Saturday, March 16, 2019

Y&R Report (March 16, 2019): 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, well, well!  The judge threw the book at Nikki, Victoria and Sharon - 30 hears for Nikki, ten years for Princess Victoria and three years for Sharon.  Those three received the harshest of sentences, while the fourth member of the unlikely quartet, Phyllis Summers, got off scot-free.  No wonder Phyllis is so unpopular.  She regards her self as the town pariah and she has admitted to  Kerry Johnson that she has few friends.  I wonder why?  (Phyllis seems to get along well with fellow troublemaker Mia.  They seem cut from the same cloth.  Maybe they'll form an unholy alliance, although there only loyalty is to themselves)..

We all know that those long prison sentences for Nikki, Victoria and Sharon can't stand.  Those three characters cannot remain in jail for all those years.  The only way they can all be freed is if J.T. turns up alive and J.T.'s got to be alive!  I am more convinced than ever that he's is still among the living and that he will reveal himself soon.  Thad Luckinbill, who portrays J.T. was spotted at the Y&R studio.  In addition. J.T. would be the most likely to be stalking the Newman family and setting up cameras to spy on them?  J.T. is a surveillance expert.  Remember too that  little Katie Newman Abbot's "imaginary friend" sang J.T.'s song to her.

Actually, tt doesn't seem as if Nikki, Victoria and Sharon are going to serve any prison time at all.  With Rey's assistance, Nick and Billy have hidden the three women at the Abbot cabin.  Nick is convinced that J.T. is alive and he and Billy and Rey want to lure him out of hiding.  Apparently, according to an online spoiler, Victors will come up with a plan to trap J.T.  Of course, Victor will be the hero.  Like the Road Runner, he never loses.  Give Nick Newman credit for being on the right track about J.T. being alive.  He's more astute than Rey.  In all this time, Rey has never come close to figuring that J.T. may still be alive.  Some detective!

Methinks Summer Newman is a little too conceited.  Our favourite Snowflake actually said that she could have any many she wanted, but that she chose Kyle.  What Summer doesn't truly realize is that she's not Kyle's first choice.  She was only able to get him to marry her because he wanted to save Lola's life.  Kyle may be grateful to her for saving Lola, but gratitude is not enough.  Not only that, but sooner or later, Summer will do something underhanded that will really anger Kyle.  Why?  Because she's the Snowflake and she's her mother's daughter.  

As Mariah predicted, Summer's hasty wedding to Kyle Abbot will blow up in her face.  That farce of a marriage is going to end up in disaster for all concerned.  Summer couldn't have made her liver donation with no strings attached.  She's not that selfless.  One thing for certain, the Snowflake will never let Kyle go to Lola.  She'll hold on to him as long as she can, by any means possible.  According the show's previews and some online spoilers, Lola will come out of surgery in better shape than Summer,  So, Kyle will have some a lot of sympathy for her, at least for a while.  I'm sure she'll recover, though, and return to her old tricks.

When is Nate going to get a storyline other than looking after patients in the hospital?  The writers are wasting his talents.  Maybe Josh Griffith, the new head writer will give Nate something more to do.  Speaking of Mr. Giffith, he has a big task ahead.  He'll have to bring closure to some storylines and begin new ones.  The first order of business is to wrap up the J.T. saga and to integrate the return of Paul Williams into that.  He'll also have to deal with the fate of Dina.  Former head writer Mal Young wanted to write an Alzheimer storyline because his mother died of the disease.  I think the only thing left is or Dina to pass away.  Marla Adams, who plays Dina, hasn't had any screen time for weeks.  What about Lily and Candy Cane and the twins?  They have been in the background for a while too.  I guess the next step is for Lily to be released from jail.  Also, what about Neil Winters, now that his portrayer, Kristoff St. John, has died tragically.  Neil is the patriarch of the Winters family and he has been a central character on the show until recently.  Will viewers accept another actor in the role or will it be better to write Neil out by having him leave Genoa City?

According to an online spoiler, Ana has a big secret.  Devon will follow his sister to a rundown hotel and he will be stunned at what she's been hiding.  Hmmmm.  She seems so sweet.

I have to give Lauralee Bell some praise for her performance as Christine "Cricket" Williams in the courtroom scenes.  I must say, the Cricketmeister has really grown as an actress since her Miss Junior Jabot days.


Alice Hunter to leave her role as Kerry Johnson

Alice Hunter has only portrayed Jabot chemist Kerry Johnson since last October, but she's already on her way out.  Alice posted the following on Twitter: "To all asking - yes, Kerry is taking an indefinite hiatus.  I LOVE the arc, even if I'm sad to leave.  The cast and crew gave her a goodbye party.

According to online reports, Alice is not bitter about being let go.  She hasn't taken it personally and hopes that Kerry will return in the future.  To be honest, I'm not a fan of the Kerry Johnson character.  She may be a super chemist, but I haven't been able to detect much chemistry between her and Jack Abbott.  I don't think Kerry has been popular with the fans either.  She's stylish and brainy, but doesn't have a warm personality.  She seems untrustworthy, insincere and only out for herself.

