Search This Blog


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Y&R Report:(August 16, 2014): 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.

The summer storylines are heating up on Y&R and September promises to be quite intriguing.  We've had our first glimpse of the new Phyllis, as portrayed by Gina Tognoni.  The Sleeping Beauty is just beginning to awaken, so we don't really know what she'll be like in the role.  I'm trying to keep in mind that it's not Gina's fault that Michelle Stafford decided to leave the show.

What is Jack going to do when he has to choose between Phyllis and Kelly?  I think he's going to choose the redhead and there will be heartache for Kelly.  Victor will probably be praised for helping Phyllis come out of her coma.  The Big Man always seems to win.

So Neil Winters has lost his sight after being electrocuted.  Of course, that`s just a plot device to prevent Devon and Hilary from being together (at least Hilary isn`t having a baby).  Neil`s blindness will be temporary and he will eventually learn that his new wife was about to dump him before his accident.  Will he then be tempted to go back to the bottle?

Speaking of Hilary, the writers have left a loose end hanging in the wind.  Who was her father?  We know that her mother was Rose Turner, the woman Neil met at a bar and who subsequently died after he thought she had fallen asleep in a hotel room. Was Hilary's father Gus, the father of Leslie and Tyler.  He had a connection with Rose and they wrote letters to each other.  If Gus was indeed Hilary's father , that means that HIlary is their half-sister.  However, that has never been made clear. Why haven't Leslie and Tyler discuss the matter.  To my knowledge, they have never referred to Hilary as their sister, nor has HIlary referred to them as her siblings.

Billy Boy Abbott has been acting far too smug and overconfident.  I also think that the departure of Billy Miller has ruined the coupling of Victoria and Billy.  Amelia Heinle (Victoria) had great chemistry with Billy Miller.  As for Dr. Stitch, I think he has great chemistry with Ashley Abbott.  I am looking forward to Eileen Davidson's return as Ashley in September.  That should cause even more conflict between the Newmans and the Abbotts.  Billy certainly won't be happy if his sister becomes involved with Stitch 'em up.  It would certainly upset Jack and Victoria and Kelly too.  Abby wouldn't be thrilled either.


I received the following letter from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario

Here are some of my thoughts.

Shouldn't supposed wannabe super-dad Billy have taken Johnny to Connor's birthday bash in the park since they are half brothers and Chelsea is his biological mother?
Might that have been him in the stroller with the nanny/sitter?

If they continue with the Billy/Chelsea story line it could become very explosive if Billy tries to get custody of Johnny and create his dream family.
Right up Victor's alley.

Now that Chelsea has a hankering for Billy will her maternal instinct of love for her firstborn Johnny suddenly surface?
I smell a potential Newman/Abbot sibling rivalry brewing!  

Was the party clown Adam himself or his smarmy gofer?

Just an Michael and Lauren pay rent to the GCPD for the regular use of their department to conduct their professional and personal business?  

That's all for now!

CC from Etobicoke

Yes, CC, young Johnny should have been at Connor's birthday party.  As you mention, he is Connor's half-brother.  At the very least, the writers could have given us a plausible explanation for Johnny's absence.  For example, perhaps Chelsea doesn't want to get too involved in Johnny's life, or too attached to him, after giving him up to Billy and Victoria.

I also wondered whether the party clown was Adam Newman in disguise.  I came to the the conclusion that the clown was actually Adam.  II don't think he sent his "smarmy gofer." because he wanted to see Connor for himself.  It was an ideal way for him to be near his child without being recognized.

Yes, Michael and Lauren do spend a lot of time at the police station for "professional and personal business."  It seems they are always rescuing Kevin and helping him deal with his problems and misdeeds.  Now that Fen has gone off to college, they are empty nesters.  It's challenging for the writers to come up with storylines for happy couples.

As for Fen, I think he will return at some point, but perhaps another actor will play the role.  He may eventually become romantically involved with Summer because there's just no way she and Austin are going to last.

Patsy from Sarasota, Florida checked in with this observation:

I noticed that Police Chief Paul Williams with his new liver was drinking wine at the cabin. He sure bounced back from that transplant. Just saying  . . .  I  do remember your previous comment that he and Dylan sure bounced back from surgery pretty fast BUT alcohol intake is just toooo much.

And much toooo soon. I might add.  That's a very astute observation, Patsy.  Thanks for pointing it out. Perhaps the writers just forgot about Paul's transplant, or maybe they figured that viewers wouldn't notice.  If so, they underestimated the show's fans, especially keen observers like you. Someone must have been asleep at the switch.  In he past, the writers have made a point of having recovering alcoholics drink club soda or sparkling water.  What next?  Will a pregnant Victoria be shown drinking wine?

