How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of 'GH,' 'The View' and 'The Chew'; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of ‘GH,’ ‘The View’ and ‘The Chew’; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

 
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Tonja Walker

IMDb

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — “One Life to Live” casting odds and ends for the month of October and beyond.

Tonja Walker shares more details into her upcoming return to “One Life” as Alex Olanov, tweeting “so far I’m told I have a story, but I’ve only shot four episodes. Hope its only the beginning!” She also says that she “was happy with the way they [the writers] wrote Alex this time,” but that she can’t discuss her scenes with Farah Fath (Gigi/Stacy) and Josh Kelly (Cutter). Walker also tweets that her scenes will air in November and promises to post her airdates soon.

As we previously reported, Paul Hickert will appear on “OLTL” on Monday, October 17 as “Kentucky Cop #2.” Yesterday, the Murray (KY) Ledger & Times posted an interview with Hickert, who played football for Murray State University from 1984-87 on their website. The Clearwater, Florida native, who now calls New York City home, spoke about his upcoming guest spot on the soap, notes that he will have several lines on “OLTL” as a cop, although he couldn’t say much about why his scene takes place in Kentucky, only that one of the show’s major characters finds their way there. Hickert also has a small role as an FBI agent the movie “Tower Heist,” debuting in theaters on November 4th. The film, directed by Brett Ratner, stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and Matthew Broderick. Click here to read a related interview with Hickert from the Murray State Athletics Official website.

According to various sources, including the actress’ Facebook page, Teresa Patel will be joining the cast of “OLTL” in mid-October in an unnamed role. At this time it appears to be a minor role, however, that has yet to be confirmed.

Miss hearing Trevor St. John‘s (ex-Victor, Jr.) voice? If so, then you may be in luck. On Monday, October 17, John asks Téa (Florencia Lozano) if she wants to hear the voicemail Victor left Shaun just before he was shot. Also, in the same episode, Todd (Roger Howarth) has another vision of his late mother Irene (Barbara Rhoades).

Sara Oliver booked an Under 5 role on “OLTL” earlier this month.

“One Life to Live” recently released a new casting call, this time for the role of “Jill.”

Farah Fath (Gigi/Stacy) tweets that she will be taping scenes every day this week on “OLTL.”

Here comes the judge. Look for the dayplayer roles of a judge and assistant district attorney to appear in scenes in late October.

ABC Soaps in Depth clears up a little confusion among “One Life” fans, tweeting that “For those asking, although it didn’t sound like him, that WAS Michael Easton doing the voice of baby Liam last week!”

Looks like there is about to be another catfight on the show. Last Thursday on her Facebook page, Shenaz Treasury (Rama) posted this picture of herself in make-up while on set with a scar on her cheek.

Sean Ringgold (Shaun) posted this picture of himself on September 30 with his onscreen girlfriend Kearran Giovanni (Vivian), showing their characters all dressed up while taping scenes for “OLTL.”

Get ready for some big Starr and Todd scenes soon.  Kristen Alderson (Starr) tweeted on October 6 that she had “Filmed some classic Starr/Todd scenes today! You guys are gonna love it. Roger and I had so much fun filming. =)”

On October 1, Austin Peck (Rick) tweeted “I’m having so much fun with Mr. Rick Powers. He maybe a sociopath…but like in the best possible way.”

Shenell Edmonds tweeted that she returned to “OLTL” on October 3 after being on vacation.

And Julia Davis, the show’s make-up artist made several tweets last week on her Twitter page about cast and crew having several long days filming on set.



Tonja Walker Brings Alex Back to ‘Life’

IMDb

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — It’s official! Another fan favorite is on her way back to “One Life to Live.” In a message on her Facebook page, Tonja Walker not only confirms that she will be reprising her role of Alex Olanov, but also reveals a few of the characters she will be mingling with when she returns later this fall.

After first breaking the news of her return on the social networking site earlier this month, Walker posted on Tuesday of this week that she was “Getting ready for workout! Power 90…Love it AND then off to ‘One Life to Live.’ What a great day. This is my last day, I think on the show. I am enjoying it very much! Josh Kelly [Cutter] is so terrific, and Farah Fath [Gigi] is as well. Great Times.”

