Sunday, December 11, 2011

Latest episode of "Fantastic Forum" explores the rogues galleries of superheroes

In the December 2 post of this blog we told you all about "Fantastic Forum," an award-winning TV show based in Washington, D.C., for which Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV has done a tad interviewing and other on-camera stuff. The comic book, sci fi and fantasy-themed show, which is a delightful mix of discussion forum, interviews of comics industry pros, and other fun features, just won the the 2011 Monty Award for Best Arts and Humanities Program, and Ulysses Campbell won as best program host.

Well, check out the latest episode of this long-running program, which airs on several different stations around D.C., at various (great!) timeslots. It's linked from YouTube below, and this ep includes BRB as a panelist in a discussion about the various rogues gallery villains that heroes like Superman and Batman are so vexed to contend with ...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Announcing the BRBTV Reports of interviews from the "Batman" and "Superman" animated series

Fresh on the heels of the BRBTV Report on "Superman: The Animated Series" (see our post just a few inches down!) comes two new additions to the series, "Superman: The Animated Series, The BRBTV Interviews" and "Batman: The Animated Series, The BRBTV Interviews."

Both of these great 1990s kids' TV shows (for kids of all ages, you understand!) reflected the work of a whole lot of writers, artists, directors, producers and voice actors. Beyond the core names that so many people recognize, such as Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett, Glen Murakami, Jean MacCurdy, Paul Dini, Kevin Conroy and Tim Daly, there were many others who contributed to the groundbreaking animated series’ massive success at creating a unique take on DC Comics’ beloved heroes Batman and Superman.

So now BRBTV brings you two sets of original interviews with several folks whose talent has touched the series:
  • Joe R. Lansdale, the “Mojo storyteller” who loved the Dark Knight as a kid.
  • Randy Rogel, an Emmy-Award-winning writer who is no stranger to ‘toons.
  • Scott Beatty, author of “Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight,” who addresses the influence of the series on the overall Bat-realm.
  • Ty Templeton, artist of the popular comic books accompanying the series.
  • Robert N. Skir, a writer who has taken on several other small-screen favorites, too.
  • Michael Horse, the “Twin Peaks” veteran who voiced Ubu.
  • Dorian Harewood, the actor with a heart for music who did a variety of voices here.
  • Corey Burton, a voice artist with a diverse resume, including several of these interesting characters. 
  • Mark Evanier, a writer with a varied resume who tackled the Darkseid storylines.
As a special bonus, in the "Superman" interview report, author Will Rodgers gives you a peek at his collection of action figures associated with the show. As with the other volumes in this BRBTV Reports series, it's all in a convenient, portable, Kindle format with photos appearing in color where available. And the price for these is our lowest -- $1.50 -- so you can read the thoughts of these cool guys for such a minor investment.

Stay tuned: We've got more BRBTV Reports coming up in 2012, as well as a rather intriguing new installment in the BRBTV (print!) fact book series ...

Happy holidays to all!!!!

Monday, December 05, 2011

With his latest Broadway show now over, Tom Wopat heads back to the screen -- big and small

Tom Wopat offers a special message to his fans in his latest email newsletter ...

"It's been awhile since I've written you personally – I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Over the past few months, I have been keeping busy! After the daily commitment of 'Catch Me If You Can' ended in September, it's been really great to get back into some film and tv roles, plus focus more on live singing appearances.

"In the film and TV world, you may have seen my recent appearance on the CBS show 'A Gifted Man,' but if not, the whole episode is streaming online here. I also filmed a musical for ABC called 'Elixir,' with an incredibly talented cast including Jane Seymour, Chelsea Kane, Sara Paxton, Drew Seeley and more. 'Elixir' will be out in early 2012; we will be posting a lot more information about that. And today, as you read this, I am on the set of the upcoming Quentin Tarantino film 'DJANGO UNCHAINED,' which will be in theaters in December 2012.

"As you know, I have booked a lot more live shows over the next year, and am really looking forward to seeing many of you there. If you don't see your city on the list yet, stay tuned as we will be adding more!

"I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.

- Tom"

Saturday, December 03, 2011

John Wesley Shipp takes another fatherly turn, this time on "Teen Wolf"

John Wesley Shipp is announcing it from his own Facebook page, and you can get the story at ZAP2it: Shipp will appear in the second season of the series "Teen Wolf."

Our former Martin Ellis of "Santa Barbara" will portray Isaac's "not-so-nice dad -- and the owner of Beacon Hills Cemetery," ZAP2it says. "He sees a whole new side of his son after Derek brings Isaac into the wolf pack, and a few 'mysterious incidents' plague him in particular. Shipp is headed to Atlanta to begin shooting the intense role next week. MTV confirms that we can expect to see him in two episodes."

Shipp says he's heading over to the set on Tuesday.

In other JWS news (!), the actor will return to "One Life to Live" during its finale week. This former dad from "Dawson's Creek" played a rather interesting dad on this soap. Read about it at Michael Fairman's soaps site.

Friday, December 02, 2011

It's a "Fantastic Forum" -- and a fantastic thing for comics fans!

Since 2007, fans of the comic book and sci-fi / fantasy genres in the Washington, D.C., area have enjoyed a special treat -- the weekly "Fantastic Forum" TV show created and produced by Ulysses Campbell. The show, which airs on several different outlets in D.C., even recently won the 2011 Monty Award for Best Arts and Humanities Program, and Ulysses won as best program host!

But the show isn't just local -- it's global, with episodes posted on YouTube and Vimeo, and at the show's official site, as well, so that fans everywhere can enjoy the topics Ulysses and his crew explore: Everything from profiles of characters like Batman to an examination of the treatment of female characters in comics, to the "Superpower of Love," to discussions of crossovers and the portrayal of politics in comics. Besides the panel segments featuring a variety of guests, over the years the show has also featured original interviews with a ton of folks in the comics industry: Neal Adams, Jim Shooter, Matt Wagner, Frank Cho, Jo Chen, Howard Chaykin and more.

We've told you on this blog before about the video correspondent and hosting work of Billie Rae Bates on the Comics Continuum website and accompanying TV show based in Metro Detroit. Well, now BRB is honored to have been asked by Ulysses to help out with some interviews, panel discussion and hosting duties for "Fantastic Forum."

It's a testament to Ulysses that he doesn't do this all by himself -- he has an army of people helping him out, both behind and in front of the camera (just check out the credits on the episode guide page of the show's site!). Besides the recent Monty Awards, "Fantastic Forum" also won a 2010 Accolade Competition Award of Merit and a 2010 DCTV Viewer’s Choice Award for Best Program in the News and Public Affairs category.

BRB is thrilled to be able to participate in the show! Catch her interview with "Walking Dead" artist Charlie Adlard in Episode 31 below, shot at this year's Baltimore Comic Con, and watch future episodes to see her as a panelist and host.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Announcing the BRBTV Report on "Superman: The Animated Series"

A couple weeks ago, we introduced you to the voice prowess of our buddy Will Rodgers, who's known among his friends as "The Voice Man." We've seen him demonstrate his talent for voice impersonation at various events over the years, so we put him on tape for you to enjoy, too!

Now, while Will can do a great verbal take on many of the characters of our beloved "Dallas," "The Dukes of Hazzard" and more,  he has a talent for capturing these characters in the printed word, as well! He's the creator of the site, "Will's Ultimate Guide Super Friends Episode Guide!" for one thing, and it's really a comprehensive look at a beloved classic superhero show. As a writer, Will  has a keen grasp of detail, and he has a love for the same shows BRB loves. Thus, a reference guide collaboration was born!