By the way, I don't blame Cricket for being upset with Nikki for barging in on her honeymoon getaway with the Clueless Paul.  Nikki has some nerve disturbing the Cricketmeister and Clueless on some flimsy excuse about Ian Ward sicking the tabloid journalists on her.  Christine was right on the mark when she told Nikki that she should be turning to her own husband, Victor, for support.


There is some disappointing news for fans of Michael Muhney.  Michael officially announced that he won't be returning to his role as Adam Newman on Y&R.  He made the announcement on Twitter to his thousands of followers. "Just got an official call, although things got very close, I will not be returning to ‘Y&R,’"  he tweeted.  "That part of my life is over. Moving on…”

Nikki Newman is going to start drinking again.  She will have a new drinking buddy named Maureen, played by Meredith Baxter of Family Ties fame.  Meredith will be a great addition to the cast.  By the way, Y&R viewer, Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario thinks that Meredith's character will turn out to be Dr. Stitch's mother, whom he is probably protecting.  She may have killed Stitch and Kelly's abusive father and Stitch 'em up may have served time in prison for her sake.

A representative for The Young and the Restless described Meredith Baxter's new character, Maureen, as "a charming, intelligent, middle-class woman who has always aspired to a more privileged life than she's had.  She appears kind and sympathetic, but can be quite manipulative.  She is skilled at getting people to do the things she wants them to do by making them think it's their idea!"

Meredith Baxter will make her first appearance as Maureen on Friday, September 8 on CBS (Thursday, September 7 on Global TV in Canada).

Meredith Baxter

In October, Scott Elrod will be seen in the role of Avery's ex-husband, Joe Clark ( a familiar name to Canadians, that of our former prime minister).  I doubt that Dylan is going to be thrilled about Avery's ex showing up in town.


In the last edition of Y&R Report, I wrote a "whatever happened to . . . on Julianna McCarthy, who played Liz Foster for many years.  Now I would like to hear from readers.  Which former Y&R actor would you like me to do an update on?  This poll will give you a list of five former stars of the show to choose from.  On my next Y&R Report, I will do a "whatever happened to . . . on whomever you, the readers, decide on.  If there are other Y&R actors on whom you would like an update, please let me know.

Which of these five former Y&R actors would you like me to write a"Whatever happened to . . . ?" about? free polls 

The nest edition of the Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, August 30, 2014.  

- Joanne

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

You Wanted to Know: On NCIS, was Pam Dawber the mysterious red-head in the silver car?

Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and the mysterious red-head

The Mercedes-Benz St. 500

On NCIS, who portrayed the mysterious red-headed woman who sometimes picked up Special Agent Leroy Jethro Giibbs (Mark Harmon) in a silver car?  (The car was identified as a Mercedes-Benz
St. 500 on the Internet Movie Cars Database)  Was it Mark's real-life wife, Pam Dawber?  The answer is NO.  The mystery woman was played by Australian Vivienne Bellisario (nee Lee), the fourth wife of NCIS producer Donald P. Bellisario.  They were married on November 27, 1998.

Vivienne was raised in Woolgoolga, a tiny beach town in Australia.  At the age of 16, she was Australia's National Fencing Champiion.  A talented woman, Vivien is also a painter who worked under the guidance of portrait artist Jeremy Lipking.

Donald and Vivienne Bellisario

Vivienne Bellisario is also the mother of Sean Murray (born November 14, 1977). Sean has played Timothy McGee.on NCIS since 2003. Sean's father is Craig Harland Murray, Vivienne's first husband, and  Donald P. Bellisario is his stepfather.

Prior to NCIS, Sean had a recurring role as Danny Walden in the military drama JAG (NCIS is a spin-off from JAG).   In 2000, he appeared in an episode of Boston Public called "Chapter 3" (Season 1, Episode 3, Air Date" November 6, 2000). He also had a role in a 1995 episode of the medical drama ER entitled "A Miracle Happens Here" (Season 2, Episode 10, Air Date: December 14, 1995).  His other television credits include appearances on Touched by an Angel (1999) and a recurring role as Zane Grey Hart in the Western/Comedy/Drama  Harts of the West from 1993 to 1994.

Sean Murray 

On November 26, 2005, Sean Murray wed Carrie James. They have two children, a daughter named Caitlyn Melissa Murray (born May 3, 2007), and a son, River James Murray (born April 22, 2010).

Sean Murray and Carrie James with family


Sean Murray has a younger brother, Chad W. Murray, who is an NCIS producer.

- Joanne

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Y&R Report (August 2, 2014): 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.

