Missing Amy Poehler? Fear not: She’s coming back

TV Pipeline

Q: I miss seeing Amy Poehler on television regularly. Does she have anything coming up? – Erin Strong, Port Orange, Fla.

Poehler initiated with co-host (and fellow “Parks and Recreation” alum) Nick Offerman – will return in a concentrated form, with several episodes airing over two weeks starting Dec. 2 and partially incorporating a holiday theme.

Then in the new year, Poehler’s touch will be seen even if she’s only heard in an animated Fox sitcom. She’s a co-creator of “Duncanville,” in which she voices two characters in the saga of a teenager and his overprotective mother … both of whose words will be spoken by Poehler. Rashida Jones, yet another veteran of “Parks and Recreation,” and Wiz Khalifa also are in the voice cast.

Q: I’m a big Jimmy Smits fan. How is “Bluff City Law” doing? – Mark Hyde, via e-mail

A: Unfortunately for Smits and his colleagues, the show won’t be doing much of anything soon. The Memphis-set NBC drama started out with promise, since the network ordered additional scripts before it premiered … but after four airings, it was announced that there wouldn’t be more scripts sanctioned after the initial 10, which will play out on the air at the end of this month.

NBC isn’t using the word “canceled,” maintaining that the series still could be renewed when next season’s lineup is announced in May, but let’s face it: When a much-promoted fall starter is allowed to run out just two months later, that is not a great prognosis for its future. The good news for fans of Emmy winner Smits is that he’s still a proven TV star who eventually comes back, even by joining such shows as “Dexter” and “Sons of Anarchy,” so he’ll inevitably return in some manner.

Q: Is the character Ziva really gone from “NCIS” again, after being back for only two episodes? – Paul Gore, Wheeling, W. Va.

A: She’ll make another return, since Cote de Pablo signed to come back for a total of four episodes of the globally popular CBS drama. It’s suspected in some corners that her next appearance will be used to bring viewers back – not that that’s ever really a problem for the traditionally high-rated show — when it takes a hiatus from new stories over the holiday period, meaning that she also would turn up on the series again early in the new year.

Q: How many different hosts has “The View” had? – Trisha Gray, Rutherford, N.J.

A: We’re going to keep this to full-timers who have been on the ABC show, minus those who have filled in relatively briefly along the way. When the weekday program began in 1997, the panel consisted of Barbara Walters (also “The View’s” creator and still one of its executive producers, though she left the on-air panel in 2014). Meredith Vieira, Joy Behar (who left, then returned two years later), Star Jones and Debbie Matenopoulos.

Lisa Ling became the first replacement when Matenopoulos left after the first two years, then she was replaced in turn by Elisabeth Hasselbeck. After that came (in turn) Rosie O’Donnell (who also left and then returned, for one season), Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jenny McCarthy, Nicolle Wallace, Rosie Perez, Raven-Symone, Michelle Collins, Candace Cameron Bure, Paula Faris, Jedediah Bila, Sara Haines, Sunny Hostin, Meghan McCain and Abby Huntsman. The current “View” group consists of Behar, Goldberg, Hostin, McCain and Huntsman.

Q: I’m excited to hear that “The West Wing” will be on the new HBO Max service. When does that start? – Tom Becker, via e-mail

A: As of this writing, the streaming service is targeted to open for business next spring, with no specific date yet mentioned. Since some reports have said that “The West Wing” will “launch” on HBO Max, it should be specified that those are the already televised episodes of the original show that starred Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford and Allison Janney, among many others, and not a new reboot of the Aaron Sorkin-created White House drama.

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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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