Saturday, December 24, 2016

Y&R Report (December 24, 2016): 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.

Welcome to the Christmas Eve edition of Y&R Report.  I hope that you have been enjoying the holiday season and the Yuletide activities on The Young and the Restless.  The Christmas celebrations with the Abbotts, Newmans and Winters have been fantastic this year.  All the fun, the singing and the celebrations have been highly entertaining.  Hey, we even got to see the Abbott housekeeper, Mrs. Martinez.  

Wow!  That was some spill Mariah had at GC Buzz!  It was the most celebrated fall since Humpty Dumpty tumbled off the wall,  Mariah slipped on a red carpet, though, but unlike Humpty, she is putting her pieces back together again.  

I enjoyed seeing Faith's rendition of "Jingle Bells" with Victor singing along and Nikki 
accompanying them on the piano.  This was another example of Sally Sussman's influence. During the glory days of the show, Victor would always ask Nikki to play the keys for him.  As promised, Sally is returning the show to its roots.  Sussman knows the history of the show inside-out.  Have you noticed that former characters are being mentioned?  Paul  reminisced about his father, Carl Williams, and his mother, Mary.  Lauren's son, Scot, was mentioned,  Mary Williams' sauerkraut and spareribs was mentioned.  Long-time Y&R viewers will remember what that's all about.

Faith has had enough!  She finally took a stand with her dysfunctional family.  She became fed up 
with being in the middle of Newman bickering and who can blame her for losing patience with them?  Alyvia Alyn Lind, who portrays, Faith, is a superb young actress.  She's really talented.  I predict a bright future for her.  Her career will go beyond Y&R.  She's already gained recognition for her portrayal of Dolly Parton as child and she sings too.

What's gotten into Jack Abbott?  He's understandably upset over Phyllis and Billy.  Does that mean he has to be so bitter and ruthless?  He's been acting a lot like his arch-enemy, Victor Newman, lately. It almost seems as if he's traded personalities with "The Moustache."  He even used the old Victor line, "It's just business."  He is the Scrooge of Genoa City this Christmas.

Victor really seems to be softening up - at least where his family and his grandchildren are concerned. Faith feels so comfortable with him that she prefers to live with her grandparents rather than with Nick or Sharon and Dylan.

Lilly is another Genoa City character lacking in goodwill this time of year.  She chose Christmas to be catty to Hilary by informing Devon that his wife didn't really have any serious job offers.  I know Lily wanted to let her brother know that Hilary was just trying to make him grovel, but did she have to pick Christmas to do it?

You can see the writing on the wall where Dylan is concerned.  Paul Williams has him working on a dangerous undercover case.  He's probably going to be killed in the line of duty and he will be a hero. That's the most likely scenario because Steve Burton, who plays Dylan, is leaving the show. His last airdate will be in January.

That will leave Paul heartbroken again.  He'll also be consumed with guilt because Christine (also known as the Cricketmeister) cautioned him about putting his son in such a dangerous situation. Paul's  already lost a son - Ricky.  Poor Paul.  Sharon, of course, will be a grieving widow.  She will suffer a terrible loss because of all the men in her life, Dylan has treated her the best.  He has certainly treated her better than Nicholas Newman did.  

So, Gloria has returned in all splendour.  She's really a piece of work, isn't she?  She had to make a grand entrance on Christmas Eve.  She just couldn't knock at Michael and Lauren's door.  Oh, no, not Gloria!  She jumped out of large Christmas box and shouted, "Deck the halls! Gloria is back." Her unfortunate sons will have to deal with her obnoxious behaviour and she's already driving them to drink.  She's dumped her significant other, Jeffrey Bardwell and she'll be on the prowl for a new man. I wouldn't put it past her to go after Jill's husband, Colin.  Those two are cut from the same cloth. 

Ashey Abbott has an admirer.  It's Ravi, the new Jabot employee.  He's much younger and Ashley's not taking him seriously.  She's treating it as a schoolboy crush. Who knows where that storyline's headed.  


To Nicholas Newman: An anger management course

To Jack Abbott: An anger management course

To Noah Newman:  Some direction in life

To Paul Williams: Better sense, better policing skills and better judgement

To Victoria Newman:  Better luck with men

To Faith Newman and Christian Newman:  Another family

To Kevin Fisher: To open his eyes where Chloe is concerned

To Traci Abbott: The Nobel Peace Prize


Victoria's son Reed returns and he's suddenly a teenager!

It's amazing how quickly soap opera characters age.  Y&R has cast 17-year-old actor Tristan Lake Leabu (born August 19, 1999) in the role of Reed Hellstrom, son of Victoria Newman and her former husband, J.T. Hellstrom.  For most of his life, Reed has lived in Washington, D.C. with his dad, J.T. When last we saw him, he was a blond little boy.  According to, when we next see him, he will be a sensitive, guitar-playing teen.  