The walls are closing in on Genoa City's own Dr. Delicious, as Chelsea's mother, Anita, referred to the not-so-good Dr. Stitch.  The truth has finally come out and Stitch 'em Up is sweating bullets.  "Dr. Ben Rayburn" is a fake and a fraud.  His real name is actually Ben Russell and he stole Rayburn's identity.  Not only that, but he killed his own father.

What's poor Princess Victoria to do?  She's in a real quandary She doesn't trust either Stitch or Billy Boy Abbott.  Daddy Victor refers to Billy as a punk and a playboy.  He's not good enough for the royal princess. However, Victor is impressed with the phony Dr. Rayburn because he is a war hero and a fine upstanding doctor.who saves lives.  The only problem is he killed his own father.  But wait . . . maybe  there's more to the story.  Maybe Stitch confessed to the crime in order to protect someone else . . .  his mother perhaps?

I don't know about you, but I find Mariah's crush on Nicholas Newman very creepy. After all. she is the spitting image of Cassie, who was Nick's adopted daughter.  I still think Mariah is Cassie's twin sister and that Sharon is actually her mother.  My guess is that Ian Ward took Mariah away from Sharon and that Sharon never knew that she had given birth to twins.  The woman that Mariah thinks is her biological mother is not.


From Patsy in Sarasota, Florida:

It is so unbelievable that Billionaire Devon who is driving his very expensive automobile does not have Auto Club to help out stranded drivers. Even General Motors has OnStar assist. 

You are absolutely right, Patsy.  Not only that, but why weren't either Devon's or Hillary's cell phones working?  I know that soaps can't be expected to be completely realistic, but REALLY!!!!!  How many coincidences can we be expected to endure?

Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario thinks it's ridiculous how fast both Paul Williams and Dylan McAvoy recovered so quickly form life-threatening conditions.  I strongly concur, Fifi. Paul was near death's door after being shot, and Dylan had a severe infection after donating part of his liver to save his father. Now the two of them are in the pink, running around as if they'd just recovered from nothing more serious than the flu. Once again, fans, if you want realism, you're not going to find it on daytime drama. However, I don't think people watch soaps because they want realism.


There's some good news for Shemar Moore fans.  Moore, who played Malcolm Winters on The Young and the Restless, before landing a role on the hit series Criminal Minds, is returning to the soap for two episodes on September 10 and September 11 (CBS) and September 9 and September 10 on Global TV in Canada.  The actor has not been seen on Y&R for nine years.  Darius McCrary played the role of Malcolm from December 2009 until October 2011.

Shemar Moore is a Daytime Emmy winner and his brief return to Genoa City means that his Malcolm character will be able to tie up some loose ends.  We'll find out what he's been doing for almost two years and if he will be able to mend his relationship with his brother Neil (Kristoff St. John) and the rest of the Winters clan.

Although Shemar's return is only temporary, fans can still watch him on Criminal Minds, which will begin its tenth season this fall.

According to TV Guide, there will be a special two-day remembrance of Mrs.Chancellor on August 26 and 27 (CBS) and August 25 and 26 (Global TV). Tricia Cast (Nina Webster) and Michael Fairman (Murphy) will return for the episodes.

Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea Lawson Newman) is a newlywed.  She married Matt Katrosor on July 26, 2014.

Argentine actor Ignacio Serricchio, Detective Alejandro "Alex" Chavez, has not appeared Y&R since he landed a role on Bones.  At the moment, Detecteve Harding is doing Chavez's job.  However, Chavez was mentioned on the Friday, August 1, 2014 episode on Global.  It was stated that he had left town, but nothing was said about whether he would return.  Gloria will certainly be happy if and when he comes back. By the way, I have not heard or read any news about Serricchio's status on the show.


Julianna McCarthy, who played matriarch Liz Foster on the Y&R, is an original cast member from 1973. Julianna was born in Erie, Pennsylvania on August 17, 1929 and she will soon celebrate her 85th birthday. From 1953 until 1969, she was married to actor Michael Constantine (Constantine, 87, is best known for his roles as Seymour Kaufman, the high school  principal on Room 222 and the Greek father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding).  Julianna and Michael had two children, a son named Brendan Constantine and a daughter named Thea Constantine.

From 1973 to 1982, Julianna starred as Liz Foster, mother of William "Snapper" Foster, Greg Foster and Jill Foster.  She reprised her role as Liz in 1984, 1985-86, 1993, 2003-4 and 2008.  She made her final appearance in the role in June of 2010. During those years, her character was living in London, England with son "Snapper" and daughter-in-law Chris.  In 2010, Liz returned to Genoa City one last time and died in hospital.  Before her death, she revealed the identity of Jill's biological parents (Jill grew up not knowing that she had been adopted by the Fosters.  Longtime fans will remember that Liz was Mrs. Chancellor's housekeeper before Esther arrived on the scene.

