Saturday, January 31, 2009

DIRECTV's 3rd Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl

DIRECTV held their 3rd Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl at Progress Energy Park, Home of Al Lang Field this afternoon in St. Petersburg, Florida.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS star Zach Gilford (Matt) played in the game along with former DAYS OF OUR LVIES actor Brandon Molale (ex-Hank) and BROTHERS & SISTERS' Dave Annable (Justin).

News Round-up

Deidre Hall, Then and Now
THEN: It may have lasted only one season on TV, but ELECTRA WOMAN AND DYNA GIRL will live forever in our hearts. For many of us, it offered our first glimpse of female empowerment as embodied in the red-and-yellow leotard-wearing Deidre Hall and Judy Strangis.

NOW: While Strangis' star faded away (she made a few guest appearances on TV shows in the '80s), Hall would go on to have one of the most successful careers in the history of daytime soaps.

Thaao Penghlis on the best part of his job on daytime
"I'll never die of Alzheimer's. Stimulating the memory muscle for so many years is a sure remedy of not getting dementia. The only negative thing is if I gave my brain to science and they opened it up they would probably say, 'What the hell was that man thinking!'"

Tim Hornor appeared on DAYS recently and now will be in a Super Bowl commercial
"Budweiser has apparently filmed about three commercials featuring their Clydesdales, and will choose one or two of them to debut at the Superbowl. I am in one of them. I shot an episode of DAYS OF OUR LIVES that aired a week ago last Monday."

Diamont in Toronto at NBA game
Former Raptor Charlie Villanueva poured in 26 points and added 13 rebounds to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 96-85 win over the Raptors in Toronto. Author/environmentalist David Suzuki was at the game, as was Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Litsch and actor Don Diamont of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Connie Britton blogs last night's show
"Well, here's the deal: I'm not really much of a blogger. Is blogging like clogging? I'm not much of a clogger either, actually. But I did tell my friend Dalton at EW that I would blog for episode 303 of FFRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, and so I've been trying to figure out what that means. I started by re-watching the episode. And MAN, there are some great freaking actors on our show! So while I'm not sure if this counts as a legitimate blog, I'd just like to give a little revelatory shout-out to them as I watch this show."

A creative cure for TV: Less is more
"With change having come to America, it's time for that change to spread to American television, which might be better served by thinking like the British, who offer shorter runs of more complex serialized programs."

Grayson McCouch, International Superstar
Tommy Garrett of the L.A. Canyon News writes: "McCouch is proof that talent and looks in the entertainment industry will keep you busy working. But it’s his natural grace and cordial attitude that makes him such a huge international icon."

The Latest in Soap Videos

Here are some of the latest soap videos from around the web.

GENERAL HOSPITAL: On Friday's episode, Claudia accused Kate of faking her collapse. By the end of the episode, Claudia had collapsed herself.

FNL CRYING METHOD: A fan watches FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and can't help but cry. Includes spoiler scenes for those watching this season on NBC.

ONE LIFE TO LIVE: Starr lied on the stand on Friday's episode that Todd never confessed that he was going to steal her baby.

BRENDA DICKSON: I never get tired of watching classic Jill on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. In this episode, Jill has invited her son, Phillip, to her apartment in an effort to set him up with Cricket. She managed to share a phone call with Kay and got in some digs as well.

60 Years Ago Today - The First Daytime TV Soap

These Are My Children debuted on NBC on January 31, 1949. The show was broadcast live from Chicago, Illinois. It aired fifteen minutes a day, five days a week, at 5 p.m. ET.

The show told stories of the Henehan family in post war Chicago, where the family owned a boarding house, ruled over by Mrs. Henehan. Other characters included son John and his wife Jean as well as one of the chief boarders Katherine.

Created by Irna Phillips, These Are My Children is said to be the first network daytime soap. It was cancelled a month after it debuted because AT&T could no longer supply the cable required to transmit the show. The soap was based in large part on Phillips's early radio serials Today's Children and Painted Dreams.

Today's Soap Star Birthdays

Jean Simmons (ex-Elizabeth, DARK SHADOWS) - 80
Jessica Walter (Tabitha, 90210; ex-Julie, LOVE OF LIFE) - 68
Réal Andrews (ex-Walker, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Taggert, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Robert, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Danny, SANTA BARBARA) - 46
Timothy Stickney (R.J., ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 44

Friday, January 30, 2009

Made-Up Websites on TV

LAW & ORDER has "FacePlace" which is their version of Facebook. THE CLOSER has "LookIt" that seems to be a variation of MySpace. CRIMINAL INTENT has YouLens.

This week on AS THE WORLD TURNS, Luke was helping Jade look for a job on Gregslist, the Oakdale version of Craigslist. And who can keep from laughing when someone in Oakdale watches a video on UsTube (YouTube).

We've also seen MyRoom, B-Frenz and Searchling on various shows. By creating their own versions of real websites, TV shows avoid having to pay a fee to use those brands.

Are there any more hilarious made-up websites on soaps?

FLASHBACK: Reading News Online? 1981

Long before anyone had heard of the Internet, early home computer users could read their morning newspapers online. Steve Newman's 1981 story was broadcast on KRON in San Francisco. What a novel idea!

News Round-up

Soap January: Bombs Away!
Marlena De Lacroix blogs:
"What is going on in this soap January? I have a feeling the approaching end of the genre may have to do with the frantic state of all the soap activity on and off screen this month. Every soap wants to save itself. Every soap is desperately doing whatever it can to hold on to viewers. Hence, many soaps may be acting more out of panic and fright than thinking calmly and rationally."

Senate approves another bill to delay Digital TV conversion
Will this one pass the House? The bill is essentially the same that previously passed the Senate, but with a few minor modifications from the House.

"We'll do 18 pages a day sometimes, and that's just unheard of in television and film. They pick up these idiosyncrasies—we have all this freedom. If we're doing a scene and, say, I want to do something with the bottle I'm holding, [the camera crew] will start with my hand on the bottle to give a segue to go into the scene. All those little moments shape these characters and make it so genuine and relatable."

FNL's Connie Britton blogging for Entertainment Weekly
Her recap of tonight's episode will be up at 1am ET. A tease: "Next up is a scene with me and Kyle my-TV-husband Chandler. Any scene that starts with, 'I don't give two farts about the booster's anxiety' is okay by me. And we had a good time shooting this scene, because Kyle thought he was soooo funny putting one over on me (Tami) about the booster BBQ by saying, 'I promise that maybe we'll have it somewhere else' when I ask if we can not have it at our house next year. He thought his 'maybe' promise, followed by a big smooch was hilarious."

Brooke Shields: LIPSTICK JUNGLE thief stole from me, too
LIPSTICK JUNGLE's” stage manager didn’t just rob the show’s fashion closet — Brooke Shields says he stole from her, too!

“[Arthur Moreira] is the same guy who stole my wallet out of my dressing room last season, right out of my purse!” Shields tells us. Last week, reports surfaced that Moreira took more than $30K worth of designer duds.

Says Shields: “He’s not very bright, because the purse was worth more than the wallet.”

7 ways UGLY BETTY could save itself
Included on the list is "Bring back the soapy tone."

ABC Says Web Viewers Will Tolerate Twice the Ads
The web is about to get a little more like TV -- minus the ad-skipping. has started to peddle research that shows online viewers will tolerate shows such as GREY'S ANATOMY with ads from multiple sponsors, much like TV. has been making noise for some time about boosting ad loads to bring the amount of revenue earned from viewers more in line with TV, and started conducting research early in 2008.

The ABC/Nielsen research concluded that adding multiple sponsors per ad break had "a minimal effect" on recall and did not affect purchase consideration or ad attentiveness. ABC said the data show that doubling the number of ads within a show from four to eight "did not affect the viewers' overall experience with the player."

