(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The first cut is the deepest.“Days of Our Lives” contract with NBC was due to expire in March of 2009, and negotiations between the long-running drama and NBC have never been easy. That noted, NBC recently agreed to renew the 43-year-old soap through September 2010 – with an option to pick it up for another year at that point; the renewal comes with a price. The price, as “DAYS” Executive Producer Ken Corday explains to Soap Opera Digest, is about a 40 percent cut in the daytime drama’s budget, a budget that had already taken a hit in 2003 to enable a 5-year contract renewal. Slicing the show’s budget nearly in half will of course mean a lot of backstage turmoil, and the turmoil started immediately. One week after the news of the renewal came out, SOD confirmed that Drake Hogestyn and Deidre Hall, widely noted as daytime’s most renowned diva after “All My Children’s” Susan Lucci, are leaving the show. Hall has been with “DAYS” off and on, as Dr. Marlena Evans, since 1976. Hogestyn, who plays John Black, has been with the show since 1986. Like is the case with many “DAYS” actors, this is not Hogestyn’s first firing from the NBC soap which has taken the concept of firings to more of a stunt tactic than a serious reality. Corday’s straight-talk, this time around, seems to note a strong twinge of honesty as he shows his cards and tells the magazine that “there is never an end when a couple leaves happily … they’re (Hogestyn and Hall’s characters) not dead. Characters have left and come back [before].” Rumors are swirling that the popular and talented Jay Kenneth Johnson, who plays Philip Kiriakis, is out as well. True or not, Corday reports that the cast and the production are going to take more hits and predicts a rough winter ahead. Corday tells SOD that he would prefer to economically downsize (pay cuts) but if actors don’t co-operate “that it will be a physical downsize or a recast.” Describing “DAYS” economic state as having taken a dive down to “dismal,” the beleaguered and ridiculed executive takes a harsh tone as he points out that “no one is above recasting.” In the long-term, Corday predicts “‘DAYS’ will come out better.” The full interview with Ken Corday can be found in the December 2, 2008 issue of Digest with “DAYS” Hogestyn and Hall on the cover. “Days of Our Lives” airs Weekdays on NBC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.
- Days of our Lives
- Ken Corday
- Deidre Hall
- Drake Hogestyn
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Who’s coming? Who’s staying? Who’s going? Who’s Coming?
- McKenzie Westmore has joined the cast of “All My Children.” The 31-year old actress is best known for her role on the cancelled daytime drama “Passions.” Westmore played Sheridan Crane, one half of “Passions” first super couple, Sheridan and Luis (Galen Gering), from the drama’s inception in 1999 until it’s cancellation in 2008. On the change of venue from the very fanciful “Passions” to the more serious “AMC, the actress chuckles, “no witches or demons this time around … but I will be with Annie.” Westmore will be playing crazy Annie Lavery’s (Melissa Claire Egan) psychiatrist, Dr. Sinclair, in Pine Valley’s famed mental institution Oak Haven. In the latest edition of Soap Opera Digest, a delighted Westmore reports that she was planning to come to the City for the holidays but then things fell into place and it turned into a “working vacation.” Although the role is just recurring (through March 2009), Dr. Sinclair is slated for romance – likely in the form of either Aidan Devane (Aiden Turner) or Ryan Lavery (Cameron Mathison). Westmore begins airing on Friday, December 12.
- Frunk Runyeon premieres in the recurring role of Forrest William’s, the disapproving father of Bianca’s (Eden Riegel) fiancé Reese (Tamara Braun), on Monday, December 15.
- Following reportedly rough negotiations, Michael E. Knight has re-signed with “AMC.” The recipient of three Daytime Emmy’s joined the cast of the ABC soap as the charming cad Thaddeus “Tad” Martin in 1982. Knight departed in 1986 but would return in 1988 when he would become one half of one of “AMC’s” most notable super couples ever, Tad and Dixie (Cady McClain). The actor departed again in 1990 but with much fanfare would return to the soap for keeps in 1992.
- Knight’s co-star Walt Willey has also re-signed with the show. Willey has been on the cast of “AMC” as legal eagle, and on-again, off-again paramour of Erica Kane (Susan Lucci), Jackson Montgomery since 1987.
- As previously reported, Alicia Minshew (who plays the popular Kendall Hart Slater) has also re-signed with the ABC soap. The actress, who married long-time boyfriend Richie Herschenfeld late last month, is currently enjoying a long vacation.
