Zoom Christmas Event with Eric Martsolf

TV Actor Event!

Christmas Concert Zoom poster

Christmas Concert Zoom Event by Suzanne 12/12/21

I’ve only been to one Zoom event with celebrities and fans before. It was a free event in December, 2020, with actors from “All My Children,” a show I watched for over 25 years before it was canceled. Anyway, this was hosted by Alan Locher, who has a whole channel on YouTube where he interviews soap stars and others. I enjoyed watching it, but unfortunately, I don’t have time to watch all of these events. Between this, the virtual Comic-Cons and so many others…it’s just too difficult. I avoid most of them.

A friend of mine regularly attends “Days of Our Lives” online charity events. I’d never been to one before. The idea of paying to see celebrities is a little weird for me, since I interview them all the time for this site. However, this one was a little different because it was a Christmas musical event, so I decided to go – even though it was a bit expensive at $75 per ticket. I love Christmas, and Christmas songs, and I love “Days,” too.

Eric Martsolf and fans on ZoomEric Martsolf (Brady) hosts regular charity events with his fans, so he hosted this special Zoom Christmas concert. Other Days actors joined him. Eric is very funny and really plays the clown for his fans. First Eric sang “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.” He has quite a good singing voice. Most of the people singing here do, but this was just for fun with a few fans, singing Christmas carols. However, most of them did have the songs memorized, at least. Eric was drinking some “holiday cheer,” but I don’t know if it was real or not. We all had fun. I sure did. I wish I could have talked to him, but there were about 30 fans there, and he knew many of them from past events, so he said hi to the ones he knew.

He thanked Penny MacGregor, the Canadian lady who runs StarImage Entertainment (the ones that put on these events). He talked about Christmas a little bit and then greeted us. He looked at us on his screen and welcomed the new visitors like me. He noticed that there were two Suzanne’s! He read the names and said, “We got like 16 Suzanne’s…wow!” That certainly made me laugh.

He played some fun Christmas games with us. I really didn’t play because I didn’t know the answers to the questions he would throw out about Christmas songs or lines from holiday specials. I really enjoyed listening to it, though.

Carson BoatmanHis first musical guest was Carson Boatman, who plays Sami and E.J.’s son, Johnny. They joked around for a few minutes and then Carson sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Hallelujah” (which really isn’t a Christmas song, but okay!). He has a nice voice and plays guitar well.

After Carson was Matthew Ashford (Jack), who was with his wife, Lana, and two kids. They were all wearing matching plaid Matthew Ashford and wifeChristmas outfits, which was adorable. His kids were shy, so we didn’t see them much on the video (especially the little girl). They sang a song that sounded vaguely familiar to me, with the lyrics “Burn little candles.” I think it’s actually a hanukkah song, but I’m not sure. Eric chatted with them for a bit. Throughout the show, Eric joked about how much time his character spent in the hospital this year. After their song, Matt and his wife read the old “Yes, Virginia” letter. It was written in the New York Sun, but Matt said it was written in “The Spectator” (the Days of Our Lives’ newspaper that his character works on). That was cute.

Lindsey Arnold and Carson BoatmanNext was Lindsay Arnold, who plays Sami’s daughter, Allie (Johnny’s twin). Carson was back with her, playing the guitar while she sang. She sang “Santa Baby” and then an Adele song, “Make You Feel My Love” (definitely not a Christmas song). She has a beautiful voice (probably the best of all of them). Carson sang some harmony with her on the second song. It was really sweet. They seem like good friends. Lindsay and Carson chatted with Eric about Christmas, about singing and about the show. Eric said they should start a band, like the actors on GH did with Port Chuck (Good idea!).Wally Kurth

Next we got to hear Wally Kurth, who plays Justin. Eric introduced him as being not only a veteran but a really nice guy. He does double soap duty because he also plays Ned on “General Hospital.” He’s had a band and sung for years. He did three songs. I love him, so I was happy to see that. He played guitar as well. First he sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” His voice wasn’t quite warmed up enough, so it cracked a few times. He and Eric joked about it. When someone sings regularly, they get used to things like that. These are professionals, so they just laugh it off and Wally Kurth singinggo on. The show must go on! His other two songs went very well. He sang “In the Bleak Midwinter,” which is a beautiful and rather obscure Christmas song. I’m pretty sure I sang it in choir years ago. They asked him to learn it for an episode of GH, but then they decided not to use it, so he sings it at Christmastime now whenever he has a show. It’s a sad but beautiful song. Then he did “White Christmas,” including the Jacob Young and one of his daughtersintroduction part that you don’t always hear. I saw him sing with his band about 20 years ago at a GH fan event, so it was great to hear him again. When Wally mentioned GH, Eric said, “General Hospital? What’s that?” as if he’d never heard of it. It was cute.

Next there was Jacob Young, who’s never been on Days, but he’s been on “General Hospital”, “Bold and Beautiful” and “All My Children.” He’s a soap vet. He was playing guitar and singing along with his two daughters. They were all wearing Santa hats and looked very festive. One of them was playing bongos. They definitely won the cuteness award for this event. Jacob sang “Blue Christmas” very well. Then his older daughter and he did a duet with “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” I know that might sound creepy, but it was very cute. Then their last song was “Feliz Navidad,” which featured the younger daughter on the bongos. Clearly they had practiced these songs. It was great to see Jacob again. I don’t know why one of the soaps doesn’t hire him back. He’s still Bill Hayes, Susan Seaforth-Hayes and Amy Shaughnessygorgeous. In case you didn’t know, he has been singing a long time and had a CD out years ago. You can hear his more recent music on his YouTube channel.

Then came the highlight of the event, which was the arrival of Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes (Doug and Julie). Bill is 96, so he was sitting down, but he did sing and was very alert (My mom was born 2 months after him!). Susan is 78 and stood behind his chair with her arms around him. It’s clear that they’re just as lovey-dovey in real life as they are on the show. Helping them out was a much younger woman named Amy. Eric exclaimed that she’s Shane Donovan’s niece, but he didn’t explain that. I looked her up, and she is indeed Amy Shaughnessy, niece of Charles Shaughnessy (Shane). I have no idea why she was there singing with Bill and Susan, though. She does have a vocal performance in music degree, so perhaps they hired her for the event? I have no idea. It’s quite intriguing. At any Eric Martsolf singingrate, they sang this beautiful song. It was very touching to see them. Eric made sure to tell them what a thrill it was for him and for fans to see them. They all dressed in red, as Susan Banksyou can see, and looked ready for the holidays. Plus, their two Lifetime Achievement Daytime Emmys were right there next to them!

After that, Eric sang “O Holy Night” in a very heartfelt way. That’s a tough one to do, so kudos to him for even trying that.

Then they had “Susan Banks” drop by. This is a silly character on “Days” played by Stacy Haiduk. Stacy showed up in the full Susan wig, teeth and outfit. She was very funny! She didn’t sing. Instead, she read “The Night Before Christmas.” She Eric singing and thanking us!was amazing. She played the whole thing sideways as if Susan couldn’t figure out how to hold her phone the right way. Eric played along, too, having fun with her.

After she left, Eric sang “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” and he ordered us all to sing along. Then in some places he unmuted some of the fans, so we could hear them sing, too. It was very cute and everyone enjoyed it. He thanked us all and talked about how it was a highlight for his year and that he hoped it was for us, too. We all said Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays at the end. It was so much fun. The two hours and fifteen minutes flew by, and we definitely got our money’s worth. If they have this event next year, you should make sure to attend!

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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The event virtual ticket

Interview with Ryan McPartlin, Jana Kramer and Maria Menounos

TV Interview!

Ryan McPartlin, Jana Kramer and Maria Menounos in Lifetime's "The Holiday Fixup"

Interview with Ryan McPartlin, Jana Kramer and Maria Menounos of “The Holiday Fixup” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/8/21

This is a fun movie, particularly if you like DIY projects, and the press panel for the movie was highly entertaining. These are some very attractive people, for one thing. Ryan was on “Passions” years ago, and he still looks great! Of course, it goes without saying that everyone’s acting is top of the line, too. I’ve enjoyed all of the Lifetime holiday movies this year. I hope you do, too.

MODERATOR:

Hi, everyone. Our next panel is “The Holiday Fixup.” Please welcome EP and stars, Jana Kramer, and Ryan McPartlin, and star Maria Menounos.

JANA KRAMER:

Hi. Hi, guys. Hi, Ryan. Hi, Maria.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Hi, guys.

JANA KRAMER:

Hi.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Hi. Can you guys hear me?

JANA KRAMER:

The team’s all back.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

I know.

MODERATOR:

Before we get into the questions, today we have a pre-submitted question. What was it like filming a holiday movie all together in the dead of summer in Connecticut?

JANA KRAMER:

(Laughs.).

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

(Laugh.) I love your laugh.

JANA KRAMER:

Exactly that. Exactly that.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

It’s perfect. That’s it.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

It was hot. It was so fun though. I love these guys so much. Jana and Ryan are gems, and we just have the best time.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. I will say that, I feel like we got pretty lucky guys. Like it could have been —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yeah.

JANA KRAMER:

I mean, we had a few (hot) days, but the days that we were outside I felt like we were blessed with not like, you know (not too hot)– And I think there was only one day, I was like “I think I might pass out.” But, Ryan, it doesn’t matter if it was sunny or not, Ryan was going to always have a fan —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Oh, yeah.

JANA KRAMER:

Whether it was sunny, not sunny. I mean, that man sweats so much, like, thank God it wasn’t hotter —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

It didn’t help that I was taking a supplement that I found out afterwards —

JANA KRAMER:

Yep.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

— causes excessive sweating.

JANA KRAMER:

Uh huh.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

And then we’re in sweaters in the dead of summer, and I’ve done this multiple times, as Jana has as well, — so I’m always preparing the crew and production saying, hey, we need some ice packs. We need fans standing by. I need dryers to dry the hair. I didn’t want to hold up production…and somehow it’s always like the afterthought, right? And then when the sweat starts coming and you’re holding up production everybody’s like send as many people to the store as possible. We need to get fans. We need dryers. We need everything.

JANA KRAMER:

I needed Gatorade. That was my ask. I was like I need a Gatorade. I’m feeling lightheaded…but it was so fun —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

I was a little upset that when I was pouring sweat, I’d look at you guys and you’re like, no, not a drop.

JANA KRAMER:

We glisten. Ryan sweats. Maria and I didn’t —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. That’s right. That’s right.

MODERATOR:

Suzanne. Please let us know your question.

QUESTION:

Oh, hi, guys. I enjoyed the movie. I’m not really into DIY, but what about you? Ryan, do you do DIY in real life? (Laughter.)

JANA KRAMER:

Wait, can I answer that, please?

