Search This Blog

Loading...

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


END NOTES

* 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?



VIEWER FORUM

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 him..lol.

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....
CAST NEWS

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?



Y&R REPORT READER'S POLL

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



Friday, July 10, 2015

You Wanted to Know . . . about The Beachcombers


Bruno Gerussi in The Beachcombers
  

TV Banter reader Peter Pinchera has requested some information on the Canadian TV classic, The Beachcombers.

The Beachercombers, starring Bruno Gerussi, was one of the longest-running and most successful series in Canadian television history.  The series aired on the CBC network from 1972 until 1990. It was a family/adventure show about the exploits of Nick Adondas (Gerussi), a licensed beachcomber of Greek heritage.  Nick, a bachelor, made his living as a log salvager along the coast of British Columbia. With his trusty little tugboat, The Persephone, he was always prepared to lend assistance to sailors or anyone else in need.  He primarily interacted with his young Native partner, Jesse, played by Pat Johns.  His nemesis and beachcomber rival was Relic. The devious Relic was portrayed by Robert Clothier.

The Beachcombers was set in the beautiful coastal town of Gibsons Landing, B.C. in the southwestern part of the province, near Vancouver.  Working out that port, Nick guided his tugboat into the inlets of the Sunshine Coast where he experienced adventure and adversity in the form of storms, wild dogs and long-distance swims.

The landmark "Molly's  Reach" in Gibson's Landing was a café/ home to many characters on the show.  The building was erected in 1926 and originally served as a grocery store.  Over the years, it was used for many retail purposes.  However, in 1969 CBC-TV leased it for The Beachcombers' "Molly's Reach" set.

After the cancellation of The Beachcombers in 1990, the structure remained vacant until 1995 when it was converted into an actual restaurant called Molly's Reach.



                                           Photo attribution: Robert Sanzalone



END NOTES

* Bruno Gerussi, who portrayed Nick Adonidas, was born in Medicine Hat. Alberta on May 7, 1928. He died after suffering a heart attack in Vancouver, British Columbia on November 21, 1995.  He was 67.

* The Beachcombers was cancelled in 1990 as a result of CBC budget cuts and declining viewership due to the show's shifting time slots.

* Some movies have been filmed on location at Gibsons, B.C. including Charlie St. Cloud (2010), starring Kim Basinger and Zac Efron, and Needful Things (1993), featuring Max von Sydow and Ed Harris.

*  In 1988, the title of the series was shortened to Beachcombers.

*  Although his character on The Beachcombers was of Greek heritage, Bruno Gerussi was actually of Italian background.

* According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, Gerussi was a "gifted woodcarver."

* The essence of The Beachcombers can be summed up in following words by Canadian television drama historian Mary Jane Miller. In her piece on the series in The Encyclopedia of Television, she wrote:

Comedy was part of almost every episode, and there was often a documentary flavour to the scenes of fishing, logging, beachcombing--work of all kinds. The show also used Canada's multi-cultural diversity. Germans, Italians, Japanese, Dutch, East Indians, Swedes and even a Colonel Blimp from England all provided opportunities for new plot developments.



-  Joanne

Thursday, July 9, 2015

You Wanted to Know . . . about child actors Mickey Sholdar and Rory O'Brien of The Farmer's Daughter




A reader, Susan Gilbert, wants to know what became of of the child actors on The Farmer's Daughter, a 1960s television series staring Inger Stevens and William Windom.  It ran on the ABC network from 1963 until 1966. Inger Stevens played Katy Holstrum, a Swedish-American farmer's daughter who becomes a governess/housekeeper for U.S. Congressman Glen Morley (Windom) and his two young sons, played by Mickey Sholdar and Rory O'Brien.

MICKEY SHOLDAR


Mickey Sholdar, who played the elder son, Steve Morley, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on March 20, 1949.  Prior to his regular role on The Farmer's Daughter, Mickey had minor roles and guestspots on such television series as The Ann Sothern Show (1960), Dennis the Menace (1962) and Route 66 (1962).  He also appeared in a 1963 episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour entitled "To Catch a Butterfly" (Season 1, Episode 19, Air Date: February 1, 1963) with Edward Asner and Diana Hyland.




Mickey Sholdar was interviewed for book called Growing Up on the Set: Interviews with 39 Former Child Actors of Classic Film and Television.  The book, published in 2002, was written by Tom Goldrup and Jim Goldrup.  Mickey told the Goldrups that working on The Farmer's Daughter was a "wonderful" experience.  He stated that "Inger Stevens and Bill Windom were both really great people and fun to work with."

