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Evening News

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS adds neighbors: Janine Turner & D.W. Moffett
Friday Night Lights not only has a new first-broadcast home (on DirecTV's Channel 101), it also will feature a few new faces when it returns in the fall. Janine Turner (ex-Laura, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Patricia, ANOTHER WORLD) and D.W. Moffett have been cast in the recurring roles of Katie and Joe McCoy.

The affluent McCoys move to Dillon from Dallas, with their (as-yet-uncast) teen son in tow. The kid, you see, is a high school freshman with mad football skills who will be fancied by many as the new Jason Street. That, as you can imagine, will put just a wee bit more pressure on one Matt Saracen.

Katie and Joe will be introduced in the first two episodes of the third season, which premieres Oct. 1 on DirecTV. NBC unspools the new episodes starting in late February/early March 2009.

Classic Kathleen Widdoes on MAD MEN last night
Long before she starred as Rose Perrini on ANOTHER WORLD or Emma Snyder on AS THE WROLD TURNS, Kathleen Widdoes played Sandra Mason on THE DEFENDERS. On last night's episode of MAD MEN, they showed a clip of a classic 'DEFENDERS' episode featuring Kathleen.

Hayden Panettiere's Father Arrested
Alan Panettiere, the father of former OLTL and GL actress Hayden Panettiere, was arrested for alleged felony domestic violence at his family's Los Angeles home, police said.

Tori Spelling quits "90210": She was offered less than Shannen and Jennie!?
A rep confirms that "there are no plans for Tori to appear" on the CW spinoff after a report that Spelling has quit over a lack of parity in pay. According to Deadline Hollywood Daily's Nikki Finke, Spelling felt she deserved at least equal pay as her former "90210" co-stars: "Insiders tell me that Tori was hired to reprise her role as fashion boutique owner Donna Martin for just '$10,000-$20,000' per episode. But then Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty were signed for '$35,000-$50,000' a show. When Tori found out her former co-stars were getting paid way more than she was, she got pissed and demanded equal pay. But the network suits have refused." The CW confirms it has no deal with Tori, despite mentioning Donna Martin's name in its initial press release.

Perez Hilton: Sponsored by ATWT
Visitors to the gossip blog, PerezHilton.com have found it taken over by AS THE WORLD TURNS today. CBS is adventising this week's episodes on the site (see the image below).


AUDIO: Interview with Y&R's Greg Rikaart
On today's special episode of the "Daytime Confidential" podcast, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS' Greg Rikkart visits with Luke and Jamey about Y&R and his hilarious guest appearance on IMAGINARY BITCHES and whether or not it would be possible for his character to return.

TV Guide Canada's Weekly "Nelson Ratings"


In his weekly "Nelson Ratings" column, TV Guide Canada's Nelson Branco reviews the week in soaps, names his top-rated actors and shows, and provides next week’s viewing cheat-sheet.

News Brief

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Five Young Soap Stars To Watch
A panel of experts - Connie Passalacqua, Carolyn Hinsey, Michael Logan, Ed Martin and Terry Morrow - selected five soap stars who are the most "promising New York–based up-and-comers: the most likely to follow in the footsteps of such lauded soap graduates as Meg Ryan (AS THE WORLD TURNS), Guy Pearce (Australia's NEIGHBOURS), and Melissa Leo (ALL MY CHILDREN)." Marcy Rylan, Caitlin Van Zandt, John-Paul Lavoisier, Van Hansis and Kristen Alderson made the list.

Deep Soap: Stop The Presses
Sara A. Bibel blogs: "If you’ve been to any soap opera sites in the past few days, you’ve probably seen it. It’s the juiciest scandal to hit daytime in years, a demonstration of the power of the internet, a sickening unprofessional attack, sweet revenge that anyone who’s had a cruel boss can appreciate, the eventual subject of someone’s Communications Masters’ Thesis. Take your pick. Thursday the website Jossip, which covers the publishing industry, posted a routine item about Soap Opera Weekly editor-in-chief Carolyn Hinsey being let go from the magazine. What happened next was more surprising than anything that’s happened on a soap opera in the past year."

TOM CASIELLO: On Carolyn Hinsey
"I think she's a very passionate fan of soap opera. I think she stands out in a crowd in numerous ways. I think she's very vocal and out-spoken. I think (like most of us out here on the Web, including myself) she has a LOT of opinions - some of which I agree with, and some of which I don't. I think (much like myself) she gleefully and happily loved working within an industry where she was already a fan, and had already viewed so many she worked alongside from a fan perspective prior to working with them professionally. I think she was always nice to me. I also think she wasn't always nice to some of my friends. I think sometimes she was dead-on… and other times, she was so wrong, I couldn't help but wonder why there weren't more repercussions. I think absolute power corrupts absolutely, and I think what happened with Carolyn is probably something that would happen to most anybody in her shoes, given that much power that quickly. I'm sorry the whole situation was allowed to get to his point, but I'm also sorry somebody lost their job."

Ellen Wheeler hopes to save the daytime soap with a little reality and … Jonathan Safran Foer?
After more than 50 years of surrogate births, shotgun weddings, sordid divorces, steamy affairs, and myriad multiple-personality-disorder diagnoses, it seems the most unthinkable scenario is about to play out: TV soap operas are edging toward a dramatic death. Perhaps that’s why Ellen Wheeler is praying in church.

Wheeler is the executive producer of GUIDING LIGHT, CBS’ long-running soap. In fact, it is the longest-running show in broadcast history. And this quiet former Episcopal church with a few remaining pews is actually part of her midtown office, which doubles as a television studio, with crosses and votive candles strategically positioned by production assistants. A place of hope is the ideal location for Wheeler’s show, which, like all soaps, is losing viewers faster than ALL MY CHILDREN's Erica Kane goes through husbands. But GUIDING LIGHT is pulling in the fewest viewers of all (2.5 million daily viewers, down more than half from ten years ago).

“I get teary, and I hate that,” Wheeler says. Her tendency to choke up in the middle of a conversation could be attributed to either her nightly four hours of sleep or to her former career as a soap star. (Her portrayal of good-and-evil twins Vicky and Marley Love Hudson on ANOTHER WORLD earned her the 1986 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Ingénue in a Drama Series.) “If you listened to the New York Giants throughout [last] season, they really believed in themselves when no one else did. We also believe in ourselves. We have nowhere to go but up.”

Should the unspeakable happen and GUIDING LIGHT get canceled, it’s unlikely the rest of the underperforming shows will be spared. Will anyone care except the soap fanatic? “The thing about soap operas that’s so special is they make you realize how similar we all are,” says Wheeler. “Oh, gosh, I’m going to get sad.” Her voice catches, and she pauses to wipe a tear away. “Sometimes we feel very isolated and on our own, and soaps give you a chance to look at other people’s lives and say, ‘I’ve felt just like them. I’ve never had a beautiful Australian come out of the blue and fall in love with me, but I’ve felt the way Marina feels.’ ”

HIV horror on HOLLYOAKS
HOLLYOAKS is preparing for one of its most dramatic storylines yet (and that's saying something), as playboy Malachy Fisher's lascivious lifestyle comes back to haunt him. Malachy, played by Glen Wallace, goes to give blood, but the results show he is HIV positive. Not only has he endangered his own health, but he has risked that of his new flame Mercedes (Jennifer Metcalfe).

SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES: Episode #843
Matt and Henry are both upset following Friday's "drama" at Blake's office. Tom Baran (Tony, AS THE WORLD TURNS) joins the cast today as Casey Sanders. Casey is calm, cool and collected on the outside but has a past he wants to forget.


DAYS spotlights autism through Carver family
After talks with Autism Speaks, Dena Higley concluded that introducing an autistic child, dealing with the grief and deciding what to do for the child was enough, so she was not going to get into causality.

Higley selected the Carvers -Abe and Lexie (James Reynolds, Renee Jones) -as the perfect candidates because they're both professionals, and, as she points out, "They're both can-do, take charge, problem-solving people who are now being given a problem they can't solve."

