Amsel, Eisenstadt & Frazier Talent Agency

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Could Arianne Zucker be returning to NBC’s “Days of our Lives” in the near future? That’s been the talk of “DAYS” message boards all weekend.

Reports abound that the actress, who left the soap in 2006, was returning to the role of Nicole Walker, which she originated in 1998.

Representatives for the actress were unavailable for comment at press time.

A “Days of our Lives” representative was unable to confirm nor deny reports that Zucker was returning to “DAYS.”

Stay tuned to Soap Opera Network for the latest on Arianne Zucker and all things “Days of our Lives.”


Daytime Mourns Shell Kepler

Former ‘General Hospital’ Actress Passes
Monday, February 4, 2008 9:00 PM | By Errol Lewis

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “General Hospital” and fans mourn the loss of veteran actress Shell Kepler, who passed away on Friday, February 1, 2008 in Portland, Oregon. Kepler, 49, played Nurse Amy Vining on the ABC Daytime drama series from 1979-2002.

Website TMZ.com is reporting she died of renal failure, however the Associated Press is reporting that the Oregon Health & Science University, where the actress passed, did not give out the cause of death.

Kepler began her career in 1978 when she appeared in an episode of the popular series “CHiPs,” which starred Erik Estrada (“The Bold and the Beautiful”). After joining “GH,” she appeared in a number of episodes of ABC’s “Three’s Company.” Upon the arrival of ABC’s “Port Charles” in 1997, the actress was able to bring her character of Nurse Vining to an audience craving non-stop hospital drama. On the film side she appeared in “Bus 17 is Missing,” “Getting Wasted” and the Joan Collins headed, “Homework.”

On top of a successful acting career, Kepler started her “Lacy Afternoon” clothing line that was marketed on the Home Shopping Network. She also co-wrote a book called “Make Fashion Magic” in 1996 with Danica D’Hondt and corporate author Inc. Leisure Arts. Oxmoor House served as publisher.

When asked for comment, “General Hospital” issued the following press statement, “We are saddened to hear of the passing of our friend and colleague Shell Kepler who portrayed the role of Nurse Amy Vining on ‘General Hospital’ (and on the spin-off ‘Port Charles’) for over two decades. She was one-of-a-kind and well loved by her fellow cast and crew members. We will all miss her and send our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.”

“I was shocked to hear of the recent and untimely passing of Shell Kepler. She was a wonderful person and my thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this difficult time,” said “General Hospital” executive producer, Jill Farren Phelps.

On behalf of Soap Opera Network, our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Kepler’s family as they go through this trying time.

Pictured: Shell Kepler courtesy ABC Photo Archives

  • General Hospital
  • Shell Kepler
  • Jill Farren Phelps

    Who Knows What Can Happen?
    Sunday, February 3, 2008 8:00 PM | By Errol Lewis

    (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Casting News for the Week of February 4.

    Ridge Perkett returns as “R.J. Forrester,” son of Ridge Forrester (Ron Moss) and Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) on February 6, along with Amanda and Rachel Pace who dually portray “Hope Logan,” daughter of Deacon Sharpe (Sean Kanan) and Brooke.

    Henry LeBlanc returns as a “Minister” on the February 4 episode of “The Bold and the Beautiful.” In the episode, Taylor insists that Brooke marry Ridge or else.

    Pictured: Ron Moss courtesy CBS

    • Ridge Perkett
    • Amanda Pace
    • Rachel Pace
    • Henry LeBlanc
    • The Bold and the Beautiful

      ‘B&B’ Coverage Returns to SON
      Sunday, February 3, 2008 7:30 PM | By Errol Lewis

      (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Battle Lines are drawn as rivals bring a new war.

      THIS WEEK ON “THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL”

      Taylor is angry with Brooke after learning she refuses to marry Ridge, just as Jackie reveals that baby Jack is Brooke’s biological child to a stunned Stephanie. After her meeting with Brooke, Taylor finally admits to Nick and James that she has been drinking. Brooke learns what Donna and Eric have been up to. Nick is questioned by James. After his talk with James, Nick confesses his true feelings to Brooke. After realizing that her hallucinations have returned, Taylor gets some words of advice from James regarding her relationship with Nick.

