Remember WENN; Season 2 Photo Graphic 1. "Radio Silence"
2. "I Now Pronounce You Man and Wife Again"
3. "Some Good News, Some Bad News"
4. "Don't Act Like That"
5. "The Diva That Wouldn't Die"
6. "Christmas in the Airwaves"
7. "Behind Every Great Woman"
8. "Strange Bedfellows"
9. "Close Quarters"
10. "Scott Sherwood of the F.B.I."
11. "The First Mrs. Bloom"
12. "Like a Brother"
13. "Magic"


Note: a photo is worth a thousand words.

dividing line

There's a minor set change at the start of second season: the shelves in the green room have been replaced with an art-deco type cupboard.

1. "Radio Silence" (originally telecast 11/16/96)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Howard Meltzer.
Widow Betty       Jeff Singer returns to WENN after his brush with death in London, finding WENN personnel in mourning for Victor—especially Betty, whose reclusive behavior and odd writing habits unnerve everyone including Scott. (31'12")
  Guest Cast: C.J. the Engineer: C.J. Byrnes. Mr. Corwin: Tony Hoty. Burly Guy: Michael Goldfinger.
  Episode Notes: Four-hankie, four-star ep with standout performances from Naughton and O'Rourke. (Between this episode and "World of Tomorrow," the series really deserves some awards.) In a nice touch parallelling the first episode in which one of the first WENN programs we hear is the news commentary by Col. Moore, Victor's death is announced on the same series—but by Mackie out of character. Mr. Eldridge has a lot more smarts than everyone gives him credit for. Particularly effective in the penultimate scene are the "glass shot" of Jeff and Hilary, and Mackie looking at Betty instead of Hilary when he says, "Isn't life wonderful, Elizabeth?" Celia does not appear in this episode, but is mentioned. C.J.'s finally been given an official name in the credits and we get episode titles at the opening of each story. Yay!
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: WENN is planning a new program to be sponsored by Corwin's Corned Beef Hash (from Corwin Foods). It's business as usual (sort of) on The Hands of Time (Brent's amnesia's been cured—for now).
  Episode Trivia: This episode takes place three weeks after "World of Tomorrow." Scott doesn't trust private detectives, having been one once. Doug Thompson is mentioned.

          And What HAS He Said?:
          Eugenia: "Poor Mr. Foley—he's hardly said a word since Victor died."

2. "I Now Pronounce You Man and Wife Again" (originally telecast 11/23/96)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Richard Shepard.
Lovebird Singers       Newly reunited Jeff and Hilary's performances have become so sickly sweet that the sponsors are complaining—and blaming their behavior on Betty's scripts! Meanwhile, Eugenia goes on the air all night to advertise Pittsburgh Pantry's new coffee, Agitato, and quickly works herself into exhaustion. (26'22")
  Guest Cast: Mr. Medwick: Bob Dorian.
  Episode Notes: Mullins and O'Gorman are hilariously over-the-top as a now billing-and-cooing duo. (Note the two scenes in the green room where they are performing the exact same dialog—but in two completely different moods.) Funny—weren't people complaining in an earlier episode because Hilary and Jeff quarrelled on an episode of Bedside Manor— and now they're complaining because they're not? Celia has only a cameo in this episode—and sounds awfully wistful when she says "I used to be in radio." There's an amusing reference back to "Who's Minding the Asylum?"—and if that "encore broadcast" sounds familiar, it is: it's the scene from The Hands of Time episode that opens the series in "On the Air."
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Bedside Manor hits the airwaves once more, still sponsored by Ingrams Coffee. Ingrams, incidentally, since Mr. Medwick has gone into the coffee business, is now his competitor.
  Episode Trivia: Celia's appearing in a movie entitled Amorous Airwaves, about a radio station. Gertie tells Jeff and Hilary that "it's always better the second time around"—which implies she's been married at least twice.

          Hilary's Philosophy of Truth:
          Hilary: "What do we tell the others?"
          Jeff: "How about the truth?"
          Hilary: "Oh, that's a very dangerous policy. Once you start telling the truth
          about one thing, then you have to tell the truth again and again until you're
          trapped in a spider's web of honesty."

3. "Some Good News, Some Bad News" (originally telecast 11/30/96)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Bruce Leddy.
Maple        Scott decides to switch the station to an all-news format on Wednesdays (WENN Newsday)—but the cast is at a loss for material when nothing newsworthy materializes. (29'10")
  Guest Cast: Mr. Bedlow: Jason Kravits. Uniformed Cop #1: Wally Dunn. Uniformed Cop #2: Michael Heintzman. C.J. the Engineer: C.J. Byrnes.
  Episode Notes: Wonderfully funny slapstick episode which introduces Eugenia's substitute (she's still doing the all-night show; look! continuity!). Maple is totally appealling from her opening scene with Gertie, and is delightful in a short "duel" of music vs. sound effects in a scene with Mr. Foley. Do watch the background actions in these episodes!
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: The Clemens Organ Company sponsors a radio adaptation of Tom Sawyer with Hilary playing Tom. (!!!) Penn State basketball is broadcast on WENN.
  Episode Trivia: Klondike 9614 (a number Scott seems to be very familiar with!) is the backstage phone number of the Crimson Follies, the burlesque theatre where Maple works. Maple has dated J. Paul Getty. Jeff played Dr. Barley, the villain, in the mystery play Murder, Anyone, then did two seasons at Louisville Rep playing Mark Antony in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. WENN's building is next door to the Petroleum Building on North Gedney Street (presumably this means WENN may be on North Gedney as well). Scott's a size 42 regular, 34 waist, 36 length, shoe size 10 EE.

