Monday, June 18, 2018

When Colour TV was a Big Deal

Yes, Virginia, there was a time when colour television was a very big deal. It was new, special and exciting.  If your relatives happened to own a colour TV, you would look forward to watching your favourite show in colour whenever you visited their home.  Hotels and motels had signs advertising the fact that they provided colour television for guests.

After World War II had ended, television engineers and executives returned quickly to a task that had begun well before the war.  Their goal was to broadcast television signals in colour.  By 1950, two companies were competing furiously to be the first to create colour TVs. They were the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and RCA. CBS researchers, led by engineer Peter Goldmark, created a mechanical colour television system based on the 1928 designs of Scottish engineer John Logie Baird (1888-1946).  On October 11,1950, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) endorsed CBS's colour television technology as the national standard. It approved the CBS Field Sequential System, which was authorized for broadcast after November 20, 1950.  The RCA system was not approved due to low picture quality.

On October 17, 1950, RCA,filed a suit in the Federal District Court in Chicago to halt color television broadcasting by CBS.  On May 28, 1951, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the FCC ruling, approving the CBS system.  However, RCA had succeeded in delaying the launch of the CBS system for seven additional months.  During that time, more black and white sets were sold that could not receive the CBS signals.

On June 25, 1951, CBS began broadcasting in colour on five east coast TV stations.  The first commercial CBS colour program was a star-studded variety show simply called Premiere. It was broadcast from CBS-TV's Studio 57 in New York City.  The show began at 4:30 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time and lasted a full hour. It featured Arthur Godfrey, Ed Sullivan, Garry Moore, Robert Alda. the New York City Ballet, Isabel Bigley, Sam Levenson, George Balanchine and others.

Premiere was was hosted by Patty Painter, a former Powers model who was known as CBS's "Miss Color Television."  Painter, whose real name was Patricia Stinnette, was described in the New Yorker (August 11, 1951) as a woman who had "sat or stood in front of CBS experimental color cameras holding up scarves, apples and other colorful objects so that technicians and engineers can observe how the tints reproduce on the screen."  She had to wear "violent colors" and her ashbond hair "was "tinted a different color sometimes as often as three times a week."

In New York, former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and American businessman Baruch were among those who watched Premiere on colour receivers at CBS headquarters.  Unfortunately for CBS, very few viewers were able to watch the history-making broadcast in the comfort of their homes.  Most Americans owned black and white sets and only people in certain U.S. cities were able to watch the show.   Premiere was carried in New York by WCBS-TV as well as by CBS affiliates in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

In 1951, there were already millions of black and white TV sets (half of them RCA) and few color sets.  When colour television production was discontinued during the Korean War (1950-1953), CBS faced further setbacks and challenges.  These factors contributed to the failure of the CBS system to win acceptance.  RCA had time to fill the void and was able to produce colour television based on Alfred Schroeder's 1947 patent application for a technology called shadow mask CRT.

In late 1953, the FCC approved the RCA compatible system, an analogue colour television.  This system, commonly known as the National Television System Committee (NTSC), was used from 1954 until it was replaced by digital conversion.  The first colour television sets for this system went on sale to the public in March of 1954 and they featured a 15-inch screen. (On March 15, 1954, Westinghouse offered a colour TV for the sale price of $1,295, the equivalent of almost $12,000 in 2018 dollars.  On March 25, 1954, mass production of the RCA Victor model CT-100 began.  It was marketed as "The Merrill" and it cost $1,000.)

In his article for ("March 25, 1954, RCA TV Get the Color for Money"), Randy Alfred describes RCA's CT-100 as "the first color-TV set for consumers."  It offered low quality at a high price and was "destined to become a costly classic."

1954 RCA Victor first colour TV

Colour television was such a hot topic in 1954 that it was mentioned in an  episode of I Love Lucy entitled "The Charm School" (Season 3, Episode 15. Air Date: January 25, 1954).  In the episode, Ricky Ricardo. his friend and landlord Fred Mertz and a guest named Bill Hall (Tyler McVey) have a discussion about whether whether colour TV will catch on.  Here is the dialogue:

RICKY: Do you think colour will take?

BILL: Colour?  Some people think that's it's, uh, just around the corner.  Others feel it's going to be a year or two.

Below is a photo of Bill, Ricky and Fred (Lto R) conversing at the Ricardo's apartment.

In 1956, Perry Como's program and Dinah Shore's program were broadcast in colour.  An ad promoting the two singers' shows blared, "Here they come on NBC in a blaze of Color! . . . and it's like meting them for the first time."

Below is a Perry Como colour TV ad.

When colour television was first introduced, TV sets were regarded as important pieces of furniture.  Colour sets were too expensive for many people to afford.  As a result, the market for colour was limited.  During the 1950s, only small  number of scheduled programming and some specials were broadcast in colour.  Yet, once colour sets became more affordable, the audience increased.  The RCA standard with its compatibility with existing black and white sets was more marketable.  Few people wanted one box for black and white and another for colour in their living rooms.

By 1955, colour sets with 21-inch picture tubes were available. During the early 1960s, popular television series such as BonanzaWalt Disney's Wonderful World of ColorThe FlintstonesThe Jetsons and The Ed Sullivan Show were aired in colour.  It wasn't until 1965, however,  that the majority of American commercial networks broadcast their prime time shows in colour.