Tristan Lake Leabu is best known for his role as Lois Lane's son in the 2006 film Superman Returns.  He also appeared in the 2007 Lifetime move While the Children Sleep and the 2012 Martin Papazian film Least Among Saints, 


Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) changed her hair colour recently.  All the other characters in Genoa City have been commenting on her new look.  Does it suit her or should she have stayed with her reddish colour?  After all, Jack Abbott calls her "Red."  On the other hand, maybe it was time for a new look,, especially since she's not with Jack anymore.  What do you think about it?

Do you like Phyllis' new hair colour?

Yes, she looks fantastic. It's very becoming.
No, I don't care for it. She looked better with reddish hair. Phyllis is meant to be a redhead.
I don't see a big difference in her appearance.
I don't really care.
Please Specify:


Y&R plans to rebroadcast the 1984 wedding of Victor and Nikki. on Friday, December 30 on CBS and Thursday December 29 on Global TV in Canada.  I am looking forward to watching it.  

Your opinion matters to me.  If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name.  

My email address:


That's all for now.  To those who celebrate the season, Merry Christmas!  To those of the Jewish faith, Happy Hanukkah!  To all others, I wish you peace.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on January 7, 2017.  See you next year and we'll discover what the New Year will bring to the residents of Genoa City.  

- Joanne

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Y&R Report (December 10, 2016): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

Hey Y&R fans, every second Saturday TV Banter discusses the latest happenings and provides commentary on your favourite daytime drama. Note to U.S. readers - SPOILER ALERT: Here in Canada, I watch the show on Global TV which is one episode ahead of CBS.  I will inevitably refer to incidents you haven't seen yet. Read at your own risk.  If you are the curious type, though, you may prefer to discover some things in advance.

So, Princess Victoria Newman has sworn off men.  I wonder how long that will last.  Not very long, I'd venture to guess.  I enjoyed the scene where she told Daddy Victor that she couldn't think of one single man in her life who had met with his approval.  Victor had to admit that he couldn't think of one either.

It seems as if Victoria is headed for a Christmas reconciliation with Billy Boy Abbott.  "The Moustache" is not going to be too happy about that.  The thought of his daughter with "that punk," "that playboy," "that gambler," "that degenerate" will drive Victor crazy.  Viewers will be highly entertained.

When will Y&R characters ever learn to stop keeping secrets, particularly from their spouses? Probably never, or there wouldn't be any conflict on the show.  Lauren is the latest example and she should know better.  She hasn't told Michael about Fenmore's financial crisis.  She doesn't want to worry him.  

Ever since Jack discovered that Phyllis was unfaithful to him, he has had more of an edge to him. Now he wants to engineer a hostile takeover of Lauren's struggling business, Fenmores.  That's the kind of ruthless move Victor Newman would make. It's especially cutthroat because Lauren is a friend.  I'm surprised that Ashley seems to be going along with his idea.  Now that Phyllis knows about their plan, I hope she thwarts it.

So, Nick's place was in disarray when daughter Summer came to visit.  The dishes weren't done and Nick seemed overwhelmed by single fatherhood.  He's a wealthy Newman, isn't he?  I'm surprised he hasn't hired a housekeeper or a nanny.  I think the writers are trying to create a reason for Nick to find a mother for Christian.  Chelsea, perhaps?

Some Genoa City residents will be searing for partners soon.  It looks as if Jack and Phyllis are really finished, at least for now.  Their goodbye was bittersweet.  They'll both be looking for new love interests.  Then there's Sharon.  Steve Burton (Dylan) is leaving the show, which means he'll probably leave town or be killed off.  Sharon will probably pursue Nick again, although she'd be better off staying away from anyone with the last name of Newman or Abbott.  If she tries to hook up with Nick, she'll be at odds with Chelsea.  Neil and Stitch are also alone right now, as are Mariah. Summer, Victoria, Abby and Ashley.

Fans, I was disappointed when Michael E. Knight (Dr. Newille) left the show.  I thought Neville's story was left hanging and he was never given an opportunity to have a real romance with Ashley Abbott.  Wouldn't it be great if he returned and Ashely became involved in a love triangle with him and Dr. Stitch!  If you agree with me, write CBS and tell them so.  It might work, especially if new head writer Sally Sussman likes the idea.


If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum" in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name.  
My email address:

Here are some comments from regular viewer Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario

Cudos to the writers of Y &R for bringing back the famous Abbott breakfast.  I have always enjoyed seeing the Abbott clan gather at the dining room table to chat and eat delicious pancakes, bacon, eggs etc.  If they could only bring back Mamie!

