Sunday, July 20, 2008

News Brief

'One Life' has more lives
Long before PASSIONS came along, ONE LIFE TO LIVE was daytime's wildest soap — especially back in the Reagan era when Viki (Erika Slezak) had an out-of-body experience during brain surgery and wound up on a spaceship to heaven.

To celebrate the ABC soap's 40th anniversary, head writer Ron Carlivati will revisit that celestial 1987 plot by having Viki die — just momentarily, of course — in a car crash.

"This time, heaven will be a very modern high-rise. Viki will go up the elevator floor by floor, encountering all sorts of dead characters along the way," said Carlivati.

Among the former stars making angelic returns are Phil Carey (Asa), Mark Derwin (Ben), Stephen Markle (Mel) and Erin Torpey (baby Megan). And the show's legendary creator, Agnes Nixon, will appear in heaven as, of course, The Creator.

That's not all. Carlivati also is redoing the famous '80s plot in which Tina (Andrea Evans) survived a plunge over the Iguazu Falls in Argentina, only this time creepy Carlo (Thom Christopher) will force Tina to watch in horror as he sends her daughter Sarah (Justis Bolding) over a waterfall in Mendorra. And fan favorite John Loprieno will return as Tina's ex-husband, Cord.

And fans will remember the time Clint (Clint Ritchie) was knocked unconscious and time-traveled to the Wild West. Carlivati will riff on a Wild West plot, too.

"Bo (Robert S. Woods) and Rex (John-Paul Lavoisier) are hit by lightning and wake up in 1968 — the same year 'OLTL' hit the air," Carlivati says. The kicker: Bo has become his pop, Asa, and Rex has become the young Bo.

All three homages air Monday and Tuesday, but the Bo-Rex twist will play out for several weeks.

Sibling actors add depth to roles with Iranian roots

Though actor Dominic Rains once dreamed of becoming a real-life doctor, his ultimate success sprung from playing one on T.V.

Dominic, a Sherman Oaks resident and native of Iran, is best known for his series role as Dr. Leo Julian on last year’s first season of SOAPnet's GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHIFT a primetime spin-off of ABC’s top daytime drama, GENERAL HOSPITAL.

In a twist of fate, Dominic will not play the role in season two, but his brother, Ethan Rains, will instead scrub in for primetime television surgery as Dr. Julian. While Ethan perfects his on-screen medical jargon, Dominic will perform in front of live audiences at the Lillian Theatre in Hollywood, showcasing his talents in a whole new medium.

When asked if he’s nervous about stepping into his brother’s shoes on GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHIFT, which starts July 22, Ethan said Dominic has been supportive, but has also given him the space to create the role for himself. When Dominic talks about Ethan, it is with gratitude.

"I don’t think either one of us could have continued without the other one," Dominic said. "I look at it as a blessing that we have been given the honor of learning from each other. Ethan is a big part of why I am in this business."

Face-to-Face with Gale Harold
On his new DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES role: "I've worked about four days and it's been very nice, a very easy transition to go from being a complete stranger to all these people to just going to work and doing the work. (Teri) has a very ready grasp of what she needs to bring to the scene, she's a very fluid actress and it's been great to work with her."

NEIGHBOURS producer defends the show
Australians Sunday defended soap opera export NEIGHBOURS from the charge that its cast is all-white.

"NEIGHBOURS is an ever-changing face and it's important we keep it contemporary," executive producer Susan Bower told the Sunday Telegraph. "Our core cast are from diverse ethnic backgrounds and the characters they play also have diverse ethnic backgrounds."

The long-running series that launched the career of pop singer Kylie Minogue has been castigated for its vanilla flavor by Britain's race relations watchdog.

"He's Bree's assistant so he becomes he becomes kind of her Machiavellian assistant, making sure that she's taken care of. So it becomes an interesting relationship because their bond is now different than it was before. It will be a very adult (Andrew)."

And will Andrew finally get another love interest?
"Ultimately, but I don't know when," Marc said. "I'm not gonna shy away from it but right now I'm just kind of busy setting up the new season with what the women are all about. So we'll get there."

Getting good news from Antonio Sabato, Jr.
On his CELEBRITY CIRCUS win: "It was the best, the best time. Everything came to a beautiful close. I would have to say it was one of the best - if not the best - experience I've ever had. I've never won anything and to win something exremely hard like that after so much hard work and pain, it paid off. It never felt like going to work though and I made friends I'm going to have for the rest of my life."

Laura Bell Bundy exits Broadway's "Legally Blonde" today
Former GUIDING LIGHT star and Tony-nominated actress Laura Bell Bundy will 'bend and snap' one final time as Elle Woods in the Broadway production of "Legally Blonde" today. Bundy has been with "Legally Blonde" since its 2005 readings and earned a 2007 Best Actress Tony Award nomination for her turn as Legally Blonde's pink-clad heroine. The musical is based on the 2001 MGM movie that starred Reese Witherspoon.

HOLLYOAKS heart-throbs in charity swap
Heart-throbs from television soap HOLLYOAKS are coming to Havant. Actors from the popular Channel 4 show, including Chris Fountain, will be swapping Liverpool for Leigh Park in the name of charity. The boys will be playing in a charity football match against local civil servants at Havant and Waterlooville Football Club to raise money for Macmillan Cancer.

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