Friday, September 1, 2023


I’m beginning this post on October 05, 2023 and finally posting it December 18.  Not bad for the September inductee into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame!

With the September ceremony, the TVXOHOF aims to honor those who worked behind the scenes to ensure the viability of Toobworld.  Past inductees have included Norman Lear, Sherry Lansing, Rod Serling, Jamie Tarses, Gene Roddenberry, Susan Harris, Wm. T. Orr and even the fictional UBS Network.

This year’s candidate was responsible for the successful promotion of many TV series, not only by writing about them in his Variety column, but also appearing as his fictional televersion in many sitcoms and dramas, becoming the common character to link them all in Earth Prime-Time.  (Granted, there may be other episodes which would negate their inclusion, but the Toobworld Dynamic has no problem in relegating those single episodes to another Toobworld but keeping the rest of the series in Earth Prime-Time.  For examples, check out ‘Law & Order’-“Gov Luv” and the crossover between ‘NCIS-L.A.’ and ‘Hawaii Five-0’.)

So that’s why we’re celebrating…

From Wikipedia:
Armand Andre Archerd (January 13, 1922 – September 8, 2009) was an American columnist for Variety for over fifty years before retiring his "Just for Variety" column in September 2005.  In November 2005, Archerd began blogging for Variety and was working on a memoir when he died.

Archerd was born in The Bronx, New York, and graduated from UCLA in 1941. He was hired by Variety to replace columnist Sheilah Graham (former girlfriend of F. Scott Fitzgerald) in 1953. His "Just for Variety" column appeared on page two of Daily Variety and swiftly became popular in Hollywood. Archerd broke many exclusive stories, reporting from film sets, announcing pending deals, giving news of star-related hospitalizations, marriages, and births. In 1984, he was given a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, in front of Mann's Chinese Theater, where he had emceed dozens of movie premieres.

One of his most significant scoops was in his July 23, 1985, column, when he printed that Rock Hudson, despite denials from the actor's publicists and managers, was undergoing treatment for AIDS.

Archerd made four appearances on the popular, long-running game show ‘The Hollywood Squares’ in the 1970s. His bluffs to questions from Peter Marshall became legendary, as he was able to fool contestants into believing his (often ridiculous) answers. Some say he was even better than the accepted champion in that regard, long-time participant John Davidson.

Also in that decade, Archerd and his wife Selma made appearances on the game show ‘Tattletales’.

Archerd died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center from a rare form of lung cancer (pleural mesothelioma), as a result of his exposure to asbestos in the Navy during World War II.

O’Bservation - He made several appearances in TV series, like ‘Burke's Law’, ‘ Mannix’, and the one which probably gets repeated most often in syndication, ‘Columbo’.

Here are the shows which guaranteed him membership in the Hall*….


A high end charity fundraiser is being held at Dino's, the private event being televised to bring further publicity. Among the highlights are the six young socialites chosen from around the country to model a total of $1 million dollars worth of jewels being loaned by jeweler, Halevy. Stuart has been hired by the insurance company to oversee the security of the jewels. After the organizers deal with a medical incident where "Miss Boston" Laura Stanley, a diabetic, goes into what is eventually deemed insulin shock, Halevy notices that the Morfield diamond necklace she was wearing, valued at $100,000, has been replaced by a fake. The incident occurred when Stuart was dealing with another issue in the main room, namely throwing out known jewel thief, Phil Ashton.

Halevy eventually receives a ransom request to pay the $100,000 after what would be the end of the charity event for return of the diamond, which may be a more palatable option to the insurance company than they are paying the insured $300,000 value. The theft could have been done by any one of the dozen or so people in the room, with Stuart partly relying on Kookie, as one in the room, to provide an accurate eyewitness account.

While Gil knows that whoever stole the diamond is working on Ashton's behalf, Stuart believes the diamond is still on site somewhere and that the six socialites are probably not involved, not even Miss Stanley, as $100,000 is mere pocket change for any of their families. But with unwitting assistance by one of the socialites in her knowledge of jewelry and getting the answer to three further technical questions, Stuart may discover the nature of the plot, including who the inside person is and where the diamond is located.

