Q: I love watching “Family Feud” and think Steve Harvey is doing great, but what happened with John O’Hurley? Why did he leave? He was a terrific host! — Gina T. in Texas
A: I spoke with John (pictured left, photo credit Virginia Sherwood/NBC) recently to talk about his other hosting duties, that of the ninth-annual National Dog Show presented by Purina (which airs on Thanksgiving Day after the Macy’s Parade), and he told me the reason behind his departure: “I had a wonderful time hosting ‘Family Feud.’ They wanted to move the show to Orlando, but with my child responsibilities here that just wasn’t going to happen. So, I just have to look at it as four phenomenal years. I miss the show dearly, but it frees me up to do so many other things. I’m back on Broadway, and will be heading back to Broadway again, and those are things that I just couldn’t do as freely when I was committed to ‘Family Feud.’” John is very grateful that you enjoyed him on the show, as well as the MANY other readers who wrote in to me to tell me that they missed him.
Q: I remember awhile back you reported that “Avatar” star CCH Pounder told you that there would be a sequel. Is that still in the works, or was it just wishful thinking? — Travis G., via e-mail
A: Would I, or CCH Pounder, ever steer you wrong? There are actually TWO “Avatar” sequels in the works. 20th Century Fox hopes to have the first of the as-of-now-untitled sequels in theaters by December 2014, with the third movie released the following December 2015. Director/visionary James Cameron released this statement: “In the second and third films, which will be self-contained stories that also fulfill a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of ‘Avatar’s’ visual and emotional horsepower, and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world.”
Q: When is HBO’s “Big Love” coming back for its fifth season? — Justine D., via e-mail
A: The hit drama series about a Salt Lake City businessman (played by Bill Paxton) and his three wives (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin) will return for its fifth and final season on Jan. 16.
Q: I read that they were making a sequel to “Napoleon Dynamite.” Is that true? — Flint M., Akron, Ohio
A: It’s not exactly a sequel. Fox has ordered six episodes of an animated version of the 2004 cult hit, which starred Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez (as Napoleon and his friend Pedro). Efren told me that one episode is already in the can and that everyone is thrilled with it. He told me that “it appeals to everybody, and it’s funny. It’s got all of the original cast and the original writers. And it’s Fox, and as you know, Fox does a great job with animated series.”