(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Forbes March joins the cast of CBS’ “As The World Turns” next month and Soap Opera Network has your first look at the actor as Professor Mason.
Who hogged the most airtime in all of 2009? After years of coming in second to his female counterparts, did “General Hospital’s” Steve Burton edge out the competition in 2009?
As the year 2009 came to a close, so did a years worth of tracking appearances of contract and recurring actors on daytime’s remaining soap operas. “General Hospital’s” Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) and “Days of Our Lives” Arianne Zucker (Nicole Walker) top the list of appearances in 2009 as the duo respectively appeared in 208 and 207 out of a little over 250 episodes of soap opera hours produced for each soap (except for the canceled CBS sudser “Guiding Light”) last year.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — It’s been called the unofficial start of fall and the last major summer holiday. Labor Day was created to honor the working men and women across the United States. It’s also a chance for ABC Daytime to take the opportunity to catch viewers up on some of the key moments from the recent past that helped define current storylines.
On Monday, September 7th, instead of showing first-run episodes of your favorite ABC Daytime dramas like “All My Children,” “General Hospital” or “One Life to Live,” the network has opted to air repeat episodes of the soaps, which originally aired earlier this summer.
“All My Children” Episode #10061 (original air date 6/29/09)
After a run in with a cop, Tad manages to make it back to the house with the baby before Jake and Liza’s plan goes up in smoke. Jake and Liza fool everyone into thinking she gave birth in the basement. Liza fears Amanda will recognize the baby as her own when she sees him but is greatly relieved when she doesn’t. Tad fakes chest pains to draw attention away from Liza in order to stop the paramedics from taking her to the hospital. Liza tells Colby she’s decided to name the baby Stuart. Marissa defends JR to David. JR confesses to Marissa that he was thinking about Babe when he kissed her and apologizes. Ryan and Erica rush in when they witness Annie holding a gun on Adam. Adam refuses to allow anyone to call the police, choosing to believe Annie when she claims it was all a misunderstanding. Aidan and Ryan are working together to prove Annie killed Stuart. Adam dismisses Erica’s warnings about Annie as he accuses her of just being jealous. Adam kisses Annie when he notices Erica spying on them.
“One Life to Live” Episode #10456 ‘Mother and Child Reunion’ (original air date 6/15/09)
Marcie and Starr have a heart to heart talk, with Marcie telling Starr she sees how much she’s matured since Hope’s birth and can tell she’s ready to be a mother to her own daughter. A spiteful Asher tempts Cole with pills. Although tempted to find a temporary escape, Cole comes to his senses and decides to throw the pills into the water just as a cop approaches him. Miserable after being jilted by Ray, a drunken Dorian makes a disaster of the party Langston throws to celebrate Markko’s graduation. Markko’s conservative parents are horrified when Dorian reveals Markko and Langston slept together on prom night and forbid their son to have any contact with Langston whatsoever. Dorian continues on her tear, kicking Moe and Noelle out of the house and firing Shaun. Incensed by her behavior, Langston shoves Dorian into the pool. Téa’s outraged when Todd forces her to testify at his and Blair custody hearing as she knows she could be disbarred if she tells the truth by admitting she played a part in John and Blair’s sham of a marriage. Blair and Téa both expose the other’s secret when they reveal they each admitted Todd was the love of their lives. The judge rules that Todd and Blair will both retain custody of the kids but decides that everyone must live together under one roof. Téa plans on getting even with Todd.
“General Hospital” Episode #11852 (original air date 7/21/09)
Claudia gets in a horrific car accident trying to avoid a reckless driver. Carly, who happens to be close by, pulls Claudia from the wreckage. Meanwhile, Johnny walks in to see Sonny and Olivia kissing. Johnny informs Sonny that tests confirm that Sonny is the father of Claudia’s baby. Sonny doesn’t believe Johnny but later learns he was telling the truth as he sees Claudia being rushed into the emergency room. Jason helps Michael cover his tracks when he admits he thinks he caused a car accident. Kristina fears she could have caused Claudia’s accident. Sam picks up on Kristina’s unease when she returns home. Sam and Jason suspect that either Michael or Kristina could have caused Claudia’s accident. Patrick and Kelly tell Claudia that both her and her unborn baby’s lives are at risk. Maxie is tempted to accept Spinelli’s marriage proposal after seeing the beautiful ring he got for her. Maxie asks Spinelli for more time to decide about his proposal.
Original episodes of your favorite ABC soaps return Tuesday, September 8th.
