Celebrating America's Birthday, My Own and My Mentor's

Mary Stuart
Celebrating America's Birthday, My Own and My Mentor's
By Nelson Aspen

I always loved my July 1 birthday because all the festivity of the long holiday weekend meant that I got to stretch it out for those extra "lazy, hazy days of summer." When my unique friendship with Mary Stuart began in the early 1980s, it became even more fun with the additional celebration of HER birthday on July 4.

Summertime meant trips to her Connecticut country home and ice cold cocktails in her Upper East Side Manhattan penthouse. Like her memorable Christmases, Independence Day was a magical time. I remember the July 4 episode of Search for Tomorrow in 1986 with Mary's character, Jo, singing a duet with our pal Anita Gillette (Wilma) at the Liberty House's rooftop party. They hilariously belted out "Friendship" from Anything Goes. I wish she'd gotten to sing at one of the Bauer Barbeques when she was on Guiding Light as Meta.

Today in Soap Opera History (July 4)

2000: Days of our Lives' ghoul girl revealed herself.  2001:
Guiding Light's Meta read the Declaration of Independence at
the family's annual Bauer Barbecue. 2002: One Life to Live
featured "Babes Behind Bars." 2003: As the World Turns'
learned he was Sage's father.
"History never looks like history when you are living through it."
― John W. Gardner

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1955: Backstage Wife switched networks, moving from CBS Radio to NBC Radio.

1965: Actress turned news anchor Lisa Howard committed suicide with an overdose of pills at her East Hamptom home at age 35. Howard played Trudy Bauer on The Guiding Light before she broke into journalism in 1960 by scoring the first major interview with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev at the United Nations. She was hired by ABC news as a reporter and subsequently became the anchor for ABC's noontime news broadcast, The NewsHour with Lisa Howard.

1980: On The Edge of Night, a frustrated Elliot Dorn (Lee Godart) rejected Kelly McGrath (Allen Fawcett) again when he proposed featuring his puppets at the Unicorn.

NEWS: Teens Abandoning TV; Plus, Katherine Kelly Lang, Melissa Leo, Robin Wright, Tiffani Thiessen

American teens are slowly abandoning TV
TV is still the number-one medium where people spend their time. But over the last five years the amount of time Americans aged 12 to 17 spend watching TV has dropped more than 25%, from more than 24 hours at the beginning of 2011 to less than 18 hours at in the first quarter of 2015, according to Nielsen's quarterly Total Audience report as compiled by Statista.

The Bold and the Beautiful offering "Beach Locations Tour" with Katherine Kelly Lang
The B&B Beach Locations Tour begins with a guided backstage tour of CBS Television City and historic Stage 31, home of The Bold and the Beautiful for over 28 years. On the tour you’ll have a chance to see various sets including Forrester Creations, as well as the Wardrobe, Hair & Makeup and Art Departments.

After touring the studio, you’ll board a state of the art, air-conditioned bus, and depart for the SoCal coast. Along the way Lang will present special behind the scenes clips and share B&B insider information.

4th of July TV marathons
E!'s list includes Pivot's Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon on Saturday, July 4 from 12 p.m.-9 p.m. ET.

Ratings: Extant returns to a new series low
CBS’ retooled Extant opened Season 2 on Wednesday night with 5.2 million total viewers and a 0.7 demo rating, down 46 and 56 percent from last summer’s series launch, off 4 and 36 percent from its freshman finale and hitting series lows on both counts.

Melissa Leo to play Lady Bird Johnson 'n HBO's LBJ movie All The Way
The former All My Children actress will star opposite Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Loving) in All The Way, HBO’s adaptation of the Tony-winning Robert Schenkkan play.

First Lady Michelle Obama meets 'House of Cards' counterpart Claire Underwood (Robin Wright)
After Ms. Wright praised Mrs. Obama's work on girls' education and called the first lady, “Inspirer-in-Chief," Mrs. Obama didn't quite return the compliment.

