Saturday, January 21, 2006


In my early teens, Friday night was an elusive opportunity for TV viewing, as I was in Boy Scouts and we held our weekly meetings on that night. For a tele-enthusiast like myself, it was torture knowing that I was missing out on shows like 'The Odd Couple', 'The Wild, Wild West', and 'The Name Of The Game'.

'The Name Of The Game' was an intriguing novelty to me - a 90 minute show (We never watched 'The Virginian' in my family.) with the stars rotating as the lead character each week: Gene Barry as Publisher Glenn Howard, Robert Stack as senior editor Dan Farrell (a former FBI man), and lead investigative reporter Jeff Dillon was played by Tony Franciosa. (The one constant was Susan St. James as Gal Friday Peggy Maxwell.)

I initiallly wanted to watch 'The Name Of The Game' for Gene Barry, because I was such a big fan of 'Burke's Law'. But after awhile it was for the more action-packed episodes with Franciosa that I'd be checking the TV Guide.

And when he showed up in 'Search', a spy show with a similar format, (This time the rotation was Hugh O'Brian, Doug McClure, and Franciosa.), I followed along.

It's a shame that TV Land can't tear itself away from its endless block of 'Bonanza' and 'Gunsmoke' episodes on the weekends to give us a showcase for 'The Name Of The Game' (and for the old ABC movies of the week while they're at it). It would give the younger generation a chance to see Franciosa's urban cool for themselves.

Tony Franciosa passed away the other day at the age of 77, just days after the death of his ex-wife Shelley Winters.

So this tip o' the Toob topper is for him, Jeff Dillon, Nick Bianco, Valentine Farrow, Cary Maxwell, and all the other TV characters he gave us over the years.......

"Finder of Lost Loves" (1984) TV Series (as Tony Franciosa) .... Cary Maxwell
"Matt Helm" (1975) TV Series .... Matt Helm (1975-76)
"Search" (1972) TV Series (as Tony Franciosa) .... Nick Bianco (1972-1973)
"The Name of the Game" (1968) TV Series .... Jeff Dillon
"Valentine's Day" (1964) TV Series (as Tony Franciosa) .... Valentine Farrow

"Wheels" (1978) (mini) TV Series .... Smokey Stevenson
"Aspen" (1977) (mini) TV Series .... Alex Budde

Finder of Lost Loves (1984) (TV) .... Cary Maxwell
Matt Helm (1975) (TV) .... Matt Helm
Earth II (1971) (TV) .... Frank Karger
Fame Is the Name of the Game (1966) (TV) .... Jeff Dillon

Ghost Writer (1989) (TV) .... Vincent Carbone
Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife (1987) (TV) .... Lou Di Luca
Stagecoach (1986) (TV) (as Tony Franciosa) .... Henry Gatewood (Tonto Banker)
Side Show (1981) (TV) .... Zaranov
Curse of the Black Widow (1977) (TV) .... Mark Higbie
This Is the West That Was (1974) (TV) .... J.W. McCanles
The Catcher (1972) (TV) .... Joe Cade
The Deadly Hunt (1971) (TV) .... Ryab

"The Twilight Zone" playing "Nino Lancaster" in episode: "Crazy as a Soup Sandwich" (episode # 3.29) 1 April 1989
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" playing "Morris Conrad" in episode: "The 13th Floor" (episode # 3.19) 16 July 1988
"Jake and the Fatman" in episode: "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plans" (episode # 1.22) 30 March 1988
"Hotel" playing "Drew Fletcher" (as Tony Franciosa) in episode: "Pressure Points" (episode # 4.8) 3 December 1986
"Masquerade" in episode: "The French Connection" (episode # 1.8) 30 March 1984
"Tales of the Unexpected" in episode: "A Woman's Help" (episode # 4.5) 3 May 1981
"The Virginian" playing "Ritter" in episode: "Follow the Leader" (episode # 9.11) 2 December 1970
"The Virginian" playing "Kordick" in episode: "The Shiloh Years" (episode # 8.17) 28 January 1970
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" playing "Jack Montrose" in episode: "A Case of Armed Robbery" (episode # 1.23) 3 April 1964
"The Greatest Show on Earth" playing "Warren Duval" in episode: "An Echo of Faded Velvet" (episode # 1.9) 12 November 1963
"Breaking Point" in episode: "Last Summer We Didn't Go Away" (episode # 1.2) 23 September 1963
"Arrest and Trial" playing "Steve Jared" (as Tony Franciosa) in episode: "Call It a Lifetime" (episode # 1.1) 15 September 1963
"Naked City" playing "Gorilla" in episode: "One, Two, Three, Rita Rakahowski" (episode # 4.32) 15 May 1963
"The DuPont Show of the Week" playing "Fred Russo" in episode: "The Shark" (episode # 2.14) 7 April 1963
"The Dick Powell Show" playing "Charlie Harris" in episode: "Charlie's Duet" (episode # 2.25) 19 March 1963
"The DuPont Show of the Month" in episode: "Heaven Can Wait" (episode # 4.3) 16 November 1960
"Goodyear Television Playhouse" in episode: "Country Fair Time" (episode # 5.15) 15 July 1956
"Hallmark Hall of Fame" playing "Antonio" in episode: "Cradle Song" 6 May 1956
"Ford Star Jubilee" in episode: "This Happy Breed" (episode # 1.9) 5 May 1956
"Kraft Television Theatre" in episode: "Whim of Iron" (episode # 8.28) 6 April 1955
"Studio One" playing "Charles Egan" in episode: "It Might Happen Tomorrow" (episode # 7.19) 24 January 1955
"Goodyear Television Playhouse" in episode: "The Arena" (episode # 3.22) 1 August 1954



Every so often I showcase a post by friends who have a certain Toobworldian take on various TV shows. And fellow Iddiot Tim Hibbs focused on the cliches that keep the TV Universe apart from the Trueniverse.

Here's what he had to say....

I watched the debut of “Love Monkey” on CBS last night and, as expected, its depiction of the music industry was distorted and simplistic, to say the least. My morbid curiosity will keep me watching, if only to fact-check, but I doubt it will last much longer than one season. However, I was amused to see that the show perpetuates the key television stereotypes of life in New York:

*All you need to do to hail a cab is hold your hand up and one will instantly appear.

*You always travel by cab- no need to take the subway ever.

*Traveling from one part of town to another only takes about two minutes (in your lightning fast cab!).

*All bars are well-lit and contain tons of friendly, attractive people that are totally approachable. Said bars always have a key table or counter space available for you to walk in and take over, no reservations required.

*No matter how small your income, you are able to afford a very large apartment in Manhattan.

*No matter how small your income, you can still afford a wardrobe of $200 jeans and $1000 boots (must be all those sample sales that you travel to by cab).

*Everyone in NY has an iPod.

