'Nashville' getting tuned up for 2nd season

Jay Bobbin

Q: Why has ABC not shown reruns of “Nashville” this summer? Summer is for reruns. Why won’t the networks give us what we want?

— Sandy Bieselt, Ellwood City, Pa.

A: It’s also a matter of what the networks want, and in a word, that’s “ratings.” Serialized dramas typically haven’t repeated well in those terms, even if there might be the chance to pick up some additional viewers from them.

You’ll note that ABC hasn’t given summer runs to “Revenge,” “Grey’s Anatomy” or “Scandal” either, but with the Connie Britton/Hayden Panettiere-starring “Nashville” launching its second season Sept. 25, ABC is repeating the last couple of episodes from Season 1 this month to get appetites whetted again.

Q: With the many reruns on many channels showing the popularity of “The Big Bang Theory,” are they going to be producing any new episodes this year?

— Jean Lofland, Westerville, Ohio

A: Oh, you bet they are. The sitcom remains a massive hit for its originating network, CBS, which is why the Season 7 premiere Sept. 26 will be an hour long. The show also has done extremely well in repeats, which is why TBS offers several of them on so many nights now ... and in turn, CBS has acknowledged that the show’s exposure there — and in local syndication — has helped drive more viewers to the new episodes.

Q: What has happened to “The Chris Matthews Show” on Sundays? He just did a review of his years on the show a little while ago.

— Betty Phillips,

Stuart, Fla.

A: The reason for that review was that the program was ceasing production. MSNBC “Hardball” host Matthews’ weekend show broadcast its final installment in mid-July, and he’s said that he’ll be applying the time he spent researching and recording his eponymous show to writing books and producing documentaries.

Q: I missed Michael Douglas playing Liberace. Will it be shown again?

— Dianne Johnson. West Bend, Wis.

A: HBO is running “Behind the Candelabra” again this month, this week on Tuesday. That’s likely no coincidence since it’s also the day the home video division of HBO is releasing the drama — also starring Matt Damon and directed by Steven Soderbergh — on DVD and Blu-ray.

It also will have some more runs after that, which is a case of HBO planning ahead in the event the film fares well at the Emmy Awards (which it could, since it has no fewer than 15 nominations) on Sept. 22.

Q: I keep hearing that “24” is going to return. When is that going to happen?

— Joe Powell, Boulder, Colo.

A: It’s set to start next May, but “24: Live Another Day” is meant only to be an “event series” in Fox’s terminology ... in other words, a limited-run show. The network chose a better time than it could have imagined when it confirmed the project last spring, because with the success CBS has had with “Under the Dome” since, everyone in broadcast television management is looking for similar ideas for next summer. And having an already proven commodity such as “24” puts Fox in an especially good position.

As might be expected, Kiefer Sutherland will be back as Jack Bauer, but the format won’t cling exactly to the real-time premise that the weekly show had. One hour of the new show will represent two hours of events in the story, and much of the original series’ creative team is returning (along with co-star Mary Lynn Rajskub as Jack’s top information source, Chloe), so you can anticipate the feel of the sequel being much the same.

Q: What is Kathryn Erbe up to now? I enjoyed her and Vincent D’Onofrio as partners on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Will they be appearing next season on the series, or did they decide this year is the last?

— Fran Duquette, Frankfort, N.Y.

A: You must be watching repeats on ION or USA Network (or, in some areas, on a local station) if you believe the crime drama is still in production, since it ended in 2011. Erbe has appeared as her character Eames in a couple of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” episode since.

“The Big Bang Theory” will make its Season 7 premiere Sept. 26 on CBS. The show has become a syndication hit in recent years, helping bring more viewers to its new episodes.
Hayden Panettiere and the cast of “Nashville” return for a second season Sept. 25 on ABC.