          Some Things Never Change:
          {Mackie and Betty are desperately searching for some sort of news}
          Betty: "Politics?"
          Mackie: "Hard evidence of corruption in both parties."
          In Unison: "No news there."

          Some Things Never Change II:
          Betty: "It was in my memo. Didn't you read it?"
          Scott: "Oh, gosh, Betty, if I read one of your memos I'd have to read all of

4. "Don't Act Like That" (originally telecast 12/07/96)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Howard Meltzer.
Giles       Scott strikes up a deal with the owner of the Aldwych Academy of Drama to provide "interns" at WENN to ease the regular cast's workload—and the gentleman turns out to be none other than Hilary's old acting coach, whose advice to the cast suddenly makes them unsure of their abilities. (27'57")
  Guest Cast: Giles Aldwych: Roddy McDowall. Enid Fairleigh: Melissa Dye. Gus Kahana: Jeff Bergman. C.J. the Engineer: C.J. Byrnes.
  Episode Notes: It's wonderful to see Roddy McDowall involved in a WENN story—his opening scene is a delight—but there's something missing from this episode I can't put my finger on. Watching O'Gorman, Mullins, and Murney do about six characters apiece in The Hands of Time is a riot— watching Hilary suddenly self-conscious is astonishing! Note Scott finally making the office "his." And yet another Pittsburgh Pirates joke! Hope we see more Aldwych students in the future—Enid's a keeper.
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Another appearance of The Hands of Time (released from amnesia, Brent's now on trial for his life!). The "surprise witness" who exonerates him? None other than President Roosevelt himself (in the guise of Gus, who does celebrity impressions). Mackie apparently does all the male parts on The Many Loves of Mavis Baxter. Valiant Journey appears once more, with Daphne Danvers now involved with dashing Captain Rex Manders (played by Jeff). They are now sponsored by Goosedown Soap Flakes as well as Mother Martin's Yankee Bean Soup. A musical show named Ballroom Beguines is mentioned.
  Episode Trivia: Columnist Carleton Crabshaw maintains a list of 25 favorite radio shows (but WENN programs aren't on the list). Giles Aldwych appeared at the Imperial theatre in a one-man production called This Insubstantial Pageant (someone in the cast was rumored to have a major drinking problem). It costs $79.50 to attend the Aldwych Academy, located "above the Chinese restaurant on the corner," where Aldwych is assisted by someone named Morris. Maple starred in Caesar and Cleopatra at the Follies in Buffalo. Gus is the sole employee of the Kahana Trucking Company.

          {Hilary finally meets Maple—after Jeff has already made her suspicious of this
          new "threat"}
          Hilary: "Let me give you a word of advice, Mabel-"
          Maple: "Maple."
          Hilary: "Mabel. It would be best to keep your relationship with my husband
          on a strictly professional basis."
         {Maple laughs}
         Hilary: "What is so amusing?"
         Maple {between laughs} "Jeff's an absolutely terrific guy—just in the valentine
         department he's just not my type."
         Hilary {astonished}: "Jeffrey is everybody's type—he's a universal donor!"
         Maple: "No offense. Uh- -I just wouldn't consider him that way, married or
         Hilary: "He's extremely good looking-"
         Maple: "Oh, look, he is handsome!"
         Hilary: "And absolutely charming!"
         Maple {agrees}: "Charming. And talented. It's just he doesn't make my heart
          beat. It's just a chemical thing, I guess."
         Hilary: "Well, give it a little time. As you get to know him better you find that
          there are so many things beneath the surf-" {realizes} "What am I doing?"

          We Might Even Do It for Free...:
          Mackie: "Working ridiculous hours for next to nothing is our job!"

