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

 
News

Soap Stars Play Ball for Charity

Thursday, April 16, 2009 1:37 AM EDT | By Scotty Gore


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Actors from “As the World Turns,” “Guiding Light,” and “One Life to Live” sign up to attend celebrity softball tournament.

Now in its eleventh year, the Tammy Rubin Rice Celebrity Softball Game, whose namesake died of breast cancer, is sponsored by the Shorefront Friends for Hospice. The voluntary organization offers supportive health services for terminally ill patients.

Scheduled to represent ABC at this year’s game are the following cast members from “One Life to Live”: Eddie Alderson (Matthew Buchanan), Kristen Alderson (Starr Manning), Brandon Buddy (Cole Thornhart), Scott Clifton (Schuyler Joplin), John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex Balsom), Sean Ringgold (Shaun), Jason Tam (Markko Rivera), Brittany Underwood (Langston Wilde Cramer), and Austin Williams (Shane Morasco). Representing CBS will be Billy Magnussen (Casey Hughes) and Marnie Schulenburg (Alison Stewart) from “As the World Turns” and Bonnie Dennison (Daisy Lemay) and Caitlin van Zandt (Ashlee Wolfe) from “Guiding Light.”

The 11th Annual Tammy Rubin Rice Celebrity Softball Game will be held on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at the Midwood High School softball field in Brooklyn, New York, located at Avenue K and East 16th Street. The gates open at 11:00 am edt, with the game beginning at 11:30 am edt. Tickets cost $25.00 each, and all proceeds go to benefit the charity.

To order tickets, please send a check or money order, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, to Shorefront Friends for Hospice (C/o Jodi Waxman), at 61 Bay 35th Street Brooklyn, New York 11214. For more information, click here to e-mail the event organizer.

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

“Guiding Light” airs Weekdays on CBS. Anytime on CBS.com. Check local listings.

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


Discussion: Soap Stars Play Ball for Charity




Wednesday, April 15, 2009 11:15 PM ET | By Scotty Gore


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — SOAPnet invites you to spend Mother’s Day with Blair Cramer and Starr Manning.

It has been one hell of a ride the past two years for Llanview’s popular mother-daughter duo, who have dealt with everything from teen pregnancy and losing a child, to being stabbed by a serial killer and held hostage by a convicted rapist. But, just in case you missed any of the drama, SOAPnet is offering fans a chance to relive some of Starr and Blair’s most memorable moments from the past two years, while celebrating their unique relationship.

On Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 10th), the network for soaps will host a three-hour “One Life to Live” marathon highlighting the strength of Starr and Blair’s relationship, beginning at 3:00 pm ET/PT. In the first episode (#9955, original airdate 06/17/07), Blair goes into overdrive to help make Starr’s prom a magical experience when her daughter receives an invitation at the last minute. The second episode (#10191, original airdate 05/20/08), features Starr being treated at the hospital after falling down a flight of stairs, and ultimately being forced to admit to her mother that she is pregnant. And in the final episode (#10309, original airdate 11/10/08), Starr and Blair grow closer as they wait to see the baby after Starr gives birth.

SOAPnet owns the world of character-driven soapy drama, from daytime and primetime dramas to reality shows and movies. The network features same-day episodes of popular daytime dramas including “All My Children,” “Days of our Lives,” “One Life to Live,” “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless”; favorite primetime series “The O.C.,” “One Tree Hill” and “Beverly Hills 90210″; and original programs including “Greg Behrendt’s “Wake Up Call,” “Being Erica,” “MVP” and “General Hospital: Night Shift.” Wrapped in a 24-hour environment, SOAPnet is the one destination for stories focused on real emotions and revealing truths about intriguing, yet flawed characters.

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


Discussion: SOAPnet Celebrates ‘Starr-Crossed’ Mothers


  • One Life to Live
  • Kassie DePaiva
  • Kristen Alderson


    Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:33 PM ET | By Errol Lewis

    (SoapOperaNetwork.com) –  Actor Billy Dee Williams joins the cast of ABC’s “General Hospital” later this year, reprising his role on “General Hospital: Night Shift” as Toussaint DuBois.

    Last seen on the SOAPnet original series as a janitor at General Hospital, Toussaint will “return to Port Charles during a tour break with the Saints,” confirms a ‘GH’ spokesman.

    “He’ll want to see Epiphany [Sonya Eddy] and other residents in town.”