Sholdar was 13 years of age when the pilot for The Farmer's Daughter was filmed. When the show ended in 1966, he was about to turn 17.  "So I did a lot of growing up with them," he declared in the interview, "and everybody treated me very well." He remembered making personal appearances and signing autographs and that "they tried to promote me as a singer."

In one of the episodes during the final season of the series, Mickey's character, Steve Morley, forms a band called Moe Hill and the Mountains.  The episode, featuring Davy Jones in his pre-Monkee days, is entitled "Moe Hill and the Mountains"  (Season 3, Episode 16, Air Date: (January 7, 1966). Jones and the band sing "Gonna Buy Me A Dog." which later became a Monkees' song. Another interesting bit of trivia is that Keith Thibodeaux, who played Little Ricky on I Love Lucy, appears in the episode as a drummer. Thibodeaux was then billed as Richard Keith.

Below is video of the "Moe Hill and the Mountains" episode.





After The Farmer's Daughter, Mickey did not have very many acting roles.  However, he was a guest star in six episodes of Dragnet from 1967 until 1970.  The episodes are "The Big Kids" (1967), "The Grenade" (1967), "The Joy Riders" (1969), "Burglary: DR-31" (1969), "Juvenile: DR-35" (1969) and "Narco: Missing Hypo" (1970).

Below is a photo of Mickey as he appeared in "The Grenade" in which he played an unbalanced teen named Gerald Paulson.   In the episode, Paulson crashes a party, takes a hostage and threatens to detonate a hand grenade.



Below are two photos of Mickey in "Juvenile: DR-35."  In the second photo he appears with the two stars of Dragnet, Jack Webb (Sergeant Joe Friday) and Harry Morgan (Officer Bill Gannon).








During the 1960s, Mickey was familiar face on American television Westerns, appearing on Wagon Train twice (in 1961 and in 1963), Gunsmoke (1964) and Bonanza (1963).  In 1968, Mickey played the role of Alan in an episode of Family Affair called "His and Hers."  He also portrayed a golf pro in the 1975 television movie Babe, starring Susan Clark in the title role.  Babe chronicles the life of Mildred "Babe" Didrickson Zaharias, American track and field gold medalist and champion golfer.

According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Mickey Sholdar married Janet Lee Hartel on October 13, 1973.  Mickey was 24 years old when they wed and the marriage lasted until 1979.  The couple had one child.

RORY O'BRIEN


Rory O'Brien, born April  19, 1955 in Van Nuys, California, portrayed Danny Morley. Prior to his role on The Farmer's Daughter, Rory made appearances in episodes of popular television series such as Bonanza (1962) and The Virginian (1963)  He also had a small, uncredited role as a little boy in a 1962 episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "Cavender is Coming" (Season 3, Episode 36, Air Date: May 26, 1962). The episode was written by Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling and it featured Carol Burnett

In addition, Rory appeared in two episodes of Dr. Kildare, the medical drama starring Richard Chamberlain and Raymond Massey.  The episodes are "The Road to the Heart" (Season 1, Episode 32, Air Date: May 17, 1962) and "Sister Mike" (Season 2, Episode 23, Air Date: March 14, 1963).

After The Farmer's Daughter, Rory appeared in the highly acclaimed 1970 film, Little Big Man, starring Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway and Chief Dan George. He played an assassin in the film and it was a minor role.

During the early 1970s, Rory O'Brien dropped out of acting.  His last screen credit on the Internet Movie Database is a guest-starring role on Barnaby Jones, a cameo appearance in an episode of the series entitled "The Murdering Class" (Season 1, Episode 4, Air Date: March 4, 1973).

Below is a publicity handout for The Farmer's Daughter.  Inger Stevens appears with Mickey Sholdar (far left) and Rory O'Brien.





END NOTES

* Mickey Sholdar, Rory O'Brien and William Windom all appeared in One Man's Way, the 1964 film biography of Norman Vincent Peale,  Micky Sholdar portrayed Peale as a child.  Windom played Norman's minister father, Rev. Clifford Peale and Rory O/Brien played Norman's brother, Leonard, as a child.


Windom in One Man's Way


* Inger Stevens was just 35 years old when she died on April 30, 1970.  He death was attributed to acute barbiturate poisoning.  William Windom died of congestive heart failure on August 16, 2012 at the age of 88.  Veteran British actress Cathleen Nesbitt, who played Congressman Morley's mother, Agatha Morley, passed away on August 2, 1982.  She was 93 years old.