She soon followed up that message, adding “Hey wait! I hand a card to Cutter and say, call me if you need me! Maybe it’s not my last day here? Hey, you never know! BTW it is going to be a snap to watch this on the web. DON’T SWEAT IT! I’m going to suggest today that they start letting viewers know how, so they won’t miss a beat! LOVE YOU ALL!”

Alex was last seen in March when Bo (Robert S. Woods) and Rex (John-Paul Lavoisier) tracked her down on Asa’s tropical island paradise, St. Blaze’s, in their quest to locate David (Tuc Watkins). A first airdate has not been announced.



‘One Life’ Fall Casting Notes

one_life_to_live_33x3

Disney/ABC Television Group

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — The latest cast changes and other odds and ends for “One Life to Live.”

Is Tonja Walker on her back to Llanview as Alex Olanov. While it has yet to be confirmed if she is referencing “OLTL,” the actress posted the following message on her Facebook fan club page “I am coming baaaackkkk! I don’t know anything else!” Walker last appeared as Alex back in April.

Steph Garcia next airs as a Diner Waitress on Thursday, November 3.

Paul Hickert will play Kentucky Cop #2 on Monday, October 17.

According to IMDb, one of Nic Robuck‘s (James Ford) October airdates will be the 21st.

For those of you wondering the name of the actress who played Victor’s (Trevor St. John) secretary Tracy recently, here is your answer. The young lady was Alyssa Rose, daughter of New York Mets announcer Howie Rose. She also appeared on the show back on July 6 as a “patient representative,” which marked her debut as a television actress.

Although first airdates remain unknown for Kathy Brier (Marcie) and Chris Stack (Michael), Brier tweeted on August 30 that she was “@ OLTL in the Hair & Make-up Room…I will be going back for a bit…and yes I am really preggers!,” along with this picture of herself in the make-up chair. Look for both Brier and Stack to return to Llanview with Marcie and Michael’s little son Gabriel Thomas. Also, ABC SID reports that Brier’s pregnancy will be written into the show.

The magazine also reports that Tina (Andrea Evans) and Cord (John Loprieno) will stick around Llanview for awhile when they return on September 26 and 28, respectively. In fact, Head Writer Ron Carlivati tells the mag. that he has a big fall storyline planned involving the two of them.

Look for some more dayplayer characters in the coming weeks, including a lawyer and a mystery man.

Christopher Stadulis played an Agent on Monday, August 22.

Get ready for a music video to go along with Starr’s (Kristen Alderson) new single. Alderson tweeted earlier this week that “A new song & a music video to go along w/it for the show! Are u dying w/excitement yet?l ol that’s all I can say with out getting in trouble. Such a blast in the recording studio with @oltlmusic today. I can’t wait for you guys to hear the new Starr/Baz [Barret Helms] song!”

On a related note, “OLTL” Music Director Paul S. Glass tweets that “Mixing right now Kristen….sounds incredible! Definitely a blast!! Thanks!” He also said on September 5 that “the Viki/Dorian [Erika Slezak/Robin Strasser] montage was ‘Moments’ by Josh Auer. We had Josh do special version but the original is available on iTunes.” And he responds to fan who asks the name of a song Jessica sang while on the run way back when Erin Torpey was still in the role by tweeting “Wow..that goes way back! That song is ‘I Will Be the Flame’ by a singer/songwriter Sarah Symons.” Check out Glass’ Twitter page for more comments and thoughts on Starr and Baz’s single.

David A. Gregory (Ford) tries to clear up some confusion surrounding “One Life’s” transition to Prospect Park by posting a message on his Facebook page: “Hey everyone. Just wanted to let you know that, as of now, I have no new news about who else is heading to the online show, when the online production begins, where it films etc. Not sure when our last tape date for TV is, although I’m told it’s just before Thanksgiving. Hope this helps. Sorry I cannot answer all questions.”

Is Andrew Trischitta (Jack) making the moving with “OLTL” to online-only distribution? On September 8, the actor responded to a fan who asked if he was interesting in continuing with the show after it leaves ABC by tweeting “I would love to do so.”