Complaints aside, they did get some things right, particularly the scenes shot in the Chelsea Hotel and CBGB’s. Series lead Tom Cavanaugh basically reprises his “Ed” character here, right down to the wardrobe and speech tics. Hopefully, he’ll stretch a little as the series continues.


P.S. The John Mayer clone “Wayne” featured in the episode is actually singer-songwriter Teddy Geiger. Rather than being an “indie guy” like Wayne, Teddy actually records for Columbia/Sony BMG. His debut album “Underage Thinking” is due for release on 3/21. Prior to this, Teddy was a finalist for the Keith Partridge role on “In Search of the Partridge Family” and was the opening act for Hilary Duff’s last tour. If that ain’t indie cred, I don’t know what is.


It doesn't matter that for me, Mary Tyler Moore is a Toobworld goddess. It's just that her TV movie about the sicko mother-and-son con artists and murderers ("Like Mother, Like Son: The Strange Story Of Sante And Kenny Kimes") was the first. So it is the official televersion for Earth Prime-Time.

And that means that the new version starring Judy Davis (fast becoming the TV bio-movie queen) and Jonathan Jackson, "A Little Thing Called Murder", must be relegated to the alternate dimension of remakes.

"A Little Thing Called Murder" premieres on Lifetime Monday, January 23rd at 9 pm EST.



One of the more drastic ways to prove a show has staying power is to transplant it from one network to another.

"Qui Transtulit Sustinet" as the motto goes back in my native state.....

'JAG' will probably be the high-water mark example for this kind of venture - one year on NBC, about nine more on CBS, and with a successful spin-off to boot ('NCIS'). Representing sitcoms, 'Grounded For Life' did quite well - two years on FOX, and three more on The WB.

I really enjoyed 'Grounded For Life' for a variety of reasons. It had a very engaging cast with Donal Logue and Megyn Price in the leads. And the young actors playing their three kids were believable not ony as their genetic offspring, but in that they weren't just wisecracking punch-line spouters suffering from Bonaduce Syndrome.

The roles of the grandfather and Donal Logue's slacker brother were also perfectly cast for just about the same reasons. And if a show has to be set in New York City, then situating their lives in Staten Island made for a great change of pace from 'Friends' territory down in the Village.

Best of all was the narrative device for 'Grounded For Life'. In just about every episode, the plotline was already long underway before the audience viewing at home got the chance to visit; and several flashback scenes would be used to bring us all up to speed on why that week's particular situation was unfolding.

And in the best "Rashomon" style, sometimes we got alternative flashbacks to contradict the viewpoints of the different characters involved. It was a narrative ploy that made 'Grounded For Life' distinct from most single-set sitcoms.

Aside from an "appearance" by the Ramones (only on the barest of technicalities) in the first episode, and an hilarious episode as they braved the danger-filled journey back home from Yankees Stadium a la the movie 'The Wanderers', I never did find anything with which I could really hook 'Grounded For Life' into the TV Universe. But now I get a second chance!

Here's the info on the upcoming release of the first season of 'Grounded For Life' on a DVD box set:


December 13, 2005


All 20 Uncut Episodes Available On DVD
For The First Time Ever

Troy MI – On February 7, IDT Entertainment's Anchor Bay Entertainment and Carsey-Werner will release Grounded For Life - Season One , a skewed look at the traditional family sitcom, where the parents are as clueless as the kids.

This is a comedy where the parents aren't Ozzie and Harriet and the children don't behave like the Brady Bunch! All 20 episodes will be included in a four-disc DVD collection with a suggested retail price of $39.98. Pre-order date is January 10, 2006 .

From the same company that brought you such award winning hits as 3rd Rock, Roseanne, The Cosby Show and That '70s Show, Grounded For Life ran from 2001-2005 (two seasons on Fox and three more on The WB). The program has a loyal fan base of young viewers who love the hip humor and cast that includes Donal Logue (The Tao of Steve), Megyn Price (Mystery, Alaska), Kevin Corrigan (Living in Oblivion), Lynsey Bartilson, Jake Burbage, Griffin Frazen and Richard Riehle (Office Space).

Sean (Logue) and Claudia Finnerty (Price) are in their early thirties and trying to raise a family of three in pleasant suburbia, while still holding on to their own youthful and wild ways. The Finnerty clan finds little help in the struggle for the good life from Sean's curmudgeonly father, Walter, (Riehle) and lazy brother, Eddie (Corrigan), both of whom create chaos at every turn. Grounded For Life – Season One uniquely explores the complications and comedy encountered when Generation-X tries to grow-up.

Season One Bonus Features:
Meet The Finnertys: Interview with Donal Logue.
Claudia - Not the Sitcom Mom: Interview with Megyn Price.
Life with Lily : Interview with Lynsey Bartilson.
Bloopers: An outrageous collection of outtakes.
Audio Commentaries: The cast and show creators (Mike Schiff and Bill Martin) discuss the evolution of the series.

Carsey Werner ( ) has been known globally for over twenty years as one of the leading independent television studios. With the current hit “That ‘70's Show”, classics such as “Roseanne”, “3 rd Rock From The Sun”, and “The Cosby Show,” and a library of enviable hits that include, “A Different World,” “Grace Under Fire,” “Cybil” and “Cosby,” Carsey Werner programs can be seen and heard in over 175 countries and in 50 different languages.

Anchor Bay Entertainment is a recognized name in home entertainment. The company offers an expansive selection of award-winning, notable theatrical films including “Time Bandits” and “Halloween,” classic television programming such as “Roseanne,” “3 rd Rock from the Sun,” “Three's Company,” “Highlander” and much of the Stephen J. Cannell library, traditional children's fare featuring the ever-popular Thomas & Friends collection and Mister Rogers Neighborhood, the impressive Manga anime line and chart-topping fitness titles including the "Crunch" and "For Dummies" series. Anchor Bay Entertainment is aggressively developing a wide range of original programs and concepts in addition to licensing existing brands and films.

Anchor Bay Entertainment is a subsidiary of IDT Entertainment. IDT Entertainment is a vertically integrated entertainment company that develops, produces, and distributes proprietary and licensed entertainment content.
Grounded For Life: Season One
Street Date: February 7, 2006
Pre-Book: January 10, 2006
Catalog #: DV13767
UPC: 0 1313 13767 – 9 1
Rating: Not Rated
Time Length: 460 Minutes
SRP : $39.98

So check it out. I think 'Grounded For Life' holds up as one of the best sitcoms from the dawn of the New Millennium.

[Saying that it was one of the best in the last five years just didn't have the same oomph!]


Friday, January 20, 2006


I just received an email notice regarding the Museum of Television & Radio's third annual William S. Paley Television Festival. Since it's being held in Los Angeles, I won't be going, but I thought those few readers I have might be able to use the information....