- Joanne

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Y&R Report (July 4, 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.

Good for Nikki!  It's about time she stood up to Vile Victor.  I'm glad she refused to lie to protect him, unlike daddy's girl Victoria. Nikki has more integrity than her daughter. As for Princess Victoria, she even uttered Victor's dubious justification for all his evil deeds.  She actually told Nikki that she had to do everything it takes to protect her family.  Perhaps we should call her "Victor's Echo."

Poor Nikki!  No wonder she's having such a hard time to recover from her alcoholism.  Her family is so dysfunctional.  Even Nicholas, who claims he wants to part of his father's schemes, is trying to help Victor.  I thought Nick was trying to be his own man.  I thought wanted to keep his distance from his father's nefarious deeds.

Well, it's pretty obvious now why the writers have chosen to give Ashley Abbott health problems. The reason is to bring her closer to Dr. Stitch.  I think Stitch'em Up will continue to express his concern and A.A. will be unable to resist her attraction to him, despite the fact that he is her daughter's boyfriend.  I hope there is much more to the storyline than a mother and daughter in love with the same man.

Readers, I must say that the storylines are becoming more outlandish and convoluted than ever. Now, both Sharon and Sage are expecting the pitter patter of little feet.  I am trying to figure out how the two new babies will fit into the plot. However, we're talking about Y&R, so one or both of the babies may not survive. Also, did you notice that Sharon threw away her medication?

Now Adam/Gabriel has selected Abby Newman to be COO of Newman-Abbott, a large corporate conglomerate.  What experience does she have to qualify her for such a senior executive post? It's ridiculous.


VIEWER FORUM

I have a lot of viewer reaction to pass on to you.

CC from Etobicoke, Ontario has sent me some comments and opinions:

If only Gabriel/Adam's daydream where Jack spills all the beans were to come true, it would be a relief. Then life in GC could move on from that mess.

Is Marco dead or alive?
Will we ever know who the real killer is and the motive?

Yes, CC, it would be a relief if Gabriel's true identify were revealed.  It's taken far too long.

It appears that Marco is alive.  A soap website spoiler says that Jack and Marco will join forces to seek revenge against Victor.  Not only that, but the writers would want to capitalize on the dramatic effect of having the "two Jacks" meet.

I'm sure the real killer and motive will eventually be revealed.  However, I hope they don't drag the murder mystery out too long.  That's a mistake soaps tend to make.  I realize that they have to keep the story going for awhile, but if it goes on too long, it loses its impact and viewers lose interest.

Regular viewer, Fifi from Collingwood, complains that Y&R has become overly rough and violent. She says there have been too many shootings and vicious attacks.  The show is just not as much fun as it used to be.  There are not enough everyday life situations.  There is not enough humour.

I tend to agree with Fifi.  I would like to see some more laughter and lightheartedness on the show. There is too much tenseness.  I also think Y&R lacks real romance too. Where is the supercouple that viewers can cheer for?  What couple has real magic?  They are all deceiving each other and betraying each other. Who is working together and struggling to overcome difficulties together?


Carly from Barrhaven, Ontario emailed me with this comment;

The writers have taken Victor to new heights now by shooting Jack in cold blood, although he thought he was shooting Marco. 

I would also like to point out, Carly, that Victor was the one who brought a dangerous drug lord to Genoa City in the first place.  He was the one who endangered his family. The writers are making Victor more evil than he used to be. He doesn't seem to have a conscience anymore.




CAST NEWS

As of this writing, there are no new developments concerning the possibility of Billy Miller returning to Y&R as Billy Abbott.  I will keep you posted.

It won't be long before Jess Walton (Jill Foster Abbott Fenmore Atkinson) and Tristan Rogers (Colin Atkinson) return to Y&R.  Jess has tweeted "I'll be back in Genoa City soon."  In early June, she and her husband attended a wedding in England.

According to Soap Central, "Tristan Rogers returns as Colin Atkinson on July 29 (CBS), July 28 (Global TV in Canada).

Let's just hope that the Y&R writers can provide Jill and Colin with an improved storyline.  They deserve better than what they have had to work with.  That ludicrous music box storyline did not go over well, to say the least.

Below is a photo of Jess Walton at the River Cam in Cambridge, England.


Jess in England


Sofia Pernas, who portrays the mysterious Marissa, has an interesting background.  She was born in Fes, Morocco on July 31, 1989 to a Moroccan mother and a Galician father.  Galicia is in northwestern Spain, so that accounts for her Hispanic appearance.