The first one out of the gate from this collaboration is a tribute to the late-'90s show "Superman: The Animated Series." BRBTV is delighted to announce this new addition to our Reports series, focusing on what was basically a spinoff of the wildly popular "Batman: The Animated Series" of the earlier '90s by Bruce Timm and Co. of Warner Bros. Animation.

“Superman: TAS” proved faithful to the famous Superman mythos originally created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and so well-explored in many pop culture media over the decades, from other animated series to live-action TV series and theatrical movies, to newspaper and radio and of course, the printed comic-book page. This new series took Superman / Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor, Perry White and many, many more of the well-known characters and gave them a fresh look and fresh appeal, all keeping to the style of “B:TAS.” The half-hour animated series encompassed three seasons on the Kids WB! from 1996 to 2000, contributing a few of its own unique elements to the enduring Superman mythos along the way.

Like the others in the series, this BRBTV Report delivers up a magazine-length feature story examining the history and impact of this TV show. In addition to the feature story, you’ll see Will's own fun, original episode synopses, along with a cast list for the show. It's all in a convenient, portable, Kindle format with photos appearing in color where available.

It's the meatiest BRBTV Report so far -- the equivalent of 87 letter-sized pages (the episode synopses Will writes are much heftier and more robust than BRB's, actually)! AND ... like the rest of the BRBTV Reports, the price is low: this time a cool $2.99. Less than a comic book, less than a magazine, and yours to keep fo-ever and ever ...

We hope you enjoy this latest Report. And stay tuned to this channel, we've got two more Reports coming close on the heels of this one ...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Get ready to bid: General Lee 13, one of Alexis' gowns, Wonder Woman's lasso and more!

Boy, is it a good time to have some money to throw around, some space in the den, and a love for classic TV. Profiles in History’s “Icons of Hollywood” movie and television prop auction is coming up fast. And among the offerings for your bidding pleasure are nice splashes of "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Dynasty" and "Wonder Woman."

The “Icons of Hollywood” auction is being held December 15-16 at The Paley Center for Media, 465 North Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, California. The auction consists of 1,209 lots with original props, costumes, artwork, photography, and more from Hollywood’s history.

PDF catalogs are now available for download at Profiles in History site, so you can see all the goodies available, but here are some highlights that will whet your appetite:
  • A vibrant purple gown from "Dynasty": a three-button jacket with fur sleeves and long skirt, of deep plum velvet, worn by Joan Collins as Alexis Carrington Colby in the Season 5 episode “The Heiress.” And, the catalog notes, "It features Velcro closure to allow Michael Nader 'Dex Dexter' to rip it open and ravish Collins on her bed in one of the sexiest moments in TV history." Wowzers.
  • Lasso, first-season bracelets and $2 bill from "Wonder Woman": The lasso was for throwing  (not one of the ones attached to her outfit), and the $2 bill was the one kissed by the actress, Lynda Carter, during the first-season episode "Last of the Two-Dollar Bills."
  • Jail sign from "The Dukes of Hazzard": Aluminum sign measures 16 by 24 inches and is painted in black letters, “Hazzard County Jail Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane.”
  • Screen General Lee #13 (SGL 13) from "The Dukes of Hazzard": OK, now we're getting to a big ticket item. See page 134 of the first PDF catalog. We've gotta email one of our "Dukes" buddies and see just who's car this is ... there are certainly a few interesting clues in the description ...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spotted: John Beck and Sorrell Booke

OK, so, we were all settled in, on our nice un-comfy couch, with a fresh DVD from our bud Tracy all queued up ... and what name do we see on the screen as the opening credits roll for this classic film?

Sorrell Booke????

Really? Sorrell Booke????

OK, John Beck didn't surprise us. Our former Mark Graison of "Dallas" and David Raymond of "Santa Barbara" had a prolific career through the '70s and '80s, and the two aforementioned favorites weren't his only forays on the soapy side, for sure. But Sorrell Booke? Our beloved J.D. Hogg of "The Dukes of Hazzard"?

Yes, indeed. With a bare (hairy) back in a sex scene, no less. (Seriously.) What's the movie, you're now dying to know? Sidney Sheldon's "The Other Side of Midnight," 1977.

Booke is Lanchon, a French businessman with a stern accent who cuts a deal in Marseilles to wed the lead character, Marie-France Pisier's Noelle Page. She's none too happy about the arrangement, and she quickly escapes him, only to fall into the arms of someone far more treacherous, Beck's Larry Douglas.

Beck is a scoundrel in this film, but he's such a straight-up scoundrel that you really have to wonder if he at all realizes he's doing anything wrong as he loves 'em and leaves 'em and generally deceives his way through the storyline as a military pilot in this World War II setting. He delivers his treachery with the ever-honest look and stance (and charm, of course) of a Mark Graison or a David Raymond. Reprehensible? Yes. Delusional? We're thinkin' so.

Though the movie was considered a flop at the box office, it gave Beck a great, meaty, leading role. And Booke? Well, we knew the guy was multitalented. This one definitely shows another one of Boss Hogg's many facets as an actor.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Robin Wright: "Rampart," "Dragon Tattoo" and more

It's a regular Robin Wright roundup here on the BRBTV News Blog. Our lovely original Kelly Capwell of "Santa Barbara" has lots of movie stuff goin' awn ...

"Rampart," in which she stars with Woody Harrelson, Ice Cube and Sigourney Weaver, has release dates of November 23, 2011 in New York and Los Angeles, and January 27, 2012 elsewhere in the U.S. The movie "explores the dark soul and romantic misadventures of a never-changing LAPD cop (Harrelson) whose past is finally catching up with him in the wake of a department-wide corruption scandal," according to promotional materials.

Along the way, he is forced to confront his disgruntled daughters (Brie Larson, Sammy Boyarsky), his two ex-wives (Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon), a tenacious deputy DA (Weaver), an investigator on his trail (Ice Cube), a homeless witness to his crimes (Ben Foster), his aging mentor (Ned Beatty) and a mysterious new lover who may or may not be on his side (Robin Wright), as he fights for his own sanity and survival. Wow, what a cast.

"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" comes out next month and has Wright sharing the screen with the blond Bond, Daniel Craig. See the official website for ... well, a photo, at least!

Wright also visited the Congo recently for the Enough Project, as this YouTube video attests. Wow, does she look great!

Wright is also reported to be starring in "The Grandmothers." See the Facebook  note about that.

A fan page for Wright on Facebook has all this news and more, such as photos of Wright in these roles.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

He's got "Dallas" and "The Dukes" covered for sure: BRBTV presents a sampling of the voice talent of Will Rodgers

We knew he had talent when we saw his site, "Will's Ultimate Guide Super Friends Episode Guide!" And he's got such a wonderful, geeky-keen grasp of detail, a love for classic TV shows, and a skill at writing that we asked him to collaborate on some upcoming BRBTV projects. But the real talent of Will "The Voice Man" Rodgers of Tennessee is his voicework. It's only fitting that part of the BRBTV video series on YouTube includes a sprinkling of his impersonations of classic TV characters. Enjoy ...

Monday, November 07, 2011

Jackson Bostwick tells us more about his work on "Shazam!"

So just how closely did the "Shazam!" Saturday-morning TV series of the 1970s follow the well-known comic-book character? Where in California was the show filmed, and what was the deal with those "Elders"? Where was Shazam the Wizard, anyway? Jackson Bostwick, the original star of Filmation's live-action half-hour series weighed in on those questions and more as BRBTV chatted with him at this year's Geek Media Expo in Nashville, Tennessee.

