Bryan Sheffield/Hallmark Channel

( — Vanessa Marcil, 40, may have quit daytime in 2003 and hit it big in primetime from then on, but she has never forgotten her roots. In fact, she put a little bit of herself in Kate Hewitt, her character in the Hallmark Channel Original Movie “The Nanny Express.”

Kate loves her soaps – she watches her favorite daytime drama “Ray Loves Lisa” everyday. In it, Kate’s best friend, Lisa (Dorie Barton), is unable to admit she has a crush on bus driver Ray (Peter Dobson), whose route they ride everyday. Kate’s father, Jerry Hewitt (Dean Stockwell) has been suffering with heart disease since she was in High School. Recently out of work, Kate is desperately in need of funds to pay for her education – she is pursing a degree in teaching. She also helps out at her church as a tutor for under privileged kids. She’s a woman with a heart of gold. No wonder David Chandler (Brennan Elliott) finds himself smitten with Kate after she takes a job as the Nanny to his two kids, Ben and Emily.

Ben (Uriah Shelton) and Emily (Natalie Dreyfuss) Chandler lost their mother in a deadly car accident on Emily’s 12th birthday. Since then, they have run off 20 Nannies through childish pranks and crazy antics. Nanny #21 (Kate) is no different. Want a scare by a rat? Check. Have more soap in the wash than clothes? Check. Cooking a meal at 350 degrees? Why not put it at full Broil? How about sprinklers getting you all wet? Kate has everything thrown at her, including a book, but she is the first Nanny who seems to be able to handle the Chandler children.

While Ben starts to grow attached to Kate while she helps him with his homework, Emily makes it her mission to get Kate to quit and continue the Nanny cycle. She even goes so far as ensuring that her father falls for her dance teacher. Of course, this being a film starring Marcil…that won’t happen. Even after losing her father, Kate still tries to make amends with Emily by letting her know that she does understand where she is coming from. Emily takes her gift and rudely throws it aside.

Florian Schneider/Hallmark Channel

While I’m sure it was her father’s passing that causes Kate to move on, Emily gets her wish and Nanny #22 arrives just in time. Of course, Kate isn’t totally out of the picture and Emily finally sees the error of her ways.

“The Nanny Express” is a predictable, rushed and ridiculous film that is only saved by Marcil’s on cue crying and Dreyfuss’ ability to play a rude, snotty daughter so well that you just might want to throw a book at her. Emily is a cold-hearted little brat, who you just can’t seem to feel sorry for. She may have lost her mother at a young age, but she has no redeeming qualities that I could find. Elliott plays a hopeless romantic, but lacks the ability to control an out of control child. Meanwhile, Stockwell may not have many lines, but he plays an ailing father well enough that you too will cry along with Marcil as he sees the light. Barton and Dobson’s Lisa and Ray deserved more, as far as the writing is concerned, as they are pushed aside and used only as a way for Kate to deal with her problems.

Between flubbed lines (Vanessa, while having a drink with Elliott’s character and Elliott while talking to his on screen daughter during the birthday gift scene) and inconsistencies (Vanessa is wearing flats with her flower dress in one scene and knee high boots in the next) that went unnoticed, the movie is a flat out mess. The worst of all? You can’t catch a scene without some dose of music that is supposed to warm the heart, but borders on annoyance instead. If you are looking for quality writing, this isn’t for you. Otherwise, if you are looking for heartfelt melodrama, tune right in!

An LG Films Production in Association with Larry Levinson Productions, “The Nanny Express” airs Saturday, January 3 at 9/8c on The Hallmark Channel.

Larry Levinson is the executive producer, Randy Pope, Matt Fitzsimons and Michael Moran are the co-executive producers and Jim Wilberger and Erik Heiberg are the producers. Bradford May directed from a script by Judith Heiman Kriegsman, Stephen Langford and Riley Weston.

Lawson Named Number One Soap Hunk

Tuesday, December 30, 2008 1:55 AM EST | By Scotty Gore

( — “One Life to Live’s” Mark Lawson declared the hunkiest daytime soap star., the popular soap opera website dedicated to daytime’s hottest past and present male stars, has named “One Life To Live” newcomer Mark Lawson as Daytime’s “Best Hunk” for 2008. Lawson portrays Brody Lovett on the ABC Daytime drama series.

