Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Whatever happened to Paul O'Keefe (Ross from Patty Duke Show)?

Here's a blast from the past.  Remember Paul O'Keefe from The Patty Duke Show.  He played Russ Lane, the younger brother of Patty Lane, Patty Duke's character on The Patty Duke Show.  With the death of Eddie Applegate, who played Patty's boyfriend, Richard Harrison, on October 17, 2016,  Paul is the only surviving member of the main cast of the show.    

Paul was born on April 27, 1951 in Everett, Massachusetts, near Boston.  He was a child performer in his home state.  He studied music at the New England Conservatory and performed in shows such as Annie Get Your Gun at the Carousel Theater in Framingham.  His sister was also involved in theatre work.  At the age of seven, Paul played Winthrop in the 1959 Broadway production of the musical The Music Man.  In 1959, he sang in an episode of The Ed Sullivan Show.

Paul also appeared in the daytime soap opera Ass the World Turns as Danny Stewart (aka Jimmy Lowell) from 1962 to 1963 and as Tommy Hughes from 1967 to 1968).  He had minor roles in three episodes of the TV comedy Car 54, Where Are You? in 1962 and 1963. - "Toody's Paradise" (Season 1, Episode 19, Air Date:: January 28, 1962) , "Quiet! We're Thinking" (Season 1, Episode 29, Air Date: April 8, 1962), "See You at the Bar Mitzvah" (Season 3, Episode 24, Air Date: March 3, 1963).  He also appeared in a 1963 episode of the crime drama Naked City entitled  "Robin Hood and Clarence Darrow, They Went Out with Bow and Arrow" (Season 4, Episode 17, Air Date: January 9, 1963).

In 1963, Paul was playing the role of "Oliver" on Broadway when he was cast as Patty's bespectacled kid brother on The Patty Duke ShowThe Patty Duke Show was created by Sidney Sheldon and William Asher.  The series was designed as a vehicle for the teenage Patty who had won an Academy Award in 1963 for her performance as Helen Keller in 1962 film The Miracle Worker..

The Patty Duke Show ran on the ABC Network from 1963 to 1966,  It chronicled the adventures of the Lane family of Brooklyn Heights, New York.  Patty Duke portrayed rambunctious teenager Patty Lane.  She also portrayed Patty's sophisticated look-a-like cousin, Cathy Lane.  

Martin Lane, the father of  Patty and Ross is the managing editor of the New York Chronicle.  Cathy's widowed father, Kenneth Lane, is Martin's identical twin brother.  He is the Chronicle's foreign correspondent, and is often away.  Hence, the brainy, well-travelled Cathy stays with her relatives in Brooklyn Heights, where she attends high school with her all-American cousin, Patty.  Cathy spoke with a Scottish accent and a split screen effect was used so that the cousins could appear on screen together, despite both being portrayed by Patty Duke.

Patty and Cathy in the same scene

The Patty Duke Show was cancelled in 1966 after three season.  Paul O'Keefe went on to guest stars in a 1967 episode of My Three Sons.  He portrayed Norman in an episode entitled "The Computer Picnic" (Season 8, Episode 12, Air Date: November 25, 1967).

In the 1972 horror film Child's Play, Paul portrayed a Catholic school student whose character is beaten up and loses an eye.

Paul's last television acting performance was in the 1999 TV movie The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights, a reunion of the show with original cast members.  

Paul O'Keefe first saw Rent on stage about 25 years ago.  He was greatly impressed by Jonathan Larson's production.  About a year into the show's Broadway run,  Paul was invited to become a sub-musician by his friend, Tim Weil, the musical supervisor of Rent.  He jumped at the opportunity, but was anxious about being required to play multiple instruments.  "It was kind of daunting," he told Metro.US.  The first few performances I managed to do okay and not screw anything up, but it was a real stretch for me artistically.  I was really pleased when things settled down and I was accepted and approved by everybody."