The latest in the BRBTV video series puts you there at Bostwick's table at the event as he talks with Will and BRB about his work on the series. We hope you enjoy it. Consider it a follow-up to our email interview with Bostwick a few months back on this very blog ...

Friday, November 04, 2011

Jeannie Epper had the inside track on those "Dynasty" catfights

For our recently released BRBTV Report on the '70s TV show "Wonder Woman," we got the chance to talk via phone to esteemed Hollywood stuntwoman Jeannie Epper, who was the primary double for Lynda Carter in that series and who was even one of the two subjects of the 2004 documentary flick "Double Dare" for that same "WW" work.

Epper comes from a big family of Hollywood actors and stunt doubles spanning four generations, and her resume certainly extends far beyond "Wonder Woman." Take "Charlie's Angels," for instance, or "The Bionic Woman," "Logan's Run," "The Rockford Files," "Beverly Hills Cop III," "Con Air," "Blade," and a ton more. And this gal, just turning 70 this year, shows no signs of slowing down. On the day we talked to her this past July, she had just done an explosion scene for CBS' "Criminal Minds." But what we talked about with  her this day was the aforementioned "Wonder Woman" ... as well as another little show that we happen to like ...

Those popular "Dynasty" catfights featuring Linda Evans as Krystle Carrington and Joan Collins as Alexis Colby were a tad more dangerous than they might have looked, you see. And Epper just happens to be the one who stepped in and spared Evans from injury. Epper tells us she got that "Dynasty" gig from having doubled for Evans on "Big Valley." Evans then asked for her in her "Dynasty" days.

Epper was with the show from the beginning and says that she handled not only the catfights but a few other things along the way.

"I did the horseback riding. Remember Rock Hudson, before they knew he had AIDS? He looked like a really old man. We were doing that horse chase. My brother Andy stunt-doubled him in the horse chase, and I was doubling her (Evans). And she rolls down the hill,and he comes down and scoops her up and kisses her. And …” Epper pauses.

“I shouldn’t really say it because it’s not my story to tell, but yes, I was there that day. She was a little worried.”

The concern was downplayed, of course, for fear of a hysteria in this just-discovered disease. “That was before they knew about saliva," Epper says. "They didn’t know so much as they know now about that disease.”

She continues, "I also did stair falls for her. You remember the episode where she fell down the stairs? I did that. But the catfights were the best. You know of all the episodes, I have in its entirety the one where Linda was fighting herself in the attic.” (Catfight No. 4, in “The Vigil,” January 22, 1986)

“That was a rough fight. That was a really really rough fight. The pond one was fun.”

So in the attic scene with the real Krystle and fake Krystle fighting, we had to ask, who was the other stuntwoman? “Donna Evans was able to come in and be the twin," Epper says. "She dated my son way, way back, in the ‘80s. She’s married now and has a family. She doubles for Anne Hathaway. We worked on ‘Princess Diaries’ together, and I doubled Julie Andrews, and she doubled Anne. She used to double Sharon Stone and lots of others. Back then, there were a lot of big actresses who were doing action stuff. Her sister Debbie does all the car work for Angelina Jolie.”

Did Epper do all of the “Dynasty” catfights involving Krystle? “I didn’t do the pillow fight." (the studio fight) "My sister did. I was on another show. I wasn’t under contract to them yet. They’d bring me in and use me when they needed me. Later they put me under contract, because they wanted the same people to double the same actresses. But in the pillow fight, it was her and a girl named Regina Parton.”

What was Linda Evans like to work with? “Just great," Epper says. "We’ve known each other since we were 19 years old because of ‘Big Valley.’ I rode horses for her on that.”

What about Joan Collins?

“I loved working with her," Epper says. "I loved to watch her because she was so amazingly old Hollywood, and to get to see that, to see that she was old Hollywood, was great. She was demanding. Linda would always calm her down. But a lot of times she was right about things too.”

She says, “There was a certain thing that went on in that period. Joan wasn’t that old. She liked me because I understood her as a woman. Things would get rough and they’d make you do what you didn’t want to do,and I didn’t do that with her. She’d be like, ‘Oh thank God, it’s Jeannie.’”

What was the biggest challenge Epper faced on “Dynasty”?

“We did a lot of fire stuff. Do you remember the one where they didn’t know which one got burned to death? He carried both of us out.”  (“The Cabin” season-ending cliffhanger, April 20, 1983) “Thank God my brother was the one doubling whoever the guy was.” (Mark Jennings) “You always have to trust people in a situation like that. Anytime you do fire, other people are there to take care of you. I never got burnt, either. ... I like to critique my own work, and I’ll sometimes think, could I have done it better. I think we did a really good job on that episode. They were trying to get it in one take. By the time it was over with, we were like, ‘Please say print!’ Then they would kinda punch in and get some little pieces. That was probably the hardest one.”

And the attic catfight, we add. Which was when George Hamilton was on the show. “Yes," she says. "He and I had to go through a plate glass window. I loved him. He was the brownest man I ever saw, and he was the nicest man. He’s just one of the old toughies, you know. But he kept his looks. Some of them, they change. They don’t look like themselves when they were younger.”

And the clothes? What about those fabulous clothes?

"All of the clothes were made by Nolan Miller. He made my clothes and her clothes, and we weren’t allowed to take them. There was one outfit where I said, ‘Can I just wear this out Saturday night,’ because I knew they were going to rip it off me the next week. And it was a no. … But boy, could he fit clothes to your body. Because they fitted me just like they fitted Linda. For somebody like me who could never afford to have someone make them outfits like that, it was something. All those clothes fitted to me. You wonder where they ended up. Probably auctioned off somewhere.”


You can read the full text of our interview with Jeannie Epper in the upcoming Kindle edition of the BRBTV reference guide, "Dynasty High."

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

John Wesley Shipp talks "Flash" and more at GMX panel

Years before the success of sites like eBay, his costar Mark Hamill seemed to know the value of a piece of a superhero costume, as John Wesley Shipp of TV's "The Flash" explains in his panel discussion at this year's Geek Media Expo. And if you missed hearing Shipp tell this and other "Flash" stories live and in person at the Nashville event a week or two back, BRBTV will put you in the audience with the latest videos on our YouTube channel.

Just how enthused was "Star Wars" alum Hamill about his role as the Trickster on "The Flash"? And how did the role influence his voicework a year later on "Batman: The Animated Series"? What was that Flash costume really like, and why does its display at a Hard Rock Cafe make Shipp a little uneasy? And what about a key (motherly) casting connection between "The Flash" and our beloved "Dallas"? Will "The Voice Man" Rodgers of BRBTV points it out from the audience as part of this Q and A session. Shipp, who portrayed Martin Ellis on "Santa Barbara" a few years before he donned the scarlet suit, also talks about his work on daytime TV.

We hope you enjoy the videos. And look out -- we've got another superhero coming up in our video series -- Jackson Bostwick of "Shazam!"

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Eddie Munster and the Dragula are a big hit at Detroit's Redford Theatre

If you didn't make it out to last weekend's special event at the Redford Theatre in Detroit, we've got the scoop for ya. Mr. Butch Patrick, who starred as Eddie Munster on "The Munsters," made an appearance for the showing of the flick "Munster, Go Home," on Friday and Saturday  night. And making its big debut with Patrick was the fabulous custom-built Dragula!

