Saturday, April 30, 2016

Y&R Report (April 30, 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.

There's been a lot happening on the Y&R as we head into the May sweeps.  Abby has fallen down the stairs and lost her baby, thanks to her psychotic eight-year-old stepson. Young Max is quite a piece of work, isn't he?  He certainly has most people fooled, including daddy Stitch'em Up. and step-grandmother Ashley Abbott.  He has the sweetest angelic face when it suits his purposes.  That's why Dr. Stitch, Ashley and others have no idea of the wicked thoughts going on in his mind.  However, the kid hasn't fooled Abby. She knows the truth,  She knows that he caused her to fall.

We have also witnessed the sudden and shocking death of Sage.  CC in Etobicoke, a regular reader of Y&R Report, alerted me to some Internet speculation about Sage's demise.  CC had been hoping that it was a false rumour and that it wouldn't happen.  She wrote: "Sure hope this isn't how things go because it is just too much of an emotional storyline for me that has nothing to do with liking the character of Sage or the actress playing her.  It borders on being a sick torture tactic that the writers and powers that be will use on the fans.  Since they I'll do anything to get publicity, I hope that is what this is . . . a publicity ploy to get everyone buzzing and watching, but nothing will come of it."

Well, it did happen and it wasn't just a publicity ploy.  I'm sure that Sage died for storyline purposes or for budget cuts.  They won't have to pay a salary anymore to Kelly Sullivan, the actress who portrays Sage.  It's all about storylines and saving money.

Newman and Ward!  Ward and Newman!  What a dynamic duo, folks!  Did you think it would ever happen?  Did you think that "The Moustache" and the dastardly Ian Ward would ever team up? Well, it's happened, but for reasons of mutual self-interest.  The two jailbirds both want to break away from prison.  They share a common cause and they plan to use the prison doctor as the key to their escape.

As the slippery cult leader put it, Dr. Meredith Gates' father, who just happens to be the head of the prison review board, is her Achilles heel.  The good doctor has already given Victor far too much information about her personal life.  She's putty in his hands.  He really knows how to push the right buttons.  

Lachlan Buchanan made his final appearance as Kyle Abbott.  He tied up some loose ends with Supergirl Summer, mercifully putting an end to that third-rate romance.  Now that Kyle has returned to New York, Summer can concentrate her energies on el señor Luca Santori (Miles Gaston Villanueva).  In fact, she was not exactly thrilled to see Kyle leave and she was rather relieved to be able to end her relationship with him. She seemed almost anxious to be rid of him.  She was far from heartbroken when he walked out the door.  

It appears that our little Snowflake is quite smitten with her suave Spanish suitor.  The question is whether Santori is really sincere about his feelings for her.  Is he using her for his own advantage?  Is he trying to worm his way into the Newman hierarchy?  Summer's daddy, Nick, and her Aunt Victoria, both cautioned him to stay away from her and they sternly warned him not to hurt her. Santori claims that he really cares for Summer.  Is he trustworthy?  Can he be believed?  He does seem very ambitious and egotistical.  Could it be that the writers themselves haven't decided yet which direction to take the character?


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.  
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Here are some remarks from CC in Etobicoke, Ontario on the death of Sage.

I am quite dissatisfied with the direction this storyline has taken although the actress likely asked to be released as it looks like her career is going in other directions.
I believe her last call was to Adam to tell him that their son was alive.

Sharon is not just a mother trying to hold on to her child . . . she lies whenever it suits her and can be malicious.  The joke might be on her if she thinks this is another way to build more ties to Nick. Imagine the turmoil when it comes out that Christian is really Adam's child?  As Victor's namesake, and now favoured son Adam's child, little Christian has quite a future ahead of him.

Sages's death opens up many new storyline possibilities.  Even though Sage did not get a change to tell Adam that Christian is still alive,  he will find out at some point.  Yes, CC, Sharon is full of secrets and lies.  However, I don't think she is as malicious as you describe her.  The writers have changed her character over the years for storyline purposes.  As for baby Christian/Sully, there certainly will be turmoil when the truth comes out that Adam is his father - and we all know the secret will be revealed.  Nick and Sharon and Adam will all try to get custody of the royal baby. After all, the child is superhuman and tough because he has Newman blood and he will be considered the heir to the Newman dynasty.

Here are some comments from Filomena in Woodbridge, Ontario.

Although I like Sage, I think killing her off would be brilliant.  It would disrupt many marriages.  I also don't like Sharon at all.  She is as conniving as Victor.  

I agree with Phyllis.  Phyllis is fiercely loyal to her family and friends.  She doesn't let anyone push her around.  She is not afraid to speak her mind, even if she doesn't have the most popular opinion.  She has your back when needed.  She can be funny, passionate and loving at the same time.

I hope Chelsea gives Dylan his own baby one day.  I really liked them together.  

I love Kevin with the new girl (Natalie).  I don't like Mariah with him.

I think that creepy kid (Max) will continue to do more harm before his is revealed. The marriage between Stitch and Abby will be over soon enough.

I like Ashley with the research guy (Dr. Simon Neville) . . . NOT STITCH . . . but I think that the troubles with Max will lead to Ashley and Stitch  getting together. That will cause problems between Ashley and Abby.  

One last thing.  Put Adam in Victor's chair already.  He deserves it, not self-righteous Victoria.  I don't want her with Billy.  Put Billy and Phyllis together for a while.  Jack and Phyllis just argue all the time.  Billy and Phyllis make a hot, interesting storyline.  I loved that they went on a motorcycle together.  

Yes, Filomena, the death of Sage is going to provide many great storyline opportunities.

