Monday, August 30, 2010

CMT welcomes back "The Dukes of Hazzard"

Oh, it's a very good sign, indeed, because us original fans of "The Dukes of Hazzard" -- you know, all of us who watched the show when it first aired on CBS from 1979 to 1985 -- know full-well that a whole new generation of "Dukes" fans was created when TNN, and then CMT, re-aired the show so many years later. (Two words: Dukesfest 2006!) Then, when it disappeared from the schedule ... Weeping and gnashing of teeth. And a sober dwindling of "Dukes" events around the country.

CMT is wisely bringing back "The Dukes," beginning with a marathon on the weekend after Labor Day. Beginning with many high-octane hours on September 10, 11 and 12, the show then restarts at the beginning, with the pilot episode "One Armed Bandits," at 7 p.m. Eastern, repeating at 11 p.m. Monday, September 13, continuing along at the same times that week.

See the episode lineup at CMT's site, and get ready to rev that hemi at 8 p.m. on Friday, September 10.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Catherine Bach, Ben Jones help "Rally for the Valley"

Two big "Dukes of Hazzard" stars, Ben (Cooter Davenport) Jones and Catherine (Daisy Duke) Bach, will be greeting fans and signing autographs as part of Nashville's Rally for the Valley event on Labor Day weekend.

Bach will be at Jones' Cooter's Place location in Nashville on Saturday, and Jones' Cooter's Garage Band will be part of the weekend's live entertainment. The event is a response to the May flooding affecting that Tennessee region.

Find out more about the benefit at the Cooter's Place website at

Friday, August 27, 2010

TGIF Toys: Dominoed Daredoll

If you caught that reference in the headline, then perhaps you're a hard-core Batgirl fan from decades ago. And we're talking the pure, only Batgirl ... Ms. Barbara Gordon, sometime librarian, sometime Congresswoman, all-time heroine, who was courageous enough to beat down Killer Moth in her inaugural outing in the comics back in the late '60s. This beautiful, hand-painted, cold-cast porcelain bust, part of a series of "Women of the DC Universe," is designed by chick comics artist Amanda Conner and sculpted by Jack Mathews. Ours is No. 1194 out of 5000, and was a gift from our buddy Mike in Detroit, a true friend. The sculpture comes from DC Direct, and the set also includes Hippolyta as Wonder Woman, Raven and Catwoman. And this Batgirl, perched at a Gotham gargoyle, doing the "Batusi"? More stunning than we can describe. Good thing a picture says a thousand words.

Photo by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Linda Gray is "Expecting Mary"

Linda Gray, our own Sue Ellen Ewing of "Dallas," has a new movie coming out this fall, "Expecting Mary."

In the film, written and directed by Dan Gordon, Gray shares the screen with a great cast: Elliott Gould, Cloris Leachman, Della Reese, Cybill Shepherd, Gene Simmons, Fred Willard. The movie, from WonderStar Productions, opens on September 10, her official website tells us, and has special screenings at select spots in the next few weeks, beginning tonight in New York City.

“Expecting Mary is the story of a young girl, who's had all the trappings of an upscale life," according to Gordon’s post at the IMDb page, "but it's only when she finds herself in a small New Mexico town, in a downtrodden trailer park, that she learns the real meaning of love, sacrifice and family.”

Gray plays a former Vegas showgirl “whose last gig was in New Mexico,” she told “She’s funny and pathetic – and still can be glamorous.”

See her in an interview for the film at

Monday, August 23, 2010

Spotted: Nicolas Coster

"Don't bother me now, Henry," he emits with an aristocratic air as his very first line. No, this is not a '80s episode of our beloved soap "Santa Barbara"; it's a '70s episode of "Wonder Woman," featuring Nicolas Coster.

In this outing, he's Silas Lockhart, a man of darker, fluffier hair than our Lionel Lockridge, along with shaded spectacles -- and motives that are just as dark and shady. He's clearly the bad guy in this November 1978 story, a real estate developer in three-piece suits who kidnaps a specially trained dolphin to place an explosive on a crude-oil supertanker and cause an oil spill that will threaten coastal land (ya get all that?).

My, my, what an evil plot, Mr. Coster! We're thankful Lionel was much more cultured and far less crude!

Read more about the episode, called "The Deadly Dolpin," as well as the full BRBTV synopsis, at the IMDb.

And catch Coster, by the way, in an interview on BlogTalkRadio on his new role in this fall's web soap "The Bay." The delightful Coster chats about Facebook, "SB" and which of his castmates he keeps in contact with, his work with Lawrence Olivier, as well as the genesis of his involvement with this web series. "Gregori writes quickly and well," he comments about the creator of the "The Bay," Gregori J. Martin, who is crafting the show on a low budget without many retakes and cuts. "We're going to be a lot more close to a reality show than one would wish. But that provides some spark."

