Saturday, July 4, 2020

Y&R Report (July 4, 2020): 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. 

Hi fans,

There will be new episodes of The Young and the Restless.  We just don't know exactly when.  I'm sorry to report that there's a bump on the road to the show's return to production.  Until now, Y&R had been targeting a July 6th return.  That tentative start date has been pushed back to July 13th due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in California.  There has been increasing concern about the number of positive coronavirus tests in the Golden State and Y&R has been forced to push back the date that it had hoped to resume production for at least a week, until July 13th.  However, if the situation doesn't improve, the start date could be pushed back even further.

According to Soap Central, Y&R executives reportedly sent out a letter to the soap's cast and crew, informing them of their plan to return to production.  It was stressed that the original July 6th date was only a goal.  It was not written in stone.  However, Y&R's sister soap, The Bold and the Beautiful has returned to production, after a brief delay for testing, and is not expected to change it's production schedule.

Well, we've just been treated to five bygone episodes of the romance between Paul Williams and Christine "Cricket" Blair.  We've watched "The Bug and Clueless Week" (It must have really bothered Cricket when Phyllis nicknamed her "The Bug," because she soon began calling herself "Christine").  My favourite episode of the week was the 1994 episode in which Mary Williams made a surprise appearance at Cricket's lingerie bridal shower.  Poor Mary had no idea it was a lingerie shower and her gift to her future daughter-in-law was a toaster.

Coming up is a week of "summer fun" episodes:

I've already seen the first one on Global TV.  It's a July 1999 episode in which Victor and Nikki host a party at the Newman ranch to celebrate the adoption of Cassie by Nick and Sharon.

This will be followed by a July 2005 episode in which Gloria hosts an Abbott family barbecue for family and friends.

Next will be an August 2000 episode featuring two couplw, Michael (Christian LeBlanc and Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) and Brittany (Lauren Woodland) and Billy (played by David Tom), who cause a splash.

Then there will be an episode that was originally scheduled for June, 9, 2020 on CBS.  It was cancelled due to a news event.  It's a 2001 episode in which Nick surprises Sharon with a romantic overture.

The final summer episode will involve romance and intrigue surrounding a carnival in Genoa City.  It was originally shown on July 2019.

What changes are in store for Y&R fans when news episodes are finally shown?  The writers have had plenty of time to prepare future storylines and scripts, so they have probably created some twists and turns in order to improve ratings.  According to some spoilers from Soap Dirt, viewers can expect some huge couple shakeups.  If the predictions are right (they were leaked from a CBS source), then only Victor and Nikki will remain solid.  That's really not surprising, since there is no need to break them up.  The Soap Dirt spoilers also predict that Phyllis and Nick may be the first couple to call it quits and that the reason for their split  may very well  involve Chelsea.  Chelsea and Adam are not expected to last.  It's a safe bet that Adam will find out about Sharon's cancer and go running to her.  He's got to find our eventually and there's a reason why he still doesn't know.  Chelsea will not be too pleased about Adam's close ties with Sharon, so she may turn to Nick once again. 

If Sharon and Adam get together, where does that leave Rey Rosales (Jordi Vilasuso)?   He'll be left out in the cold.  There are rumours that he may even leave the show.  As for Phyllis, if she loses Nick, she may eventually reunite with Jack Abbott.  There will also likely be a new love interest for Victoria Newman, who is unattached at this time.

DID YOU KNOW that the story about Neil and Drucilla adopting foster child Devon was an idea that came from Victoria Rowell, who played Drucilla?  Victoria herself grew up in foster care.


This year, due to the pandemic, we watched the Daytime Emmys@home.  I missed seeing a live show and it would have been great to see the red carpet interviews, but it was just not feasible this year.  Nevertheless, I thought the show was well done and I enjoyed it immensely.  I was also pleased that awards returned to network TV.  Thank you, CBS.  I hope that next year, there will be a live broadcast again.

Here are the Y&R Daytime Emmy winners:

Jason Thompson won for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Billy Abbott.

Byrton James (Devon Hamilton) received an Emmy in the category of Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

Eva LaRue won for Guest Performance in a Drama Series.  She played Celeste Rosales, mother of Lola, Arturo and Rey.

The Young and the Restless took home the Daytime Emmy award for best Drama Series.

That was a pretty good Daytime Emmy showing for Y&R.


There will be some changes once Y&R returns with new episodes.  Expect some couples to break up.  Which of these couples do you most hope won't stay together?  Fans, respond to the poll below and let me know.

When Y&R returns, what couple would you most want to see break up?

Adam and Chelsea
Nick and Phyllis
Sharon and Rey
Victor and Nikki
Abby and Chance
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, July 18, 2020.  Take care and stay safe.  Happy 4th of July to my readers in the United States.

- Joanne

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Lucie Arnaz: Then and Now

Lucie Arnaz has a remarkable show business pedigree. She's the daughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, one of the most celebrated duos in the history of television sitcoms.  Lucie is a also a star in her own right.  Like her parents, she is a versatile entertainer.  She' an accomplished actress of stage, screen and television. and she's a singer too.

