Patrick Stewart’s ‘Star Trek’ return will lift off in the new year


TV Pipeline


Q: When is the “Star Trek” series that brings back Patrick Stewart as Picard supposed to start? – Greg Cook, via e-mail

A: CBS All Access is planning on an early-2020 debut for the show, which will be titled — of all things – “Star Trek: Picard.” Some other characters and actors celebrated for their earlier places in the “Trek” canon also will make appearances on the series, including fellow “Star Trek: The Next Generation” veterans Brent Spiner (alias Commander Data), Jonathan Frakes (Commander William T. Riker) and Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi), as well as Jeri Ryan (“Star Trek: Voyager’s” Seven of Nine).


Q: Will “Trial & Error” be back? – Ben Dorsey, Providence, R.I.

A: Evidently not, and it wasn’t for lack of Warner Bros. Television trying to find a new home for the quirky comedy after its two-season run on NBC ended. Kristin Chenoweth – who starred in Season 2 (and got great reviews) as offbeat, wealthy society staple and suspected husband-killer Lavinia Peck-Foster – inferred on social media that she would have been willing to make guest appearances if a third round had been ordered, having succeeded Season 1 star John Lithgow.


Q: I remember a USA Network series about a married couple, and the husband discovers his wife is moonlighting as a call girl to help with their finances … then after he is mistaken for a male escort, he decides to do the same, and they both try to keep it secret from one another. I would love to know its name and if it’s available on DVD or streaming. – Gary Pompeo, Wheeling, W. Va.

A: It was “Satisfaction,” which had a two-year run in 2014 and 2015. The central couple was played by Stephanie Szostak, who’s about to start Season 2 on ABC’s “A Million Little Things,” and “The Glades” alum Matt Passmore. The first season is a bit easier to find on DVD since it had a broader release than Season 2, which still can be found, but in an overseas edition that’s in the foreign PAL format rather than the U.S.-popular NTSC. The good news is that all of the episodes can be found for rental on a number of streaming services easily found online.


Q: Is there any information on “The Doctor Blake Mysteries” without Dr. Blake? I happened to catch it once a few weeks ago, but I haven’t seen anything of it since. — Carol Drobnick, Reading, Pa.

A: The series ended its five-season run in its originating Australia in 2017, and in America, it hasn’t been a full-network PBS offering but shown by individual stations that opt to purchase it. It also can be streamed, with the first three seasons on Netflix and the last two on Britbox.

A plan to continue the show without the Doctor Blake character was altered sharply, with a planned series of TV-movies ultimately reduced to just one that aired in Australia late last year. That may have been what you saw here, which would explain why there were no more stories shown nor seen after that.


Q: How many years did Kevin Bacon’s series “The Following” last? – Marcy Scott, via e-mail

A: Fox gave it three seasons (2013-15), with Bacon’s FBI character Ryan Hardy in a struggle with serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) throughout the series’ run – even when Carroll was behind bars and awaiting execution in Season 3. The show had an ending of sorts, though it also gave the definite indication that Hardy would continue to lead a dark life in his pursuit of justice.


Q: I’ve seen Jerry O’Connell on a lot of TV shows, but I’m wondering what the first one was that he did. – Valerie Sullivan, Elyria, Ohio

A: Some people might think it was the sci-fi show “Sliders,” but it actually was the syndicated “My Secret Identity,” in which he spent three seasons as a teen who gained superpowers that he had to hide from his loved ones. After that came the ABC sitcom “Camp Wilder,” whose cast also included a double-Oscar-winner-to-be … Hilary Swank. “Sliders” followed that and lasted five seasons, three on Fox and two on what then was Sci-Fi Channel (and now is Syfy).


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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.

jbobbin has 2039 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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