“All My Children,” “General Hospital,” and “One Life to Live” air Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Forbes March joins the cast of CBS’ “As The World Turns” next month and Soap Opera Network has your first look at the actor as Professor Mason.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Murray Bartlett is back as Cyrus Foley on CBS’ “Guiding Light” and a has a new blond by his side in the form of former “One Life to Live” starlet, BethAnn Bonner.
On Monday, June 1, Cyrus lands in Springfield with a chip on his shoulder and on Tuesday, June 2 BethAnn Bonner debuts as Natasha, a new character interacting with Cyrus upon his return.
“Guiding Light” airs Weekdays on CBS. Anytime on CBS.com.
Discussion: GL First Look: BethAnn Bonner’s Debut
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — After 72 years on air between radio and television, CBS’s “Guiding Light” will cease broadcasting on the CBS Television Network due to low ratings. Love may save the world, but apparently it wasn’t enough to save television’s longest running daytime drama. Even with having its name published in the Guinness World Record Book and winning three Daytime Emmy’s for Best Drama Series (the most recent being in 2007), “GL” found itself unable to withstand the mass exodus of viewers from the traditional daytime soap format in recent years.
Consistently finding itself in the ratings cellar for the past few years, many sensed that the dimming ‘Light” would soon burn out on the long-running daytime drama.
According to published reports, Proctor & Gamble, the company responsible for producing both “Guiding Light” and sister soap “As the World Turns,” sat down with cast and crew members at their studios in New York and New Jersey on Wednesday morning to break the news that “GL” would be ceasing production this fall, with the last episode airing on Friday, September 18th after more than 15,700 episodes.
The news was met with mixed emotion by fans and cast alike. Long running “GL” castmember Ron Raines, who portrays the villainous Alan Spaulding stated that the “The numbers are really tough for all these old dramas. I don’t think any of the other shows want any of us to go off. We’re all in this together. What was it? 72 years continuous? That will never be touched. It is a very sad thing, but these are the times we live in. It’s very tough out there.”
“Being on the air for more than seven decades is truly remarkable, and it will be difficult for all of us at the show to say goodbye,” said Executive Producer Ellen Wheeler. “I’m proud of everything we’ve been able to do, including outstanding storytelling, our community service around the country with ‘Find Your Light’ and the launch of our new production model. This show has such a rich history, wonderful fans, and I’m honored to have been a part of the ‘GL’ legacy.”
This afternoon’s sudden announcement has sent shockwaves that have reverberated around the nation, as news of “GL’s” demise has dominated media outlets and online soap message boards. Lynn Leahey, Soap Opera Digest editorial director, calls the cancellation “heartbreaking” and said that “it was a constant in people’s lives” that hung around, unlike its prime-time counterparts that came and went. “For many of us, it was the first show we ever watched.”
Former “GL” Executive Producer Jill Farren Phelps summed up her fondness for the years she spend at the helm of the long-running daytime drama “‘Guiding Light’ has a very special place in my heart. I began my career in daytime there as a production assistant and later returned as executive producer. It was a privilege (both times) to be a part of such a fabulous group of people who did such outstanding work. Some of the most talented actors, writers, and directors have walked through the doors of ‘Guiding Light.’ The industry will mourn the loss of this beloved show, but ‘Guiding Light’ leaves a rich legacy for all of us in daytime to treasure. I wish all my dear friends a gentle landing.”
Nancy Tellem, President of CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, had this to say about the the show’s rich legacy, “‘Guiding Light’ has achieved a piece of television history that will never be matched, it has crossed mediums, adapted its stories to decades of social change, and woven its way through generations of audiences like no other. This daytime icon will always be an indelible part of CBS’s history, with a legacy of innovation and reputation for quality and excellence at every step of the way. While its presence will be missed, its contributions will always be celebrated and will never be forgotten.”
And, according to Barbara Bloom, Senior Vice President of Daytime Programs at CBS, “No show in daytime or prime time, or anytime, has touched so many millions of viewers across so many years as ‘Guiding Light.’ We thank the cast, crew, and producers — past and present — who delivered this entertainment institution, the beloved characters, and the time-honored stories to our audience every day for seven decades. It’s been a privilege to work with such an extraordinarily talented group of people.”
Adding to “GL’s” woes within the past decade is the fact that several prominent CBS affiliates from around the country have either moved the soap to early morning or late night time slots, or removed it from their programming schedule entirely (such as KOVR-TV in Sacramento, California and WNEW-TV in Flint City, Michigan).