- Rebecca Budig has confirmed that she will not take up her option to stay on “AMC” for an additional year. The actress joined the cast of the soap in 1999 as Greenlee Smythe. Budig would take her leave from the show in 2005 to try prime-time but returned during the 2007 writer’s strike. Budig will air until early spring 2009; there are no plans to recast the character.
- All My Children
- Rebecca Budig
- Alicia Minshew
- Michael E. Knight
- Frank Runyeon
- McKenzie Westmore
- Walt Willey
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. THIS WEEK ON: GUIDING LIGHT Mallet and Marina continue to argue over Dinah. Josh insists on taking Reva to the hospital after she faints. Reva and Josh receive good news about the baby. Josh quietly leaves after Jeffrey arrives on the scene. Rick tells Jeffrey that he needs to take Reva to the oncologist. A scared Reva goes in for the MRI. The pager from the oncologist goes off just as Reva makes a firm decision about her future. Marah tells Josh that Shayne is a changed man. A Closer Look: Going to the Chapel…
Christina reconsiders her harsh assessment of Remy after a chat with Mel. Remy accepts Christina’s apology. Mallet’s joke takes a serious turns when he insists that he and Marina make it legal and get married. Mallet grabs Remy, to be a witness, who in turn drags Christina along on the groups search for an all-night chapel. The foursome share some drinks before heading to the chapel. Marina and Mallet have a change of heart. Christina and Remy, tipsy from the drinks, stumble back to the casino after losing track of Mallet and Marina. The next morning, Remy and Christina wake up in a hotel room with major hangovers and no memory of the previous evening. The duo is shocked when a bellhop shows up at their door to congratulate them on their wedding. Christina gets sick to her stomach after viewing evidence of the bellhops claim. Christina and Remy find themselves enjoying their predicament despite themselves. The Inside Story: The Truth Hurts
After leaving the key at the Copper house for Daisy, Grady heads out to plant a duplicate jacket to the one in the surveillance video in Bill’s things. Frank informs Billy and Vanessa that all the evidence and motives points to Bill’s guilt in the kidnapping. Cyrus urges Grady to stop what he’s doing but ends up making a move to protect his brother. Billy and Vanessa both begin to consider the legitimacy of Frank’s claim much to Lizzie’s chagrin. Frank shows Lizzie and Alan the surveillance video of the kidnapper breaking into the van. Lizzie is aghast when she finds a jacket similar to the kidnappers’ in Bill’s thing. Frank and Alan walk in to the room just as Lizzie is set to light the jacket on fire. Daisy and Grady listen to Ashlee’s video blog of Rafe explaining how Grady is the reason he’s in prison. Grady manages to turn the situation to his favor. Ashlee finds a menacing Grady waiting for her in her car.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Casualties. THIS WEEK ON: ALL MY CHILDREN Colby figures out the truth about Brot who reels as he witnesses the growing affection between Jake and Taylor. Frankie reaches out to Natalia who is crushed by her mother’s decision. Angie makes Rebecca and Natalia a magnanimous offer. On the eve of Gabrielle’s christening, Zach, Bianca and Reese remember the night in France when Zach agreed to be their donor. Ian’s presence invokes thoughts of Kendall who later reacts to the sound of Spike’s voice. Greenlee and Erica face off at Fusion. Jesse and Rebecca’s closeness leaves Angie out in the cold. Pete’s jealousy flares when he spots Colby with Brot. A Closer Look: We All Fall Down…
Desperate to keep her plot going, Annie pulls out a gun on Di and a scuffle ensues. Aidan, Greenlee and Ryan arrive on the scene. Aidan throws himself in front of Greenlee and Annie just as a bleeding Di grabs the gun to retaliate. A detained Ryan and Annie are desperate to get to Emma. Aidan falls unconscious before he can reveal the truth. Jesse, Ryan and Annie realize Emma is in mortal danger. Ryan races into the burning church to get to Emma. Ryan vows to make Annie pay for everything she’s done but gets more than he bargained for when he confronts her. The Inside Story: …Like Toy Soldiers
David and Amanda plot against JR. Krystal brings Little Adam to the mansion to feel closer to his mother. Amanda uses the memory of Babe to work over JR. David’s words get to Krystal. David’s plan works perfectly as JR flies into a rage upon seeing Amanda…in one of Babe’s old dresses. A depressed Krystal lashes out at Tad but finds comfort in an eager David’s arms. David is confident that Krystal will eventually be his. Adam warns JR about Amanda, who struggles with her conscience. David refuses to let Amanda out of their deal. SON ALERTS: WEEK OF NOVEMBER 24, 2008
Monday: Aidan comes clean with Greenlee. Annie makes a desperate move when her misdeeds come to light. Angie’s emotions get the best of her.
