Saturday, March 28, 2015

Y&R Report (Saturday, March 28, 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.

Okay readers, let's cut to the chase! The four big questions concerning Y&R right now are:

1.  Did Kelly really commit suicide?

2.  Who killed Austin and who is stalking Abby?

3.  Who is conspiring with Victor Newman in the confessional?

4.  What does Victor have on Jack Abbott that will bring Smilin' Jack down?

Always at your service, I will address all four questions head on.

1.  Did Kelly take her own life or is this all part of Victor Newman's big plan, his grand scheme to destroy Jack Abbott and take over Jabot?  Only the writers know for sure, but I an inclined to believe she is still alive and that her so-called suicide is all part of Victor's plan.  The Big Man's fingerprints are all over this one, figuratively speaking.

2.  My guess is that Austin is still alive and that he is the one stalking Abby.  I believe that he is working with Ian Ward to destroy the Newmans and the Abbotts. The videos show how vindictive Austin could be and how much he resented Summer's family.

Joe Clark could also be involved in the scheme.  He is wicked enough and may be involved for reasons yet to be revealed.  There are things about Joe's past we still don't know.  He's still very much a man of mystery.

3.  I'm still trying to figure out who is Victor's co-conspirator in the confessional. Regular viewer Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario reports that some fans have been speculating that The Black Knight's co-conspirator is Maureen Russelll (Meredith Baxter), Dr. Stitch's mother.  The last time we saw Maureen, Nikki gifted her a handsome sum of money and she promptly left town.  She hasn't been seen since.

I just hope that when Victor's co-conspirator is revealed, it's a connection that's at least somewhat believable.  I hope it's not something ridiculous or contrived.

4.  Victor definitely has something on Jack Abbott and he's planning to use it to blackmail his hapless rival into selling Jabot to him.  Vile Vic had quite a smirk on his face when he offered to buy Jabot from Jack.  He looked like the cat who caught the canary.  It was the look of a man who has the upper hand.  Victor is holding all the cards and he knows it.  Poor Jack, on the other hand, was left worrying about what his rival is up to - and with good reason.

Chelsea went on a little road trip with Adam/Gabriel and their Jabot car ran out of gas.  It's the oldest trick in the book and Y&R uses it to bring couples together. (Remember how Devon's fancy car broke down and he was stranded alone with Hilary?).  It seemed the perfect time for Adam to tell Chelsea that he is still alive, but he didn't take advantage of the situation. At any rate, Adam once again failed to reveal his true identity to his wife.  Chelsea will eventually find out, but it looks as if the writers are going to drag it out longer.  It's quite obvious, however, that B and C will never get to the altar. It's also quite apparent that Chelsea does not love Billy the way she loved Adam.  As Sage observed, Chelsea positively glows when she talks about Adam, but does not display that same glow when she speaks about Billy Boy.  As for Sage, I think she will be the one to spill the beans about Adam to Chelsea because she is losing patience with Adam's procrastination.  He can't seem to get the words out of his mouth..

Could there be a worse police force than Genoa City's?  Due to the ineptness of GC's Finest (if that's the finest, I wouldn't want to see the worst), Kelly was able to evade capture at the airport. No wonder GC;s citizens are so uptight and stressed. They fear for their safety.

Now that Dr. Stitch'em Up is acting as Abby bodyguard, he and the spoiled Newman heiress are getting awfully chummy.  Could a romance be in the offing for them? Possibly, but I doubt it will work out.  Given Abby's track record and her lack of judgement with men (Daniel, Tyler, Austin), she is probably headed for more heartache.  Her mother certainly won't be happy if she connects with Stitch because I suspect she's harbouring feelings for Dr. Romeo herself.  Ashley is more serious about Stitch than she lets on or has led him to believe.  She is just pretending that what happened between them meant nothing.  By the way, now that Abby knows their secret, how long before Victoria finds out?

Poor Noah!  He spends all of his time dealing with his dysfunctional parents and their problems.  He is constantly defends them. Now both his parents and his grandfather are suspects in the murder of Austin and/or the stalking of Abby.

Baby-faced Kyle is not as sweet and innocent as he appears.  What was he thinking when he wrote a threatening message on Sharon's mirror in order to get her to confess to Adam's murder?  He didn't even consult with the others before doing that.  He just took it upon himself.


Here are some observations and opinions from CC in Etobicoke, Ontario

So Victor and Kelly are speaking in hushed tones in the foyer of the ranch.
Victor tells Kelly to keep her voice down because his wife is upstairs.