I like Kevin and Natalie together too.  Kevin is very comfortable with Mariah, but there is no spark. They seem like really good friends and nothing more.  As for Mariah, she always seems to get the short end of the stick.  I hope she meets someone who will treat her well.

You may get your wish as far as Chelsea and Dylan are concerned.  Once Dylan finds out that he is not Sully/Christian's biological father, he'll be devastated.  He'll also be angry with Sharon for covering up her miscarriage.  I don't think their marriage will survive the upheaval.  Sharon, of course, will try to conceal the truth from Dylan and Nick, but they will eventually discover what she has done.  Her lies will catch up with her.  Sharon is no angel, but she isn't entirely to blame either. She was a victim of the evil Dr. Anderson and she has bipolar disorder.

Phyllis is admirable in some ways.  She is certainly feisty and she definitely speaks her mind.  She doesn't pretend to be something she's not and she stands up for herself.  It's also true that she isn't self-righteous.  However, she doesn't have much to be self-righteous about.  She can be as conniving and manipulative as Victor and Sharon.  Don't forget that she played a significant role in breaking up the marriage of Danny Romalotti and Christine (the one and only Cricket).  She was also instrumental in breaking up the marriage of Nick and Sharon.  She also tried to run over Christine and Paul.  Oh yes, due to Phyllis' interference, Michael Baldwin was disbarred.

Yes, I agree that Ashley and Dr. Neville should be together.  It probably won't happen for a while, though.  I think that Stitch will believe that his sweet little son is innocent.  This will cause a rift between the almost newlyweds and they will separate.  Ashley will end up with Stitch, at least temporarily, before she finally has a romance with Neville.  As for Max, he will get caught eventually.  Perhaps Dylan or Lily will put the pieces together,  Until then, Abby had better watch out.  Who knows what harm that sinister child could do to her.

Actually, Filomena, I'm pleased that Victoria is in the chair and that she is running the company. Many Genoa City residents, including her own father, Victor, don;t think she's capable.  Why?  She has much business experience and she knows Newman Enterprises inside out.  Is it because she's a woman that many don't think she can handle the job?  I think she should remain behind the desk.  I just have one objection.  Could she not get rid of that infernal portrait of Victor. The man is controlling enough.  He even continues his dirty work from behind bars.  He got revenge on his own daughter by causing her to lose Brass and Sassy.

Victoria has made plenty of mistakes, but I have more sympathy for her than for Billy and Phyllis.  All those two can think about is revenge. They deserve each other and will probably be together, at least for a while.  It won;t last, though.  The writers have made Billy's character too similar to Phyllis'. Billy was really cruel to Victoria when he scooped up Brass and Sassy, the company she worked so hard to develop. He rubbed it in her face too.

It appears that Victoria is going to get involved with Travis, the blond guy at the bar  He's a mysterious new character played by Michael Roark.

Here are some remarks from another Y&R viewer, Carly in Barrhaven, Ontario.

I don't know what to say about Y&R.  I heard that Sage will die, which is ridiculous.  Yesterday's episode showed her involved in a car accident so who knows & of course Sharon is on site.  

Funny to see Victor hooking up with Ian Ward.  Will they escape together??

I do not like the actor playing Billy at all.  I don't like him with Phyllis but who knows where that is going.  Another actor I am not fond of is Amelia Heinle as Victoria. 

Ben sure has an evil son.  The young man plays his role so well.  Poor Abby.

I am ticked off about the Daytime Emmys.  I don't understand why they can't get sponsors like they did before.  It should be a good show especially hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

Yes, Carly, Ian and Victor are an unlikely pair.  It's fun to see them join forces.  I also enjoy their banter.

As for Billy, after watching Jason Thompson in the role for a while, I'm not too thrilled with him either.  Maybe it's what the writers have done to his character.  Billy just seems cold-hearted and vengeful these days.  I really miss Billy Miller.  His Billy was mischievous, but much warmer.  He was playful and had a twinkle in his eye.  I think he had much better chemistry with Ameilia Heinle than Jason Thompson.

I am also disappointed that the Daytime Emmys will not be  Apparently ratings for awards shows have gone down.  There are just to many of them.


Chrishell Stause has new role on Y&R

Chrishell Stause is coming to Genoa City and her character is expected to really stir things up. Srause, who portrayed Jordan Ridgeway on Days of our Lives and  Amanda Dillon on All My Children, has taken on the recurring role of Bethany Bryant this time around.  According to TV Line, Bethany is "a young woman who relishes the chance to push things to the limit and live dangerously as long as she's not the one who gets burned."

Chrishell, 34, is a native of Kentucky and attended Murray State University.  In addition to her work on daytime soaps, the actress has appeared on shows like Mistresses and Body and Proof.

Chrishell's boyfriend is very familiar to Y&R fans.  He's Justin Hartley, who portrays Adam Newman on the show.  On Chrishell's casting, Hartley wrote on Twitter: "This is great news!  Proud of this lady and proud of the show for this fine hire."  Chishell herself tweeted: "WOW... do you guys know how to make a girl feel special!!  I grew up watching Y&R [with] my mom & I can't tell you what this warm welcome means."

Chrishell and boyfriend Justin Hartley

Chrishell will make her first appearance on The Young and the Restless on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 (CBS) and Tuesday, May 24th on Global TV in Canada.  She should add some spice to the May sweeps.

Marisa (Sofia Pernas) returns

Marisa Sierras.(Sofia Pernas) will return to Genoa City on Thursday, May 5th (CBS) and Wednesday, May 4th (Global TV, Canada).  Sofia was taken off contract by The Young and the Restless back in March and her role was cut back to recurring status.  She won a leading role in a pilot for The CW Network Network called Transylvania, but there has been no decision yet about whether the show will be picked up.


