The Latest in Soap Podcasts

"Conscious Loving Radio": Emotional 101
In the latest episode of her radio show on Sunday night, Catherine Hickland invited mental health expert Dr. Dale Archer to discuss how to achieve emotional peace.

"Big Purple Podcast": Episode #9
Snark, analysis, praise and wild speculation about Otalia and GUIDING LIGHT.

"AST: Let's Talk Lane": Billy Miller
Y&R's Billy Miller was the special guest on Friday night's show. The man loves Jack Daniels and a good Scotch.

"The Nuke Fancast": Episode #44
The panel discussed the return of Damian, The Zs and all the latest happenings with Luke and Noah.

UPCOMING: You can catch me later this morning at 10am ET on Robert Reid Live as we discuss the cancellation of GUIDING LIGHT and more.

News Round-up: Kanakaredes, ASME, Twittersphere

Melina Kanakaredes writes episode of CSI: NEW YORK
In addition to starring in the series, the former GUIDING LIGHT actress also wrote the May 13 episode.

The episode will spark never-before-realized chemistry between Stella and Mac (Gary Sinise) and “unravels something personal in Stella’s life. She was orphaned as a child and may find out who her biological parents are.”

ASME Calls ESPN, EW on the Carpet Over Covers
The American Society of Magazine Editors has criticized ESPN the Magazine and Entertainment Weekly for recent ads involving the magazines' covers, which are traditionally considered sacred editorial space. But some advertisers, publishers and even editors are arguing that readers are savvier than they used to be -- and that print shouldn't compete at a disadvantage to every other medium.

Can Twittersphere Save CHUCK?
The Twitterverse and blogosphere rose up last week up in a preemptive bid to keep NBC’s CHUCK on the air. Unlike prior Save Our Show campaigns, the Save Chuck movement didn’t begin with loyal fans launching an Internet petition or buying an ad in a Hollywood trade paper. Instead, this revolution was sparked by the decision of well-established TV blogger Kath Skerry to change the name of her site for a week.

GiveMeMyRemote.com suddenly became GiveMeMyChuck.com. Ms. Skerry declared it “Chuck Week” on her blog and turned over the whole of her home page to collecting news about what was being done to make sure CHUCK wasn’t ... chucked.

New Book: "The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis"
Jeff Thompson introduces us to pioneering director Dan Curtis in the opening chapter of his recently released book, "The Television Horrors of Dan Curtis," providing an overview of his career from his classic horror films to his WWII epic mini-series’ The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Chapter two delves into the world of DARK SHADOWS, the soap opera that ran for five years on ABC. You’ll see how Curtis managed to film five episodes per week on a mere $70,000 budget. It was Curtis’ own daughters who suggested he turn the series from a mystery into full fledged horror with the vampire, Barnabas Collins, who Curtis intended only as a short-term series villain.

HOME AND AWAY set for second lesbian kiss
The Australian soap HOME AND AWAY is set to air a second lesbian kiss, despite criticism from a number of family groups after the first kiss was screened last week. Policewoman Charlie Buckton, played by Esther Anderson, is set to kiss Joey Collins (Katie Bell) in an upcoming episode, according to the Australian newspaper, the Herald Sun.

The first kiss last week was watched by 1.2 million viewers, almost 60,000 more than usual, but the show's producers have rejected suggestions the lesbian storyline was created simply to boost ratings. Bevan Lee, head of creative drama and development at Channel Seven, told Australian gay and lesbian news site Samesame: "The thing that saddens me, as a gay writer, is that a beautiful six-week story has been reduced to a facile argument about six missing seconds of screen time. What is a beautiful lesbian storyline has now been hijacked by interest groups, and it will now make it harder for us to do this in the future."

Luke Jacobz and Angelo Rosetta return to HOME AND AWAY
Luke Jacobz played police officer Angelo Rosetta, who killed one of the soap's most popular characters, Jack Holden in the last series. In a dramatic twist for fans, Jacobz says Rosetta will return to Summer Bay to conduct a special investigation.

90210 at PaleyFest09


Matt Lanter, Shenae Grimes, Jessica Stroup, Ryan Eggold and Rob Estes attended the PaleyFest09 presentation of 90210 at The Paley Center For Media last night in Beverly Hills.

Named for William S. Paley, founder of both the Paley Center and CBS, the annual William S. Paley Television Festival has celebrated television's rich and diverse programming and the creative process behind the medium for the last twenty-five years.

UPDATED:
James F. Mills did a great write-up of the event at NotesFromHollywood.com.

The Latest in Soap Videos

Here are some of the latest soap videos to hit the web.

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS: A recap of Friday's episode.

ONE LIFE TO LIVE: Zach made some creepy statements to Todd while holding Starr hostage on Friday's show.

GENERAL HOSPITAL: On Friday's episode, Ric told Sonny that Claudia was the person responsible for Michael's shooting.

GUIDING LIGHT: Dinah and Shayne admitted how far they've come on Friday and shared a kiss while Edmund fumed about Lara's death.




BONUS:
- Jennifer Gareis and Daniel McVicar had fun at the B&B anniversary party last month.

- Happy Easter from my "children" to you.

GL Mentioned on SNL, Letterman and Other Shows

On April 2 on THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, Letterman said: "The GUIDING LIGHT a soap opera that has been on television and radio for a combination of 72 years, has been cancelled. This is bad news for Mitt Romney, because for years, he played millionaire Carter St. James."

Last night on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, Seth Myers mentioned GL during Weekend Update. He said something about ratings dropping because white people now have real problems. It was rather lame.

Have you seen GUIDING LIGHT turn up in unsual places lately?

UPDATE:
Mike and Mike, who appeared on GL last year, discussed the cancellation on their April 2nd morning show.

Keep GUIDING Petition Passes 10,000 Signatures


The petition circulated by fans to Keep GUIDING LIGHT on the air has surpassed 10,000 signatures and is quickly making its way toward 11,000.

Sign here.

Luckinbill & Battle Play Ball


Thad Luckinbill (J.T., THE YOUNG AND THE RESTELSS), Nana, Texas Battle (Marcus, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) and Alphonso McAulay were among the celebrities that participated in the 1st Annual She Cares Celebrity Basketball Game at Pepperdine University on Saturday in Malibu.

The game supported the She Cares Foundation's efforts to raise funds for Independent /Single Mothers.

News Round-up: CORRIE Cuts, Celeb Lunch, FNL

CORRIE cast 'panic over job cuts'
CORONATION STREET star Michael Le Vell has claimed that the show's cast are living in fear for their jobs. The actor, who has played Kevin Webster for 26 years, revealed that even long-established Weatherfield stars are concerned about their future following recent job cuts at ITV.

"We are scared that we face getting axed with what's going on," Le Vell told The People. "But we all have the attitude we will just carry on doing what we are doing to the best we can. What will happen will happen, but in the meantime we want to continue working hard as a team and hopefully we will reign supreme at what is a difficult time for ITV."

Celebrities Auction Off Lunch Dates for Charity
Some big stars are donating their afternoons to have lunch with you – yes, you! – for a good cause. The Adrienne Shelly Foundation is auctioning off lunches with superbabes like Paul Rudd, Patrick Duffy, Jon Hamm, Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion on eBay, so trade in those tax returns for some celebrity one-on-one time.

Sara Bibel is not digging The Zs
"I suspect they’ll turn out to be non-sibling con artists who are after Luke’s money. The whole story will probably be over within a month. That would be par for the course for ATWT these days. In this case, I’m glad. Without the benefit of more subtle writing, these two remind me of Poochie, the unbearable character brought on to add youth appeal to The Simpsons’ Itchy and Scratchy Show."

FNL ratings up for season finale
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS concluded its season on NBC with 4.4 million views.

Korean soap opera turns Vietnamese
Young directing talent Vu Ngoc Dang will work with Viet Film and casting agency BHD to make a 23-episode Vietnamese version of the wildly successful Korean television series FULL HOUSE.

Krakowski and Mandrell to co-host CMA event
The CMA announced on Saturday that Tony Award, Oliver Award winner and Golden Globe nominee, Jane Krakowski (ex-T.R., SEARCH FOR TOMORROW) will join two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year Barbara Mandrell on Monday, Oct. 30 to co-host the second annual “Broadway Meets Country” gala concert, part of “Nashville Celebrates Country,” a week of activities leading up to “The 40th Annual CMA Awards.”

The line-up of top artists scheduled to perform at “Broadway Meets Country” includes Country artists Josh Gracin, Raul Malo, Lorrie Morgan, Jamie O’Neal, SHeDAISY, and Lee Ann Womack, along with Broadway’s Laura Bell Bundy (ex-Marah, GUIDING LIGHT), Michael Cerveris, Renée Elise Goldsberry (ex-Evangeline, ONE LIFE TO LIVE), Brian D’Arcy James and Julia Murney.

