Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NEWS ROUNDUP Sue Rihr Dead at 55; DVR, Reckell, ATWT in Pittsburgh

AS THE WORLD TURNS Films In Pittsburgh
Members of the cast and crew of AS THE WORLD TURNS filmed scenes for the show on Pittsburgh's North Side on Monday.

"We're here at the Mattress Factory which is doubling for an art gallery - or it is an art gallery - it is an art gallery so it's doubling for itself," Paul Leyden, who plays "Simon," said.

Actors from Pittsburgh auditioned for their big break and they got to play extras. For the stars of the soap, the North Side is a far cry from the sidewalks of New York City.

"I'm so used to Manhattan where everything is so tight that when I see a little bit of space and people having room to move - that surprises me," Maura West, "Carly," said.

It's a homecoming of sorts for Michael Park, "Jack," who lived in Pittsburgh for about a year during his childhood.

"And so coming back, it always lights up my parents' faces when I tell them I'm going to Pittsburgh," Park said.

The scenes filmed in Pittsburgh are scheduled to air Nov. 20.

ATWT shoots scenes in several Pittsburgh spots
Unlike prime-time shows that bring a crew of more than 100 for longer shoots, ATWT had fewer than two dozen behind-the-scenes folks moving quickly, perhaps none faster than executive producer/director Christopher Goutman.

Not only did he call "Action," he also put foam mats in the street in front of the Mattress Factory on the North Side for a scene of Jack almost getting hit by a car (Carly tackles him to push him out of the way). No stunt people necessary. Park and West shot the scene in one take, landing squarely on the black mats.

"I feel like Jerome Bettis," Park said. "Write that down. A little Pittsburgh humor."

With Goutman's familiarity with Pittsburgh, it's not surprising that yesterday's first scene was filmed at CMU. Other locations included Charles Spiegel for Men in Squirrel Hill, New Hope United Methodist Church on the North Side and the Clark Bar & Grill on the North Shore.

ET: Carly Manning is back on DAYS
"It is a perfect soap opera story," Peter Reckell says. "There is all that conflict and turmoil. Which direction do I go? When Carly was around before, Hope wasn't, so I totally fell in love with her. It is between a rock and a hard place. The fact that Bo and Hope are having problems, the feelings for Carly start to come up."

And Reckell, who has been on the soap for more than 20 years, says that his fans are excited about the possibilities.

"I actually was really surprised at the response because the news came out when I went on a publicity tour for the Emmys," he tells ET. "Almost everybody I spoke to was really excited about Crystal coming back to the show."

Sue Rihr has passed away at age 55
Sue Rihr, who portrayed Madeline Rutherford on DAYS OF OUR LIVES from January-June 1985, has died. Rihr died of lung cancer in Tarzana, California on October 26, 2009. She was 55.

DVR, Once TV’s Mortal Foe, Helps Ratings
In what may seem a media business version of the Stockholm syndrome, television network executives have fallen in love with a former tormentor: the digital video recorder.

The reason is not simply that more households own DVRs — 33 percent compared with 28 percent at this point in 2008 — helping some marginal shows become hits. It is also that more people seem content to sit through the commercials than networks once thought.

“The DVR was going to kill television,” said Andy Donchin, director of media investment for the ad agency Carat. “It hasn’t.”

Jessica Simpson: MELROSE PLACE is "crap"
Jessica Simpson blasted the CW on her Twitter page for firing her sister Ashlee: "thank God my sister is amazing and got you some press."

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