With sagging ratings, “Guiding Light” began to experiment with several different approaches to the traditional daytime model of storytelling within the past year. The sudser scrapped the familiar three stationary camera set-up in favor of portable cameras, which allowed producers to film cast members in various settings and locations outside the studio. Unfortunately, however, the changes did little to re-energize ‘GL,’ and largely had the opposite effect, resulting in turning off veteran fans and losing such popular cast members such as Beth Elhers and Ricky Paull Goldin (who have since moved on to ABC’s “All My Children”).
According to CBS, in 2008, the soap “premiered a brand-new daytime production model, featuring permanent sets inside its New York City studio and approximately 20% of the production shot in exterior scenes in the town of Peapack, N.J. In addition, directing and editing were changed to be done digitally and almost simultaneously, giving the sets a more realistic feeling and eliminating the need for production suites.”
In a press release issued by TeleNext Media, Inc., which oversees production of “GL” for Proctor & Gamble, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Brian T. Cahill thanked fans for their loyalty over the years and said that “We are honored to have been welcomed into the homes of multiple generations of ‘Guiding Light’ viewers. Cahill also gave “GL” fans a glimmer of soap by announcing that he and his staff are “working hard to find the show a new home, and we are exploring all our options to continue to bring loyal fans the characters and stories they love.” That ‘new home’ could come in the form of online episodes or moving ‘GL’ to a cable or satellite network following the soap’s departure from the CBS Daytime schedule this fall. However, given the recent failure of the now-defunct NBC soap “Passions,” which moved to DirecTV near the end of its run after being cancelled by the Peacock Network, the outlook for a new venue for “Guiding Light” appears bleak at best.
The demise of “Guiding Light” leaves only seven daytime soaps still airing on the Big Three Networks. ABC and CBS will each have three and NBC one. In terms of longevity, fellow P&G soap “As the World Turns” is daytime’s second oldest drama, celebrating its 53rd anniversary on April 2nd. The other six soaps (with the year they premiered in parenthesis) are “General Hospital” (1963), “Days of Our Lives” (1965), “One Life to Live” (1968), “All My Children” (1970), “The Young & the Restless” (1973), and “The Bold & the Beautiful” (1987). “GL” becomes the eighth daytime drama to be cancelled in the past twenty years, placing it with the likes of “Another World,” “Santa Barbara,” “Sunset Beach,” “Loving,” “The City,” “Port Charles,” and “Passions.”
“Guiding Light” was created nearly seventy-five years ago by the talented soap writer Irna Phillips (1901-1973). Long recognized as a daytime pioneer, Phillips created or co-created nearly a dozen soaps, three of which (“As the World Turns” and “Days of Our Lives,” which she helped Tim and Betty Corday develop) were still on the air at the beginning of 2009. Phillips has either direct or indirect ties to all but one of the eight present daytime dramas. Agnes Nixon (creator of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children”) and William J. Bell, who developed the concepts for “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” were at one time writers for Phillips on several of her soaps. This leaves “General Hospital” as the only remaining soap not either created by the late soap icon, or one of her protégés. “Guiding Light” paid homage to Phillips in a special 70th anniversary episode in 2007, which featured past and present cast members portraying Phillips, her crew, and some of the original “GL” characters while recording a radio broadcast of the show in the late 1930s.
Launched as a 15-minute NBC radio serial on January 25, 1937, “Guiding Light” would later make the transition to television, premiering on CBS on June 30th, 1952. The radio broadcast ran concurrently with its TV counterpart (and featured the same actors and characters) before coming to an end in 1956. “GL” first aired in color on September 11th, 1967, and expanded to thirty minutes the following year. In November 1977, it expanded once more, this time to sixty minutes. Ratings peaked in late 1981, but have steadily declined in the years that have followed.
Set in the fictional town of Springfield and focusing primarily on the Spaulding, Lewis, and Cooper families, “Guiding Light” has won an impressive 69 Daytime Emmy Awards and 12 Soap Opera Digest Awards during the soap’s long, record-setting history. “GL” has also broken ground over the years by tackling numerous controversial issues including teen pregnancy, cancer, alcoholism, sexual harrasement, abuse, Down Syndrome, and post-partum depression. It was also the first daytime drama to prominently feature African-Americans in frontburner storylines in 1966. ‘GL’ became the first soap to podcast audio only episodes in 2005. Veteran cast members include Kim Zimmer, Jordan Clarke, Robert Newman, Michael O’Leary, Grant Alexander, and Tina Sloan. “GL” also boasts a long list of distinguished alumni, including Justin Deas (who is tied with “One Life to Live’s” Erika Slezak and “General Hospital’s Anthony Geary for most Daytime Emmy wins, and remains a part of the cast), Kevin Bacon, Calista Flockhart, Allison Janney, James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, Taye Diggs, Hayden Panettiere, and Brittany Snow.