“I’m certainly not taking any inspiration from Claire Underwood,” Obama joked, as she took the stage and talked about her "Let Girls Learn," girls' education initiative.

TV Land has banned re-runs of The Dukes of Hazzard because of the General Lee’s Confederate flag design. Is our ‘banning’ culture out of control?
Write's The Daily Beast's Tim Teeman: What is achieved by activist Bree Newsome scaling the flagpole outside the South Carolina statehouse, and removing the Confederate flag? Everything. What is achieved by TV Land banning reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard? Nothing."

USA's Mr. Robot is a great entry into the Summer TV lineup
"Shot with unsettling wit and verve, Mr. Robot presents contemporary New York City the way its protagonist views it: as a grim, vertiginous dystopia of commerce and deception. Colors are reserved for ads. Honesty is the last resort of suckers."

9 30 Rock predictions that gave come true, including renaming 30 Rockefeller
Over the course of several seasons, Tina Fey mocked Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal. Dubbed Kabletown on the series, the company eventually took over NBC and dubbed 30 Rockefeller the ‘Kabletown Building.’ In July, Comcast announced it was doing the same thing in real life by renaming 30 Rock as the ‘Comcast Building.’

Beverly Hills, 90210 star Tiffani Thiessen welcomes a baby boy
Thiessen nd her husband Brady Smith welcomed their second child on Wednesday, July 1, she announced Thursday on Instagram. Son Holt Fisher Smith joins big sister Harper Renn, 5.

MTV’s Scream has an okay debut
Following months of promotion and built-in name recognition, about 1 million viewers checked out the premiere of the MTV series based on the horror franchise.

Only 4 of 25 Scream Queens characters will survive, and return for Season 2
"It's similar to American Horror Story in that it's anthological but different in that at the end of the first season there will only be four characters out of 25 left," Ryan Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter following a recent press screening. "And those four in season two will go on to a new horror genre — like a sorority is a horror genre to me, it's a place where there were horror movies in the '80s like Sorority Row — and they will go on. That's the format of the show."

'General Hospital' Spoilers (July 6-10, 2015)

Sam and Jake decide to keep their working together to themselves.
Check out the day-to-day spoilers and a sneak peek video below to find out what's happening on General Hospital during the week of July 6th. According to ABC, the "past meets the present and the stakes are higher than ever."

[SPOILER ALERT]

Monday, July 6
Lulu (Emme Rylan) and Dillon (Robert Palmer Watkins) hear gunshots and wonder if Frank Smith shot Luke (Anthony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis); Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) and Valerie (Brytni Sarpy) continue to bond; Ava (Maura West) has a proposition for Franco (Roger Howarth) in regards to Nina (Michelle Stafford); Luke and Laura risk their lives in order to get to Lucky (Jonathan Jackson) in time.

'Days of our Lives' Spoilers (July 6-10, 2015)

Stefano confers with Victor about their mutual problem - Clyde.
Photo Credit: NBC
Check out the day-to-day spoilers and a sneak peek video below to find out what's happening on Days of our Lives during the week of July 6th.

[SPOILER ALERT]

Monday, July 6
Nicole's (Arianne Zucker) encounter with Xander (Paul Telfer) shakes her; Eric (Greg Vaughan) has a request for Serena (Melissa Archer); Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Rafe (Galen Gering) start to work out what happened between Victor (John Aniston) and Clyde (James Read); Paige (True O'Brien) makes trouble for J.J. (Casey Moss).

Marisa Tomei to Play Lesbian Billionaire on 'Empire'

Marisa Tomei
One-time As the World Turns actress Marisa Tomei will recur on Season 2 of FOX primetime soap Empire as Mimi Whiteman, a demanding venture capitalist who becomes involved in Lyon family drama.

According to Deadline, Mimi is a Forbes list billionaire, and a "lover of hip hop music, social trends, high-end fashion and beautiful women."

Tomei joins a list of upcoming Empire guest stars that included Chris Rock, Alicia Keys and Lenny Kravitz.