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

( — 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

    ( — 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 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

      Happy Easter and Good Friday!

      Thrusday, April 9, 2009 10:56 PM EDT | By Scotty Gore

      ( — May your Easter and Good Friday holiday celebrations be safe and happy.

      From all of us here at Soap Opera Network, we would like to wish each and every one of our members and guests a safe and wonderful Good Friday and Easter Sunday. May the Easter Bunny overflow your baskets with eggs and goodies, and may the Lord bless you today as always. Praise God for your friends and loved ones, and remember that He is the real reason for this holiday. Set aside time to spend with your family this weekend and thank you for your continued loyalty to SON. Have a blessed Good Friday and very happy Easter!

      Thursday, April 9, 2009 6:00 PM ET | By Xavier Toups

      ( — Nancy Curlee is a former soap opera writer who has written for Guiding LightShe began writing for the show in 1985 as a Script Writer and quickly rose up the ranks, holding positions as Breakdown Writer, Script Editor, Associate Head Writer, Co-Head Writer and then eventually becoming the show’s Head Writer from 1990 – 1993 (she shared the position with James E. Reilly, Stephen Demorest, and Lorraine Broderick). She is a three time Daytime Emmy winner (including one as part of the Head Writing team in 1993) and a Writers Guild Award for the 1991 season.

      Curlee graduated from Hollins College, in 1979, with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She also attended college at University of East Anglia in England for a year. Curlee is married to Stephen Demorest, who is also a soap opera writer. The two met in June of 1985 in Pamela K. Long’s (GL’s Head Writer at the time) living room. Within two weeks, they started dating each other and have been together ever since. They have three daughters and currently reside in North Carolina.


      Xavier Toups: What have you been doing since leaving GL in 1993? What are you currently doing now?

      Nancy Curlee: I’ve always kind of needed to disappear into a cave for big stretches. That’s hard to do with three daughters who need more of me than that allows. I’ve spent the last several years really focused on my family. We’ve done some traveling. I’ve done a little acting, for fun, in local plays and some student films. I’m only now getting back into doing some writing, short stories, mainly. And I am loving it.


      Toups: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

      Curlee: I’m not so sure you decide so much as discover that you are. I was making books out of paper towels by age five.


      Toups: When/Why did you decide to become a soap opera writer?

      Curlee: I began as a screenwriter, and sold a couple of features before moving on to gainful employment. The movie scripts were romantic comedies, but were never produced.


      Toups: How did you get your first job in the soap opera industry?

      Curlee: Maeve Kinkaid (Vanessa) was a family friend through the Streeps – she’s married to Harry. She put me in touch with Proctor and Gamble’s scriptwriting development program. Then producer, Gail Kobe, who liked my sample script, had lunch with me. We talked and laughed all afternoon, and finally she sighed and said, “What am I going to do with you?” Being 26 and appallingly dumb, I said, “Hire me?” Thankfully, she did.


      Toups: Did you watch soaps before joining Guiding Light in 1985?

      Curlee: I did. As the World Turns, All My Children, and of course, Guiding Light. I always knew that [they] were so much better than they were given credit for being.


      Toups: Were there any soap writers whose work you admired while you was growing up and watching soaps?

      Curlee: I really loved Doug Marland, and though I didn’t know it at the time, Patrick Mulcahey. Those stories and scripts in the late 70s, early 80s were brilliant.


      Toups: As a Script Writer and Breakdown Writer, were there any specific episodes that you were really proud of?

      Curlee: I wrote Reva’s wedding to Josh, and a lot of the scenes between Josh and Marah at the time of her death. I loved those. And many of the Alex and Alan Spaulding scenes, my favourite being a moment where they were lunching at the Club, waiting for HB Lewis to join them. Alex explained HB would be late, and Chris Berneau asked if he had to finish his “chores”? I can’t think of a funnier word coming out of Alan Spaulding’s mouth, and Chris was so perfect in his delivery. I also did the Cliff House scenes between Holly and Roger, and they were both so good, they could have made the phone book sound like high art.


      Toups: What were your duties as Script Editor?

      Curlee: I was in charge of tracking and continuity, and essentially read and edited all scripts for story irregularities, and where necessary, cleaned up the dialogue.


      Toups: Did you have a favorite position, since you were in every position on a soap opera writing staff?

      Curlee: Scripts are great fun, particularly if you have enough trust from the headwriter to expand and put your own stamp on them. (See Patrick Mulcahey.) But headwriting was the best, because as exhausting as the work was, it was just glorious to get the whole boat moving in a direction you liked, to weave all of the characters and stories, to have things appear, recede, come back. It’s like a Victorian novel on speed.


