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

Errol Lewis, Publisher and Editor in Chief

OLTL PreVUE: Week of September 8 Edition

Sunday, September 7, 2008 10:21 PM | By Scotty Gore

( — What becomes of the brokenhearted?


Todd offers Marty the world, Tess blackmails Auntie Tina into doing her dirty work, Natalie makes a shocking discovery, Cristian discovers that payback is hell, and Shane has ‘daddy issues.’

The Inside Story: Evil Comes in Many Forms

Tess forces Tina to do her bidding by threatening to expose her theft of the Mendorran crown jewels. Aghast at the threat, Tina has no choice but to help Tess imprison Natalie in the secret room. Later, after coming to, Natalie has no idea where she is or what has happened to her. When Tina threatens to confess to Bo, Tess warns her that doing so would place Sarah’s life in danger. Natalie finally realizes that Tess is in control. Tess informs a frightened Natalie that she has tried unsuccessfully to kill her and Jared twice already. Afterward, Tess coldly reveals her plan to ruin her sister’s happiness. A horrified Natalie listens as Tess states that, while she isn’t going to kill either of them, she plans on keeping them apart for the remainder of their lives. While gazing at a picture of Viki, Tina is overwrought with grief. She nearly confesses to Clint before Tess is able to stop her. Tess toys with Tina as Sarah informs them that Carlo Hesser has escaped from his Mendorran prison. Sarah informs Bo and her friends that Cristian has disappeared. Carlo holds Cristian prisoner on a cargo ship. Jared comes face-to-face with Langston’s uncle Ray in prison. Ray is a free man after accepting Jared’s offer, while Carlo places Cristian in his place. Langston searches the Internet for information about her family. Langston agrees to allow Dorian to adopt her. Jared and Ray leave for Llanview. Cristian receives Ray’s old uniform and told that no one will ever find anyone named ‘Cristian Vega.’ John, Talia, and Antonio search for Cristian. Nora can’t believe how low Clint will go to get revenge on Dorian.

A Closer Look: Out of Touch with Reality

Claiming he is ready to stop living in the past, Todd invites Marty to leave Llanview with him and start a new life. To sweeten the pot, he tells Marty that they can live anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, John informs Blair that, while work has always been his top priority, he can have his cake and eat it too. Marty realizes that John is still investigating Todd’s mystery woman. The computerized reconstruction program on Fish’s computer is complete, however, Mayor Lowell destroys it before anyone sees it. As Todd and Marty inch closer, John and Blair make love again after awakening in one another’s arms. Afterward, John leaves for work and Blair discovers a picture of Marty in one of John’s drawers; prompting her to wonder if John is as over his ex-lover as he claims. While attempting to ease Matthew’s fears about being a freshman, Cole admits to the young Buchanan that he’s unsure of how well he will be able to handle seeing Starr everyday at school. Langston informs Starr of Cole’s visit; Starr is grateful of her friendship with Langston. Todd is disheartened upon learning that Marty is now able to walk on her own. Marty meanwhile, reminds Todd how important he is to her. And Dr. Joplin throws Todd a curveball in his quest to get his hands on Starr’s baby.

What to Watch

  • Shane accuses Rex of trying to destroy his family.
  • Gigi insists to Rex that Shane will learn the truth when the ‘time is right.’
  • Shane makes his feelings toward Rex crystal clear.
  • Rex gets advice from Bo and sees Gigi, Shane, and Brody together at Rodi’s.
  • Gigi informs Brody that being Shane’s father is not the answer to his problems.
  • Shane rejects a devastated Rex, who unleashes his wrath on Roxy and Charlie.
  • Charlie has sound advice for Rex.
  • Rex finds solace and comfort in Roxy’s open arms.

SON ALERTS: WEEK OF September 15, 2008

  • Monday: Tess puts phase two of her plan in motion; Dr. Joplin is Todd’s pawn; Cristian has an unexpected visitor.
  • Tuesday: Dorian has her doubts about Ray when he crashes Langston’s adoption party; Tess plays with Jared’s mind; Nigel confesses to Clint.
  • Wednesday: Tess works her magic on Jared as Natalie watches; Cole and Starr worry about seeing each other at school; Cristian finds an ally in Ray’s wife Vanessa; Mortimer Bern is spotted at the Columbian prison.
  • Thursday: Jared is desperate to locate Natalie; Ray asks Langston to return to Columbia with him; Brody lashes out as Gigi prepares to tell Shane the truth; Rex asks Adriana for a divorce.

  • Friday: Brody nears his breaking point; Tess forces Todd to be her partner in crime; Tina subtly points Jared in Natalie’s direction.

Treadway Brings Game to Llanview

Thursday, August 28, 2008 11:24 PM EDT | By Scotty Gore

( — Ty Treadway returns to Llanview to host a new game show starring Rex Balsom.

Psychopath Colin MacIver may be dead, but that won’t stop his spirit from invading the inner thoughts of Rex Balsom. Cashing in on the success of Ty Treadway’s new game show “Crosswords,” “One Life to Live” brings their former star back to town as what else–a game show host.

This fall, Rex’s past comes back to haunt him as he lies on the operating table after being shot. As he drifts in and out of conscious, he dreams he is a panelist on a game show entitled “So You Think You Can Be Shane Morasco’s Father” hosted by the late Colin MacIver.

The dream, which is expected to last for two days, will expose Rex’s fears and concerns about being a good father to 10-year-old Shane, whom he only recently discovered was his. It will also serve to highlight his past misdeeds and how he has changed since arriving in Llanview.

Treadway portrayed the mentally unstable Colin on “OLTL” from 2000-2001. After Colin met his demise, Treadway returned as his twin brother Troy later that same year. After developing an obsession with Nora Buchanan (just as Colin did), Troy went insane and was sentenced to life in Statesville in 2003. In early 2004, Treadway exited “OLTL” a second time.

The dream sequence scenes, which were taped on the set of ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” will air on October 1st and 2nd.

There is also talk of Jessica Morris may reprise her role as Jennifer Rappaport (albeit in spirit form) sometime this fall for an episode or two in scenes involving her ex-lover Rex. Morris portrayed the role of Lindsay and Sam’s daughter from 2001-2005.

“One Life to Live” air Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.

My View of Llanview: August 15 Edition

Thursday, August 28, 2008 9:49 PM | By Scotty Gore

( — Erika Slezak talks family love–’70s style.

Wow…this may be a new record for me…I’m nearly two weeks late with this column. However, there is a valid reason for that; the past few weeks have been very hectic for me. Being a City Commissioner, I am responsible for helping my small hometown prepare for our annual Honeyfest. It is a big deal here, especially since it became the “Kentucky’s Official State Honey Festival” in 2006. Now in its 14th year, the Clarkson Honeyfest has grown by leaps and bounds. More information is available at

In addition, the past two weeks have also taken a somber tone for my loved ones and me. Three recent deaths have hit too close to home for me. First there was the husband of my second cousin and good friend/co-worker who fell asleep at the wheel after working a twelve-hour night shift to support their families and died in a car accident. His friend left behind a wife and kids, as did my second cousin’s husband. In fact, the loving son he left behind will be thirteen next month. My heart and prayers go out to him and his mom. And then my great aunt died in neighboring Indiana. While I wasn’t particularly close to her, the death hit my grandmother rather hard, and my mom, my aunts, and my uncle worried and concerned about her.

So I apologize again for the lateness of this column, and for the fact it will only consist of a representing of an old “OLTL” related article. I hope and pray that the August 30th column will be posted on time but, as I found out in the past few weeks, one can never be sure.

The following article appeared in the May 1972 edition of Daytime TV. Written by R. Marian Rose, it is entitled “Erika Slezak’s Fond Memories of Family Love.” The article sheds light on Erika Slezak, her family, and her home life. Enjoy.

Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord) lets you know every chance she gets, that she adores her family. Right now the family is a little scattered. Her dad, Walter Slezak, and mom, Joanna, live in Switzerland; her sister Ingrid, is married to a doctor and lives in Canada with her two sons; brother Leo is now in college but spent time with Erika last summer. However, Switzerland is not too far away for any of the Slezak offspring and, whenever they decide to go home, off they go to Mom and Dad.

Born in California on an August 5, Erika spent most of her young life attending boarding schools. They were not the kind that kept you from your family, though. She went to the Convent of Scared Heart in Greenwich, Conn., but didn’t like it there too well so she transferred to the Convent of Scared Heart in Philadelphia.

“I like the Pennsylvania school better because the girls were much nicer and the school had a pleasant atmosphere. I was always worried about being accepted by the other girls because I was younger than most. The school was a five days boarding school and the family was together on weekends.”

When did Erika first decide she wanted to act?

