Hallmark Channel is loving ‘Lucy’ again

TV Pipeline

Q: Why did Hallmark Channel suddenly take off “I Love Lucy” without any notice? – Jim Walters, Rutherford, N.J.

A: The show’s, and the channel’s, fan base certainly noticed that change – and the not-too-happy reaction had to have been anticipated by Hallmark, which then responded by returning the classic sitcom to the weekday schedule with a block of four repeats each morning. However, be aware that it will “disappear” for a while again soon, since the annual Hallmark festival of Christmas movies that runs almost 24/7 is coming and will continue through the end of the year.

However, the “Lucy” faithful who receive the nostalgia channel Decades also can find the show there, with back-to-back repeats every weekday morning (followed by the same treatment given to Lucille Ball’s subsequent “Lucy Show”). Hallmark evidently did listen to the very vocal devotees of “I Love Lucy,” and since it’s back there at least for now, they can rest easy and put the Vitameatavegamin back on the shelf.

Q: Was the person who played Jennie Garth’s daughter on “BH90210” her real daughter? – Christie Shaw, via e-mail

A: No, though the eldest of her three daughters – Luca Bella, whose father is actor Peter Facinelli – is an actress. On the Fox show, Garth’s fictional daughter Kyler was played by Karis Cameron, a Canadian performer who also had a leading role recently in the Lifetime movie “Identity Theft of a Cheerleader.” Additionally, she appeared on “UnREAL” and was a star of the drama series “Open Heart,” made in her native country (where “BH90210” also ended up being made).

Q: When will “Criminal Minds” be back? – Jack Hayes, Delta, Colo.

A: CBS wants to give the crime drama its last hurrah by letting its 15th and final season run without pre-emptions, so it’s likely to be back for its final stand early in the new year – unless the fates and fortunes of the fall season create a reason to move that up. Executive producer Erica Messer has said that the last season is “more serialized” than the show has been in the past, though it has had multiple-part stories and continuing arcs for the regular characters.

Production of the series was completed in early summer, so it’s now just a matter of CBS scheduling the concluding stories. In the meantime, repeats from past seasons continue on Ion Television and WE tv. Several of the seasons also can be found on certain cable systems’ On Demand service.

Q: With all the hype surrounding the 25th anniversary of “Friends,” will there be any sort of reunion special? – Sarah Powell, via e-mail

A: Not if you go by what the show’s creators and executive producers say. At a recent New York television-festival panel marking the ever-popular sitcom’s quarter-century milestone, Marta Kauffman said one reason for abstaining from revisiting the series was that it wouldn’t “beat what we did.” David Crane added that in trying to do it again now, it “would just have a different DNA.”

During the panel session, Kevin S. Bright joked, “I think we should do a reboot” … but Kaufman and Crane’s resistance to tackling “Friends” anew covered that possibility, too. Thus, fans will have to settle for the repeats that they know and love so well.

Q: What ever happened to Alec Baldwin’s talk show? – Alice Raines, Columbiana, Ohio

A: If you mean the one he did briefly for ABC last year, and not the preceding one he had for a short while on MSNBC, “The Alec Baldwin Show” ended not all that long after it began. The series had a tryout airing following the 2018 Oscars, then was given a Sunday slot for the following fall. After less than a month, though, it was put on a one-month hiatus and given a new Saturday period.

That also lasted only about a month before ABC made the decision to pull the show for good, and a couple of episodes that had been taped never made it onto the air. However, Baldwin has remained in business with the network, as proven by the latest season of the “Match Game” revival that he hosted (and also produced) over the summer.

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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 2281 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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