Monday, May 23, 2016

This Week in Television History: May 2016 PART IV

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:

As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

May 23, 1994
All Good Things... comprises the 25th and 26th episodes of the seventh season and the series finale of the syndicated Americanscience fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. 
It is the 177th and 178th episodes of the series overall. The title is derived from the expression "All good things must come to an end", a phrase used by the character "Q" during the episode itself. Capt. Jean-Luc Picard inexplicably finds his mind jumping between the present (stardate 47988) and the past just prior to the USSEnterprise-D's first mission six years earlier at Farpoint Station and over twenty-five years into the future, where an aged Picard has retired to the family vineyard in Labarre, France. These jumps occur without warning, and the resulting discontinuity in Picard's behavior frequently leaves him and those around him confused.
In the present, Picard is ordered to take the Enterprise to the edge of the Romulan Neutral Zone to investigate a spatial anomaly.

In the future, he gains passage on the USS Pasteur, which is under the command of his now ex-wife, Dr. Beverly Picard, whom he convinces to find the anomaly.
In the past, despite having the Enterprise's mission to Farpoint Station cancelled by Starfleet to investigate the anomaly, Picard insists on continuing, believing the impending encounter with Q to be more important. After reaching the place where he had first encountered the Q in the form of a net near Farpoint Station and finding nothing there, Picard enters his ready room, only to find himself once again in Q's courtroom. Q reveals that the trial started seven years ago never concluded, and the current situation is humanity's last chance to prove themselves to the Q Continuum, but secretly reveals that he himself is the cause of Picard's time jumping. Q challenges Picard to solve the mystery of the anomaly, cryptically stating that Picard will destroy humanity.
As Jean-Luc Picard arrives at the anomaly in all three time periods, he discovers that the anomaly is much larger in the past, but does not exist at all in the future. As the past and present Enterprises scan the anomaly with tachyon beams, the USS Pasteur is attacked by Klingon ships, but the crew is saved due to the timely arrival of the future Enterpriseunder the command of Admiral William Riker. He fires on several of the attacking Klingon warships, which causes them to flee the neutral zone. It is revealed that Riker and Worf are in a feud over the late Enterprise counselor Deanna Troi, with whom both had a serious relationship and who had died years earlier. Q once again appears to Picard and takes him to billions of years in the past on Earth, where the anomaly, growing larger as it moves backwards in time, has taken over the whole of the Alpha Quadrant and has prevented the formation of life on Earth. When Picard returns to the future, he discovers the anomaly has appeared, created as a result of his orders, and the tachyon pulses from the three eras are sustaining it. Data and Geordi determine that they can stop the anomaly by having all three Enterprises fly into the center of it and create static warp shells. Picard relays the orders to each Enterprise. Each ship suffers warp core breaches, with Q telling the future Picard that "all good things must come to an end" just before the future Enterprise explodes.

Picard finds himself facing Q in the courtroom as before. Q congratulates Picard for being able to think in multiple timelines simultaneously to solve the puzzle, which is proof that humanity can still evolve, much to the surprise of the Q Continuum. Q admits to helping Picard to solve it with the time jumping since he was the one that put them in this situation, and then goes on to explain that the anomaly never actually existed and that his past and present have been restored. He then withdraws from the courtroom and bids farewell to Picard by saying "See you ... out there". Picard then returns to the Enterprise of the present and no longer jumping through time.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".


Stay Tuned


Tony Figueroa 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Alan Young

We had some marvelous outtakes,
but the producer had destroyed them all
-Alan Young
Angus "Alan" Young
Alan Young died on yesterday at the age of 96.
By the time he was in high school, Young had his own comedy radio series entitled Stag Party on the CBCnetwork, but left during World War II to serve in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army.
Click HERE to listen to the show
In 1944, Young moved to American radio with The Alan Young ShowNBC's summer replacement for Eddie Cantor's series. He switched to ABC two years later, then returned to NBC.
Young's film debut was in Margie (1946), and he was featured in Chicken Every Sunday (1949).

