Saturday, December 16, 2023

Y&R Report (December 16. 2023): 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.

Hi fans, 
First, a note to readers: I am going to take a short Christmas break.  I will be back in the New Year.  My Y&R column will return to this space on Saturday, January 13, 2024.

It's not Christmas yet, but Y&R has not been quite as festive as usual this Christmas - at least so far. Expect that to change soon.  According to online spoilers for the week of December 18th, Traci makes an effort to get the Abbott family into the Christmas spirit,, Abby helps Devon with a holiday dilemma, Daniel is reminded of the true meaning of Christmas, Michael thinks outside the box to surprise Lauren, and Phyllis puts coal in Cricket's Christmas stocking (Literally or figuratively?).. That should all be fun!
Nikki is struggling with alcoholism.  So, why are bottles left right out in the open for easy access at the Newman ranch?   Does that make any sense?  Why would Victor and the Newman siblings allow her to be tempted so easily?  Do the writers think that we viewers haven't noticed?  Super ambitious Audra is likely to take advantage of Nikki's addiction and incapacity..  It wouldn't be surprising if she tried to take over Nikki's job as head honcho of Newman Media.
I think Claire will turn out to be the daughter of Victoria and Cole.  Aunt Jordan will probably meet a gruesome end.  It's interesting that Michael has asked Claire to plead guilty by reason of insanity.  She will probably undergo psychiatric treatment and avoid going to prison.  She may stay on the show and be part of the storyline.
It's often said that when the cat's away, the mouse will play.  That seems to be the case with Lily and Daniel.  Lilly has taken a leave of absence from Chancellor-Winters to be with her daughter who is involved in a crisis at her university.  In real life, Christel Khalil, who plays Lily, is expecting a baby and has taken maternity leave.  Now that her character, Lily, is out of town, Heather has already started making a play for Daniel.  
Summer is behaving like a besotted high school girl over Chance.  It doesn't become her.  However, I think Chance will choose Summer over Sharon in the end.  Sharon will eventually reconcile with Nick Newman.
 As for Summer's estranged hubby, Kyle Abbott, he is behaving like such a fool.  His dallying with Audra and his association with Tucker is bound to backfire on him.  Since Billy Abbott  intends to leave Jabot and return to Chancellor-Winters, does that mean he'll be replaced by Kyle?


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 an email from longtime Y&R viewer, CC in Etobicoke.  Here are CC's comments.

Hi Joanne, 

I just watched today's episode which has left us hanging about whether Claire's DNA is a match with that of Victoria and Cole; and, Nate ratting to Victor about Nikki's drinking.
Surprisingly, I was a lapsed viewer during the Victoria/Cole storyline in the 80's and early 90's. Likely because I did not have a VCR yet at that time.

Alcoholism is such an insidious, deadly disease that destroys the body and spirit of its patients and their loved ones.
Too painful to watch this storyline.

And then there are the Abbots who are doing the 10-step to try to outsmart each other to gain control of the company. 

I think it will elude all of them.

Too many different evil allies trying to one up the other. 
Something told me that Tucker and Diane, and maybe Jeremy, too, were in cahoots together and still are. Tucker brings in Audra because some people can be useful in more than one way.
Then Tucker allies with Ashley who goes so far as to marry him to catch him in his scheme and get control for herself.

For the most part I am BORED with the same old, same old.

Looking forward to the holidays to get a break from their craziness.  

CC from Etobicoke.

Thanks for your comments, CC.  The Eve Howard, Cole stoyline was so long ago that many people don't remember it, or like you, were unable to record it back then.   did my own research on the storyline, which I wrote about in the last edition of Y&R Report.

As for Nikki's alcoholism, we've been through that before.  The only difference this time is that Katherine Chancellor and Neil Winters aren't around to support her in her struggle.

I agree with you that there is too much of "the same old, same old" on the show.  There is far too much repetition.  The writing could be much better.  A shakeup is needed.  Some more humour and lightheartedness is required.  There is far too much tension.  

Camryn Grimes gives birth to baby boy

Camryn Grimes, who plays Mariah Copeland, has given birth to her first child.  The baby, a boy named Bridger Elias, was born on December 13, 2023.  Camryn's character, Mariah, will be written out of the show for a while.

The 50th Annual Daytime Emmy's were presented last night.  The ceremony was postponed due to the Hollywood writers and actors strikes.
General Hospital dominated, winning the award for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series,, Directing Team for a Daytime Drama, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Young Performer and Guest Performance.  The Bold and the Beautiful won both Outstanding Actor and Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama
The Young and the Restless was shut out of those major categories.  It did win for Outstanding Writing Team, Daytime Drama
Shemar Moore. ex-Malcolm Winters on Y&R, presented the Daytime Emmys Lifetime Achievement Award to Susan Lucci.