Where do her loyalties really lie?  Whom is she secretly working with?  The most obvious guess is Ashley Abbot, especially since Eileen Davidson will be returning for a two-episode visit soon.  She has ties to Ashley from their days in New York.  Kerry could also be working with the police, hoping to trap both Jack and Phyllis in illegal maneuvers.

The manner in which Kerry departs from the show should be very interesting.  I expect that she'll go out with a bang.


Sasha Calle (Lola Rosales)

Poor Lola!  She was attacked by Mia, who mistakenly thought she was Abby.  She lost consciousness and required a liver plant.  Now, she's going to discover that Kyle has married Summer.  She doesn't know what hit her.  What do you think she should do with regards to Kyle?  Respond to the poll below and let me know what you think.

What should Lola do about Kyle?

Lola should forget about Kyle, let Summer have him, and find someone else.
She should find out the real reason Kyle married Summer and fight for him.
She should bide her time and wait for the marriage to fall apart.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with Poll Maker

Readers, I would appreciate your feedback

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, March 30, 2019.  I'm looking forward to the end of March on the show, with the return of Paul and Ashley.  There will be big changes with a new head writer.

- Joanne

Thursday, March 14, 2019

What Happened to the Cast of Head of the Class?

Head of the Class aired on the ABC network for five seasons, from 1986 until 1991.  The sitcom starred Howard Hesseman as a teacher of gifted students at the fictional Monroe High School (later Millard Filmore High School) in Manhattan.  Hesseman portrayed Charlie Moore, a struggling New York actor-director, who worked as a substitute teacher while waiting for his big break.  Moore was assigned to "watch over" a class of student prodigies in the Individual Honors Program. (IHP).  His  students were comprised of a variety of ethnic backgrounds and temperaments.  Their academic interests were diverse.

The Complete Directory of Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946-Present describes Head of the Class as "the flip side of Welcome Back, Kotter."  It says that the students were "so brainy that most their former teachers had just read books while they taught themselves."  It points out that the show revolved around overachieving honours students in contrast to Kotter's underachieving "sweathogs."

The creators and executive producers of Head of the Class were Rich Eustis and Michael Elia.  Eustis worked as a substitute teacher in New York City while aspiring to become an actor. So, the Charlie Moore character was obviously based on Eustis' background.


HOWARD HESSMAN played the laid-back teacher Charlie Moore.  He taught his students how to deal with the everyday problems of their age group. He schooled them in life's lessons and encouraged them to go beyond their academic comfort zones.  Hessman left the series after Season 4 and was replaced by Billy Connolly.

Howard Hessman was born on February 27, 1940 in Lebanon, Oregon, USA.  Prior to his role on Head of the Class, Hessman was known for his portrayal of disc jockey Dr. Johnny Fever on the popular sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati (1978 to 1982).  He also played Sam Royer on One Day at a Time from 1982 to 1984 and  he reprised his role as DJ Dr. Johnny Fever on The New WKRP in Cincinnati from 1991 to 1993.  Hessman had guest-starring roles in such series as Murder, She Wrote (1985), The Outer Limits (1997), The Practice (1999) and Touched by an Angel (2000).  In 2001, he played Max in three episodes on That '70s Show.  In 2003, he appeared in three episodes of ABC TV's Boston Legal, playing a judge.  His judge character heard court cases while sitting on the judge's bench, in the same way that Charlie Moore taught his class when he sat atop his desk.  In 2007, Howard played Dr. James Broderick in an episode of ER.  In 2011, he had a guest role as Dr. Ellliot D. Aden on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in an episode entitled "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Dead" (Season 11, Episode 16, Air Date: February 24, 2011).   Most recently, Hessman has appeared in episodes of Mike & Molly (2012), Chicago Med (2016) and Fresh Off the Boat (2017) as well as the TV movie A Christmas in Vermont (2016).  In 2018, he promoted WKRP in Cincinnati and other classic television series on the MeTV network.

Howard Hessman has been married to French-born actress Caroline Ducrocq since 1989.

BILLY CONNOLLY played Billy MacGregor.  He succeeded Howard Hessman as teacher of the gifted student's program.  Connolly, a Scottish stand-up comedian, actor and musician, was born in Glasgow on November 24, 1942.  In the 1960s, Billy left his job as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards to pursue a career as a folk singer.  He sang and played guitar and banjo in a folk rock band called The Humblebums along with singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty and guitarist Tom Harvey.  He eventually became a solo artist and  then made the transition from comic folk singer to a full-fledged comedian.

Billy is now Sir William Connolly.  In October of 2017, he was knighted at Buckingham Palace by Prince Charles for his contributions to entertainment and charity.  In recent years, Connolly has suffered from health issues.  He has had surgery for prostate cancer and has been treated for Parkinson's disease.  In January of 2019, he revealed that his ailments may force him to retire.

Since 1989, Billy Connolly has been married to his second wife, Pamela Stephenson, a New Zealand-born Australian psychologist, writer and comic. Billy is the father of five children, two from his fist marriage to Iris Prssagh and three from his current marriage to Stephenson.

WILLIAM G. SCHILLING played Dr. Harold Samuels, the school's blustery principal.  Samuels questioned Charlie Moore's teaching methods.