Friday, August 20, 2010

TGIF Toys: Count on them Duke boys

If you've read the BRBTV reference guide "Them Dukes! Them Dukes!", then you know this item -- and yes, it is a toy! -- was a gift to BRB from her dear pals at The Detroit News. It's a vintage treasure (circa 1981 or so, when "The Dukes of Hazzard" merchandise was riding high), found fresh and new in the box a couple decades after first hitting the store shelves. Of course, it works perfectly. Of course. And of course it's what balances the BRBTV checkbook every month! Unlike Boss Hogg, though, it keeps us on the straight and narrow.

Photo by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Santa Barbara" stars keep sudsing up the small screen

You can never say our '80s soap faves are all washed up -- they keep cleaning up on the new work right and left! In fact it seems a bit like revolving doors (sinks?), particularly where our beloved "Santa Barbara" is concerned. Here's a roundup of a few things going on lately ...

- Signy Coleman (Celeste DiNapoli) returned to her role as Hope on "The Young and the Restless" on Friday. Coleman had told BRBTV this was coming when we interviewed her last year, though the details hadn't been worked out yet and it was hush-hush.

- Kim Zimmer (Jodie Walker) returns to her role as Echo DiSavoy on "One Life to Live," with her first airdate on October 1, she reports on Facebook. SoapCentral has a little more on that.

- Robin Mattson (Gina DeMott Capwell etc.) joins her "SB" castmate Louise Sorel on "Days of Our Lives," as Lee beginning in October. See the news at

- And October is a big month for "Days," because Gina Gallego (the third Santana Andrade) is back in the fray, too, taking over the role of Warden Smith in early October. (What a party with this powerful trio, who certainly had intersecting storylines on "SB"!) has the deal.

And of course, we've already reported how John Callahan (Craig Hunt), Lane Davies (original Mason Capwell) and Nicolas Coster (Lionel Lockridge) are part of this fall's new web soap "The Bay." As you eagerly anticipate that September 15 premiere, you can read some brand-new interviews with Davies at WeLoveSoaps here and here, and with Coster at BlogTalkRadio.

So if the movie screen is big, and the TV screen is small, what does that make the web screen???? Hmmmm ...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Joan Collins spreads her wings and tweets

Look out, folks, she's armed with iPhone and she's rarin' to tell you all about hanging out at St. Tropez, rehearsing her one-woman show and more ... She's the unstoppable Joan Collins, known to us as the unstoppable Alexis Carrington Colby Whatever of "Dynasty," and she just opened up a Twitter account, joking about how she has now joined the rest of us in the 21st century (don't worry, Joan, some of haven't arrived yet). Follow her at

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spotted: Ted Shackelford and Joan Van Ark

When BRBTV interviewed Joan Van Ark for the "Destination: Dallas" reference guide, she mentioned starring with Ted Shackelford in a classic episode of "Wonder Woman." Indeed, the episode was "Time Bomb," first airing on November 10, 1978, about a year before Van Ark and Shackelford played Valene and Gary Ewing at Southfork Ranch, but just a couple months after Van Ark made her debut on "Dallas," playing opposite Dan Ackroyd at that point.

And just as Gary and Valene were sometimes on, sometimes off in "Dallas," this "Wonder Woman" episode starts them out as civil colleagues before things go bad. The time is November 2155. She's a historian, and he's a scientist. She decides she wants to get more hands-on knowledge of this highly intriguing 1970s era she's been studying through their time portal. She uses the portal to trip back to November 1978 and make her fortune via the rare energy source cabrium-90 (which looks amazingly like clear quartz!).

Shackelford's character Adam Clement (ironic, a bit, don'tcha think, given Valene's maiden name of Clements?) is right behind her, enlisting the aid of Diana Prince at the IADC to try to stop Van Ark's Cassandra from altering the future. This silver-suited (why do all the aliens wear silver suits on '70s television?) gentleman is a man of peace, like Gary Ewing, but with a much stronger stance. He also becomes quite smitten with Wonder Woman, as many male guest stars do! Since it's the second appearance on the series for Shackelford, we'll remind ya that he did the same thing in the other episode!

Van Ark, meanwhile, has the same sweet, honey-blond hair as Valene Ewing, but with a deliciously evil glint in her eye. She's in control every moment as she's blackmailing corporate execs and cutting deals -- why, J.R. would've been proud!

Enjoy the full BRBTV synopses of this and the other "Wonder Woman" episodes at the IMDb.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Golf with Bo Duke for a good cause

More John Schneider news already? Why, yes, as we've stated on this very blog, it's hard to keep up! This time our own Bo Duke of "The Dukes of Hazzard" is going golfing on September 26 in Ojai, California, for a good cause. The event benefits the Michael Bolton Charities, supporting children and women at risk of poverty, abuse, neglect, homelessness and domestic violence.