EVENT: Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids Flea Market

The annual Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids Flea Market will be held on Sunday, September 21, 2008, at Shubert Alley between 44th and 45th Street (Broadway and 8th Avenue) in New York.

A number of soap stars will be on hand for the event.

As The World Turns and Guiding Light Actors - Celebrity Table - Autograph Signing
11:00 a.m. Van Hansis (Luke Snyder - ATWT)
12:00 p.m. Marj Dusay (Alexandra Spaulding - GL)
1:00 p.m. Marcy Rylan (Lizzie Spaulding - GL)
2:00 p.m. Robert Newman (Joshua Lewis - GL), Nicole Forester (Cassie Layne Lewis - GL) and John Driscoll (Henry "Coop" Cooper Bradshaw - GL)
3:00 p.m. Dylan Bruce (Chris Hughes - ATWT)

New Online Soap LIFE IN GENERAL

Karen Harris of GENERAL HOSPITAL fame is writing a new online soap called LIFE IN GENERAL. The show will air on Strike.TV, an online network featuring original content, and premiere in a beta launch August 18th (followed shortly by an official launch).

In the meantime, check out a behind the scenes mini-documentary on the site that will give you a taste of what the show is about.

STRIKE.TV behind-the-scenes: LIFE IN GENERAL from StrikeTV on Vimeo.

ATWT's Colombino Hosts NJ's Bad Boy of Comedy


AS THE WORLD TURNS star Terri Colombino hosted the Mike Marino Comedy Show Live at the Paramount Theater in Asbury, New Jersey, last night. Here she is pictured with Marino and Danny Aiello.

Marino is known as "New Jersey's Bad Boy of Comedy."

News Brief

'80s Hearthrob Rick Springfield Is Back on the Charts
Springfield's 17th CD, Venus in Overdrive, came in at No. 28 on the Billboard charts this week. The Australian native, who found fame on GENERAL HOSPITAL in 1980 and then followed withhis song hit "Jessie's Girl" in 1981, has sold more than 19 million albums over his career.

"I haven't been this excited about a new record since the '80s," Springfield tells PEOPLE. "I'm a loner in my private life, so the party animal only comes out on stage. That's really my connection to people."

FLASHBACK: Ladies Long for Dr. Noah Drake on GENERAL HOSPITAL, but Rick Springfield Wants 'Jessie's Girl'
From PEOPLE magazine August 17, 1981: It takes some very fancy footwork to juggle two careers," says Rick Springfield, whose metaphor is as happily mixed as his professional life. These days he breaks hearts as the suavely busy bachelor Dr. Noah Drake on TV's No. 1 soap, GENERAL HOSPITAL. And Rick also busts charts with his No. 1 single, Jessie's Girl, and his first gold LP, Working Class Dog. Says the Australian-born Springfield: "These are the ultimate rewards for a working-class dog—and much better than a bone."

The lean times do seem over for Springfield, 32 next week, who has been rocking none too successfully for 16 years and acting for five. "I always liked Jessie's Girl," says Rick of the song he based on "coveting my friend's girlfriend a couple of years ago. I was surprised at how fast it caught on." As for General Hospital, he admits, "I'd never watched a soap opera before I started in March." He had, however, acted in one. Initially Springfield was concerned about how General Hospital would affect his "credibility as a musician." It helped that Beach Boy Brian Wilson and many disc jockeys confessed to being GH addicts. Besides, Springfield explains, "I started acting later than most people, and I want to learn as much as I can as fast as I can. Doing a soap is a great way to get your acting chops together."

One soap fan's quest for the ultimate summer vacation photo
Stacy Milbouer writes: "[Genie] Francis owns and is the buyer for the store [Cherished Home], but on past visits she wasn't there. She has really nice staff people, but I wanted face time – a chitchat with Laura. Because, with the exception of the birth of my child on a Wednesday, I haven't missed an episode of GH. In fact, in college, I scheduled my classes around the 3 o'clock hour during those tumultuous, disco-infused Luke and Laura glory days.

So I was shocked that on this trip when I walked into the store, there was Francis sitting on an overstuffed couch, looking pretty much like she did in 1976 when she first appeared on the show at age 14."

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: GH's Amy Gibson
When Amy Gibson started losing her hair at 14, she blamed God. She had no other explanation for why her hair fell out in clumps with every brushing. Within a year, she was bald. Ashamed and embarrassed, Gibson — already an actress on GENERAL HOSPITAL (Colette) — kept her hair loss a secret from most of her colleagues on the daytime soap opera.

"I thought I had leprosy at first," she says. "At the time, no one knew about baldness in women, and I didn't want to be 'that bald freak.' "

Gibson was diagnosed with alopecia (abnormal hair loss). Over the next 17 years, she received monthly cortisone shots to stimulate hair growth. But the shots did little to spur permanent growth. Wigs became a mode of survival.

Eventually, she started making hairpieces for women. She launched her line, the Color Beautiful Collection, in 2006.

Gibson, now 48, recently visited Shear Attitude hair salon on Memorial to promote her wigs, which are made with a high-quality synthetic fiber called Cyberhair. They look and feel like the real thing. While they can be removed for washing and styling, they're secured with a strong adhesive that allows wearers to swim, sky-dive, water-ski and walk in strong winds or other extreme conditions without fear of losing them.

EASTENDERS actor rushed to hospital
EASTENDERS actor John Bardon was rushed to hospital on Friday night in a fresh health scare. The actor, who plays the character Jim Branning on the BBC 1 soap opera, was admitted to the Lister hospital in Chelsea, west London, after fears he had suffered another stroke. Later reports stated his condition was "comfortable".

Bardon, 68, had only just returned to the soap after spending a year recovering from a stroke back in July 2007.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES will get back to the problems of ordinary women
"I wanted to get back to where we were that very first season, where it's just the problems of some ordinary women, ... small and relatable," said Marc Cherry, the show's creator and producer.

UGLY BETTY actor channels Batman villainy
Michael Urie's eyes got very wide ... Batman villain-wide, in fact. Urie just had been told that his portrayal of Marc St. James on Ugly Betty, alongside Vanessa Williams' dastardly Wilhelmina Slater, conjures complimentary images of Batman villains.

"I can die now. I grew up watching that show. I grew up with cutouts of Batman and the Joker in my bedroom."

Study shows plenty of TV sex, less marriage
Marriage gets little respect on network TV shows that instead revel in the pleasures of extramarital and even kinky sex, according to a study released Tuesday.

The study by the Parents Television Council includes a strongly worded condemnation of prime-time TV, contending it “seems to be actively seeking to undermine marriage by consistently painting it in a negative light.”

DAYS Shawn Christian to greet fans at Eastwood Mall today
DAYS OF OUR LIVES star Shawn Christian will make an appearance at the Eastwood Mall, 5555 Youngstown-Warren Road, today at noon until 3 p.m. Courtesy of WFMJ, Christian will be signing autographs and meeting with fans in front of the WFMJ location as part of Eastwood Mall’s back to school weekend.

As The Summer Turns
Tommy Garrett in the LA Canyon News writes about the summers hottest stories: "Your soap’s latest storyline may be sizzling or in fact may be fizzling. Soaps are big news in the summertime. Both school kids and college kids plan their summer jobs and activities around their favorite couple."

PASSIONS Cast and Crew Bid Farewell
Photos from NBC.com of the cast and crew preparing to leave as well as the wrap party.

Today's Soap Star Birthdays

James Reynolds (Abe, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Henry, GENERATIONS) - 62
Nick Stringer (Andy, HOLBY CITY; ex-Frank, CORONATION STREET) - 60
Krissy Carlson (Fancy, PASSIONS; ex-Amy, SUNSET BEACH; ex-Renata, UNDRESSED) - 29
Jon Prescott (Mike, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 27

Magnussen's Band "The Dash" Draws a Crowd


AS THE WORLD TURNS star Billy Magnussen performed with his band The Dash at The Underscore on Friday night in New York.

On hand to show their support were fellow ATWT cast members Jon Prescott, Van Hansis, Agim Kaba and Dylan Bruce.

Are You Ready For Some Football?


