Friday, May 30, 2008

BRBTV birthdays in June

- Robin Mattson, the second and perhaps liveliest Gina DeMott-Capwell-And-On-And-On on "Santa Barbara," turns 52 on June 1.
- David Haskell, the long-suffering Nick Hartley on "SB," was born on June 4, 1948 and died on August 30, 2000.
- Colleen Camp, the original Kristin Shepard on "Dallas," who also turned up as Bonnie Lane in the "Dukes of Hazzard" episode "Trouble at Cooter's," turns 55 on June 7.
- Alexis Smith, such a scene-eater as Lady Jessica Montford on "Dallas," was born on June 8, 1921 and died on the day after her birthday, 1993.
- Andrew Stevens, that young upstart Casey Denault on "Dallas," turns 53 on June 10.
- Sherman Howard, who was the voice of villain Derek Powers on "Batman Beyond," turns 59 on June 11.
- Adrienne Barbeau, the sultry voice of Catwoman on "Batman: The Animated Series," turns 63 on June 11.
- Jenilee Harrison, the slightly ditzy Jamie Ewing on "Dallas," turns 49 on June 12.
- Waylon Jennings, our "Dukes of Hazzard" balladeer, was born on June 15, 1937 and died on February 13, 2002.
- Eileen Davidson, the last Kelly Capwell on "Santa Barbara," turns 49 on June 15.
- Aron Kincaid, the creepy Killer Croc on "Batman: The Animated Series," turns 68 on June 15.
- Joan Van Ark, Lucy's mom Valene Ewing on "Dallas" and its spinoff "Knots Landing," turns 65 on June 16.
- Nedra Volz, our bright and feisty Miz Tisdale on "Dukes," was born on June 18, 1908 and died on January 20, 2003.
- Leigh McCloskey, who is a BRBTV triple-shot as Mitch Cooper on "Dallas" and both Zack Kelton and Ethan Asher on "Santa Barbara," turns 53 on June 21.
- Monte Markham, who played Clint Ogden on "Dallas," turns 73 on June 21.
- Paula Irvine, who played the second Lilly Light Blake on "SB," was born the same year as BRB and turns a neat 40 on June 22.
- Ted Shackelford, who was Gary Ewing on "Dallas" and its spinoff, "Knots Landing," turns 62 on June 23.
- John McIntire, who was Sen. Sam Culver on "Dallas," was born on June 27, 1907 and died January 30, 1991.
- Pamela Bellwood, whom we saw flip that lightswitch on "Dynasty" more times than we care to count, turns 57 on June 26.

Happy birthday to all!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gordon Thomson takes on the "Ladies of the House," while Joanna Miles steps into Jesse Stone's town

It's like a tribute to classic stars: Lance Henriksen, Pam Grier, Richard Roundtree, Donna Mills, Florence Henderson, Michael Ensign ... and Gordon Thomson, our own Adam Carrington of "Dynasty" and third and final Mason Capwell of "Santa Barbara."

The 2008 TV movie "Ladies of the House" stars all of those and more. Thomson plays Richard in the movie, classified as in postproduction. It's a drama directed by James A. Contner and written by Karen Struck.

Meanwhile, over in the "Dallas" realm ... We love the Jesse Stone series of movies, originating on CBS and also frequently airing on the Hallmark Channel. The occasional flicks, starring former Detroit boy Tom Selleck, focus on a tough big-city cop who takes a job as the police chief in a sleepy small town as he deals with divorce and his own indulgent alcoholism. Selleck is hot-hot-hot in this series, and now the latest movie installment is in postproduction: "Jesse Stone: Thin Ice."

This time, there's an attempt on the life of Stone's close friend and colleague, and he almost loses his job over it. Joanna Miles, whom we know as Martha Randolph on "Dallas," takes a spin in Jesse Stone's world for this one, playing Mrs. Steinberg, a woman who helps Stone search for a missing child. Kathy Baker of "Picket Fences" and Camryn Manheim are also along for the ride. The movies are based on books by Robert B. Parker.

There's no indication yet on an airdate, though the Sony Pictures production was filming in Halifax, Nova Scotia, late last year. has a little more.

BRBTV News Blog Blip: Earle Hagen, who composed music for "The Dukes of Hazzard," has died at age 88. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Philadelphia Inquirer are two of the papers running an appreciation.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Anthony De Longis has been doing more than "Double Duty" over the years

In "The Dukes of Hazzard" episode "Enos and Daisy's Wedding," he played Slade, and before that, in the episode "The Hazzardgate Tape," he was Norton. On "Santa Barbara," we know him as the evil Leo Mitchell, tormenter of Michael Donnelly and the poor (?) Laura Asher. He's longtime actor and stunt guy Anthony De Longis.