      Toups: In 1989, you were promoted to Co-Head Writer. What was your role in that position under Head Writer Pamela K. Long?

      Curlee: We shared responsibilities for stories. I was able to put the Roger/Mindy/Billy/Alex story in motion, which had great legs, I thought, and focused on actors I particularly liked. I did a lot of the layout of the week, which meant breaking the stories down into episodes.


      Toups: Then in 1990, you promoted again to the Head Writer position, along with the late James E. Reilly, and your husband Stephen Demorest. Then later, Lorraine Broderick joined the Head Writing team. Can you tell us how you felt when you were given this huge responsibility?

      Curlee: The hard part was gaining the trust of the executives, so that they eventually loosened the reins and allowed us to steam ahead with stories they were initially reluctant to sign off on.


      Toups: As a team, what was the Head Writing process like? How were the responsibilities distributed?

      Curlee: It varied according to the people involved. I am naturally the bossiest, so they were gracious enough to let me drive a lot of the time. Stephen is brilliant at lay out, particularly with mysteries. Jim Reilly was a genius at upping the ante and also taught me how to infuse the show with more energy and run mini-stories that were really fun and entertaining. He was great fun and a pleasure to work with. I worked less with Lorraine who didn’t stay long after I returned from a maternity leave. Patrick was a soul mate, loved all of the same stuff Stephen and I did. He was especially good at the Cooper family stories, and Buzz Cooper in particular. He had such a great way of turning a story slightly askew and telling it from a very specific vantage point you might not have considered before. I think Buzz Cooper was his baby, and I loved what he did with that.


      Toups: James E. Reilly has been one of the most talked about Head Writers in the last two decades. What was it like to work with him as Co-Head Writers?

      Curlee: Jim was a prince of a fellow – a great big heart, a wild sensibility, and he was just the most fun. We definitely came at story telling from different places, and it was a shotgun wedding. But I learned so much from him, and had a ball while doing it. He was so good at the big stroke, the grand gesture. He was also my salvation in learning how to work with the executives when we were embattled for a time. You can’t imagine how much and how hard we laughed holed up in those airless little rooms at CBS.


      Toups: How was Head Writing a soap with your husband, Stephen Demorest, like?

      Curlee: Stephen’s strengths are so different from mine, it was a blessing we had each other. He is meticulous, methodical and really, really smart. He was an island of calm in turbulent waters. I’m much more prone to big bursts of enthusiasm, and was always so emotional about it all. He was so good at plugging holes, dotting i’s and crossing t’s and knitting it all together in a way that made it hold. He’s also very dry and funny. And pretty cute, too.


      Toups: Sometimes having “too many cooks in the kitchen” can be the downfall of a soap, but how did the Head Writing team keep the show on such a creative high?

      Curlee: You had bloody better have a lot of respect for each other’s talents, and really trust each other to present a unified front to the execs, first of all. With Stephen and Jim and Patrick, we really had each other’s backs. We recognized what each person brought to the table. We knew a rising tide lifted all boats, and so we made it work. I was the youngest, the “girl”, and the bossiest. But we adored each other, and trust me, that COUNTS.


      Toups: The dialogue was so crisp during your tenure, what did you look for in Script Writers?

      Curlee: People who avoided clichés, found a fresh way to say things, had essentially the same sensibility about the characters and the show, in general. How lucky were we to have Patrick, Courtney Simon (who is unbelievably good), and Lynda Miles working on the same show?


      Toups: How did you come up with three years worth of storylines without feeling burnt out?

      Curlee: By the end of my time there, frankly, I was burned out. More to do with endless meetings defending our work and pitching and justifying, than with the writing itself. But it is hard, under any circumstances, to maintain that kind of quality. I probably should have relinquished more control of it, in hindsight. I felt very protective of the material and the actors, and had a hard time saying okay, that’s good enough if I didn’t think it really was.


      Toups: Do you have any favorite moments from the Writers Room that you can share?

      Curlee: You know, the best times came when we were so tired we were slapdrunk, and bordering on insane. At that point, people would just say anything, the more outrageous the better. If a starlet were being especially difficult on set, we’d contemplate giving her a wasting disease of the skin. There were also times we would be so invested in the way a particular scene should play out, we’d get teary eyed doing the dialogue for it.


      Toups: What storylines did you not enjoy writing?

      Curlee: I wasn’t really very plugged into the Francesca/Mallet story we told after Jim and Stephen and I began…just wasn’t invested and felt like it was a drag. I was a little embarrassed by the way in which Roger Thorpe was initially brought back, after I had fought so hard to get him there. (Anybody remember the mask and the undersea cave? Right.) I thought Marcy Walker was a brilliant actress, but the character of Tangie was a mess…too abrupt and superimposed to be woven in well. And I loved Ellen Parker. ‘Nuff said.


