It’s still ‘Elementary’: CBS mystery starts final season soon

TV Pipeline

Jonny Lee Miller

Q: Will “Elementary” ever return? – Pat Whitsel, Leavittsburg, Ohio

A: Yes, for a seventh and final round. CBS’ modern Holmes-and-Watson interpretation will play out the rest of its episodes on Thursdays when it begins its last season May 23, with the detective partners portrayed by Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu now based in London — as a salute to the characters’ roots — and assisting Scotland Yard. James Frain, seen lately on CBS All Access’ “Star Trek: Discovery,” will join the cast as a foe who gives the sleuths particular trouble.

Britt Robertson

Q: I know I’ve seen Britt Robertson of “For the People” on a series before. What else has she done on television? – Dave March, via e-mail

A: The actress has been up to bat as a series star several times before. After a recurring role (as “Brittany” Robertson) on the 1970s-set CBS drama “Swingtown,” she had the central role in The CW’s critically acclaimed but low-rated “Life Unexpected.”

The CW then kept her on board for the supernatural-themed drama “The Secret Circle,” and an otherworldly quality also informed Robertson’s subsequent series … “Under the Dome,” which had three summer seasons on CBS. However, she only was in the first two; during production of the last one, she was busy working on the Disney feature film “Tomorrowland” with George Clooney.

Just before she was signed for “For the People,” Robertson had the lead role in “Girlboss,” a fact-inspired Netflix show that lasted for one 13-episode season.

Q: I love watching “Last Man Standing.” I was wondering why the original Mandy is no longer with the show. – Jerry Allen, Decatur, Ind.

A: After ABC canceled the sitcom, actress Molly Ephraim made other commitments – as many actors will do when a job appears to have ended – and those ultimately prevented her from returning a year later when Fox decided to revive the Tim Allen-starring series.

That’s why the part was recast with Molly McCook (a daughter of “The Bold and the Beautiful” veteran John McCook and “Battlestar Galactica” alum Laurette Spang), leading to Tim Baxter’s (Allen) joke in the first new episode last fall that something seemed different about Mandy. Ephraim’s post-“Standing” projects have included roles in the shows “Brockmire” and “Halt and Catch Fire,” and she also was in director Jason Reitman’s movie “The Front Runner.”

Q: Is Hallmark Channel ever bringing back “Chesapeake Shores” and “Good Witch”? – Barb Alspaugh, Grand Junction, Colo.

A: You’ll be glad to know the answer is “Yes” in both cases. The Hallmark mainstay “Good Witch” will be the first one back, with its fifth season slated to start May 5, and with Catherine Bell (who’s also done a number of “Good Witch” TV movies) continuing her role as the rather magical Cassie.

The fourth round of “Chesapeake Shores” is scheduled for this summer – a premiere date hadn’t been given at the time of this writing – and though it will have only six episodes, whereas each of the previous seasons had four more, the drama (which stars Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalfe and Treat Williams) also is getting a spinoff movie. There could be additional life for “Shores” in a different form, then, going forward.

Q: Please settle an argument. Wasn’t there a spinoff of the original version of “Dynasty,” and didn’t Charlton Heston star in it? – Angela Garfield, via e-mail

A: There was, and he did. The Aaron Spelling-produced mid-1980s ABC drama “The Colbys” initially sported “Dynasty II” as part of its title, and the main links between the two shows were Jeff Colby (played by John James, who moved from the parent show to the spinoff) and his ex-wife Fallon (portrayed by Emma Samms at that point).

Heston played Jason Colby, a wealthy man with loads of family problems, in the mold of “Dynasty’s” Blake Carrington (John Forsythe, who made crossover appearances). Barbara Stanwyck (who very vocally wanted out after Season 1), Katharine Ross, Stephanie Beacham, Maxwell Caulfield and Tracy Scoggins also were principals in the “Colbys” cast, but the show lasted only two years. James and Samms then went back to the original “Dynasty,” followed by Beacham and Scoggins.

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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.

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