For more than 12 years Sean Kanan has been portraying the role of the flawed Deacon Sharpe on CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless,” but for fans of “General Hospital” he is best known for his portrayal of AJ Quartermaine. Last seen in 1997 as AJ went toe-to-toe with Carly Roberts (now Carly Jacks) as played by Sarah Brown, fans were shocked to find the role recast with actor Billy Warlock. According to published reports, Kanan had been fired by then executive producer Wendy Riche because of issues relating to alcohol use. In 2005, Warlock’s AJ was killed off by a psychotic psychiatrist, but after a 15 year absence from the canvas does Kanan’s return mean the show has decided to undo AJ’s death?
In an interview with TV Guide‘s Michael Logan, Kanan says, “‘GH’ is one of those places I never thought I’d see again and that makes what’s happened even more exciting. My life has changed completely since those days. I’m newly married and have a baby on the way. I also have an 11-year-old daughter and four stepchildren. I’m not the guy I used to be.” It was announced last week that Kanan and his new bride Michele were expecting their first child together.
Earlier this week Kanan returned to “B&B” for a short stint as Deacon prepares to close out another chapter of his life. When he returns to “GH” expect to see Kanan for the long haul. “Frank [Valentini, Executive Producer] also put his money where his mouth is and gave me a contract,” says Kanan. “These days, in this environment and this economy, there are not a lot of soap contracts being handed out. So, needless to say, I’m extremely happy. I can’t wait to see what the writers come up with!”
Kanan is scheduled to mark his return to the ABC drama series on Monday, October 29. One week earlier (Monday, October 22), former co-star and on screen brother Steve Burton, who has portrayed Jason Morgan on the soap for more than 20 years, will end his run as he and his family move to Tennessee.
ABC has not commented on whether Kanan is returning as AJ, a new character or quite possibly a recast Jason Quartermaine.
TV Guide‘s Michael Logan pulls off another exclusive! In an interview with Steve Burton, the actor reveals that he has in fact decided to leave ABC’s “General Hospital” after two decades at the drama series. First joining the cast in 1991, Burton had portrayed the role of Jason Quartermaine turned Morgan. He left the series in 2000, but returned in 2002, and has remained at the show ever since. He’s also appeared on the “GH” spinoff, “General Hospital: Night Shift,” during the SOAPnet original series’ first season.
According to Burton, it was his contract coming up and his desire to move his family to Tennessee that resulted in him making this important life changing decision. “I’ve been through 21 years of ups and downs with ‘GH’ — regime changes, cast and crew changes, budget cuts, shakeups of one kind or another, and it’s been nothing but a huge positive in my life and for my family. I have no complaints, no negative feelings at all. But it’s time to go. I’m going to take some time off and do nothing but relax, just enjoy life a little bit with my wife and kids,” said Burton to TV Guide.
The actor also revealed that his next career move will be working on a project with James Franco (ex-Franco) and Jill Farren Phelps (former executive producer of “GH,” now at the helm of “Y&R”). “Jill went off and did that telenovela ‘Hollywood Heights’ [at Nickelodeon] and James did a day’s work there. Suddenly he decides he wants to make one of his own novelas through his production company and we’re like, ‘Huh?’ So the three of us collaborated on an idea and came up with a really good one. Jill will EP it, I’ll produce and star in it and so will James. We’ll be able to get a lot of great cameos and guest stars because of James’ connections. It’ll be a fun show to do.”
As for rumors of him possibly joining “Y&R,” Burton says, “Jill is one of my dearest friends. [Laughs] I’m never going to say never because , as soon as I do, I’ll be popping up over there! Here’s the thing: As cool as it was to know I had a nice, cushy place to go every day with ‘GH,’ I think it’s going to be just as cool to not have a nice, cushy place to go every day. I like not knowing what’s next for a change. I’m jumping off a cliff in a total leap of faith.”
Burton is expected to complete filming at “General Hospital” on Tuesday, September 25, but he has informed the show that, if necessary, he would be willing to stay on little longer to help wrap his characters storyline. Whatever the case may be, look for the actor to air through at least the end of October or sometime in November.
After her character was shamed out of Salem last year prior to the major “Days of our Lives” reboot, Nadia Bjorlin is returning to the NBC Daytime drama series in the coming months as a “stronger and more confident Chloe [Lane] who can really stand up for herself and not be bullied,” so says the actress in an interview with TV Guide Magazine‘s Michael Logan.
According to TV Guide, Bjorlin begins filming at “DAYS” in late September, but she won’t make it to air until January 4, 2013, which is an unusual length of time from film to air, unless you work at “DAYS,” which for the past several years has been filming months ahead of airdate in order to save on production costs.
UPDATE, THURSDAY, AUGUST 16 5:30 PM ET: A previous version of this article incorrectly included the line “Big Trouble at ‘Live! with Kelly?’” in its heading.