5. "The Diva That Wouldn't Die" (originally telecast 12/14/96)
Story by Rupert Holmes. Teleplay by Rick Mitz. Directed by Richard Shepard.
Dusty       The sponsor of The Hands of Time—tough, catty Dusty Foxx of Midas Hand Cream—agrees to sponsor a gossip show to bolster WENN's ratings, with a reluctant Hilary as the host, but only if Scott will agree to kill off Hilary's character on The Hands of Time. (29'33")
  Guest Cast: Dusty Foxx: Rue McClanahan. Hubie "Pinky" Foxx: Ray Howard. C.J. the Engineer: C.J. Byrnes. Voice of Leona St. James: Lola Powers.
  Episode Notes: An episode that starts off slowly but ends in a wonderful free-for-all of spoofs and jokes (including a second, sly reference to The Wizard of Oz), beginning with a take-off of 1930's prison movies' death row scenes. Rue McClanahan's character is almost too nasty to watch! The solution to Hilary's problem is a tad "deus ex machina," but it's a delight in the finale to watch Elizabeth stave off death as Mackie and Jeff scramble to thwart Hilary's inventiveness. Um, is it me or is the dial on Gertie's radio backwards? Again, do watch what's going on in the background (like Mackie during Hilary's gossip show)!
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: The Hands of Time, of course, is central to the story (and now it's Elizabeth who's recovering from amnesia), and Hilary's short-lived gossip show is called From Hilary's Booth.
  Episode Trivia: Everyone at WENN listens to Leona St. James, famous Hollywood gossip columnist on a rival station (she seems based on Louella Parsons, the famous gossip-monger of that era). Dusty Foxx says she and her husband refer to Jeff and Hilary as "The Hams of Time." Pinky Foxx knew Maple in Hollywood as "Holly" (from a show she did called Holly Wood and the Trained Woodpeckers). Hilary speaks to someone on the phone called "Lionel" (Lionel Barrymore, perhaps?). Maple has dated Errol Flynn. The last time Hilary had middle billing was as Mama Bear in Goldilocks and the Three Bears. (Hmm, is this the same performance of Goldilocks Mr. Eldridge refers to in "Close Quarters"?)

          There Are No Words:
          Hilary: "I'm sorry to bother you, dear, but I just have one little question—who
          wrote this drivel?"
          Betty: "You know perfectly well I'm in charge of writing the drivel around
          here. What's wrong with my words today?"
          Hilary: "Oh, the words are fine. Many of these same words occur in
          Shakespeare and Marlowe and Ibsen. It's the way you've arranged the
          words that I don't like."

          Tom Eldridge on California:
          Mr. Eldridge: "Oh, you're right. The days are three hours longer out there."

6. "Christmas in the Airwaves" (originally telecast 12/21/96)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Peter Lauer.
Gloria       In a special one-hour episode, the folks at WENN are performing traditional Yuletide programming when they are surprised by unexpected visitors: Gloria Redmond, a famous singing star who ended her career abruptly a year earlier; Gil Martin, a English performer "on loan" (in exchange for Victor and Jeff having broadcast at the BBC); and Mr. Pruitt, the tight-fisted financier of Globe Enterprises, the company that owns WENN. It's Pruitt who causes the most havoc: he orders that the station broadcast no Christmas programming at all, enraging WENN's sponsors and thwarting Betty's plans to go home for the holidays. (59'46")
  Guest Cast: Gloria Redmond: Betty Buckley. Rollie Pruitt: Jonathan Freeman. Gil Martin: Peter Noone. C.J. the Engineer: C.J. Byrnes. Mary: Janna Silver-Smith. Alice: Donia Silver-Smith.
  A Personal Note: I've loved Christmas episodes and programming since the days when I cried over Lassie recovering from surgery on Christmas Eve. Each year I can be counted on to sniffle through Linus saying "And that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown" and Carrie Ingalls chirping, "Happy birthday, Baby Jesus," to get a warm tingle when John Walton arrives home on Christmas Eve, to laugh when Rudolph chortles, "I'm cute! She thinks I'm cute!" And although throughout the years I've sat through some bloody awful Christmas-oriented television, I watch each offering with the anticipation of finding one quiet gem.
    "Christmas in the Airwaves" is the type of Christmas story you watch in your bathrobe, curled on the sofa with a fire blazing on the hearth. You sip cocoa, eat cookies, perhaps pet the cat purring in your lap. You're warm and safe in the midst of a box of delights. Surprisingly there's no little magical character who visits to turn Mr. Pruitt into a saint, and Gil Martin isn't revealed to be Grace Redmond's long-lost nephew, there to restore her faith in living—WENN's salvation comes from everyone doing what they do best, working together to try to turn the situation around. Instead of being manipulated, you're welcomed home with a hug. And what a hug...
  Episode Notes: After finding out Gloria Redmond's reason for halting her singing career, the song that she sings ("Christmas is Waiting") is all the more poignant; Betty Buckley does a great job of showing us Redmond's underlying sorrow without ostentatiously breaking down. Buckley, despite her impressive stage credits, is still best known to TV audiences as the stepmother of the Bradford brood in Eight is Enough. Peter Noone, of course, is known to fans of 1960s British pop as "Herman" of Herman and the Hermits. Jonathan Freeman bears a passing resemblance to a young Orson Welles (which is rather humorous when you remember Welles played grasping Mr. Potter in Marlo Thomas' TV remake of It's a Wonderful Life.) Mackie and Betty's little conversation in the writer' room is studded with puns and quite amusing—the "Satanic Santa" line is a riot all on its own. You hear "Ukelele Lady," one of the songs Betty and Eugenia performed in Amateurs on Parade, as background in one scene. And if you're anything like me, you'll be humming "You Make It Christmas" for days.
  Pruitt will turn up again, like the bad penny he is, in season 3.
  The man playing the bass during the band sequences isn't cast credited, but thanks to an e-mail I discovered he's Michael Roberts, who's listed in the "Music" credits.
  (Hmm—sounds like neither Pruitt nor Scott were paying attention to the events at the World's Fair [despite that gorgeous poster in Scott's office, which I want!]; Scott's pitching television ["visio"] to Pruitt when it was already publicly introduced by RCA the previous year at their exhibit and national broadcast of television began in 1939 [although NBC was broadcasting to a handful of New York homes as early as 1936]. The BBC was broadcasting television signals even earlier.)
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: We hear a folksy program called This Girl's Kinfolk, taking place in the little village of Bonneyville Mills, starring Hilary as the sweet heroine Becky, Mr. Eldridge as her grandfather, and Mackie as Uncle Charlie. Captain Amazon (not Amazon Andy) is mentioned. Tell It to Santa, an annual WENN offering, features Mackie as Santa Claus (Jeff had substituted for him the previous year) taking requests from children invited to the studio. Hilary is cast as Santa's wife. Broome Brothers sponsors a Christmas variety show. Bedside Manor's non-Christmas program includes Jeff "trimming" the tree—with hedge clippers. Capwell Pesticides and Crop Dusting seems to be sponsoring this edition of Manor, incidentally.
  Episode Trivia: Betty's folks love Christmas; they consider Labor Day the official start of the Christmas season (her dad calls a Christmas atmosphere "kringly"). Hilary does a benefit performance of A Christmas Carol every Christmas Day. Gertie and Mr. Eldridge usually get the holiday off. Scott was given six months to turn a profit at WENN (which probably answers the question posed in "A Capital Idea"). Gil Martin is from BBC Northern Broadcasting; he does a weekly radio variety show called Martin's Melodies in Manchester, England. The "Globe" in "Globe Broadcasting" stands for "GLOria" and "BEn," the name of Gloria's late husband. On the previous Christmas, the WENN staff was snowed in at the station by a blizzard. This blizzard is what killed Ben Redmond. Mr. Eldridge's wife died quite early in their marriage, of rheumatic fever (as that time, he was given some words of comfort which he reads to Gloria).
  "Holmes Watch": Rupert Holmes is one of the people singing (behind the scenes) "The 12 Days of Christmas."

