TV Q&A: John C. McGinley is grounded in other series

By JAY BOBBIN © Zap2it Published:

Q: I like John C. McGinley on "Ground Floor." Has he ever done any series besides that one and "Scrubs"? -- Jim Craig, Pontiac, Ill.

A: He had a multiple-episode run on "Burn Notice" during its sixth season, but beyond those shows, the actor's series work has been a matter of supplying his voice for animated characters. He's done that for "Justice League" (as the Atom), "WordGirl" and "Dan Vs."

Q: Why was the series "Sports Night" canceled? It's so witty; I've caught it on FXX. -- Jeannine Vogel, Columbus, Ohio

A: While its fans have loved it ever since its original run, precisely for that wit, the Aaron Sorkin-created show never was a ratings hit for ABC, which gave it two seasons. Reportedly, there were chances for it to continue on cable, but Sorkin already was looking ahead to his next project ... NBC's "The West Wing," which he would follow with HBO's "The Newsroom."

Several stars of "Sports Night" didn't fare badly in scoring other series runs afterward. Peter Krause went on to "Six Feet Under," "Dirty Sexy Money" and NBC's current "Parenthood"; Josh Charles continues his run on CBS' "The Good Wife" (and recently directed an episode); Felicity Huffman spent eight seasons on "Desperate Housewives"; and Joshua Malina has been having a wildly good run on ABC's "Scandal."

Q: Why was the return of "Mike & Molly" advertised as the "new" "Mike & Molly"? They look like the same actors and characters to me. -- Donna Parsons, Reading, Pa.

A: It's not a matter of the actors but the premise. By taking Molly out of her teaching job and letting her sample various professions in her pursuit of a writing career, CBS has tried to give Melissa McCarthy even more of a showcase ... quite understandable, given the movie stardom she's developed in recent years. That still might beg another asking of why the network didn't use the show as a season starter, given McCarthy's popularity, but at least it's back now.

Q: When is "The Bachelor" coming back? -- Terri Haines, Daytona Beach, Fla.

A: Jan. 6. As has happened in the past, he'll be familiar to fans of "The Bachelorette," since ABC has appointed Juan Pablo Galavis -- of the past summer's edition steered by Desiree Hartsock -- as the latest fellow getting to have many dates in the quest for one mate. The woman also will have to have the makings of a good stepmother, since Galavis has a daughter, and you can just about bank on host Chris Harrison declaring one of more of the telecasts "The Most Dramatic 'Bachelor' Episode Yet!"

Q: Where have I seen the actress who plays Leigh on "The Michael J. Fox Show" before? -- Dan Porter, Twin Falls, Idaho

A: Katie Finneran is a two-time Tony Award winner who has worked in several television series including "Wonderfalls," "The Inside," "Drive" and "I Hate My Teenage Daughter." She also was the first Miss Hannigan in the latest Broadway staging of "Annie" until she left to do the "Michael J. Fox Show" pilot for NBC.

Send questions of general interest to tvpipeline@tribune.com. Writers must include their names, cities and states. Personal replies cannot be sent.

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