One lucky person can try out their 9-iron with Bo. The auction began on Friday and ends on August 30. Oh, and you get breakfast, lunch and some other stuff, too. If it matters.

Check it out at High bid was fifteen-hundred smackers last time we looked ...

Friday, August 13, 2010

TGIF Toys: Have a bite with Bats

You don't have to be a kid to eat your cereal out of one of these fab Batbowls from "Batman: The Animated Series"! These Zak Designs dish sets are from 1993, 1997 and 1998 (the latter reflecting the evolution of the series into "The New Batman Adventures"). Yummy. And well-used!

Photo by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spotted: Lee Bergere and Joel Fabiani

You wouldn't know him by sight, but you'd surely recognize his voice: Mr. Lee Bergere, our own Joseph Aynders, long-suffering Carrington butler on "Dynasty." And at the other end of the strings he's pulling, ironically: a rather-fit Joel Fabiani, his "Dynasty" castmate as King Galen of Moldavia, as well as Alex Ward of "Dallas" and a bunch of other soaps roles over the years! The two are embroiled in a plot to kill an industrialist, along with a government agent or two (and the industrialist, to take this scenario a little further, is George Chakiris, who portrayed Nicholas, nervous associate to Angelica Nero in the Dream Season of "Dallas").

The classic TV show we're talking about, of course, is "Wonder Woman," and the episode is the second season's "Death in Disguise."

Bergere and Fabiani surely are death in disguise, as if Bergere's dark hair and thick moustache aren't enough indication! Though he gets little screen time in this 1978 outing, as the powerful Marius he shows himself commanding and reserved, three years before assuming his subservient post at the Carrington mansion. For his part, Fabiani is calmer and less flamboyant than Galen as the infamous hitman Woodward Nightingale, supervisor to thugs! The two have an unholy alliance that is, of course, no match for Wonder Woman.

See it for yourself at the WB, and read BRBTV synopses for this and the other "Wonder Woman" episodes at the IMDb.

Monday, August 09, 2010

John Schneider in concert fundraiser at the end of this month

Thanks once again to Phyllis of the John Schneider Unofficial Fan Club on Facebook for the tipoff on this one:

On August 28, former first lady Laura Bush will be the guest speaker for the Heritage Christian University's fundraiser at Marriott Shoals Hotel in Florence, Alabama. This event is going to include a concert by John Schneider, our own Bo Duke of "The Dukes of Hazzard." To order tickets go to

To read a little more about the event -- and see a photo of John-John that's just about big enough for us (almost, anyway) -- visit

Friday, August 06, 2010

TGIF Toys: You light up my ... lunch?

A craft kit in the ‘90s, purchased by BRBTV through a school fundraiser, produced this Scooby-Doo switchplate, along with a cover for a double electrical outlet. Yes, it is a toy. So there.

Photo by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

More on Paul Dini's new show, "Tower Prep"

Last week, we gave you a few words from Paul Dini of our beloved "Batman: The Animated Series" on his newest TV project, a live-action series called "Tower Prep," set to begin on Cartoon Network this fall. Today, we've got a little more information on that show, which represents, as Dini explained during this Sunday, July 25 panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, a new direction the network is taking with live-action.

In explaining the genesis of "Tower Prep," Dini said, "As time went on, and we did the development, we realized this needed some very special people to bring it to life, so Glen Morgan came on board, with his brother Darin from 'The X-Files,' and they have made the show their own, and made it unique and wonderful, and I couldn't be happier with the result."

The pilot of the series was shown to panel attendees, depicting main character Ian Archer struggling with issues, both with other kids his age and with his parents, who caution him about how he handles his special abilities. He then meets up with other teens at the mysterious "Tower Prep" school who have unusual talents, as the panelists highlighted:

Ryan Pinkston (Gabe Forrest):
"My ability is what we call high persuasion, which is a form of hypnotism, in a way. I think it's the ability kinda like, if it was at the X-Men level, like Xavier, it would be mind control, but at a grounded level. So it's basically, I use my voice and a little bit of eye contact there, and I can basically get anything I want."

Elise Gatien (C.J. -- in photo above):
"My ability is to read people, which would be very cool to have. I can pick up on little eye twitches, or the clench of the jaw, and know people's true intentions, what they're feeling."

Dyana Liu (Suki Sato -- in photo above):
"I have the power of mimickry, and that's both in voice and mannerisms and handwriting. It's pretty cool. I can hear someone or look at someone and kinda take on their persona, through the voice or other."

Drew Van Acker (Ian Archer):
"My character, Ian Archer, has what we call preflex. And the best way to really describe that would be a Spidey sense, if you guys are all familiar with Spider-Man. ... He can pretty much react and see things, briefly, a moment, split-seconds, before it actually happens."

