Saturday, June 15, 2024

Y&R Report (June 15, 2024): 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, 

This is my last post before I take a summer break.  So, I will leave you with some thoughts until I return in September.

Victor Newman is behaving like a tyrant.  He's never been so ruthless in a long time.  Why are Michael Baldwin and Cole Howard so eager to please him.  These two accomplished men practically grovel at The Big Man's feet.  Whenever he summons them, they rush to the Newman ranch to await their orders from The Boss.  It's disgusting, especially on the part of Michael.  He doesn't need to work for Victor.  He could have many clients if he so desired.   

Victor Newman is on a rampage.  He has always been vindictive, but I have never seen him so thirsty for vengeance.  Jack Abbott is his target and he is determined to destroy Jabot.  Victor has his grimy hands everywhere. 

I was not surprised when it was revealed that Victor is the secret investor in Glissade, the company that Audra is trying to wrestle away from Tucker.  Tucker is certainly no angel, but I do have a twinge of sympathy for him right now, just a twinge.  He sincerely tried to help Ashley in Paris.  Yes, Audra has issues with him.  I can understand that she feels he never made her a priority when it mattered.  Nevertheless, I think Audra is being far too vindictive and selfish.  She's been rubbing salt in his wounds.

Audra made a deal with the devil when she allowed Victor to invest in Glissade.  She'll regret that deal.  However, everything is on hold because Tucker has apparently had some kind of medical emergency in Paris.  He claims that he is having trouble breathing.  Audra doesn't believe him.  She thinks he's faking it.  

Now that Faith's coming back (I hope for the summer), Y&R may lighten up a bit.  How about some barbeques and swimming parties!  How about some 4th of July celebrations!  Johnny Abbott is looking more grown up.  Maybe there will be a romance between him and Daniel and Heather's daughter, Lucy.


Special episode to pay tribute to Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman)

Josh Morrow made his first appearance as Nicholas Newman on June 21, 1994, as the son of Nikki and Victor Newman.  Nick returned to Genoa City from boarding school and he had experienced Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome.  With Josh in the role, Nick was no longer a child.  He was suddenly a teenager of high school age.  

Almost 30 years have passed and Joshua Morrow is still portraying Nick Newman on The Young and the Restless.   He is quite aware of his good fortune.  "If you would have told me that when I was a sophomore in high school in Oklahoma jus playing football, 'You will have had a 30-year career on a television show,' I would have thought you were joking," Josh told Soaps in Depth.  "This is an incredible accomplishment and one I never take for granted."

On June 21st (June 20th on Global TV in Canada), Y&R will pay tribute to Josh's 30 years on the show with a special stand-alone episode.  The episode will feature flashbacks and special moments from Nick's complex life.  Soon after Josh joined the cast, his character became romantically involved with classmate Sharon Collins (Sharon Case).  

Nikki was unhappy about her son's involvement with Sharon, whom she considered a gold digger from the wrong side of the tracks.  However, Nick and Sharon married at a young age.  Their marriage lasted about ten years, which is a very long time for a soap couple.  They had their ups and downs, but remained together until their 14-year-old daughter Cassie died in a tragic accident, and Nick turned to Phyllis.  Since then, Nick has been unlucky in love.  None of his relationships has lasted.  Many fans, including myself, would like to see him reunite with Sharon.  It may happen someday, but the problem is that there is a lack of storyline for a happy couple on a daytime drama.

I hope that Ashley's psychologist friend, Dr. Alan Laurent (Christopher Cousins), becomes a regular cast member.  By the way, do you sense some romantic feelings developing between Alan and Traci?  They seem quite comfortable with each other, and Alan asked her out to dinner.


