Saturday, September 1, 2018


Unlike the TV Western showcase that lasted all last month, or the annual January 1st blogathon dedicated to 'Doctor Who' all day long, this month's theme saluting soap operas will be intermittent.  All of the Friday Hall of Famers will be from soap operas and we'll have a look at some of the major crossovers.  And there will be a few Super Six Lists as well.

So we'll kick it off with our monthly induction into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  Traditionally September is the month during which we salute the creators behind the scenes who have done much of the work to expand the TV Universe.

And this year, we turn our attention to the Queen of Soaps, Irna Phillips.

From Wikipedia:
Irna Phillips (July 1, 1901 – December 23, 1973) was an American scriptwriter, screenwriter, casting agent and actress. Known by several publications as the "Queen of the Soaps", she is best known for creating, producing and writing several of the first American daytime radio and television soap operas. As a result of creating some of the best known series in the genre, including 'Guiding Light', 'As the World Turns', and 'Another World', Phillips is credited with creating and innovating a daytime serial format with programming geared specifically toward women. She was also a mentor to several other pioneers of the daytime soap opera, including Agnes Nixon and William J. Bell.

From Entertainment Weekly:

Daytime’s first crossover came in 1966, when Irna Phillips, head writer of 'The Guiding Light' on CBS, picked up lawyer Mike Bauer and his preteen daughter, Hope, and sent them to 'Another World' on NBC, where Phillips also happened to be the head writer. Widower Mike spent an entire year in Bay City, during which time he managed to romance both Pat and her stepdaughter, Lee, all while working for Pat’s (paralyzed) husband, John. (In 1999, when AW was cancelled, a handful of character migrated to another Phillips-created show, 'As the World Turns'. When ATWT itself was cancelled in 2010, they made a reference to Bay City.)

Back to Wikipedia:

Phillips co-created 'Another World' with William J. Bell in 1964, originally planned as a sister show to 'As the World Turns'. Although Procter & Gamble owned both series, CBS had no room for the program and it was brought to rival network NBC. 

Phillips fired veteran actor John Beal from 'Another World' after only one episode, and actress Fran Sharon after two weeks. Actress Kay Campbell stated, "I'll never forget once on 'As the World Turns', Rosemary Prinz did a scene, and when we were only off the air five minutes, Irna was on the phone and tore her to pieces. I don't think Irna liked actors." Phillips and Bell later gave 'Another World' over to James Lipton, who passed it onto Agnes Nixon.

In 1965, Phillips was a story editor for 'Days of Our Lives' and was a story consultant on 'Peyton Place' before co-creating 'Our Private World', the first prime-time series to be spun off from a daytime serial. The series featured the 'As the World Turns' character Lisa Miller; the series ran during the spring, summer and early fall of 1965, before being cancelled. She left 'Love is a Many-Splendored Thing' when CBS censors refused to fully tell a love story involving an Amerasian woman (born out of the love affair in the original film) and a white man. CBS and Twentieth Century-Fox Television were co- producers of the show. All 1,430 episodes of 'Love Is a Many Splendored Thing' were recorded on videotape at CBS Broadcast Center Studio 41 in New York.

Phillips was the unofficial story editor for 'A World Apart', an ABC soap opera that was created by her daughter, Katherine. One of the main characters was a soap opera writer who lived in Chicago and was in charge of a soap opera in New York. Soon after, 'As the World Turns' asked her to come back and write for them.

Phillips introduced a number of characters to the show and integrated them with the core Hughes family. Her new story, and the show's new heroine, Kimberly Sullivan (Kathryn Hays), became involved with longtime hero, Bob Hughes (Don Hastings). Bob was married to Kim's sister Jennifer, but Phillips had Kim seduce Bob. She became pregnant. P&G fired Phillips in early 1973; it was to be her last writing gig.

On January 25, 2007, in an episode celebrating the 70th Anniversary of 'Guiding Light', the current cast portrayed actors and behind-the-scenes personnel from the early years of the series (both radio and TV). Beth Ehlers played Phillips, and several incidents in her life were fictionalized in the series.

