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

 
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‘Pyramid’ to Replace ‘Light?”

Thursday, April 2, 2009 10:40 PM EDT | By Scotty Gore


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Only one day after CBS announced that they were cancelling “Guiding Light,” the network provides a glimpse at what may take its place on their daytime line-up.

 

In an update to a story SON first brought you yesterday concerning the cancellation of “Guiding Light,” television’s longest running daytime drama, new details have emerged as to what may move into the time slot presently occupied by the iconic soap opera on the CBS schedule.

 

TV Week is reporting that executives at CBS are pondering replacing “GL” with a revamped version of the classic game show “The $25,000 Pyramid,” according to an Entertainment Weekly story posted on their official website early Thursday morning. While neither CBS nor Sony, the studio developing the supposed project, would comment publicly, sources familiar with the situation have told TV Week that television producer Michael Davis, best known for his behind-the-scenes work on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?,” has recently been working on re-launching the popular game show which was originally hosted by America’s oldest teenager Dick Clark. CBS also appears to be weighing other options, including talk shows produced in house by the network. There has also been some speculation that CBS might turn the hour over to their affiliates for local or syndicated programming. However, reports seem to indicate that the network plans to hold on to the hour soon to be vacated by “Guiding Light” in September. It is important to note that talk and game shows are much cheaper for networks and studios to produce then other daytime programming, specifically soap operas.

 

The “Pyramid” series of game shows has a long history on CBS, both in the daytime and prime-time, and is second only to “Jeopardy!’ in total amount of Daytime Emmy wins. Created by Bob Stewart, the game show debuted as “The $10,000 Pyramid” on March 26, 1973, and was hosted by Dick Clark. After some initial kinks and format changes, the game show paired up celebrity guests with regular, everyday Americans. An instant hit, “Pyramid” maintained its ratings even as much of the daytime genre was pre-empted by Congressional hearings on the infamous Watergate scandal involving then-President Richard Nixon. When the ratings temporarily feel in mid-1974, “Pyramid” jumped ship, leaving CBS for ABC, and soon became a fixture on the Alphabet Network’s daytime schedule. Later that same year, a syndicated prime-time version of the game show (titled “The $25,000 Pyramid”) premiered, and was hosted by the late Bill Cullen. It lasted for several years before being cancelled in September 1979. As for the ABC version, “Pyramid” rose in the ratings, and soon became the third highest rated game show at the time. After upping the cash prize in January 1976, the show was re-christened “The $20,000 Pyramid.” For five weeks in 1979, the show was again renamed, this time becoming “Junior Partner Pyramid,” as celebrity guests were replaced with children teaming up with a parent or other adult relative. However, ratings soon became to fall, resulting in cancellation once again in 1980.

 

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, however, a new syndicated incarnation of the game show premiered in 1981 as “The $50,000 Pyramid,” with Dick Clark again as host. After being cancelled later the same year, “The $25,000 Pyramid” was resurrected by CBS Daytime in 1982. The word “New” was added to the title from 1982 until 1985, to help viewers distinguish it from reruns of the 1974 prime-time version hosted by Bill Cullen. The success of that version led to new nightly syndicated version, called “The $100,000 Pyramid,” which was also hosted by Dick Clark. Ratings for the daytime version again declined, and CBS cancelled “Pyramid” for a second time on December 31, 1987; however it would briefly be revived for thirteen weeks the spring of 1988, following the failure of the short-lived game show “Blackout.” This daytime version of “Pyramid” ended on July 1st, 1988, while the syndicated prime-time version lasted until September 2nd. Left in reruns for three years, the popular game show returned for a few months in 1991 as the John Davidson emceed “$10,000 Pyramid.” The latest version lasted from 2002-2004, and was simply called “Pyramid.” It was hosted by Donny Osmond, and ran in first-run syndication. In recent years, reruns of several of the various “Pyramid” series have aired on “GSN” (formerly “Game Show Network”).

If picked up by CBS, the latest version would mark the ninth installment of the long running game show, which ran for more than 1,800 episodes during its reign. The news that CBS is contemplating replacing “Guiding Light” with a revamped version of “Pyramid” has been met with resistance and anger by many “GL” fans who have jammed message boards, circulated petitions, and threatened to boycott the network in an attempt to save their show. No doubt the memories will turn bittersweet when “Guiding Light” airs its final episode on September 18th and fades into television history.

SON will continue to follow this story as it develops.


Discussion: ‘Pyramid’ to Replace ‘Light?’




TeleNext Media, Inc.

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — After 72 years on air between radio and television, CBS’s “Guiding Light” will cease broadcasting on the CBS Television Network due to low ratings. Love may save the world, but apparently it wasn’t enough to save television’s longest running daytime drama. Even with having its name published in the Guinness World Record Book and winning three Daytime Emmy’s for Best Drama Series (the most recent being in 2007), “GL” found itself unable to withstand the mass exodus of viewers from the traditional daytime soap format in recent years.

Consistently finding itself in the ratings cellar for the past few years, many sensed that the dimming ‘Light” would soon burn out on the long-running daytime drama.