Tuesday: Ryan and Greenlee wonder what Aidan’s really up to. Brot insists to Colby that Taylor is better off without him. Aidan warns Zach that Annie could be his undoing.
Wednesday: Jake tells Taylor how he really feels about her. Amanda tells David they’ll be playing by her rules from now on. Annie goes off the deep end.
Thursday: Encore presentation of the Friday, October 17 episode of “All My Children” in which twisters make landfall on Pine Valley.
Friday: “All My Children” is pre-empted.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Aleksander puts Springfield back on the map.
Grant Aleksander is returning to “Guiding Light” as the mega-popular Phillip Spaulding in January.
The three-time Daytime Emmy nominee cites his close friendship with current “GL” Head Writer Jill Lorie Hurst, who began talking to him about a return late this past summer, as a main element in prompting his return. Aleksander, who has signed a long-term contract with the CBS sudser, tells Soap Opera Digest that his greatest wish is that the storyline opportunities that his return affords will “help the show stick around for a while longer.” Aleksander will find out what his story entails when he starts taping later this year but thinks whatever is coming should be fun considering that Phillip is “either the father or has been married to everybody in town;” the actor also expects his return story to be a long-arc.
The 49 year old actor started his daytime television career on “GL” in 1982; he remained on the show until 1984. In 1986, Aleksander joined the cast of “Capitol” as DJ Phillips but would return to “GL” later that year. Citing exhaustion, Aleksander would take another leave from the sudser in 1991. He moved on to ABC’s “All My Children” in 1993 as Hayley’s naughty husband, Alec McIntyre. In 1996, Aleksander took his leave from “AMC” and rejoined the cast of “GL” for a third time. He’d remain on the show until 2004 when he was fired under a cloud of controversy.
Phillip’s daughter is sticking around, too. SOD reports that Marcy Rylan (who plays Phillip’s daughter, Lizzie) has re-upped with the show. The specifics of Rylan’s contract have not been revealed; she has played the role of Lizzie Spaulding since 2006.
“Guiding Light” airs Weekdays on CBS.
- Guiding Light
- Grant Aleksander
- Phillip Spaulding
- Marcy Rylan
- Lizzie Spaulding
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – The trouble with love.
THIS WEEK ON: GUIDING LIGHT
Josh explains to Blake that he doesn’t believe that Jeffrey is the man for Reva or her unborn child. Reva and Josh discover that they’ll be neighbors while Jeffrey is off on a job interview in D.C. Natalia makes a major sacrifice in order to ensure Rafe’s well-being. Remy hides his high M-CAT score from Christina who didn’t fare nearly as well. Ashlee introduces a stressed out Beth to her new mentor – Coop. Buzz and Ashlee tease Coop about chemistry with Beth. Later, Beth and Coop head to the same room at the Beacon where things immediate ignite between the duo once behind closed doors.
A Closer Look: No Rest for the Wicked
Grady assures Alan that he’s up to his challenge. Cyrus questions if Grady is ready for the ramifications should Daisy figure out the truth. Frank shows Lizzie and Alan evidence that seems to implicate Bill in the kidnapping. A disbelieving Lizzie listens as Frank gives reason to the possibility of Bill being the guilty party. Confident of Bill’s innocence, Lizzie allows Frank to search the house but soon makes an alarming discovery herself. Lizzie shows Alan and Frank the magazine with the cut-out letters. Daisy ignores Ashlee’s protests and agrees to give Grady another chance. Grady, meanwhile, informs Alan that Dinah was his partner in crime. Beth later points out to Alan that things seem to be working out just perfectly for him considering his hatred of Bill. Lizzie pleads with Bill to wake up. Ashlee finds Grady going through files in Dinah’s office and inadvertently lets it slip that Daisy is in love with him. Grady grabs Ashlee in an attempt to get her to spill more just as Daisy walks in.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Can Taylor handle the truth?
As Soap Opera Network previously reported, the role of Taylor’s not so dead fiancé has been cast. Iraq war veteran JR Martinez has been cast in the role of Brot Monroe.
“All My Children” put out a casting call for a real-life war veteran to take on the role of Taylor Thompson’s (played by Beth Ehlers) fiancé in September. As pre-scripted from the beginning, the storyline involves Brot having led Taylor to believe he was dead due to the severity of the injury he acquired in Iraq. Brot’s injury depended on who “AMC” ultimately cast in the role; 25 year old JR Martinez is a burn victim.
