Saturday, December 27, 2014

Are you looking for old and rare DVDs and Videos?

Hi Readers

Here is some good news for television fans and historians. If you are looking to obtain old and rare videos and DVDs, I have a suggestion for you.  Yesterday I received an email from a gentleman named Sydney P. Bloomberg.  Mr. Bloomberg worked at Fox/20th Century Fox and has a movie/theatre background.  He tells me he deals mainly with "rare, obscure, hard-to-find Foreign, 'Black,' Operfa, Theatre, TV Material, Silents-1965 Films,"  His clients include actors, film students, scholars, societies, librarians, archivists, seniors and authors doing research on worldwide cinema. He has a great deal of TV material on DVD and VHS such as U.S. Steel Hour, Playhouse 90, Climax! and more.

If you are interested in contacting Mr. Bloomberg regarding his videos and DVDs, you can email him with your "want list."  His email  address is   He "ships worldwide at N/Chg."

- Joanne

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Y&R Report (December 20, 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.

Christmas and the New Year are approaching and many of Geona City's citizens are in deep crisis. Nikki and Neil are both fighting the temptation to drink.  Faith has gone missing due to her father's stupidity and Michael is facing cancer.

As usual, the town is rife with secrets and lies.  Take Dr Stitch'em-Up, for instance. He wants to start fresh with Princess Victoria Newman, but he won't tell her about his little tryst with Ashley Abbott. Of course, we all know what that means.  Victoria will eventually discover the truth and suffer more heartbreak.

There are more secrets and lies too.  Queen Nikki is hiding her drinking from her family and King Victor is spying on Jabot.  Hillary is cheating on Neil . . . and the beat goes on!

Adam had multiple surgeries to make him resemble the dear, departed Gabriel.  Did he also have surgery to give him a new voice?  OOOPS!  We're not supposed to mention that.  If friends and family recognized his voice, they'd know his identity. If Chelsea recognized him, the storyline would be ruined.  I keep telling myself that soaps are not supposed to be logical and realistic.  Still, it's fun to point out all the unrealistic situations and the flaws in the plots.  Here's another one.  Can anyone tell me how Adam was able to enter the Abbott home and Chelsea's penthouse?  Are we to believe he had keys to both places?  Woops!

I have some sympathy for Adam because he never meant to harm Delia.  He didn't intentionally kill her.  It was an accident.  Yet everyone is treating him as if he were a cold-blooded murderer.  It's really driving him crazy to see Chelsea with Billy.  I don't think he'll be able to hold back much longer.  He's already revealed himself to Jack.  Jack won't tell Billy just yet because he doesn't want to interfere with Billy's attempts to put his life back together.  However, there will come a time when all of Genoa City will know the truth.

Sharon is in danger of losing custody of her daughter Faith.  Now Phyllis has made sure she has lost her job at Jabot too.  Nick Newman swears that he is not trying to get even with her.  He's about as believable as he was when he declared over and over that no secret would change his feelings about Sharon or destroy their relationship.  The man won't listen to reason.  Noah and Mariah have told him how wrong his is to provoke a nasty custody battle over Faith, especially at Christmastime, but he refuses to listen.  He continues to be a jerk.  As they said of the Grinch, your're a mean man, Mr. Newman!

Faith is missing due to Nick's childish behaviour, but never fear fans!  According to an Internet spoiler, Adam will locate the missing child and return her to her parents - just in time for Christmas. You didn't think Clueless police chief Paul Williams would be able to find her, did you?  Speaking of the Clueless One, I have to say he really made a pretty good Santa Claus.  He`s also going to be a daddy as Christine (aka the Cricketmeister) is going to have a baby.  However, I expect that there will be some complications in that storyline.  By the way, I enjoy watching Cricket`s facial expressions whenever Nikki is around.  She attempts to be cordial to Nikki, but inside she wishes that Paul`s old flame would stay out of their lives.  As for Clueless, he doesn`t help matters.  He`s always running to Nikki`s assistance and now he and Nikki are planning to co-host an engagement party for Dylan and Avery. Cricket is just thrilled about that!


Our astute observer, Patsy from Sarasota, Florida, has written me with some of her observations.  She notices everything!

Talking about architectural details of house, we've all noticed that Young and Restless is using outdoor shots of downtown and cast homes.
The exterior of Victoria's house does not match the interior front door pictures. It shows a trellis to the side of the door. Such details!!
Jack's exterior home shot also does not match his front door. Just saying.

Rosie from Richmond Hill, Ontario isn't convinced that Adam was the one who ran down Delia.  She thinks Kelly may have done the deed.  I think that may be a possibility because there is much we still don't know about Dr. Stitch's sister.  She was pretty torn up about losing her own son, Sam, and she may have lost it.


Y&R has sent out a casting call for a 20-something male named "Matt Wilkins."  "Matt" may be a cover for the character of Kyle Abbott.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if that turns out to be the case. Now that it has been determined that Kyle and Supergirl Summer are not brother and sister, I expect Kyle to return from New York.  Oh yes, and I wouldn't be surprised if he still hasn't gotten over the Supergirl.  There will likely be a new Kyle in the New Year.

Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) has been ill due to a reaction to some medication.


On Sunday, December 7, I attended a Young and Restless high tea and auction at Toronto's Westin Harbour Castle Hotel.  The annual event is in support of the March of Dimes, a very worthy charity. It is sponsored by Global TV and the driving force behind it is Kate Linder, Genoa City's favourite maid, Esther Valentine.

Leslie Roberts of Global News hosted and other Y&R stars in attendance were Sean Carrigan (Dr. Stitch), Bryton James (Devon Hamilton) and Mishael Morgan (Hilary Curtis).  There was a silent auction to raise money for March of Dimes.  In addition, some of the clothing worn by Y&R actors on the show was auctioned off.  There was a shirt worn by Dr. Stitch, the dress worn by Esther at Mrs. Chancellor`s funeral, sweaters worn by Devon Hamilton and Nick Newman, and a dress worn by Hilary.  A trip to Los Angeles to visit the set of Y&R was also auctioned off.

Kate Linder is warm and wonderful.  She does so much to support the March of Dimes. She said her character, Esther, was only scheduled to make one appearance on Y&R.  She was referred to as `the maid`in the script.  Viewers responded well to her and she remained on the show.  She was given the name "Esther" and then fans chose the name "Valentine" as her last name.

Kate strongly emphasized that if you have any comments and suggestions about the show you should go the CBS website.  She said the powers that be listen to the fans and she encouraged people to write in with their opinions.

Sean Carrigan was constantly joking around, so I was not surprised to learn that he is a stand-up comedian (He's also a former professional boxer).  I also got the impression that, like his Dr. Stitch character, Sean is a ladies' man.

Mishael Morgan, I discovered, is Canadian.  Although born in Trinidad, she was raised in Mississauga, Ontario and attended York University in Toronto.  Mishael was able to come home for the event and her husband was in attendance.

During the autograph session, I spoke briefly with Kate, Bryton and Mishael.  I asked Mishael why Tyler and Leslie have not appeared on the show regularly for quite a while.  She replied that their status is still unclear.  A decision has not been made yet about them.  Then I talked to Bryton about the possibility that Neil would regain his sight without HIlary and Devon knowing and catch them together.  He said that that could still happen.  He also revealed to me that there is going to be an upheaval in the Winters family in the New Year.

Sean Carrigan - Stitch

Autograph Signings

Kate Linder - Esther

Bryton James - Devon

Bryton James - Devon

Bryton James - Devon

That's all for now.  It's always fun to watch Y&R during the holiday season.  A very Merry Christmas to my readers and I hope you have a happy and healthy New Year. The next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, January 3, 2015.  See you next year.

- Joanne

Friday, December 19, 2014

50th Anniversary of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Christmas Special

This Christmas marks 50 years since Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was first broadcast on television.  The classic Yuletide special originally aired on the NBC network on Sunday, December 6, 1964.  It was sponsored by the General Electric and produced by a New York-based animation company called Rankin/Bass.  Arthur Rankin, Jr., the producer and director behind the Rudolph Christmas special, passed away on January 30, 2014 at the age of 89.  The New York-born Rankin partnered with Jules Bass to form an organization  known for its use of stop-motion animation and celebrity voices.

Rudolph is the longest-running Christmas special on television  (A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted in 1965, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas originally aired in 1966).  The beloved holiday tale is based on the song composed by American songwriter, Johnny Marks. Marks took his inspiration from the story of an outcast reindeer, created by his brother-in-law, Chicago retail employee Robert L. May in 1939 as a department store promotion.  The song was recorded by cowboy singer Gene Autry and became a huge hit in December of 1949.

The 1964 television special added several new aspects to the story of Rudolph and also characters that do not appear in either Robert L. May's poem or the song by Marks.  For example, in the TV movie, it is established that Donner is Rudolph's father and that Comet is the coach of the Reindeer Games.  In the special, there are new characters such as prospector Yukon Cornelius, Clarice, the doe who is sweet on Rudolph, Bumble, the Abominable Snowman and Hermy, the elf who yearns to be a dentist. Another addition to the original story is the Island of Misfit Toys, a place of refuge for unwanted toys.  Among the misfit playthings are Charlie-In-The-Box, a misnamed jack-in-the -box, King Moonracer, the winged lion who rules the island, Spotted Elephant, the polka-dotted elephant who the footman in King Moonracer's castle, a train with square wheels, and a bird who swims instead of flies.

Here are the opening lines of the Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer special, as spoken by its narrator, banjo-playing Sam the Snowman.

If I live to be 100, I'll never forget that big snow storm a couple of years ago. The weather closed in and, well you might not believe it, but the world almost missed Christmas. Oh, excuse me, call me Sam. What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen a talking snowman before?

Sam the Snowman was voiced by and strongly resembled American folk singer Burl Ives.  Ives, who died in 1995 at the age of 85, sang one of the most popular songs from the special, "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas," That song, also written by Johnny Marks, has become a perennial holiday standard in its own right.