Former ALL MY CHILDREN Leven Rambin is, at least video game style. She attened the EA Sports premiere of Madden NFL 09 at STK Nightclub in West Hollywood on Thursday.

IMAGINARY BITCHES Episode #12 "Threesome"

Eden's new imaginary friend is looking for a much more intimate kind of relationship than Eden could have ever dreamed.

News Brief

HOLLYOAKS character contracts HIV
HOLLYOAKS's Malachy Fisher is to be diagnosed as HIV positive. The character always thought he was invincible to STDs, but his past comes back to haunt him in episodes to be screened next month.

Malachy's (Glen Wallace) relationship with Mercedes McQueen (Jennifer Metcalf) is put at risk when he goes to give blood and the results reveal his diagnosis. However, he refuses to face up to the news and goes missing, prompting a scorned Mercedes to sleep with his brother Kris (Gerard McCarthy) for revenge.

Talking about the storyline, Wallace commented: "When you consider how many people are affected by HIV and AIDS, it makes you realise that while there have been huge medical breakthroughs in treatment, we still need to keep education and information in the spotlight. We have a fantastic opportunity to do this with Malachy’s storyline as it’s a relevant and very much a real-life issue."

WHERE ARE THE NOW: Fiona Hutchison and John Viscardi
Fiona Hutchison and John Viscardi are not your average Copake married couple. For one thing, they met on the set of a soap opera in New York City. For another, they're the founders of The Copake Theatre Company, located at the historic Copake Grange.

They also have talent and energy to burn. Hutchison is perhaps best known for her continuing roles as Gabrielle Medina on ONE LIFE TO LIVE and Jenna Bradshaw on GUIDING LIGHT. Viscardi is an actor, playwright and author, who is currently writing a book about dog training. Together, they're a force to be reckoned with.

Viscardi and Hutchison started the theater in 2004. They took a hiatus after two seasons, and Carl Ritchie took over as artistic director. But they'll be back in command this fall.

Viscardi met Hutchison on ONE LIFE TO LIVE in 1990. "I had a six-day job working on that show with Fiona," he says.

Hutchison interjects with her mellifluous English accent at this point. "He played a boxing priest!" she says. "In the first scene we had, he not only had to maneuver eating Chinese food with chopsticks, but he had to hit the heavy bag, all while reciting a four-page monologue. It was quite a sight to see."

Hutchison says she's "tickled" to be known as a soap opera queen. "It's a genre I've worked in, but I actually really like it," she says. "In other words, I like the environment of it, because I do like the high energy and challenge of trying to, as we say, turn it out but make it believable."

She was recently invited to come in this fall and do what is called "shadowing" on the set of AS THE WORLD TURNS, to observe and "shadow" the show's director. "I cannot tell you what an honor that is," she says. "I don't know if I'll get the opportunity to actually direct, but I'm excited about the possibility."

INTERVIEW: Y&R's Jeanne Cooper
"Katherine has big storyline coming up in two weeks that will carry on ‘till the end of the year… easily… Thank God! It is front-burner stuff! It will deal with Jill and Katherine, and many offshoots of that relationship."

B&B vs BIG LOVE
Ruth Ritchie writes in the Sydney Morning Herald: "In television, novelty often passes for originality. Purple polygamists should have been just a passing fad. But the last episode of the second series of BIG LOVE had fans of big Utah families sitting on the edges of our seats. It occurs to me, after years of devotion to THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, that the outrageous conceits vital to the survival of the long-running soap are perfectly logical in a polygamist potboiler. So many marriages, so many children - always ranging in age from toddler to retiree - we really have to stretch the imagination in traditional soap. Not so in Utah - the scene where two women cross the street to explain to the neighbour that one of them, unfortunately, cannot be a surrogate mother to the neighbour's unborn child because her husband, and two other sister wives wouldn't approve - is very believable."

INTERVIEW: DAYS actor Shawn Christian
"What’s coming up is that she [Chelsea] does find out [Daniel slept with Kate], and we are just filming that now. Again, what are the consequences of all this? And that’s why I end up once again talking to Lexie. I don’t have any family ties here in Salem, so whom do you turn to? Lexie is a colleague, and since we have worked together in life or death situations, Daniel can count on her trust."

Deep Soap: Behind The Scenes of NIGHT SHIFT
Sara A. Bibel visited the set of GH: NIGHT SHIFT and brought back a lot of interesting tidbits.

Antonio Sabato, Jr.: "I had a great time during those two years, from 92 to 94. I’m having a great time being part of the show again. I’m working with Peter [Brinkerhoff], our director, and Kimberly [McCullough] and some of our make-up and crew people. Nevertheless, it’s a different show because it’s a new set. We shot two days a week versus a different show every day. The rest of the cast is different."

Jason Thompson: "The shows are written differently. The thing about daytime is that everything’s always pretty dire. Here, I think we’re going about business more. The story with Robert is very, very serious and the emergencies that come in are serious but there are little moments where we can be human. I think they’ve done a good job of having scenes with Patrick and Robin where they’re communicating and having adult conversations."

GH: NIGHT SHIFT coming to DIRECTV's The 101
NIGHT SHIFT will air on DIRECTV's The 101 on Mondays at 2 pm ET beginning August 11. PASSIONS previously aired in this time slot. DIRECTV is beoming a player in the industry having rescued PASSIONS last year and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS this year. They are said to be interested in saving good but low rated prime-time shows versus developing new shows from scratch.

EVENT: Y&R's Linder at the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic
The Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic takes place Sunday at Pinehurst Resort. The event draws in national celebrities to raise money for cancer research through The V Foundation for Cancer Research. This year, celebrities include actor Dennis Haysbert from THE UNIT, former ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT host Bob Goen, former Major League Baseball player Tony Womack and THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS actress Kate Linder.

SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES: Episode #842
Blake and Matt's lunch plans are interrupted.

Today's Soap Star Birthdays

Clint Ritchie (ex-Clint, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 70
Micheal Storm (ex-Larry, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 69

Next Week on AS THE WORLD TURNS

Next week looks to be very exciting on AS THE WORLD TURNS on CBS as Rick Decker's evil plan escalates, toxins are discovered at the Synder farm and Dani Andropolous returns to Oakdale.

Monday, August 11, 2008
Chris thinks he’s found an antidote.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Tom goes in for surgery.
Casey comforts a distraught Emily.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Aaron tells Alison he loves her.

Carly and Holden are caught in a steamy moment.
Lily and Mike make love.
Emily and Casey disagree on their future together.



Thursday, August 14, 2008
Carly feels torn between two men.
Holden confronts Lily.

Fri, August 15, 2008
Jack reprimands Parker.
Katie suggests a date for Liberty.
Emily and Casey vow to stay together, despite their annulment.
Dani returns to Oakdale and expresses doubts about Emily and Casey’s relationship.



Photos: JPI Images

Mary Beth Evans on "BuzzWorthy Radio"

Mary Beth Evans (Kayla, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) was a guest on "BuzzWorthy Radio" this morning.

She talked about her stints on AS THE WORLD TURNS and GENERAL HOSPITAL and her return to the role of Kayla on DAYS.

Nelson Branco's Weekly "Suds Report">

In Nelson Branco's weekly "Suds Report" for TV Guide Canada:

Kim Zimmer: “I’m unhappy [with ‘GL’!]”

Did Eileen Davidson kill a head writer?

Hinsey leaves Weekly!

Matt Borlenghi joins ‘Days’!

‘Y&R’ signs Billy Miller!

Ken Corday versus Ed. Scott!

News Brief

AMC's Greenlee & Aidan gamble on love
From Carolyn Hinsey's column in the New York Daily News:
Greenlee pops the question to Aidan today on ALL MY CHILDREN, leading to a raucous wedding next week.

"Greenlee and Aidan go off to Vegas," says Rebecca Budig, who plays Greenlee. "They meet this old couple who should have gotten married, like, 40 years ago. They are getting married now in Vegas, which inspires Greenlee to not waste any more time."

Aidan and Greenlee find a chapel, "and it just so happens that Ryan, Annie, Kendall and Zach show up," says Budig with a laugh. "Isn't that odd? Call me crazy, but aren't there like a thousand chapels in Vegas?"