Sofia eventually settled in Los Angeles and began a modelling career.  I wondered whether her accent was fake but I guess it's authentic, given her background.


Y&R REPORT READER'S POLL

Speaking of Marissa, would you like to see her with Noah?  He's still grieving over the loss of Courtney.  Will Marissa spell trouble for him?



Sofia Pernas (Marissa)





Robert Adamson (Noah Newman)




Do you think Noah and Marissa would make a good couple?

Yes, definitely. There's a spark there and they look good together.
No, Marissa is nothing but bad news. She will mess up his life and cause trouble for him.
No, he's still gieving over the loss of Courtney and it's not a good idea to get involved with someone on the rebound.
Maybe, if Marissa really cares about him.
I don't know.
Poll Maker



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, 2015.

- Joanne

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Y&R Report (June 20, 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.

Well, my goodness, didn't Ashley Abbott recover from brain surgery rather quickly? Immediately after surgery (due to an aneurysm), she appeared at work looking as spry and perfectly groomed as ever.  Even though Stitch and Abby told her to relax, she was raring to go. I must say, those Genoa City doctors can work miracles.  Yet I wonder how that aneurysm episode fits into the plot.  What purpose did it serve regarding the storyline?  Was it just thrown in for no reason?

So now Joe Clark is trying to use his dubious charm on a bitter, vulnerable Lily. What a scoundrel he is!  However, I think Lily is too intelligent to fall for Joe's phony flattery, drunk or sober.  The whole Lauren/Michael,/Cane/Lilly storyline is contrived.  It seems the writers are just trying to create conflict for the two happiest couples on the show. Perhaps soaps should hire special writers to create good stories for happy couples, if that's possible.

In a recent interview with Soap Central, Tracey Bregman, who plays Lauren Fenmore, addressed the problem and acknowleged that the current Michael/ Lauren storyline is not popular.  Here is what she told Kambra Clifford when asked about the direction of the plot and fan reaction to Michael's (Christian LeBlanc) cancer and his rejection of Lauren.

I know. It's been a very, very hard story. But I think the actor in me and the actor in Christian, we just want the scenes to be emotionally rich and [we want] something to play, so we were excited for the possibility, even though I know it hasn't been a fan favorite story. It's so hard for our fans to think that anything could come between us, but as actors, we sort of look forward to something that interesting and different to do. But in saying that, we are very protective of our characters, and we want the story to have a good outcome.



VIEWER FORUM  

Some fans are very disenchanted with the direction the show has taken since Charles Pratt became head writer.  Regular viewer Carly from Barrhaven, Ontario, who is one of them, sent me the following comments.

You are not kidding about the Y&R head writer being off the wall...TOTALLY.  I wish he could be replaced.  I keep wondering why I still watch it.  I can tell you that I do a lot of fast forwarding.  Kyle & Summer are getting on my nerves as well.  The Jack storyline is so stupid & Victor will never be brought down.  It's too bad about Avery .  They will probably kill her off.  Such stupid storylines.  I still miss the old Adam but not for the reason that the present actor isn't playing the part well.  I just miss Michael Muhney & since his firing the show has gone downhill.

Yes Carly, I agree that Charles Pratt's style is not to everyone's taste.  I think we all keep watching, though, because we still enjoy talking about Y&R and always hope the writing will improve or that a new character we like will join the cast.  It can be difficult to give up watching a show you've watch for years.  I also concur with you about Kyle and Summer.  I don't particularly like them as a couple.

I hope Victor will be brought down, but I'm not counting on it either.  He's been arrested but I think he will probably come out smelling like a rose again.  He does have a stronger rival in Marco, the Peruvian drug lord, though.

It is too bad about Avery.  Jessica Collins will be missed on the show.  The results of my last Y&R Report Reader's Poll confirm that Jessica is very well liked by viewers.  As of this writing, 88 per cent of those who responded to poll will miss her and are disappointed she is leaving.  I hope the writers don't kill her off because I would like the door to remain open for the possibility of her return. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if she became the third murder victim after after Austin and Courtney.

I too miss Michael Muhney.  However, Justin Hartley is a good replacement.



Y&R REPORT INVESTIGATION

Is Billy Miller returning to The Young and the Restless? - Not if General Hospital can do something about it!



Recasts are hit and miss.  Y&R has found out the hard way that an actor like Billy Miller cannot be replaced.  They want him back!  Problem is he has done a fantastic job of taking over Steve Burton’s role of Jason on General Hospital.  Can you say bidding war?

