Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Why was "Anne with an E" cancelled?


"Let's face it.  as Canadians we consume an awful lot of American TV shows, but that doesn't mean our own stories shouldn't get told.

In "Anne With an E," Emmy-winning Canadian showrunner Moira Walley Beckett breathed new life into the classic," Anne of Green Gables."  The show is wonderfully acted, beautifully shot and touches on issues deeply relatable issues despite its late-1800s setting.

But none of that saved it from cancellation by CBC and Netflix after just three seasons.  The official story is that the decision was mutual, although Netsflix reportedly paid most of the bills."

- Debra Yeo
Toronto Star, December 26, 2019


"Anne with an E's dynamic characters, impactful writing. and universal themes draw viewers in..  The series's success challenges assumptions about what young adults seek in entertainment, it's made waves without flashy clothing, a hip-hop sound track or fancy stylized editing.

Bolstered by the heart-wrenching honesty Amybeth McNulty gives to her portrayal of Anne, the show's writers arent afraid to tackle big issues.  Brilliantly woven into Anne with an E are themes of identity, antisemitism, bullying, gender bias, and empowerment.  The young characters also navigate the repercussions of societal taboos and the importance of acceptance."

Film Daily


On Monday, November 25, 2019, came the surprising news that the CBC/Netflix series, Anne with an E had been cancelled.  The show's creator, Moira Walley-Beckett, announced on Instagram that "they've reached the end of the Green Gables road.  In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, Walley-Beckett, said that the "fan support and love for Anne with an E is overwhelming, heartening and wonderful - how I love those Kindred Spirits."  She said it proves to her "how much this show has connected with a diverse audience around the world and how meaningful it is to everyone."  Why then was it axed?

Anne with an E has received fulsome praise from reviewers.  Not only has it been given rave reviews, but it garnered seven Canadian Screen Awards last April, including best drama series and a best actress award for its star, Amybeth McNulty.  The series is hugely popular, even beloved among many viewers.  That's why so many people are upset by its cancellation after just three seasons. It doesn't make sense that a highly rated show that is "wonderfully acted" and 'beautifully shot" was ended so abruptly (The third season hasn't even been seen on Netflix yet).  When I heard the news, I was both disappointed and perplexed.

On Sunday evenings, along with many other Canadians, I looked forward to watching Heartland, followed by Anne with an E on CBC.  Amybeth McNulty is delightful in the title role of Anne, while  celebrated Canadian actor R.H. Thomson portrays Matthew Cuthbert superbly.  They and the other cast members are a joy to watch.  That's why I scratch my head and wonder why a show with so much gong for it was cancelled prematurely.

Fans were eagerly anticipating the fourth season of Anne with an E.  It's as if something has been cruelly yanked away from them because  there is so much story left to be told.  Yes, if we really want to know what happened to Anne and Gilbert and the others, we can always read L.M. Montgomery's books.  It's not the same, though.  Anne with an E is Anne of Green Gables with an edge.  It is much grittier, beginning with the beautiful artwork of it opening credits.

The opening titles were designed by Creative Director Alan Woods of Imaginary Forces, along with artist Brad Kunkle.  They are a stunning ode to the wonder of nature and to its changing seasons.  They feature animals native to Prince Edward Island, including an owl, a hummingbird, and a red fox which mirrors the colour of Anne's hair.

When this magnificent sequence was completed, the producers sought to accompany it with an appropriate musical soundtrack.  For the show's theme song, they chose The Tragically Hip's "Ahead by a Century" in which Gord Downie, the band's frontman, sings  of "casting a golden light." while viewers gaze at a dreamy woodland.  The sequence concludes with "Anne with E" carved into a tree.

 As Moira Wally Beckett put it, "Since the Tragically Hip is a revered and iconic Canadian group we thought who better to provide the theme song for Canada's most beloved and iconic heroine, Anne with an E."  She said "'Ahead by a Century ' was a perfect fit for our vision of the show and we feel amazed and blessed every day that we were able to use it."

Anne with an E was enjoyed and relished by many.  That's why its fans were quick to express their frustration and dismay when series was cancelled.  The hashtag #RenewAnneWithAnE began trending on Twitter.  Within 24 hours, a petition imploring Netflix to renew the show for a fourth season collected 20,000 signatures from around the world.  That number grew to 60,000 in days.  Despite the petition, executive producer Miranda de Pencier made it clear on Instagram that "there is no way to revive Anne with an E anywhere."

In her statement to Entertainment Weekly, Moira Walley Becket expressed a desire to tie up all of the loose ends left by the show's abrupt cancellation.  She said, "I will miss this show forever and a day.  That being said,  I'd love to write an AWAE finale feature film."  Walley-Beckett later declared that she was "moved to tears" by the response of the fans and their efforts to save the show.  She said that the show's staff attempted to find a new home or create a finale movie for the show, but were unsuccessful in spite of their best efforts.

Sadly, it really looks like the end of the Green Gables road for the Anne with an E.  I agree with Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star.  I strongly suspect that Netflix, for whatever reason, does not want to pour anymore money into the series.  Since Netflix pays the piper, it calls the tune.  The CBC probably does not have much choice but to go along with the giant streaming service's  decision to cancel the show.  If that's indeed the case, then Netflix is ignoring the voices of a large number of fans.  Farewell Anne with an E.  You are gone but not forgotten by all your Kindred Spirits.

SOURCES: The Canadian Press," 'Anne with an E cancelled after three seasons on CBC/Netflix,'"   by Victoria Ahearn, November 25, 2019;  The Canadian Press, December 7, 2019; "Anne with an E creator says the show won't be revived despite fan petition," by ,  Indie Wire.com, "Stranger Things to Anne With an E; The Secret Weapon Behind Netflix's Latest Stunning Opening Sequence," by Hanah Nguyen, May 26, 2017; Film Daily .com, "'Anne with an E' fans come together to save their show"; Toronto Star, "2019 on the Screen," by Deborah Yeo, December 26, 2019.


