Q: Is there any chance additional seasons of "Doc Martin" are in the offing?
A: The series starring Martin Clunes is one of the most-asked-about shows for this column. I have noted before that a seventh season is in the works.
So here's the update: The seventh run is set to begin in September overseas. American Public Television, which distributes the series in the U.S., is anticipating a release here in January 2016. And a new behind-the-scenes special, "Doc Martin: Seven Grumpy Seasons," will be available to stations in late November. (Note that while "Doc Martin" airs on public TV stations, it is not a PBS show per se, so it's up to local programmers to pick it up.)
Q: Can you tell me what is going on with "Under the Dome" this season? We get confused every time we watch an episode. I have never seen so many character changes going back and forth.
A: I can't say whether it is more messed up this year than before, since its nuttiness pushed it off my viewing grid for good in the second season. But CBS will keep it going as long as there are enough viewers to justify the investment — and the network claims that "Dome" does very well when you count people watching an episode within seven days of its initial telecast.
It's not clear how long CBS can keep this going. A top network executive told reporters in early August that the dome will come down at the end of this season — but did not say if that means the end of the show. Entertainment Weekly reported that the third-season finale has been written "to serve as a potential series finale or a season finale" and "there is at least one element that opens up a new path how the story could continue."
Match-making with the stars
Q: On "Dancing With the Stars," how are the dancers and celebrities matched up and who makes the decision?
A: The producers of the show decide who gets whom and base that on compatibility between pro dancers and "stars," and on what might make good television. Still, I have long felt they play favorites, for example giving Derek Hough performers who provided him the best chance to win — which he has done five times.
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