Paul O'Keefe never really established an acting career as an adult.  Since he left acting, he has kept his personal life very private.  I could find very little online about his recent activities or his current whereabouts.  Since Paul is the only surviving member of the Patty Duke Show's cast, fans of the show would appreciate an update on him.  Paul, if you are reading this, I would appreciate it very much if you would email me a few lines about yourself and what you have been up to lately.  My email address is jmadden16@yahoo.ca

Paul O'Keefe


* Paul O'Keefe is the cousin of actor Ellen Pompeo who is also a native of Everett, Massachusetts.  Ellen is well known for her role as Dr. Meredith Grey on the popular medical drama Grey's Anatomy

* Three members of the cast of the Patty Duke Show died in 2016.  Jean Byron, who played Natalie Lane, the mother of Patty and Ross Lane, died on February 3, 2006.  William Schallert, who played their father, Martin Lane, as well as Martin's twin brother, Kenneth, passed away on May 8, 2016.  On March 29, 2016, Patty Deke died of sepsis from a ruptured intestine.  She was 69 a t the time of her passing.

Jean Byron

William Schallert

* In 2019, Paul O'Keefe served as the assistant musical director of Rent for the show's 20th anniversary tour. 

SOURCES: Metro.US, "Rent is all about family for Everett's Paal O'Keefe," by Matt Juul, October 31, 2019; Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

- Joanne

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Y&R Report (October 21, 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,  
Claire Grace, Nikki's new assistant at Newman Media, is bad news.  She is gong to be trouble with a capital T.   From the beginning, I felt that something was not right with her.  She is far too eager to please.  She bows down to Nikki and the Newmans and compliments them incessantly.  You'd think she was Nikki's servant, not her employee.  She's up to something sinister.  She's planning to sabotage them. That's why she was studying pictures of the Newmans and looking up information on them on her computer.  Could she be in league with Audra Charles and Tucker McCall?
I've wonder why sweet Aunt Mamie would join forces with a snake-in-the-grass like Tucker McCall.  Is she not aware that Tucker is out to destroy the Abbot family?  She loves the Abbots and they consider her part of the family.  What is going on with her?  It seems she has really changed since her years in the Abbott household.  She's tougher.  She has more of an edge to her, and she's more worldly.  The days when Mamie made delicious cinnamon buns for the Abbott breakfasts are long gone.  This is very determined Mamie.  Her main goal is actually the same as Victor's.  She wants her whole family, including Nate, united and working for Chancellor-Winters, just as Victor wants his family to work together under the Newman umbrella.  
Why can't Victor and Mamie just stay out of it and let their loved ones make their own decisions?  Of course, Victor has always been controlling, and now Mamie is behaving the same way.  However, she also has another motivation.  She wants to get back at her nemesis, Jill.  Mamie and Jill are on a collision course, especially when Jill discovers that, thanks to Mamie, Tucker has his grubby hands on Chancellor-Winters.
I am glad that Victor Newman is not really losing it, that he is just putting on an act.  Y&R fans definitely do not want another story about dementia or Alzheimer's.  We've already been through that with Dina.  It would be depressing to go through that again, especially with someone as vital and feisty as Victor.  Given all the turmoil in the world right now, we need a little harmless escapism. It seems that Victor has his children and Nate fooled, especially Princess Victoria.  At the moment, Nikki is going along with her husband's plan, but she's not happy about it.  She's texted Victoria to meet with her and I'm sure that she'll reveal the truth to her daughter.  From the previews and spoilers, I can tell that Victor will be forced to admit that he's been faking it.
What's with Sally Spectra (Courtney Hope)?  Why is she afraid to go back to Adam, especially since she admitted that she still has feelings for him?  Is she afraid he might hurt her again?  I can't blame her for that.  He's so unpredictable.  Sally seems to be in agony over Adam.  It's the old story.  She can't live with him, but she can't live without him either.
Have you noticed that some Y&R characters have just quietly faded away?  For example, Noah and Allie are barely mentioned anymore.  What happened to Noah's nightclub, his pride and joy?  Would he just go off and leave it for months and months?  Who's managing it during his absence.?  I guess the writers  just can't come up for a storyline for those two.  What about Dr. Elena Dawson?  Ever since she broke up with Nate, she has had very little screen time.  She's really not a factor in any storyline.  


