Not coming back: David Leon leaves 'Vera'; Frank Fritz off 'American Pickers' - Albuquerque Journal

Not coming back: David Leon leaves ‘Vera’; Frank Fritz off ‘American Pickers’

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: I enjoy “Vera” on PBS. Is David Leon being replaced?

A: You may be seeing older episodes of the British mystery series starring Brenda Blethyn as police detective Vera Stanhope. David Leon left the show in 2014 after four seasons as Joe Ashworth, with Kenny Doughty replacing him as a new character, Aiden Healy. Blethyn reportedly said that Leon’s leaving was a “low point” for her during the show. Still, she praised Doughty’s work, saying there’s “a great camaraderie among the whole cast and crew, but especially between Kenny and me.” David Leon, who is also a director, did return to helm an episode in 2018.

Q: What has happened to Frank on “American Pickers”?

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz on the set of “American Pickers.” Fritz has left the show after more than a decade with the series. (Zachary Maxwell Stertz/History)

A: The History series announced Frank Fritz’s departure in late July after he spent more than a decade on the show, although he had reportedly not been in a new episode since early 2020. Fritz in a recent interview with the U.S. edition of Britain’s Sun publication, discussed his battle with Crohn’s disease, a back problem that required surgery, and a drinking problem he blamed on his breakup with a girlfriend (adding that he now has not had a drink in almost a year). He also underscored a feud with “Pickers” star Mike Wolfe, saying he had not talked with Wolfe in almost two years. Fritz has speculated that Wolfe disliked Fritz’s stardom being on a par with his own. But in a statement Wolfe reportedly said, “I will miss Frank, just like all of you, and I pray for the very best and all good things for him on the next part of his journey.”

Q: “Midnight, Texas,” was a show I enjoyed. Any news about a possible revival?

Francois Arnaud as Manfred in a scene from “Midnight, Texas.” (Courtesy of NBC)

A: No. After NBC canceled the series in 2018, the studio was said to be shopping it to other programmers. But so far no one has decided to bring back the drama, based on the books by Charlaine Harris.

Q: What happened to “So You Think You Can Dance” for this summer? Also, Jennifer Lopez’s dance show.

A: A profile of “SYTYCD’s” Nigel Lythgoe in Variety earlier this summer said the show’s “highly anticipated” return “is still to be determined; (but) the last season wrapped up with a live finale in September 2019, almost two years ago.” While that long delay could be blamed on the pandemic, which scuttled a 17th season originally planned for 2020, I have not seen anything from Fox about the show coming back. “World of Dance,” NBC’s competition series with Lopez, did manage a COVID-protected fourth season in 2020, but the network decided not to order a fifth run.

 

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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