Trebor St. John as Tucker McCall

So, Tucker McCall seems to have had a medical emergency.  Is he faking it, as Audra claims, or is he really ill?  The timing of Tucker's collapse is very suspicious.  He is desperate, and he can be a scoundrel.  I wouldn't put it past him to pretend he's sick. Even though a doctor is checking him over, I can't entirely trust Tucker.  Maybe he's paid someone to pose as a doctor who will declare him to have some kind of illness or maybe even a minor heart attack.  On the other hand, Tucker has been upset and stressed.  If  he really is sick, Audra will have egg on her face.  What do you think, fans?  Is Tucker faking a heart attack in order to stop Audra?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you think that Tucker is faking a heart attack? free polls

I enjoyed the Daytime Emmys very much.  General Hospital led the pack with four awards, including Best Daytime Drama Series.  Y&R won two major awards.  Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Summers) received the Emmy for Lead Performance in a Daytime Drama Series: Actress.  
Courtney Hope (Sally Spectra) won for Best Supporting Performance in a Daytime Drama: Actress.  Her castmate Allison Lanier (Summer Newman) was nominated in the same category.  Two Y&R men, Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) and Bryton James (Devon Winters), did not win in their categories.  

98-year-old Dick Van Dyke became the oldest-ever winner of a Daytime Emmy for his guest performance on Days of Our Lives.  Dick quipped that if he had known that he was going to live so long, he would have taken better care of himself.  

The Young and the Restless' Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) looked radiant as she and her husband Edward Stott (supervising producer of The Bold and the Beautiful) received a lifetime achievement award.  Their daughters were in attendance.

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.  Have a great summer.  I will be back on Saturday, September 21, 2024 with a brand new post.  See in you in September with more Y&R news and comments.  Stay updated with breaking celebrity news, old and current television shows or old television shows news by reading my TV Banter blog.

Take care,


Thursday, June 6, 2024

Keeping up with Mark Harmon

Mark Harmon: PHOTO CREDIT  Angela George

Thomas Mark Harmon was born in Burbank, California on September 2, 1951, the youngest of three children.  His father was the celebrated football player and broadcaster Tom Harmon {1919-1990).  His mother was Elyse Knox (1917-2012), an actress, model and fashion designer.  Tom and Elyse married in August of a ceremony at St. Mary's student chapel at the University of Michigan.

Tom Harmon in 1938

Elyse Knox

Kristin Harmon (1945-2018), the eldest of  Mark's siblings, passed away from a heart attack at the age of 72.  Kristin, an artist, actress and author, married singer Ricky Nelson, of Ozzie and Harriet fame, in 1963.  She and Rick had four children - actress Tracy, musician twins Matthew and Gunnar Nelson and youngest sibling Sam Nelson, who started his own band, H is Orange.  Kristin and Rick Nelson divorced in 1982.  In 1988, Kristen married TV producer and director Mark Tinker.  After her divorce from Tinker in 2000, Kristen spent the remainder of her life as a painter in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Kristin in 1964

Kelly Harmon (born November 9, 1948), is the middle child.  She is an actress and model, known for her television commercials for TicTac mints.  In 1969, Kelly wed automotive executive John DeLorean (1925-2005).  The couple divorced in 1972, and Kelly married Bob Miller, a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur in 1984.  She runs an interior design company in L.A,


Mark Harmon played college football for the University of California, Los Angeles.  He started as quarterback for the UCLA Bruins in 1972 and 1973.  In 1974, he graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Communications.  After college, Mark considered a career in medicine, advertising or law, but eventually turned to acting.  Prior to his acting career, he worked as a roofer, carpenter and shoe salesman.

One of Mark's first national television appearances was in a TV commercial for Kellogg's Product 19, along with his dad, Tom.  In the 1980s, Mark appeared in several commercials for Coors beer.

Mark Harmon made his television acting debut as Mark Johnson in a 1973 episode of Ozzie's Girls, the spin-off of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.  Ozzie and Harriet Nelson being the in-laws of his sister Kristin, the Nelson and Harmon families began to connect.  One day, Ozzie approached Mark on the beach and the two had a conversation.  "We'd sit underneath my tower and we'd talk about big band music, as Ozzie started as a band leader and Harriet was a vocalist," Mark told Parade magazine.  Then, one day, when Ozzie needed an actor on short notice for Ozzie's Girls, Mark was the one he asked to be a replacement.  "That changed my course," declared Mark.  The fledging actor had never been on a set before.  He appeared on the show dressed in a gorilla suit and he aid, "My name's Harry King Kong.  Which way to the Empire State Building?"