Phillips was a fiercely independent entrepreneur who retained ownership rights to all her series, producing through Carl Wester and Company and allowing agencies, sponsors, and networks little control over her soap opera empire.

And that's how it all began, all thanks to Irna Phillips.

She even appeared in Toobworld, on 'To Tell The Truth' - a panel quiz show which had a televersion as well as the show seen here in the Trueniverse.

And we have that for you now, making this a Video Saturday.

And finally, we have first person tales about the experience of working with Ms. Phillips.

Welcome to the Hall, Ms. Phillips.....

Friday, August 31, 2018


In 2009, the Television Crossover Hall of Fame celebrated its 10th anniversary by inducting four new members each month rather than just the one.  Each week of the month would be a different category: “As Seen On TV” (real people played by actors), “The League Of Themselves” (real people playing their fictional televersions); “Toons” (cartoon characters from the Tooniverse); and “Locations” (places visited by TV characters from lots of different shows.)

So for that year, the Locations inductees were:
  • St. Eligius Hospital
  • Montecito Hotel & Casion
  • Fernwood
  • Hooterville
  • The Playboy Mansion
  • Mayberry
  • Paradise, California
  • The OK Corral
  • Mammoth Studios
  • 1313 Mockingbird Lane
  • The White House
  • The North Pole
The Locations category on the surface looks to be any easy one.  And it shouldn’t be.  Mostly they should be fictional, found only in Toobworld for the most part.  (The North Pole of course would be multi-versal.)  But as you can see, there are some from the real world – the OK Corral, the White House, the Playboy Mansion. 

All three of them are not that easy to get to for everybody.  TV characters would have to go out of their way to visit them.  And this is why New York City won’t ever be inducted.  That would mean the 8 million plus stories of that naked city automatically qualify it.  Think of all the shows which are set in Manhattan alone, never mind the four other boroughs!  And the same goes for Miami, Chicago, and especially Los Angeles.  The one exception was Las Vegas, which was inducted last year as my own small memorial to the victims in that mass shooting.  Yes, there are a lot of people who actually live there and at least three TV series which were situated there.  But it’s a destination for so many other TV characters in one-shot visits.  The gamblers’ version of Disneyworld.

So all that serves as the preamble for this last special Friday Hall of Famer for August, to cap off our celebration of the TV Western.  This is a location which doesn’t exactly exist in the real world in the same way as it does on TV.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…..


From Wikipedia:
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park is a 932-acre (377-hectare) park located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains in northern Los Angeles County, California. It is located in the town of Agua Dulce, between the suburbs of Santa Clarita and Palmdale. The area is also visible from the Antelope Valley Freeway (State Route 14).

The prominent rock formation has been nicknamed "Kirk's Rock" due to being featured in several 'Star Trek' episodes, each time representing a different planet.

The rock formation has served in the background for plenty of TV series of a variety of genres, and not all of those locations were to be found on Tooworld itself.  As in the Real World, it can be found where it was naturally formed in California, and where it also serves as a filming location for the fictional versions of ‘Star Trek’ (which is not exactly the same as in the Real World.)  We know this because the nerdlings of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ specifically went there to have their picture taken as the characters from ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’.  But it also can be found in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, plus Libya, Afghanistan, and even on Fantasy Island! 

Tarok from the "Voyager" episode "Initiations"
The "Shore Leave" planet
Vulcan from "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home"

 And that’s just Earth Prime-Time.  It could also be found on plenty of other planets in the TV Universe, especially in the ‘Star Trek’ franchise.  By my count, there would be eight other planets with that same formation, and even then, not all of them are in the Alpha Quadrant.  The rocks can be found in other dimensions ("Land of the Lost") and even another TV universe ("Futurama".)

Here’s my splainin for it all:

The planet-building society of Magrathea built plenty of planets to the specifications of their clients.  Among these was Earth Prime-Time, the second “Earth” in the Sol system which was based on a design submitted by a super-computer known as “Deep Thought”.  (The first Earth, known by its inhabitants as Mondas, was created by God.  See?  I cover all bases!)

