Q: On Fox's "The Resident," Jenna Dewan played the representative of a medical company and started to have a relationship with one of the doctors. She was run off the road by some thugs and we have not seen her since. Did she die or will she be back on the show?
A: Actress/dancer Dewan will be back in the March 25 episode. Fox says Devon (Manish Dayal), who had become attracted to Dewan's character, Julian Booth, will discover the truth about what happened to her. But we don't know if she is alive or dead, and Fox is mum.
Dewan still makes appearances on NBC's "World of Dance" (though she no longer hosts the show), is in the current movie anthology "Berlin, I Love You" and has a new series, "Mixtape," coming to Netflix. You can also find her as jennadewan on Twitter and Instagram.
The mysterious Elena Ferrante
Q: Recently the name Ferrante appeared in literature and television as the author of a very popular book. She claims to be a woman from Naples, Italy. But the personal details ascribed to the characters, especially the men, make it obvious (to me) that the author is male. Surely there must be others who surmise the same.
A: There are. Elena Ferrante has written four connected, bestselling novels, starting with "My Brilliant Friend," which inspired an HBO series. Because Ferrante writes under a pseudonym and shuns face-to-face interviews, there have been attempts to guess her real name and speculation about her gender.
A 2014 New York Times story noted rumors "regularly recycled in the Italian press that she is the Italian novelist Domenico Starnone," which Starnone called a "groundless hypothesis." In written answers to questions, Ferrante maintained she is female. She told Vanity Fair in 2015 that she stays out of the public eye "to liberate myself from the anxiety of notoriety."
Talking about claims that women writing certain kinds of stories must in fact be men, Ferrante said that women "know how to think, we know how to tell stories, we know how to write them as well as, if not better, than men." Still, guessing games went on. In 2016, the Times reported on new rumors about an Italian professor possibly being Ferrante; denials followed. But at least the professor is a woman.
'Braindead,' a series for our time
Q: In 2016 there was a hilarious series starring Tony Shalhoub, "Braindead," about an alien invasion that primarily affected members of Congress. Are there any plans to replay it? In view of the craziness currently surrounding our government, the timing would be interesting.
A: "Braindead" aired for 13 episodes on CBS from June to September 2016. I do not know of any plans for a repeat on the network. You can find the episodes on the CBS All Access subscription streaming service, on Amazon Prime Video and on DVD.
He never lost, but he got sick
Q: On "Perry Mason" reruns I saw episodes where Perry was in the hospital and guest stars took his place — Barry Sullivan and Bette Davis among them. Was Raymond Burr sick for real?
A: Yes. Burr was outspoken about the strain of doing the series, and there were times during its run when he had health problems. Surgery (sources vary about what kind) and illness were responsible for fill-ins in several episodes, among them the ones you remember.