Julianna has made appearances in many television series over the years such as NCIS Los Angeles (2010), Cold Case (2007), ER (1994) (2002), Six Feet Under (2002), Touched by an Angel (2001), Once and Again (2001), NYPD Blue (2000).  During the 1990s, she played the role of Mila on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and also portrayed Abigail Collins on Dark Shadows.

To watch a 2011 video of Julianna reading poetry, click on the link below.


The always humble Nicholas Newman made the following remark to Mariah:

NICK:  I'm super fun.  I'm fairly easy on the eyes and my personality is legendary.

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear on Saturday, August 16. 2014.

- Joanne

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Y&R Report (July 19, 2014): 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 Supergirl Summer is a married woman now.  It was so touching when her two daddies, Jack and Nick walked her down the aisle.  It's amazing how she just fell in love with Austin so fast.  Then, soon after her beloved shot the Chief of Police, she stood with him in a church saying wedding vows in front of an enthusiastic clergyman.  Summer and Austin's story is just so romantic.  Maybe someone should write a song about it.  How about "He Shot the Police Chief but he did not shoot the Deputy . . . ?"

They're going to have build a Heartbreak Hotel in Genoa City.  Devon, the unhappy billionaire would be the first to check in.  Neil, Summer and the Cricketmeister will eventually follow.

As I've mentioned before, I really enjoy Ray Wise's performance as that snake, Ian Ward.  He's really amusing.  He just appears out of nowhere and upsets everyone.  I think he's going to find out Sharon's secret before Victor does.  Mariah will learn what Sharon did and inform him.  Then he will blackmail Sharon.  I predict that Sharon is Mariah's biological mother and Cassie's twin.  My guess is that Ian took Mariah away when she was a newborn without Sharon's knowledge.  Sharon doesn't know she gave birth to twins.

I also think Billy is the father of Victoria's baby, simply because they are not together.  If they were still together, Stitch would be the father.  I always ask myself what would create the most conflict and the greatest complications.  In true soap opera fashion, Billy will probably find out he's the father on the same day his divorce Victoria is final.

Traci is back and she has organized a dinner party.  I always enjoy those Abbott gatherings.  I wish that the patriarch of the family, John Abbott, hadn't been written out of the show.  He should be three at the head of the table, making speeches and toasts.  It's also too bad Eileen Davidson isn't back yet as Ashley.  However, I 'm looking forward to her return in early September.  I'm confident that she will get to the bottom of the Stitch mystery.


Here is a mixed bag of comments from Y&R viewers with my replies.

From regular commentator CC in Etobicoke, Ontario, who is definitely not a fan of Hunter King (Summer Newman):

I think the actress who plays Courtney would have made a better Summer. Perhaps the Courtney character was created for her as she may have been a runner-up for the Summer role.

Although the Summer/Austin storyline is so predictable it presents many options for the future, maybe even that they leave town for a long estrangement from their families I hope.
That would at least give them a chance to recast.

The lamest of all storylines is the Neil/Hilary/ Lily/Devon thing.

Actually, CC, I don't think Kelli Goss, the actress who plays Courtney, would have made a good Summer. She seems to have a bit of an edge, a toughness about her. She doesn't appear to be as vulnerable and naive as the Summer character.

The Neil/Hillary/Lily?Devon storyline is not my favourite but I think that there have been much worse ones in the history of the show.  For example: How about Kevin wearing a chipmunk mask and robbing banks? That was so forgettable that it's unforgettable.  Actually, it would be fun to make a list of the worst storylines. Readers, your contribution are welcome.  Let me know some of your worst storylines on the show and I will publish your comments.

From Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario:

There are a lot of various shades of blond on Y&R right now.  Summer, Courtney, Kelly, Sharon and Abbey.  It's a good thing Chelsea and Victoria provide some contrast.

Yes, Fifi, there are a lot of blonds on the show right now.  You can add Cricket, Traci and Nikki to the list too.  By the way, Nikki's hair was blond when she was a child.  If you want to check it out, Melody Thomas Scott appeared in a 1964 Alfred Hitchcock film called Marnie.  She was about 8 years old at the time.

From Patsy in Sarasota, Florida:

I have barely been watching Young and Restless. It seems so stupid as so many storylines are ridiculous. Stitch being so secret. A new Phyllis is too much for me ... Need Michelle Stafford back. And Adam lurking in the electronic shadows. What the heck. Summer marrying the criminal. What the heck. Too many story lines that are a bit ridiculous. That is my opinion.... Do like the new Billy.