Miles Gaston Villanueva (Luca Santori

Okay fans, what is your advice to Summer?  Should she trust Luca or will he hoodwink her and break her achy breaky heart?

Do you think Luca Santori is sincere about Summer?

Yes, I think he really cares for her.
No. Are you kidding? He's a phony. He's just using her for his advantage.
Maybe. Time will tell.
I don't know
Please Specify:

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the May sweeps are coming up.  That should be fun. Remember too that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, May 14, 2016.

- Joanne

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ann-Margret on Television

Ann-Margret celebrates her 75th birthday today.  The Swedish-American actress and singer is well known for her performances in such movies as Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Viva Las Vegas (1964), The Cincinnati Kid (1965), Carnal Knowledge (1971) and Tommy (1975).  However, she has also made her mark on television, particularly in made-for-TV movies and mini-series  This article will focus primarily on her TV performances.

Ann-Margret does have a last name.  She was born Ann-Margret Olsson in Valsjöbyn, Jämtland County, Sweden on April 28, 1941.  In her autobiography, Ann-Margret: My Story, she wrote that she dropped her last name because "I didn't want my parents to feel embarrassed if there was negative publicity from my being in show business."

According to her official website, Ann-Margret immigrated to the United States with her mother when she was five years old, settling in the Chicago area.  She attended Northwestern University and then moved to Las Vegas to pursue a singing career.  She performed in comedian George Burns' Vegas show and it was her association with Burns that led to her appearance on Jack Benny's television show.

Ann-Margaret was a guest on The Jack Benny Program in an episode that aired on April 2, 1961 (Season 11, Episode 24). Jack introduced the 19-year-old newcomer. and she sang "I Ain't Got Nobody."  Comedian George Burns, who was also a guest on Benny's show, came out and demanded a park setting for the young singer's second number on the program.  Jack brought out a park bench and Ann-Margret sang "Have a Good Time." Below is a video of her rendition of "Have a Good Time" in 1961.

In 1963, Ann-Marget voiced a cartoon image of herself  in a well-known episode of the popular animated series The Flintstones entitled "Ann-Margrock Presents (Season 4, Episode 1, Air Date: September 19, 1963).   It's one of my favourite Flintstones episodes and the most vivid representation I have of Ann-Margret on television.  In the episode, "Ann-Margrock" is brought to the Flintstone home by happenstance (a flat tire) and she is unrecognized by Fred Flintstone and his best friend, Barney Rubble.  She calls herself "Annie" and looks after baby Pebbles Flintstone.  I always remember the beautiful lullaby she sings to Pebbles called "The Littlest Lamb"   Later, as "Ann-Margrock," she belts out "I Love You But I Ain't Gonna Be A Fool." at the Bedrock Bowl.  She even does a little soft shoe with Fred and Barney.

Ann-Margaret had her own CBS television special, The Ann-Margret Show.  It aired on December 1, 1968 and featured guest stars Bob Hope, Jack Benny. Danny Thomas and Carol Burnett.  Another CBS special followed with Dean Martin and Lucille Ball.  It was titled Ann-Margret: From Hollywood with Love and it aired on December. 6, 1969.

Ann-Margret guest-starred as herself in a 1970 episode of Here's Lucy with Lucille Ball. In the episode, entitled "Lucy and Ann-Margret" (Season 2, Episode 20, Air Date: February 2, 1970), Lucy's son, Craig (played by her real-life son Desi Arnaz, Jr.), decides he wants to be a songwriter, much to the disappointment of his mother who wants him to become a doctor.  Craig writes a song, "Country Magic," which impresses Ann-Margret. She wants to perform a duet with him on her upcoming television special.

Ann-Margret with Desi Arnaz, Jr. on Here's Lucy

In 1970, the Ann-Margret played as an entertainer at Valley Forge in Swing Out. Sweet Land, John Wayne's patriotic tribute to America. This comedy/variety television film boasts a star-studded cast, including Wayne, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Rick Nelson, Phyllis Diller, Dean Martin, Bob Hope and William Shatner.

In the 1980s, Ann-Margret continued to take roles in television movies.  She starred as Lucile Fray in Who Will Love My Children, a 1983 drama based on the true story of a dying Iowa farm wife and mother of ten children whose last wish was to find good homes for her children.  She also portrayed Blanche DuBois in a 1983 TV version of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire and Ann Arden Grenville in 1987's The Two Mrs. Grenvilles.  Hollywood leading lady Claudette Colbert starred with Ann-Margret in The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, a TV miniseries based on a Dominick Dunne novel about a sensational 1955 murder case.

In the 1990s, Ann-Margret was cast in a number of television films and mini-series.  She portrayed Luanne Barnes in the 1991 TV movie Our Sons, in which she and Julie Andrews are the mothers of gay partners, one of whom is dying of AIDS.   She played the role of  Sally Jackson in Queen, a 1993 mini-series about the owner of a Southern plantation owner who falls in love with a slave named Easter.  The plantation owner and Easter have a daughter named Queen who faces the struggle of fitting in as a mixed-race female in the South.

Ann-Margret and Julie Andrews (left) in Our Sons

Ann-Margret also played the role of Belle Watling in the four-episode, six hour mini-series Scarlett, based on Alexandra Ripley's book of the same name, a sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind.  Scarlett aired in 1994 and it starred British actress Joanne Whalley as Scarlett O'Hara and Timothy Dalton as Rhett Butler.