But the Magratheans also wanted to make a profit, and so cost-cutting measures were taken.  Among these alterations were the re-use of certain architectural designs like the Vasquez Rocks.  So when we see the Vasquez Rocks on other planets, then we can assume those planets were designed and built by the Magratheans.

Here’s a list of those eight planets from the ‘Star Trek’ franchise which must have been built by the Magratheans:

“Shore Leave

Amusement Park Planet
(where Kirk gets beaten up by Finnegan)

Metron Asteroid
(that the Metrons have set up for Kirk to fight against the Gorn)

“The Alternative Factor”
Lazarus's Planet
(site of the rift between the universes)

“Friday’s Child
Capella IV
(where Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the pregnant woman seek refuge)

“Star Trek IV”
(the peak to which Spock retreats to meditate)

“Who Watches The Watchers”

Mintaka III
(site of the "duck blind")


(Kazon training ground)

“The Unexpected”

Xyrillian homeworld

That list was compiled by Jörg Hillebrand and Bernd Schneider, to whom Toobworld Central gives thanks.

They also included the 2009 “Star Trek” movie, which I do not.  Until Spock actually went into that black hole, the movie was depicting the events of the future (based on the files given to Gene Roddenberry by a certain Time traveler who wanted to make sure the world would be ready for such a future with a TV show based on the actual future events – which they would think were fictional.)  For Toobworld, which had absorbed all the movies which preceded it, only the first part is part of Toobworld lore.  We believe Spock died going into that black hole.  From that point on, it's speculation on the part of the film-makers.  So this scene from the movie is fiction:

Because the Vasquez Rocks actually do exist in Toobworld, and I want to salute all of their manifestations in Toobworld, I’m going to label their entry in the TVXOHOF as The Vasquez Rocks Replicas.  That should cover them all.

So here are some examples of the Vasquez Rocks as seen in Toobworld.

  • “Tales Of The Bengal Lancers”
  • "Cheyenne" 
  • “Family Theatre” (“I Beheld His Glory”)
  • "Gunsmoke"
  • "The Lone Ranger”
  • “Have Gun, Will Travel”
  • “Zorro”
  • “The Adventures Of Rin Tin Tin”
  • “The Cisco Kid”
  • “Johnny Ringo”
  • “The Gene Autrey Show”
  • "Maverick"
  • "Wanted: Dead Or Alive"
  • “The Adventures Of Champion”
  • “Broken Arrow”
  • “Buffalo Bill, Jr.”
  • “The Range Rider”
  • “Annie Oakley”
  • “Stage 7”
  • “Death Valley Days”
  • “The Texan”
  • “Zane Grey Theatre”
  • “Tombstone Territory”

  • “The Westerner”
  • "Bonanza"
  • “Tales Of Wells Fargo”
  • "Big Valley"
  • "High Chaparral"
  • "Star Trek"
  • "The Wild, Wild West" 
  • “F Troop”
  • “The Fugitive”
  • “Branded”
  • “The Tall Man”
  • “Bat Masterson”
  • “Hondo”
  • “The Name Of The Game”
  • “Laramie”
  • “The Rat Patrol”
  • “The Invaders”
  • “The Outer Limits”
  • “Cimarron Strip”
  • “Mission Impossible”
  • “Alias Smith And Jones”
  • "Six Million Dollar Man" 
  • "The Bionic Woman" 
  • "Battlestar Galactica"
  • "Land Of The Lost"
  • “Fantasy Island”
  • “Daniel Boone”
  • “The Incredible Hulk”
  • “Logan’s Run” (far future, perhaps alternate TV dimension)
  • “Guns Of Paradise”
  • “Voyagers”
  • “Simon and Simon”
  • “The A-Team”
  • "McGyver"
  • "Hell Town" 
  • Taco Bell commercial "Run for the Border"
  • "Hunter"
  • “Murder, She Wrote”
  • "Airwolf"

  • "Tales from the Crypt"
  • "Jag"
  • "The Agency"
  • "Charmed"
  • “Alien Nation”
  • “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”
  • “Power Rangers Turbo”
  • “Prey”
  • “Forever Knight”
  • “Sliders” 
  • “The Pretender”
  • “Space: Above And Beyond” (but set farther into the future)
  • “Dinosaurs” (but set in the distant future)