Amelia Heinle

J. Eddie Peck

Victoria (Amelia Heinle) and Nate (Sean Dominic) have obviously cooled toward each other.   Could that mean that Victoria is now headed for a romance with Cole Howard?  I tend to think it will happen, especially if the DNA results show that Claire is their daughter.  What do you think, fans?  Will Victoria and Cole get together?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you think Cole and Victoria will have another romance? free polls

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, January 13, 2024.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays.  All the best in the New Year.  I will be back in with more Y&R discussion in 2024.

Take care.


Thursday, December 14, 2023

Jeopardy! - News and Updates

When will Mayim Bialyk return to Jeopardy!?

Now that the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes have been resolved, when will Mayim Bialiyk return to her hosting duties?

It remains unclear if and when Mayim Bialyk will return.  Bialyk stepped away from hosting Jeopardy! back in May in solidarity with the WGA strike.  As of this writing, she has not announced whether she will be returning to the popular quiz show.  Ken Jennings as the sole host since then and he has also replaced Bialyk as host of Celebrity Jeopardy!

EDITOR'S UPDATE:  Mayim Bialyk has announced that she will not be returning to Jeopardy!  On Friday, December 15, she wrote of her departure on Instagram.  "Sony has informed me that I will no longer be hosting the syndicated version of Jeopardy!  I am incredibly honored to have been nominated for a primetime Emmy for hosting this year and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the Jeopardy! family."

Sony issued the following statement: "We made the decision to have one host for the syndicated show next season to maintain continuity for our viewers, and Ken Jennings will be the sole host for syndicated Jeopardy!  We are truly grateful for al of Mayim's contributions to Jeopardy!, and we hope to continue to work with her on primetime specials."

Change coming to Jeopardy!

A big change is coming to Jeopardy! beginning on December 19th.  During a recent episode of the podcast Inside Jeopardy!" producer Sarah Whitcomb Fox revealed that the show will unveil a new logo and opening tittle sequence.  At present, every Jeopardy! episode begins with a rotating globe containing 19 different box images.  The images consist of footage from previous episodes and contestants.  When the globe stops spinning, the Jeopardy! logo appears on the screen and the camera pans to the three contestants on stage.  Announcer Johnny Gilbert introduces them in his distinctive voice.  

The new format has been compared to Saturday Night Live's opening segments.  There will be a little behind-the-scenes activity leading up to the show.  The new title sequence will debut on December 19th, along with the Season 39 edition of Second Chance tournament for players who lost their initial game.  This marks the Season 39 post-season, postponed as a result of the writers strike.

As far as the changes are concerned, I can't say I'm very enthusiastic about them.  I'm quite satisfied with the opening sequence as it is right now.  Sometimes change is necessary, but I think there have been too many changes since Alex Trebek died.  I realize that some of those changes have occurred because of the Hollywood strikes.  I do enjoy the tournaments, but right now it seems there are too many of them.  When there are so many of them, they do not seem so special.  As a Jeoppardy! fan, I hope that the show recovers from the negative effects of the strikes.  I also hope that Mayim Bialyk returns, just because she has a different personality than Ken Jennings.  I like the two-host setup.  (As you've read above, it isn't going to happen).

 - Joanne

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

A Christmas treat for British TV viewers

David Jason

This Christmas, television viewers in the UK will receive a delightful gift.  83-year-old Sir David John White, better known as David Jason, is making an Only Fools and Horses comeback two decades after the sitcom ended its run.  The venerable actor, who portrayed schemer Derek "Del Boy" Trotter, will reveal behind-the-scenes secrets in a new Only Fools Christmas special.  Celebrity fans of show such as Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Benidorm's Sherrie Hewson, are set to pay tribute to the beloved comedy.

The Yuletide documentary will be broadcast on Channel 5 on Christmas Eve.  It's called The Story of Only Fools and Horses and will include appearances by Tessa Peake-Jones, who portrayed Del Roy's wife, Raquel, and other members of the cast and crew.  Sadly, Roger Lloyd-Pack, who played street sweeper Trigger, Kenneth MacDonald, who played pub landlord Mike, and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) have passed away).

Seven series of Only Fools and Horses were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991  16 sporadic Christmas specials aired until the classic comedy ended in 2003.  This year's 90-minute special will reflect on the show's Christmas episodes, including "To Hull and Back." "To Hull and Back" was filmed in Amsterdam and  was aired on December 25, 1985.  It was the show's fourth Christmas special and its first full-length edition.  

Sir David as Del Boy Trotter

Only Fools and Horses was created and written by John Sullivan, who died at the age of 64 in 2011.  The show is set in south-east London.  David Jason's character, Del Roy Trotter, is an ambitious market trader.  He and his younger brother, Rodney Trotter, played by Nicholas Lyndhurst, have had their ups and downs, but they never stopped scheming to become wealthy.  On December 29, 1996, more than 24 million viewed the episode "Time on our Hands," in which the Trotters finally becomes a millionaires.

Below is a press photo (Left to Right) of David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst (Rodney Trotter) and the late Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in Only Fools and Horses.