In 1966, NBC announced that all of its new programming would be in colour. The other networks followed suit, and  by the end of that year, all prime time network shows were aired in colour.  However, most daytime, local and educational programming remained in black and white for a few years longer.  By 1972, sales of colour TVs in the United States finally surpassed those of  black and white.  By the mid-1970s, black and white broadcasts were a thing of the past.


* An episode of Dragnet that aired in December of 1953 was the first commercial television program on colour film.

* The first national colour broadcast in the United States was a live telecast of the Rose Bowl Parade, on January 1, 1954.

* The first colour broadcast of a U.S. president occurred in June of 1955: President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

* The first cartoons broadcast in colour were The Flintstones and The Jetsons in the fall of 1962.

* On August 11, 1951, CBS broadcast the first baseball game in color.  The game, between the Booklyn Dodger and the Boston Bravss, took place at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York.  Red Barber and Connie Desmond delivered the play-by-play commentary.

*  From 1969 to the early 1970s, CBS's Field Sequential colour television technology was used to broadcast the Apollo moon missions.

"CBS Color Television Chronology" by Ed Reitan; and Wikipedia;
"March 25, 1954, RCA TV Get the Color for Money" by Randy Alfred,, March 25, 2008 "History of Color Television -Who Invented Color TV"
"Who Invented Color Television" by Mary Bellis, Thoughtco., November 23, 2017
"From Miss Claire Brown, 6/25/51 . . .Re: Color TV" by Howard Blumenthal, Digital Insider, July 18, 2012
The New Yorker, August 11, 1951, page 20


If any readers have stories about the earlier days of colour TV, please write me about them and I will publish them.  I would  also like to hear from millennials.  What was your reaction when you first viewed a black and white TV show, if you've ever seen one at all?

- Joanne

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Y&R Report (June 9, 2018): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.

Summer Newman is back in town and boy, does she have Attitude with a capital "A."  She is not just brash and sassy,  She is rude and insolent.  She is obsessed with expensive sports cars and was charged with stealing her married ex-boyfriend's fancy Italian roadster.  Soon after she arrived in Genoa City, she was arrested and jailed for felony auto theft. When confronted by her shocked parents, she denied stealing the car and claimed that her ex-boyfriend gave it to her so that she would not tell his wife about the affair.

Summer is definitely out of control. During her absence from Genoa City, "Supergirl" has transformed into "Superbrat."  She has become the very epitome of the spoiled, rich girl.  The only problem is that she's not a "girl" anymore.  She's a woman.  She's an adult who refuses to accept responsibility for her actions.  As Summer loves to point out constantly, Phyllis, Billy, Nick and Sharon haven't t exactly set a good example for her.  However, she can't keep using her parents' hypocrisy as an excuse for her own poor choices.

Mama Phyllis is very disturbed by Summer's attitude and she is sincerely concerned about her daughter's recklessness.  That's because she realizes that Summer has been acting like she did at that age.  What goes around, comes around, Phyllis.  However, an Internet spoilers reveals that something happened to Summer while she was away that may have caused this dramatic change in her behaviour.  According to the spoiler, our favourite little "Snowflake" will confide in Billy about what transpired while she was globetrotting.

The writers are having a lot of fun with Mariah's distaste for Summer.  Here are some memorable lines that were spoken when Summer showed up at Devon's "Hot Summer Nights" event and Mariah reacted to her return to town.

TESSA: So that's "Snowflake,"huh?

MARIAH:  Thank God no two are alike.

SUMMER (After ex-boyfriend Kyle tells her he's not interested in her anymore): There's not even one part of you glad to see me?

MARIAH:  No one even noticed you were gone, "Snowflake."

SUMMER; Look, I'm sorry  to burst your "sad, lonely girl" bubble, but I'm not "Snowflake" anymore.  I'm more of a cyclone or a tsunami.

MARIAH: Oh, natural disaster. - that works.

Of course, Grandpa Victor is Summer's greatest enabler.  He has already enforced his bratty granddaughter's egregious behaviour by allowing her to choose a car from his "fleet."  Summer's wish is his command.  She just has to ask and Victor will grant her anything her little heart (and I mean "little") desires.

Speaking of "The Moustache", I wish Nikki and others would stop using his childhood to justify his ruthless ways.  Yes, Victor was sent to an orphanage and he had an extremely difficult childhood.  Yes, he felt alone and abandoned.  Yes, he had to scratch and claw his way to success in business and he had to do it on his own.  However, that doesn't give him a free pass to walk all over people and manipulate them.  He needs psychiatric treatment to help him get over the traumas of his youth.

Summer is not the most popular person in town.  So Phyllis asked Kyle to spend some time with her. because she thinks that Summer could use a friend.  Kyle declined.  She dumped him for Luca and he won't go near her with a ten-foot pole.  Summer is going to turn to someone for understanding and sympathy.  It looks as if it's going to be Billy.

Who Jack Abbott's biological father?  If it isn't Victor, then whom?  There would be no conflict or no impact if Jack's father turned out to be just anybody.  Maybe there's another twist in the plot.


If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 

My email address:

Regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario is definitely not a fan of Hunter King (Summer Newman).  She wrote the following email expressing her feelings about Summer's return to Genoa City.

If Hunter stays too long, that might be it for me!