The actor who plays Billy Abbott is starting to grow on me and I am seeing some chemistry between Amelie Heinle and him.

I do not like the shenanigans at the GC Buzz.  There would be many complaints to Human Resources about the behaviour of Hillary.

Yes, Fifi, I enjoy the Abbott breakfasts too.  I miss Mamie and John Abbott.   Mrs. Martinez, the current Abbott housekeeper, is always mentioned.  However, she's rarely shown on screen.  I think they've only shown her about two times.  Perhaps Y&R is trying to save some money.  Maybe they don't want to bother paying an actor to say a few lines if they can avoid it.

It's already obvious that new head writer, Sally Sussman, is taking Y&R in a new direction.  She has promised to focus on core characters and core relationships.  As far as I'm concerned, that bodes well for the show.  Sally understands the history of the show.  By the way, in an interview with TV Insider, Sussman listed the characters she regards as integral  to the show.  "I see eight stalwarts," she stated, They are the indispensables. In no particular order: Nikki, Victor, Jack, Ashley, Nick, Sharon, Billy and Victoria."

Jason Thompson, the actor who plays Billy is starting to grow on me too.  He doesn't seem as vengeful and angry as before.  

Yes, Hillary has treated Mariah like a servant.  She really got her comeuppance when her own husband, Devon, fired her as the host of GC Buzz.  Not surprisingly, however Hillary went on the warpath against Mariah when Mariah hosted Chelsea's fashion show.


Michael Roark (Travis Crawford) is leaving Y&R

Michael Roark is leaving his role as Travis Crawford.  He tweeted that he "made the decision to move onto the next challenge in my career."  He didn't completely close the door on the show.  He wrote that "ya never know if Travis may return to GC someday, maybe a wiser man"  The reason for Michael's departure may be that head writer Sally Sussman is moving the show in a new direction and his character doesn't fit in.


On Sunday, December 4th, I attended the March of Dimes Canada's fifth annual Toronto Opportunities High Tea with Kate Linder & Friends at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.  Kate, who plays Esther, was joined by Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin), Sean Carrigan (Dr, Ben "Stitch" Rayburn, Christel Khalil (Lily Winters Ashby) and Michael Roark (Travis Crawford).  

First of all, I don't have any great scoops.  None of the actors revealed any future happenings on the show.  They tend to be very coy.  Often they don't know what's going to happen in advance. 

Kate Linder really enjoys the scenes in which Esther puts one over on Jill.  She mentioned the recent Thanksgiving episode when Esther annoyed Jill by insisting that she wear a hairnet while serving food to the homeless.

When asked about his marital status, Michael Roark declared that he was "single and looking."  Sean Carrigan said that he was "divorced on the show and divorced in real life."

When asked what he'd be doing if he weren't an actor, Sean replied, "I'd be a professional boxer."  He said he really enjoyed the scenes with Stitch and Victor sparring in the gym.  Sean is a piece of work. He was constantly cracking jokes.

When Christel Khalil was asled what she'd be doing if she werren't acting, she responded that she had no other marketable skills.

There was no sign or hint that Michael Roark had any plans to leave the show.  When I told him that I thoght that Travis and Abby would become a couple, he replied, "A lot of people have said that.  We'll see." 

I asked Kate Linder if she still worked as a flight attendant.  She said that she did.

Christian LeBlanc seemed quite enthusiastic about his upcoming Christmas scenes with the return of Judith Chapman, who plays Michael Baldwin's mother, Gloria.  I found Christian to be very warm and friendly.  He was my favourite.

Here are some photos of yours truly with the Y&R stars at the event.

With Christel Khalil (Lily Winters Ashby) 

With Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin)

With Kate Linder (Esther Valentine)

With Sean Carrigan (Dr. Ben "Stitch" Rayburn)


Camryn Grimes (Maria Copeland)

Kevin Fisher never seems to put Mariah first.  He chose Natalie over her and Chloe over her. When Kevin's relationship with Chloe collapses, as it surely will, should Mariah be there to help him pick up the pieces?  Should she be there when he needs her or should she move on and find someone who appreciates her more?  Has Mariah been patient enough?  What do you think?

Should Mariah move on and forget a romantic relationship with Kevin?

Yes. She's been playing second fiddle much too long. She should find somone new.
No. Kevin is really going to need her. He will appreciate her more an his feelings for her will grow stronger.
Maybe, but he will have to appreciate her more and be more romantic towards her.
It doesn't really matter to me.
Please Specify:

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R report will appear in this space on Saturday, December 24, 2016.