“I can’t recall a time when I didn’t want to act. As a child, I knew I’d act, but of course, I didn’t realize that it was difficult. When I was in my sophomore year in high school, Dad talked to me about training for a career in acting. At that time, Mom stayed out of the discussion, but today I’m more nervous when my mother in the audience because she’s very objective. “Dad goes to pieces when he sees me on stage. One thing he did for me at that time was let me have no illusions about the acting profession. He explained that it was going to be harder for me because I had a famous father. I would have to prove myself more than others and, as usual, he was right.

“All the fame did for me was get me in to audition, but once inside, I was on my own. I knew most of the producers because I had met them when I was a child, and I had to go through the charade of being introduced all over again. One thing Dad did ask of me was: ‘If you discover you have no talent, get out of the business. They’ll be twice as hard on you.’ He also added: ‘If I feel that you have no talent, I’ll tell you.’”

So for that hasn’t happened. And, it probably never will, because Erika is talented and has worked hard over the years preparing for her career. She attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England, and was a member of the Milwaukee Repertory Company for three seasons. During those three years, she was a leading lady in everything from Chekov to Noel Coward.

“It was a marvelous experience; also rewarding. Theatre for me is most fascinating because it’s before an audience but I find daytime television wonderful, too. I’m glad I did repertory work first, though, because if you’re thrown into daytime television too quickly, it’s extremely hard. In repertory work, you’re given time to polish a performance. With time and experience, you find the easy way to do things. Everything I learned in repertory work can be applied to my daytime work and I find that it makes the load easier to carry.”

How does she feel about being on a daytime serial?

“I love it! I get a little peeved too because too many people think daytime actors are secondary people, but that’s not true. Some of your finest actors are on daytime shows. I’m enjoying everything about the show. I love my colleagues and the professional atmosphere in which I work.”

Erika, as beautiful as she is talented, is tall, slim, blonde-haired and blue eyed, so it was only natural the next question be about her social life. Is there anyone special on the scene?

“I have many friends but no one special. Actually, I don’t want to marry yet. I prefer to wait until I’m settled down. I enjoy being on my own and because of my work; my schedule keeps me from a more active social life. When I know I’m performing, I get to bed by 11 p.m. the latest because I have to be up early and in top notch shape.

“I guess I can also say that I’m waiting to find a man with whom I can have the same relationship that my parents have. Daddy never went anywhere that he didn’t take my mother along. Many times, the children also went. But he never was away from any of us for more than a week. Marriage is not easy and whatever my parents have together, they’ve worked hard for. I want the same kind of family life that I grew up in. uses that’s the European upbringing in me. One thing I still enjoy is watching my father and brother, Leo who’s 23 now kiss when they meet. Why shouldn’t they? They’re father and son, and showing love and affection for each other doesn’t make them less masculine. I rather like it myself.

How does Erika feels about the Women Liberation Movement?

“A great deal of it is legitimate but, in some instances, they’ve gone too far. The arts such as acting, singing and ballet really don’t require Women’s Lib to help them. These are fields that equal pay is a standard practice and almost every play has love somewhere in its theme, so male and female, both, are required. The publishing field, secretaries and nurses need Women’s Lib to help them establish themselves on an equal basis with the men. I think one thing that the movement has done is call attention to the fact that women are very capable in the business world. Too many people have been led to believe that a woman leaves he mind at home with her family when she reports for work. That is definitely not true. The movement also called the public’s attention to the valuable role women are playing and can play in politics.”

What about the world situation?

“What can I say except to elaborate on the fact that the whole world seems to have been governed, since time began, by men fighting. War is a single, predominant, force in history. I don’t feel the Vietnam War will stop in communism. The original policy was not to interfere, but it turned into just that – interference – because of politics. When we leave the country, the people will do just as they please, anyway. When our young people grow up, the world will have to change. And, if the youth of today maintain their ideals, the world will be a better place by far. They are more alert at a younger age and that’s good.”

It was on this note that the interview indeed – a most enjoyable two hours spent with a lovely, talented young woman. It was also very heartening to hear a young woman speak about her family with such love and devotion. Her eyes lit up every time she spoke of home (and that is wherever her parents happened to be living).

Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I hope you enjoyed this edition of the column. Have a safe and wonderful Labor Day holiday weekend. See you again on August 30th.

And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..

OLTL PreVUE: Week of September 1 Edition

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 10:43 PM | By Scotty Gore

( — Revenge is a confession of pain.


Todd digs a deeper hole for himself, Tess demonstrates how much she loves her family, Marcie is bitten by the green-eyed monster of jealousy, Tina is just too damn smart for her own good, John gets a step closer to the truth, and Cristian goes missing.

In a special encore presentation of the second of the 40th anniversary episodes (which originally aired 7/22/08), Labor Day gets heavenly in Llanview as Viki has an emotional reunion with her beloved Ben. Meanwhile, Mel urges Dorian to do the right thing and bring Viki back to life. In heaven, Ben informs Viki that it isn’t her time yet, and tells her to give Charlie a second chance. David promises to divorce Addie if Dorian will save Viki. After making a pact with David, Dorian performs a miracle and saves her archrival’s life. In Mendorra, Tina is horrified, as history appears to repeat itself in front of her very eyes. Fortunately, Cristian manages to overpower the guards, and attempts to reach Sarah as she sails toward a waterfall. He reaches her just in time for the pair to declare their love before plunging over the falls. And in 1968, a shocked Bo and Rex struggle to come to terms with what happened to them as they watch history unfold before them.

The Inside Story: Sisterly Love

When Bo accuses her of being up to no good with Uncle Todd, Tess manages to squirm her way out of the hot seat. Todd provides Tess with tips on how to surpress Tina. Leo’s completed secret room beneath Llanfair delights Tess. Later, Tina and canine David Vickers discover the secret room and ponders what “Jessica” is up to. Tina’s realization about Jessica comes too little, too late. Tess, meanwhile, discovers Tina’s kryptonite at the same moment Natalie returns to Llanfair. Tess subdues Natalie by drugging her. Just before passing out, Natalie gets all emotional about Jessica forgiving her. Tess’ scheme works perfectly until Sarah’s sudden arrival at Llanfair could spell disaster.

A Closer Look: You’re a Mean One Mr. Manning

Todd’s web of deceit continues to grow as he claims to Marty that Starr asked him raise her baby once it’s born. Marty believes that she is strong enough to move out, but Todd has over ideas. Not only does he ask her stay, but he also asks her to help him raise his grandchild. Meanwhile, Michael and Marcie remain at odds over the impending adoption. Todd eavesdrops as Blair and Marcie join Starr at her Lamaze class. Across town, John enlists the aide of Officer Oliver Fish in attempting to identify the woman on a blurry surveillance tape from outside Todd’s house. Meanwhile, Todd crashes Starr’s Lamaze class and claims to her, Blair, and Marcie that he’s working on becoming a better person. Blair and Marcie are suspicious of Todd’s sudden change of heart, while Starr believes her father is sincere. When Marty informs Janet of Todd’s proposal concerning Starr’s baby, she quizzes Marty on her feelings for Todd. Cole tells Langston he hopes they can still friends, but Langston believes he dropped by with hopes of bumping into Starr. Marty and Janet have fun talking about Todd. John decides against stopping by Capricorn to hear Blair sing, however Fish manages to change his mind. Marty works to enhance her appearance as she prepares to answer Todd’s proposal. John and Blair’s relationship blossoms at Capricorn, but both are happy that they are keeping things simple. Marty falls into Todd’s arms when he persuades her to take her first steps following the accident. Cole opens up his heart to Langston, who urges him to forgive Starr. However, when the two later come face to face, neither has much to say.

What to Watch

  • Tina and Roxy seem to have a great deal in common when they met for the first time.
  • Rex is the doghouse when Antonio and Cristian spot him lip locking with Gigi.
  • Gigi and Rex prepare to tell Shane the truth.
  • Cristian is bumped off his flight to Llanview with Antonio, Talia, and Sarah.
  • Cristian disappears.
  • Clint and Nora have a huge confrontation over Clint hiring Jared to do his dirty work.
  • Natalie confronts Clint over his use of Jared.
  • Michael and Layla swap stories of their miserable love lives.
  • Antonio and Talia pick up where they left off in the bedroom.
  • Marcie is jealous upon seeing Michael and Layla together.

SON ALERTS: WEEK OF September 8, 2008

  • Monday: Todd asks Marty to start a new life with him outside Llanview; Tess keeps Tina in line by reminding her of her thievery; Shane wants nothing to do with Rex.
  • Tuesday: Natalie realizes her punishment and her captor’s true identity; Blair discovers John isn’t quite over Marty; Mayor Lowell places a kink in John’s plans; Sarah is concerned when Cristian appears missing.
  • Wednesday: Natalie realizes exactly who she is dealing with; Jared comes in contact with Langston’s uncle in Columbia; Cole calms Matthew’s fears; Tina is consumed with guilt.
  • Thursday: Carlo gets revenge on Cristian; Ray accepts Jared’s offer; Bo gives Rex advice on talking to Shane; Tina’s scheme to stop Tess hits a snag.