We apologize for the sensationalized heading, and have corrected it to include the core information. While “Live! with Kelly” did hit 20 year lows, which made that tidbit of information more noteworthy, it is one of the few daytime shows (talk or otherwise) to have been on the air as long.
Additionally, despite its lows, “Live!” was the third most watched talk show for the week. This in spite of the show losing 39 affiliated stations, representing 10% of the U.S.
In an exclusive interview with TV Guide‘s Michael Logan, Bradley Bell, Executive Producer and Head Writer of “The Bold and the Beautiful,” has revealed that he plans on recasting the role of Ridge Forrester now that Ronn Moss is departing the series after filming his final scenes later today.
Bell, who only found out that Moss opted not to renew his contract on Thursday, August 9, tells Logan that losing Moss is a “huge” deal. Ultimately he’s “very sad but also very grateful for the 25 years we did have with him. Ronn is a wonderful man and a great actor and he’ll be sorely missed.”
For those wondering how Bell plans to write the character off the canvas, albeit temporarily, Bell says, “I went ahead and wrote a wedding for Ridge and Brooke [Katherine Kelly Lang] — a real retrospective sort of wedding that honors the characters’ 25-year relationship — and then I have them take off on a honeymoon. I’ve been in this business long enough to know I have to protect my show. The worst thing happened but at least I was prepared.” Images of what looked to be a supposed wedding popped up on Facebook on Saturday, August 11, just moments before news broke of Moss’s departure from “B&B.”
“Ridge will not be dead or presumed dead. He will just not be in the picture. I don’t want to do a presumed death because I don’t want the story that follows to be all about Ridge. This will be a Brooke story,” says Bell. “Ridge is a pivotal part of the show and he will be back in a matter of time…and probably not all that much time. I will continue writing for the character. I’m looking at this in two phases, really. There will be a period of time without Ridge, which is where some new, interesting avenues for Brooke will come into play. But at some point it will be necessary for Ridge to return to the show. Who will be playing the role at that point remains to be seen.”
According to Bell, Moss’ last airdate is scheduled for Friday, September 14.
For the full Bell interview, head on over to TV Guide‘s website.
In its newest issue, TV Guide Magazine has revealed some of televisions highest paid stars. As you can imagine, the list comprises of former daytime soap stars who’ve either gone on to host their own talk show or headline a top ranked primetime series, or in the case of primetime soap stars – gotten richer!
Kelly Ripa tops the list of stars with a soap opera connection as the host of the daytime talk show “Live with Kelly.” According to TV Guide, the former “All My Children” star rakes in an estimated salary of $20 million per year. Meanwhile, Michael Weatherly went from “Loving” in the 1990′s to “NCIS” agent for a cool $175,000 per episode. Mark Harmon, Weatherly’s co-star on “NCIS,” generates an estimated $500,000 per episode and is the highest paid actor (scripted). The magazine, however, does not make note as to whether that amount includes his executive producer credit or if it is based solely on appearance alone. Harmon starred in the short lived 1980′s primetime soap “Flamingo Road,” which preceded his ground breaking role in “St. Elsewhere.”
“Guiding Light” turned “White Collar” star Matt Bomer makes an estimated $110,000 per episode of his uber popular USA Network series. Also hailing from “Guiding Light” is Hayden Panettierre, who will take in an estimated $75,000 an episode for her starring role in the upcoming new series “Nashville.” The show stars Connie Britton as a fading country star, but Britton will take in $100,000 per episode for her efforts.
The stars of “Grey’s Anatomy” recently renegotiated new deals to continue on the series for another two seasons. With the shows ninth season debuting in September, stars Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh and Ellen Pompeo will now make an estimated $350,000 an episode.
Although he hasn’t appeared on a soap for some time, Alec Baldwin gained notoriety in the 1980′s after starring in the daytime soap “The Doctors” and the primetime soap opera “Knot’s Landing.” Now starring in “30 Rock,” Baldwin commands an estimated $300,000 per episode. “30 Rock” is expected to complete its seventh and final season with just 13 episodes beginning October 4. Mariska Hargitay, who recurred on primetime soap “Falcon Crest” in 1988, is the highest paid actress (scripted) taking in $385,000 per episode for her work on “Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit.”
What follows is the complete list of salaries of stars with soap opera connections:
For a complete list of stars and their salaries, pick up your copy of TV Guide today or head on over to the magazine’s website.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – In an interview posted earlier today by TV Guide‘s Michael Logan, it looked like “Days of our Lives” Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng was alluding to the possible ouster of actress Sarah Brown when he stated “we also brought in the wonderful Sarah Brown [Madison James] and threw her into a lot of material very quickly. Maybe too much too quickly.” Sadly, it looks like he was indeed commenting on Brown’s character on the show in past tense.
Soap Opera Digest is reporting that Christie Clarke (Carrie Brady), Patrick Muldoon (Austin Reed), Matthew Ashford (Jack Devereaux) and Brown are all being let go in what is being now being called phase one of the mass firings expected at NBC’s “Days of our Lives.”