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 received an email from longtime Y&R viewer, Carly in Barrhaven, Ontario.  She wrote the following:

I am happy that Victor has taken back control of his company.
The marriage celebration of Jack & Diane was OK.
Chance should be with Summer, much closer in age. Of course that means Nick & Sharon will reunite.

Thanks for your comments, Carly.  I am also pleased that Victor Newman has taken back control of his company.  It's about time Princess Victoria was taken down a notch.  Of course, Victor is way too controlling and he has interfered far too much in the lives of his children.  However, Eric Braeden shines in the role of Victor when he is tough and bossy.  Victor is not the type to just sit at home and play chess.  He has to be part of the action.  So, apparently, does Eric Braeden.
Kyle is behaving like a spoiled jerk.  He has a sense of entitlement and he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He wants the co-CEO job at Jabot, and nothing else will do.  He knows that Billy has the job for the foreseeable future. If he can't have what he wants, he is willing to betray his own family by joining an unholy alliance with the despicable Tucker McCall and the duplicitous Audra Charles.  How childish and petulant!
Kyle will eventually have a downfall.  He will realize that selfish Audra is just using him.  He will want Summer back, but she will turn him down because of Chance.  Kyle has broken so many hearts.  Think about how he treated Summer in the past, a well as the way he just dumped Lota to be with Summer again.  This time, he will have a taste of his own medicine.  Kyle is playing with fire and I can safely predict that he is going to burned.
I think Nick and Sharon belong together. The problem is that if they are happy together, there isn't any conflict and not much storyline.  

Lauralee Bell (Christine Blair Williams aka Cricket) will celebrate 40 years on Y&R

It's hard to believe, but Lauralee Bell, the Crickmeister, will be celebrating 40 years on Y&R, the show her parents, Willian and Lee Phillip Bell created.  She literally grew up on screen, before our very eyes.  Longtime viewers of the show will remember when she was Miss Junior Jabot, a teen model.  She later became a lawyer and a district attorney.
To mark Lauralee's four decades on the soap, Y&R will air a special episode with classic flashbacks.  Christine will receive support from her friends as she attempts to sort out the professional and romantic aspects of her life.  The special, "40 years of  Cricket," will air on CBS on Thursday, November 2, 2023 Wednesday, November 1, 2023 on Global TV.
 Lauralee began playing the role on July 15, 1983, when she was just 14 years old, and she is the only actress to have played Cricket.   For a number of years, the actress was on  contract.  She now appears on the show on a recurring basis.
The special episode will feature fan favourites Michael Damian (Danny Romalotti) and Tricia Cast (Nina Webster).  According to Soap Central, the throwback flashbacks will include Cricket's romances through the years and her  marriages to Danny and to Paul Williams (Doug Davidson), as well as her epic rivalry with her arch-enemy Phyllis Summers, who refers to her as "The Bug."  

Doug Davidson had a bad case of COVID

Doug Davidson (ex-Paul Williams) returned from the Dominican Republic with a severe case of COVID.  He had significant trouble breathing and was taken to emergency.  His former castmate Lauralee Bell wrote to him, "Thanks to all of them who helped you!  Thank God for first responders!! So appreciated.!!"
As readers of Y&R Report know, I think Doug was terribly mistreated by Y&R.  He didn't deserve to be nudged off the show after devoting 40 years of his life to it.  Fans miss him.  All the best to you, Doug.


Sally Spectra (Courtney Hope}

Adam Newman (Mark Grossman

It appears that Sally Spectra and Nick Newman are done, at least it looks that way.  What now?  Should Sally go back to Adam and risk getting hurt again?  What do think, fans?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Should Sally go back to Adam?
pollcode.com free polls

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, November 4, 2023.
Take care,


Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Looking back at Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson (The Hardy Boys)

Stevenson and Cassidy in The Hardy Boys 1977


Detective shows were all the rage on American television in the 1970s.  There was Columbo, Kojack and The Rockford Files, to name a few.  During that time, ABC needed something to bolster their Sunday night lineup.  Producer Glen A, Larson was assigned the task of of developing a hipper (yet still wholesome) hour-long series featuring the youthful sleuths from Edward Stratemeyer's popular Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books.