Cut to the bar where we see Nikki walk in to join Neil.

Back to the ranch house where Kelly rushes out the back door when Jack and Phyllis are let in to confront Victor.

Do they expect us to believe that Victor lied about Nikki being upstairs? Or are we to believe that she left the house by a different stairwell and a back door?  Or do they think that we will just carry on blindly trusting?

Anyway, evil Victor is behind it all!  And he hopes to hit quite a few birds with one stone.

Now the Sleuths think Stitch is behind Austin's demise?
What next?
Everyone is a suspect!

Well CC, I guess they think viewers won't notice or that we won't think it's a big deal how Nikki left the ranch.  However, in my opinion, the writers and producers should show more respect for the intelligence of their viewers.

Yes, Victor the Villain is behind a great many of the dirty deeds in Genoa City.  As vile as he can be, though, he is not responsible for all the underhandedness and duplicity that goes on in the Peyton Place of Wisconsin.  Having said all that, I must admit that it sometimes seems as if The Moustache has his big, grubby hands on everything. Nevertheless, I doubt he would harm his own daughter, Abby, or have her stalked.

Yes, CC, almost everyone seems to be a suspect in Austin's demise (if he is indeed dead).  Sharon has also been added to the list.  New head writer Charles Pratt wants to keep viewers guessing.


It was good to see Jerry Douglas back for another stint as the ghost of John Abbott. As I've mentioned before, I think it was a bad mistake to kill off John Abbott, the patriarch of the Abbott family and a popular character.  With all the turmoil Jack has been going through lately, I'm really surprised his father's apparition didn't appear earlier to give him some much-needed advice and provide a voice for his conscience.

Angell Conwell has returned.  Her Leslie character was last seen on screen in 2014, at the conclusion of Austin's trial for shooting Paul Williams (Doug Davidson). At that time, she informed fellow lawyer Avery that she had accepted an Assistant District Attorney position.  After that, she just vanished with nary a mention.  Now she's back and conveniently working as a defence lawyer.  She's ready to defend her ex-boyfriend Neil

As for Leslie's brother, Tyler Michaelson, played by Redaric Williams, I have yet to come across any mention that he will be coming back.  If any fans know differently, please let me know.

Angell Conwell
                 Photo Attribution: © Glenn Francis,

Ryan Caltagirone is playing the role of Winston Mobley, the new Assistant District Attorney.  He made his first Y&R appearance on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 on CBS (March 23rd on Global TV in Canada). According to Internet spoilers, Hilary will flirt with the new ADA in order to manipulate him where Neil's case is concerned.

Ryan Caltagirone 


In the last edition of Y&R Report, I forgot to mention this gem.  I was quite amused when Abby referred to Stitch as Dr. Brush Cut.


It shouldn't be too much longer before Chelsea discovers that "Gabriel Bingham" is really Adam. (Note to writers:You have been dragging this one out long enough!). Although Chelsea seems to love Adam more than Billy, would she be wise to go back to him after all that's happened?  Could they regain what they had before or should she continue to build a more stable life with Billy?  You decide.

Once Chelsea finds out that Adam is still alive, do you think she should go back to him?

Yes, they belong together and they have a son.
No, she is happy with Billy now.
No, she should find someone new.
Don't know
Poll Maker

That's all for now.  The show was preempted for a couple of days due to March Madness basketball. However, there should be plenty of spring madness on The Young and the Restless in the coming days and weeks.  The next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

- Joanne                  

Monday, March 23, 2015

TV Flashbck: Ryan O'Neal on Perry Mason and other 1960s shows

This is a photograph of actor Ryan O'Neal as he appeared in a 1964 episode of the classic Perry Mason television series.  The episode is entitled "The Case of the Bountiful Beauty (Season 7, Episode 17, Air Date: February 6, 1964).  O'Neal, born April 20, 1941, was just 23 years old when it was originally shown on CBS.

In the episode, he played John Carew, who tells his girlfriend, author Deborah Dearborn,(Zeme North) some unflattering stories about his stepmother, Stephanie Carew (Sandra Warner).  Dearborn unwittingly uses the stories to write a highly successful book.  When a dismayed Stephanie attempts to launch a libel suit against Dearborn, the result is murder.

It should be remembered that Ryan O'Neal was not a big television star at the time of his appearance on Perry Mason.  The episode was broadcast before the debut of Peyton Place, the prime time soap that catapulted him to stardom along with co-star Mia Farrow (Allison Mackenzie). The first episode of Peyton Place was broadcast on September 15, 1964, some seven months and 9 days after the Perry Mason episode was aired.  O'Neal played the role of Rodney Harrington on the show until 1969.