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Go ahead. Go ahead.

JANA KRAMER:

Because the first time that I ever met Ryan — Suzanne, thank you for watching the movie — but the first time that Ryan and I actually Facetime’d he was trying to hang blinds, I think it was, and doing a terrible job. So, Ryan,  —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

And that was the last time I’ve done anything around the house. Well, no, no, no…I had to fix a doorknob last night. I went to Home Depot and then Loew’s – had three different people explain to me how to do it, and I was like, I’m just going to hire somebody. It’s not my jam.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

QUESTION:

Okay. Well, and the snowball fight was the most fun of all the movie, I thought. Was that as fun for you to shoot as it was for us to watch?

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

It was super fun, and that was the hottest day, too, you guys. That was the only day that was excruciating —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

It was the hottest day.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. That was the hottest day, and then I feel like, Maria, you and I became a little competitive. Like we were legit pushing each other at the start of doing that. We’re like “it’s going down” —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yeah.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

That was Brian Herzlinger, our director – he wanted to have his “Saving Private Ryan” moment where he was going to get all this camera action and get the really artistic movement as — Well, you see it in the trailer as Maria and Jana are just unloading on each other and getting very competitive with each other.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

It was so fun

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

QUESTION:

Oh, thank you.

JANA KRAMER:

It was kind of funny, too, Brian wanted a “Saving Private Ryan” moment. Like you do know this is a Christmas movie, right? But it was so much fun —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Oh, and actually these guys championed my husband having a cameo in the movie, and that was the scene he made the snow. He’s Nick the Snowman.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Nick the Snowman.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Um hm.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

QUESTION:

Oh. Great. Thank you so much.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Thank you.

MODERATOR:

Thank you. That’s awesome. Damina, your question next?

JANA KRAMER:

Oh, you’re muted, sweetie. Can we unmute her?

MODERATOR:

We can come back. We’ll come back – – Oh, there you are. Damina? Okay, we’ll come back. Steven, you’re up next. Steven.

JANA KRAMER:

How’s the photo, Ryan? Do you need your ID?

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

I got you. I got you. You always get me every time and I never know it until later.

QUESTION:

Did you guys call me?

MODERATOR:

Yes.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah, it’s your turn, buddy.

QUESTION:

Thank you. Here we go. All right. So, yes, talk to us about this amazing film. Ryan, I see that you’re doing your thing. You’ve still out here ever since the “Passions” days.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Thank you for that.

QUESTION:

Oh, yeah. You look amazing. All of you look great.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Thank you.

QUESTION:

Happy holidays.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. Happy Holidays to you. Go ahead, Jana.

QUESTION:

So, talk to us about the film, and how is it? Is it challenging coming up with the chemistry between cast members? How long does that normally take?

JANA KRAMER:

Ryan, you kick it off.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Well, we got to Zoom…Jana and I, fortunately, had all these Zoom’ing sessions with our writer who is amazing, Jessica Etting. And so there was a couple times that Jana and I were on the same page — but not some of the other voices, because there’s a whole lot of voices — and you just look at the camera in one of these Zoom meetings and you’d kind of look at each other and try and stifle a little of laughter…it was like being in class and just locking eyes with somebody who was in on the joke. And so Jana and I felt like we were in on the same joke that everybody wasn’t in on, and that kind of kicked off our friendship.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. No, we had…I mean, pretty much instant chemistry. The same with Maria and I. Every time I’ve been with Maria, we had that and I’m like, oh, that’s going to be easy to play best friends with her, because every time I see her I feel like she’s such a close friend. And then with Ryan it’s like we had that kind of, you know — that brotherly/sister, fun banter, fun – it’s that good energy. So that part was really easy, to have the chemistry. And then we were all teammates together. We all helped each other out, and when I got super tired, Ryan was there to pump me up.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

There was no pumping you up when were that tired. When you’re that tired nobody can do anything about it. But I will say, back to the chemistry with Maria, too — Maria and I started talking about trying to do something in the Christmas space together at least two years ago, right? Sometime around two years ago…

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

And when I saw her at a Christmas party, I was like, oh, my God, I got to talk to Maria about being in this space…and Maria and I have known each other for years. I threw a touchdown pass, or was it you to me? No, it was me to you, right?

MARIA MENOUNOS:

You to me, yeah. (I throw it back @ 00:28:34) —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. It was, yeah, we have the footage. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

I’m such a giver.

Ryan McPartlin and Jana Kramer in "The Holiday Fixup" on Lifetime 11/8RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. Well, you did throw an extra point then. You were playing quarterback and played like — did a two-point conversion. It was amazing. I got the footage.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Oh, you’re right.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yep. But, no, Maria — when I saw her at this party that we were at, I was like, Maria, you have to be in this Christmas space and then…you go, Maria, I don’t want to monopolize this conversation.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Not at all. Yeah, I’ve said this, I think it was just super cool. Ryan saw a little doc that I did on my experience with my parents getting COVID at the same time, and I did this little like 19-minute piece, and he saw it and sent me this beautiful email about how much it moved him, and how he was going to really kind of cherish those moments with his family even more, and it was just a beautiful letter…and one thing led to another and all of a sudden, I was getting on a plane to Connecticut to make this movie with them. And it was very much needed for me at the time. I just lost my mom, and I got to go back to Connecticut, and stay in my bed, and be with my dad, and get to have fun with these guys every day. And I do think that it’s super rare to have just such instant chemistry with everybody, and we all just clicked so fast and so easily. I was doing Jana’s makeup at one point. Jana’s fanning Ryan. Like everybody was helping each other, and it was really special. So, I told them, I’m like, I just want to be able to do this every summer with you guys, because I love them so much, and we have just such a great team all around.

MODERATOR:

That’s really beautiful. Thank you. Thank you so much. And, Jana, wow. Ryan really coming for you about being tired on set. We have your back.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Thank you.

MODERATOR:

And, Jamie, the next question is from you. Jamie Ruby, sorry. We have another Jamie.

QUESTION:

I was going to say which Jamie.

MODERATOR:

Sorry, Jamie Ruby.

QUESTION:

It’s okay. And, Maria, I think you sort of just answered this partially but maybe you can add more to it, but for all of you, what was it originally though that made you want to do this film?

JANA KRAMER:

I’ll start — because I had had a meeting about a different movie a few days prior to talking to Ryan and the producers of this film, and it was something about… Well, one of the reasons I really wanted to do it, because I’ve always wanted to work with Ryan and it was cool because there wasn’t a script, so I was able to kind of put my two cents into it. This is Ryan’s idea that he’s had for a long time, so it was cool to be able to actually collaborate and help bring the story to life as opposed to showing up on the page. Because usually we just get the script and we read it, we like it, or we don’t. But to be able to kind of have a say was really cool and one of the main draws of doing this film. I was like, okay, cool, I can actually have a little bit of a say in it, and Ryan was open to all of that. So that was neat.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

She had a lot of say in it, not just a little bit of say, because when — It’s not that you’re that over opinionated, Jana –It’s like I really respected her opinions and she had very good input, ideas, story points. She’s done this, you know, she’s done as many of these as probably I have, I’d say. And you don’t want the redundancy of doing the same story over-and-over-again. So, you look for ways to say how can it be different? How is it different than the other stuff out there, and that’s what I’m really proud of — especially how we would talk out some of these things, if it was a real relationship and a real life and we were playing real exes. And the way that I saw the story ending is not necessarily the way that Jana saw it from her perspective. So, when our writer, Jessica Koosed Etting, heard her response if I said one thing and then Jana said, well, I would say this — it just turned everything. So, you got to kind of play like you would in, you know, onstage in a theater, in a class together. And you go, oh, that’s interesting…if that’s how you would really react let’s work that into the story and still tie it up nicely to deliver to the audience what they expect, but in a different way than that expect it.

JANA KRAMER:

Sure, yep.

MODERATOR:

Our next question is from Jamie Steinberg.

QUESTION:

Hi, thank you guys so much for your time. Jana and Ryan if you could talk about how you stepped in as executive producers. Was this something of a passion project that came across your desk, or did they offer you a role of EP after you singed on to the film?

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

No, this was something where if you are involved creatively as an actor, from the get-go, like we both were you know — this started with Jessica Koosed Etting and I flushing out a different story, but then we adapted it towards Christmas a little bit, and then quite honestly the whole thing changed when Jana came onboard. We just started talking about the movies we loved. Jana, if you want to talk about that and some of the romantic comedies, some of the Christmas movies we loved…and we started saying, okay, what are those themes that we want to play with.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah, and that’s something, too, because Ryan and I have done so many of these Christmas movies it was something that I had a conversation with Lifetime about and was like, I really want to be able to bring my ideas to the table. So, I would like to moving forward be able to executive produce, just so that way I, you know — because making Christmas movies are so much fun. They’re easy. They’re light. They’re fun — but I also want to bring a little bit of complications to things, or a little bit of my own touch to things and to have that voice, and that way. I don’t know, Ryan, if it felt the same way for you, but I felt really, really, really, proud of this one, because I felt like I had so much more to…I offered so much more in this film than I have in the other ones. And, yeah, I loved all the other ones, but this one…I was like, man, this is — It’s the first thing I’ve ever executive produced! So that was kind of cool to just be like — I was proud of myself and I was proud of you. It was fun.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. And I feel like, you know, Maria, hopefully, you felt your voice was the heard the same as, any producer or actor would be — come on in if they had ideas and wanted to play. It was nice because it was like a safe artists’ space, you know. That’s what we wanted to create.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

A hundred percent. I will say they were amazing executive producers. Not only did they feed the crew, got coffee trucks — they did all the things that really great producers do to keep everybody happy, keep everybody going. They always say it starts at the top and literally it was a perfect experience all the way through for everybody. We all loved it. We all had the best time. Everybody was excited, and everybody was onboard with making the best movie we could while having fun. So that is why I’m committed to how do we do this every summer together? How do we add in some time where we always can make a movie together, keep the same crew, keep the same thing…

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. I’d love that. And we also got to give credit to Stephanie and Margaret, our other executive producers —

JANA KRAMER:

Absolutely.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

— they really gave us that freedom to jump in and produce alongside them. They did a lot of the hard, dirty work, I’d say, as producers dealing with the budgets and the overtime and the schedules and all that stuff since we really want to stay in the creative space, and that’s what we were able to do, thank God.

JANA KRAMER:

Although, I think that part’s fun, but I’ll do that later.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah.

MODERATOR:

Thank you. Our next question is from Jay Bobbin.

QUESTION:

Hello, everyone. Maria, have you ever interviewed Jana? Is that where this friendship started, and if that is where it started, how do you remember the interview going?

