Q: I am really enjoying TNT’s new show “Men of a Certain Age.” Has it been picked up for a second season? — Jeffrey G., Decatur, Ga.
A: I have great news for you: TNT has renewed “Men” for a second season. The wry drama stars Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula as friends who are dealing with all the things life throws at them as they approach midlife. The show focuses on Joe (Romano), a 40-something, recently separated father of two who had dreams of being a professional golfer, but instead owns and runs a party store. He has two best friends: Owen (Braugher), who is a car salesman at his dad’s dealership, and Terry (Bakula), a handsome, still-struggling-to-make-it actor.
Q: I am bummed that “Glee” is on hiatus, and I can’t wait for it to return! Can you give us a scoop about potential guest stars in the spring? — Stephanie P., Ocala, Fla.
A: The divine Jane Lynch (who plays Sue Sylvester) recently revealed that none other than Olivia Newton-John will guest-star when the Fox series returns in April. Jane told E! online: “I’m so excited, I can’t see straight! Olivia provided the soundtrack for my tortured adolescence. Her charitable work and commitment to making others’ lives and the life of the planet better is so inspiring.” Word is that Olivia and Jane will sing a duet. The song: “Let’s Get Physical.”
Also, when “Glee” returns for its second season in the fall, there will be three new cast members. Fox has put out an open casting call for actors between the ages of 16 and 26. If interested, you can find info and updates at fox.com/glee.
Q: I keep hearing rumors about a new “Jurassic Park” movie in the works. Is it true? — Henry H., via e-mail
A: This is one rumor that is “triple” true. Joe Johnston, who directed the third installment, recently revealed that there is not only a fourth movie coming out, but it will be followed closely by two more. He told boxoffice.com: “'Jurassic Park IV’ breaks away from the first three — it’s essentially the beginning of the second 'Jurassic Park’ trilogy. It’s going to be done in a completely different way. If you think of the first three (movies) as a trilogy, No. 4 would be the beginning of a second trilogy.”
Q: Al Pacino is one of my all-time favorite actors. Can you tell me what he’s been up to lately and what I can see him in next? — Paul G., Vero Beach, Fla.
A: The most recent Pacino news has Al taking on the title role in the movie “You Don’t Know Jack,” which is based on the life of assisted-suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian. The multi-award-winning star, who turns 70 in April, stars alongside Susan Sarandon, John Goodman, Danny Huston and Brenda Vaccaro in the Barry Levinson-directed biopic, which will be released later this year. He also just began production as King Lear in “King Lear” and has a half-dozen movies waiting in the wings for him to star in.
Q: I absolutely love the procedural dramas like “Criminal Minds” and “Law & Order.” I heard that there are even more spin-offs of these shows in the works. Is that true? I hope so! — Patty J., via e-mail
A: A few weeks back, NBC programming chief Angela Bromstad announced that the network is in talks with “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf about introducing “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” which would mark a location departure for the series, as it’s always taken place in New York. There also have been some rumors floating about that Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker is in negotiations to star in a “Criminal Minds” spin-off for CBS.
Q: On the final night of “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien,” he joked that he’d like actress Tilda Swinton to play him in a movie of his life. While my husband and I thought it was funny, I got to wondering, how did Tilda feel about that comment? — Trudy J., Harrisburg, Pa.
A: Tilda has just a great a sense of humor as the next person. When asked by Movieline if she’d be game to play Conan if the chance were ever offered, she exclaimed: “I would just be only too happy. Yes, yes, yes, absolutely!” She even went so far as to suggest that they help each other out with their various entertainment and promotional duties, offering that Conan could stand in for her and help to promote her movies. “And why not? Every girl should have a doppelganger.”
Q: When is the new “Parenthood” series going to premiere? It seems like I’ve been waiting forever! — Faith G., via e-mail
A: Our wait is almost over. “Parenthood” is set to premiere on Tuesday, March 2, at 10 p.m., just a few days after the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. It was originally scheduled to air on Mondays at 9 p.m., but since the cancellation of “The Jay Leno Show,” NBC has had to do some major schedule shuffling to fill in the 10 o’clock gaps.
Q: My brother and I have an ongoing disagreement that I hope you can help with. He says that the child actor in Madonna’s “Open Your Heart” video is a young Leonardo DiCaprio. I say it is someone else. Who’s correct? — Summer G., Huntsville, Ala.
A: Tell your brother that girls know best, because you are correct in this argument. Leo’s breakthrough role was that of Luke in “Growing Pains” back in 1991 (his movie breakthrough would come two years later opposite Robert DeNiro in “This Boy’s Life”).
The young boy in the Madonna video is child actor Felix Howard (pictured left, with Madonna). He is from the U.K. and was 13 when he danced alongside the Material Girl. Felix soon left the acting world behind and went on to play in bands and later became a songwriter, writing songs for Amy Winehouse, Kylie Minogue, Holly Valance and Beverly Knight. He then got into the business side of the recording industry, and this past summer was promoted to head of A&R for EMI Music Publishing in the U.K.
Q: Does Julia Roberts plan to have more children? I thought I read somewhere that she wants to have a houseful of kids. — Jackie R., via e-mail
A: The word on the street is no more kids for Julia and husband Danny Moder. Julia recently told OK! Magazine — while promoting her new movie “Valentine’s Day” — that she and Danny are happy with three children in their brood. “I think we’re going to stick with a trio. We just want to enjoy them and participate with what’s going on with each of them.” With another movie coming out this year, “Eat, Pray, Love,” and nine more in production, I don’t see how Julia could even find the time!
Q: With the Academy Award nominees recently being announced, where will you put your money for Best Picture? Mine is on “Avatar.” — Mike R., via e-mail
A: I always have two picks in my head come award season: who WILL win, and who SHOULD win. This year is a bit more difficult because of the Academy’s decision to allow for 10 Best Picture nominees instead of the usual five. While I loved “Avatar” for its beauty and ingenuity, the story was a bit weak for me to win for Best Picture. “Up in the Air” and “District 9” are up there when it comes to great story, great acting and an overall great movie-going experience.
However, I believe that the Academy is going to bestow the honor this year on “The Hurt Locker,” a movie that truly deserves every accolade it receives. But if you want to know the movie I really WANT to see win the Academy Award, it’s “Up.” “Up” is a beautiful, moving and hilarious journey — both for the characters on screen and those watching it — that for me deserves Hollywood’s highest honor.