On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, the world of soaps lost a true legend in Barbara Esensten, who passed at age 75. Esensten co-created “The City” along with her more than 20 year long writing partner James Harmon Brown. The duo worked together on such shows as “Dynasty,” “All My Children,” “Days of our Lives,” “One Life to Live,” “Port Charles” and “Guiding Light.”
In a posting on Esensten’s facebook page, former “Guiding Light” head writer Jill Lorie Hurst said, “I think you know how much I love you and one of the many reasons is how much YOU loved your wonderful family – Mike, the kids, the grandkids – that great house of yours – and your good old partner Jim Brown. You were such a good boss/girlfriend and you always smelled so good. I miss you already.”
On Friday, November 23, which just happens to be the day after Thanksgiving, former “One Life to Live” star Nic Robuck takes on his dark side as the star of Lifetime Movie Network’s world premiere movie “Dark Desire.”
The film, which we first reported on back in August while under the title “A Dark Plan,” follows Robuck in the role of Shane, who comforts the unhappily married mother of his recently deceased roommate while she mourns the loss of her son. Kelly Lynch (“Magic City”) portrays the mother, who soon realizes that Shane may have been the one responsible for the death of her son.
“I wish she’d tell me what she was thinking” are the first spoken words in the teaser trailer for the upcoming film “On Air” by Paos Revolution, a new production company formed by Jordi Vilasuso (“All My Children,” “Guidiing Light”) and acting coaches from “AMC” and “General Hospital.” The film will tell the fictionalized story of life after a popular soap opera gets canceled and how the stars of the program are forced to move on.
In the teaser, Vilasuso is joined by former “AMC” co-star Alicia Minshew, whose character says that she “gave ten years of [her] life to that show. I still can’t believe we got canceled.” While the line provides an unintentional punch to soap fans still reeling from the loss of the ABC drama series as Minshew portrayed Kendall Hart on the program for nearly ten years, it does show that life does go on. While we will no longer be seeing some of our favorite stars portraying some of our all-time favorite characters, the business of soaps will continue in one form or another.
Although they weren’t listed with the other “Hot” stuff in TV Guide Magazine‘s Annual “Hot List” issue (pages 16-35), “General Hospital” earned a spot under Michael Logan‘s Daytime Highlights column (page 84) with the heading “Hot Again,” while NBC’s “Days of our Lives” also made the cut under the heading “Hot Days, Hotter Nights” courtesy of daytime’s hottest (and only) gay on screen couple, Will Horton (Chandler Massey) and Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith).
Frank Valentini (Executive Producer, “General Hospital”) is promising that the Monday, August 27 episode of the drama series is “not to be missed” as the series has “been keeping a huge surprise under wraps.” The producer tweeted the message to his 12,000 followers earlier today.
From what we know about Monday’s episode Anna (Finola Hughes) learns the identify of a mystery patient, Jerry makes his demands clear to the people of Port Charles. Joe Jr. promises to protect Tracy and John questions Alexis about what she can remember about the night she was injected.
In possibly related news, Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda Barrett) just tweeted a picture to her followers that said “Got Brenda?” Also, “All My Children’s” Rebecca Budig (ex-Greenlee Smythe) was the first one to respond to Valentini’s above mentioned tweet. The actress said “I’ll be watching!”
The things that make you go hmmm…
“General Hospital” moves to a new time period beginning Monday, September 10 (2:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT/CT). The network promises to thrill audiences in the days leading up to the timeslot switch with lives hanging in the balance and shocking revelations hitting Port Charles. Who survives and who thrives? You’ll just have to tune in to find out!
Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall Hart Slater, “All My Children”) is currently off filming her new movie, “Desires of the Heart” in Savannah, GA and now Soap Opera Network is happy to report the film has unveiled its Facebook page for fans to take a look at the journey to making the film.
In “Heart,” Minshew portrays Madeline, a young artist who catches the attention of a psychiatrist (Val Lauren) visiting from India. While their romance blossoms, her new love is forced to return to India in order to marry the woman chosen as his bride by his parents.
Although “Good Afternoon America” showed some gains over the recent performance of ratings eyesore “The Revolution,” those gains could only last so long. The ABC News daytime talk show hosted by “Good Morning America’s” Lara Spencer and Josh Elliott has also failed to bring in an audience on par with the year-ago airings of the canceled “One Life to Live” after five weeks of ratings data (week of August 6-10, 2012).
UPDATE, THURSDAY, AUGUST 16 5:30 PM ET: A previous version of this article incorrectly included the line “Big Trouble at ‘Live! with Kelly?’” in its heading.
We apologize for the sensationalized heading, and have corrected it to include the core information. While “Live! with Kelly” did hit 20 year lows, which made that tidbit of information more noteworthy, it is one of the few daytime shows (talk or otherwise) to have been on the air as long.
Additionally, despite its lows, “Live!” was the third most watched talk show for the week. This in spite of the show losing 39 affiliated stations, representing 10% of the U.S.
Nic Robuck (ex-James Ford, “One Life to Live”) has landed his first feature film role, reports ABC Soaps In Depth. The actor has signed on to play the lead in the film “A Dark Plan.”
“I play the lead character, Shane Dempsey, a sociopath who had a horrible upbringing. He will do anything for the love of others… even kill if he’s desperate enough!” said Robuck to Soaps In Depth. “He’s a bit like James in that they both had rough upbringings,” Robuck revealed, “but Shane has much deeper, darker-rooted issues and isn’t quite stable.”
UPDATE, TUESDAY, AUGUST 21 1:10 PM ET: A previous version of this articles title indicated that “Desires of the Heart” was an Indian film. Soap Opera Network has since been told that while the film will be made by an Indian producer/executive producer and co-director, and despite the film taking place partially in India itself, “Heart” is “not an Indian film.”
PREVIOUS, MONDAY, AUGUST 13 11:55 PM ET: According to The Hollywood Reporter, former “All My Children” starlet Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall Hart) has landed a major role in the new film “Desires of the Heart,” which began production in Savannah, GA on Monday, August 13.
In the film, Minshew will portray the role of Madeline, a young artist who catches the attention of a psychiatrist visiting from India. While their romance blossoms, her new love is forced to return to India in order to marry the woman chosen as his bride by his parents.
Executive produced by Solila Parida and directed by James Kicklighter, with co-direction in India provided by Rajesh Rathi, “Heart” will move production to India after completing work in Georgia.
Val Lauren, who starred in the James Franco (“General Hospital”) directed 2011 film “Sal,” will portray the psychiatrist in the film. Lauren has previously appeared in episodes of “Felicity,” “CSI: New York,” and “Hawaii Five-0.”
No release date for the film has been announced.