Since Ryan is secretly in love with Greenlee, it's quite a coincidence.

"There's a moment where we think he might stop the wedding, but he doesn't," says Budig.

Soap Opera Weekly Editor Carolyn Hinsey Fired?
David Hauslaib at Jossip is reporting: "Carolyn Hinsey, editor of Soap Opera Weekly and Soap Opera Digest, was just fired."

HOLLYOAKS actor calls on Iris to resign over gay comments
Mr McCarthy, who plays Kris Fisher in Hollyoaks, told the Belfast Telegraph that he regularly receives letters from teenagers who are being bullied because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans.

"There should be no place for hateful and extremist opinion," he said.

"Moreover, to have a Member of Parliament advocate them must certainly be in violation of the MPs' code of conduct. The wife of the First Minister should be forced to resign, made to give a formal apology and retract her comments in order to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and equally under the law."

Kanye West pursuing HOLLYOAKS star?
Kanye West is trying to organize a date with Hollyoaks HOLLYOAKS Jennifer Metcalfe, according to the reports. The rapper posted a string of pictures of Metcalfe, who plays Mercedes McQueen, on his official blog.

A source revealed: "What Kanye wants, he usually gets. When he spots a beautiful girl, there’s no holding him back."

Rising star Jonathan Groff lets his `Hair' down
Jonathan Groff races up and down the aisles through the audience, dripping with sweat, singing his heart out and shaking his long wig with manic glee. It's the revival of "Hair" at Central Park's Delacorte Theater, and it is Groff's big moment as Claude Hooper Bukowski, the 1960s flower child torn between his anti-war beliefs and duty to serve his country in Vietnam.

"This show has taught me so much about letting go and living moment to moment, and enjoying where you're at when you're there - and I'm really grateful for that," says Groff, who waited tables after moving to New York in 2004, and has appeared on the ABC soap opera ONE LIFE TO LIVE.

Ex-Y&R star Rowell hopes to turn book into movie
Victoria Rowell, who was in Belgrade Wednesday signing her book, "The Women who Raised Me," said she was in Skowhegan talking with her literary agent. She appeared to have come from a car parked across the street from the Empire Grill restaurant.

Her memoir tells the sentimental story of her incredible journey in the Maine foster care system, and pays tribute to the many women who mothered, mentored and motivated her to become a success. Rowell has become a passionate voice and leading contributor to endeavors that benefit foster children. For more than a decade her foundation, The Rowell Foster Children's Positive Plan, has provided the means for foster children to reach their potential through participation in fine arts, sports, and employment opportunities.

The author-actress shared some of the details of her early life with Snowe and state legislator Donna Finley, R-Skowhegan, who was along on the tour. Rowell told them she was born at Mercy Hospital in Maine and was raised near Berwick, and that Maine remains dear to her heart. When asked if she would ever return to her role as Drucilla, she said she was headed for India next.

Rowell said HBO was interested in turning her book into a series and she hopes to do some of the film work in Maine.

13 Questions With Eva Longoria
"Season two [of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES] was highly criticized and I loved season two, specifically for Gabrielle, because she had an amazing arc with the baby and the nun and all that fun stuff. For me, I just feel like the show gets better and better."

Miley's Dad to Jesse McCartney: Stay Away From My Daughter!
Star is reporting: Billy Ray Cyrus is one fiercely protective papa to his superstar offspring, Miley. That’s why he’s issued a stern command to the 15-year-old’s longtime crush, Jesse McCartney — don’t date my daughter! "There’s been serious flirting between them for a while, but Billy Ray won’t let them date," says a Cyrus family insider. "It’s driving Miley and Jesse crazy!" Billy Ray’s main concern is that at 21, pop star Jesse (ex-J.R., ALL MY CHILDREN) is six years older than the Disney princess. "And Jesse also thinks the fact that he’s been known to date a lot of young girls in Hollywood has gone against him with Miley’s dad," says a friend of the singer.

GH's Barash Attends 'Henry Poole" Premiere


GENERAL HOSPITAL star Brandon Barash (Johnny) attended the premiere of Overture Films' Henry Poole Is Here at ArcLight Cinemas last night in Los Angeles.

Shirley Jones, who appeared on DAYS OF OUR LIVES earlier this year, was also in attendance.

Today's Soap Star Birthdays

Veronica Redd (ex-Maimie, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 60
Chris Beetem (ex-Tate, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Jordan, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 39
Peyton List (ex-Lucy, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 22

Daytime Nielsen Ratings - Week of August 4-8, 2008

From the ABC Daytime ratings release:
* ABC extended its streak as Daytime's No. 1 network in key Women 18-49 to 12 straight weeks (1.2 rating/761,000 - tied on rating).

* In Women 18-34, ABC was home to 3 of Daytime's Top 5 programs for the 17th week in a row: "The View" (No. 2T, 0.8 rating/270,000), "General Hospital" (No. 2T, 0.8 rating/266,000) and "One life to Live" (No. 5T, 0.7 rating/247,000).

* In Women 18-49, for the 17th week running the net has ranked at least 3 shows among the upper echelon: "General Hospital" (No. 2T, 1.2 rating/823,000), "The View" (No. 2T, 1.2 rating/808,000) and "One Life to Live" (No. 4T - 1.1 rating/729,000).

* Ranking among Daytime's Top 5 programs for the 16th straight week in target young women, "One Life to Live" topped CBS' "As the World Turns" (2:00 - 3:00 p.m.) head to head by 39% in Women 18-34 (247,000 vs. 178,000) and by 13% in Women 18-49 (729,000 vs. 643,000).

* "General Hospital" surpassed CBS' "Guiding Light" at 3 o'clock by a solid 71% in Women 18-34 (266,000 vs. 156,000), by 36% in Women 18-49 (823,000 vs. 607,000) and by 16% in Total Viewers (2.63 million vs. 2.27 million).


Following are the Daytime Lineup averages, plus Top 5 Programs Ranks - Week of July 28, 2008:
Daytime Rank:        Total Viewers        Women 18-49 (Rtg/000s)
No. 1 CBS 3.66 million No. 1 CBS 1.2/774,000
No. 2 ABC 2.72 million No. 1 ABC 1.2/761,000
No. 3 NBC 2.55 million No. 3 NBC 1.1/721,000


Top 5 Daytime Programs in Women 18-49 (rank based on rating)
Program                    Net              Rtg/000s
The Young & the Restless CBS 1.8/1.20 million
General Hospital ABC 1.2/823,000
The View ABC 1.2/808,000
The Bold and the Beautiful CBS 1.1/751,000
One Life to Live ABC 1.1/729,000
Days of Our Lives NBC 1.1/721,000

A Martinez in Little Girl Lost

Don’t miss Lifetime Movie Network’s original movie premiere of Little Girl Lost starring Ana Ortiz (UGLY BETTY), A Martinez (ONE LIFE TO LIVE), and Judy Reyes (SCRUBS) on Sunday, August 17th at 8PM.

In Little Girl Lost, Reyes portrays Luz Cuevas, a working-class mother who is told that her infant daughter, Delimar, has perished in a suspicious fire in their Philadelphia row house. Despite the evidence, and based only on her intuition as a mother, Luz remains convinced that her daughter was kidnapped and that she's still alive. Luz and her husband (Bustamante) attempt to put the tragedy behind them for the sake of their other children, however, Luz continues to suspect her distant cousin (Ortiz) of foul play and enlists the help of Angel Cruz (Martinez), a sympathetic State Representative.

Flashback: Martha Byrne on Doogie Howser

Having ANOTHER WORLD reruns available has made me spend more time on Hulu lately.

One gem I discovered was an old episode of DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D. from season two (fall 1990), where Martha Byrne (who had left ATWT to Los Angeles) guest starred as a young bulimic model. Jason Brooks (ex-Peter, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) also appears as a nude model in the episode.

ATWT: Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

From CBS: "Liberty is a sassy, sixteen year old with a new dad who doesn't quite get her and a younger boyfriend whom she's tutoring in all things teen-age - including sex."

