We Love Soaps at Ilene Kristen's Birthday Performance

Ilene Kristen celebrated her birthday on Thursday night with another brilliant performance at The Triad in Manhattan's Upper West Side and We Love Soaps was there to celebrate a true daytime icon. She sang several popular songs including "So In Love With Love" and her touching self-penned "Flesh and Blood."

Among those in attendance were Kristen's mom, ONE LIFE TO LIVE head writer Ron Carlivati, and soap stars Roscoe Born, Adam Mayfield, Christopher Cass and Brian Kerwin.

After the performance guests were served cheesecake and red velvet cake to celebrate the occasion.

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The Latest in Soap Tweets: Madison, Urie, Y&R Bromance

Here are some of the latest tweets from around the soap world. The DAYS cast had a farewell party for Felisha Terrell, Molly Burnett celebrates one year on DAYS, and Y&R's Christian LeBlanc, Daniel Goddard and Michael Muhney continue their entertaining banter from various parts of the country (LeBlanc is in Mississipi with Jeanne Cooper and Goddard is in Alabama with Kristoff St. John).

@Marth27 (Martha Madison) "Farewell Felisha " party at HH last night! Had a blast. Great to see all my Days pals and finally meet Felisha. Love her! She's a star!

@michaelurie (Michael Urie) Finished shooting at Ugly Betty with half an hour to get to The Temperamentals and I made it!! Now let's hope I don't say the wrong lines.

@TaylorSpreitler (Taylor Spreitler) happy one year to @mollydollyy !! :)

@mollydollyy (Molly Burnett) You guys are amazing! Thank you so much :) next weeks DOOL is gonna be intense! Get ready!!!

@CJLeBlanc (Christian LeBlanc) On the road in Mississippi! http://yfrog.com/0opuhuj Waiting for her Sonic sundae! http://yfrog.com/26jtoj

@DanielGoddard (Daniel Goddard) @CJLeBlanc don't make the lady wait! Have some damn respect! U should have rubbed her feet while she was waiting

@CJLeBlanc (Christian LeBlanc) Suddenly in the middle of rural Mississippi...the casino! http://yfrog.com/7bcg8wj

@michaelmuhney (Michael Muhney) Running lines in my dressing room for my next scene. HINT: it involves Zapato, Mr. Kitty, and me doing a tap routine to "lollipop guild".

@DanielGoddard (Daniel Goddard) @michaelmuhney so the dialogue goes "woof woof" "meow" (sorry he dead no meow) "down boy" "woof woof" "ouch zapato I said no means no" ;-)

@michaelmuhney (Michael Muhney) @CJLeBlanc how is your cross-country love-affair with Jeannie going? Is she pregnant yet?

@CJLeBlanc (Christian LeBlanc) @michaelmuhney Why must you destroy everything perfect and beautiful?

@teenystweeting (Kirsten Storms) Lovin' Trader Joe's and their employees. So funny and nice....and our cashier had a pineapple painted on his face.

Don't forget to follow We Love Soaps on Twitter.

News Round-up: Driscoll, Tyra, Barrowman, Reeves

INTERVIEW: Y&R's John Driscoll (Chance)
"If you look back at the classics, you had a lot of gay actors playing straight men, and a lot of times they kept it very secret. You had women swooning over these guys, and they just kept it a secret. But nowadays it’s cool, and who cares? If you can pull it off as an actor and make it work, more power to you."

Tyra Banks to apear on GOSSIP GIRL
Banks will appear in an episode during GOSSIP GIRL's third season, which returns September 14.

The Torchwood star revealed he was about to meet up with producers in Los Angeles to discuss the role during a chat with DJ Chris Moyles on his Radio 1 Breakfast Show today.

The 42-year-old exclaimed: "I probably shouldn't say this but I've got a meeting with the execs of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. Can you believe it, I'm going to be a Desperate Housewife!"

Report: THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE has given Mischa Barton a "sober coach"
A "sobriety counselor" will apparently follow Barton around to make sure stays out of trouble.

Eyal Podell talks about his new ABC Series DEFYING GRAVITY
"It's about the mission, which includes eight people on a space shuttle that travels around our solar system. Six planets in six years. We call it affectionately, science fact. A lot of what we're doing is based on research and the general direction that NASA and other space programs are going based on technology that's available today."

Marie Osmond talk show delayed for fall
The one-hour strip talk show had been cleared in more than 80% of the country, but stations had steadily been pulling their offers over the last couple of weeks, reported several sources. The show had been expected to launch on Sept. 14, but the program's ability to launch had been increasingly in doubt.

INTERVIEW: GL Costume Designer Shawn Reeves
"I have a lot of clothes to get rid of [laughs]! I wanted to try and make sure I gave stuff to places that could use it instead of just selling it. I wanted to make sure it was going to good use. I just happened to be reading the Styles section of the New York Times one day about a month or so ago and ran across an article about Bottomless Closet, which helps women reenter the workforce. It's local and they're very involved with their clients. I wrote the woman who wrote the article and she passed me on and it all just fell into place."

VOTE: "Soap of the Week" Poll

Which daytime soap was your favorite this week? Vote here in the weekly We Love Soaps poll and check back on Monday morning for the results.

Be Part of The CW Daytime Emmy Pre-Show

Due to the smaller venue at the Orpheum this year, tickets are not available for purchase for fans to attend the Daytime Emmy Awards on Sunday, August 30. But if you're in the Los Angeles area or want to travel to get a glimpse of your favorite stars, there will be limited red carpet seating available on a first come/first serve basis. Check out MichaelFairmanSoaps.com for all the details.

CLASSIC CLIP: Victoria Rowell in Action on Y&R!

I don't know when or if we will ever see Victoria Rowell and her character of Drucilla Winters back on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. A lot has been said about what went on behind the scenes, but I care more about what a spectacular actress Victoria Rowell is and what she brought to the screen as Dru. If she can't come back to Y&R, I would be thrilled to see her on ALL MY CHILDREN in scenes with Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan. Can you imagine those three together? I would wish better writing for her, but you couldn't deny the chemistry those three would share. Or what if she turned up on DAYS OF OUR LIVES (what budget!?) as Lexie's cousin. Let her bring some life to Shawn Christian and watch them sizzle. With Crystal Chappell and Louise Sorel on their way back, DAYS OF OUR LIVES would be on fire! In the meantime, watch some classic scenes of Victoria in action as the one and only Drucilla Winters!

