Saturday, January 28, 2006


By now you should all know that in Toobworld, the lives of characters continue in their universe, despite the cancellation of the shows which featured them. Every so often those characters are called back to duty ("Rescue From Gilligan's Island", "Mary And Rhoda", the return of Anthony Fremont and his mother on 'The New Twilight Zone', etc.), and obviously they weren't held in stasis all that time waiting to be recalled.

But now we have an interesting twist on that premise. 'Reunion' was a year-by-year flashback spanning twenty years in the lives of six friends from high school. In the present day, one of those six had been murdered and during the course of the investigation each episode featured a flashback to a specific year.

As the show progressed, we eventually learned that the murder victim was Samantha, but as the show was cancelled while it was only up to the early 1990s chronologically, we never found out who the killer was.

So in this case, these characters had lives already played out and which were vital to the outcome of the plot's resolution, but it's never going to be filled in for us. And that's mostly because the creators of the show were winging it as they went along.

Fox President Peter Liguori announced who was supposed to be Sam's killer. "The best guess at that particular time was that it [the killer] was going to be Sam's daughter [Amy]," he said. With the show cut off so early in its run, there was no way that possibility could be wrapped up in any kind of quick finale resolution, as Amy was just a little kid by the last aired episode.

But Kristen of E! Online said, "I have it on high authority that at the last minute, right before the show was canceled, they were planning to change the killer to someone else."

Here's how Zap2It reported the story:

When FOX lowered the boom on "Reunion" in late November, the show's creator says there was no way to resolve the show short of a full season because of how "intricately plotted" it was. It was so intricately plotted, in fact, that the question of who committed the murder at the show's center was still up in the air.

That, at least, is the word from FOX Entertainment president Peter Ligouri, who on Tuesday (Jan. 17) addressed the show's early demise with reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour.

"'Reunion' was particularly cumbersome in terms of trying to provide an ending for the audience," Ligouri says of the show, in which each episode represented a year in the life of six friends, one of whom ends up dead. "How [creator Jon Harmon Feldman] was laying out the show to gap those additional 14, 15, 16 years was an incredibly complex path. There were a number of options, and he didn't make a definitive! decision on which option he was going to go with as to who the killer was, and there was just no way to accelerate that time."

Feldman himself hinted at that in a statement following the show's cancellation, saying that solving the mystery of who killed Samantha was "partially reliant on characters we haven't yet met -- and events we haven't seen."

Ligouri says the network and the show's team talked about several ways to go with the killer's identity, but "the best guess was at that particular time that it was going to be Sam's daughter," whom she gave up for adoption early in the series. The why of the murder remains a mystery.

In Lee Goldberg's view, and I agree with him, this is "why the series didn't work. If the show's writers didn't even know whodunit or why, then what were they writing about? If the clues led nowhere, how did they expect the story to actually payoff in the end? Is it any surprise viewers didn't get hooked by the mystery since it, um, actually didn't exist?"

But those missing years need to be filled in, not just for those few fans of 'Reunion' but also for the sake of Toobworld. An event happened - Samantha was murdered. It didn't happen in a vacuum; there had to be a reason. No matter whodunnit, there should be some kind of resolution to complete the storylline.

And that brings me back to an idea I suggested right after the first news of the show's cancellation. Jon Harmon Feldman should sit down and write out the missing gap of the 'Reunion' story in novel form. And it should be published and sold as part of a DVD package of all of the episodes that were broadcast as well as those that never saw the light of day.

I think it's a unique strategy that might solve the problem in making boxed DVD sets of TV series with no definite conclusion marketable. Shows like 'Coronet Blue', and 'Nowhere Man', and the second version of 'The Fugitive' had their fans who would love the chance to see those storylines at long last resolved.

And presenting these resolutions in novel form gives the show's creator the time to cover everything, rather than trying to cram it all into one last tie-up episode, as the creators of ABC's 'Push, Nevada' were forced to do. (Two minutes after the show ended, the interactive puzzle of the show was solved by a viewer who won the big jackpot offered by the show. Within the next 24 hours, over 10,000 other viewers also called in, hoping to win.)

So that's my idea, and I'm throwing it out there one more time. If not for 'Reunion' than who knows, maybe Glen Gordon Caron can use it for 'Now & Again'.......



As I mentioned in regards to that story about UPN and The WB combining to become The CW, there are certain TV news stories that are too rooted in the Real World to be of interest for Toobworld.

But every so often there are exceptions......

According to the "Hollywood Reporter", Touchstone Television has offered substantial salary hikes to the original ensemble of 'Lost' in exchange for the actors extending their current contracts to include an additional year of island-living. The studio is offering to pay the actors nearly $80,000 an episode starting with the show's third season, which is double, and in some cases quadruple, what they are currently earning. All surviving original cast members have been offered the same deal and are expected to take it.

That sounds fine, but in most of the stories about this report, all of those original survivors were mentioned.... except for Emilie de Ravin, who plays Claire Littleton.

I've got a bad feeling about this. Claire is one of my favorites on the show, a real bright spot among the sturm and drang of the other characters, even though she's had some dark moments herself.

And to tell the truth, I'm frankly quite surprised she's made it this far. But with the psychic warning her against anybody else raising her baby, and now that she's been baptized by Eko so that one day she and her baby Aaron might be reunited in Heaven should anything go wrong, I have this fear that her doom is sealed.....

But like I've often said about this show, I trust the creators of this series and I'm in it for the ride, come what may.



Cleaning out my "to-post" files.....

This story appeared online in various British entertainment news sites just after Christmas. I don't know if there's any truth to the rumour or not. And quite frankly, I never even heard of the woman before....

But apparently, there's a "super"-model by the name of Jordan who wants to play a villain in 'Doctor Who'

And it appears that she doesn't want to stretch too far beyond what she already knows - she wants to play "a killer model who kills people with her [breasts]."

According to the Sun she said: "'Dr Who' would be an ideal starting ground for me, acting-wise. I could be a baddie who doesn't speak but kills with my ample charms."

This might have worked... if the Doctor was played by Benny Hill, but it's a little late for that to happen.....

Still and all, if she's determined to give it a try, I'm more than willing to help her rehearse for such a role.

Smother's little helper, that's me!



Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat, who play cousins George Michael and Maeby on 'Arrested Development', will guest star as 19-year-old college freshmen on 'Veronica Mars'.

The creator of 'Veronica Mars', Rob Thomas, said, "They do not play cousins. It was one of things I said to them. I said, 'Do you mind being in the same episode together?' And they said no, they just didn't want to play those characters."

This is tentatively scheduled to air on March 1st, and the episode title is "The Rapes Of Graff".

Of course, the storyline would have had to change a bit in order for them to play George Michael and Maeby. I don't know what grade they're supposed to be in on the show, but at sixteen years of age, I think they're a little too young to actually be college age on their own show.