Borlenghi Cast as Mayor of Salem

A familiar face to soap fans will be bringing some law and order to Salem. Soaps.com is reporting that Matthew Borlenghi (ex-Ziggy, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL; ex-Brian, ALL MY CHILDREN) will be joining the DAYS OF OUR LIVES cast as the Mayor of Salem.

Regarding the details of his new character, Borlenghi previewed, "At this time, I don't know to what capacity I will be used, but I know that I will be working with the characters of Roman and [Abe], the Chief and Commissioner of SPD, and will be shaking things up regarding Stefano."

Borlenghi's arrival in Salem reunites him with Jack Rio co-star, Nadia Bjorlin. Jack Rio, along with his other recent film, Skeletons in the Desert, was directed by Gregori J. Martin, who also directed my film Manhattanites.

News Brief

PASSIONS series finale promo


Finola Hughes on NIGHT SHIFT
Finola Hughes's Anna will join Robin and Robert for the last few episodes of the SOAPnet series GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHIFT.

Former HOLLYOAKS actor James Corden criticizes the arrogance of the soap's cast
Before becoming a Bafta and British Comedy award winner for GAVIN & STACEY, Corden had a small part in the Chester-set serial some eight years ago as a school caretaker.

But speaking to Esquire magazine, the 29-year-old said he would "rather die" than return to the Hollyoaks cast.

"It's f***ing awful. I can't tell you the sheer disdain I have for the place and people. I met a couple of really good friends there, but it's [only] 20 per cent nice people. It just breeds p**cks - all these people walking around with this chicken-in-a-basket fame, talking about going to LA."

Going on PASSIONS a career-ender?
In 2003, SMU grad Blake Towsley was spotted at a Pat Green concert by a Kim Dawson Agency model booker. In the five years since, he's gone from real estate broker to Model Search finalist to SURVIVOR: Guatemala contestant to Nissan commercial star in Japan. When asked why he turned down a role on the NBC soap opera PASSIONS he said: "My agent at the time suggested that, after modeling and SURVIVOR, going on that show could be a career-ender before my career even started. Who knows? It could have been a disaster; it could have been great."

Kevin Spirtas does one-man cabaret in Quincy
Before Kevin Spirtas was a soap star on DAYS OF OUR LIVES and ONE LIFE TO LIVE, he wanted above all to perform in "Les Mis" on Broadway. Five times he made call-backs for a lead role, but nothing came of it. Instead, he parlayed his good looks and acting talent into the role of Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS, where he evolved from villain to nice guy over seven and a half years.

Spirtas tells this story in his one-man cabaret show "Night & Days," where he spoofs the "Les Mis" song "One Day More."

"It’s a journey about my nights on Broadway and my days on DAYS OF OUR LIVES," said Spirtas, 46. "I am inspired to be back onstage and performing the songs I didn’t get to do on Broadway."

The show, at The Inn at Bay Pointe in Quincy on Aug. 13, features about 15 Broadway hits tied together with a narrative of the actor’s career from his Broadway debut at age 18.

GL's Raines star to perform Broadway tunes
Ron Raines, best known to daytime audiences as GUIDING LIGHT's Alan Spaulding, will regale Maine State Music Theatre audiences Monday, Aug. 11, with his repertoire of Broadway favorites. The one-night only show, "Ron Raines and Friends," will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Pickard Theater on the Bowdoin College campus.

Kettlebell Training Making A Fitness Comeback
Want a body like Katherine Heigl or Penelope Cruz? Try a kettlebell. The hottest fitness craze sweeping Hollywood is actually something first popularized by 18th century circus strongmen. Imagine working out with something that looks like a cast-iron teakettle.

GUIDING LIGHT leading lady and mom of a toddler Beth Chamberlin has experienced firsthand the benefits of using kettlebells. A year ago she needed the impossible: a workout that could get her in shape but wouldn’t take a lot of time. Then her husband discovered kettlebells and Anthony Diluglio, whose kettlebell circuit was voted one of the Top Ten Workouts Nationwide by Men’s Journal. Beth was skeptical, but gave it a try. Six weeks later, she was thrilled with her results.

"I’ve done every type of exercise from running to Pilates," says Beth. "This is the first workout that has really worked for me. I’ve even gotten rid of the back and belly fat." Beth was so excited about kettlebells that she called Anthony and asked how she could help get the word out. "I want women to know that there’s a way to get control of their bodies," says Chamberlin. With Beth’s passion and Anthony’s expertise, they created "The Kettlebell Way To Your Perfect Body."

Schulenburg's "Anais Nin Goes to Hell" to be Part of Fringe Festival 8/8
MAIEUTIC THEATRE WORKS (MTWorks) is pleased to announce the world premiere production of "Anais Nin Goes to Hell," directed by Cristina Alicea. "Anais Nin Goes to Hell" will play a limited engagement as part of the 11th annual New York International Fringe Festival-FringeNYC at The Connelly Theater (Venue # 17; 220 East 4th Street-between Avenue A & Avenue B). Performances begin August 8th and continue through August 24th. AS THE WORLD TURNS star Marnie Schulenburg (Alison) will be playing Andromeda.

SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES: Episode #841
Teri brings Matt to Manhattan Monthly to see Blake.

Today's Soap Star Birthdays

DeLane Matthews (ex-Janine, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Amber, GUIDING LIGHT) - 47
Sydney Penny (ex-Julia, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Samantha, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL; ex-Meg, SUNSET BEACH; ex-BJ, SANTA BARBARA) - 37
Na'Vell Lee (Emmett, SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES; Damien, ROCKLAND COUNTY) - 23

Evening News

INTERVIEW: DAYS OF OUR LIVES star Peter Reckell
Reckell tells TV Guide Canada's Nelson Branco: " I hope we never return to that fantasy style of writing. Chips in the brain? Returning from the dead? [laughs] Been there, done that. I’m lucky Bo hasn’t really been involved with any of that, other than him being hypnotized once. People are watching reality TV, and we need to return to real life. Daytime was the original reality TV. As for Bo, he’s become the white knight of the show, however I try to play against that as much as possible. I’d like him to be a bit more complex like he was written when we first introduced him."

Deep Soap: One More Time
Sara A. Bibel blogs: "If you've been watching any of the ABC soaps, you've undoubtedly seen the promos trumpeting ALL MY CHILDREN's upcoming romance between Jake (Ricky Paul Goldin) and Taylor (Beth Ehlers). The ads portray it as a story the audience should be eagerly anticipating. It's an interesting strategy, given that Goldin is a recent recast of a formerly supporting character that has been off the canvas for years and Taylor has appeared on camera for less than thirty seconds. Goldin and Ehlers played an enormously popular couple, Gus and Harley on GUIDING LIGHT. The actors had fantastic chemistry. ABC was so interested in pairing the duo again that it signed Ehlers before even figuring out what character she was going to play. Initial rumors had her slated to be a recast of either Liza or Hayley. The show wisely, in my opinion, chose to create a new character for her. Clearly, ABC is selling the actors, not the characters or the storyline. They're banking that GL fans will follow them to a new show, and that their great chemistry will make them appealing to AMC fans who have never seen them before."

DAVE MUSKERA: ATWT making an impact
"...what is now happening that never happened before is that adult gay persons of a positive nature are now very visible on television and in other media. To be gay is no longer to be invisible. Even the stogy long running soap opera AS THE WORLD TURNS features a young gay male couple who actually kiss and show affection to one another. Amazing!"

TV Squad Soap Report: PASSIONS played out
"Perhaps the strangest soap opera of all time has come to an end now that PASSIONS has been canceled by DirecTV. The gothic, modern psycho-drama set in a small Maine town replete with witches, elves, zombies and even some regular people, lasted nine years on the air. In primetime terms, that would be a hell of a run. For soaps, it characterizes PASSIONS as a noble -- to some -- failure."

Mark Consuelos: Wife Kelly Ripa ‘Psyched’ for His UGLY BETTY Role
Mark Consuelos says his wife Kelly Ripa is "psyched" for him, but that hasn’t stopped her from engaging in some friendly husband-and-wife one-upmanship.

