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The Today Show reunions - 8 Is Enough / PF / 227
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TVGord
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:07 am    Post subject: The Today Show reunions - 8 Is Enough / PF / 227 Reply with quote

I thought I'd start a new thread to talk about The Today Show reunions themselves. I just watched the first segment of the Eight Is Enough reunion, and I have to say it was pretty much what I expected: a rushed, haphazard mish-mash of memories with an hilarious technical glitch thrown in for an added bit of unintentional entertainment.

Dick Van Patten (Tom), Betty Buckley (Abby), Grant Goodeve (David), Laurie Walters (Joannie), Connie Needham (Elizabeth) and Willie Aames (Tommy) were all in New York, and Dianne Kay (Nancy) was in L.A. No shows were Adam Rich (Nicholas) who sent a letter that Meredith read partially, and Susan Richardson (Susan). I don't think anyone even referred to her. There was a brief mention by Meredith of Lani O'Grady (Mary), who died of an "accidental drug overdose" in 2001.

No one said anything terribly illuminating, and the first segment ended with technicians accidentally leaving Dianne Kay's microphone open as they went to break, so you can hear her comments about how difficult it was to jump in from L.A. Willie generously tried twice to bring her into the conversation. The first time, she just made some comments about how she was warm in L.A. while they were cold in New York, and then Meredith Vieira cut back to a question to Betty Buckley. The second time Willie tried to engage Dianne, Meredith cut him off to say they had to go to break, but they'd be back in the next hour to talk about what everyone is up to now, and to answer viewers' questions.

It will be interesting to see how it plays out on the west coast, because Dianne's open mic could be heard over most of the first commercial!

Did anyone else watch?
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PazJD
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in the 9am hour they are sitting down and talking to them all. Willie is now a financial advisor. He looks good - and settled. Grant still looks very handsome and works for an NBC affiliate on west coast, Laurie still does theatre in Santa Barbara (think she lives there - she said she finally lives in a nice smaller place after leaving LA.) and is trying to start a theatre company in Ojai Calif., and Diane looks like she just stepped off the set in the 70's, she is still the prettiest of the sisters. Connie told that she doing very well after conquering ovarian cancer. Dick still has those smiling eyes & is doing a film. Betty I see often in theatre news so it was not a surprise to see how she is now, she is going to be starting a play here in NY. I didn't know that she was younger than a couple of the older kids on the show!! She looked at Laurie when she said that, so..?
They took about 3-4 questions that were emailed in - one was asking how many children each of them have. They were all sitting on chairs on two levels sort of like how a class photo is taken. Dick, Betty and Grant on the lower seats and Laurie, Connie and Willie on the upper level seats. They spoke more to Betty and Diane and Dick at first and I thought they were going to not have time to talk to the others and they were just there for appearance. But they did get to all of them. I did not see the show until 9am hour, so the way they were talking I thought they hadn't shown them on camera before that. I have a friend who told me yesterday they were going to go down to try to see Eight Is Enough cast as that was a favorite show for them, so hopefully they will tell me how it was with the cast coming out, if they were able to see the cast at all. They have to scoot over to work afterwards a few blocks away from Rock Center, so hopefully they can give me a quick call during the day.
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TVGord
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, PazJD, the second appearance was much better. You summed it up beautifully. They definitely made it up to Dianne for missing her earlier. It sounds as though those two segments are it. It was Al Roker talking to them this time, and he ended by saying, "we'll have to do it again", so I guess they won't be back in the dreadful Kathie Lee/Hoda hour! ;-)

They were asked about their favorite guest stars. Dianne gushed with praise for Janis Paige, who played their Auntie V on a handful of episodes. She said she was a great comedic actress who taught them a lot. Betty said Don Johnson. Willie chimed in with Heather Locklear. Grant said Robin Williams was on an episode and kept everyone entertained, but he didn't want to be on camera too much, because he was about to star in his own sitcom, Mork and Mindy.

I never realized Betty Buckley was so close in age with the kids! She's actually six months YOUNGER than Laurie Walters (step-daughter Joannie!).
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PazJD
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What hour was the first segment TVGord? Then it does kind of stink if they had to be there so early and had to wait more than an hour between segments. Hope the Kraft services were good or food from Dean & Deluca coffee shop across the street! LOL

Uh Oh, that means Danny and David have to be nice for two segments! Unless after the first segment we see either or both of them with black eyes and/or seating changed when 9am hour comes around. Wink :lol:


PAZJD sheepishly admits that the Hoda/KLG hour is usually the only Today Show hour she watches each day! They exasperate her but its like eating potato chips - can't help going back for more. She watches CW morning news and then Regis before Hoda/KLG. Embarassed
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TVGord
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should admit I've never actually tuned in to Kathie Lee & Hoda. I'm judging them based on clips I've seen on The Soup and late night talk shows where they are routinely ridiculed. I should probably watch an actual show before I make comments the way I did. Embarassed

The earlier segment started around 8:15-8:20. They were seen two or three times in the 7am hour, but only sitting in the green room as the show was going to break. I guess it was fun for them to reunite off-camera for that first hour, but they didn't get to speak with Dianne in California, so when she came on during the show, they wasted a lot of time with hellos and patter, such as, "I'm warm and you're not", as I mentioned before.