          Christmas Joy with Hilary:
          {Hilary's caught Maple kissing Jeff under the mistletoe}
          Hilary: "What a charming scene!"
          Jeff {breaking the kiss}: "Ah...Hilary!"
          Hilary: "It evokes a vivid scene of this Christmas Eve in our living room."
          {recites} "'All through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
          My husband was hung by the chimney—with a short noose-'"
          Maple {interrupts}: "It's just an old tradition, Hilary."
          Hilary: "So is wearing a blindfold before a firing squad."
          Maple: "Excuse me, I'm sure." {beats a retreat}
          Hilary: "Oh, Jeffrey!—why every Christmas do you start acting like Santa's
          Jeffrey {puzzled}: "Reindeer? Ah, what—like Dasher and Dancer and Prancer
          and Vixen?"
          Hilary: "Yes. You start dashing out with some dancer and prancing around
          town with the little vixen."

Just Some Trivia: Jonathan Freeman is no stranger to villainy—he was the voice of Jafar in Disney's Aladdin and Return of Jafar.

7. "Behind Every Great Woman" (originally telecast 12/28/96)
Teleplay by Rupert Holmes and Rick Mitz. Story by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Danny Leiner.
Ruth       In order to keep the sponsorship of Monogram Records, WENN creates A Night on the Town in which Hilary sings—however, since she suffers "mike fright" from a "traumatic experience" years before, a reluctant Betty is her secret singing voice. That is, until a famous musical star guest stars on the program! (30'26")
  Guest Cast: Ruth Geddy: Donna Murphy. Tyler Prescott: David Lipman. C.J. the Engineer: C.J. Byrnes.
  Episode Notes: This is another slow-starter that has as its advantage a plot that keeps you waiting to see what will happen—and a chance to hear Amanda Naughton's great performance of "I Gotta Sing." Ruth's snobbishness makes Hilary look like Shirley Temple! (Speaking of Temple, if you count, you know Hilary's trauma story is hooey from the start: she claims she sang "On the Good Ship Lollipop" at age seven. Since this is 1941 and Hilary is, at the least, in her late thirties, that means she's claiming "Lollipop" was written in the early 1900s!) Rupert Holmes must be a Wizard of Oz fan: yet another reference to that famous movie shows up in a WENN episode. (Also, there's a reference to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs—another will show up in "The First Mrs. Bloom.") Watch for the scene where everyone starts providing Hilary's voice.
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: A Weekend in Pittsburgh, sponsored by Monogram Records and broadcast Thursday through Sunday, is a program previewing weekend performances taking place in the city. A Night on the Town will feature Hilary performing songs published on Monogram Records (therefore providing more appropriate advertising).
  Episode Trivia: Scott likes to bowl. Hilary claims her "singer's block" is caused by the death of her great-aunt Myrna (Or is it Myra?) during her performance of "The Good Ship Lollipop" at a school recital when she was seven. (Aunt Myrna's very much alive, thank you.) Ruth Geddy has done charity benefits, the most recent at the Home for Destitute Actors in Saranac, New York. Ruth appeared with Hilary in her first—and last—musical production, Sky High, sitting in the front row writing words like "Titanic," "Hindenburg," and "Pompeii" on little pieces of paper and holding them up. Ruth also has a fear of confined spaces.