Only Fools and Horses has been critically acclaimed and the series has received many awards, including BAFTA, the National Television Awards and the Royal Television Society.  In a 2004 BBC poll, it was voted Britain's Best Sitcom.

SOURCES: Microsoft News (, "UK's most popular comedy ever returning with TV legend back at the helm," by Ruth Lawes, December 2023; Wikipedia

- Joanne

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Whatever happened to Tina Cole (Katie on My Three Sons)?

Tina on My Three Sons with triplets in 1968

Tina Cole comes from a talented musical background.  She was born Christina Yvonne Cole in Hollywood, California on August 4, 1943.  She is the daughter of jazz pianist Buddy Cole (1916-1964), an accomplished musician who backed up Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby.  Her mother was Yvonne "Vonnie" King of the King Sisters, a vocal group consisting of six Mormon sisters from Utah.  She has a younger sister, Cathy Cole Green, born on June 4, 1947.

Tina has been an entertainer since childhood.  At the age of 19, she signed an exclusive contract with Warner Brothers Studios.  During a contract dispute between Warner and Connie Stevens, Tina was chosen to replace Connie as the female lead in the TV detective series Hawaiian Eye, starring Troy Donahue and Robert Conrad.  She  portrayed Sunny Day in nine episodes of the series from 1962 to 1963.  

In the 1963 Warner Brothers college comedy Palm Springs Weekend, Tina had a minor role in the company of Donahue, Conrad, Connie Stevens and Stefanie Powers.  She then guest-starred alongside Lucille Ball, as a college girl in a 1963 episode of The Lucy Show entitled "Lucy's College Reunion" {Season 2, Episode 11, Air Date, December 16, 1963).

Tina Cole first appeared in an episode of My Three Sons in 1964, when the Douglas family still lived in Bryant Park.  She played Ina, a high school classmate of Robbie Douglas an episode entitled "House for Sale" (Season 4, Episode 22, Air Date: February 13, 1964).  Tina also appeared as Sherry in another 1964 episode "The Coffee House Set," as well as a 1965 episode called ""Lady in the Air" and a 1966 episode called "Robbie and the Little Stranger."  It was not until the beginning of the show's eighth season in 1967 that she began portraying Katie Miller, who married Robbie Douglas (Don Grady).  The couple had triplets - three sons, of course. 

Tina became the first female series regular on My Three Sons,  Her first appearance as Katie was in an 1967 episode entitled "Moving Day" (Season 8, Episode 1, Air Date: September 9, 1967).  In the episode, the Douglas family movies to California and Robbie meets Katie at his new college.

Tina remained with My Three Sons until its 12th and final season.  In total, she appeared in 136 episodes, including the ones before she assumed the role of Katie.  Below is a 1967 photo of the cast of My Three Sons: Back Row L-R, Don Grady, Tina Cole, Fred MacMurray, William Demerest, Stanley Livingston. Front: Tramp the dog and Barry Livingston.

After My Three Son went off the air in 1972, Tina made guest appearances in episodes of such series as The Rookies (1973), Adam-12 (1974)  She and her sister, Cathy played singers in the two-episode 1976 mini-series Eleanor and Franklin.  They also appeared as singers in the follow-up TV movie, Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years.

Tina then stepped away from acting for almost a decade.  She became director of the Sacramento Children's Theatre.  She also worked as an acting coach at the John Robert Powers drama schools in Elk Grove in Elk Grove and Roseville, California.  She returned to acting with appearances in the 2016 film The 6h Friend, the 2017 television movie Take it from the Top, and the 2018 horror film Reawakened.

Tina has been married and divorced twice.  She is the mother of four children, one from her first marriage and three from her second.  From 1965 until 1970, Tina was married to TV producer Volney Howard III.  They had a son, also named Volney Howard. 

Tina's second husband was Filmore Pajeau Crrank Jr., whom she wed in 1979.  They had three children, including a son, actor Filmore Pajeau Crrank III, (known as Paj Crank), born August 26,, 1981. and two daughters, Chelsea Crank and Samantha Crank.

In a January 2020 interview with Fox News, Tina Cole revealed her secret love affair with her My Three Sons co-star Don Grady," which began soon after her divorce from her first husband. She felt she was falling in love with Don, so she ended her marriage.

Don did not initially approve of the casting of Tina as his on-screen wife.  "He didn't think I was the right girl for him," she told Fox News.  According to Tina, Don envisioned someone else for the role, a Peggy Lipton surfer girl type, someone who was "skinny and blonde."  Tina claimed that she "had no idea that he really fought the casting."         

Tina and Don were awkward with each other when Tina first began playing the role of Katie.  They frustrated the director because they had difficulty kissing,  Their noses kept bumping each other and they were asked to go to back of the stage and practise kissing.  

Tina with Don Grady

Tina told Fox News a story about twin beds on the set.  She said, "I remember in one episode, Robbie and Katie   We walked into what is going to be our bedroom.  There were twin beds.  Now, this is 1967.  Don said, 'There's no way.  We can't do this.  We've gotta have a big bed.  There's no way we can have twin beds'.  So they had to scramble to find this big bed.  I think we were one of the first shows that had a couple on the same bed together on television.  (Editor's NoteThere were very few in the 1960s, but Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns did on their sitcom way back in their 1947).