Well, Patsy, I find some of the storylines ridiculous too.  As some viewers have pointed out, it often seems as if the writers are making it up as they go along.  The Stitch storyline is driving me crazy.  They have taken far too long to reveal his secret and the identity of the person he murdered   Although Kelly confided to Jack about the murder, the identity of Dr. Stitch's victim was not revealed to television viewers.  Perhaps the writers are figuring it out themselves now.  It feels as if they decided out of the blue to make Stitch and Kelly brother and sister.  Now. perhaps, they are trying to decide who the victim should be.

As for the new Billy, I haven't warmed to him.  It's probably because I wish Billy Miller were still playing the role.  I also want Michelle Stafford back as Phyllis.  However, neither one will be returning to Y&R anytime soon.  At least Eileen Davidson is coming back as Ashley.  I'm happy about that.


Steve Burton (Dylan McAvoy) and his wife, Sheree, recently welcomed their third child, a daughter.  The latest addition to the family was name Brooklyn Faith.  The Burtons also have a daughter, Makena Grace (born 2003), and a son, Jack Marshall (born 2006).


Stitch:  I saw how hurt you were when Billy was professing his undying love for Victoria.  Now, you can deny it all you want but you have feelings for Billy - which puts us in a similar position.

Chelsea:  You have feelings for Billy too?


Which deceased character do you miss the most? free polls 

That's all for now.  Don't forget to check out the next edition of Y&R Report on Saturday, August 2, 2014.

- Joanne

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Legal and Lawyer Shows Quiz


If you like to watch legal eagles on television, then TV Banter has the perfect quiz for you.  If you want to test your knowledge of  courtroom justice as portrayed on television, then try this test.  Are you ready for the verdict?


1.  What was the name of the Los Angeles law firm in the popular series L.A. Law?

A.  Martin, Becker and Steele

B.  McKenzie-Brackman

C.  Dawson-Mckenzie

D.  Dawson, Steele and Becker

E,  Brackman-Becker  

2.  What is the last name of TV's Judge Judy.

A.  Sheridan

B.  Steinberg

C.  Schultz

D.  Sheindlin

E.   Silvers

3.  Was every episode of the Perry Mason series (1957-1966), starring Raymond Burr, filmed entirely in black white?

A.  No. One episode was filmed in colour.

B.  Yes, they were all filmed in black and white.

C.  No, two episodes were filmed in colour.

D.  No, three episodes were filmed in colour.

E.  No, one episode was filmed partially in colour.

4. On Perry Mason, in "The Case Of The Dead Ringer," which character has a look-alike?

A.  Della Street

B.  Paul Drake

C.  Lieutenant Arthur Tragg

D.  Hamilton Burger

E.  Perry Mason

5.  Boston Legal, which aired on ABC from 2004 to 2008, was a spin-off from which other legal drama?

A.  L.A. Law

B.  Law and Order

C.  The Practice

D.  Ally McBeal

E.  Damages

6.  What was the name of William Shatner's character on Boston Legal?

A,  T.J. Hooker

B.  Alan Shore

C.  James T. Kirk

D.  Paul Lewiston

E.  Denny Crane

7.  In which city did Law and Order take place?

A. Chicago

B. New York City

C.  San Francisco

D.  Los Angeles

E,  Boston

8.  Not all TV legal series are dramas.  Night Court, a highly successful legal comedy, aired from 1984 until 1992.  What was the name of the eccentric judge who presided over the Manhattan night court?

A.  Thomas J. Anderson

B.  Joseph Simpson

C.  Harold T. "Harry" Stone

D.  Robert J. Briggs

E.  Edward S. "Ted" Connors

9.  Who starred in the late 1960s legal drama, Judd for the Defense?

A.  Jack Klugman

B.  Robert Young

C.  Jack Webb

D.  Carl Betz

E.  Karl Malden

10.  In which city did Judd for the Defense take place?.  If you know this, you really know your television legal shows.  This is your bonus question so give yourself an extra point if you answer it correctly.

A.  Houston

B.  New Orleans

C.  New York City

D.  Washington, D.C.

E.  Philadelphia

11.  Who played the role of Jess Brandon on Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law?

A.  Burt Reynolds

B.  George Kennedy

C.  David Soul

D.  Joseph Campanella

E.. Lee Majors

12.  What was the name of the nosy, gossipy secretary on Ally McBeal?

A.  Margaret Holmes

B.  Elaine Vassal

C.  Nell Porter

D.  Rose Cummings

E.  Jane Bronson

13.  On Ally McBeal, who played Larry Paul, the attorney who moved into Ally's former therapist's office? He eventually became Ally's boyfriend.