Lucie was born of July 17, 1951 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.  She came into the world just as her parents were preparing to launch a new television show called I Love Lucy, which first aired on October 15. 1951.  I Love Lucy made television history and it became the Number 1 show in America for four consecutive years.  Audiences couldn't get enough of the antics of the zany redheaded Lucy and her Cuban-born band leader husband, Ricky Ricardo, along with their friends Fred (William Frawley) and Ethel (Vivan Vance) Mertz.

Lucille Ball (born August 6, 1911), was just shy of her 40th birthday when she gave birth to Lucie Désirée Arnaz, her only daughter.  According to the International Movie Database (IMDb), Lucy wanted to name her new baby after her cousin Suzan Ball.  However, Desi wanted to name the child after her mother, as a tribute to his wife.  While Lucy was asleep, Desi wrote the name "Lucie" on her birth certificate.  He decided to spell her name differently to distinguish her from her mother.  Lucie's middle name, Désirée, mostly likely comes from Lucille Ball's middle name, Désirée, or from Lucie's maternal grandmother (Lucy' mother), Désirée Evelyn Hunt.

A year and a half after Lucie's birth, Lucy gave birth to a second child, Desi Arnaz Jr., on January 19, 1953.  Lucy's real-life pregnancy was written into the script of  I Love Lucy., and Lucille Ball became one of the first women ever to appear pregnant on prime time.  Her TV character, Lucy Ricardo, also  gave birth to a son, Ricky Ricardo Jr., ("Little Ricky") on the very same day Lucy gave birth to Desi Jr.  Desi Jr. however, never portrayed "Little Ricky."

Lucy and Desi with Lucie and Desi Jr.

I Love Lucy went off the air in 1957.  From 1957 until 1960, a collection of 13 one-hour specials, known as the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, were occasionally shown on CBS.  However, things were not happy on the Arnaz homefront.  On May 4, 1960, just two months after filming of the last episode of the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz divorced after twenty years of marriage.  Lucy, it seemed, could no longer tolerate Desi's alleged drinking and womanizing.  She said in court that it "got so bad that I thought it would be better for us not to be together."

Their daughter, Lucie, has had a great deal to say about her parents' divorce.  "They were fighting all the time,when we were growing up.  There was a lot of yelling and screaming," she told Closer Weekly in 2018..  "Their divorce was horrible.  And then there was the alcoholism.  I had preferred those things had never been there.  We didn't have any abuse, but we did go through some pretty hard stuff and that's why my parents didn't stay together."

Yet, according to Lucie, her mother and father were able to maintain an amicable relationship post-divorce.  In 2020, she told Closer Weekly that her parents had "a very successful divorce."  "They never said bad words about each other." she stated,. "and they stayed friends until the day they died."

Two years after her divorce from Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball returned to weekly television with a new series, The Lucy Show, featuring her I Love Lucy co-star, Vivian Vance.  The Lucy Show ran from 1962 to 1968 and Lucie Arnaz appeared in various roles in eight separate episodes during those years.  Some of her roles were very minor.  In a 1962 episode, she had an uncredited bit part as a spectator.  However, in later episodes, her roles became more substantial.

The Lucy Show was still popular in 1968, but Lucy wanted to work with her children.  By that time, Vivian Vance was only making sporadic appearances on the show and she was ill with breast cancer.  As a result, the series was modified and its title was changed to Here's Lucy..  Here's Lucy ran for six seasons on CBS, from 1968 to 1974.  Luciie Arnaz and her brother Desi Jr, were cast as Kim and Craig Carter, the teenage children of Lucille Ball's character, Lucy Carter.

Below is a 1968 publicity photo for Here's Lucy with Lucie, her brother, Desi Jr. and their mother, Lucille Ball.  Lucie remained with the show until it went off the air in 1974.  Desi Jr., however, left in 1971, to pursue a film career.  He succeeded in landing a couple of good roles, such as the title role in Billy Two Hats, a 1974  Western, co-starring screen legend Gregory Peck, and the role of Marco Polo in Marco (1975).

After Here's Lucy ended its run, Lucie Arnaz made guest appearances on Marcus Welby, M.D.(1975), and Fantasy Island (1978).  She played the lead role in Who is the Black Dahlia?, a 1975 television movie about the gruesome 1947 Los Angeles murder of 22-year-old aspiring actress Elizabeth Short, known as "The Black Dahlia" because of her black outfits.  Lucie's other TV movie appearances during this time included Death Scream (1975), Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977), The Mating Season (1980), Washington Mistress (1982) and One More Try (1982).

In 1985, Lucie was  given  her own comedy series, The Lucie Aranz Show.  She played Dr. Jane Lucas, a psychologist who responds to questions from listeners to  her popular radio call-in  program, The Love and Lucas Show (shades of Frazier).  The series only lasted from April 2 to June 11, 1985.

After the cancellation of The Lucie Arnaz Show, Lucie guest-starred in an episode of Murder, She Wrote (1988),  She also played a leading role in a TV movie called Who Gets the Friends, about a couple being divorced and how the divorce affects their mutual friendships.