- Carol Boorom
SoapHub

The Internet is awash with speculation about Billy Miller's return to his Y&R role as Billy Abbott. First of all, let me state my bias.  As a Y&R fan, I truly hope he comes back to Genoa City.  Yes, I can understand how General Hospital fans feel.  I have consistently stated that Y&R never should have let such a fine actor leave in the first place.  His departure was undoubtedly Y&R's loss and General Hospital's gain. In fact, I don't blame GH fans for arguing that Y&R doesn't deserve to get him back. However, why should we Y&R fans pay for a mistake we had no part in?   Is it our fault that Y&R couldn't persuade him to sign a new contract?

From the perspective of a die-hard Y&R fan, nothing could be sweeter than the prospect of Billy Miller's return to the fold.  So far, there have been two replacements for Miller.  David Tom and Burgess Jenkins.  Neither seems to have connected with fans.  Neither has had the chemistry that Miller had with Amelia Heinle (Victoria).

Having said all that, is Billy Miller's return to Y&R just wishful thinking on the part of Y&R partisans or is it plausible?  Here are the facts.  According to websites such as Soap Confidential, it is "confirmed" that Billy Miller will resume the role of Billy Abbott.  Burgesss Jenkins took over the part in June of 2014 and according to SoapHub, he "has kept very quiet regarding the length of his contract and if after this year is up he’ll be staying on the show."  Also, according to SoapHub, Billy Miller is only under contract with General Hospital until October of 2015.

The General Hospital Blog, of course, has attempted to quash the rumours, or at least make light of them.  That's understandable because General Hospital has more at stake if it loses Miller.  The departure of of Miller would be a terrible blow to GH and a boon to Y&R, already the top-rated U.S. soap.  Here is how the situation looks from a GH perspective.

From the General Hospital Blog:

The latest rumor circulating social media claims that Billy Miller is leaving General Hospital and going back to Y&R to reprise his role as Billy Abbot. These rumors have even gone as far as claiming that Steve Burton will be leaving his role as Dylan McAvoy on Y&R, and returning to GH as Jason Morgan. Some sites even claim that this news has been CONFIRMED in their title, yet there is absolutely no source to back up these claims.

General Hospital Blog would like to set this huge rumor straight, hopefully being able to clear things up for fans once and for all. The RUMORS that Billy Miller is leaving GH is JUST a RUMOR. As for Steve Burton leaving Y&R to return to GH as Jason Morgan, that alleged confirmation is also falsified.

Billy Miller is still under contract with General Hospital, as is Steve Burton with The Young and the Restless. Please keep checking back with us to find out more about the never ending drama. Let us know what you think regarding this Billy Miller/Steve Burton frenzy, leave your comments below. Please do daytime fans a service, and share this article to clear the air and inform them that the claims regarding these two actors are false.

The Billy Miller situation is an intriguing development.  Stay tuned!  The rivalry between Y&R and GH continues.


CAST NEWS

Kelly Sullivan (Sage) on contract





There is some good news for fans of Kelly Sullivan (Sage Warner).  The actress is now on contract for her role.  That means we will be seeing her on a regular basis.



Y&R READER'S POLL


What is the best storyline on Y&R right now?

The "two Jacks" saga
The murder mystery involving Abby, Summer, Kyle, Noah etc.
The Lauren/ Michael/Cane/Lily storyline
The Adam/Gabriel Bingham storyline
None of the above
I don't know
Poll Maker



That's all for now.  The next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, July 4, 2015.  Don't miss it!


- Joanne

TV Trivia For You #5


Here is the fifth 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, the third appeared on June 30, 2014 and the fourth on November 14, 2014.


BRYAN CRANSTON BASED HIS PORTRAYAL OF WALTER WHITE ON HIS FATHER



DID YOU KNOW that Bryan Cranston based his portrayal of Breaking Bad's Walter White on his own father, Joseph Louis "Joe" Cranston (born July 29, 1924).  In a May 26, 2014 article in GQ magazine by Stuart McGurk, the actor revealed that his dad provided the model for Walter White's slumped shoulders and hunched posture.  "I gave him the weight of the world," he told the magazine."

Of his Breaking Bad character, a chemistry teacher turned drug lord, Cranston stated that the early Walter was depressed and that he was a man "much older than his years, who had missed opportunities in life."  Joe Cranston, as characterized by his son in the GQ piece, seems to fit that description perfectly.