Zinc Bistro's Terry Ellisor is not Terry Lester
Terry Ellisor, owner of Scottsdale's Zinc Bistro and the Mission, is often accused of being soap star Terry Lester in disguise, despite the fact that Lester died in 2003.

Today's Soap World Birthdays

Wayne Northrop (ex-Roman/Alex, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Rex, PORT CHARLES; ex-Michael, DYNASTY) - 62
Elissa Leeds (ex-Hope, ANOTHER WORLD/GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Lisa, THE EDGE OF NIGHT; ex-Rachel, HOW TO SURVIVE A MARRIAGE; ex-Brooke, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 50
Shannen Doherty (Brenda, 90210) - 38

FLASHBACK: What to Expect in 1995

A LOOK AHEAD AT WHAT TO EXPECT IN '95

By Marla Hart
Chicago Tribune
January 5, 1995

Here's hoping that soap opera in 1995 makes a New Year's resolution to swear off the lowest-common-denominator strategy that ruled in '94.

Last year, daytime was like a sendup of its own mistaken-identity stories. Artificially hatched storylines and actors whose reach extended as far as their blow dryers competed against well-crafted family drama and top-notch ensemble acting. Too often, the evil twin won out.

Gazing into the crystal ball, Soaps Watch predicts:

- A return to potboilers. Nobody does the hospital drama better than GENERAL HOSPITAL (not even ER), which will continue to lead the way with its three-hankie storylines. And ALL MY CHILDREN created the winning Kendall, Erica's bitchy daughter, who was born to wreak havoc in Pine Valley for years to come.

- A do-or-die year for GUIDING LIGHT. Missteps in early 1994 had a ripple effect throughout the entire year. In winter, GL lost head writer Nancy Curlee when she had her second child. Further weakening the soap's hallmark-savvy characters and dialogue-Curlee's husband and co-head writer Steven Demorest also was terminated. The poetic Patrick Mulcahey was let go. Nancy Williams Watt was announced twice as new head writer.

Continue reading...


Now rumor has it writers Jerome and Bridgett Dobson (SANTA BARBARA) will be hired and that former SB leading man A Martinez will join the cast. Meanwhile, GL slipped measurably in the ratings, evidence that some soap viewers turn off shows when the scripts deteriorate.

- Erica Kane dolls nestle on store shelves next to Power Ranger toys. Soap merchandising is beginning to hit its stride. The QVC shopping network has already launched the Susan Lucci video "All About Erica," Melody Thomas Scott's hair care products and Linda Dano accessories. Procter & Gamble has developed its own soap-related merchandise. Soap performers' CDs are popping up in stores, and soap-opera-fan fairs have made their way into the Midwest as annual events.

- Soap at night: Darren Star, creator of the surprisingly good MELROSE PLACE, was stolen away by CBS to create a new soap-style series CENTRAL PARK for the network. If it's a hit, expect more.

- More Todd Mannings, Alan Michaels and Lucy Coes will emerge. Viewers respond to such finely drawn characters motivated by more than merely hunk/babe status.

- THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL will continue securely in its niche as the action/adventure epic of daytime. The formula for its success (the show is in the top 3 and might be extended to an hour) is often visual-as its signature fashion shows attest.

The characters are delivered in broad strokes and connect-the-dots storylines (beautiful Taylor lives as a princess in Omar's kingdom while James the Shrink is downstairs at the palace and has come to rescue her). Like a Stallone movie, B&B translates easily both in the U.S. and overseas, where the soap earns millions in syndication fees.

- If MODELS, INC. manages to hang on by its false fingernails, producers should pop a few extra bucks for some decent costumes. The low-rent clothes shown on the Aaron Spelling program are simply hideous.

- DAYS OF OUR LIVES will continue to copy THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. Spokesmen for the show insisted, in 1994, that it was not trying to copy Y&R, then went ahead and did just that. Replacing supercouples with triangles was a sage choice, but abandoning humorous subplots was not.

- Return of the vampire: Soaps are not ashamed to rip off Hollywood. When Dances With Wolves was a hit, American Indian stories were serialized. Look for vampires in the dark shadows to appear again.

- The big question in 1995 for the MELROSE PLACE gay love story: When's the kiss?

- They'll be circling the wagons again. Soap poobahs will continue their policy of controlling what facts get out. Questions such as "How much does it cost to produce a soap?" and "What effect will lobbyists have on the content of shows, especially as the mood in the country moves to the right?" will continue to be answered with "No comment."

- The electronic acid test this year for daytime's self-image will be the Emmy Awards, watched closely by actors who were teed off about its self-mocking tone in 1994 and threatened to boycott this year's telecast.

- Some familiar faces will be back in the saddle again: Look for Nancy Grahn, Kim Zimmer and A Martinez to sign on with a serial.

- Soaps will give up the ghost and stop trying to compete with talk shows.

Watch the FNL Season 3 Finale

NBC aired the season finale of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS last night and it was brilliant. I had watched this on DirecTV in January but it was just as good the second time around. My favorite moment was between Matt and his grandma (like many times this season) but the ending was just perfect, especially considering the show didn't know if it was coming back at the time it was filmed.

Hulu

Deidre Hall to Host "Hollywood CLOUT!" on Air America

Air America Radio and Richard Greene, host of "Hollywood CLOUT!" are delighted to announce that daytime television icon Deidre Hall will be Guest Hosting the show Monday - Friday, April 13 - 17 from 6 - 8 pm Pacific/9 - 11 pm Eastern. The show is heard on radio in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and 14 other cities and worldwide on www.AirAmerica.com.

In addition to her wonderful voice, Deidre Hall brings a smart, relatable and passionate perspective on lifestyle issues and current events and a quick wit. During this week, hall will feature a rich variety of guests and topics including:

Monday: New York Times #1 Best Selling Author, Rory Freedman, ("Skinny Bitch") will talk about the "Meatless Monday" campaign on Air America.

Tuesday: Sex and Relationship Expert Alison Armstrong

Thursday: Vanna White

Other confirmed guests include:
Congressman Dennis Kucinich talking about the dangerous organic farming/genetically modified food bill moving through Congress, some of her soap friends from DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Holistic Doctor Paul Campbell and a young boy who does telepathic readings.

Hall started her entertainment career as a DJ in Florida and has co-hosted "Hollywood CLOUT" several times over the past year.

News Round-up: FNL Finale, Yvonne Perry, Tina O'Brien

A Few Bright Spots Among Spring Class
As the broadcast networks head into the final months of a particularly grueling season with few new hits to speak of, the pressure is on to find another scripted series to prop up a failing average.

The handful of spring premieres represent the networks' last crack at scripted redemption before they cede the field to cable, reality and backyard barbecues for the summer. And while spring has historically yielded some breakout hits like ABC's GREY'S ANATOMY, this year has been marked by a dearth of them.

Variety: TV networks revise spending
They're not quite searching Craigslist or the 99 Cents Only store, but the broadcast networks are in serious bargain-hunting mode. And they're finding programming deals in more than just the reality-show aisle. Network execs are sending a message to the industry: "We can't live the way we've lived in the past."

The old-style model of funding a pilot for $3 million-$10 million -- when it has only a 10% chance of survival -- can't be sustained much longer, they say. Ditto the hefty license fees for shows that are only performing so-so. The penny-pinching trend, which started with reality fare, and continued with the Leno-in-primetime plan, is gaining steam on several other fronts as well.

FNL finale: Some say goodbye, some stick around...for two more seasons!
Ken Tucker writes: "What a humdinger of a finale we got for a superlative season of Friday Night Lights. Could things have been more tense, emotional, or funny? Coming on the heels of the announcement that we'll get two more seasons of FNL thanks to the agreement between DirecTV and NBC, that rarest of things has occurred: a relatively low-rated but unusually high-quality show has been saved from cancellation."

INTERVIEW: FNL's Kyle Chander (Eric)
"The town is split up now. The town's got two teams and people are gonna be split up about it. There's going to be all sorts of stuff going on there that I can't even imagine. It's going to be fun; I'm really looking forward to it, and I know the writers are too."

CORRIE's Tina O'Brien: I was naive about storyline
Tina O'Brien has admitted she was too naive to realize how big a furore her teenage CORONATION STREET character would create when she became pregnant. The actress also said she received letters from young fans identifying with Sarah Louise Platt's plight.

"It was really big at the time," she recalled. "At the time I didn't realize it because I was very new to it all and naive, so I didn't realise what a big sort of splash it made really, but yeah I did get a lot of people writing in to me, even young girls saying: 'I'm in a similar situation'."

