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‘Equalizer’ remake: Queen Latifah stars in series based on 1980s CBS show

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: I was a big fan of the original “Equalizer.” I recently saw part of an episode of another version that featured a largely Black cast, including the title character, and was set in Europe. Can you tell me anything about this? Was it a series, and where can I find it?

Queen Latifah as Robyn McCall in “The Equalizer.” (Barbara Nitke/CBS)

A: For those of you tuning in late, “The Equalizer” was originally a series on CBS from 1985 to 1989. Edward Woodward starred as the title character, named Robert McCall, for most of the run. Richard Jordan played another character helping with the equalizing for a time when Woodward had to lighten his schedule after a heart attack.

In 2014, the series’ concept was reworked for an “Equalizer” movie starring Denzel Washington, with the new character again called Robert McCall. A sequel, “The Equalizer 2,” followed in 2018; that movie was set partly in Europe, and I suspect that is what you saw. Both of those movies have been released on DVD and Blu-ray and other formats. In February of this year, a new television series with the “Equalizer” title premiered on CBS. It stars Queen Latifah as Robyn McCall. You can find episodes streaming on the Paramount+ subscription service, on demand and on CBS on Sunday nights.

Q: Do you know why Mina left “The Resident”?

Shaunette Renée Wilson in the “Into the Unknown” episode of “The Resident.” (Guy D’Alema/Fox)

A: Fans were surprised when Dr. Mina Okafor left the show’s Atlanta setting to return to Nigeria. But it is what Shaunette Renee Wilson, who played Mina on Fox’s medical drama, wanted. Her widely reported statement said: “After deeply thoughtful reflection, I approached the producers some time ago asking to leave the show and they agreed – and gave my character a wonderful sendoff. I am appreciative of them for allowing me to embody as beautiful of a soul as Dr. Mina Okafor. I would also like to thank the studio, network, cast, crew and, most of all, the wonderfully dedicated fans of The Resident for their support over the last four seasons.” And, as TVLIne reported, the show has left the door open if Wilson wants to return sometime.

Q: Do you have any news on whether “The Blacklist” and “Grey’s Anatomy” will be returning next season? Both shows seem to be “winding down” this season (but I hope not!).

James Spader in a scene from “The Blacklist.” (Courtesy of NBC)

A: “The Blacklist” has already been renewed for another season. As of this writing, “Grey’s Anatomy” has not been renewed, but ABC wants it as long as star Ellen Pompeo is there. However, Pompeo is reportedly at the end of her current contract and has not signed off on a new one. That has led to off-camera challenges, with “Grey’s” showrunner Krista Vernoff telling The Hollywood Reporter in March that she has been structuring this entire season so it can serve as a series ender if the show does not go on. That may explain why you felt the show was winding down.

Q: In the old “Two and a Half Men” series there is a woman called Chelsea. Could you tell me her name and if she played in any other shows?

A: Jennifer Taylor played Chelsea Melini, one of the girlfriends of Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) on the CBS sitcom. She guest-starred in an array of TV series before and after “Men,” as well as some movie appearances. Most recently, according to her Twitter account (@JenniferBTaylor), she released a book of poetry, “Heart on Your Sleeve Girl.” She has also been cast in a planned new thriller, “A Deadly Deed.” You can find out more about her at the website http://jennifertaylor.me.

 

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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