After nearly 14 years on the air, SOAPnet ended its broadcast run at the stroke of midnight with the final 2013 episode of ABC’s “General Hospital” (originally aired on Monday, December 30) taking it out in style.
During its final hour of broadcasting, viewers were treated to endless commercials promoting ABC and ABC Family programming, including “General Hospital,” “Revenge,” “The Chew,” “The Fosters,” “Switched at Birth,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and “Ravenswood.” For those veiwers looking to tune into the midnight broadcast of “Days of our Lives,” they were treated to a message from their cable and/or satellite provider that read, “Disney discontinued their SOAPnet broadcast. The SOAPnet channel is no longer available from any television provider.”
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.
Multiple Emmy-nominee Thorsten Kaye won the hearts of soap opera audiences with his strong portrayal of “All My Children’s” Zach Slater, “One Life to Live’s” Patrick Thornhart and “Port Charles’” Ian Thornhart, but can the actor strike gold again as Ronn Moss’ replacement in the role of “The Bold and the Beautiful’s” Ridge Forrester? It won’t be the first time an actor has walked into the shoes of a major character whose previous portrayer is very much loved in the role, but then again, these aren’t just any old shoes to fill! Soap Opera Network caught up with Ridge’s onscreen dad, John McCook (Eric Forrester), who’s not only been working with Kaye as Ridge since day one, but who’s also quite familiar with the father/son dynamic the two characters have established over the years. Read on to get his take on the bold recasting choice, how he views Kaye’s approach to the role and what’s in store for Eric and Ridge in the weeks ahead!
With an estimated value of $5,500, a lucky individual and their partner could win a dinner date with “General Hospital’s” William deVry (Julian Jerome) and former “Port Charles” and “The Young and the Restless” actress, Rebecca Staab. Now through Thursday, December 12, the married couple is auctioning off a meal that includes Sea Save founder, Georgienne Bradley, which will take place at the elegant Geoffrey’s Malibu, “a unique place, rich in its own history, it embodies the natural beauty from which it sprang, while offering an invitation to everyone who cares to celebrate life.” The highest bidder will be provided with insight into the entertainment industry, according the description on the CharityBuzz website as listed by the two soapers.
To bid and to learn more, click here.
On Friday, November 8, Soap Opera Network reported that SOAPnet, now the old way to watch soaps, would cease operation on December 31, 2013 at 11:59:59 ET. In a piece by the Los Angeles Times, Ben Pyne, president of global distribution for Disney Media Networks, said, ”SOAPnet had a great run.” He added, “It served an audience of super-soap fans. And when given the opportunity, all of our affiliates kept the channel up and running.” The affiliates Pyne refers are the cable and satellite operators including DirecTV and Cablevision, et al that have kept the cable network on their channel listings whether a new deal with Disney and the carriers was signed or not.
With the returns of Roger Howarth, Kristen Alderson and Michael Easton (as new characters whose names are currently unconfirmed by ABC, although at present we’re hearing the character name “Jordan” for Alderson) to the Port Charles canvas and the debut of Maura West as Ava Jerome (first airdate scheduled for Wednesday, May 8), the drama is only getting hotter on ABC’s “General Hospital” this week.
“Another World” and “Sunset Beach” were canceled in 1999, “Port Charles” in 2003, and “Passions” in 2007 (NBC version) and again in 2008 (DirecTV version). In 2009, “Guiding Light” got turned off and in 2010 “As The World Turns” just stopped. 2011 then brought the double cancellations of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” As a result of 8 soap operas being cancelled within a 12 year span, one would have expected 2012 to end with another soap saying goodbye. Thankfully, the year came and went without a single soap cancellation for the first time in five years. Now with the 2013 resurrection of “AMC” and “OLTL,” soaps are no longer “dying” and the genre is finally thriving once more. But, if you’re like us, you never forget your soap opera history. Enter “Soap Life,” a documentary that follows the rise and fall of American soap operas before the genres recent re-birth.
As previously reported, actor Jimmy Deshler has joined the cast of “General Hospital” in the role of Rafe, who is believed to be the son of Alison Barrington and Caleb Morley – as a result of their sexual encounter occurring towards the end of ABC’s long canceled “Port Charles.”
Deshler debuts on the Wednesday, January 30 episode, which is also the same day Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom) returns to Port Charles to try and appeal to his wife, Lucy Coe (Lynn Herring), over her belief in vampires.
With Lynn Herring returning last month as the ever spectacular Lucy Coe, now head of CoeCoe Cosmetics, many were left wondering if her return would solely be for the purpose of resurrecting the Nurse’s Ball on ABC’s “General Hospital.” Thanks to the creative writing of head writer Ron Carlivati and his team, that doesn’t appear to be the case. In a welcome twist of fate it looks as though Lucy’s return has actually helped open up a string of storylines tied to ABC’s canceled “General Hospital” spin-off “Port Charles.”
With Prospect Park now signing agreements with key unions SAG-AFTRA (actors), the DGA (directors), and the WGA (writers), with an expectation to begin filming episodes of “All My Children” as soon as next month, we wondered who you wanted to see act on the soap when it moves to the web. Your choices can include past actors as well as wishful casting (recast and new characters are welcomed). We also wondered who you want to join the writing team now that thousands of writers are at Prospect Park’s disposal courtesy of their agreement with the WGA, as well as who you want to direct episodes of the series. Keep in mind that Agnes Nixon, who created both “AMC” and “One Life to Live,” is currently working as a consultant for Prospect Park, according to Foz McDermott, head of production for TOLN (Prospect Park’s The Online Network). Also note that actors Jordi Vilasuso (Dr. Griffin Castillo), Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard), Debbi Morgan (Dr. Angela Hubbard), Vincent Irizarry (Dr. David Hayward) and Lindsay Hartley (Dr. Cara Castillo) are all confirmed as signing on to return to “AMC” when it moves to the web. Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall Hart) has reported that she’s been approached, while Cameron Mathison (ex-Ryan Lavery) hope’s he can be involved. There’s no word yet on the status of Susan Lucci (ex-Erica Kane), who was the only original cast member from the first season of “AMC” that had remained with the show without interruption from its debut on January 5, 1970 through its final ABC broadcast on September 23, 2011.