Yvonne Perry (ex-Rosanna, ATWT) cancer update
"I’m done with my surgeries and it’s back to business as usual. Well, except for a curious phenomenon I refer to as 'pricker nips', which involves stray dissolvable stitches that are not in a hurry to go anywhere. Ouch, watch out for the little cacti! Add something else to the list of things no one prepares you for.

"Meanwhile, I’m pretty busy again. Some of you already know that I was down in the city the day after my last surgery auditioning for LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT. Perhaps I was still giddy from the anesthesia, or perhaps just feeling invincible, but I booked a fun scene with Julianne Nicholson and Jeff Goldblum – a.k.a. Detectives Wheeler and Nichols. We filmed last Thursday, and the episode (titled 'Passions') should air sometime in late May/early June. And no, I didn’t bash the skull of that girl in the alley. And yes, Jeff Goldblum is a quirky sweetheart, he was lovely to work with."

Ferry Doedens cast on GTST
Ferry Doedens, who appeared on season four of DUTCH IDOL, has been cast to portray GOEDE TIJDEN SLECHTE TIJDEN's first gay regular character, Lucas Sanders.

Today's Soap World Birthdays

John Castellanos (ex-John, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 52
Alec Musser (ex-Del, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 36
Brett Claywell (Kyle, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 31
Alexa Gerasimovich (Kathy, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Natalie, AS THE WORLD TURNS)) - 7

Entertainment Weekly Print Edition Covers GL

The April 17 print edition of Entertainment Weekly dedicates a full page to soaps including a Lynette Rice story on GUIDING LIGHT's cancellation with a nice-sized picture of Daniel Cosgrove and Marcy Rylan (Bill and Lizzie) and a smaller picture of Robert Newman (Josh). The article is now on their website as well minus the photos.

When Josh Lewis and Reva Shayne broke it off (yet again!) in 2006, fans assumed it was only a matter of time before the patriarch and matriarch of CBS' GUIDING LIGHT got back together. Well, they'd better get a move on. CBS announced that after 72 years of love and loss (and cloning), the show's final episode will air on Sept. 18.

The cancellation was hardly a shocker considering Light's dismal ratings: With 2.2 million viewers, it's the least-watched soap on broadcast TV. But longtime star Robert Newman (Josh) hoped recent attempts to revitalize the show by shooting with handheld cameras would earn it a reprieve. "Everything was clicking and then suddenly, boom!" says Newman. "Soaps are made fun of a lot — from Tootsie or Joey on FRIENDS — but when we are really clicking, people like to tune in."

At least, they used to. With daytime-drama viewership down 22 percent over the last decade alone — and middling series like PORT CHARLES, PASSIONS, and SUNSET BEACH canceled along the way — many wonder whether the genre's days are numbered.

"You can't take these shows for granted," admits CBS head of daytime programming Barbara Bloom, who adds it would be "foolhardy" to replace Light with another soap. (Expect a game show instead.)

As for GL's swan song, "fans want Josh and Reva to reunite," Newman notes. "I think that offers some kind of closure." And, as with all good soaps, there's always room for a resurrection. The show's producer, TeleNext Media, hopes to find a new home for Light, perhaps on cable or satellite. There's also a chance some characters — or their evil twins? — could jump to TeleNext's other CBS soap, AS THE WORLD TURNS.

At the bottom of the page under the GL story is bit on "Those Wacky Soaps" which features mini headshots of Erika Slezak, Deidre Hall, Kim Zimmer, Precious (the orangutan) and others who were part of outrageous storylines (like being cloned or being possessed).

News Round-up: Geary, Towers, FNL, Strasser

Anthony Geary returns home to Utal for Charity
Utah native Anthony Geary is coming home on Saturday for a good cause — to help raise money for the Utah Youth Village.

"I always try to do anything that has to do with children," said Geary, the longtime star of GENERAL HOSPITAL who volunteers for charities benefiting kids, and AIDS and cancer research. "After 30 years in the business, it's always nice to give something back. I do what I can.

"The Youth Village is something that my sister, DeAnn, has been associated with for several years, and … that was good enough for me."

GH's Constance Towers On Helena's Return
Helena makes a grand entrance at GENERAL HOSPITAL's reopening. "The introduction is like having your Hello, Dolly moment: center stage, in a big red dress!" gushes her portrayer, Constance Towers. Viewers can expect trouble, big trouble. "This is her way to let everybody know she's back to do ill deeds," she adds.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is teen drama's MVP
"It's still a soap," says Robert Thompson, a pop culture expert at Syracuse University. "But it's always grounded in this football universe that puts the soap opera stuff into context . . . There is a narrative skeleton, (whereas) a show like 90210 -- about rich, Midwestern kids coming to Beverly Hills and doing rich, Beverly Hills things -- is spineless."

SOD: Strasser chairs Gowns gala again
For the third year in a row, ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Robin Strasser (Dorian) has chaired one of New York's most overdone and underground events, Night of a Thousand Gowns, on March 21.

The latest gala raised more than $275,000, thanks in part to the $3,000 winning bid on a piece of OLTL history: a 1980s oil portrait of Dorian Lord, which Strasser was generous enough to donate. "It was on my set for 15 years! When you would enter Dorian's house, it was at the top of the stairs. It's a little bit of a long story as to why it was taken down," she recalls with a giggle. The painting was given to her when she left the show in 2000 and an unnamed "co-conspirator" stored it for her. "It was given to me by [then-Executive Producer] Jill Farren Phelps as a 'Good-bye, don't let the door hit you on the butt, baby!' " she laughs. When Strasser returned in 2003, thanks to some nudging from Executive Producer Frank Valentini, so did the painting. It stayed up a few more years, and, "Suddenly, one day the painting was off the wall and in my dressing room wrapped in bubble wrap. So, it just seemed like a great idea [to auction it]."

Jake Silbermann recommends EASTBOUND & DOWN
In his first contribution to The Daily Beast, Silbermann writes: "I am really into EASTBOUND & DOWN, the new HBO show about the has-been baseball player. The comedy comes from the fact that he just thinks he's so much higher up in his life than everyone else when he's really not. Danny McBride, who plays the protagonist Kenny Powers, is just hilarious in the role."

Sarah Michelle Gellar pregnant
Former ALL MY CHILDREN star Sarah Michelle Gellar (ex-Kendall) and Freddie Prinze Jr. are expecting their first child together, a source close to the couple confirms exclusively to PEOPLE. "They're very excited," says the source, adding that the actress, 31, is due in the fall.

ABC.com Delivers 9 of Top 10 Shows Viewed Online

According to the latest data from Nielsen VideoCensus for March 2009, ABC.com continued to deliver the most viewed series online in terms of unique viewers. For the second month in a row, ABC's site had 9 out of the top 10 series viewed on broadcast sites. DANCING WITH THE STARS took the #1 spot in March with 3 million unique viewers, up 93% over the previous month.

Viewing of full episodes and short-form content from LOST (1.4 million unique viewers), GREY'S ANATOMY (1.2 million unique viewers), BETTER OFF TED (1.2 million unique viewers), THE BACHELOR (1 million unique viewers), IN THE MOTHERHOOD (986,000 unique viewers), DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES (903,000 unique viewers ), UGLY BETTY (780,000 unique viewers) and CASTLE (650,000 unique viewers) ranked 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th respectively.

LOST again ranked #1 in total streams, with 35.8 million, followed by GREY'S ANATOMY with 19.7 million total streams and DANCING WITH THE STARS with 19.6 million streams.

AfterElton/AfterEllen Launch Hot 100

Nominations are now being taken for the annual AfterElton and AfterElton Hot 100 of 2009 list.

ATWT's Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann both finished in the Top 20 at AfterElton last year.

Vote for the 2009 AfterElton.com Hot 100

Vote for the 2009 AfterEllen.com Hot 100

90210 Preview: Donna Martin Returns

Tori Spelling returns to 90210 next week. Here are some preview clips ot Donna along with a sneak peak of a nice Debbie and Harry scene.


Forbes: TV's 15 Biggest Moneymakers

To determine which TV series generate the most money, Forbes turned to TNS Media Intelligence, a division of Taylor Nelson Sofres that tracks ad spending. The New York-based firm provided the magazine with networks' asking price, as of Jan. 31, for the season's 100 most-watched, regularly scheduled shows on prime time. For an apples-to-apples comparison of programs of differing lengths, the shows are ranked based on ad revenue per average half-hour.

As you can see, the number of viewers isn't always the deciding factor in the ranking. Having the "right" viewers helps too.