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Well, I will say that I have zero memory. This is where I throw my brain tumor card down. I can’t remember anything. My husband’s my USB drive…but, yes, I know I’ve interviewed Jana — but we were also friendly just in the business and with Ryan the same thing. So, I can’t say I remember the first moment I laid eyes on this beautiful woman.

JANA KRAMER:

I remember you helped me out with “Dancing with the Stars” because I remember you were there at “Dancing with the Stars” and Val was your partner, right? He was like you —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yeah. No, Val, he was like the fake doctor on the set.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. He’s like you need to talk to Maria, because she also hurt her ribs or something like that. So, I just remember you being so nice and just so willing to… I mean, we talked for a while and then it just, again, it just felt like — man, we’re talking like we’re real friends. It was such a friendly conversation —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yeah.

JANA KRAMER:

I just remember hanging up on that and being like, wow, she’s special, a special person.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Thanks. Thanks, friend. Yeah, I never remember how I meet anybody, to be honest, because I am just I’m so excited to see everybody and meet people when I meet them that it just floats away.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Except for when someone throws you a touchdown pass.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yes. But you just had to remind me that I threw you a two-point conversion. I don’t remember —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. That’s right.

QUESTION:

Thank you.

MODERATOR:

Thank you.

JANA KRAMER:

Thanks, (Jay @ 00:38:09).

MODERATOR:

We have time for one last question. Samantha.

QUESTION:

Hi. Jana, I’m really curious about with the social media aspect of this role, I loved how you all really leaned into the positive aspects of it just with the world complaining so much about the problems, and I’m just curious about the intention behind making that such a large part of your character’s job in the film.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. It was fun. I mean, especially because I’m like “I don’t know how to do this.” Meanwhile, my whole entire life is social media, so that was kind of fun to do that. But also, I think what I learned…actually, yes, we showed how it can bring people together. But, for me, personally, what I took away from the movie the most is actually about putting the phone down. It’s what we always talked about, the one character, Rita’s character — where it’s back in the day when we didn’t have the cell phones and we were able to just disconnect and be in a room together and not be glued to Instagram or the phone. And that’s what I took away from it the most – it is just having that distraction away to really just be present with the people in front of me. So that’s something that I would like to lean more into.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

I think that social media caught us all by storm, you know, and there were no rules. There was no teaching moment. We didn’t come up in school with teachers saying you should compartmentalize this. And then the job of these apps and the social media companies is to see how many hours they can get out of your day spent on these apps. So, there is a lot of benefit to it and there’s a lot of, you know, businesses that thrive from it. Our small business that we have came about because of social media and there’s a lot of charities that do very well — but it is a danger, and it’s going to be. It’s interesting that the back-and-forth that our characters had about compartmentalizing and what to use it for, and how to use it, and I think that’s a real conversation that should be had in every household right now.

JANA KRAMER:

Um hm.

MODERATOR:

Thank you so much. Thank you to the cast and Eps of “The Holiday Fixup.” Please make sure to tune in on December 11.

JANA KRAMER:

Thanks, guys. Appreciate it. Thank you very much —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Thank you.

JANA KRAMER:

Thank you very much.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Bye.

JANA KRAMER:

Do we hang up now? Okay. Bye, guys.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Bye, guys.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Okay, bye.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

We’ll talk to you all later.

JANA KRAMER:

Okay.

MORE INFO:

Preview

Lifetime Reveals Full Holiday Movie Slate for Annual IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFETIME Programming Event Beginning November 12th, Including 30 New Premieres In 30 Days Kicking Off After Thanksgiving to Count Down to Christmas

Lifetime Reveals Full Holiday Movie Slate for Annual

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFETIME

Programming Event Beginning November 12th

Including 30 New Premieres In 30 Days

Kicking Off After Thanksgiving to Count Down to Christmas

Talent Around the Tree This Year Includes

Kelly Rowland, Reba McEntire, Melissa Joan Hart, Mario Lopez, Tia Mowry, Smokey Robinson, Jana Kramer, Marie Osmond, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Tatyana Ali, Roselyn Sánchez, Jacky Lai, Mýa, Ryan McPartlin, Thomas Cadrot, Bresha Webb, Candice King, Emeraude Tobia, Aimee Garcia, Haylie Duff, Ricki Lake, Kirk Franklin, John Schneider, Maria Menounos, Chad Michael Murray, AnnaLynne McCord, and Many Others

Los Angeles, CA – September 28, 2021 – Get ready for the most cheerful holiday season yet! Lifetime announces its largest holiday movie slate ever for the network’s annual It’s a Wonderful Lifetime programming event, kicking off November 12th with five new movies Fridays and Saturdays, and a premiere on Sunday, November 21st.  Then, once the Thanksgiving feast is over and for the first time ever, Lifetime will premiere 30 new movies, in 30 days, with a new movie EVERY DAY from November 26 through December 25. As the #1 holiday movie destination, Lifetime’s 2021 It’s a Wonderful Lifetime slate will feature 35 new movies and over 1000 hours of holiday programming.

In case that’s not enough excitement for you – get ready for It’s a Wonderful Lifetime Holiday Movie Preview hosted by Tia Mowry (star of this year’s Miracle in Motor City)! This special will preview Lifetime’s upcoming 2021 Christmas Movies and will be available on VOD beginning October 24 and will premiere on Lifetime November 7 at 10am ET/PT. In addition to sneak peeks and cast interviews, Tia will share a special holiday treat or cocktail recipe to go with each movie previewed!

At Lifetime it’s never too early to get in the spirit! Beginning October 15, Lifetime VOD will have 10 of your favorite holiday titles available to screen. And if you just can’t get enough – starting November 12, LMC will have 50 of Lifetime’s best holiday movies available to stream!

The Holiday Fix Up

Starring Jana Kramer, Ryan McPartlin & Maria Menounos

12/11 at 8pm / 7c

When Sam (Jana Kramer), the designer behind a popular home renovation show, returns to her hometown during the holidays to help renovate the Bell Harbor Inn, she gets paired with Coop (Ryan McPartlin) as her lead contractor. The only problem – he’s the guy who broke her heart and she’s the one who got away.  Sparks fly as they work closely to get the renovations done in time for the inn’s annual Christmas Eve Harborfest. Will they be able to fix the mistakes of their past to build a future together? Maria Menounos also stars.

The Holiday Fix Up is produced by Off Camera Entertainment with Stephanie Slack, Margret H. Huddleston, Jana Kramer and Ryan McPartlin as Executive Producers. Written by Jessica Koosed Etting and directed by Brian Herzlinger.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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poster for "The Holiday Fixup"

Interview with Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman

TV Interview!

Interview with Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman of "Christmas Dance Reunion" 12/3 on Lifetime

Interview with Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman of “Christmas Dance Reunion” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/8/21

This was part of a Lifetime Christmas press panel. I really enjoyed seeing the movies and speaking everyone. What made this movie so special is all of the great dancing. It was nice to chat with these two. Corbin used to be on “One Life to Live,” so I was thrilled to speak with him.

MODERATOR:  Hi, everyone, and welcome to our third panel for today.  I would like to introduce Monique Coleman and Corbin Bleu of this year’s “A Christmas Dance Reunion”.  We’re gonna go ahead and get the questions started.  Noah has the first question.  Noah?

QUESTION:  Hello.  It is so great to be here with you guys.  By the way, you look fabulous and happy holidays to both of you.  My first question is to you, Corbin.  We see two high school dance partners get back together for the holidays.  So many fans from “High School Musical”, including myself, will watch this and think this is the perfect holiday storyline for the two of you, as you both have worked together on the Disney Network in “High School Musical”.  But how does this holiday story throw us back to some of the “High School Musical” memories?  Because I did see a photo when I screened of you and Monique, and it was back during — I think in the gym of “High School Musical”.  I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is fantastic.”

CORBIN BLEU:  Honestly, getting to work on this project settled so many dreams coming true.  At this time, I mean, it was October of 2020 when we went out to go shoot, so coming on the tail end of a quarantine and not working for a period of time.  It was also election time.  There was a lot of — just a lot of chaos at the time and in our minds.  And all of a sudden, we go on this journey to go to Canada, get out of the U.S. for a minute.  And we get to reunite in this film that we haven’t been on screen together in 13 years.  And when I tell you every single moment on set was just comfort.  And there are a lot of moments in the film that when I watched it looking at just how easy the romance comes and how easy the connection came, and that was real.  I mean, it just — it’s…it truly is such a beautiful, wonderful thing to be able to work with a person that you love from the bottom of your heart.  I mean, Mo, I love you.  You’re, like, you’re —

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  I know.

CORBIN BLEU:  You’re my sis.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  I’m like, oh my God.

CORBIN BLEU:  There was just so — honestly, I could go on and on so much because then on top of it, my wife, Sasha Clements, is also another lead part in the film.  So there was all of this just love, just this lovefest on camera and on set.

QUESTION:  Now, Monique, just speaking of “High School Musical”, there was a lot of dance that would go on in the show.  Because it was a musical, there was a lot of dance routines that would happen.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  I really think dance brings us together and I think that definitely shows in this holiday movie.  So lastly, how was the process of nailing down a dance routine with Corbin Bleu when you guys got to reprise and really just do this again, just be able to dance together?

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah.  I think Corbin really said it well.  The thing is that we were safe, you know?  We felt like we were safe, we were comfortable.  And that is such an important part of telling any story is making sure that you have that connection.  But another thing that I think is really interesting is Corbin started dancing when he was two or three years old.  I started dancing when I was in fourth grade.  And something that’s really interesting is that our lives didn’t begin with “High School Musical”.  Obviously, that is an amazing part of our journey, and it’s a peak, and we’re so — we will always be so proud of it and excited to talk about it and share.  But what I thought was really interesting was that this story to me brought the two of us back further than where we were when “High School Musical” started.  It brought us back to the roots of who we are and it reminded me that I danced as a kid.  And this moment didn’t make it in the movie, but there are photos in the hallway of my fictional house that are pictures of me when I was 10, 12, 15, 17 years old with these big dreams in my mind.  And to see that and then to actually see photos of us from when we were on tour — one of the photos is actually from the Macy’s Day Parade.  And I remember that so distinctly.  And I remember how I felt in that moment.  And then to fast forward to today and to be able to bring all of who we are together and for that to be on screen, I think it absolutely captures the magic that you all felt when you saw “High School Musical”.  But I also think that this movie is going to do something really special and allow you to get to know Corbin and I in a way that you probably honestly haven’t seen prior to now which is really, like, who we’ve always been.

QUESTION:  Thank you guys for your time.  I appreciate it.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah.

CORBIN BLEU:  Thank you.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, Noah.  Alright, up next I have Mike from TV America.  Mike?  I’m gonna give him a moment.  Oh, there he is.

QUESTION:  Okay, can you hear me now?

MODERATOR:  We can.