"They did an episode last week with her and Regis," says Consuelos of Ripa, who will make her own UGLY BETTY guest appearance on the show’s Sept. 25 premiere. “So she was like, ‘Aw, I did it first. Gotcha!’"

Groff and Miller to do Shakespeare in the Park
Tomorrow night the seventies rock musical "Hair" will celebrate its opening night at Shakespeare in the Park. There will be nudity in this revival, directed by Diane Paulus, but not on the part of stars like "Spring Awakening's" Jonathan Groff (ex-Henry, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) or All My Children's Patina Renea Miller (Pam). Instead, all the stripping at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park will be left to chorus members.

Subversive soap opera challenges conservative Mideast marriage customs
NOOR delivers an idealized portrayal of modern married life as equal partnership - clashing with the norms of traditional Middle Eastern societies where elders often have the final word on whom a woman should marry and many are still confined to the role of wife and mother.

Some Muslim preachers in the West Bank and Saudi Arabia have taken notice, saying the show is un-Islamic and urging the faithful to change channels. But all the same, the show may be planting seeds of change.

FLASHBACK: RITUALS Debuts 1984

The syndicated soap opera RITUALS debuted on September 10, 1984, and only lasted one year. It was produced by Lorimar and created by Gene Palumbo, Ken Corday and Charlene Keel (the show was based on a novel written by Keel).

I really loved this show and remember it fondly. It starred Christine Jones, Mary Beth Evans, Philece Sampler, Gina Gallego, Jon Lindstrom, Kin Shriner, Kevin Spirtas and many other well-known soap actors. It also featured former sitcom stars Tina Louise and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs.

Check out a feature story on the show from Soap Opera Digest (issue date October 23, 1984) as well as a promo.

Anne Sayre Debuts on S&S Today

The beautiful and talented Anne Sayre debuted on SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES today as Blake's sister, Teri Dean. Teri runs into Matt at the airport as she is arriving in New York and he's trying to leave. She quickly becomes mixed up in the Blake/Matt/Henry triangle.

Sayre is best known to soap fans for her role as Mitzi Matters on AS THE WORLD TURNS which she played from 2000 to 2004. Once ATWT murdered off Mitzi's best friend, Rose, Mitzi was sent out of the country.

Before her role on ATWT, Sayre was featured regularly on LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN, made a guest appearance on NEW YORK UNDERCOVER and had a brief role on ALL MY CHILDREN.

She also starred in the 2004 film, Late Watch, as well as My Summer Story, the 1994 follow up to A Christmas Story.

This is Sayre's second radio soap stint, as she previously played vixen Barbara Whitman on ROCKLAND COUNTY.

You can listen to her S&S debut here:

News Brief

Alison Sweeney to co-host Jerry Lewis telethon
Famed U.S. entertainer Jerry Lewis is to return as co-host of his 43rd Labor Day Telethon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the MDA said Tuesday.

Originating from the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, the live show will air for 21 and a half hours, beginning at 9 p.m. EDT Aug. 31, the organization said.

The telethon is to be shown on 180 "Love Network" stations in the United States.

Lewis, 82, is to share the stage with a variety of celebrity co-hosts, including Nancy O'Dell, Tom Bergeron, Jann Carl and Alison Sweeney (DAYS OF OUR LIVES)

Laurence Fishburne the No. 1 fave to join CSI
The 47-year-old former ONE LIFE TO LIVE star Fishburne (ex-Josh) is in talks to make the leap from the big screen to the small screen as William Petersen's CSI replacement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Says The Reporter: "CBS and CBS Par's search has been shrouded in secrecy, but sources say Fishburne is being heavily courted to play the new character, described as a doctor/scientist outsider to the CSI unit who has the same genetic profile as a serial killer but hasn't previously acted on any homicidal impulses."

INTERVIEW: 24 seconds with Van Hansis
" have had the most incredible fan response, much more so than I could have ever imagined. Our fan base is a really diverse group of people. We have gay fans, we have straight fans, and a lot of straight women fans. Hearing the stories of how our storyline has helped kids come out and helped parents accept their kids ... is very touching.

It's great to know that what you're doing is helping people and I really do think that in some way we are helping people."

PRIVATE PRACTICE gets Grant Show to play doctor
The SWINGTOWN star will make a guest appearance next season as a "charming and flirtatious doctor."

INTERVIEW: GL's Brian Gaskill
Brian Gaskill (Dylan, GUIDING LIGHT) was interviewed on "BuzzWorthy Radio" yesterday.


HOLLYOAKS' Ricky set for dance role
HOLLYOAKS actor Ricky Whittle - aka Calvin Valentine - must be on top of the world at the moment. Not only is his character involved in a meaty storyline starting next week, but the hunky star is also in the running to take part in the next run of hit BBC One show STRICTLY COME DANCING.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Whittle admitted: "I've just spoken to producers. There's a lot of people on the list wanting to do it, so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed."

A Martinez Starts at ONE LIFE TO LIVE
A Martinez arrived at the ABC studios yesterday for his first day of work on OLTL as Ray Montez.

The actor, who turns 60, in September, is probably best known, and most fondly remembered, for his role as Cruz Castillo on SANTA BARBARA. He won a Daytime Emmy in 1990 as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the role. He later went on to play Roy on GENERAL HOSPITAL.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: AMC's Melissa Leo
Reviews are excellent for Melissa Leo's turn as a single mother determined to provide a better life for her children at almost any cost in Frozen River. The respected character actress was passed over for a supporting Oscar nod in 2003 for her well-received turn as Benicio del Toro's wife in 21 Grams. And she failed to find favor with Emmy voters in the 1990s during her five seasons on HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET. Indeed, her only major acting kudo nom was back in 1985 at the Daytime Emmy Awards when she lost best ingénue for her stint as Linda Warner on ALL MY CHILDREN to Tracey Bregman of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.

Obama Fundraiser, "Spare Some Change," Will Now Play NYU's Fifth Floor Theatre
As previously announced, Spare Some Change: NYC Artists for Barack Obama is the title of the Aug. 11 concert to benefit Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign. The 8 PM performance, which was originally scheduled to play New World Stages, will now be presented at the Fifth Floor Theatre, which is located on the campus of New York University. Look for appearances from ONE LIFE TO LIVE stars Jason Tam, BethAnn Bonner and Kamar de los Reyes.

Ten Things You Never Knew About Hayden Panettiere
#7 Hayden got her big break at the grand old age of four in US soap ONE LIFE TO LIVE. She became the first child actress to star in two soaps at once when she landed a role in GUIDING LIGHT three years later.

Mike O’Hearn in Talks for Conan?
Mike O’Hearn, also known as Titan on NBC’s AMERICAN GLADIATORS (and Luke on DAYS), was on the Todd n’ Tyler radio show (in Omaha) Tuesday morning and said he is up for the lead in Lionsgate’s upcoming reboot of Conan.

Bagel Broker Bagels & Catering: Where Y&R and B&B go for bagels
"We’ve been delivering to THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS and THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL for maybe 15 years," manager's son Jason Tarnol said. "We deliver to Paramount, CBS, Cedars-Sinai and dozens of restaurants and bakeries around town."

Refused Entry To Balaji Studio, Aspiring Writer Sets Himself On Fire
An aspiring actor-writer Akshay Shivam Shukla (28) came to Mumbai or the ‘city of dreams’ to make it big but finished up in a hospital with burn injuries.

Shukla, a native of Allahabad, set himself on fire outside the gate of country’s most flourishing soap opera factory Balaji Telefilms office in Oshiwara on Tuesday, as he was not permitted to enter the studio by the security guards.

Shukla suffered 45% severe burn injuries and was admitted to Cooper Hospital.

Kelly Ripa Visits THE LATE SHOW


Former ALL MY CHILDREN star Kelly Ripa appeared on THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN yesterday. Here she is meeting fans at the Ed Sullivan Theater.