In 1991, Lucie starred in another short-lived series called Sons and Daughters.  She portrayed Tess Hammersmith in this comedy-drama featuring an extended family in Portland, Maine.  In her 2011 Archive of American Television interview, Lucie described the show as "beautifully written."  Unfortunately, it was launched at the same time as the Gulf War began.  She remembered that they "kept postponing the show and delaying it, putting in on a different night."  The audience, she stated, never knew when or what time it was going to be on.  Although Sons and Daughters received critical acclaim, CBS camcelled the series, claiming that it couldn't find an audience.  According to Lucie," it was the other way around."

After the cancellation of Sons and Daughters, Lucie Arnaz appeared in more TV movies such as Abduction of Innocence (1996) and Bonne Nuit (1999).  She also guest-starred in a 2003 episode of Law & Order.  Her most recent TV appearance is in a 2020 episode of Will and Grace that pays homage to I Love Lucy.  The episode, which recreates famous scenes from I Love Lucy,  is entitled "We Love Lucy" (Season 11, Episode 16, Air Date: April 9, 2020).  Lucie Arnaz portrayed the no-nonsense factory boss in the classic I Love Lucy  chocolate factory scene, a role that was originally played by character actress Elvia Allman.

When asked about her Will and Grace appearance, Lucie stated the following:

"I know my parents would me over the moon to be honoured this way and by such similar talents who bring the same kind of joy to audiences as they did in I Love Lucy.  I'm thrilled to be invited to the party, and I will do my best to honour the memory of Elvia Allman iconic performance."

Lucie Arnaz has wed twice.  She married actor Philip Vandervort Menegaux on July 17, 1971, her 20th birthday.  Philip, who is professionally known as Philip Vandervort, met Lucie when they both appeared in a 1967 episode of The Lucy Show entitled "Lucy Gets Her Diploma."  He and Lucy also appeared in a 1968 episode of the show entitled "Lucy Gets Involved.".  Their marriage lasted until 1976.

Below is a photo of Lucie and Philip on their wedding day.

On June 22, 1980, Lucie married actor. playwright and director Laurence "Larry" Luckinbill.  The couple met in 1979, while they were they were both appearing on Broadway, Lucie in They're Playing Our Song and Laurence in Neil Simon's Chapter Two.  They have three children together: Simon (born in 1980), Joseph (born in 1982) and Katharine "Kate" (born in 1985).  Lucie is also stepmother to Laurence's two sons from his previous marriage to actress Robin Strasser: Nicholas (born 1969) and Benjamin (born 1975).  Luckinbill.  Strasser is best known for her role as Dorian Lord in the now-defunct ABC daytime drama One Life to Live.

Lucie Arnaz and Laurence Luckinbill


*Both Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz remarried.  Lucy married comedian Gary Morton in 1962.  Desi Arnaz wed Edith Mack Hirsch. in 1963.  Desi died of lung cancer at the age of 69 on December 2, 1986.  Lucille Ball died on April 26, 1989 due to an aortic rupture. Gary Moron passed away on March 30, 1999 of lung cancer at the age of 74.  Edith died of cancer in 1985 at 67.

* In her Archive of American TV interview, Lucie stated that when her mother wanted to remarry, it was like a knife in the heart, 'cause you're kidding, right?  It's only been a year, not even."  Still, she described Gary Morton as "a nice guy . .a funny guy, comedian."  She said he was "a good stepfather."

* Lucie Arnaz starred opposite Neil Diamond and Sir Laurence Olivier in the 1980 musical drama film The Jazz Singer.  She played the role of Molly Bell, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.

* Lucie Arnaz co-starred In the 2011 feature film, Smoking Nonsmoking (also known as The Pack), along with Elisabeth Moos.  Lucie portrayed a wife and mother whose husband dies from cancer.  Her son testifies against her for killing his father with secondhand smoke.

* During the 1960s, Desi Arnaz Jr. was a drummer and vocalist for the band Dino, Desi & Billy.  In addition to Desi Jr., the band consisted of Dino Martin (Dean Paul Marrtin), the son of singer/comedian Dean Martin, and the third member of the group was guitarist/vocalist Billy Hinsche.

* Lucie Arnaz and Laurence Luckinbill formed ArtLuck together, which produced Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie for NBC in 199, an Emmy-winning documentary about Lucie's parents.

* In the year 2000, Lucie wemt to London, England, where she  spent a year and a half performing in the West End production of Witches of Eastwick.

SOURCES: Biography (, "Inside Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's 'Fantastic Romance' and 'Successful Divorce,'" by Coun Bertram, November 22, 2019;  Me TV (, 12 Surprising facts about 'Here's Lucy,' the forgotten Lucille Ball Hit," by MeTV Staff, March 27, 2017;  Closer Weekly, "Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's Daughter Lucie Opens up About Her Parents' 'Horrible' Divorce," by Samantha Faragalli, August 1, 2018; Closer Weekly, "She Loves Lucy (and Desi, Too), Lucie Arnaz on Her Parents' Love Story and Protecting Their Legacy," by Ed Gross, February 19, 2020; Television Academy's Archive of American Television interview, December 9, 2011; TV Series Finale (, "Will & Grace: NBC Sitcom Recreating I Love Lucy with Guest Lucie Arnaz."  by Regina Avalos, November 26, 2019; Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

- Joanne

Thursday, June 25, 2020

'Our World": The First Global TV Broadcast Was a Big Deal in 1967

"Multinational and democratic, Our World represented the birth of what media maven Marshall McLuhan dubbed in its Canadian introduction, "the gobal village."  He believed that simultaneity enabled by this technology would create empathy and mutual responsibility between people and cultures."