  • Friday: Roxy gives a Rex a shoulder to lean on; Charlie has wisdom for Rex; Marty is able to walk on her own; Langston agrees to allow Dorian to adopt her.

OLTL PreVUE: Week of August 25 Edition

Sunday, August 24, 2008 10:04 PM | By Scotty Gore

( — Girls just wanna have fun.


Dallas gives Nora a run for her money with regards to Clint, Rex learns he has a son, Brody plays dirty to get what he wants, Carlo and Jonas are made a laughingstock, Tina is reunited with Todd, Langston researches her family tree, and Tess and Todd form an unholy alliance.

The Inside Story: Revenge May Be Sweet, But Payback is Hell

Antonio, Sarah, and Cristian arrive at the royal palace in Mendorra as they begin their quest to rescue Talia, who has been busy rebuffing Jonas’ advances. Antonio sneaks into Talia’s room, while Cristian and Sarah surprise Jonas. Carlo spots Antonio in Talia’s room, prompting Talia to render her father unconscious. The quad drugs Carlo and Jonas and places them in bed together. As Talia gives the press a guided tour of the palace the media spots the “lovers” in bed together.
Carlo and Jonas are left publicly humiliated. Antonio, Talia, Sarah, and Cristian’s plan works much better than they anticipated.

A Closer Look: You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Your’s

Todd maintains his composure when John stops by with a search warrant. Meanwhile Tess, thinking on her feet, fakes abdominal pains to create a distraction, which allows Todd’s bodyguard to sneak Marty out of the house undetected. Afterward, however, Tess is angry when Todd refuses to display any gratitude. Tess sneaks away from Todd and John and discovers Marty hidden away in a garden shed on the property. Back in the house, John becomes aggravated when his search of Todd’s house turns up empty. Upon returning to the police station, John finds Blair in his office and the pair remain obsessed over the identity of Todd’s ‘”mystery woman.” Tess can hardly fathom what Uncle Todd has been up to. Later she makes a deal with the devil as she and Todd team to keep their skeletons in the closet. Some time later, Todd encounters Tina when he stops by Llanfair to visit Tess. Todd’s interest is quipped when Tina alerts him to some mysterious happenings in the basement. Meanwhile, John is more determined than ever to find whom Todd is hiding. Tess and Todd are at a crossroads, as each has no choice but to keep the other’s secrets. In a moment of desperation, Todd attempts to force Jessica to emerge, only to have Tess laugh in his face. By week’s end, Sam’s custody hearing begins as Todd and Blair face off in court. To ensure he gets what he wants, Todd tells Marty his biggest lie yet, which results in the two getting closer. John corners Mayor Lowell into reinstating Bo to the office of police commissioner. And Tess quickly tries to cover her tracks after Leo the contractor is spotted by too many people at Llanfair.

What to Watch

  • In 1968, Gigi confesses to Rex that he is Shane’s father, just as he is about to ship out to Vietnam.
  • Brody subsitiues Rex’s toothbrush as his own, as he and Shane take a paternity test.
  • Dallas admits to Nora that she still has her eye on Clint.
  • Gigi’s confession sends her and Rex back to 2008.
  • In 1968, the real Bo Buchanan heads off for Fort Bliss as history repeats itself.
  • Once the anger subsides, Gigi and Rex discuss how best to tell Shane the truth.
  • Rex reassures Gigi as they agree to take things slow.
  • While visiting Lindsay in jail, Bo thanks her for helping him deal with the past.
  • Natalie doesn’t like Jared doing Clint’s dirty work, leaving Jared conflicted.
  • Langston hires Madam Delphina to prove that she isn’t alone.
  • Jared and Natalie suggest to Carlotta that she should hire Charlie to rebuild the diner.
  • Jared makes a decision about Clint’s offer after arguing with Natalie.
  • Langston has a hard time keeping her mind off Delphina’s prediction.

SON ALERTS: WEEK OF September 1, 2008

  • Monday: Encore of the second of the 40th anniversary episodes (which originally aired on July 22nd) in which Viki and Ben share an emotional reunion in heaven; Mel and David beg Dorian to save Viki’s life; and Tina watches as history repeats itself before her very eyes.
  • Tuesday: Todd has an interesting proposal for Marty; Marcie and Michael remain at odds over the adoption; Tina and Roxy conclude that they have a lot in common.
  • Wednesday: Blair and Marcie doubt the sincerity of Todd’s apology; John vows to uncover the truth; Tina’s too smart for her own good; Janet quizzes Marty on her feelings for Todd.
  • Thursday: Tess pushes Todd to silence Tina; Natalie has a showdown with Clint; Cristian is confronted by an old adversary on his way back to Llanview; Clint and Nora argue.

  • Friday: Brody makes Rex the bad guy in front of Shane; Tess puts phase two of her plan in motion; Marcie is jealous of Michael and Layla’s friendship.

Llanview Welcomes New, Familiar Faces

Thursday, August 21, 2008 1:45 AM EDT | By Scotty Gore

( — It may still be the lazy days of summer, but “One Life to Live” is abuzz with activity in the casting department.

As summer readies to morph into autumn, “One Life to Live” prepares to make some changes in the casting department. Those changes include the return of a recently departed actress, the addition of a soap veteran, and a cameo appearance of a teenage girl “OLTL” consulted when penning Starr’s pregnancy storyline.

“OLTL” fans can expect Rex and Gigi’s budding romance to encounter a roadblock next month as Melissa Fumero reprises her role as Rex’s estranged wife Adriana Cramer Balsom. According to a recent interview with her husband/ex co-star David Fumero (Cristian Vega), Ms. Fumero will be returning to Llanview for a handful of episodes in September to help tie up a few loose ends concerning Rex and Adriana’s relationship. Fumero left “OLTL” in June shortly after Rex and Adriana were joined in holy matrimony; she joined the soap as the long-lost daughter of Dorian Lord in January of 2004. While no first airdate has been set, viewers can expect to see Adriana resurface in Llanview sometime in September, for a reported fifteen-episode stint.

While Melissa Fumero is only returning to Llanview for a few episodes, fans can expect to see more of her husband David Fumero in the coming months. Earlier this month Fumero inked a new contract with “OLTL” to keep his character Cristian Vega rooted in Llanview for the foreseeable future. Fumero has portrayed the younger Vega brother on and off since 1998.

Soap veteran A. Martinez joined the cast of “OLTL” on August 5th. The 59-year-old Martinez won a Daytime Emmy for his portrayal of Cruz Castillo on “Santa Barbara” (1984-1992). He also portrayed FBI Informant Roy DiLucca on “General Hospital” from 1999-2002. Between 2000 and 2002, Martinez also won three consecutive American Latino Media Arts (ALMA) Awards. Other television credits include appearances on the primetime dramas “Profiler, “LA Law,” and “CSI,” as well in the feature films “Powwow Highway” and “What’s Cooking?.” And in 2003, he released his first album, entitled “Fragrance and Thom”.

When asked about his decision to join “OLTL,” Martinez told Soap Opera Digest that “I have a lot of faith in ‘OLTL’s’ storytelling,” and that “I’ve been watching Bob Woods [Bo], like the rest of the country, my whole life!” Martinez, who will portray Langston Wilde (Brittany Underwood)’s uncle Ray Montez, is reported to first air on September 10th. His character is expected to be involved in Clint Buchanan’s attempt to regain control of Buchanan Enterprises from Dorian Lord. It is speculated that the character of Ray Montez will soon be joined by his wife and daughter, since “OLTL” recently announced it was in the process of bringing a new Latino family to Llanview.

Despite reports to the contrary, Thom Christopher remains a part of the “OLTL” cast and will continue to air through at least September, as Carlo Hesser enacts his revenge against Cristian Vega.

Kevin Spirtas exits “OLTL” on August 28th when his character Jonas Chamberlin is humilated by new bride Talia Sahid and her lover Antonio Vega. The former “Days of Our Lives” actor made in “OLTL” debut in June.

In other casting news…

Scott Evans returns as Oliver Fish on September 2nd when John McBain enlists the rookie cop’s aid in identifying Todd Manning’s ‘mystery woman.’ Evans was last seen early this year when he joined the Cherryvale PD, which allowed Officer Talia Sahid to remain in Llanview.