Today's Soap Star Birthdays

Louise Sorel (ex-Vivian, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Augusta, SANTA BARBARA; ex-Judith, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 68
Nathan Purdee (ex-Hank, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Nate, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Jake, SANTA BARBARA) - 58
Valerie Wildman (ex-Fay, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 55
Grant Aleksander (ex-Phillip, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-DJ, CAPITOL; ex-Alec, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 49

Steve and Betsy's Daughter Returns to Oakdale

Deirdre Skiles has joined the cast of AS THE WORLD TURNS as Dani Andopolous, the daughter of Steve Andropolous and Betsy Stewart, one of the all-time classic couples in all of daytime.

Dani was born in October 1983 and, for a period of time, Craig Montgomery let Betsy think he was her father. It was later revealed that Steve fathered Betsy and Steve and Betsy wed, in one of the highest rated daytime episodes ever.

With her return to Oakdale, how will she deal with her Aunt Emily? Stay tuned.

Dani (short for Danielle) was previously played by:
* Joshua Dalin - October 1983
* Colleen Broomall - November 1983 to 1989, 1991 (Recent WLS interview)
* Kristianna Loken - 1994
* Ashley Williams - 1994 to December 1996

Skiles, 23, is originally from Pleasant Ridge, Michigan. She attended Rutgers University and appeared in the RyderWorks film, Lake Wonderful.

Flashback: THE EDGE OF NIGHT 1981

In this classic EON clip from 1981, watch Christopher Goutman (Matt Sharkey) do a complete freak out. Goutman appeared on SEARCH FOR TOMORROW, THE EDGE OF NIGHT AND TEXAS as an actor before moving into directing and then producing.

He is now the Executive Producer of AS THE WORLD TURNS. I wonder if he has meltdowns like this when he gets the weekly Nielsen ratings reports?

Soap stars turned Triathletes for Triathlon to benefit cancer research

On Sunday, September 14, day-time television stars Winsor Harmon (THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL), Alec Musser (ALL MY CHILDREN) and Emily Warfield (DAYS OF OUR LIVES) will be racing 4 miles along the Zuma Beach sands, swimming ½ mile in the Pacific Ocean and biking 18 miles alongside other TV and movie celebrities, world-class athletes and people looking for a physical and mental challenge.

This culmination of athletes, actors and runners are raising funds for the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and its Pediatric Cancer Research Program through the Nautica Malibu Triathlon--the only one of its kind and a Southern California tradition. This year, the organizers are hoping to raise more money than ever with the sold-out number of registrants, spectator fan-base and dedication and drive from participants such as Harmon, Musser and Warfield, who have used the cancer research goal to fuel their athletic fire.

PREVIEW: Tonight's GH: NIGHT SHIFT

Episode 203 ("Fallen From the Sky") – Jagger (Antonio Sabato, Jr.) rushes into the ER with an uncooperative plane crash victim. Robin (Kimberly McCullough) is shocked to discover that the victim is her father, super spy Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers), and that he doesn't recognize her. Meanwhile, Leo (Ethan Rains) and Saira (Azita Ghanizada) continue to fight their attraction for each other, new roommates Kyle (Adam Grimes) and Claire (Carrie Southworth) disagree regarding their living arrangements, and Epiphany (Sonya Eddy) and Toussaint (Billy Dee Williams) talk about their relationship on GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHOFT, Tuesday, August (11:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m., ET/PT) on SOAPnet.

Billy Miller Is Y&R's New Billy Abbott

TV Guide and Soap Opera Digest are reporting that Billy Miller (ex-Richie, ALL MY CHILDREN) has been cast as Billy Abbott on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.

Billy has been played in the past by David Tom, who ended an Emmy winning run on the show in 2002. He was followed by less than memorable performances from Ryan Brown and Scott Seymour in the role.

The character is the son of Jill and (the late) John. He was last seen at John's funeral.

Miller was let go earlier this summer from AMC.

We Love Soaps named his as the #3 Top Newcomer on soaps in 2007.

News Brief

Ailing spy may be Rx for NIGHT SHIFT
Daytime superspy Robert Scorpio - used to dealing with enemy agents and angry ex-lovers on GENERAL HOSPITAL - faces the big "C" when he checks into GH: NIGHT SHIFT (tonight on SOAPnet).

Actor Tristan Rogers, who has played Scorpio for nearly 20 years, on and off, says the decision to give his character a life-threatening illness wasn't an easy one.

"I got a call and they said, 'We have this great story. Do you want to do NIGHT SHIFT? I came in, and we started talking about it," says Rogers.

"Everyone got nervous because he comes back with a health issue," Rogers says. "I don't look at it that way. It's one more problem he has to go through in life.

"He deals with it."

Central to the story will also be the dynamic between Scorpio and his grown daughter, Robin (Kimberly McCullough), who will be his doctor. The plot will have the father and daughter trading roles. She is now his caretaker, whereas in the past he has been her protector.

Morgan Freeman - "Unconscious" When Found
There are more details this morning on Morgan Freeman's scary crash –- and it looks like rain could be to blame.

A neighbor tells the Memphis Commercial-Appeal that he saw the car actually flip several times on the very narrow road made slick from heavy rain, and that the 1997 Nissan Maxima came to rest upright in a ditch eight inches deep with water. Freeman was initially unconscious, says the person who found him, but was talking with paramedics afterward.

Rick Springfield plans October benefit concert in Cape Girardeau

Tickets are now on sale for GENERAL HOSPITAL star Rick Springfield's solo acoustic benefit concert Oct. 4 at Buckner Brewing Company in Cape Girardeau.

All proceeds from the event will go to Mississippi Valley Therapeutic Horsemanship, an organization providing horse-related opportunities for people with disabilities in Southeast Missouri.

SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES: Episode #839
Hannah asks for Jackson's forgiveness. Chuck offers support for Stacey.


Courteeners split up CORONATION STREET couple
The Courteeners are involved in a forthcoming CORONATION STREET storyline that will see two of the soap's residents split up.

According to The Sun jealous soap opera character David Platt hacks into his girlfriend Tina McIntyre's emails after he hears she's been chatting to an ex-boyfriend online.

He then discovers that the Manchester rockers, who are often heard playing in the programme's Rovers Return pub, garage and kebab shop, are Tina's favorite band, and tries to win her back by buying tickets to see them live.

Actresses elevate 'Sisterhood'
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 splits up its four best friends forever for most of its running time, and thankfully the two most interesting actresses are given the more interesting storylines.

The movie is rife with soap-opera simplicities, yet [America] Ferrera's plucky smile and [Amber] Tamblyn's sardonic sneer manage to redeem them. The pair even made the climax - in which all four reunite in Greece - sweetly sentimental.

Soap opera has Saudis glued to TV
A Turkish soap opera featuring an independent fashion designer and her amazingly supportive and attractive husband (Kivanc Tatlitu) is emptying the streets whenever it's on and has more than doubled the number of Saudis visiting Turkey this summer.

Millions of people — especially women, apparently — are tuning in nightly to find out whether the couple will stay together or be torn apart by jealousies and old flames.

But "Noor," the story of a multigenerational, upper-class Turkish family, has also sparked a backlash.

The show has become the subject of angry Friday sermons in this strict Islamic kingdom, and the country's chief cleric recently issued a fatwa calling it "decadent" and sinful to watch.

"Noor" has had such a deep influence because, unlike U.S. or Mexican soap operas broadcast here, it is about a Muslim family living in a Muslim country.

Kelly Ripa's Milojo adds exec trio
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos have added creative mojo to Milojo, the New York production company they recently founded, with the hiring of three execs.

Former LIVE WITH REGIS & KELLY producer Albert Bianchini has been tapped VP of production and development, while former William Morris TV department denizen David Easton has been hired as director of development. Christina Georgotas, another former R&K staffer, joins Milojo as creative executive.

Founded last year, Milojo has a first-look deal with TLC for nonscripted programming. Consuelos and Ripa, meanwhile, have collaborated as exec producers on sports docu THE STREAK, which aired on ESPN2, as well as THE HISTORY HUNTER for the History Channel and SOAP SCUM for the CW.

