Ask Ausiello Flashback: Spoilers on Moonlighting, Dallas, Cheers, Dynasty, Falcon Crest and More!

Please note: This column was originally published on Sept. 3. 1985

Question: I can’t wait for David and Maddie to finally get together on Moonlighting. The show will be even better then, don’t you think? Any idea if it’ll happen this season? —Fiona
Ausiello: I totally agree, Fi! The only bummer about the show is all that gnarly anticipation! But, we might get our wish for a David/Maddie – Daddie? – hook-up sooner than later: A new rival – David’s brother, no less! – hits on Maddie in the season premiere, and you don’t have to be a detective to figure out what kind of monster that turns David into. (“Green-eyed,” in case you do have to be a detective to get that joke.)

Question: I still can’t believe Bobby is dead on Dallas. Can we just pretend that cliffhanger never happened? —Tiffany
Ausiello: You joke, but my spies tell me Patrick Duffy, like, already wants his job back, and producers are brainstorming ways to make it happen. One idea I’m told is being bandied about: erasing the entire previous season and, in essence, saying, “April Fool’s!” If you ask me, though, that sounds about as likely a scenario as a Larry Hagman/Barbara Eden reunion.

Question: You’re so smart, what do you think the first cancelled show of the season is going to be? —EG
Ausiello: You’re right. I am so smart. And, being so smart, I’m going to have to say Golden Girls. Sorry, but everybody knows Betty White peaked with Sue Ann Nivens.

Question: Is it true Miami Vice is getting a spinoff set in New York? —Vlada
Ausiello: Oh, Vlada, this is how rumors start! No, the show isn’t getting a spinoff — not yet, at least. But the second season opener — directed by Starsky himself, Paul Michael Glaser — is set in Manhattan.

Question: Anything on The Facts of Life? —Kim
Ausiello: Like, totally! In Episode 2, E/R’s Ace, George Clooney, guests as the handyman Mrs. Garrett hires to turn Edna’s Edibles into a rad new boutique. Too bad E/R didn’t work out. He looked pretty good in scrubs.

Question: You must know by now who bought the farm in Dynasty’s Moldavian massacre by now. And still no clues? Come on, dude! Uncool. —Rickey Lee
Ausiello: OK, how’s this? I can’t name names – duh! – but I can tell you that a) one half of a controversial couple runs off with the Grim Reaper, and b) one of the casualties is not Claudia. Unfortunately.

Question: Just curious — how do you get all this scoop? Aren’t you, like, 12? —John
Ausiello: Actually, I’m 13. And while I make it a policy never to reveal my sources, you’d be amazed how plugged in the cafeteria lunch ladies are. In other news, I’m finding myself oddly drawn to my gym teacher Mr. Donnelly. Is that normal?

Question: I really want to like Santa Barbara but it’s not quite doing it for me. What’s your opinion of daytime’s newest soap? —Diego
Ausiello: Trust me, Diego — it gets better. In fact, sources confirm to me exclusively that in about two years Santa Barbara is going to enter a period of such creative superiority that it will become the first soap in history to win the Emmy for best daytime drama three years in a row. Bonus scoop: I hear Robin Wright is in the running to headline a film adaptation of William Goldman’s 1973 novel The Princess Bride, but my spies say her busy SB sked may preclude her from doing it.

Question: Is Dynasty II going to be any good? —Bets
Ausiello: I’ve seen the first episode, and so I can tell you that yes, it’s going to be amazing and camptastic. Provided you have the good sense to only watch the scenes that prominently feature Stephanie Beacham as Alexis II, Sable.

Question: Everything is all Moonlighting, Moonlighting, Moonlighting. How about you give me something on Remington Steele for a change? —Kathie
Ausiello: According to my moles, there’s a major, seismic, utterly life-changing event coming. Which can only mean, in my mind, a wedding, a funeral or a quinceanera.

Question: It’s high time you gave us the scoop on the biggest pop culture mystery of the ’80s: What the heck do you look like?! Show us a picture of yourself! —Jen
Ausiello: [Sigh] OK, just promise you won’t laugh. I’m going through a bit of an awkward phase. Here’s a recent pic of me hanging out with a few friends after school. I’m the one leaping in the air.

Question: So, did Diane and Frasier really get married on Cheers, or what? —Beth
Ausiello: How about if, instead of tell you that, I reveal that, in the wake of Nicholas Colasanto’s death (RIP, Coach), the bar is getting a new tender: dim bulb Woody, played by newbie Woody Harrelson. Not enough for ya? Fine, I’ll tell you this. Sam will be back, Diane will back, and Frasier will be back.