A.  Rob Lowe

B.  Paul Rudd

C.  Robert Downey, Jr.

D.  Charlie Sheen

E.  Paul Reiser

14.  In which television courtroom drama series did Robert Reed of The Brady Bunch have a regular role?

A.  The Defemders

B.  Judd for the Defense

C.  Petrocelli

D.  Matlock

E.  Judging Amy

15.  Here's one for U.K. TV fans and other fans of British television.  What was the name of the long-running British series about a London barrister played by actor Leo McKern?

A.  The Barrister 

B.  The Law of Wimpole Street

C.  The Courtroom

D.  Rumpole of The Bailey

E.  London Legal 


1.  B

The law firm on L.A. Law was McKenzie-Brackman.

2.  D

Judge Judy's formal name is Judith Sheindlin and she is a retired Manhattan court judge.  Her reality-based court show premiered in 1996.  She adjudicates actual small claims disputes within a simulated courtroom setting.

3.  A

Only one episode of Perry Mason, "The Case of the Twice-Told Twist," (Season 9, Episode 21, Air Date (February 27, 1966) was filmed in colour.  It was about a car stripping gang and its plot was influenced by Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist.

4.  E

Perry Mason faces his look-alike seaman in the courtroom

In "The Case of the Dead Ringer" (Season 9, Episode 26, Air Date: April 17, 1966), Perry Mason has a look-alike.  Raymond Burr plays a double role as Mason and a nomadic sailor.  The merchant seaman disguises himself as Mason in an attempt to frame the attorney for bribery.

5.  C

Boston Legal was a spin-off of The Practice, which aired from 1997 to 2004.  Both series were created by David E. Kelley.  Kelley, who worked for a Boston law firm, also created Ally McBeal.

6.  E

William Shatner as Denny Crane on Boston Legal

The name of William Shatner's character on Boston Legal was Denny Crane.  Denny was a prominent attorney for over fifty years.  He boasted that he never lost a case and never would.  At one time, Denny had had a romantic relationship with Shirley Schmidt (portrayed by Candice Bergen).  Shirley was his partner in the law firm Crane, Poole & Schmidt.

The Denny Crane character  first appeared in Season 8 of The Practice in 2004 and then on Boston Legal in Seasons 1-5 from 2004 to 2008.  He was a good friend of fellow lawyer Alan Shore, played by James Spader.  The two men shared drinks and conversed at the end of many episodes.

7.  B

Law and Order ran for 20 seasons, from 1990 until 2010.  It originally aired on NBC and then in syndication on various cable networks.  The series was set and filmed in New York City.

8.  C.

Harry Anderson as Judge Harold T. (Harry) Stone

Night Court's unconventional judge was named Harold T. "Harry" Stone.  Judge Stone, who liked to perform magic trips was played by actor Harry Anderson, a real life magician.

9.  D

Carl Betz, best known for his portrayal of Dr. Alex Stone on The Donna Reed Show, played a vivacious F. Lee Bailey-type attorney named Clinton Judd on Judd for the Defense.  The series aired from 1967 to 1969.

10.  A.

Judd for the Defense was set in Houston, Texas.

11.  E

Arthur Hill (left) with Lee Majors

Lee Majors played Jess Brandon on Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law.  The series starred Arthur Hill as defence attorney Owen Marshall and Majors as his law partner.  It aired on ABC-TV from 1971 to 1974. During the show's final season in 1973-74, Majors played both Jess Brandon and Steve Austin in The Six Million Dollar Man, which became a huge hit.  He left Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law to concentrate on his role as the bionic man and was replaced by David Soul.  In February of 1974, Soul, who had already appeared twice in guest roles on the show in 1971 and !972, joined the cast as Ted Warrick. At the end of the season, Owen Marshall finished its run and David Soul went on to television stardom on Starsky and the fall of 1975.

12.  B.

Jane Krakowski as Elaine

The busybody secretary who annoyed lawyer Ally McBeal (Calista Flockhart) was Elaine Vassal.  The role of Elaine was played by Jane Krakowski.  Note: Ally McBeal aired from 1997 until 2002 and Krakowski appeared in all 112 episodes of the series.

13.  C

Robert Downey, Jr. and Calista Lockhart

Robert Downey, Jr. played the role of Larry Paul on Ally McBeal beginning in 2000.  In April of 2001, however, Downey was fired from the show after being arrested in Culver City, California in a drug-related incident.

14.  A

E.G. Marshall (left) and Robert Reed in The Defenders

Robert Reed starred alongside E.G. Marshall in The Defenders.  The courtroom drama series ran on CBS from 1961 to 1965.  Marshall and Reed played father-and-son defence attorneys who specialized in complicated legal cases.  Some of the defendants included civil rights demonstrators, a doctor charged with mercy killing and neo-Nazis.  E.G. Marshall played attorney Lawrence Preston and Robert Reed played his son, Kenneth Preston.