In 1950, the television version of The Alan Young Show began. By 1951, the series had received not only praise but also several Primetime Emmy awards, including "Outstanding Lead Actor" for Alan Young.
After its cancellation, Young continued to act in films, among which Androcles and the Lion (1952) and Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955), and two George Pal films, tom thumb (1958) and The Time Machine (1960). He appeared in the NBC espionage drama Five Fingers ("Thin Ice", 1959), starring David Hedison.
Young was best known, however, for Mister Ed (1961–66), a CBS television show, in which he starred as Wilbur Post, the owner of Mr. Ed, a talking horse that would talk to no one but him, thus causing comic situations for Wilbur Post with his wife, neighbours and acquaintances.

He also starred as Stanley Beamish in the unaired 1966 pilot episode of Mr. Terrific, but apparently declined to appear in the broadcast series in 1967 that followed. In the late 1960s, he retired from acting for several years. During that time, he founded a broadcast division for the Christian Science Church.
Young's television guest roles include GibbsvilleThe Love BoatMurder, She WroteSt. ElsewhereCoachParty of FiveThe Wayans Bros.USA HighHang TimeERMaybe It's Me and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch ("Sweet Charity", 1997) in which he played Zelda's love interest.
After 1974, he voiced Scrooge McDuck in numerous Disney films and in the popular series DuckTales (1987-1990). In Mickey's Christmas Carol, he portrayed the character's miserly namesake. He also played Scrooge in video games such as the Kingdom Hearts series, DuckTales: Remastered in 2013, and theMickey Mouse cartoon "Goofy's First Love" released in 2015.
During the 1980s, Young became active in voice acting. Apart from Scrooge McDuck, his other prominent roles were Farmer Smurf on The Smurfs, 7-Zark-7 and Keyop in Battle of the Planets and Hiram Flaversham in The Great Mouse Detective. He also guest starred on The Incredible HulkThe New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends

Young starred in Coming of Age is a situation comedy that aired on CBS television network for three runs in 1988 and 1989.

In 1991, Alan Young returned to the stage, starring as Cap'n Andy Hawkes in The California Music Theatre's adaptation of Show Boat. He had been called for the role after Van Johnson, who was initially cast in the part, was hospitalised. He had also appeared in the plays A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Girl With the Freudian Slip.
In 1993, he recreated his role as Filby for the mini-sequel to George Pal's The Time Machine, reuniting him with Rod Taylor, who had played George, the Time Traveller. It was called Time Machine: The Journey Back, directed by Clyde Lucas. In 2002, he had a cameo as the flower store worker in Simon Wells' remake of The Time Machine and in 2010, he read H.G. Wells's original novel for 7th Voyage Productions, Inc.
In 1994, Young co-starred in the Eddie Murphy film Beverly Hills Cop III. He played the role of Uncle Dave Thornton, the Walt Disney-esque founder of the fictional California theme park Wonderworld, and in that same year, Young played the role of Charlie in the television movie, Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is.
After 1994, he played at least eight characters, including antique dealer Jack Allen on the radio drama Adventures in Odyssey. In 1997, he did the voice ofHaggis McMutton in the PC game The Curse of Monkey Island. His later guest roles in animated series included Megas XLRStatic ShockHouse of Mouse,The Ren & Stimpy ShowDuckmanBatman: The Animated Series and TaleSpin.
Good Night Mr. Young
Say Hello to Mr. Ed.

Stay Tuned
Tony Figueroa

Your Mental Sorbet: Mac Tonight

I must be hungry...
Here is another "Mental SorbetA little spark of madness that we could use to momentarily forget about those things that leave a bad taste in our mouths.

Mac Tonight was a mascot for McDonald's restaurants. A sunglasses-wearing, piano-playing crooner with a crescent moon for a head, he was introduced in 1986 to promote dinnertime business in Southern California, and eventually featured in national advertisements. He sang a jingle based on "Mack the Knife", a song made famous by Bobby Darin, whose family sued in 1989, ending the advertisements.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Morley Safer

We are on Sunday night because that is where they put us 30-odd years ago.
I think we became a habit 
-Morley Safer

Morley SaferNovember 8, 1931 – May 19, 2016
Morley Safer died in his Manhattan home today, just one week after announcing his retirement from 60 Minutes following 46 seasons with the show. Four days prior to his death, CBS aired a special 60 Minutes episode covering Safer's 61-year journalism career.

