(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Sunday, November 13, The New York Times reported that American Media, Inc., which earlier this year purchased the licensing rights of both Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly from owner Source Interlink, in which the company now oversees all aspects including editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution, would be launching a new weekly magazine dubbed Reality Weekly.
The magazine, which is set to launch in January 2012 with a newsstand price of $1.79 per issue, has long been expected. After all, reality TV related programming and “stars” have graced the covers of People and Entertainment Weeky, and even celebrity gossip mags Us Weekly, Star (which is owned by American Media) and Life & Style. With coveted supermarket placing between both Weekly and Digest, many often wondered if, along with dwindling audience for the soaps, American Media took over the mags just for their positioning and would shutter the mags in place of magazine’s such as Reality Weekly. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Although I do not personally subscribe to either Digest or Weekly, it recently came to my attention that Soap Opera Weekly no longer provides subscriptions for soap fans wishing to receive their Weekly at home as it and numerous other magazines have done since their inceptions. This was later confirmed as the magazine no longer provides an online subscription via the Zinio magazine subscription and tablet application service. Digest and Soaps in Depth (both ABC and CBS editions) continue to provide subscriptions, however.
An American Media representative told Soap Opera Network “Absolutely not!” when asked if the launch of Reality Weekly had anything to do with the company’s decision to stop providing subscriptions for Weekly. “We made it a 100 percent newsstand mag that generates a million dollars of editda per year,” the rep continued. EDITDA stands for Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
In an industry plagued with erosion, it’s safe to say that at least our soap magazine’s appear to have more longevity than some of the soaps themselves.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — There has been much discussed about “All My Children” 2.0 following a report by Soaps in Depth in which the magazine reported on its website that “All My Children,” as conceived by the minds behind the scenes at Prospect Park, has been placed on hold. This of course is after months of rumors and speculation stating that the company had planned to launch the show just days following its September 23 ABC finale and again in January 2012 following the network finale of sister soap “One Life to Live,” which in addition to “AMC” was licensed to Prospect Park for its Online Network (TOLN) in a deal brokered with the Disney/ABC Television Group back in July of this year. But is this really news to the fans or were we all just hoping something else was going on behind the scenes that would suddenly pace the show on the same trek as “OLTL?”
When the deal with Prospect Park was announced many speculated that one of the reasons “One Life to Live” was allowed to continue on post ABC was due in large part to its association with “All My Children,” both in cancellation and its creator Agnes Nixon. After weeks of silence following the big press release touting the renewed life for both series, which were canceled by ABC in April, “One Life to Live” signed deals with four actors in early September to continue on while “All My Children” only signed two. By the end of September “One Life” would not only sign five additional stars, but would also sign an executive producer and a head writer. Frank Valentini, who will continue as the soaps EP once production wraps at the end of this coming week, will also take on duties as VP, Serial Dramas, Prospect Park. In this new role Valentini will be responsible for all aspects of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children,” along with any other serialized dramatic programming Prospect Park puts into production. His duties will include signing off on the hiring of actors, writers, producers, etc along with setting the budgetary tone for each serialized program under Prospect Park.
By the end of October, “One Life to Live” had signed a total of 13 actors in addition to their EP and HW, while “All My Children” signed Darnell Williams (ex-Jesse Hubbard) to round out the current “AMC” 2.0 cast that includes Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan Lavery) and Lindsay Hartley (ex-Cara Castillo). Williams’ signing was confirmed to Soap Opera Network by a Prospect Park representative, although other publications have yet to confirm the news through proper channels and used a tweet by Hartley as the basis for their initial reporting. “All My Children” remains without a head writer or executive producer. Last week, Soap Opera Network reported via several sources that ABC had agreed to allow Prospect Park continued usage of “One Life’s” current studio space, which just so happened to be “AMC’s” studio prior to the soaps move to LA in 2010. “All My Children” was said to continue filming at its Andrita studio in LA under Prospect Park, but after nearly three months since production ceased for the ABC run it’s anyone’s guess as to what has since happened to the sets, wardrobe, props, etc.