SARA A. BIBEL: Baby Blues
"The baby switch storyline has become a soap staple that’s almost as common as amnesia and adultery. ONE LIFE TO LIVE is using a baby switch to generate numerous storylines that impact most of the characters on the canvas. In contrast, on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Nicole’s decision to switch the baby she planned to pass off as her own with Sami’s made little sense."

Brownridge Out as OK! General Manager
“This is off the chart,” a source who wished to remain anonymous told FOLIO:. “One could surmise that Brownridge distracted and derailed that team. Some of the credibility that book had built may have been lost.”

Ad pages were up 23 percent in 2008 compared to 2007, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. Through the first nine months, ad pages were up 34.4 percent. Last month, OK! cut its cover price 50 cents from $3.49 to $2.99.

Recession rocks Hollywood's showbiz papers
or more than 75 years, Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have battled to be the movie industry's top newspaper, but recent layoffs due to the recession and competition from Internet blogs has Hollywood wondering if it will soon become a one paper town.

Daytime Nielsen Ratings for last week
Total Viewers (versus previous week/versus last year)
1. Y&R 5,217,000 (-206,000/-548,000)
2. B&B 3,581,000 (-154,000/-535,000)
3. DAYS 2,989,000 (+7,000/+80,000)
4. GH 2,771,000 (-96,000/-567,000)
5. ATWT 2,688,000 (-2,000/-521,000)
6. AMC 2,606,000 (-29,000/-193,000)
7. OLTL 2,478,000 (-125,000/-279,000)
8. GL 2,052,000 (-127,000/-630,000)


Derrik J. Lang wrote the interesting piece below for the Associated Press today about an upcoming makeover of the hospital on GENERAL HOSPITAL.

Will fans be happy with the results?

I tend to miss classic sets when they go away or downsize, as is the case on some shows these days.

The prognosis for the medical facility depicted for the past 45 years on ABC's GENERAL HOSPITAL isn't good.

The daytime soap's long-standing hospital set is flat-lining as part of an explosive story line. Following a fiery crisis, the show's crew has ignited the clinical den of drama, and producers plan to construct a totally new interior.

"This story really became an opportunity to take a shot at revising the look of the hospital and refreshing it," said executive producer Jill Farren Phelps. "It felt like the right time to update it. The style of the nurses' station has been the same for 45 years. In daytime, space is money. This new version will incorporate a lot of usable new space."

The fresh new set, created by production designer Chip Dox, will debut in April. It will incorporate several expansive elements, including a nurses' station, emergency room, hospital room, elevators and stairs. Farren Phelps said that on the show, the wealthy Quartermaine family will donate the cash necessary for the hospital's plastic surgery.

"It will have a very different look," Farren Phelps said. "We want it to feel like you are walking into a place that feels fresh and modern. It will still be inside the same hospital. It will have the same architecture, but it will no longer be that big round nurses' station we've become nostalgic about over the years."

Since the show's 1963 debut, the nurses' station set has frequently been home to soapy drama — from a visit by the evil Helena Cassadine, famously played by GENERAL HOSPITAL fan Elizabeth Taylor in 1981, to last year's over-the-intercom proposal by Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson) to Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough) when both the doctors were on duty.


I spoke with GENERAL HOSPITAL: NIGHT SHIFT Season 2 head writer Sri Rao this week and found the conversation very enlightening. Much praise has been heaped upon the man for NIGHT SHIFT's turnaround in its second, and possibly last, season. The characters made sense, the history of the daytime GH was honored and a much needed fresh perspective was welcomed to the soap world.

In addition to our discussion about NIGHT SHIFT, our conversation focused a lot on gay characters on soaps, and television in general, and the lack of diversity we see on our screens.

We Love Soaps: I have to ask the same question I ask any soap writer I speak with, who do you think your audience was for NIGHT SHIFT?
Sri Rao: I thought our audience was me, basically. For the first time on a project I have written, I actually wrote for myself, without really worrying too much about demographics or target audience, or what it is I think they are going to like, or I think they want to see. And I think in the end it actually ended up working out the best of any experience I've had. It was a big lesson for me too - write what you want to see, and what you like, and other people will probably feel the same way.

It worked out in this case because I am such a longtime fan of GENERAL HOSPITAL and I wanted to write the show that I wanted to see if given the opportunity. I was writing for me and my mom, and neither one of us watch GH regulary anymore. NIGHT SHIFT is on at night and I remember when the first season premiered I saw ads for it. I was interested as a former GH viewer because I wanted to see what they were going to do with it. And I figured there are probably other people out there with a history like me. GH is one of those shows that probably has one of the strongest and longest histories in terms of relationships with viewers. Even if people have never watched a soap in their life, they know about GENERAL HOSPITAL or Luke and Laura. So I thought not only about the current viewer of GENERAL HOPSITAL, but the lapsed viewer, and what would get them interested in coming back to Port Charles and watching the show in a different way. In some ways, it's a lot more conducive to viewers like myself. I don't have time to watch at 3 o'clock anymore, but if it were once a week at night, I probably would check it out and so would my mom. So those were the questions I had in my mind when I started crafting the stories.

We Love Soaps: I tend to think the soap audience is a lot smarter than the networks give them credit for.
Sri Rao: The viewing audience is a lot more savvy today than they were 10 or 15 years ago, 20 years for sure. Prime time dramas have evolved tremenously in that amount of time. If you compare to what was popular back in the early 80s, such as a show like ST. ELSEWHERE, which was great and groundbreaking and amazing. If you compared it to ER, GREY'S ANATOMY or HOUSE, the medical drama in prime time has evolved, and the viewers have evolved with that. I think that is something soap writers need to take in account so we're not still writing in the same way or same voice or same format that we did in the 80s.

We Love Soaps: What do you feel the differences are between a show that airs in the daytime versus prime time or late night? And on broadcast TV versus a cable network?
Sri Rao: I don't know if there's that much of a difference. Technically, yes, there is a difference, in broadcasting standards and what you can say and do at night versus day or cable versus broadcast. I'm just not one of those writers who is looking to be provocative for the sake of being provocative. I think that it's just about realistic storytelling. And I don't think we need language or sex or violence in any way, other than what's needed for the story. That could be and should be the same for daytime and prime time.

Stacy Haiduk To Y&R

Per her fanlisting at
Stacy Haiduk is joining the cast of CBS's daytime drama THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, she will start filming in January, 2009. Y&R episodes are available online on the, you can already start reading up on the storylines and characters.

Haiduk guest-starred on the season premiere of BURN NOTICE last week.

Stay tuned!

Spelling and Rinna Together in Beverly Hills

Tori Spelling, soon to appear on the 90210 remake, and Lisa Rinna, who is interested in a job on the upcoming MELROSE PLACE remake, attended the Byron & Tracey Salon Party hosted by Rachel Zoe last night in Beverly Hills. Pictured with them is designer Karen Zambos.

TV Guide Canada's "Suds Report" - Penghlis & Riegel Out?

In his weekly "Suds Report" column for TV Guide Canada, Nelson Branco covers the following headlines and more:

DAYS' Thaao Penghlis fired!

Newsflash: AMC's Eden Riegel out; Tamara Braun staying!

Jarlena-gate: Why DAYS really fired the superstars!

More on Martha Byrne’s B&B writing gig!


And the Emmy goes to… IMAGINARY BITCHES?

News Round-up

Kendall wakes up on today's AMC
Kendall wakes from her coma today on ALL MY CHILDREN, and she'll be wide-eyed at all the goings-on while she was sleeping.

"The first thing she finds out is that she had a heart transplant," says Alicia Minshew, who plays Kendall, to the New York Daily News. "Dr. David comes in and she says, 'What the hell are you doing here?' He tells her, 'Calm down. The transplant went well. You have a new heart.' Um, okay."