Morley Safer was born to an Austrian-Jewish family in TorontoOntario, the son of Anna (née Cohn) and Max Safer, an upholsterer. He attended Harbord Collegiate Institute and Bloor Collegiate, Clinton Street Public school located at 460 Manning Ave, Toronto, Ontario, and briefly attended University of Western Ontario.

Safer began his journalism career as a reporter for various newspapers in Canada (Woodstock Sentinel-Review,London Free Press, and Toronto Telegram) and England (Reuters and Oxford Mail). Later, he joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a correspondent and producer.

In 1964 Safer joined CBS News as a London-based correspondent. In 1965, he opened the CBS News bureau in Saigon. That year he followed a group of United States Marines to the village of Cam Ne, for what was described as a "search and destroy" mission. When the Marines arrived, they gave orders inEnglish to the inhabitants to evacuate the village. When the homes were cleared, the Marines burned their thatched roofs with flamethrowers and Zippo lighters. Safer's report on this event was broadcast on CBS News on August 5, 1965, and was among the first reports to paint a bleak picture of the Vietnam War. President Lyndon Baines Johnson reacted to this report angrily, calling CBS's president and accusing Safer and his colleagues of having "shat on the American flag." Certain that Safer was a communist, Johnson also ordered a security check; upon being told that Safer "wasn't a communist, just a Canadian", he responded: "Well, I knew he wasn't an American."
In 1967 Safer was named the London bureau chief, a post he held for three years. Safer was also a CBS reporter during the Nigerian Civil War. In 1970, he left London to replace Harry Reasoner on 60 Minutes, after Reasoner left to anchor the ABC Evening News (although Reasoner would return to 60 Minutes in 1978, alongside Safer). Safer would go on to set the record for the show's longest-serving correspondent, retiring in 2016 after 46 years.

Safer was the author of the bestselling book, Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam. It describes his 1989 return to Vietnam and features his interviews with known and less-well-known Vietnamese people, most of them veterans of the war. These included general Vo Nguyen GiapDuong Quynh HoaPham Xuan An, major Nguyen Be, and others. He also visited the Caravelle Hotel, the Marble Mountains (Vietnam) & air fieldChina BeachHuếQuảng Trị City, a Chammuseum, an old wrecking yard full of American artifacts, and several other locations. The book also contains reflections on Bill Moyers (regarding the Cam Ne affair), Barry Goldwater, and General William Westmoreland. His trip was the basis of a 60 Minutes show in 1989, which Safer said got a reaction of annoyance from some veterans, and a positive reaction from others.

Good Night Mr. Safer

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Remembering William Schallert: Next on TVC

We will pay tribute to film and television actor William Schallert on the next edition of TV CONFIDENTIAL, airing May 18-23 at the following times and venues:

WROM Radio
Detroit, MI
Wednesday 5/18
8pm ET, 5pm PT
2am ET, 11pm PT
Sunday 5/22
8pm ET, 5pm PT
2am ET, 11pm PT
Click on the Listen Live button at

KHDN AM-1230
KBSR AM-1490
KYLW AM-1450
Billings, MT
part of GLN Radio Network
Friday 5/20
3pm ET, Noon PT
Saturday 5/21
6pm ET, 3pm PT
Monday 5/23
3pm ET, Noon PT

Share-a-Vision Radio
San Francisco Bay Area
Friday 5/20
7pm ET, 4pm PT
10pm ET, 7pm PT
Click on the Listen Live button at
Use the TuneIn app on your smartphone and type in KSAV
or hear us on the KSAV channel on CX Radio Brazil

Indiana Talks
Marion, IN
Saturday 5/21
8pm ET, 5pm PT
Sunday 5/22
6pm ET, 3pm PT
Click on the player at
or use the TuneIn app on your smartphone and type in Indiana Talks

KSCO-AM 1080
San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA
KOMY-AM 1340
La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA
Sunday 5/22
9am ET, 6am PT
Also streaming at

KHMB AM-1710
KHMV-LP 100.9 FM

Half Moon Bay, CA
Sunday 5/22
9pm PT
Monday 5/23
Midnight ET
Click on the Listen Live button at
San Francisco, CA
Monday 5/23
10pm ET, 7pm PT
with replays Tuesday thru Friday at 10pm ET, 7pm PT
Click on the Talk Slot button at

