Mary McCormack is ‘Alright’ as a series star again

TV Pipeline

Mary McCormack

Q: “In Plain Sight” was one of my favorite shows. I was wondering what happened to Mary McCormack. I haven’t seen her in any other shows recently. – Steven Katzenmoyer, Fleetwood, Pa.

A: She and ABC probably won’t be happy to learn that. Since October, she’s been starring in the network’s 1970s-set sitcom “The Kids Are Alright,” playing a mom of eight sons. The show is based on the actual experiences of creator-producer Tim Doyle, and you’ll have many more chances to catch it in the coming weeks, since ABC has given it a full-season order.

Incidentally, after “In Plain Sight,” McCormack also appeared on several other series … including “Welcome to the Family,” “The Newsroom,” “House of Lies,” “Angie Tribeca” and “Falling Water.” Earlier this year, she played the older sister of Debra Messing’s Grace on NBC’s “Will & Grace.”

Hill Harper

Q: Please settle an argument. Was Hill Harper, of “The Good Doctor,” on one of the “CSI” shows before? – Tricia Boone, via e-mail

A: He was. Harper was a regular cast member on “CSI: NY” for its entire nine-season run on CBS, playing Dr. Sheldon Hawkes, whose expertise in medical investigation made him invaluable to his colleagues (including those played by Gary Sinise, Melina Kanakaredes and Sela Ward) as they relied on forensic evidence.

In-between those two shows, Harper was on CBS’ series spinoff of the Bradley Cooper movie “Limitless” for its single season, and he also had a guest arc on Showtime’s “Homeland” during its sixth year. Harper has become a noted author as well, his most recent of several books being “Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones.”

Q: Is “American Idol” coming back? – Patty Marks, Norman, Okla.

A: It is. The second season of the singing contest’s ABC revival is scheduled to begin airing on March 3, with Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie returning as judges – and, of course, Ryan Seacrest back as host. There will be a new addition, though: Bobby Bones, the disc jockey, comedian and author who recently won the 27th season of “Dancing With the Stars.” He appeared on “Idol” last season, but he’ll now be featured regularly as an “in-house mentor” to the contestants.

Q: I’ve enjoyed Connie Britton in “Dirty John.” I know she was on “Friday Night Lights” and “Nashville,” but has she done any other series? – Tom French, Providence, R.I.

A: She actually preceded Bravo’s “Dirty John” with a regular role in the first season of Fox’s “9-1-1,” and since the door was left open for her character to return, the show’s producers (including Ryan Murphy, for whom she also has worked on “American Horror Story” and “American Crime Story”) have expressed the hope that Britton will do just that before the drama’s current second season is over.

Britton’s other series work dates back to Ellen DeGeneres’ sitcom “Ellen” and the original Michael J. Fox era of “Spin City.” The other shows in which she’s had regular or recurring roles include “SMILF,” “The West Wing,” “24,” “The Fighting Fitzgeralds” and “Lost at Home.”

Q: I see that the newest version of “A Star Is Born” is getting a lot of award nominations. When will it be available for home viewing? – Louise Scott, via e-mail

A: The Bradley Cooper-Lady Gaga take on the classic story (in which Cooper also made his directing debut) will be available to watch from digital services starting Jan. 15, and its release on physical media (DVD, Blu-ray and 4K) plus On Demand will be on Feb. 19 – several days before the Oscars, in which the film also is expected to figure prominently.

A big bonus in all of the home-video editions will be three musical numbers that were cut from the theatrical version, comprising 10 minutes of extra material. Music videos of numbers that were in the movie from the start (including the hit “Shallow”) and a “making-of” documentary also will be provided as additional options for viewers of the physical discs.

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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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