CC also wrote:

Summer is a major turn-off.  She will be the undoing of Billy and Phyllis, who are already coming undone, and Nick and Sharon.  Suits me fine.  I hope she doesn't stick around longer than the summer.

Well, CC, you've made it clear that you are not happy about the return of Hunter King to Y&R.  You say you may stop watching the show if she stays too long.  Obviously, her character isn't likable, but I'm glad that she has returned to the show.  She has livened things up and created a stir.

You are right that Summer will be the undoing of Billy Boy  and Phyllis.  She has already made a play for Billy, but he hasn't bitten yet.  The J.T. secret to will come between Nick and Sharon.  It isn't necessary for Summer to interfere with their relationship.

CC, I'm afraid this is the summer of Summer.  As for how long Hunter King is going to stick around, all I know is that she has signed a contract with the Y&R.  It may depend on her ability to  withstand the grind of appearing on two shows (She also stars as Clementine on the CBS sitcom Life in Pieces).

Another regular contributor, Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario, does not want Abby and Arturo together.  Fifi is not a fan of Arturo.  She describes him as "greasy" and she doesn't think that Abby Newman would fall for him.  In Fifi's opinion, Abby is better suited to Scott Grainger and she would like Scott (Daniel Hall) to return to Genoa City.  Daniel has been written out of the show and his last scene aired in January.  (By the way, have you noticed that Lauren and Michael haven't been shown much since Scott left, although Michael has recently become involved in the custody case between Nick and Victor, as Victor's lawyer).

I am in agreement with Fifi about Arturo.  I was disappointed when Daniel Hall left the show  and I would like him to come back.  At the moment Abby is upset with Arturo for not telling her about his affair with her stepmother, Nikki.  She doused him in cold water (Abby has got to stop throwing liquids when she's angry at someone.  Hasn't she learned from her experience with Victoria, when she threw a drink at her and caused her to have a concussion?).

Arturo later begged Abby to give him another chance and she refused. She may change her mind.  If not, Arturo will look elsewhere.  He may eventually hook up with Summer.  He danced with her at the "Hot  Summer NIghts" party and she flirted with him.  He appears to be her type and she appears to be his.  Arturo just can't stay away from those spoiled, blond Newman women from three generations - Summer's grandmother (Nikki), Nikki's stepdaughter (Abby) and Summer herself.

Here are some comments from Carly in Barrhaven, Ontario.

Y&R is ridiculous.  I fast forward scenes with Nick and Sharon and also ones with Hilary and Devon.  The new Kyle is a good actor.  Phyllis gets on my nerves being such a know-it-all.  Arturo is greasy.  I agree with Fifi about that.  I also agree with you about the park storyline {J.T.'s burial)..  So why do I watch that soap?

Actually, Carly, I like Nick and Sharon together.  It's unfortunate that Sharon's keeping the J.T. secret from him, but there has to be conflict in a soap.  As for Hilary and Devon, there won't be smooth sailing for them either.  I agree with you that Michael Mealor (Kyle Abbott) is a good actor, much better than the previous actors who have played the role of Kyle.  I have even warmed up to his character somewhat because some different sides to his personality have been revealed.  Phyllis gets on my nerves too.  As I've mentioned before, she's too overbearing, too much of a busybody.


Shocker!  Seems like Mishael Morgen (Hilary Curtis) will soon be leaving Y&R

It appears that Mishael Morgan (Hilary Curtis) has chosen to leave The Young and the Restless.  According to TVSource Magazine, Mishael has failed to reach an agreement in contract talks with the show.  A source has told Soap Central that "Morgan made the decision to walk away from television's top-rated soap."  Y&R has a policy not to comment on contract disputes and we don't know if the show will give her another offer.

Mishael has portrayed Hilary for five years, since June of 2013, and she received her first Daytime Emmy nomination a few months ago.  It is unclear what will happen to her character if or when she departs.  She could be written out, but she would have to leave town or die.  At this time, Hilary plays an integral part in the storyline.  So, maybe her role will have to be recast.  The question is: Can another actress portray Hilary as well?

On the other hand, given head writer Mal Young's penchant for writing character out abruptly, Hilary just may die or leave town.


Some viewers, such as CC in Etobicoke, Ontario, are not happy that the Snowflake has retuned.  What do you think, fans?  Respond to my poll and let me know if you are pleased about Summer Newman's return.

Are you pleased that Summer (Hunter King) is back?

Yes, she's really going to stir things up and Humter King is a good actress.
No, I don't think she is a good actress and I dislike her character.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with Free Survey Maker

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, June 23, 2018.  


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Keeping up with Bill Mumy of Lost in Space

In the 1960s, a certain red-haired, freckled-faced boy appeared frequently on our television screens.  No, I'm not referring to Ronny Howard (now filmmaker "Ron" Howard).  I'm referring to former child actor Billy Mumy (now "Bill" Mumy), although both are of the same vintage, having been born exactly one month apart.  Ronald William Howard was born on March 1, 1954, while Charles William Mumy Jr. was born on February 1, 1954.  (Hey, they even share the name "William!).