Burl Ives with Sam the Snowman puppet

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has a decidedly Canadian flavour about it. Although the stop motion animation was filmed in Japan, the complete soundtrack was recorded at the RCA studios in Toronto.  Most of the singing and speaking was provided by the voices of Canadians, under the stewardship of Canadian actor Bernard Cowan.  Vancouver-born Cowan, who died in 1990, was an announcer on many CBC TV series such as Front Page Challenge and Wayne and Shuster.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was voiced by a woman, Toronto-born voice artist Billie Mae Richards.  Richards died of a stroke in Burlington, Ontario on September 10, 2010.  She was 88 at the time of her passing.  Billie Mae was the mother of Canadian pop singer and songwriter Judi Richards.

Billie Mae Richards, 

Toronto-born Paul Soles, now 84 years old, provided the voice of Hermey, the misfit elf who wants to be a dentist.  In an article that appeared on the CBC News website on December 5, 2014, Soles gives interviewer Janet Davison his opinion as to why the popularity of the Rudolph TV special has endured in this age of computer-generated animation.  Soles believes the main reason for the special's timeless appeal is that "Everybody's been to some degree separated out, found wanting, not quite fully fitting in.  Either you're too tall, you didn't make the team, or you were too short or something like that. That's one of the universal elements of the show."  Soles himself did not feel completely accepted growing up Jewish in Toronto.

In her December 11, 2014 piece in the Toronto Star ("Rudolph's Toronto connection"), reporter Barbara Turnbull quotes Paul Soles on the reason why so many of the major voices for Rudolph were recorded in Toronto.  "In Toronto, explained Soles, we had the very best pool of English-speaking radio actors in the world. They came here because we were great and we worked cheap.  We had no union protection."  It's not surprising that Rankin/Bass took note of the Toronto talent pool.

Hermey the Elf

Paul Soled - the voice of Hermey

Canadian actor Larry D. Mann provided the voice for Yukon Cornelius, the high-spirited prospector in search of silver and gold.  Mann died earlier this year, on January 6, 2014, at the age of 91.   Mann started out as a disc jockey at CHUM Radio, a then-popular station in Toronto,

Yukon Cornelius

Larry Mann

Carl Banas, a longtime Toronto radio personality and actor, voiced the Elf Foreman and various misfit toys.  Banas also co-starred alongside John Vernon, as police detective Byron James on the Canadian television drama Wojeck.  Wojeck aired on the CBC from 1966 to 1968.

The unnamed Elf Foreman is the chubby and leader at Santa's Workshop.  He conducts the elves in their rendition of "We are Santa's Elves" and his goatee makes him resemble conductor and recording artist Mitch Miller of "Sing Along with Mitch" fame.

Elf Foreman

Carl Banas

The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special was released in the VHS format by Sony Wonder in 1998 and on DVD in 2000.  Classic Media released a 50th anniversary edition on Blu-ray in November of 2014.


* Television viewers were so touched by the plight of the unfortunate misfit toys that they complained that Santa Claus had not been shown to keep his promise to deliver the misfits in his yearly Christmas sleigh ride.  As a result, a new scene was added to subsequent broadcasts in which Santa makes his first stop at the Island of Misfits to pick up the toys.

* Whatever happened to the original puppets from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special?  In 2006, Kevin Kriess, the owner of the Time and Space Toys store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, purchased the original Santa Claus and one of the Rudolph puppets from the TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and had them restored.  Kriess obtained the the puppets from a private seller whose aunt had been Arthur Rankin's secretary for many years.  The original puppets were not considered valuable at the time and were eventually discarded.  The secretary, who has remained anonymous, was granted permission to take them home.  They were stored in the attic of the her home and were damaged by her children..  Only Santa and one the three Rudolph puppets survived all the wear and tear.  According to Rankin/Bass historian Rick Goldschmidt, the Yukon Cornelius figure melted.

The puppets are not large and they are made of wood, wool and wire.  The restored Santa puppet is only about 5.7 centimetres (5 inches).in height.

Kevin Kreiss, who agreed not to disclose what he paid for the puppets as part of the deal, had this to say about the appeal of the Rudolph special:in a 2006 article by Phil Kloef in the Atlanta Journal Constitution: "It goes back to a time before there were a lot of entertainment options, [before] you could watch anything you wanted on DVD.  The airing of a Christmas special was an event you looked forward to. You marked your calendar, and the whole family sat down together and it became a Christmas ritual."

- Joanne

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Y&R Report (December 6, 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.

Did you enjoy the episode in which a drunken Nick Newman dreamed about facing all the women in his life?  I certainly did.  I called it a Nicholas Newman extravaganza.  Maybe the experience will help Mr. Dimples recognize that his behaviour hasn't been so great and that he's a hypocrite to condemn Sharon so harshly. I wouldn't hold my breath for that to happen, though.

Meanwhile, Nick's sister, Princess Victoria Newman, has named her new baby daughter Katherine (Katie for short) after the late Katherine Chancellor.  That was a good choice, in my opinion.  The big news, however, is that the little girl's father has finally been revealed.  The proud daddy is Billy Boy Abbott, which doesn't sit well with Billy's former father-in-law, The Great Victor Newman.

