Thursday, April 24, 2008

News Brief

Eric William Morris returns to ATWT
Due to popular demand, Eric William Morris returns to AS THE WORLD TURNS as Matt on Wednesday, April 30.

Another screenplay in the works for Paul Leyden
Michelle Monaghan has optioned the film rights to Duane Swierczynski's "The Blonde," a noir-techno thriller about a femme fatale who has a time bomb ticking inside her and a hapless airport traveler who will die unless he remains shackled to her. Paul Leyden (ex-Simon, AS THE WORLD TURNS and Monaghan's brother-in-law) will write the screenplay. Leyden vows to be faithful to other elements of the novel -- especially the opening scene. "That is something we're holding on to, no matter what."

Luke and Noah Kiss: Long National Nightmare is Over
AS THE WORLD TURNS' Luke and Noah fans were pleasantly surprised yesterday when their seven-month wait for a kiss between the characters came to an end. Earlier this month, CBS execs denied their strategy for the characters was homophobic. Said daytime chief Barbara Bloom, "The only thing you're going to get out of me is that the pacing is slower with Luke and Noah than it is with other romances on ATWT. But that's good storytelling. We're in the business of getting people to watch more."

Which makes the lack of promotion for the kiss all the more surprsing. Normally, a scene like this would have been teased relentlessly but producers apparently decided on an ambush this time. Surprise!

AS THE WORLD TURNS turning on a kiss
The second-oldest daytime soap on the air is getting younger, and in a year where nearly everything else is down, it’s actually gaining viewers.

CBS’s 52-year-old AS THE WORLD TURNS has seen its median age fall the most for any daytime program this year, down 4 percent from 57.7 years old to 55.6. It’s also one of just two programs to see ratings grow among the key daytime demographics of women 18-49 and women 25-54, up 9 percent in both to an average 868,000 and 979,000 viewers, respectively.

Fellow CBS daytime show THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL is the only other soap to rise in those demos this year, according to Nielsen data through the end of March, the most recent numbers available, and it is up a mere 1 and 2 percent.

Why the growth for ATWT at a time when other soaps are struggling to simply maintain their audience? Probably the same reason many shows see their viewership bump: controversy. ATWT has been embroiled in a controversy over its gay teenage couple, Luke and Noah, but not for the reason one might think. Fans have protested the lack of lip-locking between the two, with their most recent kiss coming last summer.

Essex High Grad Locks Up a TV Role
What’s a nice girl from Essex doing in a show like this? The role is Sherry, the toughest woman and leader of the gang in the prison where Erica Kane (Susan Lucci’s character) is locked up. Sherry confronts and threatens Erica in the prison laundry room. So reads in part the email description from former Vermonter Catherine Eaton, now an actor and playwright living in New York City. And, yes, the show is ABC’s long-running soap ALL MY CHILDREN. Eaton’s debut was on Monday, April 21, and her character, she assures, will appear in other episodes.

FLASHBACK: GH helps Austin reach #1
Throughout the 70s and 80s Patti Austin frequently appeared on the R&B and dance charts, even having a number one club hit, "Do You Love Me/The Genie" in 1981. Though the song "Baby, Come To Me" when initially released failed to crack the top 40, it became a national sensation thanks to its use in the ABC soap opera GENERAL HOSPITAL. Once that happened, the song was re-released and made it all the way to the number one spot in 1983.

UGLY BETTY tries to alter look to suit family hour
UGLY BETTY has always been a major-network variation on the Spanish-language telenovela, equal parts soap opera and saucy satire. Yet when it returns today from the hiatus brought on by the writers' strike at the head of a new ABC Thursday on WLS Channel 7, it finds itself out of whack: too much soap, and not enough satire.

Seth Rogen enlists a Dylan Panther?
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS star Jesse Plemmons (Landry) will make the transition to the big screen with a role in the new Seth Rogen comedy, Observe and Report. Former ANOTHER WORLD star Ray Liotta will star in the film as well.

The cast of flagship BBC One soap EASTENDERS is set to grow by one. But what a coup for Auntie Beeb to land the talents of Maggie O'Neill, best known for playing Sheila Jackson in Channel 4 series SHAMELESS. She's signed up to play Suzy, yet another of the Branning brood, and even more intriguingly, the newcomer is set to enjoy a romance with none other than balding mechanic Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden)! Speaking of her new role, O'Neill told Digital Spy: "The Brannings are a great family and I am really excited to become one of them. Suzy is a woman to be reckoned with and I'm looking forward to playing her."

"So this might come as a shock to some of you, but some of us actors, writers, etc, etc, on DAYS read the message boards. You name it, eyes are everywhere! So getting to my point, I was parusing through some of the boards about a month ago, and took notice at a thread called 'Chelsea's Hair'. I was kind of excited because I had just put in some blonde peek a boos and thought that someone had finally noticed them and wanted to comment (mainly cuz my friend is a hairstylist and colors my hair and I was hoping to read people's praise for her), but it was not a thread about it's color, but it's style. And it was not so positive. BUT- as with everything I hear, see, or read, I took the comments with a grain of salt and contemplated my choices. Now, I know you can't please everybody, some people like my hair long, some like it short, but the consensus this time was that I needed something new since I was beginning to look like the girl in The Incredibles as one user commented. While I like the mysterious rocker edgy look, I started noticing that it was a bit distracting, and not as 'awesome' looking on camera. So after much thought, I decided it was indeed time for a change."

AUDIO: ATWT 1980s theme - rare CD version
Rare full-length version of the popular 1980s AS THE WORLD TURNS theme song I had never heard before.

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