- Joanne

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Y&R Report (December 21, 2019): 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, it's the festive season in Genoa City and everyone is celebrating. It's Kyle and Lola's first Christmas together.  They put up their tree and decorated it with a lot of sentimental ornaments.  They act like a happy couple, but there are dark storm clouds on the horizon for those two.  As viewers know, Theo is really sweet on Lola.  I'm not sure if he's fallen hard for her, or whether he just enjoys the challenge of winning over Kyle's wife.  It's probably a combination of both.  Theo's competitive and vengeful toward Kyle.  He also enjoys attention from the lovely Lola.

Unfortunately for Theo, he's given himself away.  Summer knows he's after Lola.  She figured out the reason he dumped her was because of the super chef.  Theo should be concerned that Snowflake knows what's going on.  She knows his game now and she may try to put a stop to it.  However, since Summer is smitten with Kyle herself, I doubt she'll pass up an opportunity to get him back if Theo succeeds in coming between him and Lola.

What is going on with Billy Boy Abbott?  He's really a mess.  He's drifting along and he doesn't really know what he wants.  He has found a kindred spirit in Amanda Sinclair, since she doesn't seem to know what she wants either.  That's why they've bonded.  It's inevitable that he's going to hurt Victoria.  She thinks she's "living the dream" right now, but she's in for a real shock.  I expect that Daddy Victor will investigate Billy Boy.  He's already curious about Billy's phantom new job.  He tried to grill him about it.  So, it won't take 'The Moustache long to find out that Billy's been lying about having being employed.

Victor is also going to obtain photos of Bill with Amanda and Billy playing poker.  He has already had a complete background check done on the mysterious Amanda and presented the dossier to Devon.  Mr. Moneybags will be quite upset that his daughter's partner has been associating with her.  Amanda is clearly running away from something or someone.  That's why she has deleted online information about herself.  She has no digital footprint.

That's why Devon is right to have questions about her.  I don't blame him for being spooked by her resemblance to Hilary.  Amanda's definitely hiding something big and she's been contacting an unknown person.  Dr. Nate is clearly naive about her.  I just hope Amanda doesn't turn out to be Hilary's long lost twin sister.  We've already gone down that road before with Cassie and Mariah.

When Victor eventually learns that Billy Abbott has broken Princess Victoria's heart, he will be livid. The wrath of Victor Newman will descend upon Billy Boy.  I would not want to be in Billy's shoes then. There's no one he is more protective of  his princess than Victor Newman.

It was good to see Faith (Alyvia Alyn Lind) back in Genoa City. She's certainly looking grown up and she's interested in boys now.  I wonder if she'll have better luck in that department than her parents, Sharon and Nick and her sister, Summer, who is eager to provide her with advice on dealing with boys.  At least Faith's  had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and she may go down a different path.

I was also glad to see the foursome of Michael, Lauren, Paul and Christine (aka The Cricketmeisster) after a long absence.  Fen is also going to show up  The scene with the quartet in the restaurant was funny and lighthearted.  However, they should have toned down Paul and Michael's arguing.  They never would have been so loud.


VIEWER FORUM

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:  jmadden16@yahoo.ca

I spoke to longtime Y&R viewer, Fifi from Collingwood, Ontario.  Fifi had some comments about Chance and Phyllis  Fi thinks that Chance and Phyllis have chemistry and that they will get together.  She thinks they have more chemistry than Chance and Abby.  I've thought about her comments and I've come to the conclusion that Fifi may be right about Chance and Phyllis hooking up.  Right now, Phyllis appears to want Nick back and Chance seems to be starting a romance with Abby.  That could be all a mirage to keep viewers from figuring out what will really happen.  In one of the online spoilers, I read that Phyllis is going to take advantage of an opportunity to flirt with Chance.  I know.  Phyllis flirts with lots of men.  However, when it comes to predicting what will happen on a soap, you have to ask yourself what will create the most conflict.  Phyllis and Abby dislike each other intensely.  So, Abby would not be very pleased about Phyllis going after Chance.

One thing about Phyllis is that she seems to be everyone and interfering with everyone.  The redhead is omnipresent and ubiquitous.  She'll go anywhere unannounced and listen into any conversation.


CAST NEWS

New character on Y&R




According to Soap Opera Digest,  new character is headed to Genoa City.  His name is Tanner Watts and he will be played by former One Life to Live star Chase Coleman (born March 20, 1985 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama).  Coleman's other credits include The Originals, Vampire Diaries, Boardwalk Empire, In Between Men and Aquarius.

Tanner is a recording artist who has a past connection with someone in GC.  The role is said to be short term, but if viewer reaction to the character is positive, he could be kept on.  Coleman's first appearance is set for Friday, January 3, 2020 on CBS (Thursday, January 2nd on Global TV in Canada).



Y&R Tea in Toronto

On Sunday, December 8, 2019, I attended the Y&R OpportuniTea in support of Maarch of Dimes Canada.  There were 5 Y&R actors in attendance: Kate Linder (Esther Valentine), Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin), Christel Khalil, Mark Grossman (Adam Newman), Sharon Case (Sharon Newman).  I spoke briefly with some of the actors during the autograph session and they were all very gracious.  I asked Mark Grossman about what happened in Vegas.between Chance and Adam.  He told me that they were still working on it and he didn't know yet.  However, the secret is starting to come out.  We know that Adam helped Chance get out of a jam.  That's all we know so far.