'Threshold' was another misstep, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tessler said, adding that CBS is unlikely to air the remaining episodes. "The show never reached its creative potential," she said, adding, "so we just said bye-bye."

Of the three alien invasion series that premiered this fall, I expected 'Threshold' to make it to the seasonal finish line in May.

I thought 'Surface' would prove too confined in its premise - even with the Seven Seas as their playground. And I'm not a fan of Lake Bell. I was glad to see her vacate 'Boston Legal' and had no interest in diving into this latest project with her.

As for 'Invasion', on paper it was the show I was most excited about, even if it's setting would have been more restricted than that in 'Surface'. I'm always willing to give the shows created by Shaun Cassidy a chance, ever since 'American Gothic'; although it hasn't always proven to be worth the time.

As it turned out, I was bored out of my mind with 'Invasion' before fifteen minutes were up, and everything about the show was making my skin crawl with distaste. I tried several times to go back to watching it, but was hit by that same revulsion each time.

I'm told the show has finally found its footing and the story is at last riveting, but it's too late for me. It took far too long to snare its audience. With 'Surface', I hear they also have begun to pick up steam in their plotlines, but I'll trust TV critic David Bianculli on this one - he says it's not worth the bother and that's good enough for me.

But as for 'Threshold'.... I'll admit that it had quickly fallen into a rut; each episode just a variation on the same plot - alien hybrid humans come up with a way to spread the "contagion", and the Threshold team stops it. Nevertheless, it was the dynamic of the cast and their interplay that I enjoyed the most.

For Toobworld purposes, there is a way for me to keep the show alive. It's true that a basic rule of Toobworld is that a series continues its "life" even after it's canceled; we just don't get to watch it unfold. But this time I mean there is a way to continue seeing 'Threshold' in action on the screen.

'The X-Files' is one of the most influential TV series of the last fifteen years - conspiracy theories, alien visitations, genetic mutations, black ops, paranormal activities and good old-fashioned paranoia..... And leading the investigations - a couple of FBI agents.

So many shows have come along since then that were obviously influenced by it - 'Strange World', 'The Burning Zone', 'The Visitor', 'Strange Luck', and 'The X-Files' own spinoff, 'The Lone Gunmen'. And one thing that they had in common - sooner or later, FBI agents got involved.

Whenever the Threshold team arrived on the scene of a possible alien contagion, they didn't want to alarm the general public by stating who they really were. So they had a variety of IDs at the ready for all possible contingencies: health inspectors, Food and Drug Administration, Internal Revenue, ATF agents, DEA agents... and FBI agents.

So that's how I can keep 'Threshold' alive for Toobworld. There will be TV series about aliens among us for the foreseeable future. And there will be FBI agents called in to investigate.

But will they really be FBI agents? Couldn't some of those quietly working in the background really be agents of the Threshold Project?

For all I know, there have been FBI agents called in during several episodes of both 'Invasion' and 'Surface'. And if so, maybe a few of them were actually working for Threshold.

Toobworld - always alive and ever expanding.....


Friday, January 27, 2006


Senator John McCain got a moment in the spotlight recently when he filmed a cameo for '24'. It'll be a real "blink and you miss him" moment - Audrey asks for a file and McCain hands it to her.

Only seconds onscreen, but it has an interesting ramification for Toobworld. It means that in the alternate dimension where '24' takes place (different from Earth Prime-Time because it has had 3 different Presidents in a world where Bush wasn't the Commander-In-Chief), John McCain pursued a different path in Life. Instead of going into politics and becoming the senator from Arizona, McCain entered government service and joined the Counter Terrorism Unit.

It's a small ripple in the pond, but think of how other real life personalities might have had their lives altered in that alternate universe. Anna Nichole Smith might become a nun; Donald Trump could have been a grocery store bagboy; and how about Pauly Shore as a congressional representative from New York?

No wonder '24' is such a thriller. That dimension is a scary place!



I didn't know about this until I read Brent McKee's blog today, and he didn't know until he read Marc Evanier's blog.

No matter, so long as the word goes out.

Yesterday actor Charles Lane celebrated his 101st birthday. If his name doesn't bring about recognition, google his image. It's hard to believe that there was ever a time when he wasn't the wizened, lemon-sucking, miser type of character which he perfected as Homer Bedlow in 'Petticoat Junction' and as a variety of McMann-Tate clients in 'Bewitched'.

Last year, in honor of his 100th birthday, Mr. Lane appeared at the TV Land Awards show. And he let the TV world know that he was still available for work. The title of an 'L.A. Law' episode says it all regarding his spirit: "Leave It To Geezer"!

God bless him and I can only hope it will be still some time before I publish a "Hat's Squad" post in this blog.....




I'm one of those people who give aid and comfort to fanfic writers. I don't write it myself, and don't like most of what I've read of it, but it doesn't give me the agita that seems to plague others. (Especially a certain writer-producer, but he's busy in NYC working on a tele-play, so maybe this will slip his notice....)

My favorite suggestion is to use pictures from old movies to highlight TV fanfic; pictures of those same actors in situations their TV roles might not otherwise find themselves. Even better is when they share the picture with actors from other TV shows, and that way you can cobble together a great crossover story using the picture as inspiration.

My favorite example of this is Ray Collins and William Conrad in "The Racket". Sure, they were playing a corrupt judge and a corrupt cop, but why can't it be said that it was also a picture of them as Lt. Tragg of 'Perry Mason' and Frank 'Cannon', respectively?

So anyway, I got an email this morning from fellow Iddiot Ray Brizzi:

"Hey, I saw another variation on your concept the other day… One of the last scenes in 'Days of Wine and Roses' has Jack Lemmon having the DT’s with Jack Klugman consoling him. The old Felix and the new Oscar in one scene!!!!"

To be more specific, the movie Felix and the TV Oscar (and the first one at that).

There are many different universes based on the creative output of Mankind - based on movies, TV shows, song lyrics, probably even based on greeting card poems and dirty limericks.

L. Sprague DeCamp and Fletcher Pratt wrote about a universe of legends and myth in their "Incompleat Enchanter" stories; Marvin Kaye dealt with Victorian literature in "The Magic Umbrella"; and Craig Stanley Gardner dealt with B-movies in his "Cineverse" novels.

My particular purview is the TV Universe - TV Land, Toobworld, Cathodia. But sometimes there are encroachments into some of those other universes.

But to have the movie version of Felix Unger meeting the televersion of Oscar Madison - that's a seismic mix-up of cosmic proportions.

So that just means it would make for a great sci-fi story!

By "tripping the rift" between their respective universes, characters could end up meeting themselves or characters similar to the ones they knew back in their own worlds. So Jack Klugman's Oscar and Jack Lemmon's Felix, based on that particular frame grab, would have to work together to find their way back to their homeworlds.

