How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of 'GH,' 'The View' and 'The Chew'; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of ‘GH,’ ‘The View’ and ‘The Chew’; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

Kambra Clifford, West Coast Editor
Monday, January 5, 2009 3:03 AM ET | By Errol Lewis

( — “She goes against the grain. With her, if I don’t feel like smiling, I don’t have to.”

That’s “General Hospital’s” Natalia Livingston talking about her new character, Rebecca, to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Richard L. Eldredge in his Peach Buzz column.

In the exclusive interview, the actress discusses her new role on “GH” and how different the character is from Emily Bowen-Quartermaine, a role she portrayed on the ABC soap from April 2003 through May 2008. Emily was killed off in November 2007, and resurrected as a ghost, or a tumor, until Livingston’s departure.

“Her name is Rebecca and she works at the hospital,” Livingston admitted. “She’s going to come in and shake things up. It’ll be interesting to see how the characters react to her.”

Livingston made it clear that unlike Emily, “Rebecca doesn’t feel the need to be nice to everyone.”

For the full interview head on over to the Peach Buzz.

Look for Natalia Livingston to mark her “GH” return on Thursday, January 15 as the soap gears up for its upcoming “Twist in Time” story arc.

“General Hospital” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.

Discussion: Livingston: New Character, New Emotions

  • General Hospital
  • Natalia Livingston

    Monday, January 5 2009 2:31 AM ET | By Errol Lewis

    ( — On January 5, 1970, a little town in Pennsylvania rose from beneath Earth’s soil and came to be known as Pine Valley. This town has been home to the greatest dame in daytime and the most qualified doctor in his field. Here’s a warm welcome to 39 years later for actors Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) and Ray Macdonnell (Dr. Joe Martin).

    After celebrating 10,000 episodes in November 2008, ABC’s “All My Children” is now turning the ripe old age of 39 today. The soap has aired on the ABC Television Network since its first broadcast and also airs at night on ABC/Disney’s SOAPnet. The cable network has aired every “AMC” broadcast since the network launched on January 20, 2000. Lucci and Macdonnell are the shows only remaining original cast members.

    “All My Children” was created by Agnes Nixon, who also created ABC’s “One Life to Live.” Nixon appeared on both soap operas in 2008 as a relative ghost in honor of key milestones for each (10,000 shows for “AMC” and 40 years on the air for “OLTL”).

    In recent weeks, it was announced that Lucci, Macdonnell and Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin) had been asked to renew their contracts with the soap, but at reduced salaries. It is understood that they all accepted, and now receive approximately 40% less per year than they were receiving previously. This is inline with the 40% production budget cut that timeslot competitor “Days of our Lives” was forced into in November. “All My Children,” along with most soap operas, is facing record low viewership and possible cancellation due to advertisers pulling ad dollars from the genre.

    With budget cuts and cast trimming hitting the soap across the board (Colin Egglesfield Fired), rumors are flying that Julie Hanan Carruthers is on her way out as Executive Producer. If proven true, “Passions” and “General Hospital: Night Shift” Executive Producer, Lisa de Cazotte is said to be in the running. TV Guide Canada‘s Nelson Branco recently reported that de Cazotte has joined the soaps production team.

    “All My Children” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.

     Discussion: ‘All My Children’ Left Fighting After 39 Years

    • All My Children
    • Michael E. Knight
    • Susan Lucci
    • Ray McDonald
    • Days of our Lives

      Sunday, January 4, 2009 9:47 PM ET | By Errol Lewis

      ( — With 43-years of history and more supercouples currently on air than any other daytime soap opera, “Days of our Lives” is ready to join an elite club with show 11,000.

      On Wednesday, January 21, a day after President-elect Barack Obama is inaugurated as our nations 43rd President, the little soap that could, “Days of our Lives” will air its 11,000th telecast on NBC. It joins fellow daytime soaps “As The World Turns,” “General Hospital” and “Guiding Light,” as the only programs in television history to broadcast as many episodes.

      Marking the occasion will be the attempted murder of John Black (Drake Hogestyn) and Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) by Dr. Charlotte Taylor (Sandra Ferguson Robinson). Also celebrating, Dr. Daniel Jonas (Shawn Christian) and Chloe Lane Black (Nadia Bjorlin) discuss their feelings, and Bo (Peter Reckell) and Hope Brady (Kristian Alfonso) celebrate a very Brady life together. However, don’t look for much of a real celebration honoring the shows pinncale moment. It’s business as usual for these Salemites.