With the signing of no more than three actors, no executive producer, and no head writer, there was absolutely no way “All My Children” could continue online or in any other form as planned. Meanwhile, Prospect Park continues to state that their new Online Network (TOLN) is launching in January 2012, and the company has signed a licensing deal with Universal Music Group in which contemporary music would be available in episodes of both soaps and available for purchase online after the end of each episode. Although there are reports that the company is in need of $65 million on hand to get their efforts off the ground and an additional $80 million per year to fund both series each year, the funding necessary doesn’t seem to be stalling preparations for an online version of “One Life to Live” nor does the fact that there is no deal between the required unions such as the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the Directors Guild of America (DGA) or the Producers Guild of America (PGA), among others.
The issues currently plaguing “AMC” rests on the former cast and crew and their ability to now find jobs anywhere in Hollywood now that they are all living their lives comfortably in the Bear state and free from the clutches of ABC. Michael E. Knight (ex-Tad Martin) received an offer from Prospect Park, but turned it down because he wanted a break. Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall Hart) and Rebecca Budig (Greenlee Smythe) were sure to be in demand by the company, but alas both wish to only return if they were able to remain on recurring status. Series star and soap opera legend, Susan Lucci (ex-Erica Kane), turned down the company’s offer for the same salary she received while working on the ABC version of the soap. Jacob Young (ex-JR Chandler), who returned on screen at “The Bold and the Beautiful” just before “AMC” aired its final episode in September, admitted that he only signed a short-term deal with “B&B” and wants Prospect Park to be more forthcoming with information. “Let’s see what these Prospect Park guys can bring to the table,” he said on Tuesday, October 25 at New York’s Town Hall for the first of several “A Tribute to Pine Valley” sessions with fans. Once Prospect Park gets its ducks in a row, including signing deals with the necessary unions and apparently finding the funding necessary, “All My Children” 2.0 is now said to be geared for a March 2012 launch, while “OLTL” remains on track to launch in January 2012.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On tonight’s episode of CBS’ “CSI: Miami,” former “General Hospital” and “General Hospital: Night Shift” star Graham Shiels will appear as Michael Galliver, an out-of-work construction worker with no criminal history who, to feed his young family and pay his mortgage, turns to crime.
In the episode entitled “Dead Ringer,” Horatio (David Caruso) finds another corpse with missing eyes. While everything points to his nemesis, “The Taunter” – he has an airtight alibi.
“I got to work with the incredibly generous, classy, and talented Emily Proctor for my biggest scene,” said Shiels when asked about his appearance on the veteran crime procedural.
In addition to his role on “GH” and “GH:NS,” Shiels appeared in episodes of HBO’s “True Blood,” NBC’s “The Event” and ABC’s “The Whole Truth.” Earlier this year Shiels appeared on CBS’ “The Mentalist” as Officer Tom Rowley, who pulls over Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) as Jane’s day goes from “bad” to “worse.”
“CSI: Miami” airs Sundays at 10/9c on CBS.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — In an effort to save costs before uprooting the show to more permanent digs, sources have confirmed to Soap Opera Network that Prospect Park and its Online Network (TOLN) division have sealed a deal with the Disney/ABC Television Group to continue filming “One Life to Live” at its current ABC Television Center Studio in New York City located at 320 W 66th Street.
The rental period is expected to last during the early portions of the soaps initial run via theonlinenetwork.com or TOLN.com. The deal goes into effect once the soap completes filming its ABC run, which is scheduled to take place on Friday, November 18, 2011. The soap last airs on ABC in January 2012.
Previously, it had been rumored that the soap would be heading to Brooklyn with “As The World Turns’” former studio, JC Studios, as an option. That studio is still under consideration for the shows permanent home.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — It was March of this year that word broke out that “Days of our Lives” was planning to have a major character come out of the closet. Almost immediately after the news broke out reports were flying that Will Horton, portrayed by Chandler Massey, would be the one to come out. Eight months since the news first leaked, the NBC Daytime soap has finally revealed that Will will in fact come to the realization that he is gay, but what does Massey think about portraying such a character and how has he managed to keep it such a secret for so long?