It could all be due to a faulty Stargate, and the SG-1 teams from both the movies and the TV series have to team up to get it working properly again. James Caan's Detective Sikes and Eric Pierpoint's George Francisco have to become partners to maintain some semblance of law and order. And everybody eventually ends up in Mel's Diner in Phoenix, where both Mels look exactly the same and the movie Flo looks exactly like the TV Belle.

I'm just sayin' is all. Just tossing the idea out there. Whether anybody wants to run with it, that's up to them.

That's right, fanfic haters. I'm a stinker.



Here's some of the latest loot garnered for the Toobworld Central DVD library:

"The Night Stalker"/"The Night Strangler" - two movies, one disk, the first two appearances by Darrin McGavin as Carl Kolchak. After the bad aftertaste from the new version, I needed to get back to the main reason why Kolchak was one of the great characters of Toobworld.

'Maverick' - three episodes of the classic series with James Garner and Jack Kelly. "Shady Deal At Sunny Acres" is my second favorite episode of the series. "Pappy" is fun, but I never bought Garner playing the role of his Pappy. After seeing Joseph Cotton guest star in an episode of 'The Rockford Files', I would have liked to have seen him take on the role instead. Oh well, nearly fifty years down the line, it's too much a what might have been. But I never understood why "Gun-Shy" was all that popular - it's just a lame spoof of 'Gunsmoke' and really doesn't stand the test of time.

The episode I would have included, my all-time favorite? It's one of Jack Kelly's - "Hadley's Hunters". How could I not love it? It was a crossover dream with appearances by the stars of all the other WB Westerns like Clint Walker, Ty Hardin, John Russell, and Will Hutchins, with a nod to Steve McQueen's CBS Western to boot.

'NewsRadio' - the first and second season. I like to think that someday the network execs at NBC will look back at this show and be sorry for the shoddy way they treated it.

And I got a few boots:

'Thriller' - two episodes of the Boris Karloff series, one of which guest starred Mary Tyler Moore!

"The Questor Tapes" - probably the best non-'Star Trek' project Gene Roddenberry ever did.

"The People" - a TV movie starring Kim Darby and William Shatner that I always wanted to see. And an early piece of work by Francis Ford Coppola.

'Spitting Image' - four episodes of the version of this caustic puppet show which aired on NBC back in the mid-eighties. Pretty watered-down stuff and a bit NBCentric. A little goes a long way......



Thursday, January 26, 2006


Don Stewart was 70 years of age when he died, and is best known for having played Michael Bauer on 'Guiding Light' for 16 years, beginning in 1968.

"The Young and the Restless" (1973) TV Series .... Eric Appleton (1998)
"Santa Barbara" (1984) TV Series .... Lionel Lockridge (1985) (temporary replacement)
"The Guiding Light" (1952) TV Series .... Michael 'Mike' Bauer #6 (1968-1984, 1997)

"War and Remembrance" (1988) (mini) TV Series (as Donald Stewart) .... Halsey's Lieutenant Commander

"Knots Landing" playing "Matt Callaway"
in episode: "The Lady or the Tiger" (episode # 12.10) 6 December 1990
in episode: "Do Not Attempt to Remove" (episode # 12.7) 8 November 1990
"Dragnet 1967" playing "Officer Carl Goldman"
in episode: "The Candy Store Robberies" (episode # 1.8) 9 March 1967
in episode: "The Hammer" (episode # 1.7) 2 March 1967

The Betty Ford Story (1987) (TV) .... Nelson

Prescription: Murder (1968) (TV)

Valley of Mystery (1967) (TV) .... Jim Walker
The Doomsday Flight (1966) (TV) .... Charlie

"JAG" playing "Adm. Danico" in episode: "Mixed Messages" (episode # 7.5) 23 October 2001
"Profiler" playing "Coffin Woodrick" in episode: "Crisis" (episode # 1.17) 22 March 1997
"Two" playing "Suit #3" in episode: "Armies of the Night" (episode # 1.8) 31 October 1996
"The X Files" playing "The Businessman" in episode: "Teliko" (episode # 4.3) 18 October 1996
"Beverly Hills, 90210" playing "Judge Hanlon" in episode: "The Big Hurt" (episode # 6.28) 1 May 1996
"Life Goes On" playing "Dalrymple" in episode: "The Buddy" (episode # 2.11) 9 December 1990
"Hardball" in episode: "A Death in the Family" (episode # 1.13) 11 May 1990
"Highway to Heaven" playing "Peter Bergstrom" in episode: "The Reunion" (episode # 5.5) 2 June 1989
"L.A. Law" playing "Mitchell Nelson" in episode: "The Son Also Rises" (episode # 3.2) 10 November 1988
"Our House" in episode: "See You in Court" (episode # 1.6) 12 October 1986
"Knots Landing" playing "Operative" in episode: "Vulnerable" (episode # 6.29) 16 May 1985
"Remington Steele" playing "Mitchell" in episode: "Steele of Approval" (episode # 3.22) 14 May 1985
"Dragnet 1967" playing "Officer Elinson" in episode: "Narcotics - DR-21" (episode # 3.16) 30 January 1969
"Adam-12" playing "Second Man" in episode: "Log 111: The Boa Constrictor" (episode # 1.11) 7 December 1968
"Dragnet 1967" playing "Ross Landa" in episode: "Training - DR-18" (episode # 3.9) 21 November 1968
"Dragnet 1967" playing "First Patrolman" in episode: "Robbery - DR-15" (episode # 3.7) 7 November 1968
"Adam-12" playing "Officer One" in episode: "Log 1: The Impossible Mission" (episode # 1.1) 21 September 1968
"Dragnet 1967" playing "Harry Lanham" in episode: "The Investigation" (episode # 2.26) 14 March 1968
"The Virginian" playing "Urban Scott" in episode: "The Girl on the Pinto" (episode # 5.27) 29 March 1967
"Dragnet 1967" playing "Officer Art McAndrews" in episode: "The Jade Story" (episode # 1.10) 23 March 1967
"The Virginian" playing "Kip Lathrop" in episode: "Letter of the Law" (episode # 4.14) 22 December 1965
"Laredo" playing "Aaron Jamison" in episode: "Rendezvous at Arillo" (episode # 1.4) 7 October 1965
"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" playing "Gabe Greely" in episode: "Night Fever" (episode # 3.28) 3 May 1965

There should be an interesting theory as to why Sgt. Joe Friday never noticed why so many other police officers looked like Officer Carl Goldman......



I'd say it's a given that unless otherwise indicated within the show, an episode should be current with the date on which it was first broadcast. It doesn't have to be that exact same day, but preferably within the span of that month.

Typical exception would be the 'Law & Order' franchise which time-stamps just about every scene. Or Christmas themed episodes of shows which usually air several weeks in advance.