Matt Cedeño Getting Married Today

Matt Cedeño, who played Brandon Walker on DAYS OF OUR LIVES for several years earlier this decade, is getting married to Erica Franco later today.

Cedeño was nominated for three ALMA awards during his run on DAYS.

We'll bring you more details and pictures from the wedding in the near future.

TV Guide Canada's "Suds Report"

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

- Is ABC moving AMC to L.A.?

- Walt Willey being “phased out?”

- Is Sarah Brown quitting GH?

- Y&R's Sharon and Jack break up as Nick weds Phyllis!

- More DAYS for Louise Sorel and Michael Sabatino! Also, which two Salem stars are dating?

- GL's Crystal Chappell: The Next Great American Producer?

- Y&R/GH rebound in ratings!

ATWT and "The Power of WE"

The Model Home Project and The Gates teamed up to introduce "The Power of WE" in a pre-launch celebration at The Gates, NYC on Wednesday night.

Among the attendees were a number of current and former AS THE WORLD TURNS stars including three-time Emmy nominee Van Hansis (Luke), the soon-to-be-returned Alexandra Chando (Maddie), and Zach Roerig (ex-Casey).

Jake Silbermann (Noah) and Jordan Woolley (ex-Nick) were also in attendance.

To learn more about The Model Home Project, visit modelhomeproject.com.

The Latest in Soap Videos: Reva, Lindsay, Alexis, Rafe

Here are some of the latest soap videos to hit the web.

I'M TRYING JEFFREY: Reva continued to struggle on Thursday's GUIDING LIGHT in dealing with Jeffrey's death. Meanwhile, Bill and Lizzie were excited about their new home, given as a gift from Phillip.

I BET YOU NEVER EXPECTED TO SEE ME HERE AGAIN: Bo visited Lindsay (Catherine Hickland) at the end of Thursday's ONE LIFE TO LIVE.

IT WAS ME: Alexis confessed to running Claudia's car off the road on Thursday's GENERAL HOSPITAL.

IT WAS MY PLEASURE: Meredith, Emily's sister, thanked Stefano on Thursday's DAYS OF OUR LIVES for arranging her return to Salem.

News Round-up: LoCicero, HUNG, Nola, Lamas

GH's Olivia gets caught in compromising position by her son
"Very compromising," says Lisa LoCicero, who plays Olivia, in an interview with the New York Daily News. "They're in Olivia's apartment, where the door never seems to shut entirely. People are constantly walking in. [The stage direction] said, 'Olivia is on her knees in front of a shirtless, sexy Johnny, dot dot dot.' The door opens, and there is her son."

Olivia has been hiding the fact that Dante is her son to protect him, because - unbeknownst to everyone - crime lord Sonny Corinthos is Dante's father.

"Dante has a message for John," says LoCicero. "Olivia has to cover that she doesn't know Dante when Johnny introduces them. It's a pretty awful moment for Olivia. Johnny is protective and, of course, manly about the whole thing because that's how men are on soap operas. He's, like, 'Show some respect!' Both Olivia and Dante want the floor to swallow them up. Getting interrupted is one thing, but you'd be pretty mortified in front of your kid."

Road to the Emmys: DAYS Make-up Team
Gail Hopkins: "I have been so lucky and honored to work with some of the most talented makeup artists and hair stylists during my 25 years (15 years as department head) at DAYS OF OUR LIVES. I feel this is my greatest achievement, to be able to say I learned from the best."

The series will return next summer. The vampire-tinged TRUE BLOOD is averaging more than 10 million cumulative viewers, while HUNG, which follows a about a down-on-his-luck man who decides to use his best attributes and becomes a gigolo, is averaging more than 10 million cumulative viewers.

Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons writes: "With GUIDING LIGHT now officially ending in September, it means many former GL cast members are coming back. The one that makes me a very, very happy camper is Lisa Brown, who portrayed Nola Reardon-Chamberlain, one of the most three-dimensional, funniest characters in daytime."

Major Cable Operators Have More Than Doubled the Number of Subscribers Who Take Their Triple Play of Video, Internet and Phone
The nation's three biggest cable operators, Comcast, Time Warner and Cox, more than doubled the number of subscribers who take what is commonly known as the Triple Play: Video, Phone and Internet services from 2007 to 2008, B&C reports. In 2007 10.1% of their subs subscribed to the Triple Play. Last year that number rose to 23%. The value of the Triple Play bundle is $38 billion annually.

E! Spotlights Lamas Reality Show
Describing his relationship with the New York-based A.J., a regular on AS THE WORLD TURNS four years ago, as “strained,” Lorenzo Lamas agreed with the premise: “The fact is, I’ve seen A.J. more in two weeks than I have in three years,” he noted.

Cybill Shepherd had to grow up with her daughter, Y&R's Clementine Ford, was born
"When she was born I had to suddenly grow up a lot. I think we parents find that. And the fact that the center of the universe, when you have a child, shifts from yourself to your child. That in itself is really a step toward love and understanding. We’re all trying to learn how to love in a better, more open way."

Film journalist Armando del Moral dies
Del Moral also helped establish the Golden Globe Awards; acted as Hollywood representative for the Mexican actors union; wrote, produced and directed a radio soap opera; and helped studios with their Spanish-language publicity campaigns. In 1954, he began writing, producing and directing a successful Spanish-language soap opera, MARIA ELENA, which was syndicated throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

EASTENDERS and GRANGE HILL legend Todd Carty making film in Hinckley
Soap legend Todd Carty and a crew of professional movie makers have descended on Hinckley to make a feature film. Carty is making his directorial debut in the film, dubbed The Perfect Burger.