- Joanne

Friday, December 9, 2016

In Memory of Robert Vaughn

Robert Vaughn passed away last month, just 11 days shy of his 84th birthday.  He was best known for his portrayal of the urbane Napoleon Solon on the 1960s spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.   For the most part, however, he managed to avoid being typecast as a debonair secret agent.  During his long and varied career, the silky-voiced actor played both heroes and villains.  An extraordinarily prolific actor, he appeared in some 50 movies and hundreds of television shows, as well

Robert Francis Vaughn was born in New York City on November 22, 1932, the only child of show business parents. His father, Gerald Walter Vaughn, was a radio actor and his mother, Marcella Frances (Gaudel), was a stage actress.  When his parents divorced, Robert was sent to live with his grandparents in Minneapolis Minnesota.  They raised him while his mother toured and performed with her theatre group.

After graduating from North High School in Minneapolis, Robert enrolled as a journalism major at the University of Minnesota.  He dropped out after a year and moved to California.  In Los Angeles, he studied drama at local colleges, for which he received a master's degree in theatre.

Robert Vaughn's first film appearance was in Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 Biblical epic The Ten Commandments.  He was an extra in a cast of thousands two uncredited roles. one as a Hebrew golden calf idolater and the other as a spear-carrier.  He eventually signed with Burt Lancaster's film company.and was scheduled to play the role of Steve Dallas in a Lancaster film titled Sweet Smell of Success.  However, his burgeoning film career was interrupted when he was drafted into the United States Army. He spent 18 months in the military, primarily as a drill sergeant, before being discharged.  At the age of 27, he left the service.

Robert first began making television appearances in 1955.  He had guest spots in Father Knows Best (1956), Gunsmoke (1956) (1957), Dragnet (1958), Mike Hammer (1958) and The Rifleman (1958). He also played the role of Art in an November 8, 1959 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents entitled "Dry Run" (Trivia Note: That episode also featured Walter Matthau and David White (Larry Tate on Bewitched).

In the early 1960s, Robert appeared in Bonanza (1962), The Virginian (1963), The Untouchables (1963), The Dick Van Dyke Show (1963) and 77 Sunset Strip (1963).  In the Dick Van Dyke Show episode, entitled "It's a Shame She Married Me" (Season 2, Episode 29, Air Date: April 17,1963), Robert portrayed Jim Darling. an old flame of Laura Petrie (Mary Tyler Moore).  When Jim shows up as the latest Alan Brady Show sponsor, he triggers husband Rob's (Dick Van Dyke) insecurities.  Rob becomes jealous because Jim is such a successful businessman.

Robert in 1963 Dick Van Dyke Show episode

Despite all of his television guest roles, Robert Vaughn did not play a major role in a TV series until he was cast in The Lieutenant, a military-themed drama created by Gene Roddenberry of Star Trek fame. The series aired from 1963 to 1964 on NBC and it chronicled the fortunes of  U.S Marine Lieutenant William Rice (Gary Lockwood) and his comrades at Camp Pendleton (near San Diego, Califronia).

Robert portrayed Captain Raymond Rambridge, Rice's company commander, in 16 of The Lieutenant's 29 episodes.  Although The Lieutenant was short-lived, it served as the stepping stone to Robert's next series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., one of the most popular American TV shows of the 1960s.  The executive producer of  The Lieutenant was Norman Feltman, who was also the producer of Dr. Kildare and The Eleventh Hour.   Feltman showed Robert a script for a spy series called Solo.

In an August, 2014 interview with entertainment writer Jeff Labrecque, Vaughn described his visit to Feltman on the morning after he had read the script:: "So I got there and I went to see Mr. Feltman.  He said, 'What do you think?'  I said, 'Well, it looks to me like it's James Bond for television.'  He said, 'Shhh, don't say that, don't say that.'"

The title was, of course, changed to The Man from U.N.C.L,E. and Robert shot to fame as Napoleon Solo.  The Man from U.N.C.L.E.  debuted on NBC on September 22, 1964 and it ran until 1968  The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows 1946 - Present describes the Man from U.N..C.L.E. as "American television's answer to the very popular James Bond movies." (The first James Bond movie, Dr. No, was released in 1962).

Napoleon Solo, and fellow agent, Illya Kuryakin, worked for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement (U.N.C.L.E.).  They teamed up to fight the forces of an international crime syndicate known as THRUSH.  The two suave spies were directed by Mr. Alexander Waverly (Leo .G. Carroll).  Waverly assigned them to cases from U.N.C.L.E.'s secret headquarters in New York.