According to published reports, Proctor & Gamble, the company responsible for producing both “Guiding Light” and sister soap “As the World Turns,” sat down with cast and crew members at their studios in New York and New Jersey on Wednesday morning to break the news that “GL” would be ceasing production this fall, with the last episode airing on Friday, September 18th after more than 15,700 episodes.

The news was met with mixed emotion by fans and cast alike. Long running “GL” castmember Ron Raines, who portrays the villainous Alan Spaulding stated that the “The numbers are really tough for all these old dramas. I don’t think any of the other shows want any of us to go off. We’re all in this together. What was it? 72 years continuous? That will never be touched. It is a very sad thing, but these are the times we live in. It’s very tough out there.”

“Being on the air for more than seven decades is truly remarkable, and it will be difficult for all of us at the show to say goodbye,” said Executive Producer Ellen Wheeler. “I’m proud of everything we’ve been able to do, including outstanding storytelling, our community service around the country with ‘Find Your Light’ and the launch of our new production model. This show has such a rich history, wonderful fans, and I’m honored to have been a part of the ‘GL’ legacy.”

This afternoon’s sudden announcement has sent shockwaves that have reverberated around the nation, as news of “GL’s” demise has dominated media outlets and online soap message boards. Lynn Leahey, Soap Opera Digest editorial director, calls the cancellation “heartbreaking” and said that “it was a constant in people’s lives” that hung around, unlike its prime-time counterparts that came and went. “For many of us, it was the first show we ever watched.”

Former “GL” Executive Producer Jill Farren Phelps summed up her fondness for the years she spend at the helm of the long-running daytime drama “‘Guiding Light’ has a very special place in my heart. I began my career in daytime there as a production assistant and later returned as executive producer. It was a privilege (both times) to be a part of such a fabulous group of people who did such outstanding work. Some of the most talented actors, writers, and directors have walked through the doors of ‘Guiding Light.’ The industry will mourn the loss of this beloved show, but ‘Guiding Light’ leaves a rich legacy for all of us in daytime to treasure. I wish all my dear friends a gentle landing.”

Nancy Tellem, President of CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, had this to say about the the show’s rich legacy, “‘Guiding Light’ has achieved a piece of television history that will never be matched, it has crossed mediums, adapted its stories to decades of social change, and woven its way through generations of audiences like no other. This daytime icon will always be an indelible part of CBS’s history, with a legacy of innovation and reputation for quality and excellence at every step of the way. While its presence will be missed, its contributions will always be celebrated and will never be forgotten.”

And, according to Barbara Bloom, Senior Vice President of Daytime Programs at CBS, “No show in daytime or prime time, or anytime, has touched so many millions of viewers across so many years as ‘Guiding Light.’ We thank the cast, crew, and producers — past and present — who delivered this entertainment institution, the beloved characters, and the time-honored stories to our audience every day for seven decades. It’s been a privilege to work with such an extraordinarily talented group of people.”

Adding to “GL’s” woes within the past decade is the fact that several prominent CBS affiliates from around the country have either moved the soap to early morning or late night time slots, or removed it from their programming schedule entirely (such as KOVR-TV in Sacramento, California and WNEW-TV in Flint City, Michigan).

With sagging ratings, “Guiding Light” began to experiment with several different approaches to the traditional daytime model of storytelling within the past year. The sudser scrapped the familiar three stationary camera set-up in favor of portable cameras, which allowed producers to film cast members in various settings and locations outside the studio. Unfortunately, however, the changes did little to re-energize ‘GL,’ and largely had the opposite effect, resulting in turning off veteran fans and losing such popular cast members such as Beth Elhers and Ricky Paull Goldin (who have since moved on to ABC’s “All My Children”).

According to CBS, in 2008, the soap “premiered a brand-new daytime production model, featuring permanent sets inside its New York City studio and approximately 20% of the production shot in exterior scenes in the town of Peapack, N.J. In addition, directing and editing were changed to be done digitally and almost simultaneously, giving the sets a more realistic feeling and eliminating the need for production suites.”

In a press release issued by TeleNext Media, Inc., which oversees production of “GL” for Proctor & Gamble, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Brian T. Cahill thanked fans for their loyalty over the years and said that “We are honored to have been welcomed into the homes of multiple generations of ‘Guiding Light’ viewers. Cahill also gave “GL” fans a glimmer of soap by announcing that he and his staff are “working hard to find the show a new home, and we are exploring all our options to continue to bring loyal fans the characters and stories they love.” That ‘new home’ could come in the form of online episodes or moving ‘GL’ to a cable or satellite network following the soap’s departure from the CBS Daytime schedule this fall. However, given the recent failure of the now-defunct NBC soap “Passions,” which moved to DirecTV near the end of its run after being cancelled by the Peacock Network, the outlook for a new venue for “Guiding Light” appears bleak at best.

The demise of “Guiding Light” leaves only seven daytime soaps still airing on the Big Three Networks. ABC and CBS will each have three and NBC one. In terms of longevity, fellow P&G soap “As the World Turns” is daytime’s second oldest drama, celebrating its 53rd anniversary on April 2nd. The other six soaps (with the year they premiered in parenthesis) are “General Hospital” (1963), “Days of Our Lives” (1965), “One Life to Live” (1968), “All My Children” (1970), “The Young & the Restless” (1973), and “The Bold & the Beautiful” (1987). “GL” becomes the eighth daytime drama to be cancelled in the past twenty years, placing it with the likes of “Another World,” “Santa Barbara,” “Sunset Beach,” “Loving,” “The City,” “Port Charles,” and “Passions.”

