Deborah Blackwell, the former general manager of Disney/ABC Cable Network Group’s SOAPnet from 2001-2007, has died at the age of 63, reports Deadline Hollywood. She died yesterday, January 31, after a seven-year battle with Pick’s disease, a rare neurodegenerative disorder. Blackwell was surrounded by family in Virginia at the time of her passing.
Fans love it when their show goes on location, but whatever happened to exterior shots – images of outdoor locations inserted before a scene takes place between characters – which were heavily utilized on “Passions,” the now defunct NBC and DirecTV daytime soap opera?
While SOAPnet’s “General Hospital: Night Shift” may have brought a modern exterior of the famed General Hospital in Port Charles to life via its opening credits, a variation of which was subsequently used by its parent series, “General Hospital,” CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful” has remained the only current soap opera consistently utilizing the exterior concept in between scenes, at least until now. The network recently began bringing life to the homes of Genoa City’s most prominent citizens in episodes of “The Young and the Restless.”
From re-runs of soap classics “Dallas,” “Dynasty,” “Another World,” “Port Charles,” and “Falcon Crest,” to the launches of original series “SoapCenter,” “Soap Talk” and “General Hospital: Night Shift,” SOAPnet was defined as the “new way to watch soaps” for much of its near 14-year run. With just 2 days left before SOAPnet is no more, we thought it would be a great opportunity to look back at the inaugural year of a network that gave diehard soap fans their own platform to shout with glee through the death of a network that outlived its purpose.
Soap Opera Network has learned that “General Hospital” and “General Hospital: Night Shift” alum, Minae Noji, has landed a top secret role in the new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” film set for release in 2014. Starring Megan Fox as April O’Neil, Alan Ritchson as Raphael, Noel Fisher as Michelangelo, Jeremy Howard as Donatello and Pete Ploszek as Leonardo, rumor has it that Noji will be portraying the role of Karai, a character first introduced in the 1992 comic book series, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
According to sources, Noji was on the New York City set of “Turtles” filming for three months alongside the main cast and her role required a stunt double, which puts some weight into her portraying a character such as Karai, who is of Japanese descent (as is Noji) and one of the leading members of the Foot Clan, a ninjutsu clan best known to be controlled by The Shredder (William Fichtner). Recent iterations of the character find her related in some form to The Shredder.
Congratulations are in order for former “General Hospital” and “General Hospital: Night Shift” actress Kent King and husband Christian Cardona, who welcomed their first child, Griffin King Cardona, on Thursday, December 27, 2012. “He is so sweet and yummy, and I’m so in love!” said King in a posting on Facebook. The newborn baby boy was born at 12:29 PM PT and weighed in at 8lbs 1oz, the actress told Soap Opera Network exclusively.
Last summer, King and Cardona celebrated the premiere of their online fan film “Y: The Last Man Rising,” which was based on the Vertigo comic book series “Y: The Last Man” that produced only 60 issues in the span of nearly five years (September 2002 to March 2008).
TV Guide‘s Michael Logan pulls off another exclusive! In an interview with Steve Burton, the actor reveals that he has in fact decided to leave ABC’s “General Hospital” after two decades at the drama series. First joining the cast in 1991, Burton had portrayed the role of Jason Quartermaine turned Morgan. He left the series in 2000, but returned in 2002, and has remained at the show ever since. He’s also appeared on the “GH” spinoff, “General Hospital: Night Shift,” during the SOAPnet original series’ first season.
According to Burton, it was his contract coming up and his desire to move his family to Tennessee that resulted in him making this important life changing decision. “I’ve been through 21 years of ups and downs with ‘GH’ — regime changes, cast and crew changes, budget cuts, shakeups of one kind or another, and it’s been nothing but a huge positive in my life and for my family. I have no complaints, no negative feelings at all. But it’s time to go. I’m going to take some time off and do nothing but relax, just enjoy life a little bit with my wife and kids,” said Burton to TV Guide.
The actor also revealed that his next career move will be working on a project with James Franco (ex-Franco) and Jill Farren Phelps (former executive producer of “GH,” now at the helm of “Y&R”). “Jill went off and did that telenovela ‘Hollywood Heights’ [at Nickelodeon] and James did a day’s work there. Suddenly he decides he wants to make one of his own novelas through his production company and we’re like, ‘Huh?’ So the three of us collaborated on an idea and came up with a really good one. Jill will EP it, I’ll produce and star in it and so will James. We’ll be able to get a lot of great cameos and guest stars because of James’ connections. It’ll be a fun show to do.”
As for rumors of him possibly joining “Y&R,” Burton says, “Jill is one of my dearest friends. [Laughs] I’m never going to say never because , as soon as I do, I’ll be popping up over there! Here’s the thing: As cool as it was to know I had a nice, cushy place to go every day with ‘GH,’ I think it’s going to be just as cool to not have a nice, cushy place to go every day. I like not knowing what’s next for a change. I’m jumping off a cliff in a total leap of faith.”
