(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Earlier today Soap Opera Network broke the story that NBC’s “Days of our Lives” has decided to end its relationship with co-head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr. The female half of the dynamic team has now spoken out on Twitter against the decision by revealing that the two weren’t given enough of a chance to develop the soap to where they wanted it to go thanks to network interference.
“NBC never let us tell our stories. They kept stopping us and changing our direction,” said McPherson, who also took the time to thank the fans for hanging in for the ride (for the full tweet, see below).
Sources tell Soap Opera Network that Thomas deleted his Twitter account late last week.
An NBC spokesperson did not return requests for comment at press time.
Marlene McPherson’s Twitter Response
Former “Days of our Lives” Co-Executive Producer Gary Tomlin and Co-Head Writer Christopher Whitesell will take over co-head writing duties effective immediately. Note: “Days of our Lives” films approximately three months ahead of airdate, however, in most cases the soaps writing is completed four months in advance. Therefore, depending on rewrites, Tomlin and Whitesell’s material should begin airing sometime in August after the Olympics on NBC.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Exclusive! Soap Opera Network has learned that “Days Of our Lives” has fired Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr. as its co-head writers and replaced them with Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell.
McPherson and Thomas were hired in May 2011, replacing Dena Higley, to help shepherd the “DAYS” reboot (the returns of fan favorites Drake Hogestyn, Deidre Hall, Patrick Muldoon, Christie Clark and Matthew Ashford). Unfortunately, the ratings did not improve and the show recently hit a new low in Women 18-49 Viewers with just 496,000 total tuning in from that ratings category for the week March 19-23, 2012.
Tomlin returns to “DAYS” after being the Co-Executive Producer from September 17, 2008 – September 2, 2011 (on air episode dates) . This will be Tomlin’s first head writing gig in about 27 years – he was Head Writer of “Another World” in the mid-80′s. Though he was an interim Head Writer for “One Life To Live” (on air episodes dates: February 1, 2008 – May 1, 2008) during the 2007-2008 Writers Strike.
Whitesell also returns to the show after being Co-Head Writer from October 13, 2008 – June 13, 2011 (on air episode dates). This will be Whitesell’s 6th Co-Head Writing stint: he co-head wrote for “General Hospital” (1997), “Sunset Beach” (1998 – 1999), “One Life To Live” (2001-2003), “As The World Turns” (2005-2007). Whitesell was writing breakdowns for “The Young and The Restless” for the past year.
Renee Jones has made one of the most daring decisions of her life. The “Days of our Lives” actress has decided to quit acting and leave the NBC daytime soap after a 20-year career that has spawned one of the longest and most successful pairings in daytime with her character Lexi Carver and James Reynolds‘ Abe Carver.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — According to ABC Soaps in Depth, “General Hospital” has cast actor and model Christian Monzon in the recurring role of Eddie Cabrera – the onscreen husband of Delores Padilla (portrayed by Rebeka Montoya). While the character had been discussed on numerous occasions for several months, it wasn’t clear if he would ever be seen. A first airdate is set for the week of April 16.
Before joining “GH,” Monzon appeared in episodes of several television series including “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “CSI: Miami” and “CSI: NY,” “The Closer,” HBO’s” Entourage” and most recently Showtime’s “Shameless.” In 2010, he appeared in the series finale of “Dollhouse.” He can also be seen in episodes of the 2008 online series ”Hot Hot Los Angeles,” which can currently be viewed for free on Hulu.com. The actor is also known for his appearances in Dolce & Gabbana ad campaigns.
As part of Wyndotte Street, a production company that provides original online music and comedy, Monzon has starred in several shorts that he either wrote or helped produce such as “Naked Man,” a comedy series where he portrays a naked superhero (no worries, they blur out everything below the waste), and “Wyndotte Presents: (I’m At Work),” a sketch comedy following life within the walls of an office building.
Trailer of “Naked Man”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Jack Wagner, 52, is a soap opera legend and singer, but for millions of viewers he’s a dancing star courtesy of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” The actor joined the 14th cycle (season) of the reality-competition series along with such celebrities as Melissa Gilbert (actor, “Little House on the Prairie”), Sherri Shepherd (talk show host and actress, “The View”), Jaleel White (actor, “Family Matters”), Gladys Knight (singer), Donald Driver (NFL star, “Green Bay Packers”), William Levy (latin soap star), Katherine Jenkins (opera star), Gavin DeGraw (singer), Martina Navratilova (tennis star), Roshon Fegan (actor, “Shake It Up!) and Maria Menounos (TV host and correspondent), but what fans truly want to know is if Wagner is heading back to ABC’s “General Hospital” after being taken off contract by CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful” in early February.