Originally known as “The Guiding Light” (‘the’ was dropped in 1975), the show focused around the character of the Rev. John Ruthledge, and his parishioners in the Chicago suburb of Five Points (the setting later moved to Selby Flats, before finally settling in Springfield). A continuously lit lamp in the Reverend’s study assured his flock that he was there for them whenever they needed him.
Even though the ‘Light’ will soon be extinguished, its legacy and rich history will continue to live on in future generations of soap fans. Thank you, “Guiding Light,” for your contributions to the daytime drama, and God speed. You will be missed.
Stay connected to SON as we continue to follow this story.
“Guiding Light” airs Weekdays on CBS. Anytime on CBS.com. Check local listings.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “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.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Gary Tomlin officially takes over “Days of our Lives” from Ed Scott.
In the most unusual press release ever issued by a television studio or network, Sony Pictures Television and Corday Productions, Inc., producers of “Days of our Lives,” put rumors to rest and officially announced that former “One Life to Live” Executive Producer, Gary Tomlin, would be taking over Co-Executive Producer reins at the NBC soap opera. He replaces Ed Scott.
“I have decided that it’s in the best interest of the show’s future to make this change in order to improve ‘Days’ both visually and emotionally,” said Ken Corday, Executive Producer. “We at ‘Days’ are grateful to Ed Scott for all of his contributions and amazing energy over the past year. Gary Tomlin brings a long successful history of being an actor’s producer and a writer’s producer to our cast and crew and I know the viewers will see the immediate results of this change for the better.”
Scott was reportedly fired on Friday, August 15, after rumored battles with Corday and the soaps head writer, Dena Higley.
“I’m very happy to be back at ‘Days’ where I began behind the scenes in the early 80’s,” said Gary Tomlin, new Co-Executive Producer. “It’s wonderful to be given the opportunity to work with Ken Corday.”
Tomlin began his career in daytime in 1973, when he was cast in the contract role of Bruce Carson on “Search for Tomorrow.” He later appeared as Morgan Simpson on NBC’s “Another World” in 1979. His work behind-the-scenes began in 1980, when he joined “DAYS” as its co-head writer. He held the position until 1981. Later, he went on to co-head write at his old stomping ground, “Another World” for two years starting in 1984. In the late 1980′s/early 1990′s, Tomlin began writing scripts for “Santa Barbara” and directing episodes for both “Another World” and “One Life to Live.” In 1995 he joined “All My Children” as a producer. Upon the debut of NBC’s “Sunset Beach” in 1997 through its last airing in 1999, Tomlin was credited as the shows Executive Producer. He joined “One Life to Live” as its Executive Producer in November 2000, but his first credited episodes did not air until January 2001. He left the ABC soap in August 2003. He was replaced by current “One Life” Executive Producer, Frank Valentini.
For his work on “One Life to Live,” Tomlin won the soap its one and only Outstanding Drama Series Emmy Award in 2003. The series turned 40 years-old on July 15, 2008.
“Days of our Lives” airs Weekdays on NBC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on iTunes. Check local listings.
EXCLUSIVE: Soap Opera Network has learned the names of soap opera writers who declared “Financial Core” status to keep on working during the strike. By going “Fi-Core,” these writers can never be members of the WGA again but they continue to pay reduced union dues and the Guild is obligated to continue providing services such health insurance, pension and residuals. Though they can still work on Guild projects, Guild members will not be keen to hire them.
Here is the list of “Fi-Core” writers:
There are no “Fi-Core” writers at “As The World Turns” and “Guiding Light.”
At “DAYS” the show decided not to use the services of Hogan Sheffer and Meg Kelly; instead they were paid to stay at home. This signifies that “DAYS” will name a new Head Writer.
Still at “DAYS,” it is unclear as to whether or not that the fired writers (Tom Casiello, Frederick Johnson, Gordon Rayfield, Judy Tate, Judith Donato, Renee Godelia, Richard Backus) will be returning to the show. More on this story in the upcoming days or weeks.