Mark's appearance on Ozzie's Girls was the first of several guest appearances he made on TV shows during the 1970s, including Emergency! (1975), Adam-12 (1975), Laverne & Shirley (1976), Police Woman (2 episodes (1975, 1976), Delvecchio (1976), Police Story (1976) and The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977).

Mark Harmon earned an Emmy nomination for his performance in Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years, a 1977 sequel to the television film Eleanor and Franklin (1976).  In the sequel, Mark played Robert Dunlap, a soldier.
In 1980, Mark was cast in a regular role as on Flamingo Road.  He played Fielding Carlisle, the husband of Morgan Fairchild's character, on the prime time soap.  However, the series was cancelled after two seasons.

From 1983 to 1986, Mark portrayed Dr. Robert Caldwell in the medical drama St. Elsewhere. He played the suave Dr. Caldwell in 64 episodes of the series.  Mark left the show because his character contracted HIV..  Since HIV was big news then, the storyline was both timely and controversial.  Caldwell's offscreen death from AIDS was mentioned onscreen two years later.

Mark on St. Elsewhere

Mark gave a chilling performance as serial killer Ted Bundy in The Deliberate Stranger, a two-part television movie that originally aired on NBC on May 4 and 5, 1986.  He also appeared as Sam Crawford in four 1987 episodes of Moonlighting, starring Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willisa.

From 1991 to 1993, Mark played Chicago police detective Dickie Cobb on the NBC series Reasonable Doubts.  In 1996, Mark portrayed a private investigator in a short-lived ABC series called Charlie Grace.  Only nine episodes were produced.

From 1996 to 2000, Mark appeared in Chicago Hope, another medical drama.  He played Dr. Jack McNeil in 95 episodes of the series.

In May of 2002, Mark played Secret Service special agent Simon Donovan in a four-episode story arc of The West Wing.  He won an Emmy nomination for that role.  Donald P Bellisario, the creator of JAG and NCIS was impressed with Mark's work on The West Wing and had him appear in two episodes of JAG in April of 2003, in which the character of Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs was introduced to TV audiences.  

On September 23, 2003, the NCIS television series premiered on CBS.  The series focuses on an American  military police procedural, It revolves around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, a concept introduced in the April episodes of JAG.

At the time, Mark was not enthusiastic about joining NCIS.  He also opposed the idea of changing the name of his character.  "I read "Leroy Jethro Gibbs, and thought, "Wow, I like that name.  Then for a brief second, when I decided that I liked the idea of the project, the name changed . . .Bob Johnson or something like that.  I went,  "No, no, it's gotta be Leroy Jtthro Gibbs."  When Donald P. Bellisario said "No, you can't play a guy named Leroy Jethro Gibs, Mark replied "Why not?"  The name was changed back to Gibbs and Mark was pleased.

Mark has been married to actress Pam Dawber of Mork and Mindy and My Sister Sam fame since March 21, 1987 - over 37 years-- a rarity in Hollywood.  Of their show business marriage, Mark told Closer Weekly in 2019, "Pam and I have both made a living in this business, and still, there's a part of that that's just not natural."  Pam added, "I don't think two people can work all the time in show business and stay married."

Pam and Mark have two children - Sean Christian Harmon (born April 25, 1988) and Ty Harmon (born June 25, 1992).  Sean is an actor, while Ty is working as a screenwriter.

Mark and Pam

In October 2021, much to the chagrin of his fans, Mark lefts his role as Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, after playing the character for 19 years.  Gibbs' farewell occurred in the fourth episode of season 19 when he decided to remain in Alaska indefinitely after solving a case.  

In 2023, Mark's book, Ghosts of Honolulu: A Japanese Spy Hunter and the Untold Story of Pearl Harbor, was published.. The book was co-authored by Leon Carroll, Jr., a retired NCIS agent.  It is a historical account of a U.S. counterintelligence officer working to safeguard Pearl Harbor, and a Japanese spy sent to Hawaii to obtain information on the American fleet.  Mark also relates the audio version of the book.