- Judy Wittes Schlack
From 50 Years On, Remembering The "Our World" Broadcast And What it Means Today
WBUR Cognoscenti, June 26, 2017

Before Live Aid, there was Our World.  Unlike the 1985 televised concert in support of Ethiopian famine victims, Our World was not a humanitarian fundraising venture.  It was a cultural phenomenon, not just a musical event.  No segment of Our World was broadcast from a large stadium filled with thousands of people.

From our vantage point in the 21st century, a live, worldwide satellite program does not seem very awe-inspiring, but it was a very big deal back in 1967. Our World was the first live global broadcast and it was quite an event when it happened 53 years ago today, on June 25, 1967.  The show was  considered a technical marvel and it was broadcast to an audience of more than 350 million people across five continents. As Ringo Starr of the Beatles said years later, "It's a standard thing that people do now, but then, when we did it, it was a first.  That was exciting - we were doing a lot of firsts."

Our World was the brainchild of BBC producer Aubrey Singer and it took ten months to organize the entire project.  The BBC promoted Our World with these words: "For the first time ever, linking five continents and bringing man face to face with mankind.  In places as far apart as Canberra and Cape Kennedy, Moscow and Montreal, Samarkand and Söderfors, Takamatsu and Tunis."

Our World was a two-and-a half hour TV extravaganza in black and white.  It featured creative artists from 19 nations.  They appeared in separate segments representing their native countries.  Renowned Spanish painter Pablo Picasso appeared on the broadcast, as did American born Greek opera singer Maria Callas.  Canada's contribution featured a CBC TV interview with Marshall McLuhan in a control room in Toronto.  Later segments were broadcast from a ranch in Ghost Lake, Alberta and a beach in Vancouver's Point Grey district.

 Each country used its own announcers, and interpreters offered voice over a translations when the original sound differed from that country's native language.  Fourteen countries took part in the production of the show.  All segments of Our World were required to be live, and use of videotape or film was prohibited.  The opening credits were complemented by an Our World theme song, performed by the Vienna Boys Choir in 22 different languages.

To understand the motivation behind Our World, it's important to understand the tenor of the times.  Although Our World was broadcast during the height of the Vietnam War, it was intended to be an apolitical event.  No politician or head of state was allowed to participate.  Unfortunately, just four days before the broadcast, the Eastern bloc countries, following the lead of the Soviet Union, pulled out of the broadcast.  This was to protest the Western response to the recent Six-Day Arab-Israeli War (June 5-10, 1967).

The U.S. contribution to Our World included a segment about a New Jersey conference between American president Lyndon Johnson and Soviet premier Alexei Kosygin, but the two politicians were not shown to viewers.  The house where the conference took place was televised instead.

In an effort to send out a positive message, the Beatles performed  a new song called "All  You Need is Love" from a crowded Studio Two at the Abbey Road Studios in London.  John Lennon had written the song especially for the occasion and the Beatles agreed to perform it as representatives of the United Kingdom.  The Fab Four invited other British singers and musicians to the event, including Eric Clapton, members of the Rolling Stones and Marianne Faithful.

The Beatles at a press conference for Our World

The Beatles performing "All You Need is Love" on Our World

SOURCES: WBUR Cognoscenti, "50 Years On, Remembering The 'Our World' Broadcast  And What it Means Today,"by Judy Wittes SchlackJune 26, 2017; The Beatles Bible website (www.beatles; Wikipedia

- Joanne

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Y&R Report (June 20, 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. 

Hi fans,

Well, the Y&R throwback episodes continue during this pandemic, but probably not for too much longer.  The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has recommended that TV and movie production be allowed to resume this month, although not without the approval of local health officials, and not without strict adherence to safety measures and guidelines.

The Bold and the Beautiful resumed production earlier this week at Television City Studios in Los Angeles., although filming has been temporarily halted until producers adjust testing procedures.  The show's executive producer and head writer, Bradley Bell (son of Y&R creators Bill and Lee Philip Bell and brother of Lauralee Bell (the Cricketmeister herself), has announced that B&B will use a combination of stand-ins and blow-up dolls for the love scenes.  According to Bell, scripts fell flat without romantic scenes.  B&B is Y&R's sister soap.  If it has already begun production, can Y&R be far behind?  I think not. Be patient and enjoy the old episodes for a bit longer.

Bradley Bell

We've just had "Wedding Week" on Y&R and we enjoyed some of the show's most memorable (and not so memorable) nuptials - Sharon and Nick's 1996 wedding, Danny and Cricket's 1990 wedding in Hawaii, Malcolm and Olivia's 1997 wedding, Phyllis and Nick's 2006 wedding, and another of Victor and Nikki's weddings in 2013.  I'm disappointed that Michael and Lauren's wedding hasn't been aired yet.  There's still time for it to be shown before production of Y&R resumes.