Lawson found three attractive actors to star as slightly older versions of the well-known characters, and The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries was launched in 1977.  Shaun Cassidy, 18, was cast as  amateur sleuth Joe Hardy.  Parker Stevenson, 25, played his older brother, Frank Hardy, and Pamela Sue Martin, 24, was chosen to portray Nancy Drew.  

Although Shaun and Parker played sibling detectives, the two had very different interests in real life..  Parker was an aspiring architect and a recent graduate of Princeton University.  He was about to enter the business program at New York University (NYU) when he auditioned for The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries.  Shaun, meanwhile, was not as academically inclined.  He was a rising pop singer.

Of his relationship with Shaun Cassidy, Parker told Entertainment Weekly, "Shaun and I couldn't have been more different, but we have the same sense of humour.  We have a kind of bizarre, dry sense of humour, and we cracked each other up all the time.  It didn't really make sense because I was a preppy Ivy League kid, and he was the heir to this entertainment family.  But I came out and did a screen test with him and got cast right away."

As the series progressed, the character of Nancy Drew received less and less screen time.  Pamela Sue Martin departed in Season 2 and was replaced by Janet Louise Johnson.  For the third season, (1978-1979), the character of Nancy Drew was dropped and the series was retitled The Hardy Boys.

The Hardy Boys was abruptly cancelled in January of 1979, halfway through Season 3, due to low ratings.  Concerning the cancellation, Parker Stevenson told Entertainment Weekly (EW): "I don't know what would have happened to the show if we had kept making it.  At what point are we getting too old to be running around with flashlights."


Shaun Paul Cassidy was born on September 27, 1958 in Los Angeles California.  The former teen heartthrob recently turned 65 years old.  His parents, actors Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy, married in August 1956, soon after Jack's divorce from his first wife, Evelyn Ward, with whom he shared a son, the late David Cassidy.  David, who passed away in 2017, also became a teen idol while starring on The Partridge Family with his stepmother, Shirley Jones.

Shaun is the eldest of of the three sons of Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy.  His brother, Patrick Cassidy, was born on January 4,1962.  The youngest sibling, Ryan Cassidy was born on February 23, 1966.  Both Patrick and Ryan are actors.

While still in high school, Shaun signed a contract with a division of Warner Brothers records.  In 1977, his first solo album, Shaun Cassidy, was released in the United States.  The album included "Da Doo Ron Ron," which became a number one single in the U.S.  At the same time, Shaun began starring in The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries.

After the The Hardy Boys ended its run, Shaun starred in Breaking Away, a 1980 comedy-drama that was based on the 1975 film of the same name.  The TV series was set during the year before the events in the film and Shaun took over the role of Dave Stohler, played by Dennis Christopher in the film.  The character had a passion for bicycle racing and all things Italian.  Unfortunately, the series was caught up in the 1980 Screen Actor's Guild strike.  Although strongly promoted by ABC, it received low ratings and was cancelled after the filming of eight episodes.

In recent years, Shaun Cassidy has built a successful career as a television writer and producer.  He has created series such as American Gothic and Invasion.  He also served as an executive producer of NBC's hit medical drama New Amsterdam.  In 2020, Shaun brought his one man show, The Magic of Midnight Sky, to the stage.  It was his first live music performance in nearly 40 years.

Shaun Cassidy has been married three times and divorced twice,  He has seven children.  His first wife was model/actress Ann Pennington (born June 3, 1950),.  Shaun and Ann wed on December 1,  1979.  They had two children, a son named John Cassidy (also known as Jake). and a daughter, Caitlin Ann Cassidy.  Shaun and Ann divorced in 1993.  

On May 7, 1995, Shaun married TV actress/director Susan Diol.  They had a daughter named Juliet Jones Diol Cassidy (born March 19, 1998).  Shaun and Susan divorced in 2003.