But one thing that should be considered law when it comes to Toobworld's inner timeline - episodes should follow each other in a linear fashion. That is, last week's episode of 'Crumbs' should be followed by tonight's episode in the timeline. Tonight's episode shouldn't precede last week's, unless it was specified to be a flashback.

But there have been two instances in the last few weeks in which such a circumstance happened.

With one, it happened in connection to a new, (hopefully) continuing series of TV movies. Last year, "Stone Cold" was broadcast, an adaptation of the fourth book in Robert Parker's series about Jesse Stone, the sheriff of Paradise, Massachusetts.

Just two weeks ago, a second movie was aired, "Night Passage". But in this one, Stone moved to Paradise to take up the job as sheriff. (Police chief? Not sure.)

The other example came from a new ABC series which I'm enjoying very much - 'InJustice'. With the first episode, Kyle MacLachlan's character of David Swain was firmly established as being in charge at the National Justice Project. But in the second episode, he was just showing up with the intent of running the organization.

The backstage splainin for this is easy. The network decided to open strong with a more powerful episode to hook the audience, and then burn off the pilot during the second week before too many cases were under Swain's belt.

I don't have the stats to back this up, but I think such a situation has happened before in which the pilot episode isn't aired until later in the first season.

But how to jibe such an occurrence with Toobworld's inner reality? If I remember correctly, there never was any indication that 'InJustice' was dealing with a flashback.

So here goes - "Night Passage" and the pilot episode of 'InJustice' happened at the same time, during a point in Toobworld's history in which there was some kind of massive temporal "burp". It happened for all of the other shows on the air as well, but just by sheer luck, none of them had episodes which were occurring at the exact same point in Time as those two examples.

And who was to blame? More than likely The Doctor, causing some kind of rift as he and Rose returned from the alternate dimension in which Harriet Jones is the Prime Minister of England. (As seen in 'The Christmas Invasion' - there's nothing to say they left the scene of the Sycorax invasion straightaway. They probably stayed around a bit to celebrate the holiday with Rose's Mom and Mickey.)

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Um... unless you can think of something better.....?



The third Television adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Bleak House" has already aired in Great Britain and is now airing in six parts on 'Masterpiece Theatre'.

The first version was broadcast in 1959, and there was another adaptation twenty years ago which starred Diana Rigg as Lady Dedlock. This new version stars Gillian Anderson in that role, with Charles Dance and Denis Lawson playing other major characters.

This new version contains more of the book than any of the previous adaptations. Some Inner Toob readers might remember that such a factor played a big role in my decision that Jeremy Brett's interpretation of Sherlock Holmes should be the official version for the main Toobworld, since almost all of the original stories were adapted rather than coming up with stories that were non-Canon.

But in this case, I think the 1959 version may as well stand as the version that actually takes place in Earth Prime-Time. Despite the lack of real star power in that cast and the absence of the technological achievements possible today, there should be something to be said for being the first to broadcast a particular story. And at least it was dealing with the established plot, unlike say, the 'Sherlock Holmes' series starring Ronald Howard and H. Marion Crawford.

(There was a temptation to choose the middle version of "Bleak House", but that was primarily out of my long-standing... admiration for Diana Rigg.)

Since the evil mirror universe is the most popular of all the alternate dimensions for Toobworld, I think the 1985 adaptation should be placed there. And as for this latest version? I suppose it's up for grabs, and arguments could be made to place it in any number of them.

However, because it was able to tell as much of Dickens' full, complicated story with its large roster of characters as possible, I feel comfortable in the idea that this version of "Bleak House" took place in the same dimension where 'The West Wing' resides. Like 'Bleak House', 'The West Wing' is also a complex, richly detailed look at the state of society for its times. And there's nothing about 'Bleak House' and its place in history that would contradict anything that might have been seen on 'The West Wing'.

There's another Toobworld aspect that should be addressed. Most TV shows, movies, and specials are created in their own vacuum, without regard for anything else that might be on the air. And yet Toobworld celebrates the concept that all of these shows exist within the same universe.

So it can be a bit of a problem when the works of an author get adapted for Television, and that author's life ends up depicted as well.

Charles Dickens has been seen as a TV character many times, most recently in the 'Doctor Who' episode "The Unquiet Dead". And his works have been adapted for broadcast quite often, most especially "The Christmas Carol". As such, Dickens joins the ranks of such other writers as Shakespeare, Twain, Verne, and Conan Doyle, who exist in the same world as the works they wrote.

The position I came up with is that these writers were basically historians and reporters, and that their novels were factual accounts of events that actually happened and people who really existed.

So if there was any possible Zonk! in the idea of mixing the authors into the same world occupied by their works, hopefully this serves as the splainin.

Although I doubt it will stand as being a far, far better thing than I have ever done before........


Wednesday, January 25, 2006


And that's not Pope Leo II either......

In a recent interview about the final episodes of 'The West Wing', it sounds as if the producers of the show have come up with the best possible solution to the question re: Leo McGarry, now that John Spencer has died. It's one that will not only serve the purpose of the series' storyline, but also honor the memory of the man as actor and character.

In the series, McGarry is the former chief of staff in the Bartlet administration who became the vice president running mate of Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits). [Executive Producer John] Wells said the episodes filmed before Spencer's death took the show within five days of the election between Santos and Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda).

Research determined that a death of a vice presidential candidate so close to an election would make it too late for the presidential candidate to get a replacement on the ballot.

"In the case where it's right up against the election, all of the people that we talked to said the wisest thing for a candidate to do would probably be to either indicate who they want to replace them or to just go silent on the issue," said Wells. "If they lose, it's not an issue. If they're elected, it makes the most sense to wait until the inaugural and then try to get a candidate nominated and then through Congress under the 25th Amendment."
- Alan Pergament, Buffalo News

I still think I put up a good argument for getting former Governor Jack Buckland on the ballot as Leo's replacement, but in the end, the simple solution is always the best.

It's a lesson I'll never learn here at Toobworld Central. After all, where's the sport in that?

It's also quite clever that the answer doesn't give anything away as to who will be the ultimate winner of the election.....



Tele-Cognizance is an affliction that causes a TV character to realize that they are living inside a TV show. Don't think it sounds so bad? Imagine how you would feel if you knew the Whole Truthiness of the world you live in.

You'd go mad before the day was out.

Serlinguists, those characters who can step outside their surroundings to address the audience viewing at home, would also be tele-cognizant, but not all tele-cognizants would be serlinguists.

Several characters of 'Moonlighting' were tele-cognizant, which they probably contracted from David Addison who suffered from it the most.

Lt. Columbo demonstrated that he was at least momentarily tele-cognizant in the episode "Last Salute To The Commodore". And many of the characters in 'It's Garry Shandling's Show' were obviously aware of their television surroundings.