Soon after arriving for his tour of duty in Iraq, in April of 2003, JR Martinez was severely burned when the Humvee he was driving hit a landmine. More than 40 percent of Martinez’s body was burned in the accident and he would undergo 32 surgeries in the three years that followed. Martinez now serves as the national spokesperson for the Coalition to Salute America’s Hero’s, a coalition that promotes the support of programs that aim to help wounded service members.
Martinez first airs on Friday, November 7 and for his first few weeks will air predominantly with Colby Chandler (Brianne Moncrief) and Frankie Hubbard (Cornelis Smith Jr.). On Thursday, November 6, Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight) follows the lead on who has hired him to investigate Taylor to a VA Hospital. In the same episode “AMC” will follow in the footsteps of their 2007 transgender storyline and show us a group of real-life Iraq war veterans discussing their journeys in unscripted scenes.
“All My Children” air Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.
- All My Children
- Beth Ehlers
- JR Martinez
- Brot Monroe
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Wicked games.
THIS WEEK ON: ALL MY CHILDREN
David and Tad clash over Krystal. Jesse presses Angie to be honest with him. Erica accepts Adam’s invitation. David presents Amanda an offer she can’t refuse in exchange for her doing his devious bidding. Jesse and Frankie clear the air. Bianca and Reese make a decision about their future. Reese offers Zach her assistance. Pete spills his heart out to Colby. Bianca questions why Reese wasn’t truthful with her. Amanda’s tactics please neither JR or David.
A Closer Look: Road Blocks
Ryan figures out where Annie is being held. Aidan violently restrains Ryan when he refuses to do things his way and stay put. Greenlee finds Ryan tied up. Aidan meets with Annie and the pair recount how they got to the place they are now. Annie takes Ryan on a dangerous wild goose chase for their daughter. Aidan goes on alert when Ryan shares his suspicions about Annie. Greenlee takes notice of Aidan’s strange behavior. Ryan grows more suspect of Annie, who runs into a major roadblock in her game.
The Inside Story: Hide and Seek
Taylor continues to let her guard down around Jake who gives her a private physical therapy lesson. Jake and Taylor are ecstatic when she starts to regain some feelings in her legs. Frankie and Brot (J.R. Martinez) have an emotional confrontation. Jake and Taylor’s bond grows as he pushes her to her limits. Brot’s heart breaks as he spies Jake and Taylor’s closeness. Frankie struggles with whether or not to tell Taylor the truth. Colby discovers an injured Brot. Jake plans a romantic surprise for Taylor.
What to Watch
- Look for “All My Children” creator Agnes Nixon to make a special appearance as a helpful ghost from Pine Valley’s past on the 10,000th episode of the ABC daytime drama on Wednesday, November 12.
SON ALERTS: WEEK OF NOVEMBER 17, 2008
- Monday: Annie’s scheme spins out of her control. Brot witnesses Jake and Taylor closeness. David and Amanda plot against JR.
- Tuesday: Ryan and Annie are in a race against time in their search for Emma. Colby urges Brot to let Taylor know he’s alive. Amanda invokes memories of Babe in her efforts to manipulate JR.
- Wednesday: Ryan grows certain that Annie’s been up to no good. Adam enlists Pete to spy on Erica for him. Colby offers to let Brot hide out at the mansion.
- Thursday: Bianca reaches out to Reese’s parents. Amanda’s latest stunt pushes JR over the edge. Krystal turns to David for comfort.
- Friday: Ryan confronts Annie with his suspicions. David refuses to let Amanda out of the deal they made. Greenlee clashes with Erica at Fusion.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – Turning points.
THIS WEEK ON: GUIDING LIGHT
Touched by Bill’s love for Lizzie, Daisy places a call to Grady. Josh doesn’t want Reva going after the kidnapper. Mallet vents to Coop about Marina’s insecurities about Dinah, while Buzz tries to calm Marina down about Mallet. Mallet and Marina both realize how lucky they are to have each other. Olivia continues her crusade for prison reform.
