Trying to keep ‘Sunnyside’ up

TV Pipeline

Q: I’m disappointed that “Sunnyside” was taken off so soon. What happened? – Kyle Dennis, via e-mail

A: What mainly happened was low ratings, usually a factor when a series vanishes from a network’s lineup almost as soon as it joined it. The Kal Penn-starring NBC sitcom had a tough task on Thursdays opposite sports events (including Major League Baseball’s postseason), but the good news for its fans is that it’s been allowed to finish its production order, with the remaining episodes being shown on NBC’s digital platforms and on Hulu.

“Sunnyside” hasn’t been canceled in the literal sense, since that word very carefully has not been used, and there’s actually a chance that it could continue as a digital offering with future episodes if it fares well enough in that space. The fact that NBC’s Peacock streaming service is coming next year also provides a potential avenue for the show, so despite its absence from the broadcast airwaves, the curtain hasn’t closed completely on “Sunnyside.”

Q: I heard that Rob Lowe is doing another series for Fox. What is it, and when will it be on? – Stacy Walsh, Youngstown, Ohio

A: After doing “The Grinder” and “Mental Samurai” for the network, the actor-producer is going to work for it again in the spinoff “9-1-1: Lone Star,” which is scheduled to have a two-night premiere Jan. 19 and 20. He’ll join the original “9-1-1’s” production team (including the prolific Ryan Murphy) as co-executive producer while starring as a New York cop who tries to adjust to life in Austin – thus, the “Lone Star” part of the title – as he tries to rebuild a firehouse whose staff has been wracked by a shared tragedy. Liv Tyler also is in the cast.

Q: Did Peter Weber really get hurt while making the new season of “The Bachelor”? And if he did, will it delay the season? – Tara Collins, via e-mail

A: Though many reports said it was a facial injury, Weber evidently got a cut on his head while getting into a golf cart in Costa Rica during production of the ABC reality-dating series. He did require stitches and has worn a bandage above his left eyebrow since getting those out, but the impact on the making of the show was minimal, and it’s still on track to have its traditional on-air start soon after the New Year’s holiday.

Q: I’m wondering where “The Voyager With Josh Garcia” went. It used to be on Saturday mornings. This household would get up early and eat breakfast while watching Josh take us to awesome destinations. Will NBC bring it back soon? – Fred Chavez, Grand Junction, Colo.

A: It doesn’t appear so. The network – and Litton Entertainment, which supplies its informational/educational weekend-morning content (as that company also does for ABC, CBS and The CW, giving it pretty much a monopoly in that broadcast-programming market) – wanted to add the Daisy Fuentes-hosted “A New Leaf” to its lineup for the current season, so one of those NBC shows had to go. “The Voyager,” which likely was the most expensive of the series to produce, was the one that got the pink slip.

Q: When is “MacGyver” returning to the CBS schedule? – Jon Slade, Kansas City, Mo.

A: Its fourth season is slated to begin Feb. 7. One complication that has delayed its return is that all of the network’s newly added shows have done so well this season, there hasn’t been a need to pull any of them from the schedule and replace them … though “Evil” always was planned for 13 first-season episodes and will finish that run at the end of January. (It’s already gotten a Season 2 order.)

As for “All Rise,” “Bob Hearts Abishola,” “Carol’s Second Act” and “The Unicorn,” they’ve all earned full-season orders, so they won’t be leaving soon. Add to that the ongoing strength of CBS’ continuing series – including on Fridays, which traditionally has been (and will remain) the night for “MacGyver” – and there aren’t a lot of openings for another show to slide into, but the resourceful adventurer will be back.

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Jay Bobbin

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.

jbobbin has 2448 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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