O'Neal as Rodney Harrington in Peyton Place

O'Neal and Mia Farrow in Peyton Place

Although he is not regarded as a cowboy actor, Ryan O'Neal was cast in some Western dramas prior to his breakthrough on Peyton Place. He had guest roles on two popular Westerns during the early 1960s: Wagon Train (1964) and The Virginian (1963).  He also had a major role in a short-lived Western series called Empire.  He portrayed Tal Garrett on the show, which only lasted for one season (1962-63).

Ryan O'Neal as Tal Garrett on Empire

Back in 1962, O'Neal appeared in an episode of the long-running Fred MacMurray sitcom, My Three Sons.  In the My Three Sons episode, "Chug and Robbie" (Season 2, Episode 33, Air Date: May 17, 1962), he played Chug Williams, a star athlete at Robbie Douglas' (Don Grady) high school.  Robbie attempts to make friends with with Chug until he learns that the big man on campus is using him for homework assignments.

In 1961, Ryan O'Neal had guest spots on both Leave it to Beaver and Bachelor Father. In the Leave it to Beaver episode, "Wally Goes Steady" (Season 5, Episode 1, Air Date: September 30, 1061), O'Neal played Tom Henderson, the hrother-in-law of Wally Cleaver's steady girlfriend, Evelyn Boothby (Mary Mitchel). Wally's parents, June and Ward, become concerned that Wally and Evelyn are spending too much time with the older married couple.

In the Bachelor Father episode, "Bentley and the Great Debate" (Season 4, Episode 29, Air Date: April 13, 1961), O'Neal portrayed the high school basketball team's star player, Marty Braden, who engages in a public debate with  a shy, awkward fellow student to determine the fate of the team's unpopular coach.

One of Ryan O'Neal's earliest television roles was in a 1960 episode of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis in an episode called "The Hunger Strike" (Season 1, Episode 17, Air Date: January 26, 1960). O'Neal played a character named Herm inhe episode in which Dobie Gillis (Dwayne Hickman) goes on a hunger strike to win the heart of Thalia (Tuesday Weld).  It is interesting to note that Marlo Thomas (then known as Margaret) had a role in the same episode.

- Joanne

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Good Wife Quiz


The Good Wife is a popular American legal drama that debuted on CBS on September 22, 2009.  The series, starring Julianna Margulies, premiered in 2009.  If you are a fan, why not test your knowledge in the 11-question quiz below.

The Good Wife Quiz

1.  In what U.S. city does The Good Wife take place?

A.  New York

B.  Los Angeles

C.  Chicago

D.  Boston

E.  Philadelphia

2.  What hit show did Julianna Margulies appear in regularly for many years prior to The Good Wife?

A,  Grey's Anatomy

B.  Diagnosis Murder

C.  Boston Legal

D.  E.R.

E.  The Practice

3.  What is Alicia Florrick's maiden name?

Julianna Margulies as Alicia

A.  Donnelly

B,  Mullen

C.  Fleming

D,  Clancy

E.   Cavanaugh

4.  Which of the following actors has appeared in a role on The Good Wife?

A.  Matthew Perry

B.  Neil Patrick Harris

C.  Jane Fonda

D.  Tina Fey

E.  Tom Sellick  

5.  Alicia and Peter Florrick have two children, a son and a daughter.  Their son, Zachary "Zach" Florrick, was 14 when the series premiered in 2009 and their daughter was 13.  What is the name of the actor who plays Zach Florrick?

Zach Florrick

A.  Mark Graham

B.  Graham Marks

C.  Graham Phillips

D.  Philip Graham

E.  Paul Phillips

6.  What is the name of Zach's younger sister?

A.  Donna Florrick

B.  Grace Florrick

C.  Amy Florrick

D.  Bonnie Florrick

E.  Lisa Florrick

7.  Who is Nisa del Mar?

A.  Peter's first wife

B.  Grace's best friend

C.  Alicia's best friend

D.  Zach's ex-girlfriend

E   Peter's sister

8.  Michael J. Fox plays a character named Louis Canning on The Good Wife?  Who is Louis Canning?

A.  Louis Canning is a judge.

B.  He is Alicia's ex-boyfriend

C.  He is an attorney from New York

D.  He is Alicia's cousin.

E.  He is a private detective.

9.  In Season 5 of The Good Wife, attorney Will Gardner (Josh Charles) was killed.  How did he die?

Josh Charles

A.  He was shot by a client.

B.  He died in a car accident.

C,  He was poisoned by a jealous ex-girlfriend.

