Saturday, January 31, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: "Batman Beyond" Kids Meal toys from Burger King

Oh, we do love those fast-food toys that come with the meals for kids ... In the latest episode of the Terrific TV Toys (*of a vintage nature) series, Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV shows you her collection of seven out of the eight toys in the set from Burger King celebrating the animated series "Batman Beyond." She rounded those up herself from local Burger Kings at the time!

Stay tuned -- next week's episode shows just why everything's Archie!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fleetwood Country Cruize-In hosts a "Dukes" reunion

We had a lot of fun at last summer's Fleetwood Country Cruize-In, where we got to talk on-camera with Bo Hopkins, who played Matthew Blaisdel on "Dynasty." Well, this year is going to be even bigger -- several folks from our beloved "Dukes of Hazzard"!

Tom (Luke Duke) Wopat, John (Bo Duke) Schneider, Rick (Cletus Hogg) Hurst, Sonny (Enos Strate) Shroyer, and stunt and car pro Tom Sarmento will be guests. Yeee-haaaa!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The General rides again in Jim Wilson's latest painting

In the 2014 update of the "Them Dukes! Them Dukes!" fact book on "The Dukes of Hazzard," BRBTV profiled Canadian artist Jim Wilson, who crafts works of art from his favorite TV show and yours. Well, Jim is at it again, and he just did this lovely piece last weekend. It's the General belonging to his good friend Jason Darling, who also was profiled in the book for his diorama of the recovery of Lee 1 (and their work is also featured in living color on this very blog, too!!!).

Jim's work is all original and so very cool. Thanks, Jim, for sharing it with us again!

Image courtesy of Jim Wilson;
please do not copy without permission.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hallmark's "Home and Family" hosts a "Dynasty" cast reunion

Thanks to the "Dynasty" Facebook group, we got the heads-up this morning that several cast members of "Dynasty" were about to do an episode of Hallmark Channel's "Home and Family" show. So cool. The show aired at 10 a.m. today, and Pamela Sue ("Fallon") Martin, Al (original "Steven") Corley, Gordon (original "Adam") Thomson, Pamela ("Claudia") Bellwood and John ("Jeff") James really rocked it.

They discussed the beginning of the show, which launched in 1981. "We had to shoot two pilots," Corley said. "Originally George Peppard was the lead." They had to return to Filoli to shoot again when John Forsythe was cast. James added, "Six months later, and they had to put down like 700 flowers to match -- remember, they were all plastic -- because it was later in the summer."

James further reminisced, "The biggest show we had was the massacre in Moldavia, which was when cliffhangers were a big deal." He joked that this cliffhanger became a matter of "who's coming back, who wants too much money?"

Bellwood shared a fun story: "After we shot the Moldavia, I was in the Soviet Union, and it was about the time of glasnost, and I was in Moldavia. And I was shooting in a fruit market, a vegetable market with my husband, a photojournalist. And we were arrested in Moldavia. ... There was still a lot of paranoia. We were put in jail for just not that long, for several hours, for photographing vegetables in a market. I have the dubious distinction of being arrested twice in Moldavia."

James' daughter is coming in to her own success. Laura James, who is 19, won "America's Next Top Model" in Season 19. Later in the two-hour episode, Laura's "Rogue" line of sunglasses was highlighted, as modeled by her dad's castmates.

James talked about Jeff's on-again-off-again drama with Fallon. "Jeff was just madly in love with Fallon. And she was a spoiled brat." (Martin interjected that this was not in real life!) "Every now and then there's chemistry that happens on screen that you just can't create." He said some of the best scenes in his acting career were with Martin in those early days of "Dynasty."

"We were under a great deal of pressure," James elaborated. "Anybody who's does television knows. Every day either you're working or you're doing press or you're traveling." He told Martin at the time she could just hit him if she needed to vent. "It was tough. It was really hard, hard work."

Regarding the storyline of Fallon's baby being kidnapped, Martin said, "I only remember one thing about that. When I was supposed to receive the phone call, the director of that week's show said, I want you to drop to your knees and throw the phone. And I said, oh-for-godssakes, that's ridiculous. And we had this huge argument about it, and he won. And so I had to do it against my better judgement. And the next day the producers came down, which was never a good thing. And they said we have to reshoot it." It was over the top. The cast joked profusely about the baby thing, and the fact that Claudia threw what was thought to be the baby over the building edge, but it was just a doll. Martin shared that she was not a mom in real life at the time, and every time they handed her a real baby for a scene for Fallon, the baby would invariably start crying.

The intro of this episode of "Home and Family" episode was a nice touch, with the similar treatment for the cast members as the original "Dynasty" intro. Bellwood leaned against a doorway, and Martin quite effectively recreated her opening sequence flip-around.

