Thursday, December 29, 2016

Jumpin' a General in downtown Detroit? Count us in!!!!

Oh, we are soooooo there, when two of our favorite things come together ... "The Dukes of Hazzard" and Deeee-troit!!! Who would've ever thought someone would jump a blazin' orange General Lee right downtown in the city we love? But it's happening, in February, as part of Autorama.

On Friday, February 24, at 11:45 a.m., just 15 minutes before the opening of the show for the weekend, the Northeast Ohio Dukes will offer up a stunt show on Atwater Street behind Cobo Center, where the show is being held. This will reportedly include a jump of a General Lee car. Plus, Autorama will feature Catherine (Daisy Duke) Bach and Tom (Luke Duke) Wopat greeting fans on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Woo-hoo! See ya there!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas! A blast from the past from BRBTV

Many thanks to our buddy Grigg for fishing this one out of a used bookstore for us. We remember those celebrity "year" books that were popular in the '70s and '80s, geared toward younger readers, where you could learn more about your favorite TV or movie stars. (Yea, yea, there's the Internet for that now, but this really takes ya back ...)

"TV Superstars '82" by Ronald W. Lackmann (Weekly Reader Books) profiles a whopping 64 stars in a slim paperback -- 192 pages. That's about three pages each, with black-and-white publicity photos. It's soooooo super-cool. The actors from "The Love Boat," "M*A*S*H," "Happy Days," WKRP in Cincinnati," "The Greatest American Hero," "Little House on the Prairie," "Alice," "CHiPs," and so many other shows we love, including the shows we cover here at BRBTV ...

Some fun tidbits rising up from the pages:

  • Larry Hagman once had the juvenile lead in a production of "South Pacific" in London, which starred his mother, Mary Martin.
  • Patrick Duffy was 6'2" and 195 pounds at the time.
  • Linda Gray as a child attended school across the street from the MGM studios where "Dallas" was filmed and would stand out there after school to meet stars.
  • Victoria Principal was studying to be a chiropractor at Miami Dade Junior College when she decided to go into acting after recuperating from a car crash.
  • Barbara Bel Geddes at the time lived in a "beautiful country house in Putnam Valley, New York."
  • Charlene Tilton was 5' tall and 95 pounds. Yea, you probably knew that one.
  • Leigh McCloskey studied acting at the Julliard in New York under John Houseman.
  • Ken Kercheval collected a bunch of stuff, including the glass he became known for later.
  • Steve Kanaly worked as a manager and instructor at a trap and skeet shooting club frequented by celebs before his break on "Dallas."

"The Dukes of Hazzard"
  • John Schneider was overweight and unpopular in high school. (OK, wha???? We know that's a cliché among celebs, but again ... what?) When he was 16, he dieted during summer break from school and thinned down.
  • As a boy in Lodi, Wisconsin, Tom Wopat's original singing audience were the cows in the barn. He excelled in sports and other activities in high school, and his father is quoted as saying, "It was very important for Tom to win all the time. In his last year in high school, Tom even played football with a broken bone in his ankle."
  • Catherine Bach is quoted as saying, "I empathize with Daisy. She's my kind of people. She knows how to enjoy herself, and she's always ready to give everything she has to help out in whatever big problem comes up. And she's a bit reckless. That's me, too. I enjoy that. I like taking chances, not only in my acting life but in real life, too."

The merriest of Christmases from BRBTV !!!!

Friday, December 16, 2016

A big Season 4 of Terrific TV Toys awaits! Meanwhile, here's the episode guide to Season 3!

On December 17 of last year, we offered an episode guide of the first two seasons of Terrific TV Toys, the series that gives you a look up-close and personal at toys celebrating the wonderful vintage TV shows we love. Since then, BRBTV has knocked out a huge Season 3 of the show.

We kicked off this past year with a big Bionic Blitz, then ran an even bigger Bat-Blitz throughout the ensuing months, marking the huge 50th anniversary of the 1966 "Batman" TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward. That Bat-Blitz was in 22 whopping parts, 22 figures from Figures Toy Co.! We also marked the 50th anniversaries of "Star Trek" and "The Green Hornet." All of this took us from episode 51 through episode 89 ... whew! ...

