Rich Heldenfels
Tribune News Service

Q: One of my favorite shows is “Code Black.” Are the rumors true? Has it been canceled?

A: The show is still with us. CBS recently announced a third season of the medical drama. It is not on the network’s schedule for the fall but is expected sometime during the 2017-18 season.

Q: Did Octavia Spencer ever make a guest appearance on “The Big Bang Theory?” I am thinking of the episode where Sheldon is taken to get his learner’s permit.

A: Spencer did indeed appear on the CBS sitcom in a 2008 episode about Sheldon learning to drive. She was still a few years away from winning the Academy Award as best supporting actress for her performance in The Help. But the Oscar has not kept her away from TV; she often goes between roles on TV and the big screen.

Q: Got any idea why ESPN jettisoned “The Sports Reporters”?

A: Longtime panelist Bob Ryan told NPR that “the only reason we were given — and I am not making this up, and I’m not being hyperbolic, I’m being — quoting verbatim — ‘we’re going in another direction,’ unquote.”

At least one report claimed the most recent host, Mike Lupica, sank the show with diva antics and talking too much, in clear contrast to his predecessors, Dick Schaap and John Saunders; ESPN denied it was Lupica’s fault. As a viewer for many of the show’s 28 years on the air, I felt it had gotten stale and had stopped being a regular viewer.

But there has also been a larger sea change at ESPN, including about 100 people getting laid off, as it battles an array of regional and national competitors, rising costs and changes in how people watch all kinds of TV. In a memo posted online, ESPN President John Skipper said: “A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions. Our content strategy — primarily illustrated in recent months by melding distinct, personality-driven SportsCenter TV editions and digital-only efforts … still needs to go further, faster. … As a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent — anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play — necessary to meet those demands.”

Q: Will “2 Broke Girls” be back in the fall?

A: No. CBS chose not to continue the series after six seasons. There was talk about a shortened, seventh season to wrap up the series, but no deal could be worked out.

Since the ratings were still OK, some experts pointed out that CBS did not own the series (getting the rights from Warner Bros.) and these days networks lean more toward shows they own. But Deadline.com reported that CBS’s head of scheduling, Kelly Kahl, said the network had bought two new shows from Warner Bros. and the Broke decision was “a creative decision more than anything else.”

“2 Broke Girls was a really good show for us for a very long time,” he said. “Our comedy development this year was very good and whenever your comedy development is really good, it puts a lot of pressure on some of your older shows. We felt creatively it was time and we had to create some space on the schedule to get some new product on.”

Q: I have been trying to locate a copy of the World War II movie “The Bold and the Brave.” Mickey Rooney is cast in it (it is listed in his movie credits) but I don’t remember any other actors in it. I last saw this movie in the early ’60s.

A: The 1956 movie also starred Wendell Corey, according to the Turner Classic Movies database. It received two Oscar nominations, for Rooney as best supporting actor and for Robert Lewin’s original screenplay, although neither won. I have not found an authorized DVD release of the film, but did find it available for streaming and download, as a rental or a purchase on Amazon.com and iTunes.

Rich Heldenfels has retired from the Beacon Journal but continues to answer your questions about entertainment past, present and future. Write to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or brenfels@gmail.com. Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.