          The "Peasants" are Revolting:
          Hilary {bustles in with hands full}: "Gertie! Gertie, Gertie, I've got one or
          two teeny weeny little favors I want you to take care of."
          Gertie: "What?"
          Hilary: "First, I want you to answer this fan mail, then autograph and send
          out these autographed photos. Hm? There was a third thing, but I can't
          Gertie {annoyed}: "Hilary, it's time you stopped treating me like the dirt
          under your fingernails!"
          Hilary: "Ah! That's it! I need you to make a manicure appointment for me."
          Gertie: "I've got a French tip for you—the 'Gertie Store' just went out of

8. "Strange Bedfellows" (originally telecast 01/04/97)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Chris Koch.
Luke Langly       After Scott persuades Jeff to run for city councilman, Hilary also throws her hat into the ring. (29'26")
  Guest Cast: Luke Langly: David Canary. Enid Fairleigh: Melissa Dye. C.J. the Engineer: C.J. Byrnes.
  Episode Notes: Despite some really amusing scenes— such as Mackie and Maple having had "one too many," and Mackie in Scott's office—this is a generally listless episode. Unfortunately, Canary's character is so laid back he pretty much disappears into the woodwork, except during his final speech during the debate. On the plus side, we see Enid again, and there's some neat parallels within the script: Hilary stars in a politically-based soap opera and then runs for office, Hilary mentions the Lincoln-Douglas debates and then Jeff reveals her family secret. Also, in a nice continuity bit, Scott reveals he was going to use his bet winnings to pay for those microphones mentioned in "Radio Silence."
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Hilary stars in Hope Springs Eternal, "a series that asks the question 'Can politics and romance mix?,' as Hope Holliday and also as her roommate Yasmine. Luke Langly ends up not only winning the election, but doing a sports commentary show for WENN.
  Episode Trivia: Hilary claims the casting of Greta Garbo as the lead in Anna Christie is what caused the Great Depression. (She's still depressed about it.) Jeff's running for the Forward party, Hilary for the Traditionalist, Langly for the Independent. The candidates for mayor are Humphries (Enid's favorite) and Bender (the incumbent, who seems to have no following at all). Langly pitched 17 straight wins for the Pittsburgh Pirates (technically 16, as one was rained out). Mackie frequents a tavern called "What Ales You" near the river. Jeff mentions working in the steel mills again. He once appeared in the title role of a production called The Senator from Broadway. Hilary is the great niece of famous 19th century actor Edwin Booth—and of course of John Wilkes Booth. Her middle name is Winslow.

          The Decisive Mr. Singer:
          {Scott's talking Jeff into running for city councilman}
          Scott: "Of course it means you'd have to work two full-time jobs."
          Jeff {thoughtful}: "Hmm. Actor and advocate."
          Scott: "You'd be able to make the case for your causes over our airwaves."
          Jeff {interest piqued}: "Yes, reach the huddled masses huddled around their
          Scott {warming}: "Great publicity! Bigger audience for WENN."
          Jeff {enthusiastically}: "Raise the standard of living for each and every
          Scott {dreamily}: "While we raise our advertising rates!"
          Jeff {more enthusiastically}: "This is a side of me that no one's ever seen
          before! Not just someone who reads what someone wrote, but a man of
          action! A man of decision!"
          Scott: "So you'll do it?"
          Jeff {deflates}: "Ah, gee, I don't know."

          Mr. Bloom's Drinking Philosophy:
          Mackie: "Never have a drink that's taller than you are when you're lying on
          the floor."