Here are some photos taken during the autograph session:


Mark Grossman



Sharon Case




Sharon Case and Yours Truly


 
Christian LeBlanc and yours truly


Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL

Danny Boaz
As Y&R fans know, there is no love lost between Phyllis and Abby.  Abby will not be too thrilled if Phyllis sets her sights on Chance (Danny Boaz).  Fans, do you think Phyllis and Chance should be a couple or is he better off with Abby.  Click on the poll below and let me know


Is Phyllis a good match for Chance?

Yes, they have good chemistry.
No, Phylllis will only bring him a lot of trouble. He's better off with Abby.
Chance should stay away from both both Phyllis and Abby.
I don't know.
Other
Please Specify:


That's all for now.  Merry Christmas to all who celebrate  and a Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish readers.  The next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, January 4, 2020.  Happy New Year and I hope 2020 brings you much happiness.




- Joanne

Friday, December 20, 2019

Whatever happened to Susan Dey?


Susan Hallock Dey was born on December 10, 1952 in Pekin, Illinois.  Her father, Robert "Bob" Smith Day, was a newspaper man.  Her mother, Ruth Pyle (née Doremus) Dey, was a nurse,  Susan and her family moved from Illinois to New York state in order to further her father's career in the newspaper business.  (He eventually became editor of the Standard-Star in New Rochelle, New York).  In 1961, when Susan was 8, her mother died of complications from pneumonia, leaving Bob to raise four children.  He eventually married a woman named Gail Shellenberger, who became Susan's stepmother.  Below are photos of Bob, Gail and the family and Susan with her sister Leslie.



Susan Dey attended Columbus Elementary School in Thornwood, New York.  She then graduated from Lane High School in Bedford, New York, where she was a drama club member.  Susan was a teen model before becoming an actor.  Her older sister, Leslie, was also a model and they worked tor the same agency.  It was their stepmother, Gail, who had sparked their interested in fashion modelling.  After seeing an ad for models in Seventeen Magazine, Gail submitted their photos to a prominent New York modelling agency and the sisters were hired by the agency in 1968.

At the age of 17, Susan was cast as Laurie Partridge in a new ABC series called The Partridge Family.  Although she had little acting experience, she found herself starring in a hit TV show about a family band.that travelled to performances in a remodelled psychedelic school bus.

The sitcom featured Shirley Jones, whose real life stepson, David Cassidy, became one of the most popular teen heartthrobs of the 1970s.  David played Keith Partridge the eldest son of the family and Susan was not immune to his charms.  She had strong feeling for him, but David not reciprocate those feelings.  It was a painful case of unrequited love because he viewed her as a sister.

In his 1994 memoir, C'Mon Get Happy - Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus, Cassidy wrote that "Susan lacked the slutty aspect of a female that I always found so attractive."  He stated that she was "sweetness and innocence, a good girl, and I couldn't think of her as anyone but my sister,"  In his autobiography, he revealed personal details of his relationship with her, after which Susan cut off contact with him.  The last time they appeared in public together was in 1990 at the MTV Video Awards.  They presented the Viewers' Choice Award and exchanged some playful banter.


Publicity photo for The Partridge Family 1970


 Partridge Family publicity photo circa 1970


Susan with David Casssidy

After four seasons, The Partridge Family was cancelled in 1974.  When the show ended Susan had to had to avoid typecasting, but she was able to find acting roles.  During the mid-1970s, she made guest appearances on such TV series as The Rookies (1975), S.W.A.T. (1975), Hawaii Five-O (1975), Petrocelli (1976) and The Streets of San Francisco (1976).

By 1977, Susan was the co-star of a television series called Love Me, Love me Not.  It was her first weekly TV series since The Partridge Family.  The short-lived sitcom centred around a young couple who have just started dating and are unsure about their relationship.  Kenneth Gilman portrayed Dick Phillips,a newspaper reporter, who falls for Jane Benson, a California school teacher, played by Susan.  Only six episodes of the show were produced and CBS cancelled the series after the last one was broadcast.

Susan and Kenneth Gilman

Susan also starred in a 1977 made-for-television movie called Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night.  She portrayed Rowena Harper, a troubled young mother with psychological problems due to an unhappy childhood.  Rowena becomes abusive toward her 3-year-old daughter, Mary Jane.

From 1983 to 1984, Susan Dey had a role in the soapy prime time naval drama, Emerald Point, N.A,S. The short-lived series starred Dennis Weaver as Rear Admiral Thomas Mallory and an ensemble cast, including Richard Dean Anderson, Jill St. John, Maud Adams and Patrick O"Neal who was replaced by Robert Vaughn. Susan played Mallory's oldest daughter, Celia Warren. The show lasted only one season and Dey appeared in all 22 episodes.


Susan Dey in a scene from Emerald Point, N.A.S.

From 1986 to to 1992, Susan Dey portrayed Grace Van Owen, a California district attorney and later judge on the TV drama series L.A. Law.. In 1988, Susan won a Golden Globe for Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her L.A. Law role. She also received three Emmy nominations during the show's lengthy run. However, she became increasingly disenchanted with her role. A major cause of her dissatisfation was her onscreen romance with the character Michael Kuzak, played by Harry Hamlin. She threatened to leave if the writers did not end their on-again, off-again relationship.

Harry Hamlin left L.A. Law in 1991.  Susan.left in 1992, after the finale of the show's sixth season, an episode entitled "Say Goodnight Gracie," The series remained on the air until 1994 and Dey and Hamilin reprised their roles as Grace and Michael in a 2002 television movie entitled L.A. Law: The Movie,

Susan in her L.A. Law days
Susan and Harry Hamlin

During the 1990s, Susan appeared in a number of television movies, such as Whose Child is This?: The War for Baby Jessica (1993), Sad Inheritance (1993), Beyond Betrayal (1994), Deadly Love (1995), Blue River (1995), Bridge of Time (1997). From 1992 to 1993, Susan had a recurring role as Wallis "Wally" Porter in the TV comedy Love & War, about a woman who runs a New York bar restaurant. Susan appeared in 23 episodes of the series. In 1999, she guess-starred as Karen Hershey in an episode of the drama series "Family Law," about an upscale law firm, specializing in family law. The episode is entitled "Holt vs. Holt." (Season 1, Episode 9, Air Date: November 22, 1999.