  • “Las Vegas”
  • “Alias”
  • “Bones”
  • “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”
  • "Malcolm in the Middle"
  • "Without a Trace"
  • "Last Comic Standing"
  • "Saving Grace"
  • "NCIS"
  • "CSI"
  • “Saul Of The Mole Men”
  • “Westworld”
  • “New Girl”
  • “Teen Wolf”
  • “The Middleman”
  • “Vegas” (but set in the early 60s)
And from the Tooniverse....

In closing, I’d like to echo an opinion shared on the internet:

“If some day an inanimate object is granted a star 
on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, 
by all rights the honor should go to Vasquez Rocks.

I hope a membership in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame will suffice in the meantime.  Here, inanimate objects are always welcome…..

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Even though there is one more blog post to run before my August showcase on TV Westerns finishes, this is the last one I'm actually writing this year.  With it, I'm taking another look at 'The Twilight Zone' with a theoretical link to another Western series... by way of 'Doctor Who'.

I've written about Jerry Hearndan in the past. He was the former movie co-star of Barbara Jean Trenton whom she rebuffed when she saw how old he had become over the years.  In that previous blog post, I did a theory of relateeveety on him, making him the brother of a symphony conductor found in an episode of the original 'Ellery Queen'.  (Both roles were played by Jerome Cowan.)

But this time, I want to take a look at what happened to Jerry Hearndan that night after he left Barbara Jean's mansion of faded dreams.

Jerry drove away from her home and decided to check one of his grocery stores in the neighborhood which was about to close up shop for the evening.  The parking lot was deserted save for the cars belonging to the employees still on duty.  As per his habit, Hearndan parked far away from them all.  (This was mostly due to his fading eyesight - he didn't want to risk bumping any vehicles which might be parked next to him,)

As he crossed the darkened lot, He thought he heard a hardened flutter of wings.  He turned to look behind him and there was a statue of a winged angel taking up a parking space.  

Strange... he didn't remember noticing it as he passed that spot a moment before.

Figuring that some teenaged delinquents had stolen it from the nearby garden supply store and left it there as a prank, Jerry Hearndan made a mental note to have the stockboys return it in the morning.  And then he turned back towards the store.

And the next thing he knew, it was broad daylight and he was standing at the train station in Ellwood, Kansas.  Oddly enough, it appeared to be Frontier Days or some such re-enactment, as everyone was dressed in Old West garb.

As the day progressed, Jerry Hearndan was able to piece together the details of his situation from his own observations and from conversations with the local townsfolk.  He was no longer in the 1960s; it was the 1870s!  

Jerry Hearndan was not one to panic.  Having assessed the situation, he realized he was now trapped in that time period and was resigned to such a fate.  He had led a long, good life, had made his mark in the world as a matinee idol in his younger days.....  But truth be told, he had become a bit bored with it all in his elder years.  Not that he ever contemplated bringing his personal story to a close by his own means, but even though it was a comfortable living, managing a chain of grocery stores was not exactly a challenge.

But to now be living in the wild, wild West?   No phone, no lights, no motor car, Not a single luxury....  Now there was a challenge!

It was difficult adjusting in those first few days - he knew the money in his wallet would be worthless because of its design.  So that meant he needed to find a job... and fast, if he was to pay for lodgings and meals.  

Despite the ordeal of traveling back in Time, Hearndan's clothing was still impeccable.  In fact, a woman whom he passed in the main street remarked on the sharpness of his suit's cut; that it was nothing she had ever seen there in Ellwood.  Thinking quickly on his feet and calling on improvisational skills from his earlier career as an actor, Hearndan told her that it was one of the latest styles to come out of New York City.

"New York City?" she exclaimed, aghast.  She hastily blessed herself and hurried away.

Hearndan had already forgotten about her though.  On the other side of the street he saw the town bank and in its iron-barred window there was a sign: "HELP WANTED."