Soap characters cannot stay with their true loves.  There has to be conflict and problems.  That is the essence of soaps and that's why soap couples can not stay married or be happy together.  It's the reason why characters often break up with  their true loves and then remarry them.   I think Nick Newman's true love has always been and will always be Sharon.  Yes, he is attracted to Phyllis and to her craziness and zany behaviour.  However, that is not where his heart really is.  As for Jack Abbott, his true love is Phyllis.  Since they broke up, he has not had a solid relationship with any woman.

at the moment, he's not dating anyone.  In a Soap Central interview, Peter Bergman, Jack's portrayer, stated that Phyllis "is the one that he'll spend his life trying to get over."

Of course, Nikki and Victor belong together.  In the old episodes, even when Victor was with Ashley, he couldn't get Nikki out of his mind.  It's not surprising that not one of the couples in the classic wedding episodes, except for Victor and Nikki, are currently together, although V and N have had several break-ups, divorces and remarriages in-between.  Sharon and Nick managed to last for ten years, which is pretty good run for a soap marriage.  Malcolm and Olivia's marriage had no chance because Olivia woke up dreaming about marrying Neil on her wedding day to Malcolm.  Nick and Phyllis' 2006 wedding in a cowboy bar was not exactly elegant, nor was it classy.  However, it may have appealed to some people who are tired of fancy and formal soap weddings.

It was interesting to see John McCook (Eric Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful) as a guest at Nikki and Victor's 2013 wedding.  Longtime Y&R viewers will remember that McCook once played wealthy businessman Lance Prentiss on Y&R. and that Lance married both Lorie and Leslie Brooks.

We are now into a week of Y&R Emmy-winning performances, which is very appropriate since the Daytime Emmys will be awarded this coming Friday.  I've already watched the first episode of Emmy Week on Global TV.  Beth Maitland (Traci Abbott) introduces the 1984 episode for which she won a Daytime Emmy.  In the episode, Danny and Cricket (Lauralee Bell) rescue a despondent Traci from a suicide attempt.  It is one of Lauralee's early appearances on the show..  She was born in 1968 and she was only about 15 or 16 at the time.

The other episodes this week consist of the following:

A 1997 episode involving Victor Newman's relationship with Hope and Adam (Eric Braeden received his only Daytime Emmy for his performance as Victor in this episode); a 2006 episode in which Devon (Byrton James) struggles with his hearing loss (Byrton James won an Outstanding Young Actor Emmy for his work in this episode); a 1991 episode in which Jack Abbott makes a confession regarding his marriage to Nikki (Peter Bergman won his second consecutive Daytime Emmy in the Lead Actor category for his performance as Jack in this episode; a 1999 episode in which Sharon (Sharon Case) and Nick (Joshua Morrow) obtain custody of Cassie. (Camryn Grimes became the youngest winner in the Daytime Emmys acting category for her portrayal of Cassie in this episode).

I have a suggestion for a future Y&R theme week.  Many different types of celebrities have appeared on the show, but what if we had a week of episodes devoted to well-known singers.  Here is  a list of some prominent singers and musicians who have appeared on The Young and the Restless through the years.

* Lionel Richie
* Jewel
* Smokey Robinson
* Enrique Iglesias
* Little Richard
* Katy Perry
* Aaron Neville
* Il Divo


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:

I received an interesting response to last week's Readers' Poll's question, which was "Do you think the writing and pacing of Y&R were better in the past?: This response came from an anonymous Y&R viewer who chose the "Other" category rather than the options that I had set out.  The writer made the following comments:

All media have changed in the last 50 years, so it was to be expected.  They are writing for today's audience and the new reality, which may not appeal to the longtime fans.  A combination of styles, plotlines and pacing would be best.

I would like to thank the anonymous reader for helping me see the issue from another perspective, since I am a longtime viewer.  Your point is well taken, although I wish you had spelled out what you consider to be the "new reality."  I do understand that tastes change and that different generations think differently, but I believe good writing will always be good writing.  I really like your compromise idea that "a combination of styles, plotlines and pacing would be best."  Having said all that, I still have a desire to view some Y&R episodes from 1973 to 1983.  I realize that the early episodes were only a half hour long, but two episodes could be shown during the hour time slot.


Fans, are you getting tired of watching throwback episodes of old shows?  Are you eager for new episodes to start up again, or are you content to watch the old episodes for now?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Are you eager to watch new episodes of Y&R?

Very. I'm getting tired of the old episodes.
I would like to watch new episodes, but I can wait. I'm in no hurry.
Not at all. I enjoy the old episodes and I could watch them for a long time to come.
I don't know.
Created with Poll Maker

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, July 4, 2020.  Also, don't forget that the Daytime Emmys will air on CBS on Friday, June 26 at 8 p.m.  Take care and stay well everybody.  To my Canadian readers: Happy Canada Day on July 1st.

- Joanne

Monday, June 15, 2020

Keeping Up with Kathy Garver (Cissy on "Family Affair")

The whole character of Cissy was probably 80 percent of me anyway.  My style of acting, my way of looking at acting . . . I think you can't be anybody except for who you are.  You can put on a character and you can change your hair and change your wardrobe, and change the way you speak.  However, your heart and your spirit, always a major thing . . . In my estimation, you can't be anybody except for the spirit that your are.  So Cissy, never left me.

