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TV Q&A: Was Sarah Lancashire always cast as Julia? | Entertainment

Rich Heldenfels Tribune News Service

You have questions. I have answers.

Q: We really enjoyed the HBO Max series Julia and thought Sarah Lancashire was great in the lead role. Did the Yulia producers see potential in her for the role, perhaps based on other work, or did she just go to the casting and win the part?

Reply: Lancashire has such an impressive CV on stage and screen that Vanity Fair recently named her a “British Acting Treasure”. (Here, readers may know her from productions of The Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley, among others.)

The creators of “Julia” had a long list of possible actors for the role of Julia Child – at one point Joan Cusack was being considered – and Lancashire was on the list, they sent in the show’s pilot script and asked to audition. As Vanity Fair put it, she hadn’t auditioned in decades because, as a young actor, “I was hopeless at the audition.”

But that part was interesting enough to make her fly to LA for an audition. And she was so good that the show and the network concluded, “It was Sarah or nothing,” said showrunner Chris Keizer. But it was Sarah, the show is really something, and the second season has already been ordered.

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Q: I am writing to you in the hope that one of my favorite series, The Cleaner, will return. It ended abruptly. Please return it!

Reply: The Fox drama starring Elodie Yung ended with a thrilling ending – like so many shows these days. But you should get some kind of decision next season as Fox ordered a second run.

Q: I just watched the Bull season finale and it looks like Jason Bull is gone. Does this mean the show is no more?

Reply: Several readers were surprised by the events in the May 26 episodes of the Michael Weatherly drama. As reported (and mentioned here before), Bull came to an end this season, with this May 26 episode being the series finale.

Back in January, Weatherly said, “I decided it was time to take on new creative challenges and wrap up (Bull’s) story.” The show also had several off-screen issues, including settling a sexual harassment lawsuit, and ratings reportedly declined.

Q: I’m so sad to hear that the Magnum PI reboot was canceled by CBS after four seasons. It’s such a big show. Is there a chance other networks or streaming services will use it for more seasons?

Reply: The series, starring Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum, is reportedly being sold to other programmers. While the series was popular, according to Deadline.com, it “was a business rather than a creative decision after both parties failed to agree on a license fee as lower overall linear ratings reduced what networks were willing to spend on the show.” “.

Compounding the problem was that Magnum did not come from CBS, but from Universal, and the network had “tough talks” with Universal over deals for the three series The FBI and The Equalizer. According to Deadline, these shows were must-haves for CBS. “Magnum” not so much.

Q: Back in the late 1960s or early 1970s, there was a TV show like The Twilight Zone with an opening sequence showing a rollercoaster ride accompanied by a theme song that seemed to be whistling. Very creepy. Do you know what the show was called and is it possible to watch it again?

Reply: It was an anthology series made in England called Journey into the Unknown which first aired in 1968-69 and consisted of 17 episodes. The series has been compared to the Alfred Hitchcock series; Joan Harrison, who collaborated with Hitchcock many times, was the executive producer of Journey.

Episodes from the series were also compiled into four TV movies: Journey into the Unknown, Journey to Murder, Journey into Darkness, and Journey to Midnight. I have not found an authorized release of the series, but you can find episodes on YouTube.

Do you have a question or comment about the past, present and future of entertainment? Email Rich Heldenfels, PO Box 417, Mogador, Ohio, 44260, or brenfels@gmail.com.

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