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Small Screen: Jim Dial to make brief visits on new Murphy Brown

You have questions. I have some answers. Q: I was always a fan of “Murphy Brown” and am looking forward to the series reboot this fall.
Stars of Murphy Brown reboot include, top row from left, Nik Dodani, Grant Shaud and Jake McDorman; bottom row, Tyne Daly, Faith Ford, Candice Bergen and Joe Regalbuto. The premiere is set for Sept. 27.

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: I was always a fan of “Murphy Brown” and am looking forward to the series reboot this fall. However, I notice on all the promos for the show’s return that all the characters are there except Jim Dial (Charles Kimbrough). Has he decided not to reprise his character? That would leave Murphy with three nuts — Corky, Frank and Miles — and no common sense! I also think that Phil and Eldin both passed away several years ago. Will they be replaced?

A: Jim Dial is “a retired newsman, but he does find a compelling reason to return to the gang for a short time,” series creator Diane English has said, according to (Kimbrough, 82, reportedly declined a full-time gig with the show.) Robert Pastorelli, who played Eldin, died in 2004; Pat Corley, who played Phil, died in 2006. I do not know of any plans to replace Eldin. In the new show, Phil’s bar will now be run by his sister Phyllis, played by Tyne Daly. Besides Daly and the returning Candice Bergen (Murphy), Faith Ford (Corky), Joe Regalbuto (Frank) and Grant Shaud (Miles), the show will feature Jake McDorman as Murphy’s now-grown son Avery and Nik Dodani as Pat Patel, the team’s social-media director. The show arrives on Sept. 27, with a first run of 13 episodes.

Q: I have watched Kevin Costner in so many movies and really enjoy his acting. I’ve watched “Yellowstone” three times. I’m very disappointed. This program has no excitement, which I would have expected. I’m so sorry, but I’m afraid this will not be renewed.

A: I hate to add to your disappointment, but Paramount Network has renewed “Yellowstone” for a second season.

Q: Loved “Succession” on HBO. Will it be back?

A: Yes. HBO ordered a second season of the family-and-big-business comedy-drama shortly after the first one began. Look for new episodes in 2019.

Q: I have a question for you about Perry Mason and Della Street. I watch all their shows again now that they are on MeTV and am wondering how romantically involved they were. They are always together for everything they do but never real romance. Why is that? They make a perfect couple and it seems they are.

A: According to the book “Icons of Mystery and Crime Detection” and other sources, there were suggestions of a romance going back to the Erle Stanley Gardner novels that led to Perry Mason films and, most famously, the 1957-66 series and subsequent TV-movies starring Raymond Burr as Mason and Barbara Hale as Street. There were even times in the books when Mason proposed marriage, only to be told, “I don’t think you need a wife, but I know damn well you need a secretary who’s willing to go to jail occasionally to back your play.” The book also notes that Gardner thought Mason would lose his sex appeal if he married Street — but that there were plenty of TV hints of something more than a professional relationship.

Q: Do you think “Code Black” is coming back?

A: That may be a mystery worthy of Perry Mason. I mentioned about a month ago CBS had cancelled the series. More recently, though, CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl told reporters that “we’d like to figure out a way” to bring it back — if, that is, the finances could be worked out. But noted that the options on all the actors have expired, so new deals would have to be made. And one of the stars, Rob Lowe, called Kahl’s comments “non-specific” and “fuzzy.” That said, there are also hopes the show could find at least find a home on a streaming service. But at this writing there’s nothing definite.