Bill Schilling was born August 30, 1939 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Prior to Head of the Class, Bill Schilling guest-starred in episodes of such TV series as Lou Grant (1981), Family Ties (1982), M*A*S*H (1982), St. Elsewhere (1983), Alice (1983), The Jeffersons (1984), Hunter (1984), Three's a Crowd (1984), Remington Steele (1985) and Valerie (1986).  From 1982 to 1983, he appeared in four episodes of Hill Street Blues.  In three of those episodes, he played a character named Ernie.  From 1984 to 1985, Bill had a recurring role  in five episodes of E/R as Richard the Orderly.  After Head of the Class, he guest-starred in episodes of Who's the Boss? (1992), Homefront (three episodes in 1992 to 1993) and Something Wilder (1994).  He also played the role of George Buelton in the television movie For Their Own Good (1993).

Schilling is now retired from acting.  He played Ben in a 2002 episode of the TV series Still Standing and Detective Carr in a 2000 episode of Pensecola: Wings of Gold. In the 1996 Michael Jordan movie, Space Jam, he played a golfer.  He portrayed Sandford Riggs in the 1993 crime film In the Line of Fire.

JEANNETTA ARNETTE played the angelic Bernadette Meara, the calm and sensible vice principle.  Although there were romantic sparks between Ms. Arnette and Charlie Moore, nothing became of the attraction.  However, Bermadette later became involved in a romantic relationship with Charlie's successor, Billy MacGregor.

Jeannetta Arnette was born on July 29, 1954 in Washington, D.C.  She was raised in North Carolina.  She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  and became involved in local theatre productions.  However, she dropped out of college and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a Hollywood acting career.  She has appeared in many movies, including Ladybugs (1992) and Boys Don't Cry (1999), as well as in a number of guest-starring roles on television.

In 2006, Arnette co-starred in the Tori Spelling sitcom VHI.  She also portrayed an  innocent death row inmate in a 2006 episode of Criminal Minds.  In 2014, she had a recurring role as Anya Sparks in the CBS series Extant, starring Halle Berry.  Most recently, she played Mrs. Kelly in a 2018 episode of Heathers.

DAN FRISCHMAN played Arvid Engen, a thin, bespectacled, socially awkward math whiz.  The Complete Directory of Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946-Present describes Arvid as "the classic nerd with glasses, pocket slide rule, and polyester pants."

Dan Frischman was born on April 23, 1959 in Whippany, New Jersey, USA.  From 1996 until 2000, he portrayed Chris Potter on the Nickelodeon sitcom Kenan & Kel.  He also starred as Kenny in the 2010 TV movie Tramps and Ramblers.

DAN SCHNEIDER played Dennis Blunden, Arvid's best friend.  Dennis was overweight, witty and cynical.  He was a computer whiz who specialized in chemistry and physics.  Dennis was particularly fond of pizza.

Dan Schneider became a producer for the Nickelodeon channel.  He and his Schneider's Bakery team created many of the channel's hit series such as Carly, Drake & Josh, Victorious, Kenan & Kel and Henry Danger.  In March of 2018, Nickelodeon cut ties with Schneider.

In 2002, Dan married food blogger Lisa Lillien.  The couple met at Nickelodeon in the 1990s.  Lisa is the producer of the Hungry Girl website which includes cookbooks, low-calorie recipes, specialty products and television shows.

KHRYSTYNE HAJE played quiet, delicate, poetry-loving Simone Foster.  A relationship developed on the show between Simone and Eric Mardian, played by Brian Robins. Eric, an aspiring writer, had a crush on Simone and they had an off-again on-again romance.   Eric was the most unlikely student in the Individual Honors Program as he wasn't outwardly geeky.  He dressed in leather and rode a motorcyle.  In the last episode of the series, Eric proposes to Simone.

Khrystyne Haje was born on December 21, 1968 in Santa Clara, California.  She began her career as a teenage model.  Her first television role was in the 1985 TV movie Crime of Innocence, starring Andy Griffith and Diane Ladd.  She appeared as Sally in the 1987 TV movie Bates Hotel and she played the teenage Chrissy Seaver in a 1990 episode of Growing Pains entitled "Future Shock" (Season 5, Episode 21, Air Date: February 21, 1990).

After Head of the Class, Khrystyne Haje played Kathy Larson in the family comedy TV movie Stepsister from Planet Weird (2000) and she guest-starred in  a 2002 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.  She had roles in the 1994 science fiction thriller Cyborg 3: The Recycler and the 2002 action film Redemption.  Since the 1990s, she has worked in more theatre productions and
fewer television productions.

TONY O'DELL played the egotistical Alan Pinkard, an ultra conservative preppy type and supporter of Ronald Reagan. Alan's specialty was political science

Tony O'Dell was born Anthony Dell'Aquila on January 30, 1960 in Pasadena, California.  He made his television debut in a 1978 Halloween episode of CHiPs entitled "Trick or Treat" (Season 2, Episode 6, Air Date: October 21, 1978. in which he had a minor role as a teenager.  Prior to Head of the Class, O'Dell guest-starred in episodes of such series as Eight is Enough (1980), Family (1980) and Simon & Simon (1985).  In 1981, he portrayed Christopher in four episodes of the prime time soap Dynasty.  He also played Jimmy in the 1984 film, The Karate Kid, and its 1986 sequel, The Karate Kid II.