Over at “Y&R” there have been rumors and speculation about the departure of Executive Producer and Head Writer Lynn Marie Latham. However, there has been no word if these rumors are true or not.
UPDATE: April 18, 2008
The WGA released a letter today naming more writers that I didn’t originally have.
The list of writers are:
On Saturday, July 14, 2007, Soap Opera Network was given an opportunity to speak with Brian Frons, [President, Daytime, Disney-ABC Television Group], after the “General Hospital: Night Shift” press panel at SOAPnet’s portion of the Television Critics Association Press Tour. In this five minute interview, Mr. Frons speaks candidly about “Night Shift” and how the show’s success relates to “General Hospital” and what changes are in store for “The View.”
With the success of the “Night Shift,” could plans of re-airing the show on ABC be far away?
“Not right now; I think that is certainly something we will consider for the future, but right now we are giving it multiple airings on SOAPnet and we are trying to use it as something to really draw people to the channel who haven’t been watching.”
If there are no plans on airing the show on ABC, how will the network help promote the series?
“I think that what we really have been using ABC for is as a promotional platform. This past week we’ve had longer than usual trailer’s for ‘Night Shift’ and ‘GH’ that pushed people to SOAPnet.”
Any spin-off plans for “All My Children” or “One Life to Live?”
“No, it is something certainly we will take under consideration. However, with ‘GH’ it was sort of a natural kind of thing as Robin and Patrick are always getting into trouble in the middle of the hospital. It was easy enough to imagine them being punished in some way – it just seemed to be a very natural idea. For the other shows it would need to be something that would make sense, like the McBain murders [One Life to Live]. We’d need to have something that we felt was right for each of the shows and that we had the time and the money.
While watching “Night Shift” and knowing that Jason is currently involved in a murder case on “GH,” was it a last minute idea to add Steve Burton into the show?
“It was something that came up prior to us writing the show. What happened was Steve has wanted to direct and he thought it might be fun if he could direct an episode and show up and do something new. Actors love to do something new and so the idea was kinda funny as we don’t talk about it, because you know usually everyone Jason kills is a bad person and deserves to die. Here we have the Angel of Death floating around the hospital, which we will deal with in the last episode of the series.”
“Night Shift,” the second spin-off of ABC’s “General Hospital” (“Port Charles” being the first), is set in the ER of Port Charles’ General Hospital. The series centers on Doctor’s Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson) and Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough), who were sent to the Night Shift after the two performed surgery on a patient who lacked proper medical insurance without consent from hospital board administrators. The storyline may have started on “GH” but is continuing on “Night Shift.” However, once the primetime soap hit the air any continuity the soap may have had initially with its mother-ship may be whipped away.
How will you deal with the continuity of both series as their storyline’s are sure to intermingle?
“One of the early decisions we had to make was whether or not we think it is the same time. Because the tape schedule of ‘Night Shift’ was going be so disbursed we didn’t know exactly when the show was going to air or where we’d be in August. We decided that they [the shows] would live in their own separate universes. The relationships are transferred; some of the people would be in ‘GH’ and refer to what’s happening in ‘Night Shift.’ As Jill [Farren Phelps] said at the panel, if there was a preemption everything would be knocked out anyway.”
Rosie O’Donnell left “The View” abruptly after contract negotiations and her battle with a co-host went too far. Are there any plans to help the talk-show keep its ratings inroads without the outspoken diva?
“We are going to have an announcement by the end of the month. Barbara [Walters] will make it.”
Any chance Sherri Sheppard (“Less Than Perfect”) could be part of the plan?
“General Hospital: Night Shift” airs Thursdays at 11:00 PM, EST/PST on SOAPnet and is a production of ABC Studios. Jill Farren Phelps serves as Executive Producer with Robert Guza Jr. as Head Writer.
SOAPnet, the new way to watch soaps, is changing some elements of its lineup beginning in 2007.
Starting with the addition of the ABC Family Original Series “Falcon Beach,” SOAPnet has changed the weekend marathon schedule for ABC’s “General Hospital,” has added more airings of “Beverly Hills, 90210″ and has altered the slots for “Port Charles,” “Another World” and “Dallas.”
Due to the New Year’s day preemptions on ABC and CBS, “All My Children,” “General Hospital,” “One Life To Live” and “The Young and the Restless” will not air a new episode on January 1. Instead, SOAPnet will re-air the December 29 episodes of each respective drama series. The weekend marathons will have the Friday re-airings take place of the regularly scheduled Monday editions.