"After that, Bianca comes in with Zach. Bianca says, 'I want you to meet someone' and she brings in Reese. Kendall has nothing but nice thoughts: 'Oh, my sister has a girlfriend.' Then it's 'Oh, by the way. About that heart donor. It's Josh.'"

And it's not over.

"Zach says, 'I'm sorry I kept this from you,' and tells her about the baby."

The news that Zach donated sperm so that her sister Bianca could have a baby with Reese does not sit well with the volatile Kendall.

DAYS' Thaao Penghlis fired?
"Count Antony DiMera will be killed in a whodunit murder mystery during March sweeps. The first lead actor Emmy nominee in twenty years, Thaao Penghlis, has been fired."

Feel free to jump into FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
"FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is now well into its junior year, but if you haven't found the time to watch, please don't think this is one of those TV dramas that's too late to jump into if you weren't there at the beginning."

Raleigh-Durham's WRAL pre-empts GL today.
"GUIDING LIGHT, which normally airs at 3 p.m., has not been rescheduled." The station will cover the funeral of longtime North Carolina State women's basketball coach, Kay Yow, in GL's timeslot today.

Top 10 Reasons To Watch GUIDING LIGHT Right Now
J Bernard Jones says: "GL needs viewers not tomorrow, but today and here are ten reasons to tune in right now!"

Paris Hilton disses EASTENDERS
Hilton is visiting the UK and says she's picking up the lingo by watch the soaps. "I haven’t seen much British TV yet because I’m always out partying. But I’ve seen a bit of EASTENDERS. It looks like it’s set in 1988."

Joshua Morrow on the cover of Soap Opera Digest...AGAIN
The headline is: SHARON AND NICK HAVE SEX! My latest rant on this subject: Even though the "Nuke" sex wasn't spoiled, supposedly it would have been cover worthy had Digest known. Yet three weeks later, the only mention of it in Digest was a side comment that it was no big deal. It was to fans, as that video has over 300,000 views and is, by far, the most watched soap video of 2009. It was a huge milestone for soaps and is one again is being ignored by the soap print press, who has completely failed to report on the impact of stories like Luke and Noah, Bianca and Reese or Natalia and Olivia. There is such an opportunity for real journalism there. But I guess Nick and Sharon having sex for the millionth time is supposed to be major news? Sure, it's a reunion long in the making, but we all saw it coming a mile away. It's not suprising or big news. People who want to read about soaps enjoy spoilers and pictures, but also are educated, intelligent people who want real commentary about real issues. Surely a better mix can be found.

CADY MCCLAIN: I Don’t Watch Soap Opera’s But My Evil Twin DOES!
"We had the storm here today and although it was pretty it wasn’t very interesting to me somehow. I feel terrible for anyone without power, of course. That must have SUCKED the BIG WAZOO. I, however, cleaned more, more and more, and watched AS THE WORLD TURNS, AMERICAN IDOL, OPRAH, LIFE TO ME and CNN. What I have learned is there is not much of a difference, except that ATWT was more honestly entertaining."

Genie Francis On Her New TV Movie & Daytime

Former GENERAL HOSPITAL star Genie Francis says the character of Laura is "in a sort of 'freeze-dried' state" on the show. Will Laura ever return to Port Charles?

For those who miss Francis on TV, you can catch Francis this Saturday at 9 pm/ET on The Hallmark Channel's new film, The Note II: Taking a Chance on Love.

In this follow up to The Note, which scored big ratings, her advice columnist thinks about heading for a wedding and tries to bond with her long-lost daughter, all the while following the emotional mission a brand-new missive sends her on.

She describes her character for
She's so bruised, so damaged, it doesn't matter how much she loves the guy. She's afraid, and that's what her journey is here.

Her advice for young starlets:
There's nobody who's as young as me or in the same position as I was there. My heart goes out to the Lindsay Lohans and Britneys who have really had childhood taken from them and probably missed important developmental steps. They have become sort of 'public domain' and something to be made money on. There's no sense of self there, I'm sure of it. None of those young women value themselves as just themselves; they value themselves for their careers and the money they can make.

On daytime's budget cuts:
I know that [ABC Daytime] made a public announcement of having negotiated Susan Lucci's money down, which I thought was in poor taste. It's odd that they would announce that. But I think the reason is they want to send a message to all of us. The days of big checks are over. And I can understand that. [Soaps are] a part of the business that appears to be dying, and I don't know if it will be able to carry on or know some sort of a next chapter.

The Latest in Soap Videos

Here are some of the latest soap videos from around the web.

YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS: On Thursday's show, Nikki revealed to Nick and Phyllis that her sister, Casey, has cancer.

GUIDING LIGHT: Blake appeared on Thursday's episode and told Coop she submitted his book to a publisher who thinks it would be a best seller.

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Kate was about to tell Sonny the truth about Claudia on Thursday when she collapsed.

ALL MY CHILDREN: Reese got slapped by her mother on Thursday in a heated exchanged. Meanwhile, Riley pressed Annie to remember killing Richie. Just as Annie was about to confess, the fire alarm sounded. Later, Kendall opened her eyes.

Ron Raines discusses Grant Aleksander's return to GUIDING LIGHT.

"I am absolutely thrilled to have my friend Grant Aleksander back in Springfield," Raines says. "I think the story is going to be terrific and very exciting for the fans. There are a lot of surprises — even some that I don't know!"


A quarterback controversy starts brewing on tonight's episode of NBC's FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS between Matt and J.D. McCoy, with their biggest rival, Arnett Mead, on the schedule.

J.D.'s mom is introduced in this episode played by the sensational Janine Turner.

This is Gauis Charles' second to last episode as Smash and you don't want to miss it.

D.W. Moffett (Joe McCoy) is blogging for TV Guide and has written a preview of his own. Check it out here.

Today's Soap Star Birthdays

Dorothy Malone (ex-Constance, PEYTON PLACE) - 84
Bernard Lloyd (Joe, CASUALTY) - 75
Tammy Grimes (ex-Mrs. Haversham, LOVING) - 75
Daphne Ashbrook (ex-Kathryn, FALCON CREST) - 46
Zoe Dawson (ex-Louise, DOCTORS) - 30

Thursday, January 29, 2009

News Round-up

BBC slashes salaries
A GALAXY of BBC stars will see their megabucks pay hacked back as bosses desperately seek cash savings. Peggy Mitchell in EASTENDERS — will face a £90,000 cut from her reported £360,000 a year salary.

25 per cent is seen as a minimum — some stars could face higher cuts. It all depends on what they earn and how valuable they are to the BBC. If someone’s show has dropped in the ratings, they might get a bigger cut.

OLTL Star's "Knight" Job
Daytime fans will be pleased to see Sean Ringgold, bodyguard du jour Shaun on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, in the recent box-office smash Notorious. "It was an incredible experience," the actor, who hails from Rockaway Park, NY, told Soap Opera Digest. "I saw the flick two weeks ago at the premiere and I was walking the red carpet behind [Director] George Tillman, Jr. and [Producer/Former Wallace Manager] Wayne Barrow and I had a moment where I just stopped and told them, 'Thanks a million for the opportunity,' and [Tillman] said, 'You're very welcome, you deserve it.' "

BURN NOTICE features former AMC stars
USA's BURN NOTICE season premiere was last Thursday, Jan. 22, and guest-starred Stacy Haiduk (ex-Hannah). This week's episode guest-starred Michael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie).

If you missed, there is a BURN NOTICE marathon this Saturday starting at 11am ET on USA. Stacy's episode is "Do No Harm" and she plays a drug smuggler that is causing children harm. Michael's episode name is "Hot Spot" and he plays a teen that tries to keep the drug lifestyle away from him and his sister after his mother dies.

New episodes are on Thursday at 10pm ET on USA.