As the special show progressed, Thomson told about meeting his on-screen mom Joan Collins for the first time. "I approached the soundstage, and Joan emerged from the stage door, looking like eight million bucks." He said that Collins told him, "Here to test for the part of my son. It's ridiculous, son. You're much too old." But we fans know it worked, right? "The job utterly changed my life," Thomson said. "Fortunately, she and I both agreed years later that we were walking genetic miracles. Because I was 37."

Corley, who left the show early on, said it was because he wanted to go further with the character of Steven, and the show's producers didn't want to do that. Martin also talked about leaving early: "I had been working in Hollywood for many years, and I don't think I had a huge childhood. I was just ready to fly and go wherever else. It was confining for me. ... Fame was not my favorite, at the time. We became very recognizable everywhere."

As part of the episode, Thomson cooked a Greek dish he was fond of, and Martin and Bellwood got some beauty and makeup tips. Both Pamelas looked just lovely, anyway.

Robert Mycroft, whom BRBTV interviewed for the "Dynasty High" fact book on the series, was also featured in the episode. Mycroft owns a fab collection of "Dynasty" wardrobe and assists Martin in appearances.

Mycroft showed and discussed the red sparkle dress, which this collector called his "holy grail." However, Martin said she didn't wear a lot of Nolan Miller's gowns because she was "too lazy to go for fittings."

Mycroft also showed the two dresses worn in the lily pond fight between Alexis and Krystle, plus Amanda's wedding gown from the Moldavian Massacre.

At the end of the broadcast, a touching letter from Linda Evans was read to the cast.

James said there's always possibility of a "Dynasty" reunion or remake, though, "you can't remake magic."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: Batgirl plush doll from the 1960s "Batman" series

It was nearly a couple years ago when the big announcement came that the "Batman" live-action TV series of the 1960s would at last be officially licensed for merchandise, after all these years. Stars Adam West and Burt Ward signed licensing agreements, but their partner in crimefighting, Yvonne Craig, was a little slower in that process. Thus, of the myriad pieces that have already been released since then, you'll see wonderful likenesses of West, Ward, and others from the show such as the actors who played the various villains, Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, Julie Newmar and others, but you won't see Yvonne Craig's lovely likeness ... just yet. At least not on the action figures. Yvonne's first piece of merchandise to use her "likeness" (and we're not counting the amazing adult Halloween costume by Rubie's or the purple and yellow Batcycle miniature, both of which we own, but both of which do not feature her actual likeness -- understand?) is the Batgirl plush doll, 10 inches tall and released just a few months ago by Bleacher Creatures. The company even makes a point to note on its website that Yvonne's likeness is official and legal and all that, for this plush toy. We know how significant that is.

Which brings us to the next installment in BRBTV's Terrific TV Toys web series! Courtesy of her buddy Mike, Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV owns this first official piece of Yvonne Craig Batgirl merchandise and is happy to show it to you in the 25th episode of the series ...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Catch Ted McGinley in "Do You Believe?" in March

It's a faith-based movie from the producers of "God is Not Dead," which we thoroughly enjoyed, so we'll be there. It's "Do You Believe?" and it stars one of the cast members of our beloved "Dynasty," Mr. Ted McGinley, whom we remember so fondly as Clay Fallmont.

The film, from Pure Flix Entertainment, has a pretty strong cast otherwise -- Mira Sorvino, Lee Majors, Cybill Shepherd, Sean Astin. "A dozen different souls-all moving in different directions," the plotline at the IMDb says, "all longing for something more. As their lives unexpectedly intersect, they each are about to discover there is power in the Cross of Christ ... even if they don't yet believe it."

The movie was shot in Michigan and is scheduled for release on March 20.

Keep your eye on the Facebook page to learn more.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

We can't wait to see Jack Coleman don the horn-rimmed glasses once again

He's the only cast member listed on the IMDb page for the "Heroes" 2015 reboot miniseries "Heroes Reborn" so far, though Zach Levi of "Chuck" was just announced yesterday. But hey, we don't mind that details are scant at the moment -- we just love the fact that Jack Coleman is heading back to our TV screen.

The "Dynasty" star will reprise the role of Noah Bennet, a sort of shepherd to the gifted, in the miniseries, planned for release later this year. Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy? We saw some of both in Noah, such a departure from the idealistic gay icon Steven Cartington on our beloved 1980s primetime soap. And we love that Coleman has had steady work in recent years from recurring roles on "Burn Notice," "Scandal," "Castle" and more, even voice work. We loved his spin on "The Office" with our gal Angela (seriously, she's our own hero).