The California-born De Longis is also a weapons trainer and a master at the sword, which hasn't seemed to hurt his Hollywood career. He's even ventured into the "Star Trek" universe: If you're a fan of "Voyager," you've seen him as Kazon leader First Maje Culluh. Based in Los Angeles and Vancouver, De Longis is, interestingly enough, the whip expert who taught Michelle Pfeiffer how to swing a gracefully exact bullwhip in "Batman Returns," his official site says. And we certainly do recall the reports of Pfeiffer studying hard with that thing!

Now De Longis has a 2008 project going, the movie "Double Duty." He plays Dirk in the action comedy, sharing the screen with Karen Black, Tom Sizemore, Connie Stevens and his fellow "SB" star Ismael Carlo, who was our longtime Rueben Andrade on the soap. The movie is about a female major who leaves the Marine Corp but keeps getting pulled into "combat" of sorts in her relationships.

To learn more about "Double Duty," and to view the long trailer that shows both De Longis and Carlo in action, check the film's official site.

BRBTV News Blog Blip: De Longis' cohorts at "SB," meanwhile, are seeing their own more-modern success. Brian Frons, who is the president of Disney ABC Television Group's Daytime division, and whom we can fondly remember as the very humorous "God" in the fantasy sequences of Mason Capwell / Sonny Sprockett in Heaven, has just announced a second season request for the SoapNet show "General Hospital: Night Shift." Jill Farren Phelps, another "SB" alum, is executive-producing the sister show, "General Hospital." Just joining the "Night Shift" series is writer Lisa De Cazotte, who worked as a coordinating producer on "SB." The Futon Critic has SoapNet's official release.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Coming up in Archie Comics

“A Yelp for Help”: Archie, Betty and Jughead decide to make extra money as personal aides, which only leads to romantic misunderstandings¸ canine chaos and garage sale mania!
SCRIPT: George Gladir. ART: Stan Goldberg.
“Par for the Course”: A golf outing with a potential business partner turns into a golf “ouching” when Archie comes along with club in hand!
SCRIPT: Bill Golliher. ART: Stan Goldberg. “Lucklorn”: Archie laments the fact that for someone who doesn’t believe in “luck,” Jughead sure has a lot of “good fortune!”
SCRIPT: Craig Boldman. ART: Stan Goldberg.
On sale on newsstands: June 10, 2008
32-page, full-color comic
$2.25 U.S.

“The Sound and the Fury”: Dilton invents a device to help Archie locate his car with an audio signal … and Jughead promptly swallows it, mistaking it for a mint! Worse, Reggie has made off with the remote that controls the audio signal, making sure Jughead “goes off” at the most inappropriate moments! “The House-Warming”: A nice, quiet, comfy new doghouse for Hot Dog is tempting to Jughead as a new napping spot! “Jughead Stuck in the Doggie Door”: With a title like that, need we say more… other than don’t miss one of the funniest Jughead stories yet!
SCRIPTS: Craig Boldman. ART: Rex Lindsey.
On sale on newsstands: June 10, 2008
32-page, full-color comic
$2.25 U.S.

“Riverdale Jones and the Temple of Food”: While rummaging through Jughead’s attic searching for sleeping bags, Archie finds something else instead: the hat, jacket and journal of Jughead’s archeologist-adventurer ancestor Riverdale Jones! Food was his specialty, so when the boys also find a map to the legendary “Temple of Food,” the quest is on to find this fabled land of food and fortune!
SCRIPT AND ART: Fernando Ruiz.
PLUS: Other new and classic tales! SCRIPT AND ART: Various talents.
BONUS: Puzzles, games and pin-ups!
On sale on newsstands: June 10, 2008
Full-color digest format
$2.49 U.S.

“ Salem ’s Secret Part 2”: In one of the most intriguing Sabrina stories yet, the secret of Salem ’s past life is given the spotlight. Witness as Salem and Nocturna quest for the fallen unicorn horn on the Island of Elves. With selfish intent, Salem uses Queen Seles’ magic to find the horn, and once in possession of the great power the wand brings, his motives come to light, leaving Nocturna only one choice, and lives that are changed forever!
SCRIPT: Tania Del Rio. ART: Chad Thomas (pencils) & Jim Amash (inks).
Star-crossed cover by Tania Del Rio and Jim Amash!
On sale on newsstands: June 10, 2008
32-page, full-color comic
$2.25 U.S.

BRBTV News Blog Blip: She turned 75, and she did it in style. Our own Joan Collins, the unforgettable Alexis Carrington Colby Whatever of "Dynasty," celebrated her birthday in style the other day in the South of France. The UK's Daily Mail newspaper group has more here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bits 'n' Pieces: Let's do some catch-up!

It was a great week of remembrances of the Motor City Comic Con, but it's time to get back to reality now and the regular schedule of the BRBTV News Blog. Here in our occasional Bits 'n' Pieces From Around the Web feature are a whole lotta fun tidbits ...