I bring this up because it looks like another TV character has fallen under its influence - Alan Shore of 'Boston Legal'.

It's not uncommon at the end of a business day at Crane, Poole & Schmidt for Alan to join his mentor Denny Crane out on his patio for cigars and booze. This past week, he arrived and said, "There you are! I haven't seen much of you this episode."

"It saddens me," Denny agreed.

So apparently Alan knows he was inside a TV show episode, because anybody else would have said that they hadn't seen the other person all day.

And as for Denny seeming to agree, I wouldn't read too much into that. He probably didn't have a clue as to what Alan said since the words "Denny Crane" were nowhere to be heard in the greeting.

And besides, I think he's had a few TMIs and probably wouldn't know what the hell Alan was referring to even if he had been listening.

Hrmm.... by coincidence, the name of the episode was "Too Much Information".




I wasn't going to chime in on this big news story about the loss of The WB and UPN and The CW rising from their ashes because it was a Real World business story that really wasn't going to affect the status of the TV Universe itself.

TV shows are cancelled all the time, and it's more than likely that there are a few shows on both networks that won't survive the squeeze after the merger. But even so, just because we can't see the characters anymore, that doesn't mean they stop existing in Toobworld.

But there were a few ancillary stories connected to the merger that I wanted to address.

First off, Herbie J. Pilato over in Media Village (link to the left) announced before the merger news that UPN was considering a spin-off from 'Girlfriends'. Afterwards, he mentioned it again, but this time threw in the word "allegedly".

Brent McKee (You'll find his link to the left also.) figures that the following shows are probably safe in the shake-up: 'Veronica Mars', 'America's Next Top Model' and 'Everybody Hates Chris' from UPN, and 'Smallville', 'The Gilmore Girls' and 'Supernatural' from The WB.'

But no mention of 'Girlfriends', yet I think it may have a chance to survive the merger. Personally, I don't watch it, but I know it's been a steady performer for many years, and I would think the new network would like to keep a healthy relationship with its producer, Kelsey Grammer, in hopes of snaring him for future projects.

Whether the other shows in UPN's "black block", such as 'One On One', 'Eve', and 'Cuts' among others, will survive.... That's a different story.

Okay, the other thing is the idea of crossovers between the shows from the two networks now being possible since they'll all be on The CW.

The only thing that I DON'T want would be a show crossing over with 'Smallville'. Because Toobworld already had its Superman back in the 1950s, Tom Welling's Clark Kent has to be shuttled off to an alternate dimension. And I don't want to lose too many series to that same world as it is.

Crossing over with 'Everybody Hates Chris' would be difficult as that sitcom look at Chris Rock's early life is set in the early 1980s. Perhaps they could have a character from a current show appear in Chris's life... but as a child.

Instead, there's one crossover I would like to see, and it's one I think they should do as a big, splashy introduction to this new world of The CW.

'The Gilmore Girls' & 'Veronica Mars'

So what if the continent divides them on a regular basis? Earlier this season, Keith Mars took a trip to Chicago on business; it's entirely possible that he might have to go to Stars Hollow, Connecticut, and stay at the Dragonfly Inn. (Or is it the Firefly? I can never remember.)

And if 'Crossing Jordan' can leave Boston to visit 'Las Vegas', not once but twice to work with the exact same characters, why couldn't the Gilmores work with the Mars family?

Keith Mars could take his daughter along, with the trip sponsored by Richard Gilmore who is his client. (He'd be the one to make the trip out to Neptune, California, to enlist Keith's services.) And while there, Veronica could help Rory solve some little mystery of her own.

I think that idea would work a lot better than having Veronica team up with Sam and Dean of 'Supernatural'.

Anyway, the only other thing is - the name of the network? The CW? Feh, it doesn't bother me, really. Makes me think of CW Moss from 'Bonnie & Clyde', is all......



Even though it usually repeats on the weekend, I don't make a habit of taping 'Supernatural'. But I do follow the upcoming episode descriptions in hopes that there will be one worth my notice.

Such an episode aired two weeks ago; one that brough back memories of 'The Lottery', "Harvest Home", "Dark Night Of The Scarecrow" and even 'Cheers'!

The sibling heroes of 'Supernatural', Sam and Dean, investigated a yearly sacrifice ritual of a couple in Burketsville, Indiana, meant to insure a bountiful harvest of the town's apple crop. The brothers traced the ritual to the appeasement of a Norse god of fertility, one of the wild nature spirits known as the Vanir (pronounced "Bonner" according to the show). Eventually they tracked down the specific tree with which the spirit was bonded.

It's always been my contention that the TV Universe has its own mythology, established in the crossovers and the ritualized cliches and the TV interpretation of established creatures of Faerie and the supernatural. Getting to mix in the established mythos of the classics is just icing on the cake.

The Norse gods of the Elder Eddas are best represented in Toobworld by several episodes of 'Hercules: The Legendary Journeys' (and Thor encountered 'The Incredible Hulk'). 'Stargate SG-1' takes place in an alternate dimension, (Sorry, but they have a different President.), so this influence for such myths in their dimension have no bearing on the truthiness of the mythos in Earth Prime-Time.

The Vanir was appeased by the people of Burketsville, Indiana, and it probably was one of the lesser demi-gods among the Vanir; certainly not Njord or Freyr. Any nature spirit of greater power would never have allowed Sam and Dean to set fire to the host-tree.

One of the Vanir was named Mimir, but as he was beheaded during the Age of Legends, it's doubtful that he would be the same Mimir who served as one of Santa's elves as seen in "Mr. St. Nick". However, the Vanir are often confused with the elves (the Alfir) in accounts of their legends.

Finally, I think there must be someone out there wondering about that reference to 'Cheers'....

I'm thinking Burketsville can't be too far from Hanover, Indiana, on the Toobworld map; this is the hometown of Woodrow Tiberius Boyd. And maybe Hanover was under the influence of the Vanir as well.....

After hearing yet another of Woody's strange tales about his hometown, Dr. Frasier Crane was asked if he would ever consider visiting Hanover himself.

Frasier was aghast. "What? And get sacrificed to the Corn God?"


"I'm not saying there is a 'supernatural',
But things have happened
That cannot be explained."
Deputy Barney Fife
'The Andy Griffith Show'


Actor Chris Penn, the beefy younger brother of Sean Penn who became known in his own right for films such as "Reservoir Dogs," "Mulholland Falls" and "Footloose," was found dead yesterday in his home in Santa Monica, police said.

Cops responding to a call from someone in Penn's building found the actor dead in his condo. There were no obvious signs of foul play, but an autopsy would be conducted to determine the cause of death, police said.