Shaun wed his current wife, producer Tracey Lynne Turner, on August 28, 2004.  They have four children.  Their first child, a son named Caleb Turner Cassidy, was born on March 3, 2005.  Three more children followed: Roan Howard Cassidy, Lila Tracey Cassidy and Marin Cassidy.


Shaun and Tracey


Parker Stevenson was born Richard Stevenson Parker, Jr. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 4, 1952. He is the son of investment advisor Richard Stevenson Parker, Sr. and Sarah Meade, an actress who appeared on Broadway and in many television commercials.  Parker's mother brought him to filming sessions when her was five years old.  The youngster made a couple of minor television appearances, despite his father's disapproval.

In 1971, Parker graduated from Brooks Preparatory School in North Andover, Massachusetts.  At Brooks School, he performed in a few plays, but his intention was to be an architect rather than an actor.  He enrolled in the architecture program at Princeton University.  

So, why did he Parker change course from architecture to an acting career?  In an interview with Classic Film & TV Cafe, he said, "I graduated from the architecture program at Princeton, but decided I didn't want to keep doing architecture and I really didn't know what to do.  I'd been acting since I was 14, doing movies, television, and commercials.  Just as I was graduating, I got offered The Hardy Boys, so I made the switch and really committed to acting at that point."

After graduating from Princeton, Parker moved to Hollywood where he landed a role alongside Sam Elliott in the 1976 film Lifeguard.  Television stardom followed when he was cast as  Frank Hardy in The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries.  He told Classic Film & TV Cafe that he got the role "because the producers had seen a couple of the movie he'd done.  "In fact, I had done one with Pamela Sue Martin a couple of years before (1974's Our Time) and she ended up being Nancy Drew.  So, I think that was the connection for them."

After The Hardy Boys, Parker Stevenson went on to appear in series such as Falcon Crest, Baywatch, and Melrose Place,  On Falcon Crest, he had the recuring role of Joel McCarthy from 1984 to 1985.  On Melrose Place, he played Steve McMillan for six episodes in 1993.  From 1989 to 1999, he portrayed Craig Pomeroy in 28 episodes of Baywatch. His role in Lifeguard  helped him win the part..

Parker played Billy Hazard in North and South, Book II, the 1986 sequel to the 1985 hit TV miniseries.  His then-wife, Kirstie Alley, also co-starred a Virginia Hazard, Billy's sister.  

In 1988, Parker starred in a short-live crime/comedy series called Probe, about an eccentric prodigy and his secretary who investigate mysteries. Parker stated that Probe was his favourite of all the TV shows he's done.  He said, "My favourite was Probe, which I did for ABC,  It ran a year.  I loved the show.  It was Isaac Asimov's Probe, so it had really trippy interesting stories.  It was up against The Cosby Show, or something, so it struggled in the ratings.  It was the closest to me in terms of how I think and what I'm like in real life."

Parker appeared in episodes of Judging Amy (2002) and Bull (2016), as well as TV movies such as His Secret Family (2015), A Christmas Reunion (2015). The Perfect Daughter (2016) and My Christmas Prince (2017).

Most recently, Parker starred in Netflix's Greenhouse Academy as Louis Osmond.  From 2017 to 2020, he appeared in 39 episodes of the series.  He also played the role of Simon in the 2021 science fiction film Last Call in the Dog House.

Parker Stevenson has been married twice.  His first wife was actress Kirstie Alley, whom he married on December 1983.  They adopted two children, a son, William True Stevenson, in 1992 ,and a daughter, Lillie Price Stevenson, in 1995.  They divorced in 1997.

On September 29, 2019, Parker wed for a second time, to celebrity chef Lisa Schoen.  The wedding took place at the Demetria Vineyards in Olivos, California.



* Parker Stevenson's first wife, Kirstie Alley, died of colon cancer on December 5, 2022.  She was 71 at the time of her passing.

* Parker co-starred with Burt Reynolds in the 1983 film Stroker Ace.  The car racing film was unsuccessful both critically and at the box office.