Ann-Margret (Belle Watling) and Timothy Dalton (Rhett Butlet) in Scarlett

In 1994, Ann-Margret appeared as Carol Stevens in the made-for-television movie Nobody's Children and as Lena in Following Her Heart, another TV film.  She had the lead role of Diane Kay Borchardt, in a 1996 two-episode mini-series called Seduced by Madness: The Diane Borchardt Story.  It is a true crime story that chronicles the life of a Wisconsin teacher's aid who recruits teenage students to murder her estranged husband.

Ann-Margret starred as Amanda "Maggie Wyatt" in Four Corners a disastrous prime time drama series that only lasted for two episodes, from February 24, 1998 to March 3, 1998. She also played the title role of English-born American socialite Patricia Harriman in the 1998 mini-series entitled Life of the Party: The Patricia Harriman Story.  In 1999, she appeared as Lorraine Petrovitch in the television movie Happy Face Murders.

Ann-Margret has remained active in the 21st century.  She guest-starred as Angela Britton in an episode of the TV series Touched by an Angel.  The episode is entitled "Millenmium" (Season 6, Episode 11, Air Date: January 2, 2000).

She played Nedra Paugh in a year 2000 TV movie called Perfect Murder, Perfect Town, JonBenét and the City of Boulder, the story of six-year-old JonBenét, a child beauty pageant winner, who was murdered in her Colorado home.  She also played Cinderella in the 2000  family adventure min-series The 10th Kingdom and made a guest appearance in the comedy/drama Popular.  Believe it or not, she played God in a episode of the series entitled "Are you there God?  It's Me Ann-Margret" (Season 2, Episode 9, Air Date: December 8, 2000).

In 2001, Ann-Margrret appeared as Della Monroe  in a television min-series called Blonde, a fictional biography of Marilyn Monroe.  She also played the role of Claire Anders-Blackett in a 2001 TV movie entitled A Woman's a Helluva Thing, the story of a man who discovers he has a lot in common with his deceased mother.

In 2003, she guest-starred as Barbara Halstead in three consecutive episodes of the police series Third Watch.  The episodes are "Goodbye to All That" (Season 5, Episode 5, Air Date: October 31, 2003), "Surrender" (Season 5, Episode 6, Air Date: November 7, 2003) and "Payback" (Season 5, Episode 7, November 14, 2003).

Ann-Margaret starred in a 2004 television movie drama called A Place Called Home.  She portrayed a Southern Belle named Tula Jeeters.  In 2010, she appeared as Rita Wills in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit.  The episode is entitled "Bedtime" (Season 11, Episode 18, Air Date: March 31, 2010.  In 2010, she also made guest appearances as Aunt Edie in the drama Army Wives ("Gun and Roses," Season 4, Episode 5, Air Date: May 9, 2010.) and as Margot Wilton in  CSI: Crime Scene Investigation ("Squeegel" Season 11, Episode 4, Air Date: October 14, 2010).  Her performance on Law & Order SVU earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

In 2014, Ann-Margret played the role of June in two episodes of the Showtime crime/drama series Ray Donovan.  The episodes are "Uber Ray" (Season 2, Episode 2, Air Date: July 20, 2014) and "SUCK." (Season 2, Episode 4, Air Date: August 3, 2014).


*  Ann-Margret has been married to American actor Roger Smith since May 8, 1967 and the couple will soon celebrate their 49th wedding anniversary.  Smith starred in the TV detective series 77 Sunset Strip and the comedy Mister Roberts.  Now 83, he suffers from myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness and fatigue. Ann-Margret has said that she knew on the third date that she was going to marry him.

Ann-Margret with husband Roger Smith

*  Ann-Margret does not have any biological children.  She is, however, stepmother to Roger's three children (daughter Tracey and sons Jordan and Dallas) from his first Australian-born actress Victoria Shaw. That union lasted from 1956 to 1965.

*  Ann-Margret published a 1994 autobiography called Ann-Margret: My Story (with Todd Gold), G.P. Putnam's Sons: New York, N.Y.  In her memoir, she revealed her battle with alcoholism and her ongoing recovery.

*  Ann-Margret maintained a life-long friendship with Elvis Presley, with whom she starred in the 1964 film Viva Las Vegas.  There was much speculation and publicity about the relationship between them. In her autobiography, she wrote very little about her romance with Elvis, although she referred to him as her "soulmate."  She and Roger Smith attended Elvis' funeral in 1977.

Ann-Margret and Elvis in Viva Las Vegas

*  Ann Margret has has had two terrible accidents.  On September 10, 1972, she survived a fall from an elevated stage during a concert in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  She suffered a broken arm, facial bone fractures and a concussion and she required reconstructive facial surgery.  On August 19, 2000, Ann-Margret, a motorcycle enthusiast, broke three ribs and fractured her shoulder when she was thrown off the motorcycle she was riding in Minnesota.

*  Ann-Margret received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Bobbie, the girlfriend of the abusive Jonathan Fuerst, Jack Nicholson's character in the 1971 Mike Nichols film Carnal Knowledge.

*  Ann-Margret was awarded a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1973.

- Joanne

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

TV Confidential with Ed Robertson

To television fans and students of television history:

I was recently made aware of a radio show about TV that should interest you.  On April 21, I received an email from Christopher Korman, son of comedian Harvey Korman of The Carol Burnett Show.  In his email, Christopher mentioned that he would be on TV Confidential this week

TV Confidential dubs itself  "A radio talk show about television."  It is hosted by Ed Robertson, an award-winning author and journalist.  Podcasts of recent editions of TV Confidential are available for free in their entirety on the TV Confidential website.  You can also listen to excerpts from TV Confidential on YouTube.

