Friday, January 31, 2014

Spotted: Pamela Bellwood

This author has booked a cruise for April (no, not on that cruise line, thankfully), so she's celebrating by indulging in the first season of "The Love Boat." And who does she spot?

It was a few years before she stepped onto the "Dynasty" set, in this 1977 episode of "The Love Boat," so no wonder there was that crack about whether or not she's finished high school! She's cute as a button, Ms. Pamela Bellwood, who we know as Claudia Blaisdel Carrington Carrington (and maybe one or two more). And her on-screen boyfriend-then-fiance in the episode is Robert Reed, official "Brady" dad. How fun.

In the action, Bellwood is the "other woman" as a divorced couple comes to terms -- so to speak -- with the tension and passion between them. Reed's counterpart in the mess is Loretta Swit of "M*A*S*H," while Richard Mulligan is Swit's new husband (and former divorce lawyer). Are ya into it? Well, throw in an adorable little Scott Baio and Kristy McNichol -- and we mean little; this was 1977 -- in a horribly awkward kid love story, and you're sure to be into it.

Oh, and we loved seeing Hermione Baddeley, whom we enjoyed immensely in her "Wonder Woman" episode. This was the third episode of the inaugural season of this classic series, and the storylines are sloooooowly improving from the stinky quality of the pilot, so we're avidly on to episode 4!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Spotted: Ray Wise

He's debonair, he's as handsome as ever, and he looks wonderful under that magic soaps lighting. He just popped up yesterday as the much-hyped Ian Ward character on CBS' "The Young and the Restless." We wondered who we would see in that role! With all the build-up for this charismatic and powerful former cult leader, we knew they would have to cast big. So there he was, Mr. Ray Wise, whom we know so fondly from "Twin Peaks" and even as Blair Sullivan on "Dallas" and Spiro Koralis on "The Colbys." We are not disappointed! Don't drink this guy's Kool-Aid!

We've been oh-so intrigued for several months now with "Y&R"'s storyline of Nikki Newman's long-lost child. When her child was revealed to be existing character Dylan McAvoy, it seemed a bit inexpensive, for sure. But Dylan is played by Steve Burton, the former Jason Morgan of "General Hospital," so, um, yum! We're digging that part of it. We got to meet Burton many years ago, at an appearance at a Sears store in Michigan, of all things.

Now, in this new role of Dylan's long-lost father, Wise is commanding, powerful, soooo intimidating. All with his trademark smile. Still ... we relish the potential of a confrontation between this new Ian Ward and Nikki's husband Victor Newman (played by Eric Braeden, whom we saw as a young-un on a couple "Wonder Woman" episodes, and who has seriously owned this "Y&R" role for so many decades). Our ole Victor might just squash Ian like a bug! Smash!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Ben Jones speaks out about new "Party Down South" reality show

Ben ("Cooter Davenport") Jones of "The Dukes of Hazzard" has never been afraid to speak out on stuff he feels strongly about over the years, such as the 2005 movie treatment of "The Dukes" and Warner Bros.' rumored plans to remove the Confederate flag from "Dukes" merchandise a couple years back. Now, he's got a viewpoint to share about the new reality TV show "Party Down South," currently being promoted by CMT and premiering last night. Here's his statement, reprinted with permission ...


It seems to me that by relentlessly promoting the sleazy “Party Down South” during commercial breaks for the family-friendly “Dukes of Hazzard” that CMT is cynically insulting the sensibilities, the values, and the intelligence of our audience. Any sensible viewer would have to ask “why?” and the answer, unfortunately, lies in the tastes and sensibilities of the folks in Santa Monica, California where CMT program decisions are made, and in New York City, where CMT’s corporate ownership Viacom is located. The idea of these folks making decisions about country music programming, heartland values, and the ways of Southern and rural Americans is ludicrous at best. But their decisions demean our heartland’s culture and debase our traditions.

When the unacceptable becomes acceptable, when the bar is continually being lowered, what then is unacceptable? Unfortunately, we already have the answer: not much.

I am offended that CMT is insensitive to their obvious and blatant insult. I guess these folks are just too immersed in their own lifestyles to understand their audience. And according to their press releases, the network has bought a number of these so-called “reality” series. They are counting on shows like “Party Down South” (previously named “The Dirty South”) to pay the freight for what was once a great Country Music and Americana network. Hopefully, this foul and dreadful show will meet an early demise, and be replaced by upbeat, positive Nashville entertainment.

 Anyhow, I am always amazed at the good hearts and moral tenacity of our fans. I guess we all learned a little bit about right and wrong somewhere along the way. Thanks for your clear message to CMT. They really need to hear it. Spread the word, y’all.

Personally, I am sick and tired of having my native Southland portrayed in the national media by shows like “Party Down South” aka “The Dirty South”. Shame on these people. "Dukes Of Hazzard" fans can leave comments for CMT on this page:

 Ben Jones aka “Cooter”

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Russell Johnson gone at age 89

Condolences to the family and friends of Russell Johnson, who we remember fondly as Sheriff Wyatt Mansfield on "Dallas," Earl Thompson on "Dynasty," and Roger Wainwright on "Santa Barbara." He even starred on an episode of "Wonder Woman" -- "Disco Devil." Oh yes, and then there was "Gilligan's Island," where this author always considered him the hot one. (See, geekiness could be hot, even way back then.) He was handsome, and he was good at what he did.