NEIGHBOURS star Scott Major nearly joined EASTENDERS
"I was very close to getting a role in EASTENDERS when I was over [in England]," he said. "I think an Australian stripper and her brother came into the show, and [SJ] went out with one of the main guys. I just missed out on EASTENDERS."

Soap Actors In Other Places: Susan Flannery

Before she began the 22 year (and counting) three-time Emmy-winning journey as Stephanie Forrester on THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, Susan Flannery made splash in many other television shows and films. She won her first Daytime Emmy for the role of Laura Horton on DAYS OF OUR LIVES in 1975, the year she left that show. Here is a sampling of some of her non-B&B work.

THE TOWERING INFERNO: Flannery played Lorrie in the 1974 film and won a Golden Globe as "Most Promising Newcomer - Female" in 1975.

WOMAN IN WHITE: In this 1979 film, Flannery starred as Dr. Rebecca Dalton.

ARTHUR HAILEY'S THE MONEYCHANGERS: Flannery was nominated as "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series" for her role as Margot Bracken in this four-part mini-series.

DALLAS: Flannery played media consultant Leslie Stewart in 1981 who more than held her own with J.R. Ewing.

Today's Soap World Birthdays

Susan Flannery (Stephanie, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL; ex-Leslie, DALLAS; ex-Laura, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 70
Lane Davies (ex-Cameron, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Mason, SANTA BARBARA; ex-Evan, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 59
Wally Kurth (Justin, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Sam, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Ned, GENERAL HOSPITAL) - 51
Jay Bontatibus (ex-Rob, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Andy, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Tony, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; ex-Russell, ANOTHER WORLD) - 45
Annie Parisse (ex-Julia, AS THE WORLD TURNS) - 34

Jessica Leccia Back on GL August 17

According to CBS Soaps in Depth, Jessicia Leccia will return to GUIDING LIGHT from a short maternity leave on Monday, August 17.

Leccia had beautiful baby Ivy (who I saw last week!) in June. Natalia's return is not a moment too soon! She has been sorely missed. Poor Olivia!

Including that day, there would only be 23 episodes left of GUIDING LIGHT at that point.

Soapside: Advocate's Guide to Daytime

In his latest bi-weekly "Soapside" column for The Advocate, Michael Fairman talks to John Driscoll about his new role on Y&R, and has news about the Daytime Emmys, Kish’s kiss, Crystal Chappell’s VENICE, the Adonis competition and more.

He also kindly features the "We Love Soaps Radio" podcast.

Newcomb says. “You could not put us back in the closet. We are bringing the perspective of the gay men to soaps and we are doing it very vocally, and during our discussions, even though we may not be talking about the gay characters, it comes out. It’s hard for it not to, especially discussing the gay story lines, and we do talk about gay issues."

Thank you, Michael!

Read the full column at Advocate.com.

TONIGHT: Ilene Kristen at The Triad

If you are in the New York City area, don't miss Ilene Kristen at The Triad tonight at 8pm. The We Love Soaps gang will be on hand to help Ilene celebrate her birthday.

Daytime Nielsen Ratings Week of July 20-24, 2009

From Soap Opera Network:
Total Viewers (Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)
1. Y&R 4,936,000 (+333,000/-135,000)
2. B&B 3,262,000 (+192,000/-340,000)
3. GH 2,706,000 (+304,000/-128,000)
4. DAYS 2,599,000 (+14,000/+78,000)
5. OLTL 2,560,000 (+113,000/-199,000)
6. AMC 2,483,000 (+88,000/-184,000)
7. ATWT 2,377,000 (+168,000/-335,000)
8. GL 2,079,000 (+121,000/-266,000)

Household Rating (Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)
1. Y&R 3.6/12 (+.2/-.1)
2. B&B 2.4/8 (+.1/-.3)
3. GH 2.0/6 (+.2/-.2)
4. AMC 1.9/6 (+.1/-.1)
5. OLTL 1.8/6 (same/-.2) <------- ties low rating (Last time: July 13-17, 2009)
5. DAYS 1.8/6 (same/same) <------- ties low rating (Last time: July 13-17, 2009)
7. ATWT 1.7/6 (+.1/-.3)
8. GL 1.5/5 (+.1/-.2)

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From the ABC ratings release:
Top Daytime Programs in Women 18-49 (rank based on rating)

Program Rtg/000s
Y&R  1.7/1.10 million (+.2)
GH    1.3/889,000 (+.1)
OLTL 1.2/763,000 (+.1)
B&B   1.1/762,000 (+.1)
DAYS 1.1/697,000 (same)

* ABC stood as Daytime's No. 1 network in key Women 18-49 (1.2 rating/798,000), climbing by 7% week to week.

* GENERAL HOSPITAL was the week's No. 1 program in Daytime in Women 18-34 (tie), delivering solid 13% growth over the previous week (1.1 rating/365,000 vs. 1.0/323,000).

* GENERAL HOSPITAL generated its largest Total Viewer (2.71 million) and Women 18-34 (365,000) audiences in 4 months -- since week of 3/23/09 -- and biggest Women 18-49 audience in 6 weeks (889,000) -- since week of 5/18/09.

* Week to week, delivery surged by 13% in both Total Viewers (2.71 million vs. 2.40 million) and Women 18-34 (365,000 vs. 323,000), and by 11% in Women 18-49 (889,000 vs. 799,000).

* This week stood as THE VIEW's most-watched week in 2 months in key women - since week of 5/18/09 - gaining a significant 12% in Women 18-34 (295,000 vs. 264,000) and 10% in Women 18-49 (845,000 vs. 765,000), week to week. In addition, in Total Viewers, this week also ranked as the show's most-watched week in 2 months - since week of 5/25/09 - increasing by 6% over the previous week (3.66 million vs. 3.44 million).

* In Women 18-34, ABC owned 3 of Daytime's Top 4 programs: GENERAL HOSPITAL (No. 1T - 1.1 rating/365,000), ONE LIFE TO LIVE (No. 4T - 0.9 rating/317,000) and THE VIEW (No. 4T - 0.9 rating/295,000).

