Is Jesse Williams gone from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ for good?



TV PIPELINE

Jesse Williams

Q: Has Jesse Williams really left “Grey’s Anatomy” permanently? — Sherry Brown, via e-mail

A: It’s always inadvisable to give a blanket “yes” as an answer to such a question where that long-running ABC medical drama is concerned, given how many former cast members have returned to it lately … if only for one episode. Just look at the fact that Sarah Drew, who thought for a very long time that she wouldn’t be going back to the show, turned up again as April Kepner in the episode that set up the exit of Williams’ Jackson Avery.

Now that the characters are relocating together to Boston with their young daughter, the rumor mill is in action about a possible spinoff show featuring them. Drew (who also has appeared on Freeform’s “Cruel Summer”) has given the impression that she would be up for such a job, and time will tell whether that comes to be. In the meantime, it wouldn’t shock us if Williams returns to “Greys” for at least a guest appearance if story circumstances call for it.


Jill Wagner

Q: Why is TBS running repeats of the original “Wipeout” while it’s also showing a new version? — Larry Wolf, Buffalo, N.Y.

A: They’re probably deemed to be (as well as entertainment in their own right) promotional vehicles for the new edition, since at this point, there’s only a relative handful of episodes of the edition that started in April. Whoever the host might be of any given hour, the obstacle course really is the “star” of that series, making the reruns timeless in a sense.

Those repeats are interesting for additional reasons now. Jill Wagner, who originated the “sideline reporter” role on “Wipeout,” has become a staple of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries projects. And Vanessa Lachey (who succeeded her, though Wagner came back later) has been tapped to star in the “NCIS: Hawaii” spinoff that will premiere next season on CBS.


Q: I was sorry to see Kenneth Moton leave as co-anchor of ABC’s “World News Now.” Why did he? — Roger Crane, via e-mail

A: Several factors came into play, a very big one being that Moton now is based in Washington, D.C., professionally as an ABC News correspondent. He also lives there, and as much as he may have enjoyed the freedom that the overnight “World News Now” slot gave him (and with his vast sense of humor, he took great advantage of that), there has to be a huge appeal to working closer to home and not having to make the weekly commute to New York for work.

Also, as much as one might adjust to them after a while, those very late or very early (depending on how you look at them) hours can be toll-taking for a broadcaster over the long haul. A long and distinguished parade of talents has passed through that particular co-anchor job, many of them also staying with ABC News in other capacities afterward (see: David Muir, Janai Norman and Diane Macedo). Additional “World News Now” alums include CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Kendis Gibson, now of MSNBC.


Q: I love watching “Adam-12” reruns, but I cannot seem to locate Kent McCord on any social media. What has he been up to? — Susan Kurucz, Saint Clairsville, Ohio

A: Shocking, yes? That a personality might not have any social-media footprint? It happens, but not often. A former director and national vice president of the Screen Actors Guild, McCord has pretty much been out of the public eye for the past two decades. His last listed credit is the 2002 comedy movie “Run Ronnie Run!,” and in the decade before that, he did guest roles on “JAG,” “seaQuest DSV” and “Farscape.” He also has been known for his presence at virtually every Indianapolis 500 since he first attended the auto race in 1970.

Interestingly, McCord might have had additional work with “Adam-12” executive producer Jack Webb, had fate not intervened. The latter was going to revive the classic role of police detective Joe Friday in another “Dragnet” series in the early 1980s, with McCord as his new partner … but Webb passed away before any of the episodes could be made. (“Law & Order” mentor Dick Wolf later steered a “Dragnet” reboot in 2003-04, with Ed O’Neill in the Joe Friday part.)


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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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