Here is a blurb describing TV Confidential that appears on the show's website:

TV Confidential is a two-hour radio talk show about all aspects of television that directs itself to the Baby Boomer, Generation X and senior markets. Each edition features lively interviews with special guests on topics related to popular network TV shows and the state of the medium in general. Listeners can participate by emailing Our audience encompasses listeners from all parts of the world, including many who work in the film, radio and television industries. The common bond is their unbridled passion for the past, present and future of television programming. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Y&R Report (April 16, 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.

Well, Y&R fans, what can we say about Dr. Neville?  We can say that he's seldom called by his first name - Simon - even by Ashley Abbott.  We can also say that the man is obviously a genius, a 21st century miracle worker. After all, he cured Ashley of a brain tumour.  Why aren't doctors from all over the world converging on Genoa City.  This is an incredible medical breakthrough. Neville should definitely win the Nobel Prize for Medicine.  Oh yes, and he's really hung up on "Ma Abbott."  I like the combination, but it will probably be a while before they get together.  On soaps, the road to romance has many twists and turns  and detours.  By the way, only Dr. Neville would describe his beloved Ashley as having "incredible bone structure."

So Natalie has removed her glasses and revealed a more attractive hair style - not that her transformation was very surprising.  It was inevitable that she would move away from her computer geek image.  She's sure going to make an enemy of Mariah if she goes after Kevin, which she probably will.  Speaking of Mariah, she could be a real lose canon.  She's bitter about not getting a share of the Passkey profits as part of the deal with Victoria and Newman Enterprises.  Kevin and Natalie will be getting some money, so Mariah is really irked.  She'll really see red if she loses Kevin to the Swiss Miss.  Who knows what she'll do.  Mariah could be capable of anything if she feels disgruntled and scorned.

I must say, I enjoyed those flashbacks of Victor and Nikki's first wedding.  It was a beautiful.  

Isn't Max a little demon of a child.  I understand that he lost his mother and that he's had to adjust to Abby as a stepmother.  That still doesn't excuse him from being such a brat.  He is very manipulative too.  When it suits his purposes, he can appear sweet and angelic.  He can pour on the charm if he has to.  Yet we all know he's up to know good.  He's been thinking about Abby falling down the stairs and losing her baby.  However, I think something else will happen.  It's going to be more complicated than that.  By the way, In my opinion, young Jared Breeze, the actor who portrays Max, is doing a great job in the role.

It was pleased that Esther (Kate) Linder was actually shown working at the coffee house.  The next step is to get her involved in a storyline.  I'm sure Kate doesn't want Esther to be just seen just serving coffee and refreshments.

Victor and Ian Ward may form an unholy alliance.  If it serves their purpose, they'll do it.  We know that Victor won't stay in prison forever and that dastardly Ian Ward wants to escape.  Perhaps the prison doctor, Meredith, will help Victor escape.  She seems quite sympathetic to the prisoners and has taken quite an interest in "The Moustache."

"Snowflake" has really fallen for Luca Santori.  She's definitely forgotten about her absent boyfriend, Kyle.  However, it seems that Luca hasn't had much competition.  Does Kyle even phone Summer from New York?  We'll soon out about the real Luca.  Is he trustworthy or is he an opportunist?  What are his motives?  Does he want to marry into the wealth Newman family.  In the previews after Friday's show on Global TV, we heard Nick Newman saying that he doesn't want that "lowlife" near his daughter.  He sounded like Victor whose always saying that he doesn't want "that useless punk, Billly Boy Abbot" to be with his daughter Victoria.  Well, you know what they say.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree . . .

It seems that Victoria miscalculated big time.  She tried to have it all.  She wanted to end the feud with the Abbots, secure control of Newman Enterprises and get Billy back on her terms.  She set out quite an ambitious agenda for herself.  When she visited Victor in prison, she even told him to "watch me!"  However, it appears that Victoria's grand plan has backfired.  Billy isn't exactly thrilled about being fired from his family's business, even though Victoria intended to save him from ruination.

Billy will probably end up with Phyllis for a while.  That seems inevitable.  They are going to ruffle a lot of feathers, but it won't last either.


Michael Muhney (ex-Adam Newman) seriously injured in bike accident

Fans were disappointed and dismayed when Michael Muhney was let go from his role as Adam Newman on The Young and the Restless.  Although Jason Hartley has done a fine job as Michael's replacement, Muhney has not been forgotten.  On Saturday. April 9, the actor suffered a concussion and some pretty nasty cuts and bruises while participating in a Southern California bike race.  He was involved in a high speed wipeout that left his head and body quite battered.

 "At least now I can donate my brain to NFL research, Michael jokingly tweeted.  He thanked fans for their support.  "I embrace the moments in life when I get knocked down," he wrote.  It makes [me] wiser, more careful and ultimately stronger."

Alicia Coppola joins the cast of Y&R as prison doctor

Alicia Coppola has joined the Y&R cast.  The 48-year-old mother of three portrays Dr. Meredith Gates who works at the prison infirmary looking after prisoners such as Victor Newman.  Alicia, a, a native of New York, is best known for her past role as Lorna Devon on Another World.  After leaving AW in the mid-90s, she went on to star in several films and television shows, including National Treasure: Book of SecretsNCIS: Los AngelesCommon LawJerichoCold Feet, and Trinity.


Max Rayburn (Jared Breeze) is an angry little boy.  Will he cause harm to his stepmother Abby's unborn baby.

Do you think Abby will lose her baby?