And Robin Strasser (ex-Dorian) also chimed in, tweeting on September 5 that “NO, haven’t been asked to participate in prospective Prospect Park ‘OLTL.’ NOR in ‘OLTL’s’ last final months. Diss-appointing? yes-Surprising-no.” And then earlier this evening, after learning that “OLTL” Executive Producer Frank Valentini would be continuing on with the show after it moves to Prospect Park, Strasser added “NO WAY! JUST HEARD: Frank Valentini signed EP Prospect Park ‘OLTL?’ Smart move that, wonder if there’s a chance they’LL call me? prolly SLIM 2 none : (”



My View of Llanview: September 15 Edition

Soap Opera Network

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With the Prospect Park era about to begin for “One Life to Live,” the show appears to be in better shape than its sister soap “All My Children.”

“OLTL” fans have reason to be optimistic about the show’s future after it leaves the ABC Daytime line-up in January. Ratings for the show continue to be solid and holding steady above “AMC” and “General Hospital.” Casting wise, the soap is an upswing. Hot on the heels of Roger Howarth‘s return to Llanview, comes word that several others, including Andrea Evans (Tina), John Loprieno (Cord), Kathy Brier (Marcie), Chris Stack (Michael), and possibly Tonja Walker (Alex) are on their way back as well. Rumors are flying that Prospect Park may be focusing more on “OLTL” than “AMC,” something which “One Life” never really experienced under ABC. And four of the show’s leading stars, including grand dame Erika Slezak (Viki), have already agreed to remain with the show when it transitions to the online distribution company in a few months (the others being Kassie DePaiva [Blair], Ted King [Tomas], and Michael Easton [John]).

Meanwhile, “All My Children’s” future seems less certain. Aside from strained negotiations between Prospect Park and “AMC” leading lady Susan Lucci (Erica Kane), there have thus far been no confirmed reports of any members of the show’s cast either being in serious talks with the company or signing on the dotted line to continue with the show. Furthermore, it appears increasingly more apparent that “AMC” may get the same treatment from Prospect Park that “OLTL” has gotten for years now from ABC.

Speculation on the matter was fueled last week by two separate incidents. First, Deadline Hollywood‘s Nellie Andreeva reported that “I hear that Prospect Park may reevaluate its short-term strategy for the two soaps and put its muscle behind the higher-rated ‘OLTL,’ while moving ‘AMC’ to the back burner.” That was followed up by a Soaps.com interview with “All My Children’s” Vincent Irizarry (David) who commented that “As far as I know, no, there hasn’t been. I’ve spoken to numerous actors from the show over the last few days and nobody from our show has been in contact with them. Except for Susan [Lucci, Erica], which we all assumed that awhile ago. So, that’s basically it. They’re moving [forward] with ‘One Life to Live’ right now and that’s certainly their right. That’s what they’re doing and for whatever reason that’s how it happened.”

Furthermore, unlike “One Life to Live,” “All My Children” will have a nearly four month gap between the airing of its last episode on ABC and its first episode of Prospect Park. “One Life” on the other hand, is said to be debuting on Prospect Park the Monday after its airs its final ABC episode on Friday, January 13, therefore maintaining the status quo for “OLTL,” while leaving “All My Children” fans in suspense and impatiently waiting for weeks for their show to return.

Personally, I find all of this extremely interesting, especially since there seems to have been a complete role reversal between the two shows. “One Life to Live” has always reminded me of “The Little Engine That Could,” endlessly trying to make its way up the hill to the top of the mountain (i.e. ratings), while all the more powerful engines (or in this case, the better known soap operas) just keep passing them by until one day when the little engine finally made it to the top after years of chanting “I think I can.” In a sense, it is uncharted waters for many “One Life” fans who aren’t used to their show doing so well. It makes me proud of the soap I have grown up watching for more than two decades now.