      Toups: What storylines did you really enjoy writing?

      Curlee: When the edict came down on Ellen, we were determined to at least make it as important as it should be. I think that two weeks of writing and acting was perhaps the best we ever did as a company. Ellen, Peter Simon, Maeve Kinkead, all of them really, were brilliant. I loved the love stories we launched in the beginning, Harley and Mallet; Mindy and Nick McHenry, and the archetypal struggle between Mindy and Alexandra; Alan Michael and Eleni and Frank Cooper; Billy and Vanessa and Nadine. Holly and Roger. The murder mystery that kicked off with Blake dangling her feet in the pool at the Club, and screaming her head off when she discovered the body. I loved Jenna and Buzz and Roger scenes. Hart and Bridget and Julie and Dylan.


      Toups: What is the one single storyline during your Head Writing tenure that you feel represents the best of your work?

      Curlee: The stuff I enjoyed the most is listed above. I think the fans would be able to answer that better than I could.


      Toups: Who were some of your favorite characters/actors to write for?

      Curlee: Alexandra, Roger, Billy spring to mind, because they were just so big. All of them really. Rick Hearst as Alan Michael used to deliver his lines with exactly the same cadences I had heard while writing them. Eleni? Holly? Blake? Vanessa? Harley? All of them were favourites in some way or another.


      Toups: Who was the most difficult character to write for and who was the easiest?

      Curlee: For me, Tangie was the hardest and least successful, mainly because we never had time to develop her the way I would’ve liked. That’s honestly the only one who comes to mind…all of the others felt natural as breathing.


      Toups: What type of storylines do you love?

      Curlee: Love stories, domestic/family drama, mysteries.


      Toups: What type of storylines do you hate?

      Curlee: Convoluted corporate business stories.


      Toups: In 1985, Charita Bauer died. How did the writers respond and how did they try to move the show forward from such a loss?

      Curlee: I had begun doing writing workshops for P&G, but had not yet joined the show that spring of 85, so I wasn’t there. I’d watched and loved her for years and so I felt her loss as keenly as any viewer. The Bauers had been so marginalized at that time, I don’t think she it was made as important as it should have been.


      Toups: Was it difficult writing Alex as the head of the Spaulding family after the tragic loss of Chris Bernau (Alan Spaulding)? What was that transition like?

      Curlee: Beverlee McKinsey was up to anything we asked of her, but Chris Bernau’s Alan was painful and his absence was keenly felt.


      Toups: Roger Thorpe returned to the show in 1989. Who made that decision and why did they think it was time to bring him back?

      Curlee: Pam Long had never seen Roger, so when we heard he was available, I convinced her to write him in. The execs were another story, feeling it would violate a reality they felt had been firmly established with his death. We actually sat and studied his fall from cliff, hitting rewind again and again, arguing over whether his head had made contact with a rock, with the execs. It’s hilarious in retrospect, but at the time, deathly serious. Finally, I got Ed Trach to concede that there were “no skeletal remains”, the be all end all in soap opera resurrections. Ed, by the way, was Roger’s greatest fan, and no one was happier and more grateful for his scenes a year or two down the road.


      Toups: What is the key to writing a successful complex villain like Roger?

      Curlee: The clear understanding that nothing is really black or white…it’s the gray zone that’s most interesting. As I’ve said elsewhere, the villain always thinks he’s the hero, especially in Roger’s case.


      Toups: How hard was it to transition the show after Kim Zimmer left in 1990 to a more ensemble piece, since Reva was such a huge character that was given a lot of airtime?

      Curlee: I thought Kim was amazing, and GL is fortunate to have had every second of her that they’ve ever gotten. It wasn’t Reva’s fault that the show was unbalanced. I was always more in favour of the show as an ensemble piece, but there was no reason Kim couldn’t have been part of that. There was some resistance at one point about bringing her back, but it never came from the writers.


      Toups: Were there any plans to bring Reva/Kim Zimmer back during your Head Writing tenure?

      Curlee: See above.


      Toups: The Blackout storyline in the summer of 1992 was such a popular story. Who initially came up with the idea and why was that such a big story?

      Curlee: Wasn’t that terrific? I was on maternity leave, so I honestly don’t recall. I know Stephen and Jim and Jill were working together really well at that point, but don’t know who had the initial seed.


      Toups: Was Jenna supposed to be a short-term character and if so, why did the show decide to expand the role?