Economy won't deflate Upfront Week
The economy might be bad and the TV industry may have seen better days, but Upfront Week is shaping up to be no less of an event than it was last year.

Upfront Week doesn't come until May, but CBS confirmed Thursday that it was going ahead with its traditional Carnegie Hall presentation. Immediately after last year's event -- which was scaled back from previous years and yet received strong reviews from the buying community -- CBS had put down a deposit to reserve the space. It has among the ad community become an iconic place for the Tiffany network, at least for a day.

Web Series: 2008 Recaps and 2009 Previews
"After the rebirth of several long-dead series in 2007, the new year was all about taking chances. Many of the series that made triumphant returns unfortunately faded away once more, but the ones that remained took on new storylines and new risks. Meanwhile, other series in the community also stepped up their game in 2008, with a renewed interest in using the past to inform great stories in their present."

SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES: Episode #876
Angie wants to stay in bed all day. Henry wants answers from Stu.

Daytime Nielsen Ratings Week of Jan. 19-23, 2009

From the CBS ratings release:
CBS's THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS extended its winning streak as daytime's No. 1 drama to 1,047 consecutive weeks, according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings for the week ending Jan. 23.

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (3.7/11, 5.22m) also ranked as the No. 1 daytime drama in women 18-49 (1.9/11) for the 70th straight week, first in women 25-54 (2.4/13) for the 79th consecutive week and first in women 18-34 (1.3/07) for the 8th straight week

A week earlier, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS delivered its best women 18-34 rating (1.5/09) since March 2007.

From the ABC ratings release:
* ABC ranked as Daytime's No. 1 network in Women 18-49 (1.4 rating/895,000 - tied on rating).

* GENERAL HOSPITAL stood as Daytime's No. 2 program in Women 18-49 (1.5 rating/1.02 million tied in rating with THE VIEW), hitting 5-month high levels in the key demo (since week of 9/29/08).

* For the third straight week, THE VIEW ranked as Daytime's third-most-watched program in Total Viewers (4.6 million), and places a competitive No. 2 in Women 18-49 (1.5 rating/993,000 - tied in rating with GENERAL HOSPITAL).

Daytime Rank: Total Viewers
No. 1 CBS 3.69 million
No. 2 ABC 3.10 million
No. 3 NBC 2.99 million

Women 18-49 (Rtg/000s)
No. 1 NBC 1.4/908,000
No. 1 ABC 1.4/895,000
No. 3 CBS 1.3/868,000

Top 5 Daytime Programs in Women 18-49 (rank based on rating)
Program                        Net              Rtg/000s
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS CBS 1.9/1.25 million (-82,000)
GENERAL HOPSITAL ABC 1.5/1.02 million (+30,000)
THE VIEW ABC 1.5/993,000
DAYS OF OUR LVIES NBC 1.4/908,000 (-16,000)
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL CBS 1.3/892,000 (+4,000)
THE PRICE IS RIGHT 1/2 CBS 1.3/825,000

Source: NTI, Live + Same Day: Week of 1/19/09. All ranks are based on rating unless otherwise noted All percent changes based on 000s.)

Disney-ABC TV to cut 400 jobs

The latest round of showbiz layoffs hit this morning with Disney-ABC Television Group informing insiders that it is shedding about 400 jobs, or about 4% of the TV group’s total workforce.

The cuts will reach across the board in Disney-ABC TV group divisions and go high the exec chain. The Mouse will cut about 200 staffers and eliminating another 200 posts that have already been frozen for months. The ABC News division has laid off about 40 staffers and will not fill any of its 60 open positions, insiders said.

Disney-ABC TV Group prexy Anne Sweeney wrote a memo sent to staffers Thursday morning"
Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2009 10:21 AM
Subject: Business Update


After months of making hard decisions across our businesses to help us adjust to a weakening economy, we’re now faced with the harsh reality of having to eliminate jobs in some areas.

This was not an easy decision, nor one made lightly. The people affected today are our friends and colleagues, and we are doing all we can for them and their families during what we know will be a difficult transition.

Change is never easy, and becomes even harder to embrace during times of turbulence and uncertainty. With that in mind, I’ve asked each business leader to reach out to their group with more information on this announcement as soon as possible.

I realize this is an extremely difficult day for everyone in our group. But despite the challenges before us, I remain confident and optimistic about our future, because you really are the best team in the business.


Stay tuned.

‘Yahoo Buzz’ Leaps From Internet to TV

Yahoo, the Internet portal, is looking to extend its brand to television by developing a half-hour newsmagazine with Twentieth Television, a unit of News Corporation. The program, called YAHOO BUZZ and inspired by the Web site of the same name, will be syndicated to television stations as early as this fall. Just as users of Yahoo are able to vote for news articles to receive more attention on the Web site, the television program will use those rankings to determine the day’s Top 10 news items. One co-host is expected to be Ananda Lewis, a former host on MTV.

Meanwhile, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (#7) and DAYS OF OUR LIVES (#17) remain in the Top 20 on the Yahoo Buzz TV search rankings today.

News Round-up

INTERVIEW: GENERAL HOSPITAL's Tyler Christopher (Nikolas)
"I did submit myself for Lead Actor this year. In retrospect, I don’t know what I have this year as opposed to what I had last year, which did not hold up!"

SAG talks to start Tuesday
Despite the firing of Doug Allen and Tuesday's resumption of contract talks with the congloms, the Screen Actors Guild's threatened strike remains alive -- at least on SAG's website, which still sports a list of 6,000 members who support a strike authorization.

As of early Wednesday, SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers had not announced officially when they would meet to hammer out a deal. But later in the day, they agreed on Tuesday and Wednesday dates.

INTERVIEW: GUIDING LIGHT's Crystall Chappell & Jessica Leccia
Michael Fairman has posted video interviews from our set visit in December with the "Otalia" actresses.

Corbin Bernsen forms indie outfit
Corbin Bernsen has formed Team Cherokee Prods. to make independent films for targeted audiences.

First up for Cherokee will be the feature film "Rust," a co-production in association with Kipling Film Prods. and Mission Pictures. Bernsen wrote the faith-based feature and will direct and star as well.

Production is set to begin next month in Kipling, Saskatchewan. The rural farming community of about 1,100 also put up most of the financing.

Meanwhile, Bernsen has brokered a deal with Electric Light Films to re-release the film Carpool Guy, starring Anthony Geary, Rick Hearst, Jeanne Cooper and Bernsen, who directed and co-wrote that film as well.

Bringing abortion to 90210
"Like every teen drama that goes there, they gave the debate enough airtime to prove they’re edgy enough not to avoid the topic while making it clear they’d never go so far as to have the character actually have an abortion. Except, in this case, 90210 didn’t opt for the usual 'it’s fine for other women, but when it comes down to the crunch, I just couldn’t do that to my baby' copout. They ducked out on a technicality: Adriana announced she was too far into the pregnancy to have an abortion. Smooth."

"I play Mindy Collette who is the comic relief. The show is a definitely a one-hour drama, but Mindy is lighthearted. She laughs and dances and I think people respond to that in the midst of a show that can be pretty weighty."

Sheridan chosen as Vienna Ball guest
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES star Nicollette Sheridan will be Austrian businessman Richard Lugner's star guest at this year's Vienna Opera Ball, he has announced.

Lugner, 76, an entrepreneur who regularly seeks the spotlight with garish reality TV shows and young new girlfriends, invites a celebrity every year as his guest to the sumptuous Opera Ball, the highlight of the Viennese social calendar.

Another DAYS actor fired?
"At 12:01 am Friday morning, the victim will be revealed."

AFTRA To Honor Y&R's Jeanne Cooper

Longtime THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS star Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) will be honored with the AMEE Award in Entertainment during the 2009 AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards gala on March 9 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

Other honorees include Smokey Robinson (AMEE Award in Sound Recordings) and Vin Scully (Wards in Broadcasting).

