Television Q&A: Will 'Homeland' return?

Rich Heldenfels, Tribune News Service on

Published in Entertainment News

Q: Is "Homeland" doing a seventh season now or in the future?

A: The Showtime drama starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin aired its seventh season in 2018. The eighth season will arrive in June and will be the final season of the series. A top Showtime executive has called it "a richly written character study that is now ready for its natural conclusion."

Q: I am a big fan of "I Dream of Jeannie." I read in a book that Elizabeth Montgomery of "Bewitched" and "Jeannie"'s Barbara Eden didn't get along. But the book wasn't very specific.

A: Eden once told an Australian newspaper that, with both shows being made by the same studio, she and Montgomery saw each other every morning and chatted often. "If there was any perceived rivalry it was the producers' invention," Eden said. But Herbie J. Pilato's biography of Montgomery, "Twitch Upon a Star," says Montgomery was livid about "Jeannie," which premiered a year after "Bewitched" and aimed to capture some of the earlier show's ratings magic with similar concepts. "That doesn't mean I was annoyed with Barbara Eden and (costar) Larry Hagman," Montgomery said; she was irked at the ways "Jeannie" borrowed ideas from "Bewitched" -- "to the point where 'Bewitched' writers were told to stay away from 'Jeannie,'" Pilato says.

Q: Christine Lahti was always a favorite of mine and I enjoyed seeing her in movies like "Open House" and "The Pilot's Wife." You could find her movies quite often in the TV listings but now I see nothing, not a single movie listed over the past few years. How come?

A: While she still appears occasionally in movies, Lahti -- an Emmy-winning actress and Oscar-winning short-film director -- has in recent years spent more TV time as a guest star in series; those include "The Blacklist," "Hawaii Five-0" and both "The Good Wife" and its successor "The Good Fight." She has also been working onstage, playing Gloria Steinem in an off-Broadway production in 2018, and writing, with her book "True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness: A Feminist Coming of Age" published last year as well. You can follow her on Twitter @ChristineALahti.

Q: On "Blue Bloods," Erin Reagan has an assistant, a young black man, who was quite good. I don't recall his name. He has been replaced by a large white guy who is OK but not as good in my opinion. Can you tell me what happened to the other actor?

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A: I think you are referring to James Lesure ("Las Vegas"), who appeared in seven "Blue Bloods" episodes in 2014-15 as Det. Alex McBride. The detective's departure was not explained as far as I can tell. Lesure, though, went from his recurring role on the CBS drama to a regular spot on "Uncle Buck," a 2016 TV reboot of the movie and TV series of the same name. Although that did not work out, he has since appeared on "Good Girls" and "Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce," among other shows. Keep track of his other activities @JamesLesure on Twitter.

That "large white guy," by the way, is Steven R. Schirripa ("The Sopranos," "The Secret Life of the American Teenager"). His character, Anthony Abetemarco, made his "Blue Bloods" debut shortly after Lesure's final episode.


(Do you have a question or comment about entertainment past, present and future? Write to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or brenfels@gmail.com. Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.)

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