The Museum of Television & Radio will present the twenty-third annual William S. Paley Television Festival from February 28 through March 15, 2006, in Los Angeles. This Festival, named for William S. Paley, founder of both the Museum and CBS, celebrates television’s rich and diverse programming and the creative process behind it. During these evenings, the audience views episodes or highlights of the featured work and has the opportunity to ask questions of the cast and creative teams or the individual involved in its production.

The Paley Festival will be held at the Directors Guild of America in the DGA Theatre Complex, 7920 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA.

2006 Paley Festival Schedule
· Tuesday, February 28 – Grey’s Anatomy
· Wednesday, March 1 – Entourage
· Thursday, March 2 – Everybody Hates Chris
· Friday, March 3 – Battlestar Galactica
· Saturday, March 4 – Supernatural
· Monday, March 6 – Medium
· Tuesday, March 7 – My Name Is Earl
· Wednesday, March 8 – House
· Thursday, March 9 – Family Guy
· Friday, March 10 – The Golden Girls
· Monday, March 13 – How I Met Your Mother
· Tuesday, March 14 – An Evening with Sally Field
· Wednesday, March 15 – Weeds

*All shows begin at 7:00 p.m. with the exception of My Name Is Earl, which begins at 7:30 p.m.

The Museum of Television & Radio’s Membership Department in Los Angeles is available to answer any questions at 310-786-1066 or you can e-mail them directly at You can also visit our website at for updated Paley Festival information.

Ticket Sales Schedule
· Ticket sales for MT&R Members begin Thursday, January 26, 2006, at 9:00 a.m.
· Ticket sales for the general public begin Thursday, February 2, 2006, at 9:00 a.m.

How to Order Paley Tickets
· Via telephone toll-free at 1-866-468-3399 (Mon. to Fri. 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sat. 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sun.7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., all times Pacific)
· Via the web at
· You will need your Membership number in order to purchase tickets.
· Please provide your Membership number, including any dashes, spaces, etc., and please note that the number zero (0) is not the letter “o.”

Information Sources
· MT&R Website,
· MT&R Paley Festival Information Line, 310-786-1010
· MT&R Membership Line, 310-786-1066
· Ads in the LA Times, LA Weekly, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter
· There is a four (4) ticket limit per Membership per show.
· Please note that a Dual/Family Membership is one Membership, i.e., only four (4) tickets per show can be purchased on Dual/Family Membership.

It looks like FOX and NBC come out the better in representation during the festival, but at least all the major nets have entries, which would splain why 'Supernatural' is on the list. But NBC definitely wins out, as night to spotlight a classic series features one of their alumni - 'The Golden Girls'.

And I can't say for certain, but I'm guessing the special night with Sally Field is due more to this being the thirtieth anniversary of her Emmy-winning performance in "Sybill" than it has to do with 'Gidget', 'The Flying Nun', and 'The Girl With Something Extra' (although I hope those do get covered in the Q&A section).

And maybe somebody can ask her about playing Clementine Hale on 'Alias Smith And Jones'.....



"Wicked" Wilson Pickett, the soul singer best known for such songs as "In The Midnight Hour", "Mustang Sally" and "Land of 1,000 Dances", died of a heart attack.

In Toobworld, he made appearances on several TV specials and variety shows, but he was also portrayed by a televersion on the series 'American Dreams':

"Shoot the Moon"
Episode: #2.15 - 7 March 2004
Ricky Fante .... Wilson Pickett

Mr. Pickett was 64 years old.


Thursday, January 19, 2006


Nina Tessler, the President of the CBS Entertainment division, announced some of the projects that were in development for next season; projects that would break the network away from their image as the home of the police procedurals, even though those shows have been quite successfule for the Eye.

Among the projects she mentioned was 'Jericho'. It's the story about a small town that one day witnesses a mushroom cloud over Denver. It sounds to me as if this would be the CBS attempt to land themselves a show similar in feel to ABC's 'Lost'.

I'm quite excited by the premise, and am already wondering if it could be kept situated on Earth Prime-Time; will it have to be moved to an alternate dimension, and whether or not there is a town already in existence called Jericho, Colorado.

I think I've got some googlin' ahead of me today....



Fellow Iddiot Fred the Planeteer wrote to me this morning:

Here's a guy who had developed his own "unified theory" - a Lost cracker of sorts:

Two points within the theory are probably invalid - his assumptions about Mr. Eko were rendered obsolete by last week's episode, and the producers have said that there would be no aliens involved.

But then again, they have said other things in the past which turned out to be untrue.....



One reason I can't possibly see everything that will contribute to the expansion of the TV Universe is because some items that are broadcast will never be shown in my area. I've been fortunate that I had an independent source for 'Doctor Who' when it seemed like there would never be a distributor for it in America.

And then there are TV commercials that are regional, never meant to be seen outside of their specific market.

From the web site for, here's a description for a Blipvert that I would dearly love the chance to see:

In what could make the beginnings of an interesting film plot, a BellSouth spot uses "Kung Fu Clowns" to tout its Real Yellow Pages. A lone clown is ambushed by a troupe that arrives on a cycle. A battle over a briefcase ensues, and the clowns use balloon animals and water-spouting flowers as weapons. A Matrix-like moment takes the absurdity further.

Can we assume that all clowns would have been members of such clown tongs? Or were some of them clown ronin, fighting unaffiliated to any one master or organization? Did Bozo, Clarabell, and Chuckles the Clowns have such martial arts skills?

Wouldn't it be great to see the clowns rumble with the "Visa-goths" of the Capitol One series of ads?


Wednesday, January 18, 2006


On January 24th, CBS will debut its latest "series". It will air during the first act commercial break in the 9 o'clock hour and run for one minute that first night. Each succeeding chapter, beginning the next night and running until February 1st, will be 40 seconds long. (It won't air on either January 28th or January 31st.)

It's called 'The Courier', and CBS describes it as a serialized drama about a man named Iiro (That's spelled with two "i"s.) risking his life to rescue his kidnapped wife. Iiro has to follow clues and perform "a sequence of death-defying tasks" to save her.

Of course, CBS isn't just doing this out of the beneficence of its corporate heart. Pontiac is the sole sponsor of this micro-mini-series, and I'm sure there shall be product placement a-plenty!



Earth Prime-Time Delay (aka Earth Prime-Time Remake), the alternate TV dimension in which remade TV shows and movies are kept, so as not to clash with the originals, is gaining two new characters. And one of those is actually sixteen in one.

Jessica Lange and Tammy Blanchard will star in the CBS remake of the 1976 NBC made-for-television movie, "Sybil". Blanchard will play the title role, of a woman with multiple personality disorder, while Lange will play her psychiatrist, who helped Sybil realize that years mental, physical and sexual abuse from her mother caused her emotional problems.

The original version of the movie starred Joanne Woodward and Sally Field, who won an Emmy for the role. The screenwriter, Stewart Stern, also won an Emmy that year.