Tina and Don sang together on telethons and they shared a passion for music,  "We went together on and off for about eight years,  He wanted to marry me, but I wasn't ready," Tins stated.  "I loved him madly, but I had a son and I just wasn't sure.  I wasn't quite ready."

After Tina rejected his marriage proposal, Don wed Julie Boonisar in 1976.  According to Tina, the next time they met, at a shoot for a Thanksgiving Reunion with the Partridge Family & My Three Sons,  Don told her that his marriage had been a big mistake.  He said would call her when he was no longer married.  Dona and Julie divorced in 1979 and he and Tina eventually got back together.  When Don decided to to New York and try his luck on Broadway, Tina refused to join him unless they married.  Don insisted  that they go only as friends.  In 1985, Don married Virginia Lewsader and the couple remained together until Don's death in 2012.    

More recent photo of Tina


* Tina Cole's mother, Yvonne, died on December 13, 2009 after suffering a fall at her home in Santa Barbara, California.  She was 89 at the time of her passing.

* Tina's first husband, Volney Howard III, passed away on July 14, 2016.  He was 74 at the time of his death.       

* Beverly Garland, Tina's My Three Sons TV mother-in-law became Tina Cole's real-life mother-in-law when Beverly's son, Filmore Crank, Jr. married Tina in 1979.  Beverly portrayed Barbra Harper, who married patriarch Steve Douglas (Fred MacMurray).

* Tina Cole, Don Grady and Uncle Charley (William Demerest) portrayed their My Three Sons roles in a 1970 episode of the John Forsythe series To Rome with Love.  They visit Rome in an episode entitled "Rome Is Where You Find It" (Season 2, Episode 6, Air Date: October 20, 1970).

* Tina Cole and Don Grady appeared in a 1971 TV movie entitled After the Honeymoon.  It was a a proposed spin-off of My Three Sons in which Robbie and Katie Douglas move to San Francisco with their triplets.  They soon become involved in the comic mishaps of their landlords and fellow tenants.

* Don Grady died of myeloma, cancer of the plasma cells on June 27, 2012.  He passed away at the age of 68 in Thousand Oaks, California.  

* Tina was a member of the Four King Cousins, a pop group consisting of the daughters of the King Sisters, including Tina's sister, Cathy, and cousins Candy and Carolyn.  In late 2013, Tina performed with her King Cousins and appeared at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood.  They made further appearances at the Catalina in April 2014 and August 2016.

* Tina has made guest appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, Johnny Caroson's Tonight Show, Hollywood Squares and Family Feud.  She serenaded the Osmond Brothers on their first television special and she toured with Bob Hope and Rowan & Martin.  She has joined the King Family in concert and on television, including the classic 1967 Christmas With The King Family special.

* Tina is the author of a 2022 memoir entitled My Three Lives: A Memoir.  It deals with three phases in her life.

SOURCES: Fox News; '"My Three Sons' Star Tina Cole ditched twin beds with on-screen husband Don Grady;" by Stephanie Nolasco, January 6, 20202; Do You Remember? (; "Tina Cole from 'My Three Sons' is 79 And Almost Married Her Biggest Critic," by  Donna Daly, July 2023; Great Entertainment Television, "Tina Cole: 6  Fun Facts About the Christmas with the King Family Star," by getTV Staff; Biography Pedia."Where is Tina Cole today? Wiki Biography, Children, Husband,  July 28, 2023; Closer, "My Three Sons' Tina Cole Reveals Why She and Costar Don Grady Never Married in Real life," by Closer Staff, September 21, 2013; AmoMama (, "Don Grady Wed Another Woman after Tina Cole Rejected His Proposal but Soon Regretted It," by Gaone Pule, October 13, 2021; AmoMama (, "'My Three Sons' Tina Cole & Don Grady Were "Madly in Love' & Dated for 8 Years Yet She Refused to Marry Him," by Salwa Nadeem, May 13, 2023; Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

- Joanne

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Y&R Report (December 2, 2023): 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.

Hi fans, 
The Newman family experienced quite a Thanksgiving nightmare.  Nikki was drugged, kidnapped and tormented by Claire and her evil Aunt Jordan.  Meanwhile, Victor, Nick and Victoria were poisoned.  We didn't really know Jordan and Claire's motives.  We also didn't know their true identities.  The picture seems clearer now, but it is still somewhat murky.  
Aunt Jordan claims to be Eve Howard's sister.  She is a mad woman who wants revenge on the Newman family for what she perceives as their unjust treatment of her sister.  But can we believe anything Jordan says?  Maybe.  Cole confirmed that his mother did have a sister, even though he was not familiar with her.  You'd think he'd be able to recognize her immediately.
Since so many years have passed, let's have a little refresher on Eve Howard, portrayed by Margaret Mason.