“I’m thrilled and honored,” said an energetic Massey on getting the chance to tackle such a topical issue as a teen coming out. “I was told about it in February and now I’m officially allowed to talk about it. I’m thrilled on two levels. It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of a storyline that is so relevant like this storyline, which is underrepresented in daytime and I think in TV in general. It is a story that needs to be told. It is very powerful and I’m super honored to be a part of that,” the actor stated. “On a personal level it creates a creative challenge. As an actor, I couldn’t be happier with the stuff that I’ve been given and the writing for me just because I get to stretch. I get to grow. I get to really sink my teeth into something.”
In recent months, some of the most shocking headlines in newspapers and television news programming have surrounded teenagers committing suicide because they could no longer handle the pressure and taunting from peers who had constantly teased them and in some cases threatened their lives all because they happened to be different. With soap operas always known as being the most current form of scripted programming when it comes to social issues would it be too much of a stretch to expect “Days of our Lives” to deal with the the issue head on? “It is such a real and tragic issue in the world today. Personally, I would love for them to address that. The wonderful thing about today is there are so many programs like the Trevor Project and It Get’s Better, NOH8…all those programs that are reaching out to those kids who aren’t comfortable with who they are or maybe they are and other people aren’t comfortable or are imposing their hate on them. I think it is terrible. Life is too short for that kind of nonsense,” said Massey. “I personally would love it if they go in that direction. It’s so powerful and such a real problem today that if ‘DAYS’ can do that and do it really well and powerfully it could help people. In the end that’s what we want to do. We want to move people.”
On the web:
Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes are two of the longest running current cast members left on NBC’s “Days of our Lives,” but you wouldn’t know it because they are barely on! Thankfully the network hosts its annual “A Day of Days” fan event where fans far and wide can come and meet their favorite stars and catch the rarest of glimpses of those not seen enough on screen at Universal Studios CityWalk in Hollywood, California. Considered one of “DAYS’” premiere couples with their portrayal of Doug and Julie Williams on the drama series, Seaforth Hayes and her husband sat down with Soap Opera Network to discuss fans, what has kept the show going for all these years and where they see things headed in the future and even a whopper surrounding the Horton clan’s near demise from the canvas.
“The amount of time we have with the fans is kind of limited because it’s a line for the autographs. The Q&A out in the open there at the end of the day is always hysterical. People saying ‘take your shirt off’ and the guys taking their shirts off, so everybody is happy but it’s not a profoundly intimate experience for the actors with the fans,” said Seaforth Hayes of the “Day of Days” festivities. “Oh, I think it is wonderful that we get to see the people that are that devoted that they will give up a Saturday morning or Saturday afternoon and come [here] to see us and talk to us and be with us. I think that is wonderful. Soap audiences are just different from any other audience. They are very involved, they are loyal and they are devoted. They just want to talk and it’s wonderful,” countered Hayes.
Beginning in September 2012, ABC affiliate WFTV in Orlando, Florida will begin airing a new daily syndicated talk show from comedian and radio host Steve Harvey reports the Orlando Sentinel. The affiliate plans to launch the program in the soon to be vacated 3:00 PM timeslot, which will be ceded to affiliates nationally by the ABC Television Network at that time. Does this mean to ultimate demise of “General Hospital,” which currently occupies the timeslot? Before you say yes, let’s take a moment to think rationally.