After thirty-five years with CBS News, reporter Christopher Glenn is retiring at the end of February. For those of us over thirty, his recognizable voice and name are forever linked to "In The News", the little news spotlights that were featured on CBS' Saturday morning lineup from 1971 until 1984. The Emmy-winning feature had more than 5,000 segments that showcased current events for the young viewers.

I have trouble remembering the voices of my grandmothers, but Christopher Glenn's rich vocal intonation of "In The News" is forever lodged in my head.

I hope he has a long time to enjoy his retirement.



I'm in the process of cleaning out my apartment - LOTS of paper! Printouts, magazines, newspaper clippings, and abandoned notes for my Toobworld novel - three bags full have been consigned to the depths of my building's basement so far.

And I have found some stuff in that morass that I might share here; do a little recycling with it before sending it off to its fate.

Some of the notes, just jottings really, don't make much sense anymore. One has "Sherlock Holmes - The Munsters" and "Superman - Crime Story - Law & Order - Seinfeld".

I know the basic idea behind linking Holmes and Herman - it would have been a thematic piece on cryogenics as both the Great Detective and the Munsters went through the process.

The second one is a bit confusing in the middle. I know how I linked 'The Adventures Of Superman' to 'Crime Story' - the Man of Steel saved Ray Luca and Paulie Taglia from that A-bomb test site, but in the process he was exposed to irradiated Kryptonite dust which eventually killed him.

Making the jump from 'Crime Story' to 'Law & Order' was based on a family tree essay I wrote for the old Tubeworld Dynamic. My friend Tom O'Leary played a psychiatrist on 'L&O' who had the same surname as a character played by Ray Sharkey on 'Crime Story'. If I'm not mistaken, they were also in the same profession. (Shareky may have been playing a lawyer.)

So it was my theory that Sharkey was father to O'Leary's son, considering the difference in time periods for each show.

But for the life of me, I can't remember how I made the leap from 'Law & Order' to 'Seinfeld'. 'Law & Order' to 'Taxi' is easy enough; and I once linked 'L&O' to 'The Adventures Of Superman' with the presence of the Kent Foundation in Lenny Orbach's last episode. And thanks to that American Express commercial in which Jerry Seinfeld met the Superman of the Tooniverse, I can leap-frog from 'Seinfeld' to 'The Adventures Of Superman', thanks to a cameo by a much older Jimmy Olsen at the Daily Planet.

But unless McCoy and Kinkaid had lunch at the Soup Nazi's, I can't figure out why I was linking those two shows together.

Here's another note I have no clue what it was about:

"Rick/Nobu/Karol Ann"

I'm lost.

Another list was over ten years old, before I even started my first TV Universe web site. It was a roster of all the characters I wanted to see make a return to TV:

Doctor Bombay
The Andorians
Lt. Columbo
Jim Rockford
Emma Peel
Dr. Joel Fleischman
Honey West
Agent Dale Cooper

With 'Columbo', I was never sure we'd get one more tele-movie/special out of Peter Falk. And we've gone a disturbingly long time since his last venture. So here's hoping he might have one last case to solve for us; and that they can make it a fitting "Swan Song".

I got lucky with three of them - Dr. Bombay showed up on 'Passions', beginning with an appearance on the same day that 'Bewitched' was celebrating its 35th anniversary.

The Andorians were a major recurring presence on 'Enterprise', in much the same way as the Klingons and Vulcans and Ferengi and Bajorans were featured in earlier incarnations of the 'Star Trek' franchise.

And Jim Rockford came back for at least two TV movies.

As for Emma Peel, Honey West, and Fleischman, they could make key guest appearances during Sweeps periods on shows that had similar themes to their original series.

This type of guest shot is not out of the realm of possibility; we've seen it happen before in Toobworld. Cinnamon Carter of 'Mission: Impossible' showed up in an episode of 'Diagnosis Murder', and Alan Brady visited 'Mad About You' about thirty years after last being seen on 'The Dick Van Dyke Show'.

As for my wish-list, Emma Peel from 'The Avengers' could be sought for advice by Jack Bristow on 'Alias'; she may have been his mentor in the spy game. Speaking of mentors, 'Veronica Mars' could learn a thing or two from 'Honey West', who blazed the trail for beautiful blondes in the private eye biz. And Dr. Fleishman might find reason to show up in a variety of medical shows as a consulting physician - 'Grey's Anatomy', 'ER', and even 'Scrubs'.

Or he could be involved in a police investigation in any number of police procedurals at his old stomping grounds on the Eye Network - 'Without A Trace' or 'CSI: NY', especially since he was a Manhattanite at heart. And there's precedence for that - Dr. Roxanne Turner, lsst seen on 'St. Elsewhere', went head-to-head against Detective Frank Pemberton in "The Box" on 'Homicide: Life On The Street'.

And then there's Dale Cooper. He was left dangling with a very disturbing cliff-hanger of an ending for 'Twin Peaks', and it was always my secret wish-craft that it might be resolved on 'The X-Files'. Since that's no longer an option, 'Supernatural' could probably use the boost by a guest shot from Kyle MacLachlan - if he finds some time from doing 'InJustice' on ABC.

So that's one batch of notes I can now toss into the recycling bin, transferred for eternity to E-space. If only there was some way to write them all off on my taxes......

Coming up the next time I have a bit of a lull - the "Whatever Happened To?" theories that first got me started on the whole Toobworld concept.....



Tuesday, January 17, 2006


From the New York Times:

Although her career spanned several decades and included a stint on the soap opera "Another World," [Anne] Meacham is probably best known for her work in the plays of Tennessee Williams, who once praised her in an article for The New York Times, saying, "There's nothing she won't say or do onstage without any sign of embarrassment."

Ms. Meacham made her film debut in "Lilith" in 1964 and made many television appearances in the 50's and 60's before joining the cast of "Another World" in 1972 as Louise Goddard, an oddball maid.
- Christopher Isherwood

Ms. Meacham was 80 years old.

Thanks to the, here is a list of some of her contributions to the population of Toobworld.....

