Q: I’m happy to hear that Kyra Sedgwick will have a new series next season, What’s it about? — Kayla Thorne, Providence, R.I.
A: Oh, about 30 minutes. OK, OK, a little scheduling humor there … but what might not be as amusing is that though it initially was planned as a fall starter for ABC, the network has decided to delay its premiere until later in the season. Instead, “black-ish” — which was going to return later — will go into that Wednesday slot for fall, whenever “fall” turns out to be for broadcast television this time. Based on statements from ABC executives, the switch largely has to do with wanting to get new “black-ish” episodes on the air as soon as possible, given the current social climate that those will be virtually certain to address.
Sedgwick’s new sitcom, “Call Your Mother,” casts her as a woman who doesn’t adjust well to being on her own now that her children are grown and leading their own lives far away from her. She decides she still needs to have a big role with them, so we’ll see how the show handles the inevitable travel scenes, given current times.
Q: Was Teri Hatcher still on “Desperate Housewives” when she made the James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies”? — Peter Sanders, via e-mail
A: Actually, she was several years away from starting that series, but she had just finished another one. She had just wrapped up a four-season run as Lois Lane on “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” in 1997 when she took on the role of Agent 007’s (Pierce Brosnan) ex-flame Paris Carver — married to his then-latest enemy, a media mogul (Jonathan Pryce) bent on starting World War III to stoke readership and viewership of his properties, in that year’s Bond caper.
There are several interesting notes about Hatcher’s casting in “Tomorrow Never Dies.” She was three months pregnant when she made the movie; two-time Emmy winner Sela Ward tested for the role and reportedly was told she was wanted for it, but 10 years younger; and another actress who tried out for the part was Monica Bellucci, who eventually would get her Bond shot almost 30 years later opposite Daniel Craig in “Spectre.”
Q: I’ve been watching repeats of “Las Vegas” on E! Entertainment Television. Was the show actually filmed in Las Vegas? — Doug Miller, Grand Junction, Colo.
A: Some of it was, particularly in the early going. However, the complexities of trying to make a weekly TV series in a working casino that catered to its patrons virtually around the clock became evident. Thus, soon after the pilot episode, sets for the show (originally televised by NBC) were built back in Southern California so that the crew could have more control over the environment.
Those sets for the fictional Montecito Resort and Casino basically copied the set-up at Vegas’ Mandalay Bay, which was used heavily along with the Monte Carlo to get the series up and running. However, those who know the city well have pointed out that because of differing outdoor perspectives offered by filmed-on-location exterior shots over the drama’s five seasons, the Montecito sometimes appeared to … eh, “move.”
Q: It was nice to see Miles O’Brien back on CNN for the recent SpaceX launch. What else has he been doing lately? — Joyce Farr, via e-mail
A: With science and technology as his main reporting beat, he has been affiliated mainly with “PBS NewsHour” in that capacity for the past decade. However, he continues to work with CNN principally as an aviation analyst, a job he comes by naturally since he has been a private pilot himself for more than 30 years.
A winner of accolades including regional Emmys and a Peabody Award, O’Brien is the owner of his own production company, and he also has contributed to such PBS programs as “Nova” and “Frontline,” but his journalistic pursuits have come at a personal price. In 2014, a case containing television equipment fell on his left forearm, resulting in damage that led to amputation above the elbow. He now serves on the board of the Amputee Coalition.
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