“Guiding Light” was created nearly seventy-five years ago by the talented soap writer Irna Phillips (1901-1973). Long recognized as a daytime pioneer, Phillips created or co-created nearly a dozen soaps, three of which (“As the World Turns” and “Days of Our Lives,” which she helped Tim and Betty Corday develop) were still on the air at the beginning of 2009. Phillips has either direct or indirect ties to all but one of the eight present daytime dramas. Agnes Nixon (creator of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children”) and William J. Bell, who developed the concepts for “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” were at one time writers for Phillips on several of her soaps. This leaves “General Hospital” as the only remaining soap not either created by the late soap icon, or one of her protégés. “Guiding Light” paid homage to Phillips in a special 70th anniversary episode in 2007, which featured past and present cast members portraying Phillips, her crew, and some of the original “GL” characters while recording a radio broadcast of the show in the late 1930s.

Launched as a 15-minute NBC radio serial on January 25, 1937, “Guiding Light” would later make the transition to television, premiering on CBS on June 30th, 1952. The radio broadcast ran concurrently with its TV counterpart (and featured the same actors and characters) before coming to an end in 1956. “GL” first aired in color on September 11th, 1967, and expanded to thirty minutes the following year. In November 1977, it expanded once more, this time to sixty minutes. Ratings peaked in late 1981, but have steadily declined in the years that have followed.

Set in the fictional town of Springfield and focusing primarily on the Spaulding, Lewis, and Cooper families, “Guiding Light” has won an impressive 69 Daytime Emmy Awards and 12 Soap Opera Digest Awards during the soap’s long, record-setting history. “GL” has also broken ground over the years by tackling numerous controversial issues including teen pregnancy, cancer, alcoholism, sexual harrasement, abuse, Down Syndrome, and post-partum depression. It was also the first daytime drama to prominently feature African-Americans in frontburner storylines in 1966. ‘GL’ became the first soap to podcast audio only episodes in 2005. Veteran cast members include Kim Zimmer, Jordan Clarke, Robert Newman, Michael O’Leary, Grant Alexander, and Tina Sloan. “GL” also boasts a long list of distinguished alumni, including Justin Deas (who is tied with “One Life to Live’s” Erika Slezak and “General Hospital’s Anthony Geary for most Daytime Emmy wins, and remains a part of the cast), Kevin Bacon, Calista Flockhart, Allison Janney, James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, Taye Diggs, Hayden Panettiere, and Brittany Snow.

Originally known as “The Guiding Light” (‘the’ was dropped in 1975), the show focused around the character of the Rev. John Ruthledge, and his parishioners in the Chicago suburb of Five Points (the setting later moved to Selby Flats, before finally settling in Springfield). A continuously lit lamp in the Reverend’s study assured his flock that he was there for them whenever they needed him.

Even though the ‘Light’ will soon be extinguished, its legacy and rich history will continue to live on in future generations of soap fans. Thank you, “Guiding Light,” for your contributions to the daytime drama, and God speed. You will be missed.

Stay connected to SON as we continue to follow this story.

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



Wednesday, April 1, 2009 1:02 AM EDT | By Scotty Gore


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” has announced that Marcie and Michael McBain will be soon be riding off into the sunset together, as Kathy Brier and Chris Stack prepare to say goodbye to Llanview.

The writing has long been on the wall, but the news remains shocking nonetheless. According to Soap Opera Digest, “OLTL” has decided not to renew the contracts of Kathy Brier and Chris Stack. Mostly backburnerd during the past few years, Marcie and Michael have had relatively little story of their own. Outside of holding baby Tommy hostage after discovering that he was really Todd Manning’s son, and agreeing to adopt Todd’s pregnant daughter Starr’s baby girl, Marcie has rarely been seen other than occasional visits to her friends to dispense advice and exchange pleasantries. Much the same can be also be said for Michael, whose primary duties seem to be limited to interacting with patients at Llanview Hospital. Marcie and Michael even had to compete with a tornado and the revelation of who killed Michael and his brother John’s police officer father on their wedding day, leaving the newlyweds treated as second class citizens on what should have been the happiest day of their lives.

Brier has portrayed author/teacher Marcie Walsh McBain since creating the role in 2002; although the character was originally slated for two episodes . In 2004, she received a Daytime Emmy nomination for best supporting actress. Marcie marked Brier’s first television role. From 2003-2004 Brier appeared on Broadway as Tracy in “Hairspray.” She is also the voice of Babalulu on the animated Playhouse Disney children’s program “Jo Jo’s Circus,” and Rosamond in “Nate the Great” on PBS. In addition, Brier has also performed in numerous regional and off-Broadway theater productions, including “Bat Boy: the Musical,” “The Prince and the Pauper,” “Funny Girl,” “Cinderella,” and “Grease.” An accomplished singer, Brier has released a album entitled “Heartbreaker,” recorded a song for the “One Life, Many Voices” CD to benefit victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, and performed several songs on “OLTL” in recent years. And in 2003, Brier garnered attention following a rather unflattering comment by then-ABC Daytime President Brian Frons, in which he stated that “Kathy Brier, a marvelous actress, […] has an incredible voice and is not beautiful, is overweight and the audience has just embraced her, because she is not perfect like everybody else.”