"Another World" (1964) TV Series .... Louise Goddard Brooks (1972-1980, 1981-1982)
"The Brighter Day" (1954) TV Series .... Althea Dennis (1960-1961)

All the King's Men (1958) (TV)

"The Road West" playing "Miss Welch" in episode: "Shaman" (episode # 1.10) 14 November 1966
"The Nurses" playing "Claire Luskin" in episode: "The Gift" (episode # 2.4) 17 October 1963
"Dr. Kildare" playing "Rose Clayton" in episode: "To Each His Own Prison" (episode # 2.32) 23 May 1963
"The Virginian" playing "Sarah Lilly" in episode: "The Brazen Bell" (episode # 1.5) 17 October 1962
"The Defenders" playing "Martha Brubaker" in episode: "The Crusader" (episode # 1.23) 24 February 1962
"The United States Steel Hour" playing "Ilse Bruckner" in episode: "Brandenburg Gate" (episode # 9.3) 4 October 1961
"'Way Out" playing "Dolly Granger" in episode: "Soft Focus" (episode # 1.13) 7 July 1961
"The Catholic Hour" playing "Duchess" in episode: "The Death of Satan" 4 June 1961
"Play of the Week" in episode: "Therese Raquin" (episode # 2.25) 13 March 1961
"Playhouse 90" playing "Catherine" in episode: "Face of a Hero" (episode # 3.13) 1 January 1959
"Suspicion" in episode: "Diagnosis: Death" (episode # 1.25) 31 March 1958
"Robert Montgomery Presents" in episode: "Isobel" (episode # 7.11) 21 November 1955
"The United States Steel Hour" playing "Marian Comnor" in episode: "A Garden in the Sea" (episode # 1.20) 20 July 1954


Monday, January 16, 2006


Shelley Winters passed away on January 14th at the age of 85. She started out in acting as one of many blonde bombshells in the early 50s, but she turned her back on all that image nonsense and focused on her acting. That decision insured that her career would last long after those of the other "silver screen sirens" faded away to become answers in Trivial Pursuit.

Although her main strength lay in the movies, including her two Oscar-winning roles in 'A Patch Of Blue' and 'The Diary Of Anne Frank', and especially her nominated role as Belle Rosen in 'The Poseidon Adventure', Ms. Winters also made her mark in Toobworld as well.

I particularly liked her as Nana Mary on 'Roseanne', because she looked like a woman who was a grandma - heavy-set, nothing out of the ordinary, and quite frankly, a bit dotty. (Too many sitcoms fell on that old cliche of the sophisticated, glamorous granny; I was sick of those.) It didn't matter to me that in the Real World, she was only seven years older than Estelle Parsons who played her daughter Bev; I accepted that Ms. Winters was probably playing the role as being ten years older (giving birth to Bev as a teenager). I thought the tele-genetics for the line of women in Roseanne's family was strong and believable.

Someday I hope to track down a copy of "Big Rose", the 90 minute pilot she made for CBS back in 1974. Ms. Winters played a private investigator named Rose Winters (nice visual image - a rose in snow) who teams up with a younger male partner played by Barry Primus. The timing may have not been right for the audience to accept a big brassy broad private eye; I guess they had to be mighty easy on the eyes - like 'Honey West'. But if Big Rose had been launched out of the 'Cannon'/'Barnaby Jones' school, it might have had a chance.

Sometimes when an actor passes away, I often think of what might have been; what role would I have liked to have seen them do at some point in their career. And the answer is easy on this one - I wish she had the opportunity to appear in an episode of 'Columbo'. Not as the killer; she never would have fit the profile of a typical antagonist for the rumpled detective. Nor would I have wanted her to portray the victim, because not only would it have curtailed her screen time, but it would have robbed us of the chance to see her interact with Peter Falk.

I think the two of them would have been fantastic together in a couple of scenes.

Two other Toobworld roles that stand out for me are for the wrong reasons - as Ma Parker on 'Batman', and as Shelley Summers on 'Here's Lucy'.

Ma Parker was just a spoof of the noir crime genre of old Warner Brothers movies, and the real-life, hard-boiled gun moll character she would later play on the big screen, Ma Barker. It's a shame a more dastardly, sinister and "realistic" (within a comic book sensibility) villain couldn't have been devised for her. Something on the order of a Cruella DeVil or a land-locked Ursula type (from 'The Little Mermaid') - not with so many tentacles; just the basic demeanor!

As for Shelley Summers, obviously that was just the most veiled version of portraying herself. And it seemed to take particular relish in making fun of the fact that she was in a transitional state between looks. Being heavy-set myself, it bothered me to see the types of things they made her do; all for the sake of getting the laugh at her expense.

Seeing it again when I was older, I could see that she was wearing some kind of fat suit, so that her "transformation" back to her sexpot days would be the more remarkable. But nevertheless, I think it sent out the wrong message to impressionable viewers as to what type of image was preferred by society.

As herself on Television, one only has to look at her list of credits on the to see how popular she was as a guest on the 'Tonight' show with Johnny Carson. In his blog, Brent McKee relates the story about the night she was on with Oliver Reed and I'm hopeful that one day that tape will surface in a collection put out by Carson's estate.

(Check Brent's link over there to the left of your screen for more info on that story.)

At any rate, Shelley Winters could do it all - comedy, drama, Westerns, cops shows, film noir, low-budget and camp, and even fantasy - after all, she did play a snow-woman and a dodo bird!

Not to be confused with a stuffy grande dame, Shelley Winters was a great dame. And she will be missed.


"The French Atlantic Affair" (1979) (mini) TV Series .... Helen Wabash

"Roseanne" playing "Nana Mary"
in episode: "Mothers and Other Strangers" (episode # 9.11) 3 December 1996
in episode: "Home Is Where the Afghan Is" (episode # 9.10) 26 November 1996
in episode: "The Wedding" (episode # 8.23) 7 May 1996
in episode: "Out of the Past" (episode # 8.15) 6 February 1996
in episode: "Thanksgiving 1994" (episode # 7.10) 23 November 1994
in episode: "Altar Egos" (episode # 6.25) 24 May 1994
in episode: "Thanksgiving 1993" (episode # 6.10) 23 November 1993
in episode: "It's No Place Like Home for the Holidays" (episode # 5.12) 15 December 1992
in episode: "Thanksgiving 1991" (episode # 4.10) 26 November 1991
in episode: "Scenes from a Barbecue" (episode # 3.24) 7 May 1991
in episode: "The Wedding" (episode # 3.14) 15 January 1991

Weep No More, My Lady (1992) (TV) .... Vivian Morgan
The Initiation of Sarah (1978) (TV) .... Mrs. Erica Hunter
The Sex Symbol (1974) (TV) .... Agatha Murphy
The Devil's Daughter (1973) (TV) .... Lilith Malone
A Death of Innocence (1971) (TV) .... Elizabeth Cameron
Wipe-out (1963) (TV)

Big Rose: Double Trouble (1974) (TV) .... Rose Winters
Adventures of Nick Carter (1972) (TV) .... Bess Tucker

Alice in Wonderland (1985) (TV) .... Dodo Bird

Elvis (1979/I) (TV) .... Gladys Presley

Emma and Grandpa on the Farm (1983) (TV) .... The Narrator

Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979) (TV) (voice) .... Crystal
Frosty's Winter Wonderland (1976) (TV) (voice) .... Crystal

