The ‘Burden’ is on The CW, though probably not much longer


Kristin Kreuk

Q: I heard “Burden of Truth” is ending its run in Canada. Does that mean it will be ending in America, too? — Diane Post, via e-mail

A: The CW hadn’t weighed in on that officially at the time this column was written, but part of the appeal of running the show — in addition to continuing its relationship with star Kristin Kreuk, following “Smallville” and “Beauty and the Beast” — had to be its lesser cost to have and show the program, since the major funding was assumed by Canadian network CBC.

The CW was just licensing an already funded and completed project, and though it wouldn’t be impossible for it to step up and assume that cost, that doesn’t seem likely given “Burden’s” relatively modest ratings over its first three years. The series’ fourth and apparently final season should air in the U.S. this summer.

Chris Harrison

Q: Will Chris Harrison ever return to the “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” shows? — Maura Jeffries, Buffalo, N.Y.

A: He has stated that he hopes to, but as of this writing, whether he actually will remains to be seen. Following the racially themed controversy that saw him step away from the ABC franchise for at least a while — and that also saw most recent “Bachelor” Matt James break up with the woman he had chosen pre-controversy, Rachael Kirkconnell — two cycles of “The Bachelorette” are slated for later this year, to be hosted by two veterans of the title spot on that show, Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe. Fresh off James’ season of “The Bachelor,” Katie Thurston and Michelle Young will be this year’s new “Bachelorettes.”

Q: I’ve heard Kristin Chenoweth mention that she was on “The West Wing” for a while. Who did she play? — Jersey Locke, Bend, Ore.

A: We have to say that the high-energy stage and screen dynamo is hard to miss in anything, but in that NBC White House drama (now available for streaming on HBO Max), she spent the better part of two seasons as Deputy Press Secretary Annabeth Schott. After serving under President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet (Martin Sheen), she worked on the campaign of his eventual successor, Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits), and became press secretary to his wife (Teri Polo).

Q: I’ve been surprised not to see more movies on broadcast TV during the pandemic. Why is that? — Frank Rowell, Columbus, Ohio

A: There was more need for them to fill slots in the early phases of the health crisis, when production on series came to a virtual standstill and other programming was needed to fill in. Twice, CBS used titles from corporate cousin Paramount Pictures (“Titanic,” “Coming to America,” etc.) to revive the “Sunday Night at the Movies” franchise, and ABC made Wednesdays a home for features from parent company Disney for a time.

As weekly shows got back into production and turned out new episodes, movies weren’t needed as much, but they certainly came in handy when the need was there. Though “The Ten Commandments” was on ABC again recently, that was less pandemic-necessitated and much more a continuation of an annual tradition on that network.

Q: I saw that “The Drew Barrymore Show” has been renewed for a second season. Isn’t it early for that? Doesn’t that usually happen in May? — Joanne Douglas, via e-mail

A: Well, for starters, the events of the past year have altered much of what a “regular” TV calendar would be … though Barrymore’s syndicated weekday talk show did manage to start on time last September. Also, the calendar for syndicated programming works differently than that of network shows; when a show in the syndication market gets canceled, lots of local stations across the country have to make new plans for their lineups, which can take time in securing the related deals.

Thus, Barrymore’s renewal being announced in March took the heat off those stations, since they knew they wouldn’t have to seek replacement shows. The program also had earned that vote of confidence through increased ratings for the early months of this year, something that counts even more when so many more people are at home watching morning and afternoon TV.

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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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