Q: Are Ben Mankiewicz of Turner Classic Movies and Josh Mankiewicz of "Dateline NBC" distant cousins?
A: No. They are brothers, with Josh the elder. They are the sons of Frank Mankiewicz, the journalist, political operator and former president of NPR who died in 2014. For those of you aware of other celebrities named Mankiewicz, Frank was the son of Herman Mankiewicz, famous as co-writer of "Citizen Kane" with Orson Welles; Herman was played by Gary Oldman in the recent movie "Mank." Herman's brother Joseph was another Hollywood legend, whose credits include writing and directing the classic "All About Eve."
Q: How could CBS cancel "Mom"? It is such a good show.
A: "Mom" is also a show that, as I mentioned awhile back, lost a major player before this season. Anna Faris, who played Christy, departed, reportedly to pursue other opportunities. The remaining cast, headed by the marvelous Allison Janney, is still strong. And, according to some reports, the ratings remained good even with some slippage post-Faris. But there may have been other factors at work.
Eight seasons is a pretty good run for a series and costs such as salaries tend to rise when shows last long. According to Deadline.com, Janney's contract was done after this season, so the show may have been facing a tough negotiation — or simply Janney deciding to move on. At the same time, Deadline noted, the show's deal with CBS runs out at the end of this season, adding more dealing to be done. And who knows how that would have worked out? For now, then, enjoy the remaining episodes, which will end with a series finale on May 6.
Always an anesthesiologist
Q: I seem to remember in the first few seasons of "Black-ish" that the character of Rainbow was a cardiologist. Now they say she is an anesthesiologist. Am I correct or not?
A: I have to say "not." In the third episode of the first season, when Rainbow takes Diane to her workplace, we see that she is an anesthesiologist.
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