Mason as Eve Howard

For a brief history of Eve Howard, were going to have to go all the way back to 1980, when Victor Newman was married to his first wife, Julia.  Eve was Victor's assistant at Newman Enterprises and Victor had a one-night-stand with her.  In 1982, Eve returned to Genoa City and attempted to get Victor back.  She claimed that Victor was the father of  her son, Cole.  In order to rid himself of Eve.  Victor agreed to accept her claim that he was Cole's father, as long as she left town to work for one of his other companies.
Eve continued to scheme against Victor, but it was eventually proven that Cole was not Victor's son.  Eve died after an illness caused by a mosquito bite while she was on a plane on her way to Genoa City.
As for Claire, she seems quite confused.  It appears that she has been been brainwashed against the Newmans by Jordan.  Claire referred to Victoria as her mother.  Jordan claimed that Claire is the daughter of Victoria Newman and Cole Howard. She was able to persuade Claire that her parents rejected her.  Why was Claire so vulnerable to Jordan's manipulation?  
 Back in 1998, when Victoria and Cole were married, they tried for a child.  Victoria conceived, but the couple's daughter, Eve Nicole Howard (named after grandmothers) died soon after birth.  So how could Claire be their daughter?  Wicked Aunt Jordan came up with the old switched at birth explanation.  She claimed that she switched baby Eve in the hospital for the child who had died.  Is this true?   If so, what happened to the baby who died?
All signs seem to indicate that Jordan is telling the truth about the baby swapping.  Victor discovered that Jordan was a registered nurse at Memorial Hospital  at the time of baby Eve' birth.  That isn't surprising since she used an IV to feed alcohol to Nikki.  However, more proof is needed, such aa a DNA test,
The whole storyline is convoluted and complicated.  Many viewers don't even remember Cole or Eve Howard.  Claire was finally convinced that her Aunt Jordan had lied to her all these years, but she was still arrested.  Nick Newman was stabbed and the police were unable to find Aunt Jordan.  She is hiding in the house.  It looks as if we haven't seen the last of her.  Will she go to Genoa City and continue to torment the Newman family. Is the nightmare really over?
Now that Victoria and Nate's relationship is on the rocks, will Nate hook up with Audra.  They've been quite chummy lately and she seems attracted to him.
Kyle is just going to get himself into more trouble by pretending he's spying on Jabot in order to help Tucker.  Tucker is a snake-in-the grass, but he isn't stupid.  He's already skeptical that Kyle would betray his family.
I enjoyed the Baldwin/Fisher Thanksgiving reunion.  Gloria (Judith Chapman) was hilarious.  She provided some much-needed comic relief on a show that has become much too serious and tense.

J. Eddie Peck is back as Cole Howard

J. Eddie Peck portrayed Cole Howard from 1993 to 1999.  He was married to Victoria Newman and then to Ashley Abbott.  Cole eventually accepted a teaching position at Oxford University and relocated to England.  He divorced Ashley.  Since Aunt Jordan and Claire have been written into the storyline, it makes perfect sense that J. Eddie has returned as Cole.

Now that Cole is back, will he become close with Victoria again?  Will they rekindle their romance after all these years?


Haley Erin (Claire)
Is Claire really the daughter of Cole and Victoria?  Only a DNA test will provide proof,  However, I think it's very likely that she is their daughter.  That would be a reason to keep Claire (Haley Erin) in the storyline.  It would be interesting to see how Victoria deals with the appearance of a daughter she thought she lost years ago.  It's noteworthy that Victoria expressed empathy for Claire and how she was manipulated by Aunt Jordan.
What do you think, fans?  Is Claire really the daughter of Victoria and Cole?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you think Claire is the daughter of Victoria and Cole? free polls

I really need your feedback.  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.  I really need your input.  I really need to hear your opinion.  I want to know if you agree or disagree with me. 

My email address: 
That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, December 16, 2023.   Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate!  It begins on December 7th and ends on December 15th.
Take care,


Saturday, November 18, 2023

Y&R Report (November 18, 2023): 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.