Victor is once again a fan of Stitch.  However, I don't think Stitch'em-Up realizes what it would be like to have The Big Man as a father-in-law if he should ever marry Victoria.  He doesn't yet understand how controlling Victor can be.  J.T. and Billy sure found that out soon enough.

Now that it has been determined that Billy Boy is Kate's biological father, I certainly hope we don't learn later that Stitch is actually the daddy.  We've already had enough tampering with DNA tests in relation to Summer's paternity.

How do you like Justin Hartley as the new Adam?  He's definitely the male model type - but can he act?  That remains to be seen.  I'll reserve judgment until I see more of him.  However, I'm doubtful he has the acting range and ability of Michael Muhney, the former Adam.

There seems to be a connection between Devon and Gwen, his not-so-pretend girlfriend.  At least Gwen is falling for Devon. Devon doesn't seem to mind Gwen's attention either.  In fact, this charade appears to be backfiring on Hilary.  She's jealous of Gwen already and she's trying to discourage her from becoming too interested in Devon.  Yet, the impact of Neil finding out about Devon and Hilary would be lost if he actually got together with Gwen.

Dylan has an engagement ring for Avery - but will they ever get married?  I don't think so.  I think their relationship is doomed.  Joe Clark will see to that.  The real estate man is very slick and I wouldn't trust him.

Ashley has it bad for Stitch'em-Up.  He's definitely a ladies' man and he doesn't need any love potion perfume to be attracted to her, as we saw on yesterday's episode.  However, I hope Abby doesn't fall for him too.  We don't need another story about a mother and daughter competing for the affections of the same man.  Stitch wouldn't mind the attention though.

Victor Newman just has to stick his nose into everything.  Now he's paying some guy named Tobias to spy on Ashley and to find out about the new product she's developing.


Here are some comments from regular contributor CC from Etobicoke, Ontario:

Phyllis is still the crafty one, isn't she.
She knows what Jack and Kelly are up to and knows exactly what she is doing when she sets those situations up and comes out with the verbal digs.
Jack is just reduced to being a bumbling, stumbling idiot as all this happens to him.

CC also suggests the possibility of a future plot with Nick and Adam falling for the same woman . . . again

There's no doubt, CC, that Phyllis is crafty.  However, I'm still trying to figure out her end game.  Does she really want Jack or is she just setting him that he'll end up with neither her nor Kelly?  Phyllis is quite vindictive and I doubt she'll let Jack get away with what he's done.  She has already made him squirm by requesting Kelly as their wedding planner, but I don't think that's good enough for Phyllis.

Your are absolutely right, CC, that Jack has been reduced to, as you put it so eloquently, "a bumbling, stumbling idiot"  As I pointed out in my last Y&R Report, Jellyfish Jack has been behaving like a spineless wimp.

As for the possibility of Nick and Adam falling for the same woman . . . again, I'm not so sure. Nick will probably become involved with Sage, once he finds her and thanks her for rescuing him from the bear trap, but Adam's mind is on Chelsea right now.  He may eventually become involved with Sage, but it doesn't look that way to me right now.

Nick is finished with Sharon for the time being, but don't rule out the possibility that they will get together . . . again sometime in the future.  The Genoa City merry-go-round keeps turning and turning.

I also heard from Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario:

Fifi says that she enjoyed the "touching scene" between Phyllis and Michael at the Katherine Chancellor Park. 

Y and R honours friendships over time.
Also, I think the actress who plays Chelsea looked better with her natural darker brown hair.
I am also impressed with the way they are developing the relationship between Kevin and Mariah.

Well, Fifi, I have to agree with you about Chelsea's hair.  She definitely looks better with her natural brown hair.  Speaking of hair colour, what do you think of Supergirl Summer's as a brunette?  I think the Supergirl looks more attractive with blond hair.

As for Mariah and Kevin, I am also impressed with they way her relationship with Kevin is developing gradually.  It will take a while, but they will eventually get together.  By the way, I like Mariah more than I used to, especially since she's started to look upon Sharon as her mother.


Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) has suffered a devastating loss.  His 24-year old son, Julian St. John, passed away on November 23, 2014..  Julian, an artist, took his own life after a long battle with severe depression and addiction.  He would have turned 25 on December 5th.

Julian's mother is Kristoff' St. John's ex-wife, Mia St. John, a professional boxer. She has vowed to continue to promote mental health issues.

That's all for now.  I would like to remind you that the next Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, December 20, 2014.  I'm looking forward to all the Christmas happenings in Genoa City.  

- Joanne

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Y&R Report (November 22, 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, fans, are you enjoying the November sweeps?  Victoria has finally had her baby - in the janitor's room in the Jabot parking garage.  The Princess gave birth in dramatic fashion with the help of the two prospective fathers - Billy Boy and Stich 'em Up.  What strange births they have on Y&R! No one seems to be able to get to a hospital.  Summer was born in an elevator at Jabot with the help of Jack Abbott. Delia was born when Chloe was at the Abbott cabin and there was no time to take her to a hospital.  She was delivered at the cabin by Billy Boy Abbot, Lily Winers and Sugar Cane Ashby.  If you remember, Traci Abbott didn't have time to get to the hospital either when she gave birth to her daughter Colleen. It was her then-husband Brad Carlton who delivered Colleen.