LESLIE BEGA played Maria Borges, a student so driven to perfection that she grounded herself when she received a "B" grade.  She performed in Filmore High's productions of Grease and Little Shop of Horrors.

Leslie Bega was born on April 17, 1967 in Los Angeles, California.  She made her acting debut at the age of six in the Broadway play The Patriots.  She has had had many years of vocal/singing training and has made her mark in Broadway musicals over the years.  In 2001, she performed solo at New York City's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Leslie left Head of the Class in 1989 after which she had guest roles on such TV series as Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990), 21 Jump Street (1991) and SeaQuest 2032.  From 1997 to 1998 she starred as Laura Sandoval in C-16 FBI alongside Eric Roberts, Angie Harmon and D.B. Sweeney.  From 2002 to 2003, she appeared as Leah in three episodes of CSI; Crime Scene Investigation.  From 2002 to 2004, she portrayed Tony Soprano's mistress, Valentina La Paz, on The Sopranos.  Most recently, she played Carmen in the 2016 TV movie Bird Dog.  In addition, Leslie established movie career for herself with roles in such films as Lost Highway (1997).Get Shorty 1995), The American President (1995) and Mobsters (1991).

Leslie Bega is also a business entrepreneur who built a career in commercial and residential real estate.  She starred as a real estate broker on two realty shows: Bravo['s Million Dollar Listing and HGTV's Selling L.A.  On Selling L.A. one of Leslie's own properties was on sale.

On Valentine's Day 1992, Leslie married John Fariss, the drummer for the Australian-based band INXS.  The marriage ended in divorce in 1997.         


TANNIS VALLELY played Janice Lazarotto, the youngest of the students.  Janice was in high school at the age of 11 due to her high intelligence.

Tannis Kathleen Vallely was born in New York City on December 28, 1975.  She is the daughter of actress Myra Turley and producer/screenwriter Bill Vallely.  Prior to her role on Head of the Class, she appeared in episodes of St. Elsewhere (1984) and Punky Brewster (1986).

Tannis left Head of the Class in 1989 and her character, Janice, went to Harvard University.  However, she made two guest appearance on the show in 1990 and she returned for series finale in 1991.  In the last episode, entitled "It Couldn't Last Forever: Part 2"  (Season 5, Episode 22, Air Date: June 25, 1991),

Tannis has been married to Jeremy Kromberg since May 22, 2004.  In 2001, she began working as a casting director's office in Los Angeles.

ROBIN GIVENS played Darlene Merriman, a spoiled rich girl who specialized in speech and debate.  She and Alan Pinkard competed for the highest marks in the class.

Robin Simone Givens was born on November 27, 1964 in New York City. She began her acting career with a 1985 appearance on The Cosby Show.  She followed that with a role in an episode of Diff'rent Strokes (1986).

After Head of the Class ended its run in 1991, Robin appeared in some short-lived series and had a number of guest-starring and  recurring roles.  In 2018, she played Dr. Phillips in 15 episodes of soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful.  Robin currently portrays Mayor Sierra McCoy on the television series Riverdale.

Robin Givens is known for her turbulent marriage to boxer Mike Tyson, whom she wed in 1988 and divorced in 1989.  It was a very unhappy union.  Givens alleged spousal abuse, while Tyson claimed she was only interested in his money.  In 1997, Robin married her tennis instructor Svetozar Marinkovic.  That marriage ended in divorce in 1998.

Givens has two children.  She adopted a son, Michael Givens, as a single mother and gave birth to a another son, William Givens, Jensen, in 1999.  Givens' former boyfriend, Murphy Jensen, is William's father.


* The theme music to Head of the Class is instrumental.  It was composed by Ed Alton. The opening credits featured a variety of New York landmarks as well as Charlie Moore's frustrating commute to work.  He arrives late but is happy to see the students.

* In 1988, the cast of Head of the Class travelled to Moscow to film  "Mission in Moscow," a two-part episode, there.  Class was the first American sitcom to film in the  Soviet Union, although some news programs and specials, such as Candid Camera in 1961, had done so before.

*  After Head of the Class ended its run, Billy Connolly appeared in a short-lived spin-off of the series.  It was titled Billy.

*  For the first three seasons of Head of the Class, there were 10 students.  During the fourth and fifth seasons, there were some cast changes.  As mentioned, Janice Lazarotto  went to Harvard, while Maria Borges went to  Performing Arts High School.  Jawaharlal Chouhury (Jory Hussain aka Joher Coleman), an exchange student from India, moved to California.  Some new students were then added to the cast, including T.J. Jones, played by Rain Pryor from 1988 to 1991.  T.J. was a problem student whose slow learning could be attributed to his attitude rather than lack of intelligence.  He worked his way in the IHP.

* In 1991, the students finally graduated from the school, which had been renamed Millard Filmore High School and was set to be torn down.

SOURCESThe Complete Directory of Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946-Present; Variety (March 26, 2018), "Nickelodeon Splits with Dan Schneider," by Daniel Holloway;; Wikipedia; 

- Joanne

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Y&R Report (March 2, 2019): 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.   

