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Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum and Desilu Studios in Jamestown, New York

As an ardent fan of  Lucille Ball's comedy, I've wanted to visit her hometown of Jamestown, New York for a long time.  Jamestown, where the great comedian was born on August 6, 1911, is located 112.7 kilometres (70 miles) southwest of Buffalo. It is about 3 hours or less from Toronto, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

Well folks, this summer I finally made the trip.  On Wednesday, August 19, 2015, I toured the Desilu Studios and the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum in the city of Lucy's birth.  It is my pleasure to share some photos of my experience with TV Banter readers and fellow Lucy fans.

Among the many items on display at Deslu Studios is some of the clothing that Lucille Ball wore on I Love Lucy, including her polka dot dress and her maid's outfit. You can also see the saxophone Lucy played.on the show.

Here is a photo of some other items used on the show.

The Desilu Playhouse features a re-creation of the living room of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo's New York apartment . . .

. . . and a re-creation of the kitchen of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo's apartment.

Below is a photo of a display case containing Lucy's Emmy Awards.

Lucille Ball appeared on the cover of TV Guide a remarkable 36 times.

There is also a re-creation of the suite at the fictional Beverly Palms Hotel, where Lucy and Ricky Ricardo stayed when they went to Hollywood during Season 5 of I Love Lucy in 1955.

One of the most popular episodes of I Love Lucy is "Lucy Does a TV Commercial." In this classic 1952 episode, Lucy advertises a medicine called "Vitameatavegamin." She believes that the product contains vitamins. minerals and vegetables.  What she doesn't know is that it has an alcohol level of 23 per cent.

At Desilu Studios, there is a re-creation of the setting where Lucy gives herself spoonfuls of "Vitameatavegamin."  Visitors can stand behind the table, hold up the bottle and read the exact words Lucy speaks in the commercial

There is an extensive collection of Lucy dolls on display.

Right beside the Desilu Studios is the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum.  Due to the contributions of their children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr., the museum has tripled in size since 2008.  It features an audio tour narrated by Lucie Arnaz and contains the personal belongings of Lucille Ball and and Desi Arnaz - letters, costumes, gowns, photographs, scripts and awards.  It also traces the family history of Lucy and Desi and the rise of their careers.


Lucy's legacy can be seen throughout her hometown.  Take a close look at the building in the background of the photo of Jamestown below.  There is an I Love Lucy mural of the structure.  The full-colour mural depicts the well-known scene in which Lucy, Ricky and Fred and Ethel Mertz drive to Hollywood.  There are other Lucy murals in the city and they are the work of local artists.


- Joanne

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

TV Shows of the 1990s Quiz


Did you watch a lot of television during the 1990s?  If so, then this quiz is for you.  Take up the challenge and answer the 13 questions below.  Good luck!

1990's Television Quiz

1.  On Frasier (1993-2004), what was the last name of Daphne, the Crane's British housekeeper?

Daphne on Frasier

A.  Daphne's last name was Wade.

B.  Her last name was Warren.

C.  It was Michaels.

D.  It was Moon.

E.  It was Skye.

2.  Full House, which aired on the ABC network from 1987 to 1995, focused on a widowed television broadcaster named Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) and his three daughters.  Helping Danny out were his brother-in-law, Jesse (John Stamos), and Jesse's friend, Joey Gladstone.  Name the actor who played Joey.

A.  Robert James

B.  Dave Roberts

C.  Tim James

D.  Robert Coulter

E.  Dave Coulier

3.  On The X-Files (1993-2002), FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigated unexplained cases.  What was Mulder's FBI nickname on the show?

Duchovny and Anderson as Mulder and Scully

A.  Mulder's nickname was "Spooky."

B.  His nickname was "Ghost,"

C.  It was "Shadow."

D.  It was "Sky."

E,  It was "Gloom."

4,  Mad About You (1992-1999) was a sitcom about a young, married couple in New York City.  The series starred Paul Reiser as Paul Buchman, a documentary filmmaker, and Helen Hunt as his wife, Jamie Stemple Buchman.  What was Jamie's occupation?

A.  teacher

B.  psychologist

C.  public relations specialist

D.  journalist

E.  private detective

5,   Mad About You ran for seven seasons.  Paul and Jamie became parents when their baby girl was born during the last episode of the show's fifth season.  What name did they choose for the child?

A.  Mabel

B.  Barbara

C.  Betty

D.  Mavis

E.  Mary Jane

6.  On Mad About You, who played Jamie's mother, Theresa Semple?

A.  June Lockhart

B,  Carol Burnett

C.  Cloris Leachman

D.  Jean Stapleton

E.   Marion Ross

7.  On Seinfeld (1989-1998), "the show about nothing," comedian Jerry Seinfeld's friend, George Costanza (Jason Alexander) quits his job at Rick Barr Properties in an episode entitled "The Revenge" (Season 2, Episode 12, Air Date: April 18, 1991). For what reason did George quit his job?