D.  He had a massive stroke.

E.  He drowned in a boating accident.

10.  In 2014, David Hyde Pierce, best known for his portrayal of Niles Crane on Frasier, landed a major recurring role on The Good Wife.  He plays Frank Prady, a prominent cable news commentator who is so disturbed by crime and corruption in Chicago that he decides to run for public office.  What office does he seek?

A.  Mayor of Chicago

B.  State's Attorney

C.  District Attorney

D.  Judge

E.  Illinois Congressman

11.  Who plays the role of Guy Redmayne, a wealthy supporter of Democratic political candidates?

A.  George Kennedy

B.  Eric Roberts

C.  William Shatner

D.  Corbin Bernsen

E.  Ed Asner


1.  C

The Good Wife is set in Cook County, Chicago, although it is actually filmed in New York, usually in Brooklyn.  The show's main character, Alicia Florrick (played by Julianna Margulies) is the wife of Peter Florrick (played by Chris Noth, a scandal-ridden Cook County State's Attorney.  After he goes to prison, Alicia leaves her Highland Park estate and moves into the city to work at a law firm.

2.  D

From 1994 until 2009, Julianna Margulies played the role of nurse Carol Hathaway on the hit medical drama E.R.  Like The Good Wife, E.R. was set in Chicago.

3. E

Alicia's maiden name is Cavanaugh

4. A

Matthew Perry has played Mike Kresteva, Peter Florrick's rival in the electoral race for governor. Kresteva, a Republican campaigned on "family values,"

Perry's character has appeared in four episodes of the show. He was first seen in a 2012 episode entitled "Blue Ribblon Panel" (Season 3, Episode 19, Air Date: March 25, 2012) and was last seen in an episode entitled "Death of a Client." (Season 4, Episode 18, Air Date: March 24, 2013).

5.  C

Graham Phillips plays the role of Zach Florrick.  Phillips was born on April 14, 1993 in Laguna Beach, California.  The talented actor is also a singer and stage star who has performed on Broadway as Ben Tennyson in the musical 13.  He portrayed Jordan Baxter in the 2007 feature film Evan Almighty and his television credits include Crossing Jordan (2004), Judging Amy 2004), The King of Queens (2002).  He also appeared in the 2005 TV film A Hallmark Movie - Love's Long Journey.

6.  B

Makenzie Vega as Grace Florrick

Zach's sister, Grace Florrick, is portrayed by Makenzie Vega.  Vega was born on February 10, 1994 in Los Angeles, California.  She is the younger sister of actress Alexa Vega who is best known for her role as Carmen Cortez on Spy Kids.

7.  D

Rachel Hilson as Nisa

Nisa, played by Rachel Hilson. is Zach's former girlfriend.  Her Muslim background caused problems for Peter Florrick' political career.

Hilson appeared in a 2015 episode of the detective series "Elementary."  She portrayed a character named Lexi in an episode entitled "Seed Money" (Season 3, Episode 10, Air Date: January 15, 2015).

8.  C

Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning with Julianna Margulies

Michael J. Fox plays the role of Louis Canning, an attorney from New York.  Canning is Alicia's legal nemesis.  Fox originally appeared as a recurring character on The Good Wife, but left to star in his own sitcom, The Michael J. Fox Show.  After the cancellation of The Michael J. Fox Show,, he returned to The Good Wife on a more regular basis.

9.  A

Attorney Will Gardner was Alicia's friend and former colleague. He was shot to death in a courtroom by his deranged client, Jeffrey Grant (Hunter Parrish), in an episode that aired March 23, 2014.  Josh Charles, who portrayed Gardner, told talk show host David Letterman that appearing on The Good Wife was "one of the greatest gigs for me in my entire career."  He added that his contract was up and that he was "just ready to move on."

10.  B.

David Hyde Pierce as Frank Prady

Frank Prady decides to run for Cook County State's Attorney and his opponent is Alicia Florrick.

11.  E

Ed Asner as Guy Redmayne

Ed Asner (Lou Grant himself) plays the role of Guy Redmayne, the crass, sexist donor to political campaigns.

- Joanne

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Y&R Report: (Saturday, March 14, 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.

