By Cindy Elavsky
Q: I really miss Christopher Meloni on “Law & Order: SVU.” Please tell me I can see him on another series or in a movie soon. — Randi E., via e-mail
A: You’ll be able to see Christopher as soon as this summer on the small screen when he makes his debut on the sixth season of HBO’s “True Blood.” Details are hush-hush, as it always is with “True Blood,” but according to executive producer Alan Ball, Chris will play “an ancient, powerful vampire who holds the fate of Bill and Eric in his hands.”
For the big screen, you can see him sometime this year (a release date has not yet been announced) in the comedy “Awful Nice.” And in June 2013, he co-stars as Colonel Hardy in the new “Superman” film, “Man of Steel,” which also stars Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, and slew of other top-notch stars.
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Q: With Piers Morgan gone, will they be getting another judge for “America’s Got Talent,” or just stick with Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne? — Callie H., Portland, Ore.
A: In a move that is causing some controversy (when hasn’t controversy followed this man?), shock-jock Howard Stern has been tapped to be the third “Talent” judge. Said NBC exec Paul Telegdy: “Howard Stern’s larger-than-life personality will bring a thrilling new dynamic to ‘America’s Got Talent’ starting this summer. He’s a proven innovator, and his track record in broadcasting is truly remarkable. Howard is very passionate about this show and is fully committed to its future success.”
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Q: I have been following the career of Sam Neill ever since “Jurassic Park.” I loved him in “The Tudors,” “Happy Town,” “The Horse Whisperer,” “Wimbledon,” “Daybreakers,” “Crusoe,” etc. What does he have coming up next? — Will O., via e-mail
A: Sam is rumored to be returning as Dr. Alan Grant for “Jurassic Park IV,” which doesn’t have any production or release-date details as the movie was too recently announced. He co-stars in the big-screen adaption of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge,” to be released later this year. But you can catch him even sooner. Sam comes back to the small screen on Monday, Jan. 16, on Fox when he stars in the new series “Alcatraz.” This show looks creepy, scary and super exciting, and I plan to tune in to see exactly what all the hubbub is about.
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Q: It seems like it’s that time of year again … when will the next season of “American Idol” be on? I am kind of disappointed by “The X-Factor,” and I could really use my Steven, Jennifer and Randy fix right about now. — Tina R., Wheeling, W.Va.
A: You don’t have to wait much longer: America’s most popular talent competition will be back Wednesday, Jan. 18, on Fox, with the show airing Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7c.
Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at [email protected]
© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.