Stack took over the role of Dr. Michael McBain in December 2007 following the dismissal of Nathaniel Marston from the role, becoming the fourth actor to take over the character (the others being R. Brandon Johnson from 2003-2004 and Robert Harte as a temporary replacement for a handful of episodes in 2007). Before joining the cast of “One Life to Live,” Stack made appearances as Walt on “As the World Turns” in 2006. In 2003, Stack had a minor role on “OLTL” as drug dealer Brad White. Other acting credits include “Conviction,” “Third Watch,” and “The Education of Max Bickford,” along with the films “School of Rock” and “Roger Dodger.”

SOD is reporting that both actors were let go by the soap last week, which Kathy Brier confirmed in the following message, posted Tuesday afternoon (March 31st) at 3:48 pm edt on her official MySpace page. “Last week after seven years on OLTL I was told by the powers that be at ABC that my contract was not going to be renewed at the end of my current cycle (May 31st). I was told that they don’t know what else to write for Marcie. Obviously I don’t agree with that statement. I think Marcie has so many layers still left to explore. That being said I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for being the most loyal fans I will probably ever have in my entire career. Over the years I have received countless emails and letters expressing how much Marcie has given hope to and inspired you but I want you all to know that you have done the same for me. You welcomed Marcie in a medium where she was never expected to flourish and helped me to break boundaries that my fellow voluptuous thespians (hollah Chandra Wilson, Melissa McCarthy) continue to break down. I hope to have your support as I enter this new adventure in my life and career and I hope, you have enjoyed the life and times of Marcie Walsh McBain as much as I have. Kathy.” However, a set side source leaked to SOD that “There could have been more story for Michael and Marcie, but that’s just not the direction they decided to take it. It’s the nature of the business.”

News of the exits of Brier and Stack comes on the heels of several other actors who have recently parted ways with “One Life to Live,” including Justis Bolding, Jacqueline Hendy, Kamar de los Reyes and BethAnn Bonner. While it remains to be seen if Marcie and Michael will be written off the show or if they will simply fade out of existence the way of forgotten characters like Miles Laurence have done, viewers will still be seeing them around Llanview for several more weeks. The McBains will be a part of baby Chloe’s christening in mid-April, and Michael will likely still be seen making his rounds at Llanview Hospital. And, although no final airdate has yet been announced, both Marcie and Michael could potentially continue to air until at least June or July, given that Brier’s contract expires on May 31st, and that “One Life” regularly tapes approximately four to six weeks in advance.

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


Discussion: Brier and Stack’s ‘Life’ Comes to an End in Llanview




Daytime Emmy Awards Find a New Home

Friday, March 27, 2009 1:07 AM EDT | By Scotty Gore


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Will they? Or won’t they? That is the question soap fans have been asking for months following the announcement by CBS that the network had decided not to air the “36th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.” Fortunately however, it now appears that another broadcaster has agreed to step up the plate.

It was supposed to be the Tiffany Network’s turn to air the Daytime Emmy Awards. But following last year’s low rated telecast on ABC, CBS soon began having cold feet, and announced just before Thanksgiving that it intended to scrap its plans for further broadcasts of the awards, which honor the shining stars and top shows of daytime television. For decades, the Daytime Emmy Awards have bounced between the Big Three networks from year to year, before NBC opted out of the rotation in 2004.

Despite heavy promotion and elaborate telecasts, however, ratings have plummeted dramatically for the awards ceremony in recent years. “The 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards,” which aired on ABC in June of last year, was the least watched broadcast in the ceremony’s nearly four-decade history. A record low 5.4 million Americans tuned in to watch the awards, which climaxed with ABC’s “General Hospital” picking up a unheard of 10th Outstanding Daytime Drama Award. To add insult to injury, the low ratings resulted in ABC finishing third among the seven broadcast networks for the night.

Fearful of a similar performance with the 2009 telecast, CBS quickly pulled the plug. After other networks, including ABC, NBC, and SOAPnet, passed on airing this year’s ceremony, it appeared that the awards would go untelevisied for the first time since 1983. But, just when all hope seemed lost, news broke that a jumpstart network, The CW, which ironically has no daytime dramas on its programming schedule, was in negotiations to air this year’s ceremony. However, the deal seems far from done, as a spokesperson for The CW Network tells Variety that the “CW confirms that they’re in talks for the Daytime Emmys, but there is no deal yet.”