A.  His boss refused to give him a raise.

B.  His co-workers were cruel to him.

C.  The job was too boring for him.

D.  He was banned him from using his boss's executive washroom.

E.  He wanted to pursue his dream of working for the New York Yankees.

8.  On the sitcom Friends (1994-2004), how were Ross and Monica related?

A.  They were first cousins.

B.  They were brother and sister.

C.  They were brother-in-law and sister-in-law.

D.  They were stepbrother and stepsister.

E.  They were not related at all.

9.  On Friends, what was Ross' profession?

A.  orthodontist

B.  psychologist

C.  paleontologist

D.  pediatrician

E.  lawyer

10,  Home Improvement (1991-1999) starred Tim Allen as Tim Taylor, the host of a television home-improvement show called Tool Time.  He and his wife, Jill (Patricia Richardson) had three sons and lived in a Detroit suburb.  What was the name of the Taylor family's neighbour?

A.  Jack Wilson

B.  Tom Wilson

C.  Wilson W, Wilson, Jr.

D.  Richard R. Wilson, Jr.

E.  Joe Wilson

11.  Who played the role of Lisa, the "Tool Time girl" in 23 episodes of Home Improvement?

A.  Pamela Anderson

B.  Erin Moran

C.  Justine Bateman

D.  Kirstie Alley

E.   Pam Dawber

12.  On Beverly Hills, 90210, which aired from 1990 to 2000, the Walsh family, moved to California from another state.  Where did they live before they came to Beverly Hills?

A.  Hartford, Connecticut

B.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

C.  New York City

D.  Denver, Colorado

E.  Minneapolis, Minnesota

13.  What does the title Beverly Hills, 90210 mean?

A.  Beverley Hills, 90210 is the name of a fictional restaurant on the show.

B.  "90210" is the street number of the Wash family's home.

C.  Beverley Hills, 90210 is the name of a fictional hotel on the show.

D.  "90210" is a zip code in the Beverley Hills area.

E.  None of the above


1.  D

The role of Daphne Moon, the Crane family's housekeeper, was played by Jane Leeves.  After Frasier, Jane went on to star in the sitcom Hot in Cleveland.

2.  E

Dave Coulier as Joey

Dave Coulier played the role of stand-up comedian Joey Gladstone on Full House. David Alam Coulier was born on December 21, 1959 in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.  In addition to being a stand-up comedian, he has worked as an actor, impressionist, voice actor and TV host.  Coulier has also appeared as himself on reality shows such as The Surreal Life and Skating with Celebrities.  On July 2, 2014, he married photographer/producer Melissa Bring in Montana.  It was the second marriage for the entertainer.  From 1990 to 1992, he was wed to actress Jayne Modean.  They have a son, Luc Coulier.

3.  A

On The X-Files, Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovny, had an official FBI nickname.  It was "Spooky."

4.  C

Mad About You's Jamie Buchman was a public relations specialist.

5.  A

Paul and Jamie Buchman chose to name their baby Mabel as an acronym for "Mothers Always Bring Extra Love."  The acronym was suggested by Jamie's mother, Theresa Stemple.  Mabel was born on an episode entitled "The Birth: Part Two"  The episode aired on May 20, 1997.

6.  B

Carol Burnett and Carroll O'Connor 

Carol Burnett played Theresa Stemple, Jamie's mother on Mad About You.  Carroll O'Connor portrayed Gus Stemple, Jamie's father.

7.  D

L to R: Jason Alexander, Fred Applegate and Julia Louis-Dreyfus

In the Seinfeld episode "The Revenge," George Costanza quits his real estate job and insults his boss, Rick Levitan (Fred Applegate), after being banned from Levitan's personal bathroom.  Realizing that he may have acted too hastily, George returns to work as if nothing has happened.  When Levitan refuses to let him get away with it, Costanza enlists his friend Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) to help him exact revenge by slipping him a mickey.

8.  B

On Friends, Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) was Monica Geller's (Courtney Cox) older brother.

9.  C

David Schwimmer as Ross Geller on Friends

Ross Geller was originally a New York City's Museum of Natural History.  He later became a tenured professor of paleontology at New York University.

10.  C

On Home Improvement, Wilson W. Wilson, Jr., played by Earl Hindman, was Tim Taylor's neighbour and confidant.  Hindman died of lung cancer on December, 29, 2003.  He was 61 years old at the time of his passing.

11.  A

Pamela Anderson as Lisa

Pamela Anderson play the recurring role of Lisa on Home Improvement.  As the "Tool Time girl," her duties consisted of introducing the hosts of the Tool Time show, Tim Taylor and his assistant, Al Borland (Richard Karn) and handing them their tools.

12.  E

The Walsh family of  Bevrly Hills, 90210

Jim and Cindy Walsh (James Eckhouse and Carol Potter) and their teenage twins, Brenda (Shannen Doherty and Brandon (Jason Priestley), moved to upscale Beverly Hills from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

13.  D

"90210" is the most celebrated ZIP code in the Beverly Hills area.