* In Women 18-49, ABC delivered 3 of Daytime's Top 4 programs: GENERAL HOSPITAL (No. 2T - 1.3 rating/889,000), THE VIEW (No. 2T - 1.3 rating/845,000) and ONE LIFE TO LIVE (No. 4T - 1.2 rating/763,000).

Network Ranks - Week of July 20, 2009:
Daytime Rank: Total Viewers
No. 1 CBS 3.47 million
No. 2 ABC 2.85 million
No. 3 NBC 2.60 million

Daytime Rank: Women 18-49 (Rtg/000s)
No. 1 ABC 1.2/798,000
No. 2 NBC 1.1/731,000
No. 2 CBS 1.1/697,000

Source: NTI, Live + Same Day: Week of 7/20/09. All ranks based on rating unless otherwise noted.

EVENT: Pittsburgh Says "So Long, Springfield"

"So Long, Springfield" will be a daylong farewell in Pittsburgh to the beloved and longest running television show of all time, GUIDING LIGHT. While adoring fans are tearful that the longest running show in history has been cancelled, the LIGHT is not completely extinguished. Due to air it’s final episode in mid-September, the show won’t go dark without appropriate fanfare—very much due this beloved soap opera and it’s cherished characters.

"So Long, Springfield” is a once in a lifetime event, featuring ten of GUIDING LIGHT's most popular stars. Fans will enjoy memorable, up-close-and-personal time with the stars, and have a last opportunity to say goodbye and send good wishes to the real people that portray the characters they’ve come to know and love.

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* KIM ZIMMER (Reva Shayne)
* ROBERT NEWMAN (Josh Lewis)
* GINA TOGNONI (Dinah Marler)
* JEFF BRANSON (Shayne Lewis)
* GRANT ALEKSANDER (Phillip Spaulding)
* RON RAINES (Alan Spaulding)
* BRADLEY COLE (Jeffrey O’Neill)
* JORDAN CLARKE (Billy Lewis)

WHEN: Saturday, October 24th
* 1:00 – 5:00 PM Participants will attend an insightful and moving question & answer session, learn behind the scenes secrets from a Guiding Light director and meet, greet and pose for photos with the stars. Several lucky fans will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to act out actual scenes from real Guiding Light scripts with the stars themselves!
* 4:00 – 8:00 PM Vendor tables open
* 7:00 – 10:00 PM The evening festivities are designed to be a special, musical farewell, where several of the actors will perform vocal numbers, and share memories from their years on The Guiding Light with their loyal fans. A light strolling dinner will begin the evening.

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh International Airport

COST: Daytime Only or Evening Only $75.00 or Stay for the Day $140.00

HOW to REGISTER: Click here and follow prompts for secure purchase by major credit card. You may also call 1-866-364-0330. Tickets will not be issued—please bring picture ID and computer confirmation to receive wristband for admittance on the day of the event.

A portion of the proceeds from “So Long, Springfield” will be donated to The Young Women’s Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation.

We Love Soaps Interview Series

In case you've missed any of the in depth We Love Soaps interviews, you can check them all out by clicking on the WLS Interviews tag. Recent interviews and Q&As have included Harding Lemay, Taylor Spreitler, Tony Shalhoub, Terry Serpico, Patsy Pease, Jim Romanovich and Tom Pelphrey. Past interviews have included Judi Evans, Evan Alex Cole, Linda Cook, Louise Shaffer, Sri Rao and many others.

Michael Sabatino Back To DAYS

Crystal Chappell has tweeted more scoop, this time about DAYS OF OUR LIVES. She is happy that Louise Sorel is returning as Vivian and announced that her husband, Michael Sabatino, will also be returning to the soap as Lawrence Alamain.

So happy Louise is coming back. I heart her!

Michael will indeed pop up on DOOL.

Carly 2.0 is not Bo/Carly redux. It's not what most would think. Watch!

News Round-up: Betty, Phillips, DTV, Emmys

UGLY BETTY: Betty's glam new look under review at ABC
ABC is pretty serious about the extreme makeover its giving UGLY BETTY. According to Michael Ausiello, the network is going so far as to conduct a round of focus groups this week to get feedback on the heroine’s season 4 metamorphosis.

In particular, execs are showing test audiences two scenes from early in the season, both featuring a newly glamorized Betty working at her new job as Mode’s associate features editor. In one, she’s rocking a Chanel-esque pastel pink suit; in the the other, she’s sporting a short-sleeved black dress with a ruffled V-neck. “She looks a lot classier,” says one guinea pig, “but she’s still far from perfect.”

Primetime Emmys cut awards from telecast
Eight of the 28 honors in the Primetime Emmy Awards will be prerecorded and then time-shifted into the main broadcast this year, according to a proposal presented to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' board on Wednesday night.

According to sources, the categories affected include outstanding movie and miniseries; writing for dramatic series and movies/miniseries; directing for variety, music and comedy and movie/miniseries; and the supporting actor and actress awards in the longform arena.

African-Americans in Nielsen sample rises
Accoring to BET's Debra Lee: "They have increased the size of the African-American sample to 1,200, which is up from 600. We continue to find ways to make it more realistic and more representative."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Nielsen is supposedly a statistically sound sample, but 1,200 African-Americans in the whole country represent everyone?

Nielsen: 98.9% of U.S. Homes Can Get DTV Signal
Little more than 1 million homes are still without set, converter box, cable or satellite.

Joseph C. Phillips in new film
Rehearsals begin next week for the faith-based musical Church in Southern California. Church is a musical comedy-drama based on typical Sunday services at the fictional “Glorious New Life Greater Faith Tabernacle Church of The Living God In Christ Up on the Hill.” The cast includes Joseph C. Phillips, who played Justus on GENERAL HOSPITAL.

McGovern’s MOVING ON gets second season
MOVING ON, the BBC daytime drama executive produced by Jimmy McGovern and broadcast in May this year, has been commissioned for a second season. Liam Keelan, controller of daytime at the BBC, has ordered ten more episodes of the show - twice as many as the first run.

SORDID LIVES: The Series is hitting the UK
The UK premiere of SORDID LIVES will be shown on Film24 (Sky157) starting August 2 at 10pm.