QUESTION:  Can you hear me okay now?

CORBIN BLEU:  Hi, Mike.

QUESTION:  Okay, good deal.  Hey, Corbin, I wanted to ask you to kind of continue on what Mo was saying a minute ago.  Because we have a lot of movies that are about singing, not as many movies that are based on dance.  And dance has been so much a part of your life forever.  I mean, talk about starting to take dance when you were two or three years old.  Talk about what it was like as a kid and how important it is to be able to get back to a dance-based show like this sometimes.

CORBIN BLEU:  Well, again, this movie is a lot of art mimics life and vice versa.  There’s a lot of meta moments.  I started dancing when I was about two years old.  And I started with tap and ballet, and that was always my first love.  And I started acting early, as well, and I started singing early, as well.  But dance was just always my form of expression.  And to this day, it’s just the one thing that just comes naturally, just comes easy.  If there’s ever — you know, there are times when people just — they just want to sing and it just needs to come out of them.  And my body just expresses it through dance.  And when I tell you the character, both of them, both of the characters are just so rooted in realism.  They both found this joy and this love of dance at an early age.  My character, Barrett, actually continued on with it and went on to become a Broadway stage performer, very much like real life.  And Monique’s character goes on to actually become a lawyer and dance is still this joy, this love that’s just hanging right behind her that she’s just wanting to turn back and find again.  And I know — I’m gonna just speak for Mo a little bit, yeah, I know that she has gone on to do just such incredible serious, wonderful things in this world.  I mean, she’s a U.N. ambassador.  So again, I know for me getting to dance with her and her getting a chance to also re-find a joy of dance and that love in this, it was incredible.  And I’ve got to also do one more shoutout to our director and our choreographer —

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yes.

CORBIN BLEU:  …Brian Herzlinger and Christian Vincent because the turnaround on this was not “High School Musical”.  You know, “High School Musical” we had…

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Time?

CORBIN BLEU:  …like, at least — at least — two days per number, at least.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah.

CORBIN BLEU:  This we shot — I think majority of the final dance routines were shot in one day.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  In a day, yeah.

CORBIN BLEU:  One day.  And the other dance routines, everything else that you see was shot in one other day.  So just an insane amount of hard work.  And to top it all off, there were things that were implemented that weren’t originally in the script, one being my tap number.  One number in the movie that really is such a pivotal story moment that you actually get to really see Barrett’s love for dance and where his spirit really flies is this tap number that was never in the script, was never a part of rehearsals, until we were like three — I think we were three or four days from getting ready to start shooting.  And I knew that they were gonna do this other tap number and I said to Brian, I was like, “Brian, you know that I tap, right?”  And he goes, “Wait, what?”  I was like, “Yeah, I love tapping.”  And he said, “We should implement that.”  And Christian, freaking incredible man that he is, threw together this tap number.  And we worked on this over the next couple weeks before we had to shoot it and implemented this number.  And it turns out to be such a beautiful moment in the movie.  Just really, really wonderful that they allowed such input and organicn-ess to free flow.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  Okay, cool.  Thanks.

MODERATOR:  Awesome.  Thank you, Mike.  And our next question is from Suzanne.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Hey, Suzanne.

QUESTION:  Hi.  I really enjoyed the movie.  I loved watching it.  It really made me wanna go to the Winterleigh.

CORBIN BLEU:  Awesome.

QUESTION:  Where was it actually filmed?

CORBIN BLEU:  We shot up in Vancouver.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yes.  Toronto.

CORBIN BLEU:  I’m sorry — Vancouver — Toronto.  We filmed up in Toronto, I’m sorry.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Up — yes.

CORBIN BLEU:  The other side of the country.  We shot up in Toronto at the…

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Where were we?  I’m like…

CORBIN BLEU:  Horseshoe.  Horseshoe.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  That’s right.

CORBIN BLEU:  Mm-hm.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah.

CORBIN BLEU:  Yeah, the hotel.

QUESTION:  Oh, okay.  Great.  And Monique, what was the thing about it that was the most challenging for you?

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  I think letting it be easy.  That was the most challenging thing was just allowing it.  You know, we’re in an industry that can just be so difficult in so many different ways.  And this was an experience that Corbin was speaking of earlier that was in the midst of a very active world pandemic.  We were in the midst of a very intense election in the U.S.  And we’re storytellers.  And we kept reminding ourselves that we got to be the magic makers of the moment.  We get to be the lightworkers.  We get to be the ones that are going to be a part of helping people to have the joy that we all deserve when this all is over.  And so for me, to be honest, yes, learning the dances was challenging.  Spending two weeks in quarantine and then going from basically zero to hero and having not worked pretty much all year long, having definitely not danced or been in a studio at all.  And I actually turned 40, so I was like my knees are not — they’re not capable of doing this which is actually really hilarious because that is something that Lucy talks about as her character.  But it’s very real for me ’cause I’m like no, but really.  I can’t just jump in like that.  But at the end of the day, I guess I always knew that this was supposed to be fun and it was supposed to bring joy.  And if there was anything that I felt like I couldn’t do, I knew that I had the support to change that.  So I knew that with Corbin that I was safe with my partner.  I knew that with Christian, he wanted to make sure that we looked good.  And Brian is just like all-around so incredible that there wasn’t really any pressure.  There wasn’t any extra tension.  So you know, I think, yeah, obviously the most challenging part was going from not dancing or doing anything and being in a pandemic to going full throttle.  But even that is a blessing and it’s a gift.  And so I don’t even like to look at that as really any more than just the challenge that comes with being privileged to be able to do something that you love for a living.

QUESTION:  Awesome.  Thank you guys so much.

CORBIN BLEU:  Thank you.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah, thank you.

MODERATOR:  Thanks, Suzanne.  We’re going now to our final two questions.  Cynthia?

QUESTION:  Hello, can you hear me?

CORBIN BLEU:  Yes, we can.

QUESTION:  Okay.  Hi.  I’m Cynthia Horner from “Right On! Magazine” and “Word Up! Magazine”.  And Corbin, you and Monique used to appear in our magazines all the time.

CORBIN BLEU:  Yes!  Absolutely!

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  I know!  I was like “Word Up!”!

QUESTION:  Yeah.  What is it like now being grown people that really got your start as teenagers and you continued on with your craft?

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  One of us was a teenager.  The other one wasn’t.

CORBIN BLEU:  (Laughs.)

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  I’ll let you guess which one.

CORBIN BLEU:  Homegirl, you still look fly as hell.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Thank you!

CORBIN BLEU:  Honestly, just like life, there are aspects that just get better and better and then there are other parts that you go, oof, that hurts a lot more.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah.

CORBIN BLEU:  You know, I think that there truly was an appreciation on this film.  When we were working back then, at least I can speak for myself to say that I was just a teenager.  And as much as I really was a hard worker and I was always focused on what I was doing and I appreciated everything that was going on, it still was just about enjoying that ride.  And it all happened so quickly that there are times where you have to — you forget to remind yourself, let me really take in this moment.  And I feel like I was able to do that a lot more working on this project.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah.

CORBIN BLEU:  Just as an adult, in general, those times where it really is special.  One thing that I would love to talk about that I was able — a moment that I was able to look around and go, wow, this is really beautiful, was the representation in this film.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah.

CORBIN BLEU:  And its diversity.  I mean, what’s so beautiful is to see these lead actors, Black actors, and that has nothing to do with the driving force of the storyline.  The storyline is a romance story.  It has nothing to do with the fact that we’re Black.  And yet, you get to see all of this diversity and all of this representation in there.  And I feel like that to me is something that as a kid, I don’t necessarily — I wouldn’t necessarily pinpoint as much.  Now, I see it and I go this is something that I wish I was able to see a lot more of on screen when I was a kid and watching all these holiday movies.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah, that’s literally exactly what I was feeling, Corbin, was that that is the biggest shift that has happened since that time.  We were just in a different era and now to be these characters that are not just supporting someone else’s story but to be the story and yeah, that is definitely different and exciting.

QUESTION:  Well, thank you so much.  And merry Christmas in advance.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Thank you.  You, too.

CORBIN BLEU:  Merry Christmas in advance to you, too.  And happy Thanksgiving.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Awesome.  Thank you, Cynthia.  We’re gonna wrap with Samantha.  Samantha?

QUESTION:  Hi.  Thank you both so much for touching on the diversity piece because that’s really what I wanted to ask about.  I was reading about Monique you know just a part of how Taylor’s — the headband became — like, a piece was not really having people that could do Black hair.  And I’m just curious what your experiences have been through the start of your career to now being in the industry where it’s really embracing and prioritizing diversity?

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah.  It’s definitely shifted so much.  The fact that we can even have this conversation and be open about it is I think definitely progress.  And I think one thing that Corbin and I both do is we are very collaborative in the process.  So we don’t take a backseat to what we’re doing.  We really want to be involved every step of the way.  And so it’s been really wonderful to watch the industry catch up and also personally to be able to make stronger and different choices about how I want to be presented and so forth.  So I feel like there’s a lot more room.  And not just diversity amongst — like racial diversity, but also diversity within a race.  I think oftentimes, I have been cast in roles that someone could perceive as a token role.  Like, oh, here we’re fulfilling the diversity quota because we’re both very safe people.  And that’s not to…it just is what it is.

CORBIN BLEU:  Yeah.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  And so oftentimes, we’re put in this position and it’s like there’s so much diversity within being Black.  It’s not just, okay, we’ve got someone that’s it.  And that is something that is so special and beautiful about “A Christmas Dance Reunion” is that you just have this family.  You’ve got these people and they just are different shades of Black and it’s not just one note or one tone.  And that is really very exciting to see what the possibilities are now that these other universes are opening up where we can see ourselves from here.

CORBIN BLEU:  One hundred percent with everything Mo just said.  And it’s such an important, important thing for what she’s talking about, as far as diversity within the diversity.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah.

CORBIN BLEU:  And this movie by the way, there’s representation with LGBTQIA community.  There’s–

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yes.  Age.

CORBIN BLEU:  In age, in differently abled.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yes.

CORBIN BLEU:  And our writer, one of our co-writing team, you know, Brian Herzlinger but majority of the heavy lifting on the writing was Megan Henry Herzlinger.  We have a female writer.  Yeah, right?

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  It’s so good.

CORBIN BLEU:  So really, I mean, all that is there but again, what’s so amazing and so important to me about this film is that all of that goes unsaid.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Mm-hm.

CORBIN BLEU:  To me, for what I grew up watching, the stuff that I — you know, I grew up watching all of the MGM classic musicals and never really getting a chance to see representation of myself in that character.  And most of the time growing up, if I was watching someone of color, then it was the token.  And usually the phrases that were coming out of that person’s mouth or the kind of demeanor of a certain — it always was a very specific category.  Or they were there because the driving force of their storyline was because they’re Black.  It has to do with their struggle.  It has to do with the fact that they’re not represented.  And we have romance stories, too.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yeah.