GH's Jacklyn Zeman gets plastic surgery

Fans of GENERAL HOSPITAL have been watching Nurse Bobbie help patients since 1977. But at some point the Nurse became the patient and actress Jacklyn Zeman had too much fun under the knife.

QUOTABLE: Fashion Designer Jack Mackenroth
"...one of the coolest things I've gotten to do was make a gown for (THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL co-star) Heather Tom to wear to the Daytime Emmy Awards. It was gorgeous, and we auctioned it for Clothes off Our Back (a celebrity clothing auction) with the money going to charity."

'Mondo' shuns Hollywood for his own stage school
He was once touted for Hollywood after his participation in an RTE reality series, but it appears that former FAIR CITY star George McMahon wants to stay closer to home as he sets up a stage school in Celbridge.

George, who was a hit as troublesome teenager Mondo in the long-running RTE soap, is busily preparing for the opening of the George McMahon Performing Arts Academy.

Evening News

Soap Shrink: Why Can’t Women Be Allowed to Age Naturally on Soaps?
Damon L. Jacobs writes: "There has been a lot of discussion on the boards about GUIDING LIGHT these days. The shrinking budget, the shrinking ratings, the shrinking cast list. Yet there is one thing obviously not getting smaller in Springfield: Reva Shayne’s waistline.

And for this the Soap Shrink couldn’t be happier!

Personally, I am exhausted by the pressure in daytime (and all media) for women to stay skinny and unhealthily thin."

Michael Gross Gives Y&R's Michael 'Family Ties'
One of the great patriarchs of '80s TV, FAMILY TIES star Michael Gross, will join THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS on Aug. 15. He'll once again be seen as an antiestablishment, hippie dad — only this one is radically different.

Behind the Scenes: Adventures of Johnny Tao
This is a film with plenty of parts for stuntmen, as bikers and zombies and those sinister blue-clad thugs in the alley. The leading roles, too, were cast with an eye towards real-life ability. Matthew Twining (ex-River, ONE LIFE TO LIVE), as Johnny, brought a gymnastics background to the action.

A Retrospective: PASSIONS' Legacy of Lunacy
Zany witchcraft. Sordid violence. Cheese-tastic monsters. Gratuitously naked men. Has there ever been a show like PASSIONS? Created in 1999 by the certifiably insane suds legend James E. Reilly, the NBC-DirecTV soap signs off this week (Thursday at 2 pm/ET, DirecTV channel 101). TV Guide takes a look back at its most twisted plots.

Grant Show: How I got rid of the "stink" of MELROSE PLACE
The SWINGTOWN star (who also played Rick on RYAN'S HOPE in the mid-80s) spoke with the New York Times about the long search for a new breakout role following the end of MELROSE PLACE a decade ago.

"A few years after “Melrose Place,” when the luster of MELROSE PLACE wore off and what was left was just the stink and I was just doing bad TV movies, that was a personal low point. I felt I needed to stop doing those, and I did. I went a long time without working at all. I bought a house. I got married. I kept trying to figure out how to move forward."

Regis & Kelly visiting UGLY BETTY
Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa are the latest big names to make a cameo as themselves. They'll appear in the Sept. 25 episode. Meanwhile, Ripa's husband Mark Consuelos is also set to make a cameo next season.

HOLLYOAKS going mobile, possibly
Myvideorights.com is to distribute content from ALL3MEDIA International's family of TV companies (ALL3MEDIA produces HOLLYOAKS).

It will re-format the content to short-form and make it available to web, IPTV and mobile publishers. It’s a sweet deal, with ALL3MEDIA companies including ARG, Bentley Productions, Cactus TV, Company Pictures, Lion Television, Lime Pictures, Maverick Television, North One Television, Objective Productions, Studio Lambert and others.

INTERVIEW: ATWT's Austin Peck
"We have some stuff coming up where it's basically Jack, Janet, Katie and Carly all policing Brad's life. They gang up on him for a particular reason concerning the kids. As soon as I saw that they were ganging up on him, I just loved it. I love when I get to be the only one in the room fighting for one particular opinion. Even [if] it's an unpopular view, I'll fight for it. I love to be the only one saying what no one else is willing to say."

Sweeney & Son Attend Fly Me To The Moon


DAYS OF OUR LIVES star Alison Sweeney (Sami) and son, Ben, attended Summit Entertainment's Fly Me To The Moon premiere on Sunday at the DGA in Los Angeles.

The animinated film stars Nicollette Sheridan (Edie, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES), Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley, ALL MY CHILDREN) and Ed Begley, Jr. (ex-Steve, MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN).

Y&R star Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) also attended the premiere.

Playgirl Going All-Web

Nicole Caldwell, Playgirl's editor-in-chief, just confirmed to Media Bistro that the magazine is indeed shuttering its print operation.

"Playgirl is going all-Web. The last print issue will be the January/February 2009 magazine, which comes out Nov. 18," Caldwell writes.

Details of the site's look are scarce, but it will feature more videos and pictorials and less editorial content. In other words, just like Playboy's site.

Playgirl has always covered soaps and hunks featured on the cover included Antonio Sabato, Jr. (GENERAL HOSPITAL, now NIGHT SHIFT), Lorenzo Lamas (FALCON CREST, and later THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL), Brian Austin Green (KNOTS LANDING, 90210) and Marcus Patrick (DAYS OF OUR LIVES).

Check out some of the soap related Playgirl covers below or click here for our feature PICTORIAL: A History of Soap Stars on the Cover of Playgirl:

Bailey Chase Plays Poker

Former AS THE WORLD TURNS star Bailey Chase played in the "Summer Nights Evening Bash & All-In Poker Celebrity Tournament" at Ritual in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Other celebrities in the tournament included Shannon Elizabeth, Kelly Hu (ex-Rae, SUNSET BEACH) and Victoria Pratt.

Chase joined the cast of ATWT in 2003 as Dr. Chris Hughes (a role now played by the hunky Dylan Bruce). He left in 2005 and has gone on to play a recurring role on UGLY BETTY and made a number of prime time guest appearances.

He also starred in the prime time soap WATCH OVER ME and is currently starring in TNT's SAVING GRACE.

Soap Stars at the Teen Choice Awards

GOSSIP GIRL has six more reasons to say OMG. And so do the Jonas Brothers.

Both the sudsy CW show about a group of tawdry prep-school students and the squeaky clean boy band swam away with multiple surfboard trophies at Sunday's 10th annual Teen Choice Awards. The awards, which were selected by more than 30 million votes cast online by teenagers, honor celebrities in TV, film, music, sports and fashion.

The awards show at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Studios Hollywood was hosted by 15-year-old teen queen Miley Cyrus, who picked up three awards.

Josh Duhamel (ex-Leo, ALL MY CHILDREN) was one of the soap stars on hand. Recently departed AMC star Leven Rambin and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS beauty Minka Kelly were in attendance as well.

Former GUIDING LIGHT and ONE LIFE TO LIVE actress Hayden Panettiere won the award for "Choice TV Actress Action Adventure" for her role on HEROES.

The Teen Choice Awards are scheduled to air at 8 p.m. EDT Monday on Fox.

ATWT's Manche Ends Short Run In High School "Rent"

Passaic Valley Regional High School has become the first school in New Jersey to perform a rendition of the hit Broadway musical "Rent." And to make sure they got it right, the students went to a Sunday performance in July, to meet the cast.

In a dimly lit hallway at the Nederlander Theater, 15 students (including AS THE WORLD TURNS actor Daniel Manche (JJ) who played Mark) waited near gray doors marked "Staff Only." It wasn't long before Jeff Budd director of Passaic Valley's production of "Rent" led the students into a tight alley behind the theater.

Minutes later, Broadway cast members met them and for the next 30 minutes the students posed with the pros, asked questions and received autographs.

The 21-member high school cast featured students not only from Passaic Valley, but from around New Jersey. The student performed six shows before the closing performance yesterday.

The high school version differed in several aspects, most notably the kissing scenes for same-sex couples. However, the characters of Roger and Mimi will have smooching scenes.

"It doesn't take away from the body of work," he director Jeff Budd. "It's not written into the script."

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