Sweden's QX Magazine: Gays in Soaps
From pages 48-48 (translation by Susi at Big Purple Dreams): "In Sweden only three of the daytime dramas air and none of them feature any gay or lesbian characters. But in spite of the lack of soap gays in our country, QX-readers have still been writing in about the latest super couple of the soap world, Otalia."

INDIE SOAP BEAT Extra: Jordan Clarke Joins VENICE

Crystal Chappell has tweeted some wonderful casting news for her new web series, VENICE. GUIDING LIGHT's Jordan Clarke (Billy) will be joining the cast.

So happy to say Jordan Clark is on board Venice as Gina's father, The Colonel.

Stay tuned for more developments as they happen. Ane please continue to support the creative minds behind these indie projects who may just lead us into the next generation of soaps!

Cosgrove Not Joining ONE LIFE TO LIVE

Soap Opera Digest is reporting that GUIDING LIGHT's Daniel Cosgrove is not going to move to ONE LIFE TO LIVE as Joey Buchanan.

Despite all the buzz that Daniel Cosgrove (Bill, GL) will be ONE LIFE TO LIVE's next Joey Buchanan, it's not happening. A setsider says Cosgrove will not be joining the ABC soap.

My dream is still alive that AS THE WORLD TURNS will cast him as Chris Hughes.

News Round-up: Lau, Gorham, Tam, Spreitler

Leslie Charleson inks new deal with GH
Soaps In Depth is reporting that Leslie Charleson just signed on the dotted line to stick around as GENERAL HOSPITAL's Monica for another year.

Christopher Gorham cast in USA spy thriller
Christopher Gorham (Henry, UGLY BETTY) has been tapped to star opposite Piper Perabo in USA Network's spy thriller COVERT AFFAIRS. The casting is believed to lift the contingency on the pilot. Written by Matt Corman and Chris Ord, AFFAIRS centers on Annie Walker (Perabo), a multilingual CIA trainee who joins the agency still reeling over a mysterious ex-boyfriend who appears to be of particular interest to her bosses. Gorham will play Auggie Anderson, a CIA military intelligence/special-ops agent blinded years ago on an assignment who is helping Walker navigate her new job.

LETTER FROM NEW YORK 7: Ben Bernanke and the "improving" economy
"In the early 1980’s, we became a bi-coastal family, when I accepted a job in Los Angeles writing first GENERAL HOSPITAL then DAYS OF OUR LIVES. I quickly realized that buying a car for your teenager was not the perk of a spoiled child but an absolute necessity, granting the adults in the family a modicum of freedom from the constant chauffeuring obligatory in a society where you could be questioned on the street by a policeman because you were… walking (yes, it did happen to me)! The lifestyle didn’t suit us and when my contract expired, I sought work in New York and with great relief, we sold the house and the cars and came back to New York."

Jason Tam lights up movie, Broadway and TV
"The pace of living [in New York] is completely different (compared with Hawaii)," he said. "Everything is so fast here. Nobody looks anyone in the eye or says, 'Hi,' but there's so much being created here all the time. It's a really cool energy to be around."

REVIEW: "August: Osage County" has acid tongues wagging in Denver
"It must be said that seeing Greg from ALL MY CHILDREN's Greg & Jenny (Laurence Lau) playing the resident pervert is, for some inexplicable reason, indescribably awesome."

Dot Branning to come to nasty end?
EastEnders legend June Brown has said that if the soap's bosses ever decide to kill off her character Dot Branning, they'll probably start by making her a villain.
The actress told The Sun: "If they want to drop you, most often they will give you a rather unpleasant storyline. The public always equate the character to the actor - and then everyone says, 'Oh I don't like him at all - I'll be glad to when he's gone'."

INTERVIEW: DAYS' Taylor Spreitler (Mia)
Spreitler appeared on "WZAP Radio" on Wednesday evening.

McClain: Love Story for Rosanna, Good TV is Good TV

Cady McClain has tweeted that her character, Rosanna, will have a love story on AS THE WORLD TURNS.

Rosanna gets a love story!!

Hey my character gets a love story! Whoo hoo. Taking my ass to the gym toot sweet.

Meanwhile, on her blog, McClain defends the influx of ABC stars to ATWT.

I have had the extreme pleasure recently of working with some of my favorite actors on daytime TV- Lynn Herring and Stuart Damon who are just “in town” for a time. I have always LOVED their work and am so happy to cross paths with them, if only for a little bit.

Of course Jon Lindstrom, Noelle Beck (Loving) and Forbes March (OLTL) are other ABC daytime Stars visiting Oakdale for periods of time (some longer than others) who are also INCREDIBLE. Sometimes it might seem like the “ABC All Stars” have come to take over ATWT, but you gotta remember- actors like to work, and if they aren’t getting a chance in one place, they will go elsewhere!

I sure hope the audience just ENJOYS this and doesn’t feel like anybody is trying to “take over” what is already fantastic show, because I think it may be that the days of “network loyalty” may be past. Maybe I’m wrong, and please don’t take that to mean that I am not grateful for what either network has been and done for me, I’m just talking as an actor about “The BIGGER PICTURE”... which is... GOOD TV is GOOD TV!


25 years ago today on the debut episode of Bridget and Jerome Dobson's SANTA BARBARA, Channing Capwell Jr. was shot and killed by a mysterious figure.

FLASHBACK: Lovely 'Santa Barbara' (1984)

Soap Opera Scenes

By John N. Goudas
King Features Syndicate
July 22, 1984

Lovely Santa Barbara, home of the new rich, old rich, rock stars, the cultivated, the surfers, dreamers and hard working Mexicans, finally succumbs to Hollywood as the subject of a new NBC daytime soap (3-4 p.m. EDT), Monday, July 30.

It is said that if you can't discover happiness in Santa Barbara, a scenic Spanish jewel 90 miles north of L.A., you won't find it anywhere.

But happiness is a no-no in the soap world. The SANTA BARBARA soap will be closer to DALLAS, DYNASTY or FALCON CREST than to the real McCoy, because these are the rules of the game. You don't diddle with success.