Yes, Max will cause her to fall down the stairs.
Yes, Max will be the cause, but it won't happen on the stairs.
Yes, but Max won't be the cause of it. However, he'll get blamed.
Yes, but it will have nothing to do with Max.
No, it won't happen.
I don't know.
Please Specify:

That's all for now.  The next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, April 30, 2016.  I'm looking forward to seeing what spring brings to the residents of Genoa City.  Who will have spring fever?

Note; Stacy Haiduk, who portrays Patty Williams has been filming scenes.  Watch for the return of Patty Cakes, sister of clueless Genoa City police chief Paulie Williams.  Will she form a partnership with Ian Ward again?  Is there more behind the murder of Dr. Anderson that we don't know?  Stay tuned!

- Joanne

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Phil Donahue: His talk show and his marriage to Marlo Thomas

Before Oprah Winfrey, there was Phil Donahue.  For 29 years, from 1967 until 1996, Phil was an innovator on daytime TV.  After hosting a local show in Dayton, Ohio for three years, he began a remarkable 26-year run on national (U.S.) television as the creator and star of The Phil Donahue Show, also known as Donahue.  The bespectacled man with the thatch of white hair resided over the longest-running syndicated talk show in American television history.  He received 20 Emmy Awards - nine as host and 11 for the show.

Known for his liberal views, Phil was a trailblazer in American talk television.  He pioneered the concept of audience participation on his show.  He took his microphone into a gathering of people and allowed them to ask questions and to express their opinions.  In January of 1996, when Phil announced that he was ending his show, Oprah released the following statement: "Phil really opened the door to this genre, and for that, I am grateful. I have said from the very first day of my show, if there hadn't been a Phil, there wouldn't have been a me."

How did Donahue come up with the idea of allowing his audience to participate in his discussions?  In a 2001 interview for the Archive of American Television, he made the following comment: ". . . I realized during the commercials that these people in the audience were asking better questions than I was.  I went out in the audience and it saved us.  There would have been no Donahue show without that studio audience."

Phil with studio audience

Philip John "Phil" Donahue was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 21, 1935.  He came from an Irish Catholic background.  His father, Philip, was a furniture salesman and his mother, Catherine was employed as a shoe clerk.  Young Phil was an altar boy, loved baseball, drew cartoons for the school newspaper and played clarinet in the school band. In 1953, he graduated from St. Edward High School, an all-male Catholic college prep high school located in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, Ohio.  He then enrolled at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1957.

After graduating from Notre Dame, Phil aspired to a career in broadcasting.   In the summer of 1957, he worked as a replacement announcer at KYW-AM and KYW-TV in Cleveland.   Seeking a more stable job, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, the hometown of his then-girlfriend, Margaret "Margie" Cooney.  Unable to find permanent employment as a broadcast journalist, he took a job as a cheque sorter at a bank in Albuquerque.

On February 1, 1958, Phil married Margie Cooney.  He then returned to Cleveland's KYW-TV as a substitute announcer for the summer.  In late 1958, he joined WABJ, a small radio station in Adrian, Michigan, where he served as the stations's program and news director.  Donahue was eventually hired as a newscaster by WHO TV in Dayton, Ohio.  At WHO, he hosted a phone-in talk show called Conversation Piece in which he interviewed civil rights leaders (including Martin Luther King, Jr.) and anti-war anti-war activists.  It was also at WHO that he interviewed Jimmy Hoffa, the powerful union leader who mysteriously disappeared in 1975.

In 1967, Phil began what was to become Donahue on WLWD in Dayton.  In 1974, Donahue relocated his show to Chicago.  Phil and Margie divorced in 1975.  The couple had five children: Michael, Kevin, Daniel, Mary Rose and James Patrick "Jim."  In August of 2014, Jim Donahue, a lawyer who lived and worked in Honolulu, Hawaii, died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm.  He was 51 years of age at the time of his passing.

On May 21, 1980, Phil married actress Marlo Thomas, the star of That Girl and daughter of legendary comedian Danny Thomas. They wed at Marlo's parents' home in Beverly Hills, California. Their romance began in 1977 when Marlo appeared on Donahue's show.  At the time, Marlo was 39 and single, while Phil was 41 and divorced.  As Marlo put it in a 2014 article in the Huffington Post, she was a poster girl for the single state until "I went on this talk show, and some chemical thing happened.  That's the only way I can explain it."

As the show drew to a close, Marlo clasped Donahue's hand and told him, "You are loving and generous and you like women.  And it's a pleasure.  And whoever is the woman in your life is very lucky."  Phil blushed boyishly and later asked her out.  The two are ardent feminists and strong supporters of the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Marlo's appearance on Phil's show in 1977

After a decade in Chicago, Phil decided to move his talk show to New York City.  On January 7, 1985, Donahue was broadcast from the Big Apple for the first time.  Here's how John Corry described the event in The New York Times.

Mr. Donahue's celebrated 9 A.M. interview-and-audience-participation program, Donahue, began promisingly enough. Mr. Donahue stood above the ice-skating rink in Rockefeller Plaza, said he was happy to be in New York, and pointed to the RCA Building across the street. ''NBC lives here,' he said, and then shook hands with the uniformed doorman. Mr. Donahue was downright beguiling. 

Phil Donahue has been quite outspoken and forthright about his political leanings.  In 2002, while being interviewed by Katie Couric on Today, he stated, "Don't be afraid of liberals.  Some of them are my best friends.  You can call us names, you can picket us, but you cannot take our flag.  We are as proud of America as anyone else."

