Tom Bergeron may be getting back in the game


Tom Bergeron

Q: I hear that Tom Bergeron is coming back to television. When will that happen? — Mitch Donner, Providence, R.I.

A: The deal wasn’t 100-percent done at the time this column was written, but the former “Dancing With the Stars” host has taped the pilot for a new version of the classic game show “Tic-Tac-Dough.” Its chances of being picked up to series would seem good, since NBC Universal and veteran game producer Harry Friedman — who oversaw “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” for many years — also are involved.

Bergeron surely knows how to run games that incorporate tic-tac-toe boards, since he presided over a revival of “Hollywood Squares.” If the new project goes forward, he’ll be succeeding a number of people who hosted previous versions of “Tic-Tac-Dough,” starting with the 1950s original’s Jack Barry, who co-created the show. Barry was followed by Gene Rayburn, Bill Wendell, Jay Jackson, Win Elliot, Wink Martindale, Jim Caldwell and Patrick Wayne (one of John Wayne’s sons).

Vice President Kamala Harris

Q: On “The View” recently, when two of the hosts had to leave during an episode of the show because they had gotten positive COVID-19 tests, was Vice President Kamala Harris — who was about to be interviewed — actually in the same building? — Anne Wyman, via e-mail

A: She was. After her appearance on the ABC weekday program had been promoted heavily all that week, she ended up being interviewed via remote by the studio-based Joy Behar and Sara Haines after Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro had to make a hasty exit from the set because of their test results. A thorough wiping of the hosts’ table ensued during subsequent commercial breaks, but ensuring the safety of Vice President Harris was paramount, resulting in her ultimately virtual presence even though she physically was at the same New York location.

The reconfiguring of that hour of “The View” left only a few minutes at the end for what surely would have been a longer interview otherwise, with a good chunk of the remaining time occupied by Behar and Haines taking questions from the studio audience while the “View” producers determined what to do about their V.I.P. guest’s segment. That spontaneity is something Haines is used to showing with people anyway, since her “Ask me anything”-themed sessions are frequent features on her social-media pages.

Q: Did Doris Day ever have her own TV series?– Carly Wallace, Reading, Pa.

A: She did, from 1968 to 1973 … and by all accounts, including her own (as she related in her autobiography), it came as a surprise to her that she had to do “The Doris Day Show” for CBS. Her husband and production partner, Martin Melcher, had made an agreement with the network for the series without Day knowing about it until after his death. Basically, she had to do the sitcom so as not to be in breach of contract, a contract she hadn’t been aware of.

“The Doris Day Show” went through a number of changes over the course of its run, a major one being widow Doris Martin’s (Day) departure from constant living on her family’s ranch to commute to work at a San Francisco magazine in Season 2. She, her sons and their dog moved to the City by the Bay in the third season, but the children inexplicably vanished from the series as of Season 4. Peter Lawford and Patrick O’Neal then came aboard as romantic interests for the fictional Doris (at different times) during the remainder of the show’s life. Decades occasionally runs the program in its “Weekend Binge” marathons.

Q: My husband and I watch repeats of “The Beverly Hillbillies.” I know the show was on for several years, but only two seasons of it seem to be available. Where can we find all nine seasons? — Veronica Wiggins, Twin Falls, Idaho

A: We also found only the first two seasons of the classic sitcom available for streaming when we checked. MeTV apparently is the current rights-holder for televised reruns of the Buddy Ebsen-starring sitcom, but that channel is known to give some shows a rest after playing them frequently, and that is the case for Jed Clampett and his clan currently. We’d suggest keeping an eye on the listings, since sooner or later, the series is bound to come back there.

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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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