Q: I love the Starz original series “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” and I am eager to know if the series will return for a second season. I know that the show’s star, Andy Whitfield, has been battling cancer, but I heard he was on the mend. — Theresa F., Bowling Green, Ohio
A: Andy had been making terrific progress. His non-Hodgkin Lymphoma was in remission, he was back in training for “Spartacus,” and in an appearance at July’s San Diego Comic-Con, he said that he felt better than ever. However, Andy and Starz recently announced that the actor had to leave the series to immediately resume aggressive treatment for the recurrence of his cancer.
Andy said in a statement: “It’s with a deep sense of disappointment that I must step aside from such an exceptional project as ‘Spartacus’ and all the wonderful people involved. It seems that it is time for myself and my family to embark on another extraordinary journey.”
A representative for the network said the future of the series will be discussed at a later date. Starz still plans to air the show’s prequel, “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” in January 2011. It focuses on the House of Batiatus before Spartacus arrives in Capua, and stars returning cast members John Hannah and Lucy Lawless.
Q: My husband and I are big fans of the new cop show “The Good Guys.” It’s such a refreshing change from all the same old ones. Can you please tell us if it will be picked up for another season? — Linda M., via e-mail
A: The buddy cop show, which premiered in May on Fox, has been picked up for a second season, and has acquired fall-season status. You can catch it on Friday nights (rather than Mondays). I’m sure that its stars, Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks, thank you for your support.
Q: I was so happy that Jane Lynch won an Emmy Award for her role as Sue Sylvestro on “Glee.” I know she is busy with that show, but does she have any other projects coming up? — Julian F., via e-mail
A: The in-demand actress — who previous to “Glee” was best known for her roles in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Best in Show” — just wrapped production on the film “Paul.” The movie is a comedy/sci-fi film that also stars Jason Bateman, Seth Rogen, Sigourney Weaver, Kristin Wiig and a ton of other megastars. Look for “Paul” in March 2011.
Q: I was flipping through channels the other afternoon, and I could have sworn I saw movie actress Sean Young on “The Young and The Restless.” Was that really her, and if so, why did she decide to do it? — Jill G., Albuquerque, N.M.
A: That was indeed the accomplished 50-year-old movie star. Sean played a featured role as Meggie McClain on the long-running hit soap opera opposite good friend Eric Braeden. She co-starred with him in the 2008 movie “The Man Who Came Back,” which also co-starred Eric’s “Titanic” co-star Billy Zane, along with Carol Alt, George Kennedy and Armand Assante. Of taking on the role of Meggie, Sean said: “Getting the chance to work with my dear friend Eric Braeden — one of the true gentlemen in entertainment — was certainly a deciding factor for me, as well as wanting to get back to work after taking a few years off to raise my kids.”
Q: David Cross is one of my favorite comedians. What has he been up to lately? — Paul F., via e-mail
A: The 46-year-old funnyman has brought his original comedy series, “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret,” to the Independent Film Channel, where it airs Friday nights. This hilarious show follows the entertaining misadventures of an American pathological liar (David) as he bluffs his way into a senior marketing job in the London office for an energy drink called ThunderMuscle. The always-hilarious Will Arnett plays his boss. To read my fun interview with David, go here.
Q: I love the HBO drama “In Treatment.” Please tell me it is coming back for a third season! — Peggy H., Columbus, Ohio
A: I’m happy to report that “In Treatment,” starring Gabriel Byrne and Dianne Wiest, will be back beginning Oct. 25. The third season also brings guest stars Debra Winger and Amy Ryan.
Q: I am so glad that TLC’s “Little People, Big World” is back on TV. However, I’ve heard that this is the final season. Is that true? I hope not — I absolutely love this show and the message of love and acceptance it provides. — David D., via e-mail
A: I am sorry to tell you, but TLC recently announced that this sixth season will be the show’s last. Stars Matt and Amy Roloff said: “The show has been an amazing and unforgettable experience for our entire family. Over the past five years we have shared the most rewarding journey that will forever be in our hearts. We will always be grateful to our TLC family, and most of all, our fans.” You can catch “Little People, Big World” Monday nights on TLC.
Q: Is there a new “Mission: Impossible” movie in the works? — Jerry F., Annapolis, Md.
A: There is, indeed. “Mission: Impossible IV” is currently in production, with an anticipated release date of Dec. 16, 2011. Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt, with “The Hurt Locker”’s Jeremy Renner on board as a young operative learning from Ethan, and Paula Patton (real-life wife of singer Robin Thicke) as Ethan’s love interest. The movie also features Jonathan Rhys Myers, Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames.