David McCallum, s Scottish actor, played Illya Kuryakin, Solo's quiet Russian colleague.  McCallum became very well-liked by fans and was known as  the "blond Beatle" during the "Fab Four" era.   Despite the appeal of Vaughn and McCallum, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s popularity began to wane after the 1966-1967 season.  The show became more campy and the plots more unreal.  At the same time The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. was created, starring Stephanie Powers as American U.N.C.L.E. agent April Dancer and Noel Harrison as her British partner.  Both The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and its spin-off were one-hour show.

In 1968, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was replaced by Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, which became a huge hit in the late 1960s.  The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. was cancelled after one season (1966-1967).  Leo G. Carroll appeared as Mr. Waverly on both series.  Robert Vaughn appeared as Napoleon Solo on an episode of The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. entitled "The Mother Muffin Affair" (Season 1, Episode 3, Air Date: September 27, 1966).

Vaughn and  McCallum in The Man from U.N.C.LE.

For a time in the early 1970s, Robert lived in England.  He played wealthy detective Harry Rule in the British action series The Protectors.  The series followed the adventures of three troubleshooters who ran an international crime fighting agency.  Robert's character, Harry Rule, the leader of the group, was based in London.  His colleagues, the Contessa di Contini and Paul Buchet, were located in Italy and France respectively.  The Protectors was only half-an-hour long, so it had to be very fast-paced.

Robert remained a bachelor until the age of 41 when he married stage actress Linda Staab (born 1943).  They met while co-starring in a 1970 Chicago production of "The Tender Trap."  They also appeared together in a 1973 episode of The Protectors entitled "It Could Be Practically Anywhere on the Island."  On June 29, 1974, the couple wed at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills, California.  They remained together for over 43 years, until Robert's death.

Robert and Linda: wedding photo

Robert and Linda adopted two children, a son named Cassidy (born 1976)  and a daughter named Caitlin (born 1981).  A November 15, 2013 article by Rebecca Hardy for the British tabloid the Daily Mail states that Cassidy operates a car dealership and Caitlin is an animal anesthetist.  Robert told the Daily Mail that ‘When we decided to adopt we had to have huge background checks.  It wasn’t, 'Here’s your baby, give us the money.' You’re the father.  It’s your child and you’re responsible."

Below is a photo of Robert and son Cassidy circa 1977 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Roy Erickson  Photo:  Erickson, Roy.  Robert and Cassidy

In the 1980s, Robert continued to make guest appearances on television shows. He was a guest star on Trapper John, M.D. (1980), The Love Boat (1981), Murder, She Wrote (1985) (1989), You Are the Jury (1986) and Hunter (1989). From 1983 to 1984, he played  Harlan Adams on Emerald Point, N.A.S.. From 1986 to 1987, he had a recurring role as General Hunt Stockwell in 13 episodes of The A-Team.  He also portrayed John Bradford in the 1985 mini-series Evergreen.

In the 1990s, Robert made a third appearance on Murder, She Wrote (1992).  He also guest-starred in episodes of Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993) (1994). Burke's Law (1995), Walker, Texas Ranger (1996), Diagnosis Murder (1996) (1997) and The Nanny (1996) (1998).  On Diagnosis Murder, he had the opportunity to work with Dick Van Dyke again.  On The Nanny, he played James Sheffield, the father of the series' lead male character Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy).

Below is a photo of Robert Vaughn (far right) with Dick Van Dyke and members of the cast of a 1997 episode of Diagnosis Murder entitled "Discards" (Season 5, Episode 10, Air Date: November 13, 1997).

In his later years, Robert worked a great deal in Britain.  From 2004 until 2012, he played a con artist and card shark named Albert Stroller on the British television drama Hustle. Stroller was part of a group of grifters who specialized in big time deceptions that yield large fortunes,  From January to February 2012, Robert Vaughn played wealthy American Milton Fanshaw on the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street.

Robert also appeared in two episodes of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. one in 2006 and the other in 2015.  He died of acute leukemia on November 11, 2016 in Ridgefield, Connecticut.  He was 83 years old.


*  Robert Vaughn's father, Gerald Walter Vaughn, died in January of 1950.  His mother, Marcella Frances Gaudel, died of pancreatic cancer in 1961.

* In October of 1966, Robert appeared as a bachelor in the nighttime premiere of The Dating Game.  He was chosen for a date by Karen Carlson, the first runner-up in the 1965 Miss America Pageant, (held on September 12, 1964).  Carlson went on to become an actress.  She appeared as Nancy McKay in The Candidate, the 1972 film starring Robert Redford. and Nancy Scotfield in the TV series Dallas.  She made numerous guest appearances on TV shows, including the role of of Helene in a 1967 episode of The Man from U.N.C..L.E. entitled "The THRUSH Roulette Affair" (Season 4, Episode 7, Air Date: October 23, 1967).  Carslon is also the former wife of Starsky and Hutch star David Soul.