Ashley Wilkens makes her acting debut August 20th on “OLTL” as an assistant at Starr’s obstetrician’s office. The 18-year-old Indianapolis native successfully found a caring family to adopt her baby after she became pregnant at the age of 16. Since then, Wilkens has worked closely with The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Wilkens urges pregnant teen girls to consider adoption as an alternative, and has shared her touching story with People, “The Montel Williams Show,” and Soap Opera Digest. Before crafting the storyline in which 16-year-old Starr Manning became pregnant following a one night roll in the hay with boyfriend Cole Thornhart, the “OLTL” writing crew consulted with Wilkens on how best to handle the storyline, which included Starr’s decision to allow Marcie Walsh McBain to adopt her baby.

On that same date, Maureen Mueller first airs as Dr. Joplin, Starr’s obstetrician.

Jack MacGruder reprises his recurring role as Simon Kenton, Asa Buchanan’s P.I., on August 20th when Clint orders him to dig up dirt on Langston. MacGruder was last seen in Llanview doing Asa’s dirty work in 2006.

Brian Victor Johnson portrays a young Asa Buchanan on August 22nd, while Robert S. Woods’ (Bo Buchanan) real-life son Tanner Woods makes an appearance as a younger version of his father’s character on August 26th.

Todd Manning gets a new bodyguard (portrayed by Shawn T. Andrew) beginning August 25th.

Lea DeLaria (Madam Delphina) was recently signed to a short-term contract by “OLTL.”

Look for Tallulah Bean, the female Shit-zu who portrays the canine David Vickers, to continue to appear on screen through at least October, and perhaps longer.

DeWanda Wise, who recently premiered on “OLTL” as the woman whom Vincent Jones used to cheat on Layla Williamson, has been signed to a contract by the daytime drama.

Look for Erika Slezak (Viki Davidson) to return from her annual summer vacation in early October.

Look for more dayplayer roles in the coming weeks.

And “OLTL” is currently working to cast the role of “Lola,” who may turn out to be Langston’s cousin.

“One Life to Live” air Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.

OLTL PreVUE: Week of August 18 Edition

Sunday, August 17, 2008 11:07 PM | By Scotty Gore

( — Secrets, blackmail, and lies dominate Llanview.


Marcie and Michael’s marriage comes to an end, Tess grows annoyed with Tina’s increasing curiosity, Clint sets his sights on Langston as he works to retake BE and has an offer Jared can’t refuse, Antonio attempts to save his damsel in distress, and Nora’s comments prompt the teens to contemplate their future.

The Inside Story: Their Love Began Before They Were Born

As Rex begins to accept the fact that he may be stuck in the past and about to ship out to Vietnam, he becomes cozy with Emma. It is her resemblance to Gigi that results in the pair making love. Meanwhile, Gigi arrives in 1968 and quickly heads for the Buchanan Ranch. Upon her arrival, however, Gigi is disgusted that Rex would sleep with another woman after all she did to find him. She tears into him about how she allowed herself to get struck by lightning and traveled back in time 40 years just to be with him. Rex attempts to cover his actions by proclaiming that he only slept with Emma Bradley because she reminded him of his long lost Gigi. Later, once cooler heads have prevailed, Gigi and Rex come to terms with their predicament. Around the same time, Rex confesses to Gigi that he loves her. Afraid that they will be stuck in the past until 1988, Rex says good-bye to Gigi at the bus station as he prepares to ship out for Vietnam. Their tender moment is cut short however when a man resembling Brody impulsively kisses Gigi. Back in the present, Delphina has unwelcome news for Brody concerning Gigi. As a result, Brody begins to contemplate Shane’s future if Gigi fails to return to him, and prepares to use the toothbrush containing Rex’s DNA sample to his advantage. Brody calms Shane’s nerves when the boy has a nightmare about the navy seal not being his real father, and promises that no one can separate them. Bo has one last confrontation with Asa’s ghost, and is finally able to put his daddy issues to rest. Finally, Bo suffers an extreme case of déjà vu upon returning home.

A Closer Look: Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave

Todd comforts Marty when she has a nightmare about being raped. The details of her dream leave Todd feeling squeamish. Rattled by the nightmare, Marty persuades Todd to spend the night in her room. Meanwhile, John and Blair continue their little tryst and then drift off into slumber. As John sleeps, he dreams of Marty. To complicate matters, Marty dreams of John. In his dream, John is visited by Marty, who questions his motives for getting mixed up with Blair. As for Marty, while Todd sleeps on top of the covers beside her, she blames John for hurting her (thanks to Todd’s twisted history lesson). Todd feels uncomfortable, to say the least, after waking up in Marty’s bed. His feeling of awkwardness in intensified when Marty informs him of her dream about John. To lighten the mood, Todd presents Marty with a copy of The Sun, with a front-page headline linking John to Ramsey’s death. Armed with information from his P.I., Todd heads out to pay Starr’s doctor a visit. At the same time, Starr, Blair, and Marcie see a sonogram of the baby. Cole and Starr bump into each other at the country club. Todd blackmails Starr’s obstetrician into doing his bidding. Blair tries to keep her concerns about Marcie adopting the baby to herself. Marcie offers Starr and Blair a place in the baby’s life. Blair comes to terms with why Starr chose Marcie to adopt her baby. The students of Llanview High learn of Starr’s “delicate” condition. And, like a bad penny, Commissioner John McBain again finds his way to Todd’s doorstep, much to Mr. Manning’s dismay.

What to Watch

  • Todd deduces that Jessica isn’t acting in character.
  • Marcie and Michael make love one last time.
  • Tess takes subtle jabs at Natalie.
  • Tina takes an interest in the basement construction at Llanfair
  • Clint receives information about Langston from his detective, as he works to regain BE from Dorian.
  • Cole, Langston, and Markko consider their futures when Nora brings up the subject of college.
  • Tina provides Antonio with valuable information.
  • Sarah and Cristian join Antonio as he heads for Mendorra to rescue Talia.
  • Clint gives Jared the opportunity to redeem himself by helping get revenge on Dorian.
  • Clint wants to hit Dorian where it hurts by taking away what she loves the most.

SON ALERTS: WEEK OF August 25, 2008

  • Monday: Tess and Todd form an unholy alliance; Gigi makes a confession to Rex; Dallas confirms Nora’s worst fears.
  • Tuesday: Rex and Gigi learn that the truth will set you free; Tess learns whom Todd has been hiding; John and Blair are determined to learn the identity of Todd’s ‘mystery woman.’
  • Wednesday: Brody’s lies bring him closer to Shane; Antonio, Cristian, Sarah, and Talia publicly humiliate Carlo and Jonas; Bo visits Lindsay in prison; Todd and Tina share an awkward reunion.
  • Thursday: Tess threatens Todd to mind his own business; Delphina has surprising news for Langston; Jared and Natalie suggest to Carlotta that Charlie could rebuild the diner.

  • Friday: Todd tells Marty the biggest lie yet; Tess works to cover her tracks after too many people spot Leo at Llanfair; Langston begins looking into her ancestry; Blair and Todd face off at Sam’s custody hearing.

OLTL PreVUE: Week of August 11 Edition

Wednesday, August 6, 2008 5:36 PM | By Scotty Gore

( — A love that transcends time.


Nora confronts Dallas about her feelings for Clint. After meeting with a contractor, Tess’ plan for revenge against Jared and Natalie is full steam ahead. Antonio prepares to return to Mendorra to bring Talia home. And Cord and Tina are reunited…. but for how long?

The Inside Story: Will Lightning Strike Twice?

Professor Del Fina warns Bo and Rex that their one chance at leaving 1968 is fast approaching. Back in 2008, Madam Delphina gets a vibe from the past as she and Gigi head for the
Buchanan Ranch. Rex and Gigi tighten their resolve to locate one another. Meanwhile, back in 1968, Bo (as Asa) and Rex (as Bo) do what they can to get through Bo’s farewell party as he prepares to head off for Vietnam. At the same time they remain anxious to get through the time portal in time to return to 2008. However, their trip home is jeopardized when Clint learns that Asa sent Maria away, and punches Rex. Back in the 21st century, Gigi confesses to Delphina why she has been lying to Shane about his father. Gigi and Delphina are on the edge of their seats as they await Gigi’s opportunity to be transported to 1968 and be reunited with Rex. Brody informs Layla that he wants to make things right with Gigi when she returns to Llanview. Bo makes himself act more like Asa to keep Clint in the dark and allow him and Rex to return to the present. Brody makes a surprise discovery after intercepting a package to Gigi from Adrianna. Gigi’s love for Rex causes her to overcome her fear of being struck by lightning. Bo, Rex, and Gigi all pray for a miracle as the lightning strikes, and are forced to deal with the consequences.