      WHAT TO WATCH

      Can Rick save Taylor from self destruction?

      Pictured: Hunter Tylo courtesy CBS


      By Errol Lewis


      (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Congratulations go out to Derk Cheetwood and wife Cari Costner.

      Derk Cheetwood

      On Wednesday, January 30, the world welcomed baby Kylie Danielle Cheetwood to the Cheetwood family at 3:25 PM. Kylie weighed in at 9 pounds, 3 ounces and was 21½ inches tall. This is the first child for Derk and Cari.

      Cheetwood is the cousin of “General Hospital” co-star Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) and brother to Drew Cheetwood, who plays Milo on “GH.” Costner is the niece of Kevin Costner.

      Everyone at Soap Opera Network and “General Hospital” wish Derk and family well as they begin their new journey.

      • General Hospital
      • Derk Cheetwood
      • Cari Costner

        OLTL PreVUE: Week of February 4 Edition

        The ties that bind
        Friday, February 1, 2008 9:00 PM | By Scotty Gore

        (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — You can’t handle the truth.

        THIS WEEK ON “ONE LIFE TO LIVE”…

        Viki and Charlie are ecstatic to be reunited, however Viki can’t help but wonder how Charlie ended up at Dorian’s. Dorian, meanwhile, blackmails Jared. Viki confronts Jared about Jessica, not knowing that he is Charlie’s son. Charlie and Viki make love at Llanfair. Allison offers Jessica a deal–break her out of St. Ann’s, and she’ll confess her secret. A lying Charlie informs Viki that Rex is his son. Dorian wants to go head-to-head with Viki. Starr wants Markko to reassure her that nothing is going on between Langston and Cole. Antonio and Talia’s time alone is
        interrupted by Officer Oliver Fish, who arrives to take Antonio back to Llanview. Viki tells Dorian Charlie’s lie about Rex. Charlie comes clean to Rex, who agrees to go along with the plan in hopes of getting the truth from Roxy. Jessica’s plan horrifies Natalie. Lindsay gets Vincent’s help with the “Get It Off Your Chest” project for the upcoming Go Red Ball, whose purpose is to ask people to write down their secrets and place them in a “heart box” sculpture with the promise that no one will ever see them. Talia and Antonio are successful in convincing Oliver to switch place with Talia, however Bo warns Antonio about the LPD’s fraternization policies. Jared’s actions surprise Jessica and Natalie. Jared offers to sell Nash back 1% of the vineyard, and later the two make a pact. Jessica puts her plan in motion. Addie and Roxy place their secrets in the box, while Lindsay chooses not too. Cole and Langston inform Blair of Starr’s surprise party. Free from St. Ann’s, Allison forces Jessica and Natalie to take her to the Lord Mausoleum. Bo and Lindsay grow closer.

        FAMILY TIES?


        John forces Todd to choose between going to jail or helping Marcie. Afterward, Ramsey attempts to persuade Todd that killing Gigi and Shane would be the best solution to their predicament. Gigi tries to assure Adriana that Shane is not Rex’s son. Rex confides in Bo about Walter Balsom, and asks him to be his best man. Bo, meanwhile, gives Rex the ring he had planned on giving to Gabrielle. Adriana can’t shake the feeling that Rex and Shane are father and son, and shares her suspicions with Layla. John places Todd on the hot seat in front of Nora. In secret, Todd tells Ramsey that he cannot allow him to murder Gigi. Blair tells John how difficult it is for her to be a mother to Sam. Rex tells Adriana the truth about Charlie. Todd is horrified when Ramsey remains determined that they kill Gigi and Shane. Todd has fire in his eyes when Ramsey threatens to go after Blair and the children if Todd backs down. Markko unknowingly alerts John to the fact that Ramsey is staying at the penthouse. Rex is speechless to learn from Adriana that Gigi has a son. Ramsey hides out across from the Angel Square Hotel armed with a high-powered rifle. After coming to, John discovers that Gigi and Shane are missing. Meanwhile, on the roof of the hotel, Gigi dodges Rex’s questions about Shane. Rex is clueless to the fact that Gigi was once in love with him. Todd is mortified to discover that Jack knows how he tried to give him away when he was a baby. After he and Blair ease Jack’s fears, Todd hunts down Ramsey.