"Hawaiian Heat" playing "Florence Senkowski" in episode: "Andy's Mom" (episode # 1.9) 23 November 1984
"Hotel" playing "Adele Ellsworth" in episode: "Trials" (episode # 1.21) 2 May 1984
"The Love Boat" in episode: "Venetian Love Song/The Arrangement/Arrividerci, Gopher/The Gigolo: Part 1&2" (episode # 6.1 & 6.2) 2 October 1982
"Vega$" playing "J.D. Fenton" in episode: "Macho Murders" (episode # 2.8) 28 November 1979
"Kojak" playing "Evelyn McNeil" in episode: "The Captain's Brother's Wife" (episode # 5.16) 4 February 1978
"Chico and the Man" playing "Shirley Schrift" in episode: "Ed's Steps Out" (episode # 1.17) 7 February 1975
"McCloud" playing "Thelma" in episode: "The Barefoot Girls of Bleecker Street" (episode # 5.1) 22 September 1974
"Here's Lucy" playing "Shelley Summers" in episode: "Lucy and Shelly Winters" (episode # 1.4) 14 October 1968
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" playing "Clarry Golden" in episode: "Wipeout" (episode # 4.24) 26 April 1967
"Batman" playing "Ma Parker" in episode: "The Greatest Mother of them All" (episode # 2.9) 5 October 1966
"Thirty-Minute Theatre" in episode: "Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat" (episode # 1.9) 2 November 1965
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" playing "Edith" in episode: "Back to Back" (episode # 3.5) 27 October 1965
"Ben Casey" playing "Lydia Mitchum" in episode: "A Disease of the Heart Called Love" (episode # 4.10) 23 November 1964
"Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre" playing "Jenny Dworak" in episode: "Two Is the Number" (episode # 1.15) 31 January 1964
"Alcoa Premiere" playing "Meg Fletcher" in episode: "The Way from Darkness" (episode # 2.11) 13 December 1962
"Kraft Television Theatre" in episode: "Polka" (episode # 11.12) 18 December 1957
"The DuPont Show of the Month" playing "Louisa Burt" in episode: "Beyond This Place" (episode # 1.3) 25 November 1957
"Schlitz Playhouse of Stars" playing "Mildred Corrigan" in episode: "Smarty" (episode # 7.5) 11 October 1957
"Wagon Train" playing "Ruth Owens" in episode: "The Ruth Owens Story" (episode # 1.4) 9 October 1957
"Climax!" playing "Carol" in episode: "Don't Touch Me" (episode # 3.23) 4 April 1957
"The United States Steel Hour" playing "Evvie" in episode: "Inspired Alibi" (episode # 4.12) 13 February 1957
"The Alcoa Hour" playing "Pat" in episode: "A Double Life" (episode # 2.8) 6 January 1957
"Climax!" playing "Margaret Corey/Ethel/Lillian/Ann" in episode: "Dark Wall" (episode # 2.44) 30 August 1956
"Producers' Showcase" in episode: "The Women" (episode # 1.5) 7 February 1955
"Climax!" in episode: "Sorry, Wrong Number" (episode # 1.4) 4 November 1954
"The Ford Television Theatre" playing "Sally Marland" in episode: "Mantrap" (episode # 2.18) 28 January 1954


It's possible that without my renewed interest in 'Doctor Who', the passing of John Woodnutt might have escaped my notice. And with it, several items from his resume might have gone undetected as well; roles which I might track down one day to explore further....

"Knightmare" (1987) TV Series .... Mogdred (1988-1990)/Merlin (1987-1990)
"The Doombolt Chase" (1978) TV Series .... Spencer
"Children of the Stones" (1977) TV Series .... Link
"Bill Brand" (1976) TV Series .... Brent
"The Boy From Space" (1971) TV Series .... The Thin Space Man
"Rogues' Gallery" (1968/II) TV Series .... Doctor Peppercorn
"Swizzlewick" (1964) TV Series .... Rack
"The River Flows East" (1962) TV Series .... Yardley
"The Black Brigand" (1956) TV Series .... Slago

"Jeeves and Wooster" playing "Sir Watkyn Bassett"
in episode: "The Ex's Are Nearly Married Off" (episode # 4.6) 20 June 1993
in episode: "Totleigh Towers" (episode # 4.5) 13 June 1993
in episode: "Sir Watkyn Bassett's Memoirs (or, Hot Off the Press)" (episode # 3.5) 26 April 1992
in episode: "The Bassetts' Fancy Dress Ball (or, A Plan for Gussie)" (episode # 2.2) 21 April 1991
in episode: "The Silver Jug (or Jeeves Saves the Cow Creamer)" (episode # 2.1) 14 April 1991
in episode: "In Court After the Boat Race (or, Jeeves' Arrival)" (episode # 1.1) 22 April 1990

"The Tomorrow People" playing "Spidron"
in episode: "The Vanishing Earth: Part 4" (episode # 1.13) 30 July 1973
in episode: "The Vanishing Earth: Part 3" (episode # 1.12) 23 July 1973
in episode: "The Vanishing Earth: Part 2" (episode # 1.11) 16 July 1973
in episode: "The Vanishing Earth: Part 1" (episode # 1.10) 9 July 1973

"After the War" (1989) (mini) TV Series .... Harrison Digby
"Stalky & Co." (1982) (mini) TV Series .... Mr. King
"Curtain of Fear" (1964) (mini) TV Series .... Marazet
"Queen's Champion" (1958) (mini) TV Series .... Master Allan

Never Come Back (1990) (TV) .... Sir John
Porterhouse Blue (1987) (TV) .... Senior Tutor
Lifeforce (1985) .... Metallurgist
Champions (1984) .... Mr. Champion
Who Dares Wins (1982) .... Harold Staunton
Malice Aforethought (1979) (TV) .... Dr. Lydston
The Bankrupt (1972) (TV)
Connecting Rooms (1970) .... Doctor
The Gorge (1968) (TV) .... Norman
Little Master Mind (1966) (TV) .... Albert Stamp
The Portsmouth Defence (1966) (TV) .... Albert Stamp
The Master (1966) (TV) .... Jim
Man in the Middle (1964) .... Education officer
The Rebel Heiress (1958) (TV) .... Otho Killigrew
One (1956) (TV) .... Victor

Mack the Knife (1990) .... Reverend Kimball
... aka The Threepenny Opera
The Importance of Being Earnest (1986) (TV) .... Lane
"The Pickwick Papers" (1985) TV Series .... Sergeant Snubbin
Antigone (1984) (TV) .... Chorus
Oedipus the King (1984) (TV) .... Chorus
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1983) (TV) .... Panthino
Macbeth (1983) (TV) .... Doctor
Sense and Sensibility (1981) (TV) .... Mr. Ingall
The Secret Garden (1987) (TV) ..... Archibald Craven

Hitler's S.S.: Portrait in Evil (1985) (TV) .... Pastor Sommers
"The Six Wives of Henry VIII" (1970) (mini) TV Series .... Henry VII
Invasion (1980) (TV) .... Kosygin