Ann Arbor, MI
Various times throughout the week
on the Entertainment Channel at
and the PWR channel on TuneIn

This week’s program will be dedicated to the memory of William Schallert, the prolific film and TV actor who passed away on Sunday, May 8 at the age of 93. Best known for playing Patty Duke’s dad, Nancy Drew’s dad, Gidget’s dad, Dobie Gillis’ teacher, and the Admiral on Get Smart, William Schallert also appeared in more than 100 feature motion pictures, including Lonely are the Brave, Charley Varrick, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Speedway, and Recount, plus countless other TV series over the past six decades, from Maverick, Perry Mason, Bewitched and the original Star Trek to such recent shows as 2 Broke Girls in 2014.

We’ll play highlights of our previous conversations with Bill in which we discussed not only his film and TV career, but his work with the Screen Actors Guild, his skill as a pianist and his early career on stage with the Circle Theater in Los Angeles.

TV CONFIDENTIAL: A radio talk show about television
Wed and Sun 8pm ET, 5pm PT on WROM Radio
Fri and Mon 3pm ET, Noon PT and Sat 6pm ET, 3pm PT on GLN Radio Network
Fri 7pm ET and PT on Share-a-Vision Radio, and CX Radio Brazil
Sat 8pm ET, 5pm PT and Sun 6pm ET, 3pm PT on Indiana Talks
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KSCO-AM 1080 (San Jose, Santa Cruz and Salinas, CA)
Sun 9am ET, 6am PT KOMY-AM 1340 (La Selva Beach and Watsonville, CA)
Sun 9pm PT, Mon Mid ET on KHMB-AM and FM (Half Moon Bay, CA)
Mon 10pm ET, 7pm PT on The Radio Slot Network
Replays various times throughout the week on the Entertainment Channel at PWRNetwork
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Monday, May 16, 2016

This Week in Television History: May 2016 PART III

Listen to me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:



As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies.

May 20, 1989
Gilda Radner died.
In the fall of 1988, after biopsies and a saline wash of her abdomen showed no signs of cancer, Radner went on a maintenance chemotherapy treatment to prolong her remission, but later that same year, she learned that her cancer returned after a routine blood test showed that levels of the tumor marker CA-125 had increased. She was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on May 17, 1989 for a CAT scan. Despite expressing her fear that she would never wake up, she was given a sedative and passed into a coma during the scan. She did not regain consciousness, and died three days later from ovarian cancer at 6:20 am on May 20, 1989; Wilder was at her side.
Her funeral was held in Connecticut on May 24, 1989. In lieu of flowers, her family requested that donations be sent to The Wellness Community. Her gravestone reads: "Gilda Radner Wilder - Comedienne - Ballerina 1946-1989". She was interred at Long Ridge Union Cemetery in Stamford, Connecticut.
By coincidence, the news of her death broke on early Saturday afternoon (Eastern Daylight Time), while Steve Martin was rehearsing as the guest host for that night's season finale of Saturday Night Live. Saturday Night Live personnel—including Lorne Michaels, Phil Hartman, and Mike Myers (who had, in his own words, "fallen in love" with Radner after playing her son in a BC Hydro commercial on Canadian television and considered her the reason he wanted to be on SNL) had not known she was so close to death. They scrapped Martin's planned opening monologue and instead, Martin, in tears, introduced a video clip of a 1978 sketch in which he and Radner parodied Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in a well-known dance routine from The Band Wagon.

May 20, 1993
The final episode of Cheers Titled One for the Road. 

This episode serves as the 271st episode and the 25th episode of the eleventh season of Cheers. It first aired on NBC in Thursday, May 20, 1993, to an audience of approximately 42.4 million households in a 98 minute version, making it the second-highest-rated series finale of all time behind the series finale of M*A*S*H and the highest-rated episode of the 1992-1993 television season in the United States. The 98 minute version was re-shown on Sunday, May 23, 1993, and an edited 90 minute version aired on Thursday, August 19, 1993.
In the final scene of the last show, Sam straightens a picture of Geronimo on the wall. That photo was one that used to hang in Nicholas Colasanto’s dressing room. It was their way of acknowledging the “Coach” in the final episode.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was".


Stay Tuned


Tony Figueroa