If an agreement between the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the organization which oversees the ceremony, and The CW can be reached, the “36th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards” would likely air sometime on or around August 31st from the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles. DVD samples of award nominees’ work has reportedly already been sent to voters for their consideration and evaluation, and official ballots are expected to be mailed out sometime next week with a return date set for April 20th. With only one round of voting again this year for the judges, the final nominees should be determined within the next two to three weeks. Of course, however, the winners will not be announced until the awards ceremony in late August. Additionally, the NATAS has decided to stick with their traditional five nominees per category, while potentially overhauling the pre-nomination system. Under current rules, the cast of each of the eight daytime soaps is required to nominate two cast members per category and present DVD samples of their work to judges for evaluation. The NATAS is exploring ways to altar that format, including the possibility of allowing all daytime actors to place themselves up for nomination and judging.

Final nominees will be announced during the fourth hour of the NBC morning news program “Today” on May 14th, including those contenders for best drama, talk show, and lead actor and actress. Following this presentation, the remaining categories (such as best supporting actor and actress) will be announced later that evening as part of a reception inside New York City’s famed Hearst building.

As for The CW, if they are awarded the rights to air this year’s ceremony, CBS could still have an influence in the telecast given that both networks are under the same corporate umbrella. And, even though The CW airs no daytime dramas, many of their affiliates do air programs that compete in other daytime categories such as talk, game, and children’s shows, as well as educational/informational programming. In addition, the network could use the ceremony to its advantage by promoting their primetime line-up, which features several daytime alumni, and using those actors as presenters for the various award categories.

Before new broke that The CW was interested in airing the awards, many soap fans and insiders were relegated to speculation that the typically primetime ceremony might return to its original daytime format and be forced to air solely on the Internet, raising fears that the Daytime Emmy Awards might never again been seen on television. Now fans can breath a sigh of relief, at least for this year anyway.

The CW Network was launched in 2006 as a joint venture between the CBS Corporation and Warner Brothers. It is the successor of the now-defunct WB and UPN networks. The CW airs programming specifically geared toward the 18-34 year old demographic, such as “Gossip Girl,” “American’s Next Top Model,” “90210,” “One Tree Hill,” and “Smallville.” It is one of seven broadcast networks in the United States, which includes ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, ION, and MyNetworkTV. The CW covers more than 95% of television homes in the U.S., and has affiliates or transmitters in 99 of the top 100 television markets in the nation, according to Nielsen Media. The network’s current slogan is “Every Night is Good.”

Soap Opera Network will continue to follow this story and have more details as they develop.


Discussion: Daytime Emmy Awards Find New Home




‘One Life’ Casting New Role

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:44 PM EDT | By Scotty Gore


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” releases a new audition script that appears to involve one of the Buchanan boys.

For nearly the fifth time in less then a week, “OLTL” has released another casting call for minor character. This time is script is for the role of ‘Garrett,’ a medical specialist who will soon be summoned to Llanview to help cure one of its recently injured citizens. The role looks to be at best recurring, or even possibly only a dayplayer.

The scene opens with ‘Natalie’ speaking to Garrett in the library of Asa’s mansion. Be advised, however, that “One Life to Live” frequently changes character names in audition scripts in an attempt to throw off fans. That being said, from the tone of the script, it appears to actually involve Rachel Gannon and her younger brother Matthew Buchanan, who of course was recently paralyzed from the waist down following a car accident. ‘Natalie’ voices her concerns to Garrett about her sister ‘Jessica’s’ upcoming surgery, which Garrett has apparently has talked her into having. Garrett replies that all he did was provide information to Jessica in order for her to weigh all of her options her options and make the right decision.

An agitated Natalie fires back and implies that if Jessica didn’t agree to the surgery that she would have went to the end of his list, to which Garrett replies that he sees no reason that the damage to her body cannot be repaired. Worried, Natalie asks him what will happen if he is wrong, and states that Jessica has only recently begun to accept her condition. Afterward, she realizes that Jessica is still her sister and only wants her to be happy. Garrett assures Natalie that Jessica is not happy in her present state. But Natalie remains concerned about her sister, and wants to be sure that she isn’t taken in by a conman. Still she says that their father has contacted numerous specialists and none were able to match his claims, to which Garrett is quick to respond that it looks like they found the right person for the job.

As the scene begins to draw to a close, Natalie worries that Garrett is just out to make a name for himself. However, he assures her of his dedication to his profession and recalls how he studied extra hard in medical school in order to become a better than average doctor. He goes on to say that he only wants to work miracles for his patients and change their lives for the better, which prompts Natalie to claim he only will if paid a large fee. As the scene ends, Garrett warns Natalie that if she wants to play boss that she can have at it but, as for him, he is certain that he and he alone can return Jessica’s life to the normalcy she once enjoyed.

Again, it is important to note that Jessica and Natalie are likely only code names and will not be a part of this scene when it actually airs. Instead it is more probable that it will instead feature Matthew and Rachel.

Although it is impossible to pinpoint an exact air date for this scene, given the role is still in the casting process, but it could possibly air sometime between late spring or early summer.

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


Discussion: ‘One Life’ Casting New Role




Liza & Bianca Return to ‘AMC’

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 2:11 AM EST | By Angela Rosa


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The rumors are true.

In a surprising casting move, “All My Children” has cast Jamie Luner in the role of Liza Colby. All along, the speculation was that Luner would be a Chandler vixen recast but most expected the red-head to be a recast of Adam Chandler’s (David Canary) daughter, Skye (most famously played by Robin Christopher), not a recast of Adam’s fifty-ish ex-wife. Luner will be 38 in May.