The actor narrowly edged out “The Bold and the Beautiful’s” Brandon Beemer (Owen) for the honor. Also nominated were Shawn Christian (Daniel, “Days of Our Lives”), Eric Martsolf (Ethan, “Passions”), and One Life” co-star John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex). Lawson joined “One Life to Live” on April 24th, 2008.

While earning the title of “Best Hunk,” Lawson was also honored with “Best Chest” and “Hunkiest Newcomer.” John-Paul Lavoisier won “Best Hair” and “One Life to Live” was named “Hunkiest Soap,” beating out “As the World Turns,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of Our Lives,” and “The Young and the Restless.”

Several “One Life” male cast members received nominations in other categories, but lost out to other soap stars.

For the complete list of all this year’s nominees and winners, check out the Soap Hunk website.

Discussion: Lawson Named Number One Soap Hunk

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

  • The Bold and the Beautiful
  • One Life to Live
  • The Young and the Restless
  • Days of our Lives
  • As The World Turns
  • Mark Lawson
  • John-Paul Lavosier
  • Soap Hunks

    ‘OLTL’ Named Best Soap of 2008

    Tuesday, December 30, 2008 12:43 AM EST | By Scotty Gore

    ( — Soap Opera Digest releases their annual “Best and Worst” list for 2008, with “One Life to Live” leading all soaps by receiving top honors in nine categories.

    It was a year filled with time travel, multiple personalities, a visit to heaven, trips to foreign lands, musical guests, shocking returns, and a 40th anniversary on “One Life to Live.” But through it all, fans of the long running daytime drama were gripped by touching and provocative storylines including Todd Manning having sex and falling in love with an amnesiac Marty Saybrooke, Dorian Cramer Lord’s surprise takeover of Buchanan Enterprises, and Jessica Brenan’s altar Tess holding her sister Natalie Buchanan and boyfriend Jared Banks hostage for months in a secret room beneath Llanfair vowing to make them pay for the accidental death of her late husband Nash. With such an exciting year in Llanview, it’s no wonder that “OLTL” earned the distinction of being named “Best Show for 2008″ in SOD‘s December 16th edition.

    However, “OLTL” also garnered mentions in other categories including: ‘Best Musical Appearance’ (Snoop Dogg), ‘Most Entertaining Male’ (David Vickers), ‘Biggest Tearjerker’ (Nash’s death), ‘Most Daring Story’ (Marty and Todd’s romance), and ‘Best New Couple’ (Rex and Gigi). But with the good comes the bad, with “OLTL” winning ‘Worst Story’ with the soap’s return to the fictional land of make believe known as Mendorra, ‘Worst Recast’ with Justis Bolding as Tina and Cord’s daughter Sarah Roberts, and ‘Worst Special Episodes’ for the “Go Red” episodes (tied with “All My Children” and “General Hospital). In case you missed it, the “Go Red” references and episodes were the result of a cross-promotion between ABC Daytime and Campbell’s Soup last February, urging viewers to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle.

    For the complete “Best and Worst of 2008″ list, check out the December 16 Edition of Soap Opera Digest, or by visiting their website.

    Discussion: OLTL’ Named Best Soap of 2008

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

    Sunday, December 28, 2008 8:46 PM EST | By Venus Stone

    ( — Another New Year for those in Genoa City……


    Katherine is caught red-handed by Jill as she’s stepping foot into the Chancellor mansion. Jill immediately thinks she’s Marge trying to pretend to be Katherine and calls the cops to have her arrested. Karen has doubts about marriage to Neil. An offer is given to Jill and she has a hard time resisting. Gloria and Jeffrey plan to scheme when Katherine is put in the jail with her.

    What to Watch: Trouble Brewing
    Jack gives Billy a serious warning. Yet another face-off between Jack and Victor occurs. Abby comes back home to the ones she loves. Amber keeps herself occupied with her thoughts as to whether Kevin is a cold-blooded murderer. Victor and Nikki find themselves sharing a close moment together. Phyllis won’t stop her scheme in keeping her man. Brad, meanwhile, spends some New Year’s Eve time with Sharon and a tender moment is shared between the two.