        D2D PreVUE’s for the week of February 11

        Monday: Gigi answers Rex’s questions; Todd and Ramsey fight for survival; Allison is full of surprises.

        Tuesday: John forces Todd to become Marcie’s ally; Allison forces Roxy to help her.

        Wednesday: Roxy pleads with Allison to keep quiet; Todd impresses Blair; Michael and Marcie bond.

        Thursday: Jessica and Natalie fear their plan will be uncovered; Nora plots to discover Lindsay’s secret; Starr receives a shock.

        Friday: Mary J. Blige returns to Llanview to sing for Starr’s Sweet 16; Lindsay catches Nora red-handed; Bo receives bad news; a gun-wielding Allison searches for Jessica.

        Pictured: Bree Williamson courtesy Donna Svennevik/ABC


        A Week You’ll Never Forget
        Friday, February 1, 2008 10:50 PM | By Errol Lewis

        (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Can a hit-and-run bring lovers closer together? Can a power struggle tear a family apart? Will doctors be able to save a Prince in need?

        THE INSIDE STORY: Who Ran Sam Down?

        After Lucky and Sam have a heated confrontation over her lies and deception, Lucky is forced to leave Sam and move on with his life. After their confrontation, a distraught Sam finds herself to be the next target of the Text Message Killer. Hoping that Lucky will save her before its too late, Sam calls Lucky. Lucky doesn’t believe Sam’s claims, just as the killer strikes! READ MORE

        THIS WEEK ON GENERAL HOSPITAL

        Carly/Jax/Sonny/Kate/Michael

        After a visit with Dr. Lee last Friday, Carly is on her way to tell her husband some exciting news. While en route, she finds herself involved in a mishap resulting in damage to her vehicle. When she arrives home, she isn’t happy to find her husband with mortal enemy, Kate Howard. Sonny is stunned to learn that Kate told Jax about her past. Kate tries to get Sonny to admit his true feelings for her. Jax is ecstatic to learn that Carly is pregnant with his child. Mike catches Michael buying bullets. Is danger on the horizon for the Corinthos clan?

        Claudia/Johnny/Trevor/Ric/Marianna

        Claudia returned to Port Charles with one agenda in mind, one that will have Trevor living to regret his decisions. Claudia tries to re-connect with Johnny, who has Lulu on the brain. With an afterglow from their heated night of passion, Ric feels his future could be looking up, while Marianna gets troubling news. Taking over control of the family business, Claudia calls a meeting with the Five Families. Claudia sees eye-to-eye with Carly while visiting the Metro Court, just before meeting face-to-face with her Latin lover, Sonny Corinthos. Will sparks continue to fly or will a new truth be revealed?

        WHAT TO WATCH

        - Robin grows suspicious of Dr. Devlin.

        - Jerry finds a battered Sam after her hit-and-run and brings her to the hospital.

        - Spinelli and Maxie investigate Coop’s room to find clues about his death.

        - Patrick is protective of Robin.

        - Not able to reach the pedestal that is Laura Spencer, Tracy tells Luke she is done with him.

        - Elizabeth confesses to Jason that she might be the one who ran Sam down, but Jason doesn’t believe her.

        SON ALERTS: WEEK OF FEBRUARY 11, 2008

        Monday: Lucky doesn’t believe Sam when she tells him the killer attacked her again. Sonny and Claudia are birds of a feather. Trevor puts the pressure on Marianna to get the deeds from Ric.

        Tuesday: Jason accuses Carly of being the driver that ran Sam down. Elizabeth feels guilty over Sam’s accident. Logan tell Lulu he loves her.

