‘The Republic of Sarah’ disbands in ending its run


“The Republic of Sarah”

Q: Will “The Republic of Sarah” be back? — Carrie Blake, via e-mail

A: It won’t. Shortly before the first-season finale had its Labor Day airing, The CW announced that the show wasn’t being renewed. The drama — which starred Stella Baker, daughter of “The Mentalist” star Simon Baker, as the leader of a New Hampshire town that declared its independence from the rest of the United States — had a long process to get on the air, after first being developed for CBS with Sarah Drew (“Grey’s Anatomy”) in the main role. After that network passed on it, The CW commissioned a new pilot with a new cast, and the single-season run was the result.

Q: Will “Hocus Pocus” be on television again this Halloween season? — Julie Grant, Bend, Ore.

A: Absolutely. The Disney-produced 1993 fantasy — starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as sibling witches — has become a seasonal mainstay, particularly for Freeform and its “31 Nights of Halloween” event.

You’ll find the movie scheduled throughout the month there, with some of its showings on Sunday, Oct. 3, Tuesday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 9. A sequel currently is in development, with plans to premiere it on Disney+ next year … and with Midler, Parker and Najimy all returning.

“Hocus Pocus”

Q: Who is the actor playing Axe’s enemy Mike Prince on “Billions”? — Peter Dane, via e-mail

A: He’s Corey Stoll, and he’s had quite a hold on Sunday-night drama in recent weeks … since he’s been appearing opposite himself by acting not only on Showtime’s “Billions,” but also in the HBO miniseries “Scenes From a Marriage.” Season 5 of “Billions” is wrapping up, with the rest of the stories that were delayed a year when the coronavirus pandemic forced suspension of filming, but it’s been announced that Stoll will return for the sixth season that Showtime expects to begin running in January.

Stoll’s best-known role arguably is politician Peter Russo on the streaming series “House of Cards,” but he also was a star of “The Strain” and the short-lived “Law & Order: LA.” He has a long list of guest-star credits encompassing such shows as “NYPD Blue,” “Alias,” “ER,” “NCIS,” “The Good Wife” and “Homeland,” and he’s also been the narrator of several “American Experience” episodes. Movies that have featured him include “Salt,” “Midnight in Paris,” “The Bourne Legacy,” “Non-Stop,” “The Good Lie,” “Ant-Man,” “Black Mass” and “First Man,” and he’s also in Steven Spielberg’s forthcoming remake of “West Side Story.”

Additionally, on stage, Stoll has done a number of the classics — among them, “Henry IV,” “A View From the Bridge,” “Julius Caesar,” “Othello” and “Macbeth.”

Q: I recently saw a movie called “Grand Canyon” on cable, and a Jeremy Sisto played the teenage son of Kevin Kline and Mary McDonnell. Is that the same Jeremy Sisto who’s on “FBI” now? — Grace McCord, Stuart, Fla.

A: It is, indeed. That Lawrence Kasdan-directed film was released in 1991, and it was Sisto’s movie debut, which he followed with another memorable role a few years later in “Clueless.” However, television largely has nurtured his career, as demonstrated by his previous home-screen roles on “Six Feet Under,” “Law & Order” (for “FBI” executive producer Dick Wolf), “Kidnapped,” “Suburgatory” and “Wicked City.” Sisto recently began his fourth “FBI” season on CBS.

Q: Being a huge Edna Ferber fan, I always enjoy seeing movies based on her novels on TV. “So Big” and “Giant” are on often, but one I never see is “Ice Palace” with Richard Burton. Is there a reason they have never shown that?–  Carolyn Engles, Grand Junction, Colo.

A: We can’t necessarily concur with “never,” but it’s true that the 1960 film hasn’t had any showings in recent memory on Turner Classic Movies, by far the likeliest outlet for it these days. It could be a rights issue, where the channel doesn’t have the picture in its library, though TCM does have a big chunk of the Warner Bros. studio’s output (which “Ice Palace” would be a part of). As with many other movies we know people would like to see on TCM, all we can advise is to keep watching and hoping.

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