      Curlee: Stephen created Jenna, and then we all fell in love with her (and Fiona Hutchinson). The romance we created between Buzz and her was just a colossal stroke of luck in terms of chemistry and plot, and we couldn’t bear to let her go.


      Toups: In 1993 the character was Buzz was introduced, was it difficult writing for him when the character’s daughter, Harley, who went in search of him, left soon after he was introduced?

      Curlee: Harley was there for long enough to ground him, and to have a good storyline with Mallet, as well. By the time she left, he was pretty well grounded in the show.


      Toups: What were the challenges of writing young characters, like Bridget and Michelle, so realistically for the most part, since younger characters are awfully written in general?

      Curlee: It helped to have a daughter of my own around Michelle’s age. And with Bridget, well, it helped to have a memory. And an actors of that caliber.


      Toups: Why did you feel the need to bring Bridget on the canvas, since Maureen was the only surviving Reardon?

      Curlee: First choice would’ve been Nola, but I wanted a young Nola, and that was the model for Bridget.


      Toups: Was there any intention of pairing Bridget and David Grant romantically?

      Curlee: We always thought they were a natural, but even that recently, the network was reluctant to do an interracial story line.


      Toups: Was it difficult writing for African American characters, since the Grants had such a prominent role on the show?

      Curlee: Well, I grew up in the South, and contrary to popular wisdom, black people and white people live in closer proximity to each other there, and tend to know each other a lot better than in more segregated urban environments. It would’ve been nice if we’d had more African American writers, but we didn’t have anyone coming through the door at that particular point, though of course they were out there. I just hope African American viewers felt it was authentic enough.


      Toups: How did Beverlee McKinsey’s sudden departure impact the storyline plans?

      Curlee: It was a huge disappointment to see her go, but I loved Beverlee as a friend as much as I did as an actor, and it was the right choice for her.


      Toups: The decision to have Roger and Holly sleep together 15 years or so after the infamous rape, why did you think it was time for Roger and Holly to connect sexually again?

      Curlee: Because the truth is, that was only one truth among many between those two characters. Holly was 19 when she fell for Roger. I just loved watching them together, in every single facet of their complicated relationship.


      Toups: What was the reasoning behind making Maureen the only one to see and accept Roger for who he really was and never judged him?

      Curlee: Maureen was an old soul, and there always was such a sweetness in Roger underneath all of the scar tissue. At the risk of using a beat to death cliché, it was not unlike Rhett Butler and Melanie Wilkes. She had the calm center that helped him be his best self in her presence.


      Toups: So many writing regimes have never really understood the character of Alan-Michael Spaulding (played by Rick Hearst), but the character seemed to come into his own during your tenure. What makes this character special and so difficult to write?

      Curlee: Stephen and I both grew up with a lot of kids like Alan-Michael, so writing him was not much of a reach. And as with all people, not just privileged trust fund babies, it’s never just one thing, is it? He had so many colors, and so did Rick Hearst. It was fun to play them all.


      Toups: What made the Alan-Michael/Eleni/Frank triangle such a good triangle to write for?

      Curlee: Oh, man. They both just loved her, didn’t they? And there was such a classic contrast there…the earnest, good, hardworking son of immigrants against the darker, more complex, even dangerous, rich kid? But that darker kid having a vulnerability that gets to the girl? Think East of Eden, and you’ve got the prototype.


      Toups: Were there any characters you wanted to introduce but didn’t get the chance to?

      Curlee: Dozens. But it would’ve had to be done organically, over a long stretch.


      Toups: Is there anything you didn’t write that you wished you had?

      Curlee: A more complicated relationship between Maureen and Roger, which would’ve had to have been done with great care, and I’m not even sure it would’ve been romantic.


      Toups: Why did you stop writing for soap operas?

      Curlee: There’s never just one reason, no matter what anyone says. My husband says I tried to be a racehorse, in a business that was really designed for a plow horse. Then again, he really likes me, and resented the way I was “handled” down the stretch. Basically, I felt we’d done something special, with the help of a lot of people, and then when it was really flying, people tried to wrestle it from us and make it something else, or put a different stamp of personality on it that was unnecessary.


      Toups: I’m going to say a couple of names and I would like to know how it was to work with them. First, Pamela K. Long:

      Curlee: Pam was chock full of native talent and with relatively no experience accomplished some wonderful things.


      Toups: Patrick Mulcahey.

      Curlee: What can I say that I haven’t already? I love him.


      Toups: Jeff Ryder.

      Curlee: A dedicated, enthusiastic guy who tended to get all of the blame and none of the credit for his years as headwriter with Pam Long.


      Toups: Richard Culliton.