        Wednesday: Alexis is the next target of the Text Message Killer. Luke meets Claudia and gives her some words of advice. Lucky can’t forgive Sam.

        Pictured: Sarah Joy Brown courtesy ABC/SOAPnet


        Y&R PreVUE Week of February 4 Edition

        A quest for power…
        Thursday, January 31, 2007 7:55 PM | By Venus Stone

        (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Just how much trust can you give a man you might not know?

        THIS WEEK ON “THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS”

        Kevin and Jana plot to bring Jeffrey down. Katherine lets Amber know that she’s going to start writing the memoirs of her life. JT and Victoria prepare to get married. Gloria buys crappy decor to make Sharon and Jack feel uncomfortable with living in the mansion. Victor gives Neil Nick’s old job. Amber and Daniel have a party but wind up between the sheets.

        DAVID GETS NIKKI WHERE HE WANTS HER…

        Colleen begins to see red when she notices the close bond between Heather and Adrian. Victor decides to head out of town to see a past love. Victor gives Jill an earful about how Nikki’s being in control of Jabot will ruin her. Nikki asks David if he’ll accept a position at Jabot as the new Chief Operations Office, to which he immediately accepts.

        Pictured: Vincent Irizarry courtesy ABC


        DAYS PreVUE: Week of February 4 Edition

        A Reunion and a Farewell…
        Thursday, January 31, 2008 6:54 PM | By Venus Stone

        (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — A brother is reunited with his sister; while John continues to fight his inner demons…

        THIS WEEK ON “DAYS OF OUR LIVES”

        Lexie gives Kayla the news that she is going to have a baby. The autopsy results on Ford are turned in to Roman. Billie gets a job offer from Victor, which she accepts. Chelsea feels that she is losing her friends Lucas lets Sami know that he will be headed for prison. Chloe asks Philip if he meant what he said about making peace with Shawn. Stephanie and Max share a kiss.

        A BITTERSWEET FAREWELL…

        In Ireland, John requests that he have a moment alone with Colleen. Grandpa Shawn is reunited with his sister. Alone, Belle and Shawn discuss their future together. John’s mission to take care of Colleen is halted after she reveals that he’s her son. Colleen tells Grandpa Shawn that she doesn’t have much time to live. Patch and Kayla find Bo and insist that he tells Hope the truth about his illness. John contemplates taking his life. Colleen requests the Brady family to surround her as she prepares to say good-bye. John has a hard time getting a grip on his emotions. Meanwhile, Steve sees a mysterious woman and instantly recognizes her.

        Pictured: Peter Reckell courtesy NBC


        My View of Llanview: January 30 Edition

        “One Life,” Many Issues
        Wednesday, January 30, 2008 5:40 PM| By Scotty Gore

        (SoapOperaNetwork.com) — A look back at how “One Life to Live” handled social issues in the past.

        Hello all. Hope life is treating everyone well. I am now off and running with my student teaching at my local middle school. Thus far it has been it has been rather interesting. I’m finally starting to learn all the students’ names, which is a big help. Student teaching can be tons of fun, but it is also very labor intensive. I have lesson plans to write, assignments to grade, and chapters to review for tomorrow’s social studies classes. So, due to my somewhat overwhelming workload at the moment, I have decided to go a slightly different route with this edition of the column. Since it’s been awhile since we’ve done this, I felt that it would be an appropriate time to do it again. And so now it’s time for “A Blast From the Past!”

        This go around we are powering up “One Life to Live” time machine and transporting ourselves back nearly thirty three years to a time when disco, large hair, and bellbottoms were considered cool and groovy. That’s right, we’re going back in time to 1975 to revisit an article highlighting “OLTL’s” emphasis on topical issues ranging from drug abuse to sexually transmitted disease and the Vietnam War.