- Joanne

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Y&R Report (August 15, 2015): The Latest on The Young and the Resteless

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.

It's been a busy week on the Y&R.  The cabin murder mystery has come to a head, Devon and Hilary have tied the knot and Paul Williams has recruited his son Dylan as Genoa City's newest cop.  So why don't we just get down to the nitty gritty?  We have so much to talk about.

Let's begin by discussing the murder mystery.  It has been revealed that Marco Annicelli and Detective Mark Harding formed an unholy alliance that led to the deaths of three people, namely Austin, Courtney and Tobias.  That deal with the devil has probably cost Harding his life.  It looks as if the ruthless drug lord has killed the rogue cop. Harding could not resist the lure of the money offered to him by Marco.  Although, he came to regret his association with Annicelli, it's probably too late for him now.  I doubt he'll survive.

Detective Harding's demise would not be unexpected.  After all, he is a minor character and has never been a fan favourite.  He is expendable.  The writers can afford to write him out of the storyline. Perhaps Kevin Fisher should be hired as a detective to replace Harding .  He'a a better private eye than anyone else in the Genoa City Police Department, including Clueless Paul Williams.  Kevin was the one who first suspected Harding.  He was the one who told Paul about his suspicions about Harding. Clueless Paul hadn't put two and two together until Kevin "clued" him in.  Also, Fisher is very close to figuring out that there is a Jack look-alike out there.

Like many viewers, I think it's about time to end the "two Jacks" storyline even though Peter Bergman appears to be having a great time playing a double role. However, one Jack Abbott is quite enough.  It seems, however, that Marco is going to be around for at least a bit longer. According to the online spoilers, Jack and Annicelli are going to join forces to bring down Victor Newman.  Yet, sooner or later, one of the "Jacks" will have to go.  Obviously, it will be Marco.  He will either be killed or hauled off to prison.

I've been trying to figure out Marisa.  On the one hand, she seems to have truly fallen for Noah.  Yet she seems to have designs on Jack.  Although she assured Phyllis that she's not after her husband, can we really trust her?  She's always so warm and responsive to Jack and she seems so impressed by him.  Remember that Jack carries the Abbott name and has more money and power and prestige than Noah.  How long will Marisa be content working at the Underground, serving drinks? I have another question too.  Marisa is hiding the fact that she and Noah encountered Marco in the park.  Although Noah thought it was Jack, Marisa realized it was really her former boyfriend.  Why is she keeping it a secret?

Now that Devon and Hilary are married, will they experience wedded bliss?  You all know the answer to that one.  There's not a chance that those two will last. However, they did manage to complete their vows and are now legally man and wife.  I guess the writers thought that there have been too many interrupted weddings on the show (very true).  They made it appear that Neil was going to stop the wedding when the minister asked if there were any objections.  They tried to surprise us by having Neil express his forgiveness and confer his best wishes upon the bride and groom.  Hilary and Devon are not out of the woods yet, though, not by a long shot.

It was great to see Esther (Kate Linder) as a guest at the wedding.  Her character should be on more often.  She hasn't appeared much since Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper) passed away Unfortunately, the writers can't seem to come up with much of a storyline for her or Jill (Jess Walton). By the way, Jill should be returning soon.  The character's absence has been explained.  Her odious Aussie husband said that Jill was unable to attend Devon and Hilary's wedding because he has been on a business trip to Hong King.

Speaking of Colin Atkinson, isn't he a scumball and a troublemaker?  He'll do just about anything for money.  What a conman and a blackmailer.  If Jill ever dumps him,, he should get together with Chelsea's mother, Anita.  Those two are soulmates.  He'd be a good match for Gloria too.

No wonder the children of Genoa City are so confused!  That was quite a line from Cane and Lily's daughter, Mattie at the wedding.  She and her twin brother, Charlie, wanted to know why "Uncle Devon is marrying Grandpa's wife."

It appears that Lauren and Michael are reconnecting and that they may reconcile. I'm pleased about that.  Perhaps the producers and writers have listened to fans who weren't thrilled with the way Michael has been such a jerk.


From Carly in Barrhaven, Ontario

I do not like Nikki's's hairdo, it looks too 40s. At this point I honestly don't care who the murderer is but just get on with it.  I am  also sick & tired of the Marco/Jack storyline why do I watch it??????

Okay Carly, I have recorded your thumbs down on Nikki's hair. I guess you're pleased that the murder mystery seems to be wrapping up now.  There won't be two Jacks for much longer either.

From CC in Etobicoke, Ontario

Good riddance to both Harding and Marco.....and they can take a few others with them.... starting with the producer and new head writer...and then Summer, Colin, Cane, Kevin, Kyle, Mariah, Jill, Abby, Christine (Cricket) and even Lily and Neil, in no particular order. Then they can bring back Billy Miller or kill this Billy off.