"The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire" (2003) TV Series .... Waylon Shaw
"AFP: American Fighter Pilot" (2002) TV Series (voice) .... Narrator

"Dead Man's Walk" (1996) (mini) TV Series .... Charles Goodnight

North Beach and Rawhide (1985) (TV) .... Dan Donnelly

"Entourage" playing "Himself" in episode: "An Offer Refused" (episode # 2.4) 26 June 2005
"Everwood" playing "Bill Hammond" in episode: "Fate Accomplis" (episode # 3.17) 18 April 2005
"The Contender" playing "Himself" (uncredited) in episode: "Opportunity" (episode # 1.8) 10 April 2005
"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" playing "Tommy Onerato" in episode: "Death Roe" (episode # 4.15) 13 March 2005
"Will & Grace" playing "Rudy" in episode: "Fanilow" (episode # 6.10) 11 December 2003
"CSI: Miami" playing "Pete Wilton" in episode: "Grave Young Men" (episode # 1.20) 14 April 2003
"Chicago Hope" playing "Kevin Fitzpatrick" in episode: "Life Support" (episode # 1.14) 13 February 1995
"Seinfeld" playing "Stage Hand" in episode: "The Pilot" (episode # 4.23) 20 May 1993
"The Young Riders" playing "Brad" in episode: "Matched Pair" (episode # 1.20) 8 March 1990
"Faerie Tale Theatre" playing "Will Tussenbrook" (as Christopher Penn) in episode: "Rip Van Winkle" (episode # 6.1) 23 March 1987
"Magnum, P.I." playing "Wounded Soldier in Vietnam" (as Christopher Penn) in episode: "Heal Thyself" (episode # 3.11) 16 December 1982



Proof that sooner or later, everything becomes part of Toobworld.....

Two years ago, one of my younger cousins told me such a bizarre joke during Thanksgiving dinner that I nearly snobbled my wine out my nose, I was laughing so hard. I think it just struck me at the right time to get me turning beet-red from the non-stop laughing.

And now, two years later, it's a part of Toobworld.

"Two muffins are in the toaster oven and one of the muffins says, 'Boy, it's hot in here!', and the other muffin says, 'Holy crap! A talking muffin!'."
- Jake
'Two And A Half Men'

I think Jake would agree with me - ya hadda be there.......


Tuesday, January 24, 2006


"Queer Eye For The Straight Guy" plays the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game tonight. Tonight at 10 pm on Bravo, Bacon shows up to help the Fab 5 steer his brother and bandmate Michael through a makeover so that he'll make the right impression at a benefit concert which is being put together by their sister, Hilda.

Kevin Bacon portrayed himself in an episode of 'Mad About You' which also dealt with the Kevin Bacon game as well as on (ugh) 'Will & Grace', while the Fab 5 showed up in an episode of 'Good Morning, Miami'.

I'm sure the appearance by the Bacon Brothers will go far to bring publicity to their sister's cause, but I won't be watching unless it repeats later on Bravo. That's because I've booked my 10 pm taping sked to capture my friend Shirley Jordan on 'Boston Legal'.

Sorry, boys.



The blog "So Quoted" has a great idea for how 'Will & Grace' should end which is very Toobworldian:

So long as it just ends, I'll be happy. Hopefully in such a way as to prevent the possibility of a reunion show.



Now that NBC has made it official, that 'The West Wing' will end in May, it's time to go into "last cookie mode"; it's time to savor and enjoy the last ten or so episodes while they're fresh.

And they couldn't have picked a better episode than "Duck and Cover" to kick off this new awareness of how good this show had been. Everything about the episode harkened back to the glory days of the show - the pacing, the crisp dialogue, main characters with foibles and failings. What I liked best about the direction was the cuts back and forth between the three main arenas of attention - the White House, the Santos camp, and Vinick's team.

Why did it take so long to get JK Simmons on board in a guest spot on this show? I always thought he had the right look for the back room politics world of 'The West Wing'. And while this was not a flashy, pivotal role, it still provided a good showcase for him.

(Other actors I always wanted to see on 'The West Wing' include Enrico Colantoni and John Slattery. And I hope Lord John Marbury, as played by Roger Rees, shows up one last time before the curtain rings down.)

It's been a long time it seems since we last saw the weight of the job press so heavily on Bartlet's shoulders. I couldn't have been the only one who could feel the pain he felt as he sent those nuclear engineers knowingly to "almost certain death".

I wonder if the production team on this episode knew that "CalVista" is also the name of an adult entertainment company here in the Real World.

Um... I googled it. That's how I knew!

Maybe I'm dense; maybe I just read more into it than was intended, but did the Santos choice of "Blonde On Blonde" as favorite Dylan album cause a bit of a stir in the audience for more than the fact that his wife s a blonde? Could it be that his Rock The Vote audience interpreted the choice to mean that Helen Santos was a "real blonde", as in a Marta Covarrubias/"Yellow Cave" kind of inference?

Works for me!

When they filmed the scene to splain Leo's absence during the crisis, it was nothing more than a few throwaway lines. Now, with the death of John Spencer, it had decidedly creepy overtones.

But if anybody's absence needed splainin, where was Patricia Richardson as Vinick's campaign manager? Having Bruno Giannelli there as the campaign strategist was great, especially since he was so well attuned to the way Josh Lyman thinks. But I think Stephen Root's chief speechwriter character was out of his depth when it came to shaping strategy for Vinick during the first hours of the crisis.

And when it comes down to the M.I.A., where in the hell is Charlie Young? He's been made CJ's assistant; these last two episodes would have been perfect opportunities to bring him back.

Maybe Bartlet was being patronizing when he told CJ that she was too young to have seen the 1951 short film "Duck And Cover". It's true that if she is the same age as the actress portraying her, then CJ was born nine years after the film was first shown. But she certainly should have known of it from its inclusion in "Atomic Cafe" and other retrospectives of 1950s atomic paranoia nostalgia.

Then again, she should have understood a reference from an earlier episode about the ramifications of the last sitting President to be seen in a wheelchair, so maybe CJ is just dumber than a bag of hammers on certain topics.

I believe that unless otherwise specified (Kristen Bell as 'Veronica Mars' for example), the character is the same age as the actor playing the role. So Jed Bartlet would have been eleven when "Duck And Cover" was first shown.

This nuclear disaster in California is supposed to doom Vinick's campaign, but this is one moderate Democrat who would still like to see him win. Since this is the Last Hurrah for the show, there should be a clean sweep. Give 'The West Wing' a memorable send-off on a par with my personal highwater mark for final episodes, 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'.

Choosing the Santos-McGarry ticket is just going to fade in memory as a continuation of the status quo and the same old same old.



When I was out in California back in November to visit my friend and twin of my soul, Shirley Jordan, and her family, Shirley was missing most of those first two days because she was filming an episode of 'Boston Legal'.

That episode, "Too Much Information", airs tonight. Shirley will have her moment in the spotlight as she plays a jury foreperson, and it puts her (and of course the show) into the running for next Monday's edition of "The Crossover Of The Week". As to why, well... whether it gets the nod or not, I'll save that splainin for next week.

