‘The Sound of Music’ will be heard again soon


Julie Andrews

Q: Will “The Sound of Music” be on again this holiday season? — Sherry Evans, Bexley, Ohio

A: It will, indeed. One of the very few movies that still get an annual broadcast-network telecast (“It’s a Wonderful Life” and “The Ten Commandments” being other examples), the Julie Andrews-starring 1965 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical will have its yearly ABC airing all night Sunday, Dec. 19. It’s likely to be a bittersweet occasion for true devotees, since it will be the film’s first television presentation since the death of co-star Christopher Plummer (alias the picture’s Captain von Trapp) last February.

Alec Baldwin

Q: Before all of the recent news involving Alec Baldwin, what was the last movie or TV show that he finished? — Adam Cobbs, via email

A: Sources give that as being “Supercell,” an adventure movie about storm chasers that was in post-production (with filming having been completed) at the time of the incident that occurred on the set of Baldwin’s subsequent film, the Western “Rust.” Skeet Ulrich and Anne Heche are among others in the “Supercell” cast.

Baldwin also was slated to star with Kelsey Grammer in a sitcom that ABC initially had ordered, then decided to pass on — months before the “Rust” situation — with studio 20th Television then trying to shop it elsewhere (an interesting development, since the network and the studio now are both under the Disney corporate banner, with former ABC chief Karey Burke running 20th). As of this writing, the ultimate fate of that project remained undetermined.

Q: I see Kaylee Hartung doing a lot of reporting for ABC News. Wasn’t she a sportscaster before? — Alex Wyatt, Stuart, Fla.

A: She covered college football and basketball for ESPN, where she earned two Emmy Awards, then decided to trade that pursuit for news by joining CNN. An assistant to CBS’ Bob Schieffer at the start of her career (and then an associate producer on that network’s “Face the Nation”), Hartung spent roughly two years at CNN and then joined ABC News, where her variety of subjects has included … herself, when she was diagnosed with COVID-19 last year, not long after the coronavirus pandemic began.

Clearly and fortunately, Hartung recovered, and she works primarily from the West Coast as an ABC correspondent (though she has guest-co-anchored the overnight “World News Now” and “World News This Morning” from New York on occasion).

Q: I enjoyed seeing the recent festival of films with country-music stars on Turner Classic Movies, but it was said that “Honeysuckle Rose” was Willie Nelson’s first movie. Didn’t he make others before that? — Sarah Kane, via email 

A: Actually, TCM host Dave Karger said that was Nelson’s first starring role in a movie … which it was. The year before that, in 1979, Nelson made his acting debut (though his voice had been heard in an episode of “The Rockford Files”) in a supporting part as one of Robert Redford’s cronies in “The Electric Horseman.” Other film roles came fairly soon for Nelson after “Honeysuckle Rose,” including parts in “Thief,” “Barbarosa” and “Songwriter.”

Q: Watching repeats of “The Love Boat” on Decades, I’m reminded that there was an attempt to revive the show with Robert Urich as the captain. How long did that show last? — Peter Gold, Madison, Wis.

A: Not very long, particularly in comparison to the original series, which lasted nine seasons (with several TV-movie sequels afterward). “Love Boat: The Next Wave” had a brief first season in 1998 on the now-defunct UPN network, then had a fuller second and final round in 1998-99. Interestingly, Ted Lange — who played bartender Isaac on the initial “Love Boat” — directed several of the “Next Wave” episodes.

Urich’s character had a son (played by Kyle Howard) with him aboard the Sun Princess, not unlike Gavin MacLeod’s Captain Merrill Stubing having his daughter Vicki (Jill Whelan) with him the first time around. Phil Morris, Stacey Travis, Corey Parker and Joan Severance (“Wiseguy”) also were “Next Wave” cast regulars. One of the episodes reunited “Love Boat” originals MacLeod, Whelan, Lange, Lauren Tewes and Bernie Kopell; Fred Grandy, who had been purser Gopher on the first show, didn’t return.

Send questions of general interest via email to tvpipeline@gracenote.com. Writers must include their names, cities and states. Personal replies cannot be sent.

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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