      Curlee: One of the best soap writers ever. I just loved his scripts.


      Toups: Nancy Williams Watt.

      Curlee: Loveable and hard working and great, great fun.


      Toups: Trent Jones.

      Curlee: Another wonderful writer, Trent and I had a real brother/sister relationship. We laughed, we cried, we threw pencils at each other… I think he’s great.


      Toups: Gail Kobe.

      Curlee: A great nurturer of young talent.


      Toups: Robert Calhoun.

      Curlee: A pro, who really put his neck on the line for me at a certain point. I’ll always be grateful and have great affection for him.


      Toups: Jill Farren Phelps.

      Curlee: For all that has been written, slamming Jill, no one should ever question how much she loved GL. She loved good writing and good actors, and was one of the best technical directors I ever worked with. There was a time when she and I finished each others’ sentences, and I’ll always remember that fondly.


      Toups: Ed Trach.

      Curlee: He absolutely loved GL, and told me when he retired that he was prouder of his affiliation with the show during our time there than he ever had been. His departure really marked the end of an era, and it really hasn’t been the same since.


      Toups: If you returned to television writing, what type of show would you like to write for or create?

      Curlee: I think Friday Night Lights may be as close to the kind of show I would write as anything on the air right now. I felt that way about Once and Again with Sela Ward, too. My big love is for family drama and love stories, done with an ensemble cast.


      Toups: What was your reaction when you heard Guiding Light was cancelled?

      Curlee: I felt like a great old family member had passed away, or more accurately, had been taken off life support. I wish that her problems had been addressed and repaired before she reached that stage. Having said that, a show with that kind of history, and that kind of cast, is always revivable. Had the network or P&G indicated any willingness to seriously try to do that, she could have gone on forever.


      Toups: At its heart, what do you believe Guiding Light is all about?

      Curlee: For me, the Guiding Light was always a porch light, just outside the Bauer’s kitchen. Outside, a bad moon may be rising, forces gathering to do you harm, foes behind bushes…Outside, friends may be treacherous, lovers untrue… But if you ran like hell, and made it to the porch, and banged through that screen door, inside there would be warmth and light and the smell of good things cooking. The Guiding Light was about love and home truths and compassion prevailing. For me, anyway, that’s what it was all about.


      A special thanks to Dan Gobble and Alvin O’Brien for contributing to this interview.

      Other interviews with soap opera writers: Sara A. Bibel, Tom Casiello , Karen Harris

      ‘One Life’ Prom Dress Give-Away

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

      ( — 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 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

      OLTL PreVUE: Week of April 13 Edition

      Wednesday, April 8, 2009 5:00 PM EDT | By Scotty Gore

      ( — Why must I be a teenager in love?


      Natalie and Jared dispose of their evidence, and are confident they are doing the right thing as far as Jessica is concerned. Viki offers Clint some food for thought concerning his relationship with Nora. Rachel is successful in getting Matthew to crack a smile. On Wednesday, April 15, Destiny tricks Justin and Becca into believing that Matthew may be hauling their sorry butts into court, charging them as accessories to his accident. Brody makes amends with Jessica. Clint and Nora drift further apart. Shaun refuses to help Destiny hunt down their brother. Baby Chloe is christened on Thursday, April 17. Cole confides to Marty that he is still in love with Starr. Starr confesses to Cole that Hope didn’t die of Rh disease, and they soon become determined to find the baby’s real cause of death.

      The Inside Story: Will the Real Murderer Please Stand Up?
      As he is taunting Todd, Zach considers raping Starr, but quickly decides that it would hurt Todd more if he just killed the girl. Fortunately, Todd is able to distract Zach long enough for Starr to run away. Meanwhile John, Llanview’s resident superhero, leaps from the heating duct and onto Zach, just as he pulls a gun on Todd. While they are wrestling on the ground for control of the weapon, Todd grabs the gun and fires a shot. Zach is wounded, however not fatally, and is promptly taken away by the cops. However, on his way out, Zach is confronted by Marty. The encounter brings back a memory for her on Tuesday, April 14. Even with Zach’s attack on Starr, John isn’t convinced that he is the KAD killer. Todd and Starr are grateful that neither was hurt. On Wednesday, April 15, John becomes even more convinced that Zach is not the culprit after watching Nora interrogate the convicted rapist. However, he isn’t sure what to make of a bloody knife found in Zach’s motel room. Todd tries to sway Téa into helping him get his kids back. The argument soon becomes heated, however, when Téa slaps Todd when he alleges that she wants him to make love to her. Before Téa even knows what hit her, she and Todd soon find themselves in a fierce embrace. Meanwhile, a smarter than he looks Cole realizes that he will now fail his drug test. Desperate to find a solution to his problem, he turns to Markko on Wednesday, April 15. At first hestiant to help his friend, Markko soon agrees to provide Cole with a urine sample. Across town, Langston is honest with Starr about Cole and Schuyler. Rachel learns that she has been assigned as Cole’s drug counselor. On Thursday, April 17, Todd and Téa enjoy a wild night of passion, before she pulls the rug out from under him. Nora receives unexpected information following analysis of the bloody knife. Cole informs Starr that he was the one who told Todd about her and Schuyler. By Friday, April 18, Mayor Lowell demands John be arrested after evidence surfaces linking him to the murders. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Bo is forced to order Talia and Fish to haul John in for questioning. Marty relates to John that Starr and Schuyler may be involved in an inappropriate relationship, and both unaware that they are being watched. And after hearing a noise outside, John makes a grizzly discovery when he goes to investigate.