Is there a serial killer or a hit man on the loose in Genoa City?  It's certainly appears that way.  The culprit seems to be someone who hates both the Newman and Abbott families.  Could Ian Ward be behind the murder of Austin and the attack on Abby? Perhaps he has sent a hit man to do his dirty work. Somehow, though, I don't think that's the answer.  Although Ian despises the Abbotts and Newmans. I doubt he's the sole mastermind behind the current murder and mayhem.  There has to be more to it!  I have been racking my brain trying to come up with the answer.

I don't think it will be long, though, before Ian shows his face in Genoa City again.  That Snake in the Grass will be slithering into town soon.  Poor Nikki.  She's battling alcoholism.  She's facing a jail sentence and covering up for Neil after running down the Cricketmeister.  Now her greatest tormentor, the despicable Ian Ward, may soon be returning to add more misery to her life.

With the ineffectual Genoa City police force, led by Clueless Paul Williams himself, I'd be very afraid for my safety if I were a GC resident.  The dynamic duo of Clueless and Cricket, are anything but objective in their work.  They constantly allow their personal lives and their raw emotions to interfere with their jobs.  Paul is consumed by guilt and Christine is hungry for revenge against both Phyllis and Nikki. They can't see clearly because they are blinded by their feelings.

Nikki and Neil won't be able to cover up the truth much longer.  It's time for them both to take responsibility for their actions.  Nikki, at least, is trying to pick herself up but Neil is drowning in bitterness and self-pity.  Sure, he was dealt a devastating blow, but at least he has regained his sight.

There are many online rumours and much speculation about Austin Traver's true identity.  What is his connection to the reprehensible Ian Ward?  After all, Ward was the person behind Avery's cooking show and Travers was the video man for the show.  We know that Austin was grieving the murder of his mother, but who is his father?  Some fans believe that he is related to Joe Clark, Avery's ex-husband. They think that Joe is the brother of Matt Clark, a twisted rapist who appeared on the show in the 1990s. Could Austin be Matt's son and Joe's nephew?

Others theorize that Austin is the son of Ian Ward, the offspring of the devil himself, Remember, though, that Ian supposedly can't father a child.  That's why it was determined that he is not Dylan's daddy.  Nevertheless, the writers can find a way around that if they really want to.  That's usually no problem for a soap opera.

In recent episodes, Dr. Stitch has become involved in the mystery surrounding Austin's murder and the attack on Abby.  However, I don't think he is responsible for the crimes. It seems as if Stitch'em Up has been thrown into the storyline in order to add another suspect and to throw viewers off the trail of the real killer.  It's a red herring.

Who is Victor Newman conspiring with in the confessional box?  It's pretty obvious that he's got something on Jack Abbott and that he is confident he will bring his rival down. I've been trying to guess the identity if Victor's co-conspirator, but to no avail.  It can't be Ian Ward - right?  Victor loathes the cult leader.  What a slap in the face that would be to Nikki if her husband ever joined forces with that loathsome man.

Jack has been acting strangely, especially that strange, passionate encounter with Kelly. Maybe Kelly was wearing some of Ashley's love potion perfume.  Did Victor provide her with the perfume in order to keep Jack and Phyllis apart?  I certainly wouldn't put it past him to do something like that.

There have also been rumours that Jack has an evil twin.  Oh please, spare us!  Haven't we had enough identical twins or storylines about look-alikes!  We don't need another one!  We don't need a Jack Abbott doppelganger.

Chelsea could become an unwitting bigamist, if she actually marries Billy Boy Abbott.  I doubt the marriage will go through, though.  If it does take place, it will not be valid anyway because Adam is still alive and Chelsea is married to him.  I'm sure that Chelsea will find out the truth soon, probably from Adam himself.  It will be fascinating to see how she reacts.

Sharon has definitely set her sights on Dylan.  Will she be able to lure him away from wishy-washy Avery?  Yes, I think so, at least temporarily.  Nick will always be Number One with Sharon, but as the song goes, if Sharon can't be with the one she loves, she'll love the one she's with.  That's how she operates.

I doubt that Dylan and Avery will ever get to the altar.  I don't think Jack and Phyllis will get married either.  Both of those relationships are headed for the rocks.


Ratings for Y&R were very strong during the February sweeps.  In the U.S., the show averaged 5.58 million viewers, up 7% from last year, and its largest audience since the week ending January 31, 2014.   It was up 5% in women 25-54 (2.2/12 from 2.1/12), up 15% in women 18-49 (1.5/09 from 1.3/09), and up 17% in women 18-34 (0.7/05 from 0.6/05), all the highest since the week ending January 31, 2014.