In 1981, Liza was a high school student and her contemporaries (err…enemies) were Angie (Debbie Morgan), Jesse (Darnell Williams), Greg (Laurence Lau) and Jenny (Kim Delaney). Liza’s list of romantic entanglements include current “AMC” male characters such as the aforementioned Adam (David Canary), who she married multiple times and had a daughter, Colby (Brianne Moncrief), with, and also Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight), a cad who at one time was juggling her and her mother, Jake Martin (now played by Ricky Paull Goldin) and Ryan Lavery (Cameron Mathison). Career wise, a more mature Liza would become the owner of television station WRCW, a co-CEO of Chandler Enterprises and one of the original major investors in Fusion. Through the magic of television, Liza will come back to town with a law degree. Although eager to revive her relationship with her daughter, word on the street is Liza will be back to her original troublemaking roots. According to the New York Daily News, Liza will “get involved with” Zach Slater (Thorsten Kaye).

“AMC” and “Santa Barbara” legend Marcy Walker, of course, most famously played the role of Liza Colby. She last aired in 2005. Luner’s most substantial credits include a starring role as Cindy Lubbock on the short-lived ABC sitcom and “Growing Pains” spin-off “Just the Ten of Us” (1988-1990); the actress then went on to a leading role as vixen Peyton Richards on Aaron Spelling’s mid-season replacement “Savannah” on the WB (1996-1997); following the cancellation of that drama, Spelling cast the actress on his hit prime-time soap opera FOX’s “Melrose Place.” Luner played vixen Lexi Sterling for the show’s last two seasons (1997-1999) which were penned by current “AMC” headwriter Charles Pratt Jr. That role parlayed to the actress taking over the lead role, Agent Rachel Burke, on NBC’s “Profiler” for its last season (1999-2000). The actress also has a slew of guest-star appearances and television movies to her name.

Although Luner has yet to tape, Soap Opera Digest reports that Liza’s first air-date is Friday, April 17.

In other casting news, Eden Riegel will be busy back on the “AMC” set later today. You’ll first see Bianca Montgomery back on-screen on Friday, April 24. Bianca will be bringing along her and brother-in-law Zach’s daughter, Gabrielle, as well as first-born Miranda. Expect the return to wrap up quickly. As Soap Opera Network previously reported, both Tamara Braun and Riegel are expected to exit the soap together after playing Reese and Bianca’s reunion.

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




Tuesday, March 24, 2009 11:15 PM EDT | By Scotty Gore

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — ‘The Pussycat Dolls’ prepare to turn up the heat at Llanview High.

In what has seemingly become a recurring theme for the New York based daytime drama “One Life to Live” in recent years, the suder has booked yet another high profile musical artist. ABC announced today in a press release that The Pussycat Dolls will soon be rocking the halls of Llanview High School on prom night. Performing their hit single “You Are My Destiny’ (the English version of the Oscar®–winning A. R. Rahman song “Jai Ho”), the ‘Dolls’ will also take time out to mingle with a few of the citizens of Llanview. In particular, lead singer Nicole Scherzinger will share scenes with the Eddie Alderson’s character Matthew Buchanan. The group is currently comprised of Nicole Scherzinger, Melody Thornton, Jessica Sutta, Ashley Roberts, and Kimberly Wyatt.

The Pussycat Dolls debut album, “PCD,” peaked at the number five spot on the charts in 2005. The album was comprised of five blockbuster hits for the group, including “Don’t Cha,” “Beep,” “Buttons,” “Wait a Minute,” and “Stickwitu,” which received a Grammy® nomination. In addition, “PCD” also won numerous other honors, including two Billboard Awards and an MTV Award. The CD proved so successful that the group released a follow-up album, “Doll Domination,” in 2008. Debuting at number four on the U.S. charts, it broke the Top 10 in sixteen countries. “When I Grow Up,” one of two breakout hits from the album, gave the group their second MTV Award. Futhermore, the ‘Dolls’ recently returned from a sold out tour of Europe, and are currently featured on Britney Spears’ “The Circus Tour.” “One Life to Live” Executive Producer Frank Valentini states “The Pussycat Dolls are unmatched in terms of their success as a girl group. We are thrilled to have them on ‘One Life to Live’ to make the prom a truly memorable event for the teens in Llanview.”

In addition to their musical success, The Pussycat Dolls have also experienced some luck on television as well. In 2007, they hosted “Pussycat Dolls Presents” on The CW. They also re-recorded “Don’t Cha” for the “Sims 2: Pets” video game, and appeared as themselves in the “Asphalt: Urban GT 2″ computer program. The ‘Dolls’ are also rumored to be in negotiations with IGN to create a video game about their group, are affiliated with the online virtual world website vSide, and have endorsed a line of merchandise which includes clothing, shoes, lingerie, and Estée Lauder cosmetics. And in 2008, ‘Dolls’ lead singer Nicole Scherzinger openly joked that Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin could join their group if her bid was unsuccessful. Scherzinger commented, “She [Palin] seems like a headstrong woman, a tough chick. And she’s hot.”