In promotion of “Dancing’s” current season each celebrity is taking part in “You Tweeted, They Answered,” a taped segment in which they answer questions provided to them by “Dancing with the Stars’” Twitter followers (@DancingABC). Of the three questions Wagner answered none was as attention grabbing for soap fans, in particular those watching “General Hospital” (in which Wagner portrayed Frisco Jones off and on from 1983 to 1995), as the one pertaining to his possible return to the soap that put him on the map. When asked if he “would you ever consider coming back to “General Hospital,” Wagner stated “Frisco’s never dead, man! He’s right here! Yeah!” While that isn’t an outright yes, or much of an answer in itself, it does help that “Dancing” is on the same network as “GH” and with Kristina Wagner (Felicia Jones) reportedly returning to the soap in late April the possibilities are endless. If you want to ask Wagner your own question, he’s always available online @JackWagnerHPK.
In addition to his Emmy nominated stint on “General Hospital,” Wagner portrayed the Emmy nominated role of Dominick “Nick” Marone on CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful” and was the much beloved and hated Dr. Peter Burns on the FOX primetime soap “Melrose Place.” Other soap stints include appearances in NBC’s short-lived primetime soap “Titans” and daytime soap “Sunset Beach.”
Fans can vote for Wagner each week via telephone or text message until an hour after the Monday performance broadcast of “Dancing with the Stars” based on their local time zones. To vote by text message, text the word “VOTE” using the information below:
|Telephone #||Text-in Code|
*Message and data rates may apply.
Online voting, however, is open from the beginning of the Monday performance show until 11:00 AM ET/8:00 AM PT the next day (morning of the Tuesday results show). To vote online, you must create a username and provide a valid email address at ABC.com. You can also connect your Facebook or Twitter account to your ABC.com account and login to vote (find out how).
Watch Wagner dancing the Jive with his professional partner Anna Trebunskaya
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “General Hospital” and “The Revolution” are both fighting for a spot on the fall 2012-2013 schedule on ABC Daytime, although neither appear to be making a solid case for themselves.
During the week of March 19-23, 2012, ”General Hospital” was down in numerous key categories year-to-year and hit or tied new series lows in Women 18-49 rating (tied its series low with a 0.8), Women 18-34 (new series low with a 0.3). The remaining daytime soap on ABC was down by a mere 1,000 viewers from its performance the week prior (week of March 12-16, 2012), but the show has hemorrhaged a massive 622,000 viewers compared to its performance on the year-ago (week of March 21-25, 2011). “GH’s” most recent performance is a far cry from its comparable week last year when the soap was on the rise, which helped secure its future just before the network announced it was canceling “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”
After hitting a series low during the week of March 12-16, 2012, “The Revolution was primed and ready for another series low during the week of March 19-23, 2012, according to figures released Thursday by Marc Berman, Editor in Chief of TV Media Insights.
“One Life to Live,” which last aired on Friday, January 13 of this year, had more than a one million total viewer advantage over “Revolution” and performed 46-60% higher in the key sales demographics including Women 18-49 and Women 18-34 on the comparable week last year (week of March 21-25, 2011). ”Revolution” averaged just 1.32 million viewers compared to “One Life’s” performance the year before when the ABC soap had a total average audience of 2.51 million viewers. On the year-ago in Women 18-49, “One Life” held a 0.9/6 rating compared to the 0.5/3 “Revolution” received (difference of 44%) and in Women 25-54 “One Life” had a 1.3/8 rating compared to “Revolution’s” 0.7/2 (difference of 47%). The “It’s About You” talker barely rated in Women 18-34 with its 0.2/2, which was a difference of 60% from “One Life’s” performance the year before when the soap hit a 0.5/4 rating. Note: ”One Life to Live” began its upward swing in all ratings categories beginning with the week of March 14-18, 2011 (the trend continued until its series finale earlier this year).
Ratings Comparison per TV Media Insights:
- One Life to Live – Week of 3/21/11
Viewers: 2.51 million, Women 25-54: 1.3/ 8, Women 18-49: 0.9/ 6, Women 18-34: 0.5/ 4
- The Revolution – Week of 3/19/12
Viewers: 1.32 million, Women 25-54: 0.7/ 4, Women 18-49: 0.5/ 3, Women 18-34: 0.2/ 2
Percent Change – The Revolution vs. One Life to Live
Viewers: -47, Women 25-54: -46, Women 18-49: -44, Women 18-34: -60
If “Revolution” wasn’t problem enough for ABC, “The Chew” has returned to performing below “All My Children” in key ratings categories. Note: “The View” was in reruns.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Although the likelihood was expected thanks to the loss of long-time soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” in 2011 and 2012, which were preceded by the departures of “Guiding Light” and “As The World Turns” in 2009 and 2010, news broke on Thursday, March 22 that after 22 years in publication Soap Opera Weekly would end its successful run as one of the premier soap opera magazines. The final decision to end the mag was just one of many blows the soap opera industry has felt in as many years. Soap Opera Network takes a by the numbers look at Weekly and how its readership levels helped lead to its ultimate demise.
On April 14, 2011 news of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live’s” cancellations created headlines in nearly every trade magazine, newspaper and informational entertainment website you could think of. What the world didn’t know at the time was that same day (morning in fact) American Media, Inc. had signed a licensing deal with Source Interlink, owner of both Weekly and sister mag Soap Opera Digest, in which American Media would control the editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution aspects of both magazines. As part of that deal a number of staffers were let go from both Digest and Weekly, while those who remained were either re-assigned or part of the recent layoffs now effecting the demise of Weekly itself.