Don LaFontaine, "King of Voiceovers," will be posthumously presented with a special tribute.

Previous AMEE recipients include Don Hewitt, Ed Bradley and Susan Lucci.

The AMEES recognize members of AFTRA who have made a significant contribution to American culture.

The Latest in Soap Videos

Here are some of the newest soap videos from around the web.

GUIDING LIGHT: On Wednesday episode, Beth told Coop that Alan could never know about them, Alan had a problem with Olivia and Natalia's living arrangement, and Bill continued his search for Phillip.

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS: Traci told Brad to not give up on Wednesday's show. Meanwhile, Daniel, Amber and Michael tried to help Kay get her life back. Later, Brad showed up at Sharon's door.

ALL MY CHILDREN: David wondered if he was the father of Amanda's baby and Aiden realized Dr. Sinclair was onto him on Wednesday's episode.

JASON THOMPSON: The GENERAL HOSPITAL star was interviewed on WGXL-FM. Also listen to his interview on "The Tony Rose Show".

Today's Soap Star Birthdays

John Forsythe (ex-Blake, DYNASTY) - 91
Katharine Ross (ex-Frankie, THE COLBYS) - 69
Tom Selleck (ex-Jed, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) - 64
Marc Singer (ex-Chet, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Matt, DALLAS; ex-Wesley, PAPER DOLLS) - 61
Matthew Ashford (ex-Jack, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Tom, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Cagney, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW; ex-Stephen, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) - 49
Heidi Mueller (ex-Kay, PASSIONS) - 27
Drew Tyler Bell (Thomas, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) - 23

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

News Round-up

INTERVIEW: Y&R's Greg Rikaart (Kevin)
Rikaart told TV Guide Canada's Nelson Branco: "You know what Maria Arena Bell said to me the other day?: 'In soaps, we’re allowed to take more risks as actors. And if you screw up, you can move on onto the next episode and learn from your mistakes. It’s much like life. You can’t necessarily do that in other mediums.' Soaps allow you to constantly challenge yourself and not become complacent as an artist."

Digital TV Beckons, Many Miss the Call
Less than a month before the Feb. 17 deadline, so many American households have yet to take the necessary steps to continue to watch over-the-air television — more than 6.5 million, according to Nielsen Media Research — that Congress has considered giving them more time.

Shenae Grimes and Jennie Garth want 90210 to get messy
In interviews, both Shenae Grimes, who plays Annie, and Beverly Hills 90210 vet Jennie Garth, who plays Kelly, told they're ready for their characters' problems to get messier.

"I would love to see Kelly — the real side of her," said Garth, who started playing the character in 1990. "I would like to see her raising her son by herself and the comedy that comes out of that, and the heartache. There's a lot more that goes on that the audience isn't getting to see, I think."

Nathan Fillon on voicing Steve Trevor
Former ONE LIFE TO LIVE star Fillion will do double duty this March as the title character in ABC's upcoming series CASTLE and the voice of Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman, the next entry in the popular series of DC Universe animated original PG-13 movies due from Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation on March 3, 2009.

"The challenge I find is just trying to use my natural voice and trying not to put on too much of a voice. I tried to just keep it nice and easy and relaxed. He's a little bit wry, he's a little bit dry. I can do that. And a couple of times I actually slipped in a little bit of a southern accent.

Steve Trevor is not a complex guy. He's got a façade up, he's got a defense up, but he drops it a little bit because he does care about Diana. I like that he's got a bit of an arc, he's got something to learn. I think that's what makes a good character and a good story."

SPTI takes 50% stake in Colombia's Teleset
Sony Pictures Television International has acquired a 50% stake in Colombian TV shingle Teleset in a move to expand production throughout Latin America and the U.S. Latino market.

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES' Shawn Pyfrom on having a storyline and love interest
"It's been great to have a little more to do. It's been five years then we jumped five years ahead from where I was! Todd [Grinnell] has been great. He's a very talented guy. It's been very easy to work with him."

Today's Top Yahoo TV Searches

Both THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (#6) and DAYS OF OUR LIVES (#15) appear in today's Top TV Searches on Yahoo!


"Take a Look at the Lawmen" - A longstanding competition between Lt. Hunt and the detectives of the 1-2-5 and Lt. Anthony Nunzio and his men of the 1-4-4 heats up when the Russian mafia appears to be linked to a bank robbery. The investigation becomes a furious contest of one-upmanship between the two squads. A nine-year-old boy at the crime scene possibly holds the key to cracking the international case, which has Hunt, Sam, Ray and Chris looking over their shoulders not only for possible suspects, but for rival detectives as well. Meanwhile a young, attractive social worker involved catches Sam's eye and he his hooked, on LIFE ON MARS, premiering on its new night, Wednesday, January 28 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC Television Network.

Editors note: This episode repeats on 1/31 at 10:00 p.m., ET. It replaces "The Dark Side of the Mook" on 1/28, which now moves to 2/4.

LIFE ON MARS stars Jason O'Mara as Detective Sam Tyler, Harvey Keitel as Lieutenant Gene Hunt, Michael Imperioli as Detective Ray Carling, Gretchen Mol as Annie Norris and Jonathan Murphy as Detective Chris Skelton.

Guest starring are Maggie Siff as Maria Belanger, Vincent Curatola as Nunzio, John Cenatiempo as Sizable Ted, Joe Badalucco as Carbone, Christopher Tschupp as Fucci, Michael Aronov as Yuri Demidov, Olek Krupa as Vasilli Lukin, Damon Tolstoy as Sasho, Daniel Yelsky as Lexi Voronin, Yelana Shmulenson as Lexi's mother, Jessica Maksimov as Yuri's daughter, Jeff Wiens as Ruben Penzler, Michael Gibson as FBI agent and Bernard Hernandez as James.

"Take a Look at the Lawmen" was written by Sonny Postiglione & David Wilcox and directed by Brad Turner.

News Round-up

Digital TV switch still set for Feb. 17
The House has defeated a bill to postpone the upcoming transition from analog to digital television broadcasting by four months to June 12.

House Republicans succeeded in scuttling a bill to delay the transition, which is scheduled for Feb. 17, less than two days after the Senate unanimously passed the plan.

Drugs Are Bad, MMMkay?
Sara A. Bibel blogs: "New soap rule: no more storylines involving teen drug use. ONE LIFE TO LIVE's exploration of Llanview High’s stoner scene is already embarrassing."

Rogers: TV ad biz faces meltdown
The TV advertising marketplace is facing a meltdown in the next few years that will be far more destructive than the wallop the biz is enduring in the present financial crisis and recession. That was the bold wakeup call that TiVo prexy Tom Rogers delivered to a half-empty ballroom on Wednesday morning during the keynote sesh at the NATPE confab.

Stephanie Beacham pens autobiography
Stephanie Beacham, who starred on THE COLBYS in the 1980s, is writing her autobiography, which no doubt will include some behind-the-scenes gossip from her short stint on CORONATION STREET.

Jossip: Nielsen's Latest Screw Up Hurts the Little Guys
Since October 2007, Nielsen has been inflating the ad spends at about 20 local TV stations. That's because they've been understating household coverage estimates, and overstating the coverage area of those stations, illegitimately awarding them more viewers than they actually had.

The error-plagued ratings company won't say which networks were affected – we wouldn't want angry advertisers to know exactly who to call – but they're blaming it on "the methods it has used to calculate their coverage on satellite TV operators DirecTV and EchoStar, and that the problem was limited to the 26% of U.S. TV households that receive TV via the DBS provide."

Trouble at NBC?
Nikki Finke reports: "I'm told about angst between Angela Bromstad, the new president of primetime for NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, and her boss Ben Silverman. 'Angela and Ben are barely talking already. They're respectful, but barely speaking.'"