      Debuting November 8, 1965 on NBC, “Days of our Lives” was a soap like no other. It took place in Salem, USA. There were no witches or warlocks, nor was a woman possessed by the devil (yet). You had your simple families like the Brady’s, the Horton’s, the Williams’ and the Carver’s. Years later you would have many families come and go, including the Robert’s clan headed by Kate Roberts. Unlike Kate, however, Alice Horton remains the quintessential rock that this soap needs to hold everything together. That rock, played by Francis Reid, has been with the show since its debut and is the only surviving original cast member still there.

      “Days of our Lives” airs Weekdays on NBC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.

       Discussion: NBC Daytime Embraces 11,000 ‘DAYS’

      • Days of our Lives
      • Francis Reid
      • Barack Obama

        Sunday, January 4, 2009 4:51 AM ET | By Errol Lewis

        ( — The people have voted and they want to see “As The World Turns” in Primetime.

        During the Wednesday, January 7 broadcast of “The 35th Annual People’s Choice Awards,” make sure to look out for “As The World Turns” during those long commercial breaks. Soap Opera Network has learned that Promotional spots starring actress Terri Colombino (Katie Peretti) will begin airing. This marks a turning point for the drama series, as CBS and many other broadcast networks have refused to air advertisements during primetime hours for  their daytime lineups in recent years. Daytime, however, is flooded with promotions for primetime programming.

        “The 35th Annual People’s Choice Awards” honors everything from TV, Movies and Music. The telecast will be hosted by singer/actress Queen Latifah. The ceremony airs Live at 9/8c on CBS from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. Winners were chosen by viewers all across America via

        “As The World Turns” airs Weekdays on CBS. Anytime on Check local listings.

         Discussion: The ‘People’ Love ‘As The World Turns’

        • As The World Turns
        • Terri Colombino
        • Queen Latifah
        • The 35th Annual People’s Choice Awards

          Sunday, January 4, 2009 4:12 AM ET | By Errol Lewis

          ( — Actress Shiva Rose is set to guest-star on “The Young and the Restless” later this month.

          According to sources, the actress and mother of two, is set to appear on the January 21 episode of the CBS drama series during a special get-together that will bring out most of Genoa City’s elite. While it is unclear as to what role she will play in the episode, it is understood that she will mainly interact with actors Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe Mitchell), Daniel Goddard (Cane Ashby), Billy Miller (Billy Abbott) and Christel Khalil (Lily Winters). 

          Rose has appeared in such series as Lifetime’s “The Division” and the ABC Drama’s “Gideon’s Crossing” and “The Practice.” On Friday, January 2, Rose’s divorce from “Practice” actor Dylan McDermott (Bobby Donnell) was finalized. The two were married for nearly thirteen years and have two daughters.

          “The Young and the Restless” airs Weekdays on CBS. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.

           Discussion: Being ‘Restless’ Takes ‘Practice’

          • Billy Miller
          • The Young and the Restless
          • Elizabeth Hendrickson
          • Shiva Rose
          • Daniel Goddard
          • Christel Khalil
          • Dylan McDermott
          • The Division
          • Gideon’s Crossing
          • The Practice

            Saturday, January 3, 2009 8:06 PM ET | By Errol Lewis

            ( — She played her cards and brought in the crowds. She is no fool, but she has your attention. Will 2009 bring about the return of one Vanessa Marcil? “General Hospital” better hope so.

            Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda Barrett), in a recent interview with Soap Opera Weekly magazine’s Gabby Winkel, has made it clear that 2009 could be the year that she finally returns to the ABC soap after a six-year absence. Vanessa left the soap after a six-month stint in 2003.

            “We were trying to fit it in this past year, but it didn’t work out, so maybe in ’09 we’ll find a way,” says Marcil. “It’s definitely in the cards at some point.”

            Marcil’s brief return to the ABC soap in 2002 marked the series’ best ratings performance in nearly a decade. During a single week in the all important February Sweeps period in 2003, “GH” had 4.1 million households and 5.3 million total viewers tuned into the trials and tribulations of Brenda and her series of men (Sonny Corinthos and Jasper “Jax” Jacks). Today, “GH” has lost about 86% of that audience as it hovers around a 2.2 household rating and just under 3 million total viewers. As you can see, the actresses possible return to the soap couldn’t come fast enough.