O’Bservation – This sounds like the kind of event Archerd would have been covering on his “beat”.  Unfortunately, ’77 Sunset Strip’ is not currently streaming anywhere so that I might check his involvement.


A famous entertainer inadvertently shoots a hotel bellhop during a drunken game. But when Nick investigates, he finds the bellhop reluctant to talk.

O’Bservation - The first example in which Archerd was identified by occupation and not by name.

4 out of 6 Episodes (See the O’Bservation)


Ruthless Hollywood agent Marty Kelso is murdered and leaves behind a plethora of suspects including a new wife and three ex-wives.

O'Bservation - Of the three classic 'Burke's Law' episodes, this is the only one in which Archerd was the only entertainment reporter on the scene.


When wealthy Amenor arrives in town to sell a lucrative oil lease, an apparent sniper attack on Amenor kills his bookkeeper and suspicion immediately suggests the culprit is one of three parties vying for a deal.


A tennis star is murdered at a charity event - by an exploding tennis ball.

O’Bservation – This tally of episodes includes one from the 1990s return of the series, which will be dealt with at that point in the Toobworld timeline.  However, it does not include an episode in which Archerd played a father, nor does it include the one in which he was the White House Press Secretary.  (Those were O’Bviously other characters who bore incredible likenesses to Army Archerd.)


Although stymied when they try to get incriminating photographs of a man suspected of making a phony accident claim, Honey and Sam discover that the subject's accident witness, a seemingly sweet old lady, is suspiciously accident-prone herself.


Vain, arrogant, fading movie star Anne Marion calls a press conference to announce plans for an autobiography. Then, a bomb goes off. The actress hires Intertect and, after a look at available operatives, decides Mannix is her man. The assumption was the bomb was a publicity stunt. Mannix visits one of Anne's ex-husbands, who performs special effects work. The bomb was supposed to be a dud. Mannix is convinced that someone wants to do the actress harm. She has three suspicious ex-husbands, one of whom is an arrogant hothead, the other who employs shady and violent bodyguards. Mannix decides to make himself a target by having Anne's college-age daughter take the diary of the actress and letting the ex-husbands know it. Is one of them the potential killer? Or is it somebody else?


Richard Burton, the movie star, escapes riotous fans by wearing a plumber's disguise. Lucy Carter mistakes him for a much needed plumber, and brings him back to the office to fix a sink. Lucy later finds a remarkable diamond ring in his discarded overalls. By the time Lucy discovers it is THE famous Elizabeth Taylor diamond ring, it is already stuck on her finger. The end result is a crescendo of comedy as Liz feverishly tries to get the ring off Lucy's finger. Ultimately, Lucy's arms are used as Liz Taylor's while Richard & Liz do a scheduled press party.


Ann is nervous about the opening night of the first ever Broadway play in which she is performing. 

Army Archerd, Joyce Haber, and Vernon Scott all appear as themselves reviewing a Broadway play. Each was in his or her own right a successful columnist writing almost exclusively about famous personalities in the entertainment world and the various shows in which these personalities performed, but, unlike the suggestion in Ann's fantasies that these three columnists give her and the New York-based play bad reviews, these three columnists lived and worked their entire careers primarily in Los Angeles and, for the most part, restricted their columns to topics pertaining to Hollywood. Army Archerd wrote for Variety; Joyce Haber wrote for the Los Angeles Times, and Vernon Scott wrote for United Press International (UPI).


Ann is excited to be performing in a new Broadway revue. Her specific sketch is a comic one where she portrays a Mexican woman complete with Spanish accent and Mexican stereotypical behavior. What she is unaware of is that a lobby group, calling itself Dignidades (Spanish for Dignities), is trying to have that sketch taken out of the show for its offensive nature. The producer, George Phillips, refuses their demands.

O’Bservation – In this episode, Archerd is identified as a TV critic, but as he’s basically his televersion then he can be whatever the script calls for.