Susan has not appeared in any television acting roles since she played Dr. Breene in a two-part 2004 episode of the crime drama Third Watch.  The episode is entitled "Family Ties " (Part 1 - Season 5, Episode 16, Air Date: February 27, 2004) and Part 2 - Season 5, Episode 17, Air Date: March 5, 2004).

Susan on Third Watch

Susan Dey has been married twice. She wed Hollywood agent Leonard "Lenny" Hirshan in 1976. Hirshan worked as Susan's agent and was 25 years her senior. The couple had a daughter, Sarah Dey-Hirshan, (born November 1978), but they divorced in 1981. Hirshan (born December 27, 1927) died in 2014 at the age of 86,  The longtime William Morris agent represented Clint Eastwood for over 50 years.  He also represented such luminaries as Elvis Presley (with Colonol Tom Parker), Walter Matthau, Sophia Loren, Eva Saint Marie, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Edward G. Robinson.

Susan and Lenny Hirshan

On February 20, 1988, Susan wed her second husband, television producer Bernard Sofronski. Their marriage ceremony was a private affair, with only their closest friends and family in attendance.

Susan and Bernard

END NOTES

* While on The Partridge Family, Susan developed her acting skills and her musical skills, including piano and harmonizing.

* Susan Dey's first feature film role was in the 1972 airline hijack movie, Skyjacked, starring Charlton Heston. She played a passenger.

* On the advice of her agent, Susan turned down the role of Sandy in the 1978 film Grease. The role, of course, went to Olivia Newton-John. It turn out to be a huge hit for Olivia and co-star John Travolta.

* Susan has been very candid about her teenage bout with anorexia and bulimia. In the 1970s, there was little awareness of anorexia. However, Partridge Family cast members noticed that Susan wasn't eating. When Danny Bonaduce, who played her younger brother, Danny Partridge, saw her in a bikini, he grimaced and told her she looked disgusting. It was then that she realized she had a serious problem. At the height of her illness, she weighed about 90 pounds (40.8 kilograms). She had stopped having menstrual periods and her fingers turned noticeably orange from eating almost nothing but carrots.

In 1989, Susan told the The Washington Post that her eating disorder developed from being a very public teenager in an era when there was an increased focus on independent women and pencil-thin models like Twiggy were in the spotlight. "At that age, "said Susan, you feel like an adult but you are not an adult and society does not treat you as an adult . . . One of the choices you do have is what you eat and what you don't eat . . . Also the sexual revolution started at that time and when you're anorexic you've got the body of a man so you don't have a lot to deal with."

* In 1992, Susan appeared as host on an episode of Saturday Night Live which included a skit about The Partridge Family versus The Brady Bunch.

* Susan's stepmother, Gail Shellenberger Dey, passed away on August 16, 2008 at the age of 88. Her father, Bob, retired to Maine and died there on February 21, 2016.  He was 90 years old at the time of his passing.

* Susan has been a board member of the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Medical Center. She also co-narrated a documentary on campus rape with her former L.A. Law co-star Corbin Bensen.

* Susan resides in upstate New York (as of 2014).


SOURCES: The Washington Post, "Susan Dey, Light-Years From The Child Star," by Jay Matthews, October 5, 1989; TV Over Mind (tvovermind.com), :Whatever Happened to the "Partridge Family Star Susan Dey, by Nat Berman, 2 years ago; Wikipedia Internet Movie Data Base (IMDb

- Joanne

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Price of Pop Culture 2020: The cost of streaming (focus on the UK)

Here is a infographic on the price of pop culture streaming in 2020.  It was designed by Ocean Finance, a British company, so all statistics are related to the United Kingdom and all costs are in British pounds.  I hope you find it informative and useful

- Joanne

Ocean Finance delved into what we’re all spending on streaming, how to get the most for your money and which genres to look out for in 2020.













Around 50% of the UK are subscribed to a streaming service like Netflix and Amazon.Prime Video, according to Ofcom.  With new platforms like BritBox arriving, more and more of us are subscribing to watch TV's biggest hits like Game of Thrones and Strangeer Things.and there's even more to come in 2020.


Cost Breakdown

To calculate the cost of watching the most anticipated shoes in 2020 the methodology for this was to analyse the 38 most anticipated shows of 2020 and calculate the cost of the streaming subscriptions for the services supplying them. At the time of the data collation none of the top 38 shows were to be shown on BritBox. (This remains unchanged)
  • £62.93 (NOW TV)
  • £41.94 (Disney+)
  • £154.50 (iPlayer)
  • £79.00 (Amazon Prime)
  • £9.98 (Apple TV+)
  • £107.88 (Netflix)
Total = £456.23
  

Amazon Prime TV is four times better value than Netflix

Ocean Finance calculated how many hours of content, plus how many individual movies and TV shows are delivered by each streaming service, then calculated how much you’d get for a £1 based on their annual prices. Amazon Prime TV gives you the most content for your cash. In fact, you can see a huge 211 movies or TV shows for just £1 with an annual subscription – that equals to 16,669 programmes a year. To compare, if you spent £1 watching one show on Netflix, Amazon would give you four for the same price.