The Pussycat Dolls are the latest in a long line of musical heavyweights who have appeared on “One Life to Live” in recent years. The impressive list includes The Plain White T’s, Simply Red, Snoop Dogg (who recorded his own version of the “OLTL” opening theme for his two-stint in Llanview), Mary J. Blige, Nelly Furtado, Lifehouse, Puddle of Mudd, Timbaland with Keri Hilson and One Republic, Chris Botti, Erykah Badu, Rachael Yamataga, Tito Puente, Jr., and Jeannie Ortega. However, “One Life’s” ability to lure popular musicians to Llanview extends far beyond the past decade. Throughout the soap’s 40 year history, countless other musicians have appeared on the show, including Little Richard, The Beach Boys, Bill Anderson, Sammy Davis Jr., Reba McEntire, Bill Medley, Darlene Love, Kurtis Blow, Kortney Kayle, Paul Taylor, Hazel Scott, and Peabo Bryson who recorded the lyrics for the 1987-1991 “One Life to Live” opening and closing credits.

According to the press release issued by ABC, the students of Llanview High are rewarded with a concert featuring The Pussycat Dolls after winning a radio contest. Also, the evening becomes even more magical as estranged lovers Starr and Cole reunite. Look for The Pussycat Dolls, who taped their scenes on March 23rd, to take the stage on May 13th.

For more information about The Pussycat Dolls, visit their official website by clicking here.

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


Discussion: ‘Pussycat Dolls’ Find Their ‘Destiny’ in Llanview




‘OLTL’s’ Spring Casting Notes

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 3:12 AM EDT | By Scotty Gore


(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The latest casting news for “One Life to Live.”

When Kamar de los Reyes exits the role of Antonio Vega on March 25th, he will be leaving a small reminder of his former ‘Life’ behind. ABC Soaps in Depth reports that, although de los Reyes has left “One Life,” his onscreen daughter Jamie Vega, portrayed by the adorable Saoirse Scott will be sticking around. One could suppose that her father’s departure will force Jamie to spend more time uncle Cristian, mamaw Carlotta, and papaw R.J. Gannon, given that Timothy D. Stickney is set to reprise the reformed gangster in late April. De los Reyes will briefly return as Antonio to escort girlfriend Talia Sahid (BethAnn Bonner) out of town later this spring. R.J.’s big brother Hank Gannon returns on April 1st with a surprise for ex-wife Nora, when their daughter Rachel returns the following Monday, much to her mother’s delight.

It’s no April Fool’s joke when Doc Dougherty resurfaces as hit man Jackie McNaughton on April 1st. It appears that Jackie takes care of some business for Todd, and somehow becomes caught up in Dorian’s scheme to get under the skin of someone she once tried to have taken out. To make matters worse for Dorian, she is less than thrilled by David’s latest career choice when Tuc Watkins returns on April 7th. Following that, Todd learns that you just can’t escape the past no matter how hard you try, as someone with ties to both Marty and Todd returns to Llanview on April 2nd with a score to settle. That person turns out to be none other than Zach Rosen (Josh Philip Weinstein), Todd’s old frat buddy and one of the three guys who gang raped Marty Saybrooke (Todd and Powell Lord being the others). But is Zach the serial killer, or is he just seeking what he feel he’s due? Weinstein portrayed the unrepentant Zach Rosen from 1992-1994.

Even though fans have seen little of One Tree Hill alum Brett Claywell since his February debut as LPD lab tech Kyle Lewis, they needn’t worry. Kyle becomes swept up in the Llanview Hospital drama starting in April. Speaking of hospitals, look for Rob Bradford to be appear as an orderly on May 14th. When songstress Rachael Yamagata stops by Capricorn to sing her hit single “Elephants” on April 2nd, several Llanview residents will start to feel a little misty eyed. Shots of Yamagata’s live performance will be intermingled with emotional footage of several Llanview couples and characters. According to “OLTL” Executive Producer Frank Valentini, “it’s an episode you won’t want to miss and this is something we’ve wanted to try since live week in 2002.” The special themed episode is the brainchild of longtime “One Life” music director Paul Glass, and will feature Cristian and Layla, Todd and Téa, and Rex and Gigi, among others. Yamagata’s musical interlude will end the that particular episode.

Calling All Actors: “One Life” has released two new audition scripts. The first script is for the roles of ‘Cindy” and ‘Phil.’ When ‘Morgan’ drops by to visit Cindy she apologizes for stopping by unannounced. Cindy then asks ‘Phil’ to come to the door so that he can meet ‘Josh’s’ wife Morgan. She then tells Phil that the baby Morgan is holding is Josh’s son, and their grandchild. Phil asks Morgan if their son Josh is with them, and is shocked by Morgan’s reply that he recently passed away. Morgan attempts to comfort a horrified Cindy, and tells her that Josh was in a terrible accident more than a year ago, and that she thought it would soften the blow if she told Cindy and Phil the news in person. Cindy then informs Morgan that she and Phil received a letter from Josh shortly before his death talking about how much he loved his wife and son, and that he was searching for them [his parents]. Cindy goes on to say that the letter was the last correspondence they had with their son, and just assumed that he had changed his mind about visiting them. Morgan responds by stating that Josh died in a horrible accident not long after he mailed the letter, and that she was too upset and distraught to inform them of what had happened. Cindy sympathizes with Morgan and tells her that they hadn’t seen Josh since he was about the age of her baby, who Morgan reveals is named ‘Scott.’ Morgan informs Cindy that Josh wanted to get to know them again, to which Cindy agrees from his letter. As the scene draws to a close, Cindy recounts that Josh’s letter gave them hope and that, until they received it, both she and Phil had assumed that Josh hated and resented them.

