News Round-up: Sweeney, Barbara, Stack, O'Brien, Lawson

INTERVIEW: DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Alison Sweeney (Sami)
"It’s difficult, being on in the middle of the day with nothing else in the line-up. We can only thank our fans. The loyal DAYS fans have stuck with us all these years. The best part about how hard it’s been with the budget cuts is that the only thing we can do to make a good show is to write a good show. Everyone’s turning to the writers’ office to say, 'rescue us,' and that’s what they’ve been doing."

INTERVIEW: Former ANOTHER WORLD star Joe Barbara (ex-Joe)
"I loved doing the black and white 40s film noir scenes with Judi (Evans; Paulina) in the detective office. I loved getting shot and doing stunts. I absolutely loved about 75% of my scenes with Tommy (Eplin; Jake), and hated the other 25% of them. Working with Linda (Dano; Felicia) and Steve Schnetzer (Cass) was great. Kim Rhodes (Cindy) and I usually came up with something that amused us, if nobody else."

Jarrett T. Barrios named GLAAD president
Jarrett T. Barrios, a former state senator from Massachusetts, has been named president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. A media advocacy group, GLAAD works to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Barrios -- who is studying community health in Brazil this summer as a 2009 Eisenhower Fellow -- will begin his new job on Sept. 7. Until then, GLAAD's senior vp J. Michael Durnil will serve as interim president.

INTERVIEW: OLTL's Chris Stack (Michael)
"It's such a unique experience to be able to work on a soap. It's unlike any medium and the people without exception were all wonderful. It's really exciting to know that no matter what happens in the scripts, basically anything can happen. Like if I got a script that said Michael and Marcie are plucked out by aliens and taken to Venus to perform brain surgery on the Venutians, I wouldn't be surprised. It's a great job and it was always fun to go to work."

VIDEO: OLTL and GH stars chat with Digest
Bree Williamson (Jessica, OLTL), Mark Lawson (Brody, OLTL), Melissa Archer (Natalie, OLTL) and Ignacio Serricchio (ex-Diego, GH) joined forces for a fan event in June and took a few minutes to speak with Soap Opera Digest.

RTN Rebrands as RTV
In a nod to the analog shutoff's "DTV" moniker, the digital channel Retro Television Network (RTN) has rebranded itself RTV--dropping the Network part of its name.

"We're Retro Television--it's what we are and what we do," says RTV principal Neal Ardman, who says the DTV-RTV sound similarity is part of the rebrand's intent.

Lois Raebeck has died
Longtime Brooklyn Heights resident Lois Raebeck died last Saturday morning at Long Island College Hospital after a long illness. She was 87. Singer and entertainer Locke Wallace said he had worked as stage manager for GUIDING LIGHT when Lois Raebeck was acting in it. Besides her impressive professionalism, he found her “a lovely lady.” He also remembered her playing the guitar and singing, and performing at the Wednesday Music Club in the Heights. Above all, though, he felt, “Acting was her forte.”

VIDEO: Emily O'Brien (Jana, Y&R) Visits Digest
Y&R star Emily O'Brien dropped by the Soap Opera Digest offices last week to chat about her Emmy nom, her accent and how much she loves her co-stars.

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