So, crazy Mia did some terrible things.  She tried to attack Abby but harmed Lola instead.  It's unfortunate that the writers made Mia commit a violent act.  I considered her to be quite a wild character.  She's certainly off the wall and very insecure, but I don't see her as particularly violent.

Mia lied to Rey about being pregnant so she wouldn't have to go to jail.  Then she duped him when he demanded that she produce a positive pregnancy test.  Mia may not be "Mama Mia" yet, but she will be soon. The papa will not be Rey.  The papa will be Arturo.  Mia will find a way to make it happen.

Christine "Cricket" Williams was certainly in fine form in court.  The Cricketmeister raked Phyllis over the coals.  The born again redhead didn't even know what hit her.  She thought she would just plea bargain with the district attorney, throw Nikki, Victoria and Sharon under the bus and have a fairly easy time on the witness stand.  Boy, was she wrong!  She completely underestimated the Cricktmeister.  Cricket attacked her like a pitbull. She was relentless.  The other two lawyers, Michael Baldwin and Brittany Hodges, were tough on her too.

Phyllis was shell-shocked as she walked off the witness stand. She was so stunned that her daughter, Summer, followed her out of the courtroom to offer her some support.  Phyllis is probably the most unpopular person in Genoa City.  She is headstrong and she fights tooth and nail for her own interests.  Some find that an admirable quality, but Phyllis takes it too extremes.  She comes across as selfish and controlling.  That's why Nick kicked her out of his house.  Speaking of Nick, will he try again to reunite with Sharon?  Is he really finished with Phyllis for good?

Lola needs a liver transplant and, of course, Summer is the match.  When she told Kyle of her concerns about donating part of her liver, Kyle offered to break off with Lola and even marry Summer if she went though with the liver donation.  You can bet Snowflake will take him up on his offer.


Yes!  Doug Davidson is back!

The fans have spoken and CBS has listened.  Doug Davidson is back.  Our beloved "Clueless" Paul Williams will be returning to Genoa City.  He has taped an episode that will air on Monday, March 25th (CBS) and Friday, March 22nd (Global TV in Canada) , according to Soap Central.  It not clear whether Doug is on contract again, but Eric Braeden stated on Twitter that Davidson is "back back."

Eric has been very supportive of  Doug and has probably been the most vocal castmate in opposing Doug's firing from the show.  He was also the first to hail Doug's return on social media, when he tweeted, "He's back!!" with a picture of himself and Davidson.

Fans, this proves you have influence on the powers-that-be at CBS.  Ratings matter to them and they do not want to lose viewers and advertising dollars.  So, if you don't like something, don't hesitate to let them know.

Thad Luckinbill (J.T.) spotted at Y&R studio

Thad Luckinbill was recently spotted at the Y&R studio.  He may have been just visiting, but it's much more likely that he was filming scenes.  So. what does that mean with regard to the J.T. storyline?  There are a couple of possibilities.  He could just be appearing in flashbacks.  The other possibility is that J.T. is still alive.  I doubt that Thad Luckinbill is returning to the show, so if J.T. has survived, I expect him to be captured or killed by the police, led by Paul Williams.  Yes, the same Paul Williams (Doug Davidson) whose absence has not yet been explained.  It would be the perfect scenario for the return of Clueless.  I'm curious as to how they'll explain Paul's vanishing act.

Eileen Davidson (Ashley)back for return visit

Great news for fans of Eileen Davidson!  She will be returning to Y&R as Ashley Abbott for a two-day stint on Thursday, March 28th and Friday, March 29th (CBS) and Wednesday, March 27th and Thursday, March 28th on Global TV, just after Doug Davidson's return.  Eileen told Soap Opera Digest that she told new Y&R writer Josh Griffith that she would be open to return appearances and that Griffith took her up on her offer.

Beth Maitland (Traci Abott) is also making a return visit to Genoa City this Traci.  Y&R hasn't released the air dates yet for Traci's visit, but they should coincide with sister Asheley's return.  We viewers can look forward to a big Abbott extravaganza.  There will be some emotional drama concerning Jabot, the family business, which the Abbott's proudly describe as John Abbott's legacy.  Jack is leading the charge to remove Phyllis as CEO of Jabot and replace her with an Abbott.

Note that Beth Maitland has earned a pre-nomination in the Daytime Emmy's Outstanding Supporting Actress category this year.  I'll be cheering for her.  The final nominations will be announced on March 20th.


Jack is leading the charge to remove Phyllis from her position as CEO of Jabot.  He wants the company back in Abbott hands.  What do you think?  Should Phyllis be dethroned?  If so. who should replace her?

Who should be the CEO of Jabot?

Phyllis should remain in the job. She's tough and competent.
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 episode of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, March 16, 2019.  The February sweeps are behind us now, but March is shaping up to be an exciting month on Y&R with the return of Doug Davidson and Eileen Davidson and the first episodes from new head writer Josh Griffith.

- Joanne

Monday, February 18, 2019

You wanted to know . . . about Robert John Pittman (Seymour on Dennis the Menace)

Robert John Pittman as a child actor

I received the following email from a reader named Henry.