51. Steve Austin figure by Bif Bang Pow!
52. Bigfoot figure by Bif Bang Pow!
53. Fembot figure by Bif Bang Pow!
54. Dr. Rudy Wells figure by Bif Bang Pow!
55. Oscar Goldman figure by Bif Bang Pow!
56. Bionic Transport and Repair Station by Kenner
57. '66 Batman figure by Figures Toy Co.
58. '66 Robin figure by Figures Toy Co.
59. '66 Riddler figure by Figures Toy Co.
60. '66 Joker figure by Figures Toy Co.
61. "Dynasty" Barbie dolls -- Part 1, Alexis
62. "Dynasty" Barbie dolls -- Part 2, Krystle
63. '66 Bruce Wayne figure by Figures Toy Co.
64. '66 Dick Grayson figure by Figures Toy Co.
65. '66 Penguin figure by Figures Toy Co.
66. '66 Egghead figure by Figures Toy Co.
67. Some goodies from "ALF"
68. "Dukes of Hazzard" coloring book
69. '66 Shame figure by Figures Toy Co.
70. '66 Mad Hatter figure by Figures Toy Co.
71. Scooby-Doo Kids' Meal toys by Wendy's       
72. Marie Osmond doll by Mattel
73. '66 Bookworm figure by Figures Toy Co.
74. '66 Mr. Freeze figure by Figures Toy Co.
75. '66 King Tut figure by Figures Toy Co.
76. '66 Alfred figure by Figures Toy Co.
77. J.R. Ewing ornament by Hallmark
78. Terrific TV Toys on Wheels: The Mystery Machine
79. '66 Batman "Surf's Up" variant figure
80. '66 Joker "Surf's Up" variant figure by Figures Toy Co.
81. '66 Chief O'Hara "Surf's Up" variant figure by Figures Toy Co.
82. '66 Barbara Gordon "Surf's Up" variant figure by Figures Toy Co.
83. "Star Trek" anniversary special with Vina figure by Playmates
84. "Green Hornet" anniversary special with playing cards by Ed-U-Cards
85. Wonder Woman Barbie doll by Mattel
86. '66 Batman with removable cowl by Figures Toy Co.
87. '66 Chief O'Hara figure by Figures Toy Co.
88. '66 Barbara Gordon figure by Figures Toy Co.
89. '66 Batgirl '66 figure by Figures Toy Co.

So now we look forward to a great Season 4 of the show! We're kicking it off with yet another 50th anniversary in January ... can you guess what that will be?????

Meanwhile, Merry Christmas from BRBTV!

Friday, December 09, 2016

John Schneider plans another Niagara Falls date, as well as a new CD

Thanks to Phyllis for the updates on John Schneider, Mr. Bo Duke of "The Dukes of Hazzard" ...

Schneider will be meeting fans at the Niagara Falls Comic Con in Niagara Falls, Canada, on June 2-4, 2017.  For more information go to

Our country boy also will be meeting fans at the Southern Wheels 'N Motion Car and Truck Show in Tullahoma, Tennessee, on June 17, 2017.  For more information call 931-455-8096 or 931-247-2663.

John's new CD "Ruffled Skirts" will be available soon.  Please continue watching his store for that item.  Items are available at and at

Monday, December 05, 2016

Sad news: Van Williams dies at age 82

We'd heard it earlier, but the confirmation just came through. Our condolences to the wife and family of Mr. Van Williams, known to us as the great "Green Hornet" of the 1966 TV series. He was a gracious man that this author had the privilege to interview, and he will be missed by fans everywhere.

Read more at Variety's website.

The cause of death is stated as renal failure, although the star had been struggling healthwise for at least a couple years and lamented to me that he had stopped doing the cons he had enjoyed so much. He loved meeting fans.

Images from Wikipedia / public domain.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Terrific TV Toys: '66 Batgirl figure from Figures Toy Co.

The moment this author was waiting for finally arrived just a few weeks ago ... The Figures Toy Co. interpretation of the Barbara Gordon Batgirl as portrayed by Yvonne Craig on the 1960s "Batman" TV series was in my hot little hands at last. And on this week's episode of the Terrific TV Toys series, you get to see it up close and personal! We talk a little history of the Bat-ladies from the 1950s onward, as well. There have been other "Batgirls" over the years in the comics (Steph Brown, Cassandra Cain, whatever), but the Barbara Gordon Batgirl remains the best known ...

We're thinking this concludes a very big Season 3 of T3. After the volume we've pushed out this year, we're due a little break! Stay tuned for new episodes in January, for Season 4!