Q: A reader’s question in one of your previous columns made me want to rent “Witness,” with Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis and Lukas Haas. As I was watching it, I noticed an actor who played one of the young Amish men looked a lot like Viggo Mortensen. I couldn’t read the credits, the print was so small. — Trudy F., Hamilton, Ohio
A: That was indeed a young Viggo — his first role in a major Hollywood production. From there, he went on to land bit parts here and there, until he really made his presence known in a small but pivotal — and unforgettable — role as Lucifer in 1995’s “The Prophecy.” You know you’ve made your mark in a film when you share a scene with Christopher Walken, but all eyes are on you! He then went on to co-star in “G.I. Jane,” “28 Days” and “A Walk on the Moon” before hitting superstardom by landing the role of Aragorn in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Up next for Viggo, 51, is the role of Sigmund Freud in “A Dangerous Method.” He’s currently filming “On the Road,” the movie adaptation of the book of the same name by Jack Kerouac.
Q: I really like “The Forgotten.” There is suspense without gore, and I like the actors and characters. Will it be back? — Michael M., via e-mail
A: ABC has decided not to renew the drama starring Christian Slater due to the ever-popular reason of “low ratings.” Which is a shame, because I really liked it too.
Q: I’m a big fan of “Ice Road Truckers” on the History Channel. I am especially fascinated by Lisa, the young female driver who manages to keep up with the “big guys” and do her job as well as any of them. What can you tell me about this gal? — Bernard B., Palm Springs, Calif.
A: Lisa Kelly, 29, is in her second year of traveling on the dangerous, icy roads of “Ice Road Truckers.” The former motocross champion and pizza-delivery driver certainly can hold her own within this “good-ole-boy” occupation, but she does have to constantly prove herself to her peers. The self-proclaimed tomboy was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., and attended one semester of college at Cornerstone University until circumstances led her to driving the big rigs. She has been married to husband Traves since September 2008.
Q: I am so excited for the fall movie season to begin, as I am getting a little tired of all these high-action, shoot-’em-up summer blockbusters. Which fall movies are you most looking forward to? — Renee G., via e-mail
A: Without a doubt, No. 1 on my list is “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1,” which opens Nov. 19. I’m also looking forward to “Nowhere Boy” (Oct. 8), “RED” (Oct. 15), “The Company Men” (Oct. 22), “127 Hours” (Nov. 5), “Love and Other Drugs” (Nov. 24), “How Do You Know” (Dec. 17), “TRON: Legacy” (Dec. 17), “Somewhere” (Dec. 22) and “Blue Valentine” (Dec. 31). What movie(s) are you most looking forward to? Go to here and let your voice be heard!
Q: Has “Happy Town” been canceled on ABC? I got hooked on it with the first episode, but it has been replaced with “Castle” in the same time slot. — Josie H., via e-mail
A: Citing the reason of poor ratings, ABC canceled “Happy Town” at the beginning of the summer, despite a stellar cast that included Steven Webber and Sam Neill. ABC didn’t even let it stick around long enough to air all eight episodes on TV; the final two episodes can be watched online at ABC.com.
Q: My husband and I got hooked on “Criminal Minds” and have been watching the reruns all summer. Will the show be coming back in the fall? — Nancy G., Punta Gorda, Fla.
A: I love to be the bearer of good news, as so many of my readers’ favorite shows seem to be getting canceled these days. “Criminal Minds” is back on CBS on Wednesday nights. Also, if you just can’t get enough crime solving, midseason you can catch its spin-off, “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior,” which is slated to star Forest Whitaker, Richard Schiff and Janeane Garofalo.
Q: I watched “The Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff” this past month on TV, and I was glad to see a lot of his old “Baywatch” co-stars there. I did notice a few absences, like David Charvet. Why didn’t he attend? — Mischa W. in Oregon
A: David and I talked about that when he was promoting his new movie, “The Perfect Teacher,” for the Lifetime Movie Network (check your local listings for days and times). He told me he was invited but chose not to attend. “I love David (Hasselhoff) and really respect him. I know these roasts can get pretty mean, and I just didn’t want to do that to him.” What a class act David is, huh?
Q: When will my favorite show, “Grey’s Anatomy,” be back? And can you give me any teasers as to what’s going to happen? — Ingrid F., via e-mail
A: “Grey’s Anatomy” is back for its seventh season on ABC. When I recently spoke with Kim Raver, who plays Teddy Altman on the medical drama, she told me that her character gets a new love interest.
“I’m pretty sure that the triangle with Teddy, Owen and Kristina is done,” Kim explains. “And while I’m sad for Teddy, because it’s really hard for her, I’m just happy as a fan because the Owen and Kristina story has so much more to explore. I’m glad not to continue it, because otherwise it would have become redundant. It was a great way to establish Teddy. And so in the first couple of episodes you might actually see Teddy kind of having something romantic with a new person. She’s gonna try!”
Q: I have always enjoyed watching Michael J. Fox, and I wondered if he’ll be in something else soon? — Debbie K., via e-mail
A: While the actor certainly has limited the number of roles he accepts due to his Parkinson’s disease, Michael still acts here and there. Most recently he was seen as Dwight on “Rescue Me,” and he can be seen this fall in a guest appearance on CBS’ “The Good Wife.” According to CBS, he’ll play a “shrewd and cynical” lawyer who tackles Julianna Margulies’ character in a class-action lawsuit.