A Closer Look: All’s Fair in Love and War

Todd continues to play the victim in front of Marty, while Blair vents about Todd to Brody after stopping by Rodi’s for a drink. After being joined by John, he and Blair attempt to figure out the identity of the woman Todd is hiding. Blair confesses to John how she humiliated herself in front of Todd and Keys. Todd, meanwhile, is moved by the effect Marty is having on him as he continues to place his own spin on their history. However, Marty is successful in getting Todd to discuss his feelings for Blair. Dorian treats herself and Blair to a day at the spa, and is ecstatic to learn of Blair’s tryst with John. Unfortunately, Dorian puts Blair on the spot when she calls John on her behalf. Todd sneaks into Starr’s bedroom in an attempt to surprise his daughter. Starr is confronted by Todd, who tells her that she’ll regret her decision to give up the baby for the rest of her life. Before he leaves, Todd gives Starr a voodoo doll of Cole.
At the same time, Blair and John prepare for their date, and have only one thing on their minds. Starr and Cole remain on the outs.

What to Watch

  • Clint is surprised with a visit from Cord.
  • Cord bumps into Tina while looking for Sarah at Llanfair.
  • Cord and Tina admit their love for one another.
  • Cord crushes Tina by admitting they can never be together again.
  • Tess has ominous plans in store for Natalie.

SON ALERTS: WEEK OF August 18, 2008

  • Monday: As Gigi arrives in 1968, Rex is cozying up to another woman; Michael and Marcie realize their marriage is on life support; Marty and John dream of one another.
  • Tuesday: Rex admits his true feelings for Gigi; Todd feels awkward being close to Marty; Bo finally overcomes his daddy issues after a visit from Asa’s ghost; Brody reassures Shane.
  • Wednesday: Marcie, Starr, and Blair see a sonogram of the baby; Clint offers Jared a chance to redeem himself; Tina wonders what is going on the basement at Llanfair; Clint digs into Langston’s background.
  • Thursday: Marcie offers Starr and Blair a place in the baby’s life; Cole, Langston, and Markko contemplate their futures; Todd uses blackmail to get what he wants; Antonio sets off to rescue his beloved.

  • Friday: Rex prepares to leave for Vietnam; Delphina has disappointing news for Brody; Todd realizes that Tess has returned; Bo suffers a case of déjà vu after returning to Llanview.

My View of Llanview: July 30 Edition

Thursday, July 31, 2008 3:04 PM | By Scotty Gore

( — In 1968, “One Life to Live” created controversy with a storyline in which viewers outraged when they saw what they perceived to be a white woman kissing a black doctor. Forty years later, African-Americans in Llanview appear to be nonexistent.

The year 1968 was a rather turbulent time in American history. The Vietnam was well underway, nearly 200 hundred women protest the Miss America pageant calling it an exploitation of women, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 into law, Senator Robert Kennedy is assassinated while campaigning for President in Las Angeles, civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is shot to death by James Earl Ray in Memphis, and Richard Nixon captured the White House by defeating Democrat Hubert Humphrey and American Independent Party candidate George Wallace. It had only been five years since the former Klan leader Wallace gave his infamous speech after being sworn in as the governor of Alabama: “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

It was turning this tumulus time in America, during a decade stained with political, gender, ethnic, and racial strife and unrest that Agnes Nixon created what would become “One Life to Live.” Following her success as a writer on NBC’s “Another World,” ABC approached Nixon about creating a new soap for their network. What she would create would be unlike anything on television at the time. Reportedly tired of the “WASPy non-controversial daytime drama format,” Nixon created a unique that would center around four distinct core families.
There were the upper class Lords, the upper middle class Siegels, and the blue collar Woleks and Rileys. And to compound matters even further Nixon developed the Siegels as the television’s first Jewish family.

Nixon presented her concept to network executives, which she had tentatively titled “Between Heaven and Hell.” Concerned that the title of the soap combined with the storyline ideas were too controversial, Nixon and ABC compromised by changing the title to “One Life to Live.” Even so, the original opening sequence of the daytime drama (which lasted until 1975) featured a roaring a fireplace behind the words “One Life to Live.”

Not long after the then-thirty minute “One Life to Live” premiered at 3:30 pm et on July 15, 1968, controversy began to erupt. At first everything appeared normal for a 1960s soap. An African-American character named Sadie Gray was introduced. At first Sadie was portrayed simply as a close neighbor of the Wolek family, and as the Assistant Head of Housekeeping at Llanview Hospital. However, all was not as it seemed. Privately, Sadie longed to find her daughter Clara had run away from home in 1959 at the age of fifteen. Since that time, Sadie had been unable to contact her daughter. By October, another new character made her way to Llanview. Her name was Carla Benari, a struggling white actress.

Not long after arriving in Llanview, Carla was admitted to Llanview Hospital seeking treatment for appeared to be cirrhosis of the liver. Carla’s attention soon caught the attention of Dr. Jim Craig, a widower with a teenage daughter named Cathy. After studying her case, Dr. Craig concluded that an emotional problem could be the cause of her medical condition. Soon, the doctor began to fall in love with his patient, and a short time later Dr. Craig asked Carla to marry him. Although she responded favorably to his proposal, deep down Carla knew something wasn’t right. Although Dr. Craig would be able to offer her companionship, warmth, and financial security, she realized she was not in love with him.

Conflicted, Carla struggled with her emotions. Meanwhile, Dr. Craig, citing a conflict of interest, assigned Carla’s case to a young African-American intern named Dr. Price Trainor. After months of arguing and butting heads, Carla’s defenses eventually began to wear down, and she began to develop feelings for the young, black intern. Eventually, Carla confessed to Dr. Trainor “It’s a chemistry that makes us fight every time we encounter each other!”

Soon the young intern began to fall in love with his patient, while at the same time feeling guilty for being a black man in love with a white woman. Carla meanwhile, had recovered and was released from the hospital. Shortly thereafter, she took a job as Dr. Craig’s secretary. It was around this time that the romance between Carla and Price Trainor began to heat up. Their growing feelings for one another eventually resulted in a kiss. It was the kiss heard around the country as hundreds of angry viewers called into ABC to protest what they perceived to be a white woman kissing a black man. The uproar became so great that, for a time, one ABC affiliate in Texas dropped “One Life to Live” from their program schedule.

As the months went by, the storyline would soon take yet another shocking twist. One day after work, Carla decided to pay a surprise visit to Anna Wolek, whom she had become acquitted with at Llanview Hospital. But after knocking on her door a few times, she received no answer. As she was about to leave, Sadie Gray, the Wolek’s neighbor from across the hall, opened her door to announce that: “I’m sorry miss. The Woleks aren’t home. Can I take a message for you?” As she turned around to thank Sadie, Carla was frozen stiff. After several minutes of looking intently at one another, Sadie finally whispered “Clara!” Carla responded by calling her “Mama!” At last the truth was revealed, Carla Benari was really Sadie’s long missing daughter Clara Gray. This forced the audience into the realization that the character they had become invested in over the preceding months was not a white woman, but instead a light skinned black woman.

The revelation also changed those involved in the much-publicized recent controversial kiss, making it Carla and Dr. Craig who were part of the scandalous relationship, and not Carla and the black intern Dr. Price Trainor. Even so, the point was proven that America wasn’t quite ready for the racial lines between black and white to become colorblind in the name of love. In this regard, Agnes Nixon had created a storyline that was socially relevant at the time, and one that caught people’s attention and had them turning in each day to see what would happen next.

But what did happen in the weeks and months following that sensational kiss and the revelation that Carla was Sadie Gray’s long-lost African American daughter? Well, for starters, viewers were treated to rather emotional scenes between Carla and Sadie as daughter confessed to mother why she ran away from her life. Sadie blamed Carla for turning her back on her family, friends, and her heritage, especially in regards to being in love with a black doctor while being engaged to a white one. Carla responded by declaring that she didn’t ask to be born with lighter skin than most other black people, and that throughout her life she had suffered for “not being black enough.” As her emotions continued to poor out, Carla would also blast her mother for her lonely childhood. She reminded Sadie how she had always cared for other children as a maid and nanny, while Carla would be left home alone after school. And when she did come home she was too exhausted to pain much attention to Carla. And to rub salt into the wound, Carla declared “You had used up everything that you had to give on strangers that I didn’t even know.”

Fortunately, as the weeks went by, Carla and Sadie eventually reached an understanding. Carla faced the reality that she was who she was, and she couldn’t pretend to be someone that she wasn’t. She terminated her engagement to Dr. Craig (who would eventually find love in the arms of Anna Wolek), and confessed her secret to an angry Price Trainor. Carla’s newfound happiness was shortlived as Price denounced Carla for rejecting her race, something he himself was quite proud of. Even so, eventually they toyed with the idea of marriage, much to the dismay of Price’s disapproving, snotty mother Grace. Thinking that a housekeeper’s daughter was no where near good enough for her precious, wonderful son, Grace Trainor reminded her son that “There’s so much more to being ‘right’ for each other than love.” Although she cared for Price deeply, Carla was unable to accept the fact that he allowed his mother to make his decisions for him.
When that failed to result in the desired response, Grace pulled some strings to get Price a fellowship at Edinburgh University in Scotland in the United Kingdom. Now Price was forced to choose between his career and the woman he loved.