Friday, November 04, 2016

Terrific TV Toys: '66 Barbara Gordon figure by Figures Toy Co.

With her pert little hairstyle, she was the adorable daughter of Police Commissioner James Gordon, mentioned a couple times in foreshadowing toward the end of Season 2 of the 1960s "Batman," before her big debut in the first episode of Season 3. That debut was on September 14, 1967, and the episode was "Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin." We saw the lovely Yvonne Craig as Barbara first, kidnapped by the Penguin, before we saw her transform into the purple-metallic-clad crimefighter.

We lost Yvonne Craig last year, but her legacy as Batgirl -- and as Barbara Gordon -- lives on, half a century later. This week's episode of Terrific TV Toys shows you another installment in Figures Toy Company's line celebrating the "Batman" series ...

Next week: Batgirl!!! 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Terrific TV Toys: '66 Chief O'Hara figure by Figures Toy Co.

He stands at the ready, at Commissioner Gordon's side, ready to brief Batman on the latest criminal antics in Gotham City. He's Chief Miles Clancy O'Hara, a character created specifically for the 1960s "Batman" TV series and now celebrated with a figure in the ever-growing line by Figures Toy Co. As played by Stafford Repp, Chief O'Hara was a dyed-in-the-wool Irish cop, and to this day whenever we hear or think of the phrase "Saints be praised!" we think of him.

This week on Terrific TV Toys, Billie Rae Bates of BRBTV shows you the Chief O'Hara figure in living color ...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Terrific TV Toys: '66 Batman figure with removable cowl by Figures Toy Co.

We're not a huge fan of variants here at BRBTV (well, at least this author isn't -- maybe my co-author Will is!). Figures Toy Co. has been churning them out, along with the new figures, as part of its line celebrating the 1966 "Batman" TV series. Some of them you'll see on the Terrific TV Toys series, and some you won't. But because our procurement chief Mike tends to procure these figures in the full sets of four, we really couldn't beg off this particular variant the way we were able to with an earlier series that had not one but two variants. If three out of four figures in the series is a new one, and only one is a variant, then weeeelllll ... guess you gotta go and buy the whole series and not break it up, right?

Anyway ... after that long diatribe, we present to you this week's Terrific TV Toy ... the Batman figure with removable cowl from FTC's Series 5, not to be confused with the straight-up Batman figure from their first series, or the "Surf's Up" variant Batman, or even the Batman with different head sculpt from Series 3 that we didn't buy ... sigh ...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sometimes you find General Lees in surprising places

One "Dukes of Hazzard" fan we know can't seem to go too far without bumping into something "Dukes"! Our roving reporter Jason, who drives truck cross-country, sent us these photos of what's billed to be a screen-used General Lee in Murdo, South Dakota, originally built by Ray Claridge of Hollywood's Cinema Vehicles for the show.

"This place was featured on 'American Pickers,'" Jason tells BRBTV. "I remember the episode. It is some kind of barn. I regret that I was there just for the General. There is just way too much to see in an hour. This place is way, way out in the middle of nowhere. GPS can't find it. I just happened to see a billboard and it happened to be the same exit the truck stop was at. Even better it was directly across the street!"

But Jason has his doubts about the General (and hey, comment below if you know more!). "The store employee said the car has a 340 engine," Jason says. "That is what makes me think it's not a real one. The 340 was not in those years of Chargers."

"There was just way too much to see in the time I gave myself," Jason says. "There is a ton of things in there besides cars. A lot of the cars are in disrepair because you can tell they've been sitting for a very long time. Also some of the buildings they were in were dilapidated; it was hard to get pics because everything was crammed together. They have everything from apple peelers to Zippos."

Thanks, Jason, for sharing this little "Dukes" adventure with us!

Photos by Jason G.; please do not copy without permission.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Congratulations to Jim and Leslie -- it was a "Dukes of Hazzard" wedding!

What a nice weekend, and what a nice time in the Great White North -- Ontario, specifically -- for a wedding, "Dukes of Hazzard" style. Congratulations to Jim and Leslie on their nuptials, and we just had to offer you a glimpse of the décor. So fun! These are hard-core fans of our beloved "Dukes."

We profiled Jim and his art in our posts on March 29, 2013, January 28, 2015 and October 15, 2015, and it was added to the "Them Dukes! Them Dukes" fact book. His friend Jason, whose art we also profiled in 2013, supplied the General Lee for this event (a culmination of many years of work on the car). There was also a Cooter's tow truck in attendance, as well as a Boss Hogg Caddy (owned by friend Rob) and a Hazzard County Sheriff's car (owned by friend Paul).