        It was on March 23, 1975 when this article, entitled “There’s a schism in the world of the Grand Old Soap Opera: Life can be beautiful/relevant” appeared in the New York Times. Written by Anthony Astrachan, this article focused on how soap’s were changing their format in order to tackle many relevant issues. I have chosen to only include excerpts of the article which feature “OLTL,” due to the fact that since is a column centered around that soap and not “As the World Turns,” “Another World,” or “All My Children,” which were also discussed in the article.

        Cathy Craig was a teen-ager who experimented with drugs and was cured of her incipient habit at Odyssey House. She went on to become a reporter for her hometown newspaper, the Llanview Banner, and wrote a nationally syndicated article telling nice people what to do when they get venereal disease. She turned some of her newspaper experiences into a best-selling book of short stories that won feminist praise. She has borne a child without a husband but is enthusiastic about being a “single parent” rather than an “unmarried mother.” On a national television talk show, she looked meaningfully down at her bulging belly and asked the interviewer, Melba Tolliver, to call her “Ms.”

        Cathy Craig is not a real-life feminist but a character in a soap opera, ABC’s “One Life to Live.” It’s recipe for dramatic entertainment includes a large dose of realism, ranging from real-life drug treatment centers like Odyssey House to real-life television personalities like Melba Tolliver. It makes quite a contrast with the classical canon of daytime television drama embodied in CBS’s “As the World Turns.”

        … The contrast between the two programs shows what James Thurber once alled “Soapland,” like American society as a whole, is torn between the need to keep up with changing realities and the desire to stick to tried-and-true formulas that have never expressed reality – to tell it like it isn’t. The search for relevance has led daytime drama to deal with social issues like drugs, venereal disease and the Vietnam war, to take feminist positions on questions like abortion and women working, and to bring blacks and ethnics into the WASP population of Soapland.

        …”One Life to Live,” which seems the most consistently innovative soap opera, has a recurring feminist story line in the adventures of Cathy Craig. Dorrie Kavanaugh, who plays Cathy, feels that the program has not gone far enough, even though she regards it as the best on the air from the feminist viewpoint. She says the best script she has been given was her childbirth sequence, alone in a snowbound resort cottage with a male newspaper colleague. When he sees her in pain, he says, “Be a brave girl.” Between deep contractions, she replies indignantly, “Don’t call me a girl! I’m a woman.”

        Miss Kavanaugh is only half pleased that Cathy could go to bed with another male character, Joe Riley, without being in love with him. “Before, we couldn’t say ‘Yes,’ now we can’t say ‘No,’” she commented. “That has nothing to do with human liberation. I play a character as though she’s liberated, but she’s 28, she lives with her parents, she went to bed with a man once in her life and got pregnant – is that so liberated?”

        …Racial attitudes are also changing, a dozen years after the peak of the civil rights movement. Many programs have one or two black characters to put the networks’ employment of actors in compliance with the Federal law. “One Life to Live” has gone one step further by making its black characters really important in the story line. Ed Hall, a black police lieutenant, has been written out temporarily because the actor who played him, Al Freeman Jr., went to Hollywood. He will be replaced. Ellen Holly, who plays his wife, likes the Ed Hall role because it calls for a black that comes on like Carey Grant instead of the macho gangsters – like Superfly – who have become models for black children. Miss Holly has been described as a mixture of three racial strains, and there was no doubt that she could pass for white when the story called for it. In the process of deciding to admit she was black, she had romantic involvements that required her to kiss first a white man and then a black, making a Southern red-neck equally indignant about both when he wrote in to protest. Usually, daytime drama shows only two or three blacks in an all-white world, and their problems tend to be classified as human rather than racial. The amount of realism remains a matter of dispute.

        “One Life to Live” also tries for a greater degree of realism in having an important set of characters that are both blue-collar and ethnic, whereas most soap operas merely drop in an occasional Italian or Jewish name to add what is thought to be a desirable touch of the exotic. “One Life” also had a Jewish- Christian marriage (until the Jewish husband “died”) with one-liners about Christmas and Hanukkah.