CORBIN BLEU:  We have positivity without the struggle, as well.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yes.

CORBIN BLEU:  That’s always there.  That struggle is always there because we aren’t represented in that way, but we will only see that struggle and only see that representation if those are the only stories that we continue to tell.  So that’s why this really to me was such a beautiful, beautiful experience and really important.  And I want to see more of it and Mo and I need to do more of that together.

MONIQUE COLEMAN:  Yes!

MODERATOR:  Awesome.  Well, thank you both so much for participating today.  We all love that you’re here together and reunited.  So be sure everyone to tune in to “A Christmas Dance Reunion” on Friday, December 3rd, at 8/7 Central only on Lifetime.

MORE INFO:

Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman of "Christmas Dance Reunion" 12/3 on LifetimeA Christmas Dance Reunion
Friday, December 3 at 8pm / 7c

Successful attorney Lucy Mortimer (Monique Coleman), along with her mother Virginia (Kim Roberts) returns to the Winterleigh Resort to help celebrate the hotel’s final Christmas season. Once there, Lucy is reunited with the owner’s nephew and her childhood Christmas Dance partner, Barrett Brewster (Corbin Bleu). Though the resort has fallen on hard times and has stopped most holiday events, Lucy leads the charge in recreating the beloved Christmas traditions, including the popular Christmas Dance, to bring together new families and new hope to the resort. Now, Lucy must decide if she’s willing to take a risk on love and partner up once more with Barrett for what could be the last Christmas Dance.

A Christmas Dance Reunion is produced by Off Camera Entertainment and Brain Power Studio with Stephanie Slack, Margret H. Huddleston and Beth Stevenson as Executive Producers. Megan Henry Herzlinger and Brian Herzlinger serve as writers. Brian Herzlinger also directs.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman of "Christmas Dance Reunion" 12/3 on Lifetime

Interview with Dean Winters and Shawnee Smith

TV Interview!

Shawnee Smith and Dean Winters of "Christmas Vs. The Walters"

Interview with Shawnee Smith and Dean Winters of “Christmas Vs. The Walters” – in theaters now by Suzanne 10/28

This movie is very funny and warm – great for the holidays! These two fine actors play the husband and wife of the Walters family. Shawnee is the main star of the film, but she has a wonderful cast surrounding her. Go see the movie because you’ll enjoy it! We had a fun chat here. I hope you like it as much as I did.

Suzanne:   So, when was the movie filmed, and how long did it take? Either of you?

Dean:   We shot the movie last November.

Shawnee:   Last year, yeah.

Dean:   Yeah. It was about a three and a half week shoot, and we shot it in Long Island and Melville. It was a real run and gun production, and we were able to capture the atmosphere of Christmas on Long Island. We just had a really, really good time shooting this film. I had been a massive fan of Shawnee’s for years and had a big crush on her. And when I met her, I melted. So, it just kind of added to the joy of making a film. She’s very easy to work with, and the film is really her film. So, we were all there to support Shawnee, and Shawnee is just, I mean, she’s just one of the really good ones, you know?

Shawnee:   Oh, what a good husband, right? I love him.

Suzanne:   I watched it yesterday, and I enjoyed it. It was it was funny, and it made me cry in one part.

Shawnee:   Right, I watched it. I watched it on my phone with my headphones late at night. The kids were all sleeping. I woke them up laughing. I was laughing out loud. I cried. I thought, you know, we’re not going to win any awards, but like, grab your family and go to the theater and have a ball. It sets a good tone for the rest of the holidays.

Suzanne:   It does. And you two seem very natural as a husband and wife. Did you do anything beforehand and sort of get to know each other better to prepare for that?

Shawnee:   We got married and pregnant.

Dean:   [laughs]

Shawnee:   Now we have three kids, because we are method actors.

Dean:   No, we actually met the day before filming, and it was just very, very natural. You know, good casting.

Suzanne:   You could tell. There’s a great cast anyway. I mean, you had so many great character actors.

Shawnee:   The cast just kept filling out and filling out. I was like, “Who’s playing my doctor?” I mean, it was like, just when you thought it can’t get any better, you know, and then down to our ingenue, Paris Bravo plays our daughter, who’s amazing and a badass triple Black Belt. I mean, she’s like a future action star.

Dean:   Then, you have guys like Richard Thomas, and Bruce Dern and Chris Elliott. I mean, they really filled the room with great character actors, and it just kind of adds to the atmosphere.

Suzanne:   What was the both the best and worst, or most challenging things about making the movie?

Shawnee:   Definitely the most challenging was filming during COVID protocol. Rehearsing with masks on is just different. You can’t really rehearse like that. I mean, you do the best that you can, but all the windows and doors are open for ventilation, and it’s November. In November in New York, in Long Island; you’re freezing. God love the crew; they were masked up all the time, and we were testing every other day. Far and away that was the most challenging. Everything else was pretty easy.

Dean:   Yeah, we were one of the first movies to actually shoot during COVID. So, I think last October is when films really started to kind of dip their toe in the water again. So, it was a real[ly] new experience for everybody. So, that was the most challenging part. The fun part was just, we all just love each other very much. So, working with each other was really a no brainer, and that chemistry, you know, in real life, I think kind of parlays on screen.

Suzanne:   And [Shawnee], do you actually get stressed out at all on Christmas?

Shawnee:   Oh, listen, of course! I’m a mother. There’s so much pressure to be a family, have a meal, and then the presents, and you’re like, “We’re gonna keep it simple this year.” Somehow, Christmas Eve, just the momentum of the thing builds up, and it’s like that tension is just a fun thief, you know? Like, the fun part of Christmas Vs. the Walters is that circumstances all around just break everybody down to the point where they just let go of the reins, and then everyone exhales and starts to have fun together, you know, take the pressure off. So, I think my good technique for taking the pressure off this Christmas will be just put on your pajamas and go to the theater and watch Christmas Vs. the Walters.

Suzanne:   And Dean do you get most recognized for that Mayhem commercials or for a show you a movie that you did?

Dean:   Pretty much Mayhem sums it up. [laughs] Yeah, in New York, it’s like, you know, yesterday, I was walking down the block, and within the span of walking down the block, I got Oz, Sex and the City, Law & Order, and then Mayhem, but it’s really just Mayhem all day long.

Suzanne:   Well, you do such a good job of it. I hate your character. I hate those commercials – not that guy! But I like you, and I loved you in Law & Order: SVU.

Dean:   Oh, thank you.

Suzanne:   Anything else? We’re almost done… anything else you’d like say about the movie?

Dean:   I think that this movie has a tone for a Christmas film that I haven’t seen before. Every great Christmas film has its own tone, whether it’s Elf or Scrooge or It’s a Wonderful Life, whatever, and this movie has a different tone to it, and I think that’s what is going to hopefully make it have its own little kind of special niche. It’s really just a lovely film about showing you what’s important, which is usually right in front of your face.

Suzanne:   And Shawnee, final words?

Shawnee:   You love this family. I love this family; that’s a marriage that I want to be in, and I root for them. Last Christmas, we were all in the middle of this pandemic, and we couldn’t go to the theater, and we couldn’t be with our families, and so this year, let’s do it and have a ball. Looking forward to it.

Suzanne:   Thank you guys. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.

Here’s the Video!

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

Official Website   Trailer

"Christmas Vs. The Walters" posterDiane Walters, an over-burdened mother of two with a third child on the way, strives to create the perfect Christmas while her loving but dysfunctional family falls apart around her.

CAST: Shawnee Smith, Dean Winters, Caroline Aaron, Betsy Beutler, Paris Bravo, Nate Torrence, Richard Thomas, Jack McGee with Bruce Dern and Chris Elliott

DIRECTED BY: Peter A. D’Amato

WRITTEN BY: Peter A. D’Amato and Ante Novakovic

PRODUCED BY: Rob Simmons, Ante Novakovic, DJ Dodd and Jared Safier

COMPOSED BY: Rhyan D’Errico, and Jared Forman

EDITED BY: Pete Talamo

DISTRIBUTOR: Safier Entertainment

RUN TIME: 101 minutes

MPAA RATING: PG-13

Dean Winters of "Christmas Vs. The Walters"Dean Winters is an American character actor. He is known for his role as Ryan O’Reily on the HBO prison drama Oz and had roles in TV series Rescue Me, 30 Rock, Sex and the City and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as portraying “Mayhem” in a series of Allstate Insurance commercials. He co-starred in one season of the CBS Network cop drama series Battle Creek and had a recurring role as the Vulture on the comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

 

 

Shawnee Smith of "Christmas Vs. The Walters"Shawnee Smith is an American actress and singer. She is known for her portrayal of Amanda Young in the Saw franchise and for starring as Linda in the CBS sitcom Becker (1998–2004). She co-starred as Jennifer Goodson, the ex-wife of Charlie Goodson on the FX sitcom Anger Management (2012–2014). In addition to acting, Smith once fronted the rock band Fydolla Ho, with which she toured globally. Later, with actress Missi Pyle, she served as half of Smith & Pyle, a country rock band.

 

 

 

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Cast of "Christmas Vs. The Walters"

Interview with Tim Reid

TV Interview!

Tim Reid Actor, Comedian, Filmmaker and Social Activist was the guest speaker at the United States Department of Agriculture Black History Month celebration “Black Women in American Culture and History” in Washington, DC Thursday, February 16, 2012. Reid spoke of the importance of women in his family, life and of the contributions of Black women to American history. Reid produced a documentary for USDA Cultural Transformation.

Interview with Tim Reid of “A Welcome Home Christmas” on Lifetime by Suzanne 10/28/20

I really enjoyed this interview. Most people are probably familiar with his work through his many roles, starting with Venus Flytrap in “WKRP in Cinncinnati,” or Lt. Brown in “Simon & Simon,” Ray in “Sister, Sister,” Bishop Jeffries in “Greenleaf,” or his many other roles. I just loved him in those first two series, so I made sure to watch him after that. I’m a huge fan. He’s a brilliant person and activist as well as actor and filmmaker. He’s not the star of this Lifetime holiday movie, but he’s an important part of it.  Don’t miss it because it’s fun, romantic and inspiring.

Suzanne:   So, how did your part in this movie come about?

Tim:   Someone called me, and I said, “Yes.” The old fashioned way.

Suzanne:   Oh!  So, do you find that you don’t have to interview so much anymore? They just call you?