In the case of Clarke, Muldoon and Ashford, the trio returned to “DAYS” in September as part of the soaps big reboot. Brown joined the cast in early October as the first new character introduced by recently ousted head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr.
Last airdates are unknown at this time as a representative was unavailable for comment at press time, however, considering “Days of our Lives” currently films three months ahead of airdate and the new writing teams material is scheduled to hit the air in mid-August, per Meng, look for the quad to last air in August.
Stay tuned to Soap Opera Network as this breaking story continues to develop.
TV Guide‘s Michael Logan got the first real interview with “Days of our Lives” Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng, just days after the soap fired its head writing team and replaced them with the team of Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell. In the interview, Meng promises some epic firings in the coming months!
Although many speculated the reasoning behind Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr.‘s ouster from the NBC daytime drama series, only Meng was able to shed light on how things went down. “We spoke with the network and collectively felt we needed to take a pause, make a change with the writing and the style of the show for a while and see if that will redirect things. The ratings situation is very complex and difficult, and we have a tremendous challenge with that right now,” Meng said to Logan. “Everybody on the ‘DAYS’ team, and that includes NBC and Sony, our distributor, wants this show to succeed and we’re doing everything we can to make it work. We all have different visions as to how to achieve that success but the good news is that we’re all in synch on the future. No one wants cancellation. Even though we brought in Darrell and Marlene to reset ‘DAYS’ last September, it was always our feeling that the show needed to constantly be nurtured with smaller resets. This isn’t the end of the world. We’re just resetting it again in an effort to get it right.”
On the heels of “Days of our Lives” replacing the head writing team of Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr. with a new head writing team consisting of Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell, TV Guide‘s Stephen Battaglio is reporting that part of the deal NBC signed in order to keep Matt Lauer with the network late last week could include a possible fifth hour of “The Today Show.”
“Lauer’s new agreement keeps him in the coanchor chair of the morning show for four years and includes a program development deal, which could give him an ownership stake in a syndicated show outside of ‘Today,’ TV Guide Magazine has learned. The contract could earn him in the neighborhood of $100 million, according to people familiar with the deal. One idea already being kicked around is spinning off Lauer’s regular segment ‘Today’s Professionals,’ in which he spars over hot-button issues with a panel that includes Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The segment could also be developed into a fifth hour of ‘Today.’
The ink on Lauer’s new NBC contract is barely even dry, so discussion of how it impacts “Days of our Lives” is too early to tell if even at all. Additionally, the network giving Lauer a stake in a syndicated program doesn’t necessarily mean the end of “DAYS” or any indication of the network looking to tinker with its barely there daytime schedule, which consists of the long-running daytime soap and hours three and four of “Today” (aka: The Today Show 2 and The Today Show 3). A syndicated program could logistically air on any affiliate willing to pay the most dollars to air it. This includes stations that currently air network programming from ABC, CBS, FOX or even The CW.
If, however, the network does decide to add a fifth hour of “Today” on its schedule, it would greatly impact the future of “DAYS” as NBC’s current contract with Sony Pictures Television and Corday Productions, producers of the soap, is set to expire in September 2013. A decision on renewing the show for additional years will not be made until at least March 2013, according to sources.
The latest Nielsen ratings data shows “DAYS” hit a new series low in Women 18-49 viewers and tied its series low in Women 18-49 rating, the key sales demographic advertising rates are set and sold by.
On Monday afternoon, TV Guide Magazine revealed news that “General Hospital” actor Jonathan Jackson has decided to exit the role of Lucky Spencer on the ABC daytime drama. Sources indicate to the magazine that Jackson was denied a lighter schedule following two years of non-stop drama for his beleaguered character and that ultimately played into his decision to get out of Port Charles. Jackson was also apparently disappointed that his character never got the opportunity to properly reunite with his former love interest Elizabeth Webber played by Rebecca Herbst. The four-time Daytime Emmy Award winner will last tape on November 17.
Jackson debuted on “GH” as the first-born child of daytime’s most famous couple, Luke and Laura played by Anthony Geary and Genie Francis, on October 29, 1993 at the tender age of eleven. In 1999, while still filming “GH,” Jackson landed a starring role opposite Michelle Pfeiffer in the film “Deep End of the Ocean.” Jackson excited his role on the popular ABC daytime drama later that year. Other notable film endeavors for the talented actor included starring roles on “Tuck Everlasting” and “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.” Jackson returned to “GH” in October 2009, controversially replacing Greg Vaughan who played the role from 2003 to 2009. When not acting, the 29-year old actor performs with the band Enation. Their music has been featured on the television series “One Tree Hill.”
Jackson’s last scenes on “GH” will likely air before the close of 2011. TV Guide reports that the actor has already taped his last scenes with his on-screen father. Jackson may see this move as not postponing the inevitable. ABC affiliates are currently lining up new programming to take over the 48-year old soap operas long-standing 3 o’clock time slot across the country for the 2012-2013 season.