- Kathy Garver
Fox News interview with Stephanie Nolasco, March 14, 2019

Kathy Garver was born Kathleen Marie Garver on December 13, 1945 in Long Beach, California.  She is the daughter of Rosemary (née Schmoker) and Hayes Garver, and the youngest of four children, including her sister Beverly and her two brothers, Hayes Jr. and Lance.  Kathy's parents were originally from Oklahoma and her three siblings were born there.  Her mother, Rosemary, a registered nurse, met Hayes Garver, an architect, at the Oklahoma City medical center.  When Hayes was admitted to hospital for an appendectomy, Rosemary was the nurse assigned to his care.  They wed in Oklahoma City in 1933.

In the mid-1940s, there were few employment opportunities for Kathy's father in Oklahoma. He was, however, able to find work at the Naval Shipyard in Long Beach, California.  So, the Garver family packed up and migrated to Southern California.  Hayes eventually secured a job as a construction inspector and Rosemary found a nursing position at a Long Beach hospital.  There was a also new addition to the family when Kathy was born in December of 1945.

Kathy Garver's mother encouraged her to be an entertainer.  In her autobiography, Surviving Cissy: My Family Affair Of Life In Hollywood, Kathy writes that Rosemary was convinced that her daughter would be the next Shirley Temple.  Accordingly, her parents enrolled her in classes at Meglin Studios in Hollywoods and she began dancing and singing at the age of three.  When she was ten years old, she appeared in the 1955 film I'll Cry Tomorrow, starring Susan Hayward.  It was just a tiny, uncredited role, and she played a child at an audition.

In 1960, Kathy enrolled at Pacific High School at San Bernardino, California.  She graduated from Pacific High in 1966 and then entered the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she majored in speech and drama.  In 1970, she graduated from UCLA.

Before achieving television stardom on Family Affair, Kathy appeared in such classic movies as Night of the Hunter.(1955) and in Cecil B. DeMille's Biblical epic, The Ten Commandments (1956).  Kathy had a small, uncredited child role in Night of the Hunter, an American thriller starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish, and directed by Academy Award winner Charles Laughton.  In the The Ten Commandments, Kathy played one of the young slave girls.  Her part in The Ten Commandments was originally intended to be a very small one.  However, she made such impression on DeMille, the film's director, that he had some special scenes added to highlight her talents.

Kathy Garver as slave girl in Ten Commandments

Prior to her breakthrough on Family Affair, Kathy appeared in episodes of many television shows during the 1960s such as The Rifleman (1961), Mr. Novak (1964), The Bing Crosby Show (1965), Daniel Boone (1965), Ben Casey (1966), The Patty Duke Show (1966) and Death Valley Days (1965, 1966).  In 1965, Kathy guest-starred as Tracey Richards in four consecutive episodes of Dr. Kildare (Season 5, Episodes 20-23, Air Dates: November 16, 1965, November 22, 1965, November 23, 1965, November 29, 1965).

In 1966, while still a freshman at UCLA, Kathy auditioned for the role of Catherine "Cissy," Davis, the eldest of the three siblings on a new sitcom called Family Affair.  Family Affair was a hit with audiences and aired on CBS from 1966 to 1971.  The show chronicled the life of well-to-do bachelor engineer Bill Davis (Brian Keith), who raised his brother's three orphaned children in his upscale New York apartment, with the help of his English manservant, Mr. Giles French (Sebastian Cabot).

Kathy portrayed teenager Cissy, while Anissa Jones and Johnny Whitaker played her younger twin siblings, Buffy and Jody. While "Uncle Bill" was overseeing construction sites, or wining and dining women, his proper English valet, Mr. French , took charge of the household and tended to the needs of the children.  When the show began, Cissy was supposed to be 15 years, but Kathy was over 18 at the time.  However, since she was regarded as an adult, she was permitted to work longer hours.

Below is a photo of the Family Affair cast in 1967.  Kathy Garver is bottom left, with Brian Keith (centre), Sebastian Cabot (back), Johnny Whitaker and Anissa Jones.

Family Affair was cancelled by CBS  in 1971.  In a 2019 interview with Fox News, Kathy was asked what caused the cancellation.  She replied, "I think there was a change in the times.  We'd been on for five years.  Then in the early '70s, they were going toward a more realistic kind of show.  Our sitcom was dramedy and they wanted something like All in the Family instead of Family Affair."

After Family Affair ended its five-season run, Kathy starred in an Israeli musical theatre version of the show.  Fir the role, she was obliged to learn Hebrew phonetically.  She also made guest appearances in such television series as Adam-12 (1971).  However, her focus was more on stage and voice acting.  Kathy is an accomplished voice artist.  Her voice characterizations can be heard in cartoons, commercials, and audio books.  From 1981 to 1983, she voiced Firestar (Angelica "Angel" Jones), a fictional mutant superhero appearing in Marvel Comics, in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends TV show.  In 1986, she voiced Pepper in Chuck NorrisKarate Kommandos.

