Ask Stacy for June 30-August 1, 2018

Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith on

DEAR STACY: How do they plan to make "Roseanne" without Roseanne? What did they have to give her to let them do this? -- Sunny

DEAR SUNNY: It was a one-time payment, the amount of which has been kept under wraps. The star, whose racist and bizarre statements on Twitter caused a summary cancellation of her successful series reboot, agreed to waive rights to ongoing financial participation in "The Conners," which is expected to premiere this fall on ABC. The network reportedly insisted upon her being unable to benefit financially from the spinoff. Roseanne still has rights to her Roseanne Conner character, however. She said in a statement that she agreed to the deal so that "200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved." The new show will focus more attention on Sara Gilbert's Darlene character. It just might work. Back in the late 1980s, "Valerie" series star Valerie Harper had a falling out with her producers. The show wound up going on without her -- first, as "Valerie's Family: The Hogans" and then as "The Hogan Family." Comedians had a great time joking about that, but the fact is, the show without Harper (with Sandy Duncan) lasted as long as it did with Harper, another three years.


DEAR STACY: Is Judd Apatow getting many celebrities to follow his suggestion to boycott Fox? -- Anonymous

DEAR ANONYMOUS: Touched off by the issue of children being torn away from their immigrant parents at the border, the boycott seems to have cooled off some since the president's executive order discontinuing the practice, for 20 days or something like that, maybe. (These orders are pretty hard to pin down.) Anyway, as you may be aware, "Modern Family" creator Steve Levitan stated publicly that once he's finished with that series, he wants to leave Fox behind due to its connection with Fox News and its unflinching support of all things Trump. Before that, Seth MacFarlane (who created the Fox-owned "Family Guy"), came out against Fox News, aiming his criticism at anchor Tucker Carlson, who had told his audience to assume the opposite of what "the big news stations" report as truth. Said MacFarlane, "In other words, don't think critically, don't consult multiple news sources, and in general, don't use your brain." He then went on donate $2 million to NPR and $500,000 to its Los Angeles affiliate KPCC. Writer-producer-actor Paul Feig ("Freaks and Geeks," "Bridesmaids" and other Melissa McCarthy movies) is also on board. Producer Ben Wexler, whose credits include "The Good Guys," "The Comedians" and a season of "Arrested Development," is another voice against Fox News, tweeting, "I'm starting to think trump could kill five (not six) million Jews and Fox News would be like, 'Okay STOP with the Hitler comparisons.'" Time will tell if the Hollywood creator's boycott gains more traction.


DEAR STACY: I would like to know what Bob Harper of "The Biggest Loser" is up to now. Has he ever come out as gay? -- Dave in North Hollywood

DEAR DAVE: Harper has spent much of last few months recovering from the near fatal heart attack he had in February -- caused by a congenital condition he didn't know affected him. He gives credit to his friends and his two dogs for helping his recovery along. The fitness guru came out publicly in 2013, in the Thanksgiving episode of "The Biggest Loser." One of the contestants, Bobby Saleem, was struggling with whether to come out to his family, and Harper decided to help by going public himself. As he said, "I want to show Bobby that he doesn't have to live in shame." He told Bobby, "Being gay doesn't mean being weak and being gay doesn't mean you're less than anybody else. It's just who you are." Harper came out to his own family at age 17.


DEAR STACY: Whatever became of Gary Burghoff, a.k.a. Radar on "M.A.S.H."? -- Bill S.

DEAR BILL S.: Now 75, Burghoff has mainly been involved in nonacting pursuits -- as a wildlife painter, a jazz drummer, and an inventor. He famously created the "Chum Magic" fishing tackle that attracts fish. Twice divorced, and the father of three adult children, he reportedly has divided his time between a home in Connecticut and RV living. He is also known for a colorful Twitter feed -- now off the platform -- that was full of rants about his former co-stars (especially Alan Alda) and other items.

Copyright 2018 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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