On Sunday, April 26, 2015, the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmys will be televised exclusively on the Pop Network, a U.S. basic cable and satellite TV network.  This is good news because last year the awards were only shown on the Internet. Unfortunately, however, it likely means that the awards won't be televised in Canada. That is a shame because there are legions of daytime fans up here in The Great White North.  What about us?

Kate Linder's (Esther Valentine) 3rd Annual Opportuniteas for Independence High Tea in Toronto, which I had the pleasure of attending, raised $75,000 for March of Dimes Canada.  Kate was joined by three other Y&R cast members: Sean Corrigan (Dr. Stitch), Bryton James (Devon Hamilton) and Mishael  Morgan (Hilary Curtis).

A reminder to fans in Calgary, Alberta: Kate Linder's 2nd Annual Calgary Tea is coming up in April.  


Carly from Barrhaven, Ontario dropped me a few lines about The Young and the Restless:

So Y&R disasters have been up close &  I don't know whether to say I am enjoying the show or not.  Some days I get very turned off.  The latest rumour that Austin is still alive & could be Ian Ward's son is ridiculous.  Abby having an affair with him was also a bit ridiculous.

It is possible that Austin could be faking his death.  Time will tell.  Yes, Carly, I've also heard and read the rumour that Austin is Ian Ward's son.  That would be far-fetched, but I wouldn't completely rule it out.  It is far-fetched because Ian was ruled out as Dylan's daddy when it was revealed that he couldn't father a child.  However, soaps have ways of getting around things like that.


If you are a fan of Hunter King (Summer Newman), then you will pleased to know that she will be appearing in her first feature film.  The film is titled A Girl Like Her and it's about bullying.  In the movie, King plays the bully.of a 16-year-old girl.

A Girl Like Her will be appearing in theatres later this month.


Mariah can be very acerbic.  Her sarcasm is evident in the names she has for others, especially Summer, whom she refers to as "Snowflake."  Recently she referred to Abby "Adulterous Abby" and Courtney as "Detective Blondie."


Matthew Atkinson (Austin Travers)

Who is responsible for the death of Austin?

Victor Newman's hit man
Ian Ward's hit man
Kyle Abbott
Joe Clark
An unknown serial killer
Nobody. Austin is still alive.
Don't know
Poll Maker

That's all for now.  The next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, March 28, 2015.

- Joanne

Monday, March 2, 2015

You Wanted to Know . . . about William Katt and Connie Selleca of The Greatest American Hero

A reader requested that I write about William Katt and Connie Sellecca of The Greatest American Hero.  TV Banter is pleased to honour the request.

Look at what's happened to me,
I can't believe it myself.
Suddenly I'm up on top of the world,
It should've been somebody else.

Believe it or not,
I'm walking on air.
I never thought I could feel so free-.
Flying away on a wing and a prayer.
Who could it be?
Believe it or not it's just me. 

- Lyrics to "Believe it Not," the theme song from The Greatest American Hero, Composed by Mike Post (music) and Stephen Geyer (lyrics)

Do you remember that catchy tune?  If so, then you probably recall a TV series about a young man with curly blond hair, a cherubic face and a red superhero suit? The man was William Katt and the series was The Greatest American Hero.  It ran on the ABC Network from 1981 until 1983 and featured Katt as Los Angeles high school teacher Ralph Hinkley and Connie Sellecca as his girlfriend, attorney Pam Davidson.  Veteran actor Robert Culp played FBI agent Bill Maxwell.

While on a field trip, Ralph Hinkley and his special education students became stranded on a desert road when their bus broke down.  As Ralph walked along the road to get help, he was almost run over by a car driven by FBI agent Bill Maxwell. A spaceship suddenly appeared and Ralph was accosted by aliens. The extraterrestrials presented him with a red suit which endowed him with superhuman powers. Ralph, of course, didn't relish wearing the silly suit (with cape) and he was a most reluctant superhero.  He soon lost the instruction manual for the suit and myriad comic situations arose when he was forced to experiment with his newly found powers.  However, FBI agent Maxwell persuaded him to use his powers to combat crime.

Meanwhile, Ralph had to learn how to use the suit by trial and error.  In his attempts to fly, he flailed about, crashed into walls and fell into bushes.  He also discovered new powers, such as the ability to become invisible, at inappropriate or inconvenient times, .  Pam, whom he eventually married, and Maxwell, were the only adults who knew of Ralph's powers.