Kathy Garver is currently starring in the comedy web series, Aunt Cissy.  It's a follow-up of the life of Family Affair's Cissy Davis.  We learn that Cissy made it big as an actress in New York City.  She has relocated to Los Angeles and is now about to retire and lead an adventurous new life with her film producer fiancé, Robert (Keith Coogan.).  Who should show up at her door but her twin niece and nephew, and they need a place to live.  The show also stars Susan Anton as Cissy's arch-nemesis and Kate Linder of The Young and the Restless as her offbeat agent. 

On May 3, 1981, Kathy married David Travis, a business executive.  The couple met while playing tennis in Palm Springs, California and they have a son named Reid Garver Travis.  Reid was born in San Francisco on January 20, 1991.

Below is a 2009 Christmas card photo of Kathy with husband, David, and son, Reid.

On August 28, 1976, 18-year-old Anissa Jones, who played blonde-haired, pig-tailed Buffy on Family Affair, died of a lethal drug overdose, after partying in Oceanside, California.  Her death was later ruled accidental.  Kathy told  Fox News that she hadn't coped well with Anissa's passing.  She said that she had attended Anissa's 18th birthday party and Anissa's mother had said, "Kathy, I wish you'd spend more time with Anissa because I really think she's in with a bad group of people."  Unfortunately, Kathy was scheduled to leave for the East Coas the next day for a six-week run in a production of My Fair Lady.  About three weeks later, she received news of Anissa's tragic death.

On August 23, 1977, Sebastian Cabot died of a stoke in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  He was 59 years old.  His character, Mr. French, was a traditional "gentleman's gentleman," who wore a bowler hat and carried an umbrella.

Johnny Whitaker played Cissy's curly-haired, red-headed younger brother, Jody.  Born December 13, 1959, Johnny is now 60 years old.  As an adult, he became addicted to drugs and alcohol.  His family held an intervention and he agreed to join a 12-step program, later becoming a drug councillor.  In 2016 and 2017, Johnny appeared on Amazon Prime's reboot of his early 1970s children's series, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.  He also appeared in a 2019 episode of a TV comedy called The MissAdventures of Camp Elaine.

Kathy's television uncle and acting mentor, Brian Keith, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Malibu, California home on June 24, 1997, just two months after the suicide of his daughter, Daisy.  During the latter part of his life, Brian had battled emphysema and lung cancer. despite having quit smoking.

Brian Keith

There has been so much ill fortune among the Family Affair cast that some have deemed the show cursed.  Kathy, who has led quite a stable life an has fared much better than the rest of the Family Affair cast, unequivocally rejects the notion of a curse.  "I don't think there'a any curse," she told Fox News.  "But if one can put something in a single word or a single sentence, that I think explains the unexplainable to many people."

Kathy Garver


* In 2009, Kathy co-authored The Family Affair Cookbook with Geoffrey Mark.  In September of 2015, Kathy's autobiography, entitled Surviving Cissy: My Family Affair Of Life In Hollywood, was published by Amazon Books.  It has a forward by Patty Duke.

* Kathy is a motivational speaker and one of the topics of her prestnations is 'The Power of Perservrance."

SOURCES:     Kathy Garver Biography (; Fox News, "'Family Affair star talks 'Surviving Cissy,' seeing Anissa Jones for the last time and alleged sitcom curse," by Stephanie Nolasco, March 14, 2019; Surviving Cissy: My Family Affair Of Life In Hollywood, by Kathy Garver. Amazon Books, 2015; Broadway World, "New Series AUNT CISSY Set To Premiere April 2020," by Broadway World News Desk, May 3, 2020; Wikipedia, Internet Movie Database (

- Joanne

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Y&R Report (June 6, 2020): 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. 

Hi fans,

We continue to watch throwback episodes in the wake of this COVID-19 pandemic  There is still no word yet as to when Y&R production will resume and when new episodes will be aired.  This past week we viewed epic Abbott family episodes.  I really enjoyed the wedding of Brad and Traci.  I had forgotten that it was actually a remarriage, that they had been married once before.  It was great fun watching Dina and Jill compete for the attention of John Abbott at the wedding.  Victor Newman was the best man and he had a smirk on his face during the entire ceremony.  I don't know why.

Brad Carlton (Don Diamont) was certainly the Casnova of Genoa City.  He was involved with almost every woman in town at one time or another, including Ashley, Traci, Sharon, Nikki and Cassandra.  Am I missing anyone?  Oh yes, he had a crazed ex-wife named Lisa Mansfield.  During his second marriage to Traci, Lisa held him captive and locked him in a cage.

This week is "Romance Week" on Y&R.  I've already seen the first episode on Global TV..  Amelia Heinle (Victoria Newman) provides the introduction.  The first episode, from 1986, features Victor Newman romancing  Ashley Abbott with expensive jewellery and a yacht.  As usual with Victor, it's always the promise of a fantasy life.  Meanwhile, his then-estranged wife Nikki is being romanced at the upscale Colonnade Room. by his brother Matt, Nikki's brother-in-law, which seems rather icky to me.  We also view scenes of a young Lauren and Paul, when they were together, along with Steven Ford, former U.S, president Gerald Ford's son, who played Paul's friend and detective partner Andy Richards.  Steven was a regular member of the Y&R cast in the 1980s and returned briefly from 2002 to 2003).  Susan Seaforth Hayes, known for her role as Julie Williams on Days of our Lives, also appears in this episode as Joanna Manning, Lauren's mother.  Joanna encourages John Abbott to get plastic surgery so that he will discover the fountain of youth.