S6 E1 
Archerd was part of the "news team", reporting that Barbra Streisand was going to get a nose job in November of 1972.  And that the procedure would take at least a week.  (I wonder if she ever forgave him?)


Richard and Judy's season tickets to the Lakers basketball games suddenly become an issue of community property. It's playoff time for the team, and five people want to attend. However, there are only three tickets. How to divide them fairly among the new families is the humorously tricky issue to solve.


Officer Wells is taking up a collection for a man, his daughter and her baby to have gas money to make it to San Franisco for an operation on the baby for a tumor.

Mac tells Wells the man he collected money for is a well known con-artist with a rap sheet everywhere west of the Mississippi River.

O’Bservation – Archerd is listed as “Reporter”, but he must have been playing himself.  As he was interviewing that grifter for a human interest story, it must have been a slow news day for show biz.


After Kolchak put a stake through the heart of vampire Janos Skorzeny and all his victims were cremated, that was thought to have been the end of the line for the vampire. However, one victim, a call girl named Catherine Rawlins was not found and after a road crew unknowingly freed her she resumes her "career". However, instead of turning tricks she uses her job as a way to meet unsuspecting victims of her own and begins a murderous rampage of her own and eventually makes her way to Los Angeles. Kolchak heads for L.A. to hunt her down and try to stop her before the City of Angels becomes the city of the undead.

O’Bservation – The “Man” whom Archerd is playing is accompanied by a woman played by his real-world wife, Selma.  Therefore, I’m declaring them to be appearing as themselves.


At the premiere of a movie compiling movie clips a la ‘That’s Entertainment!’, Archerd did a live interview with former movie star Grace Wheeler.

[Man Reporter]

O’Bservation – As opposed to what?  Female Reporter?  Alien Reporter?  Android Reporter?  It’s another example of Archerd going about his job as a reporter.


James befriends a new boy at school from a wealthy family, and the two take an unsupervised trip to California.

O’Bservation – Nothing says that Army Archerd couldn’t get a side gig as an emcee.  Hey – a gig’s a gig….

A beautiful girl from a small town with dreams of making it in Hollywood marries an actor whose career is fading, then schemes to get him back into the big time - and her with him.

Matty and Alan are old friends. Alan wants to be a writer, meanwhile he's a teacher, and wants Matty, a long time friend, to be more than a friend. She doesn't exactly know what she wants, other than being in show business (her mother is less than enthusiastic).


Roscoe brokers a fishy deal with a multinational corporation and his moral turpitude is exposed, Miles is raped in prison, and a peaceful protest organized by Alex's wife Margot turns violent when a bomb is placed in the bank.


Actress Ramona Landers reports to the set of her comeback film. Her young costar Todd Gallagher accuses her of drunkenness, then gulps her drink and dies of poisoning. Houston interviews her husband and those involved with the film.

O’Bservation 1 - Archerd was on the scene when Ramona Landers was about to make her return to the silver screen, just in time to witness a murder and order his cameraman to keep rolling.

O’Bservation 2 – I’m wondering why he didn’t recognize the similarity between Ramona Landers and Grace Wheeler?  As the Splainer-in-Chief for Toobworld, I got some splainin to do – Army Archerd already knew and it was old news.  Ramona and Grace were twin sisters.  But like Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland, they were bitter rivals and on the outs with each other.  So it was a wise decision on Army Archerd’s part to avoid that topic when setting up his interview with Ramona. 

By the way, this episode set up that premise… sort of.  Ramona’s daughter had lost her twin brother in a plane crash; it could be her bloodline was genetically pre-disposed to twins.


The hotel hosts a Beauty Pageant where an obsessed mother pushes her daughter to win at any cost.

O’Bservation – I think Peter Marshall hosted the beauty pageant (but not as himself), so Archerd was probably acting in a reporter capacity.

A newly rich New Jersey trucker moves to Hollywood and creates a slew of hit TV shows by manipulating the ratings system with help from his girlfriend in the ratings business.


A party was held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Eileen Todd's first movie, which marked her first appearance in public since a terrible accident on set 40 years earlier.  And Archerd was there to cover the celebration.