Like I said, Shirley is the twin of my soul. Anybody tuning in to see her in order to get an idea of what I actually look like will be sorely disappointed. But as you get the chance to see her, that should be rewarding enough!

If you want to see me, catch the hockey movie "The Deadliest Season" next time it plays on the Toob.......



Monday, January 23, 2006


Identical twins separated in infancy and raised apart from each other happens quite often in Toobworld, and that's in established plot lines. (Off the top of my head, I can think of one specific case covered in two episodes of 'The X-Files'. And then there's always two movie versions of 'The Parent Trap'.)

So of course, I've embraced the concept to splain away certain characters who look exactly alike (because in the Real World, they were played by the same actor).

Until proven otherwise in the next few weeks as 'The Book Of Daniel' runs its course, it will be my contention that the young computer genius known only as "Yoda" is the twin brother of Wilson from an episode of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'. Wilson was the young boy whom Larry David met in the hospital and who blackmailed Larry into making it possible for him to finally see a pair of boobs. (I'm not sure if "Wilson" was his real name, or if he took his name from a movie character as well - as in Wilson of "Castaway".)

In the Real World you hear about the similarities between twins who were raised apart, and this would be the same situation in Toobworld. "Yoda" also had a fixation on girls' breasts and wanted to see Grace Webster's heavenly body in exchange for his computer tech expertise.

And if that theory should fall through (Let's say, the parents of "Yoda" claim he was an only child), then the two boys could always be identical cousins.

I think we've seen that happen before in TV Land......



Unlike other blogs and websites that explore TV crossovers, I consider connections with news programs, game shows, and infotainment series to be valid contenders... but usually only if a fictional series is included in the equation. We also accept appearances by people who are appearing as themselves as to be legitimate crossover characters, since they are appearing as fictional versions of themselves.

And so it goes for the Crossover Of The Week, in which we get a combo of both categories......


'ET' correspondent Mark Steines was covering a fashion show in Manhattan for 'ET' when a model collapsed and died during the runway program. He was able to file a report at the scene before the cops were able to seal off the area for their investigation.

Although we couldn't see or hear her, Steines was talking to Mary Hart back in the studio.

In the quarter of a century since it went on the air, 'ET' has had a history of becoming part of the shows which they cover. The most famous example (to my mind) would be that of 'Seinfeld'. Similar to a case in real life, Kramer developed an inner ear imbalance whenever he heard Mary Hart's voice on TV.

Here are a few of the other TV shows that have "crossed over" with 'Entertainment Tonight' via appearances by its reporters and anchors:

Mary Hart
"All of Us" playing "Herself" in episode: "Sail On" (episode # 2.21) 10 May 2005
"Still Standing" playing "Mary" in episode: "Still Auctioning" (episode # 3.5) 18 October 2004
"Frasier" playing "Herself" in episode: "The First Temptation of Daphne" (episode # 9.3) 2 October 2001
"JAG" playing "Herself" in episode: "JAG TV" (episode # 6.5) 31 October 2000
"Cosby" playing "Herself" in episode: "Superstar" (episode # 4.7) 17 November 1999
"Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" playing "Herself" in episode: "And the Sabrina Goes to..." (episode # 3.8) 13 November 1998
"Coach" playing "Herself"
in episode: "Coach - The One-Hour Special: Part 2" (episode # 6.27) 24 May 1994
in episode: "Coach - The One-Hour Special: Part 1" (episode # 6.26) 24 May 1994
"The Famous Teddy Z" playing "Herself" in episode: "Bobby the Chimp" (episode # 1.3) 2 October 1989
"Moonlighting" playing "Herself" in episode: "Moonlighting (Pilot)" (episode # 1.1) 3 March 1985

John Tesh
"Bob Patterson" playing "Himself"
in episode: "Honest Bob" (episode # 1.2) 9 October 2001
in episode: "Pilot" (episode # 1.1) 25 September 2001
"The Naked Truth" playing "Himself" in episode: "We Almost Had Paris" (episode # 3.6) 10 November 1997
"The Weird Al Show" playing "Himself" in episode: "Promises Promises" (episode # 1.2) 20 August 1997
"Ellen" playing "Himself" (uncredited) in episode: "Give Me Equity or Give Me Death" (episode # 4.1) 18 September 1996
"The Jackie Thomas Show" playing "Himself" (uncredited) in episode: "The Player" (episode # 1.11) 9 February 1993
"Murphy Brown" playing "Himself" in episode: "Goin' to the Chapel: Part 2" (episode # 2.27) 21 May 1990

Pat O'Brien
"The Bernie Mac Show" playing "Himself" in episode: "Keep It on the Short Grass" (episode # 2.1) 18 September 2002
"Arli$$" playing "Himself"
in episode: "Hard Choices" (episode # 6.10) 12 August 2001
in episode: "The Sum of the Parts" (episode # 5.7) 23 July 2000
"Everybody Loves Raymond" playing "Himself" in episode: "Working Late Again" (episode # 2.7) 3 November 1997
"Picket Fences" playing "Himself" in episode: "Winner Takes All" (episode # 4.19) 5 June 1996
"In the House" playing "Interviewer" in episode: "Come Back, Kid" (episode # 2.12) 8 January 1996
"The Larry Sanders Show" playing "Himself" in episode: "Eight" (episode # 4.16) 15 November 1995
"Murphy Brown" playing "Himself" in episode: "I Want My MTV-Jay" (episode # 7.16) 23 January 1995

Bob Goen
"I'm with Her" playing "Himself"
in episode: "The Peck-Peck" (episode # 1.18) 16 March 2004
in episode: "The Last Action Queero" (episode # 1.7) 11 November 2003
in episode: "Pilot" (episode # 1.1) 23 September 2003
"Robbery Homicide Division" playing "Host" in episode: "In/Famous" (episode # 1.6) 1 November 2002
"Cosby" playing "Himself" in episode: "Superstar" (episode # 4.7) 17 November 1999
"Chicago Hope" playing "Himself" in episode: "The Other Cheek" (episode # 5.8) 18 November 1998
"The Nanny" playing "Himself" in episode: "Once a Secretary, Always a Secretary" (episode # 6.3) 14 October 1998
"Style and Substance" playing "Himself" in episode: "Do Not Go Squealing Into That Good Night" (episode # 1.13)
"Veronica's Closet" playing "Himself" in episode: "Veronica's Husband Won't Leave" (episode # 1.3) 9 October 1997
"L.A. Law" playing "Himself" in episode: "Vowel Play" (episode # 5.6) 29 November 1990
"Freddy's Nightmares" playing "Reporter" (as Robert Goen) in episode: "No More Mr. Nice Guy" (episode # 1.1) 9 October 1988