    • “Y&R” will be pre-empted on Thursday, January 1.


    • Cane tries to clean Billy’s clock.
    • Jack’s omission sends Sharon into filing some papers
    • Jill has Jack in her sights for destruction
    • Kevin’s conscience starts playing with him
    • Billy and Lily get physical

    Sunday, December 28, 2008 6:59 PM EST | By Venus Stone

    ( — Costly repercussions…


    Henry isn’t pleased to learn that the only reason why Maddie is back in town is to try to start again with Casey. When she expresses how they both are different people now, Henry hesitantly agrees to give them a chance to try again. Bonnie tries to get Jade to come to Metro with her but Jade tells her she doesn’t want to be pushed into Derek’s life. Jade and Luke have a run in and when he leaves upset for her not accepting his apology, she follows after him only to run into Derek and Bonnie. Derek lets Jade know he doesn’t want to have anything to do with her, but she shoots back at him by telling him he wasn’t even on her mind.

    Dusty admits to Meg that he still longs to have Johnny in his life; even admitting that he would have taken Craig up on his offer for joint custody. Josie heads to the hospital to see Paul and becomes deeply concerned when he reveals a vision to her, under the assumption that he’s ‘seeing’ Jennifer in front of him. When she tries to explain the vision to Dusty he disregards what she has to say until Meg reminds him t hat Paul’s visions have rarely been wrong. Meg and Dusty soon head over to the hospital where Paul tells him that he sees Johnny surrounded by a lion. After a call to the PI, Dusty once again comes up short. Meanwhile Lucy continues to stay hidden at the Lakeview with Johnny.

    What to Watch: Flirting with Disaster
    Lucinda and Brian get into an argument over New Year’s plans which causes her to push him away, telling him to go to Metro by himself. Maddie and Noah, who are also at Metro have a heart-to-heart, where she tells him about hearing Casey and Alison making out in her room at the Lakeview. Noah comforts her by taking her to Al’s unaware that Luke has seen them. Once again upset at their closeness, Luke gets drunk; Seeing this, Brian decides to follow him. After telling Brian to leave him alone, Luke grabs him and kisses him in a taunting manner. Noah witnesses it and assumes that Brian was the one that came on to Luke, punching him cold. Brian quickly covers when Lucinda sees him later all bruised and bloodied. Unfortunately for Luke, Noah soon learns that he was the one that put the moves on Brian and walks out on him.

    • “ATWT” will be pre-empted Wednesday, December 31 and on Thursday, January 1.


    • Craig is closer to the truth than he realizes
    • Casey apologizes to Maddie for his actions but reveals his true feelings
    • Jade picks Lily’s brain about Brian
    • Brian confesses all to a furious Lucinda
    • Katie’s guilty conscious points Craig in the right direction

    Sunday, December 28, 2008 4:55 PM EST | By Errol Lewis

    ( — While Bart Bass (played by Robert John Burke) may have perished in an accident while looking to settle things with his wife, Lily (Kelly Rutherford), his younger brother may be the reality check Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) needs to move on.

    Desmond Harrington (Joey Quinn, “Dexter”) is joining the cast of The CW’s “Gossip Girl” in the recurring role of Uncle Jack Bass beginning Monday, January 5. Jack comes to town after learning of Chuck’s spiraling antics. 

    After he recently reconciled with his his father, who he thought blamed him for his mother’s death, Chuck didn’t take the news of his fathers passing very well and has taken to drinking and causing scenes with his friends and extended family (in particular Lily).

    Harrington’s appearance will not interfere with his “Dexter” work as the series is currently not in production. He will return to the “Dexter” set next year when filming begins for the Showtime series’ fourth season.

    The actors other credits include starring roles in such series as “Sons and Daughters,” “Rescue Me” and “L.A. Dragnet.” He also starred in the Steven Spielberg miniseries “Taken.” First aired in 2002 on the Sci Fi Channel, “Taken” also starred “General Hospital’s” Steve Burton (Jason Morgan). Harrington played the adult version of Jesse Keys, son of Burton’s Captain Russell Keys. 