Although he trusted her advice, Carla reminded Price that she could not make the decision for him. She wrote him a note in which she stated “I just won’t decide for you. Since it’s your life… it has to be up to you.” Afterward, Carla who had left Llanview for a week, returned to discover that Price had left for Scotland. He did so with great remorse, however, after mistakenly believing that Carla’s passive attitude in her letter was a hint for him to leave). Price’s departure left Carla brokenhearted. However, she would soon find comfort in the arms of the prominent Bert Skelly, Llanview’s new black district attorney.

Bert Skelly was a shrewd politician who promised Carla that he could her everything her heart desired. Despite this, Carla began to have eyes for Police Lt. Ed Hall. Ed was everything that Bert was not, a blue collar working man who considered Carla to be stuck up and snobby. Eventually, however, Ed and Carla fell in love and were joined in matrimony in 1973. Also, around this time they finalized the adoption of a troubled young black boy named Joshua West (who took the name Hall following the adoption). At last, Carla appeared to have the life she had dreamed of. Also in the mix was Ed’s brother Gus, who became a recurring character in Llanview, and served as Ed’s best man in his wedding to Carla.

But all good things must come to an end. As the 1970s began to wind down, Ed, Carla, Josh, and Sadie gradually found their way to the back burner. By 1979, Carla had divorced Ed to wed Dr. Jack Scott, the surgeon who had operated on Ed’s recent heart condition. The following year, in 1981, Dr. Scott was killed off and Carla decided to leave Llanview. She would return over two years later and explained that she had attended law school during her hiatus from Llanview. After becoming the Assistant District Attorney, she was forced to prosecute Ed following a police sting gone bad. In 1985, Carla left Llanview for good after accepting a job as a judge in Arizona, never to return or be mentioned again. Shortly thereafter, the characters of Sadie, Josh, and Gus also faded from view.

Ed, meanwhile, would continue to call Llanview home for a few more years to come. He would become a Captain in the Llanview Police Department, however his scenes increasing more infrequent. Following Carla’s (Ellen Holly) departure from Llanview, Ed Hall (Al Freeman Jr.) was downgraded to a recurring character in Llanview before fading into oblivion in 1988.
Not much was heard from the Ed during the next dozen years until the year 2000, when his and Carla’s grandson Jared (supposedly from Josh) arrived in Llanview. Jared, following in the footsteps of his grandmother, became Llanview’s Assistant District Attorney. Jared (Herve Clermont) was introduced as having attended law school with established character Sam
Rappaport, had a checkered past. As he faced review from the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Sam defended his friend in court. During the trial, Ed Hall was called to the stand to testify in his grandson’s defense. Following the conclusion of the trial, Ed Hall quickly and quietly disappeared once more. Grandson Jared would soon follow suit in 2001, following a brief relationship with Rachel Gannon, the bi-racial daughter of Nora Buchanan and Hank Gannon. Since that time the Hall’s have become an afterthought to the citizens of Llanview.

In 1998, Ellen Holly wrote a tell all memoir about the back stage prejudice she faced while working on “One Life to Live.” The book, entitled One Life: An Autobiography of an African American Actress, centers around how the African-American cast members of “OLTL” were pushed out in favor of their white counterparts. She specifically mentions then “OLTL” Executive Producer Paul Rauch (1984-1991), who systematically eradicated Llanview of diversity in 1986. Holly tells of how actress Lillian Hayman, who portrayed Carla’s mother Sadie Gray, was unceremoniously fired from “OLTL.” According to Holly, Hayman was unaware of her dismissal until an assistant to Rauch caught up with her in the parking garage one day at the studio, and informed her that “Mr. Rauch wants you to know that you just worked your last day.”

It would be several more years until African-Americans would be prominently featured again in Llanview. Following the departure of the show’s core African-American cast members; black people in Llanview were mainly reduced to background shots and bit parts. Meanwhile, the soap’s white cast members were given major storylines. Despite this disappointing reality, other minorities began to command airtime on “OLTL.” During the late 1980s as “OLTL” became a camp fest and larger than life thanks to Rauch, several actors of Mexican, Spanish, and South American decent began to appear on “OLTL.” Among them were Gabrielle Medina (Fiona Hutchison), Maria Vasquez Roberts (Barbara Luna), and Cord Roberts (John Loprieno). While these characters, and others like them, became intricate parts of the “OLTL” storylines of the late 1980s and early 1990s, it would be several more years until African-Americans would again take center stage in Llanview and on “OLTL.”

That year would turn out to be 1992, when Llanview’s next prominent African-American family would arrive. This go around it would be the Gannon family, which included football player turned District Attorney Hank, his white attorney ex-wife Nora, their bi-racial drug addicted daughter Rachel, and Hank’s seedy brother R.J. Time and space constraints prevent me from delving too deep into their stay in Llanview, but here are a few highlights. While married to Hank, Nora had an affair with his brother RJ. Daughter Rachel briefly dated Victoria Lord’s son Kevin Buchanan. RJ discovered a daughter he never knew he had in Keri Reynolds.
And Antonio Vega and Keri married only to break-up, but not before having a daughter named Jamie. The divorce would drive Keri to kill herself and RJ to fight Antonio for custody (with the aide of Lindsay Rappaport). I realize that I’m not doing this storyline justice, but that is the jest of it.

While the Gannons were heavily featured in storylines throughout the 1990s, by the year 2000, they were placed on the back burner. Hank was written off “OLTL” in 2003, while R.J., who was bumped to recurring in 2007, is rarely seen in Llanview these days. Rachel moved back to Chicago, and only Nora has remained. Following her divorce from Bo Buchanan, she has been involved with several men, the most recent of which is Bo’s brother Clint. Nora is also the Llanview District Attorney. One of the few Jewish characters on television, Nora’s religion is rarely mentioned in recent years.

Adding to the diversity in Llanview in the mid-1990s, the Latino Vega family was introduced. Headed by matriarch Carlotta Vega, the clan was portrayed as a blue collar working family. Although Carlotta ran the diner she and her late husband had successfully built and managed, her sons Antonio and Cristian constantly gave their mother trouble. Antonio was a gang leader in the Angel Square section of Llanview. He was released from prison after proving that he killed a man in self-defense, and soon became a lawyer and then a cop. It was there we married his white partner, Andy Harrison and the husband and wife settled in California. After returning to town, he married R.J. Gannon’s daughter, discovered his real father was Manuel Santi, head of a crime syndicate and that Carlotta was really his aunt and Cristian his cousin. He married Jessica Buchanan, only to divorce her when she had an affair with Nash Brennan. Most recently, he has the hots for Syrian Talia Sahid. Much to Antonio’s dismay, Talia broke the news to Antonio that his longtime adversary Carlo Hesser is her biological father. Carlotta’s other son Cristian, a talented artist, was once involved with Jessica Buchanan when were teenagers, and nearly married her after learning she was pregnant with Will Rappaport’s baby. His love for Jessica caused him to think he could raise the baby as his own. A few years later, he marries Jessica’s sister Natalie and shortly thereafter disappears. He returns and is programmed to kill Antonio by Carlo Hesser. Fortunately, Cristian ends up killing Antonio’s other brother Tico Santi and is sent to prison, where his memories come flooding back. Eventually he is released from prison by Llanview’s newest attorney, African-American Evangeline Williamson in late 2005. Eventually, they fall in love and he helps her after she is blinded for a time. Evangeline also helps clear Cristian of charges of fixing boxing matches when shady African-American businessman confesses to the crime. Cristian is angry when Todd Manning pays a high priced doctor to help Evangeline regain her sight. But they get back together just as she is injured during a hate crime attack with leaves her in a coma. After sleeping with Blair Cramer, he falls in love with Sarah Roberts (daughter of Tina Lord and Cord Roberts), and ends up attempting to save her when Carlo sends her sailing down a river and over a waterfall in Mendorra. In his earlier days Cristian sculpted the Angel statue in Angel Square. As for Carlotta, she moved from being Dorian’s maid to diner owner to the occasional shoulder for Antonio and Cristian to lean on when they are in need of advice. But beyond that, Carlotta has been reduced to nothing more than a background character at the present time. Before I move on, I don’t want to forget to mention Adriana Cramer. Introduced as Adriana Colon, a family friend of the Vegas, it is soon revealed that she is the result of an affair between Dorian Cramer Lord and the late Manauel Santi. As a result, this makes her a niece to Carlotta, cousin to Cristian, and half-sister to Antonio. Recently, Adriana paid off Brody Lovett, ex-boyfriend to her husband’s former girlfriend Gigi Morasco to keep her away from Rex, with the help of her good friend, Evangeline’s sister Layla Williamson. Rex found out and Adriana left Llanview for Europe. Once again, it’s hard to fit all the storylines of the Vega family into one paragraph, so my apologizes for omitting so many details.