Tim:   No, sometimes. You know, I’ve been fortunate enough to have done a Christmas movie for the last, I guess, four or five years, and I’ve done a couple of them through Lifetime, Oprah, and a few other places, Hallmark. So, they were familiar with my work and thought that I would fit the role of General O’Toole. I said, “Yes.” I got the script, and I liked it. It was dealing with something that’s current today: soldiers and coming home and some of the angst that they go through. I thought, “Oh, it’s a nice theme; it’s a different way to do a Christmas movie.” So, I came on, and they did a wonderful job.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I watched it. It was good. I enjoyed it.

Tim:   I was pleased to be a part of it.

Suzanne:   Were you familiar with any of the cast and crew?

Tim:   Not before. Well, of course, Charlene [Tilton], I knew her from from the old days, but other than Charlene, I did not know the other actors. [They were] very nice actors and good people.

We were all under a very difficult shoot, because we one of the first movies, if not the first movie, to have to operate under the new rules and regulations from both unions, SAG-AFTRA, and DGA and APSE, and so we were sort of like the test case. It was very difficult, but that being said, I applaud the crew and the production team and, of course, the cast for putting up with these rules. There wasn’t anything that anybody could do to stop it. I mean, our businesses look different than the rest of the world, because we have not only strong unions, but we have a sense – we know our business is a very dangerous business. People don’t realize how dangerous making a movie can be, but it is, and it’s one that doesn’t have a lot of tolerance for debate. It is very dictatorial, based on you take the job, the calls for you to do a particular task, lighting, acting, whatever, makeup, and you’re told these are the rules. You have to wear a mask, and you can’t take that mask off until the director yells action, if you’re an actor. If you’re not an actor, you don’t take it off at all. And you will be tested. Every other day, someone will stick a cotton swab up your nose, and you will do that every other day.

Now you have the option of saying, “You are violating my rights,”  [but] then you go home, and somebody else will come in and do that job. So, if you don’t want to do it, don’t come. If you come, these are the rules.

And I think because of that, it was very difficult when you’ve got so many people, actors and crews, and you have to be tested; the cost of that, one hundred dollars a pop. We were there three weeks. We had to stay in quarantine for one full week, because somebody did come down [with it], were tested positive, I should say. So, from that point on, I was under quarantine in a hotel in the middle of somewhere in Tennessee, where I think you’d go for witness protection, but there was nothing going on there, and the hotel was on lockdown, so I couldn’t leave. I was stuck there for several days in the middle of this pandemic, and it was a test of character for everybody.

And you’ve got to remember, when we’re shooting, you see these wonderful shots of us, and there’s no masks. The directors just yells, “Roll camera,” and everybody who’s in front of the camera takes off their mask. Everybody behind the camera, every human being, has a mask on. You know, we’re supposed to be playing winter, right? It’s 85 degrees, and I got on a coat, and we’ve got snow, fake snow, around, and you’ve got to act like it’s cold. Imagine working with a mask on at 80 something degrees, carrying heavy equipment and all of that. It wasn’t an easy job, but everybody worked hard. I think the look of it is certainly good, and the performances are good, but I give my hat to the crew and the production unit, because it was like a war. I mean, it really was difficult for them, more so than I’ve ever had to go through anything like that.

Now everybody has to do it; we were some of the first to do it, but we pulled it off. I appreciate the opportunity. I learned from it, and I applied it in my work and what we’re doing.

Suzanne:   Good. Yeah, when I watched it, it was a very rough take, and I’m used to seeing the screeners ahead of time, but it seemed like there was more than usual of these little things where it said [on the screen] , “visual effects, add snow,” whatever.

Tim:   Well, yeah, it was 80, 90 degrees some days, and it was for the exterior stuff. It was not easy, but even interior is hot inside. We’re in hangars and offices and, you know, air conditioning is in some of these buildings. They were not active buildings, because the quarantine closed down the city. I mean, this town was pretty much shut down. So, it was an interesting shoot.

Suzanne:   I’m sure. I’m hearing that a lot from various people I’ve been interviewing. It sort of adds an interesting layer to the interviews, that people have been talking about the pandemic or the shooting.

Tim:   Well, it tests your character, that’s for sure. But here’s the news: if you don’t want to do the job, go home; somebody else will do it.

Suzanne:   I thought it was funny when they paired your character with Charlene Tilton. She’s so much shorter than you are.

Tim:   Yes, I’ve known Charlene from way back when she was on Dallas. So, when they told me I was working with her, I said, “Oh, wonderful,” and then I thought, “Oh my god, she comes to my elbow, but we worked it out, [with] a few apple boxes here and there. We were fine. I hadn’t seen her in many, many years.

Suzanne:   Yeah, she’s looking good.

Tim:   Yeah, she’s hanging in there. She’s still got that vivacious character and fun sense of humor.

Suzanne:   It added to the comedy of the of the characters, I think, that she’s so much shorter than you are.

Tim:   Yes. It does happen in real life.

Suzanne:   So, I was in high school when WKRP was on. So, I remember watching you on that, and I loved Simon & Simon, and I watched Frank’s Place, and I really loved Linc’s; I wanted to tell you.

Tim:   Wow, [that’s rare] for somebody bring that up. That was my pet project.

Suzanne:   I was so upset when it didn’t go longer than a couple years.

Tim:   I’m upset that they won’t give me the 33 episodes. I did 33 episodes. I’m trying to get them back, because they deficit financed Viacom Productions, then they were sold to CBS. So, I’ve been trying to get them back, because I want to put them on streaming, then do maybe four more, five more episodes of today. You know, those people today, those who would come and then are recasted. But I thought now that show would be a wonderful show. Just think of the politics we could get into.

Suzanne:   I think it was a little bit ahead of its time, right?

Tim:   Yeah. I’m tired of being ahead of the time. Linc’s was ahead of the time. I want to be right up with what’s happening.

Suzanne:   Well, that was the first time I noticed – I don’t know if it was her first role, but Golden Brooks.

Tim:   It was her first role.

Suzanne:   She was so great.

Tim:   Also, a young man who played the cab driver from Nigeria in the first 10 or 12 episodes, he went on to do Oz and is big time actor now. That was his first job.

Suzanne:   So, which role do people usually recognize your most for?

Tim:   It depends on the age. I’ve been around for almost 45 years in the business, so, you know, your father and grandfather would know me from WKRP. Some baby boomers would know me from, like you say, Simon & Simon or That 70’s Show, and then the young people know me from Sister, Sister.

Suzanne:   Yeah, and I guess that’s streaming somewhere too.

Tim:   Yeah, it’s setting a record. I mean, it’s the most watch streaming show on Netflix of any brought  back show like that. So, people are finding it, and I think the timing of what’s going on with young people, especially the Z generation, they’re seeing themselves reflected in the show in a way that normally wouldn’t take the time to watch, but because everybody’s in lock down, I think [binge-watching] is helping a show like that. Once a week, it’s hard to stay in tune to the characters, but when you watch three or four of them in a row, you are there. You’re into these characters. You watch the nuances and the pathos and all that stuff that’s happening. You don’t see on them; you forget, but when you’re in it [you do]. And I’ve had some correspondence with people who are watching, and they’re saying, basically, that they saw it in reruns, but they never knew this was going on, the lessons.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I think there’s a lot of 90s nostalgia right now, too, so there’re a lot of people who grew up watching those shows that are going back and finding them.

Tim:   Yeah.

Suzanne:   Tell me about your new streaming network.

Tim:   Legacy of a People Network, that’s the full title, but the logo title is LGCY of a People Network. That’s what you can find me on; if you go on our webpage, it will be LGCY of a People Network. I chose a platform and advertising based platform to put all the content on, but what you do, if you go to my webpage, is you’re one click away from any title that you see there. We are trying to create a more international view of the African diaspora wherever they may find themselves. We have production, connections and talent, behind the camera talent, writers, producers, in London, in Nigeria, and Ethiopia, and now in South Africa, and they will be providing the original content and some of their other content.

Then, of course, I’m doing original content here. We’re going to be doing some talent; we’ve got some exciting talent coming up. We’ve got a young lady from South Africa, who is in the mole of Trevor Noah. I’m giving her a show called The Theta Show. It’s a talk show, but it starts out small, 15 to 20 minutes, and then we’ll see where we go with it. She’s very funny, a great singer and opinionated, feminist, and I think there’s nothing like that in the nighttime programming in America. So, hopefully, she’ll find a spot.

All these shows, they’re organically being created. So, we’re following how people respond to them and the subject matter, but I’ve seen so far three or four episodes, and I’m very excited about where this could go and how a talent could come out of it.

 

We have a young lady from Ethiopia doing cooking, lifestyle, and fashion, and Sally May, she’s an international model and all that, so we’re trying to bring it in. And we can redo a fitness show from someone. Again, these are a more personality driven shows as opposed to about fitness, but she’s certainly gonna shake up a few things with what she’s doing.

And I’m doing some stuff; we’re doing a talk show. Well, actually, it’s not a talk show. I call it a documentary. It’s a combination documentary talk show. We’ve done five episodes.

So, things like that. We’ve just going out there and seeing what we can do and give a different view of culture. You know, see it through someone else’s eyes for a while.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I looked it over briefly. Interesting!

Suzanne:   So, what have you been doing to keep busy during the pandemic?

Tim:   Just what I just explained. I think one thing I didn’t realize, is that launching a network was going to be [so] involved, other than just content as it is. I had just returned from shooting over in Ethiopia. We went on lockdown. So, that is what actually caused me to think about doing the channel once on lockdown. You know, we’ve got to finish work we do on this project. So, I thought, you know what? I got all this stuff in my library, and I know these filmmakers, emerging filmmakers, why don’t we just put up something and stream it out there? So, I got this idea probably in March. It’s been in the back of my head for a while, but, I mean, I would say the idea I got the boldness to do it in March, and we took off from there.

So, I’ve been busy, busier than I imagined to be. My studio is a media center; it’s only about 10 minutes from where I live here in Richmond. So, between this and my home, is where I’ve been, and we try to keep them safe and clean, and very few people are involved. We never have more than three or four people in our shoot or wherever it is at one time, and everybody wears masks. So, it’s been easier to adapt to that kind of working atmosphere. So, we’ve been very busy. I did travel to shoot the movie. Other than that, that’s all I’ve been doing, creating content.

Suzanne:   Most of the things you’ve mentioned were nonfiction. Are you going to have fictional content as well?

Tim:   Yeah, we have in the movie shorts – I call them shorter shorts – you will find a lot of fictional [content]. As a matter of fact, we just we put up a couple of sci-fi pieces from one of my associates in London, and we will be adding more movies. The movies, of course, are the hardest thing to really get, but I wanted where we just put a movie up. I want to do sort of a Turner Classic movie style. In other words, context; I want to put the movie in context. I want somebody to talk about what was going on in the world when the movie was made, how the movie either was affected by what was going on or affected what was going on, and then in the end, what happened to these people? Who were they? Even in a classic movie.