Mike of Motor City Reel Rides, shown with Patrick below as he signs the car, hand-built this golden beauty to exactly match the vehicle featured in the "Munsters" TV show. With a carefully chosen coffin trucked up from another state and lots of materials and processes we're sure are rather proprietary (!), Mike crafted it all down to the last detail -- and on a very tight deadline for this event with Patrick.

The event was a huge success. For just the Friday night showing, more than 700 people came out, Mike tells BRBTV.

Mike, by the way, has also hand-crafted an Ecto car from "Ghostbusters," and his Motor City Reel Rides brings these and other star cars such as KITT from "Knight Rider," the General Lee from "The Dukes of Hazzard," and the fabulous Monkeemobile (featured in previous posts on this very blog) to special events. Email 'em to learn more from Motor City Reel Rides.

You'll find more photos from this event at the Redford Theatre's site.

Photos courtesy of Motor City Reel Rides; please do not copy without permission.

Monday, October 24, 2011

John Wesley Shipp appears at GMX; has some "Separation Anxiety" going on

John Wesley Shipp, known among comic-book fans as "The Flash" in 1990-91 but known to "Santa Barbara" fans as Martin Ellis in late 1986, had a lot to say at this weekend's GMX about his career on the small screen and in particular about his time as DC's scarlet speedster. 

At the event at Nashville's Millennium Maxwell House Hotel, Shipp did a panel with fans, and he also took time to talk to BRBTV one-on-one (well, one-on-two, since our buddy Will "The Voice Man" Rodgers was with us). BRBTV will have some great video of Shipp on our YouTube channel in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, though, we can tell you about Shipp's latest projects.

"Separation Anxiety" is the story of three 20-something childhood friends, at the time of the funeral of one of the friends. The movie, from Glass City Films, features flashbacks that bring more details to the question of what really happened to the friend who died. Shipp plays the father of the friend who died. The movie is now available on DVD. Read more at Glass City's site.

Shipp also has "Hell and Mr. Fudge" coming up, where he plays Bennie Lee Fudge. He stars with fellow "SB" alum Eileen Davidson in that one, due out next year. Mackenzie Astin also stars. The movie wrapped filming in Athens, Alabama, in July, as The Huntsville Times reports. Check out Shipp and Davidson in the teaser video on the film's official site, and like the Facebook page to keep up with it.

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

Friday, October 21, 2011

Spotted: Two "SB" Stephens, as well as an Ally!

You gotta love that "Matlock." Like so many hourlong dramas of that era, Andy Griffith's courtroom series brought in a beautiful bevy of TV stars. Take the episode "The Biker," for instance. Not only does it feature two of the Stephens of our beloved "Santa Barbara" -- Stephen (Peter Flint) Meadows and Stephen (Dr. Skyler Gates) Nichols, but also Ally Walker, who portrayed Andrea Bedford and went on to such great success with "Profiler" and more.

Nichols, who also appeared on "Dallas" as a paramedic and the "Dynasty" pilot as a flight attendant, is the biker of the ep's title, accused of murdering his fellow Stephen, Meadows, who portrays a famous but highly murdered actor who had hired Nichols' character as his bodyguard. Nichols is appropriately gruff, rough and grisley in his cutoff attire, while Meadows is impetuous and about as high-strung and temperamental as we remember ole Peter back in the mid-'80s.

Walker brings her sweetly husky voice to a courtroom scene, taking the witness stand to introduce flashbacks of herself and the two Stephens. She served as a handler of sorts to Meadows' character, and she's quite burned by the experience.

Also in the "Spotted" category, have you seen Barbara Eden endorsing One Reverse Mortgage? Well, we have! We just saw that lovely LeAnn de la Vega of "Dallas" in her TV spot on the October morning we were writing this post ...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Leann Hunley takes on "Blissful Lies"

That lovely Dana Waring of "Dynasty," Ms. Leann Hunley, has a movie in the works. It's called "Blissful Lies," and it's by independent filmmaker Jennifer Brown-Thomas. It's a story, according to the official site, "exploring the close ties and bonds between five friends.  They find the limits of their relationships are tested to the extreme as lies bubble up and threaten everything they thought their lives were." The movie was shot in Texas in just three weeks, according to its Facebook page.

The film was scheduled for release earlier this year but has not yet been released. Check out to learn more, watch the trailer and see photos of Hunley in action.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Linda Evans talks love, age -- and of course, "Dynasty" -- on "Today" show

NBC's "Today" show this week has been giving some good airtime -- and cybertime -- to Linda Evans of our beloved "Dynasty." Our former Krystle Carrington is promoting her new book "Recipes for Life" and appeared on the show with Ann Curry earlier this week, then appeared again this morning.

The earlier interview segment, below, included a "Dynasty" clip of the studio catfight between Krystle and Alexis. Of course, you can't talk "Dynasty" without talking about the catfights, and we love the look on Evans' face when Curry asked if it was hard to fight with her co-star Joan Collins.

"I loved to fight physically; Joan liked to fight verbally," she says. "I just loved it! I don't do that in life, by the way. I've never beat anybody up."

On this morning's show, Evans talked about the idea behind her new book.

"They wanted me to write a memoir, and I've wanted to do a cookbook, and I thought, what if I could do both?" she says.

When asked about her "Dynasty" costar John Forsythe and whether he was as charming in real life as he was as Blake Carrington, Evans enthused, "It was so easy to love him! John Forsythe was one of the most extraordinary human beings I've known."

What has she learned about love at this point in her life, as she's about to turn 69 next month, especially given her much-publicized marriages?

"Don't give up on love," she tells "Today." "And don't be sad when it goes away."

By the way, regarding those catfights: BRBTV has talked with Evans' stuntwoman from "Dynasty," Jeannie Epper. You'll see excerpts from that interview on this blog in the next couple weeks.

Larry Hagman announces cancer diagnosis

We're sad to see the health announcement for Larry Hagman, our own J.R. Ewing of "Dallas." The Associated Press quotes him as saying, "As we all know, you can't keep J.R. down!"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Announcing the BRBTV Report on "Wonder Woman"

"All the world is waiting for you
And the power you possess
In your satin tights
Fighting for your rights
And the old red, white and blue ..."

Attempts to update her in live action for the big and small screen have sputtered in recent years, but the simple fact remains. For so many fans, there is one Wonder Woman. She is Lynda Carter. And she starred in a little series launched by ABC in 1975 under the name "The New Original Wonder Woman."

And now, in this brand-new installment in the BRBTV Reports series on Amazon's Kindle, we take a look at the history and massive pop-cultural impact of this TV series running three seasons in primetime, initially on ABC then jumping to NBC. And we talk to some great folks as we do it:
  • Cast member S. Pearl (Saundra) Sharp tells us about that fearsome sliding door in the IADC offices that accidentally came down on her one day, and the kind cast member who was most concerned about her when she came to!
  • Executive Story Editor Anne Collins Ludwick gives us her take on bringing the superpowers of this DC Comics hero to life on the screen, as well as what it meant for a female to have a starring role in a weekly TV series in that era.
  • Stuntwoman Jeannie Epper talks about the dolphin that saved her life -- among other interesting aspects of this high-action series!
  • Washington, D.C., photographer James R. Green Jr. offers us the story of first being starstruck by Lynda Carter at the Kennedy Center Honors.
  • Comics artist Michael Netzer tells the story of his art for DC making an unexpected impact on the actress.
Beyond the magazine-length feature story, the Report, which is No. 8 in the series, includes another familiar element -- the fun and original BRBTV synopses to the episodes. It's all in a handy-dandy, highly portable Kindle format -- viewable on other devices, of course, and illustrated with photos that appear in color where available.