Steven Ford as Andy Richards

As "Romance Week' continues, we will see Nick take Sharon on a romantic getaway to a faraway land (2001), Michael Baldwin propose to Lauren (2005), Chloe express her love for Kevin (2010) and Lily and Cane's wedding in Provence, France. (2012).


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:

This week I spoke to longtime Y&R viewer, Helen in Scarborough, Ontario, who thinks the writing and the pacing of the show were better in the past.  As an example of poor writing, Helen cites the numerous times Billy and Amanda met in bars and restaurants and repeated the same conversation over and over about Billy being misunderstood and judged by everyone but Amanda.

I tend to agree with Helen.  I have to admit that I've been enjoying the older throwback episodes rather than the more recent ones.  It may be because I remember too much of the recent ones and they are too clear in my mind.  I also realize that I'm a longtime viewer and others may not be interested in seeing characters that they don't recognize and who are no longer on the show.  I have certainly forgotten some of the characters from the past and some of the old storylines.  Still, it's fun to see some of the old characters again and to view some of the current ones in their younger days.  The old episodes can also provide fans who haven't been watching the show for long time with a sense of Y&R's history and the history of its characters.


Justin Hartley (ex-Adam Newman)is dating Sofia Pernas (ex-Marisa Sierras)

Sofia Pernas

Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause in happier days

It's a triangle worthy of a soap opera storyline, but it's happening in real life.  This is Us star Justin Hartley, ex-Adam Newman on The Young and the Restless, is reportedly dating Spanish-Moroccan-American actress Sofia Pernas, who portrayed Marisa Sierras on Y&R.  Sofia, 30, was born in Morocco.  When she was five years old, her family immigrated to the United States and settled in California.

Sofia now plays Lexi Vaziri on the CBS action series Blood & Treasure.  On Y&R, Sofia'a character, Marisa, was the ex-girlfriend of drug lord Marco Annicelli.  She was also the estranged wife of Luca Santori (Miles Gaston Villanueva), a wealthy Spaniard with whom she had a daughter.  She eventually became involved with Noah Newman.  Marisa and Noah fled the country when Noah accidentally backed over Billy Abbott in a parking garage.  When they returned, Noah went on trial and was given probation.  He proposed to Marisa and they planned to marry as soon as she divorced Luca.  However, it never worked out between them.

Justin Hartley portrayed Adam Newman form 2014 to 2016, leaving the show for prime time stardom in the hit show This is Us.  Justin met Sofia in 2014 when she joined Y&R's cast, but her character's involvement in his storyline was minimal (Marisa had misgivings when Luca joined forces with Adam to bring down their powerful fathers).

Last November, Justin, 43, filed for divorce from his wife Chrishell Stause, 38, citing irreconcilable differences.  The two were married in October 2017, after about four years together.  Chishell is now the host of Selling Sunset, a Netflix reality show..  From May to August of 2016, Chrishell portrayed  Bethany Bryant on Y&R.  

Chrishell told Entertainment Tonight that she loves Justin.  "Hopefully, we can get to a place where, one day, we will look back at this and laugh.  I don't know, hopefully.  It's very unfortunate and relationships are hard," she said.

Justin recently injured himself and underwent arm surgery on May 28.  Sofia dropped him off at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute, where he had his surgery, and picked him several hours later.  He was later spotted wearing an arm cast.

Loren Lott (ex-Ana Hamilton) runs from police gunfire during George Floyd protest

Loren Lott, who played Devon's sister, Ana Hamilton, from 2018-2019 on The Young and the Restless, ran from police gunfire in the midst of a peaceful George Floyd protest in Los Angeles.  Lorna is shown in videos holding a sign and encouraging fellow protesters.  She is later seen running from what appear to be rubber bullets (rubber or rubber-coated projectiles which are used to control riots or disperse protesters).  The actress can be heard screaming and shouting, "They're shooting at us."  Fortunately, Lorna was not harmed and has chronicled her experiences on Instagram.

Loren also a attended a protest with her former Y&R castmates Bryton James (Devon) and Brytni Sarpy (Elena Dawson).  Brytni plays Devon's girlfriend on the show and Bryton is dating her in real life.

Loren Lott currently plays the role of Rika on OWN's (Oprah Winfrey Network) Cherish the Day.


We've been watching old episodes for a while now, during this pandemic.  Do you think the writing and pacing were better in the older episode, fans?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you think the writing and pacing of Y&R were better in the past.

Yes, definitely. There's no comparison. The writing and pacing have gone downhill.
Yes, but only a bit.
No, not at all. I prefer the more recent episodes.
I don't know.
Please Specify:
Created with PollMaker

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition off Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, June 20, 2020Also, don't forget that the Daytime Emmys will air on CBS on Friday, June 26 at 8 p.m.  Take care and stay well everybody.

- Joanne