As previously reported, the Disney/ABC Television Group (herein after referred to as the DATG) announced in June of this year that it plans to launch a new daily syndicated talk show of its own with Katie Couric as host. Appropriately titled “Katie,” the Couric hosted talker is already cleared to air on more than 60% of the country on a number of ABC affiliates including the ABC O&O stations in New York and Los Angeles (WABC and KABC, respectively). Although the initial idea was to give ABC affiliates a new program to air in the current “GH” slot as well as provide DATG with a broader profit share than that of a soap opera, the DATG’s ultimate goal is to make money. With “Katie” syndicated, any affiliate including affiliates from NBC, CBS, FOX, etc could pick up the series. This was confirmed on Monday, October 24 when the company announced that Seattle’s NBC affiliate KING had picked up “Katie” over the ABC affiliate KOMO. With news of WFTV picking up Harvey’s talk show, word leaked that NBC’s competing Orlando affiliate WESH Channel 2 had chosen to pick up Katie‘s show, although there is no guarantee the station will air “Katie” at 3:00 PM as planned by the DATG in much of the country. So what does this mean for “General Hospital?” At no point has ABC or the DATG announced that “General Hospital” has in fact been canceled. This has been made ever more clear as a network spokesperson has repeatedly reminded us and our readers of the following:
“The announcement does not mean the inevitable cancellation of ‘General Hospital.’ Rather it means that in September 2012 we will program our daytime block with our three strongest shows. We’ll have options for the Daytime daypart just like we do each year with Primetime. We believe in all of our shows and the ones that our viewers want, will be the ones that continue. There are MANY options that could happen…only time will tell…we are simply giving ourselves options for the future, which is a smart way to do business. The best way to ensure a favorite show stays on the air is to watch it.”
While that statement may not help calm the fears of the fans of “General Hospital” from thinking the end is near, the fact that WFTV has picked up Steve Harvey does not mean that the soap will be canceled just because various ABC affiliates are now announcing their post “GH” at 3:00 PM plans. Remember the affiliates didn’t make the decision to stop airing “GH” in its current timeslot. Disney/ABC, when it announced its deal with Katie Couric in June, informed their stations that as of September 2012 they will no longer be providing a national network product in the timeslot for the first time in more than 48 years. WFTV, by not picking up “Katie,” needed another program to air in the vacated timeslot as all the ABC affiliates will be doing beginning in September 2012. Some stations may find themselves airing other syndicated programs, including that from Steve Harvey, or even programming another hour of their local news. In fact, a North Carolina ABC affiliate is rumored to be putting on Anderson Cooper‘s new show in the “GH” slot beginning in September.
Prospect Park executives Jeff Kwatinetz and Rich Frank have confirmed to Soap Opera Network that the production company has signed “One Life to Live” cast members Tuc Watkins (David), Josh Kelly (Cutter), Florencia Lozano (Tea), and Shenell Edmonds (Destiny) for the online version of the ABC soap pending final Guild agreements.
In a statement, the company said “After the ABC television network finale airs in January, ‘One Life to Live’s’ David, Cutter, Tea and Destiny will be reunited with previously announced characters including Erika Slezak’s Victoria and Kassie DePaiva’s Blair Cramer.”
With the signing of Watkins, Kelly, Lozano and Edmonds, Prospect Park has now signed a total of 13 current “One Life to Live” cast members including the aforementioned Slezak and DePaiva. On Friday, September 30, Prospect Park announced deals with Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan Banks), Kelley Missal (Danielle Rayburn), Sean Ringgold (Shaun Evans), Andrew Trischitta (Jack Manning) and Jerry VerDorn (Clint Buchanan). The company previously announced the signings of Ted King (Thomas Delgado), Michael Easton (John McBain) on Tuesday, September 6.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “Revenge” is one of television’s biggest new hits and a critical darling. Unfortunately, we at Soap Opera Network have not been giving it the attention it so rightfully deserved, until now. As one of the only dramas ABC can cite as a success on its new primetime schedule, the network has put together a lengthy “catch up” montage for viewers who have yet to discover this little gem of a soap opera.
“Revenge” airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on the ABC Television Network.
THE CBI TEAM TRAVELS TO A RESORT TOWN TO INVESTIGATE THE MURDER OF A POLICE CHIEF, ON “THE MENTALIST,” THURSDAY, OCT. 27
Henry Thomas Guest Stars as Tommy,
Lisbon’s Younger Brother
“Where in the World is Carmine O’Brien” — When the CBI team travels to a resort town to find out who murdered a police chief, Lisbon crosses paths with her brother Tommy, now a bounty hunter, who’s tracking a bail jumper, on THE MENTALIST, Thursday, Oct. 27 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Henry Thomas (“ET: The Extra-Terrestrial”) guest stars as Tommy, Lisbon’s younger brother.
Lavoisier will portray the character Chad Carmichael