The cake was simply amazing ...

This author with the happy couple!

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Terrific TV Toys: Wonder Woman Barbie doll by Mattel

Mattel has made a few different Wonder Woman Barbie dolls over the years. The 1999 model you'll see profiled in the latest episode of Terrific TV Toys takes a classic approach to her costume -- even with a luscious, red-white-and-blue satin cape that will have you thinking about Lynda Carter in her iconic 1970s role. In fact, though this lovely lady is not a TV-related toy on paper, we still tie it in to that classic superhero series. We can't help ourselves!

Friday, September 30, 2016

"Dynasty" reboot in the works at the CW

Wow! We've heard rumors for years, but it's nice to see something a tad more concrete in print. Thanks to our buddy Brian for the heads-up on this one: The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that a reboot of our beloved "Dynasty" is in the works at the CW network.

The plotline has Fallon Carrington front-and-center in this new take. Hmmm ... Does that mean Fallon is assuming her mother's throne, so to speak, as resident conniving bad gal? And is there any hope of either of the original actresses, Pamela Sue Martin or Emma Samms, reprising the role? And in general, will this one follow the model of TNT's "Dallas" reboot in bringing the original cast on, too, while mixing in new faces? We would love that. Continuity is king, with many fans!

Friday, September 23, 2016

A dazzling "Dynasty" gown collection continues to grow ...

In this July 2015 post, we showed you the amazing costume collection of a diehard "Dynasty" fan. Well, that same fan has acquired a couple more lovely pieces and is graciously sharing his photos once again. He's also thrown in some shots of the ladies who originally wore these amazing pieces ...

Do you have your own collection of "Dynasty" goodies to share? Contact us at, or comment below! We'd love to see what you have!

 Photos courtesy of Anonymous; please comment to this blog for permission to copy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Con: Russ McCubbin talks about his time on the "Dukes" and more

Russ McCubbin must be a VIP at his local Wendy's -- he's got a burger named after him there! We learned about that and more as we chatted with him at last weekend's Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Con in Hunt Valley, Maryland. We often like to hear what a day-in-the-life is like for some of these actors we talk to, and we get some interesting answers!

McCubbin has starred in a lot of great TV over the years -- "Matt Houston," "Adam-12," "Daniel Boone" -- but what this author wanted to ask him about was his episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard." It was "The Ghost of the General Lee," definitely a favorite with a lot of the fans we've talked to, and his character was Phil, who stole the General Lee ...

To learn more about the actor or for signed photos, check out his official site.

Monday, September 19, 2016

A peek at the fun Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Con

Another weekend, another cool show. This author ventured to the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland, once again this year and had a nice time. Here's a glimpse ...

This was the third and final day of the show, and things were still hoppin'. Stars of classic TV and movies, authors and others were chatting it up, and the shopping was good, as usual! We spotted lots of fun TV-related toys and other tempting stuff ...

Robert Conrad, who was James West on "Wild, Wild West," was there to greet fans, above, as was Robert Fuller of "Emergency" and "Laramie," below. The lines for both these guys were loooooonnnggg. We could've guessed that about our dreamy Jim West, but Fuller's popularity surprised at least one vendor we talked to, since these exhibitors aim to bring a selection of merchandise to complement the event's guest lineup. This vendor's Fuller stuff sold right out!

Above, a kind and lively "Blues Brother" and vendor who sold this chick the "Dallas" pictorial coffeetable book by Laura Van Wormer for just a buck. Rock on, dude!

Look for more from the show later this week -- an interview with Russ McCubbin about his time on "The Dukes of Hazzard"!

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Heroes and Icon TV -- rivaling MeTV as best network EVER with its fall lineup!

Ooooh, we knew there was something about this TV network we liked ... We only discovered it by flipping through the channels and occasionally seeing some cool show airing on it. Knew nothing about it whatsoever, except that it seemed to be airing classic TV shows. So now, Heroes and Icons TV rolls out a fall schedule that knocks our socks off!

"The Green Hornet," airing again??? Sign us up! "Star Trek: The Animated Series"? Meow!!! "Sheena" and "Xena," together on one schedule??? Bonus!!!


Learn more at H&I's website.