A new dynasty should be born out of Newman Abbot with the offspring taking over the helm.
Victor and Nikki should take their trip around the world, finally, and Victor should be lost at sea until he can be replaced by a made over younger version of himself.

Wow, CC, there are so many character that you don't like!  I agree with you about Harding and Marco, but you really don't have to worry about them because Harding is mostly likely dead and Marco will be gone sooner or later.  The only other one on your list I would get rid of is Kyle. You don't have Sage on your list, but I could do without her too.  If she's needed for storyline reason, another actress could replace her.  As for Kyle, he should break up with Summer and return to New York. The other characters are all needed for plot purposes. Some characters are not likeable but are needed to stir thing up. I agree with you about Billy Miller.  I wish he'd come back.  Burgess Jenkins, the current Billy Abbott is trying his best, but he just can't fill Billy Miller's shoes.  I'd love to see Billy and Victoria back together again with Miller playing the role of Billy Boy Abbott.

From Fifi in Collingwood, Ontario:

I'm disappointed with the explanation behind the killings.  It really seems like the writers are planning things as they go along.  They had the opportunity for a real shocker and they blew it. For weeks, we have all been suspecting Detective Harding.  My second comment is that I'm disappointed that Amelia Heinle (Victoria Newman) has lightened her hair. What is it with these Y&R actresses who play Sage, Chelsea and Victoria. They are beautiful brunettes and choosing to go blond instead. Amelia Heinle's blue eyes jump out of you when her hair is dark and now she looks washed out.  Besides, there are already too many blondes on the Y&R - Nikki, Sharon, Summer, Ashley and previously Kelly and Avery.  At least, Phyllis stands out as a redhead.

Yes, Fiifi, Detective Mark Harding's guilt and his alliance with Marco were not exactly shocking.  He was a very suspicious character because so little was known about his background and his past.  Also, when Paul Williams had a heart attack and Harding was placed in charge of the Genoa City Police Department, it seemed obvious that a corrupt cop was running the show.  The story is not over yet, though. There will undoubtedly be more twists and turns.

I agree with you wholeheartedly about the hair colour of Victoria, Chelsea and Sage.  Since the show is filmed in Hollywood, maybe they all want to be California blondes or maybe they are trying to find out if blondes really do have more fun.  At any rate, they are much more attractive as brunettes. Well, at least Marisa won't be going blond anytime soon.  I certainly hope not.

From Patsy in Sarasota, Florida:

Now that Genoa City Police Chief Paul Williams' son Dylan has decided to become a police officer, let's just see how long it will take him to be one. In soap opera time, it might be by the end of the summer!!! 

Well Patsy, not only is Paul Williams an incompetent police chief, but he is guilty of nepotism. Why should Dylan leapfrog over any other candidate for a job as a police officer just because he is Paul's son?

Don't get me wrong.  Paul has a good heart and the best of intentions.  He just doesn't have what it takes to be a good police chief.  That's why so many of Genoa City's citizens do their own detective work.  Williams does not inspire confidence. They don't trust him solve a crime.


Patty's coming back

Are you ready for the return of Patty Williams?  After an absence of three years, Stacy Haiduk will reprise her role as Patty, Paul Williams' criminally insane sister. Her scenes will begin airing in September.  The character was last seen on the show in 2012 when she was a patient at Fairview Sanitarium. She returns just as her brother has suffered a heart attack.

Stacy Haiduk

Robert Adamson cancels wedding plans with Linsey Godfrey

According to Soap Opera Digest, Robert Adamson, who plays Noah Newman, and Linsey Godfrey, who plays Caroline Spencer on The Bold and the Beautiful, have ended their engagement.  Adamson, 30, and Godfrey, 27, have a daughter named Aleda.

Robert and a pregnant Linsey in happier days

Victor's long-lost daughter expected to arrive on the scene

A new character named Emma will show up in Genoa City.  She will be portrayed by Alice Greczyn. In 1999, Victor Newman had a fling with a woman named Ramona Caceres. Ramona nursed him back to health after his plane crashed in the mountains of New Mexico and Emma is widely speculated to be their daughter.


Viewer CC from Etobicoke, Ontario is would like Y&R to get rid of a list of characters consisting of Harding, Marco, Summer, Colin, Cane, Kevin, Mariah, Jill, Abby, Christine (Cricket), Lily, Neil.  Do you agree?

Which one of the following characters do you most want off the show?

Detective Mark Harding
Marco Annicelli
Summer Newman
Colin Atkinson
Mariah Copeland
Abby Newman
Christine "Cricket" Williams
Neil Winters
Lily Winters Ashby
Jill Foster Abbott Fenmore Atkinson
Cane Ashby
Poll Maker

That's all for now.  Don't miss the next edition of Y&R Report in this space on Saturday, August 29, 2015.

- Joanne

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Y&R Report (August 1, 2015): 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.