"Wycliffe" playing "Dr. Angwin" in episode: "Wild Oats" (episode # 2.7) 30 July 1995
"No Place Like Home" playing "Judge" in episode: "The Summons" (episode # 3.4) 29 January 1986
"Terry and June" playing "Dr. Fletcher" in episode: "Death of a Salesman" (episode # 8.5) 5 October 1985
"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" playing "Mr. Merryweather" in episode: "The Red-Headed League" (episode # 2.5) 22 September 1985
"The Bill" playing "Bank Manager" in episode: "Burning the Books" (episode # 1.9) 8 January 1985
"Dramarama" playing "Melchisedek" in episode: "Mr. Stabs" (episode # 2.7) 2 July 1984
"Doctor Who" playing "Broton" (archive footage) in episode: "Logopolis" (episode # 18.7) 28 February 1981
"Doctor Who" playing "Consul Seron" in episode: "The Keeper of Traken" (episode # 18.6) 31 January 1981
"Lady Killers" playing "Mr. Justice McKinnon" in episode: "Don't Let Them Kill Me on Wednesday" (episode # 1.5) 17 August 1980
"Shoestring" playing "Dr. Morris" in episode: "The Link-Up" (episode # 1.7) 11 November 1979
"The Sweeney" playing "Dr. Clare" in episode: "Stay Lucky, Eh?" (episode # 2.9) 27 October 1975
"Doctor Who" playing "Duke of Forgill/Broton" in episode: "Terror of the Zygons" (episode # 13.1) 30 August 1975
"Public Eye" playing "Hooper" in episode: "What's to Become of Us?" (episode # 7.6) 10 February 1975
"Z Cars" playing "Chief Supt. Birch" in episode: "Two Wise Monkeys" (episode # 9.17) 4 March 1974
"Crown Court" in episode: "To Suffer a Witch" (episode # 1.51) 17 October 1973
"Doctor Who" playing "Draconian Emperor" in episode: "Frontier in Space" (episode # 10.3) 24 February 1973
"Crown Court" in episode: "Whatever Happened to George Robins" (episode # 1.12) 3 January 1973
"Crown Court" in episode: "Conspiracy" (episode # 1.9) 13 December 1972
"Look and Read" playing "Thin Space-man" in episode: "Boy From Space, The: Part 1 - The Meteorite" (episode # 3.1) 21 September 1971
"The Adventures of Don Quick" playing "Goolmarg" in episode: "The Benefits of Earth" (episode # 1.1) 30 October 1970
"Special Branch" playing "Major Carter" in episode: "Love From Doris" (episode # 2.9) 7 October 1970
"Z Cars" playing "Harris" in episode: "One Bad Apple: Part 2" (episode # 6.326) 19 May 1970
"Codename" playing "Colonel Field" in episode: "One for the Lobster Pot" (episode # 1.4) 28 April 1970
"Doctor Who" playing "Hibbert" in episode: "Spearhead From Space" (episode # 7.1) 3 January 1970
"The First Lady" playing "Brian Cobden" in episode: "To Hell with Purity" (episode # 2.7) 8 May 1969
"Judge Dee" playing "Hoo Penn" in episode: "The Day of the Scavengers" (episode # 1.4) 29 April 1969
"Callan" playing "Ian Bishop" in episode: "Blackmailers Should Be Discouraged" (episode # 2.8) 26 February 1969
"Out of the Unknown" playing "Kelland" in episode: "The Little Black Bag" (episode # 3.8) 25 February 1969
"Thirty-Minute Theatre" playing "Arthur Tyrrell" in episode: "Two and Two Make Twenty Two" (episode # 1.61) 22 March 1967
"The Corridor People" playing "Colonel Lemming" in episode: "Victim as Red" (episode # 1.3) 9 September 1966
"Adam Adamant Lives!" playing "Sheik" in episode: "Allah Is Not Always with You" (episode # 1.5) 21 July 1966
"The Troubleshooters" playing "Hubbard" in episode: "Wingless Wonder" (episode # 2.8) 18 June 1966
"The Avengers" playing "Captain Noble" in episode: "Quick-Quick Slow Death" (episode # 4.19) 5 February 1966
"Softly Softly" playing "Franklyn" in episode: "Talk to Me" (episode # 1.5) 2 February 1966
"Dixon of Dock Green" playing "Insp. Lawson" in episode: "The Man Who Was Going to Die" (episode # 12.9) 27 November 1965
"Z Cars" playing "Cohen" in episode: "Market Square" (episode # 4.39) 2 June 1965
"Sherlock Holmes" playing "Pawnbroker" in episode: "The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax" (episode # 1.12) 8 May 1965
"No Hiding Place" playing "Joe Briggs" in episode: "Smokey" (episode # 7.14) 26 April 1965
"Sherlock Holmes" playing "Station Master" in episode: "The Bruce-Partington Plans" (episode # 1.9) 17 April 1965
"The Saint" playing "Head Porter" in episode: "Luella" (episode # 2.19) 23 January 1964
"Z Cars" playing "Holdsworth" in episode: "Daylight Robbery" (episode # 3.11) 13 November 1963
"Suspense" playing "David Croft" in episode: "The Patch Card" (episode # 2.28) 8 July 1963
"Z Cars" playing "Peever" in episode: "Business Trip" (episode # 2.13) 12 December 1962
"Studio Four" playing "Parson Platt" in episode: "Comrade Jacob" (episode # 2.6) 17 September 1962
"Studio Four" playing "Labour Front Leader Baumer" in episode: "The Cross and the Arrow" (episode # 1.1) 22 January 1962

Out Of The Unknown: The Little Black Bag (1969) (TV) .... Kelland
This was remade as a segment of 'Night Gallery' featuring Burgess Meredith, Chill Wills, and George Furth.

"The Boy From Space" (1971) TV Series .... The Thin Space Man
"Look and Read" playing "Thin Space-man" in episode: "Boy From Space, The: Part 1 - The Meteorite" (episode # 3.1) 21 September 1971
Not being familiar with this series, I don't know if 'The Boy From Space' was launched from 'Look And Read', or if the entire series aired under that umbrella title.

"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" playing "Mr. Merryweather" in episode: "The Red-Headed League" (episode # 2.5) 22 September 1985
"Sherlock Holmes" playing "Pawnbroker" in episode: "The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax" (episode # 1.12) 8 May 1965
"Sherlock Holmes" playing "Station Master" in episode: "The Bruce-Partington Plans" (episode # 1.9) 17 April 1965
Mr. Woodnutt played characters in stories about the Sherlock Holmes of two dimensions.

The 1985 version starred Jeremy Brett and is considered by this Caretaker as being the Sherlock Holmes of Earth Prime-Time. Douglas Wilmer played the role twenty years earlier.

So few episodes separate Mr. Woodnutt's appearances in the 1965 version that I'm almost tempted to speculate the Station Master moonlighted as a pawnbroker. But costuming and make-up could go a long way toward making them distinct characters.



This week's crossover comes from a genre growing in popularity recently, and yet which was a staple of early television - TV commercials that use characters from TV shows.