By the end of the day, Jerry Hearndan had become a citizen of Ellwood and an employee of the bank.  But he was no longer known as Jerry Hearndan.  That had always been a manufactured moniker foisted on him by the Powers That Be at Mammoth Pictures.  (He always thought it should have been spelled "Herndon" anyway.)  He wasn't sure what might happen in his own revised future, but should he bring some kind of notoriety to his name, it might jeopardize his past career as an actor by that name.  Instead he used an alias which had been the name of a character he once played in a movie with his former co-star Barbara Jean Trenton.

From that day forward, he would be known as Waldo Hennessey.

Several years passed and "Waldo Hennessey" acclimated easily to his new life.  It underwent a seismic shift one day when the bank was held up by a notorious gang of thieves led by Sam Belden.  During the raid, the sheriff was killed, as was the bank manager.  

Waldo Hennessey was pressed into carrying on as an interim bank manager until the bank trustees could choose a replacement.  As it turned out, they decided there was no better choice for the job than Hennessey.  (As for the sheriff, a new lawman named Brewster - no relation to a lawyer named Tom Brewster - eventually was hired to take over.  In the meantime, at least Ellwood had a federal marshal named Mort Dooley.)

Eventually Bank Manager Waldo Hennessey crossed paths with two outlaws also notorious at that time (but eventually their legend faded in history.)  Instead of trying to take money out of the bank, they were bringing back a shipment that had been stolen during a stagecoach robbery.  The two men, Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones (but in reality, Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry) inquired after a reward for returning all of the money.  But "Waldo" demurred - he agreed that they were entitled to a reward, but as the money had been under the aegis of the United States Postal Service, they would have to deal with them in getting that reward.

And that wasn't likely to happen with the walls of post offices festooned with Wanted posters for Heyes and Curry!

And that was the last time we saw Jerry Hearndan in Toobworld - at least on his personal timeline.  In the greater Toobworld timeline, he was yet to be born (which would happen in 1897, as "Thierry Roussel" to French immigrant parents on the lower East Side of New York City.)

That Weeping Angel which sent Jerry Hearndan into the past?  We've met it before and it has been inducted into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  When I wanted to find a theory of relateeveety between a character in "modern" times and a character from TV Westerns, I usually went the route of children (with saloon girls as the mothers.)  But when the Western character is older than the modern character, sometimes I claim that the Westerner was that character from the 20th Century, sent back by that Weeping Angel. 

Each angel has a set time period to which it can transport its victims.  For instance, the Angel that sent the Doctor and Martha Jones back in Time to the middle of the 1960s from 2007 was the same one which sent Detective Billy Shipton to the same time.  However, another Angel sent Cathy Nightingale back to Hull in 1920.

So this particular Angel would send TV characters from "modern times" back to the Old West.  We detailed a lot of these when we inducted this Weeping Angel into the TVXOHOF one October......

  • 'The Twilight Zone' - "The Sixteen Millimeter Shrine"
  • 'Alias Smith And Jones' - "The Root Of It All"
  • 'Doctor Who' - "Blink"
  • 'Maverick' - "Gun Shy"
  • 'The Big Valley' - "Teacher Of Outlaws"
  • 'Sugarfoot' 
Happy trails!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


This story popped up at the end of July:

In Plain Sight Marketing
July 31, 2018

A new sitcom called "Casino Boss" starring comedian, movie star and Saturday Night Live alum, Joe Piscopo, is filming in the Carson Nugget Casino, located at 507 N. Carson St.

A full cast of comedians and performers including Bob Zany, comedian and the real "Bob" from the "Bob & Tom" syndicated radio show, Grammy nominated singer, songwriter and award-winning filmmaker, Linda Chorney and Kabir Singh are part of the cast.

Locals Roger Diez, Cameron Crane and Sophie Moeller are also part of the cast. The show is being directed by Yvette Fintland and written by the Carson Nugget's owner, Dean DiLullo, loosely based on the iconic history of the Carson Nugget.

"The premise of the script is 'How hard can it be to run a casino?'" DiLullo said. "Every day funny things happen in the casino and this sitcom has captured them."