I'm not surprised that Victoria had a baby girl.  There are already two baby boys on the show, Connor and Johnny.  The Princess is the mother of two sons, Reed and Johnny.  So it's time she had a daughter.  It'also time to find out who the father of the sweet little child is (I hope the little one is not contaminated by that precious Newman blood).  Grandpa Victor is certainly thrilled about the birth because he has another grandchild to control and lavish money upon.  He was already planning her life in the hospital room with Victoria and I'm sure she'll soon have her own horse at the ranch.

Jack Abbott, thy name is WIMP!  Is any character on The Young and the Restless as spineless as Smilin' Jack?  In his dilemma over Phyllis and Kelly, he has shown absolutely no backbone.  He has delayed and hemmed and hawed, while being dishonest with both women.  Is it any wonder he has egg all over his face?  If he can get out of this one, he's a better escape artist than Harry Houdini.

Right now, it appears that Kelly is out in the cold and that Phyllis is the winner of the Spineless Sweepstakes.  The redhead certainly has the upper hand.  However, Phyllis may be setting Jellyfish Jack up for a fall in order to get revenge.  Since coming out of her coma, she has been extremely vindictive. Perhaps this is all part of scheme on Phyllis' part to punish Jack.  Maybe she'll dump him in the end and he will be left alone and humiliated.

Don't underestimate Kelly either.  She may have a voice as sweet as honey, but that doesn't mean she'll sit back and allow Phyllis to walk all over her.  She may not be that easily intimidated by Phyllis's tactics.

In situations such as this, Jack would normally receive some sage advice from the ghost of his late father, John Abbott,, played by Jerry Douglas.  Jerry, however, has not made any appearances on the show lately. Does this mean that John Abbott given up the ghost?

Nicholas Newman is really turning me off.  He's so self-righteous!  Who is he to judge with his track record?  Hasn't Sharon suffered enough?  Hasn't she paid a steep price for her actions?  Why does self-centred Nick have to rub more salt in her wounds by seeking sole custody of Faith?  It seems to me that Nick is being extremely vindictive and that he is displaying behaviour worthy of his father, the ruthless Victor Newman.

At least Mariah and Noah have displayed some sympathy for Sharon.  Although Sharon is far from perfect, she does try to be a good mother to her children, and Faith is far too young to be cut off from her.  Good for Noah too for standing up for his mother when Supergirl Summer was criticizing her. As if Supergirl's mom has been a paragon of virtue!

Please say it ain't so!  It's beginning to look more and more like Michael Baldwin is going to die. Given executive producer Jill Farren Phelps' penchant for killing off veteran characters, it's likely that Michael will soon be leaving this mortal coil - unless there is going to be some twist in the plot.  That seems unlikely, though. The writers probably want to free up Lauren for future romantic entanglements. The rumours about Christian LeBlanc leaving the show have been flying for quite a while now.  There has been an online fan petition to keep him on the show since early October.  If you are interested, here is the link.

Christian LeBlanc is a fine actor and a Daytime Emmy winner. So is Billy Miller (ex-Billy Abbott), but Y&R didn't keep him on the show.  If LeBlanc departs, he may join Billy and Michelle Stafford (ex-Phyllis Newman) on General Hospital. GH may scoop him up fast to add to their growing pantheon of former Y&R greats.  Michael Muhney (ex-Adam Newman) is waiting in the wings too.

Victor Newman crosses the bounds of decency over and over.  Yet so many people tell him he's right. He had some nerve to waltz into a hospital room and upset a person who had just suffered an heart attack and had undergone bypass surgery. Yet that's exactly what he did to Maureen!  Maureen, of course, should never have locked the pregnant Princess Victoria in the janitor's room.  However, to scold and threaten an ill woman is unconscionable.  It's also classic Victor Newmann.

Victor could have caused Maureen to die.  In the real world, a nurse would have stepped in to stop The Big Man from harassing a sick patient.  Nikki, by the way, was almost as bad.  Why didn't she tell The Black Knight to ease up on the unfortunate woman?  Why didn't she tell Victor that his reprimands could wait until Maureen was in better health.  As for Stitch'em Up's mommy, she's in for a really rough time.  Victor's parting words were, "I'll be your worst nightmare."  I have no doubt that he will.


Good news for fans of Steve Burton (Dylan McAvoy).  The actor has signed a new contract with the Y&R and has extended his stay on the show for another year. Burton joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in 2013.

I'm pleased that he's sticking around Genoa City because I want to see how the conflict between Avery's ex, Joe Clark, and Dylan plays out.  It's a David and Goliath situation, with Dylan as the underdog.


Summer is no longer a blonde.  Supergirl has changed her hair colour.  It's now a reddish brown shade now, closer to Gina Tognoni's (Phyllis) colour.  Is she trying to look more like her television mother?