Kate Linder's December break
During her December break, Kate Linder (Esther, Y&R) took advantage of her other job — she’s a flight attendant for United Airlines — and agreed to work on a plane bound for Melbourne, Australia. "I've never been to Melbourne before, so I thought it would be fun to go," she explained to Soap Opera Digest. "But it was for only two days!" My husband, Ron, thought I was crazy.

Thompson appeared on Tuesday's episode of "ManTalk with Bill & Brent" on Blogtalk Radio. Former Y&R actress Deanna Russo also guested on the episode.

Win tickets for the "Rock the Soap" cruise has a contest which starts today.

Marcille & McCord at "Afro Samurai" Launch

Eva Marcille (Tyra, Y&R) and fiance Lance Gross attended the launch party for "Afro Samurai" for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 at the Geisha House last night in Hollywood. 90210's AnnaLynne McCord (Naomi) was also at the event.

New Hope for the Daytime Soap Genre

First we got news last week that Tom Casiello was starting a trial run as a writer on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS writing team. Now today TV Guide Canada revealed Martha Byrne was also starting a writing trial, on the staff of THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL.

Both of these people have spoken about their love for the daytime industry for years now. In numerous interviews Casiello and Byrne have shown that they truly "get" what fans are expecting from their soaps. They are fans. They understand the importance of character development, writing relatable stories that make sense and giving fans a payoff. Having soaps recognize that and put them on their writing staffs, even on a trial basis, is a good sign for 2009.

I have always said that when your heart is into it and you respect your audience as a writer, it shows onscreen.

I wish them both much success. Both of these announcements, along with the consistent great work being put out by Maria Arena Bell and Ron Carlivati, gives me renewed hope for the genre.

Updated "Suds Report" - Martha Byrne Joins B&B Writing Team!

In an update to his weekly "Suds Report" column for TV Guide Canada, Nelson Branco has revealed some major news.

Longtime AS THE WORLD TURNS actress Martha Byrne has joined the writing staff of THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL on a trial basis for nine weeks. Read the "Suds Report" for all the details.

I have always felt Byrne would be an excellent soap writer and producer.

Byrne left AS THE WORLD TURNS and the role of Lily Snyder in April 2008 after not being able to agree upon a new contract with the show's producers.

News Round-up

Happy 7000th birthday, CORONATION STREET
Tonight marks the 7000th episode of CORONATION STREET.

There was an interesting article in Monday's Guardian about keeping soap plotlines fresh after many years on the air. Steve Frost who helms Emmerdale now but who was Corrie's boss not that long ago says there's a fine line between keeping things fresh and being too familiar. It also seems that after Brookdale's ludicrous "body under the patio" plot, soaps appear to be backing down from the extremely sensational. "If you do more and more, and bigger and bigger stories, there must be a boom and bust because people can't take any more and switch off."

More on February sweeps being in March this year
The move to March won’t have much impact on network schedules, which have been less concerned about sweeps periods in the post-metered market era anyway.

INTERVIEW: Former ANOTHER WORLD star Russell Todd (Jamie)
"I was the 10th guy to play Jamie so to most of the cast it was probably just another actor in the revolving door. Still, the first day everyone was very nice and welcoming. There was only one scene that day, a phone call to either Marley or Vicky... I can't even keep them straight now! I was nervous like any actor would be on their first day, but I kept reminding myself what someone once told me: 'You got the part, so relax and enjoy it now!'"

Offering one more reason for LIPSTICK lovers to apply easy, NBC Entertainment co-chair Ben Silverman said the show could get the "Friday Night Lights" treatment.

"We have some incredible channels in our portfolio and we have sister networks that love the show as well. We are analyzing what we need to do to keep that show on the air," said Silverman.

Will Christina return to 90210?
Lauren London's appearance on this week's episode was the last for which she was contracted. It's unclear what the producers intended Christina's legacy to be.

FLASHBACK: Joel Crothers Passes 1985


United Press International
November 10, 1985

Actor Joel Crothers, 44, a 20-year veteran of daytime soap operas who most recently had a featured role on SANTA BARBARA, has died of cancer.

A family friend said the actor had been hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with the disease since Oct. 22, having first learned he had lymphoma in August. Mr. Crothers died Wednesday.

He was born in Cincinnati, raised in New York and educated at Harvard University, began acting at age 9 in the CBS series LAMP UNTO MY FEET.

He appeared in several other TV shows and Broadway plays before launching a successful soap-opera career in the mid 1960s, said a friend, Paula Hartz.

Mr. Crothers recently played J. Stanfield Lee in the NBC daytime drama SANTA BARBARA, which debuted in July 1984. He previously acted in THE EDGE OF NIGHT, SOMERSET, THE SECRET STORM and DARK SHADOWS.


He is survived by his parents, George and Ruth Crothers, and his brother, Michael. Private services were planned.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Crothers was born on January 28, 1941. I remember him best from his role as Miles Cavanaugh on THE EDGE OF NIGHT.

Today's Soap Star Birthdays

John Beck (ex-Bruce, PASSIONS; ex-Sam, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 66
Keith Hamilton Cobb (ex-Damon, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Noah, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 47
Terri Colombino (Katie, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 34

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Latest in Soap Videos

Here are some of the latest soap videos from around the web.

OTALIA: On Monday's GUIDING LIGHT, Alan called Olivia concerned about Emma's "My Two Mommies" presentation. Olivia became upset and Natalia suggested she consider moving out which lead to them fighting.

ONE LIFE TO LIVE: Téa told Starr that Todd tried to commit suicide on Monday's episode. Meanwhile, Dorian David the papers stating all of her assets would be transferred to a Buddhist organization.

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS: On Monday's show, Chloe told Phyllis she had the "perfect marriage" and Billy, Lily and Cane were shocked when Roger proposed to Esther at Jimmy's.

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Johnny walked out on Lulu on Monday after they argued about the mob. Later, Robin called Patrick with an update on the babysitter then got upset and hung up on him, and Kate snuck into Sonny's to swipe Jerry's DVD.

GL's Beth Chamberlin On Grant Aleksander's Return

Grant Aleksander is coming back to GUIDING LIGHT as Phillip Spaulding on February 9th. In the video below, Beth Chamberlin (Beth) discusses his return.

Susan Sarandon Joins George Clooney on ER

E! is reporting that former soap star Susan Sarandon will be making a guest appearance on the final season of ER along with George Clooney.

Sarandon filmed scenes late last week with fellow Oscar winner Clooney on the set of ER at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. The episode will air toward the end of the current final season of the long-running NBC hit.

Sarandon played Patrice Kahlman on A WORLD APART (pictured above with Darryl Wells) and Sarah Fairbanks on SEARCH FOR TOMORROW.

In a 1971 interview with the New York Times, Sarandon said: "All I've played are neurotics. On the soap opera, A WORLD APART, I also am totally neurotic, very unhappy. I must look unhappy. But I'm a very happy person and fairly together...I think, I guess everybody has hang-ups, but I recognize them and I've never been happier in my life. Maybe playing neurotics gets all your neurosis out so that in your life you're very happy."

Thanks to Rob Wargo for the photo.

FLASHBACK: Ex-Actress Learns How To Produce 1967

Ex-Actress Learns How to Produce on Daytime TV

By Ursula Vils
Los Angeles Times
June 24, 1967

Betty Corday gave up acting the day her agent told her she was on the wrong side of the footlights.

Since then, she has had a highly successful career on the other side - as a writer and producer of some of the nation's most popular daytime radio and television shows.

"I think I was probably a perfectly awful actress," Mrs. Corday said, "because I worried about the production. After my agent made that comment, I agreed - and he got me a job on the production side.