9. "Close Quarters" (originally telecast 01/11/97)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Peter Lauer.
Spotted Foley       When Mr. Foley appears at the station with a rash, the doctor who does a regular medical program on WENN diagnoses him as having a rare and contagious illness—and quarantines the staff. (28'56")
  Guest Cast: Dr. Bickman: Michael Jaye. C.J. the Engineer: C.J. Byrnes.
  Episode Notes: An utter delight—a series of character portraits that are charming and amusing along with a couple that are rather significant: Hilary in the kitchen, the dance scene, Jeff's nightmares, Hilary and Betty in the control room, Mr. Eldridge being teased—oh, and that wonderful scene with Betty and Scott in the hallway. Do note what they're playing in the background when "the girls" (ahem! the women) go off to sleep: neat touch! Even the cake looks like it was baked by a real person and not ordered up by Central Prop Casting. (Inside joke: the brand of spaghetti Hilary and Mr. Eldridge dig up is "Marconi.")
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Dr. Bickman does a show called Health and Welfare, which is hosted by Maple. Rance Shiloh is performed (where, since the show is done without sound effects due to Mr. Foley's illness, Mackie extrapolates that Shiloh's horse is named "Velvet," because he moves with stealth), and Ingrams Coffee, which sponsors the 8 a.m. news, is mentioned. This Family Robinson, adapted from Swiss Family Robinson, is performed (ahem, with much rancor).
  Episode Trivia: Dr. Bickman is an epidemiologist (without portfolio) from Washington, DC. He discovered a hybrid of measles and scarlet fever and hopes to name it after his late mother. Mr. Foley's been at WENN for six years. Scott has a hunting/fishing cabin at Crooked Creek in the Poconos. Mackie fought in the Battle of Verdun during WWI. The staff once performed Goldilocks for an orphans' benefit. Mr. Foley is allergic to banana oil.

          Meow! Once More:
          {Mackie's devising sleeping "strategies"}
          Mackie: "Now, I think an appropriate curfew hour..."
          Maple {incredulous}: "Curfew? Mackie, we are not the sweethearts of Sigma
          Chi here. We sleep where and when we like."
          Hilary {pointedly}: "That's what I hear."

          Blessing for a Small Meal:
          Mr. Eldridge: "We thank You for your Providence, and we thank Providence
          for Hilary, who as we all know has always been able to make a big deal out
          of nothing at all."

10. "Scott Sherwood of the F.B.I." (originally telecast 01/18/97)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Richard Shepard.
Aunt Agatha       When Scott's Aunt Agatha visits the station, he coerces Betty and Gertie into keeping his "dark secret"—he's told his aunt that he's head of the Pittsburgh branch of the F.B.I. (29'14")
  Guest Cast: Aunt Agatha: Jan Miner. Special Agent Collins: Tom Tammi. C.J. the Engineer: C.J. Byrnes.
  Episode Notes: Adrian Carr, who went on to do theatre of the absurd, would be delighted with this offering, with Betty and Scott digging themselves in deeper and deeper with every word. (To Betty's credit, she gives back as good as she gets—there's a nice Nora Charles quality to her retorts.) If your fingernails start to itch when Aunt Agatha shows up, you probably recognized actress Jan Miner as "Madge the Manicurist" from the old Palmolive Dishwashing Liquid commercials. It also looks like "Oh, will you look at the time" is a Sherwood family tradition! Hmmm—at one point Aunt Agatha calls Scott "Scubby"— childhood nickname, maybe? BTW, Keep your eye on C.J.'s expressions when Betty and Aunt Agatha are in the control room.
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Crime Breakers and Jed Jenner, G-Man are two crime-oriented series; the former, at least, is sponsored by Acton Anthracite Coal (although there was a commercial in there for Pilton's Pork Puree Sandwich Spread [smooth and chunky style]!). Maple longs to play the part of Yvonne, the gun moll currently played by Hilary in Crime Breakers. Mackie stars as Jed Jenner, with Jeff as Special Agent Fisher. Scott sells Merrick Mattresses on a series called Sound Stream, which is really the sound of static as the station is off the air during the time Sound Stream will be broadcast.
  Episode Trivia: Scott plays golf. Aunt Agatha (Agatha Sherwood Finch) is from Nantucket, Massachusetts (22 Prospect Avenue, to be exact), and is on her way to visit her son-in-law in Detroit. She's got a niece in Winnipeg. Betty tells Aunt Agatha that "WENN" stands for "Westerly Easterly North Northerly," their location (west of Philadelphia, east of Columbus, north of Charleston and more north of Miami). Scott also told Aunt Agatha that when he was in London he was the American Junior Ambassador. Actually the address he gave her was the Victoria Palace, a vaudeville house, and Maxine at the box office told Aunt Agatha he had gone to Pittsburgh. He's also told Aunt Agatha that he worked for the Nobel Prize committee (but considered his membership a conflict of interest since he'd been suggested for nomination so often). Hilary has performed Crime and Punishment in Martha's Vineyard in the past. Turns out the entire Sherwood family are masters of misdirection and Scott's supposedly the "white sheep" of the family. He's been in the Merchant Marine, and Aunt Agatha talked his way into the Boy Scouts and an Ivy League university.

          At Least He's Honest About It...:
          Betty {incredulous}: "You just sold them [Merrick Mattresses]...static! You
          just sold them the sound that our wavelength makes when we're not on
          the air!...I don't believe you!"
          Scott {thoughtfully}: "Well, that's probably a good policy."