- Soap Opera Digest reports that Roscoe Born, whom we know as the evil / not-so-bad Robert Barr and his evil / truly-evil twin Quinn Armitage of "Santa Barbara," has nabbed another daytime role. He'll be Dean Robbins on "Days of Our Lives" beginning May 29:

- And while we're on "SB," some news about one of its grande dames, Marj Dusay, who was the second Pamela Capwell. She recently served as the "Ambassador from the Nations at the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah Designate Jaqui Rice" at the 81st Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Wincester, Virginia:

- Have you seen the trailer for this summer's animated feature "Batman: Gotham Knight"?

- And speaking of "Batman: Gotham Knight," ActiveAnime has an interview with Kevin Conroy, our longtime voice of Batman in the various animated series, as well as Bart Fallmont of "Dynasty":

- Thanks to Renee of the All-John blog for the tipoff to a new interview with John Schneider in the Washington Post (talk about a meow of a photo):

- Things are going just swell in Wopatland, as well. Tom Wopat, our own Luke Duke, talks with New York's Fox 5, and gives a special performance (thanks, Sheri, the web girl!):

- From one of BRB's old stomping grounds, Wausau, Wisconsin: Sonny Shroyer, our own Enos Strate, will be appearing at a baseball game of the Wisconsin Woodchucks on July 12:

- Whether you prefer Bat Beyond, the Dark Knight, the JLA version or whatever Caped Crusader there's been over the years, you might get a kick out of this list of the top Bat-stories of all time:

- Didya know that the fashions of Samantha of "Sex and the City," HBO's series that's coming to the big screen this Friday, were inspired by our beloved "Dynasty" (yea, makes sense, ya know?):

Friday, May 23, 2008

Motor City Mania: And the award for the nicest celebrity goes to ...

... Mr. Erik Estrada!!!!! You knew it, didn't you? I mean, c'mon, he had us at "hello" on Friday afternoon! Never mind the fact that BRB was quite madly in love with him when "CHiPs" originally aired in the late '70s. Never mind the fact that he's hot-hot-hot right now, as we speak (type, actually) and doesn't look a day over 35. Yea ... never mind all of that.

So, for his friendliness and personality and charm, for his endless supply of jokes, for his racing around the convention hall on an amigo saying "It's my money and I need it now!" and for other assorted antics, we hereby bestow on Erik Estrada BRBTV's Most Congenial in Show Award for the 2008 Motor City Comic Con.

We can't share the joke the Estrada just made before BRB's bro shot these photos, but it certainly is clear that we swoon! We swoon!!!!!

And we certainly couldn't post Mr. Estrada's award without including this fun photo of him and Krista ...

Meow! If you want another glimpse of last weekend's show, hop on over to the Gaylord (Mich.) Herald Times, where Kurt Kolka has some photos and reminiscences.

Photos by Scott Bates except for bottom photo by BRB.
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Motor City Mania: Other assorted stars we're glad to have bumped into!

Aaaaahhhhhhh ... it's jolly-good fun, that whole star-spottin' thing. Here are a few glimpses of some cool folks we saw over the weekend ...

Ms. Limelight of Sci Fi's "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?", aka Trisha Paytas, can you get just a little more cute, pleeeezzzzz????? Good grief!!!!! You're killin' us!

With her sweet demeanor, Melody Mooney, aka Hygena of "Who Wants to Be a SuperHero?" was a strong contender for BRBTV's Most Congenial in Show Award, just so ya know. She chatted with BRBTV about the future of the "Superhero" show, which we simply adore. A possible jump in networks?

The commanding Avery Brooks, Captain Benjamin Sisko of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."

Another "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" vet: Chase Masterson, who portrayed Leeta.

Alan Ruck was Stuart Bondek on "Spin City" and Lance Brockwell on "Mad About You."

We kept teasing the darling Anthony Montgomery, who portayed Ensign Travis Mayweather on "Star Trek: Enterprise," about being a captain. "I hope they make me a captain!" he joked back.

BRB asked Margot Kidder, best known as Lois Lane in the Christopher Reeve "Superman" films of the late '70s and '80s, if she had any new TV roles coming up, such as the fun spin she did on the CW's "Smallville." She said she's enjoying being with family these days and "being a grandmother."

BRB posed the same question to Lou Ferrigno, our vintage television "Incredible Hulk." He said he's doing voicework and an appearance in this summer's "Incredible Hulk" film, plus he's making a picture with Dreamworks but under contract cannot reveal the name of the film. He did say the movie is scheduled for a November release.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV, except the photos of BRB and Margot Kidder and Lou Ferrigno, by Scott Bates.
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Motor City Mania: Erik Estrada is policing the information superhighway these days

Erik Estrada may be a few decades away from the California Highway Patrol, but law enforcement has always been his motivation.

