Q: Will "The Amazing Race" be back?
A: The 31st season is due sometime in 2018-19, but I do not have an air date yet. The show's casting site, theamazingracecasting.com, is accepting applications for the 32nd season, which will be shot in the summer of 2019.
Laughs are over for 'Little Britain'
Q: Probably the funniest comedy series I ever saw was BBC's "Little Britain." It starred two comedians who played a multitude of characters. What are the two actors doing now and will more episodes ever air?
A: "Little Britain" aired for three seasons, the last of which was in 2007. A successor, "Little Britain USA," aired for six episodes on HBO in 2008. I do not know of any plans for more, but these days "The X-Files," "Murphy Brown," "Will & Grace" and other shows keep me from saying never again.
The stars and writers on the show were David Walliams and Matt Lucas. Lucas has been in the movies "Bridesmaids" and "Alice Through the Looking Glass," among others, as well as TV shows such as "Portlandia," "Galavant," "Bull" and "Doctor Who." Walliams has been in some movies and British TV shows, but is better known as an author of children's books, estimating sales of 26 million copies in 53-plus languages of titles such as "Ratburger," "The World's Worst Children" and "The Ice Monster."
Miss Kitty had had enough
Q: Why did Amanda Blake leave "Gunsmoke"? Were there health reasons? When she left, the show wasn't the same. Also, Milburn Stone, who played Doc, went out of state to a school, but when he came back he looked great. Was that health reasons, too?
A: Blake, who played Kitty on the classic western, told the Chicago Tribune in 1985 that she left in 1974 because she had grown tired of traveling from her Phoenix home to Hollywood. "They gave it a shot for a year after me and it didn't work anymore," she added. The series ran only one more season after Blake's departure. She did play Kitty again in a 1987 reunion movie; she died in 1989.
Milburn Stone had a heart attack in 1971 and missed several episodes while recovering. When he returned to the series, he remained until it ended in 1975. He died in 1980.
The fire was gone
Q: Was I the only one who was surprised at the departure of Monica Raymund from "Chicago Fire"? Why did she leave — salary dispute, contract was up?
A: Raymund, who played Gabby Dawson on the NBC drama, was at the end of her contract. In one published interview, she said, "I felt like I was hungry to explore a different role, a different story. I wanted to explore a different world. I had been in Chicago for five years and just personally where I was in my life, I was ready to create my home and kind of plant some roots in Los Angeles. Sometimes you have to take a risk to diversify your opportunities."