If you're a film lover, Amazon offers five times more movies for £1 than Netflix.  Disney+ falls behind further, giving you just nine films per £1.  Britboxx will give you even less, offering you only one move for £1,


Binge-Watch 17 TV series for £1 with Netflix

For those only interested in binge-watching TV shows, you'll get your money's worth with Netflix (17 shows per £1), NOW TV (16 shows per £1) and BBC iPlayer (11 shows per £1).

Though you'll get almost double the content with Amazon who takes the top spot again, offering 30 TV programmes for only £1.


The UK spends £1 billion more on BBC iPlayer than Netflix

The UK spends £1 billion more on BBC iPlayer than Netflix

With 13.4 million subscribers, the UK spends the most on BBC iPlayer at a massive £2 billion per year. It might be free to use but you’ll need to pay £154.50 for a mandatory TV licence, no matter what you want to watch. We’re spending half this amount on Netflix at £1 billion per year and even less on Amazon, which costs the UK £600 million annually.


Apple TV+ and the anticipated Disney+ will set us back further.  These newer streaming services are expected to have at least two million UK subscribers in the next few years, costing the nation £120 million for Apple TV+ and £140 million for Disney+.

Britbox is also expected to have 1.7 million British subscribers in 2020, meaning the UK will spend around £122 million on the service.


Amazon Prime TV is four times better value than Netflix

Amazon Prime TV offers 1,446 hours of content for £1

Amazon Prime TV is better for bingeing because of its colossal amount of content. You can watch 1,446 hours of TV or movies for £1 with Amazon, which is double Netflix’s offering of 702 hours. NOW TV is only slightly behind, delivering 608 hours per £1


Netflix puts £6.6 billion more into original content than BBC

It is estimated that Netflix spends an enormous £9.3 billion on creating original content., compared to £2.7 billion 
spent by the BBC.

Amazon and Apple are devoting the same amount into original content.  Both media giants are predicted to spend £4.7 billion on original titles, suggesting Apple is trying hard to break into the world of streaming subscriptions by matching its competitor.
 

What about BritBox?

Newly launched BritBox will add an extra £71.88 to your annual bill, but much of the platforms original content is still in production.  

Not a lot has been revealed  about BritBox's unique contributions.  While there might be plenty in the pipeline, established favourites like Killing Eve won't be available due to existing contracts with other streaming platforms in place.  If you want to watch the biggest releases, IPlayer might be the better option.


Disney spends the most on original content at £18.6 billion

The biggest spender is Disney, who's putting an eye-watering £18.6 billion into original films and TV shows.  Now that Disney owns Marvel, Fox, Pixar, Lucasfilm Ltd. and plenty more, it's not surprising that the mass media conglomerate is putting so much extra into unique entertainment.

Streaming costs have doubled in a decade

With 40% admitting they don't think they'll watch traditional broadcasts in just five years, streaming services are taking over.  Out data shows the amount of TV and film streaming services has tripled since 2006.  As additional shows become available, we're spending more to see them.  10 years ago, the main streaming services cost £262 annually, which has now more than doubled to £651.

Comedy is set to be the biggest genre of 2020

Our research also uncovered comedy (18%) as the most popular genre of 2020, based on the most anticipated releases.  It's predicted that you'll be laughing at the likes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Barry.

Closely following comedy, expect to watch period programmes (13%) such as The Crown and Outlander and drama shows (11%) including The Undoing and Salisbury.

How much did 2019’s biggest TV moments cost?

Binge-worthy moments

Here’s how much it cost to binge-watch the top shows of 2019 in under a month.
Stranger Things - £8.99 (Netflix)
  • Black Mirror - £8.99 (Netflix)
  • Orange is the New Black - £8.99 (Netflix)
  • The Boys - £7.99 (Amazon Prime)
  • Good Omens - £7.99 (Amazon Prime)
Ocean Finance Quote
Commenting on the findings Anastasia Letsos at Ocean Finance said “It’s tempting to sign up to the top streaming services when they offer such great content. However, our research shows that a subscription to the top 7 streaming services would set you back £650 so you may want to plan which shows to budget for.
Letsos continued: We analysed the 38 most-anticipated shows of 2020 and calculated the true cost of popular culture as £456. Our findings show that the most cost-effective service is Amazon Prime TV which offers 211 shows, or 1,446 hours of content per £1 spent. However, Netflix has the most-anticipated shows of 2020 (29%) vs Amazon who boast 21% of the must-see shows of 2020. If it’s original content you’re looking for then head to Disney who spend £18.6 billion on their new releases.”


Standout Findings
Other standout findings from Ocean Finance’s findings include:
  • A subscription to the top 7 streaming services would cost £650
  • Film fanatics will get 181 movies per £1 with Amazon Prime TV
  • Comedy is set to be the biggest genre of 2020

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Y&R Report (Saturday, December 7, 2019): The Latest on The Young and the Restless

  

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

Did you enjoy the Thanksgiving episode on Y&R?  Wasn't it fitting that Phyllis and Adam, the two most unpopular denizens of Genoa City, ended up spending Thanksgiving together?  Of course, they didn't dine on turkey with all the trimmings.  No, they feasted on take-out Chinese food.  Then there was the storm when the lights went out in GC.  Phyllis, who shows up everywhere (usually uninvited), rode out the storm at Nick's place.  The former spouses ended up having a heart to heart talk about what they really thought of each other.  Billy Abbott was in a bar when the storm hit.  He ran into Amanda Sinclair and they also had a heart to heart over drinks.  Billy told her things he should have been telling his Victoria, his significant other.  When he got home, he decided not to mention his encounter with Amanda.