Carson City, Nevada, has always been a recognizable location of the Old West in TV Westerns, probably thanks mostly to 'Bonanza'.  (On that map in the opening credits, the Ponderosa mega-ranch of the Cartwrights looks like it's about to swallow the western town whole.

From Wikipedia:
Carson City is an independent city in and the capital of the US state of Nevada, named after the mountain man Kit Carson. As of the 2010 census, the population was 55,274.  The majority of the town's population lives in Eagle Valley, on the eastern edge of the Carson Range, a branch of the Sierra Nevada, about 30 miles (50 km) south of Reno.

Here are some of the examples in which the televersion of Carson City provided the location in TV Westerns:


"The Man Who'd Bet On Anything"

Abe Curry is determined to do anything to make Carson City a success and later helps make it the state capital. But his habit of betting on everything puts the well being of his family and future at risk.

"Lady of the Press"

Mike Ward arrives in Carson City and immediately clashes with newspaper owner Lauri Frick. He establishes a rival paper, both working to improve things in frontier Nevada. What Lauri doesn't realize is who her secret contributor is.

"Fighting Sky Pilot"

Reverend Ben Darniell believes he should practice what he preaches, and he refuses to resort to violence in the face of opposition. But he finds a minister in Carson City must be prepared to fight for those who cannot defend themselves.

"Little Washington"

The tale of a society belle of Washington, D.C. who is transplanted to Carson City, Nevada, then known as "Little Washington".


"One Ace Too Many"
In his second attempt to cash in on Ben's good name, crooked lookalike Bradley Meredith learns that the Cartwrights are in Carson City and, posing as Ben, pretends that he is seriously ill and begins to liquidate the Ponderosa's assets. 

"Company Of Forgotten Men"
Candy is kidnapped by retired Army Sergeant Mike Russell and his band of fellow former soldiers when he uncovers their plan to blast their way into the Carson City Mint to steal the pension they believe they deserve, but never received, from their long years of Army service

"Justice Deferred"
Not long after bad-tempered Frank Scott is hanged for murdering a young woman in a dark Virginia City alley, witness for the prosecution, Hoss Cartwright, sees a man in a Carson City saloon who looks just like Frank, hears him whistling the same strange tune the killer whistled that fateful night, and begins to fear that his testimony has sent the wrong man to the gallows.

"The Spanish Grant"
The Cartwrights try to disprove the validity of a Spanish land grant to stop the De La Cuesta family from seizing part of the Ponderosa and all of the Carson Valley settlers' homestead lands.


"The Night Of Sudden Death"

Black clad men clamber over each other and up the wall to a high window, entering the United States Mint at Carson City. They plant a bomb and leave without taking any of the money. Jim West and Artemus Gordon must learn why they broken in and who masterminded the plot before economic chaos overtakes the United States.

I don't see any reason why any of those characters living in Carson City in those episodes couldn't have run into each other.

Like this new 'Casino Boss', there was another TV series which was centered around Carson City in "the present." (At the time, it was the 1950s.)

te Trooper'

Rod Blake, a State Trooper, is an officer of the Nevada Department of Public Safety. The setting is in the 1950s American West.

Here's an example from the show:

"Carson City Kitty"
Blake suspects an inside job when a valuable necklace is stolen from a Carson City, Nevada museum.

And it's not just found in the main Toobworld.  Carson City is also located in the TV dimension of the sitcom Presidents.  (Containing 'Nancy', 'Mr. President', 'Corey In The House', 'Hail To The Chief', etc.)



While Amy, Dan, Jonah and Richard lead the Nevada recount effort, Mike begins a new diet, Kent tries to figure out how old Sue is, and Selina meets a billionaire banker.

As of now, there are no plans to honor Carson City, Nevada, as a TV location by inducting it into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.  As with any other location like New York City and Los Angeles, just because TV characters live in an established location isn't enough to qualify it.  This may change as I do further research (yeah, watch the actual episodes.)  But also I'll check out the surnames in those episodes - perhaps I can cobble together some theories of relateeveety to connect them all.....

Check back next August, maybe we'll have come up with something.....

Happy trails to you!