    In “Night Shift,” Billy Dee found himself working side-by-side with trained killer Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) and saving lives through crashes, births and other various life threatening matters. This will be the first time the actor has appeared on “GH.” He is one of the few “Night Shift” stars to transition over to the mother soap. Most recently Nazanin Boniadi (ex-Leyla Mir) from season one transitioned to the soap until her character was killed off in January 2009 after parts of General Hospital exploded.

    Williams first airs in June.

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


    Discussion: Billy Dee Williams is Back in Port Charles


    • General Hospital
    • Billy Dee Williams
    • Sonya Eddy
    • General Hospital: Night Shift


      Tuesday, April 14, 2009 6:54 PM ET | By Errol Lewis

      (SoapOperaNetwork.com) –  “The Young and the Restless” bumps young star to recurring status.

      Bryton Eric McClure was born August 17, 1986 to an African American father and a European American mother. He currently portrays the role of Devon Hamilton on the CBS drama series “The Young and the Restless.” He joined the cast in 2004.

      Now known professionally as just Bryton, the actor is said to have been dropped to  recurring status by the CBS drama series.

      According to sources of TV Guide Canada’s Nelson Branco, “Bryton will be asked to go recurring à la Tracey Bregman. He just hasn’t been told yet.” It should be noted that Tracey Bregman, who portrays Lauren Fenmore on the soap, is said to prefer recurring status to a contract. It provides her with more free time to do other things outside of the soap world.

      A “Y&R” spokeswoman had no comment.

      Bryton won the 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series and the 2009 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series for his work on “The Young and the Restless.” His previous credits include a starring role in the ABC sitcom “Family Matters” from 1990-1997 (the series moved to CBS in 1997). He portrayed the role of Ritchie Crawford on the comedy series.

      In addition to his acting credits, Bryton is also a recording artist. He debuted his first single, “Ooh, The Way I Feel About You,” on the German TV series “Stars 2000″ and has performed live on numerous occasions for an international audience through appearances on television networks including Viva, ZDF 5, Giga TV and Disney Channel. He is an active spokesperson for various charities. In 1996 he founded “RADD (Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving) Kids.” Bryton also was awarded the Michael Landon Award for his charitable contributions in the entertainment community.

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


      Discussion: ‘Y&R’s’ Bryton McClure Bumped to Recurring Status?


      • The Young and the Restless
      • Family Matters
      • Bryton McClure
      • Tracey Bregman


        Monday, April 13, 2009 8:30 PM ET | By Errol Lewis

        (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — As a new Michael is set to join the cast, “General Hospital” is ready to reduce the appearances of two contract players.

        According to published reports, actors Rick Hearst (Ric Lansing) and Megan Ward (Kate Howard) have been bumped to recurring status by the ABC Daytime drama series. Ironically, Hearst recently re-signed a new contract after joining the cast in 2002. Ward joined the cast in May 2007.

        Rumors began circulating last month that five stars from the soap would get the axe following recent budget cuts at ABC Daytime. It is understood that instead of being let go completely, both actors agreed to being placed on recurring status. At press time, an ABC spokesman had no comment.

        In related news, Drew Garrett joins the cast as Michael Corinthos III beginning Thursday, April 24 (first day of May Sweeps). He replaces Dylan Cash, who had consistently played the role from March 2002 through May 2008. Cash last aired on December 29, 2008. Last year, Michael was shot in the head following an ordered hit on his father, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard). The hit was ordered by Claudia Zacchara (Sarah Joy Brown), Sonny’s wife, but was carried out by Dr. Ian Devlin (Seamus Dever). Currently Claudia is playing cat and mouse with Jerry Jacks (Sebastian Roche), who recently came back from the dead and knows all about Claudia’s involvement in the hit.

        Although Garrett joins the cast in April, don’t look for him to say a word until May, when Michael open’s his eyes for the first time in a year.

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


        Discussion: GH Casting Report: April Edition


        • General Hospital
        • Rick Hearst
        • Sarah Joy Brown
        • Dylan Cash
        • Maurice Benard
        • Megan Ward
        • Drew Garrett
        • Sebastian Roche


          Monday, April 13, 2009 7:45 PM ET | By Errol Lewis

          (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Legendary soap opera actress, Deidre Hall (ex-Marlena Evans, “Days of our Lives”), to guest-host online radio show “Hollywood CLOUT” during the week of April 13-17, 2009.