* Parker Stevenson's younger brother, Hutch Parker (born November 19, 1963) is a producer and actor.

* From 1993 to 1995, Shaun Cassidy appeared in the musical Blood Brothers on Broadway.  His half-brother, David Cassidy, was also a member of the cast.

* Pamela Sue Martin, the original Nancy Drew on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, went on to play socialite Fallon Carrington on the primetime ABC soap opera Dynasty from 1981 to 1984.  Below is a 1977 publicity photo of her for the Nancy Drew Mysteries series.

SOURCESEntertainment Weekly (EW.com), "The case of the dreamy detectives: Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson remember The Hardy Boys,"  by Kristen Baldwin, March 16, 2023; Classic Film Cafe, "Parker Stevenson Talks About The Hardy Boys, Prob, and His Passion for Photography," July 24, 2014; Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

- Joanne

Thursday, October 12, 2023

British TV personality quits after alleged kidnapping/murder threat

Some unsettling news from across the pond.  British TV presenter Holly Willoughby, 42, has left her hosting duties on This Morning, a daytime magazine program that is broadcast on ITV in the UK.  She resigned after a man was arrested for plotting to kidnap and murder her.  The mother of three was reportedly given 24/7 security by ITV.

On Wednesday, October 4, 2023, Gavin Plumb, a 36-yea-old Essex man, was arrested and charged with soliciting to commit murder and incitement to kidnap Holly Willoughby  According to the BBC, the accused man allegedly assembled "a kidnap and restraint kit" and urged a third party, whom The Guardian identified as American hitman David Nelson, to come from the U.S.in order to put the murder plan in motion.  

Holly Willoughby made her final appearance on This Moring on October 4th.  The next day, police informed ITV bosses about the murder plot.  On Thursday, October 5th and Friday, October 6th, other co-hosts filled in for Holly.  On Friday, Plumb appeared in court and he remains in custody.

On Tuesday, October 10th, Holly wrote on Instagram: "I've let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning.  To everyone who has ever worked on the show over the years, thank you so much.  It's been an honour to be part of its story and I know this story has many chapters left to go.  Sadly, however, I now feel I have to make this decision for me and my family.  This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we've done together.  Thank you everyone at ITV for being supportive.  To every guest who has sat on our sofa, thank you.  Most of all, thank you to the wonderful viewers.  You've been so loyal, so supportive and the very best company every day."

Holly did not directly mention the investigation into a kidnap/murder plot against her.  Undoubtedly, she is spooked by the shocking murder of 37-year-old Jill Dando, an English journalist, television presenter and newscaster.  On the morning of August 26, 1999, Jill was shot dead outside her home in Fulham, southwest of London.  Her murder led to the largest murder inquiry conducted by the Metropolitan Police.  It was Britain's largest criminal investigation since the search for the Yorkshire Ripper.  Barry George, a local man, was eventually convicted and jailed for the murder.  However, after eight years in prison, George was acquitted after an appeal.  No one else has been charged with Jill Dando's murder and the case remains unsolved.  Years later, her death is still shrouded in mystery.

Jill Dando

SOURCESNew York Daily News, "British TV host Holly Willoughby quits show for plotting her murder," by Joseph Wilkinson, October 12, 2023; Evoke, "'Petrified' Holly Willoughby is given 24/7 secuity by ITV after 'kidnap plot,'" by Bryony Jewell, October 7, 2023, Wikipedia

- Joanne

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Frasier's back

Frasier fans will be delighted that a revival of the series is imminent.  However, there will be significant changes.  Yes, Kelsey Grammer will star as Frasier Cane, but this will be different from the original Emmy award-winning NBC sitcom that ran from 1993 to 2004, and was a spinoff of Cheers.  Cheers, of course, was set in Boston.  The premise of the original series was that Frasier, a psychiatrist, had left Boston and returned to his home town of Seattle.  He reconnected with his equally pompous brother, Niles, also a psychiatrist, and his father, Martin Crane, a former police officer who had been wounded.in the line of duty.