Betty Corday now is an executive producer - of television's DAYS OF OUR LIVES, a daytime serial conceived by her husband, Ted. She took over as executive producer on his death in 1966.

Rich Background

She brings a rich background to the job. In radio's golden days, she produced such classics as "Gangbusters" and "Pepper Young's Family."

Mention of "Pepper" brought up the long life span of successful daytime serials.

"It went on for something like 25 yaers," Mrs. Corday said, "and I hasten to add that I was not associated with it in the beginning.

"It takes a year or two for a daytime serial to catch on, for the public to learn to know the characters. But after that, it can go on for years.

News Round-up

On the Soap Shrink’s Couch: General Hospital’s Spinelli
Damon L. Jacobs blogs: "Behind Damien Spinelli’s strange speech and puppy dog eyes there is a young man coping with classic symptoms of Asperger’s Disorder. Individuals who carry this diagnosis typically present with impaired ability to socially interact with others, and with restricted and repetitive behaviors (ideal for a computer hacker)."

LYNN LICCARDO: Anticipation
"I held my breath when Olivia's daughter, Emma, presented a class report titled 'My Two Mommies' a couple of weeks ago. But when a frustrated Olivia kissed the clueless Natalia, who then proceded to accept Frank's invitation to go out, I realized that he story's been structured in a way that will allow every aspect of a possible late-in-life coming out to be examined, which gives me a reason - many reasons - to watch. It's not just that I want to know what's going to happen, I want to see how it's going to happen."

Media companies are rushing to repackage their videos for the Internet
Some say they can hardly keep up with advertiser demand for more. Video clips of TV shows and behind-the-scenes outtakes are omnipresent online — but how do they get there?

As users spend more time watching videos with advertisements attached, they are fast becoming an incremental moneymaker for media companies. While the young medium is not impervious to the economic slowdown, the research firm eMarketer forecasts a 45 percent gain in online video spending in 2009, evidence of the sharp rise in video production for the Web.

Producer Marshall Herskovitz on reality in the digital trenches
"I have talked to so many people, looked at so much research, my guess is TV as we now understand it as going to be here for a while, and will still be more profitable than the internet for a while – at least 5 years. It’s going to take a while to get a business model for broadband that makes sense. People truly do not understand the extent to which new media is not a business. It’s remarkably not a business. I’m speaking from painful experience."

Super Bowl ad will "reveal the secret behind Hulu"
Hulu's first-ever advertising campaign will debut on TV's biggest stage

B&B'S Rocco Returns
B&B is bringing back Bryan Genesse to reprise the role of Rocco Carner, who was one of the original characters when the show debuted in 1987. Back then, Rocco dated an insecure Katie but was really in love with Donna. "Truly, this is a homecoming for me," Genesse said. "I know the writers will make it an exhilarating roller coaster ride that I hope lasts a long, long time." Genesse's first air date is March 12.

Chasing Emmy With 20 nominations, will Y&R be the Bell of the ball?
In a classic interview with Soap Opera Digest from May 1997, William J. Bell said: "Obviously, the Emmys mean recognition, prestige, something in which everyone in the business takes great pride. When we don't win, it's a disappointment. I've been nominated, I think, for 34 Emmys, and I think I've won seven or eight. Yet we're in our 10th year of being No. 1 in daytime. The Emmys is one evening, and you have the rest of the year where you have the Nielsens once every week, and you go back to your stories and your characters."

Check out the SOD classic article archive.

INTERVIEW: Lisa Rinna Bares It All
"There's a part of me that is a giddy fan out there. I still have moments of like, 'Oh, there's John Hamm.' I'm just in love with him and his character on MAD MEN. And when you see Angelina and Brad walk in, the air goes out of the room. There's something that they have, no matter what they're wearing, no matter what's going on. It is a sparkle. It's charisma. I call it the X-factor. So I get a little giddy. I try to watch that and keep it in check, but sometimes I can't."

Soap Opera Mania - On Tour (Updated)

The folks at Celebrity Events Group have scheduled a number of Soap Opera Mania Events for 2009. Check out there website for complete details and to register.

Event Schedule
Feb. 7 - Macon, GA
Christian LeBlanc, Austin Peck, Brandon Beemer, Murray Bartlett, Gina Tognoni, Winsor Harmon, Julie Pinson, Don Diamont

Feb. 8 - Savannah, GA
Christian LeBlanc, Austin Peck, Brandon Beemer, Murray Bartlett, Gina Tognoni, Winsor Harmon, Julie Pinson, Don Diamont

Feb. 21 - Cleveland, OH
Cameron Mathison, Greg Vaughan, John Paul Lavoisier, James Scott, Christian LeBlanc, Laura Wright, Austin Peck, Murray Bartlett, Brandon Beemer

Feb. 22 - Columbus, OH
Cameron Mathison, Greg Vaughan, John Paul Lavoisier, James Scott, Christian LeBlanc, Laura Wright, Austin Peck, Murray Bartlett, Brandon Beemer

Mar. 7 - Memphis, TN
Jacob Young, Alicia Minshew, Brandon Beemer, John Brotherton, Greg Vaughan, John Paul Lavoisier, James Scott, Christian LeBlanc, Laura Wright

Mar. 8 - Jackson, TN
Jacob Young, Alicia Minshew, Brandon Beemer, John Brotherton, Greg Vaughan, John Paul Lavoisier, James Scott, Christian LeBlanc, Laura Wright

Mar. 28 - Shreveport, LA (Greenville, MS has been cancelled)
Jacob Young, John Brotherton, Laura Wright, Brandon Beemer, Daniel Goddard, Greg Vaughan, Christian LeBlanc, John Paul Lavoisier, James Scott, Vincente Irizarry

Mar. 29 - Jackson, MS
Jacob Young, John Brotherton, Laura Wright, Brandon Beemer, Daniel Goddard, Greg Vaughan, Christian LeBlanc, John Paul Lavoisier, James Scott, Vincente Irizarry

Apr. 18 - New Orleans, LA (added)
Ronn Moss, Winsor Harmon, Lesli Kay, Christian LeBlanc, Daniel Goddard, Michelle Stafford, Austin Peck, Michael Park, Murray Bartlett, Kim Zimmer, Ricky Paull Goldin

Apr. 19 - Baton Rouge, LA (added)
Ronn Moss, Winsor Harmon, Lesli Kay, Christian LeBlanc, Daniel Goddard, Michelle Stafford, Austin Peck, Michael Park, Murray Bartlett, Kim Zimmer, Ricky Paull Goldin

Another 'Guiding Light' Set Visit Photo

When I toured the Guiding Light studio back in December, there was one set up that I didn't understand, but was told that all would be revealed in January. Now it's January, and all has been revealed on screen. Lara Fasano was Shayne's former lover who died and Reva threw a memorial service for her. And now Edmund has showed up claiming to be Lara's father. How did that happen? By the way, this set also doubles as Ellen Wheeler's office at the CBS Studios in Manhattan.

News Round-up

Doug Allen steps down from SAG
Doug Allen, the lightning rod at the center of the Screen Actors Guild's bitter polarization, has been fired as national exec director and chief negotiator.

Allen's gig ended Monday afternoon; several hours earlier, the moderates had delivered "written assent" documents terminating him -- two weeks after a 28-hour filibuster by Allen's supporters thwarted his ouster.

Host Chris Harrison's BACHELOR blog
"The date to the set of General Hospital was fun, and the ladies were very excited about it. They didn't get the script until moments before they walked on set and Jason didn't even get to see who was doing what. The stage manager on the set at General Hospital was a great guy named Paul Danner. Paul actually works for us as our stage manager. He's a former Army Ranger, and I hang with him a lot when we're on the road. So the women were having a good time until everybody started making out with Jason. Then all hell broke loose."