          A Matter of Evaluation:
          {Scott's just ordered Gertie to "frisk" Aunt Agatha outside}"
          Scott: "Do you understand me, Miss Reece?"
          Gertie: "Never fully, Mr. Sherwood, but that's part of your charm." ...
          Betty {incredulous}: "How can you be so cruel to that nice woman?"
          Scott: "Well, I have to be cruel to be kind, Betty. Kind to one of my own
          Betty: "That was the most deceptive I've ever seen you."
          Scott: "Really?" {grins} "I thought you knew me much better than that."
          {pause} "Well, I have to deceive her so I won't disillusion her. That woman
          thinks I'm a model citizen."
          Betty {dismayed}: "Then that was the most deceptive I've ever seen you."

          Round One— of Many—to Betty:
          Aunt Agatha: "...I suppose you have to be careful. A man in your chosen
          profession must make many enemies."
          Betty {brightly}: "Oh, it wouldn't matter what profession he was in."

11. "The First Mrs. Bloom" (originally telecast 01/25/97)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Julian Petrillo.
Penelope       Scott Sherwood has convinced the sponsors of the series Bridal Bouquet that actual weddings are performed on the show, and now Betty and Mackie must continue the ruse when one of the sponsors' representative turns up. The hitch: the representative is none other than Penelope Cominger, whom Mackie left at the altar 20 years before! (28'29")
  Guest Cast: Penelope Cominger: Julie Hagerty. Enid Fairleigh: Melissa Dye. Warren Dunlap: Robert Hogan. C.J. the Engineer: C.J. Byrnes.
  Episode Notes: An early Valentine—more relationship developments on par with "Close Quarters," and a look into the past of our own "Man of a Thousand Voices." Yes, that is Julie Hagerty of the Airplane movies as Penelope. Enid makes a return engagement (receiving the same treatment from Hilary Celia got many episodes earlier). Doug Thompson is mentioned again and there's yet another reference to The Wizard of Oz. And do watch Betty and Scott in the background while Hilary, Mackie, and Penelope are talking in the green room. Me, I want to know about those racy chrysanthemums...
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Bridal Bouquet is sponsored by Flowergrams, owned by Cominger Industries; Bridal Shower, a dishwashing detergent; and the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. In this episode, they're also dramatizing the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, with Mackie as all but one of the title roles, Maple as Snow White, and Hilary as the narrator.
  Episode Trivia: Jeff and Mr. Eldridge have both been awarded honorary diplomas by the Aldwych Academy of Drama. Mackie left wealthy Penelope, a drama student, at the altar twenty years earlier, fearing, as a poor actor, he couldn't support her. While in London, Scott used to lead Victor Comstock to all the best pubs within walking distance of the BBC. Scott is using the money from Flowergrams and sale of the tickets from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad to build a memorial for Victor; he had it designed by a student of Raymond Hood, designer of the RCA building, and he plans to place the names of Victor's best programs on it. Incidentally, he reveals for the first time that Victor's body was never recovered after the bombing. Mackie's middle name is Cornelius.

          Gertie Gets 'Em Back II:
          Jeff: "Ah, Gertie, if anyone wants me, I'll be at the Aldwych Academy of
          Drama. They're awarding me with an honorary diploma today...but, Gertie,
          um, don't tell Hilary—she'll sulk for days."
          Gertie: "How would we know?"

          Do You Get the Feeling Her Heart Isn't In It?
          Hilary {narrating}: "Tune in later this afternoon when another blushing bride
          meets her doom—uh, groom—here on Bridal Bouquet."

          A Romantic Invitation:
          Betty {outraged}: "You need to say 'by proxy' and you took it out of my
          Scott: "Nobody cares about that stuff."
          Betty {indignant}: "Our lawyer-"
          Scott {sarcastic}: "You mean Doug."
          Betty {insistent}: "He says we have to do that."
          Scott {rises from his seat}: "He says you need to get out more often."
          Betty {nose to nose with him}: "I do!"
          Scott: "Fine! What are you doing tonight?"
          Betty: "Absolutely nothing!"
          Scott: "Movies and an ice cream soda?"
          Betty: "What time?"
          Scott: "Nine."
          Betty: "Eight- thirty!"
          Scott: "I'll buzz you from downstairs."
          Betty: "All right!" {stalks out}
          Scott {smug}: "I should have tried that sooner."

