Will Scott Bakula ‘Leap’ into show’s new version?


Scott Bakula

Q: Will Scott Bakula appear on the new version of “Quantum Leap”? — Joe Conners, via email

A: It would make complete sense that the invitation would be extended to the star of the original incarnation by the makers of the new NBC one … and according to what was told to us by Raymond Lee, who had the lead role in the just-premiered version, that invitation indeed has been made. It certainly would be a viewing booster if Bakula accepted, and now, it’s just a matter of whether he does; however, comments that he made very recently suggest that he won’t, though he has wished good luck to the new “Leap’s” cast and staff.

Q: Will Jenna Dewan still be a regular on “The Rookie” in its new year? — Perry Moss, Stuart, Fla.

A: She will, and she recently told us that she’s very happy to remain with the ABC police drama as it starts its fifth season Sunday, Sept. 25. It’s just one of several television jobs the actress-dancer has been juggling lately; she also recurs as Lucy Lane on The CW’s “Superman & Lois” (slated to return at midseason), plus she stars as a dancer-by-day/madam-by-night in the Oct. 15 Lifetime movie “Let’s Get Physical,” which she also executive-produced (along with Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos).

Jenna Dewan

Q: How many members of the regular cast won’t be back when “Saturday Night Live” starts its new season? — Taylor Fine, via email

A: As of the time this column was written, the exits ahead of the NBC late-night staple’s 48th season were significant in number. Emmy winner Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Melissa Villasenor, Alex Moffat and Aristotle Athari all have departed the series, leaving a good number of slots for executive producer Lorne Michaels to fill … but he had said the coming season would be “a year of change” for the show, so he evidently was ready for such an exodus. Behind the scenes, “SNL” also has lost a major player with the departure of senior producer Lindsay Shookus after two decades.

Q: I thought I read that Sarah Drew is doing a new Christmas movie. If so, when and where will it be on? — Nancy Faber, Columbus, Ohio

A: Not only does the “Grey’s Anatomy” alum star in Lifetime’s upcoming “Reindeer Games Homecoming,” she’s also the writer and an executive producer of the film, which didn’t have a specific air date yet as of this writing.

Drew plays a biology teacher who takes part in an annual holiday competition in her town, to which an ex-boyfriend turned celebrity (Drew’s former “Grey’s” colleague Justin Bruening) returns, just in time to help her go for the win. It’s the second project in a two-picture deal Drew made with Lifetime.

Q: What was the name of the show in which Priscilla Barnes, later of “Three’s Company,” played a TV-newsmagazine reporter? — Joan Lewis, Sacramento, Calif.

A: It was “The American Girls,” a short-lived 1978 CBS series in which she and Debra Clinger played the traveling correspondents in question. Eleven episodes were filmed, but only six got on the air before the show was canceled. It aired on Saturday nights, a popular destination for broadcast-network viewing at that time, so executives’ eyes were very much on its ratings … accounting for what ultimately was its brief run.

Q: I enjoyed the marathon of Peter Sellers films that Turner Classic Movies showed recently. What was his last movie? — Charles Rice, via email

A: The singular British talent’s career technically was capped — as was that day that concluded TCM’s “Summer Under the Stars” festival last month — by the 1980 spoof “The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu,” in which he played both the title villain and longtime opponent Nayland Smith. With a problem-plagued production process that involved several directors, including Sellers himself, it was released a month after the death of the star (who had been advised not to make it, given his health condition, which saw him suffer a heart attack during the filming).

Sellers actually did appear in one more film later, via clips from earlier work he had done with director Blake Edwards. In 1982, Edwards’ “Trail of the Pink Panther” made use of outtakes and previously unused scenes of Sellers’ portrayal of the famously clumsy Inspector Jacques Clouseau, whose sudden disappearance was probed by a reporter (Joanna Lumley).

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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