I just re-watched the two segments and it surprises me a little that everyone was mentioned except Susan Richardson. They mentioned Diana Hyland, who was the mom in the first season, but no Susan. I know she has had problems in the past, but they talked about Lani O'Grady's drug problem and various drug and alcohol problems on the show. Strange.
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Scott
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can find some info on the cast on Wikipedia. Interesting -- Betty Buckley is a few months younger than Laurie Walters. Susan Richardson battled a cocaine problem after her pregnancy. She also had a nervous breakdown but has since recovered from both. She now lives in PA. Adam Rich has also battled many drug/legal issues. I recall Dick Van Patten and his family trying to help him when the troubles first surfaced.

I'm getting a kick out of Willie Aames being a financial adviser. Didn't he just file for bankruptcy? Laughing


Last edited by Scott on Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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TVGord
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember seeing Susan Richardson on something like Dateline or 20/20 some years back, where she talked about being kidnapped and forced to make movies for some rich mogul in North Korea. They weren't illicit movies or anything. It was just some movie fanatic who wanted to make his own Hollywood-style films. I see on imdb.com that she claims her career was ruined because nobody believes this story of her being kidnapped.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw Susan Richardson tape a week of "25,000 Pyramid" with Dick Clark, when I lived in NY eons ago. It was a fun day -- we saw Diana Ross shopping as we walked to the studio. Susan signed a photo for me, writing, "To Scott the Fox!!" So yeah, she was loony. Laughing
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TVGord
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha! I've definitely seen those Pyramids, because I was hooked on that show and still watch the reruns on GSN. She was a great player and was on many times. She was also on Password Plus a lot in the 80s!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just watched it and the Today show is seriously edited for my local feed. It starts at 10 am, after Regis & Kelly Live. I saw what seemed to be the second portion from New York with Al Roker interviewing them as PazJD described. The whole thing was, what, 5 mins? Don't have high hopes for tomorrow's show.

Eight is Enough was a favorite in my house but it doesn't stir up the same fond memories for me as does The PF. Still, it WAS nice to see a good part of the cast together like that. They all looked great. Couldn't believe how little Grant Goodeve has changed - what a hunk. He was proud to announce he'll be a grandfather soon. The only thing that's changed about Dianne Kay is her hair - that woman is a doll. Dick Van Patten will always look like an overgrown kid to me - he's got real "Sunshine Eyes". I'm sorry to hear about the rest of the cast's problems. Funny how fond I can be of stars I've never met just because I grew up watching and enjoying their shows.

The Kathie Lee / Hoda portion just started. First time I've seen it. Is someone replacing Kathie Lee? Because this woman looks 20 years younger than I imagined Kathie Lee to be.
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TVGord
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just watched the west coast feed and they did edit the end where Dianne's mic was left up. They abruptly increased the volume on the TV theme as they went to break, but there was an instant when they faded to commercial where you could hear her say, "yeah, mm-hmm." to someone in the studio. It was the same commercial that aired in the east, but you don't hear her over the commercial.

TV is fun, isn't it? Very Happy

DeeDee, I'm not sure if Kathie Lee is on vacation this week. That segment doesn't air here until 2pm. I'll record it today just to check it out (and to see if they "tease" the PF segment coming up tomorrow.
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PazJD
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TVGord wrote:
I should probably watch an actual show before I make comments the way I did. Embarassed


Nah, you'd still feel the same even after you watch a whole hour - LOL
The sketches on SNL & comments on Soup are spot on - KLG is so overdone, but again its like a wreck you keep looking at. But after hearing news, their nonsense acts like a respite. LOL Maybe NBC has them planned to be like that on purpose. They certainly get more attention to them than the other shows at that time. Then comes my Martha! I'm a MS devotee. Again, :oops:

So then the real stuff starts after 8am - and they do the regular news updates and weather stuff from 7-8, and then intermittently then onwards til 9am. No mention either of the one who played Grant's wife on the show?
Thought they would mention Connie still being married to Hal Needham's son.
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PazJD
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Kathie Lee / Hoda portion just started. First time I've seen it. Is someone replacing Kathie Lee? Because this woman looks 20 years younger than I imagined Kathie Lee to be.


And thanks to the miracle of botox, she does. She's said she gets regular "updates", plus that she uses hair extensions.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes! I do believe Betty Buckley mentioned enjoying working with the actress who played Grant's wife. I forget her name though. Embarassed
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PazJD
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TVGord wrote:
I remember seeing Susan Richardson on something like Dateline or 20/20 some years back, where she talked about being kidnapped and forced to make movies for some rich mogul in North Korea. They weren't illicit movies or anything. It was just some movie fanatic who wanted to make his own Hollywood-style films. I see on imdb.com that she claims her career was ruined because nobody believes this story of her being kidnapped.



Where is her daughter now? She's got to be at least 30. I remember on the show when she had the baby and she was married to the baseball player.
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