      A Closer Look: Stand by Your Man
      Gigi feels remorseful, and is determined to set the record straight to Jessica. However, she soon hushes up when Rex arrives. With her heart breaking, she reiterates to Rex that she did sleep with Brody. Afterward, Roxy confesses to Gigi that she knows Stacy is blackmailing her, and suggests that they expose her following Shane’s transplant. Rex evades Shane’s questions about him and Gigi. Schuyler gets the wrong idea after seeing Stacy and Kyle together. Rex and Gigi team up to tell Shane that there is trouble in paradise, but fall short of mentioning their break-up. Stacy fakes being surprised when confronted by Schuyler. And on Friday, April 17, Roxy, Kyle, and Stacy place their plan in motion as young Shane prepares to undergo his bone marrow transplant.

      One Life to Live News and Headlines

      SON ALERTS: WEEK OF APRIL 20, 2009

      • Monday: Mayor Lowell orders that John be charged with attempted murder. Schuyler becomes increasingly suspicious of Stacy. Rex’s comatose father begins to come back to life.
      • Tuesday: Todd considers using John’s woes to his benefit. Viki figures out that Todd still has the hots for Téa. Lola wants to settle the score with Markko and Langston.
      • Wednesday: Antonio is there for John. The temperature rises between Todd and Téa. Cole finally wises up and does something responsible.
      • Thursday: John says farewell to Blair and begins life as a wanted man. Nora is unnerved to learn that Rachel is Cole’s counselor. David and Dorian take a long, hard look at their relationship.
      • Friday: Marty is determined to help John track down the killer. Schuyler demands to know what Stacy is hiding. Kyle blackmails Roxy in exchange for his silence.

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

      Discussion: OLTL PreVUE: Week of April 13 Edition

      Wednesday, April 8, 2009 5:00 PM EST | By Angela Rosa

      ( — Taking blows.


      Frankie’s family and friends throw him an emotional goodbye party before he ships out to Iraq. Scott and David’s camaraderie dissipates with the revelation that they’re each in the process of trying to develop an artificial heart valve. The turn of events brings Stuart and Adam’s sons closer on Monday, April 13. David begins to manipulate Zach into thinking Ian could need a new heart valve. Aidan races to cover for Annie who breaks into Ryan’s penthouse to visit Emma. Amanda admits to Jake that she trusts him. Taylor and Brot surprise Randi with a “visit” from Frankie on Wednesday, April 15. Aidan and Annie learn that Ryan has pulled strings to have Annie transferred to a different facility to keep them apart. Jake pulls a gun on David after he threatens to take Amanda’s baby away on Friday, April 17. Tad realizes that his brother is falling head over heals for Amanda. Adam offers to bankroll Scott’s latest project after learning his main competitor is David. Jesse and Angie take the time to enjoy their happiness.

      The Inside Story: (Un)Buried Secrets
      Krystal makes a mysterious call after she and David finish prepping for the next day’s hearing. On Tuesday, April 14, Adam informs a shaken Krystal that he knows where her skeletons are buried and threatens to expose Krystal secret if she doesn’t do his bidding at the custody hearing. David and Erica take notice of Krystal’s uneasiness. The custody hearing comes to a brief halt when a disoriented Adam suddenly collapses. Erica tries to hide her concern for Adam who she accompanies to the hospital. Erica wonders what Adam has on David’s wife. Krystal turns on David on the witness stand as a pleased Adam listens in from the hospital. David pleads with a devastated Krystal to tell him what Adam is holding over her. Adam dismisses Erica’s concerns and leaves the hospital.  Later, a menacing David approaches Adam with a hypodermic needle. Scott clobbers David after overhearing him threatening his uncle’s life. Krystal demands that Adam keep her secret. Adam gives Krystal an address which turns out to be that of a gravestone.

