Q: It’s nice to see Sara Haines back on “The View.” Does that mean “Strahan, Sara & Keke” is over? — Donna Bowen, via e-mail
A: That would be a “yes,” which really was confirmed by Haines’ full-time return last month to her previous ABC weekday post (she had done some fill-in work there after leaving), though Keke Palmer had referred to the show being canceled in an earlier interview. Basically, it became a victim of sorts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The program that replaced it, “What You Need to Know,” originally was meant to be only temporary … but it fared so well, ABC decided to keep it going. There had been early mention of trying to factor Haines, Palmer and Michael Strahan into that show somehow, but the difference in tones and styles might have made that a complicated match. In any event, Haines seems happy to be back where she is now, and many devotees of “The View” have been expressing how glad they are to have her there again.
Q: Will there be a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year? — Tara Miles, Reading, Pa.
A: There will be … though, as with just about every traditional event that’s still being staged this year, it will be done in a different form due to the coronavirus pandemic that mitigates against tightly packed crowds. The parade will be “virtual,” staged for television only, with NBC proceeding with its annual telecast on Thanksgiving morning (likely involving “Today” personalities as hosts, as usual).
Rather than being a procession throughout Manhattan that spectators line the streets for, the festivities will be focused at and around Macy’s flagship store in New York’s Herald Square, with character balloons serviced by vehicles they’re tethered to (instead of the many handlers it usually takes to get and keep them airborne). The high school and college bands chosen for this year’s parade will be “deferred” to next year’s instead.
Q: Was there a show called “NYPD” that was different from “NYPD Blue”? — Carl Young, Sacramento, Calif.
A: There was, in the sense that they were two different series, though they both dealt with New York police detectives. Decades recently ran a “Weekend Binge” of “N.Y.P.D.” (spelled with periods), a now rarely seen 1967-69 ABC drama that starred Jack Warden, Robert Hooks and Frank Converse as investigators in the Big Apple. Celebrated producer and talk-show host David Susskind co-created the show, praised for its realism and its extensive use of authentic New York locations.
One very distinctive element of “N.Y.P.D.” was its opening credit sequence, seen from the perspective of a siren atop of a moving squad car. If that image sounds familiar, it was used in a satirical way later in the series “Police Squad!” (also on ABC) and the “Naked Gun” movies that it inspired. That opening sequence also said that the New York Police Department actively cooperated in the making of “N.Y.P.D.”
ABC also aired the Steven Bochco-produced “NYPD Blue” from 1993 to 2005. As adult as “N.Y.P.D.” was in its approach, “NYPD Blue” was that much more so, earning attention for its occasional blue language and state of its characters’ “undress.” That might seem relatively tame now, especially with what has been available on the home screen since the explosion of cable networks and streaming services, but it was quite the sensation at the time … particularly in its earlier seasons.
Q: I was so sorry to learn of the passing of Dame Diana Rigg. Did she do any other TV series besides “The Avengers” and “Game of Thrones”? — Rob Handelman, via e-mail
A: In the mid-1970s, the staple of the British acting scene was brought to Hollywood to star in an NBC sitcom called (imagine how hard it was to name) “Diana,” casting her as — say it with us — an Englishwoman who came to America, this one a fashion designer getting over a divorce. It lasted only a few months, but she would have a much longer run as the host of PBS’ “Mystery!” before that anthology was folded into “Masterpiece.” (A neat touch was that she assumed that job from Vincent Price, who had played her father in the 1973 movie “Theater of Blood.”)
Rigg also appeared in “The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries” and such miniseries as “Bleak House,” “Mother Love” and “Victoria & Albert” and the later “Victoria.” During her tenure on “Game of Thrones,” she also had a brief run in the largely British-made comedy “You, Me and the Apocalypse.”
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