Leeza Gibbons
"Just Shoot Me!" playing "Herself" in episode: "The Boys in the Band" (episode # 6.22) 2 May 2002
"Six Feet Under" playing "Herself" in episode: "Someone Else's Eyes" (episode # 2.9) 28 April 2002
"The Geena Davis Show" playing "Herself" in episode: "Motherly Advice" (episode # 1.5) 14 November 2000
"Home Improvement" playing "Herself" in episode: "Home Alone" (episode # 8.14) 19 January 1999
"Veronica's Closet" playing "Herself" in episode: "Veronica's Husband Won't Leave" (episode # 1.3) 9 October 1997
"Something So Right" playing "Herself" in episode: "Something About Leeza" (episode # 1.17) 25 February 1997
"Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" playing "Herself" in episode: "Lord of the Flys" (episode # 4.1) 22 September 1996
[That was an alternate dimension televersion of Leeza.]
"Murphy Brown" playing "Herself" in episode: "If You're Going to Talk the Talk" (episode # 8.13) 15 January 1996
"Cybill" playing "Herself" in episode: "Cybill's Fifteen Minutes" (episode # 2.5) 15 October 1995
"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" playing "Herself" in episode: "Reality Bites" (episode # 5.3) 26 September 1994
"The Jackie Thomas Show" playing "Herself" (uncredited) in episode: "The Player" (episode # 1.11) 9 February 1993
"Murphy Brown" playing "Herself" in episode: "Goin' to the Chapel: Part 2" (episode # 2.27) 21 May 1990

Best of all, Rob Weller made an appearance on one of the most important hubs in the TV Universe, through which more than 120 shows are connected alone:
Rob Weller
"St. Elsewhere" playing "Himself" in episode: "Getting Ahead" (episode # 5.15) 28 January 1987

And finally, there is the reporter responsible for this week's major Crossover:
Mark Steines
"The Practice" playing "Reporter" in episode: "The Verdict" (episode # 6.22) 19 May 2002
"Dave's World" playing "Himself" in episode: "Playdate with a Playmate" (episode # 4.13) 10 January 1997

Some of the featured reporters above have also made their presence felt in the animated TV Universe known as the Tooniverse:

John Tesh
"Pinky and the Brain" playing "Himself" (voice) in episode: "A Pinky and the Brain Halloween" (episode # 3.18) 19 October 1997
Pat O'Brien
"Robot Chicken" playing "Himself" (voice)
in episode: "Atta Toy" (episode # 1.13) 22 May 2005
in episode: "Badunkadunk" (episode # 1.10) 24 April 2005
"God, the Devil and Bob" playing "Himself" (voice) in episode: "Bob's Father" (episode # 1.11) 2000
"The Simpsons" playing "Himself" (voice) in episode: "Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder" (episode # 11.6) 14 November 1999 Bob Goen
"Space Ghost Coast to Coast" playing "Himself" in episode: "Suckup" (episode # 4.19) 21 November 1997
Leeza Gibbons
"The Simpsons" playing "Herself" (voice) in episode: "Lisa the Tree Hugger" (episode # 12.4) 19 November 2000
"Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man" playing "Herself" in episode: "My Feral Lady" (episode # 4.20) 21 June 1997

I didn't even bother to include these people's appearances on sketch comedy/variety shows like 'In Living Color', 'Dolly', or 'Tracey Takes On....', and I excluded their appearances in other factual infotainment shows, including those that they hosted. Nor did I include appearances on self-help talk shows where they go to make amends. (You know who you are, Cuz!)

So many of the shows listed above go on to connect to other shows themselves, and 'CSI: NY' itself is a spin-off from a spin-off, connecting to the original 'CSI' as well as to 'CSI: Miami'.

Is it any wonder then that this crossover should garner the accolade of Crossover Of The Week?


Sunday, January 22, 2006


In the first four hours for the new season of '24', various L.A. TV reporters got to portray themselves in that alternate dimension.

John Beard is the anchor for KTTV Fox11 10 O'Clock News in Los Angeles.

Elizabeth Espinosa was seen as a field reporter. She's a reporter and weekend co-anchor for 'Good Day L.A.', which also airs on FOX.

Steve Edwards has hosted 'Good Day Live', 'Good Day L.A.', 'AM Los Angeles', and 'Get Rich Quick'. He also appeared on 'Entertainment Tonight' and 'Hollywood Squares' as well as in the action drama 'Street Hawk'.

Here's writer/producer Ken Levine's take on their appearances:

What a break for the Channel 11 newscasters. John Beard, Steve Edwards, the weather guy – they all got to play parts. I was expecting Dorothy Lucey to report on the “lighter side of terrorism”.

You'll find the link to his blog over to the left.



At a time when he's still hospitalized with pneumonia, the League of Themselves got a nice little bump in the standings for former President Gerald Ford.

President Ford once visited the law firm of Crane, Poole, and Schmidt, according to Senior Partner Paul Lewiston. Unfortunately, that happened at the same time when Denny Crane's fifth wife, Clovis, showed up drunk in the offices.

President Ford appeared as himself in an episode of 'Dynasty' with his wife Bette (who also appeared in an episode of 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' in which she executed a perfect telephone reaction cliche). He also appeared in archival footage in a disco-themed episode of 'Quantum Leap'.

But he was also portrayed by actor Josef Sommer in a TV movie from 1987, 'The Bette Ford Story'.

In the Tooniverse, President Ford is a member of the super-hero team known as "The Ex-Presidents", as seen on 'Saturday Night Live'. And he also appeared as himself in a sketch on that long-running variety show when Ron Nessen hosted the show.

As for his portrayal by Chevy Chase in the first year of 'SNL', we should just enjoy those sketches for the pratfalls and leave it at that.



I just heard this on 1010 WINS radio - NBC has cancelled 'The West Wing' after seven years on the air. They cite the declining ratings since the show moved from its long-time berth on Wednesday nights to Sunday nights this season, which of course THE NETWORK WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR!

Always remember the mantra: Network suits should be nibbled to death by ducks.

The finale will air on Sunday, May 14th, preceded by an hour-long retrospective (clip-fest!).



Well, they're riches to me, anyway.....

Usually I might find it surprising that I had so many options for the Crossover Of The Week so soon before the February Sweeps kick in. In most years, the networks would have been stingy with the good stuff and held onto it until it could make them some bucks during the ad revenue adjustments.

But as Brent pointed out in his blog, (link to the left), this isn't most years. This year NBC will be trotting out the Olympics during February, so the other nets are trying to lure in the viewers and keep them before the onslaught of the "Torino" Juggernaut. (Hello! It's Turin!)

So I'm going to take advantage of that and share the goodies from this past week. And in keeping with the fact that the Miss America Pageant was held this weekend in its new home, Las Vegas, I'll start with the runners-up....