The Inside Story: Goodbye Springfield
RJ’s run in with Mallet spells the end of Cyrus’ deception. A hurt Cassie tells Cyrus to stay out of her life after he tells her that he’ll always be a thief just like he’ll always be Grady’s brother. Cyrus refuses to answer when Mallet questions if he planned the whole robbery just so Cassie would leave him. Cassie explains to Reva that while Cyrus eased her pain over Tammy she’s not over losing her and needs to leave Springfield. Reva tries to enlist Jeffrey and Josh’s help in changing Cassie’s mind. Dinah apologizes to Cassie for everything. Reva lashes out at Cyrus, who is upset to learn of Cassie’s decision to leave. Reva’s plea to Cassie fails. Cassie confronts Cyrus and tells him she knows the truth and thanks him. Cassie tries to get Reva to understand her decision. Cassie pays an emotional visit to Tammy’s grave.
A Closer Look: Curing what Ails
Lizzie sets Decker and Alan straight about Bill’s position in the business and later apologizes to Dinah for misjudging her. Mallet informs Dinah that they’re closing in on an arrest for the kidnapping. Dinah tells Grady that she’s going to make sure her brother gets better after he observes that it would be best for them if Bill never wakes up. Lizzie refuses to leave Bill’s bedside. Grady questions Lizzie. Dinah researches Bill’s condition. Lizzie tries to reassure the stockholders and press that a faltering Spaulding-Lewis will overcome. Dinah is stunned when she walks into a surprise gathering to celebrate everything she did for Bill. Grady enters Bill’s room while no one is there and seems poised to suffocate Mr. Lewis.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The more things change the more they stay the same.
THIS WEEK ON: ALL MY CHILDREN
Randi tries to convince Frankie not to blame Natalia for Jesse’s choices. Angie gently tells Natalia that her mother has an inoperable brain tumor. Zach meets with the specialist Erica brought in but refuses to consider sending her away for treatment. Bianca introduces her fiancé, Reese, to Erica, who insists on throwing the couple a lavish wedding. Zach has a change of heart. Erica buries herself in work at Fusion after saying goodbye to Kendall. Angie is conflicted as she watches Jesse comforting Rebecca.
A Closer Look: Smoke and Mirrors
David turns on Krystal after she stops him from killing himself. Joe is pressured to reinstate David at the hospital. Hayward demands that Krystal step in and stop JR from moving to San Diego with their grandson. David announces his intention to fund the building of the Babe Hayward Memorial Wing at his first hospital board meeting back; and then proceeds to humiliate Jake when he reveals that the doctor’s wife left him for another man. Krystal makes an emotional plea to JR. David gets an idea after seeing Amanda with JR. JR is dumbfounded as Krystal buys into David’s “sincere” act. David begins a titillating game of manipulation with the young Amanda Dillon.
The kidnapper grabs Annie when she and Ryan arrive at the abandoned theater in search of Emma. Ryan narrowly escapes being shot as he lunges for the masked man who takes leave with Annie. Greenlee goes to Jesse for help. Annie’s phone call to Ryan ends in a blood curdling scream. Aidan determines that Annie has been taken to Puerto Rico. Ryan, Aidan and Greenlee hop on the Cambias jet and head to the island on a rescue mission. Aidan is not optimistic about Annie and Emma’s faith. Ryan, Aidan and Greenlee make a grisly discovery. The kidnapper plays a macabre game with the trio. Annie places a call to Ryan but thing clearly aren’t what they seem.
The Inside Story: Tough Love
Jake grows concerned as Taylor seems to have lost the will to live. Jake puts a wheelchair in Taylor’s room and leaves. Taylor summons all her strength and begins crawling to the chair. Taylor reject’s Tad’s offer of assistance and makes it to the wheelchair on her own. Unable to ignore his obvious feelings for Taylor, Amanda dumps Jake. Tad finds out where his mystery client is calling from. Jake tries to reignite Taylor’s fighting spirit and admits that he broke up with Amanda because of her. Jake plants a kiss on Taylor.
SON ALERTS: WEEK OF NOVEMBER 10, 2008
- Monday: Ryan begins to have his doubts about Aidan. Frankie wants answers concerning Taylor. David pushes Tad to his breaking point.
- Tuesday: Aidan and Annie are playing a dangerous game. Jesse forces Angie to be honest with him. Tad and Krystal form a united front against David.
- Wednesday: A ghost named Aggie visits Pine Valley in its hour of need. Jack is surprised by Erica’s new living arrangement. David makes Amanda an offer she can’t refuse.
- Thursday: Ryan shares his suspicions about Annie with Aidan. It seems like old times for Adam and Erica. Frankie is torn about whether or not to tell Taylor the truth.
- Friday: David and Amanda put their plan in motion. Annie’s unwitting partner in crime threatens to expose her misdeeds. Pete’s declaration of love falls on Colby’s deaf ears.