AND ... like the rest of the BRBTV Reports in the series so far, the price is a cool buck-fifty. Less than a comic book, less than a magazine, and yours to keep fo-ever and ever ...

We hope you enjoy this latest Report. Author and journalist Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV has always had a special interest in wonderful chick TV shows like this, shows that inspired young females everywhere to be something more than was traditionally expected by society.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Catching up: Terri Garber, Leigh J. McCloskey, Marj Dusay and more

In the What Are They Up to Lately Dept., come a few choice tidbits on the stars of our beloved TV shows ... and this looks to be the "Santa Barbara" edition, as our beloved daytime soap is the tie that binds these folks together ...

  • Terri Garber is hot on the real estate scene, having represented Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. and Prudential California Realty in recent years and now with John Aaroe Group in Sherman Oaks, California, these days. Check out her official site. Our former Leslie Carrington of "Dynasty" and Suzanne Collier of "Santa Barbara" is as lovely as ever.
  • Rawley Valverde, our Amado Gonzalez of "SB," hasn't left the small screen -- he's just serving it in a different capacity. He's an anchor at Channel One News in Los Angeles. He calls it the "Best. Job. Ever." on his Facebook.
  • Leigh J. McCloskey, who is a BRBTV triple-shot for his time as Mitch Cooper on "Dallas," Ethan Asher and Zack Kelton on "SB," as well as a guest shot on "The Secrets of Isis" (or does that make him a quadruple-shot?), has been leading workshops at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California. His recent program, "Psyche and Soul Psychodynamic Diagnosis of Personality Disorder," offered "a bold, depthful, and innovative approach to personality theory where the boundaries of psyche and soul meet," Pacifica's site says.
  • Harley Jane Kozak, our own Mary Duvall of "SB" who is in more recent days a thriving mystery novelist, will be featured on a Murder at Sea cruise next May. Subtitled "Mystery Authors and Mayhem Revealed," the cruise will head to the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Check the website for details.
  • Marj Dusay, our second Pamela Capwell of "SB," just did the meeting-and-greeting thing at the Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS event a week or two ago in New York. Dusay also has a special YouTube channel devoted just to her.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tom Wopat hits the concert trail hard -- and takes a Duke cousin along for a couple shows!

Thanks to the Wopat web crew for keeping us up-to-date on the appearances of Tom Wopat, our own Luke Duke of "The Dukes of Hazzard." The highlight here is that his on-screen cuz, John Schneider, will be joining him for a couple of the dates on this tour schedule, when Tom will be bringing his swingin' collection of standards and more to cities around the country ...

10/29/11 - Balboa Theater - San Diego, CA
10/30/11 - Valley Performing Arts Center - Northridge, CA
12/10/11 - Holly Springs Cultural Center - Holly Springs, NC
1/14/12 - Regattabar - Cambridge, MA
1/21/12 - Ram's Head Bar - Annapolis, MD
2/24/12 - Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Sarasota, FL
2/28/12 to 3/3/12 - The Colony at Palm Beach - Palm Beach, FL
4/12/12 - Fallsview Casino Resort - Niagara Falls, ON (joined by John Schneider)
4/13/12 - Fallsview Casino Resort - Niagara Falls, ON
(joined by John Schneider)
4/14/12 - State Theater - Easton, PA
5/12/12 - South Orange Performing Arts Center - South Orange, NJ
6/2/12 to 6/4/12 - 92Y Tribeca - New York NY

Tickets for the the Fallsview Casino shows with John Schneider will go on sale in January 2012.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Hollywood Show: Two out of three "Morgans" ain't bad!

Morgan Brittany, Morgan Fairchild and Morgan Woodward are the three major Morgans of our beloved "Dallas" (well, sure there was a minor Morgan or two, too!). And approximately 66 percent of those major Morgans will be making an appearance this next weekend at the Hollywood Show in Burbank, which continues to astound us with its ability to nab some truly great classic-TV stars.

Our former Katherine Wentworth and (first) Jenna Wade will be meeting and greeting fans at the event, which begins this Friday, October 7 (preview only -- no stars), and runs through Sunday. The twosome joins an impressive guest list that includes several key stars from the '60s "Batman" series as well as a bunch from one of our other faves, "The Waltons." And Electra Woman and Dyna Girl? Major ouch that we can't be there. (Hey, Hollywood Show, how's-bout coming to the East Coast for an event!?)

AND ... coming on the heels of this October show is a Vegas show in November. Yes, the Hollywood Show goes Vegas, and it will feature Joan Collins, our grande dame of "Dynasty," offering an exclusive of her new book, "The World According to Joan." Meow on that. It happens at the Harrah's Hotel and Casino; check the website.

Barbara Eden, Jenilee Harrison and Charlene Tilton of "Dallas" will also appear at the Vegas show, along with Richard Hatch and Bo Hopkins of "Dynasty" and Herb Jefferson Jr. of "The Dukes of Hazzard."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

John Schneider offers estate items at auction

Kurtzman Square grand piano, anyone? Or perhaps an antique American Federal Double Pedestal sideboard? These might not be the kinds of items we normally associate with our own Bo Duke of "The Dukes of Hazzard," Mr. John Schneider, but they're a couple of the items from his estate that are going up at auction in mid-October.

Paragon Estate Sales will oversee the on-location sale in Agoura Hills, California, on Saturday, October 15 and Sunday, October 16. Many items being sold will be personally authenticated by Schneider. Visit Paragon's site for the auction to see more (there's a Corvette big-block engine there -- that's more up your alley, right?).

And check out Schneider's latest TV project: "Trick My What" debuts on CMT at 10 p.m. Eastern on Friday, October 7. As CMT says, the show features Schneider on a mission to trick out any vehicle that will help a family make a living. Now that sounds like it's right up his alley!

Friday, September 23, 2011

John Wesley Shipp joins the guest list at GMX

We told you back in June all about how you should make your travel plans for the Geek Media Expo -- GMX for short -- in Nashville in October. Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV is going to be there signing copies of all of the BRBTV reference guides in print: "Destination: Dallas," "Dynasty High" and "Them Dukes! Them Dukes!" (Soon to be joined by another title next year -- can ya guess what it will be? Bet not!)

If you're a fan of "Santa Barbara," though, and especially if you're a fan of the '90s "Flash" series, you've got another great reason to attend the show: John Wesley Shipp, whom us "SB" fans know as Martin Ellis, will be there. Shipp joins BRB, "Shazam!" star Jackson Bostwick, '80s pop star Tiffany, and a host of other geek-magnet guests.

Incidentally, Shipp, the GMX site reports, also co-starred with our own Bo Duke of "The Dukes of Hazzard," John Schneider, in a feature film shot entirely in Geelong, Austra, called "The Ninja." He played Det. Matthew Reynolds. The film started shooting in early 2009 and wrapped up in May.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Larry Hagman takes a little drive down Memory Lane at Toronto event

As we mentioned on this very blog, Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden of our beloved "Dallas" appeared at the Fan Expo Canada last weekend, doing a little meeting and greeting with fans. And as these fan cons go, the two had lots of time to reminisce with longtime viewers about not just their "Dallas" days but also that other little show they just happened to do together years earlier, "I Dream of Jeannie." BRB's friends Mike and Krista of Metro Detroit traveled to the event and got a chance to chat with them about something that we're guessing has never come up before at these events ... the story of the blue Pontiac GTO car used for "Jeannie" -- and where it might have ended up.

