Here comes another television ‘Rookie’


Niecy Nash-Betts

Q: Is the two-part episode of “The Rookie” that starred Niecy Nash becoming a show of its own? — Rob Kendall, Grand Junction, Colo.

A: It is, and it even has a premiere date. ABC is scheduled to debut “The Rookie: Feds” — starring Niecy Nash-Betts, as she’s now billing herself — as a weekly Tuesday entry on Sept. 27. The premise has her character as the oldest rookie in the FBI Academy, a parallel to the situation of Nathan Fillion’s character on the Los Angeles police force in the parent show (which is slated to begin its new season Sept. 25). Britt Robertson (“Under the Dome,” “Life Unexpected”) has been added to the “Feds” cast.

Q: I’ve been enjoying “Hacks.” Since Season 2 ended with a cliffhanger, will there be a Season 3? — Joy Kane, via email

A: There will, which really is not much of a surprise, given the acclaim the HBO Max show received for both of its first two seasons (encompassing a Primetime Emmy Award for star Jean Smart). However, with that being said, some of the networks under the recently merged Warner Bros. Discovery channels have been making unexpected moves lately — so nothing really is a sure bet there until it’s announced. The tide has gone in the favor of “Hacks” since it premiered, though, so its renewal seemed to be only a formality.

Jean Smart

Q: I heard there will be a new version of “L.A. Law.” When will it be on? — Gary Hill, Clovis, Calif.

A: Unfortunately, it won’t. Blair Underwood, who played Jonathan Rollins on the original NBC series, was a driving force behind a proposed revival for ABC … which ultimately passed on the project. Corbin Bernsen also would have returned in his role as Arnold Becker, and fellow original cast member Jill Eikenberry had signed up to play Ann Kelsey again.

Apart from the name value and the original show’s celebrated history, making it even more surprising that a new “L.A. Law” wasn’t ordered is the fact that it would have come from 20th Television, now a cousin of ABC under the Disney umbrella. Networks are very big on ownership of their series these days, and that largely would have been fulfilled in this case by the corporate connection between ABC and 20th.

Q: I remember there being seven von Trapp children in “The Sound of Music.” On the recent American Film Institute tribute to Julie Andrews, only five of them were there, where were the other two? — Pam Barber, via email

A: Sadly, they have passed away. Charmian Carr, who played Liesl (and was the sister of fellow actresses Shannon Farnon and Darleen Carr), died in 2016. And Heather Menzies, alias Louisa in the 1965 screen classic, died the next year; she was the wife of the late television staple Robert Urich (“Vega$,” “S.W.A.T.”).

Q: Is it true that there will be more of “Schmigadoon!”? — Casey Reynolds, Glen Burnie, Md.

A: Yes. It took a while after the musical-comedy’s original season ended — perhaps so its makers could determine how many of the original players they could get back — but Apple TV+ finally renewed the critically acclaimed show for a sophomore round. Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key are set to reprise the central roles, with recent Oscar winner (and Tony host) Ariana DeBose, Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Jane Krakowski and Alan Cumming among the other cast members who have signed up to return. Tituss Burgess is among the scheduled additions for Season 2.

Q: Turner Classic Movies recently had a night of Western movies directed by Sam Peckinpah, the earliest of which was “Ride the High Country.” Was that his first movie? — Ken Barker, via email

A: Actually, it was his second. After directing episodes of such series as “The Rifleman” (for which he also wrote the premiere), Peckinpah moved to the big screen with 1961’s “The Deadly Companions,” yet another Western (with Maureen O’Hara and Brian Keith, who also starred together in the Disney film “The Parent Trap” the same year). Westerns were Peckinpah’s mainstay during the 1960s, but he also got contemporary in that decade by helming such TV shows as “Route 66” and “ABC Stage 67.”

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