L to R: Connie Selleca, William Katt and Robert Culp

The Greatest American Hero premiered on March 18, 1981 and the show was forced to deal with some immediate problems.  It was threatened with a lawsuit by the owners of the Superman copyright. Then, on March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. The name of Reagan's attempted assassin was John Hinckley, Jr., too close for comfort to "Hinkley," the last name William Katt's character.  As a results, Ralph was called "Mr. H." (sometimes "Mr. Hanley") for a time.


When I play a good guy, I try to explore them and figure out what shapes them and makes them interesting. When I'm playing a bad guy, I try to explore everything that makes them good. No one ever really thinks that they're a bad guy.

- William Katt

William Theodore Katt was born on February 16, 1951 in Los Angeles, California, the son of prominent actors.  His father, the late Bill Williams, played the lead role in the classic 1950s Western series, The Adventures of Kit Carson.  His mother, Barbara Hale, is best known for her portrayal of secretary Della Street on Perry Mason.  Known as "Billy" or "Bill," Katt was raised in the San Fernando Valley and began his acting career as a teenager.  Prior to his role on The Greatest American Hero, he was best known for his portrayal of Tommy Ross, the doomed prom date of Carrie White in the film version of Stephen King's Carrie.

In the 1970s, Katt made appearances on TV series as Emergency (1972), M*A*S*H (1972), Kung Fu (1973), Police Woman (1974), Gunsmoke (1974), The Rookies (1974), Kojak (1975), He also had guest roles on Ironside in 1972 and 1975.  In addition, he portrayed Jack Barlow in a 1978 coming-of-age movie about surfers titled Big Wednesday.  Big Wednesday featured a young Jan Michael Vincent and a a young Gary Busey. Katt's mother, Barbara, had a role in the film too.

Katt later played Paul Drake Jr. in a series of Perry Mason TV movies from 1985 until 1988 (Paul Drake Sr.was Perry Mason's private investigator in the classic 1960s series.  William Hopper, who portrayed the elder Drake, died in 1970.  He was the son of Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper).  Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale reprised their roles as Perry Mason and Della the television movies, the first of which was Perry Mason Returns (1985).

In 1991, Willaim Katt had a recurring role in the short-lived comedy, Good Sports, starring Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal as sports anchors.  He played the part of Nick Calder in five episodes. In 1991 and 1992, he guest-starred as Jeffrey Teller in two episodes of the one-hour drama Sisters.  The fist episode is entitled "Portrait of the Artists" (Season 3, Episode 11, Air Date: December 12, 1992). The second episode is "Moving Pictures" (Season 3, Episode 17, Air Date: February 13, 1993).

In 1993, Katt appeared in Murder, She Wrote, with Angela Lansbury, in an episode called "Love's Deadly Desire" (Season 9, Episode 22, Air Date: May 16, 1993).  He portrayed Derek Hartman, husband of a romance novelist.  In 1994, Katt had roles in Burke's Law ("Who Killed the Fashion King?," Season 1, Episode 2, Air Date: January 14, 1994) and Diagnosis Murder ("Flashdance with Death," Season 1, Episode 11 (Air date: January 28, 1994).

In 1994, Katt was also cast as Paul Carson in eight episodes of Model Inc., a spin-off of the prme time soap Melrose Place.  In the late 1990s, he appeared in episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger (1998), and The Net (1998).  His 21st century credits include TV series such as The Hunger (2000), Dark Realm (2001) and JAG (2001) (2004) and House of Payne (2010).  He continues to remain active as an actor and director.

William Katt has been married twice.  He wed Deborah Kahane in 1979 and the marriage produced two sons, Clayton and Emerson.  However, the couple divorced in 1986.  Katt remarried in 1993, this time to Danielle Hirsch.  They have a daughter named Dakota together and Katt also has a stepson, Andrew.

In a July 12, 2012 interview with Branscombe Richmond at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort, William Katt was asked about about his reaction to wearing red tights as part of his costume on The Greatest American Hero.  He told Richmond that he originally feared it would be the ruination of his career. He now regards his time on the show as a "seminal moment" in his life and in his career. Katt also said that he had remained friends with the Robert Culp until Culp's death and that he has maintained a friendship with Connie Sellecca.


Connie Sellecca was born on May 25, 1955 in the Bronx, New York to Italian immigrant parents. Her birth name was Concetta Sellecchia.  When she was 12, her family moved to the town of Pomona, in upstate New York.  She attended nearby Ramapo High School where she became involved in student theatre productions. She then enrolled at Boston College, but left to signed with an New York agent and pursue an acting career.

