Q: I know Christie Brinkley left “Dancing With the Stars” before the season began, but I didn’t hear why. So, why? – Gail Field, via e-mail
A: The modeling icon suffered what were said to be injuries to an arm and wrist during rehearsals, requiring surgery and effectively taking her out of the ABC contest. Conveniently – though talk-show host Wendy Williams controversially opined that it was planned from the start – Brinkley’s daughter, fellow model Sailor Brinkley-Cook, literally stepped in and took her place. Christie has been an evident member of the studio audience, including on the season-premiere night, when Sailor dedicated her first dance to her mother.
Q: Did Peter Fonda ever do a TV series? – Mark Scott, Decatur, Ind.
A: Not as a continuing star of one, but the late actor made home-screen appearances at various points in his career. Early on, he was a guest star on such classics series as “Naked City,” “Wagon Train,” “The Defenders” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” – and by the mid-1960s, he was famous enough to be a “mystery guest” whose identity the eye-mask-wearing panelists had to guess on the game show “What’s My Line?”
From then until the 1980s, Fonda concentrated on the feature-film career that yielded the counterculture milestone “Easy Rider,” but he eventually got back into television with such movies as “The Hostage Tower” and “A Reason to Live.” He also starred in a version of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” that relocated it to an Old West settling, and he earned a Golden Globe Award for “The Passion of Ayn Rand.”
Fonda got back into guest-star work, too; he was in episodes of “ER,” “Californication,” “CSI: NY,” “The Blacklist” and the “Hawaii Five-0” reboot. Appropriately, in one of his last TV gigs, he was motorcycle-bound on AMC’s “Ride With Norman Reedus.”
Q: I was sorry to hear of Cokie Roberts’ passing. Obituaries said she had been an anchor of “This Week” before George Stephanopoulos. When was that? – James Portman, via e-mail
A: Along with fellow ABC News legend Sam Donaldson, Roberts steered the Sunday-morning political show from 1996 to 2002. She was ideally suited to the job, not only because she was the division’s chief congressional analyst concurrently, but also because she had covered Congress – which pretty much translated into covering Washington politics in general — for National Public Radio previously.
Q: Someone told me there once was a series called “Love Story.” If so, was it based on the Ali MacGraw-Ryan O’Neal movie? – Susan Myers, Boulder, Colo.
A: No, but the 1970s show by that name came at a time when that title certainly was in the zeitgeist, thanks to the success of that film and the Erich Segal best-seller that inspired it. It was an NBC anthology that premiered in the fall of 1973 and lasted about three months, and it did make use of the Francis Lai-composed theme music from the film. Kurt Russell, Barbara Hershey, Victoria Principal, Robert Foxworth, James Farentino and Janet Leigh were among the stars of the various episodes.
Interestingly, two earlier shows also used the name “Love Story” during the 1950s. The first was similarly a dramatic anthology that ran on the now-long-defunct DuMont network for a couple of months in 1954; CBS then wasted little time in grabbing the title for a game show that ran in 1955-56.
Q: If Peter Weber has been named to be the next “Bachelor,” when will the new season of the show start? – Julie Connors, via e-mail
A: Watch for ABC to bring the competition for those all-important final roses back in early January, which traditionally is when a new round of the series begins.
Q: I was disappointed not to see “Man With a Plan” starting the season for CBS. When will it be back? – Carla Fries, Palm Coast, Fla.
A: The debut of Season 4 literally could happen at any time, depending on the network’s programming needs. Both Seasons 2 and 3 of the Matt LeBlanc sitcom also started late, much as “2 Broke Girls” also was a utility player for CBS, summoned whenever it was needed during the season.
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