"I was going to be a New York cop before I became an actor," Estrada told us this past Friday night at the Motor City Comic Con in Novi, Michigan. The actor, so fabulously famous as Officer Francis Llewellyn "Ponch" Poncherello on "CHiPs" in the late '70s and early '80s, grew up on the streets of Spanish Harlem. After the acting bug bit, he gained superstardom on the small screen. But years after he disembarked from that California police motorcycle, his real zeal for law enforcement emerged.

"My passion is protecting children," Estrada told us. "I did D.A.R.E. for six years. And then they killed that program. But this can't be killed."

The "this" he's referring to is the Safe Surfin' Foundation, facilitated through the Bedford County, Virginia, Sheriff's Office. It's one of the badges that Estrada wears these days (he's also a police officer in Muncie, Indiana).

The foundation was formed in 1990 to increase Internet safety training and to lobby for mandatory Internet safety training in public schools throughout the United States. If a school is interested in the safety education, Estrada says, the foundation will come and do a presentation for free. It's targeted, especially, toward kids age 5 to 8, the formative years.

"My goal is to have Internet safety education in every school in the nation," Estrada told us. "It's gotta be a mandatory thing."

You can learn more about the foundation at Estrada also has some info on his own site,

OK, so ... but what about the acting thing? This hunky actor, who's had a wealth of roles over the years that include not only a long-running Latino soap but CBS' "The Bold and the Beautiful," too, doesn't look a day over 35, BRBTV can attest!!!

"I'm not looking," he said to our question of any upcoming roles.

Yes, avid fans, evidently this highway patrolman has found the badge -- and the higher-tech highway -- he likes best.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Motor City Mania: As always, the "Dukes" are abundant! And we like it that way!

You know, BRB has attended the Motor City Comic Con -- as a special guest, as a member of the media, or simply as a geek -- many times in the nearly 20-year history of the show. And to her it just wouldn't be the Motor City Comic Con if Paul Harrington and his Canadian Dukes of Hazzard Fan Club display weren't there. She first saw the display in 1999, when the beast we call BRBTV was just a pup, so to speak, and she delighted in photographing Paul's General Lee, a photo later used for the cover of the "Them Dukes! Them Dukes!" reference guide.

This year, the "Dukes" display got even bigger and better. Paul gets new "Dukes" memorabilia all the time (just ask his ever-patient wife, Cheryl!), in anticipation of the actual museum building currently in progress on his home property.

Paul was on the set of the 2005 "Dukes of Hazzard" movie (and saw some screen time). His collection of props from the film (above) includes production signs and a rear bumper from a jumpin' General Lee. He also has a collection of props from the TV series, shown below.

Paul has some items from the original Boar's Nest in Georgia, utilized in the first five episodes of the show shot. The building is now rented by a church.

New to the "Dukes" display this year was Will Rodgers, the "voice man," a guy who can perfectly nail just about any classic TV voice you name! And the dialog he memorizes for this stuff? Don't even get us started! Will performed his voice impersonations at last year's Hair Dare Dukes Weekend in Ontario, Canada. He has set a goal to become an in-demand voice performer. When he gets a website up and runnin', we'll post a link here! We'll also note that Will served as an editor for BRBTV's recently released "Destination: Dallas" reference guide, and for that we are thankful!

Every year, females wear that Princess Leia skin-baring outfit to this comic con. This year we counted at least four of 'em. How fun, that Leia and her friendly neighborhood Stormtrooper could pause for a photo op with the General Lee!

Here's BRB's display at the show. Thanks to Paul and Cheryl Harrington for the hospitality and the fun, once again!

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Motor City Mania: We're mad about Monkees!

He's got a sweet way of carrying himself. When he steps by, he's light on his feet and thin of form, in his dark jeans beneath an oversized black jacket and a clever hat. His facial features? Unmistakable. That's our Monkee, Mr. Micky Dolenz.

Micky Dolenz was actually the Monkee we liked best of the four. The world (and Marcia Brady) could have Davy Jones, but Micky, with his distinctive smiling charm, was where it's at. We're delighted that, post-Monkeeville and in-between TV guest shots here and there and a fun role as Arthur on "The Tick" in the '90s, Dolenz dipped into our BRBTV world: He voiced Min and Max on the "Two-Face" two-parter of "Batman: The Animated Series." Dolenz has also done some writing and directing over the years.
Yes, there is a these days, and we do encourage you to visit it. Dolenz also keeps a MySpace page, and we have no choice but to admire a man who will put an ad for both Obama and McCain on his website (and no Hill -- even more admiration).
Besides a Monkee, this past weekend's Motor City Comic Con in Novi, Michigan -- which we're covering all week long on the BRBTV News Blog -- featured a Monkeemobile. And just like the Monkee, this Monkeemobile was authentic. It is one of the two vehicles utilized on the show, which ran from 1966 to 1968.
The fiery red beauty was purchased this past January at the well-known Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction (where John Schneider's General Lee went on the block, as well). The new owner is a Metro Detroit resident, and this is the first show where he's brought his new prize.
Congratulations, Mel! It's an amazing GTO with a front-end design that truly captivates.

