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.
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.”
With anticipation high for the recently introduced TNT Original Series “Major Crimes,” The Huffington Post compiled a list of the 30 Best and Worst TV Spinoffs Ever. “Port Charles” was listed as one of televisions worst.
“Despite the fact that the ‘General Hospital‘ spinoff lasted more than six years, ‘Port Charles’ — which took ‘GH’ characters Lucy Coe, Kevin Collins, Scott Baldwin and Karen Wexler — broke all the TV soap rules, and not for the better. It dropped the open-ended writing style of other daytime dramas and spent way too much time in the hospital,” the Post cited as its reasoning for placing the daytime drama series on the list.
Premiering on Sunday, June 1, 1997 as a 2-hour primetime television event, “Port Charles” was the first spinoff of ABC Daytime’s “General Hospital.” As a daily soap opera, “PC” launched on Monday, June 2, 1997. It ended on Friday, October 3, 2003 after airing 1,633 episodes.
Shortly after its conclusion, ABC shifted Kelly Monaco (ex-Olivia “Livvie” Locke Morley) and Michael Easton (ex-Caleb Morley) to “General Hospital” and “One Life to Live,” respectively. Monaco currently portrays Sam McCall, while Easton left “OLTL” (upon that soaps cancellation) and transferred his character John McBain to “GH.”
To find out what other shows made the best or worst list, click here.
A “Days of our Lives” representative has confirmed to Soap Opera Network that when Blake Berris returns to the drama series beginning with the Monday, August 27 episode, his character, Nick Fallon, will not only be up for parole, but viewers will also be able to see his on-screen mother for the first time in 30 years!
Jean Bruce Scott, who originated the role of Jessica Blake Fallon in 1980 and last aired in 1982, will be returning to the NBC drama series on Friday, August 31.
Since leaving “DAYS,” Scott has appeared in episodes of “St. Elsewhere” and “Magnum, P.I,” and had a starring role in the series “Airwolf.” The actress also appeared in a number of episodes of “Port Charles” in the early 2000′s.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With news of Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell‘s ascension to the top of the “Days of our Lives” writing team after the NBC daytime soap let go Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr., less than a year after the two were hired to replace Dena Higley, Soap Opera Digest in its newest issue (issue dated April 16, 2012) is reporting that Tomlin and Whitesell has added the multiple Emmy award winning talents of veteran writer Lorraine Broderick to its new regime.
Broderick, who most recently enjoyed a stint at ABC’s “One Life to Live” as a breakdown writer shortly after penning the final months of “All My Children” as the soaps head writer – she was hired at “AMC” just days before the network officially announced it had decided to cancel both soaps with “Children” going off the air in September 2011 and “One Life” completing its run in January 2012 - joins “DAYS” in the same position she had at “One Life to Live” until its final episodes were written. “We are excited and look forward to the stories of romance, suspense and intrigue this new dream team plans to tell,” Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng said via Digest.
Broderick’s long career in daytime television as a writer began more than three decades ago when she was hired on as a script writer at “All My Children” in 1979. She held that position until 1981, when she was named Associate Head Writer. She would begin a short stint as the soaps Co-Head Writer in 1987, but would revert back to her former position as Associate Head Writer beginning in 1988 until 1991. She left “AMC” for “Guiding Light” beginning in 1992, where she was hired once again as an Associate Head Writer (1992-1993). After leaving “GL,” Broderick would find herself at numerous daytime soaps in various capacities including the role of Head Writer and/or Associate Head Writer at “Another World,” “As The World Turns,” “One Life to Live” and “Port Charles.”
Before marking her return to “DAYS” later this year, Broderick was previously credited as Head Writer of the soap for just one month (October 1999).
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Although the likelihood was expected thanks to the loss of long-time soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” in 2011 and 2012, which were preceded by the departures of “Guiding Light” and “As The World Turns” in 2009 and 2010, news broke on Thursday, March 22 that after 22 years in publication Soap Opera Weekly would end its successful run as one of the premier soap opera magazines. The final decision to end the mag was just one of many blows the soap opera industry has felt in as many years. Soap Opera Network takes a by the numbers look at Weekly and how its readership levels helped lead to its ultimate demise.
On April 14, 2011 news of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live’s” cancellations created headlines in nearly every trade magazine, newspaper and informational entertainment website you could think of. What the world didn’t know at the time was that same day (morning in fact) American Media, Inc. had signed a licensing deal with Source Interlink, owner of both Weekly and sister mag Soap Opera Digest, in which American Media would control the editorial, advertising, marketing and distribution aspects of both magazines. As part of that deal a number of staffers were let go from both Digest and Weekly, while those who remained were either re-assigned or part of the recent layoffs now effecting the demise of Weekly itself.
According to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) data Soap Opera Network has received, Soap Opera Weekly magazine had an average total circulation of nearly 108,000 between subscriptions and single copy sales in the second half of 2011. Single copy sales exceeded subscriptions by just over 5,000 issues. The magazine lost upwards of 40,000 subscribers compared to the second half of 2010, when its total circulation was nearly 146,000 between subscriptions and single copy sales. In November of 2011, in our report announcing the launch of Reality Weekly, we noted that Soap Opera Weekly had recently ceased providing subscriptions:
Dated November 14, 2011:
Although I do not personally subscribe to either Digest or Weekly, it recently came to my attention that Soap Opera Weekly no longer provides subscriptions for soap fans wishing to receive their Weekly at home as it and numerous other magazines have done since their inceptions. This was later confirmed as the magazine no longer provides an online subscription via the Zinio magazine subscription and tablet application service. Digest and Soaps in Depth (both ABC and CBS editions) continue to provide subscriptions, however.
With the magazine no longer providing subscription based readership, sales figures fell to just over 50,000 single copy sales based on the data average of the 15 issues sold during the first half of 2012, according to the ABC. This showed axed subscribers did not opt into buying the magazine at their local supermarket or grocer. By comparison, in the first half of 2001, when there were 10 soaps still on the air (“All My Children,” “As The World Turns,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “Guiding Light”, “One Life to Live,” “Passions,” “Port Charles” and “The Young and the Restless“), Weekly‘s total circulation was 372,000 on average between subscriptions (134,000) and single copy sales (238,000).
Soap Opera Weekly, which launched with its first issue dated November 21, 1989, with maven Mimi Torchin as its founding Editor in Chief, will present a final look into the world of soaps with its last issue dated April 10, 2012, according to an American Media spokesperson. Stephanie Sloane, in her role as the Editor in Chief of both Weekly and Digest, will close the books on the magazine.