time to catch up. That’s never an ideal situation — particularly not when the last new episode had ended with a cliffhanger, namely Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) car accident — and it likely was frustrating for many fans when what was meant to be a two-week delay ultimately went longer, such are the realities of making television, though … and also of making it safely, particularly given the times we’re in.
Q: I was sorry to hear of the passing of Cloris Leachman, I know she was on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and her own show “Phyllis,” but what was her first TV series? — Jane Rogers, Worthington, Ohio
A: The Oscar winner and eight-time Emmy winner (between Primetime and Daytime Emmys) did an enormous amount of work during a career that lasted more than 70 (!) years, but the first show on which she was something of a regular was the late-1940s ABC anthology “Actor’s Studio.” In one of that network’s very first series, she and such other then-stars-to-be as Eva Marie Saint, E.G. Marshall, Martin Balsam and Richard Boone played a variety of roles in different stories.
Leachman’s first continuing role on a series that wasn’t anthological in nature was on “Lassie” in the late 1950s. She was the original Ruth Martin, a part assumed later (and for a much longer run) by June Lockhart.
Q: Since we now have “The Masked Singer” and “The Masked Dancer,” are there other “Masked” shows to come? — Brian Shaw, Cheektowaga, N.Y.
A: Far be it from us to throw cold water on that notion, especially since Fox is having such ratings success with that franchise. One thing to keep in mind is how rigorous those shows can be for the guests who wear the costumes, as Brian Austin Green — who’s had involvement in both shows — has pointed out.
For “Dancer,” it takes learning and executing true choreography to pull off the job, and there’s the added challenge of doing that whale being “masked.” That requires real commitment on the disguised celebrities’ part … so, “The Masked Acrobat”? Something like that would be tough, but we’d never say it couldn’t happen.
Q: Why does “To Tell the Truth” have only three celebrity panelists instead of four now? — Liz Williams, via e-mail
A: It’s the ABC program’s nod to social distancing. Just by doing the math, having three people instead of four in the same space gives more room to those who are there. A sufficient number of panelists still is on hand to determine which of three contestants is telling the truth about who they are, since host Anthony Anderson’s “Mama Doris” also gets to weigh in with what she thinks. (And as anyone who watched the show knows, she does not hesitate to do just that.)
Q: News of the upcoming “Sex and the City” sequel series made me think of the prequel, “The Carrie Diaries.” Who starred in that? — Erin Wade, Fruita, Colo.
A: AnnaSophia Robb played the younger incarnation of Carrie Bradshaw in that series, which had a two-season run on The CW (2013-14). The only other “Sex and the City” character who had a major place in that show was Samantha Jones, portrayed by Lindsey Gort (who’s currently a regular on CBS’ “All Rise”). Whether there’s any reference to Samantha in the forthcoming HBO Max continuation titled “And Just Like That …” remains to be seen, since her “Sex and the City” portrayer Kim Cattrall is not returning for it.