12. "Like a Brother" (originally telecast 02/01/97)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Howard Metzler.
Tom and Pepper       Mr. Foley's brother, a loud, overbearing hearing aid salesman, is the representative for WENN's new sponsors—and the elderly gentleman helping him shill is none other than Mr. Eldridge's old friend Pepper Canarsie, an ex-vaudevillian now on hard times. (29'05")
  Guest Cast: Pepper Canarsie: Eddie Bracken. Blair Foley: Michael Patrick McGrath. C.J. the Engineer: C.J. Byrnes.
  Episode Notes: While you plan strategies to off the overbearing Blair (what an appropriate name for such a loud, annoying individual!), you can sit back and watch the charming and wistful interplay between Pepper and Tom Eldridge—when you're not giggling over the fact that ever silent Mr. Foley has invented the laugh track! Tom Beckett's wonderfully expressive face and the relationship between the two old friends are special treats. Check out the map in the writers' room; it appears authentic to the time, with the British Empire in red. The events in "Close Quarters" took place a month earlier, according to Maple (who makes yet another Errol Flynn joke). Plus there's the usual twig at the Pittsburgh Pirates, another veiled reference to The Wizard of Oz—and yet a second reference to the fact that Victor's body was never recovered. (Hmmm. Do we think someone's trying to tell us something?)
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Pearl-a-Mint Dentifrice sponsors Mackie's comedy series (BTW, Mackie's opening for Pearl-O-Mint echoes Bob Hope's opening for his weekly radio show, which was sponsored by Pepsodent). Crescendo Hearing Aids sponsors Crescendo Cabaret (they previously sponsored a network show, The Crescendo Concertina Hour).
  Episode Trivia: Pepper Canarsie has shared the same bill with George M. Cohan, Harry Houdini, and Charlie Chaplin. Mr. Eldridge befriended Pepper when he worked as a doorman at the Hippodrome. Scott and Betty are planning to put Victor's memorial in his home town. Blair's nickname for Mr. Foley is "bro-bro." Mr. Eldridge has children and grandchildren. Both Mr. Eldridge and Pepper have fond memories of the Bedrosian sisters, identical twins (well *cough*, almost...). The Foley brothers owned a dog named Petey, and their parents live in Philadelphia.

          It's In My Job Description:
          Pepper: "Well, what do you do here, Tom?"
          Eldridge: "Ohh, same thing I did in New York."
          Pepper: "You mean you still don't know?"
          Eldridge: "Haven't a clue. But they say my presence here is indefensible."
          Pepper {warmly}: "Oh, I'm sure they said 'indispensible.'"
          Eldridge {chuckles}: "I wouldn't be too sure."

13. "Magic" (originally telecast 02/08/97)
Written by Rupert Holmes. Directed by Richard Shepard.
Blindfolded Hilary       A complaint that the secret coded messages at the end of Amazon Andy make no sense lead to a troubling discovery, and Hilary's cryptic message during the show Magic Time—that someone at the station "will pass through the doorway between life and death"— adds yet another mystery to the evening. (28'00")
  Guest Cast: Kurt Holstrom: David Leary. C.J. the Engineer: C.J. Byrnes.
        And John Bedford Lloyd as Victor Comstock.
  Episode Notes: Mystery, a touch of comedy, and further revelations about our cast all blended into an absorbing half hour. The subplot having to do with Hilary and Jeff's ESP act is especially interesting if you've ever read anything about the subject. (Okay, how many other people besides me took the time to decode Hilary's message to Jeff?) Note also the verbal flashbacks that accompany the visual ones: C.J. asks Betty if she needs someone to walk her to the trolley and Betty is reading a poem about a grieving widow, echoing Scott's rebuke in "Radio Silence" ("That's Betty Roberts, the young widow of WENN."). The visual flashbacks are from "Emperor Smith" and "Hilary Booth, Registered Nurse."
  WENN Programming/Sponsors: Hilary and Jeff play clairvoyant and emcee in a mind-reading act show, Magic Time. Holstrom Construct-o-Sets, owned by Kurt Holstrom, sponsors Amazon Andy. Captain Amazon's sidekick is named Kippy.
  Episode Trivia: One of the other guests on Magic Time is Mayor-Elect Humphries (the third is Archbishop Montague Chanin). Mackie's Uncle Leopold was cursed by a gypsy woman he jilted (he died of the curse, "a shadow of his former self," at 95). Jeff and Hilary cooked up their secret code while they were on tour with Razzle Dazzle, to kill time. Scott did cryptography for the Popular Front during the Spanish Civil War to avoid a prison sentence (he was promoting the World League of Bullfighting in Madrid and there were accusations that the competition was fixed—gee, why aren't we surprised? <g>). (Scott's reference to Guernica puts the time of his being in Spain as approximately late 1936-early 1937.)

          Blinded by Affection:
          {Jeff fumbles to remove the blindfold Hilary was wearing for Magic Time as
          Betty looks on}
          Hilary: "Jeffrey, will you please unfold me or whatever you call what you're
          Jeff {concentrating on knot}: "Sorry."
          Hilary [sighs}: "You've been steering me around the station like the bland
          leading the blind."
          Jeff: "Sorry, dear, but the reverend did a good job of tying this knot."
          Hilary: "That's how he makes his living, dear."
          {Jeff chuckles ruefully at her sarcasm}
          Betty {excited}: "Hilary, I have to know. Are you...are you really psychic or
          clairvoyant or-"
          Jeff: "Well, I guess it's all right to tell you that Hilary doesn't possess any
          special gifts."
          Hilary: "Yes, Jeffrey's a terrible shopper."
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