Johnson was an accomplished actor whose career did not stop when the castaways got rescued. He kept doing great roles for years and years. And even before he made his name on "Gilligan's Island," his resume was robust and varied. He was on a lot of our favorites: "The Outer Limits," "Twilight Zone," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and so much more. He started this whole thing back in 1950.

Read more about Johnson's career at the IMDb and Hollywood Reporter.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Artist takes his love of "Dynasty" to the canvas

Wow, we sure talk to some creative folks in the process of writing about the classic TV shows we love. Just in the past few months, we've talked to a couple "Dukes" fans who've created wonderful art inspired by the show, and we've talked to a "Dynasty" fan who has a splendid collection of costumes and other items from the show. Now we're talking to a talented artist who creates works inspired by "Dynasty" ...

Meet Jeffrey Trull, who has created the simply lovely paintings below, which you can purchase prints of at Society6.

"I first saw 'Dynasty' as a very young child in 1981," he tells BRBTV. "I was up past my bedtime when I went into the living room to find a great commotion on the TV screen. There, in a courtroom full of shocked faces, sat Nancy Drew, Audra Barkley from 'The Big Valley,' and Charlie himself from 'Charlie’s Angels.' But who was this mysterious, veiled woman sweeping melodramatically onto the scene? We would have to wait an entire summer to find out. I was officially hooked on a glamorous rollercoaster that would not only run for a decade, but would shape the very future of television history."

He continues: "Flash forward to 2000 when I created the fan site 'Dynasty: The Collection,' basing it on my own personal collection of 'Dynasty' memorabilia. Running through 2004, it featured a popular forum which I named The Carrington Colby Boardroom, where I was blessed to meet countless 'Dynasty' fans from all over the world. I made some close friendships, many of which continue today."

But Jeffrey hasn't just gotten the chance to meet fans of the show. He's met cast members, too!

"I was beyond thrilled to meet both Linda Evans and Joan Collins in 2007 during the tour of their play 'Legends.' Our encounters remain some of the most cherished highlights of my life and I am proud to say that my two original paintings that I presented them with, 'Heavenly Evans' and 'La Collins' respectively, are now housed in each of the ladies’ private collections. Prints of these are available in my online store via my website The signed ones are, of course, displayed lovingly in my home. I am currently at work on my 'Dynasty' art book, full of my illustrations, paintings and graphic design inspired by the most fabulous TV show of all time."

That's a shot of Jeffrey meeting Ms. Evans directly above. And above that, of course, are the "Heavenly Evans" and "La Collins" works he mentions. Beautiful! Learn more about Jeffrey and his work at He's available for commission!

Images courtesy of Jeffrey Trull; please do not copy without permission.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Spotted: Howard Keel

Howard Keel as Farrah Fawcett's dad? Yep, it happened, on a now-quite-obscure '90s sitcom called "Good Sports." Remember that one? Fawcett's obvious showcase with her honey Ryan O'Neal? Co-anchors on the all-sports channel of a cable network to rival Ted Turner's empire (and Turner is certainly referenced during the series, which only lasted a season)? Farrah and Ryan come dancing into the musical intro, all flirty and funlike, her little black dress so trademark '90s and matched to his tux? Yea, that one.

The episode we're talking here is "Bobby and Gayle Go on a Date" from June 1991. Keel, known to us "Dallas" fans as Clayton Farlow, guest-stars as Sonny Gordon, the rather commanding but kind father to Fawcett's Gayle. He observes the unrequited affection O'Neal's Bobby has for his daughter and convinces Gayle to go out with the poor schmuck. Well, OK, he doesn't't say it like that; he's in Bobby 's court, for sure.

Keel shows up in another episode of the series, the following month when Gayle's ex-boyfriend Nick -- played by William Katt of "The Greatest American Hero" --turns all demented and returns for revenge for their breakup.

Are we glad we watched the complete series on DVD (thanks, Tracy)? Well, yea, we really can't turn down Farrah any day of the week, even if the series doesn't age well. But Farrah sure did. Gayle is 40, and Fawcett is stunning at about that same age. And we loved that in one ep she is shown reading the book, "The Burning Bed," a nod to one of her biggest roles.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

An update on Tom Wopat's 2014 schedule

It's the latest from Tom (Luke Duke ) Wopat's website crew ...

We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and that the new year is starting off right!

In 2014, Tom is going to be focusing a lot on making more music and playing as many shows as possible! Check out the list of shows below and stay tuned for many more updates.

AND - we've been posting a few performances from his show with John Schneider in Niagara Falls last year. You can watch them on Youtube by clicking the song titles below, and you might just see some more collaborations between the two of them this year... Enjoy!

"Let It Roll"
"Luckenbach, Texas"
"Johnny It's Cold Outside"

Jan 7 - 54 Below - New York, NY
Jan 9 - Feinstein's at Hotel Nikko - San Francisco, CA
Jan 10 - Rockwell Table & Stage - Los Angeles, CA - NEW SHOW!
Jan 17 - Charlotte Performing Arts Center - Charlotte, MI
Jan 18 - River Raisin Centre - Monroe, MI
Mar 18 - Mar 22 - The Colony at Palm Beach - Palm Beach, FL
Apr 12 - Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts - Orange Park, FL
Apr 19 - Curtis Theatre - Brea, CA
May 17 - Ram's Head On Stage - Annapolis, MD - NEW SHOW