Lacey Turner's club fracas
EASTENDERS star Lacey Turner was reportedly thrown out of a nightclub for fighting. The 20-year-old actress - who plays feisty Stacey Slater in the BBC1 soap - and her pals allegedly got into an altercation with seven girls who had mistakenly sat at her empty table in the VIP section at 24 in London on Saturday night

"In an attempt to save their asses -- and I'm not complaining -- the writers for GUIDING LIGHT have given Olivia and Natalia some new and improved props -- I mean, chops. After a kiss that may be heard all the way over at the ALL MY CHILDREN set -- where Eden Riegel and Tamara Braun are playing full-on Lesbo -- it remains to be seen if the Guiding Light duo will ever spit out the 'L word' onscreen."

'80s rocker Springfield booked for Stanislaus fair
Rick Springfield, famous for the 1981 No. 1 hit "Jessie's Girl," will perform a free show at the Stanislaus County Fair on Aug. 4.

GREEK girls going gay?
E!'s Kristin Dos Santos reports: "Both Rebecca and Ashleigh dabble in kissing girls this season, and they'll like it. One of the girls even hits up another ZBZ sister."

INTERVIEW: Michael Fairman
The creator of "On Air On Soaps" appeared on "Robert Reid Live" last night to talk about the latest happenings in the world of soaps and his new XM Radio "Soap Break" segment.

Also, check out Fairman's review of DAYS' Arianne Zuker at the ACME Comedy Theatre where he calls her performance "a hit".

GH's Jason Thompson on ET Canada
Thompson played in last weekend's Echoes of Hope celebrity hockey game and appeared in Montreal at NHL All-Star Weekend.

The Latest in Soap Videos

Here are some of the latest soap videos from around the web.

GENERAL HOSPITAL: On Monday's episode, Spinelli overheard Rayner pressure Jason to find the missing Equinox truck, Claudia's father warned Sonny about Claudia, and Kate blamed Carly for ruining her relationship with Sonny.

THE BACHELOR: Bradford Anderson and Kirsten Storms were featured on last night's episode from the set of GH.

THIS IS HOME: A tribute video to GUIDING LIGHT past and present.

ALL MY CHILDREN: On Monday's show, J.R. assured Amanda he would be there for her, Jake congratulated Brot on his relationship with Taylor, and Aidan chatted with Annie through the vent again until Sinclair interrupted and announced that she is taking over his treatment.

This Giants fan's reaction to their playoff loss to the Eagles is hilarious. Do you think soap fans ever have breakdowns like this?

20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Nominees

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced today the nominees and honorees for its 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Presented by IBM.

"The 20th anniversary of the GLAAD Media Awards is an excellent opportunity to reflect on how media representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have evolved over the past two decades, clearly helping shape and evolve people's hearts and minds about LGBT people," said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. "GLAAD's media advocacy and anti-defamation work as a resource for media professionals, combined with enabling LGBT people and allies to be compelling storytellers, has played a significant role in stories about our lives achieving greater visibility and being more compelling, honest, and real than ever before. We are proud to recognize all of this year's GLAAD Media Awards nominees."


THE L WORD (Showtime)

GREEK (ABC Family)
SKINS (BBC America)

* Won last year

The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in New York on March 28, 2009 at the Marriott Marquis; in Los Angeles on April 18 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE; and in San Francisco on May 9 at the Hilton San Francisco.


I've reported about GENERATIONS (not the NBC soap with the same name) and ISIDINGO before, but if you haven't checked them out, they are airing on The Africa Channel on cable systems across the United States.

CBS Watch! Photo Shoots

Check out the photo galleries on from the Presidential First Impressions photo shoot and the party celebrating their publication in CBS Watch! magazine.

The photos feature AS THE WORLD TURNS stars Austin Peck, Terri Colombino, Dylan Bruce and Ewa Da Cruz, along with Peck's wife, Tara, and Colombino's husband, Artie.

Today's Soap Star Birthdays

Carrington Garland (ex-Kelly, SANTA BARBARA) - 45

Monday, January 26, 2009

Goldsberry & Others Perform At "An Intimate Night"

Tony Award winner James Naughton (ex-George, RYAN'S HOPE), of City of Angels and Chicago, hosted Manhattan Theatre Club's annual winter benefit, "An Intimate Night," an evening of cocktails and dinner followed by a special cabaret-style show tonight at the Rainbow Room.

Leslie Kritzer, Renee Elise Goldsberry (ex-Evangeline, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) and Alexander Gemignani performed at the event.

Rosie's Broadway Kids Opens Maravel Center

Rosie's Broadway Kids officially celebrated its new home earlier today as the Maravel Arts Center had a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the re-modeled facility to the press.

Located in the heart of the Broadway community, on 45th Street, Rosie O'Donnell's organization will now have two dance studios, a music studio, library, dressing rooms and much more in its new location.

Soap vet Linda Dano and Chita Rivera were on hand at the ceremony.

"Soap Break" With Michael Fairman

“Soap Break” is a new 60-second feature hosted and created by Michael Fairman now airing daily on XM Satellite Radio Channel 24’s, The Pink Channel. Premiere Radio Networks launched the channel along with City of Hope to support the fight against cancer, particularly those that effect women.

John Paul-Lavoisier, Eric Martsolf, Ricky Paull Goldin, Don Diamont and several others have been featured. In case you've missed any of the segments to date, check them out here.

News Round-up

Senate agrees to move the Digital TV transition to June 12
The Senate Monday night approved unanimously a compromise bill (S.328) that would move the DTV transition date from Feb. 17 to June 12, but it must now be reconciled with a House version of the bill, and quickly, point out backers of the legislation.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and the bill's co-sponsor, sought a similar vote on his original bill, which would simply have moved the date from Feb. 17 to June 12. That bill was blocked by at least one Republican, which is all it takes.

UGLY BETTY: ABC has "complete faith" in show
An ABC spokesperson insists that BETTY isn't close to dying: "ABC has complete confidence in UGLY BETTY and the hiatus is no way meant to reflect a loss in faith for the show which remains large part of ABC's identity." Meanwhile, a source tells that UGLY BETTY will enter its hiatus with five episodes remaining, and they will air before the season is over.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Y&R's Lilibet Stern
Lynn Leahey blogs: "You never know what a new day will bring. Out of the blue last week, I got a call from Lilibet Stern, who played Patty Williams back in the early 80s. She left soaps in the middle of a contract, eventually becoming a registered nurse. She's got a new career now — about six months ago she started her own company, coaching people for job interviews."

DAYS stars become the latest victims of the economy
"And you thought it would be Stefano DiMera who would ultimately take down John and Marlena! But, no, it was a villain of a different sort who was responsible for the demise of the dynamic DAYS OF OUR LIVES duo.

The sputtering economy - combined with high production costs and declining ratings - have made soaps, and soap stars, vulnerable. This past week, two of our sudsy favorites got the axe."

Robbie Williams leaves LA with ex-DAYS girlfriend
Robbie Williams is abandoning his sun-soaked life in Los Angeles to head back to Britain – and he won't be alone. The 34-year-old will bring his US girlfriend, Ayda Field (ex-Angela, DAYS OF OUR LIVES), back for a slice of life in Blighty, according to his sister Sally Symonds.

How the Celia Rivenbark article came to be
‘What’s the deal with big-name soap opera stars getting axed? Am I the only one who watches anymore?” Celia asks. “You’d think they’d be doing great, with the product placements and all. I saw Sami Brady using a Swiffer Wet Jet and I just had to have one.” She pauses for a moment. “Maybe I’ll write a column about that.” (That article appeared in papers around the country the following week.)

HOLLYOAKS girls go for the natural look as they pose without any make-up
The shoot was taken by Heat magazine as part of an ongoing campaign to show celebrities as they really look.

SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES: Episode #875
Angie taunts Sam. Bobby is unwilling to forgive his father (Mark Arnold).