‘The Big Leap’ has been grounded



TV PIPELINE

Piper Perabo

Q: Will “The Big Leap” be back? — Kate Turner, via email

A: It won’t. The Fox series even had tried to position itself for a Season 2 by hinting within the first season at what the plot for another year might be, but it ultimately was to no avail. Though Scott Foley (also a producer of the show) had top billing, the member of the ensemble cast who career arguably has survived best from it is Piper Perabo, whose character (spoiler alert!) died before the season ended; the actress already has had other roles on “Yellowstone” and “Billions.”


Q: When will Ellen DeGeneres’ last daytime show be? — Stacy Nyman, Glen Burnie, Md.

A: May 26 is slated to be her final day on the syndicated program, though to fill out its commitment to stations that carry it, guest hosts will appear on it through the summer and present montages of past segments. On many stations that carry both series, Kelly Clarkson’s talk show will be moving into the “Ellen” slot in the fall.

Ellen DeGeneres

Q: Though he’s been a regular on “Chicago Med” this season, Steven Weber still is billed as a guest star. Why is that? — Kenneth March, Weirton, W. Va.

A: It’s likely a contractual situation between the actor and the NBC show’s producers (who include Dick Wolf). CBS’ “Blue Bloods” is a rather prominent case in which actors who, for all intents and purposes, are regulars on the drama — Gregory Jbara, Abigail Hawk and Robert Clohessy being several examples — have been billed as guest stars since they started on the series years ago. That doesn’t mean they can’t be elevated to regular-cast-member status eventually, but it can take a while. As it happens, Weber has signed a new deal to be a “Chicago Med” regular next season, so we’ll see if he loses the “Special Guest Star” billing that he’s had there.


Q: It was fun to see the pilot film for “The Brady Brides” on Decades recently. How long was that series on the air? — Howard Cain, via email

A: It had only a 10-episode run in 1981 on NBC … the first three episodes of which were edited from what had been intended as a one-shot TV movie called “The Brady Girls Get Married.” The network made a late decision to turn it into a series, with the entire original cast of “The Brady Bunch” back on board. (Others besides Maureen McCormick and Eve Plumb would have the roles of Marcia and Jan — around whom “The Brady Brides” was centered — in some other “Brady” sequel projects.)


Q: I’ve always loved Dick Van Dyke in the movie “Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.” Did he make that while “The Dick Van Dyke Show” was still running? — Sandy Carr, Stuart, Fla.

A: He did film the Disney movie in 1965 during what would be his last hiatus from his eponymous sitcom, but “Crusoe” arrived in theaters several weeks after “The Dick Van Dyke Show” aired its final episode on CBS in June 1966. It was part of a big run the star had with the Disney studio during the mid-1960s, also including “Mary Poppins” and “Never a Dull Moment,” though he also did some more adult-themed pictures with other companies (“The Art of Love,” “Divorce American Style,” etc.).


Q: Has Keith Morrison been with “Dateline NBC” from the beginning? — George Shawn, Colorado Springs, Colo.

A: He joined the program as a correspondent in 1995, three years after it premiered. That was almost a decade after Morrison came to America from Canada’s CBC network, becoming an anchor for Los Angeles’ KNBC-TV before joining NBC News a couple of years later. He went back to Canada to work for the CTV network, but returned to NBC and was made a part of “Dateline.” He’s so associated with the show, he’s been the narrator of the “Dateline”-inspired, Renee Zellweger-starring NBC limited series “The Thing About Pam.”

It’s interesting to note that Morrison is the stepfather of “Friends” co-star Matthew Perry. Perry’s mother was the press secretary for Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau … the father of the current holder of that office, Justin Trudeau.


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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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