15,  D.

Leo McKern as Rumple

Leo McKern played London barrister Horace Rumpole in Rumpole of the Bailey, a series that ran from 1978 until 1992.  The character of Rumpole, a sort of British version of Perry Mason, was created by John Mortimer, a barrister and writer.

 - Joanne

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Y&R Report (July 5, 2014) 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, folks, it's a summer of madness in Genoa City.  Let's discuss some of the recent happenings.  I've been trying to figure out Stitch and Kelly's complicated past.  Are they really brother and sister?  It didn't seem that way earlier.  What's going on here?  The plot is getting more and more convoluted. Are the writers just making it up as they go along?

Let's see now . . . Kevin Fisher, the ultimate computer geek, has discovered that the real Benjamin Rayburn was killed in a car accident.  Then who the heck is the man called "Stitch?"  Is he an alien from another planet?  If he turns out to be the father of Princess Victoria's baby, will the the unborn child be part alien?

All kidding aside, who then is the mysterious "Stitch?"  Is he a total fraud, an impostor, a con artist?  Has he stolen the deceased Rayburn's identity?  One thing is certain.  He must really be a doctor or at least have extensive medical knowledge - even if he used false documentation to obtain his position at the hospital.   He's also a junk food junkie so he obviously hasn't been trained in promoting nutrition and healthy eating habits (couldn't resist that one). It seems that Dylan, who is supposedly Stitch's best friend, doesn't really know much about him.  He obviously has little knowledge of his army buddy's background.  Why hasn't he noticed that something is off about his pal?

If Stitch is an impostor, then who is Kelly?  Since Y&R wants us to keep tuning in, I think we're going to have to wait awhile before the truth is revealed about Dr. Stitch's identity and the nature of his dirty deed.

Neil Winters married Hillary Curtis and it was a farce of a wedding.  They even had to ask some random couple in the park to be witnesses.  During the ceremony, Hillary had a flashback of herself kissing Devon. She hesitated for the longest time before she could mouth the words "I do."  That was an obvious red flag. Neil should have noticed that something was wrong right then and there. He may be an astute businessman but he's not very wise in matters of romance.  He may have graduated from Stanford University's School of Business but he definitely needs more education in affairs of the heart.  For a person who professes to be such an ardent supporter of marriage, Neil certainly hasn't gone about it the right way.  He has a very poor matrimonial record, although not too many soap characters have better ones.

Perhaps Leslie should thank her lucky stars that she chose not to wed the unfortunate Mr. Winters.  She is probably better off with new hubby Dr. Barton Shelby.  So far, I'm impressed with Barton and I like his personality.

Meanwhile, Devon is depressed about losing Hillary to his father.  He has hit the bottle in an attempt to drown his sorrows.  It seems that his money has brought him nothing but misery.  He is truly the "Unhappy Billionaire."  There was even a scene where he walked on the ledge of the Athletic Club building.  No, he didn't try  to jump.  Instead, he through money down to the street below.

The marriage of Hillary and Neil has about zero chance of survival.   I don't give it very long at all.  Another travesty is the quickie wedding of Supergirl Summer and the troubled Austin Travers.  Boy, she sure falls in love fast!  I wonder if Summer and Austin's union will last longer than Neil's and Hilary's.  Austin is gong to get the third degree from Supergirl's  two daddys, Jack and Nick.  Then there's her controlling Grandpa Victor.   Austin may end up wishing he'd gone to prison instead.

Okay fans, how do you like the new Billy Abbott?  I am not impressed with him at all. Burgess Jenkins just doesn't do it for me - at least in the part of Billy.  I even think David Tom was better.  To be fair, Jenkins has just started and I should give him some time to grow into the part.  He may improve but he'll never really be "Billy Abbott" for me.  The problem is that no one measures up to Billy Miller in the role. That's why he recently won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama. By the way, The Young and the Restless was a big winner at the big awards gala, which, unfortunately, was not televised.  The show was unable to secure a broadcaster and was streamed online instead.  Y&R won a total of six awards including best drama series.  Amelia Heinle (Victoria Newman) was chosen Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role while Hunter King (Summer Newman) received the nod for Best Younger Actress.  Y&R's writing team was honoured with an Emmy as well as the special episode that paid tribute to the late Jeanne Cooper.

Alas, I don't think Billy M. will be returning to Y&R anytime soon and there are rumours that he is close to signing a contract with General Hospital.

What do you think about the tension between Nikki Newman and the Cricketmeister? I have to say that I'm on Cricket's side.  Nikki seems to be taking over.  I can really  understand why Christine thinks she is usurping her place as Paul's wife.  The revelation that Paul and Nikki have a son together has made it even more to difficult for The Bug to accept Nikki's interference.