            Vanessa joined the cast of “General Hospital” as the conniving Brenda Barrett, whose mission was to tear apart Jagger Cates (Antonio Sabato Jr.) and Karen Wexler (then played by Cari Shayne), in 1992. In 1998, she opted to leave the cast of the series and join FOX’s “Beverly Hills, 90210″ as Gina Kincaid. She returned to “GH” in 2002, but moved onto NBC’s “Las Vegas,” which also starred Josh Duhamel (ex-Leo, “All My Children”) and James Caan in 2003. The series was cancelled in early 2008 during the infamous Writer’s Guild of America strike.

            Marcil currently stars in the Hallmark Channel Original Movie “The Nanny Express,” which airs Saturday, January 3 at 9/8c on Hallmark Channel.

            “General Hospital” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.

             Discussion: Oh Vanessa, Vanessa, the ‘GH’ Jesta!

            • General Hospital
            • Vanessa Marcil
            • Antonio Sabato Jr.
            • Cari Shayne
            • James Caan
            • Josh Duhamel
            • The Nanny Express

              Friday, January 2, 2009 5:10 AM EST / Revised 2:13 PM | By Errol Lewis and Angela Rosa

              ( — What would a year end chart be without a look back at who hogged the most airtime in all of 2008?

              As the year 2008 came to a close, so did a years worth of tracking appearances of contract and recurring actors on daytime’s remaining eight soap operas. “General Hospital’s” Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) and “The Bold and the Beautiful’s” Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke Logan Forrester) top the list of appearances in 2008 as the duo appeared in 224 and 222 out of the 253 episodes of soap opera produced last year.

              ABC: As daytime’s most overexposed network, for the second year running, the network of “All My Children,” “General Hospital,” and “One Life to Live” held down 16.5 positions in the Top 20 Airhogs list. Yes, 16.5! (Two actresses played one of our top airhogs, don’t you know). “GH” and its star Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) led the wave as the soap had eight airhogs in the 2008 Top 20. “AMC” was a close second with 7.5 airhogs. In total, ABC clogged up the airwaves with 23.5 actors in the Top 30.

              CBS: The network with the most balance, CBS was led by “The Bold and the Beautiful” goddess Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke Logan Forrester) and “The Young and the Restless’” Eric Braeden, who ranked #14 on the list as Victor Newman appeared in 177 episodes of the drama series. Unfortunately, no “As The World Turns” or “Guiding Light” actor appeared in the Top 30, which excludes them from ranking. However, congratulations goes out to the two for having balance within their cast despite budget constraints effecting daytime as a whole. Had they ranked, they would have been led by Maura West (Carly Snyder, “ATWT”) and Marcy Rylan (Lizzie Spaulding, “GL”), who appeared in 147 and 145 out of 253 episodes, respectively.

              NBC: With only one soap left remaining on its schedule, NBC left the “Days of our Lives” cast fighting for airtime on this once flourishing daytime network. James Scott managed to top the “DAYS” list ranking at #23 thanks to dueling characters E.J Wells and Santo DiMera.

              Note: Due to a leave of absence in ’08, last years top Airhog, “All My Children’s “Alicia Minshew” (Kendall Hart), fell to #4 in the ranking (tied with “GH’s” Maurice Benard). In 2007, the actress appeared in 233 out of 256 episodes. Steve Burton remained a top draw at “GH,” as he appeared in the same amount of episodes year-over-year, and Laura Wright (Carly Corinthos Jacks) fell dramatically from #3 to #12. Thorsten Kaye also fell a few notches from fourth in ’07 (tied with “B&B’s Katherine Kelly Lang) to seventh in ’08.  Meanwhile, “AMC’s” Cameron Mathison went from #6 in ’07 to #8 in ’08 (tied with “GH’s” Brandon Barash) – he appeared in 16 less episodes this year.  “One Life to Live’s” Michael Easton had the biggest plunge as he fell from a #10 ranking in ’07 to #27 in ’08 (tied with “AMC’s” Darnell Williams). The actor appeared in 161 episodes in 2008 vs 203 in 2007. As two actresses played her in 2008, the character of Greenlee Smythe on “All My Children” takes the combined totals of actresses Rebecca Budig and Sabine Singh.

              In honor of the Soap Opera Network return of the SON Top 10, we present to you daytime’s top scene stealers (literally), who earned their paychecks (and then some) during a most dramatic year.