Bill Mumy was born in San Gabriel, Califorrnia, the son of cattle rancher Charles William Mumy and his wife, Muriel Gertrude Mumy (née Gould).  According to his official website, Bill began his professional entertainment career at the age of five.  In the 1960s, he was a ubiquitous presence on American television, although he is most recognized for his portrayal of Will Robinson in the science fiction series Lost in Space.  By the time Lost in Space came along, Bill Mumy was already a seasoned TV actor.

In a September 11 1986 article by David Wild in Rolling Stone, Bill is quoted as saying that his emergence as a child star might be described as "a lucky break."  He stated, "I broke my leg when I was four, and I was in a cast for six months.  I had nothing to do but stare at the TV.  By the time the cast came off, I was gong, 'Hey that's what I want to do.  I want to be on TV.'"

According to, Bill's first credited television role was as a kidnapped boy in the drama series Wire Service, about globetrotting reporters.  Wire Service starred George Brent and Jack Albertson, but it only aired for only one season, from 1956 to 1957.  Three-year-old Bill appeared in a 1957 episode entitled "The Nameless" (Season 1, Episode 37, Air Date: September 9, 1957).

Early in his career as a child actor, Bill appeared in two unforgettable episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.  In "Bang You're Dead" (Season 7, Episode 2, Air Date October 17, 1951), he played Jackie Chester, a five-year-old boy who finds his uncle's revolver and plays with it in public, unaware of how dangerous it is.  In "The Door Without a Key" (Season 7, Episode 15, he played Mickey Hollins, a boy whose father inadvertently left him at a gas station.

Below is a photo of Mumy in a publicity photo for "Bang You're Dead."

During the early 1960s, Bill also starred in three episodes of Rod Serling's classic Twilight Zone series, two episodes in 1961 and one episode in 1963.  In "Long Distance Call" (Season 2, Episode 22, Air Date: March 31W, 1961), he played Billy Bayles, a child whose toy telephone becomes a link between him and his deceased grandmother.  In "It's a Good Life" (Season 3, Episode 8, Air Date: November 3, 1961), Bill game one of his most memorable TV performances as Anthony Fremont, a boy with exceptional mental powers who terrifies his family in order to satisfy his childish whims. (Trivia note:  Cloris Leachman of Mary Tyler Moore Show fame,  played Anthony's mother in this episode).  In "In Praise of Pip" (Season 5, Episode 1, Air Date: September 27, 1963), Bill plays young Pip, a ten-year-old version of a grown soldier dying in South Vietnam.  Pip's father, played by Jack Klugman of The Odd Couple, gets to spend a wonderful hour at an amusement park with the younger version of his son .

Mumy with Lili Darvis in "Long Distance Call" - Twilight Zone

In 1963, Bill also  appeared in a Perry Mason episode entitled "The Case of the Shifty Shoebox" (Season 7, Episode 2, Air Date: October 3, 1963.  In the episode. he played Miles, a young boy who is taken care of by the manager of truck depot.

During the 1960s, prior to his role on Lost in Space, Bill guest-starred in episodes of such TV series as Dr. Kildare (1962), Have Gun-Will Travel (1962), The Fugitive (1964), The Eleventh Hour (1964), The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1964), The Munsters (1965), The Virginian (1965), Ben Casey (1965), Bewitched (1964 and 1965) and I Dream of Jeannie (1965).

Lost in Space was created and produced by Irwin Allen and aired on CBS for three seasons, from 1965 until 1968.  Set in 1997, it chronicled the adventures of space colonists John and Maureen Robinson (Guy Williams and June Lockhart) and their three children ,Judy (Marta Kristen), Penny (Angela Cartright) and Will (Bill Mumy)  The Robinson family became stranded when their spaceship Jupiter II was sabotaged and veered off course.  Also along for the ride were Major Don West (Mark Goddard), the ship's pilot, Dr. Zachery Smith (Jonathan Harris), a troublemaking stowaway,  and the unnamed Robot B-9.

Will Robinson. the youngest of the three Robinson siblings, was heroic and resourceful.  Will had a good rapport with Robot B-9.  The Robot constantly warned of imminent peril, using the catchphrase "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!"

Bill Mumy as Will Robinson on Lost in Space
Will Robinson and the Robot

Of his experience with Lost in Space, Bill is quoted on IMDb as saying, "I had a great time doing Lost in Space  With the exception of a couple of days, I don't have any unpleasant memories of the show.  The only thing I'm bitter about in a sense is that the show runs constantly in syndication and none of the actors get paid.  I made a lot of money at the time, my family invested it well for me, and I have a lot of nice things.  I can't complain."

In the 1986 Rolling Stone article by David Wild, Bill described what it was like to play Will Robinson: "It was like being the hero in a comic book - you got your superhero suit, you got your robot, you got your ray gun, you got to be an adventurer."

The late Jonathan Harris (1914-2002) ,who played the selfish, conniving Dr. Smith, was Bill's mentor during their years on Lost in Space.  In 2013, Bill stated the following to pop culture journalist Sam Tweedle: "The show really went the way Jonathan led it.  But we had great chemistry together, and we never had a bad day.  We were always prepared, as was Bobby May who was inside the robot.  When we had our work to do, and I think this is a very big reason [for} the way it went - they'd get us done in a couple of takes.  It was easier for the crew and it was easier for us, and people seemed to like it."