      A Closer Look: Parting Shots
      Erics’s relentless in her quest to get Ryan to stop pursuing Kendall and let her be happy with Zach, but is she fighting a losing battle? Zach tells a hurt Kendall that the kiss they shared meant nothing and that he doesn’t need her anymore. Kendall goes in search of Erica after learning she’s gone missing and ends up finding her mother and Ryan in a very shocking situation. Ryan believes Kendall doesn’t want to let go of her marriage to Zach. Kendall returns home where she relates her mother’s latest mis-adventures to Zach and proceeds to finally sign their divorce papers. Kendall is surprised by Ryan’s reaction to learning that she signed the divorce papers on Thursday, April 16. Ryan won’t let Kendall walk away from him. Kendall is gut-punched when Zach tells her she no longer means anything to him while they wait for Ian’s test results. Zach leaves Kendall at the hospital and heads to the casino. Ryan arrives to support Kendall. Zach is intrigued by a beautiful woman he plays cards with at the casino and they are soon having no-strings sex.

      All My Children News and Headlines:

      SON ALERTS: WEEK OF APRIL 20, 2009

      • Monday: Zach evens the score with Kendall. Colby’s feelings about Liza hit home for Amanda. Aidan and Annie plan on hitting the road.
      • Tuesday: Annie makes a desperate move. Krystal goes on a mysterious mission. David needs to brush up on his Hippocratic Oath.
      • Wednesday: Ryan plans on making Aidan and Annie pay for their crimes. Erica suspects David is up to something. Reese thinks Kendall is getting just what she deserves.
      • Thursday: Krystal gets an unexpected surprise. Frankie witnesses Randi and Scott’s easy rapport. Aidan refuses to rat out Annie.
      • Friday: Ryan is fed up with Kendall’s game playing. Krystal has an ominous dream. A vision of Annie throws a fright into Opal.

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

      Wednesday, April 8, 2009 5:00 PM EST | By Angela Rosa

      ( — The resurrection of evil.


      Spinelli is crushed when he sees Maxie kissing Johnny. Carly learns that the complications could kill her should she become pregnant on Monday, April 13. Robin gives Patrick the cold shoulder. At his breaking point, Patrick publicly accuses Robin of having been unfaithful. Carly turns to Jason, on Wednesday, April 15, unable to bring herself to take a pregnancy test knowing the decision she will have to make if it comes out positive. Patrick and Robin take steps towards rebuilding…after a heated argument on Thursday, April 16. Carly finally takes the pregnancy test, with Jason’s support. Spinelli brushes a hurt Maxie off. Maxie refuses to abide by Lulu’s wishes that she move out of their apartment. Robin goes against her doctor’s wishes and dumps her anti-depressants in the trash.

      The Inside Story: Of Mice and Men
      Claudia panics when Ric informs Sonny and Jason that she was the one in cahoots with Ian and Devlin and gives them the DVD as proof. Nothing but static shows up on the screen after Sonny pops in the DVD. A shocked Ric continues to insist that Claudia is the guilty party. Sonny warns Claudia that there will be no place for her to hide if he finds out she had anything to do with Michael’s shooting. Claudia prays that Sonny will take her word over Ric’s and is relieved when he stops her from moving out. The relief is short lived as Claudia realizes the lethal reason why he wants to keep her close on Tuesday, April 14. Claudia works on Jason. An increasingly hapless Ric returns home to come face to face with a dangerous Jerry. Spinelli informs Jason that Jerry is alive and has been siphoning money from Devlin’s account. Sonny orders Jason to find and kill Jerry. Jerry makes it clear to Ric that he’s calling the shots and then informs Claudia that he’s going to keep the truth about Michael’s shooting a secret…for now. Claudia squirms as Sonny lets her now that she’s a dead woman if he finds out Ric’s claim is correct. Jax discovers Jerry at Michael’s bedside.

      A Closer Look: Strangers in the Night
      Nikolas and Rebecca celebrate her biopsy results over ice cream at Kelly’s. Rebecca accepts a private call. Nikolas anticipates General Hospital’s reopening with an impressed Rebecca by his side. Nikolas is taken aback when Helena suddenly appears at the hospital’s reopening ceremony. Alexis shares her theory with Nikolas: Rebecca is in cahoots with Helena. Rebecca manages to get away from a protective Edward and Monica and returns to Nikolas’ side. Helena pays Nikolas and Rebecca a visit at Wyndemere. Alexis straight out accuses Rebecca and Helena of working together on Friday, April 17. Helena demands that Nikolas hand her over a certain painting from Wyndemere.