Summer and Theo are taking a break from each other.  Actually, they are calling it quits.  Theo dumped Snowflake and I'm not really surprised.  However, I think there is reason for the split.  Theo was never interested in building a solid relationship before.  He just wanted to have fun with no strings attached.  Suddenly, he expresses concern that he and Summer are not communicating and that their relationship is not meaningful.  Could this be an excuse for him to clear the way so that he can quietly pursue Lola when Kyle is not around?  He probably hopes that Kyle and Lola will have an argument and that he will be there to step in and comfort her.

Mariah Copeland sometimes sticks her nose where it doesn't belong.  Mariah expressed concern that an unattached Summer would pursue Kyle again.   She grilled Summer and demanded to know what had happened between her and Theo.  She even criticized Snowflake for not being clear about whether she and Theo were "taking a break" from their relationship or whether they had broken up.  Summer rightly pointed out that this was none of Mariah's business.

Mariah thinks she is qualified to determine which couples should be together.  She sees herself as a matchmaker/relationship adviser.  I understand that she wants to protect her friends and help them.  However, she has become too much of a busybody.

Nick Newman's relationship with Chelsea is on thin ice and I don't think there's much chance that it's going to last.  The stars are aligned against them.  Phyllis obviously wants Nick back, so she's planted doubts about Chelsea in Nick's mind by reminding him that his girlfriend was raised by a con artist.  She has also pointed out that Chelsea doesn't have to stay overnight at Adam's place.  She can always leave after Connor falls asleep.

Of course, the reason the writers have come up with Connor's "monster" is that it creates friction between Nick and Chelsea.  That's why the little boy feels better when he is surrounded by both mommy Chelsea and daddy Adam.  Speaking of Connor, he's become a little creepy lately, especially where Sharon is concerned.  To ward off  "the monster" he recites a mantra: "Can't beat three.  Mom and Dad and me."  In private, he adds another line: "Sharon, Sharon go away, never come another day."  That's a rather chilling little ditty.  The website Soaphub has pointed out that Connor sounds eerily reminiscent of Dr. Stitch's son, Max, who tried to kill Abby.  I really hope that this storline goes in a different direction.  I don't think viewers want to watch another psychotic kid as he plots to kill Sharon.  Please, no!

Abby certainly has it bad for Chance.  She is smitten.  Those two will get together, but there will be obstacles and challenges along the way.  In my opinion, there appears to be good chemistry between them.  There's a spark that Abby never had with Dr. Stitch or Arturo.  Have you noticed that ever since Chance came to town., Paul and Rey haven't been seen much at all.  Chance seems to have taken over all the police work in Genoa City.

Abby offered Chance the job of Head of Security at The Grand Phoenix.  That just happens to be Phyllis' job and she won't give it up easily.  Chance will accept the position because it will his character to remain in Genoa City.

Trouble is brewing between Devon and Elena.  He is obsessed with the conflict over Katherine's will.  Elena is losing patience with him.  She has given him a "wake-up call."  I don't think he'll heed her warning.  She will turn to Dr. Nate for comfort, and they will get together.

The writers don't seem to know what to do with Billy Boy Abbott any more than he knows what to do with himself.  First, he suffers mentally over Delia's death. He undergoes therapy and expresses his determination to be good to Victoria and the children.  Then, out of the blue, he decides to resign from his job at Jabot.  He claims he needs to distance himself from the family business and discover what's important to him.  The trouble is that he's still uncertain of who he is and what he wants.  Instead of confiding in Victoria, he has chosen to confide in Amanda.  There is trouble ahead for Billy and Victoria, but that's not surprising.  There has to be conflict.

One couple in Genoa City has managed to stay together for 14 consecutive years.  Lauren Fenmore and Michael Baldwin were married on December 9, 2005.  (Nikki and Vector have been together longer, but they divorced, married others and reconciled several times).

According to online spoilers, Chloe is going to give Kevin the ultimate Christmas gift.  Expect it to be a brother or sister for Bella since Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson) is pregnant in real life.

VIEWER FORUM

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:  jmadden16@yahoo.ca

I spoke to longtime Y&R viewer, Helen from Scarborough.  Helen had a few observations and opinions.  Here they are:

"Abby does not have the power to fire Phyllis.  An owner can't be fired. (Phyllis owns 25 per cent of the Grand Phoenix)."

"Why does Jack go so out of his way to help Theo, especially when he knows that Theo gets under his son Kyle's skin."  

Well, Helen, I think the writers are using this as a way to create tension between Kyle and Theo.

"Abby does not have the power to fire Phyllis.  An owner can't be fired. (Phyllis owns 25 per cent of the Grand Phoenix)."

"Traci is a good writer, but she sure finished that Abbot family history book fast.  It's amazing how quickly she wrote that book."


Y&R REPORT READERS' POLL

Many Y&R characters have been unlucky at love or have endured a string of bad relationships.  Who has been the biggest loser in the romance department?  My personal choice is Nicholas Newman.  He's been left at the altar three times, once by Avery and twice by Sharon.  He can't seem to make any relationship work.  His current girlfriend, Chelsea, seems to be reuniting with Adan,  Fans, what do you think?  Do you agree with me?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.


Is Nick Newman the biggest loser at love on Y&R?

Who is the biggest loser at love on Y&R?

Phyllis Summers
Nick Newman
Victoria Newman
Abby Newman
Sharon Newman
Jack Abbott
Other
Please Specify:
Created with PollMaker



NOTE TO TORONTO AREA VIEWERS OF Y&R

The eighth annual annual Toronto OpportunitiTea high tea in support of the March of Dimes Canada will take place tomorrow at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto on Sunday, December 8, 2019.  The event features Kate Linder (Esther Valentine) and her actor friends from The Young and the Restless - Christian LeBlanc  (Michael Baldwin), Sharon Case (Sharon Newman), Mark Grossman (Adam Newman) and Christel Khalil (Lily Winters).  For more information on this event, click on the link below.  By the way, I will be attending and I am really looking forward to meeting Mark Grossman for the first time.  I will report back to you and post photos.