Genoa City police chief Paul Williams has suffered a heat attack.  However, it seems as if he's going to be all right.  He just needs some rest and relaxation.  His wife, Christine (a.ka.a The Cricketmeister), is trying to get him to concentrate on his health and his recovery.  Meanwhile, in Paul's absence, Detective Mark Harding is holding down the fort.  He's in charge of the Genoa's City's police; and there's the rub!  Can Harding be trusted?  He's always been mysterious and we really don't know to much about him or his past.  To me, he seems smarmy and obnoxious. I've never liked his character.

With Detective Harding running the show, could the fox be guarding the hen house? Is he in league with Peruvian drug lord Marco Annicelli?  It is also possible that Austin is still alive and he is working with Marco. And what of the lovely Marisa?  Is she trustworthy?  It's interesting that Harding declared that he didn't trust her for a second.

One thing I can guarantee.  Expect a big twist in the plot when the GC killer is finally revealed.  With head writer, Charles Pratt, you never know what will happen. Marco will either go to prison or die because there cannot be two Jacks permanently.  One of them will have to go.

Colin Atkinson has returned.  What a piece of work that Aussie is!  What a sleazeball!  He sure enjoyed setting up that bachelor party for Devon and drugging him so that he would succumb to that woman named India ("like the country," as she told the hapless Devon).

Devon couldn't do anything right at the party.  He even lost a lot of money to Colin in the poker game.  I was quite amused that when Colin bragged about winning the game fair and square, his son Cane retorted, "That's the first honey money you've ever made, then, isn't it, Dad?"  Of course, we all know that Colin will do just about anything for cold hard cash.  Neil certainly took advantage of that, didn't he?

Some fans are of the opinion that Neil Wnters' quest for revenge is out of character. Kristoff St. John, who portrays Neil, disagrees.  He wrote on Twitter everyone has a dark side and speculated that his character's dark side could very well emerge after all he's been through - alcoholism, blindness, the infidelity of his wife with his own son etc.


Here's a comment from Patsy from Sarasota, Florida:

Yes Patsy, the spoiled heiress does have a way with words.  However, she hasn't had much luck with men, - Daniel, Tyler, Austin and now current boyfriend Stitch who will most certainly become involved with her mother, Ashley.  

Regular correspondent Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario had this to say:

I like Nikki's haircut.  I think it suits her.  She needed a change.  I think Neil is going to kill Hilary.

I also like Nikki's new, shorter hairstyle.  I think it's attractive and very suitable for the summer.

Am I missing something here, Fifi?  Why do you think there is going to be another murder on the show involving Neil?  I don't see that coming at all, unless you mean he's going to kill Hilary accidentally.  That may happen.

Neil may have a dark side, but he's not a cold-blooded murderer.  Besides, hasn't there been enough murder and mayhem on the show lately, especially since Charles Pratt took over as head writer.  Has Pratt convinced viewers that every character is prepared to commit murder?

Here are some thoughts from CC from Etobicoke, Ontario.

OMG!  I was totally shocked to see Nikki's hair.  Just wasn't expecting it.  She has had it in a similar style before and it really does suit her.

The thought of Neil killing someone has crossed my mind but I thought it might be Devon rather than Hilary.  Of the two of them, Devon's role has the least impact,  plus it might be a good time for him to change career roads.  Hilary is a powerful actress who is headed for greater things if that is the way she wants to go once her maternity leave is over.

Not to keen on how either the murder mystery or "the two Jacks" storylines are going.  I do like the talented actress playing Marisa but not so sure she is trustworthy enough to be with Noah.

Well CC, it's thumbs up for Nikki's new hairstyle.

Unlike you and Fifi, I have not entertained any thoughts of a murder on the show involving Neil and Hilary and Devon.  Neither have I read anything about Hilary or Devon leaving Y&R.  As far as I know, Mishael Morgan, the actress who plays Hilary, will return after she gives birth.  She is due this month.

I agree that Sofia Pernas, the actress who plays Marisa Sierras is talented.  I also think Marisa is going to break Noah's heart somewhere along the line.  I don't believe she has any intention of hurting him. It's just that she has a checkered past and a lot of dirty laundry.  Her involvement with Marco is going to catch up with her and she and Noah are most likely going to have to pay the price. They will probably both end up getting hurt.  It's obvious that Noah is very smitten with Marisa .  I would bet that they are going to have a bittersweet romance.

Speaking of romance, it appears that Billy and Victoria are beginning to rekindle theirs.  Wouldn't this be the perfect time for Billy Miller return to the role?  I have nothing against Burgess Jenkins, the current Billy, but it's hard to fill Miller's shoes. He had such good chemistry with Amelia Heinle, who portrays Princess Victoria.  In May, there was a flurry of media speculation that Miller was going to end his current stint on General Hospital and come back to Y&R.  I haven't heard anything about the matter since then.  However, there is an online petition to get him to return to the show.  If you are interested, check out the following link.