This episode includes cameos by Jayne Meadows, Steve Allen, Army Archerd, Barbi Benton, Milton Berle, Barbara Billingsley, Tom Bosley, Ruth Buzzi, Carol Channing, Charo, Bert Convey, Elinor Donahue, Tony Dow, David Doyle, Florence Henderson, Artie Johnson, Gordon Jump, Don Knotts, Judy Landers, Tina Louise Jerry Mathers, Tom Poston, Louis Nye, Juliette Prowse, Robert Reed, Charlene Tilton, Vic Tayback, Leslie Uggams, Jo Ann Worley and Jane Wyatt. All of whom appeared on ‘The Love Boat’ several times during the run of the show.



When the star of a popular daytime soap arrives at the annual awards show, she is murdered on the red carpet in full view of a television audience. Peter and Amos have many suspects to choose from.


Murphy must apologize for what she said about a popular talk show host.

EMMA (1997)

While attending a Hollywood social party with Paige, Ellen spots British actress Emma Thompson making out with another woman and afterward convinces Paige to hire her as Emma's personal assistant while she's in town to film a movie and to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Ellen then convinces Emma to "come out," to the public, against Paige's protest. But Emma soon reveals to Ellen that it's not the only sordid secret that she hides of her past. At the banquet, Sean Penn appears with a surprise revelation of his own.

[Referring to Regis Philbin's character, Darren Tate]


A pair of talk-show hosts pull a ratings stunt that ends with one murdering the other. But Sloan quickly discovers someone may have set them up and discovers the cutthroat business of daytime talk shows gives him quite a few suspects.

When Darrin Tate is brought into Community General after his co-host Mary Montgomery decked him in their TV talk-show, they both insist it's staged between good friends during the weeks when crucial ratings are measured. In the next show he shoots her, and claims to be shocked finding someone switched the blanks she loaded herself with fatal live ammo.

The doctors and Steve unravel motive and opportunity in the brutally competitive and deceptive studio circles for that murder and Mary's personal assistants which is masked as a fatal car accident.

BEST ACTRESS (2000 TV Movie)
Ted, a recently murdered writer for a Hollywood tabloid magazine, narrates his story about the five sordid and scandalous lives of five actresses nominated for the Academy Award for best actress who include British star Fiona Covington; teenage drug addict Amber Lyons; alcoholic, self-hating lesbian Lori Seefer; blond vixen and center-fold Karen Kroll; and washed-up singer Connie Travis, and out of all of these individuals, one of them vows to kill the one who wins the award if she doesn't.

O’Bservation – TV movies are as much a part of the main Toobworld as are sitcoms, dramas and even commercials.  But often they need to be shunted off to an alternate Toobworld because the creators know that it’s probably on one-shot, so anything goes; there’s no need for any consideration given to poor, poor pitiful me as I try to maintain a Television Universe.  (That’s basically why I retired.)

I have no problem with this character coming back from the Afterlife; Toobworld has been home to witches, genies, androids, Martians, angels, Lucifer, and talking horses.  But take a look at this quote:

I think that guy who plays Henry on ‘Dawson's Creek’ is cute.
Jennifer Radley slept with him. She said he broke last week's record.
Isn't she a dyke?
Nah, she's just outdoorsy.
The gay look is so in these days.

I have a feeling that this TV movie, which was probably a failed pilot, was chock-full of Zonks – those discrepancies where TV characters refer to other TV shows which should be sharing the same TV universe.  Like that reference to ‘Dawson’s Creek’.  Why deal with that headache?  So I’m shipping it off to the alt-Toobworld where it’s accepted that the TV series from the Trueniverse were just that – TV shows – and not part of the fabric of Earth Prime-Time.  This makes Army Archerd a multi-dimensional.

And then there are several game shows in which Archerd took part, including fellow TVXOHOF member 'The Hollywood Squares'.  (One day I'll find a copy of him on that show....)



Welcome to the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, Mr. Archerd.  I'd like to think you'll be announcing all the future inductees into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame....

* All descriptions are from the IMDb.

Thursday, August 31, 2023


It’s the last day of August; I guess I better post the August inductee into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame!