Bill with Jonathan Harris

Not only is Bill Mumy an actor, he is an accomplished musician and guitarist. After starring in the 1971 film Bless the Beasts and Children, which was not particularly well- received, Bill decided to concentrate on his music.  He recorded and toured with Redwood, one of a series of rock bands he performed with during the 1970s and 1980s.  He went on tour with the band of his childhood friend, teen heartthrob Shaun Cassidy

Bill is also a singer/songwriter and has written and performed with the group America.  In 1978, he teamed up with fellow musician and songwriter Robert Haimer the satiric "quirky rock duo" Barnes & Barnes.  They played fictional twin brothers Art and Artie Barnes.  The comical pair are best known for their 1978 song "Fish Heads."

Despite focusing on his music during the 1970s, Bill guest-starred on episodes of TV series such as The Rockford Files (1974 and 1975).  In 1976, he portrayed Weaver in the short-lived comedy Sunshine.  The series was set in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and centred around a young widower trying to make a living and while caring for his five-year-old step-daughter.

In 1988, Bill appeared on Matlock, the legal series starring Andy Griffith.  He guest-starred in an  episode of the series entitled "Genius" (Season 2, Episode 20, Air Date: March 15, 1988).  In 1991,  Bill appeared as Roger Braintree in an episode of The Flash entitled "Good Night, Central City" (Season 1, Episode 19, Air Date: May 4, 1991).  In 1991 and 1992, he played Tommy Puck in episodes of Superboy.,  From 1994 until 1998. Bill portrayed Lennier in all five seasons of the futuristic action series Babylon 5.  In 1998, Bill had guest roles in Diagnosis Murder and Star Trek: Deep Space  Nine.

Bill married Eileen Joy Davis, a childbirth educator, on October 9, 1986.  They have two children, a son named Seth Davis Mumy (born October 25, 1989) and a daughter named Liliana Berry Davis Mumy (born April 16, 1994)..  Seth and Liliana are both actors and Seth is also a musician.

Liliana Mumy

* Bill and Eileen Mumy reside in Laurel Canyon, California.  They own many dogs.

* Bill's last name is pronounced "Moomy," not "Mummy."

* Bill told Rolling Stone magazine that he has fond memories of The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling.  However, his experience working with Alfred Hitchcock as a seven-year-old during the filming of "Bang, You're Dead" was not as pleasant.  Bill was frightened of the imposing Hitchcock in black suit and sweating profusely.  According to Bill, Hitchcock warned the restless child to stop moving around or he would "nail your feet to your mark, and blood will come pouring out like milk."

* Bill continues to play his music as a solo artist, occasional guest performer and as half of the duo of Barnes & Barnes.

* The multi-talented Mumy is a gifted voice over actor and he has narrated many episodes of A&E's popular Biography series.

* In 1991, Bill was an Emmy nominee for original music for Adventures in Wonderland.

* In 2018, Bill had a cameo role in the Netflix reboot of Lost in Space.

- Joanne

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Y&R Report (May 26, 2017): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.

Phyllis is really starting to annoy me.  The woman is such a busybody, interfering in everyone's lives.  She is just so overbearing.  It was Phyllis' brilliant idea to cover up the death of J.T. Hellstrom and bury his body.  She was relentless in browbeating Nikki, Victoria and Sharon to go along with her scheme.  Now she has manipulated Billy Boy into taking over the CEO position at Jabot.  He was reluctant, but she talked him into it and she is encouraging him to make it permanent. Billy Boy is starting to enjoy his powerful powerful  new job, which suits girlfriend Phyllis to a tee.  Through her influence over Billy, Phyllis has become for all intents and purposes the co-CEO of Jabot.  Her power in the corporate world has increased, as has her personal control over others.

Although Jack Abbott is far from perfect, do have some sympathy for his plight. He feels as if everyone has abandoned him.  Phyllis left him for brother Billy, but that wasn't enough.  Billy now  holds Jack's job as head of Jabot, despite the fact that Jack is more experienced and more competent.  Remember that Billy did not exactly have a stellar record at Brash & Sassy.  Do you recall the toxic face masks that poisoned Victoria?  Billy's sloppiness was the cause of that fiasco.  He tried to cut corners by rushing the product to market.

Jack also feels abandoned by his son Kyle.  He thought Kyle was going to join him in fleaving Jorming a new company.  He taken aback when Kyle declared that he more opportunities at Jabot.  Jack shouldn't have been so quick to assume that Kyle had agreed to leave Jabot and work with him.  Kyle should have been more clear and straight up with his intentions.

So, Nicholas Newman has suddenly decided to rejoin Newman Enterprises.  He's ready to enter into daddy's orbit again.  After trying so hard to become his own man, Nick is ready to give up his independence.  Sharon is so right in discouraging him, but he insists he needs to protect the family.  That, as Sharon pointed out, is Victor's language or "Victor Speak."

To gain some support for her point of view, Sharon went to Nick's sister, Princess Victoria. She was completely shocked and blindsided when the princess disagreed with her.  Victoria, the ultimate daddy's girl, thinks it's a great idea for her brother to work at The Firm again.

Who else's advice did Nick seek when trying to make a decision about returning to Newman?  Surprise of surprises, he went straight to his ex, Phyllis.  For once, though, Phyllis was in agreement with Sharon.  She warned Nick about working for his controlling father again.  Yet foolish Nick is not going to heed the warning of his two ex-wives.  He's going to "follow his heart" and fall into Victor's trap once again.  Say it ain't so, Nick!  Why can't you get it through your head that Victor is ruthless and manipulative.  He's never to be trusted.

