TELEVISION

Television Q&A: What happened to Martin Riggs on 'Lethal Weapon'?

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You have questions. I have some answers. 

Q: What happened to Clayne Crawford who played Martin Riggs on "Lethal Weapon"? Why did they kill him off?

A: The brief answer is Crawford was fired after two seasons on the Fox action series, inspired by the movies starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Crawford played Riggs (the name of Gibson's character in the films) with Damon Wayans as Roger Murtaugh (Glover's movie role). Riggs was shot in the second-season finale and declared dead in the third season premiere, with Seann William Scott joining the series as Wesley Cole, a new partner for Murtaugh.

But what did it take to get one of the two main actors on a show dismissed? Crawford's relationship with the show was not nearly as warm as the farewell the show gave Riggs in the season premiere. Before his firing, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Crawford admitted he had been twice reprimanded for his on-set behavior, including an outburst over what he considered unsafe working conditions. He apologized for those incidents, but there were other problems — including, as Crawford said in a post-firing podcast, repeated conflicts with Wayans, whom Crawford called "a waste of space."

The situation became so bad the Hollywood Reporter said "many connected with the series have said they would rather not work with" Crawford. To keep the show going, the studio dropped Crawford and brought in Scott — and on this show, it doesn't really matter who's jumping just ahead of yet another explosion.

Q: Why did Harry Connick Jr.'s show go off the air?

A: The syndicated talk-variety show was cancelled after two seasons. Deadline.com said it had been "a soft ratings performer from the start," including with a key daytime audience of women 25 to 54 years old. The cancellation was "fully expected," Deadline said, and television stations carrying Connick had already been shopping for replacements before the cancellation was official.

Q: We very much enjoyed the summer replacement show on ABC, "Take Two" with Eddie Cibrian and Rachel Bilson. Any chance of it getting picked up for a more permanent position next year?

A: At this writing, there's nothing official from ABC about a second take for "Take Two." And, if it does come back, it would likely be for another summer run.

Q: In my opinion, Mickey Rooney was the most talented performer there ever was. He acted and danced and he could sing. Could you please tell me how many musical instruments he could play?

A: I suspect Rooney, as talented as he was troubled, could have pounded out a tune on anything you put in front of him. One 2014 obituary noted that in "Babes in Arms" alone he played seven different instruments.

Q: I watch Turner Classic Movies all the time and I noticed for months after Robert Osborne died they had a young woman previewing the films and giving information about them. What happened to her? I've seen another woman named Alicia Malone has taken her place. She has a really hard-to-understand speech pattern.

A: Malone is from Australia, which may explain those speech patterns bothering you; she and Dave Karger became full-time hosts for the channel earlier this year. Tiffany Vazquez, the host you remember from earlier, tweeted in January that her contract with TCM had not been renewed. She had been with the channel for less than two years and acquired many fans — and quite a few online critics. Still, she said, "This experience has changed my life and I'm forever thankful for it."

(Do you have a question or comment 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.)

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