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Major Dad (CBS 1989-1993, Gerald McRaney, Shanna Reed)

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Everybody loves a good “opposites attract” story, and CBS knew it. Taking that premise to a political extreme, the network trotted out Major Dad, a half-hour sitcom about two polar opposites: liberal reporter/widow Polly Cooper and straight-arrow Marine officer Major John D. “Mac” MacGillis. After free-spirit-she interviewed spit-and-polish-him for a local paper, the two fell in love and got married, placing disciplined Mac in the uncomfortable position of having to deal not only with his free-thinking wife, but also with his three brand-new stepdaughters. This trio of very non-military sass consisted of thirteen year-old Elizabeth, eleven year-old Robin, and six year-old Casey.

The show divided its time between Mac’s home and Camp Singleton, the San Diego, California base where he worked. The homebodies you’ve already met, and the characters at the base included perky secretary Merilee Gunderson and two assistants, Lt. Holowachuk and Sgt. James. In the second season, Mac got a transfer to Camp Hollister in Virginia to work as the staff secretary for General Marcus Craig. Mac was given a new assistant, “Gunny” Bricker, and Holowachuck followed along to be his aide. Meanwhile, Polly continued her career as the feature editor of The Bulldog, the Camp Hollister newspaper.

The episode plotlines usually focused on the clash between Mac’s conservative attitudes and Polly’s liberal beliefs, as well as the ongoing lessons Mac received from his daughters in the art of being a father. However, there was more to the show than domestic issues: in the 1990-91 season, the real-life tensions going on in Kuwait and Iraq became part of the show as Mac pondered a transfer to Saudi Arabia to fight in the Gulf War. Also, the issue of cutbacks in military funding was reflected in the show when Camp Hollister was threatened with being shut down.

Major Dad Gerald McRaney, Shanna Reed

Major Dad was notable for providing a unique, realistic insight into the issues that military families face. It was telecast for four seasons, lasting through September of 1993. Star Gerald McRaney, who had previously played one half of the duo Simon and Simon, would go on to appear in another family-themed show, Promised Land.

production details
USA / CBS – SSB Prod – Spanish Trail Prod / 96×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 18 September 1989 – 13 September 1993

Producer: Will MacKenzie

cast
Gerald McRaney as John MacGillis
Shanna Reed as Polly Cooper
Marisa Ryan as Elizabeth Cooper
Nicole Dubuc as Robin Cooper
Chelsea Hertford as Casey Cooper
Jon Cypher as General Marcus Craig
Beverly Archer as Alva Lou “Gunny” Bricker
Whitney Kershaw as Merilee Gunderson
Matt Mulhern as Lt. Eugene Holowachuk

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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Christmas Reunion, A (Lifetime 2015, Catherine Hicks, Denise Richards)

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A Christmas Reunion Lifetime

In A Christmas Reunion a Madison Avenue executive, Amy, discovers an unusual Christmas surprise when she inherits her Aunt’s hometown bakery. The real surprise comes when she learns the other half of the bakery was left to her long-ago boyfriend, Jack.

Unresolved personal issues resurface between them, as the exes return home to co-manage the store, along with its traditional holiday cookie bake-off.

cast
Denise Richards as Amy Stone
Patrick Muldoon as Jack Evans
Jake Busey as Dylan Carruthers
Catherine Hicks as Aunt Linda
Parker Stevenson as Don Dupree
Patricia De Leon as Janette Crowder
Jon Briddell as Luke Crowder
Robert R. Shafer as Frank O’Brien
Anna Barnholtz as Chloe
John Colton as Steve Evans
Sandra Evans as Shari
Brody Fitzgerald as Young Jack Evans
Michael Gaglio as Earl Pratt, Sr.
Gib Gerard as Earl Pratt, Jr.
Joyce Greenleaf as Helen

crew details
Director: Sean Olson
Writers: Margaret Base, Mary Glenn, Sam Irvin, Sean Olson, Peter Sullivan, Michael Varrat

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: 13 December 2015

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Final Vision (ID 2017, Scott Foley, Dave Annable)

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Final Vision ID

Final Vision is a twisted psychological thriller and a true-crime drama based on the longest running criminal case in U.S. history. It’s the story of Jeffrey MacDonald (Foley), a handsome, Ivy League-educated U.S. Army Green Beret doctor, who was convicted of brutally murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the middle of the night.

Told through the eyes of best-selling author Joe McGinniss (Annable), who was approached by MacDonald to write a book about his personal nightmare as he was about to go to trial.

cast
Scott Foley as Jeffrey MacDonald
Dave Annable as Joe McGinniss
John Doman as Bernie Segal
Lochlyn Munro as Wade Smith
Jessica Harmon as Colette MacDonald
Caroline Aaron as Leslie Sterling
Primo Allon as MP Sergeant
Julia Maren Baker as Kimberly MacDonald
Julia Benson as Nancy McGinniss
Baylee Breen-Wood as Kristen MacDonald
April Cameron as Nurse at St. Mary’s
Aaron Craven as James Blackburn
Bruce Dawson as Doctor
Parveen Dosanjh as Woman at Party
Lane Edwards as Brian Murtagh

crew details
Writer: Denis O’Neill
Director:  Nicholas McCarthy
Executive Producers: Angela Bromstad, Christine Connor, Linda Berman S

production details
Country:  USA
Network and Production Companies: ID – Lincoln Square Productions
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From:  Sunday 10 December 2017

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