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.
As noted in our recent interview with Greg Meng, co-executive producer, “Days of our Lives,” the NBC Daytime soap opera is releasing “Days of our Lives Better Living: Cast Secrets for a Healthier, Balanced Life,” a new book that delves into five better living topics – nutrition, exercise, style, inspiration and balance.
He wooed the ladies on “General Hospital,” and now Ingo Rademacher is set to woo America as a contestant on the 16th season of “Dancing With The Stars.” Paired with dancer Kym Johnson, Rademacher will be competing against a very diverse cast, including country star Wynonna Judd, “American Idol” alum Kellie Pickler, actress Zendayz Coleman, comedian Andy Dick, Olympic skater Dorothy Hamill, comedian D.L. Hughley, football player Jacoby Jones, boxer Victor Ortiz, Olympic gymnast Alexandra Raisman, and reality star Lisa Vanderpump.
The Huffington Post is reporting that Lisa Rinna is departing NBC’s “Days of our Lives” nearly nine months after returning to the set of the daytime drama series in the role of Billie Reed, which she originated back in 1992.
“She’s leaving so she can do all of the 500 other things she loves to do. [She's working on] her Belle Gray line for QVC, she’s writing another diet and fitness book, plus she’s developing a vitamin supplement line and lingerie line,” an anonymous friend of Rinna’s told the Post. “She’s also in talks to do a panel-type talk show.”
Rinna began filming again at “DAYS” in December, but didn’t hit the air until early March as the series currently films three months ahead of airdate. In announcing Rinna’s return last October, the Post said, “Lisa is doing a James Franco,” referencing Franco’s guest role on “General Hospital.” “There is something full circle about bringing her back to the role that made her famous and now harnessing her celebrity to secure the future of the show.” Unfortunately for Rinna, her return left her with not much to do as her character was given very little material to work with, especially as evidenced by the recent DAYSaster that took place before the Olympic break.
A “Days of our Lives” representative was unavilable for comment at press time.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — As Soap Opera Network first reported earlier today, NBC.com has revealed some of the actors taking part in various aspects of communication with fans of “Days of our Lives” so as to tide them over while NBC airs its coverage of the Olympic Games. The interactions begins Monday, July 30 and last through Friday, August 10 at 2:00 PM ET/11:00 AM PT.
Monday, July 30 - Lisa Rinna gives you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of a DAYSaster!
Tuesday, July 31- Arianne Zucker hints at the future of her character AND her baby on board!
Wednesday, August 1 - Shawn Christian shows up to the interview dirtied up in full disaster makeup!
Thursday, August 2 - Kate Mansi talks about the terrifying experience of being trapped in an elevator during the DAYSaster!
Friday, August 3 - Eric Martsolf talks about the shocking deaths that hit Salem!
“Days of our Lives” returns on Monday, August 13 at 1:00 PM ET when viewers find out who survived the DAYSaster that rocked Salem during today’s cliffhanger episode.
Keep checking Soap Opera Network to find out who else will be taking part.
All interactive content can be viewed on NBC.com’s “Days of our Lives” website beginning Monday.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Although a “Days of our Lives” representative was unavailable for comment to Soap Opera Network, Soap Opera Digest is reporting what The Huffington Post originally reported, which is Lisa Rinna is returning to the NBC soap in the role of Billie Reed. The actress originated the role in 1992, nearly twenty years ago.
The Huffington Post
“‘Days Of Our Lives’ has a great new team behind it, and they are determined to make sure the show not only survives but thrives,” an insider tells me. “Part of the strategy is bringing out the big guns, which includes bringing back Lisa Rinna and Billie Reed.”
“Lisa is doing a James Franco,” the source says, referencing Franco’s recent guest role on “General Hospital.” “There is something full circle about bringing her back to the role that made her famous and now harnessing her celebrity to secure the future of the show.”
Per the Post, Rinna’s supposed scripts are being kept under wraps and anyone involved in her storyline are being told to keep quiet after learning they’ll be working with her. The site states she’ll begin shooting her episodes in December, which would place her first airdate as early as March per the current filming schedule the soap is under.
Rinna previously returned to “DAYS” in 2002 during the soaps failed attempt to recapture the novelty of her character. Although at no fault to the actress herself, the soap wrote her character as a cop at the Salem Police Department, which incensed fans – particularly fans of Bo (Peter Reckell) and Hope (Kristian Alfonso) Brady.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Just days before next cycle’s “Dancing with the Stars” cast is announced during Monday’s episode of ABC’s “Bachelor Pad,” comes word that actor Jack Wagner, who portrays Nick Marone on CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful,” is rumored to be joining the cast in the upcoming 11th season of the hit ABC reality-competition series.
While ABC has had soap stars from the past and present appear on the series over the years, it was always someone from within the ABC/Disney family including the likes of “All My Children’s” Susan Lucci and Cameron Mathison, along with Aiden Turner who appeared in this past spring’s 10th season just after being fired from the ABC soap. “General Hospital’s” Kelly Monaco won it all in the first season of the program in the summer of 2005. Another notable alum is former “SoapTalk” (which aired on Disney cable network SOAPnet) co-host Lisa Rinna. When pressed for a response an ABC spokesman reminds us that the “network does not respond to casting rumors.”
While Jack Wagner portrayed the role of Frisco Jones on ABC’s “General Hospital” from 1983-1988, 1989-1991, 1994 and 1995, it is highly unlikely that the network would be willing to help promote a rivals competing series, so the chances of him appearing are slim. Meanwhile, Mario Lopez was the closest a daytime soap star from another network has ever come to appearing on the show as he had just completed a brief stint on “B&B” just before “Dancing’s” second season premiere in 2006. He finished second with partner Karina Smirnoff.
The official cast of “Dancing with the Stars’” 11th season will be made on Monday, August 30 during ABC’s “Bachelor Pad.”
Stay tuned to Soap Opera Network and for all the latest developments relating to this story.