Still, Santa Barbarans Bridge and Jerome Dobson are in charge, and a 30-year resident, Dame Judith Anderson, will occasionally show us her celebrated profile and stage presence as matriarch Minx Lockridge, blasting her wastrel won (Nicholas Coster from ONE LIFE TO LIVE).

Bridget Dobson, daughter of GENERAL HOSPITAL creators Frank and Doris Kingsley, has been a Santa Barbara resident for five yearrs with husband Jerome writing soap opera and raising a family. The Dobsons are in love with the town.

Today's Soap World Birthdays

Ilene Kristen (Roxy, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Delia, RYAN'S HOPE; ex-Norma, LOVING; ex-Madeline, ANOTHER WORLD) - 57
Ben Jorgensen (ex-Chris, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Kevin, ALL MY CHILDREN) - 40
Victor Alfieri (Giovanni, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL; ex-Gianni, PASSIONS; ex-Franco, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) - 38


In a new special, airing on New York's public broadcasting station WLIW, EASTENDERS' Dot Branning (June Brown) reflects on the experiences that shaped her life and confesses a terrible secret. EASTENDERS: DOT'S STORY premieres on Friday, July 31 at 10 pm.

You can also donate to the station now for tickets to an exclusive screening of EASTENDERS: PERFECTLY FRANK on Thursday, November 19th at 6pm at the Helen Mills Theater. Here's a synopsis:

Never been seen in the U.S., this mini-movie exists outside of the regular storylines and depicts parts of the character that were never known before. Soap spin-off featuring the long-suffering character Frank Butcher who, since leaving the Square, has made a new life for himself by the sea, content with his second-hand car lot and his tin-pot club. He is insistent on teaching his employees his way of life: but a series of events including a World War Two cannon, ping-pong balls and a body can only lead to trouble. Starring Mike Reid and Tony Osoba. Frank has come back from Spain and is rebuilding his life in Somerset. He starts out by selling motors, but branches out by buying a seedy club - Frank's Empire Club. When Reg Priest the local Mr Big, sends him a car to valet, his assistant finds a body in the boot. Frank and the staff at the club don't want to fall foul of Reg but then again they don't want the police asking questions either. Following Frank Butcher as he set up a seedy nightclub and a car valeting service in Somerset after returning from Spain where he was last seen in 2002. When Frank is sent a car to valet by the local gangster named Reg Priest, his assistant finds a dead body in the boot. Frank and his club staff try to find a way to avoid the police asking questions and fall foul of Reg so they throw the body into the water over the side of the pier. The episode was written by Tony Jordan.

"For the Love of It" for Y&R's Linder

Kate Linder (Esther, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) joined a host of celebrities on Monday night to cheer on Rachel York, star of Broadway and the CBS Lucy telefilm, who delighted audiences with an evening of stories and song including favorites from the stage, screen, and American Songbook in "For the Love of It" at Cabaret at the Castle.

Among those in attendance was DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES creator Marc Cherry (pictured). How about a Linder guest appearance on DH?

Photo Credit: Brian Putnam

Harding Lemay Interview: Part Three

In Part One and Part Two of our interview with former ANOTHER WORLD head writer Harding Lemay, he spoke about how he landed the job writing for the soap, how Constance Ford help teach him how to write for the genre, and the problems he had with George Reinholt and Jacqueline Courtney. He now shares his feelings on ANOTHER WORLD spinning the character of Iris off to TEXAS, his return to the show in 1988, and how network interference increased over time.

We Love Soaps: Do you keep in touch with people from your time on ANOTHER WORLD?
Harding Lemay: Well, Irene [Dailey] died last year. And Bevey [McKinsey], I kept in touch with Bevey. Vicky Wyndham I did for while. She’s apparently very happy, doing her sculpture, living up in the country.

We Love Soaps: Many of your colleagues have passed away in recent years. How are you doing with that?
Harding Lemay: Yeah, they were my age, or a little bit older. It’s sad. The big shock was Doug Watson many years ago. He was a very close friend, and also a wonderful actor. He was wonderful to write for.

Soap Blog Coalition: July 30, 2009

Here are the latest news and features from the Soap Blog Coalition.

PASSIONS villain Phillip Jeanmarie talks Workshop The Series, gay firsts and James Reilly with Daytime Confidential's Jamey Giddens. (Daytime Confidential)

Poor Annie...she's been accused, threatened, framed. And Kendall, she's so mixed up at this point she thinks she really did kill Stuart. Revisit a the PVB "Who killed Stuart" poll and tell us who you think it is, if you even care anymore! (Pine Valley Bulletin)

Save the Date - October 15th at 6pm! This year the annual 'Love Out Loud' POZ charity event for AIDS Walk LA will be held at Hollywood's current "it" spot h.wood. Check out who's already on the list and stay tuned for more announcements. (Scrubs Hub)

The Serial Drama girls have come to realize that Bob Guza and Charles Pratt are trying their hardest to write the most depressing shows on television. (Serial Drama)

It's Soap Opera 101, every soaps chick certainly needs a supply of DNA Collection kits, a pregnancy pillow and of course a fake preggers false results testing kit, but they all need their cover girl bag of cosmetic tricks. (Soap Opera Examiner)

ATI president of Worldwide Media and Entertainment Jim Romanovich spoke with We Love Soaps about this year's Daytime Emmy telecast airing on August 30 on The CW. (We Love Soaps)

The Wubqueen dusts off her Wub-Writing and delivers her parody: Part One of the Karaoke WUB..catch the "guest star" at the end. (Wubs)

The Latest in Soap Videos: Daniel, Matthew, Phillip, Colleen

Here are some of the latest soap videos to hit the web.

YOU'RE UNDER ARREST FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER: Daniel was officially charged on Wednesday's DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

I WAS JUST CONGRATULATING YOUR MOM: Having seen them kissing, Matthew blackmailed Bo and Nora on Wednesday's ONE LIFE TO LIVE into letting him have the surgery.

WE HAVE TO WHIP JAMES INTO SHAPE: Alan tried to convince Phillip on Wednesday's GUIDING LIGHT that they need to work together on James, and then became suspicious that something was going on with Phillip.