Question: What’s the new season look like on Family Ties? —Krista
Ausiello: Looks a lot like Fletch, actually. When the show returns on Sept. 23, it’ll do so with its own TV-movie spy caper set in England. And wait, it gets better: All 120 minutes are completely Skippy-free!

Question: Falcon Crest. Scoop. Now. Please. —Jana
Ausiello: Well, you already know that soap-hopper Morgan Fairchild is joining the cast as Richard’s new lawyer, Jordan Roberts, right? Right. But what you don’t know yet is that Jordan is (SPOILER ALERT!) not the only character she’ll be playing. And that’s all I can say. I swear.

Question: Will Tony and Angela get to be a couple this season on Who’s the Boss? I mean, now that they’ve kissed… —Suzan
Ausiello: Let’s just say that, in part two of the season premiere, they share a motel room. You do the math!

Question: Please tell me Valene gets her babies back on Knots Landing. Please? —Marty
Ausiello: Fine. Yes, Valene gets her babies back. Now, aren’t you sorry you didn’t ask me when she gets her babies back?

Question: Can we please get another hint about the “hit drama series that’s entering its last season but no one knows it” blind item? —Kate
Ausiello: The network is NBC, the title of the show contains a hyphen, and I pity the fool who can’t figure out the rest.

That’s a wrap, homeboys and girls! Please send questions, comments, and anonymous tips to askausiello@tvline.com. (Additional reporting by Christopher Cowan and Andy Patrick)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. e says:

    This is awesome! I laughing so hard.. hahaha

  2. MJ says:

    That was awesome! I laughed at some of the comments, but it also took me back to when I was watching these shows as a child. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  3. Cornflakeguy says:

    Please never do this again. Thank you.

  4. Yeeeeah says:

    Well that was a lot of effort for a joke that fell flat after 10 seconds

  5. KB says:

    LOL! This is funny. Is spoiler alert even a term in 1985?! Well done creating a flashback!

  6. lauren says:

    This was outstanding, Ausiello/TVline! Thanks for the laughs and memories!!! You always remind me why this is my favourite TV site.

  7. Ribac says:

    ”…but everybody knows Betty White peaked with Sue Ann Nivens.”

    Pure gold! XD

  8. lil says:

    i am too young to understand anything you said, but i do get the joke though. this is the classic example of what happens to ausiello when majority of the shows are on hiatus.

  9. Rock Golf says:

    I was expecting the comments to be full of comments like “You goofed! ER didn’t debut until 1990, so why did you call George Clooney ‘that hunk from E/R'”. But people seem to have got the joke.
    E/R was a one-season sitcom flop starring Elliot Gould with George Clooney in a supporting role from the early 1980’s. “er” was a different show with Clooney as a different character. He starred in 2 radically different shows with the same name.
    And this was much more than a one-joke idea. Well done, Michael

  10. George says:

    Bravo Ausiello! When I first started reading, I thought you would use special knowledge from the future to be right about everything, but you went a better way. Betty White peaked indeed! More flashbacks please.

  11. MelindaB says:

    Unlike some of the negative Nellies here, I loved the “flashback spoilers.” It made me nostalgic for the shows that I used to watch and I watched all that were mentioned, for possibly the first time ever. The best part? No Gossip Girl. :-P

    Unfortunately, because my memory is fuzzy on some points, I found myself puzzling, “Wait, did Family Ties ever do an episode from England. Did Miami Vice have a spin-off? They didn’t…right?” Oh, and I loved Santa Barbara, too–I still have the last episode recorded on VHS somewhere. I also have the final week of Another World.

  12. Happy Go Lucky says:

    I want some Airwolf scoop!

  13. Dessy says:

    This is so weird!
    Good God!

  14. Gwen says:

    Thanks for the “April Fool’s” joke in the gloomy winter!

  15. Risa says:

    Umm…really 1985? ER didn’t start until 1994! Am I really the only one who noticed that?

  16. Bobbi says:

    Very cute….but was there a particular reason you chose this date?

  17. Mrs O says:

    E/R was a shorted lived comedy that was on before ER. Note the difference in yhe title (slash vs bo slash).

  18. Angie says:

    Seriously ? If They do that in Dallas, I swear I am quitting the show ! Let me tell you, that “april fool” joke will be remember has the worst twist in the history of television.
    Also, do not get Daddie together. That will kill the show !
    (Yeah, I am about 8 months old, but my mother understand very well my babytalk and type for me).

  19. Ci says:

    This was awesome. Thank you.

