Q: After watching “Hawaii Five-0” recently, the announcer said the final episodes would start the next week. Has the show been canceled, or is it just for a spring break? — Bob Cooper, East Liverpool, Ohio
A: It’s for good. After 10 seasons, the CBS reboot of the police drama is ending its run April 3. While a lot of actors and characters have come and gone (and sometimes come back) over the show’s decade, Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan have been there from the start as the latest Steve McGarrett and Danny Williams, and they’ll be on hand for the finale — as will some others who have made their marks along the way, including Mark Dacascos as villain Wo Fat.
Q: I recently saw “Tootsie” again, and I was wondering if the soap opera in it was meant to spoof any actual show. — Ann Hedley, via e-mail
A: “Southwest General” was meant to be a humorous composite of various daytime serials, particularly since hospitals have been such a common setting for such dramas — certainly including “General Hospital” and the long-defunct “The Doctors.” There has been many a wild twist on such shows over the years, making it maybe not so far-fetched when Dustin Hoffman’s Michael Dorsey moves to end his charade as “Dorothy Michaels” by improvising the background of his/her character Emily Kimberly during a live telecast.
Q: When will the new “thirtysomething” series be on? — Janet Rhodes, Fair Oaks, Calif.
A: Likely at some point next season, particularly since ABC has the casting of its younger generation pretty much set. Odette Annable and Chris Wood, both alums of “Supergirl,” and Patrick Fugit (“Almost Famous”) are among those who will be in the sequel, titled “thirtysomething(else).”
Also worth noting is the signing of Melanie Mayron (one of television’s most active directors in recent years) and Polly Draper to reprise their roles from the original series, joining fellow returnees Ken Olin (an executive producer and frequent director of NBC’s “This Is Us”), Patricia Wettig (the real-life Ms. Olin), Timothy Busfield (currently on ABC’s “For Life”) and Mel Harris. Peter Horton, now a member of the creative team of NBC’s “New Amsterdam,” won’t be back — at least not as a regular cast member — for a reason that anyone who knows “thirtysomething” knows, his alter ego Gary’s death.
Q: In looking up how many versions of “Shaft” there have been, it looks like there also was a TV series about the character. Is that true? — Ron Hoffman, Grand Junction, Colo.
A: There had been three “Shaft” feature films starring Richard Roundtree when CBS ordered several TV-movies about the private detective, with Roundtree reprising the role, for “The New CBS Tuesday Night Movies” during the 1973-74 season. Seven such stories were made, and they alternated with James Stewart in the law drama “Hawkins” in that slot. The big-screen version of Shaft was watered down somewhat for broadcast-television purposes, though Roundtree was able to restore the grittiness by returning in the 2000 and 2019 movie takes on “Shaft.”
Q: Why is Hallmark Channel still running Christmas movies on Friday nights? — Colleen Draper, via e-mail
A: As proven again during the past holiday season, the channel does particularly big business with its yuletide films — even if some of the same titles are repeated time and again — so keeping them in a weekly slot out of season is a way to keep that momentum going throughout the year. Hallmark has done “Christmas in July” weeks and months in the past, so it’s something that’s been attempted before, though this is the first time it’s being tried on a year-round basis.
Q: With “Criminal Minds” now over, will Joe Mantegna be back for the National Memorial Day Concert this year? — Steve Murray, Clermont, Fla.
A: It’s his absolute intention, as he confirmed for us recently. Participation in the annual event televised by PBS has been a tradition for Tony Award winner Mantegna, a strong supporter of and advocate for the U.S. military, since he first appeared as a guest. He became a host of the concert in 2006, often sharing those duties with longtime friend Gary Sinise, though actress Mary McCormack joined him last year.