So, the ones we have up now, one of my favorite movies that fits now, is Native Son, the original Native Son, with the writer, an author playing himself in it.

Then we have a movie from London, one of my associates in London, his movie, Emotional Backgammon. That is a mystery shocker at the end, but again, deals with the issues that are in our [world] now.

Then we have two more coming. We have a movie with people Sidney Poitier and Eartha Kit and [John] McIntyre from the 50s, I think, called The Mark of the Hawk, and it deals with the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya.

So, those, and then we’re doing another movie; we’re bringing a movie from Ethiopia that will be subtitled about the war in Ethiopia, but it’s a love story. Different things that you won’t see on normal television.

Suzanne:   That sounds interesting. I’m gonna have to check that out.

Tim:   Yeah, it’s called “Here’s to Movies,” and if you go to our page, you’ll see a little thing, click on it, and it will take you straight there. Hopefully, I mean, what I want the page to be, is one click away from anything that we have.

Suzanne:   You mentioned Native Son. Is that by Richard Wright?

Tim:   Yes, Richard Wright.

Suzanne:   I read that a while ago.

Tim:   This was the movie that he made…It’s from the 50s; I think 52 or 53.

Suzanne:   I have to watch that.

So, do you have anything else coming out that you can tell us about?

Tim:   I can say I’m springing talent. We have some new programs. Every week, I put up something new, a lot of documentaries, a lot of lifestyles.

We just put up a new cooking show, I mean, a new episode of the cooking show, and we’re going to add stuff every week; there’s going to be something new going up.

I’m launching a comedian out of South Africa, probably in two weeks, putting her up, and we have a thing called “She Speaks,” which is going to be a a piece for women, spoken word artists. I’m going to have – I already shot some time ago a thing with Nikki Giovanni, she will speak. I’ve got a young lady named Gina Loring out of LA, who’s a very powerful spoken word artist. It’s a place where women can go in and say and respond the way that they feel and not become concerned about staying within any kind of format. So, I have offered it to about three women, and one of them has already sent something out, and that’s gonna go up probably in another two weeks, week after next. So, things like that.

I want to give people a voice. It’s time we see the world through other eyes instead of the standard structure of network television, or even Netflix. I mean, Netflix is gobbling up as much content as they possibly can. I understand that. But, again, context, you know?

Suzanne:   It seems to be, I don’t know if it’s just a temporary thing or if it’s gonna keep going, but it does seem like the networks are all doing a lot more African American content and stars than they were before.

Tim:   Yes, they are acquiring it, and I think that the talent pool is so large; it’s so great, so many different kinds of talent both in front of behind the camera, but my major push, and it’s not a complaint, it’s a reality, is until we get people within the confines of the corporations that make decisions, the green lighters, a lot of this stuff is still going to be filtered. In other words, it has to fit the format of the controlling the people who control the propaganda; let’s put it in a very direct way. So, I hope, and I know that there are people out there who want to be free of that and begin to reveal culture through their eyes and not have to put the filter, the confines of the structure of the network, or we only do things that are this kind of stuff, but we want to do stuff that relates to this and have a place where you can go and someone says to you, as I’m saying to these creative people, “Tell us your story, and explain it, and express it in the way that you feel best suits your your purpose. What’s your purpose? Who’s your audience?” And I know, in the time that I’ve produced television for network, you seldom get that. You have a structure; you have a genre. You have this, and within that.

I mean, you look back at comedies. Until recently, 95% of all comedies were written and created by white people.

Suzanne:   Right.

Tim:   Black comedies, I mean. Not just comedies. People are asking me about Seinfeld. They said, “Were you a fan of Seinfeld?” I said, “Not really.” It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, but there were never any black people on it. Why would I sit down and watch something – [It was] one of the reasons I didn’t go to Woody Allen movies; why would I go to a Woody Allen movie? There are no [black] people. It doesn’t sound anything like the reality that I live in.

But we’re now beginning to see from all kinds of structures, you know, comedies that deal more from the propaganda point of view of the creators. I like that. I mean, that’s storytelling, I like to see people who have the ability to tell their story, their way.

Suzanne:   Yeah, we need more shows like Black-ish. That’s a good one; I love that show.

Tim:   I have not watched it. I think I watched one episode.

…We have a tendency in our business, and it’s a very crude way to say it, but we eat our own waste, you know what I mean? It’s like, if you’re going to be a creator, you have to be able to – first you study the masters. You learn your craft; you find a style and a master that makes you feel like this. “This is the path that will allow me to discover myself.” Once you do discover yourself, then you have to become a master. You have to begin to create the kind of things that someone else will want to follow. And I think be free to tell your story, you have to have people who will commit, to give you that freedom.

I think that Netflix, Apple Plus, and all that stuff, they are [going in] the right direction. However, when you start something, the first thing you do is bring in the old players. You go to your tried and true. So, that’s not really doing anything dangerous. Of course, Spielberg’s going to give you a good show, of course, you know, all the people – I just saw on Comedy Central, Jon Stewart has gotten a show. Great; that’s wonderful, but that’s not being daring.

Give me a show like I’m giving this young lady out of South Africa; give somebody a show who has talent and enhance the passion and see what they can come up with. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it will not. So, I don’t see that kind from the people who control the space and the time. They’ll try things, and if it works, it works, but as soon as it works, then it becomes the model for everybody else, but there’s an incredible talent pool out there in all cultures. [There’s] a great talent pool, and I think the young generation, especially z generation, are more interested now in new and interesting concepts, because they’ve got to create a new world for us, because we can’t do it, obviously. If this the world that we have created, if this is what we plan as a model, we’re in deep trouble. So, we need some young energy, some passion, that will say, “All right, I don’t like what you guys have done. I’m going to do it this way.” Now, we’re not going to like that, but out of that will come a new thing, and I think that change is a wonderful thing. We need to change more, give opportunity for change, us old timers.

Suzanne:   Right. I think there should be more dramas. You see a lot of black comedies and soap operas dramas, but you don’t see shows like – well, take that one that you did a long while ago, Snoops. You don’t see any cop shows or private eyes or anything different than just, you know, soap operas, really.

Tim:   Well, you know, I say, stealing from the masses, Snoops was literally The Thin Man. That’s what it was…The network just could not get their head around it, and the audience.

I remember one of the worst write-ups I’ve ever had for anything I’ve ever created for television came out of the New York Post. I can’t think of the guy’s name, but he was a serial writer for New York. He basically said, “Snoops, out there, Tim Reid, at a time when black people are struggling and living in the thing, he comes out with a show with this state department professor at Georgetown, how dare him. He’s not showing real black life,” and I’m going, “What? This is insane.” In other words, you know, Jared said a few weeks ago that we should all pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and most of us don’t want to do it, but then, when you do it, you’re criticized for portraying a world that they can’t comprehend. In other words, he can’t comprehend that a black woman would be working for the State Department and a black man is a professor at Georgetown. He just couldn’t comprehend them living in in Georgetown. I was like, “Oh man, this is sad.” You know, what hurt me about the review, is he didn’t really review the show; it’s just he was so upset that I had the audacity to put a whirl in, when I’m saying, “Even then I knew black billionaires.” I knew people better than those two characters, but unless you can conceive of that –

There’s a wonderful show coming out of South Africa called Queen Sono.

Suzanne:   Yeah, that’s really good; I saw that.

Tim:   Is that not a wonderful show?

Suzanne:   It is.

Tim:   I love the writing, because I love how they have exposed apartheid. They actually pulled the curtain back and showed you the man behind the curtain, and in that way they tell the story. And I’m like, “Wow, these guys are awake.” They are writing some really interesting scenarios in a drama format, and the young lady, she’s incredible. I mean, she makes James Bond look like a wimp, but I like that, and it’s coming out of South Africa, and it’s well done. It looks good. It has great use of of camera work and lighting and wardrobe. More of those. I want to see those come from not just [there]. I certainly love this country, and now that I can’t travel anywhere else, I gotta love it more, but there are so many other cultures, including of the African diaspora, that should be exposed. Nigeria is beginning to get exposed more about fashion, out of Ghana. I mean, there’re some exciting things happening, as opposed to just what’s happening in the world of hip hop, the world in America. You know, all of entertainment in America is focused around 40 some million people, but there are 20 million Caribbean’s; there are 110 million Ethiopians. There are 180 million Nigerians. The African continent is a billion people of African descent. You got 10, 12 million Europeans. How are they living?

Suzanne:   Well, I think that’s one good thing about Netflix, is they have a lot of shows that Americans wouldn’t see otherwise. They have a lot of foreign shows on there.

Tim:   Yes, and they’re changing, you know, until they run out of money, and if they keep doing what they’re doing, they will do that soon, but they are the only – There are a lot of people following them that try and do [that], but they are the first ones to realize that if you just keep eating the same diet, it’s going to affect [things], because they’re global. I mean, my little thing is global. You can reach me anywhere in the world on the internet. So, I’m global.

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

Jana Kramer and Brendan Quinn star in "A Welcome Home Christmas" on Lifetime Saturday, 11/7/20. Photo by Brandon Bassler.

A Welcome Home Christmas Starring Jana Kramer, Brandon Quinn, Tim Reid, Charlene Tilton, Craig Morgan
11/7 at 8pm ET/PT Repeats on Veteran’s Day 11/11

Chloe (Jana Kramer) has always supported various military organizations, including the town’s Army toy drive for Christmas.  This year, she is paired up with Michael (Brandon Quinn), a vet who recently returned home, and together they recruit other veterans and active military personnel to help in the cause. As the community gears up for the Officer’s Christmas Ball, where all the kids will meet Santa Claus and receive their gifts, Michael and Chloe begin to realize the greatest gift this season has been each other’s company. Craig Morgan also stars. A Welcome Home Christmas is produced by Johnson Production Group with Timothy O. Johnson and Michael Vickerman serving as executive producers. Brian Herzlinger directs from a script by T. Booker James.

Tim Reid’s bio from IMDB

Tim Reid was born December 19, 1944 in Norfolk, Virginia and came from a troubled, impoverished childhood. He straightened out his life enough to attend Norfolk State College (now University) and graduate with a business administration degree. He worked for Du Pont in Chicago for a period of time in the late 60s and married his first wife Rita, whom he met at college. They had two children, Tim Reid II (born 1968) and Tori Reid (born 1971); both are currently involved in entertainment. His first taste of the limelight came around the turn of the 70s when he met an insurance agent named Tom Dreesen, and the two of them decided to form a nightclub act called “Tim and Tom”. Within six years, both the team and his first marriage had dissolved. At this juncture, Tim decided to focus completely on acting, took up drama classes, and worked as a comic. TV and commercial work started coming his way, finding regular placements on a number of variety series that starred Frankie Avalon, The 5th Dimension singers Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., and Richard Pryor in the late 70s.