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Motor City Mania: An overview

Whew ... It was a fabulous start to a rockin' weekend at the Motor City Comic Con in Novi, Michigan. We saw thoroughly entertaining things that it wouldn't be right to post here, but we will post what we can, to kick off our full week of coverage of the event.

Mr. Felix Silla of "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," the original "Battlestar Galactica" and many more fun shows, who also played the alien in the "Dukes of Hazzard" episode "Strange Visitor to Hazzard," stopped by our table to chat. He was at the show last year, too.

What would a con (any con?) be without Stormtroopers and the like? Here, they show their weaponry to our friend Krista ...

K.I.T.T. and the General Lee -- how can you go wrong? In fact, there are two Generals in attendance this weekend, plus the first ever appearance of one of the two original Monkeemobiles! Look for photos of that red beauty next week!

As always, BRB enjoyed the warm hospitality of Paul and Cheryl Harrington of the Canadian Dukes of Hazzard Fan Club and their "Dukes" museum display. Cheryl says it's the largest collection of fun "Dukes" stuff they've displayed at the Motor City show (and they've done quite a few of these shows!)

If you can make it to the Rock Financial Showplace this weekend, be sure to stop by BRB's table and say hello! She's signing not only "Them Dukes! Them Dukes!" but also the other two print BRBTV books, "Dynasty High" and the newly released "Destination: Dallas." She's also got CDs of all of the BRBTV products for a cool low price (see the BRBTV 10th anniversary page for a rundown of the AniPak and SuperPak). And hey, you can open up a big ole classic TV geek vortex at her table with the mere mention of "The Rockford Files," Erik Estrada, "The Secrets of Isis," Walter Koenig or any such stuff like that ...

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Archie releases second volume in 1960s "Americana" compendium

From Archie Comics

MAMARONECK, NY – Since 1991, the Archie Americana Series has provided fans with not only a historical perspective of Archie Comics, but a hysterical one as well! Now, one of the comic industry's most enduring trade paperback series returns for another round of nostalgic fun as Archie Comics proudly presents the Archie Americana Series: Best of the Sixties, Book 2!

By popular demand, Archie has returned to one of the most popular decades ever for America 's favorite comic book teens. It's the second helping of 1960s fun and frolics for all those readers who enjoyed the original Archie Americana Series: Best of the Sixties.

Whether getting tangled up in the eternal love triangle or incurring the wrath of Mr. Weatherbee and Mr. Lodge, Archie and his friends scaled new heights of hilarity in the sensational sixties! Volume 2 contains timeless tales with Archie and his friends enduring one outlandish mishap after another and enjoying the fads and fashions of the decade! Painstakingly restored from original archival materials and faithfully recolored, this high-grade paperback edition features a computer-airbrushed cover rendered in 1960s style by Archie fan-favorite, Rex Lindsey. So practice your yoga positions, catch up on the latest beatnik beat and join the peace rally with Archie and his friends! You’re sure to “make the scene” with these comedy classics!

Shipping date: June 18, 2008
On sale at comic specialty shops: June 25, 2008
On sale on newsstands: July 1, 2008
96-page, full-color, square-bound paperback,
$10.95 U.S.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stoney Jackson shows up again

On "Santa Barbara" he was the seriously minded Paul Whitney, the police detective with an eye for the young and bewildered Alice Jackson. In his latest role, Stoney Jackson puts on a slightly sterner face.

"4Bidden" is the story of a murder that erupts within an all-female R&B group. Directed by Frank Pinnock and written by Anthony McKay, the thriller shot in the steamy Miami. Robin Givens also stars (and Billy Dee Williams of "Dynasty" was also attached at one point).

You can see a little more (including Jackson in the trailer) at the film's official site:

BRBTV News Blog Blip: What are the top 25 cars from TV and movies? The guys who bring you the Wizard World cons and magazine are only so happy to tell ya. Thanks to BRB's buddy Mikey for this one, which he was also only so happy to pass along, seein' as how his own fave, KITT, ranked so high on the list. The General Lee of "The Dukes of Hazzard" measures in at No. 16, Speed Racer's Mach 5 is in there at No. 3 ... and the mean machine at the very top spot? Let's just say it's a choice that BRB (and Mikey) totally agree with! Meow!!!! (Or, "flap-flap" ... or something like that!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Updated technology and sleek animation drive the new "Speed Racer"

"Just watch me when I get on the track," Speed Racer tells the headmaster on his first day at the Racing Academy, where everyone's rather amused that he shares the name of the founder and major idol of the facility. So begins the journey of the animated "Speed Racer: The Next Generation," which takes Speed -- unaware that he's actually the son of the legendary Speed Racer -- on a quest to find his missing father and get to know his brother, X, who's developed quite a following of his own.