Once again, there have been online rumours that Eric Braeden is planning to leave his role as Victor Newman.  His fans can relax because there is no truth to the speculation.  Braeden responded to the the rumours with the following post on Twitter: "I am not leaving the show!  I just signed an extension, so kindly don't ask me that question again!”   Hmmm . . . Eric sounds a lot like his Y&R character. Victor always uses the expression "kindly."  He's always telling people to "kindly leave" or to "kindly" do his bidding.  As you will kindly note, it, it appears that Victor will be staying in Genoa City for a while yet.


Y&R fans, here's your chance to tell CBS what you think about the show. Executives at the network want to know your opinion.  According to Soap Central, executive producer Jill Farren Phelps is reportedly in contract negotiations.  Head writer Charles Pratt has a reputation for stirring up controversy.  Their status and the status of some of the actors could depend on you.  Network executives want you to fill out an extensive survey.  The survey is associated with Nielsen ratings.

So, fans, you can exert some influence.  This is your chance to be heard. Just click on the following link.

I have a suggestion.  Y&R used to have singers.  There was Brock Reynolds and Gina Roma.  Lauren and Danny and Traci used perform too.  Why can't a new character be introduced who entertains at the Genoa City Athletic Club?  That would be fun.


Chris Mckenna as Mark Harding

Do you trust Detective Harding?

Yes, he's not likeable but he's not corrupt. He's a cop's cop.
No, absolutely not. He's in league with Marco or Victor.
I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.
No, he's hiding something. We know nothing of his past.
I don't know.
Quiz Maker

That's all for now.  Don't forget to check out the next edition Y&R Report on Saturday, August 15, 2015.

- Joanne

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Tribute to Dick Van Patten

                                             Photo by Phil Konstantin

Well, when it comes to Dick Van Patten, you only have fond memories.  He was an exceptionally good man, kind, warm funny.  And really, for many of us, and I know especially myself, was like a dad.

- Grant Goodeve, who played eldest child, David Bradford, on Eight is Enough,
Interview on Fox News Radio

Despite our 19-year age difference, Dick and I had a warm chemistry on the show. I remember all of us studying Dick closely when he would work. We all tried to mimic his signature “comic take” at the end of a scene. He was the consummate clown who could turn on a dime and act straight from the heart.

- Betty Buckley, who played Abby, Dick Van Patten's television wife on Eight is Enough,
New York Post, June 26, 2015

Dick Van Patten passed away on June 23, 2015 in Santa Monica, California at the age of 86.  His death was attributed to complications from diabetes.  The actor suffered from Type 2 diabetes and had recovered from a diabetic stroke in 2006.

Dick was best known for his portrayal of Sacramento, California newspaper columnist Tom Bradford on Eight is Enough, a one hour comedy/drama.  From 1977 until 1981, he played the warm-hearted father of eight children, on the popular series.  The show was based on a book by journalist Thomas Braden, a real-life parent of eight.

Richard Vincent "Dick" Van Patten was born on December 9, 1928 in the Kew Gardens section of the borough of Queens, New York City.  His mother, Josephne Rose (née Acerno), was of Italian descent and worked in advertising.  His father, Richard Byron Van Patten, was an interior decorator who came from Dutch and English ancestry.

Dick was a child actor. Then known as "Dickie Van Patten," he made his acting debut in 1935 as Melvyn Douglas' son in the Broadway production of Tapestry in Gray andas a teenager, he continued to perform on Broadway.  After establishing himself on the stage, his next step was to become involved in a revolutionary new medium called television.

From 1949 until 1957, Dick Van Patten portrayed Nels Hansen in Mama, a comedy-drama about a Norwegian immigrant family living in early 20th century San Francisco.  The story was told from the point of view of Katrin Hansen, the eldest daughter, played by Rosemary Rice.

Mama was one of the earliest series that aired live on American television.  It was initially broadcast from a television studio above the waiting room in New York's Grand Central Terminal. Below is a photo of Dick as Nels (the young man at the back) with his Mama television family.

During the 1970s, Van Patten was a familiar figure on television screens.  From 1971 to 1972. Dick had a regular role on the The Partners, a comedy featuring Don Adams and Rupert Crosse as bumbling detectives.  From 1972 to 1974, Dick appeared as Max Mathias in 10 episodes of The New Dick Van Dyke Show, a comedy starring Van Dyke and Hope Lange.

In the 1970s, he made numerous guest appearances on popular series such as I Dream of Jeannie (1970) and Sanford and Son (1972).  In the I Dream of Jeannie episode, entitled "My Master, the Chili King" (Season 5, Episode 26. Air Date: May 26, 1970), Dick played a market clerk.  In the Sanford and Son episode, "The Great Sanford Siege" (Season 1, Episode 8, Air Date: March 3, 1072), Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx) and his son, Lamont (Demond Wilson) have neglected to pay their bills and are trapped inside their house in a standoff with a process server from a collection agency who is prepared to repossess their furniture.