Hi fans, 
Well, that was quite a cup of tea Nikki Newman had with Claire Grace, except that Claire didn't drink her cup and Nikki was drugged.  Claire has revealed herself as a villain, just as we suspected, but who is this mystery woman anyway?  We know that she despises the Newman family.  We also know that she is working with her "Aunt Jordan." Some important questions, however, still remain unanswered.  We don't know Aunt Jordan's identity.  We don't know why she and Claire are seeking revenge on Nikki and the Newman family.
There has been some online speculation as to the identity of Aunt Jordan.  It's been speculated that she may be a long-lost relative of Nikki and her sister, Casey.  This theory holds that Aunt Jordan may actually be their half-sister, the unknown daughter of their abusive father, Nick Reed, whom Nikki killed in self-defemce.  
Another theory holds  that Aunt Jordan is actually be Meggie McClaine  In 2010, Meggie was a bartender Victor met while searching for Adam in Canada.  She played a role in saving Victor from a thug name Shaw.  Meggie had a crush on Victor and she was jealous of Nikki.
The cat and mouse game between Nikki and Claire will continue for a while because the writers want to keep us guessing.  Claire enjoys tormenting Nikki.  She must have some medical background because she attached an IV to Nikki's arm.  She also knows about Nikki's battle with alcoholism and she is taking advantage of that knowledge. 
It seems that Y&R is full of romantic triangles lately.  There is the Daniel, Lily and Heather triangle. We also have Chance and Summer and Sharon.  Then there's Danny and Phyllis and Christine (aka Cricket), as well as Adam and Sally and Nick.  That is a total of five triangles.
As far as Chance is concerned, I think Summer has the edge.  Here's why.  I am sure that Nina, Chance's mother, will come out in favour Summer because Sharon has more baggage from her past.  Nina's opinion will carry some weight with Chance.  Furthermore, Phyllis has given her daughter, Summer, some important information regarding Sharon.  According to Phyllis, Nick is the one that Sharon has always really loved.  You can bet that Summer will use that information to her own advantage, unless her mother does that for her.  However, Phyllis seems too preoccupied with getting "The Bug" away from Danny.Romalotti.  My guess is that Summer herself will attempt to bring Nick and Sharon together again.  The interesting wrinkle is that Nick is Summer's own father.
Although Phyllis is trying to become a better person, expect her cat claws to come out soon.  She is irked by the sight of Danny with Cricket.  She can't help herself.  She can't stand the thought of Christine winning.  Those two are headed for a collision and poor Danny will be caught in the middle.
Daniel should take a deep breath and chill.  He's trying much to hard to show Lily that he's not interested in reconciling with Heather.  His attitude is only making things worse and leaving Lily wondering.  There are forces working against Lily.  Daniel's meddling mother, Phyllis, would love Daniel to reunite with Heather and daughter Lucy.  Lucy would also want her parents to reunite.  Speaking of Lucy, why don't the writers give her a storyline with characters her own age?  It might help draw some younger viewers to the show.  
There's no way that Heather is going to keep her distance from Daniel.  Since Lucy has her own room at Daniel's apartment, Heather has a perfect excuse for showing up there often.  This does not bode well for Lily.
As for Nick and Sally and Adam, it appears that Adam has won Sally's heart, at least for now.  He may do something to alienate her again.  
Dr. Elena hasn't been seen much for a while.  Since she broke up with Nate, she doesn't have much of a part anymore.  She shows up at the hospital when there is an emergency such as when Sally lost her baby or when Chance was recently shot.  Now that Nate has been fired from Newman Enterprises by Victor, he may try to win Elena back, although she does appear to be finished with him.
So, Victor Newman is in control again, exerting his authority and pointing fingers.  I had a problem with him accusing Nate of wanting to send him to the  "looney bin."  Y&R should really be much more sensitive about mental illness. That kind of language does not help.
Has Victor really alienated Princess Victoria for good?  He was very unfair in mentioning all her failed relationships - J.T., Billy and Ashland Locke.  Yes, Victoria hasn't made the best choices in men.  Don't forget Ryan and Cole.  However, Victor has also left a trail of failed relationships.  Let's see now.  There was Julia, Ashley, Hope . . .  He's finally settled down with Nikki, but he has broken up with her many times in the past.  I've lost count of how many times they've married, divorced and remarried.  Furthermore, Victor has always interfered in Victoria's relationships.  Maybe this time Victoria should cut herself loose from Daddy.  Somehow I don't that will ever happen, at least permanently.
It hasn't happened for Nick either.  He always tries to distance himself from Newman Enterprises.  He's tried to start his own ventures.  He ran a magazine called Restless Style.  He had a company called Dark Horse.  He owned and operated a restaurant called The Underground.  Still, he always returns to Newman Enterprises.
So Nina and Jill want Chance to enter the business world.  I can understand how Nina, as his mother, and Jill, as his grandmother, feel about him putting his life in danger all the time as a cop.  However, they shouldn't pressure him into working for Chancellor-Winters.  It's true that Chance doesn't seem too pleased with his position as Genoa City's police chief and he seems to want to try something new.  Yet, he doesn't appear to be the type for the corporate world.  I can't picture him wearing an expensive suit and sitting behind a desk.   I'm sure he's going to end up there anyway.  After all, Nate Hastings transformed himself from a surgeon to a business man, didn't he?  It happens so easily on Y&R.
Kyle must not be the sharpest knife in the drawer.  Why did it take him so long to recognize that Audra was just using him?  Duh!!  He should stay as far away as possible from that unscrupulous woman and her partner in crime, Tucker McCall.  But he won't.  
I'm looking forward to watching Y&R's Thanksgiving episode with the Baldwin/Fisher clan. The show did not have a Fourth of July episode this past summer.  Nor did it have a Halloween episode.  Holiday episodes are very popular with the fans, so Y&R's writers should include them.  According to an online spoiler, Michael and Gloria will return from Singapore with some shocking news.

