Q: What happened to Bebe Neuwirth on “Madam Secretary”? Did I miss an episode where she left?
A: You did. In an October episode, Neuwirth’s character Nadine Tolliver, the chief of staff to Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, decided to leave her job to focus on her family, including a coming grandchild. She also observed that public service had become “vicious.” Nadine received a loving send-off from other characters on the show. Neuwirth said on Twitter that she had asked to leave the CBS drama and that the series gave her a “beautiful exit.”
Where’s ‘Doc Martin’?
Q: When is “Doc Martin” returning? And what about “A Place to Call Home”?
A: “Doc Martin,” a British series, and “A Place to Call Home,” from Australia, have developed sizable followings via showings on public TV here. But public television does not get first crack at the most recent seasons — the eighth for “Doc,” the fifth for “Place.” U.S. rights belong to Acorn Media Enterprises, which has put those seasons on its subscription streaming service, Acorn TV. It can then decide when to let the distributor American Public Television offer them to broadcast stations. At this writing in late December, Acorn has not set a date for the broadcast release, saying the shows will be on Acorn TV “for at least the near future.”
Fate of ‘Major Crimes’ unsolved
Q: I loved “The Closer,” and then TNT canceled it. It was replaced by “Major Crimes,” with many of the same characters. Now TNT has canceled this great show! Is TNT replacing it with another show with the same characters?
A: TNT spun “Major Crimes” from “The Closer” when Kyra Sedgwick left the series. Now the network is ending “Major Crimes” because it has been concentrating on darker, edgier shows such as “Good Behavior,” “Animal Kingdom” and “Claws.” Probably because of that, as “Major Crimes” creator James Duff reportedly said, TNT lost faith in the drama, stopped promoting it well and did not bother to renegotiate cast members’ contracts as they were running out. I know of no plans to revive the series under another name with some of the same characters (and it killed a central character this season anyway). Duff said in October that a streaming service such as Hulu or Netflix could benefit from picking up new episodes of “Major Crimes,” but that would depend on some complicated business decisions.
Ron Ely was more than Tarzan
Q: Did ’60s TV Tarzan Ron Ely continue acting after the series ended? What else has he done?
A: According to the Internet Movie Database, Ely made many TV appearances after “Tarzan” ended in 1968, including as Mike Nelson in an ’80s revival of “Sea Hunt,” and guest starring roles on “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island” and other series. He also played the title role in the big-screen “Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze” in 1975. When the Miss America pageant ended its long relationship with Bert Parks, Ely took on the hosting job for two years. He has also written two private-eye novels, “Night Shadows” and “East Beach.”