Van Patten on I Dream of Jeannie

Van Patten with Redd Fox (left) and Demond Wilson on Sanford and Son

Prior to his role on Eight is Enough, Dick Van Patten guest-starred twice on Emergency! (1972) (1976) , twice on Barnaby Jones (1974) (1976) , twice on Happy Days (1976) (1977) and three times on The Streets of San Francisco (1972) (1976) and Medical Center (1972) (1975).

During the 1980s, after the cancellation of Eight is Enough, Dick appeared in episodes of the Ted Knight sitcom Too Close for Comfort (1983), Murder, She Wrote (1986), The Facts of Life (1987) and Growing Pains (1989).  He also reprised his role as Tom Bradford in two Eight is Enough TV movies: Eight is Enough: A Family Reunion (1987) and An Eight is Enough Wedding (1989).

Throughout the 1990s, Van Patten worked continuously.  From 1990 to 1991, he portrayed Floyd Graham in WIOU, a short-lived one hour drama set in the news department of a financially struggling fictional television station.  He guest-starred in episodes of Diagnosis Murder (1993), Burke's Law (1994), Baywatch (1994), Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1994) and two episodes of Touched by an Angel (1995) (1998).

Dick Van Patten was a remarkable TV performer.  He began his career in 1949 when television was in its infancy in 1949 and continued working until the 21st century. He played Cal Cullen in two 2005 episodes of Arrested Development and Murph in a 2006 episode of That '70s Show caalled "Sweet Lady" (Season 8, Episode 10, Air Date: January 26, 2006). According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), his last TV credit is a 2011 guest appearance on Hot in Cleveland.  Dick played a character named Lester in an episode entitled "Elka's Wedding" (Season 2, Episode 22, Air Date August 31, 2011.

On April 24, 1954, Dick married New York actress-dancer Patricia "Pat" Poole.  The pair first met at New York City's Professional Children's School.  Years later, they reconnected when they were both rehearsing at New York's Grand Central Station, she as a June Taylor Dancer for The Jackie Gleason Show and he for Mama.  The couple raised three sons, all whom became actors.  Their eldest son, Nels, was born in 1955.and was named after Nels Hansen, Dick's character in the television series Mama. James "Jimmy" Van Patten followed on October 7, 1956. and their youngest son, Vincent "Vince,"  was born on October 17, 1957.

Below is a wedding photo of Dick and Pat.  The newlyweds are being congratulated by actress Peggy Wood, who portrayed Dick's television mother on Mama.  In 2014, the Van Pattens celebrated their 60th anniversary.  They had been married over 61 years when Dick died.

Dick an Pat Van Patten

Dick Van Patten was a friend of film director Mel Brooks and his appearances in Brooks' comedies include High Anxiety (1977), Spaceballs (1987) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). He first worked with Mel in the 1975 sitcom When Things Were Rotten, playing Friar Tuck in that short-lived parody of the Robin Hood legend. Below is a photo of the cast of When Things Were Rotten with Dick Van Patten (as Friar Tuck) on the far left.

I loved working with Dick Van Patten. Had he been a baseball player, he would have been a great utility infielder.  He could play any position!

- Comedian Mel Brooks at Dick's memorial service


* Dick Van Patten received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 20, 1985.

* Dick's younger sister, Joyce Van Patten, is a stage, screen and television actress.

* Dick played the role of Harold Jennings in the 1976 Jodie Foster film, Freaky Friday.

* Dick was an animal enthusiast and he founded a pet food company called Natural Balance in 1989.  The company makes health foods for animals.

* An avid horse racing fan, Dick greatly enjoyed going to the track and he owned horses that raced at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.  According to an August 2010 article by Janice Kleinschmidt in Palm Springs Life,  he "could handicap a horse by the age of ten and was expelled from school at 14 for writing a composition on “How to Beat the Races.”

* The Van Pattens are avid tennis players.  Dick played in celebrity tournaments and Nels and Vince are former pros.

* The piece in Palm Springs Life also states that the Van Patten family and the Jackson family were next-door-neighbors before the Jackson 5 made it big.  The Van Patten boys and the Jackson brothers played touch football.

- Joanne

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Y&R Report (July 18, 2015): 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.

Finally!  Chelsea knows that "Gabriel" is really Adam.  It's about time she learned the truth.  What next, though?  I think she'll eventually forgive him and everything will be peaches and cream . . . until she learns that he is the father of Sage's unborn child.  We don't know that for sure yet, but chances are it will turn out that way.

Now that Chelsea has discovered Gabe;s real identity, I wish the others would learn the truth too. However, I wasn't the least surprised when Chelsea intervened and prevented Adam from revealing himself to Billy, Victoria, Ashley and Nick.  They will eventually learn the secret, but not just yet. It's going to be drawn out longer for dramatic effect.