By tradition, the new member for August in any year has a connection to TV Westerns, and for some of my Toobers, it might come as a surprise that this year’s inductee was most often seen in Toobworld in the Old West.


From Wikipedia:
Edwin Thomas Booth (November 13, 1833 – June 7, 1893) was an American actor who toured throughout the United States and the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespearean plays. In 1869, he founded Booth's Theatre in New York. Some theatrical historians consider him the greatest American actor, and the greatest Prince Hamlet, of the 19th century. His achievements are often overshadowed by his relationship with his younger brother, actor John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

After John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Lincoln in April 1865, the infamy associated with the Booth name forced Edwin Booth to abandon the stage for many months. Edwin, who had been feuding with John Wilkes before the assassination, disowned him afterward, refusing to have John's name spoken in his house. He made his return to the stage at the Winter Garden Theatre in January 1866, playing the title role in Hamlet, which would eventually become his signature role.

In 1869, Edwin acquired his brother John's body after repeatedly writing to President Andrew Johnson pleading for it. Johnson finally released the remains, and Edwin had them buried, unmarked, in the family plot at Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore.

On April 23, 1879, Mark Gray, a traveling salesman from Keokuk, Iowa, fired two shots from a pistol at Booth. Booth was playing the title role in Richard II at McVicker's Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, during the final act of the William Shakespeare tragedy. Gray gave as his motive a wrong done to a friend by Booth. Gray's shots, which were fired from a distance of thirty-four feet, missed Booth, burying themselves in the stage floor. The would-be assassin was jailed at Central Station in Chicago. Booth was not acquainted with Gray, who worked for a St. Louis, Missouri dry goods firm. A letter to a woman in Ohio was found on Gray's person. The correspondence affirmed Gray's intent to murder Booth. The attempted assassination occurred on Shakespeare's supposed birthday and came at a time when Booth was receiving numerous death threats by mail.

In 1888, Booth founded The Players, a private club for performing, literary, and visual artists and their supporters, purchasing and furnishing a home on Gramercy Park as its clubhouse.

His final performance was, fittingly, in his signature role of Hamlet, in 1891 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Edwin Booth saved Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert, from serious injury or even death. The incident occurred on a train platform in Jersey City, New Jersey. The exact date of the incident is uncertain, but it is believed to have taken place in late 1864 or early 1865. Robert Lincoln recalled the incident in a 1909 letter to Richard Watson Gilder, editor of The Century Magazine.

The incident occurred while a group of passengers were late at night purchasing their sleeping car places from the conductor who stood on the station platform at the entrance of the car. The platform was about the height of the car floor, and there was of course a narrow space between the platform and the car body. There was some crowding, and I happened to be pressed by it against the car body while waiting my turn. In this situation the train began to move, and by the motion I was twisted off my feet, and had dropped somewhat, with feet downward, into the open space, and was personally helpless, when my coat collar was vigorously seized and I was quickly pulled up and out to a secure footing on the platform. Upon turning to thank my rescuer I saw it was Edwin Booth, whose face was of course well known to me, and I expressed my gratitude to him, and in doing so, called him by name.

Booth did not know the identity of the man whose life he had saved until some months later, when he received a letter from a friend, Colonel Adam Badeau, who was an officer on the staff of General Ulysses S. Grant. Badeau had heard the story from Robert Lincoln, who had since joined the Union Army and was also serving on Grant's staff. In the letter, Badeau gave his compliments to Booth for the heroic deed. The fact that he had saved the life of Abraham Lincoln's son was said to have been of some comfort to Edwin Booth following his brother's assassination of the president.

Edwin Booth had a small stroke in 1891, which precipitated his decline. He suffered another stroke in April 1893 and died June 7, 1893, in his apartment in The Players clubhouse. He was buried next to his first wife at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His bedroom in the club has been kept untouched since his death. The New York Times reported his death.

In 1959, the actor Robert McQueeney played Booth in the episode "The Man Who Loved Lincoln" on the ABC/Warner Brothers western television series, ‘Colt .45’, starring Wayde Preston as the fictitious undercover agent Christopher Colt, who in the story line is assigned to protect Booth from a death threat.