Regular commentator, CC from Etobicoke, Ontario, checked in to say that she thinks "Stitch" was driving the car that killed Ben Rayburn.  She hasn't worked out the rest of the story yet.  CC has also not taken to Burgess Jenkins as the new Billy Abbott.

Another regular, Helen from Scarborough, Ontario has checked in too.  Helen is "not crazy about the new Billy" either.  However, she found David Tom's voice very irritating and is glad not to have to hear it anymore. She is also definitely not a fan of Devon.  "Devon, take your billions and be gone!" Helen declared. As for Paul Williams, she thinks that the Clueless One really knows how to cry and that he is the best male crier on TV.  I have to agree wholeheartedly with that.


If you are a Michael Muhney fan and you think there's a chance that he'll return to his role as Adam, I'm sorry to say that it isn't in the works - at least according to Michael's mother. She held a Q&A session on Twitter and addressed speculation that the hands seen playing Adam Newman were those of her son's.  On June 17th, Muhney's mom tweeted, "I hate to dash anyone's hopes. but those aren't Michael's hands on Y&R."

Robert Grant, who portrayed the son of Mrs. Chancellor's longtime lawyer, Mitchell Sherman, will be appearing on Y&R for a few episodes this month.  He'll reprise the role of David Sherman, also an attorney. The younger Sherman will provide legal representation for the Newmans.  He'll probably defend Nikki in that lawsuit Ian Ward has launched against her.

Robert Grant

Robert Adamson (Noah Newman) and Linsey Godfrey (Caroline on The Bold and the Beautiful) are the parents of a brand new baby girl named Aleda Seren Adamson, born on June 12, 2014.  Hey, doesn't that sort of make Nick and Sharon grandparents?

Robert and Linsey


Nikki (upon being told that Victor and Nick are plotting to bring down Ian Ward):  "I already have one son (Dylan) in the hospital."

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next addition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, July 19th, 2014.   

- Joanne

Monday, June 30, 2014

TV Trivia For You #3

Here is the third installment of  TV Triva For You from TV Banter .  The first installment appeared on this blog  on June 14, 2012.  The second installment appeared on February 6, 2013. 

Marisa Tomei with Jason Alexander as George Costanza

that Academy Award-winning actress, Marisa Tomei, appeared as herself on Seinfeld? She guest-starred in a 1996 hour-long episode of Seinfeld entitled "The Cadillac" (Season 7, Episode 14, Air Date: February 8, 1996).  Tomei was well known at the time because of her role in the 1992 film My Cousin Vinny for which she was awarded an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

"The Cadillac" was co-written by Jerry Seinfeld himself.  In the episode, Elaine's friend, Katy, informs George Costanza that she knows Marisa Tomei and that she could set him up with the actress.  George is astounded by that revelation and becomes obsessed with the idea of meeting Tomei.  The only drawback is his engagement to Susan.

Heyyyy! . . . The Fonz almost had another name

DID YOU KNOW that Henry Winkler's famous Fonzie character on Happy Days was originally going to be called Arthur Marsciarelli or "Mash" for short?  The show's creator, Garry Marshall, is of Italian descent and his family's original name was Marsciarelli.  However, Garry's late father, Anthony, anglicised the name to Marshall before Gary was born.

As it turned out, by the time Winkler (who is Jewish, not Italian) was cast in the part, CBS had a highly successful series called M*A*S*H.  The name of the Happy Days character was, therefore, changed to Arthur Fonzerelli or "Fonz" for short.  It's rather fortunate that the name change occurred.  "The Mash" just wouldn't have sounded as cool as "The Fonz"  and Henry Winkler may never have caught on as well with the fans. Remember that Fonzie was not originally intended to be a major character on the show.  Winkler's performance was so good that audiences wanted more of The Fonz.

David Gregory

DID YOU KNOW that the longest running American television series is Meet the Press?  Meet the Press has aired on NBC for 66 seasons, since November 6, 1947. The weekly news and public affairs program has long been a staple of the network's Sunday morning lineup.  Through the years, the show has had 11 moderators and has undergone various changes.  Meet the Press is currently hosted by David Gregory and there has been speculation that the venerable series could be in serious trouble.  It has recently struggled in the ratings and that does not bode well for its future.

DID YOU KNOW that the original title of Ellen DeGeneres' television comedy series was These Friends of Mine?  These Friends of Mine premiered on the ABC network in 1994.  By the show's second season, Ellen's popularity was on the rise and she was clearly the star of the series.  Accordingly, the title was changed to Ellen to better reflect the leader character and to take advantage of Ellen's growing star power.

- Joanne