Monday, March 31, 2008

Evening News

Y&R's Kate Linder to receive star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Kate Linder (Esther) will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday, April 10 at 11:30 am at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard (on the north side of the street between North Orange Drive and North Sycamore Avenue). The public is invited to share this special day with Kate. The week of the ceremony will mark Linder's 26th year with THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.

NBC squashes PASSIONS' chances
NBC has killed whatever small chance there was of a PASSIONS resurrection. A few months ago, DirecTV, which has broadcast the sudser since it was cancelled by NBC last year, opted against another season of the show. Nonetheless, producer Universal Media Studios had been trying to find yet another new home for the soap.

But at a wrap party last week, PASSIONS cast and crew members were told that talks to keep the show alive via the Internet or another outlet had failed. Peacock insiders confirmed the report, though the studio declined comment. Further proof of the end of PASSIONS came Monday morning when UMS and Premiere Props announced a two-day blowout sale of props and costumes from the show this weekend.

Tony Geary Reflects on 30 Years of GH
There is no one more universally recognizable on ABC’s GENERAL HOSPITAL than Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer). Since joining the show 30 years ago, the 60-year-old actor has won five Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor, the most for an actor at the show, and helped GH make daytime history as one half of the Luke and Laura (Genie Francis) supercouple, whose 1981 wedding, witnessed by 30 million Americans, still holds the record as the most-watched soap opera episode. Now, as GH prepares to celebrate 45 years on the air on Tuesday (April 1), Geary reflects on the changes to the show, his leading ladies — old and new — and himself. "I first came on to do 13 weeks and that was all I expected to do. It just sort of grew out of that."

The Split: New SAG & AFTRA Explanations
Today's statements from SAG and AFTRA about this weekend's split.

A new ESPN campaign spoofs soap operas. Is that a good thing?
The purpose of this campaign (it includes a teaser ad that runs on TV, plus several more Webisodes available at is to create and retain interest in ESPN's fantasy-baseball leagues. According to the ad agency behind the campaign, the fantasy-baseball season can feel "long" and "daunting" to some players. Thus the ads—with their references to the "endless drama" inherent in fantasy sports—are meant both to fire up excitement for the start of the new season and to encourage players to stick it out for the whole marathon.

DAYS' Kristian Alfonso will judge Miss USA pageant
NBC, Donald Trump and Paula M. Shugart, President, Miss Universe Organization, today announced the celebrity judges for the 2008 Miss USA Pageant on NBC on Friday, April 11 (9-11 p.m. ET). The judges include Kristian Alfonso, entrepreneur and star of NBC's DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

NBC offers escape with new prime time slate
Peacock programming chief Ben Silverman will unveil Wednesday his first schedule since taking over the network in June. While the net is keeping a tight lid on specifics, its decision to order projects straight to series, along with the condensed pilot season, makes it possible to outline some broad details of NBC's strategy. Many of the series in contention for the Peacock lineup boast a fantasy or action element, including one show just added to NBC's 2008-09 roster: KNIGHT RIDER, the Doug Liman-produced actioner whose two-hour backdoor pilot starring Justin Bruening (ALL MY CHILDREN) snagged solid ratings in February. Project has been given an episodic order and has been mentioned as a contender for a Friday night timeslot.

Liveblogging AS THE WORLD TURNS: Casey at the bat!
"Noah and Luke show up at the coffee shop and Noah quickly races in to fake hug wife Ameera. The INS agent still thinks something is going on between Ameera and Casey. Luke lurches forward and hugs Casey. 'He's my boyfriend! Look, we have matching haircuts and everything.' As if to prove the point, Luke and Casey begin making out passionately - or as they like to call it: 'knocking amulets.' The INS agent retreats."

Bravo has a core audience of "affluencers"
They combine affluence with influence, and they are largely upscale urban women and gay men, Bravo chief Lauren Zalaznick says of the word she coined. "Who doesn't want to be that person with the cute boyfriend and the hot cellphone?" she says. "You want to influence people, and you want to have money. It's like America."

AUDIO: Episode #18 of radio soap EYE OF THE STORM
Listen to the latest episode, "Life Must Fall," of the J.R. Benight audio series.

HOLLYOAKS beauty Gemma to go online
Devotees of HOLLYOAKS star Gemma Atkinson are in for a treat. Next Wednesday, the actress will be dropping in to The Sun's offices to take part in a webchat - so now is the time to jot down that issue you've always wanted to bring up. Email any questions to [email protected], making sure to mark them 'Gemma'.

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