Monday, October 19, 2009

News Round-up: Will Smith Wants To Do a Soap, BETTY

First James Franco, now Will Smith wants to become the Fresh Prince of Albert Square
Hollywood superstar Will Smith is so keen to be a part of British soap opera EASTENDERS that he has requested the producers cast him in the show. The 41-year-old actor became a fan of the series earlier this year when he was here to promote his movie Seven Pounds and now he's hooked.

"I was just chilling in my hotel and EASTENDERS was on TV. I literally could not stop watching it. Before I knew it, all I had done was get room service and waste a whole afternoon watching this show I'd never heard of," said Smith.

"It was so real and gritty. American soaps are all about the beautiful people and being cheesy. This soap had everything. There was fighting, people sleeping around, it had it all going on! I'm a bit busy but when things quieten down I'd love to do a cameo," he added.

UGLY BETTY premiered to just 5 million viewers
It may turn out to be a popular DVR draw, but ABC's UGLY BETTY is off to a quiet start on Friday. BETTY premiered to 5 million viewers in its new Friday time slot, Variety reports. While BETTY has performed considerably better in previous years, reports suggest that some of the decline might be due to the scheduling shift, as Friday generally sees low levels of television watching.

Networks Seek Richer Show Sites
In an about-face indicative of uncertain business models and the fight for Internet profits, networks have begun shifting more time and resources toward building uniqueness into their series' Websites. It's a move welcomed by advertisers who covet the specialty, targeted buys of ads linked to popular shows, as opposed to more department store-like aggregate video sites. Ironically, the partners of such sites are driving the change.

Eastburg South grad actress Alexandra Dickison enjoyed one day at OLTL
"It was the most amazing experience to be around people that I've watched on television for years. It was so surreal," she said. "The actors really enjoy themselves but it is still a job and it's all done professionally. That's a side of the business you don't always get to see."

Names increasingly reflect dogs’ integration into the family
Television is a strong influence on baby and dog naming, said UBC psychology professor Stan Coren, with many women choosing the names of strong female characters with whom they personally identify.

Many of the human names frequently given to dogs are characters in the world of TV drama and soap opera: Abby (ER, Y&R, DAYS); Chloe (Y&R, DAYS), Molly (GH, ATWT) and Lucy (GH).

At USC Law symposium, Bob Iger saves sharp words for pirate-enablers
Walt Disney Co. chief executive Bob Iger believes technology companies are winning the PR war at the expense of Hollywood, and the result could make it tougher to police illegal activity online.


  1. (Will Smith) said: “American soaps are all about beautiful people and being cheesy. This soap had it all!”

    Thanks, jacka**! I am not saying that the current daytime soaps on the air on US TV don't have things to fix (ha!), but why don't you just spit on them, Will? "East Enders" may be doing well in Britain (and that's wonderful!), but how about showing the shows here in your country some love? He could have complimented "EE" without putting down American soaps in the same breath. Sure, maybe he didn't say any of this...but maybe he did.

    I am not a Will Smith fan per se, but if he had said he was going to guest star on ANY of the daytime soaps here in the US, I would have been excited. The headline actually made me think, "gee, maybe the film actors are actually trying to help their daytime TV actor peers by lending their star power to the shows WHEN THEY REALLY NEED IT?" But in this case, Will Smith can just shut up with his criticism. If I said I wanted to change this, that and the other thing on the soap that I watch in order to improve or help the show, the chances of that happening are practically nil. However, if Will Smith said, "I'd like to guest star on 'The Young and The Restless' for 2-3 months," he has the power to make that happen. To say something like, "my grandmother/(whichever family member) loved soaps and I see they aren't getting the attention or love they deserve, so I just want to help..." then I'd bet you if he was sincere it would happen.

    But I don't think that's ever gonna happen (on ANY show), so... in the meantime, I wish Will would keep his caustic opinion about American soaps to himself.

  2. Having seen Will Smith do interviews in many different countries, he always sucks up to that country. When he is in Italy he wants to play soccer and it's the best sport in the world etc.

    I agree with Dan that Will's comments regarding the american soaps were unnecessary.

  3. But can we talk turkey? As a bona fide US soap lover, there *is* a huge cheese factor. It was carried to its heights (deliberately) by Passions...but it happens on every show.

    A mobster shoots his wife in the brain while she is delivering a baby.

    A woman with many alters (DID) has a daughter with many alters.

    A diabolical son manages to steal his sister-in-law's newborn baby and give it to his stepmother (both are pregnant at the same time, and both are in the same mental asylum).

    A whole town is lurking outside a dark and stormy mansion when a show's key older character is killed. Most had no deep motivation to kill him, but now all of Pine Valley is embroiled in a whodunit.

    And so on.

    I love daytime, and when the stories and/or performances are great, I am inspired as anyone. I also understand some of the historical and economic factors that are responsible for the cheese.

    But the cheese is there. I'm not sure Will Smith was really insulting anything when he acknowledged that US soaps are...often...cheesy.

  4. Yes. Because Max being buried alive by his wife, run over by his daughter, and tied up and beaten by his brother on Eastenders is not cheesy.

  5. Bob Iger, head of Disney, which owns ABC is talking about integrity? He does realize that ABC is constantly caught lying to its employees and viewers when it comes to ABC soaps?

    Credibility, Bob...

  6. Dan,

    I have to disagree. Why is Smith a jackass? Let's be real about the state of many soaps. Some of them have had horrible writing that led to a massive viewer defection.

    Just because he has a different opinion doesn't make him horrible. I love soaps but there have been some real disasters presented on my screen over the last couple of years.

    Y&R is the best soap on TV. But this past summer saw the convergence of awful. A miscarried fetus was burned in a fireplace. Death and destruction reigned.

    Then we have the wretchedness of AMC. A show so bad that fans make web animation to express their horror.

    I'd love it if Smith wanted a 3 month gig on a show.

  7. Dan - afraid I need to disagree w/you. Like Will Smith, I'd take East Enders (am an avid fan of) over any of the American soaps except maybe OLTL (for now the writing is on except for the Rex/Gigi/Stacy/Schuyler storyline)and B&B with its corporate takeover, Justin Barber and Stephanie's current health scare storyline. On a "for real note" I really couldn't see how East Enders could work Will Smith onto the canvas. East Enders is by far the most racially diverse Soap out there.

  8. 1. I never understood the fascination with ratings for a viewer - my appreciation of Ugly Betty has nothing to do with whether other people are watching it as well. For example, I never understand why the weekly movie grosses are published each week, I don't care how other businesses are profiting on a weekly basis. I didn't ask my plumber for his weekly grosses as evidence of his popularity.

    2. That being said - it is interesting that Y&R would have beat Ugly Betty's ratings this week.