          Joining Hall on Monday’s edition (April 13) will be Author, Rory Freedman (“Skinny Bitch”), talking about the “Meatless Monday” campaign on Air America. On Tuesday (April 14), look for Sex and Relationship Expert Alison Armstrong and on Thursday (April 16), look for “Wheel of Fortune” spinner Vanna White. Other guests include Congressman Dennis Kucinich – talking about the dangerous organic farming/genetically modified food bill circulating through Congress, friends of Hall’s from “Days of our Lives,” Holistic Doctor Paul Campbell and boy who does telepathic readings.

          “Hollywood CLOUT” is a national radio talk-show dedicated to “Pollywood,” a combination of Hollywood celebrities, politics, social issues and activism. The show is regularly hosted by personality Richard Greene.

          This isn’t the first time Hall has hosted “CLOUT,” she appeared as a co-host several times over the past year. Previously, the actress started her career as a DJ in Florida.

          On the web: http://www.airamerica.com.

          “Hollywood CLOUT” airs Weekdays at 9:00 PM, ET/6:00 PM PT on AirAmerica Radio or in select cities including New York, Los Angelas, Chicago and Detroit.  Check local listings.


          Discussion: Deidre Hall Guest-Hosts ‘Hollywood CLOUT’

          • Days of our Lives
          • Deidre Hall
          • Hollywood CLOUT
          • Richard Greene


            Monday, April 13, 2009 7:15 PM ET | By Errol Lewis

            (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On ABC’s “General Hospital,” Dr. Robin Scorpio recently gave birth to a baby girl, but finds herself unable to bond with her. Mother’s across America suffer through the same problem day after day untreated, now the soap has joined together with Postpartum Support International (PSI) to get the word out with the hope of helping mothers everywhere.

            On Thursday, April 16, immediately following that days airing of “General Hospital,” look for an informative Public Service Announcement (PSA) on postpartum depression. The PSA is in conjunction with the ongoing storyline centering on Dr. Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough) and her battle with the illness following the birth of her daughter, Emma, a few months ago. Robin married Emma’s father, Dr. Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson) in December 2008 after three years of courting.

            “As our viewers expect to be entertained each day, they also want to be educated when an important medical issue is integrated into storyline. I am sure some members of our audience are directly affected with postpartum depression or know someone who is, and we believe it is important to direct our audience to the organizations that can help them,” said Jill Farren Phelps, Executive Producer, “General Hospital.”

            During the all important May Sweeps period, Robin will finally come to terms with her affliction and will decide to seek professional help. Later, she will join a support group that will be cast with real-life mothers who had suffered through postpartum depression.

            “PSI is honored that the producers and writers of ‘General Hospital’ felt the topic of postpartum depression was an important one to share with their audience, ” said Birdie Gunyon Meyer, RN, MA, President, PSI. “Millions of women’s lives can be saved by ending the fear and isolation of sufferers and offering access to treatment resources. We are grateful to ABC Daytime [for] following up with a public service announcement and helping to raise awareness of what is truly the most common complication of childbirth.”

            In 1997, Carly Jacks (then played by Sarah Joy Brown) suffered through postpartum depression and went untreated. Many, including Robin Scorpio, didn’t believe that Carly was suffering with the problem and attributed her lack of mothering skills to a newborn Michael Corinthos as Carly being Carly.

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


            Discussion: ‘GH’ Launches PSA on Postpartum Depression

            • General Hospital
            • Jason Thompson
            • Kimberly McCullough


              Sunday, April 12, 2009 8:05 PM ET | By Errol Lewis

              (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — ABC Daytime and SOAPnet have signed on as presenting sponsors of Stagecoach – California’s Country Music Festival taking place on Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.

              Actors Steve Burton (Jason Morgan, “General Hospital”), Bobbie Eakes (Krystal Martin, “All My Children”), and Bree Williamson (Jessica Brennan, “One Life to Live”) are set to appear as part of Weekend Festivities.

              Stagecoach features artists from the country, bluegrass, folk, roots rock and alt-country genres performing in three distinct performance arenas. Now in its third year, Stagecoach also boasts such activities as a BBQ competition and expanded camping area with amenities exclusively available to campers. This year’s lineup of performers includes headliners Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Reba McEntire, and Kid Rock.

              “We know through research and our past experiences with country music events that country music is one of the popular music categories among our fan base, “said Adam Rockmore, Senior Vice President, ABC Daytime and SOAPnet Marketing. “The benefit of sponsoring this event is two-fold: we are able to super-serve our daytime fans and also gain exposure and credibility with a whole new audience, ultimately enabling us to grow our viewership.”