1. AMERICAN IDOL, Fox
Revenue per 30 minutes: $7 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $623,000
Viewers: 25.6 million

2. 24, Fox
Revenue per 30 minutes: $3.7 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $366,000
Viewers: 11.7 million

3. DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, ABC
Revenue per 30 minutes: $2.9 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $251,000
Viewers: 15.2 million

4. GREY'S ANATOMY, ABC
Revenue per 30 minutes: $2.7 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $224,000
Viewers: 13.4 million

5. TWO AND A HALF MEN, CBS
Revenue per 30 minutes: $2.6 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $227,000
Viewers: 14.1 million

6. DANCING WITH THE STARS: RESULTS, ABC
Revenue per 30 minutes: $2.5 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $205,000
Viewers: 16.8 million

7. DANCING WITH THE STARS, ABC
Revenue per 30 minutes: $2.4 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $196,000
Viewers: 19.8 million

8. HEROES, NBC
Revenue per 30 minutes: $2.1 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $194,000
Viewers: 7.9 million

9. BROTHERS AND SISTERS, ABC
Revenue per 30 minutes: $2.1 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $195,000
Viewers: 10.1 million

10. SURVIVOR: GABON, CBS
Revenue per 30 minutes: $2.1 million
Average cost of a 30-sec ad: $204,000
Viewers: 12.9 million

11. CSI, CBS
Revenue per 30 minutes: $2.1 million
Average cost of a 30-sec ad: $201,000
Viewers: 18.2 million

12. EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION, ABC
Revenue per 30 minutes: $2 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $169,000
Viewers: 10.5 million

13. WORST WEEK, CBS
Revenue per 30 minutes: $2 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $174,000
Viewers: 9.3 million

14. HOUSE, Fox
Revenue per 30 minutes: $1.9 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $188,000
Viewers: 11.9 million

15. PRIVATE PRACTICE, ABC
Revenue per 30 minutes: $1.8 million
Average cost of a 30-second ad: $162,000
Viewers: 8.5 million

Link: Forbes.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES Stars Sexy Photo Shoot


DAYS OF OUR LIVES stars Jay Kenneth Johnson, Shelley Hennig and Molly Burnett suds it up for a steamy soap opera photo shoot and ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT was there.

"If we get naked in a bathtub, do you think that will get more viewers?" Jay Johnson poses the question.

"We are used to do doing love scenes, so a photo shoot is the same thing … just less cameras," Shelley, who plays Stephanie Johnson, tells ET.

The three daytime stars are involved in a love triangle on DAYS. Philip Kiriakis (Johnson) is interested in Stephanie, but Melanie Layton (Burnett) is determined to break them up.

"I get to work with two beautiful ladies," Jay says. "I had three beautiful women chasing me around before. The guys were jealous."

Then it is time to strip down and get into the bubble bath, which the actors do without a qualm.

"I had Ben & Jerry's last night," Jay admitted.

But Stephanie was a little more concerned beforehand. She tells ET, "Coming from New Orleans, it is really hard for me to eat really well. What I try to do is workout as much as possible, but I still eat the foods that I like in small portions. Also, tanning lotion makes you look tan and ultimately thinner."

GL Jumps in Google Trends

Obviously the news of GUIDING LIGHT being canceled by CBS has been everywhere in the nine days. The large volume of news stories and searches on the show is demostrated by the spike in the latest Google Hot Trends charts below.



Here are the top cities where GUIDING LIGHT searches are most popular:
1. Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2. Rochester, NY, USA
3. Meriden, CT, USA
4. Charlotte, NC, USA
5. Baltimore, MD, USA
6. Cincinnati, OH, USA
7. Columbus, OH, USA
8. Raleigh, NC, USA
9. Indianapolis, IN, USA
10. Philadelphia, PA, USA

Kudos to Soap Opera Weekly on the GL Cover

GUIDING LIGHT being canceled by CBS is the biggest news in the soap world in years so obviously the show deserved a cover on all the print editions of the magazines that cover the genre. I have not seen the cover of CBS Soaps in Depth yet but I certainly hope we'll see one there. Soap Opera Digest has a GUIDING LIGHT subscriber-only cover which features Otalia and Frank and their upcoming wedding.

Soap Opera Weekly has done us all proud by giving this story the coverage it deserves, on the front cover of the magazine on newsstands where longtime fans will see it and take notice. It's not enough to cover huge breaking news inside the magazine alone. Most lapsed fans are only going to flip through the pages if the cover catches their eye.

It is thrilling to see Charita Bauer, Beverlee McKinsey and Michael Zaslow on a national magazine cover again. This is what the show deserves and this is what the fans deserve. It doesn't matter if all three soap magazines have similar covers. Every news magazine had Barack Obama on the cover when he was elected President, and regularly have similar covers when breaking news occurs.

Sometimes things happen that are much bigger than which character is sleeping with the wrong person this week. Thank you to Soap Opera Weekly for recognizing that.

Another Magazine Party for Chrishell Stause


Last night ALL MY CHILDREN star and former Murray State Racer Chrishell Stause attended her third magazine party in the past week. This time it was Paper Magazine's "The Beautiful People" party at the Hiro Ballroom in Manhattan where she was wearing a gray Diesel dress and a sparkly necklace from a vintage shop.

“It’s all about what’s inside,” said Stause. “I know that’s what everybody says. It’s kind of used and tired. But especially in this economy when you can’t really maybe afford the finer things, you’ve got to rock the vintage or whatever. But you’ve got to do it with confidence. It’s all how you feel.”

Bianca and Reese Fans "Defeat Prop 8" Fundraiser

To celebrate the recent historic marriage of ALL MY CHILDREN's Bianca and Reese, fans of the couple have launched a "Defeat Prop 8" auction and raffle fundraiser.

The fundraiser will occur in two parts. Starting today there will be two weeks of Ebay auctions of Bianca and Reese photos, as well as items signed by Eden Riegel, Tamara Braun and other special guests. There are also some items signed just by Eden Riegel.

For those who may not be able to bid on items, there is still a chance to own a moment from the "Bianca and Reese" love story. There will be a series of photos, magazine covers and "Defeat 8" posters signed by both Tamara Braun and Eden Riegel, and just signed by Eden Riegel. For every $5.00 donated, you will receive three raffle tickets and chances to win one of the prizes.

The raffles will run from the April 17-29, and details on specific raffle items will be posted on April 17.

For more information, please visit biancaandreese.blogspot.com.

News Round-up: Martha Byrne, Jamie Lomas, Bianca

A BOLD Byrne tries her hand at writing
After 23 years as heroine Lily Snyder on AS THE WORLD TURNS, Martha Byrne exited last year as the result of a contract dispute. Next week, she bounces back - as a writer on THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL.

"I sent [head writer] Brad Bell some writing samples to get his feedback, and I got an e-mail saying he loved the material and wanted me to write a spec script for B&B," says Byrne. "Based on that spec, I got a trial deal with the show."

Her first episode airs Tuesday.

"I'll be watching with a copy of the script, a notepad and a pen," she says. "I'm interested to see what changes the actors make to the dialogue. My goal is to give them dialogue that's as close to their character as possible. By watching what they change, I'll get better at writing their voice."

In spite of her move to the other side of the camera, Byrne admits these are tough times for soap operas.

"I am truly saddened by GUIDING LIGHT's cancellation," she says. "I know the kind of hard work and sacrifice that goes into making a show like GL."

As for the rumors that her own former show, ATWT, may have only one year to get its own ratings up - or face cancellation - Byrne says, "A lot can happen in a year. I can attest to that!"

Pittsburgh Hear and Now: Tuned In Podcast
In this week's Tuned In Podcast, discussion topics include the cancellation of GUIDING LIGHT, the series finales of ER and LIFE ON MARS and the second season finale of DAMAGES.

Jamie Lomas 'ready for a break'
Jamie Lomas has admitted that he's looking forward to a break after leaving HOLLYOAKS. The actor - bad boy Warren Fox on the Channel 4 soap - recently announced his decision to quit after three years in the role.

"I'm really looking forward to a break," Lomas said. "I did DREAM TEAM before this so I've worked solidly for five years. Some weeks you're in 12 hours a day, five days a week, and at the weekend you're doing personal appearances."

Riegel returning to AMC soon
Eden Riegel will bring Bianca back to ALL MY CHILDREN so Bianca can reunite with Reese (Tamara Braun) and take her back to Paris.

Schulenberg in new show
ATWT's Marnie Schulenberg is part of the all-star company of the upcoming presentation of "The 24 Hour Musicals." Benefitting the Exchange, a not-for-profit group aimed at developing new theater, the event will feature four brand new musicals to be written, cast, rehearsed and performed in a single day by a lineup of Broadway performers, composers, writers, directors, choreographers and musical directors led by Tony Award-winning orchestrator Ted Sperling. The results will be presented on April 13 at the Gramercy Theatre.