Robert Vaughn (far right) on The Dating Game

* David McCallum, Robert's Man from U.N.C.L.E. co-star is known to a new generation as medical examiner Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard on the hit series NCIS.

David McCallum in 2015

* Robert Vaughn and David McCallum reprised their roles as Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin in the 1985 television movie The Return of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair.

* In 1995, Robert played the role of Rick Hamlin on the daytime drama As the World Turns.

* Robert was a longtime member of the Democratic Party and he publicly opposed the Vietnam War. He was active in the Vietnam War-era peace group, Another Mother for Peace.  He and comedians Dick Van Dyke and Carl Reiner founded a group called Dissenting Democrats.  Vaughn was also a friend of the Kennedy family, especially Bobby Kennedy.

* During his career, Robert Vaughn portrayed three American presidents, all Democrats.  He played Franklin D, Roosevelt in the 1982 television movie FDR: That Man in the White House, Woodrow Wilson in the 1979 NBC TV mini-series Backstairs at the White House and Harry Truman in the 1974 biographical film The Man from Independence.  He also played General Douglas MacArthur in the mini-series The Last Bastion.

* Robert Vaughn won an Academy Award nominatin for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1959 film The Young Philadelphians , starring Paul Newman.  He played Chester A. Gwynn, an alcoholic who is framed for murder and is defended by lawyer Anthony Lawrrence (Paul Newman).
Vaughn had another big film role as Lee in the classic 1960 Western The Magnificent Seven.  From 1998 until 2000, he played Judge Oren Travis in six episodes the television version of The Magnificent Seven.

 For his performance as Frank Falherty in the 1977 min-series Washington: Behind Closed Doors, Robert received an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
* In 1970, Robert earned a Ph.D in communications from the University of Southern California (USC) for his dissertation on the legacy of the United States House Un-American Activities and its effects on the acting profession.  Robert's dissertation was published in a 1972 book called Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blackisting, 

* Robert Vaughn's memoir, A Fortunate Life, was published in 2008.

Below is a photo of Robert Vaughn signing his autograph at a memorabilia event in March of 2009.

Photo Attribution: The Yeti

- Joanne

Thursday, December 1, 2016

60th anniversary of the I Love Lucy Christmas Episode

In 1989, the year of Lucille Ball's passing, the vice-president for CBS Video was searching for some Christmas programming for video release.  While working on this project, he learned about  I Love Lucy's seldom seen "Christmas Epiisode."  The episode was originally aired on December 24, 1956, during the sixth and final season of the series.  It was never included in the package of 179 episodes for syndication because of its Christmas theme and its lengthy flashback scenes.

Back in 1956, it made perfect sense to compose an episode of flashbacks from past shows.  When I Love Lucy premiered in 1951, television was still a novelty and many North Americans did not own a television set.  By 1956, when the Chrismas episode was broadcast, the number of TV owners had increased dramatically. Thus, the flashback enpisode provided viewers with an opportunity to watch scenes from earlier shows for the first time.

As it truned out, the CBS executive was able to track down the Lucy Christmas episode in the network's vaults. When the original negative.was found, CBS broadcast the "lost" episode as a prime-time special on December 18,1989, about eight months after Lucy's death.  It attracted over 29 million viewers, outdrawing ABC's Monday Night Football. The following year, on December 10, 1990, a colourized version of the episode was aired, with the flashback sequences remaining in black and white.  (As a Lucy fan, my view is that I Love Lucy does not need to be tampered with.  I prefer watching it in beautiful black and white, as it was presented in the 1950s.)

"The Christmas Episode" begins on Christmas Eve.  An anxious Little Ricky is reluctant to go to sleep for fear that Santa Clause would have difficulty coming down the chimney. His father, Cuban-American  band leader Ricky Ricardo, tells him that Santa won't deliver the tree and the gifts until he goes to bed. Lucy convinces the child that Santa will have no problem climbing down the chimney ("He brings the North Pole with him and slides down it like a fireman.")

As soon as the little boy is sound asleep, Fred and Ethel Mertz arrive with a Christmas tree.  It's an unimpressive five dollar fir.  Referring to her cheapskate husband, Ethel proclaims that it's "a gift from me and Ebeneezer." The Ricardos and the Mertzes begin decorating their Christmas tree and Lucy notices an uneven branch.  Fred saws the branch while Ricky tells Lucy how the birth of Little Ricky has changed their lives. They reminisce about the day that Lucy told Ricky the news that she was having a baby while he was performing at the Tropicana (flashback from "Lucy is Enceinte"). Meanwhile, a distracted Fred cuts off too much of the tree while listening to all the reminiscing.  He leaves to find another tree.  During his absence, Ethel and Ricky break into a rendition of "Jingle Bells." Lucy joins in with her off-key singing. They are reminded of the time she sang  "Sweet Adeline" as part of their barbershop quartet (flashback from "Lucy's Show Biz Swan Song").