When Mark appeared on Entertainment Tonight to promote his book host Kevin Frazier asked him directly about whether his Gibbs character would be seen on screen again.  Mark replied, "You probably know more than I do, Kevin.  They left him (Gibbs) in a stream fishing, and that made sense to me - Is he going to get out of the stream.  I don's know.  But if he is, I don't know about it." 
Never say never, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Mark Harmon to return to his role on NCIS.  In February of 2023, however, The Hollywood Reporter broke the story that Mark had signed for future projects with the Gersh Agency, a prominent literary and talent agency.  This was the actor's first major career move since leaving NCIS.  It could mean that Mark will be back on our screens soon.


* Sean Harmon portrayed a younger version of his father's character, Gibbs, on NCIS.

* In 1987, Mark and Pam sued Mark's sister, Kristin Harmon, for custody of her and Rick Nelson's youngest son, Sam, claiming that Kristen was an unfit parent due to her drug addiction (Mark and Pam later dropped the custody bid for their nephew, and Kristin entered rehab.

* In 1996, Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber rescued a teenage boy involved in a car accident outside their Brentwood home.  The boy was trapped in a burning vehicle.  Mark used a sledgehammer to beak the window of the car and help him escape.  Pam, meanwhile, called emergency services.

* Mark Harmon is an avid woodworker.  In 2006, he told Sunset abut how he learned carpentry from his father, and enjoyed working with his hands.  "I used to hang out in my dad's workshop on weekends , , , Later when I was starting out as an actor, I became a roofer and framer to make money."  Mark incorporates his woodworking hobby into renovation projects for his home.  

* Going into NCIS's ninth season, Mark was promoted to executive producer of the show.  In the the 11th season of the show, Mark worked  with writer and producer Gary Glasberg on a  two-episode special that reunited Gibbs with an old colleague working on a case in New Orleans.  Those episodes became the pilot for NCIS: New Orleans.  Mark served as executive producer of the spin-off.

Mark's big screen credits include Summer School (1987), The Presido (1988). Freaky Friday (2003), Chasing Liberty (2004).

* On October 1, 2012, Mark received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

SOURCES Good Housekeeping; "'NCIS' Fans, Mark Harmon Spoke Out About the Possibility of Returning to the Show," by Adrianna Freedman, December 3, 2023;  Nicki Swift (, "How Mark Harmon Really Got His First Acting Job,", by Natalie Morris, February 3, 2023; The Hollywood Reporter, "Mark Harmon Signs With Gersh (Exclusive)," by Etan Vlessing, February 7, 2023; Page Six (Fox News), "Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber know how rare their Hollywood marriage is," by Stephanie Nolasco, March 29, 2019; Wikipedia; Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

- Joanne

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Y&R Report (June 1, 2024): 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, I've never liked Brussels Sprouts, but after watching Victor Newman torturing Aunt Jordan with them, I dislike them even more.  It seems as if we have finally seen the last of that deranged woman.  She's supposedly in a maximum security prison.  If she escapes from there, Y&R will lose all credibility.  To be honest, Victor's behaviour hasn't been much better than Jordan's.  His lies and deceit about Jordan are going to catch up with him.

Jack Abbott is such a fool and I don't blame Diane for being so upset.  He is really putting his concern for Nikki ahead of his marriage.  Nikki has been to rehab.  She could always have another relapse. but does her sponsor have to be Jack?  

For Ashley Abbott, all  roads lead to Paris.  Ashley, Traci and Dr, Alan, as well as Tucker and Audra, are ready for a showdown in the City of Lights.  Unfortunately, Y&R is not filming on location in Paris because of the expense.  It seems, however, that we're finally going to find out what set off Ashley's mental meltdown.  I suspect that Alan has a twin brother, perhaps an evil twin brother, who traumatized Ashley.  It was likely Alan's brother who walked by Tucker and didn't show any signs of recognizing him.  