However, its one thing to get to the top, but it is quite another thing to stay there. And with the show’s writing, production, and directing crews under Prospect Park still up in the air, it leaves me feeling somewhat concerned, especially given the fact that current head writer Ron Carlivati still seems on track to join the writing staff of “General Hospital” once “OLTL” up production of its TV run in November. Granted, Carlivati isn’t exactly daytime’s best scribe considering “OLTL’s” overabundance of useless characters in idiotic storylines (e.g. the Nate/Deanna/Rick porn plot), and treatment of women characters, but he must be doing something right for the show to be climbing in the ratings as it has been. But like him or not, he does bring stability to the show and often draws upon the soap’s rather rich history (even if he usually twists it to fit his own agenda) when penning tales. Throwing in someone new, especially if they are not very familiar with the show could cause problems. The same can be said for Executive Producer Frank Valentini. For several years now, he has managed to keep “OLTL” under budget while running a tight ship. Finding a suitable replacement may prove difficult.

That being said, I think the show is in good hands with Prospect Park, and believe that it will continue to do rather well. Even so, I am well aware of the potential risks involved in moving an established 43-year-old soap opera from a television slot it has held for more than 30 years to the uncharted waters of online-only distribution. If it works, then wonderful, soaps will have found a new way to live on. If it fails, then at least soap fans can say they tried, and “OLTL” and “AMC” will be remembered for going where no other soaps have gone. Either way, it gives new hope for the daytime serial genre, proving that there may still be some life in the old “stories” yet.

Moving on, congratulations to “CBRVA83,” who correctly guessed the answers to my trivia questions from last time. In case you missed the clues, here they are, along with the answers:  1. What current “OLTL” cast member was the youngest soap star ever placed on contract with a daytime drama back in 2001? Answer: Kristen Alderson. 2. In college, what subject did Ted King get his undergraduate degree in and from what school? Answer: Business from UC-Santa Barbara. 3. What foreign language did Erika Slezak grow up speaking before learning English at five-years-old? Answer: German.

Now it’s time to shake things up a bit and do some more trivia. See if you know the answers to these questions about some of the current and former cast members of “One Life to Live.” 1. Kassie DePaiva (Blair) appeared on what game show before joining “OLTL” and who was the daytime celebrity (and future co-star) was she paired up with? 2. What two wars did the late Phil Carey (Asa) serve in? 3. What is John-Paul Lavoisier‘s (Rex) real last name? I’ll have the answers in the September 30 edition of My View of Llanview.

Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. Someone turns up dead. One man risks his life to save others. An unlikely person is put in jail. And one sister makes a shocking discovery about her sibling.

Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone! Stay safe!

Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…



My View of Llanview: August 30 Edition

Soap Opera Network

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Just another abnormal week for “One Life to Live.”

Last week was an example of just how quickly things can go wrong in Llanview, both intentionally and unintentionally. Two weeks ago the show was riding high on the fallout over the revelation of the real Todd Manning. However, just days later it was as if “One Life to Live” was cursed when a series of unforeseen mishaps and errors disrupted the continuity of the storylines and left viewers scratching their heads and screaming at their TV screens.

First there were the “breaking news” pre-emptions by both the network and local ABC stations covering topics such as the civil unrest in Libya, the East Coast earthquake, and the looming threat of Hurricane Irene. For the most part, each of those interruptions were relatively brief and understandable, although still nonetheless frustrating to “OLTL” fans who believe (rightly so) that news only seems to happen during the 2:00 pm ET hour on weekday afternoons.

Next was the so-called technical glitch that plagued last Thursday’s episode, which just so happened to be Robin Strasser‘s last airdate as the legendary Dorian Lord. As confusing and disprectful to Strasser and the character of Dorian as it drew attention away from what should have been a tearful farewell for her, I have to admit that the situation a little comical. At one commercial break, Viki and Dorian had just realized they were locked in her office together. But a few minutes later when the show returned after a commercial Dorian was setting at a table in the same office enjoying some cake with her Cramer girls (from the previous day’s episode). Then another commercial break, and suddenly Dorian and Viki were back to being locked in her office together.

Which brings me to my next issue. Whether you are a “spoiler whore” like me and have a rough idea of what is going to take place in each day’s episode, or you wish to remain spoiler free, you could not deny that there has just been something really off regarding the past four or five episodes of “One Life to Live.” The editing has been atrocious and choppy in the past few episodes, leading many viewers to wonder what exactly is going on. Rewrites of some of the storylines would be a good assumption, however, most of the things that were already spoiled to happen are still taking place on screen, but just in different episodes than originally planned. And to further compound matters, some scenes seem out of place and out of sync with how things ended in the previous episode. For example, last Thursday’s episode ended with Natalie talking with Clint in the library at Llanfair about his ex-wife Kim returning to town. On Friday, however, Natalie was shown in the cemetery with Rex, who was showing her how the death date on Gigi’s tombstone had been scratched out. But then the next episode (on Monday) picked up where Thursday’s show left off with Natalie and Clint back at Llanfair talking about Kim again.