You see, once upon a time, well, just a couple years ago, a guy named Mel, also from Metro Detroit and a friend of Mike's, purchased his dream car at the famous Barrett-Jackson Car Auction. It was a Monkeemobile, one of the two screen used cars built by designer Dean Jeffries for the '60s TV show, and since that purchase, it's made a lot of rounds at car shows and cons (see our May 19, 2008 post as well as the photo below). But before it went through its creative conversion process to be used on "The Monkees," what was it? Mike thinks he knows.

"They had two of them for Larry," Mike says of the blue "Jeannie" GTO below. "Detective work has led us to believe this was the Monkeemobile -- before becoming the car we now know. Is this 100 percent for sure? No. No car DNA available yet. BUT, with the pre-build pics and the build sheet decoded and those in the know (namely the builder himself) we are 98 percent sure. The two 'Jeannie' GTOs were turned into the two Monkeemobiles. Before Mel's car was restored four years back, they removed the old interior and the blue paint was found."


So at the event in Toronto last weekend, Mike and Krista told Hagman the story, and he was very intrigued, indeed. He was kind enough to sign the visor from Mel's Monkeemobile. And Eden signed it, as well. In the top photo, you can see Mike showing a cell-phone photo of the Monkeemobile to Hagman. So fun.

Toronto photos courtesy of Mike; please do not copy without permission

Friday, September 02, 2011

The "Dukes" cast takes to the stage as our Hazzard Homecoming video walk-through concludes

It's clear the cast members of "The Dukes of Hazzard" have a great time with the fans, and August's Hazzard Homecoming near the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains in Sperryville, Virginia, certainly proved that out. The event featured not only host Ben ("Cooter Davenport") Jones, but also John ("Bo Duke") Schneider, Catherine ("Daisy Duke") Bach, James ("Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane") Best, Sonny ("Enos Strate") Shroyer, and Rick ("Cletus Hogg") Hurst. On the Sunday evening of the event, they all took to the stage, as you'll see in the very last part of our six-part video series ...

Included with the final part are Jones' words about the show, including a mention of this year's departed cast members, Peggy Rea and Christopher Mayer.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

John Schneider thrills the fans as our tour of Hazzard Homecoming continues ...

BRBTV had a great time at this month's Hazzard Homecoming in Sperryville, Virginia, hosted by Ben ("Cooter Davenport") Jones of "The Dukes of Hazzard" and his wife, Alma Viator. And we captured a bunch of those fun "Dukes" moments so you could experience them, too! Continuing on with the six-part video series from our walk through the event, here are Parts 3 and 4 ...

Part 3 concludes Day 1 of the event, including a chat with Miss Jo of Covington, Georgia, whose flower shop provided Boss Hogg's boutonnieres in the show's first five episodes in the late '70s. Jo gives an update on the "Dukes" display that for years was a tourist attraction at the A Touch of Country shop on the Square, as well as what's filming in Covington these days.

Part 4 takes you to Day 2 of the event, including the addition of John ("Bo Duke") Schneider to the signing tables. What happens when a fan asks if she can kiss our beloved Bo Duke? His wife, Elly, has an answer or two ... Later on this warm August day, John takes to the stage to sing "Country Girls," and when he takes off his overshirt ... there's a reaction!

Stay tuned for Parts 5 and 6 later this week ...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Walk through the Hazzard Homecoming with BRBTV video series

If you didn't get to Sperryville, Virginia, a couple weekends back for the Hazzard Homecoming, don't you worry none. BRBTV was there, and we did plenty of walkin' around! And since we just happened to have a camera attached while we were a-walkin', now you can get a view of the event, too!

This week we're highlighting our new six-part video series full of fun images of the event, just posted to the BRBTV YouTube channel. Today, it's Parts 1 and 2.

Part 1 includes:
- A look at some of the cars on display
- A peek at the signing tables of cast members Ben Jones and Rick Hurst
- A little chatting here and there with friends such as Rusty (aka "Boss Hogg"!), and Paul of the Canadian Dukes of Hazzard Fan Club
- Stunt BMX biking

Part 2 includes:
- A peek at the signing tables of cast members Catherine Bach and Sonny Shroyer
- A visit to the merchandise table (love that moonshine jar!)
- A moment at author Jon Holland's table as he signs a copy of his latest book, "A Moonrunner's Tale"
- The view from atop the "01" bus
- Stella Parton on stage and at her table

Tune in later this week as the video series continues ...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Missing Barbara Eden in Toronto this weekend? Think New Jersey in October!

Woo-hoo! While BRB's buds Will and Andrea and Mike and Krista are meeting Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden at Fan Expo Canada today (and hopefully getting a nice shot for the next Kindle edition of the BRBTV fact book "Destination: Dallas"!), fans who missed the chance can plan for another opportunity coming up, at least where Eden is concerned. The star of the latter seasons of our beloved "Dallas" will be coming to the Garden State in October.

The Garden State Comic Con happens October 8-9 and will feature not only Ms. Eden but also Jonathan Frakes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" fame, who also appeared in a great episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard" when he was a young pup, playing a well-regarded character named Jamie Lee Hogg. Jackson Bostwick, the original star of the '70s live-action "Shazam!" who has been interviewed on this very blog, will be meeting and greeting there, as well.

Check out the rest of the guest list for the event; it's pretty good.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Timothy Gibbs stars in "11-11-11"

It's nice to see Timothy Gibbs, the onetime Dash Nichols of our beloved "Santa Barbara," so front-and-center in a new flick. He's ready to roll in high-profile form in "11-11-11," which releases -- you guessed it -- on November 11.

You can catch Gibbs -- still so hunky, and really only in his mid-40s -- in the movie's trailer on the official site. This supernatural thriller comes from Darren Lynn Bousman, the director of some of the "Saw" movies, and plays with the concept of the number 11:11 being repeatedly seen in random places, like clocks, license plates, price tags. Folks have been sharing their own 11:11 stories on the site's message board.

Filmed in Spain, the movie concerns "an entity from another world that enters the earthly realm through Heaven's 11th gate," the IMDb says. Michael Landes, that darling ole Jimmy Olsen on the '90s "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," shares the screen with Gibbs for this one.

Gibbs seems to be splashing out with a few new projects this year, after several years away no doubt concentrating on his construction company, as we've reported on in this blog. You can catch our BRBTV interview with Gibbs in the "Send Me to Santa Barbara" fact book.

(And frankly, we don't see 11:11 -- but we sure have been seeing 444 constantly for several years! Look that one up!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spotted: Jerry Rushing

OK, so ... There we are the other night, all enraptured watching Johnny Cash play the tough rural Georgia sheriff Lamar Potts in 1948, in fervent pursuit of Andy Griffith's evil mobster boss John Wallace in "Murder in Coweta County" (that's ki-eta, by the way -- the name doesn't moo). Tall, handsome, hardened Johnny Cash ... Ahhhhh ... We loved the man and everything he stood for. Anyway ... Griffith is in a car chase, and who's driving his car but ... Jerry Rushing? Well, it sure looks like him!

We check the IMDb (aka, "the oracle," according to our bro), and sure enough, that's our man behind "The Dukes of Hazzard" who's behind the wheel in that scene of the 1983 TV movie, based on a true story. It seems rather appropriate, since Griffith's Wallace makes a reference to "revenuers" a few scenes before. Rushing's character, Herring Sevill, ends up in the cell right next to Wallace's, and Herring gets increasingly nervous about his obligations to the sinister country mobster.

