NEWS: 'Wicked' 
Good Time With Kim Zimmer; End Of Daytime Drama (Not What You Think); Jake Tapper Gets Soapy With ALL MY CHILDREN

Kim Zimmer
'Wicked' 
good time with former GUIDING LIGHT star Kim Zimmer
Her turn as Madame Morrible, the headmistress at Shiz University, where the “Wicked” witches study, has been a thrill for Zimmer, who hasn’t tired of the live audience experience since taking the role a year ago.

"My understudy hates me because I’m never sick," she said. "Time flies when you’re having fun."

A zealous Yankees and Jets fan (the assistant prop manager is dragging her to Fenway Park), Zimmer loves getting into Morrible’s “wonderfully threatening character” — heavy makeup and wig included.

"I do it myself and it’s a gas. Most of the stagehands and dressers don’t even know what I look like," she said. "When I walk out the stage door, unless (fans) are looking for me, I can blow by the autograph line."

End Of Daytime Drama (Not What You Think)
CBS has two: THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS and THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, while ABC and NBC each have one — GENERAL HOSPITAL on ABC and NBC's DAYS OF OUR LIVES. National ratings are showing a slight uptick versus last year — B&B showed a 7% gain in women 25-54 live-plus-same-day ratings and DAYS was up 9%.

The national rating for GH was flat, but when you look to the local markets, there are pockets of real success. Jackson, TN delivered an 8.6 rating — a 79% increase over a 4.8 from last year. Springfield, Mo., saw a 360% increase to a 2.3 rating. There were strong gains all over the map — including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston, Buffalo, N.Y., and more — so it’s not just a small-market phenomenon.

And there’s significant time-shifting of the Soaps. For example, DAYS gets a 38% bump in live plus-same-day women 25-54 ratings over the live rating – and 63% higher at seven days. So we see both a watercooler effect as well as binge viewing of daytime dramas.

CNN’s Jake Tapper rehearses for his acting debut on The
OnLine Network’s ALL MY CHILDREN which airs Monday,
August 12 2013. Photo Credit: The OnLine Network
Jake Tapper gets soapy with ALL MY CHILDREN
"For months, we at THE LEAD have been covering the different ways content is provided in the modern world - from interviewing ["Doonesbury" cartoonist] Garry Trudeau about his sitcom airing on Amazon.com to covering the rise of Netflix," Tapper said. "We were interested when we heard that two soaps that ABC had canceled were finding new lives online - so I went up to Connecticut to report on that.

"My cameo came as a fun way to immerse myself in the soap experience. (I confess I had to be talked into it by my staff.)"

Royal Baby offered a cameo role in CORONATION STREET
According to a report in the Daily Star, CORRIE bosses have offered Kate And William's son a cameo role in the show to christen the program's new set.

EASTENDERS: Lauren Branning's return brings in 6.4 million viewers
6.36M (34.3%) watched at 7.30 p.m. on BBC One as Lauren arrived back on Albert Square, while BBC Three's repeat screening secured 346K (2.3%) at 10.30 p.m.

EMMERDALE's Charley Webb: 'We have better storylines than EASTENDERS'
Webb has admitted that there will be some rivalry between her and brother Jamie Lomas now he has landed a role in EASTENDERS.

"At Christmas we'll have to watch all the soaps together. We've got EastEnders to watch as well this year. It'll be very exciting. But we won't be competing to see who's got the strongest storyline, because Emmerdale's always going to win that!"

What I Wore TODAY: Susan Lucci
Lucci said her wardrobe is often affected by her mood, but the roles she plays on television are also a frequent influence.

"When I get ready to play a character, I'll actually go shopping with the mindset of that character," Lucci told TODAY.com. "But this is simply me ... Like most women, we have a lot of ways we feel when we wake up in the morning, and this is what I was feeling today ... I'm happy in my simple black dress."

The Show Must Go On: Syrian Ramadan soaps film in Lebanon
After iftar, the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the current month of Ramadan, tens of millions of people across the troubled Middle East unwind by watching a soap. In general, the stories are about Arab heroes and celebrated battles and are an integral – and highly anticipated – part of Ramadan.

And Syria is famous in the region for its TV soaps. Before the conflict began in March 2011, the small-screen series were one of the country's most prized exports and their production companies were highly respected. "Syrian TV shows during Ramadan used to be famous all over the world," said one Syrian in exile.

Now, with the industry nearly shut down in Syria, some of the productions¬ – and their casts and crews – have moved to Lebanon to be able to continue working.

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