Hello, I've a question to submit. I enjoy the original Dennis the Menace with Jay North, and appreciate Seymour's character, as he usually comes off pretty cynical, opportunistic and to the point. I can find very little about him online, except that he died in 1990. Can you tell us anymore about Robert John Pittman, the actor who portrayed Seymour, and his life and death? Thanks.

Robert John Pittman played Dennis Mitchell's pal Seymour on the Dennis the Menace sitcom, which ran from 1959 to 1963.  As you pointed out, Henry, information on the internet about the life and death of this actor is sketchy, especially since he only had a brief career as a child.

Robert John Pittman was born on January 20, 1956 in Los Angeles, California (according to IMDb).  Another source (Find a Grave) states that he was born on September 9, 1956.  Robert was the only child of Montgomery Pittman (1917-1962), a television writer, director and actor,.and his wife, Maurita. Maurita had three children by her fist marriage: Curtis Loys Jackson Jr. and Sherry Jackson (Sherry played the role of Terry Williams on Make Room for Daddy, starring Danny Thomas).

Robert made his acting debut as Ajax in a 1960 episode of the crime drama 77 Sunset Strip, directed by his father.  The episode is entitled "Attic" (Season 3, Episode 1, Air Date September 16, 1960). TRIVIA NOTE:  Rusty Stevens, who played Larry Mondello on Leave it to Beaver, appeared in the same episode as a character named Max.

In 1960, Robert Pittman also made his first appearance on Dennis the Menace, starring Jay North.  It was an uncredited role and he played a "whistling little boy" in an episode entitled "Dennis Learns to Whistle" (Season 2, Episode 10, Air Date: December 4, 1960).  Robert next appeared in a 1961 episode of the show entitled "Dennis' Allowance" (Season 2, Episode 13, Air Date January 1, 1961).  He portrayed "Harold's brother" in the episode and was given a credit.  His third appearance on the show was as a character named Rikki in "Dennis Goes to Camp" (Season 2, Episode 21, Air Date: February 26, 1961).  It wasn't until his fourth appearance, in an episode entitled "The Fortune Cookie" (Season 2, Episode 35, Air Date: June 4, 1961), that Robert portrayed Seymour for the first time.  In total, Robert appeared in 32 of the 146 episode of Dennis the Menace over four seasons.

Robert didn't have much of a career after Dennis the Menace.  He had a role in a 1963 episode of Vacation Playhouse, a summer replacement show that featured pilot programs that had not been aired.  The episode is entitled "Come a-Runnin'" (Season 1, Episode 9, Air Date: September 16, 1963).  Robert's half-sister, Sherry Jackson, appeared in the same episode, as did Rance Howard (brother of Ron), Alan Hale Jr. (the Captain on Gilligan's Island) and Susan Seaforth Hayes of Days of Our Lives fame. 

In 1964, Robert guest-starred in an episode of a short-lived comedy, Grindl, starring Imogene Coca.  He played Clydie Strunk in an episode called "There's No Such Thing as a Bad Barracuda."  That was his last TV credit.  His final acting credit was for his role as Landlord of the Two Trees in Remembrance, a 1982 full length feature film.  He has no acting credits on IMDb between 1965 and 1981.

According to Find a Grave, Robert is buried at St. Johns Catholic Cemetery in Plum City, Pierce County, Wisconson and he died on November 3, 1990 at the age of 34.  According to IMDb, he died in Maui, Hawaii in 1990.  Details of his death have not been revealed, most likely for personal and private reasons.  However, someone who identifies himself as Rufus and claims to have met Robert in 1980, when he was "doing some TV in L.A., wrote the following online.  It is dated October 8, 2009.

I read here that Robert John Pitt may have passed away. I do not believe this.

I did know he was in Hawaii for some time. I wrote the 9/12/2008 blog below “Robert John Pittman – Seymour” … as I stated I met Robert in 1980 when I was doing some plays & TV in LA. We became fast friends and spent a lot of time together for ~ 5 months. Robert used another name as an adult. He showed me his wallet ID information shortly after we met to make the point. He said that although Robert John Pittman was his name he now considered it his performer name. Robert explained it was just easier to do it this way … he said this with the perpetual smile he always wore. Being such I will not disclose this adult name. Robert had a lot of amusing to funny stories about the TV series … some gossipy but all positive and he considered the TV experience good for him … he joked about the “child actor category” he found himself involved with but he considered it natural as his older half-sister had been a child actor also. He did state more than once that during productions Jay North was always roped off from the other kids and that no one was allowed to talk to him. Robert said sometimes, as Robert being a little kid that Robert felt anxious that he could not get close to this other kid except when shooting a scene.

Robert’s immediate family is a story of exceptionally talented persons in both film and particularly television: his half-sister (by the same mother) is actress Sherry Jackson who was the older sister on the TV sitcom “Make Room For Daddy” and she was also one of Ma & Pa Kettle’s kids in the movie series along with countless other TV and movie roles. His mother, unfortunately whom I never met, was a TV screen writer. At the time Robert and I knew each other his mother was involved with the production of a TV movie about Elvis Presley where Shelly Winters played Elvis’ mother. That’s all I remember on that. His dad was the prolific actor/director Montgomery Pittman who started in TV work during what is now known as the Golden Age of Television: the 1950s. His dad directed lots & lots of television productions but I remember him best for Twilight Zone episodes directing great actors like Jack Elam and Lee Marvin. Robert said his dad passed away at the time of the Dennis the Menace series. Robert came to the Dennis the Menace series as an experienced TV child actor having been previously directed by his father on another show. The combined stories in a book of Robert’s fascinating family would make a significant contribution to television history. 