As for Sage, it's just a matter of time and her secrets and lies are bound to be revealed too.  Yes, Marisa saved Sage's bacon this time around.  She intercepted Sage's letter to Nick and helped her hide her dirty laundry, at least for now.  Soap secrets, however, rarely stay hidden forever.  I doubt Nick and Sage will survive as a couple for very much longer because the odds are not in their favour.   Nick will be extremely upset when he learns of Sage's complicity in the Adam-Gabriel deception and he will never accept Adam as the baby's father.  That's why N and S are toast as a couple.

Well, Dr. Stitch is back is practising medicine again.  He's been reinstated as a resident at the hospital. He's also Genoa City's resident ladies' man.  This time he's becoming caught up in a triangle with girlfriend, Abby, and her mother, Ashley.  Abby used to be the flaky "Naked Heiress."  Now she is trying very hard to be taken seriously as a high level executive at Newman-Abbott.  Her methods include getting drunk at a meeting with a labour representative and ending up in the hospital.

I think Stitch 'em Up and Ashley have better chemistry (pun intended) than Stitch 'em Up and Abby. It seems they have more in common.  Abby is far from ready to settle down with one boyfriend.  She enjoys male attention and is in her element when she's flirting.  She may have ditched her Lady Godiva act, but she remains an immature, spoiled brat.  She certainly lacks judgement (example: her recent entanglement with Austin, her niece Summer's husband).

I have to give Clueless Police Chief Paul Williams some credit for being right for once.  He didn't think that Joe Clark was the one who attacked Avery.  Speaking of Joe, is there any character who has been punched and bashed around as much as he has? What is it about him that makes people think he's always guilty of terrible crimes and misdemeanours?  I think it's his smirk and his shifty eyes.  He just doesn't appear to be trustworthy or sincere.  I also think that Joe (Scott Elrod) will remain on the show after Jessica Collins (Avery) leaves.  He's going to stir up more trouble in Genoa City.

The break up between Cane and Lily seems contrived, as if the writers wanted to tear them apart for storyline purposes (which is true).  Cane (Daniel Goddard) is trying terribly hard to appear angry, unforgiving and cruel toward Lily.  I'm not convinced he really means it.  Cane would be extremely upset and broken-hearted about Lily's unfaithfulness, but would he be that callous and unyielding? Would he demand full custody of the twins, knowing that it would keep them away from their mother?


Here are some comments from Carly from Barrhaven, Ontario.

I am glad that Chelsea knows the truth about Adam.  As for the Sharon/Dylan storyline I think it's crazy that she is pregnant and I guess if she has to be with someone it might as well be Dylan.

I wonder how much longer Jack will be in a coma??  "The Moustache" is unbelievable and of course he would have someone on the inside helping

Yes, Carly, "The Moustache" is certainly unbelievable.  I'm just tired of him always winning.  It's about time he had his comeuppance.  His never-ending excuses such as "That's the way business is done," and "I had to protect my family." don't cut it. They may satisfy Princess Victoria, but she is blind where her daddy is concerned.

Patsy from Sarasota, Florida writes:

How interesting that Ashley recovered from major brain surgery without a beat. Still coiffed and made up. But Avery is still black and blue all over her face. Just saying.....

Chelsea drops her champagne glass onto her bare feet in Gabriel's office then walks through it. Broken glass on the floor but she manages to move forward and approach Gabriel. Just saying....

If you are a fan of Jessica Collins (Avery Bailey Clark), you can catch her final Y&R appearance on Tuesday, July 21st on CBS (Monday,July 20th on Global TV in Canada).  In case you're wondering why she's leaving Y&R, here's her side of the story.

Jessica told Soap Opera Digest that she hasn't been happy with Avery's storyline. She stated, "I've been disappointed with the story and the direction and integrity of my character for quite some time, but I was still hopeful we could turn it around." She admitted that she wanted to remain on the show but her contract was up for renewal and she was not satisfied with the show's offer to her.  "I was told there was no room for discussion, which made me realize there wouldn't be much discussion for the character, either."

According to Daytime Confidential, Y&R has sent a casting call out for a Spanish male actor in his mid-twenties to early-thirties to play the recurring role of a new character named "Luca" (the name can be changed).  "Luca" is supposedly a charmer with women.  Hmmmm . . . I wonder if he will have an association with Marisa, since she is also Hispanic?  Her brother, perhaps?


Victor (Eric Braeden) and Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) have been one of Y&R's most enduring couples.  Although they broken up many times, they have always found their way back to each other. Nikki has always forgiven Victor for his transgressions.  Now they are estranged again.  Nikki is insisting that she has to stay away from him. Will she keep her resolve this time?  Has Victor finally crossed the line with all his misdeeds and duplicity?  What do you think?

Will Nikki forgive Victor this time?

Yes, she will always go back to him. He always wins.
Maybe eventually, but they won't reconcile for quite a long time.
No, Nikki is finished with Victor for good. They're through.
I don't know.
free poll maker

That's all for now.  Remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, August 1, 2015.  I hope there is some summer fun in Genoa City, something to relieve some of that tension on the show.  How about some pool parties and barbecues?

- Joanne