Joe was a boxer in his younger years and served as a Navy pilot in World War II. He later became an actor, appearing in some television shows during the 1950s and 1960s.  His television credits include Highway Patrol (1956), Father Knows Best (1956)), Dragnet (four episodes between 1953 and 1957) and My Three Sons (1961). Work was sporadic, however, and he often found himself unemployed.


A young Joe Cranston

When Bryan Cranston was about 11 or 12, Joe left the family.  It wan't  until he was 22 years old that he and his brother, Kyle, tracked their father down.  In a June 10, 2015 USA Today article by Bryan Alexander, Bryan is quoted as saying, "It's quite interesting, when he left I was a boy. When I reacquainted with him, I was a man. The entire chunk of my teenage years were gone.  There was a tremendous amount of contrition on his part and then forgiveness. It ran the whole gamut of emotions."

According to the USA Today piece, Joe Cranston died in October of 2014 at the age of 90.



BRYAN CRANSTON APPEARED IN A 1980s COMMERCIAL FOR PREPARATION H



DID YOU KNOW that in the 1980s, a young Bryan Cranston pitched Preparation H, a treatment for hemorrhoids, in a television ad?  As you can see, he was bespectacled and dressed in a suit.



SAMMY DAVIS, JR. WAS A GUEST STAR ON THREE MOD SQUAD EPISODES


Sammy with Clarence Williams and Peggy Lipton in an episode of Mod Squad

DID YOU KNOW that Sammy Davis, Jr. appeared on three episodes of Mod Squad? His first appearance was during the show's first season in 1969.  He played the role of a militant priest, Father John Banks, in "Keep the Faith, Baby" (Season 1, Episode 23, Air Date (March 25, 1969).  The episode finds Father Banks in conflict with his diocese and is suspended by the Church due to his ghetto activities.  When a youth receives a bullet intended for the priest, the Mod Squad is immediately called into action.

It is interesting to note that an up-and-coming actor by the name of Robert Duvall also had a role in "Keep the Faith, Baby."  Duvall, who was 38 at the time, played the part of Matt Jenkins, a murderer who threatens the life of Father Banks because he fears the priest will break his seal of confession.

Sammy's second appearance on The Mod Squad occurred in 1970, during the second season of the series.  In an episode entitled "Survival House" (Season 2, Episode 19 Air Date: February 10, 1970). Davis portrayed a recovered drug addict, Billy Lee Watson, who becomes the director of a halfway house.  Watson is accused of statutory rape by the father of a girl who is drug-addicted and pregnant.

Sammy's final guest appearance on the series was during its third season.  In the fall of 1970, Davis played the title character, Willie Rush, an episode called "The Song of Willie" (Season 3, Episode 5, October 20, 1970).  The Squad is asked to investigate when Rush, an actor and old friend of Lincoln Hayes (Clarence Williams III), seemingly becomes the recipient of death threats.


END NOTES

In the course of my research on Sammy Davis, Jr.'s television credits, I came across a few interesting tidbits.

* In 1963, Sammy appeared as Eddie Phillips on the soap opera General Hospital. Also in 1963, he was a guest star on the television medical drama Ben Casey.  He played Allie Burns in an episode of the series entitled "Allie" (Season 3, Episode 4, Air Date: October 2, 1963).

Sammy Davis with Vince Edwards as Dr. Ben Casey in 1963


* In 1965, Sammy appeared as himself in an episode of The Patty Duke Show entitled "Will the Real Sammy Davis Please Hang Up?" (Season 2, Episode 25, Air Date: March 3, 1965).  In the episode, Patty attempts to get Sammy to appear at her high school prom.
             



In 1967, Sammy portrayed himself in an episode of I Dream of Jeannie with Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden.  In the episode, entitled "The Greatest Entertainer in the World" (Season 2, Episode 23, Air Date: February 27, 1967), Jeannie works her magic so that a duplicate of Sammy can appear at a birthday celebration.


Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden with Sammy in I Dream of Jeannie episode


What is the most memorable Sammy Davis, Jr. television moment?  It is is undoubtedly the kiss Sammy planted on the bigoted Archie Bunker during an appearance on All in the Family in 1972. In the episode, entitled "Sammy's Visit" (Season 2, Episode 21, Air Date: February 19, 1972), Archie is moonlighting as a taxi driver.  When Sammy leaves his briefcase in the cab, he visits the Bunker house to retrieve it.  When the two are photographed, Sammy plants the kiss, much to Archie's shock and disbelief.  Now that's classic television!





- Joanne