It's out-of-the-way Meriwether and Carrollton, Georgia, where this action takes place. So wonderful to see homespun Andy Griffith showing his range with a evil turn, and so wonderful to see Jerry Rushing in one of his roles, just a few years after he helped create "The Dukes" and guest-starred in the 1979 "Dukes" episode "Repo Men."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hazzard Homecoming hits the high notes

Well, they went and threw a little "Dukes" shindig, and a few people done showed up. OK, more than a few. Make that thousands. "Dukes of Hazzard" fans from all over the country and even other countries (that's you, Paul and Zealand!) made it out to Sperryville, Virginia, today for the first day of the Hazzard Homecoming at the Thorton Hill Hounds Raceway. Guess us fans were just craving a big "Dukes" event -- it's been a while. And rain? Yea, there was a little rain. In fact, it lightly rained for a half-hour or so. Did anybody notice? Maybe. Did anybody stop what they were doing? Not even a little.

The spacious, hilly grounds off Highway 522, with the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains rising up in the distance, provided the perfect setting for Hazzard's fans to come "home" to this city where the very first Dukesfest occurred back in 2001. Everything from General Lees to Hazzard County sheriff's cars to Boss' big long white convertible to Cooter's tow trucks and more covered the landscape. Stella Parton, who guested on one episode of the original series, took to the stage in the afternoon, even doing a little "church" with "This Little Light of Mine." And Cooter's Garage Band performed later on.

Much of the original "Dukes" cast was there: Sonny Shroyer, Catherine Bach, host Ben Jones, James Best and Rick Hurst. Stella Parton signed autographs as well as her new book, "Tell It Sister, Tell It: Memories, Music and Miracles," just released a couple months ago and with proceeds supporting domestic violence shelters.

Lines were loooooong -- one lady told us she waited in Bach's line for five and a half hours! Tomorrow, John Schneider is scheduled to arrive for the meetin' and greetin,' and we can only imagine how long his lines will be.

It was nice and warm (not as deadly hot as it has been up here in the greater D.C. area) with a strong, cooling breeze a-blowin'. And BRBTV got to chat with a lot of good folks we only see every so often, like Miss Jo McLaney, below, who traveled all the way from our beloved Covington, Georgia, to say hello to her "Dukes" pals.

Weary, grimy, a little sunburned and definitely wind-blown beyond recognition, we didn't stick around for the fireworks tonight, but we're going back tomorrow! We'll be posting more photos to Facebook, and look for full video coverage of the event on the BRBTV YouTube channel in the next week or two.


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

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Couple cancellation notes for John Schneider's schedule

Please note, as you're planning your road trips: These two appearances on the schedule of John Schneider, our own Bo Duke of "The Dukes of Hazzard," have been canceled:

November 19 at the Hollywood Show in Las Vegas

December 10 at the Frank and Son Collectible Show in Rowland Heights, California.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Come home to Hazzard this weekend

It may not be the Hazzard County, but it's a place that's near and dear to diehard fans of "The Dukes of Hazzard." It's Sperryville, Virginia, the former site of one of the Cooter's Place establishments, and the site of the very first Dukesfest in 2001. And now, this weekend's Hazzard Homecoming will bring "Dukes" fans back to that site with two days of blazin'-orange fun.

Much of the surviving "Dukes" cast will be there to meet and greet fans and sign autographs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day: Catherine ("Daisy Duke") Bach, John ("Bo Duke") Schneider (Sunday only), James ("Rosco P. Coltrane") Best, Sonny ("Enos Strate") Shroyer, Rick ("Cletus Hogg") Hurst, and the host of the festivities, as he was back in 2001, Mr. Ben ("Cooter Davenport") Jones. In between all of that, and all through it really (!), will be live music, stunt shows, plenty of fun activities for the kids, and oh yes, lots of General Lees to behold.

BRB will be there wandering the grounds with the BRBTV camcorder, to capture some fun stuff for our YouTube channel. And we just saw the email the other day that Jimmie Best is bringing some new original artwork on a Hazzard Homecoming theme. Ben and Alma sent out an email to attendees yesterday, reminding them to bring their sunscreen, plenty of water, folding chairs and/or blankets for the festival seating, and some patience to deal with any parking issues that may arise.

With nearly 4,500 folks RSVP'd as attending on the Facebook page alone, this looks to be the "Dukes" event of this year. And no wonder, the locale itself -- Sperryville -- hearkens back to the days when "Dukes" fans first started gathering and these were quieter affairs, more like family affairs, with much greater access to the cast members. So a big yeeeee-haaaaaa on that!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Linda Evans hangs out in the kitchen -- and at a bookstore near you

Linda Evans, our own Krystle Carrington of "Dynasty," is embarking on a book tour this fall for her new release, "Recipes for Life." Thanks to our buddy James, a photographer here in D.C., for the tipoff on this one. Evans has the info splashed all over the news page of her official site:

Thursday, October 13 at 7 p.m.
Barnes and Noble / Upper East Side
New York
Talk, Q and A and Book Signing

Saturday, October 15 at 1 p.m.
New Jersey
Talk and Book Signing

Monday, October 17 at 7 p.m.
Third Place Books
Book Signing and Q and A

Thursday, October 20 at 7 p.m.
Barnes and Noble the Grove at Farmers Market
Los Angeles
Book Signing and Q and A

Friday, October 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Yorba Linda Library
Los Angeles
Book Signing and Q and A

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Byron Cherry speaks more about Christopher Mayer's death -- and life

BRBTV has been keeping mum about many of the details we've learned about the death of Christopher Mayer in the past week, since we announced the news on this blog last Tuesday. We figured those who were closest to the actor could lead the way. And indeed they have. Byron ("Coy Duke") Cherry, who co-starred with Mayer on "The Dukes of Hazzard," did a fresh interview with Entertainment Weekly yesterday afternoon, published on last night, where he sheds more light on Mayer's passing, and just what this longtime friend meant to him over the years:

It's a great story, and BRBTV applauds writer Grady Smith for drawing some sweet and interesting details out of Cherry while still remaining respectful to the life of a treasured actor.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Spotted: Barbara Carrera, Karen Carlson, A Martinez, Morgan Woodward and more

In 1978 it was a rather grand, sweeping spectacle, far larger than the average miniseries, and really, one of the first in this concept of the miniseries, though it ran for basically a whole TV season, October 1978 to February 1979. It was "Centennial," based on the work of well-regarded novelist James Michener, and it was 24 hours of rich, historical fiction set in the 1800s, peppered with rustic settings and enough human element to please any soaps fan, and loaded with fine stars of classic TV, some not-so famous then but definitely known to us now.

Take Barbara Carrera, for instance. In the mid-1980s, we saw her as Angelica Nero in the infamous Dream Season of "Dallas." In 1978, though, she was very young and just three years into the business, as she explains in the "Centennial" DVD extras. Her role as Indian squaw Clay Basket, so sweet and naive and girlish at the beginning, then maturing through adulthood and quiet dignity in the ensuing episodes, is the favorite in her career, she says. She calls it a very good experience.

"They made sure that everything was absolutely as authentic as they could make it," she says of "Centennial," which BRBTV must note reflects some good production values for its time. In her DVD interview, she  comments on what it was like to work with Robert Conrad, also interviewed in the set for his kingpin role as brusque French-Canadian trapper Pasquinel, and others in this megawatt cast.