According to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) data Soap Opera Network has received, Soap Opera Weekly magazine had an average total circulation of nearly 108,000 between subscriptions and single copy sales in the second half of 2011. Single copy sales exceeded subscriptions by just over 5,000 issues. The magazine lost upwards of 40,000 subscribers compared to the second half of 2010, when its total circulation was nearly 146,000 between subscriptions and single copy sales. In November of 2011, in our report announcing the launch of Reality Weekly, we noted that Soap Opera Weekly had recently ceased providing subscriptions:
Dated November 14, 2011:
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.
With the magazine no longer providing subscription based readership, sales figures fell to just over 50,000 single copy sales based on the data average of the 15 issues sold during the first half of 2012, according to the ABC. This showed axed subscribers did not opt into buying the magazine at their local supermarket or grocer. By comparison, in the first half of 2001, when there were 10 soaps still on the air (“All My Children,” “As The World Turns,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “Guiding Light”, “One Life to Live,” “Passions,” “Port Charles” and “The Young and the Restless”), Weekly‘s total circulation was 372,000 on average between subscriptions (134,000) and single copy sales (238,000).
Soap Opera Weekly, which launched with its first issue dated November 21, 1989, with maven Mimi Torchin as its founding Editor in Chief, will present a final look into the world of soaps with its last issue dated April 10, 2012, according to an American Media spokesperson. Stephanie Sloane, in her role as the Editor in Chief of both Weekly and Digest, will close the books on the magazine.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — In a story we had been following since it was first reported last April that Soap Opera Weekly and Soap Opera Digest magazines would fall under the umbrella of American Media, publishers of such mags as Star and TV Guide, Soap Opera Network has learned that after 22 years Soap Opera Weekly (launched in November 1989) will be shuttered and its April 10, 2012 issue will be its last.
Weekly, which last fall discontinued its subscription base readership in place of a newsstand only publication, let go some of its remaining staff while retaining the remainder according to a representative. Stephanie Sloane, who took over both magazines last June as Editor in Chief, after the departure of Lynn Leahey, will continue in that capacity at Digest.
In December rumors of Weekly‘s ultimate demise began with the announcement of American Media’s newest publication Reality Weekly, which shipped its first issue in January of this year. At the time an American Media publicist confirmed that Reality Weekly had no impact on the future of Soap Opera Weekly. It is understood that despite today’s announcement of Soap Opera Weekly‘s end Reality Weekly will not replace Soap Opera Weekly on newsstands. “Reality Weekly has its own supermarket pockets and are not taking over Soap Opera Weekly‘s pockets,” confirmed the rep.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Televisions most watched daily serialized drama series, CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful,” will be heading back to Italy next month to film eight to ten future episodes over the course of five days in the southern Italian region of Puglia as well as in and around the Masseria San Domenico and Borgo Egnazia resorts. This marks the soaps fourth trip to Italy after Lake Como in 1997, Venice in 1999 and Portofino in 2002.
“I am excited to feature another gorgeous Italian region on ‘The Bold and the Beautiful,’” said Bradley P. Bell, Executive Producer and Head Writer in a statement. “Brooke, Ridge and our other characters will find out that even in the remote location of Puglia, you can’t run away from the drama.”
Shooting is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 7 and end on Friday, May 11, 2012 with an airdate set for around late spring on the CBS Television Network. International audiences, particularly in Italy, will not be able to see the episodes until a year later (Spring 2013) due to the international distribution setup between foreign networks and Bell-Phillip Television Productions, owner of “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
According to Bell, at least five cast members will be heading to Puglia including Ronn Moss (who portrays Ridge Forrester) and Katherine Kelly Lang (who portrays Brooke Logan). The remaining cast members set to join the two will be announced at a later date.
“The Bold and the Beautiful” is one of four daytime soaps still airing on the big three networks and the only one to routinely use the great outdoors to enhance its storytelling. In addition to recent remotes in Sydney, Australia (2007), Aspen, Colorado (2011-12) and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (2011), the drama series uses its Los Angeles roots as a backdrop, including an upcoming remote at the Bell Family estate that finds the younger generation partying around the pool area. The scenes filmed will air as a compilation of episodes with an airdate set for early April.
Here’s a look at the first trailer for Johnny Depp‘s new film, “Dark Shadows,” which is based on the ABC Daytime gothic soap opera of the same name and aired from June 27, 1966 to April 2, 1971 on the network. The film is being released by Warner Bros. Pictures and scheduled to hit theaters on Friday, May 11, 2012.
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet—or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles. Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth’s ne’er-do-well brother, Roger Collins, (Jonny Lee Miller); her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz); and Roger’s precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins (Gulliver McGrath). The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker Willie Loomis, played by Jackie Earle Haley, and David’s new nanny, Victoria Winters, played by Bella Heathcote.