    Discussion: Uncle Jack Wants to ‘Gossip’

    “Gossip Girl” airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.

    • Steve Burton
    • Gossip Girl
    • Dexter
    • Ed Westwick
    • Desmond Harrington
    • Robert John Burke
    • Kelly Rutherford
    • Taken
    • Rescue Me
    • Sons and Daughters
    • L.A. Dragnet

      OLTL PreVUE: Week of December 29 Edition

      Sunday, December 28, 2008 4:06 PM EST | By Scotty Gore

      ( — 2008 goes out with a bang.


      Marty plays upon Todd’s feelings; Asa delivers an ominous message to his family from beyond the grave; John enters a new business venture; Langston officially becomes a
      Cramer; David recounts his spiritual journey; Charlie and Viki confront Dorian; Sarah’s anger boils; Alex has news for Dorian; and Puddle of Mudd rocks Llanview on New Year’s Eve.

      Encore Presentation

      On New Year’s Eve, ABC will air a special re-broadcast of the October 1st, 2008 episode of “OLTL.” The episode will feature Rex battling for his life on the operating table while subconsciously playing a game show called “So You Think You Can Be Shane Morasco’s Father,” hosted by the late Colin McIver; Shane’s horrible reaction to the news that Rex, and not Brody, is really his father; Rex’s family and friends rallying around him at the hospital; Layla attempting to contact Adriana with the news; and Natalie unsuccessfully attempting to bargain with Tess to allow her visit Rex at the hospital. “OLTL” will be pre-empted on New Year’s Day. Happy New Year!

      The Inside Story: A Life Altering Experience

      Bo, Nora, and Clint are shocked by the news delivered by Asa’s lawyer Beaver Calhoun. Beaver plays a message from Asa informing the Buchanan clan that, since they did not meet the conditions of his will, that his entire fortune now belongs to his long lost son David Vickers. Meanwhile, Viki, Charlie, Moe, and Noelle don’t like the changes in David, who has become a monk since last leaving Llanview. Citing his lifestyle change on a life altering experience, David confesses to Viki and Charlie that Dorian is responsible for drugging Charlie and forcing him to drink again. As Charlie and Viki threaten to talk to Bo about her actions, Dorian decides it might be a good idea to skip town until the heats off.
      Arriving at St. Blaze’s, Dorian is shocked to learn that Alex Olanov now owns Asa’a former island retreat. As Alex entices Dorian with information about David, Clint and Nora go into panic mode after learning from Viki that David is back in Llanview. David apologizes to Addie.

      A Closer Look: Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold

      Todd is shocked to see Marty sitting on her old bed and quickly realizes he is not dreaming. Claiming she is there only to retrieve her old journal, Marty sets her plan in motion. In front of Todd, Marty pretends to read passages from the journal about her budding feelings for Todd, and suggests that she is still in love with him. Later, Marty raises Todd’s hopes by asking him to meet her for New Year’s Eve. John hands Blair plane tickets as they prepare to head off into the sunset together. Meanwhile, Marty invites Todd to the Palace and claims she wants to discuss their future. Disregarding Tea’s warning that he’s making things worse, Todd heads for the Palace. Todd believes that he may still have a future with Marty when she tells Todd that she just can’t get over him. Pretending to be emotional, Marty escapes to the rooftop with Todd in hot pursuit. Across town, John floors Blair by announcing that he is the new owner and manager of Rodi’s, and the two have a romantic evening. A solemn Starr and Cole spend New Year’s Eve together at the Puddle of Mudd concert at Ultra Violet. Back on the roof of the Palace, Marty taunts Todd by telling him that the entire evening was a set-up and that he fell for it. Marty further crushes Todd by letting him know that the only feelings she has for him are those of hatred. Cole is shaken to discover Marty’s research into Todd’s past. Meanwhile, Marty insists Todd end her misery by committing suicide. At the same time, a worried Cole contacts John, who is disturbed by the contents of Marty’s new journal. Blair understands when John needs to help Cole.

