Television Q&A: Has ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ been renewed?

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You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: Please tell me that my new favorite show, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” has been renewed. It’s as if you are watching a mini Broadway show each week. The dance scenes are great! The characters are wonderful. It is always very uplifting.

A: I share your enjoyment of the series starring Jane Levy, and enough other people have that NBC has ordered a second season of the show. “We were overwhelmed by the number of people who fell in love with ‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ and how much joy it brought to everyone,” two NBC executives said in a statement announcing the renewal.

Q: Back in the days of “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” there was a weekly series where one of the male actors walked around his home in a bathrobe. He even did this when he had guests. For the life of me, even though I Googled all I could, cannot locate the name of the show or the actor.

A: Your interest is understandable considering how many folks have had to spend recent months in bathrobes or sweatpants. After I sent you a clip to jog your memory, we figured out that you were remembering “Lotsa Luck,” an NBC comedy from 1973-74. Dom DeLuise starred as Stanley Belmont, a harried lost-and-found supervisor for a bus company; the bathrobe wearer was Stanley’s brother-in-law, played by Wynn Irwin. “Mary Hartman,” by the way, came along in 1975.

Q: Is the ABC show “The Baker and the Beauty” being renewed for a second season?

A: No. ABC decided to end the series based on an Israeli show. But TVLine noted that “Baker” star Nathalie Kelley has hinted the show might land with a different programmer.

Q: When is “For Life” coming back?

A: Sometime next season. ABC has renewed the fact-based drama about a wrongfully imprisoned African American man who becomes a lawyer to try to free himself and other convicts. In reporting the renewal, Variety noted that the show seems especially timely today. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, an executive producer on the show, told Variety, “It’s more than just a show, it’s a fight for justice and we’re keeping the fight going.”

Q: I am trying to remember the name of a TV series that was produced by Warner Bros. in the 1950s and ’60s. It had three different stories, one shown each week. One was “Maverick” and I believe another was “Kings Row.”

A: “Warner Bros. Presents” was the umbrella title for a 1955-56 series on ABC rotating three shows: “Kings Row,” “Casablanca” and “Cheyenne.” Two failed, while “Cheyenne” — starring Clint Walker — had a long run. But, according to “The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable Shows,” “Cheyenne” seldom ran once a week, often sharing a time slot with series including “Sugarfoot,” “Bronco” and “Shirley Temple’s Storybook.” As for “Maverick,” it was a stand-alone series, although one that shuffled lead actors in different episodes, among them James Garner as Bret, Jack Kelly as Bart and, after Garner left in a contract dispute, Roger Moore as Beau and Robert Colbert as Brent. And, of course, it inspired several later series and a big-screen film.

Q: On the old “Andy Griffith Show” a young lady named Elinor Donahue played Andy’s girlfriend. I believe she also played a teenager on Robert Young’s sitcom. But I heard nothing about her after “Andy Griffith.”

A: Donahue, now 83, was indeed older daughter Betty Anderson on “Father Knows Best” before playing Ellie Walker in the first season of “The Andy Griffith Show.” In a 2006 interview for the Archive of American Television, she says she had a three-year contract with Griffith’s show but asked out of it because “I didn’t feel I was doing my best.” That Archive interview, by the way, lasts about 3 1/2 hours; one listing of her credits after “Andy Griffith” has more than 60 roles in movies and TV, including as a series regular, a recurring player or a guest-star.


(Do you have a question or comment about entertainment past, present and future? Write to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.)


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