PREVIEW: Tonight's FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

In tonight's Season 3 finale of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, "Tomorrow Blues," five months have passed since the state championship, and everyone is getting ready for some big changes.

Tim (Taylor Kitsch) has second thoughts about college; Matt (Zach Gilford) prepares to go to college and leave his grandmother and Julie (Aimee Teegarden) behind; Landry (Jesse Plemons) and Tyra (Adrianne Palicki) face an uncertain future as he helps her make fateful decisions about college; and Lyla's (Minka Kelly) dreams lay in the hands of her estranged uncle.

Despite a successful season with the Panthers, Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) finds himself uncertain about his coaching future.

Today's Soap World Birthdays

Laura Bell Bundy (ex-Marah, GUIDING LIGHT) - 28
Billy Kay (ex-Shayne, GUIDING LIGHT) - 25

Soap Opera Digest Cover

I was all set to rant about Patch and Kayla being on the cover of the new Soap Opera Digest after news of GUIDING LIGHT's cancellation broke, but now that I've seen the Otalia/Frank subscriber-only cover, I will applaud the magazine instead. This is exactly why I have maintained my subscription. I'll post the image later.

Still waiting on that Nuke cover though.

News Round-up: Curlee, Sweeney, Lago, CW Comeback

DVR users waiting to watch primetime shows
TiVo reported Thursday that the 9 p.m. time slot is the one most DVR users, 59% of them, prefer to record rather than watch live. The 8 p.m. slot is second with 58% and 10 p.m. is at 53%.

But while DVR users watch a little more TV live at 10 p.m. than they do earlier in primetime, many also are tuning out of that hour entirely because they are watching shows recorded earlier, as opposed to watching whatever happens to be on live during that slot. TiVo said that 30% of DVR users watch a show they have recorded within an hour of the show having aired live.

With ratings comeback, has CW finally turned the corner?
The CW averaged 2.1 million total viewers last week, according to data published Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research. That is 5% higher than the network's prime time average so far this season and the best overall numbers since November.

On CBS daytime, those numbers could get a show canceled, but on The CW primetime its a ratings comeback.

INTERVIEW: Former Soap Writer Nancy Curlee
"For me, the GUIDING LIGHT was always a porch light, just outside the Bauer’s kitchen. Outside, a bad moon may be rising, forces gathering to do you harm, foes behind bushes...Outside, friends may be treacherous, lovers untrue... But if you ran like hell, and made it to the porch, and banged through that screen door, inside there would be warmth and light and the smell of good things cooking. The GUIDING LIGHT was about love and home truths and compassion prevailing. For me, anyway, that’s what it was all about."

Sweeney uses Whrrl
"Alison Sweeney started using Whrrl today. And she visited the set of DAYS OF OUR LIVES with her family. And so it's actually entitled, 'Family Visits Days.' And we feature that story because it's such a cool -- and she did it publically. And it's a really cute story about her kids and the visit with the cast"

Whrrl v2.0 lets people share their real-world experiences as they happen from the web and mobile phone, and connects people in the real world in an entirely new way.

LEGACIES is back in Zimbabwe
LEGACIES, an award-winning soap opera which was pulled off air early this year owing to financial constraints, returns to the small screen sometime in June after its producers got financial assistance from the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe.

Alexander Cambias returns to AMC
Ronald Guttman (Cambias) will return to the Pine Valley canvas in May.

Lago returns to Y&R
CBS Soaps In Depth is reporting that David Lago is making a return visit to THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS in May as Raul.

E!'s Save One Show

E! has brought back their "Save One Show" campaign where fans can speak out on which endangered show they feel should be saved.

KINGS is probably the soapiest show in their Save One Show list where they have fans voting.

They also have a "Lost Causes We Love" poll which includes GUIDING LIGHT so go vote to keep the light burning.

The Latest in Soap Videos

Here are some of the latest soap videos to hit the web.

AS THE WORLD TURNS: The Zs put up fake pictures of shirtless Damian today all over Old Town today and Luke took the blame for it. Noah wanted to cut out The Zs but Luke felt they were harmless. Watch Part 2.

GUIDING LIGHT: Zack Conroy continued his debuted as James Spaulding today on a really excellent episode.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: Kate and Stefano were up to no good on today's show. Shocking!

TWIN PEAKS: A "mini-sode" of Episode 6. Watch it in 10 minutes instead of 40.


GL a Hot Google Search

What's hot? GUIDING LIGHT is according to the hottest searches a couple of hours ago from Google.

"Soap opera Springfield" may not be an obvious search, unless you've entered it yourself. Google's data suggests people are actually looking for information on GUIDING LIGHT, the 72-year-old soap opera, which is leaving CBS in September. It takes place in a fictional town called Springfield.

Daytime Nielsen Ratings Week of Mar 30-Apr 3, 2009

From Soap Opera Network:
Total Viewers (Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)
1. Y&R 5,134,000 (-61,000/-71,000)
2. B&B 3,325,000 (-170,000/-341,000)
3. DAYS 2,867,000 (-185,000/+44,000)
4. AMC 2,713,000 (-66,000/+300,000)
5. OLTL 2,688,000 (-80,000/+274,000)
6. GH 2,644,000 (-200,000/-198,000)
7. ATWT 2,605,000 (-125,000/-190,000)
8. GL 2,217,000 (-32,000/-89,000)

Household Rating
1. Y&R 3.7/13 (+.1/-.1)
2. B&B 2.5/8 (same/-.2)
3. DAYS 2.2/7 (same/+.1)
4. AMC 2.0/7 (-.1/+.1)
4. OLTL 2.0/7 (same/+.1)
4. GH 2.0/6 (-.1/-.1)
7. ATWT 1.9/7 (-.1/-.2)
8. GL 1.6/5 (same/-.1)

We Love Soaps Observation: The day GL was canceled, April 1, was one of the most viewed episodes of the year and the most viewers GL had sine February 10.

From the ABC ratings release:
* ABC won the week among Women 18-34 (No. 1T - 1.1 rating/360,000) and Women 18-49 (No. 1T - 1.3 rating/888,000).

* In Women 18-34, ABC delivered 4 of Daytime's Top 5 programs: THE VIEW (No. 1 - 1.2 rating/391,000), GENERAL HOSPITAL (No. 2T - 1.1 rating/363,000), ALL MY CHILDREN (No. 5T - 1.0 rating/350,000) and ONE LIFE TO LIVE (No. 5T - 1.0 rating/334,000).

* In Women 18-49, ABC delivered 4 of Daytime's Top 5 programs: THE VIEW (No. 2 - 1.5 rating/999,000), GENERAL HOSPITAL (No. 3T - 1.3 rating/864,000), ONE LIFE TO LIVE (No. 3T - 1.3 rating/853,000) and ALL MY CHILDREN (No. 3T - 1.3 rating/836,000).

* In Women 18-34, THE VIEW (No. 1 - 1.2 rating/391,000) ranked 1st among all Daytime Programs.

* This week THE VIEW ranked 3rd among all daytime programs in Total Viewers: THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (1.8 rating/5.13 million), THE PRICE IS RIGHT (1.5 rating/4.33 million) and THEVIEW (1.5 rating/4.22 million).

Daytime Rank: Total Viewers
No. 1 CBS 3.54 million
No. 2 ABC 3.07 million
No. 3 NBC 2.87 million

Women 18-49 (Rtg/000s)
No. 1 ABC 1.3/888,000
No. 1 NBC 1.3/844,000
No. 3 CBS 1.1/746,000

Top Daytime Programs in Women 18-49 (rank based on rating)
Program Net Rtg/000s
THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS 1.6/1.09 million
THE VIEW 1.5/999,000
GENERAL HOSPITAL 1.3/864,000
ONE LIFE TO LIVE 1.3/853,000
DAYS OF OUR LIVES 1.3/844,000
ALL MY CHILDREN 1.3/836,000

Source: NTI, Live + Same Day: Week of 3/30/09. All ranks based on rating unless otherwise noted All percent changes based on 000s).

Ed Fry Visits ATWT

CBS Soaps in Depth is reporting that Ed Fry will be back on AS THE WORLD TURNS on May 25 for a couple of episodes as Alison's MIA father, Larry McDermott.

The show has never explained why Alison changed her name from McDermott to Stewart, the last name of her mother's ex-husband from years before she was even born.

ABC Daytime Sweeps Ratings Release

ABC Daytime - February 09 Sweep (3/5/09-4/1/09)

* ABC Wins the February Sweep among Women 18-49 : ABC (#1T - 1.3 rating/868,000)

* With 4.1 million Total Viewers, THE VIEW ranked among daytime's Top 3 most-watched programs, garnering its largest February sweep audience ever.