In order to support her drama studies, Connie became a lingerie and fashion model. It wasn't longer before the aspiring actress began winning fashion and commercial assignments.   She finally made her acting debut in a 1978 fantasy film called Bermuda Depths a Japanese/American co-production that originally aired as a television movie. It starred Leigh McCloskey, Carl Weathers and Burl Ives.

From 1978 to 1979, Connie Sellecca had her first regular role in a TV series.  She played Lisa Benton, a flight attendant in the short-lived series Flying High.  She also appeared in Captain America II: Death Too Soon, a 1979 TV film based on the Marvel Comics superhero Captain America.  Her big break came when she was cast in the role of Pam Davidson, in the superhero parody The Greatest American Hero.

After The Greatest American Hero was cancelled, Connie appeared in another successful series. From 1983 until 1988, she portrayed Christine Francis in the TV drama Hotel opposite co-stars James Brolin and Shari Belafonte.  The show centred around the happenings at the lavish St. Gregory Hotel in San Francisco.

Connie and James Brolin in their Hotel days

In the 1990s, Connie appeared in slew of television movies: A House of Secrets and Lies (1992), Passport to Murder (1993), She Led Two Lives (1994), A Dangerous Affair (1995)The Surrogate (1995), A Holiday to Remember (1995), While My Pretty One Sleeps (1997), Something Borrowed, Something Blue 997)Doomsday Rock (1997) and Dangerous Waters (1999).  She also starred in two short-live-lived series: P.S. I Luv U (1991-1992) and Second Chances (1993-1994).

In P.S.I. Luv U, she portrayed a con woman turned informant opposite Greg Evigan. In Second Chances, she played Dianne Benedict, an aspiring judge in a small California town.  Her co-stars were Jennifer Lopez. Megan Follows and Michelle Phillips.  On January 17. 1994, the Northridge earthquake in California;s San Fernando Valley damaged the show's sets and CBS cancelled the series.

In the 2000s. Connie has continued to appear in television movies: Annie's Dream (2002), All About Christmas Eve (2012).

Connie has been married twice.  Her first husband was American actor Gil Gerard, whom she wed on October 28, 1979.  They had a son, Gilbert Vincent "Gib" Gerard, and divorced in 1987.  According to an April 20, 1992 People magazine article, "Oh, What a Night!." by Jeannie Park, the  breakup was acrimonious and there was a custody battle over young Gib.

On April 4, 1992, she married for second time, to pianist and composer John Tesh, a popular radio and television personality.  The wedding took place at a Beverly Hills mansion that Connie had rented.  Connie's sister, Rosann Mack was her maid of honour and her mother, Ann, accompanied her to the altar.  The ceremony was conducted by Pastor Louis Lapides.

John Tesh, a native of Garden City, New York, is the former co-host of Entertainment Tonight (ET) and he he currently hosts a syndicated radio program, The John Tesh, Radio Show: Intelligence for Your Life. John and Connie are born-again Christians and John has written and performed sacred music.

According to an April 20, 1992 People magazine article, "Oh, What a Night!." by Jeannie Park, Connie first became acquainted with Tesh in Palm Springs, California. She was there to film the pilot for P.S.I. Luv U and he was hosting an IBM awards programs.  After their meeting, he gifted her with a tape of his first album, Tour de France.  When they returned to  Los Angeles, a smitten Tesh perused Connie's ET library file, then interviewed her by phone from her Beverly Hills home for a radio show.  After the show, she accepted his invitation for dinner and the romance took flight.

John Tesh

Connie Sellecca and John Tesh are the parents of a daughter, Prima (born June 2, 1994), who was named after Connie's father, Primo Sellecchia, a building contractor who died in 1987.

2008 photo of John and Connie with daughter Prima

Photo attribution: Luke Ford


* Robert Culp, is best known for his portrayal of Kelly Robinson on the 1960s espionage series I Spy, co-starring Bill Cosby.  Culp collapsed and died of a heart attack on March 24, 2010.  He was 79 years old at the time of his passing.

* During the summer of 1981, the song "The Greatest American Hero (Believe it or Not)," was a major hit for American singer Joey Scarbury.

* William Katt's mother, Barbara Hale, was born in 1922 and will celebrate her 93rd birthday on April 18, 2015.

William Katt with his mother, Barbara Hale

- Joanne