The final script is for the dayplayer role of an ‘ER Doctor.’ In the scene, ‘Lee’ is a nervous wreck and asks the doctor if ‘Jessie’s’ body could possibly be rejecting his medicine and wonders if he will be okay. The doctor responds that he won’t know more until the test results are in. He then uses his charm to ask Jessie to recall everything he did earlier in the evening. Jessie states that he and his buddies saw a cool movie and ate junk food. Taking Lee aside, the doctor informs him that everything looks good, but he swears that something was wrong with Jessie before they came to the hospital. The doctor responds by saying that he thinks that Jessie just ate too much junk food while out with his friends–nothing more than an upset tummy and being slightly dehydrated. Lee apologizes to the doctor, saying that he is sorry for overreacting, to which the doctor understands given just how sick Jessie has been lately. The scene then draws to a close as the doctor cautions Jessie to ease up on the junk food.

It is important to remember that “One Life to Live” frequently changes character names and characteristics when issuing audition scripts in an attempt to throw viewers off. Furthermore, while the ‘Cindy’ and ‘Phil’ script appears vague, the one for the ‘ER Doctor’ seems to involve Gigi (or Rex) and Shane.

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


Discussion: ‘OLTL’s’ Spring Casting Notes




Leading Lady to Stay in Llanview

Monday, March 23, 2009 11:43 PM EDT | By Scotty Gore

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — What started out as a short-term gig has apparently turned into a full-time job.

Florencia Lozano may have returned to “One Life to Live” with only a thirteen-week contract in mind, but it now appears that she is putting down roots at her old stomping ground. “Internet rumors claim that Florencia Lozano (Téa Delgado) is wrapping up her stint on the show in April but she is actually here to stay. There’s still plenty of story for Téa,” a “One Life” spokesperson tells ABC Soaps in Depth.

Lozano brought the tough as nails attorney Téa Delgado back to Llanview last December to help her former client and lover Todd Manning win his latest legal battle with a back-from-the-dead Marty Saybrooke, and to secretly help Ray Montez prove his innocence regarding the death of his first wife. She originated the role of Téa in 1997 and left three years later, only to briefly return in 2002.

In addition to her stints in Llanview, Lozano has also ventured into prime time, appearing in “Ugly Betty,” “Lipstick Jungle,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” and “Gossip Girl.” Film roles include “Bittersweet Place,” “Perfect Stranger,” “The Ministers,” and “Veronika Decides to Die.” Lozano has also appeared in several off Broadway productions and is an accomplished dancer.

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


Discussion: Leading Lady to Stay in Llanview




‘GH’ Vet Coming to Llanview?

Monday, March 23, 2009 10:25 PM EDT | By Scotty Gore

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Veteran soap actor Réal Andrews informs fans that he has auditioned for a role on “One Life to Live.”

With a quick message on the actor’s Twitter page on March 18th, Andrews revealed to his fans that he was “Going to New York with Son to audition for “one life to live.” The message was followed later the same day by this comment “All done with the audition thanks for your well wishes in Ggos hands now on my way home oh by the way the best part is time with my son.” Andrews is best known to soap audiences as tedious cop Marcus Taggert on “General Hospital” (2003-2004) and “Port Charles” (1998).

In additions to his days in Port Charles, Andrews has had several other soap roles. He portrayed Danny Guerra on “Santa Barbara” (1992), Robert Perry on “Days of Our Lives” (1995), and Dr. Walker Daniels on “As the World Turns” (2003-2004). He has made appearances in several prime time series including “Lonesome Dove,” “Nash Bridges,” “Law & Order,” “21 Jump Street,” and “China Beach.” In addition, Andrews has also performed stunt work in movies such as “Short Circuits 2,” “City of Shadows,” “Renegade,” and the third and fourth installments of the popular ’80s movie series “Police Academy.”

As for the role in which Andrews auditioned for at “One Life,” it is unknown at this time. However, there is speculation it could have been for one of two potential roles–either as a new cop to replace Antonio Vega on the Llanview Police force, or as a possible love interest for the soon to be returning Rachel Gannon. Again, given that the soap has not recently issued any casting calls for roles fitting either description, the exact character for which Andrews auditioned remains speculative at this time. And to further complicate matters, some are reporting that the “OLTL” studios were dark for the past couple of weeks, due to the show taking a breather after taping episodes several weeks in advance. Stay with SON for further developments on this story.

For more information about Réal Andrews, visit his official website by clicking here, and follow the links to connect to his Twitter page.

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


Discussion: ‘GH’ Vet Coming to Llanview?


 









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