Small Screen: What happened to NYPD Blue's Dennis Franz?

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: I would like to find out what happened to Dennis Franz, who played Andy Sipowicz beautifully on NYPD Blue. Did he play any TV roles previously?

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A: Franz retired from acting after his Emmy-winning, 12-season run on NYPD Blue ended in 2005. “I needed a break,” he told the New York Post a few years ago. “I was just tired. ... When we finished up, I told my agents I needed a year off, and that year went by in about 10 minutes. I realized I’m pretty good at this and I’d like another year to think about what’s next — and during that second period of time, I sort of made my mind up that this is where I wanna be. I just wanted to live an enjoyable, irresponsible, spend-time-with-my-family kind of life. I haven’t regretted one minute of it. I’m pretty good at doing nothing.” He did indicate he might return for the right role, but that has not happened yet.

As for Franz before NYPD Blue, he played a lot of tough guys in movies and on TV. His breakthrough came in 1983, on Hill Street Blues as rogue detective “Bad Sal” Benedetto. That character was killed off, and Franz took jobs on other shows, but he had made such an impression on Hill Street that he was brought back to play another detective, Norman Buntz. After Hill Street ended, Franz starred in a single-season sequel, Beverly Hills Buntz. Other work followed, and he would strike gold again with “NYPD Blue.”

Q: My husband and I watch Project Runway together and were wondering when the next season will start. We know it moved back to Bravo but I can’t find out anything about the 17th season online.

A: Look for the new season in 2019, offering what Bravo has called “the next evolution of the franchise.” The series originally aired for five seasons on Bravo from 2004 to 2008, then went to Lifetime. As Variety reported, that network ended its deal following the reports of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein, whose company owned the show. Another company has since acquired the Weinstein company’s assets, making the Bravo deal possible.

Q: Do you know the status of the show Timeless?

A: After going through one cancellation and then a fan-demanded un-cancellation, the NBC drama has been cancelled again after two seasons. Sort of. The network has announced a two-hour movie to air in the holiday season, which will provide “one final emotional story for the Time Team.”

“While we wish we could’ve made another dozen seasons of Timeless, this is the next best thing,” said a statement from Timeless creators Shawn Ryan and Eric Kripke. “We’re thrilled to take the Lifeboat out for one last spin and bring closure to our story. The studio, network, cast and crew are all doing this for one reason only: the fans. ... The fans made this happen.”

Q: Would you be kind enough to advise if The Crown will have another season and if so when it is scheduled to start? I sure hope so as there is still a lot of story left untold.

A: The drama about the Queen will return for a third season in 2019. But there will be big changes from the previous season. As the characters age — the third season will bring the story into the 1960s and ’70s — the actors from the first two seasons are being replaced. For example, Olivia Colman has succeeded Claire Foy as Elizabeth, and Tobias Menzies follows Matt Smith as Philip. We will see how this works. But I bemoan the loss of the wonderful Vanessa Kirby as Margaret; Helena Bonham Carter is assuming the role.

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