Burton is expected to complete filming at “General Hospital” on Tuesday, September 25, but he has informed the show that, if necessary, he would be willing to stay on little longer to help wrap his characters storyline. Whatever the case may be, look for the actor to air through at least the end of October or sometime in November.
UPDATE, 9:43 PM ET: Should Burton ultimately depart “GH,” as rumored… Soap Opera Network is hearing rumblings of the actor heading to “The Young and the Restless” now that Jill Farren Phelps is EP’ing the CBS soap. Phelps had been the executive producer of “GH” from 2001-2011.
PREVIOUS, 8:48 PM ET: Daytime Confidential is reporting that ABC’s “General Hospital” and Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) may part ways as the show has been unable to broker a new deal with the actor.
“Steve and ABC have been negotiating for quite some time and it doesn’t look like he’s going to stay,” said a source to DC.
Should Burton depart “GH,” it would mark the end of a nearly two-decade long career at the drama series. First joining the cast in 1991, Burton left the series in 2000. He returned in 2002, and has remained at the show ever since. He also appeared on the “GH” spinoff, “General Hospital: Night Shift,” during the SOAPnet original series’ first season.
A representative for “General Hospital” was unavailable for comment at press time.
Based on the Vertigo comic book series “Y: The Last Man,” which produced only 60 issues in the span of nearly five years (September 2002 to March 2008), “Y: The Last Man Rising” is a fan film that tells the story of Yorick (Travis Quentin Young), an artist who must be protected at all costs in order to ensure the continued survival of the human race. Special Agent 355 is the one tasked in protecting him by any means necessary. In July, IGN Entertainment debuted the film online that stars former “General Hospital” and “General Hospital: Night Shift” actress Kent King (ex-Dr. Lainey Winters) in the role of Agent 355. King co-produced the film alongside her husband Christian Cardona, who also served as writer, producer and director of the 21 minute long film.
In addition to King, the film features “an ensemble cast, including my good friend and fellow ‘GH’r’ Bergen Williams,” said the actress to Soap Opera Network. “A few of the other cast members have soap history as well. And if you look/listen really really closely, you can spot my bestie Minae Noji [ex-Dr. Kelly Lee, "GH" and "GH: NS"]. It also stars Travis Quentin Young, Rebecca Marshall, Vida Guerra, and Traci Dinwiddie.”
Note: “Y” is a non-profit fan film and is not endorsed or affiliated with DC Comics/Vertigo or Warner Bros. Studios. It is intended for entertainment purposes only. All names and references of “Y: The Last Man” are copyrights of DC Comics/Vertigo and their respective trademark and copyright holders.
Artist: DJ Adam 12 (Performed by Chole Leighton)
Download it here: http://soundcloud.com/dj-adam-12/rise
Based on one of the most critically acclaimed comics of all time. A mysterious plague has wiped out all men on the planet, and women are left to pick up the pieces of society. The only surviving man is Yorick, an amateur escape artist who is the key to the continual survival of the human race. Special Agent 355 is tasked to protect his life at all costs. Luckily, she’s really good at her job…
IGN and Drake 1129 Productions are proud to present this new short film, made by super fans of the comic. It covers the initial plague that kills any mammal with a Y chromosome (except Yorick and his trusty monkey companion, Ampersand) and an awesome fight between Agent 355 and a fanatical group of Amazons.
Directed and Written by Christian Cardona
Produced by Kent King and Christian Cardona
Yorick………………….Travis Quentin Young
Agent 355…………….Kent King
This fan film is not endorsed by or affiliated with DC Comics/ Vertigo, Warner Bros Studios, or the original creators of the comic, Brian K Vaughan & Pia Guerra. You should read the original comic though — it’s really, really good.
Update, Wednesday, August 8 5:41 PM ET: Soap Opera Network has learned Shiels will be portraying the character “Moran” in his scenes with Braeden and Francis.
Previous, Tuesday, August 2 3:07 PM ET: Soap Opera Network has learned that actor Graham Shiels, who most recently appeared in an episode of TNT’s “Leverage,” has booked a recurring role on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless.”
While his character name is being kept under wraps, Soap Opera Network has learned that the role may vacillate between perceived enemy or ally and that Shiels will appear in scenes with Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) and Genie Francis (Genevieve Atkinson). His first airdate is scheduled for Monday, September 10.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Former “General Hospital” and “General Hospital: Night Shift” star Graham Shiels (ex-Cody Paul) will appear on the Sunday, July 22 episode of TNT’s “Leverage.”
The actor will portray Craig Marko, who is a “bruising, yet emotionally bruised, minor league hockey player,” according to the actor. This will be the first time he gets to do more than than grunt work in Hollywood.
The “Leverage” crew helps a veteran hockey player who thinks team management is trying to get him injured on purpose but discover their real intentions are far more ominous.
“Leverage” airs Sundays at 8:00 PM ET/7:00 PM CT on TNT.