On his show, Phil never shied away from discussing controversial subjects or highlighting controversial guests. He first experimented with audience participation in Dayton, Ohio on November 6, 1967.  It happened quite by accident.  A studio audience had arrived to watch a variety show, which, unknown to them, had been cancelled.  Donahue suggested allowing them to watch his interview instead.  Phil's guest that day was American atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, then causing quite a stir due to her anti-religious views.  Phil soon permitted the audience to question O'Hair

Phil's show seems fairly tame in this age of reality TV,   His program often focused on wedge issues that divide liberals and conservatives.  It dealt with  matters such as abortion, consumer protection, civil rights and anti-war protests.  Donahue also had some controversial and unpopular guests over the years, including White Supremacist David Duke


*  Phil Donahue's 1980 autobiography is entitled Donahue: My Own Story.

*  Consumer advocate Ralph Nadar was a frequent guest on Donahue's show.  In 2000, Phil supported Nader's campaign for the presidency of the United States.

*  In 1992, Phil Donahue was inducted into the 9th Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.  This honour is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to television.

Phil Donahue

*  From 2002 until 2003, Phil Donahue hosted a prime time talk show on MSNBC, a liberal cable station run by the NBC network.  Phil's show was cancelled on February 25, 2003, the reason cited being low ratings.  However, Donahue believes his firing was due to his anti-war stance with regard to the then-impending U.S. invasion of Iraq (it began on March 20, 2003.  In 2013, Phil spoke to Democracy Now!, a non-profit news organization, about his dismissal from MSNBC.  He made the following statement: "Well, I think what happened to me, the biggest lesson, I think, is the - how corporate media shapes our opinions and our coverage.  This was a decision - my decision - the decision to release me came from far above.  This was not an assistant program director who decided to separate me from MSNBC.  They were terrified of the anti-war voice. And that is not an overstatement. Antiwar voices were not popular. And if you’re General Electric, you certainly don’t want an anti-war voice on a cable channel that you own; Donald Rumsfeld is your biggest customer."

* Phil co-directed a documentary, Body of War, which chronicles the story of Tomas Young, an Iraq War veteran, who was paralyzed in combat.

*  In his 2001 interview for the Archive of American Television, Phil Donahue explained why he decided to end his talk show in 1996.  Here is what he said:

I felt that 29 years . . . I'm 60 years old.  We aren't doing the numbers we used to.  It's getting tougher and tougher.  They don't want to see politicians.  They want to see naked ladies.  You're being challenged on every front in terms of the visual, the fighting, the (Jerry) Springers, the guards

The audiences are being prepared on these other shows.  We never told an audience when or what to say.  I mean there are people being told to cry, being told when to cry, when to scream.  I mean it's all manufactured.  We were very proud of the fact that we got a few people from out of the audience - what do you know, maybe someone will say something interesting.

- Joanne

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Y&R Report (April 2, 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 Victor Newman is behind bars - but not for long!  He may have been convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison, but he probably won't even spend ten days there.  Too bad!  I think he looks good in his orange jumpsuit.  The truth is that no matter how matter how much time Victor spends in jail, he will never admit he was wrong.  He will never accept responsibility for his misdeeds. The man is incorrigible.

He's back.  That's right, folks.  That snake-in-the-grass, Ian Ward, is in prison with Victor. I must say, he really knows how to get Victor's goat because Victor doesn't know how to deal with him.  "The Moustache" only knows brute force.  However, the sneaky cult leader uses words and psychological tricks to annoy The Big Man.  For example, he'll make some comment about his fondness for Nikki and Victor won't know how to deal with it.

Phyllis' has certainly gone off the rails.  The woman is unstable.  One minute she wants to completely destroy Victor and Newman Enterprises.  The next minute she tells Jack that she regrets her vindictiveness.  One minute she is kissing Billy and the next minute she doesn't want to lose Jack's love.  She and Victoria are really going to be enemies. Actually, I have more sympathy for Victoria, especially after the way Phyllis treated her friend, Michael Baldwin, and the position she put him in.  I just wish he had been stronger and resisted the arguments of Phyllis and Lauren.  However, there was a reason for Michael's disbarment.  It appears that he is going to be working for Victoria.


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:

I received a very thoughtful and insightful email from regular contributor CC in Etobicoke, Ontario. Here it is:

Hi Joanne,

Unfortunate that it may be, it is probably for the best that characters Jill and Esther are being phased out because their storylines were very much dependent on their relationship with Katharine Chancellor.  

Some time ago I read that the actress who plays Jill was wanting to retire to spend more time with family (grand kids) in Northern California.  She agreed to return for the major storyline after Katharine's death.  I suspect that her diminished role is in part her decision.

The whole storyline about Victor's evil doings etc. is so convoluted and 'way out there' that the writers will have to come up with some ridiculous explanation for his ever-worsening behaviour and evil character...something like a brain tumor, the onset of dementia, some kind of secret addiction, or deep rooted psychological problems (which we know he has) that have become heightened as he ages.  That is certainly how it would be explained in real life.  Soap opera life as we know is a real stretch from reality.

As far as Eric is concerned, his age and demons are very evident on screen. Close-ups reveal that make up cannot disguise skin pigmentations caused by things like excessive long term unhealthy habits; we rarely see full length shots of him doing anything physical like walking across a room; he is usually sitting behind a desk or table.  I am especially dismayed to see his shoddy, unkempt appearance.  It certainly leaves me wondering about how much he is willing to give to his craft after all these years.

As far as the Summer and Luca S. possible storyline looming on the horizon, it is already a dud for me.  The character of Summer has little substance and Hunter King is just wrong for the part.  Her acting skills are limited, she looks far older than her character should be, she is not attractive enough to be the daughter, granddaughter, and niece in the Newman family.