I understand why Nikki disproves of Nick and Sharon getting back together.  Why, however, is Phyllis so upset that Sharon and Nick have reunited?  Is it jealousy?  As I've said before, she has her Billy Boy, so why should that bother her so much?  If she ever breaks up with Billy, I'm sure she'll go after Nick again.

Nikki and Phyllis are right in one respect.  Sharon is going to hurt Nick again.  When he finds out about the J.T. caper. I doubt he'll stay with her.  She shares responsibility with Nikki, Phyllis and Victoria for what happened. Sharon went along for the ride and didn't have the backbone to defy the other three women.  She, of all people, should have learned that keeping secrets won't work.  Is she delusional?  No, not at all.  The writers simply made Sharon go along with the other conspirators for storyline purposes and in order to create conflict.  If Sharon had gone to Clueless Paul Williams and confessed everything, the storyline would be finished.  So, instead she has joined the others in their cavalcade of cover-ups and lies

Have you noticed a big change in Faith?  She obviously looks a great deal more grown up.  Being an adolescent is difficult enough, but in Faith's case, it's even more difficult to act maturely when the adults around you are behaving so immaturely and foolishly.


Hunter King (Summer Newman) returning to Y&R

Summer Newman is finally coming home  Yes folks, our favourite "Snowfake" will soon be back in Genoa City after a long absence.  According to TVLine, Hunter King is returning on contract to The Young and the Restless.  Although Hunter currently co-stars as Clementine in the CBS primetime comedy Life in Pieces, she is set to do double duty.  Her first airing on Y&R will be on Monday, June 4 (CBS) and Friday, June 1 (Global-TV in Canada).

What will Summer find when she comes back to town?  She'll find that her former boyfriend, Kyle Abbott, has returned from New York.  Will she reignite a romance with her old flame?  There is certain to be better chemistry between the two characters now that Michael Mealor has taken over the role of Kyle.  He's a much better actor than the others who have played Kyle.

If Summer doesn't rekindle her relationship with Kyle, she may fall for Arturo, who seems to be Genoa City's Hispanic heartthrob.  Could that set up a love triangle, a rivalry between Summer and her Aunt Abby over the affections of Arturo?  Summer has never liked Abby, especially since Abby had a fling with Summer's late husband, Austin Travers.

Kyle, meanwhile, has shown an interest in Tessa.  He invited her to go to a movie with him and she declined (because of Mariah?).  Tessa's rejection was certainly a blow to Kyle's ego.


Arturo (Jason Canela)

There are romantic sparks between building contractor Arturo Rosales (Jason Canela) and wealthy heiress Abby Newman. Abby hasn't shown the best judgement when it comes to men.  Just think of her last two relationships - Zack and Scott Grainger.  Fans, has she got it right this time?  What do you think of Abby and Arturo as a couple?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you like Abby and Arturo as a couple?

Yes, they seem to have good chemistry and I think they get along well.
No, they don't suit each other. I don't like them together.
I'm not sure. i need to seem more of them before i decide.
Please Specify:
Created with PollMaker


If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 

My email address:

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, June 9, 2018.

- Joanne

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Y&R Report (May 12, 2018): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.

Well, now we know that John Abbott Jr. (also known as Jack) is NOT John Abbott's biological son (unless someone has tampered with the DNA again).  Who then is Jack's father?  I suspect it's Victor Newman, even though Victor doesn't seem that much older than Jack.  If Jack is indeed the son of "The Black Knight," there would be tremendous repercussions and enormous conflict in Genoa City.  Since conflict is the essence of drama, that's exactly what the writers want to achieve.  Just think of all the implications if Jack is Victor's son.  First of all, it would be Jack Abbott's worst nightmare, similar to Luke Skywalker discovering that Darth Vader is his father.  Second of all, if  Victor is Jack's father, that makes him Kyle's grandfather.  It means that both Jack and Kyle are blood Newmans and Jack is half-brother to Nicholas, Victoria and Abby.  It also means that both Jack and Kyle may try to gain control of Newman Enterprises on that basis.

Kyle made a deal with the devil and he will regret it.  He will rue the day he joined forces with Victor Newman.  He had to learn the hard way "The Moustache" just can't be trusted.  Yet, if Kyle turns out to be Victor's grandson, then Kyle has a much stronger hand to play.  Don't forget, though, that Princess Victoria is very much in the picture and that she will not give up her claim to the Newman throne easily.  So, there is going to be a battle royale for the keys to he Victor's kingdom.

Will Sharon ever learn?  At first she was she was cracking up under the pressure of keeping the  secret about J.T.  She was having nightmares and her conscience was bothering her.  Now, she's frantically trying to hide the truth from Nick and lying through her teeth.  I really don't buy the sudden turn-around.  I think it was just done for storyline purposes and to create conflict.  It's a shame because Sharon had really improved herself and was reverting to the sweet Sharon of the past, only older and supposedly wiser.  Now her reunion with Nick will be forever tainted.  When he discovers what she is hiding, he will be furious and disillusioned.  Will he ever forgive her or the three other women involved in the cover-up of J.R death and burial?