  20. Nelson says:


  21. danielcw says:

    No Magnum News?
    Dear Mr. Michael Ausiello, did you not get my (e)mail I send you 3 months ago? :(

  22. scorpo says:

    Thanks for the very clever and witty joke ;) Happy New Year!!!

  23. gerald says:

    This makes me feel old actually

  24. Antoinette says:

    WOW! For a second there I thought my shower transported me back 25 yrs!! Lol

  25. markyboo says:

    Michael – don’t listen to those holiday Scrooges – this Q/A was clever and funny and entertaining! Happy New Year!

  26. BG says:

    LoL @ your Golden Girls prediction. Though I can’t talk; I didn’t think Lost would make it past the pilot episode…

  27. Dawn says:

    What a fun blast from the past! I’m sure glad Valene got her babies back!

  28. Jerri says:

    Haha I pictured you in diapers writing this column.

  29. Justine says:

    I can’t believe you’re holding out on me again! I wanted to know if Alex on “Family Ties” would finally get a love interest this season. He is starting college after all. And yes, this is being written a few years before I’m born, but I’m very advanced. Awesome spoiler chat Ausiello! You really should do these back and forth about different decades ;)

  30. rac76 says:

    I thought that this was clever, and cute. Thanks for taking me back even for a short while. I was 9 years old in ’85, and didn’t really watch any of the major shows, but I do remember the “Who’s the Boss?” episode. I know that I have seen it some time within the past 25 years. It was a good show..and the “Golden Girls” joke was priceless. Hope that you have a wonderful 2012. :-)

  31. kadie says:

    hilarious! loved reading this. :)

  32. Meghan says:

    Very funny! :) loved the part about Golden Girls, one of my favorite shows.

  33. Danny says:

    This is awesome! LOL … so funny and clever … love it!!

  34. Jones19 says:

    This was awesome! Do another one for 1995! :D

  35. eric says:

    This was great. Fortunately, Claudia did finally bight the dust at the end of Dynasty’s next season; the La Mirage fire. I guess there wasn’t another Carrington brother (Steven and Adam) or husband (Jeff) left for her to romance. Oh, and I miss Santa Barbara.

  36. Winnie says:

    I would’ve been 4 at the “original date” of this column, but this was a nice way to continue my relaxing day at home. You’re the Boss, Ausiello! The Betty White and E/R ones were my favorites. This would’ve been a great April Fool’s idea, but since it was even more unexpected now, I love it!

    I’m with Jones19 in asking for a 1995 version! (Because many of us know, if you Give a Mouse a Cookie…)

  37. Carolyn says:

    Bravo! Loved reading every line. Please do more of these. Special thanks for the Betty White mention.

  38. Stephanie says:

    Captain Awesome! That was hilarious! I love the smurf’s pic! Fantastic Christmas present! Thank you for the laughs!

  39. Jen L. says:

    Golden Girls, indeed! (scoff) Who’d want to watch a show about a bunch of old women! Will be cancelled for sure. Along with every other show since it’s a given that network TV is on its last leg. Cable and MTV rule! Okay, I gotta book and get back to my game of Pong.

  40. Michael Sacal says:

    No original V news?

  41. scooterbeanbag says:

    This was awesome. Definitely chuckled a few times reading the column.

    Do 1987 next! What’s up with this FOX channel anyway? It’ll never last!

    • Mark says:

      They’re going with FBC (Fox Broadcasting Channel), and my sources say that their flagship The Late Show with Joan Rivers has one JC quaking in his golf shoes; whether that’s from fear or because he’s livid with rage is yet to be seen.

  42. Juan says:

    What a nice, belated Christmas present.

    1990 should be next. :)

  43. GaryJr says:

    I love how you always find a way to work Santa Barbara back into the conversation. Believe it or not I’ve acquired almost everything from 1984-1988 on bootleg DVD and I’m having a friend watch with me (a first for him). Your comment about how it’s slow in the beginning but goes insane for 4 straight years is right on the money! I can’t wait for the day we don’t have to watch Santana over-or-under-act every freaking day!

  44. Scott says:

    What I wanted to know was if Ralf will ever get new instructions from the aliens? I mean if he did, he’d be walking on air! :-P

  45. DT says:

    Don’t feel badly. Everyone who writes tries something like this once and it’s never as funny for as long as it takes to read. Just sad filler. Still better than anything at EW.com

  46. HG says:

    HAHAHAHA!! OMG! I remember about Who’s The Boss!
    I LOVE THIS! Please please more flashbacks!

  47. Rob says:

    LOL. I was six months old almost when this article was “published”.

  48. LMG says:

    I really enjoyed looking back to 1985. Thank you.

  49. Eric says:

    That was awesome. Please visit some other eras, please. Good job!