Other minority characters worth mentioning over the past two decades include homosexual teen Billy Douglas (whose outing revealed just how homophobic Llanview was in the early 1990s), Tea Delgado (whom Todd Manning paid to marry him to help him keep custody of his daughter, was pushed out a window by Blair Cramer, and who Todd eventually fell in love with), the original Blair Cramer Manning (who was portrayed by Japanese-American actress Mia Korf from 1991-1993), and Irish poet and Marty Saybrooke’s love interest Patrick Thornhart (portrayed by German-American actor Thorsten Kaye). In addition in the early years of this decade, “OLTL” attempted diversity again by introducing the “Love Center Crew,” featuring Marcie Walsh, Jen Rappaport, and several new minority characters forced to live and work together in order to graduate from Llanview University. The group, which had Viki Davidson as their den mother, featured African-American, Asian, and homosexual characters. However, nearly all them would soon be killed off by the Killing Club Murderer. And who could forget how “OLTL” treated a storyline involving bi-sexual District Attorney Daniel Colson. In case you forgotten, in 2005, after the reveal that Daniel Colson had killed Paul Cramer, he then framed his son Riley’s girlfriend Jen Rappaport for the murder in an attempt to find his sexual orientation. When Jen finally learned the truth, Daniel suffocated her in a parking garage on Mother’s Day, as her mother Lindsay waited for Jen to take her out to dinner. The shock and media frenzy, which resulted when the truth was finally revealed, caused his wife Nora Hannen to suffer a stroke and slip into a coma.

Which brings us to 2007, and then “OLTL” Head Writer Dena Higley’s poison penned attempt to craft a hate crimes storyline for the soap. In theory, the idea may have sounded plausible, but in reality it was a severly-misguided attempt to return “OLTL” to its former glory. The storyline involved the arrival of baseball player turned underwear model Tate Harmon to Llanview. On the surface, Tate seemed nice, but he harbored a deep secret; one which Rex Balsom was desperate to uncover. While Rex thought Tate was gay, in reality he was white supremacist and head of the group “One Pure People.” His targets were many: Nora Hannen and her son Matthew (who were Jewish), Cristian and Antonio Vega and Andriana Cramer (Latino), Talia Sahid (Syrian), Evangeline and Layla Williamson and Vincent Jones (African-American), as well as others. His daring plan went so far as to bomb Llanview Hospital, place poison gas in Cristian Vega’s loft, set fire to Capricorn, and torch Nora’s house with her and Matthew still inside. Fortunately, Talia Sahid shot him while holding Adirana Cramer, Layla Williamson, Rex Balsom, and Vincent Jones hostage on a rooftop. Also, no one was seriously harmed except Evangeline Williamson, who was knocked into a coma. When Tate’s father Kirk discovered what his son was involved with, he took the rap and went to prison to protect him. However, he later had a change of heart, but was killed before he could confess his son’s activities to police. Eventually, Tate was found guilty and sent to prison, where he was given a black cellmate.

Had the arsonist in this storyline been an established character, or a returning character to Llanview, viewers might have invested their time in the storyline. But, by having the arsonist be a new character that no one really cared about, the storyline quickly fell flat. However, you have to at least give “OLTL” credit for attempting to recapture their original vision of telling socially relevant storylines, however mismanaged this attempt may have been.

Before I forget, I feel the need to comment on the soap’s recent list of special musical talents that have stopped by Llanview. It is important to note that while African-Americans have largely disappeared from the “OLTL” canvas, the show has been successful in landing several prominent African-American musicians over the years. The list ranges from Little Richard and Sammy David Jr. to Nelly Furtado, Mary J. Blige, Timabland, and Snoop Dogg.

It is now 2008, forty years since “One Life to Live” first aired on ABC. While certain aspects of the show have survived over the years, others such as the diversity of the cast, have not. In 1968, Agnes Nixon made headlines by introducing a light skinned black woman named Carla Benari tried to pass herself off as a white woman, who eventually created controversy by kissing a white doctor. In 2008, trying to find an African-American in Llanview is like trying to find Waldo in an Independence Day parade. Currently there is only one African-American cast member on contract with the soap (Tika Sumpter as Layla Williamson), however she hasn’t been seen in nearly three months. For others remain on recurring status with the show: Tobias Truvillion, who portrays Vincent Jones and is on his way out; Sean Reinggold who plays a bodyguard named Shaun, Mario D’Leon who plays another bodyguard named Keyshawn “Keys” Reddick, and Timothy D. Stickney as R.J. Gannon. However, all four of the African-American recurring cast members receive rather limited airtime, and are primarily used only to support other characters in their storylines. Otherwise, their importance in limited to mostly ‘filler’ scenes. The only other African-American characters seen in today’s Llanview are extras and dayplayer roles such as waiters, business patrons, and police officers. Other minority characters currently in Llanview include Markko Riveria (who busts tables at the diner), Langston Wilde (whose deceased parents were of Columbian decent), the aforementioned Vega family and Talia Sahid, Noelle Ortiz (waitress at the Bon Jour Cafe in Paris, Texas), and the rarely heard, but often scene background character of Carmen the diner waitress.

Even though “OLTL” can claim to have five African-American cast members as part of their cast, how many of their characters rise above common black stereotypes. Only one out of the five in my opinion, Miss Layla Williamson. The one contract African-American cast member on “OLTL” is half-owner of a lingerie company called Exposed, and appears to be making a decent living. The four recurring African-American cast members are not so lucky. Vincent Jones is a former mobster, who once tried to rig boxing matches by drugging Cristian Vega so that he would lose matches, and he would make money by betting against his own client. Eventually however, he confessed to his crime and promptly faded into the background. He will be leaving Llanview once Layla dumps him after discovering that he has been cheating on her. Saun and Keys are both portrayed as body guards who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty if it means making a few extra bucks. Shaun once earned a living doing Vincent’s dirty work. And, as mentioned earlier in this article, R.J. Gannon has a long history of run-ins with the law. Although he has somewhat managed to reform himself in recent years, he has found out that the past is hard to run away from.

So my question is this, “What has happened to all the diversity in Llanview?” In a sense, where have all the black people gone? How realistic is it to believe that in a major city such as Llanview that nearly everyone is white and rich? Seriously? Even the poor white people in Llanview seem to have an time surviving. Gigi and Brody, neither of which have a job, are living comfortably with Shane in Viki’s cottage house, Cristian Vega is able to keep his loft despite the fact that he is no longer able to paint thanks to a hand injury, Charlie Banks is able to stay at the Angel Square Hotel even though he can’t land a job, and even Rex Balsom manages to hang on to his apartment, despite the fact the so-called PI hasn’t had a case in ages. What happened to all the blue-collar characters who are forced to work for a living? What happened to the Woleks and Siegels? In essence, what happened to the diversity that “OLTL” became known for 40 years ago?

In the first edition of his 1985 book, The Soap Opera Encyclopedia , Christopher Schemering describes “OLTL” as “the most peculiarly American of soap operas: the first serial to present a vast array of ethnic types, broad comic situations, a constant emphasis on social issues, and strong male characters.”While that statement accurately depicts the early years of the soap’s history, it has become increasing more difficult to relate it today’s vision of “OLTL.”

Never was “OLTL’s” present lack of diversity more glaring than in Head Writer Ron Carlivati’s recent tribute to the daytime drama’s 40th anniversary. While the tribute was nicely done and touching, it in no way, shape, or fashion resembled the Llanview of 1968 (or 1978 for that matter). All the storylines revisited for those two special episodes were from 1987 and 1988…but nearly the first twenty years of “OLTL” were strangely omitted from the tribute. The only thing even remotely connected to the 1968-1987 time frame on “OLTL” showcased in the 40th anniversary salute was the rebroadcast of the original opening sequence (which lasted from 1968-1975), which was shown on the first day of the two-day salute, and the all to brief recreated scene we treated to in which Victor Lord told Viki how that someday all would be hers, including The Banner newspaper. Beyond the brief reminder of show’s original diversity and title “Between Heaven and Hell” from that original symbolic hellfire opening, no mention whatsoever was made concerning the dynamic African-American storyline which captured viewers attention in 1968. The tribute more resembled a 20th, rather then a 40th, anniversary.