In my last Y&R Report, I mentioned that I was planning to see Doug Davidson (Paul Williams) On November 9th at the National Women's Show here in Toronto.  I was there and it was a pleasure to be in Doug's company.  Regular readers know that I joke about his character, Paul Williams, quite frequently, often referring to him as "Clueless"  However, Doug is a great guy and very down to earth.  By the way, someone in the audience asked him if he prefers playing Paul as Genoa's City's police chief rather than as a private eye.  Doug answered that he prefers portraying Paul as police chief because he likes to wear a badge.

A native of California, Doug was born in Glendale on October 24, 1954.  He has been married to actress Cindy Fisher since 1984.  The two met in the early 1980s when Cindy played Dana in the "cult" storyline.

Doug and Cindy have two 20-something children, daughter Calyssa and son Caden. When asked about his personal life, Doug expressed disappointment that he was unable to spend much time with them.  Calyssa, he said, lives in England while Caden, whom he has not seen for two years, resides in Taipei, Taiwan.

Doug has portrayed Paul Williams since 1978 and is the longest-serving member of the current cast. Although he is happy with his job, he regrets that it does not provide him with much flexibility for taking time off.


Do you think Michael Baldwin will die?
Type your answers here
Yes. they are setting us up for his death.
Yes. due to executive producer Jill Farren Phelp's reputation for killing off veteran characters.
No, they just want us to think he's going to die.
Don't know
poll generator

That's all for now.  Here's a reminder that the next edition of Y&R Report will be posted in this space on Saturday, December 6, 2014.

- Joanne

Friday, November 14, 2014

TV Trivia For You #4: How Whitney Houston was offered a role on the Cosby Show and more

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


Whitney Houston circa 1985

DID YOU KNOW that Whitney Houston turned down a lead role on The Cosby Show? The singer, who died on February 11, 2012, was offered the role of Sondra Huxtable, the eldest daughter on the hit comedy series. Soon after Houston's tragic death, Jay Sandrich, the man who directed the first three season of the show, revealed that she auditioned for the role back in the early 1980s.  In an interview with the Daily Mail, Sandrich described how, after getting the job, Houston turned it down to pursue a fledgling music career.

So we gather in this room and there are kids fro New York and Los Angelses and they are all signing their contract, and this girl who we brought from New York said "I can't sign this contract."

And I said "Why?"  She said, "Well, I want to be a singer . . . I can't be in every show . . . I have to be in every tour."

Sabrina Le Beauf was cast as Sondra instead, and the character did not appear on the show until the middle of the first season. It is interesting to note that Le Beauf (born March 21, 1958) is only 10 years younger than Phylicia Rashad (born June 19, 1948), who portrayed her television mother, Clair Huxtable

Sabrina Le Beauf

When The Cosby Show finished its run in 1992, Le Beauf took a break from acting to pursue a career in interior decorating.  In 1993, she appeared as Ensign Giusti in a two-part episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled "Gambit." - Part 1:(Season 7. Episode 4, Air Date: October 9, 1993) and Part 2 (Season 7, Episode 5, Air Date: October 16, 1993).  From 2004 to 2005, she provided the voice for Norma Bindlebeep in 24 episodes of Fatherhood, an animated series co-created by Bill Cosby.


DID YOU KNOW that Jane Withers, the actress who played Josephine the Plumber in commercials for Comet, portrayed Shirley Temple's nemesis in the 1934 movie Bright Eyes? It's true,!  Not only that, but her character was actually mean to sweet Shirley. I mean, really! Who could be mean to that cute, curly-haired child?

In Bright Eyes, Shirley Temple played Shirley Blake, the daughter of the wealthy Smythe family's maid. Jane played Joy Smythe, the nasty,outspoken daughter of the well-to-do Smythes.  Joy tormented Shirley, even telling her that there is no Santa Claus because "my psychoanalyst told me." Nevertheless, Jane and Shirley became good friends off screen.

Jane Withers and Shirley Temple in Bright Eyes (1934)

Recently, while watching a DVD of the second season of Hart to Hart, I heard a familiar voice. I recognized it immediately as that of Josephine the Plumber. After looking at the screen carefully, I realized that the woman was undeniably the actress who played Josephine.  In that Hart to Hart episode, entitled "Murder in the Saddle" (Season 2, Episode 12, Air Date: February 24, 1981), she portrayed Roxy McGuane, a cowgirl who looked after the Hart ranch.

At the time, I didn't know the name of the actress who played perky Josephine.  After doing a little research, I discovered that Jane was a child actor who began her career at the age of three.  She starred in her own radio show, "Aunt Sally's Kiddie Club," and was known by listeners as "Dixie's Dainty Dewdrop."  Her role in Bright Eyes was her first big break, although she was concerned that the public would turn against her for being mean to Shirley Temple in the film.