We just want to know, Mr. Coleman ... why didn't your lovely wife reprise her own role as Tracey Lawton on TNT's new "Dallas"? That would have rocked. Anyway ... time to rewatch the four seasons of "Heroes" we have still sealed in their DVD cases!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Jeff Altman signs this great photo for BRBTV

Oooohhhh, this author was thrilled to see the signed photo her fellow author Brian Lombard nabbed from Mr. Jeff Altman, aka Hughie Hogg of "The Dukes of Hazzard," on a recent trip to Las Vegas. Altman performed stand-up -- as is his nature in the post-"Dukes" years -- with some other comedians at the Tropicana Hotel, and Brian was lucky enough to be sitting near the front, and was even blessed enough to chat with the star after the show. "He holds the record for most appearances on David Letterman," Brian says. "He clearly enjoyed playing Hughie and was delighted to see the photo." The club inside the Tropicana where Altman was appearing, Brian says, is part of the Laugh Factory franchise there, a world-famous comedy club originally opened in L.A. by Pauly Shore's father.

We love the way ole Hughie signed this! Thanks so much, Mr. Altman -- you were an amazing Boss-in-Training! And thanks so much to Brian!

Friday, January 09, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: Hallmark's Christmas ornament for "The Dukes of Hazzard"

The next two episodes of BRBTV's Terrific TV Toys series are going to show you brand-new items, each only a few months old, but still "of a vintage nature," as we love. For the second episode of Season 2, it's the first-ever "Dukes of Hazzard" Christmas tree ornament by Hallmark. Get up-close and personal with this item as Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV opens the box and breaks out this fab collectible.

Stay tuned for next week's installment, which gets a little Batty ....

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The beautiful Lynda Carter Wonder Woman returns in a digital comic

We love it when comics news hits the mainstream, and here USA Today does a story on the release of a new digital comic series by DC that focuses on the Lynda Carter version of Wonder Woman that we all know and love.

DC Comics' digital-first series Wonder Woman '77 will have chapters available for download weekly on the DC Comics app,,, Google Play, Kindle Store, Nook Store, iBooks and iVerse ComicsPLUS. The adventures will also be collected in print, which is when we'll hop on board, because we're still rather fond of that print thing.

"It's being really faithful to why Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman has endured for almost 40 years now," says writer Marc Andreyko in the USA Today story. Even the license for Lyle Waggoner's likeness was attained for this series. And if the comparisons to the Batman '66 comic series on the Adam West "Batman" TV show that started a year or so ago are valid, we're loving this new one already.

Check out BRB, Andrea and Don in costume at the Motor City Comic Con!

It was the first spin at actual cosplay for Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV (though there have been plenty of fun Halloween costumes over the years), and she was joined by friends Andrea Melchiori and Don Covell Jr. as a terrific trio tribute to the 1960s "Batman" TV series. BRB is the Yvonne Craig version of Batgirl, while Andrea is the Julie Newmar version of Catwoman, and Don is more or less the Adam West version of Batman! Check it out below in this video courtesy of the "Comics Continuum" TV show based in Detroit, which BRB once did hosting and correspondent work for. Part of this clip aired in a May 2014 episode of the show ...

Monday, January 05, 2015

Casino treasures: Try your luck at some "Wonder Woman" and "Batman" slots

Consider these some great "Terrific TV Toys" even if they're not part of our BRBTV T3 video series ... And special thanks to our friend, who shall remain nameless for taking risky photos in a casino (which, by the way, is not actually illegal but tends to be frowned upon -- look it up).

The classic 1970s Lynda Carter "Wonder Woman" TV series stars in these machines at the Monte Carlo casino in Las Vegas, and another machine celebrates the 1960s Adam West "Batman" series (we've seen that one up here in the Detroit casinos, too).

What's really fab, as our friend pointed out, is that there's both a tribute to the first season of the show, focusing on the 1940s adventures of the Amazon Princess, and the second and third seasons, focusing on the 1970s (note the difference in costuming above).

Then, Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Frank Gorshin and Cesar Romero are featured in the "Batman" slots ...

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Terrific TV Toys: "The Brady Bunch" View-Master set

Brian Lombard knows a thing or two about "The Brady Bunch" -- he's the author of "Bradypalooza," a book about the classic, well-loved family sitcom. As Season 2 opens for the Terrific TV Toys web series in this brand-new year, Brian takes another spin as guest host, and he shows us a View-Master set celebrating the Brady family. The set focuses on the three-episode story arc of the Bradys' trip to the Grand Canyon. It was released in 1971.

We can't believe it's episode 23 of the show, already! And we've got some great toys queued up for this second season, so stay tuned!

Happy New Year from BRBTV!
Here's to a wonderful 2015!