For more information on this event, click on the link below.

http://www.katelinderafternoontea.com/toronto/



That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, December 21, 2019.  The November sweeps are over, but I always enjoy watching the Christmas and New Year's episodes on the show.  

- Joanne

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Rich Little: Then and Now

    

"If you can make somebody laugh for an hour, that's good.  And it's good for your health!"

- Rich Little
Closer Weekly interview, December 30, 2016

Richard Cruthers Little was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on November 26, 1938, the second of the three sons of Lawrence Peniston Little, a doctor, and  his wife, Elizabeth Maud ((née Wilson), a homemaker.  No one in his family had ever been in show business.  Rich was a big movie fan, however, and he was an usher at the Elgin movie theatre in Ottawa.  The first film star he impersonated was Jimmy Stewart, after taping Stewart's 1954 film, The Far Country, under the screen with a tape recorder.

Rich Little has been nicknamed "The Man of a Thousand Voices" and his official website describes him as "a master mimic of more than 200 voices."  Rich began by mimicking his teachers at school.  "They could never figure out why saying 'good morning' was so funny," he told Closer Weekly in 2016.  Finally they stopped asking me questions, because they didn't want to hear wrong answers in their own voices."

Rich was eventually paid for his impersonations.  He began performing at Shriners conventions, imitating local politicians and movie stars.  He and singer Paul Anka, a fellow Ottawa native, did many shows in the Ottawa area for $10 or $20.  Rich and another impressionist, Geoff Scott, performed in night clubs, imitating the voices of Canadian politicians such as Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and Ottawa mayor Charlotte Whitton.

Rich went on to become a disc jockey, often incorporating his impressions into his show.  In the early 1960s, he was the host of a radio talk show on CJET in Smith Falls Ontario.  In 1963, he issued two recordings in Canada.  The first, entitled My Fellow Canadians, featured Rich and others impersonating figures who were well known in Canada   The second album, entitled Scrooge and the Stars, featured Rich acting out Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol  on his own, playing the roles of 22 characters in the voices of Hollywood stars.

On the basis of his club work and his recordings, Rich was given an audition with singer Mel Tormé, who was then busy helping to launch a new television variety show starring Judy Garland.  Mel, who was performing in a show with Rich in Toronto, made a tape and played it for Judy.  According to Rich, Judy "didn't like impersonators."  However, when she heard heard him imitate her A Star Is Born co-star, James Mason, she said. "Come on!"

Thus, in 1964 Rich headed for Los Angeles to appear on The Judy Garland Show.  Of his appearance with Judy, Rich wrote the following in his memoir Little By Little: "It was the thrill of my life to appear on Judy Garland's television show.  I remembered The Judy Garland Show as being my first American television appearance; but it really wasn't.  I did The Jimmy Dean Show out of New York first. but I hardly remember that appearance.  I have vivid memories of doing The Judy Garland Show.

The Garland episode was aired on January 26, 1964.  The main guests were comedian Martha Raye and Peter Lawford, her co-star from Easter Parade (1948).  Rich performed his impressions of Hollywood stars with Judy seated beside him, laughing.hysterically.  He did a rendition of Judy's song, "The Man that Got Away" from 1954's A Star Is Born, with the voices of Jack Benny, George Burns, Fred MacMurray, Jack Hawkins, John Wayne, Alfred Hitchcock, Walter Brennan and James Mason.


From 1966 to 1967, Rich  had a regular TV role as an eccentric neighbour on the ABC sitcom Love on a Rooftop.  The series starred Judy Carne and Peter Deuel (later known as Pete Duel), as a newlywed couple who live in a rooftop apartment in San Francisco.  Rich's character, Stan, never held a steady job and spent his days working on his inventions and dreaming up moneymaking schemes.


After Love on a Rooftop, Rich made guest appearances in episodes of such sitcoms such as That Girl (1967), The Flying Nun (1968) and Petticoat Junction (1969).  In an episode of That Girl entitled "To Each Her Own," he portrayed Andrew Marshall, a writer who amuses Marlo Thomas' character, Ann Marie, with his impersonations.  In two episodes of The Flying Nun, he appeared as the injury-prone Brother Paul Leonardi, and in the Petticoat Junction episode, "Billie Jo and the Big Big Star," he played comedian Rick Wayne, Billie Jo Bradley'new boyfriend.

Below is a photo of Rich in a scene from Petticoat Junction with Meredith MacRae, who played Bille Jo Bradley.



In the early 1970s, Rich became associated with Dean Martin.  He appeared on 24 of the 54 "Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts," a series of television specials held regularly by Martin from 1974 to 1984.  Martin and his friends would "roast" a celebrity, meaning the guest of honour would be subjected to jokes at their expense.  In addition to insult comedy, the roasts would involve some genuine praise and tributes.  The "roastee" would take the jokes in good humour, as they were not intended to be serious criticism or insult.

Rich imitating Jimmy Stewart at Dean Martin Roast
Rich appeared on numerous television variety shows, including those of Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason and Glen Campbell, as well as on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and The John Davidson Summer Show.  From 1973 to 1973, he was a semi-regular on Emmy-winning The Julie Andrews Show from and he had his own variety show on NBC, The Rich Little Show, from 1975 to 1976.  He also starred  in KopyKats, hour-long segments of The ABC Comedy Hour.  KopyKats, originally broadcast in 1972, was filmed in England.  Ir consisted of celebrity impersonations, with the actors dressed in full costumes and makeup for all the sketches.

Rich has been a frequent guest on talk shows and is known for his appearances with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and his impressions of Carson's voice and mannerisms were so spot-on that, according to Rich's autobiography, Johnny banned him without  reason or notice from appearing on The Tonight Show after his August 1982 appearance.