              The 2008 Daytime Airhog Awards

              Rank Actor (Character)
              Total Episodes Appeared
               1. Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke Logan) The Bold and the Beautiful
               2. Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) General Hospital 222
               3. (Greenlee Smythe) Rebecca Budig and Sabine Singh All My Children (ABC) 220
              (Rebecca Budig, 211 / Sabine Singh, 9)
               4. Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) General Hospital (ABC) 203
                Alicia Minshew (Kendall Hart) All My Children (ABC) 203
               6. Julie Marie Berman (Lulu Spencer) General Hospital (ABC) 200
               7. Thorsten Kaye (Zach Slater) All My Children (ABC)  197
               8. Brandon Barash (Johnny Zacchara) General Hospital (ABC) 194
               9. Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery) All My Children (ABC) 193


              Bradford Anderson (Damian Spinelli) General Hospital (ABC) 190
               11. Melissa Claire Egan (Annie Lavery) All My Children (ABC)


                Laura Wright (Carly Corinthos Jacks) General Hospital (ABC) 189
               13. Sarah Joy Brown (Claudia Zacchara) General Hospital (ABC) 183
              14. Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) The Young and the Restless (CBS) 177
               15.  Ronn Moss (Ridge Forrester) The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)  176
              16. Joshua Morrow (Nicholas Newman) The Young and the Restless (CBS) 175
              17. Kirsten Storms (Maxie Jones) General Hospital (ABC) 173
                Megan Ward (Kate Howard) General Hospital (ABC) 173
              19. Trevor St. John (Todd Manning) One Life to Live (ABC) 171
                Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) The Young and the Restless (CBS)  171
               21.  Aiden Turner (Aidan Devane) All My Children (ABC)  170
              22. Jennifer Gareis (Donna Logan Forrester) The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS) 167
              23. James Scott (E.J. Wells/Santo DiMera) Days of our Lives (NBC)  166
              24. Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth Webber) General Hospital (ABC) 165
              25. Tyler Christopher (Nikolas Cassadine) General Hospital (ABC) 164
              26. John Brotherton (Jared Banks/Clint Buchanan) One Life to Live (ABC) 162
                Debbie Morgan (Angela Hubbard) All My Children (ABC) 162
               27. Michael Easton (John McBain) One Life to Live (ABC)  161
              29. Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard) All My Children (ABC) 161
              30. Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott) The Young and the Restless (CBS)   160

              Our thanks goes out to those contributors who helped compile this list throughout 2008. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to pinpoint the hoggers from a pinto. Thank you, jcar03, jhc2010, y&r_fan, JAS0N47, dmarex, Scotty, Toups and Angela.

              Until next year…

               Discussion: The 2008 Daytime Airhog Awards

              • The Bold and the Beautiful
              • All My Children
              • One Life to Live
              • The Young and the Restless
              • Days of our Lives
              • General Hospital
              • As The World Turns
              • Guiding Light

                Thursday, January 1, 2009 10:20 PM EST | By Errol Lewis

                ( — In honor of the first day of the year 2009 and the cold wintery weather outside, Soap Opera Network has decided to launch a new feature on its website in order to heat things up all year long. We bring you “Sex on a Stick” – a feature for the heart.

                Twice a month or every two weeks, Soap Opera Network will be highlighting some of daytime’s sexiest male and female stars whether in steamy locals (LeBlanc, pictured right) or in everyday wear. For our first edition, we start with Christian LeBlanc.

                He may have turned 50 last August, but “The Young and the Restless’” Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin) remains one of daytime’s hottest stars.

                What Makes Him Sexy?

                • As if that picture wasn’t enough…
                • His love scenes with co-star Tracy Bregman (Lauren Fenmore Baldwin) continue to get audiences hot, bothered and begging for more.
                • Michael’s friendship with Phyillis Newman (Michelle Stafford) may not be sexually charged, but the chemistry between Michael and Michelle is obvious.
                • When he’s bad, he’s bad…but when he’s good…he’s damn good (Christian as Michael when winning cases even if he has to play dirty).

                Did You Know?

                • LeBlanc took his Michael Baldwin character from Genoa City to “As The World Turns” and its city of Oakdale in 2005. Surprisingly, no one remembered him as Kirk McColl from the 1980′s.
                • Has won two Daytime Emmy Awards (2005; 2007) out of six nominations.

                “The Young and the Restless” airs Weekdays on CBS. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.

                 Discussion: Christian LeBlanc is ‘Sex on a Stick’

                • The Young and the Restless
                • Christian LeBlanc
                • Sex on a Stick

                  Thursday, January 1, 2009 8:32 PM EST | By Errol Lewis

                  ( — After NBC slashed its budget and the show was forced to cut the fat, “Days of our Lives’” John and Marlena are set to ride off into the sunset.