For one thing, this series will not be set in Seattle and Frasier will not be hosting a radio program.  Nor will he work as a therapist.  In the series revival, Frasier returns to his old stomping grounds in Boston.  He accepts a position as a faculty member at Harvard University after reconnecting with an old friend who teaches there, and is the chair of the psychology department.

If you are expecting to see many of the original cast members, you will be disappointed.  John Mahoney, the actor who played Martin Crane, passed away at a Chicago hospice on February 4, 2018.  He died of complications from throat cancer at the age of 77.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that David Hyde Pierce, who played Niles, will appear in the new series.  According to a recent article on Yahoo News, Hyde Pierce will not be returning for the reboot.  Kelsey Grammar stated that David is not interested in reprising the role of Niles.  Also, Jane Leeves will not be returning as Daphne Moon, the Crane's English housekeeper who eventually marries Niles in first episode of Season 11.  However, it was recently announced that Peri Gilpin, who played Frasier's radio producer and friend, Roz Doyle, will guest star in the reboot, as well as Bebe Neuwirth as Frasier's ex-wife, Lilith.

In a segment on Today last spring, Kelsey Grammer was asked about David Hyde Pierce and Jane Leeves.  He replied, "If there is a spot for a one[off appearance, and their interested.  I'm sure we would do something like that.  But it's a new world.  It's a new life.  Frasier's going back to Boston to put himself back in a place where he didn't fell he quite made it." 

The new cast includes Jack Cutmore Scott, who portrays Frasier's now grown son, Freddy, a firefighter, Nicholas Lyndhurst as Frasier's old Harvard pal Alan Cornwall; Toks Olagundoye as Olivia Finch, Harvard's psychology department head, and Jess Salquerioas as Eve,, who shares a connection with both Frasier and Freddy,  Anders Keith portrays Frasier's nephew David Crane, a Harvard freshman, and the son of Niles and Daphne.

The new Frasier will will premiere exclusively tomorrow, October 12th, on Paramount Plus.  The show is available on Paramount Plus Essential and Paramount with Showtime.  You can access Paramount Plus through Apple TV Plus , Amazon Prime Video and Roku.  Ten episodes of the series will air on Thursdays.

- Joanne

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Y&R Report (October 7, 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,  
Will Phyllis ever learn?  I really don't think so.  She just can't stay out of trouble.  However, if she behaved herself, there would be no storyline and no conflict.  Phyllis always has a chip on her shoulder.  She complains that people treat her unfairly.  She claims that she is trying to change, but people don't give her the benefit of the doubt.  Why should they?  Has she given them a good reason to trust her?
Phyllis is fortunate that Lauren and Michael are still one of her few friends.  It was unfair of her to come down on Lauren for designing the dress for Diane's wedding celebration.  Phyllis is her own worst enemy.
My! My! My!  Isn't Mamie being coy.  She definitely has something up her sleeve.  Jill is absolutely right when she says that there is more to the story than Mamie's investment in Chancellor-Winters.  That became obvious when Mamie made a mysterious phone call.  She looked like the cat who caught the canary.  Whatever she's hiding, Jill won't like it.  According to an online spoiler, it's Devon who uncovers Mammie's secret.
So, Danny Romalotti (Michael Damian) is back in town and he'll be around for an extended stay.  He obviously wants ex-wife Christine (aka "Cricket") back.  He yearns for the lovely "Cricketmeister."  Disappointment was written all over his face when he was told that she was in Portugal trying to work things out with current husband Paul Williams.  However, I don't expect a reconciliation to happen because Doug Davidson, who plays Paul Williams, doesn't have any intention of returning to the show.  He was treated shabbily, and I can't blame him for not returning.  If another actor were cast in the role of Paul, that would be rubbing salt in Doug's wounds.  
Paul has retired as Genoa City's police chief.  The new police chief is Chance, who looks more like an undercover cop than a police chief.  As Chance himself admitted, he's happy working in the field.  He isn't the type to run an office or give orders.  Somehow, I don't think his tenure as police chief will last very long.   He will never be comfortable behind a desk.
It seems that Danny will be caught between ex-wives Phyllis and Cricket, which means that another love triangle is developing in Genoa City.  I enjoyed that scene between Phyliss and Danny with Danny at the piano.  Danny was straight with Phyllis.  He advised her to let go of her feud with Diane;.  I doubt that the fiery redhead will be able to do that.  To be fair, though, Diane really hasn't let go of her animosity toward Phyllis either.  Since Diane seems to have everything she wants, why does she keep provoking Phyllis and flaunting her good fortune every time they run into each other?
Meanwhile, Danny Romalotti's son, Daniel, is also caught in a love triangle with Lily and Heather.  Like father, like son, I guess.  According to an online spoiler, Heather gives Daniel some surprising news and Daniel hides a secret from Lily.  It's only reasonable to assume that Daniel will hide Heather's news from Lily.
Why aren't some characters on the shown given more to do?  Why don't the writers give Lucy a storyline with some other young actors.  All she does is talk to her parents, Daniel and Heather, about their issues.  Mariah and Tessa have nothing to do except fret over baby Aria's hearing loss.  Tessa could at least sing at some Genoa City venue.  I hope the writers make good use of the new character, Claire Grace, played by Hayley Erin.  They should have an interesting storyline mapped out for her.  She's Nikki's assistant and Mrs. Newman isn't easy to work with.  She's very fussy.
I am enjoying Diane and Jack's marriage celebration.  I was surprised that Nikki toasted the happy couple despite her animosity toward Diane.  It seems that she is finally letting go.  Besides, she's very busy keeping an eye on Audra.
Y&R should lighten up.  The atmosphere is too tense.  Some comic relief is badly needed.  Almost everyone is feuding or out for revenge.