YOU HAVE TURNED INTO YOUR FATHER: Colleen was upset with Victoria on Wednesday's THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS when she was kicked off the Newman board of directors.

Q&A With MONK Star Tony Shalhoub

USA Network’s MONK will return on Friday, August 7th at 9/8c. for its eighth and final season. As the series concludes, all of your questions will be answered. In addition to the return of Sharona Fleming, Monk’s beloved nurse and “Girl Friday” played by Bitty Schram, and resolution to Monk's efforts for reinstatement to the SFPD, the final episodes will concentrate on solving the murder of Monk’s beloved wife, Trudy. Guest-stars for season eight include Elizabeth Perkins, Rena Sofer (ex-Lois, GENERAL HOSPITAL), Dylan Baker, Meat Loaf, Bernie Kopell, Jay Mohr, Daniel Stern, Alex Wolff, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Eric Balfour, Kelly Carlson, Reed Diamond, and Tim Bagley as Monk's nemesis Harold Krenshaw. Feature director Dean Parisot, who directed the MONK pilot, is scheduled to direct one of the final episodes of the show.

As part of the final season, USA Network will present the first, live action, original Web series on usanetwork.com called LITTLE MONK, which is a spin-off of the critically acclaimed series. LITTLE MONK will premiere during an all new episode of MONK on Friday, August 21st with a two-minute sneak peek. Viewers can then go online for the conclusion along with additional webisodes to run weekly.

Earlier this week, We Love Soaps participated in a Q&A session with its Golden Globe, SAG and Emmy winning star, Tony Shalhoub. You can read the transcript below.

Jim Halterman (The Futon Critic): I wanted to know, you know, how is the final season structured? I mean, the season premiere seemed like a very standard, great, hilarious episode, but when do we kind of get into the wrapping of things up?

Tony Shalhoub: Excellent question. What the writers have in mind is to do, you know, as you said, our normal standalone episodes for the first, I would say, 11, because we’re doing 16, as usual. So the first 11, I would say, are going to be standalone, and then the last 5 is when we’ll be kind of connected. They’ll have a connected tissue, and we’ll start to get into the wrap up, not just of Monk, but of some of the other characters as well. Then what they want to do is the final two episodes, number 15 and 16, it’ll just be one story, a two-part, you know, aired in two segments. Just to follow – that episode, I mean that two-part will involve the wrap up of Trudy’s murder, you know, the solving of Trudy’s murder.

Roger Newcomb (We Love Soaps): Hello, Tony. Good to talk to you. You played so many varying characters over the years, and I’m looking forward to many more. But do you have any interest to do more work behind the scenes?

Tony Shalhoub: Yes, actually, because I’ve been a producer on MONK from the very start, and that’s been such a great education for me, I have a couple things in mind that I want to produce that aren’t necessarily vehicles for me. But I think it’s time for me to branch out into producing. And then I would also like to do some directing. I’ve done a little of that in the past, but it’s something I’d like to do more of. But, of course, I would never consider giving up acting. I still want to keep that alive. But because of the experience that I’ve gained and the contacts that I’ve made now, I think producing is definitely in my future.

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Jamie Steinberg (Starry Constellation Magazine): What’s the lasting impression you want audience members to take from watching your show and watching you?

Tony Shalhoub: That’s a great question. I think, if I had to choose one thing, I would say that I would want people to take away this idea that sometimes people’s problems or neuroses are really the things that are kind of a blessing in disguise, and even though there’s, you know, sometimes there’s pain associated with these things that sometimes in the face of adversity with obstacles to overcome, people can really kind of soar and find their higher selves and I think that’s what we’ve tried to do on the show is we’ve portrayed this character as someone who turns his liability, his liabilities into assets per his life. And that there’s – and I hope that when we get to the end – I don’t know this for sure, but I hope when we get to the end of season eight that we’ll have seen some real healing from Monk, and I believe in that. I believe that there is healing and that there is change, and that all of those things are – they are just really, really key to all of our lives.

Jennifer Iaccino (Media Blvd.): I wondered if you had any input into the new changes of Monk because, I mean, from the ads, it seems that he’s sort of looser and more comedic, and I wondered, I mean, because you mentioned that you really wanted to do a Galaxy Quest II. I mean, do you have a preference to comedy or drama or horror, because I know you’ve done Thir13en Ghosts, and you had a big part in 1408 and such, so I’m a big fan of yours. I’m sorry.

Tony Shalhoub: Thank you. No, I appreciate it. Well, I don’t really have a preference, to be honest. In fact, my preference, my only preference is to have a lot of variety and diversity in the material that I work on. I’ve been so fortunate throughout my career, when I was doing theater, more theater than anything else, and when I was doing films that I got a chance just to do a broad range of things. In fact, a lot of my choices that I made were about that very thing. Every project that I had an opportunity to do or chose to do, I wanted it to be different from the last thing I did, and I think that’s why I have a good, you know, I had kind of a diverse kind of résumé. I’m really – it’s what I set out to do as an actor originally.

Joshua Maloni (Niagara Frontier): You talked about the character and what he sort of means, but in terms of the pantheon of great television series, what sort of legacy do you think this show leaves, and what do you sort of take away from it in that regard?

Tony Shalhoub: Well, I think one of the things that will be remembered about this show, I hope will be remembered, is that at a time when there was, in a lot of television, especially with the onslaught of cable and in a period where television is kind of redefining itself, that there were precious few shows on the air that were suitable for a wider audience, like a younger audience, you know, people in their 30’s and then people like elderly people in the 70’s and 80’s. That there was a show that all those different demographics could tune into and appreciate, and would appreciate on their own level.

And I think there aren’t a lot of shows like that. There haven’t been a lot of shows like that in the last decade. And I hope that that’s something that people will focus on and remember for a long time, you know, that it’s still possible to do interesting stories and good comedy without having it have to be all exclusively adult themed kinds of things or super violent or with language that some people might feel is inappropriate for younger audiences, and that this show was kind of able to stand out and do that.