Oh sure, characters Bo and Rex were transported back in time to 1968 after being struck by lightning. But they went back to the Buchanan Ranch in Texas, and not to Llanview. While I get the special nod to the year of the show’s creation, the Buchanan family was not a part of “OLTL” in 1968. In fact, the Buchanan’s didn’t arrive in town until 1979 and 1980. And, while it is interesting to see just what the Buchanan clan was like more than twenty years before they came to town, I would much rather see what Llanview looked like 40 years ago. Just imagine seeing younger versions of Vicki, Meredith, Larry, Vince, and Anna Wolek, and of course Carla and Sadie Gray. I get the fact that society has changed over the past 40 years, and that interracial marriage and relationships are more commonplace here in 2008, but the storyline could still have been revisited. Much the way the Bo/Rex 1968 storyline is dealing with the war in Vietnam (which both Robert S. Woods and his character Bo fought in), the Carla Gray storyline could have been revisited in historical context to show how African-Americans were treated in 1968 America, and how those attitudes have changed in the past 40 years. But instead, we saw nothing but rich white characters, with an occasional Latino character thrown into the mix. And there was not a single black person to be found in either one of “OLTL’s” 40th anniversary tribute episodes, even though they are at least partly responsible for the early success of the daytime drama. At least a picture from Carla and Ed’s wedding was among the dozen or so special promotional images from the past 40 years that ABC released to commemorate “OLTL’s” 40th anniversary.

Recently, following the airing of the 40th anniversary episodes, “OLTL” held a party for cast and crew in honor of the event. It was there that “OLTL” creator Agnes Nixon recalled how the story of Carla Gray, a black woman passing herself off as white, prompted viewer protests in 1968. She remembered one letter in particular from a viewer which read ”I want to protest her kissing that black doctor. But I’m confused. If it turns out that she’s black, I want to protest her kissing that white doctor.” Quite a change from the viewer response “OLTL” gets today, which likely includes things like wanting more airtime for a certain character or asking for an autographed picture of their favorite cast member. Gone is the controversy and viewer unrest over socially relevant storylines. Gone are the days when “OLTL” mirrored real life. Those days have been replaced with time travel, trips to heaven, and people being kidnapped and set plunging to their doom over a waterfall in a small fictitious European principality. Not that it isn’t a nice escape from reality, but it certainly isn’t groundbreaking television. But to quote the legendary Walter Cronkite “that’s the way it is.” It likely won’t change, and will probably stay just the way it is. Don’t get me wrong, I still love “OLTL,” but would give anything to see more of exactly what “OLTL” was like before my birth in December 1979. But I’m afraid that since many of the old tapes of the show were either reused or destroyed those days may be gone forever.

It was at that same party that long-time “OLTL” cast member Erika Slezak made the statement ”It’s amazing that that was only 40 years ago and the world is so different that now we have a black man running for president.” So true Erika, so very true. Forty years ago “OLTL” had a rather diverse cast, and many an African-American youth only dreamed of someday running for President. Today we have an African-American running for President for the first time on a major party ticket. However, at the same time, African-Americans on “OLTL” (as well as other soaps) have become nearly non-existent. The more things change, the more they stay the same I suppose. At least programs like “One Life to Live,” which helped pushed the envelope of what was acceptable in society during a turbulent time in American history, helped get us to where we are today. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud of his nation today. And that is something that even this white boy from a small Kentucky town that is over 98% Caucasian can appreciate.

But at least I can take solace in the fact that still have “One Life to Live.” That’s all for now, please join me again on August 15th for another installment of “My View of Llanview.” Until then, take care and enjoy your “One Life.” Good day.

OLTL PreVUE: Week of August 4 Edition

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 5:00 PM | By Scotty Gore

( — Talia makes a deal with the devil in order to save her friends and loved ones.


While they are out shopping, Blair and Jack encounter Todd. Falling into their old familiar routine, Todd and Blair argue with one another. Afterward, Blair discovers a nightgown in one of her bags, and realizes that Todd must have bought it for his new ‘girlfriend.’ Starr and Cole are both heartbroken following their breakup. Dorian receives the cold shoulder when she crashes Viki’s goodbye party in search of Todd. Todd is filled with rage when he returns home to find Blair and Keys together. Todd immediately fires Keys, who doesn’t take the termination of his employment lying down. Blair and Todd have a major confrontation over the woman he is hiding upstairs. Meanwhile, Llanview Mayor Stan Lowell temporarily promotes John to the office of Police Commissioner, and plans to reinstate Bo to the position one he returns to town.

The Inside Story: Goodbye Mendorra, Hello Llanview

While still in Mendorra, Jonas shrewdly informs Talia that he has murdered Antonio. Afterward, Talia manages to ward off Jonas’ advances when he suggests they consummate their new marriage. Meanwhile, across the royal palace, Antonio devises a plan to disable the guards. A shocked Jonas and Talia are taken by surprise as Antonio barges into the room and runs off with Talia over his shoulder. At the same time, Cristian saves Tina and Cain just as they are about to lose their heads. Shortly thereafter, Antonio, Cristian, Talia, Tina, and Cain run toward an airstrip only to be confronted by Carlo and his goons. But just when all hope seems lost, Talia makes a bargain with Carlo by agreeing to remain in Mendorra if he allows the others to leave. When Antonio’s protests to Talia fall on deaf ears, he vows to return for her. Meanwhile, Cristian and Tina are left speechless when Sarah miraculously ‘returns from the dead.’ Back in Llanview, David Vickers makes a donation to the nuns at St. Ann’s in the form of his canine namesake. Back in Mendorra, Cain takes his leave by parachuting out of the plane with the crown jewels after confessing to Tina that he stole them back. However, Tina remembers that she hid the real jewels in doggie David Vickers’ jacket. After their plane finally arrives back in Llanview, Tina and Viki are reunited briefly before Viki leaves town to promote organ donation. Tess is none to pleased to discover that Auntie Tina will be staying at Llanfair. However, Tina and Natalie form a close bond. Also, Sarah and Cristian are very much in love. And Antonio faces an uphill battle in his attempts to bring Talia back to Llanview. Tina is delighted to have her hands once more on the Mendorran Crown Jewels.

A Closer Look: “There’s No Place Like Home”

Stuck in 1968, Bo (as Asa) ensures that history repeats itself by hiding from Clint the fact that Maria is pregnant with his baby. After encountering a man named Jeremiah at the Bon Jour Cafe, Bo and Rex are intrigued when he mentions a book about time travel and portals to other dimensions and universes. Their hope of returning to 2008 becomes stronger when Bo, Rex, and Jeremiah discover that Rex’s cell phone could lead them to a time portal. Rex makes a discovery and is disgusted at the idea that Bo will have sleep with Gigi’s double Emma in order for history not to be rewritten. Meanwhile, back in 2008, David is puzzled when he can’t see his reflection in a mirror. Back in the past, Rex contacts Professor Delbert Fina, author of the time travel book, and takes notice that she looks amazingly like a male version of Madame Delphina. Fortunately, Prof. Fina believes he can be of assistance to Bo and Rex. Meanwhile, in 2008, thinking she may be able to help, Madame Delphina is able to convince Gigi has Rex has gone back in time, resulting in Gigi asking Madame Delphina for her help. Brody intercepts Rex’s phone call to Gigi and thinks they are involved. Bo manages to force himself to act like his father and sends Maria away so history will repeat itself. Prof. Fina warns Bo and Rex that time is running out for them to return to the future. Meanwhile, Gigi and Madame Delphina set off on their journey to reach Rex.

What to Watch

  • Clint and Nora realize David is trying to con them.
  • Gigi gives into to Brody’s suggestion that they both work at Rodi’s.
  • Brody wants to be more than friends with Gigi.
  • Tess, still posing as Jessica, throws Viki a surprise going away party, and cannot wait for her to leave town.
  • Tess’ interest is quipped when Dorian mentions Victor Lord’s secret room beneath Llanfair.
  • Layla calls it quits with Vincent after discovering that he has been cheating on her.
  • Tess is forced to cover her tracks when a mechanic is certain the brakes on Natalie’s car were tampered with.
  • Tess contemplates her next move after Cristian drops the name of a shady contractor.

SON ALERTS: WEEK OF August 11, 2008

  • Monday: Todd continues to make Marty feel sorry for him; Blair and John guess at the identity of the new woman in Todd’s life; Tess sets her new plan in motion.
  • Tuesday: Rex and Gigi desperately work toward one another; Marty is able to get Todd to open up about Blair; Tina and Cord’s reunion comes to an abrupt stop.
  • Wednesday: Time is nearly up for Bo and Rex; Gigi justifies her actions to Madame Delphina; Brody plans his next move.
  • Thursday: The love Gigi has for Rex allows her to overcome her fear of time travel; Tess vows that history will repeat itself; Natalie and Jared try to come to terms with their grief.

  • Friday: Gigi heads for the Buchanan Ranch in 1968; Todd attempts to persuade Starr to keep the baby; Blair throws caution out the window and has John on the brain.

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