Monday, November 12, 2007

News Brief

Boston Now: The WGA strike has been the main focus of my attention these past few weeks, meaning I missed one of the biggest TV stories of the year back in mid-October when "Days Of Our Lives" killed off John Black, ending actor Drake Hogestyn's 21-year run on the show and setting off lots of angry fan chatter on the Internet, including many vows to stop watching the show.

Columbus Dispatch: For the immediate future, viewers addicted to soaps should have few worries: The producers of most of the shows possess finished or nearly finished scripts for episodes scheduled to be broadcast through January or even beyond. But because the episodes of daytime dramas are mapped out so far in advance, the networks will soon have to confront the question of whether to entrust their forthcoming plots to the unseasoned pens of executives and producers, or writers who are not part of the union. That's what happened in 1988, when a strike by the same union, the Writers Guild of America, dragged on for more than five months.

Remote Access: A "Desperate Housewives" challenge. Darn Hollywood. That writers strike is messing with our TV addiction! Because of the strike, our beloved shows are running out of scripts—and therefore, shutting down production until an agreement can be reached. Among the first series to shutter is “Desperate Housewives,” starring Bedford-born, Emmy winner Felicity Huffman.

South African Film News: It's official: the popular soapie "Egoli" confirmed on Thursday that top model Christina Storm was now officially one of the folks in the City of Gold. This news, released exclusively to Beeld, follows earlier reports in the newspaper that the soapie's producers were negotiating with Storm to portray Bienkie, formerly played by Esta TerBlanche. Bienkie was the daughter of Nora Naude (Christine Basson) and was one of the original characters when Egoli was first flighted in 1992. TerBlanche moved on to star as Gillian Lavery in the American soapie, "All My Children". Storm bubbled excitedly on Thursday about the prospects of expanding her horizon as an actress. "It has been my dream for years to act: so, when the opportunity arose, I just had to grab with it both hands."

Planet Blacksburg: When your career highlights as a reporter and anchor include everything from covering the Oklahoma City bombing to a guest appearance on All My Children, you know you’ve been around the block a few times. He’s already finished his job for the day when most college students are still hitting snooze. LaSalle Blanks is the WVEC 13 News Daybreak and 13 News at Noon anchor for Hampton Roads. What was it like to make a guest appearance on “All My Children?” "It was a learning experience. It wasn’t hard news; it was fun, but it was a learning experience. That’s what you do in news. You’re learning about something every single day. You never know what you’re going to be covering. You’re learning about the world. You’re learning about the community in which you live, so that was a great experience."

New York Daily News: SPOILER ALERT: David proposes to Alex this week on "One Life to Live," but love has nothing to do with it. "Just a couple of idiots trying to pull the wool over each other's eyes," says Tuc Watkins, who plays the gold-digging groom. Unbeknownst to David, he is Asa Buchanan's son and is therefore entitled to a piece of his fortune. Alex overheard this, which explains her sudden attraction to David and the cockamamie plan to marry him. "David is working at Dreamland, which is a high-priced rehab center to the stars," says Watkins. "He figures he will meet some rich starlet and after a couple massages, she will invite him to live in her pool house."

Honolulu Star-Bulletin: If you're one of the millions who now the Tivo digital video recorders filled with 47 replays of "The Daily Show" from Nov. 2, use that remote for a little thumb exploring. If you've hooked up your box to a home network, then select Music, Photos & More and you'll see TiVo has partnered up big time, offering any song you can think of through Rhapsody Music Service, access to a world of radio stations via Live365, and a portal to any podcast ever created. Click on Find Programs and then Download TV & Movies, and you'll see unique content, from tech news to behind-the-scenes soap opera stuff to satirical video news from the Onion.

Washington Post: ONE OF THE DEFINING ASPECTS of the current decade is that it's spawned a lot of people who have become celebrities but have curiously accomplished zilch in their lifetime. Jazz-folk singer-songwriter Jesse Harris is the polar opposite of that. Not only is he an Ivy League graduate, he's a singer-songwriter and producer and won a Grammy Award for composing one of the biggest songs of the current pop era. The singer-songwriter grew up knowing about acting. If you need a bit of trivia to tell at parties, make note of the fact that his mother is actress Marie Masters, who has played the long-running role of Dr. Susan Stewart on the soap opera "As the World Turns."

Digital Spy: Former "Coronation Street" and "The Royal" actor Paul Fox is to make a guest appearance in "Doctors". Fox – who played Mike Baldwin's son Mark Redman in the Weatherfield soap and Dr. Jeff Goodwin in The Royal – takes on the role of sinister Cal Robinson, a 29-year-old charmer who preys on young and vulnerable girls, seducing them and manipulating them into prostitution. Cal's latest conquest, Brittany (Amanda Fairbanks-Hynes), doesn't realise what she has let herself in for and it's up to Dr Nick West (Michael McKell) to help her before it's too late. Senior Producer Mike Hobson said: "We are really delighted to have Paul on board with us at 'Doctors'. He's a fantastic actor and it'll be particularly great to see him in a much darker role than the audience are used to seeing him in. It's sure to be an episode not to be missed."

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