* ABC held 4 of the Top 5-ranking Daytime programs in February Sweep 09 in Women 18-49: THE VIEW (#2 - 1.5 rating), GENERAL HOSPITAL (#3T - 1.3 rating), ONE LIFE TO LIVE (#5T - 1.2 rating) and ALL MY CHILDREN (#5T - 1.2 rating).

* With Women 18-34, THE VIEW ranked 1st (1T - 1.1 rating) and 2nd with Women 18-49 (#2 - 1.5 rating) and for the February sweep.

* With Women 18-34, ALL MY CHILDREN posted 4% growth over the February 2008 sweep (334,000 vs. 322,000).

Rank Total Viewers
No. 1 CBS 3.61 million
No. 2 ABC 3.06 million
No. 3 NBC 2.88 million

Women 18-49 (Rtg/000s)
No. 1 NBC 1.3/879,000
No. 2 ABC 1.3/868,000
No. 3 CBS 1.1/737,000

Top Daytime Programs in Women 18-49 (rank based on rating):

Program Net Rtg/000s
THE YOUNG & THE RESTLEESS CBS 1.6/1.08 million
THE VIEW ABC 1.5/986,000
GENERAL HOSPITAL ABC 1.3/881,000
DAYS OF OUR LIVES NBC 1.3/879,000
ONE LIFE TO LIVE ABC 1.2/820,000
ALL MY CHILDREN ABC 1.2/787,000

Source: NTI, Live + Same Day, 3/5-4/1/09

News Round-up: POZ, No Doubt, Kathleen Widdoes

EVENT: POZ's AIDS Walk Fund-raiser
POZ’s fourth annual fund-raiser for AIDS Walk New York, Love Out Loud, is well on its way to becoming another memorable evening. Good friend to POZ, Ilene Kristen of ONE LIFE TO LIVE, always a very special guest will be performing with John Kouri & Tremors. Participation includes many local celebrities most notably, Marj Dusay, the accomplished actress who lost her son, Randall, to AIDS in 1993 and Mark Dobies, who appeared in Larry Kramer’s "The Normal Heart" as well as tireless devotees to many charities. Thorsten Kaye of ALL MY CHILDREN, AS THE WORLD TURNS' Jake Silbermann and Laurence Lau, DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ Kevin Spirtas and many more will all be in attendance.

No Doubt Go '80s With New Cover, GOSSIP GIRL Cameo
In 2003, they released a cover of Talk Talk's 1984 hit "It's My Life," which earned them a Grammy nom. Then, early Wednesday morning (April 8), Ryan Seacrest posted a link to yet another cover, this one of Adam & the Ants' 1981 track "Stand and Deliver," which the band will perform on the May 11 episode of GOSSIP GIRL.

Kathleen Widdoes joins "As The Epic Turns"
AS THE WORLD TURNS actress Kathleen Widdoes will join the previously announced cast of the Epic Theatre Ensemble two-night benefit event: "As The Epic Turns," to support its esteemed after-school "Shakespeare Bridge Project" programs. Under the direction of Zak Berkman, the 90-minute evening features two-time Emmy Award Winner, Martha Byrne, along with Paolo Seganti, and Tamara Tunie in a series of staged readings with special material written by Christopher Durang, John Guare, Judy Tate, Zak Berkman, plus the exclusive New York premiere of Paul Leyden's film Bye Bye Sally featuring Malin Ackerman, followed by a reception with the cast and Epic Theater Ensemble artists. Two performances are scheduled for 8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17th and Saturday, April 18th at The Peter Jay Sharpe Theater (416 West 42nd Street).

Mala Bhattacharjee: Today's GL a 'great hour of soap'
"Wow, today's GL was a seriously great hour of soap ... thus making me even MORE depressed about its cancellation than I already was. And here's the shocker: wildly popular duo Olivia and Natalia weren't even on! Yes, Virginia, there IS more to GL than the awesome bisexual women."

Soap opera an enduring art form
Darrell Norman writes: "These days’ teenagers write autobiographical novels on their cell phones and post them to the world one episode at a time. Their readers wake up to a ring in the middle of the night to learn whether Niko will go home with Raul. These modern stories are not sponsored by Oxydol or Ivory Snow, but they are still soap operas. Fans are still eager to know what will happen next."

Manhattanites Set Photos, Part 1

As the May 6 DVD release date approaches for Manhattanites, I'll be posting some photos from the set. Some are stills and others are just actors having fun between takes.

In this still, Aiden Turner is in character as the obnoxious anchorman, Kyle Carpenter.


In another still, Ilene Kristen's character, entertainment lawyer Marilyn Marsden, is being interviewed on what suspiciously looks like a WPVP microphone from the ALL MY CHILDREN set.


This photo was shot between takes and features Forbes March having fun with magician Johnny Blaze.

News Round-up: Williamson, Casiello, Big Media Stocks

Tracking 7 Decades of Chicago's 'LIGHT'
"For many, the shuttering of GUIDING LIGHT seems akin to the death of an old, eccentric family member who -- though she sometimes seemed a bit daft at the dinner table -- never failed to entertain."

T. Gamble: Soap operas a far piece from morality
"I hate to see the GUIDING LIGHT go. Grandmother would have been devastated. How in the world will the next generation learn about morality? I guess they’ll have to watch JERRY SPRINGER."

NBC's SOUTHLAND Pushes Ad Limits in L.A. Times
NBC is promoting tonight's premiere of SOUTHLAND with a front-page ad in today's Los Angeles Times that appears to be unlike any other front page ad the paper has run previously. That's because the ad is designed to resemble a news story.

As part of the next phase in its extensive marketing campaign for the John Wells-produced drama, NBC has bought a traditional strip advertisement that will run across the bottom of the Times' page one and will feature key art from the show. It will be adjacent to another paid ad unit: An advertorial-type feature story documenting then first day on the job of a fictional Los Angeles Police Department rookie cop.

Williamson says he doesn't miss EASTENDERS
Former EASTENDERS star Shaun Williamson has said that he doesn't miss working on the soap. According to the Daily Record, the actor said: "I don't miss 'EastEnders' at all - I haven't since the day I left."

Williamson said he liked playing Barry in the show when the character was evil saying, "It was great, but I wouldn't go back to playing a loser again, otherwise I might as well have stayed. I got gobbled up by EASTENDERS and spent nine years there, which wasn't planned. You just keep re-signing the contracts."

Gloomy forecasts haunt brief market rally
U.S. stock markets stabilized and gained somewhat Wednesday after two days of losses driven by first-quarter earnings fears, but Wall Street experts believe that the upcoming earnings season could end the recent market run-up, which many view as a temporary bear-market rally. Big media and entertainment stocks, which had a down first quarter but have gained momentum during recent weeks and were up again Wednesday, might be no different.

News Corp. shares rose 41.8% from their February closing price through the end of last week. Viacom's stock gained 25.6% during that period, Disney shares rose 19.3%, CBS Corp. improved by 15.2%, and Time Warner edged up 6.3%.

Tom Casiello on head writing aspirations
"I always thought I did, but in this environment, I don't think I would. I've watched so many head writers just get beaten down, attacked from all angles, from networks-to their writing team-to EP's-to the fans. So much so that their stories end up nothing like what they intended. Once upon a time, it was my dream, but that was before I saw what one goes through in that position. I'm really, really happy just being part of the collaboration of a breakdown team now, and wouldn't trade it for anything."

Darcy Rose Byrnes To Appear as "Annie"


Former Y&R and B&B actress Darcy Rose Byrnes will appear as Annie in The Red Chair Children's Production Company's production of "Annie Jr" on Friday, April 17th at 7:30pm (one night only).

The show will take place at The Alex Theatre in Glendale, California.

For tickets, you can call the box office at (818) 243-2539 daily from Noon until 6pm.

Today's Soap World Birthdays

Lisa Guerrero (ex-Francesca, SUNSET BEACH) - 45
Austin Peck (Brad, AS THE WORLD TURNS, ex-Austin, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 38
Jesse McCartney (ex-JR, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 22

News Round-up: New GH Nurses' Hub, DANTE'S COVE

Reconstructive Surgery: Inside GENERAL HOSPITAL's Makeover
On April 14, not long before it becomes the first ABC sudser to broadcast in high definition, GENERAL HOSPITAL will unveil a new nurses' hub, that pivotal set's first freshening-up in many a year. And it's well-deserved, too, since the location was blown to bits last month as the casualty of a plot twist. GH production designer Chip Dox offered TVGuide.com an inside look at how and why the hospital's nerve center got a much-needed redo.

