Susan Lucci won in many ways with her Daytime Emmy


TV Pipeline

Susan Lucci

Q: It was interesting to see the clip of Susan Lucci finally winning a Daytime Emmy in that recent award show. How many times had she been nominated before she won? — Ellen Sparks, via e-mail

A: Eighteen, missing nominations in only three years between 1978 and 1999, the latter being the year in which she finally won for her hugely popular portrayal of Erica Kane on ABC’s “All My Children.” That there were so many times when she didn’t win often made her a catchphrase for others who were nominated many times without winning (“the Susan Lucci of … “).

To her great credit, she always was good-natured about the losses — publicly, at least — which only endeared her even more to her fans and made them root even harder for her to get the trophy, leading to a thunderous ovation for her when it finally happened. It also may have played a part in making her a daytime star who also was able to build a primetime career in TV movies and on such series as “Dallas” and “Army Wives” — and she was even “not ready for primetime” as a “Saturday Night Live” guest host.


Leonardo DiCaprio

Q: I saw the movie “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” and I seem to remember “Lancer” — which it references — as an actual TV Western series. If I’m right, when was it on? — Peter Cord, East Liverpool, Ohio

A: As well-researched as Quentin Tarantino famously is, his script for the 2019 movie plays with the real-life timeline a bit. It has Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton character being hired for the “Lancer” pilot episode in 1969 — but “Lancer” actually premiered on CBS in the fall of 1968, so the pilot would have been filmed even earlier than that.

With that said, “Lancer” ran until the summer of 1970, with veteran character actor Andrew Duggan playing the father of two very dissimilar sons. They were portrayed by James Stacy (represented by “Justified’s” Timothy Olyphant in “Once Upon a Time … “) and Wayne Maunder (Luke Perry, in one of his last performances, in the Tarantino film). Tarantino did stay accurate about actor-director Sam Wanamaker (alias Diane Keaton’s boss in “Baby Boom”) calling the shots on the “Lancer” pilot; he was played by “The Sound of Music” alum and TV “Spider-Man” Nicholas Hammond.


Q: I was sorry to read that “Council of Dads” has been canceled. Why was it? — Grace Edwards, via e-mail

A: Ratings always are a consideration, and in this case, we have to opine that scheduling didn’t help the NBC drama. That started with the idea of scheduling the premiere following the latest season finale of the similarly themed “This is Us” … not a bad idea in and of itself, but the network waited more than a month to bring the show back. That ploy worked earlier in the season with “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” but “Council of Dads” was a different type of show that needed more nurturing.

It could be argued that NBC didn’t really have a place to put “Council of Dads” right after its premiere, since it still had the rest of “New Amsterdam’s” season to play out in what may have been the most logical spot. However, making it the lead-off show on Thursdays put a lot of pressure and expectation on such an untested series, when it probably would have been better off placed behind an established program. Unfortunately, what’s done is done, and a thoughtful show with a fine cast is now over.


Q: I loved Patty Duke, and know she did a lot of television. What was the last series she made? — Mary Hayes, Alpena, Mich.

A: The last one in which she starred was “Karen’s Song,” a May-December romance sitcom that was one of the Fox network’s earliest shows when it aired for a couple of months in 1987. Teri Hatcher played her daughter.

Three-time Emmy winner Duke (also an Oscar recipient) did a lot of guest-star work toward the end of her career, on series including the “Hawaii Five-0” reboot, “Drop Dead Diva” and “Glee.” Her final home-screen credit was for the Disney Channel show “Liv and Maddie.”


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Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

jbobbin has 2358 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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