In 1978, Rich starred in the HBO special, Rich Little's Christmas Carol, a one-man show, in which he played all the roles as various comedians, such as W.C. Fields as Ebenezer Scrooge..  In 1987, he appeared in We the People 200, The Constitutional Gala, in which he used his impressions to portray historical figures.  For example, he impersonated Henry Fonda as Abraham Lincoln and he delivered a spirited speech as Winston Churchill.

After the 1980s, Rich moved away from the spotlight, but he still remained active.  He guesst-starred in a 1996 episode of The Nanny as an IRS Appeals Officer in an episode entitled "The Taxman Cometh."  He portrayed Johnny Carson in The Late Shift, a 1996 HBO TV movie about the power struggle that occurred when Johnny Carson retired and both David Letterman and Jay Leno wanted to replace him as host of The Tonight Show.  As of February 2018, Rich is a regular performer at the Laugh Factory in the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas.

On his official website, Rich Little is quoted as saying, "An impression is what you think a person sounds like.  It could be an exaggeration or a cartoon.  It's your impression.  I think of an impersonation as more of an exact copy.  Knowing the person personally is not important; it's knowing the speech patterns and mannerisms  (in order) to imitate the person the way the public seems him."  It took Rich seven years to perfect his impression of Frank Sinatra, but only several minutes to create one for Dr. Phil.

Rich Little has been married four times.  He married his first wife, Jeanne Worden, in 1971.  Jeanne was Joey Bishop's secretary.  The couple had a daughter, Bria, but divorced in 1989.  In February of 2005, Rich and daughter Bria attended the "Night of 100 Stars" Oscar party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

On October 29, 1994, Rich, 55, wed for the second time, to comedian Jeannette Markey, 28.  The marriage took place in a penthouse suite at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.  There were 97 guests and Rich said he vows as Cary Grant.  The couple met in March of 1993 when they were both performing at the Riviera Hotel on the Las Vegas strip.  Their marriage ended in divorce in 1997.

In 2003, Rich married Marie Marotta in Hawaii.  However, Marie's life ended tragically.  On July 15, 2010, Rich found her body and a suicide note in the bedroom of the couple's home in the Lake Sahara district of Las Vegas.  She died of a deliberate overdose of sleeping pills.  Rich's longtime friend, retired Canadian radio broadcaster Gord Atkinson, said that Marie suffered from severe migraine headaches that "sometimes knocked her out for days."  According to Atkinson, she left Rich "a loving note and said that she couldn't go on."  Marie Marotta was 45 years old at the time of her passing."


Rich and Marie Marotta

In 2012, Rich wed Catherine Brown.  In 2016, after recently splitting with Catherine, Rich said, "I've been married too many times.  He also called Marie Marotta "the big love of my life."

Rich and Catherine Brown

END NOTES

* Rich Little has a second daughter, Lindsay (born in 1988), whose mother is Lalette Cottrell.  In 1990, Rich sought custody of 1-year-old Lindsay.  At the time, the child's mother lived in Delaware, while Rich lived in California  Lalette fought Rich on the issue of child support.  Rich's lawyer, Geraold Z. Berkowitz, stated that the impressionist had succeeded in having the case heard in Delaware.  Berkowitz said that his client was willing to pay support, but an amount "consistent with the needs of the child," not the $5,000 to $10,000 a month he would have to pay if the case were heard in California.

* Rich is an alumnus of Ottawa's Lisgar Collegiate.  In 2018, he helped launch the high school's 175th anniversary reunion.

* Rich has written a memoir titled Little By Little: People I've Known and Been.



* Rich's talent for impersonations has come in handy in movies when an actor's speech has been affected by poor health.  For example, when David Niven was extremely ill, Rich stepped in and dubbed his voice in Trail of the Pink Panther (1983) and Curse of the Pink Panther (1983).  He did the same for James Cagney in the 1984 TV movie, Terrible Joe Moran, after Cagney's voice was impaired by a stroke.  In the 1991 TV special, Christmas at the Movies, Rich provided an uncredited dub for actor/singer Gene Kelly, who was ailing.

*
In 2010, Rich became a naturalized American citizen.  At the suggestion of the judge, he was sworn in using the voice of John Wayne.


* Rich has a granddaughter named Alaina.

* Rich entertained at both of Ronald Reagan's presidential inaugurations and has impersonated every American president from John F. Kennedy to Donald Trump.

* Rich has been inducted into four prominent walks of fame.  In 1998, he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto. Also in 1998, he was honoured with a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California Walk of Fame. In addition, he has star on the Las Vegas Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

* Rich is supportive of charities such as Wounded Warriors and the Gay Sinise Foundation.  After his wife Marie died, he created The Marie and Rich Little Foundation, which focuses on supporting children, the homeless and animals in need.

* Rich is a talented artist.  He began sketching at a young age and, according to his official website, drawing family and friend.  He has also drawn many sketches of the politicians and celebrities he impersonates.  He displays several of these charcoal sketches in his shows.

* Rich's greatest feat is, not surprisingly, getting a sore throat.

* Rich Little currently lives in Las Vegas and has a one-eyed cat named T-Bo.


SOURCES:  Los Angeles Times, "NAMES IN THE NEWS: Rich Little Files for Custody," February 23, 1990; People magaazine; "Marrying Rich,", November 19, 1994; Closer Weekly, "Rich Little chats with Closer about comedy, fatherhood and being a grandpa," December 30, 2016; Little By Little: People I've Known and Been,, by Rich Little; Rich Little's Official Website (therichlittle.com); Wikipedia; Internet Movie Data Base (IMDb.com)


- Joanne