Dox: It is definitely smoother. The hi-def cameras also are more saturated, so the colors come out clearer and truer. The hospital had a tendency to look gray, but the new cameras grab the light in a terrific way. So the shady, scary warehouse scenes we're known for will look a lot better!

PHOTOS: The New GENERAL HOSPITAL
MSN TV had the opportunity to talk to the cast and get a first look at the new hub to see their reactions and find out what it is about GH that has captivated audiences for the past 46 years.

Here! Says DANTE'S COVE Will Return For Season 4
The Here! gay and lesbian network said production will begin this fall on the fourth season of gothic soap opera DANTE'S COVE.

The next 10-episode season picks up after the near annihilation and total destruction of the cove. "Still reeling from the dark apocalypse that nearly destroyed the island, hidden secrets and new rivalries bring even more deadly consequences for the island's sexy young residents," the network said. "With mysterious new characters and an even steamier plot, season four shatters lives and contains a mind-blowing twist that leaves the island's inhabitants shaken to their core."

GL's Doris –my hero?
Mindschmootz write: "Doris doesn’t possess enough courage to live a complete truth in her own life, but today she is donning the honesty cape and becoming a super woman for Olivia. Using her x-ray vision, Doris can see right through Olivia’s desire to do the 'right thing' by bandaging over her bleeding, transplanted heart and sacrificing her own happiness to give Nat what she thinks will make her happy. Faster than our ability to forward through other parts of the show, and able to leap martyred BS in a single bound, Doris encourages Olivia to stop the wedding and tell Natalia how she feels. Natalia deserves the right to choose."

GL discussion on "BuzzWorthy Radio"
Fans dissected the latest developments with GUIDING LIGHT and talked about fan efforts to save the show.

What’s Wrong and Right with Soap Operas… GUIDING LIGHT
"Incredibly well-written and amazingly well-acted, this is what soaps should strive to be, slices of daily life with fascinating, angsty, interesting, slightly out-there twists and turns thrown in for fun."

Vampire Diaries Casts Soap Stars

Former AS THE WORLD TURNS actor and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS guest star Zach Roerig will play the jock Matt in the new VAMPIRE DIARIES series. He'll be joined by LOST alum Ian Somerhalder, former B&B actress Kayla Ewell, DEGRASSI's Nina Dobrev and Steven R. McQueen.

VAMPIRE DIARIES - which, like the Twilight movie franchise, is based on a series of books - is about a woman who falls for two vampire brothers - one good and one evil.

WowOWow Columnists Comment on GL/Soaps

WowOWow has published some "celebrity" responses to the following question: GUIDING LIGHT is ending its 72-year run this fall. Is the soap opera passé? If so, what is taking its place?

Liz Smith: "I’m sorry, but I have never had time to watch soap operas — I never have. But I know fans will miss GUIDING LIGHT, and it’s another classic thing that I hate to see disappear."

Candice Bergen: "I am illiterate in the Soap Opera subculture (as well as so much else), as they make me feel nauseous."

Joan Ganz Cooney: "Shortly after I came to New York in the 1950s, I publicized soap operas for NBC. I couldn’t wait for the scripts to arrive so I’d know what happened next to all the characters. Then I’d summarize each day for each soap opera and send off to TV Guide and others that published such information. Even though afternoon soap operas may be fading in popularity (no, I didn’t care about the end of GUIDING LIGHT), I think we still like stories as much as ever, but told in hour-long, better-produced episodes like the SOPRANOS and many other shows, like DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, GREY'S ANATOMY, BOSTON LEGAL, etc."

Mary Wells: "I have never enjoyed soap operas. In fact, I never saw GUIDING LIGHT."

It's interesting that the question was posed but what lame responses. I would have preferred to hear from regular contributors Whoopi Goldberg and Lily Tomlin instead.

News Round-up: GL Reflection, GREY'S, Cavenaugh

GUIDING LIGHT: My Favorite Years, and What You Can Learn From Yours
Marlena De Lacroix relects on the cancellation of GL and looks back on a wonderful time during the show's run: "I decided to pick one era –1980-82, the first years I watched — and examine it through the eyes of someone who’s watched thirty years of subsequent soap opera history."

Deep Soap: Lab Rats
Sara Bibel writes: "My current favorite and least favorite daytime plots both hinge on the results of medical tests. THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS' revelation that Jill is not Katherine’s daughter is old school, get out the popcorn and tell all your friends, soap opera. In contrast, ONE LIFE TO LIVE's 'Stacy uses her nephew’s cancer to improve her sex life' storyline has the potential to take down the whole show. It isn’t just sleazy. It commits one of the unforgivable soap sins: it’s illogical within its own fictional universe."

Two actresses to visit GREY's ANATOMY
EVERWOOD's Debra Mooney and GILMORE GIRLS' Liza Weil will guest star in the show's two-hour season finale on May 14.

J.J. Abrams recruits Leonard Nimoy to FRINGE
The STAR TREK star will play William Bell, Walter Bishop's former lab partner. Every time I hear this character mentioned I think of legendary soap writer William J. (Bill) Bell.

INTERVIEW: Former ATWT and OLTL actor Matt Cavenaugh
Broadway favorite and former soap actor Matt Cavenaugh, currently starring as the lovestruck Tony in the current acclaimed revival of "West Side Story" at the Palace Theater spoke with NEXT magazine for its current issue.

Cavenaugh addressed the issue of being "blessed with a great set of abs" to the weekly publication, even joking about his propensity for shirtless scenes in his recent stage turns, "Before I go in and audition, I say, ‘You know my track record,' and they say, ‘Don't worry, we'll work a way in to take off your shirt,'" he teases.

More on the Daytime Emmy Awards on The CW

Jim Romanovich, ATI’s president of Worldwide Media and Entertainment, has answered some remaining questions about how the Daytime Emmy Awards in late August on The CW came to be.

Why August and not June like in previous years?
"Two reasons. June was too soon and it's a month I never understood for doing a show of this magnitude. The season is over and people are in summer mode-meaning vacation! We want to do something very special with this event and we need time to do it. I chose August 30th because it was the Sunday to kick everything off on the CW, stars will be back from vacation, viewers will be excited about new TV events as summer winds down, and contrary to what was stated elsewhere, this is not Labor Day weekend. It's a really good time to do this."

So what's going to be different from past telecasts?
"A sense of fun and celebration. First and foremost, this is a television event and we need to entertain the audience if we want them to watch. We're not re-inventing the wheel. But how about a new wheel? Our plan is more interaction and humor-but not the dreaded banter between two presenters. I am planning a tribute to GUIDING LIGHT which will hopefully have a major star formerly of the soap along with classic clips and, if possible, as many living stars as possible on stage. That might be more difficult to achieve than I envision, but you know how we're thinking. Also expect a memoriam to Phil Carey and Clint Ritchie from ONE LIFE TO LIVE. With the soap categories, think tribute rather than just "the nominees are..." As we get closer, changes may be made for various reasons. But whatever changes we make, it will be for the good of the show. I can tell you we plan to make this move swiftly, but not rushed. It will be high spirited and well-paced."

Why is the show in Los Angeles this year and not New York?
" Because that's what we at ATI wanted. We're based here. In order to do the show that we want and that's expected of us, we had to be in Los Angeles. Are we attached should there be a 2010 Daytime Emmy show? Yes, there are options. Would we do it in New York next year? I would love to."

News Round-up: Susan Haskell, Prom Dresses, Santer

INTERVIEW: ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Susan Haskell (Marty)
Haskell tells TV Guide Canada's Nelson Branco, "To be honest, I was a little worried about fans supporting a Todd and Marty 'romance.' In the beginning, I spent a lot of time conveying my reservations and concerns to our executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati. I said, “please, don’t destroy this character.” I understood they wanted to do something different and interesting with Marty, but I was worried. However, both Ron and Frank were very good at listening to me whenever there was any dialogue that needed to be changed or history that needed to be addressed."

Want to wear a prom dress from OLTL's prom?
"The Pussycat Dolls are going to make the Llanview High School prom a night to remember and now is your chance to rock your own prom in one of the dresses from the May 13th episode of ABC's ONE LIFE TO LIVE." Tell mypromstyle.com, in up to 300 words, why you are having trouble affording a prom dress this year.

PHOTOS: "Rock of Ages" Broadway Opening
Former B&B actor Constantine Maroulis stars in "Rock of Ages" which opened on Broadway on Monday night. Ilene Kristen and Darnell Williams, star and co-director of Manhattanites, were both in attendance.

Santer: 'Fan reaction has been incredible'
EASTENDERS executive producer Diederick Santer has described the audience reaction to Danielle's death as "incredible". Since Thursday night's episode, hundreds of fans - who were hoping for a happy ending to the seven-month Ronnie (Samantha Janus) and Danielle (Lauren Crace) storyline arc - threatened to boycott the programme.

