Tuesday, November 13, 2007

News Brief

Hollywood Today: At least one lead writer for CBS soap “Young and the Restless” is crossing the picket line and breaking with WGA brethren, according to Variety. It remains to be seen how the public will view such an action. Some fans may appreciate new episodes; others with family in unions or otherwise sympathetic seem destined to have issues.

UCLA Daily Bruin: Marina Alburger, a UCLA alumna on strike, was a writer for the daytime soap opera “The Young and the Restless,” and said she is especially concerned about the Internet in respect to the dwindling ratings of soap operas. “The sad truth is that daytime soap operas are on the decline since when we were in our heyday in the ’80s,” said Alburger, who, at 24 years old, is one of the youngest writers on strike. “Soap operas are going to be the first shows you are going to find solely on the Internet (such as the new online-only soap “Coastal Dreams”) ... we really need to make money the same way as if it were on a television screen.”

USA Today: Are webisodes ready for prime time? The world of webisodes — episodic and scripted video, as on TV, but short enough to be watched on a coffee break — gets a high-profile jolt this week with the debut of "Quarterlife", a series produced by TV and film veterans Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick. Scott Zakarin, who pioneered the format in the mid-'90s with interactive Web soap "The Spot", says webisodes are finally poised to take off. Though he doesn't expect them to replace TV, "they fill a niche" — the ability to entertain in short bursts, say for someone on a lunch break or a kid efore school. Zakarin's Iron Sink Media just produced "Roommates" for MySpace.

All American Patriots: The curtain rises for a fourth consecutive year as the spotlight shines center stage on stars from ABC's "The View," "All My Children," "One Life to Live" and "General Hospital," who will all be singing and dancing on Broadway for one night only in support of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The announcement was made today during ABC's "Super Soap Weekend" at The Disney/ MGM Studios by Brian Frons, president, Daytime, Disney-ABC Television Group. "The annual ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids benefit was created as a way for us to give back to the community and support a great organization. This event also provides a unique outlet to extend our brand, while giving our loyal viewers the opportunity to see their favorite stars perform live on Broadway," said Mr. Frons. The show will be held Sunday, March 2, 2008 at Town Hall in New York City at 7:30 p.m.

Orlando Sentinel: Who goes Tuesday night on "Dancing with the Stars?" Marie Osmond received the lowest judges' scores. If her fan base saves her, "All My Children" star Cameron Mathison is probably the ejectee. Local note of interest: "Dancing With the Stars" highlighted scenes from his visit this past weekend to ABC's Super Soap Weekend in Orlando.

Mathaba News: "Historias de fuego" (Fire stories) is the name of the new Cuban soap opera to be screened on the Cubavision channel when current ¡Oh, La Habana! is over on December. The premier is Monday, Nov 12 at the 23 y 12 movie theater, to commemorate the Fight-Fighter Day on Nov 13. In statements to ACN, director Noemi Cartaya said this is her first project and it is a homage of the Cuban Radio and Television Institute to the 311th anniversary of the Cuban Fire Department (CBC). An original script by writers Felipe Espinet and Serguei Svoboda, Historias de fuego tells the story of a lieutenant colonel played by senior actor Ruben BreƱa, who is a commander of a firefighter department about to retire. The new soap opera features other first class actors as well, among them Alina Rodriguez, Coralia Veloz, Jorge Ryan, Alberto Pujols, and Heydi Gonzalez. It is made up of 58 episodes of 45 minutes each.

: Gay people on TV are old hat. By now, Entertainment Weekly reported recently, 61 percent of college freshmen, who grew up with "Will & Grace," approve of gay marriage. The finding in the national poll is up 10 percentage points from a decade ago. A turn around the dial will bring you gay story lines in daytime soap operas, same-sex dating on MTV shows such as "Next" and "A Shot of Love With Tila Tequila" and prominent gay characters in ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" and several cable shows -- FX's "Nip/Tuck," HBO's "The Wire" and Showtime's "The L Word." Suspected of being gay is no longer the guaranteed laugh it was on TV anymore, even on macho shows such as "Two and a Half Men." And characters such as George on "Grey's Anatomy" or Barney on "How I Met Your Mother" can be credible as virtual Lotharios, although they are played by gay men. So, to add shock to TV shows in 2007, writers have turned to transsexuals.

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