Back when the sponsors controlled most of the content, it wasn't surprising to see Clark Kent enjoying a bowl of Kellogg's cereal. As Time passed, you would get the actors appearing in the commercials in a way to suggest their old characters - like Don Adams hawking Skittle-Pool. I may have thought that he was appearing as Maxwell Smart (under cover as a Skittle-Pool salesman), but they didn't openly acknowledge it.

Just a month ago we had Alka-Seltzer celebrating their 75th anniversary by hiring Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts to recreate their roles of Frank and Marie Barone from 'Everybody Loves Raymond'. And then Frank and Marie recreated the classic "I Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing" blipvert.

And now?


The house looks the same; the music sounds the same; the narration of an older John-Boy now sounds some 20-odd years older.

And then we see all the houses across the country in which the surviving Walton siblings all live, as they partake in their traditional goodnights to each other.

But now they're doing it over the phone, thanks to their Cingular plan.

An argument could be made at first that they aren't 'The Waltons', as the narrator sounds like he's saying "on Waldron's Mountain". However, that could be just a faulty mispronunciation due to the narrator's (John-Boy) age.
Beside hearing the names of the usual suspects (Mary-Ellen, Jason, Jim-Bob, Elizabeth, and especially John-Boy), we also see most of those names spelled out on John-Boy's cellphone with a listing for 'The Waltons' to boot.

Maybe the trend will come full circle someday soon, and then we will see Tom Welling as Clark Kent enjoying a bowl of Kellogg's Corn Flakes in 'Smallville'.


Sunday, January 15, 2006


Sometime last week, the writers for 'The West Wing' were supposed to get together to decide the future of this season. The death of actor John Spencer derailed whatever they had in mind for the outcome of the show's presidential race, one way or the other.

Right after Spencer's passing, it was officially stated that they wouldn't begin to consider their options until now, out of respect for the man. But it would have been only human nature to do so anyway, and still hold the man's memory in regard.

After all, the show must go on, and as an actor, John Spencer would have understood that.

Over in the TVSquad blog, there was a lot of speculation almost immediately as to where they might go with the plotline, and who might replace Leo on the Democratic ticket as the Vice Presidential nominee. Some thought inside the box in regards to the current cast and suggested Josh, CJ, maybe the return of Sam Seaborn... even President Bartlet was suggested!

Here's what I posted as to those ideas and then detailing one of my own.....

Abby would never allow Jed to run as Veep; she knows the pressures of the job already are speeding up his MS, and she's looking forward to him stepping down at the end of his second term.

Plus, a second Veep candidate with health problems might be more than the public could tolerate. And they've seen the pics by now of Bartlet in the wheelchair, as seen on Air Force One.

Josh and CJ are big names in the cast, sure, but within the show's inner reality, their choices would not make sense. How many of the public can even name the Chief of Staff, let alone a campaign manager? If 'The West Wing' is like the real world, Josh should be truly faceless to the public.

Sam Seaborn is a good choice, but he didn't win that special election. (Or did he?) He's not truly tested.

Santos needs somebody in the West Wing universe (not necessarily a regular) who has the recognition factor, a good reputation for his health, experience in governing, and the age to balance Santos on the ticket.

We've already met this character.

Governor Jack Buckland of Indiana as played by Kevin Tighe (DeSoto on 'Emergency', Locke's father on 'Lost').

He was enough of a threat to Bartlet's nomination for a second term, so he'd have enough voter recognition and political oomph to pick up the mantle from Leo and help Santos to victory.

This type of speculation takes nothing away from the sorrow over the loss of John Spencer. But it is a business and they have to act soon to avoid missing production deadlines.

And even though I'm a registered Democrat who usually votes in knee-jerk fashion for Democrats, I'm hoping that Vinick will win. It'll be exciting story-wise and allow them to "clean house" a la the MTM show for a memorable finale to the show.

Posted at 5:12PM on Dec 21st 2005 by Toby OB 5 stars

[Since I wrote that, the episode "Running Mates" has been broadcast. And I think the fix is in, at least it was before the death of Spencer. The proof could be seen in what was actually seen from the "debate". Even though it was called "Running Mates", Brett Cullen might as well have stayed home rather show up for the filming because it was all Leo, nothing of substance from his opponent.]

Here are some key segments of dialogue from the episode in which Governor Buckland appeared which show why he would make a formidable candidate:

You're a Heisman trophy-winning football player, a U.S. Olympian, you still run the New York Marathon and every time we see b-roll of you tossing a ball around at the local boys' club it makes people think the president's got to campaign in an oxygen tent.

You came through for us in Indiana. Really, the whole Midwest. You would've been great in the number two spot. And it was me as much as anyone pushing Hoynes.
You couldn't win without Hoynes.

And Buckland would have very good reasons of his own for accepting, if asked....

I'm term-limited, Josh, and I still have things I want to say.

How am I supposed to keep advocating the issues that I care about if I don't get into the race for a while?

Jack, I-I, I think you'd make an interesting nominee for Labor Secretary.

So I'm assuming Buckland is the present Labor Secretary, which if I'm not mistaken is the position that Leo once held in a previous administration. And as such, he would have access, if somewhat minimal in the grand scheme of things, to a regular public forum that would get his face out there for national recognition.

And since he's played by Kevin Tighe, who's always had a very winning, telegenic smile, Buckland could win over a lot of potential voters who choose for the most superficial of reasons.

But Josh gave a few good reasons why Buckland might not do so well, if viewed as being just a heartbeat away from the Presidency:

So... you're polling at slightly less than five percent in Iowa. After hearing your issue profile that number actually goes down. 39% of caucus-goers say they wouldn't even consider voting for you. "Shares our values"? 18%. Did you know that?
In New Hampshire, you got three percent. "Shares our values," 14%. After hearing your profile, 41% think you're a republican. Did you know that?
In the end, it's all moot. The writers will do what they will and when all is said and done, we've still lost a very good actor.


"I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap."
David Letterman
'Late Night With David Letterman'


In hopes that some producer might think of using fictional products from other shows (and thus help create new links between shows), here are some recent items I've culled from various TV series in the last few weeks:

Pan Transit Airlines - went out of business back in the sixties

St. Barnabas Church
Newbury, New Jersey

Devlin-McGregor - a pharmaceutical company

[This is the same company that was ultimately was responsible for the death of Dr. Kimble's wife in the movie version of 'The Fugitive'.]

Cedar Hills Sanitarium
Stonehouse Grill
"Thicker Than Water" - movie based on the Crumbs' life

"Lesbian Prison Stories" - a paperback book

KXRY - San Francisco classical radio station

According to an anonymous poster at the Mind of Tommy Westphall Live Journal, Morley's Cigarettes were seen in two episodes. This links the show to several other TV shows, most notably 'The X-Files' and 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'.

The Recovery Channel, a cable tv network

'The Long Haul''
"Fierce Instinct"

And if you find anything of trivial interest in the shows you watch, let me know. I can't catch everything and can always use the help!