Her fear was unfounded as she continued to be cast as a child star in such movies as Patty O'Day (1935), Little Miss Nobody (1936) and The Holly Terror (1937).  As an adult, she appeared in Danger Street (1947), Giant (1956) and Captain Newman M.D. (1963).  In the classic film Giant, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean, Jane played the role of Vashti, a friend of Taylor's character, Leslie,

Jane Withers in 1944

During the 1960s, Jane guest-starred on a number of television series such as Pete and Gladys (1962), Bachelor Father (1962), The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1963), Summer Playhouse (1964) and two episodes of The Munsters - "Pike's Pique" (Season 1, Episode 5, Air Date October 22, 1964) and "Grandpa's Lost Wife" (Season 2, Episode 20, Air Date: February 3, 1966).

Beginning in the 1960s until well into the 1970s, Jane Withers appeared in countless television commercials for Comet Cleanser.  Dressed in white overalls, she portrayed Josephine the Plumber and dished out friendly advice on removing stubborn stains from sinks and bathtubs, always extolling the virtues of Comet. Josephine was unusual for her time because she defied the stereotype of male plumbers.  TRIVIA NOTE: Withers was chosen for the part over many other actresses, including Ann B. Davis (Alice from The Brady Bunch).

Jane played the role of Helen Drummond in a 1975 television movie entitled All Together Now, about four orphaned children who have a month to demonstrate that they can remain together as a family without adult guidance.  She appeared on The Love Boat in 1980 and Hart to Hart in 1981.

During the the 1990s, Jane had a role in two episodes of the mystery series Murder She Wrote - "Who Killed J.B. Fletcher?" (1991) and "Ship of Thieves" (1993).  She also appeared in a 1995 episode of Amazing Grace, a short-lived series starring Patty Duke.

Jane was born April 12, 1926 in Atlanta, Georgia.  She is now 88 years old.  On September 20, 1947, she wed a wealthy Texas oilman named William P. Moss and retired from acting for several years. The couple raised three children - William, Wendy and Randy, but their marriage ended in divorce.

Jane Withers remarried in 1955, this time to Kenneth Errair, a member of a singing quartet called The Four Freshmen. They had two offspring - Ken and Kendall.   She was widowed on June 14, 1968 when Errair,died in a plane crash.


DID YOU KNOW that John Astin (Gomez on The Addams Family) took over the role of The Riddler on the 1960s Batman series?

Most of us remember the late Frank Gorshin as The Riddler on the series.  In 1967, however, Gorshin became embroiled in a contract dispute with the show.  It was Astin who replaced him in the The Riddler for two episodes during the dispute.  The episodes are "Batman's Anniversary" (Season 2, Episode 45, Air Date: February 8, 1967) and "A Riddling Controversy" (Season 2, Episode 46. Air Date February 9, 1967).

From 1964 to 1966, Astin starred as the moustachioed, cigar-chomping Gomez Addams, the patriarch of the ghoulish Addams family.  It was this role, opposite Carolyn Jones, as his TV wife, Morticia, that brought him fame and recognition.  By the way, Jones, who passed away from colon cancer in 1983, also played a villain on the Batman series.  She played Marsha, Queen of Diamonds in 1966 and 1967 (Perhaps you remember how the wicked Marsha almost succeeded in blackmailing the Caped Crusader into marrying her).

Carolyn Jones and John Astin as Morticia and Gomez Addams

Carolyn Jones as Marsha, Quenn of Diamonds

John Astin is the former husband of Academy Award-winning actress Patty Duke.  He and Duke wed on August 5, 1972 and divorced in 1985.  Astin, now 84 years old, has been married to his third wife, Valerie Ann Sandobal,since 1989.

- Joanne

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Y&R Report (November 8, 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, are you really surprised that Nick and Sharon's Halloween wedding never happened?  I didn't think so.  It's been quite obvious that those two would not get married.  Their dream of uniting their family has turned into a nightmare.  As Victor would say, "It ain't gonna happen."

Poor Sharon!  Her life is collapsing all around her.  Everyone has turned away from her, even her beloved Nick. So much for his promise that no secret could change how he felt about her.  So much for his vows that that their relationship could withstand any deep, dark revelation.  He didn't even try to understand her side of the story. It didn't matter to him that she was mentally ill with bipolar disorder.  He just abandoned her and put up a wall, just as he did when Cassie died.

Nick's reaction was par for the course where he's concerned.  I wasn't one bit surprised.  The problem with that guy is that he is all dimples and no backbone. He's spineless.  He could see that Phyllis was bullying and tormenting Sharon and he didn't even tell her to stop.  She was ready to push Sharon down the stairs.

As for Nick's decision to have Faith live with him, that was really a cruel blow to the woman he so recently professed to love.  Sharon has made plenty of mistakes, but so have Mr. Dimples and the vicious Red Head.  Not only that, but they don't have bipolar disorder.

Phyllis was determined to get her revenge, and she got it!  Yet, who is she to be so judgmental of Sharon?  Remember when she tried to run over Paul and Christine a.k.a Cricket?  Remember how she broke up the marriage of the Cricketmeister and Danny Romalotti?  Remember how her affair with Nick broke his 10-year marriage to Sharon?  I don't remember Sharon intending to kill anyone, and she's never interfered with anyone's marriage.  As for Nick, I don't recall him becoming an outcast when he dumped Sharon and left his family for Phyllis.