What caused my below 9/12/2008 blog is that by accident I saw, changing TV channels this past year, Dennis the Menace with Robert. I decided to contact Robert. Last year using the adult name I know Robert by and his actor name + Internet search engines + a combination of my other memory items I did locate Robert’s adult-name current address. I confirmed via a college buddy, a postal worker, that it was indeed an active address with that particular name (and the name also matched Robert’s age). This was this last year.

I wrote Robert a letter last year and offered a lunch rendezvous next time I was in his area. I never got a response. [I did not entirely expect a response … mind you my letter was in-part greatly an apology …. our friendship ended on an unpleasant note entirely due to my fault/my poor behavior.] I sent the letter and I believe Robert read it. In turn, the letter never came back from the postal service as ‘undelivered’ for either this particular address or this particular name. 

Reading an email of a good friend’s rumored death caused me to ask a retired police officer friend of mine to verify his death. Marcia found neither obituaries nor death records for the State of Hawaii or the greater Los Angeles area for Robert John Pittman or his other adult name that I know him by.

For bloggers who knew Robert as an adult and therefore to them to verify my blog credibility: Robert and I were in our 20s when we met. As a young adult Robert was handsome ~ 5’10” slender built with curly brown hair ~ 2” long / never parted. Robert, as an adult, also kept the endearing sleepy-eyed looks that little Seymour had. 

Considering Robert’s private nature I will no longer blog on him … it’s just that reporting a death erroneously or “I heard story” of such a superb old acquaintance is far-fetched for me. With a great deal of certainty Robert John Pittman is alive. 

PS My sincere apologies to Robert for my writing all this. Looks like I am full of apologies Robert. I was only considering TV fans in writing this. I wish the best for you Robert..

-  Rufus

Someone who signed himself as "Zoneboy" made the following response to Rufus.

The information I received regarding Mr. Pittman came from Dr. Jeanne Russell who played Margaret Wade on the show (Dennis the Menace). I wrote to her asking her to confirm the passing of Billy Booth (Tommy Anderson) and she did. I asked about Robert John and she said he died years ago and believed he was living in Hawaii at the time. She had no further details on his passing. If you wish to contact her yourself, You can do so at I hope that Dr. Russell was in error because I really liked him. He was a gifted actor and was great as Seymour.

Sherry Jackson, Roberts's sister, made some comments on her website in response to the following question:

"Hi Sherry

i'm a big fan of yours and i have a question

i had read that the little boy that played the role of Seymour on Dennis The Menace Robert Pittman is your this true? i really enjoyed him on that show and was wondering is he still in the business?"

"Dear Maserati,

Welcome to my website! Good question...Robert John Pittman was my half brother from Monty....He made quite a few "Dennis the Menace" playing the part of "Seymour"He was my best friend....I miss him ....He Passed away in Maui, in 1990

Love and Light Sherry"


* Robert's father, Montgomery Pittman, died of cancer on June 26, 1962.  He was only 45 years old at the time of his passing.  His marriage to Robert's mother lasted until his death.

* In 1967, Robert appeared as himself on the Eamonn Andrews Show, a talk show on ITV in the United Kingdom.

- Joanne

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Y&R Report: (February 16, 2019): 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, it's the February sweeps and the Newman and Rosales families are in turmoil.  It was a miserable Valentine's Day for some of Genoa City's most prominent citizens.  The Gang of Four - Nikki, Phyllis, Sharon and Victoria - were all arrested, although we are still not certain whether J.T. Hellstrom is dead or alive.  He may be alive because all four women are not going to languish in prison.  They are major characters and they are too remain in jail for long.  If J.T. is alive, there will have been no murder and the four female conspirators will be freed.

We all knew it had to happen sometime.  Mia gave herself away.  She blurted out Arturo's name  during an intimate moment with Rey.  Let's face it, though, Rey has wanted Sharon all along.  Mia's misstep has given him the perfect excuse to hook up with Sharon and the opportunity to reveal his true feelings for her.  He admitted that he and Mia had never really been honest with each other since they'd gotten back together.  Sharon then confessed to Rey that she felt the same way about him.  Then, always the detective, he handcuffed her for her part in the presumed murder of J.T.

That was quite an altercation Abby had with Mia on Valentine's day.  Mia was drunk and wild, but Abby wouldn't let up.  Mia's behaviour was predictable. Abby, however. should have walked away from her inebriated nemesis.  In many ways, she was worse than Mia.  Arturo was not impressed by all the insults that the two women hurled at each other.  He was appalled by the open hostility between them.  It was very embarrassing for him. 