Soap veteran Barbara Zenk appears as Claire's "Aunt Jordan"
The actress who plays Claire's "Aunt Jordan" is no stranger to soaps.  She is no newcomer either. Barbara Zenk portrayed Barbara Ryan on As the World Turns for 32 years.  She played the character from 1978 until the show's demise in September of 2010.  Since the cancellation of As the World Turns, she has appeared in episodes of Blue Bloods, American Criminal, Tainted Dreams and After Forever.  It will be interesting to see what Barbara does with her juicy new role.

Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki)
Well fans, no one realizes that Nikki is in trouble yet.  Will she get home in time for Thanksgiving, or will she return for Christmas?  Will her disappearance help to bring her family together?  Is it inevitable that Victor will rescue her?  What do you think?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.
Will Victor save Nikki from the clutches of Claire and her aunt? free polls


I really need your feedback.  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.  I really need your input.  I really need to hear your opinion.  I want to know if you agree or disagree with me. 

My email address: 
That's all for now.  Please remember that the next will appear in this space on Saturday, December 2, 2023.  To my American readers, have a very Happy Thanksgiving 

Take care,


Mary Kay and Johnny: The earliest sitcom/reality show on television


Are you ready?  Let's go way back to a time when television was in its infancy and owning a TV set was a novelty.  You may not have heard of Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns, but they were trailblazers.  In the post-World War II era, they were ahead of their time.  If you think I Love Lucy was the first sitcom on network television, you'd be wrong  Before there was Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz or George Burns and Gracie Allen, there was Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns.  This real-life married couple were the stars of American television's first situation comedy.  Their show, Mary Kay and Johnny, ran from 1947 until 1950.  It finished its run before I Love Lucy premiered in October of 1951, and it paved the way for the famed Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz sitcom.  It was also an early version of a TV reality show.

Mary Kay and Johnny began as a 15-minute program on the old DuMont network on November 18, 1947, exactly 76 years ago today.  The sitcom aired on DuMont until August of 1948.  In subsequent years, however, it was broadcast on NBC (October 1948-February 1949), CBS (March 1949-June 1949) and then NBC again (August 1949-March 1950).  It ended its run as a 30-minute program.

The Stearns played fictional versions of themselves in a domestic comedy about the lives of a newly married couple in New York.  Johnny Stearns' character was employed at a bank and he and his zany wife, Mary Kay, resided in a Greenwich Village apartment.  Johnny, who wrote the episodes, often took his inspirations from the couple's real life experiences.  Unlike the more well-known Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, the Stearns' characters slept in the same bed, something that would become taboo in early television sitcoms.  However, it should be remembered that Mary Kay and Johnny was not constrained by the Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters, which came into effect in December of 1951.

Mary Kay and Johnny was filmed live in front of a New York studio audience.  Unfortunately, very little footage remains in existence.  It cannot be found on YouTube.  Unlike I Love Lucy, it is mostly recognized by TV trivia buffs.  When Mary Kay and Johnny was launched, television was a new medium and its future was uncertain.  As Mary Kay put it in a 1997 interview with The Associated Press for the 50th anniversary of Mary Kay and Johnny, "Television was just one of those things that your did to help pay the rent while you were looking for a real job in the theatre."

Mary Katherine Stearns (née Jones) was born on October 27, 1925 in Glendale, California.  Her father Walter, was employed by the Bank of America.  Her mother, Katherine Jones, was a homemaker.  Mary Kay, as she was called, was raised in Santa Monica and she graduated from North Hollywood High School.  She began her show business career at an early age.  At two and a half years old, Mary Kay appeared as an actress and singer at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California.  "I wore a bunny outfit," she recalled when she and Johnny sat down for an interview in 1999 with the American Television Academy as an oral history for the Archive of American Television 

Mary Kay made her made her film debut with a tiny part in the 1946 comedy Our Hearts Were Growing Up.  She then moved to New York in order to work in the theatre.  She was soon hired as an understudy in Dear Ruth, a comedy that had been appearing on Broadway since 1944.  It wasn't long before she became a replacement player.  In an attempt to improve her career prospects, Mary Kay had tea with Edith Bond Stearns, founder of of the Peterborough Players, a summer theatre based in Peterborough, New Hampshire.  Edith was Johnny's mother and during the tea, he showed up unexpectedly.  By the time the tea was over, Mary Kay was smitten with the young actor.

John Stearns was born in Billerica, Massachusetts on October 13, 1916 and he was a member of his mother's theatre troupe  which she founded in 1933..  Johnny began acting at the age of 14 at the Mariarden Theater in Peterborough.  He made his Broadway debut in Night Music with Group Theater.  He also performed in Broadway musical productions such as One Touch Venus with Mary Martin in 1943, On the Town in 1944 and Are You With It in 1945.