Fiery Phyllis is on the warpath.  Kelly and Jack will be the next to feel her wrath. They had better watch out!  After discovering Kelly's photo in Jack's desk drawer, she is on the verge of discovering the truth about them.  Foolish Jack waited too long to be honest with Phyllis.  Now, because of his dithering and procrastination, he and Kelly will have to face her anger and vengeance.  We all know what they say about a woman scorned.  Well, that goes double for Phyllis.

As usual, Victor comes out smelling like a rose.  For the Black Knight, it's mission accomplished. He has achieved everything he set out to do.  He has succeeded in breaking up Nicholas and Sharon. In addition, he has the satisfaction of knowing that  Supergirl Summer has Newman blood flowing in her veins and that she is not tainted by Abbott blood.  As an added bonus, his arch-enemy, Jack Abbott, has really messed up with Phyllis and is heartbroken that he is not Supergirl's biological father.

I don't feel too bad for Summer.  She's happy that Nick the Jerk is her daddy.  In Nick's eyes, Sharon's worst offence was to upset Summer's life - even though she has been nothing but kind and supportive to Supergirl.  Remember that touching scene when Nick hugged his daughter and proclaimed, "No one is going to take my Supergirl away from me again."

I think there is a good chance that Jack Abbott's son, Kyle, will soon return to Genoa City.  Here's why.  Kyle was devastated when he learned that Summer is his half-sister.  He was quite smitten with Supergirl, Now that Jack phoned  him that Summer is actually Nick's biological daughter, and not his blood relative, he may leave New York and return to Genoa City.  That would definitely create problems for Supergirl's marriage to Austin.


Carly from Barrhaven, Ontario saw Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) at the Ottawa National Women's show on October 26, 2014.  She sent me an email about the event.  Here is what she wrote:

I went to see Melody Thomas Scott at the Women's Show yesterday.  She looked great & one of the questions posed to her is how she continues to look so good & using Renee Zellweger (who has had her face changed drastically & not for the better) as an example.  She just said that if she did not feel happy about something she would make changes but so far she feels good about herself & also said how much she loves to eat.  I was hoping someone would ask about all the cast members who have left especially Michael Muhney (ex-Adam) but no one did.  She was asked questions about acting with Eric Braeden (Victor) & basically she said that he is who he is & if he wants to get off the set he pretends to get a phone call on his cell which he does constantly in the storylines & they let him do funny.  Lilana Novakovich (the woman who makes arrangements for soap stars to appear in Canada) was with her & they are good friends.   They auctioned off a bunch of vintage photos with the proceeds going to Ovarian Cancer.  

Carly also mentioned that Melody & Lilana arrived at 630 a.m. on a Sunday morning and the first thing they did was visit the War Memorial in Ottawa.  It was just days after the tragic shooting of a Canadian soldier there on the morning of October 22nd.  Thanks for sharing your information with us, Carly.


Another new character is coming to Genoa City.  Nadine Nicole, who portrayed Shari on The Bold and the Beautiful, will take on the recurring role of Gwen.  It seems as if her character has a split personality.  In a report in Soap Opera Digest, Gwen is described as conservative accountant at Jabot Cosmetics who who becomes an entirely different person at night.

Nicole, who is from Detroit, Michigan, has made appearances on several prime time shows including CSI and The Protector, will show up on The Young and the Restless on December 3 on CBS and December 2 on Global TV in Canada.

Nadine Nicole


Actor Doug Davidson, who portrays Clueless himself (Genoa City police chief Paul Williams), will be appearing on the main stage at the National Women's Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre at 1:30 P.M. tomorrow, Sunday November 9th.  I am planning to be there.  Doug has a great sense of humour.  I've seen him in person a few times.

National Women's Show

Toronto, Ontario

November 7-9, 2014
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Show Hours
Friday, November 7, 2014, 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday, November 9, 2014, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Bring a friend & have some fun!

1:30 p.m.
Doug Davidson,
who stars as Paul
discusses life on

Doug Davidson

Doug Davidson, who stars as Paul Williams from The Young & the Restless, LIVE on Main Stage!

Meet Doug Davidson:
Celebrating 35 years in the role, Doug Davidson, who stars as Paul Williams, joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in May 1978. Nominated for his first Daytime Emmy in 2003, Doug picked up additional nods in 2011 Best Supporting Actor and in 2010 & won the EMMY in 2013 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Daytime Drama.

By the way, Amelia Heinle (Victoria Newman) has just finished visiting our fair city. She was here to attended some charity events.  Amelia had been scheduled to appear at the National Women's Show too, but cancelled out.



You know, you and Paul should start a club - the "I'm Worried About Nikki Society." I'm sure there'd be standing room only.


Is Nick treating Sharon too harshly?
Yes, definitely. Nick is behaving like a jerk. After all, he promised that no secret would destroy their relationship.
Yes, Sharon's bipolar condition caused her to behave that way,
No, Sharon deserves what's coming to her. She's hurt a lot of people. It's payback time.
Don't know.
Poll Maker

Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will be published on Saturday, November 22, 2014.

- Joanne