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 am concerned that the storylines on Y&R have become uneven and too repetitive.  The writing seems haphazard.  The writers don't follow through on some storylines.  For example, why did they suddenly drop J.T.'s return after his appearance in a video call?  A storyline shouldn't be an experiment or a test of popularity.  Before starting a new storyline, there should be enough confidence that it will work.  It should be well thought out.  It should also be given a chance to gain popularity, an opportunity to attract fans.  

I spoke to two longtime Y&R fans, Helen in Scarborough, Ontario and Fi Fi in Collingwood, Ontario.  They share some of my worries about the future of the show.

Helen thinks that the show has too much corporate mumbo jumbo.  The viewer has to keep track of all the new companies and name changes.  Helen also thinks that the writers should actually show us what happened, not just talk about it after the fact.  We were never shown when Jack and Diane set up Jeremy Stark to take the fall for stealing a necklace from Nikki and Victor's safe in Chicago.  We were never shown actual scenes from Ashley and Tucker's honeymoon, only flashbacks described by Ashley.

Fans, if you are unhappy with the direction of the show, please let CBS know.  They listen to the fans, if only because they are concerned about ratings.  If something really bothers you, do the following:

Give Y&R your feedback! CBS Phone Numbers 323-575-2345 (Ask for the Y&R Comment Line and leave a message) 818-655-1500 (Ask for Angelica McDaniel’s office)

or Email

Tricia Cast to reprise her role as Nina 
Nina Webster (Tricia Cast) is returning to Genoa City again.  As regular viewers know, Nina is Chance's mother and Cricket's longtime friend.  She'll be proud that her son is the new GC police commissioner.  Will she prefer him with Sharon or Summer?  We will soon find out.  I'm sure she'll offer some advice to Cricket about Danny and Paul.  
No air date has been announced for Tricia Cast's return.  We also do not know how long she is staying.

As you have noticed, there have been many black and white flashbacks on Y&R - in my opinion, too many.  Some flashbacks are needed and the black and white makes a distinction between the past and the present.  Also, it's a way for viewers who have missed some episodes to catch up.  Still, I think that Y&R has gone overboard with the flashbacks.  They are starting to interfere with the flow of the show. What do you think, fans?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Are there too many black and white flashbacks on The Young and the Restless?
pollcode.com free polls

That's all for now.  Please remember that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, October 21, 2023.  To my Canadian readers, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving on Monday, October 9.
Take care,