Thankfully, there are a few friendly faces at the academy: the sensible Lucy, the quirky Conor and Chim-Chim the pesky, monkeylike robot. After a little trash-talkin' with the other students at the academy, the kids hit the track (where the visuals -- lush, bright and heavy on the oranges and blues like the original until now -- turn more photographic and three-dimensional and CG). Despite a technical mishap with the clunker car he was given, Speed makes an impression. X, determined to reflect the legacy of his father, is getting a mite bit jealous.

Lionsgate launches the new Friday-night Nickelodeon animated series with this sleek pilot film. Bringing the original series, which ran for just 52 episodes in 1967 and 1968, up to speed, the movie allows its main character to discover his true identity rather quickly. He and his new friends find the "real" Speed Racer's car, the Mach 5, in pieces at the junkyard, and the key that was left with young Speed at the orphanage powers up the grand old machine!

As is often the case, this update of a classic TV icon requires an upgrade. Much like the new "Knight Rider" movie turned the 2000 KITT model into the 3000, the Mach 6 is now the engine to beat in this show, after the resurrected Mach 5 takes an unexpected spill. But the academy's wealthy (and sinister!) investor, Zile Zazic, doesn't want Speed or anyone else to take the wheel of this technologically advanced Mach 6, amazingly powered without gasoline (a timely issue!). Add in a "virtual" racetrack, and you've got some turbo-speed new-millennium fun.

Kurt Csolak voices Speed (above right), while Robbie Sublett is X (left). Peter Fernandez, who voiced Speed and Racer X in the original and even wrote the lyrics for the original theme song, voices Spritle, headmaster of the academy and brother of the legendary Speed Racer (Fernandez does a cameo on the live-action flick, too). Included in the movie's writing crew is Jimmy Palmiotti, the mastermind behind "Painkiller Jane" and the sweetie-pie that BRB used to love to say hello to at comic cons through the latter '90s. (Listed as "James Palmiotti" here -- so serious, Jimmy???)

The DVD's extras include a featurette on the making of the TV show (Fernandez and others offer their thoughts), full bios of the characters at the Racing Academy, a trailer gallery and the "Virtual Track Racing Game" (using the arrow keys on your DVD remote). Previews include a glimpse of Marvel's new DVD take on the Avengers (also "the next generation") coming in August. The movie's run time is 66 minutes.

Learn more about the "Speed Racer: The Next Generation -- The Beginning" DVD at Lionsgate's official site for the film. And, of course, there is a

Images are from Lionsgate Home Entertainment and used with permission;
copy at your own risk.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A little classic TV fun ... "Speed Racer: The Next Generation -- The Beginning"

OK, we've got some action-packed excitement coming up this week and next week in the BRBTV News Blog ... We're going to veer off-course just a bit this week, away from our core BRBTV shows but still well within the realm of good-ole classic television, as we bring you a review of the movie pilot for the brand-new animated TV series "Speed Racer: The Next Generation," releasing this month to coincide with the live-action "Speed Racer" film.

Then, this Friday and all of next week, we'll give you great, solid coverage -- for the third year in a row -- of the Motor City Comic Con in Novi, Michigan. You'll see photos of special guests and all kinds of fun tidbits (and, of course, our traditional BRBTV Most Congenial in Show Award for one celebrity -- who knows who it will be this year!!!!).

So stay tuned for lotso fun! For today, we'll whet your appetite for our "Speed Racer" DVD review tomorrow with a video ...

The original "Speed Racer" first hit the small screen in 1967 and focused on a teenager who aspired to be the world's best race-car champion with the help of his friends, family and his father's high-tech race-car, the Mach 5. Now, in "The Next Generation," his son Speed unlocks the mystery of his dad's disappearance after entering the elite Racing Academy. And the car this time around is the Mach 6.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Eric Roberts keeps the ball rolling beyond "The Dark Knight"

Ahhhh .... Eric Roberts. We remember when this hunky actor was hot in the late '80s and Julia Roberts was known as "Eric Roberts' sister." Now that Eric has long since become "Julia Roberts' brother," we still have to show appreciation for this underutilized talent. In the "Batman: The Animated Series" realm, we know him as Mongul of the "Justice League" series.

We eagerly await Roberts' appearance in "The Dark Knight" in July, which appears to be in that mobster vein he's fit quite well into, over the years. Until then, though, we'll note a few other things he's got in the hopper ...