      What to Watch

      • Dorian surprises Langston with an adoption certificate.
      • Gigi is able to get Puddle of Mudd to perform at Ultra Violet for New Year’s Eve.
      • Ray calls Tea, who informs him that the plan is working perfectly.
      • Sarah’s anger over Cristian and Vanessa’s marriage continues to simmer.

      SON ALERTS: WEEK OF January 5, 2009

      • Monday: Marty’s plan takes a new direction; Clint and Nora are impressed by David’s transformation; Dorian uncovers the truth about David Vickers.

      • Tuesday: Sarah causes trouble for Cristian and Vanessa; Bess issues Viki a warning; Nora finds a way to make Todd pay.

      • Wednesday: Jared is focused on detouring David; Jessica and Brody each have deep dark secrets; Rex begins to realize just how much of Shane’s life he missed.

      • Thursday: Blair angrily confronts Todd over his latest actions; Marty meets up with Brody’s Navy buddy Wes; Cole has to make a tough decision.

      • Friday: Marty tells John not to stick his nose in her business; Cole is tempted to take the low road; Nora is floored by what she discovers; Schuyler Joplin arrives in Llanview.

      Saturday, December 27, 2008 2:50 PM EST | By Errol Lewis

      ( — “As The World Turns” is getting its resident bad boy back as Paolo Seganti returns to Oakdale in 2009 as Damian Grimaldi.

      Last seen in 2006, after heated battles with Lily (then played by Martha Byrne) and Holden (Jon Hensley) over their abilities as parents when it came to raising their son Luke (played by Van Hansis, pictured), Damian left town after it was revealed he was out for his own and would do anything to get his hands on Luke’s inheritance. Subsequently, Luke disowned his father.

      A first airdate has not been set.

      Seganti originated the role of Damian Grimaldi in 1993. His television credits include guest-roles in such series as TNT’s “The Closer” and CBS’ “CSI: Miami.” He recently appeared in the short film “Bye Bye Sally,” which was written by former “World Turns” co-star Paul Leyden.

      Discussion: Welcome Back to Oakdale, Damian!

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

      • As The World Turns
      • Van Hansis
      • Paolo Seganti
      • Paul Leyden
      • The Closer
      • CSI: Miami

        Behind the Scenes of "The Art of Getting Over It"

        ( — “One Life to Live’s” Trevor St. John (Todd Manning) to screen film short directed by former co-star Dan Gauthier(ex-Kevin Buchanan) at two upcoming film festivals.”The Art of Getting Over It,” tells the story of an angry and frustrated Cameron Clothier (St. John), who unleashes his rage on those who hurt him, all the while surreptitiously courting an angelic barista in his neighborhood coffee shop and, almost against his will, finding redemption in love. The 23 minute short was filmed in Trevor’s home town – Spokane, Washington. St. John served as writer, producer and actor in the film.

        “I am proud of this film and even prouder that I could make it with my family and a dear friend,” says St. John. “The experience was one of the thrills of my life.”

        The film came to be “after many hours of dressing-room conversation when Trevor and I co-starred in a project produced in New York,” said Gauthier.” We talked about working together on a film as creators and collaborators, bringing our very similar perspectives to the process. This is exactly the kind of film we talked about making.”

        “Getting Over It” will be screened in Los Angeles on Monday, December 29 during the Beverly Hills Hi-Def Film Fest at the Fine Arts Theatre starting at 10:00 PM. In will debut in New York City on Sunday, January 4 during the New Filmmakers Festival at the Courthouse Theater starting at 7:15 PM.

        “We are proud of our creation and I would absolutely love it if you have a chance to see if yourself.” – Trevor St. John.

        For Los Angeles Tickets and Information: Beverly Hills Hi-Def Film Festival
        For New York Tickets and Information: New Filmmakers Festival

        A Kiss at Midnight

        ABC Family

        When website threatens the matchmaking business run by Susan (Faith Ford, center left), she signs up on the site to prove that her old-fashioned touch is best. Surprisingly, the site finds her the perfect mate, who just happens to be the company’s CEO (Cameron Daddo, center right). Dyan Cannon (left) and Hal Linden (right) also star along with young actresses Jadin Gould (front left) and Abigail Mavity (front right).