              Stagecoach is part of the ABC Daytime and SOAPnet initiative, “Soap Nation Tour,” presenting stars of “All My Children,” ”General Hospital,” and “One Life to Live” to more fans in more cities on an ongoing basis. Previously, the best way to get in touch with your favorite stars was courtesy of the popular ABC/SOAPnet Super Soap Weekend, which ended its thirteen year run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (previously Disney-MGM Studios) in 2008.

              Joining Burton, Eakes and Williamson will be Melissa Claire Egan (Annie Lavery, “All My Children”), Brandon Barash (Johnny Zacchara, “General Hospital”), Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth Webber, “General Hospital”), Kirsten Storms (Maxie Jones, “General Hospital”), Jason Thompson (Patrick Drake, “General Hospital”) and Laura Wright (Carly Jacks, “General Hospital”).  The actors will introduce musical acts, interact with fans on the Mane Stage and hold autograph sessions and participate in giveaways from an ABC/SOAPnet branded RV and tent onsite. Talent appearances are subject to change.

              To reserve tickets for a full weekend of entertainment and view a full artist lineup along with a complete breakdown of available ticketing and onsite camping/RV options, go to http://www.stagecoachfestival.com. Prices start at $299. A limited number of general admission tickets, camping and RV packages are available.

              “All My Children” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.
              “General Hospital” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.
              “One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.


              Discussion: ABC Daytime and SOAPnet Present Stagecoach

              • All My Children
              • One Life to Live
              • General Hospital
              • Kirsten Storms
              • Laura Wright
              • Steve Burton
              • Jason Thompson
              • Brandon Barash
              • Rebecca Herbst
              • Bree Williamson
              • Bobbie Eakes and Melissa Claire Egan
              • Kenny Chesney
              • Brad Paisley
              • Reba McEntire
              • Kid Rock
              • Stagecoach


                ‘One Life’ Prom Dress Give-Away

                Wednesday, April 8, 2009 11:51 PM EDT | By Scotty Gore


                (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Want to go to prom, but can’t afford a dress? Then “One Life to Live” may be able to help.

                For many high school students, prom is the most magical time of the year. That will certainly be the case at Llanview High next month when The Pussycat Dolls perform “Jai Ho (You are My Destiny),” the English version of the popular song from the Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaires.” But the fun doesn’t end there. “One Life to Live” is teaming up with the website DonateMyDress.org to sponsor the Dream Dress Contest, giving twenty-eight lucky teen girls a prom night to remember.

                With the nation in the grips of an economic downturn, increasing numbers of teens will either dress down for their high school prom this year, or simply skip the event altogether. However, “One Life to Live” wants to make a difference by giving away twenty-seven beautiful gowns to be worn in the show’s upcoming Llanview High prom episode on May 13th, plus Kristen Alderson’s (Starr) very own prom dress. The gowns, varying in styles and colors, will be worn by Alderson and castmates Brittany Underwood (Langston), Camila Banus (Lola), Dana Sipovich (Becca) and Shenell Edmonds (Destiy), along with several extras. Total value of the dresses is $5,600.

                To be eligible, applicants must describe in three hundred words or less why they feel they deserve one of the prom dresses. Only those teenage girls who are whose family is in a tough financial predicament and unable to afford a dress, are encouraged to apply. All entries will be verified by contacting the teachers of the girls who sign-up. The gowns range in size from 0 to 8. And those who are not selected to receive one of the dresses worn on “OLTL,” are urged to contact their local DonateMyDress chapter, for help in finding a prom dress. Interested parties can enter the contest and read the official rules by clicking here. But hurry, the deadline is midnight edt on April 24th, 2009. Best of luck!

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



                Discussion: ‘One Life’ Prom Dress Give-Away




                ‘General Hospital’ Goes High-Def.

                Wednesday, April 8, 2009 1:23 AM EDT | By Scotty Gore


                (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Port Charles is about to get a makeover as ABC prepares to launch “GH” in HD.

                Brian Frons, president of daytime at the Disney-ABC Television Group, announced Monday that the network’s senior daytime drama will be begin broadcasting in 720-line-progressive high-definition format on April 23rd. The move will coincide with the unveiling of a new hospital set, designed by “GH” production designer Chip Dox, and possibly a new, or updated opening sequence.

                According to Frons, “Our loyal viewers will be very pleased with the technology that provides top-notch video and audio quality, and shows our commitment to the production of this long-running series, as well as the daytime drama genre. The people and places in Port Charles will never look better.”