"The Spy and the Sparrow" is in postproduction and scheduled for 2009 release. Roberts' character is Robert Byrne in this one, and he's joined by yet another BRBTV actor, Grant Goodeve, who portrayed Chris Deegan on "Dynasty." The drama, filming in Seattle, tells the tale of a CIA agent estranged from his wife and his daughter. Find a fact sheet here.

A classic short story by one of the BRBTV's very favorite authors provides the basis for "Edgar Allan Poe's Ligeia." Roberts portrays Vaslov in this tale of a beautiful woman who bewitches a writer (Wes Bentley) in her attempt to fight her own mortality.

Roberts plays a dad in "Royal Kill," a tale of a teenage girl in America who finds out that she is the last living heir to the Kingdom of Samarza -- and is in the sights of an assassin. Watch the official website for updates.

Roberts sticks with the crime thriller genre with this year's "Kingshighway," where he plays Frank Monviano, and "Dark Honeymoon," where he's billed as an "L.A. guy." The latter features Roy Scheider, Tia Carrere and Daryl Hannah.

BRBTV News Blog Blip: Finally, in honor of Friday and all that TGIF stuff ... We've got a quick and fun quiz to determine just which classic '80s TV show your personality matches with. (And yes, our faves "Dallas," "Dynasty" and "The Dukes of Hazzard" are included!) Click on over to:

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Alan Burnett talks about "Batman: Gotham Knight"

Guests at this year's Wizard World Chicago con will be treated to not only the premiere of the new animated "Batman: Gotham Knight" film, but also two of its masterminds, who are both familiar names to us fans of "Batman: The Animated Series": Alan Burnett and Bruce Timm.

The Wizard World site has some thoughts from Burnett on his writing and editing for the straight-to-DVD feature, which is a collection of six shorter stories on the Dark Knight and his evolution:

Both Burnett and Timm will participate in the panel discussion that will follow the film's premiere. The show runs June 26-29.

Elsewhere in the Batcave ... Love the Bat and wanna show your love? Maybe spread a little knowledge, too? The Batman Wiki is the place for you! Punch on over to:
and read and post at will!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

May stands for Mayhem, when Cheryl Blossom is in the house

From Archie Comics

MAMARONECK , NY – The year 2008 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years ever for Archie and his friends! It’s all due to our writers, who in recent months have concocted some intrepid tales that threaten to dismantle the status quo forever! The comfort readers take in the consistency of the Archie characters has been shaken with one twist and turn after another. In the spotlight this month are Jughead, whose blossoming love life may or may not be the con of the century; and Cheryl, who has chosen to kiss Riverdale’s boys goodbye in favor of the handsome contestants on a TV dating show. Will everything ultimately return to normal for these three Archie Comics icons?

BETTY & VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST #161, ships May 21. FEATURING PART 1 OF A 5-PART, INTERACTIVE STORY WHERE THE READERS DECIDE THE OUTCOME! “And the Winner Is … Part 1 of 5”: 2008 is an election year, and Archie Comics is no exception as we present a special election of our own: your chance to vote for Cheryl Blossom’s new boyfriend! Ever since her return, Cheryl has been the bane of Betty and Veronica’s existence, complicating their “eternal love triangle” with Archie into an awkward quadrangle! Even though Cheryl has been seeing Reggie lately, the girls would love nothing more than to see Cheryl completely preoccupied with someone other than a Riverdale High hunk! They get their chance when Reggie takes a nonchalant attitude toward his relationship with Cheryl – prompting the redheaded vixen to seek a new boyfriend on the TV show, “The Lonely Hearts Club!” Wait until you see the hot contestants vying for the title! Best yet, over the next few months readers will have a chance to both witness each date in this digest series AND vote on who they think Cheryl should choose online at! It’s the Archie Comics event of the summer, and you don’t want to miss it!

JUGHEAD’S DOUBLE DIGEST #140, ships May 7. CONTINUING THE FOLLOW-UP TO LAST YEAR’S MOST TALKED-ABOUT BETTY & VERONICA STORY, “BAD BOY TROUBLE” – FEATURING RIVERDALE’S FAMOUS TEENS IN A REALISTIC STYLE! “The Match Makers Part 2”: Picking up where last issue left off, Archie, Betty, Reggie and Veronica carry out their plan to play “matchmaker” for Jughead and break him free of his “fifth wheel” status! The boys bring Jughead to the movies and the girls bring Sandy Sanchez in an elaborate scheme to have them “accidentally” run into one another! When Jughead and Sandy catch on to the scheme, they decide to turn the tables and pretend to be in love … or are they?! It’s another intriguing chapter in this four-part epic! Last year’s “Bad Boy Trouble” set the comics world on its ear as the teens were depicted in a realistic style. Comic book legends Joe Staton and Al Milgrom carry on that look, handling pencils and inks respectively, in what is sure to be one of the more intriguing Archie stories of the year!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Seen on eBay: A "Santa Barbara" script straight from an actress' hands

Actress Marilyn Pitzer was hired by the casting director of "Santa Barbara" to play a matron at the jail on the soap in spring 1992. Now, Pitzer is selling her script on eBay:

"This was my first and only experience with the soap world," Pitzer writes on the script's listing page. "My hat is off to these incredible actors. They work hard, and the memorization they do is unbelievable."