                   With the economy a bust and falling ratings across the board at NBC and all of its dayparts, NBC shocked the daytime industry with news that not only has it renewed the 43-year-old “Days of our Lives,” but it did so with the intention of cutting the soaps budget by 40%. The network left it up to Executive Producer Ken Corday and his Corday Productions, in association with Sony Pictures Television, to decide how they were going to keep the show on the air at such a reduced price. Unfortunately, that decision was easy – cut the most expensive.

                  Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn are set to exit the NBC drama on Friday, January 23 as Dr. Marlena Evans and John Black say goodbye to their loved ones in Salem. With John’s memories failing him, it is anyone’s guess if all their happiness from the past will jog John’s memory and bring a brighter future for the super-couple.

                  “There is never an end when a couple leaves happily,” said Corday in a statement released to Soap Opera Digest in November. “They’re [John and Marlena] not dead. Characters have left and come back [before].”

                  Let’s hope Ken’s words hold true as we’ve learned that the duo will be left fighting for their survival just before making their [happy] exit.

                  “Days of our Lives” airs Weekdays on NBC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.

                   Discussion: Salem Says Goodbye to John and Marlena

                  • Days of our Lives
                  • Ken Corday
                  • Deidre Hall
                  • Drake Hogestyn

                    Wednesday, December 31, 2008 8:15 PM EST | By Errol Lewis

                    ( — After two straight weeks of repeats and interruptions, “General Hospital” is back in full swing with lots of drama heading your way.

                    THIS WEEK ON: GENERAL HOSPITAL

                    Jax and Carly come to a mutual understanding. Nadine makes it clear that she wants nothing to do with Equinox and its dealings with manufactured weapons. In honor of Ruby’s memory, Luke and Bobbie discuss rebuilding Kelly’s. Sam is unsettled when she witnesses how close Lucky and Elizabeth are getting. Robin feels the stress of motherhood. Patrick informs Sonny that Michael’s condition could be permanent. Sonny and Carly come to an understanding and work on re-building their relationship. Diane suggests that Alexis and she work on bringing Jax and Carly back together, instead of tearing them apart through a divorce. Johnny is arrested, and Ric offers help from Anthony. A surprising individual bails Johnny out.

                    The Inside Story: Claudia and Her DVD’s
                    Claudia has her hands on the latest Jerry Jacks DVD, but unfortunately for her Sonny is too close for comfort. Claudia tries to distract Sonny and hide the DVD before he grows suspicious on Monday, January 5. Carly catches Claudia in the act.  Carly gives Claudia a stern warning. Claudia is surprised by Sonny’s generosity and latest actions. Johnny learns of what Jerry’s been up to in the afterlife. Lulu grows suspicious of Johnny and Claudia.

                    A Closer Look: When Spinelli Met Winifred
                    On Friday, January 2, Spinelli met Winifred (played by Senta Moses), his “female counterpart.” On Monday, January 5, Maxie grows suspicious of Winifred, but is quickly calmed down by Spinelli’s words. Unfortunately, being the Maxie we all know and love, that won’t stop her from snooping. Winifred threatens Maxie, while Spinelli can’t side with Maxie this time. Thinking she is saving him, Maxie goes to great lengths (think bedroom) in changing his mind.

                    What To Watch

                    • Nikolas and Nadine seek Alexis’ advice on Tuesday, January 6.
                    • Carly and Jax have a date on Wednesday, January 7.
                    • Jax flirts with Olivia on Thursday, January 8.
                    • The FBI is closing in on Spinelli and Jason retaliates against Sonny on Friday, January 9.

                    General Hospital News and Headlines

                    SON ALERTS: WEEK OF JANUARY 12, 2009

                    • Monday: Claudia is fine with the way things are. Carly and Jax take baby steps to a reconciliation. Nikolas and Nadine take on the government. (What? Undecided)
                    • Tuesday: Agent Rayner offers Jason a deal. Claudia pressures Sonny into offing Jason. Jax and Carly share a romantic evening.
                    • Wednesday: Jason gets in too deep with the Feds. Kate spies on Claudia. Lucky and Sam are at odds.
                    • Thursday: Sonny questions Jason’s morality. Claudia continues her search for the most incriminating DVD. Maxie puts Spinelli’s mind at ease. Natalia Livingston re-joins the cast as Rebecca, a mystery woman that plays mind games with Nikolas.
                    • Friday: Jason and Sonny put their cards on the table. Ric is suspicious of Claudia. “General Hospital” kicks off a major groundbreaking storyline as Patrick recalls the events before disaster struck.

                    “General Hospital” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.

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