                However the move to HD didn’t come cheap, as Broadcasting & Cable is reporting that the Alphabet Network spent $3 million to make the necessary upgrades to help transition “GH” into the new format. Aside from equipment, expenses also accounted for the renting of a second control room, which the soap used from January 4th until March 13th while the main studios were upgraded. Dom Nuzzi, senior VP of production for ABC Daytime, explains the difficulty in the change, “Doing an HD upgrade on a show that’s in production 48 to 50 weeks a year takes some logistical juggling.” According to Nuzzi, “GH” had the fortune of being able to use an empty control room adjacent to the show’s Stage 4 at ABC’s Prospect Studios facility in California. The move to HD began late last year, during the daytime drama’s two-week hiatus around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. It was during this time that Nuzzi and his staff installed rental equipment from Sweetwater Digital in the temporary control room, while crews dismantled the old command center.

                Broadcasting & Cable states that “ABC had already purchased high-definition Ikegami HDK-725 cameras (six and a backup) for ‘GH.’ Key new gear added since January includes Fujinon HD lenses, a 48-input Grass Valley Kayak production switcher, and an upgraded Avid Unity ISIS server system with Nitris editors that uses Avid’s DNxHD 145-megabit-per-second compression rate. The system is capable of storing 20-30 episodes for post-production and on-air promo applications. The new control room takes a scaled-down approach to monitoring; instead of a giant virtual monitor wall, it uses five 65-inch Panasonic professional plasma monitors fed by an Evertz MVP multi-image display processor system.”

                During the week of March 16th, while “GH” took a break from filming, crew members installed the new hospital set and upgraded the lighting (which operates at lower levels) in the show’s 20,000 square foot studio. Also, camera operators and technical directors received training regarding the 16.9 aspect ratio associated with HD, and the make-up team experimented on the show’s cast to determine the best look for high def. Nuzzi comments, “We wanted to make sure that the actors were comfortable. But we’re settling into a good routine.”

                As for the new medical center set, the network was able to salvage bits and pieces of sets used in the suder’s prime-time spinoff, “General Hospital: Night Shift,” and incorporate them into the set deign for the new hospital. The new set is made up of 14 pieces and “will allow the realism of ‘General Hospital’ to grow bigger than it’s ever been,” according to Frons. The old “GH” set was recently destroyed in an explosion, as part of a major storyline on the show. The carefully crafted tale laid the groundwork for the construction of the new set.

                From filming to post-production, it takes approximately three to four days to complete an entire episode of “General Hospital,” which are usually shot about three to four weeks before being scheduled to air. The March 30 episode was the first to be filmed in HD, meaning it will air on April 23rd, which is also the first day of May sweeps.

                Impressed by the initial HD test shoots, Frons expressed his enthusiasm for the project. “Because the cameras operate in less light, you get much more of a filmic, primetime look,” states the ABC Daytime head.

                “General Hospital” becomes only the second daytime drama to make the switch to HD. “The Young & the Restless” has been broadcasting in high def. since June 2001. In addition, “GH” is also the second show on the ABC Daytime programming block to be produced in HD, following “The View” which made the transition in 2006.  ABC currently broadcasts most of its primetime schedule in HDTV, in addition to both the weekday and weekend editions of “Good Morning America” and the the late night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” 

                As for ABC’s two New York based soaps, “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” Frons laments that the network has no definite plans to convert either soap to HD in the short-term. However, he is hopeful that the entire ABC Daytime lineup will broadcast in HD within the next two years. “In this economic environment, it’s about two things. One: how much life the equipment in the studio has left. Two, can you get the capital expense [for new equipment] approved? The second one is a little different now than it’s historically been, but we hope to coax it along.”

                “GH” recently celebrated its 46th anniversary on April 1st, and is ABC’s longest-running daytime serial. Created by Frank and Doris Hursley, “GH” has won a record ten Daytime Emmys, six Soap Opera Digest Awards, and 4 Soapy Awards for Best Daytime Drama, and has aired more than 11,780 episodes. Jill Farren Phelps in Executive Producer, while Robert Guza, Jr. serves as Head Writer. Senior cast members include Leslie Charleson, Jane Elliot, Anthony Geary, John J. York, and John Ingle. Full episodes of “GH” are available on ABC.com the day after airing on the network for users to watch online.

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


                Discussion: ‘General Hospital’ Goes High-Def.










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