In 1960, the anthology series television series ‘Death Valley Days’ broadcast "His Brother's Keeper", in which Booth visits a small town after the Lincoln assassination, with one of the town's influential citizens trying to have him run out of town.

In 1966, Martin Landau played Edwin Booth in the episode "This Stage of Fools" of the NBC western television series, ‘Branded’, starring Chuck Connors as Jason McCord. In the story line, McCord takes a job as the bodyguard to the actor Edwin Booth, brother of the presidential assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

In 2013, Will Forte played Edwin Booth in the "Washington, D.C." episode of the Comedy Central's series, ‘Drunk History’, created by Derek Waters.

In 2014, Edwin Booth was played by Gordon Tanner in ‘The Pinkertons’ episode, "The Play's the Thing" (S1:E3). In the episode, both the "Hundred nights Hamlet" and Edwin's rescue of Robert Lincoln are mentioned.

Despite all of these actors who played Booth, none of them are from alternate Toobworlds.  To splain away the difference in appearances, each of them is how they appear to some other character in that episode, colored by sentiment.  And then we see Booth through that other character’s eyes.  For example, the Edwin Booth played by Martin Landau was how Jason McCord saw him.  John Crawford’s Booth was Will Santee’s opinion of his looks.

The only one who isn’t a true version of Edwin Booth in any TV Universe is the one played by Will Forte in an episode of ‘Drunk History’.  He is depicted as how Derek Waters, who was the host of ‘Drunk History’, envisioned him in the story told by one of the drunken narrators.

Here are Edwin Booth’s qualifications to join the TVXOHOF:

COLT .45
(Played by Robert McQueeney)

Colt is hired as bodyguard to actor Edwin Booth, brother of the assassin of Abraham Lincoln.

(Played by Harry Townes)

Edwin Booth arrives in Downieville to do a Shakespearean show 6 months after his brother assassinated Lincoln. Town tough Rogan and his cronies try to prevent the performance. It's up to Jeb Hayes to show his son to stand up for what's right.

(Played by John Crawford)

The Santee family---Will, his mother, and his younger sister---join the wagon train under a false surname. They have been forced out of town after town because of a terrible thing a family member did. They confide in Hale, Hawks, and Charlie, who agree to keep their secret from the others on the train. But it soon comes out anyway, and things get complicated when Will falls for a young woman from the wagon train.

(Played by Efrem Zimbalist Jr.)

Bronco and Col. Bart Traver meet with Shakespearian actor Edwin Booth on a train during a short stopover. He and his troupe are on the way to Virginia City, Nevada for an engagement. Col. Traver reveals that President Grant has sent him to request Booth's help with uncovering and stopping a group hoping to overthrow the federal government by playing on the sympathies of southerners to get their support. Edwin has always been a strong supporter of the Union although ten years earlier his younger brother John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln. They want him to pretend to hate the Union and support the Confederacy while in Virginia City to attract the attention of the traitors they are after. Bronco will act as his friend and bodyguard. Booth, although tired of theohn  pain his name has caused him due to his brother, reluctantly agrees to help them. In Virginia City tempers run high among the people there. Booth's comments eventually leads to the hoped connection but before that happens other dangers must be confronted.

(Played by Martin Landau)

Jason gets mixed up in the aftermath of President Lincoln's assassination when he agrees to take a job to protect a man out for revenge against those who 'helped' his brother, John Wilkes Booth, kill the President of the United States.

(Played by Will Forte)

Woodward and Bernstein blow open the Watergate scandal; actors/brothers Edwin and John Wilkes Booth engage in a tragic feud; and Elvis crashes the White House to meet Nixon. Guest starring Jack Black, Dave Grohl, Bob Odenkirk.

(Played by Gordon Tanner)

Will and Kate get more drama than they bargained for when an actor dies during a performance of "Hamlet" and Will is forced to go undercover as a member of a traveling theater troupe.

Welcome to the TV Crossover Hall of Fame, Mr. Booth!