Fred returns with a tree he got "last minute" for 50 cents and they all begin to decorate the new tree.  They also discuss Little Ricky's Christmas gifts and Ethel remarks that, "It seems like only yesterday when he was born."  A flashback is the shown of Ricky, Fred and Ethel preparing for Lucy's trip to the hospital maternity ward (from "Lucy Goes to the Hospital").

Christmas morning arrives and the four friends are up early and dressed in Santa Clasus suits.  They hear Little Ricky coming and they hurry into the kitchen as not to disenchant him with the appearance of four Santas.  Suddenly, a fifth Santa shows up.  However, the "real" St. Nick vanishes as the Ricardos and Mertzes look into the camera and gingerly proclaim, "Merry Christmas!"

For the past three years, an I Love Lucy Christmas special has become an annual Yueltide tradition, each combing the "Christmas Episode" with a different classic episode from the show. This year is no exception.  So, take note, Lucy aficionados.  Tomorrow, Friday, December 2, 2016 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) CBS will broadcast an hour-long I Love Lucy Christmas Special featuring two back-to-back episodes  - "The Christmas Episode" and the newly colourized "Lucy Gets in Pictures."  "Lucy Gets in Pictures" was first aired during the fourth season of the series, on February 21, 1955.  In the episode, Ricky arranges for Lucy to play a showgirl and Lucy is required to walk down a staircase wearing an enormous feathered headdress.


* As part of the 2015 Lucy special, the "Christmas Episode" was broadcast entirely in colour for the first time - including the flashback sequences.  It was shown along with "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" (also know as the "Vitametavegamin" episode), which was aired in colour for the first time.  The 2014 Christmas special included "Lucy's Italian Movie," the grape-stomping episode.  "Job Switching," the chocolate factory epispde. was shown in 2013.

- Joanne

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Y&R Report (November 26, 2016): 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.

How did you like Turkey Day on Y&R?  I really enjoyed watching the Thanksgiving activities in Genoa City.  The wealthy and privileged citizens really made an effort to help the homeless and needy this year. Jill's participation, however, was not entirely altruistic.  She was also motivated by a desire to drum up some positive publicity for Brash & Sassy.  Speaking of Jill, it was fun to see Esther annoy her former boss by insisting that she wear a hair net while serving food.  She had Jill squirming.

I also enjoyed watching how Abby and Summer burnt the turkey and almost caused a fire.  Only the pies were fit to eat.  It was quite amusing to see Jack take such delight in devouring Victor's favourite pie.  That may have been the only time Jack put one over on Victor.  

Just before Thanksgiving, Travis decided to take out an engagement ring and propose to Princess Victoria - right after he had cheated on her.  Unknown to the couple, ex-husband Billy Boy Abbott was lurking quietly in the background (What a great sense of timing!). To her credit, Victoria would not give Travis an answer right away, Instead, after taking some time to think it over, she accepted his marriage proposal during Thanksgiving dinner.  No wonder she was hesitant, with her marital track record - Ryan, Cole, J.T., Billy (three times). If this wedding actually takes place, it doesn't look any more promising than Victoria's previous unions. The princess doesn't realize it yet, but her White Knight has rusty armour.  He's just as much of a liar and a cheat as Billy Boy.  Jill was right on the money when she described Travis as "Billy-lite."  At least Billy doesn't pretend that he's some kind of paragon of virtue.  For all his faults, he's more authentic than Travis. At least he's not "holier than thou."  I hope Travis' not-so-secret tryst with Michelle will be revealed in time to avert another disastrous marriage for Victoria.  King Victor will soon be calling Travis "a punk," as he's done with all the other men in his daughter's life.  However, what will the Black Knight do if the alternative to Travis is a reunion between his princess and Billy Boy?

Although Dylan McAvoy is not my favourite character on Y&R. I think he's one of the most honest male characters on the show.  He's much more honourable than Nicholas Newman.  Nick is a mean-spirited, angry man.  Yes, Sharon has deceived him, but he cheated on her twice when they were married, first with Grace and then with Phyllis.  Why is he so self-righteous?  Of course, Sharon was wrong in keeping the baby secret from him, but he should feel fortunate in having his son back.(even though Christian is not really his son). Why can't he be more magnanimous?  Why did he have to be coaxed into not pressing kidnapping charges against his former wife?  What would that have accomplished except cause more pain and heartbreak for Faith and Mariah and Dylan.