Speaking to the BBC soap's official website, Santer said of the viewer reaction: "It's been incredible. It's fantastic to have made such an impact. I knew from the shiver I felt every time we talked about the story, my tension when I read the script, and my own feelings of devastation for Danielle and Ronnie when I watched the director's cut, that we were telling an incredibly emotional story and that the audience would have strong feelings about it."

Shanae Grimes staying on 90210
TV Guide's Mickey O'Connor reports: "Shenae Grimes will be sticking around. (Dustin Milligan, who plays Ethan, on the other hand, will not be.) If it helps, I'm hearing that Naomi's special brand of emotional terrorism will again set its laser sights on Annie toward the end of the season. So, there's that for you to anticipate. In the meantime, keep the banana out of it."

PHOTO PREVIEW: Frank and Natalia's Wedding
Natalia walks down the aisle to marry Frank next week on GUIDING LIGHT. But will she say 'I do'?

EVENT: Bideawee’s Gala on The Green

Broadway star, author, and animal advocate Bernadette Peters and her beloved rescue dog Kramer, will host Bideawee's largest fundraising event of the year, Bideawee’s Gala on The Green on Thursday evening, May 7th 2009.

Bideawee is one of the nation’s oldest and largest humane organizations in the country and the event will showcase ”Pet Adoption as the Green Option” and raise funds to benefit Bideawee and its mission to promote healthy, loving, long-term relationships between people and pets.

The Gala, held at the prestigious Tavern on The Green in Central Park, Manhattan, will begin with a cocktail hour at 6:30 pm, dinner at 7:30 pm, followed by an award presentation honoring animal advocates, with dancing to a live orchestra.

This year canine companions are invited to join their masters for this glamorous evening. Presenters of the evening include CBS Early Show correspondent Dr. Debbye Turner Bell, Mike and Juliet Show host Mike Jerrick, supermodel and animal advocate Paulina Porizkova , NBC’s TODAY SHOW correspondent and animal lover Jill Rappaport and actress and animal lover Linda Dano.

For more information visit www.bideawee.org.

3 Out of 5 Broadcast Networks Down in Ad Revenue

Ad Age is reporting that three of the top five broadcast networks saw declines in ad revenue in 2008.

CBS Corp.'s CBS saw a 6.7% decrease in ad revenue in 2008, when ad sales totaled about $6.64 billion, according to TNS, compared with about $7.12 billion in 2007. CBS broadcast the Super Bowl in 2007 and was hurt by the writers' strike in 2008 while rivals benefited from popular reality fare such as ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and Fox's "American Idol."

Meanwhile, Walt Disney's ABC saw ad revenue decline about 0.8% in 2008, TNS said, to about $6.16 billion compared with about $6.21 billion in 2007. CW, jointly held by Time Warner and CBS, saw ad revenue decline approximately 13.1% in 2008 to about $790 million from about $909 million in 2007. The network had three fewer hours of time to sell in the last part of the year, owing to a time-share agreement with a third-party producer for its Sunday-night prime-time schedule.

NBC, however, saw its ad intake rise about 8.3% in 2008, to about $5.39 billion, compared with about $4.98 billion in 2007. Fox saw ad revenue increase about 5.4% with 2008 ad revenue coming in at about $4.59 billion, according to TNS, compared with about $4.35 billion in 2007.

News Round-up: Cady McClain, ITV, iPhone

Cady McClain on her first day back at ATWT and the cancellation of GL
"Well I had just the sweetest time at JC Studios. Everyone couldn’t have been nicer and I just love the 'new' Rosanna and her story line. I can’t give anything away, but lets just say- my how things have changed!

I’m very sad about the cancellation of GUIDING LIGHT. That was a venerable show and I am sure will be sorely missed. It seemed to have lost it’s way a bit in trying to re-invent itself, but I did see some shows that were very intriguing, and I am sure that there were the best of intentions by all involved.

The scripts I have read look like a lot of fun, and it’s great to re-visit with the cast and crew. There are a lot of good people there."

Van Hansis on gay marriage (which has been legalized in Iowa and Vermont in the past week)
“I think a lot of people will realize what they’re doing is wrong. I think if people honestly ask themselves and don’t try to hide behind religion about what they really do believe and does it really affect them – no it doesn’t. I think as Obama says, ‘The right side of history will show itself.’”

Grade's ITV is in a classic lose-lose situation
This week's news that ITV (home of CORONATION STREET and EMMERDALE) is in serious financial trouble is not surprising. ITV, like so many media businesses, is in the middle of a perfect storm. The television company was already in trouble because of structural changes caused by the digital revolution, when suddenly it got blown totally off course by the biggest recession in advertising we have seen for many years.

It is easy for ITV's management to blame their current ills - 600 jobs to be cut, £135 million to be slashed from its budget over the next couple of years - totally on the recession. But they cannot escape responsibility; short-term leadership over the past decade has played a big part in ITV's failure to respond to new competition.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: 50 Actors We'd Watch in Anything
Former soap stars Julianne Moore and Tommy Lee Jones made the list.

Amber Tamblyn leaves Pants behind for crime-fighting role in THE UNUSUALS
“I’m sure that there have been roles in movies that I was up for and people were like, ‘Oh, she looks so young.’ Because I do have a baby face. But it never really has mattered to me because I don’t mind (what age I play),” Tamblyn said in an interview from the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles. “It’s all about the character, the script and whether or not it’s good.”

iPhone Application Overload?
Television networks, Web shows and movie studios alike are rushing to develop iPhone applications, but could we be approaching app burnout?

PREVIEW: Tonight's THE UNUSUALS Premiere

Like a modern-day M*A*S*H, THE UNUSUALS explores both the grounded drama and comic insanity of the world of New York City police detectives, where every cop has a secret. It also helps to have a twisted sense of humor, since every day could be your last.

Detective Casey Shraeger (former GENERAL HOSPITAL star Amber Tamblyn) has just been transferred to the NYPD's Homicide unit from Vice and is instantly thrown into a setting of bullets and bodies. As she begins her new assignment, Casey finds that the squad is full of secrets, which serves her well, since she's keeping a few of her own. THE UNUSUALS premieres tonight (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

In "Pilot," Casey is taken off the streets where she's been working as an undercover hooker and finds herself reassigned to the Second Precinct, effective immediately. She meets her new partner, Jason Walsh (Jeremy Renner), whose last partner, Detective Burt Kowalski, was just murdered. Tasked with tracking down the murderer, Walsh races off to investigate Kowalski's past, with Shraeger trailing behind.

As the duo seeks out the cop killer, the secrets and eccentricities of the rest of the department begin to emerge: Prank-magnet and social climber Detective Eddie Alvarez (Kai Lennox) has no qualms about stealing cases, as long as he can turn them into front-page stories that make him look good; Detective Eric Delahoy (Adam Goldberg) is trying to get himself killed in the line of duty for reasons known only to him and his doctor; his partner, Leo Banks (Harold Perrineau), is convinced he is going to die and refuses to take off his bulletproof vest; and the very religious Detective Henry Cole (Josh Close) is trying to keep his unholy past from both his streetwise partner, Alison Beaumont (Monique Gabriela Curnen), and from his boss, Sgt. Brown (Terry Kinney), who is struggling to rid the Second Precinct of corruption.

THE UNUSUALS stars Amber Tamblyn as Detective Casey Shraeger, Jeremy Renner as Detective Jason Walsh, Harold Perrineau as Detective Leo Banks, Josh Close as Detective Henry Cole, Monique Gabriela Curnen as Detective Allison Beaumont, Kai Lennox as Detective Eddie Alvarez, with Terry Kinney as Sergeant Harvey Brown and Adam Goldberg as Detective Eric Delahoy.

Guest starring in "Pilot" are Joanna Gleason as Estelle Shraeger, John Scurti as detective 1, Adam Ferrara as detective 2, Waris Ahlawalia as customer, Chloe Cmarada as Vera Moran, Analeis Lorig as Nicole Brandt, Laura Odeh as Hannah Kowalski, Brett Berg as hot dog man, Rob Falcone as beat cop, Stephen Park as Councilman Tony Harbor, Sal Mistretta as German Viceroy, Brent Popolizio as Harold Snape, Victoria Dillard as Dora Nix, Jermaine Crawford as Malcolm Nix, Molly Noe as reporter and Robert Funaro as driver.

"Pilot" was written by Noah Hawley and directed by Stephen Hopkins and is shot in New York City. Created by Noah Hawley, THE UNUSUALS is executive-produced by Hawley, Robert DeLaurentis and Peter O'Fallon, with Peter Tolan as an executive consultant on the series, which is produced by 26 Keys, Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television for ABC.