"I wasn't very experienced," Carrera says. "I relied on many things for help. But when I worked with Richard Chamberlain (Alexander McKeag, whom Clay Basket eventually marries) he was so much the part, that he made it so easy for me to work with him. It was a wonderful kind of chemistry."

As Clay Basket aged in the series, Carrera had to endure lengthy applications of facial prosthetics, which she also discusses in the interview. Ironically, she's shown in modern times in the extras looking so much more stunning than her character did as projected to her age in the series.

The 12 meaty, two-hour episodes of "Centennial" also feature:

- Anthony Zerbe, who portrayed Crenshaw on "Dynasty," as the swindling Mervin Wendell, who comes to the town of Centennial, Colorado, to bilk folks with his pretty blond wife.
- Clint Ritchie, longtime daytime soaps star who also appeared as Bud Morgan on "Dallas," as Messmore Garrett, a sheep rancher in Centennial.
- Karen Carlson, Nancy Scotfield on "Dallas," as the lovely, composed, smart Lisette Mercy, daughter of Pasquinel by his "white" family (he has two families in this tale!).
- A Martinez, our hunky Cruz Castillo of "Santa Barbara," who shows up in the final few episodes of the series as Tranquilino Marquez, an energetic young man (with lots of curly hair, we'll add!) who travels from Mexico to Colorado to find work and a better life for his family.
- Clive Reville, the voice of Alfred on "Batman: The Animated Series" as well as Warren Ballard on "Dynasty," as Finlay Perkin, the sharp-eyed accountant.
- Michael Ansara, the voice of Mr. Freeze in the animated Batman series and movies, as the adult Lame Beaver, father to Clay Basket. We knew there was something familiar about his voice!
- Timothy Patrick Murphy, our own young Mickey Trotter of "Dallas," even younger as Christian Zendt, a Mennonite lad (with a proper haircut!) who leaves his Lancaster home for a while to work for his uncle in the new town of Centennial.
- Barney McFadden, who portrayed Bruce Burns on "Dallas," Johnny Navarro on "SB," and Lt. Olsen on "The Colbys," as Abel Tanner.
- Morgan Woodward, our own Punk Anderson of "Dallas," dignified in his dark uniform as General Wade, who must sort out the legal mess of a bloody Army raid on an Indian settlement.
- Bo Brundin, who was  Holgar Kuhn on "Dallas," as Magnes Volkema.
- James Best, our own Rosco P. Coltrane of "The Dukes of Hazzard," who pops up in the very last episode, just as he was debuting on the "Dukes" with a little Rosco-like coo-coo-ca-choo on the witness stand as Hank Garvey.

Add to that a suave Timothy Dalton, an earnest Gregory Harrison, Alex Karras as a big lug with a big heart, cowboy Dennis Weaver, and a beyond-captivating Stephen McHattie as the sinister Jake Pasquinel (seriously, we couldn't take our eyes off him). Plus a few others we cannot continue blathering on about; look it up.

A great series, and a great accompaniment to the John Jakes Bicentennial book series we've been reading.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tributes abound for Christopher Mayer

This past week has been a rough one for anyone who knew and appreciated actor Christopher "Chip" Mayer, Vance Duke of the classic "The Dukes of Hazzard" and T.J. Daniels of the daytime soap "Santa Barbara." And while BRBTV is still beyond bummed about the death of Mayer, we're heartened by the words of the fans in the wake of the news.

We're also delighted at the news from Mayer's on-screen cuz and longtime personal friend through the years of "The Dukes" and beyond, Byron ("Coy Duke") Cherry. He has spoken to Mopar Magazine, and the publication plans to do a tribute issue for Chris. It's scheduled for a September release, and Byron is gathering information for it right now.

Fans have also set up a tribute page on Facebook.

Byron called BRBTV today to chat a bit about the whole thing, and he suggested we share some of those thoughts here. Fans are (naturally) wondering how Chris died. It's uncertain, though some sources have indicated natural causes. He was found in his bed, Byron says, adding that he and his wife Krista received a call after Chris had been found, to let them know the news. Chris' fiancee Catherine, who was rushing home from an out-of-town TV commercial shoot, also called Byron about the news.

Byron was fortunate enough to have seen Chris in those final days, as the two had been close for many years. Byron tells us, for instance, that when his son Byron Jr. was killed in a car crash and he was devastated with grief, it was Chris that he called. Chris was brimming with encouragement -- and verses from Scripture. Now, based on our own chat with him a few weeks back, we can just picture that!

Most of all, Byron wants fans to know that what was important about Chris was his life, not his death. For instance ...

These are just some of the wonderful thoughts we've seen expressed, many of them responses to Byron's Facebook posting this week:

so sorry to hear of his passing, my prayers are with his family. I remember seeing u and him in Florida years ago at the Grand Opening of TOYS R ' US in West Palm Beach when i was a young girl, I still have the autograph pictures of u and Chris.

I am so sorry, he was so wonderful!! We cried over the passing of our beloved pastor, he hugged me when I cried after my kitty died. Chris, hug Pastor Scott for me. You were a true gem!

Yes indeed, Vance Duke always put a smile on everyone's face...


So sad to hear this....RIP Chris Mayer aka Vance will truly be missed by all

i am so sorry to hear of chris's passing! my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to u. so sad. he will be missed!

I'm so sad to hear this, too, Byron. I remember the first time I met Chris... with you at the Atlanta Airport, and "B" was about 2 yrs old, holding his General Lee toy car! My heart is hurting with and for you now. Love to you and yours ~     

i'm sorry 2 here that bryon, chris was an awesome actor. love the dukes of hazzard and if it wasn't for the dukes the fans would never what a great guy he was. just remember he is in heaven with our savior now.walking and holding hands with jesus. and say dont u worry bryon we will b together soon. 

we all miss him & thanks to all the dukes fans for sharing his memories

So sorry - RIP Chris - a wonderful man - my thoughts and prayers to you and his family. I will light a candle at church for him - from all us Duke fans in the UK

I will miss him too. He and you were my favorite actors from the Dukes of Hazzard I have nothing but respect for ya,
RIP Christopher Mayer. We will miss you.

Byron, I just heard about Christopher today. It was a shock. My deepest sympathies to you, his family, friends, and all of his fans. Loved you both on the Dukes. Hate I never had the pleasure of meeting him. Seeing how highly you speak of him, he seemes like an awesome Guy and a great friend to you. Wonderful news about the magazine, can't wait to see it. It will be a great way to honor him.

I am in shock. I was just complaining the other day that CMT doesn't air the episodes with Coy and Vance anymore, they did the first time they started airing the Dukes again, but now for the second time they have skipped that whole season. Thanks for letting us know. So sad. :(

My heart is breaking. I am so glad I got to spend time with him this year. Even though it's not a shock, I am in shock. RIP Chris.  

I cannot believe this only met him a few times & each time he was so kind-RIP my friend

I'm in shock! I'm so sad. Chris was a great actor and will be missed.

just devistating... but at least he got to feel the fans love for the last few months, and got to know he was appreciated.

This is sadening news, To his Fiance Catherine and the rest of Chris's family my condolences, was lucky to meet him a coule times, he was a great guy, and will be truly missed by so many

prayers go out to his family and fiancee

Christopher Mayer, left, with his fiancee Catherine Irvine, and his "Dukes" costar Byron Cherry and his wife Krista, at the Johnny Cash Music Festival in Ventura, California, just last month.

Photo courtesy of Cheryl Dubuque of Angel Hawk Productions; please do not copy without permission