Alan claimed he was in Florence on the night Ashley started to have her breakdown.  Ashley remembered being in a bar drinking wine with Alan.  Alan denied ever being in that bar.  Either Alan has a twin or he is a liar who has played some role in Ashley's breakdown.  The good doctor knows more than he's letting on.  He's definitely hiding something.

Summer has decided the benefit of the doubt to two women she hasn't trusted, and still doesn't really trust.  She has finally agreed to allow her cousin Claire to be Harrison's nanny, even though she remains nervous about leaving the boy alone with Claire.  As for Claire, now that she's been hired as Harrison's nanny, she'll be spending more time at the Abbott home, which means more time with Kyle  I expect her to fall hard for him, which is gong to cause major complications for her.

Summer has also mended fences with Sally Spectra.  She has agreed to hire Sally to fill in for Chelsea at Marchetti.  Chelsea is on a leave of absence to deal with her son Connor's issues  By the way, I have no idea where this Connor story is going.  It seems to be heading toward a dead end.  I don't see how Connor  can suddenly overcome his  obsessive-compulsive behaviour and come home.  Are Chelsea and Adam just going to keep visiting him and fretting over his condition?  

Victor Newman has fired Michael Baldwin.  That is the best thing for Michael.  He is a good lawyer and he doesn't need to be Victor's lackey.  He doesn't need to come running whenever Victor summons him.  


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 fan, Carly in Barhaven, Ontario.  Carly wrote the following:

As for Y&R, I watch it for pure enjoyment to take away the problems of life and the world.  But the storylines are either dumber than dumb or stupider than stupid.  Nikki and her alcoholism. Jordan a killer, Connor suffering from OCD and now Ashley with multiple personality disorder.  This is not entertainment.  I think that the writers are all suffering from depression and it's coming out in the storylines.  I do like Ashley's psychologist friend a whole lot more Tucker.

I have to agree with you, Carly, about the storylines.  As I've pointed out before in this column, the show needs to lighten up.  It is in need of some fun and humour to balance all the tension and the mental issues.  The storylines are much too depressing and I think head writer Josh Griffith should be aware of this.  

By the way, Carly, I also like Ashley's friend, Alan, a whole lot more than Tucker.


Are Sharon and Nick's family set to return?

Reylynn Carter (Faith Newman)

As many viewers have noticed, Sharon's character has been in the background for a while.  She's not involved in any storyline.  She's only been seen infrequently, handing  our advice about Conor and Ashley's mental health problems.  However, there are indications that things are about to change.  It seems that new pictures have emerged of Sharon and Nick and their daughters on the set of Y&R.  Reylynn Caster, who plays Faith Newman, is seen in the photos, along with Camryn Grimes (Mariah) and  Cait Fairbank (Tessa).  Conspicuously absent is Nick and Sharon's son, Noah, who is off somewhere in Europe.

In the photo, the family is posing in Sharon's living room, and appears dressed for a happy event.  Something is definitely brewing.  We'll soon find out what it is.  I hope this is a signal that Y&R is going to lighten up a bit.  How about some summer barbeques and swimming parties?


Head writer Josh Griffith

As regular readers know, I have been critical of the way Y&R is being written.  The storylines seem to be going around in circles.  The plots are convoluted.  There is very little comic relief and lightheartedness.   There is no escapism for viewers.  Fans, do you you feel the same way?  In the past year, do you think the show's writing has improved or gotten worse?  Respond to the poll below and let me know.

Do you think Y&R's writing has improved or gotten worse over the past year? free polls

This is a reminder that the 51st Annual Daytime Emmys will take place on Friday, June 7, 2024 on CBS.  Y&R's Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) and her husband, daytime television  producer Edward J. Scott, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony in Los Angeles.  The couple has a combined service of more than 90 years in daytime television.

That's all for now.  Don't forget that the next edition of Y&R Report will appear in this space on Saturday, June 15, 2024, after which I will be taking a summer break.  

Take care,