It's interesting that the four women involved in the tragic J.T. caper are the most important and influential women in Nick Newman's life: his mother, his sister and two ex-wives, one of whom he is currently having a secret relationship with.  However, I doubt it will be secret much longer  Mariah is quickly catching on and it won't take her much longer to figure out what's going on between her mother and Nick.

I find it difficult to believe that Sharon would be such an ardent defender of Nikki's actions with regard to J.T., since the two women have been at odds for years.  Nick was astounded to see the two women hugging each other and behaving like mother and daughter.  Nikki has always regarded Sharon as a gold digger from the other side of the tracks.  She never thought Sharon was good enough for her son and was unhappy when they married.  However, Nikki could be accused of being a gold digger herself when she hooked up with Victor.  She transformed herself from a stripper to a lady of the manor.

Kyle reminded Nikki of her checkered past when he blasted her for causing the death of his mother, Diane Jenkins.  Her pretty well called her a murderer.  She has killed three times in self-defence - her own father, Diane and now J.T. 


If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name. 

My email address:

Regular Y&R viewer, Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario, has some predictions about Hilary.  She doesn't think that Hilary will be able to  conceive a child.  She foresees Cane and Lily giving baby Sam to Hilary and Devon.  I think Fifi could be right.that Hilary won't be able to become pregnant.  I'm not so sure, however, that Lily will allow Hilary to raise Sam.  It may happen, but Lily seems to be bonding with the child, as was obvious on the Mother's Day Episode.  Having said that, I wouldn't rule out that something may occur to make Lily and Cane decide to give up little Sam.


Mac, Brittany and Raul coming back again

Kelly Kruger (Mackenzie)

Mackenzie, Brittany and Raul returned to Genoa City as part of Y&R's 45th anniversary celebration, but we are going to see more of the trio.  They will be around much longer this time.  Lauren Woodland, who plays Brittany, will be on the show for an extended run.  During their recent appearance, we learned that Raul and Brittany are married and that Brittany is now a lawyer.  According to Soap Central, at least one of the two female characters will be involved in a high-profile  It seems likely that the case will be related to the death of J.T., since both women have connections to him.  Mac was married to him and Brittany, now an attorney,  had a fling with him.

Daytime Emmys

Days of our Lives had five major wins at the Daytime Emmys, including Best Drama.  The Young and the Restless never seems to win that distinction.  However, Eileen Davidson received an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress for her role as Ashley Abbott on Y&R.  Camryn Grimes (Maria Copeland on Y&R) won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.  That came as a surprise because Marla Adams (Dina Mergergon on Y&R) was widely expected to take home the award in that category.  Maybe she'll win it next years.

Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe Mitchell) is headed to General Hospital

Elizabeth Hendrickon
Add Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe Mithcell on Y&R) to General Hospital's growing list of Young and Restless alumni.  Hendrickson will play a new role on GH, whose cast includes former Y&R cast members Billy Miller (ex-Billy Abbott) and Michelle Stafford (ex-Phyllis Summers.  I wonder who GH will snap up next.


Victor Newman has acquired many nicknames over the years, most of them created by his archrival, Jack Abbott.  Jack's brother, Billy Boy Abbott, has also made a contribution.  He reefers to Victor as "Lurch."  So, fans, what is your favourite nickname for Victor?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

What is your favourite nickname for Victor Newman?

The Moustache
The Great Victor Newman
The Black Knight
The Big Man
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with Survey Maker

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, May 26, 2018.

- Joanne

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Internet TV Digest #7

This is the seventh of an occasional feature on TV Banter called Internet TV Digest.. Internet TV Digest contains recent news, information and discussion about online television

Internet TV Digest

"The days of having to tune in live or buy expensive discs in order to watch your favorite shows and movies are gone. Our favorite service overall is Netflix, offering an excellent selection of TV shows, movies and original programming. If you need something a little cheaper, however, Hulu is a worthwhile alternative, and a few dollars less expensive — if you're willing to sit through some commercials, that is."

- Marshall Honorof
From Tom's Guide
April 5, 2018

Note. Tom's Guide reviews video and streaming services and tech products independently.

What's new on Netflix for May 2018

The Rain is a post-Apocalyptic drama.  It takes place six years after a deadly virus wipes out most of the population of Scandinavia and focuses on a small group of young survivors of the disaster.  The Rain was created by Danish filmmakers Jannik Tai Mosholt, Christian Potalivo and Esben Toft Jacobsen.  It is Netflix's first original Danish series.  It was set for release on May 4th.

On May 25th, comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short, debut their Netflix special.  It is entitled Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life.  Also on May 25, Trollhunters premieres its third season. This computer-animated fantasy TV series was created for Netflix by Academy Award-winning film director Guillermo del Toro.  It is the story of an ordinary teenager, Jim Lake Jr., who discovers a mystical amulet on his way to school one day.

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman will have two guests this month.  .  Letterman's first guest will be actress/comedian Tina Fey (May 4th).  His second guest will be the irreverent Howard Stern (May 31st).

The second season of Justin Simien's satirical comedy Dear White People premiers on May 4th.  Two comedy specials also debut this month, Ali Wong's Hard Knock Wife on May 13th and The Break With Michele Wolf on May 27th.