Inn 1946, Mary Kay Jones and Johnny Stearns were wed.  Mary Kay had been performing on Broadway when her agent suggested that she audition for a new television fashion show, actually a New York garment maker's. couple were not impressed.  Johnny told the American Television Academy the following: "What it consisted of is Mary Kay, looking 14 years old, wearing junior dresses and modelling them and telling about the belt and this and that."  

After making it clear that he disliked the fashion program, Johnny put forth a proposal.  "I said there are a lot of very successful domestic comedies on radio, but nothing had ever been done like that on TV, he told the Associated Press in 1997.  "We got the go-ahead to try one episode.  So I went back to our apartment in the (Greenwich Village, and I wrote a little script about a young married couple - and played it for comedy."

The Stearns needed a sponsor to back their fictional series based on a young newlywed couple, not unlike them.  That sponsor turned out to be Anacin, a pain relief medication whose executives feared they might be wasting money on a show with a sparse audience.  In those days, there were no Neilsen ratings (the measurement of ratings began in 1950).  However, Anacin found another way to gauge the popularity of the show.

During one commercial spot on Mary Kay and Johnny, Anacin offered a free pocket mirror to the first 200 viewers who requested one  To be on the safe side, the company purchased 400 mirrors, in case the requests were twice as large as they anticipated.  Although the ad was only shown once, they received almost 9,000 requests for mirrors.

According to Mary Kay, the show was "tremendously popular actually at the time, because there was little else on TV."  The couple received a high volume of mail, Mary Kay explained, "because people had never seen a husband and wife in real life doing skits that were based on what really happened in our marriage.  So people became tremendously identified with us as people, and they did all sorts of wonderful things, like knitting Christmas stockings for our children." 

In December of 1948, the real Mary Kay Stearns gave birth to the couple's son, Christopher William Stearns.  Mary Kay's pregnancy and the child's birth was incorporated into the script.  The birth was worked into an episode on the exact day that Mary Kay delivered the baby.  Since the show was done live, Mary Kay had to be absent.

On the day of Christopher's birth, the episode that night featured the fictional Johnny anxiously pacing the waiting room floor.  Days later, the infant, also named Christopher, was displayed on the show.  He joined the cast less than one month after his birth, appearing in his bassinet.  According to Ripley's Believe it or Not, he was the youngest cast member of any show in television history.

Christopher's 1948 birth predated the January 1953 birth of Desi Arnaz Jr./"Little Ricky" by about 4 years.   In 1952 and early 1953, Lucy's real-life pregnancy stirred up controversy over whether it should be incorporated into the show.  There was no such apprehension for Mary Kay and Johnny.  They easily wove the pregnancy into the show.  "I decoded, well, Mary Kay and Johnny is about us, and Mary Kay is pregnant, so I just wrote it into the script," Johnny said in the interview for American Television Academy.  

Mary Kay accepted a couple of  TV roles after the series ended.  She appeared in a 1951 episode of Armstrong Circle Theatre entitled "Danny's Tune" (Season 2, Episode 2, Air Date: September 25, 1951) and she played the role of Cinderella in a 1952 episode of Kraft Theatre, alongside Leslie Nielsen's Prince Charming.  In 1951 and 1952, Mary Kay hosted Mary Kay's Nightcap, in which she informed NBC viewers of the next day's schedule on the network.  However, she mostly retired from acting after Mary Kay and Johnny.  Johnny went on to become one of the original producers of  the precursor to The Tonight Show with Steve Allen on WNBC in New York.  He also produced and directed The Arthur Murray Party, a musical variety show.

When the Stearns family moved to California, Johnny continued to pursue work as a television producer, director and host.  In 1961, he began a lengthy career in public affairs television as producer and host of NBC's Agriculture U.S.A. (later known as AG-USA), which aired on the network until 1990.

Johnny Stearns passed away on December 5, 2001 after complications from a fall.  He was 85 years old at the time of his death in a Newport Beach, California hospital.  Mary Kay died on November 17, 2018, five years ago yesterday.  She died in Newport Beach at the age of 93.  Her death was not reported until two months later.       

Mary Kay and Johnny are largely forgotten today, but they were truly television pioneers.  They hold an important place in TV history.


* Mary Kay and Johnny had three children together: sons Christopher and Jonathan, and daughter. Melinda.  It was Jonathan who reported Mary Kay's death to The New York Times for an obituary.

* The supporting cast on Mary Kay and Johnny consisted of Hoard Thomas, who played Johnny's best friend Howie, and Nydia Westman, who portrayed Mary Kay's mother.

*In the early 1950s, Mary Kay and Johnny appeared in live commercials for the U.S. Steel Hour.  The couple promoted U.S, Steel around the United States.

SOURCESDeadline (, "Mary Kay Stearns Dies: Star of Pioneering 1940s Sitcom Was 93," by Greg Evans, January 10, 2019; Los Angeles Times, "Johnny Stearns: 85: Paired With Wife in Trailblazing TV Sitcom of the Late '40s," by Dennis McLellan, December 9, 2001, Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

- Joanne