        The blue-collar couple on this program also provide something else that is a rarity in the old- fashioned kind of soap-opera humor. It tends toward slapstick, as in a scene in which they test a waterbed when they set out to buy furniture for their new home. But even the middle-class WASPs in “One Life” are capable of wit by Soapland standards. Joe Riley is painting the carriage house that he and Victoria Lord Riley Burke Riley are remodeling. When Viki applauds his work, Joe says, “Michelangelo, eat your heart out!” She deadpans, “I thought he only did ceilings.”

        “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” were both created by a woman who cheerfully takes credit for much of daytime drama’s new willingness to face social issues – Agnes Eckhardt Nixon.

        …Mrs. Nixon likes to introduce into the soaps not only such relevant issues but scenes and people from real life. One of her favorites was the Odyssey House sequence in which Cathy Craig went for her drug cure on “One Life to Live.” Doris Quinlan, the producer of “One Life,” still speaks proudly of that story. The show spent five days on location at the real Odyssey House in 1970. The cameras shot Cathy with the black and Puerto Rican youths there, and the writers spread the footage over a summer’s worth of episodes intended to deliver the message to young people home from school or college. Actors on the show speak of the excitement in the fan mail of that period, and the ratings went up slightly. (Ratings have actually gone down when other soaps showed less realistic drug sequences.) Amy Levitt, who then played Cathy, says the management thought the Odyssey House youngsters interfered with the entertainment values of the show. She resented what she regarded as a diversion of the story from the ghetto kids to a blue-eyed blond hero with whom Cathy was made to fall in love. Miss Quinlan says, however, the sequence lasted its natural life, ending at the same time as the summer and the Odyssey House footage.

        A venereal-disease sequence followed some time later. Dr. Larry Wolek spoke on the subject at Llanview High, which made it only natural for Cathy, his step niece, to write an article on the subject for The Banner. Mrs. Nixon wrote the “article” herself from research with William D. Schwartz of the Communicable Disease Center of the U.S. Public Health Service in Atlanta. Mrs. Nixon says that more than six thousand people wrote to ABC for copies of the article – an enormous response, especially considering the fact that “One Life” subordinated the V.D. theme to the continuing, disease-free romances that are the living matter of all soap operas.

        Moving back to the present, I have to give “OLTL” an A+ for its use of history and past characters and cast members. Since last summer, Tuc Watkins (David Vickers), Tonja Walker (Alex Olanov), John Loprieno (Cord Roberts), Dan Gauthier (Kevin Buchanan), Nathan Fillion (Joey Buchanan), James DePaiva (Max Holden), Christine Jones (Pamela Stuart), Ann Hamilton (Aunt Corrine Balsom), Tari Signor (Margaret Cochran), and Barbara Garrick (Allison Perkins), have all returned for short
        guest stints in Llanview. Now if we could only get these people back either recurring or on contract: Thom Christopher, Michael Storm, Laura Koffman, Wortham Krimmer, and Andrea Evans. Do you realize that it has been ten years since the character of Tina Roberts has been seen on “OLTL?” I say it’s way past time that we bring Viki’s baby sister back home to Llanview.

        And, saving the best for last, it’s time to take a quick look at some of the plotlines coming up on “OLTL” a couple of weeks down the road. On the run with two nuns, a psychopath finds what she’s looking for at a dead man’s grave. One new couple have a difficult time focusing on their jobs. A pair of newly independent souls attend a ball together. An overzealous individual is anxious to get his/her hands on someone else’s secret. And someone is in for the shock of his or her life.

        Well, that’s all for this edition of the column. I wish I had more time to write an in-depth analysis of the current state of my favorite soap, but alas I’m afraid I just don’t have the time at the moment. But there’s always next time. Since we won’t meet again until February’s most cherished holiday, I hope everyone finds love this Valentine’s Day. And if any of you ladies are single, I’m in the book. I’ll be awaiting your calls. Hahaha Take care everyone, and I’ll see you again on February 15th.

        And until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live” …..

        Pictured: My View of Llanview courtesy Matt Smith/Soap Opera Network