      SON ALERTS: WEEK OF APRIL 20, 2009

      • Monday: Carly gets the results of her pregnancy test. Jax leaves Jerry with a lethal warning. Nikolas finds Helena and Rebecca together.
      • Tuesday: Claudia thinks her plan is working out perfectly. Carly can’t bring herself to shatter Jax’s happiness. Robin suffers a setback.
      • Wednesday: Carly hides her condition from Jax. Jason learns that Jerry is back in town. Tracy shares her suspicions about Ethan with Luke.
      • Thursday: Claudia wants to silence Jerry once and for all. Carly gets the news she’s dreaded to hear. Patrick and Robin are on the right path.
      • Friday: Ric puts the screws to Claudia. Carly makes a decision. Robin’s denial about her condition leads to tragedy.

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

      ‘General Hospital’ Goes High-Def.

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

      ( — 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 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.

      ‘OLTL’ April Casting Report

      Tuesday, April 7, 2009 4:49 PM EDT | By Scotty Gore

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

      BethAnn Bonner’s days in Llanview as Talia Hesser Sahid come to an abrupt end on Friday, April 17, when John McBain (Michael Easton) makes a troubling discovery poolside at La Boulaie. To assist in dealing with the aftermath, Kamar de los Reyes briefly returns as police detective Antonio Vega, who left Llanview in late March in search of Talia’s biological father, Carlo Hesser. While in town, Antonio will also say his final good-byes to the woman he loves. As for McBain, he quickly becomes a thorn in the side of Mayor Stan Lowell, when Kevin O’Rourke returns as Llanview’s inept public official on Friday, April 17th. Look for Mayor Lowell to demand John’s head on a silver platter when the ex-lawman gets a little too involved while investigating the K.A.D. serial killings. Speaking of murder, is convicted rapist Zach Rosen a killer? That remains to be seen, although the show is keeping the length of Josh Philip Weinstein’s return to Llanview hush-hush.

      Are Ray Montez and his daughter Lola Columbia bound? Quite possibly, since A. Martinez and Camila Banus are about to learn that life in Llanview isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. So much for the budding relationship between Dorian and Ray. Langston Wilde Cramer (Brittany Underwood) would be wise to hang often with her uncle and backstabbing cousin in the coming weeks, before June comes and the Montez family is no more.

      Family is everything to Dorian Lord (Robin Strasser), who would gladly welcome niece Kelly Cramer back to town if given the opportunity. Word on the street is that the folks are “One Life to Live” are interested in trying to lure two-time Daytime Emmy winner Gina Tognoni back to the role she originated fourteen years ago, since her days on “Guiding Light” are numbered. In the meantime, Dorian will barely have time to say hello and good-bye to wayward husband David Vickers Buchanan as Tuc Watkins returns on April 7th, only to leave yet again two weeks later on the 22nd.

      It’s a family affair later this month for the Gannon clan, as Timothy D. Stickney is back as reformed gangster R.J. Gannon to be near his recently returned brother Hank (Nathan Purdee) and niece Rachel (Daphnée Duplaix Samuel). In addition, R.J. begins to feel a bit nostalgic after bumping into Téa and Todd upon returning to town on April 22nd.

      Rob Bradford walks the halls of Llanview Hospital on as an Orderly, while Adam Zuniga lends his vocal talents as the voice of a DJ, all on May 15th.

      It’s no surprise that Rex Balsom (John-Paul Lavoisier) has daddy issues, given the various lies mother Roxy has told him over the years (including telling her son that she killed the old man). However, Roxy will soon have some ‘splainin’ to do, as the supposedly comatose mystery man, begins to show signs of life again. Soap Opera Digest, is hinting that “One Life to Live,” could be on the verge of putting a face with the persona, by casting a as yet unnamed, big name soap vet to tackle the role. Apparently, the sudser had originally intended for Charlie Banks (Brian Kerwin) to be Rex’s daddy; however that plan was soon scrapped for unknown reasons.

      Is Llanview going to the dogs? It certainly looks that way the week of April 20th, according to episode pictures posted at ABC MediaNet, showing an unfamiliar canine interacting with Layla Williamson (Tika Sumpter) and Cristian Vega (David Fumero).

      And fans can rest easy, as “OLTL” is reporting that Jerry verDorn is hanging around as Clint Buchanan, despite Internet gossip to the contrary, and significantly reduced airtime in recent months. However, a spokesperson for the show assures us that verDorn is still on contract, and that Clint remains an important character in Llanview.

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

      Discussion: ‘OLTL’ April Casting Report