The script's episode, which taped on March 25, 1992, aired on April 8, 1992 and was labeled as Episode 1941, featured Gina in jail after using a feminist group to get revenge on her ex, C.C. Capwell. C.C. then hires an actress to pose as Gina's troublesome cellmate, Annie.

The script was at $15.50 with four bids as of posttime, with two days and two hours to go.

Also in the "SB" realm today ... a little tidbit about the dobermans who starred on the show ... scroll down:

Monday, May 05, 2008

"Dukes" movie far behind her, Lynda Carter talks "Wonder Woman"

Any "Dukes of Hazzard" fan who regularly reads this news blog knows that we tend not to do too much with the 2005 and 2007 "Dukes" movies. We don't mean to be purist about it, really, and it's not that we didn't like those modern-day farcical attempts to capture the "Dukes" sentiment. We just don't really think about them much. But when we saw this item about Lynda Carter, who played Pauline, special friend of Uncle Jesse, in the 2005 flick, we just had to bring it to light. Carter to us symbolizes one-third of the Great Chick Triumverate of 1970s TV: "Wonder Woman," "The Bionic Woman," "Charlie's Angels." For her ever-lasting beauty, awesome Amazon princess power and pageant grace, Lynda Carter more than deserves some extra lauding.

Carter spent the past several days on a singing engagement in the San Francisco Bay area, and the local ABC affiliate had the deal:

In this video clip, Carter alludes to the new "Wonder Woman" movie that's been in the works for years (and hey, we never knew this dark-haired beauty is half-Hispanic). "I hope it's wildly successful, because it should be," she says of the big-screen project. "She's a great character. It's a great story."

She says of the wildly popular '70s TV series: "One of the things that I prided myself on back then was that when I got the role, I was determined that she would be portrayed in a way that was real, that women really got it, women really got that I was on their side. Not against anyone. But if their boyfriend looked at me, I'd smack him upside the head!"

Carter, by the way, has a starring role in this year's "Between Heaven and Earth," playing a rich widow.

And while we're mentioning the 2005 "Dukes" movie, we'll go ahead and jump on the massive no-end-in-sight Jessica Simpson bandwagon. has her talking about getting back into Daisy-Duke-bikini shape, while The Star in Malaysia mentions her (and pictures her) in an appreciation of the skimpy short in the world of fashion.

BRBTV News Blog Blip: We're coming off a pretty solid weekend of drooling over Robert Downey Jr.'s super-suave portrayal of Marvel Comics' "Iron Man." Ya know, he's an actor we really had forgotten about, but whew ... on the BRBTV Meowmeter, he ranks high. Just had to mention it!

This week in the My Mother's Clothing project: Jackie? Oh? No, not really. But her legacy lives on!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Print, post 'n' share: The 2008 Hair Dare Dukes Weekend flier

Here it is, for your information-sharing pleasure, the 2008 version of the Hair Dare Dukes Weekend flier, full front and back views ... Invite your friends -- and be there!!!

Elsewhere in Hazzard County, we've got a little Friday fun ... Are you a Daisy? A Bo? A Luke? Maybe a Rosco? Take this quiz and find out ...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ooops, who's got the "Dukes" bloops? We'll tell ya ...

Chrome rocker panels or no chrome rocker panels in the pilot episode? A name misspelling for Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on a sign (yes, we'd caught that one)? And was the name of Uncle Jesse's moonshining vehicle Sweet Tilly or Black Tilly? (Yea, we'd noticed that one, too, kinda like the name of Jesse's wife!) What this is all about, if you're a-wonderin', is spotting bloopers on our beloved "The Dukes of Hazzard."

Yes, someone has taken the time to compile a list of the bloopers of Bo and Luke and crew -- and to list them on a website! has the bloops, as well as some videos, links and other fun stuff.

And while we're talkin' "Dukes," we've just gotta note that what we've hinted at on this very blog has come to pass and has been made official: Mr. Byron Cherry, our own Coy Duke and one of BRBTV's very favorite celebs, has been signed on to appear at this year's DukesFest. Thanks, John and Elly, for making this choice! And if you haven't stopped by the DukesFest site lately, you better check it about once a day -- it changes as fast as that General Lee rolls down a country road. When you visit right now, for instance, you learn that you're going to have an opportunity to bid on John Schneider's own Harley-Davidson bike on Sunday of that hoppin' weekend! The event also has its own MySpace page.

Tomorrow ... a little more "Dukes" fun ...