In an interview with Soap Central, Jason Canela (Arturo Rosales) made some comments about Arturo's love triangle with Abby and Mia.  Jason, who recently celebrated his one-year anniversary on Y&R, made the following remarks: "Personally I do wish that Arturo an Abby are able to fight through whatever obstacles they go through as a couple and really stay true to each other, because I think it's a message that is needed in today's world . . . They're going to go through their ups and downs, but to show them sticking it out and working it out with each other to make it through to the other side, that would be cool.  But again, that ain't my job!"  As Victor Newman would say, it ain't gonna happen.  Abby and Arturo will not marry and live happily ever after. That's almost impossible on a soap.  It was exceptional that Nick and Sharon stayed together for about ten years, until Cassie died and Phyllis interfered.  Even then, if you remember, Nick cheated on Sharon with her best friend, Grace Turner.

Speaking of Sharon, until she became embroiled in the J.T. mess, she had been doing really well.  She was running the coffeehouse.  She obtained her psychology degree and was counselling at a distress centre.  Now she faces the possibility of  going to prison and she is involved with a married police detective whose wife is unpredictable and desperate.

We have another mystery on Y&R. Who attacked the lovely Lola?  Her only enemy appears to be Summer, but I don't think Snowflake did it.  That would be too obvious and despite all of her escapades, Summer has never shown any inclination to be violent.

In Memoriam: R.I.P. Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters)

It is heartbreaking that Kristoff St. John is dead at the age of 52.  He recently returned to Y&R after taking a leave of absence after a breakdown related to his son's suicide.  His death was shocking because he appeared to be getting his life back together.  In September of 2018, he announced his engagement to a Russian-born model named Kseniya Mikehaleva.

To me, Neil Winters was at his best when he was with Drucilla (Victoria Rowell).  They had real on-screen chemistry.  They first met when Neil was an up-and-coming junior executive at Newman Enterprises.  Drucilla was rough around the edges in those days and she worked in the mailroom at Newman.  I remember their first encounter there.  They bumped into each other and Drucilla dropped all her papers.  They were, shall I say, so young and restless back then.

It's unfortunate that Victoria Rowell left Y&R in 2007.  She was written out of the show when her character fell off a cliff, during an argument with Phyllis (who else?).  Drucilla's body was never found and she was presumed dead.  The Winters family, especially Neil, hasn't been the same without her.  In fact, I don't think there has been a really good storyline for Kristoff since Victoria Rowell's departure.

Kristoff (Neil) and Victoria Rowell (Dru) in the early days

During Kristoff's illness, fans wish him well.  They offered him support.  They thought he had dealt with his demons.  They thought he had gotten his life back on track.  Sadly, it was just an illusion.  It was not meant to be.
Rest  in peace, Kristoff St. John.  You will be missed.

Is Adam Newman about to return?

Adam Newman supposedly died in a house explosion.  As we all know, characters don't always remain dead on a soap.  Adam is a very popular character and many fans want him to return - but will he?  A new casting call on Y&R has sparked rumours of Adam's return.  The show has sent out a casting call for an actor to play the role of "Jeremy."  Jeremy is described as a stunningly handsome" and "supremely confident" man in his early 30s to early 40s who has "obsessive ambition" and is willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants."  That certainly sounds like Adam, but it could also describe a new character.  Many soap characters have those characteristics.  So, before Adam fans get too excited, remember that nothing is official.  

If Adam does come back to Genoa City, it is virtually certain that a new actor will play the role of Victor Newman's ambitious son.  It seems that there is little chance that any of the three actors who have portrayed the adult Adam - Chris Engen, Michael Muhney and Justin Hartley, will return to the show.

Chris Engen left The Young and the Restless in 2009 because he felt "generally unhappy" about his contribution to the show.  He stated that he had "great and greater difficulty making any sense of the  challenges they were asking me to face."  There were reports that he was uncomfortable with an upcoming homosexual storyline.

The next Adam, Michael Muhney, was fired in 2013 amid allegations of sexual misconduct involving castmate Hunter Kiing (Summer Newman), while the most recent Adam, Justin Hartley, has risen to fame on prime time television with a starring role on This is Us.

If the character of Adam returns, then his wife, Chelsea, will probably also return.  Melissa Claire Egan, who played Chelsea left the show to pursue other opportunities.  Since then, Chelsea has vanished after returning to her con woman ways.  She is on the lam with son Connor and her storline has not been resolved.

Michael Muhney

Justin Hartley


I don't think the tribute to Kristoff St. John (Neil) was satisfactory.  It wasn't long enough and it was just tacked on to the end of the show.  It didn't do him justice.  They could have devoted an episode to him, with the actors on the show reminiscing about him and sharing memories, as they did with Jeanne Cooper (Mrs. Chancellor).  On February 20th (CBS) and February 19th (Global TV) in Canada), there will be a special episode in honour of Melody Thomas Scott's 40 years on Y&R.  It will be a trip down memory lane with plenty of flashbacks..  If the show can devote entire episodes to Jeanne Cooper and Melody Thomas Scott, why not Kristoff St. John?  Do you agree with me, fans, or do you have another opinion.  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you think the tribute to Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) was good enough?

Yes, they did a very heartfelt tribute to Kristoff.
Maybe. It was okay, but they could have done more.
No, it was not good enough at all. He deserved better.
I don't know.
Please Specify:


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, March 2, 2019.  The February sweeps will be over by then and the J.T. mystery may even be solved.

- Joanne