The panelists clarified that these characters don't have "superpowers," but more so heightened abilities.

Van Acker shed a little more light on his character and the new place he's in: "Tower Prep is a place that I can't accept. I can't accept being there. I can't accept how I got there. I can't accept why I'm there."

Glen Morgan, also speaking at the panel, noted that there are 13 episodes in the first season of "Tower Prep." They were beginning to shoot the last first-season episode on Thursday of last week.

What is the tone of the series? an attendee asked. Definitely mystery, panelists said. But there is romance and comedy included, as well. Part of the mystery involves why all of these gifted students are at Tower Prep, where the headmaster seems intent to more closely examine and perhaps exploit their abilities.

Panel attendees also were lucky enough to receive the patch below ...

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

Sunday, August 01, 2010

BRBTV birthdays for August

- Joanna Cassidy, who played the smart and seductive Sally Bullock on "Dallas," voiced Maggie Sawyer in the animated "Superman" series, and even did a guest shot on the "Dukes of Hazzard" spinoff "Enos," starts off this round of birthdays -- she turns 65 on August 2.
- Lauren Tom, who voiced Dana Tan on "Batman Beyond," turns 49 on August 4.
- Louise Sorel, unforgettable as Augusta Lockridge on "Santa Barbara," turns 70 on August 6.
- John Glover, who voiced Edward Nygma / Riddler on "Batman: The Animated Series," and more recently as the amazing Lionel Lockridge on the CW's "Smallville," turns 66 on August 7.
- Paul Dini, writer for "Batman: The Animated Series," turns 53 on August 7.
- Sydney Penny, who played B.J. Walker on "Santa Barbara," turns 39 on August 7.
- Mel Tillis, who played Burl Tolliver on an episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard," and also performed as himself on a different episode, turns 78 on August 8.
- Richard Anderson, whom we loved as Oscar Goldman on "Bionic Woman" but who also played Buck Fallmont on "Dynasty," turns 84 on August 8.
- Kate O’Mara, the Jackie Collins-type character of Caress Morrell, causing trouble for sis Alexis on "Dynasty," turns 71 on August 10.
- Will Friedle, the Batman of the future, Terry McGinnis, on "Batman Beyond," turns 34 on August 11.
- George Hamilton, who had a mean gleam as Joel Abrigore on "Dynasty," turns 71 on August 12.
- Jeff Altman, the wholly obnoxious Hughie Hogg on "The Dukes," turns 59 on August 13.
- E.J. André, co-star to Joanna Cassidy as the wizened Mr. Eugene Bullock on "Dallas," was born on August 14, 1908 and died on September 6, 1984.
- Glenn Corbett, the hunky Paul Morgan on "Dallas," was born on August 17, 1930 and died on January 16, 1993.
- Diana Muldaur, voice of Dr. Leslie Thompkins on "Batman: The Animated Series," turns 72 on August 19.
- Ray Wise, who was Blair Sullivan, Lucy's contact in the modeling biz on "Dallas" and who more recently has starred as the devil on the CW's "Reaper," turns 63 on August 20.
- Barbara Eden, the delightful J.R. Ewing adversary of LeeAnn de la Vega on "Dallas," as well as Larry Hagman's previous costar on "I Dream of Jeannie," turns 76 on August 23.
- Frank Runyeon, who was Father Michael on "Santa Barbara," has a birthday on August 23, as well, turning 57.
- Mel Ferrer, who played Harrison Page on "Dallas," was born on August 25, 1917 and died on June 2, 2008.
- Wanda DeJesus, another "SB" star as one of the several Santana Andrades, turns 50 on August 26.
- John Allen Nelson, the original (and hottest) Warren Lockridge on "SB," turns 51 on August 28.
- Russell Curry, who was Lt. Victor Boswell on "SB," also has a birthday on August 28, turning 54.
- Emma Samms, the second Fallon on "Dynasty," turns 50 on August 28.
- Sonny Shroyer, our loving Enos Strate on "The Dukes of Hazzard," is our last BRBTV birthday for August 28, turning 75.
- Jim Davis, the legendary Jock Ewing of "Dallas," was born on August 29, 1909 and died on April 26, 1981.
- Ellen Geer, who is a BRBTV tripleshot as Dr. Anita Krane on "Dallas," Dorothy on "SB" and a brief stint in the pilot episode of "Dynasty," turns 69 on August 29 (and yes, she is the daughter of "Waltons" actor Will Geer).
- Don Pedro Colley, the stern Sheriff Little of "The Dukes of Hazzard," turns 72 on August 30.
- Ben Jones, the reliable ole Cooter on "The Dukes of Hazzard" and venerable host of the yearly DukesFest, turns 69 on August 31.

Happy birthday to all!