His biggest break, however, came after nabbing the cool and very hip role of “Venus Flytrap” on TV’s WKRP in Cincinnati (1978). It is this radio disc jockey character for which Tim is still best known. Other TV series came his way, including Simon & Simon (1981) as Lt. Marcel “Downtown” Brown. Once firmly established, Tim started taking more control over his career. After fronting a number of series including Frank’s Place (1987), Snoops (1989) and, most notably, Sister, Sister (1994), he and wife, Daphne Reid, co-founded their own production studio (New Millenium Studios), the first ever built in his native state of Virginia. The short-lived program Linc’s (1998), starring both Tim and Daphne, was the first to come out of the studio. Over the years, Daphne has been a frequent partner to Tim both in front and behind the camera lens, as actress and co-producer. Toning down his slick facade over the years, the handsome, mustachioed actor has dedicated himself to films and other projects that have raised social issues as well as increase black awareness. More recently, in 2002, he released his film For Real (2003), which was made at his studio. It took an updated African-American spin on the “Pygmalion” story and starred Tim in the “Henry Higgins” role. The film opened the fifth anniversary of the Hollywood Black Film Festival.

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Tim Reid as General O'Toole in "A Welcome Home Christmas" on Lifetime. Photo be Brandon Bassler.

Happy Holidays!





Blog Post #208

Happy Holidays!

Our new site is here at http://tvmeg.com as of this week! Hooray! It may be a wee bit premature, with most of our new content still over on The TV MegaSite, but I’m confident that we’ll be able to move a lot of content over in the next few months. I wanted to make sure that people can find us at our new home because I had new business cards made, and because I sent them out in my Christmas cards to a lot of people! I wanted to make sure that they pointed to the right place.

new card

This week I’ll start moving over the daytime soap pages and updating the content. Hopefully that won’t take too long. Once we get that done, then we’ll no longer have to archive all of the week’s pages and make new ones, which is a big hassle. Brenda will be free to do other great things on the site!  There are only 4 daytime soaps, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. For now, we’ll leave the older shows where they are.

After that, we can start moving over the Primetime show pages. I’m trying to figure out a way to put up our weekly news and schedule here in WordPress that will be both easier for us to write, and easier for you to read.

Besides working on this site, I’m also a part-time student, and finals are next week, so hopefully that won’t make things too difficult.  Christmas often takes up a lot of time because I like to have a lot of decorations, send out a lot of cards, and make a lot of cookies! This year I’ll have help putting up the decorations, at least.

Speaking of holidays, I hope you can spend some time watching holiday movies because there sure are a lot of them on the tube, especially Hallmark, Lifetime, and Freeform.  That’s not even to mention the old favorites and specials that are everywhere. And if you can’t find them on regular TV, I’m sure you can find them on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon or somewhere else streaming.  What’s your favorite holiday movie? What’s your favorite holiday TV special or episode?  Let us know in the comments below. My favorite holiday movie is probably “Miracle on 34th Street” (1934) with a young Natalie Wood (you can watch it for free on YouTube!). I also love the musical “Scrooge!” from the 70’s (also free on YouTube!). I always love the specials, too, that I grew up with, like “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” I’m sure that people who are younger than I am have their own favorites, like “Elf” or “The Santa Claus” or “Christmas Vacation.”  There’s no wrong answer!

I know it’s a little early to talk about the holidays (or maybe it just seems that way to me), but this year it seems like we really need some holiday cheer, with so many terrible things going on in the world. I know I do!

Every year, some of the great TV networks, or the people who make their DVD’s, ask if we’re going to do a “Holiday Guide.” I should have made it back a few months ago, but I finally did get it done. It only took me 3 days! During Thanksgiving! I hope you can check it out if you want to buy any DVD’s for yourself or your family. They make great gifts.

When I made out my holiday cards, that includes the 20 or so I sent out to our volunteers.  We have a great group of people that work on our site, writing fan fiction, recaps, updates, scoops, forum posts and more.  Every year, I send them all holiday cards, along with an Amazon gift card. I can’t afford to pay anyone, even myself, so this is the way I can show that I appreciate them.  I wish I could do more!

Christmas Wish

Maybe one day the site will make enough money to pay us…that’s what I’m hoping, anyway. That’s why I’m taking classes and working to improve the site. This time of year, it’s easy to believe that all our wishes can come true.  I hope yours do, too!

~ Suzanne

Here are all of our Articles!



TV Movies and Specials DVD Guide

Page 3 – Holiday Movies and Specials

Click on the title to get information about the DVD and to buy it from Amazon. com!

These make great gifts for your favorite TV or movie fan and helps out our site…

How the Grinch Stole Christmas DVD coverHow the Grinch Stole Christmas: Ultimate Edition Dr. Seuss’ timeless classic comes to life in a shiny all-new Ultimate Edition of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, now with 2 newly remastered Grinch Specials: The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat and Halloween is GrinchThe Christmas Train DVD cover Night! With Who-ville brimming with joyful anticipation of Christmas, high above in the chilly mountains, the Grinch shares no such warmth for the holiday. Why this green meanie has hatched a plan to do away with Christmas once and for all! Featuring animation by the legendary Chuck Jones, bring home this heartfelt reason for the Yul-tide season.

Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Christmas Train From Hallmark Hall of Fame comes a story about the journalist who embarks on a cross-country train ride at Christmas, having no idea this journey will take him into the rugged terrain of his own heart.

Christmas at Holly Lodge DVD coverChristmas At Holly Lodge When a major developer sends Evan to evaluate the value of Holly Lodge, he and lodge owner Sophie have an instant attraction. But when Sophie realizes the reason for Evan’s stay, she must convince him the lodge is a bad investment- while trying not Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Deluxe Editionto fall in love.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Deluxe Edition Have a holly jolly Christmas with the most famous reindeer of all in the original holiday special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! After being told he could not play in any Reindeer Games due to his glowing nose, Rudolph sets out on a fantastic journey where he meets Hermey the elf, prospector Yukon Cornelius and a host of Misfit Toys, all while trying to hide from the Abominable Snow Monster. It’s a race against time as his family and Clarice try to find him during a big snowstorm that threatens to cancel Christmas. Based on the timeless story and song, the Rankin/Bass production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer features groundbreaking “Animagic” stop-motion animation, narration by Burl Ives and unforgettable Dashing Through the Snow DVD coversongs including “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Silver and Gold” and “We’re a Couple of Misfits”. It’s pure holiday magic for the entire family!

Debbie Macomber’s Dashing Through the Snow Based on a novel by Debbie Macomber, this yuletide movie tells the story of Ashley Harrison (Meghan Ory) and Dash Sutherland (Andrew W. Walker). Ashley, who is based in San Francisco, is desperate to spend the holidays with her family in Seattle and Dash is also in a rush to get there. When Ashley encounters a problem with her reservation at the airport ticket counter, she attempts to rent a car. But there s just one vehicle left and Dash beats her to it. Reluctantly, Ashley takes him up on his offer to join him on a road trip. Will this unexpected bump in the road lead them down a path to romance?

Murdoch Mysteries: Home For the Holidays Dashing detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson, Sue Thomas: Murdoch Mysteries: Home For the Holidays DVD coverF.B.Eye) must solve a holiday whodunit in this feature-length special of the award-winning mystery series set in Edwardian Toronto. Days before Christmas, Murdoch and his wife, Dr. Julia Ogden (Gemini winner Hélène Joy, Durham County), travel to Victoria, British Columbia, to spend time with Murdoch’s eccentric brother. But instead of a relaxing holiday with Jasper (Dylan Neal, Dawson’s Creek) and his family, they end up investigating a murder at an archaeological site.
Back in Toronto, Constables Crabtree (Jonny Harris, Still Standing) and Higgins (Lachlan Murdoch, Copper) try to impress their sweethearts before a skiing outing, and Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig, Where the Heart Is) and his wife invest in a money-making scheme run by a man Christmas Connection DVD covernamed Ponzi. Guest stars include Kate Hewlett (The Girlfriend Experience), Jake Epstein (Degrassi: The Next Generation), and Megan Follows (Reign, Anne of Green Gables).

Christmas Connection Flight attendant Sydney is tasked with looking after Leah, an unaccompanied minor. After Leah is safely delivered to her father, Jonathan, Sydney finds a package Leah left behind and delivers it to Leah. She ends up missing her connection and Jonathan invites her to spend the holidays with them. Starring Brooke Burns and Tom Everett Scott.

The Sound Of Music Live  The beloved family classic comes alive once again! The world’s most popular musical, The Sound of Music Live DVD coverRodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound Of Music, comes brilliantly to life in this ambitious, live-broadcast production from BAFTA-nominated director Coky Giedroyc!
The spectacular Kara Tointon (Mr Selfridge, EastEnders) delivers a “mesmerizing performance and incredible vocal talents”, (Daily Mail) as Maria, the tomboyish nun who reluctantly becomes the governess for seven children living in the shadow of their stern widower father (Julian Ovenden, Downton Abbey). Along with her required duties, Maria brings love, music and excitement back into the children’s lives … and also eventually begins to have an effect on their father. But just when things are looking up, the rise of Nazism and the looming threat of war darkens their future …
Supported by Katherine Kelly (Mr Selfridge, Coronation Street) as Baroness Elsa Schraeder and Alexander Armstrong (The Armstrong And Miller Show, Danger Mouse) as Max Detweiler, The Sound Of Music Live is an enchanting experience that will remain with you long after the last curtain call.

A Christmas Story Live DVD coverA Christmas Story Live! A live musical event inspired by the perennial holiday movie favorite and the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical production, A CHRISTMAS STORY LIVE! follows nine-year-old Ralphie Parker, who dreams of finding a genuine Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun under the tree on Christmas morning. The over-two-hour TV movie stars Maya Rudolph, Matthew Broderick, Jane Krakowski, Chris Diamantopoulos, Ana Gasteyer and talented newcomer Andy Walken as Ralphie. This winter-wonderful extravaganza features stunning choreography on massive sets and family-friendly songs with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, lyricists of La La Land’s Academy Award-winning* song, “City of Stars.” Get ready to sing and dance along to your new favorite holiday tradition!A Christmas Story DVD covers

A Christmas Story / A Christmas Story 2 Holiday Collection 1 and 2 This delightfully funny holiday gem tells the story of Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsly) a 1940’s nine-year-old who pulls out all the stops to obtain the ultimate Christmas present. Plus: The original, classic, holiday favorite continues five years later with Ralphie, Randy, Mom, and the Old Man. This time, Ralphie has his eyes fixed on a car… but trouble is sure to follow.

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