There is disappointing news for fans of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  The Netflix original comedy series has been cancelled and will end following its fourth season, which begins streaming on May 30th. The sitcom was created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and has been streamed on Netflix  since March 6, 2015.  It stars Elle Kemper as a woman who adjusts to life in New York City after being rescued from a doomsday cult in a fictional town in Indiana.  The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been nominated for 16 Primetime Emmy Awards and     culture and entertainment critic, Scott Meslow, has described the series as "the first great sitcom of the streaming era."

There is also some positive news for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fans.  According to Deadline and Hollywood Reporter, the show's producer, Universal Television, is discussing the possibility of a big screen movie to wrap up the series.

What's new on Amazon and Hulu for May 2018

The new Showtime series, Patrick Melrose, will be streamed on Hulu.  It stars Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays an English gentleman with a nasty heroin habit.  Amazon Prime is debuting an original animated series, Rocky  & Bullwinkle.  It's a remake of the classic cartoon.  There will also be an Amazon-produced drama, Last Flag Flying, a movie about a Vietnam vet coming to terms with his son's death in the war in Iraq.  It stars Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne and Steve Carell.

-  Joanne

Monday, April 30, 2018

Happy 92nd Birthday, Cloris Leachman!

Cloris Leachman turns 92 years old today.  She was born in Des Moines, Iowa, USA on April 30, 1926.  The actress and comedian is probably best known for her portrayal of Phyllis Lindstrom, Mary Richards' busybody landlord on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  Phyllis was married to a dermatologist named Lars, whom viewers never saw on screen.  Their young daughter, Bess, was played by Lisa Gerritsen.  As Phyllis, Cloris appeared in 37 episodes of the show's 168 episodes, including the final episode in 1977.

Cloris as Phyllis, 1974

From 1975 until 1977, Cloris starred in a spin-of Mary Tyler Moore's show, with the eponymous title of Phyllis.  The series chronicled the life of Phyllis Lindsrom as she moved back to her hometown of San Francisco after the sudden death of husband Lars.  The newly-widowed Phyllis tried to make a new life for herself and her teenage daughter, Bess, still played by Lisa Gerritsen.  Phyllis and Bess moved in with Lars' mother, Audrey (Jane Rose), and Audrey's second husband, Judge Jonathan Dexter (Henry Jones) and Phyllis found employment as the assistant to the CEO of a photography studio.

 Lisa Gerritsen as Bess in 1974 with Cloris as Phyllis

Cloris Leachman has a long history on television, going back to the medium's earliest days.  In 1947, she appeared int the drama Carnegie Hall, in an uncredited role as a dancing nightclub patron  Many people think of June Lockhart as the mother on the long-running Lassie series. However, Cloris played matriarch Ruth Martin on the show from 1957 to 1959, before June Lockhart took over the role.

Cloris married Hollywood impresario George Englund in 1953.  They divorced in 1979 and Englund married for a second time in 1980, to Bonnie Graves.  He died on September 14, 2017 at the age of 91, following complications from a fall.  The producer, director and screenwriter was known for such films as The Ugly American (1963) and The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968).

Cloris with George Englund, c. 1972

Cloris and George were married for 27 years and they had five children, four sons and a daughter: Bryan, Morgan, Adam, Dinah and George. Their eldest son, Bryan Englund (born June 21, 1955), was found dead under mysterious circumstances at a Manhattan YMCA on February 25, 1986.  The struggling actor, known for The Prowler (1981), High Anxiety (1977) and Crazy Mama (1975) was only 30 years old at the time of his passing and reports differ as to the cause of his death.  Some say he died of an overdose of ulcer medication, others from a cocaine overdose.  United Press International (UPI) reported that police officers found two bottles of prescription ulcer medication nearby.  According to UPI, a spokesman for the New York City Police Department said that police did not suspect foul play.  Results of an autopsy performed on February 16, 1986 were inconclusive, but New York City's Medical Examiner, Dr. Elliot Gross, stated that officials planned further chemical testing,

Adam England (born October 4, 1953) is an actor, primarily known for his work in the films Out of the Dark ((1988), Lady Avenger (1988) and Mortuary Academy (1988). He also appeared in a 1987 episode of It's Garry Shandling's Show.

George Englund, Jr. (born May 21, 1957) is a production manager and composer. (At the suggestion of George Sr., he became Cloris' manager, according to a April 19 2010 article by Barbara Turnbull in the Toronto Star.  "I've never been cared for so much and so brilliantly in all my life as he's been caring for me," Cloris is quoted as saying in the Star article.

Morgan Englund (born August 25, 1963) portrayed Dylan Lewis in six episodes of the daytime drama Guiding Light during.  His last appearance on the soap was in 2009.

Cloris Leachman, 2015  Photo Attribution:

Cloris Leachman's prolific acting career has spanned more than seven decades.  She is the recipient of eight Primetime Emmys and the winner of an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as unhappy housewife Ruth Popper in the film The Last Picture Show (1971).


* From 2001 to 2006, Cloris had the recurring role of Ida on Malolm in the Middle, for which she won two Primetime Emmys.

* In 2008, at the age of 82, Cloris appeared as a contestant on the seventh season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.  She was paired with ballroom dancer Corky Ballas,

* Cloris is an animal rights activist.  She is a vegetarian and a staunch supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

* Cloris co-wrote her autobiography with ex-husband George Englund.  It is titled Cloris: My Autobiography and was published in 2009

- Joanne