I don't know why the producers were willing to extend the perk of allowing her the leeway to take on other roles, but wouldn't do the same for the huge talented and popular Billy Miller.  They need to cut her loose and recast the role with someone who is more talented and better fits the part. Given the plot turn for Marisa/ Noah/Luca it stands to reason that she may be leaving.  The great love affair is already waning.

I expect you are wondering what keeps me watching.  I'm wondering that myself? Time will tell.

Thanks for your intriguing insights to the lives of the folks of Genoa City.

Thank you for your letter, CC.  I agree with you that the death of Katherine Chancellor has affected the storylines of Jill and Esther.  I can understand your point, especially in Jill's case.  However, where Esther is concerned, I am baffled by what the writers did.  They started a new storyline for her character.  The disenchanted maid left the Chancellor mansion and was about to start a new life.  She was hired to work at Crimson Lights, Dylan's coffee shop.  Why didn't the writers follow through? Did they suddenly decide that the storyline wouldn't work out.  If so, why did they begin it in the first place?  Don't they consider everything carefully before they begin a new plotline?  Kate Linder, who plays Esther, had her hopes up that she would be given an exciting new storyline.  She must be so disappointed.  It's also not fair to viewers to just leave a storyline hanging.  It's shoddy writing.  How long can they keep saying that Esther is in the backroom of the coffeehouse?

In the case of Eric Braeden, keep in mind that the man is 74 years old.  He's been a good athlete all his life. playing tennis and boxing.  Not everyone on a soap has to be young and unblemished.  Why should he be expected to have cosmetic surgery?  There are so many actors who have distorted their faces with Botox and plastic surgery.  I applaud Eric for being his own man.  It's a refreshing change.

Oh yes, you were right about Victor having an illness, and you may also be right about the illness affecting his behaviour).

As for Summer, I'm not a big fan of the character, especially right now.  I can't stand the way she's been defending Grandpa Victor so strongly.  I'm not a huge fan of Hunter King's acting ability either.  However, I don't think she's as wrong for the part as you do.  She's a good foil for Mariah.  I really enjoy when Mariah calls her "Snowflake."  (By the way, aren't you thrilled that she's been nominated for another Daytime Emmy?).  Yes, the producers definitely erred in allowing her the freedom to take an extended role, but not Billy Miller. Although I'm getting used to Jason Thompson in the role of Billy Abbott, I still miss Billy Miller and I don't think anyone will ever play the part as well.

Here's why I think we keep watching The Young and the Restless, CC, even when we're not particularly captivated by the storylines:  Most of us need a diversion.  In most cases, it's a form of harmless escapism.  We can watch characters who have more problems than we do.  Our choices in life don't seem so bad in comparison to the poor judgement displayed by soap characters.

Another Y&R viewer, Helen in Scarborough, Ontario, is not impressed with Billy Abbott's makeover of the Chancellor home.  Helen says that Billy Boy has transformed the Chancellor estate into the Munster mansion.  Well, Helen, you will be pleased to know that Judith Chapman, who hasn't been seen in her role as Gloria Bardwell for ages, agrees with you.  She doesn't like Billy's taste in decor either.  Here's what she tweeted:

Dear God in Heaven! I always knew Jill would destroy my home. Turns out, I was worried about the wrong Jill… (Editor's Note: The other Jill is Y&R's executive producer Jill Farren Phelps).

Just need to say… To ALL OF YOU, Who liked, and commented on my post (shared with me) about the demise of KATHERINE CHANCELLOR’S MANSION… from a timeless version of elegance, taste, love, and knock down, drag out fun and drama to a gray, lifeless, colorless institution… Not unlike another colorful “SEE AND BE SEEN PALACE”… GLOWORM, designed by the brilliant Joe Bavaqua (no across the hall at BandB) burned to the ground, and replaced with a hotel, airport land bar…


New Character in Genoa City

Beginning on April 29th on Friday, April 29th on CBC (April 28th on Global TV in Canada), Michael Roark will appear in the role of Travis.  Travis is described as "a mysterious stranger who sets his eyes on someone in Genoa City.  There has been speculation that he is the father of Shawn's child, David, but you never know what characters he will interact with.

Robert Adamson (Noah Newman) taken off contract

Sorry, Robert Adamson fans!  Expect to see less of him on screen.  Daytime Confidential reported that Y&R has bumped the actor to recurring status.  Actually, I'm not surprised.  The writing was on the wall when Sofia Pernas was recently taken off contract too.  Apparently, the reason cited was "lack of storyline," which just doesn't ring true.  Noah has been front and centre.  My guess is that it's a cost cutting measure.  

Downgrading actors seems to be a frequent occurrence for Y&R lately.  It doesn't bode well for the future of the actors involved.  They seem to just fade away after being reduced to recurring status. Looked what happened to Judith Chapman (Gloria).  She hasn't appeared on screen for ages. Lachlan Buchanan (Kyle Abbott) was taken off contract and then left the show.  His character is now in exile in New York.


Do you approve of the way Billy Abbott has renovated the Chancellor estate?

Yes, he has good taste. It looks good.
Yes, it's about time the place had a makeover.
I'm not sure yet. Maybe it will grow on me.
No, it looks hideous. Mrs. C. must be turning in her grave.
Please Specify:
create quizzes

That's all for now. Here are a  couple of reminders:

The Daytime Emmys are coming up.  The ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 1st. The Young and the Restless leads the pack with a total of 27 nominations.  General Hospital is second with 24.  Unfortunately, the event will not be televised due to the cost and to low ratings.  Discussions are underway to have the ceremony aired as a live webcast.  What a sad reflection on the current state of daytime television!

 The next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, April 16, 2016,

- Joanne