The most-asked questions yours truly has dealt with in recent weeks have been, "What happened to `Dr. Quinn'?" And "When will it be back?"
(Heck, I've even heard from my mother in New York and her friend in Florida.)Well, as we discussed here previously, the show has been on temporary hiatus and will return after the Olympics. And CBS has made that official, announcing that "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" will be back on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. - its old time slot.
That move dominoes into two other shows. On that same date, "The Magnificent Seven" will slide back an hour to 8 p.m., which gives CBS an all-Western Saturday night lineup with "Walker, Texas Ranger" at 9 p.m.
It also bumps "Early Edition" off the schedule - temporarily. We're assured that it will return in early April following CBS's coverage of the NCAA men's basketball tournament - and that it will air all-new episodes through the end of the season in May.
(Don't be surprised if "Dr. Quinn," "Magnificent Seven" and "Early Edition" all return in the fall - although one of them (probably "Edition") will have to move to a new night.)
In other moves, CBS will also swap "Michael Hayes" and "Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel" on its schedule. "Public Eye" moves to Tuesdays at 8 p.m. as of March 3, where it will precede the previously announced new drama "Four Corners." "Hayes" moves to Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on March 4.
("Eye" and "Hayes" have a couple of things in common: Both star high-profile TV stars, Gumbel and David Caruso and both have struggled in the ratings. This will be their last chance to win renewal for next season - and neither looks like a good bet.)
Also on Wednesday, March 4, "Cybill" returns from its exile to hiatus-land in the 7:30 p.m. time slot after "The Nanny." ("Cybill" is another show on its last legs - don't be surprised if this turns out to be the last season for Cybill Shepherd and Co.
The return of "Cybill" bumps "Murphy Brown" into hiatus. But the future is not in doubt for Candice Bergen and Co. - before the season began this was announced as the final year for the show. It will return for the May sweeps and its final, hourlong episode has already been scheduled for Monday, May 18, at 8 p.m.
HORNACEK ON NBC: Sunday's special hourlong edition of "NBA Inside Stuff" (11:30 a.m., Ch. 5) - timed for that day's All-Star Game - will feature in interview with Jazzman Jeff Hornacek.
According to "Inside Stuff," Hornacek will talk about "last season's disappointing loss in the NBA Finals, having teammate John Stockton back in the lineup and the Jazz's run at the title this season.
It's just a guess, but perhaps they'll also talk about the Jazz's win over the Bulls on Wednesday.
VIDBITS: British actress Helen Baxendale is coming aboard the hit sitcom "Friends" shortly as the new love interest for Ross (David Schwimmer).
Talk about your big-time clues as to which of the "Friends" may (or may not) get married in the show's season finale, which may (or may not) be filmed in London.
- Anne Heche, who is Ellen DeGeneres' real-life "girlfriend" (ABC's word, not mine) is scheduled to make a guest appearance on the Wednesday, March 4, episode of "Ellen."
Gee . . . (sarcasm alert) mark your calendars now!
- Bill Brochtrup will return as gay administrative clerk John Irvin on the Feb. 17 edition of "NYPD Blue." What makes this a a bit odd is that he has appeared in two other Steven Bochco shows since leaving "Blue" - as the same character on CBS's sitcom bomb "Public Morals" and as a similar character on ABC's drama bomb "Total Security."
Brochtrup is a fine actor and a nice guy - his return will be welcome.
- "Saturday Night Live" alum Julia Sweeney is joining the cast of CBS's "George & Leo." She'll play the nanny hired to care for the newborn grandchild of the title characters.
She'll remain through the end of the season. Whether there will be a second season of the show remains to be seen.