To add to the confusion, random unrelated scenes have been popping up in places they shouldn’t be in some of the same episodes as well. Like a quick shot of Kim at the cemetery watching Gigi’s grave being exhumed sandwiched in between scenes of Victor and Todd arguing at his office at The Sun, or a short scene of Rex and Shane arguing in the middle of Monday’s episode even though neither of them were seen elsewhere in the episode (outside of last second shot of Rex holding a gun at the end of the show). These are just a few examples of the rushed, sloppy editing that is making this show disjointed, choppy, and rather hard to follow.

And it doesn’t help matters that the writers have begun dropping major storylines for days a time to focus on unpopular plots, characters, and pairings. What ends a cliffhanger one day may not be resulted or shown again for maybe two or three more episodes, adding to viewer frustration. This, combined with unnecessary and poorly defined “newbies” helps make this show its own worst enemy.  The cast remains bloated and we forget about half of the characters on the canvas the majority of the time because they are rarely seen or drawn into a storyline. Take Cristian for example, outside of his occasional scenes recently with Shaun and Rama, what purpose does he really serve? The same for James, Nate, Deanna, Baz, and several others. There are too many characters right now (contract, recurring, and dayplayers), and the scenes are often too short for fans to really become invested in any particular characters or storylines, not to mention the fact that the tales are becoming increasingly stupid and idiotic, and long-time legacy characters are turned into nothing more than props and plot points. But yet, I suppose it is still more believable and entertaining than “All My Children,” which has a crazy doctor who has somehow kept most of town’s deceased residents alive and well.

After watching “One Life to Live” all last week with all its interruptions and editing issues, it made me realize that this show never fails to surprise me, whether it be for better or for worse. There is never a dull moment when it comes to Llanview, and finding something to do an article about for SON. Take this column for example. A week ago I had no idea what aspect of the show I was going to write about this go around, and then the show gave me plenty of inspiration and material to work with as I sat down late this evening (as usual) to hammer out a (hopefully) somewhat decent column only hours before my “deadline.” As noted earlier, there is never a dull moment while reporting on “OLTL,” whether it means I am writing about HD cameras and equipment, MMA fights (i.e. Mark Lawson), prom dresses, or High School Musical themed episodes.  There always seems to be something to talk about, whether I like what is happening or not. Remember that, just because I write an article about something or someone pertaining to the show, it does not mean that I agree with the decision. I am simply the messenger, so don’t shoot…haha.

Moving on, no one guessed (either correctly or incorrectly) the answers to my trivia questions from last time….although I gave everyone a second chance, so here are the answers:

So here are your questions again: 1. What connection did Lee Patterson (ex-Joe Riley and Tom Dennison) have to legendary comedian Jack Benny? Answer: He was his golf caddy at one time. 2. Tonja Walker is cousins with what famous country music star? Answer: Billy Ray Cyrus. 3. James DePaiva (ex-Max) is a descendant of what former U.S. President? Answer: Andrew Johnson.

So now, let’s try some new trivia questions. 1. What current “OLTL” cast member was the youngest soap star ever placed on contract with a daytime drama back in 2001? 2. In college, what subject did Ted King get his undergraduate degree in and from what school? 3. What foreign language did Erika Slezak grow up speaking before learning English at five-years-old? I’ll have the answers in the September 15 edition of My View of Llanview.

Now, before I wrap up this column, I’m going to look into my crystal ball and give you a quick sneak peek at a few things coming up a few weeks down the road. Someone is forced to part with something very dear to them. An unexpected person becomes the voice of reason for a troubled individual. Two old flames revisit their past. And one person in particular demands justice be served.

Well that’s concludes yet another column. Have a great week everyone!

Take care, and until next time remember, we only have “One Life to Live”…










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