Nick is just as hypocritical and self-righteous as his parents, Nikki and Victor.  Although Dylan and Nick are both sons of Nikki, Nick was raised by the Newmans and Dylan was raised by his adoptive parents.  That must be the difference.  That must be why Dylan, though not flawless, has more integrity than his bull-headed brother.  Sharon's fortunate he hasn't left her, at least not yet.  He will be out of the picture before 2016 comes to an end.  As I've mentioned before, Steve Burton, who portrays the character, did not renew his contract and will be be leaving Y&R.  So, Dylan's fate hangs in the balance.  He may leave town leaving the door open for his return, with another actor playing the part.  Perhaps he'll hook up with Avery again, although that would be a mistake because she didn't treat him very well.  Once he's gone, where will that leave Sharon?  Will she try to mend fences with Nick?  Will she battle Chelsea for Nick's affections?

Well, fans, I am very pleased that Sally Sussman is taking over the reigns as head writer at The Young and the Restless.  I'm glad that she intends to focus on the core characters and their relationships. We've had enough explosions and baby snatching.  Thank goodness Sussman wants to move away from that!  You will undoubtedly notice a change in direction on the first episode with Sussman as head writer - Wednesday, December 7 (CBS), Tuesday, December 6 (Global TV in Canada).  There will be a traditional Abbott breakfast.

By the way, don't expect the character of Adam to resurface anytime soon.  In an an interview with TV Insider, Sally Sussman said that she is "not looking to bring the character back," nor is she planning to make a big issue of Christian's real paternity, at least right now.  "I don't see that we need it,"  she declared.  "Nick believes this baby is his and for all intents and purposes, it is."  She added that when and if an Adam shows up, "then we'll deal with it."    

In her interview with TV Insider, Sussman also revealed that "Jill is going to experience a serious personal crisis that will cause her to reevaluate her entire life."  I can only speculate what that might be.  Perhaps she'll have a close brush with death.  Maybe her crisis will have something to to with Colin.  Hmmm . . .


If you have any comments on Y&R, please email them to me with "Viewer Forum in the subject line. I will be happy to publish your comments and reply to them  You do not have to use your real name.  
My email address:

Regular viewer Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario thinks it's obvious that Cane Aasby is going to get hooked on pain killers.  Fifi says she's not too thrilled about the prospect of that storyline.  

Yes, Fifi, it does seem that Sugar Cane is going to become addicted to the pills and I have to agree with you.that it doesn't sound appealing as a plotline.  We've already had so many addiction stories - Nikki, Neil, Jack - isn't that enough?  Why add Cane to the club?


Tristan Rogers (Colin Atkinson) is set to return to Y&R again

Tristan Rogers will be back as the roguish Colin Atkinson for four episodes in December.  He'll return again in January for a longer time  The Aussie announced his return on Twitter, despite having said that he would no longer appear on the show.  Rogers obviously changed his mind and his fans will be delighted that he did. His character really stirs thing up in Genoa City.


Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson) has been very busy lately developing products for Jabot.  She's been single and unattached for quite a while now.  Fans, whom do think would be a good match for her?  Now that Abby and Dr. Stitch have broken up, should she rekindle a romance with him.

There doesn't seem to be any suitable guys for Ashley on Y&R right now.  She and Dr. Neville would have made a good match.  It's too bad he was written out of the show before a romance could develop. Maybe Sally Sussman will bring Neville back, although that seems unlikely to happen.

Should Ashley and Dr. Stitch be a couple?

Yes. They seem to have a good connection.
No. Definitely not. Stitch is divorcing Ashley's daughter. It would be much too complicated.
No way. Stitch has too much baggage.
Dr. Neville should return. He and Ashley would make a good match.
No. Ashley should meet someone new.
It doesn't really matter to me.
Please Specify:

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, December 10, 2016.  The month of December and the dawn of the New Year should be a lot of fun on Y&R.  We'll see what changes that Sally Sussman brings to the show amid all the Christmas and New Year activities in Genoa City.


On Sunday, December 4, I will be attending March of Dimes Canada;s fifth annual Toronto OpportuniTea High Tea with Kate Linder & Friends at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.  This year, Kate (Esther Valentine) will be joined by Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin), who will be co-hosting the event.  Other Y&R cast members appearing at the afternoon tea will be Sean Carrigan (Dr. Ben 'Stitch' Rayburn), Christel Khalil (Lily Winters) and Michael Roark (Travis Crawford).  For more information on the event, click on the following link:

I will report on the Toronto OpportuniTea High Tea with Kate Linder & Friends in the next Y&R Report on December 10th.

- Joanne