It’s almost time to get ‘Lost in Space’ again

TV Pipeline

Q: Will Netflix ever show the second season of the reboot of “Lost in Space”? – Adam Cage, via e-mail

A: It will, and you can look at it as sort of a Christmas present, since the streaming service will debut it on Dec. 24. If you so choose, then, you can spend Christmas Eve watching all 10 of the new episodes – which promise more spectacular special effects, more scheming by this version’s iteration of Dr. Smith (played by Parker Posey), and more unpredictability on the part of Robot once the planet-stranded Robinson family reunites with it. (That’s not a spoiler: The trailer for Season 2 clearly shows young Will, portrayed by Maxwell Jenkins, back in Robot’s presence.)

Q: Please settle a bet. Did John Travolta ever do another series besides “Welcome Back, Kotter”? – Susan Meyers, Buffalo, N.Y.

A: Well, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (2016) – in which he played defense attorney Robert Shapiro — is in his relatively recent past, but other than that and the 1976 TV movie “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” his other television work has been in series guest shots. Pre-“Kotter,” he appeared on such shows as “Emergency!” and “The Rookies,” and he turned up on his “Look Who’s Talking” co-star Kirstie Alley’s sitcom “Kirstie” several years ago.

Travolta had an interesting run with “Kotter,” since his movie mega-success with “Saturday Night Fever” (followed soon afterward by “Grease”) came right in the middle of it. His opportunities then became such that it was only a matter of time before he would leave the show, and that happened in Season 4. He continued the role of Vinnie Barbarino in early episodes, but he was gone by the season’s midpoint (presumably to work on “Urban Cowboy,” which was released the following summer).

Q: I remember that Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper reunited for a movie about their Mary and Rhoda characters some time after both “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda” ended. When was that made? – Joan McKay, via e-mail

A: Simply titled “Mary and Rhoda,” the film was shown in 2000 by ABC (though the original shows were done for CBS). Mary was a widow and Rhoda was a two-time divorcee … the latter’s first divorce having happened during the run of “Rhoda.” Bethany Joy Lenz, later of “One Tree Hill” and “Pearson” and numerous cable movies, had a notable early role (billed as “Joie Lenz”) as Mary’s daughter; Marisa Ryan (“Major Dad”) played Rhoda’s offspring.

Q: On “Family Feud,” there are five contestants on each side. The group that wins can win $20,000 and a new car. Does each of the five people win each item? If not, how in the world do they share the car? – Pat Peanosky, Marinette, Wis.

A: Well, there’s this chainsaw that allows you to divide a car into five parts, and … OK, we’ll be serious. The group gets whatever amount of money they end up with at the end of the game, and one car if they win that. After that, to use a somewhat ingracious phrase, what they decide to do with their winnings is “their problem” (though it’s a good problem to have). Such matters of sharing don’t necessarily always run smoothly, but undoubtedly, host Steve Harvey is happy to leave that to others once he’s awarded the prizes and left the set.

Q: What was the name of the show that starred Gina Gershon as the head of a private-detective agency? – Chris Darrow, Bexley, Ohio

A: That was “Snoops,” which had a relatively brief run on ABC in the fall of 1999. It was an effort by producer David E. Kelley, whose main beat had been law shows (“The Practice,” “Ally McBeal”), to step into the mystery genre … but it lost ratings steam quickly and was canceled with three of its 13 produced episodes never aired in America, though they were shown abroad.

A much longer run of sorts has been enjoyed by two of the show’s other stars, Paula Marshall and Danny Nucci. Having also appeared together in the 1997 movie “That Old Feeling,” they’ve been married since 2003, and they have a daughter.

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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 2542 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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