David Martindale (Hearst Newspaper): One time when I interviewed you, you mentioned that you’re the only one at your home who knows how to absolutely – the only right way to load the dishwasher, which struck me as a kind of Monk thing to say.

Tony Shalhoub: I’m not the only one in my home. I’m the only one in my community, I think, my entire neighborhood, I’m pretty sure.

David Martindale (Hearst Newspaper): Who knows how to load the dishwasher right? My question is, have you found that the longer you play Monk, that the differences between you, Tony, and the character has eroded, which is to say, have you become more like him, and he more like you, over the years?

Tony Shalhoub: I would say yes, absolutely. I mean, I resisted it for a long time. I wrestled with it. I fought with it. I was in denial about it and all of that. But inevitably, you know, there have been some – you know, as I said, in interviews too. I feel like I’ve been infected in some way by this character. Tendencies, you know, minor tendencies that I’ve had in my life prior to Monk have just kind of ballooned and expanded and it’s inevitably. I mean, I just, there’s no point in trying to – I’ve given up trying to resist it. I’ve had to just surrender to it. I mean, I’m hoping that when Monk is over that I’ll have some period of recovery, but I’m not holding my breath.

Sarah Fulghum (TotallyHer.com): What was the deciding factor to make this season the final season?

Tony Shalhoub: Well, I think there were a lot of things at play there. I mean, long conversations that I had with Andy Breckman, you know, one of the co-creators and the main writer. We’ve been talking all along about how many seasons to do, how many episodes that he had in him, you know, as the writer. He, at one point, said that he didn’t think really he had more than six seasons, and then he kind of got a gigantic second wind, and we did the seventh, and we weren’t sure when we were doing the seventh if the network was going to go with us on the eighth. But to make a long story short, we all kind of agreed that the eighth season would be it for all of us.

I think it will have 124 episodes by the end of the eighth season, and I think we’re all ready to resolve the storyline and move on to other things. We certainly don’t want to go too long and have the quality start to wane and just limp to the finish line. We want to go out while we’re still really, we feel really that we’re doing great work and delivering really strong episodes. We want to go out on a high.

Beth Ann Henderson (NiceGirlsTV.com): I wanted to know how many of the old faces for past episodes are we going to see as a way of saying good-bye this last season?

Tony Shalhoub: Well, we’ll certainly, I’m sure you’ve probably read because there’s been a lot of publicity about Sharona coming back. Bitty Schram is going to come back for episode – I believe it’s episode number 12, which will start shooting in September. And they want to bring that character back and kind of wrap it up and kind of give that a good send off. A lot of people really missed that character and the dynamic between Monk and Sharona. And so we’re all looking forward to that.

Of course, we’ll see Harold Krenshaw comes back, one of my favorites. He’s the other OCD patient who is always kind of in competition with Monk, played so brilliantly by Tim Bagley. He’s going to return for at least a couple of episodes.

And well, that’s it. I mean, of course, Dr. Bell, the psychiatrist will be in a number of episodes. I don’t think – people have asked if we’re going to see Ambrose. I don’t really think that's in the cards simply because that’s … John is so busy. It’s difficult to schedule him in. I mean, if I had my way, we’d do kind of what Seinfeld did and bring back almost every guest star there ever was on the show, but ours is going to go in a different direction.

Christine Nyholm (Examiner.com): I have to tell you. I’m from Wisconsin. You’re one of my mother’s favorite actors.

Tony Shalhoub: I’m in Wisconsin as we speak. I’m at a family reunion in Door County, so it’s beautiful here.

Christine Nyholm (Examiner.com): Oh, it’s fantastic there, and that’s actually my question is, being from Wisconsin, how did you make your way from Wisconsin to Hollywood, and do your Midwestern roots impact your acting at all and how?

Tony Shalhoub: Boy, I think so. I think they do. I went to college on the East Coast in Portland, Maine. I went to graduate school at Yale Drama School. I worked in the theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts for years, and moved to New York, and then to Los Angeles. I mean, that’s kind of the – that was kind of the roadmap of it.

But I also come back to Wisconsin every year, and I have family here, of course, and I don’t know. I just think there’s a – you know, this place kind of was a fantastic place to grow up and kind of keeps me kind of grounded and keeps me somewhat humble just to kind of return to it. Yes, I think it just keeps me balanced. I still have great, great friends and feel like it’s home.

Laura Tucker (Small Screen Monthly): Just to reflect on some of the earlier questions somewhat, but it’s a little more specific. Have you, Tony, learned anything from your years with the character of Adrian Monk, and do you think Adrian has learned anything from Tony?

Tony Shalhoub: Well, I think yes. I think I have learned something from Adrian. I think I’ve learned to – sometimes, you know, hyper-focusing on things is actually a good thing to do. Not all the time, and I wouldn’t want to be as kind of fixed – you know, get as fixated and as obsessed as Adrian, but sometimes, you know, I’ve found that it’s really helpful to look at things in my own life with the same kind of sort of relentlessness that Monk does, just turning something over and over and over and trying to see it from all angles, and not being too quick to judge something or label something. So in that sense, I feel like I’ve gained a little real life wisdom.

What has Monk gotten from me? Boy, I don’t know. That’s a really good question. I feel like Monk has maybe become a little more – because I was playing the role, maybe Monk has become a little more open to others and embraces to the level, to the degree that he can, embraces other people’s point of view. I feel like I’ve been that kind of a person in my life, open-minded.

Joe Hummel (Pop Culture Madness): Some of my questions were kind of asked by a few other people, so I guess I have two quick, short things. How involved were you with the development of the character of Monk, and are there any clues that point to the potential killer for Trudy besides the garage?

Tony Shalhoub: Well, I wasn’t really there when the character was created. The script was around for a number of years before it came to me, although I do feel that I’ve had some significant input. When I came to the project, the script and the character was somewhat different, and I had long conversations with Andy Breckman about kind of morphing the character more towards to what I wanted to do, more to my strengths. The original script that I read was somewhat more – was a little more slap sticky, and I wanted to emphasize the kind of darker aspects of this character and more … and so that was a conversation that a lot of the producers had in the beginning. And I think Andy did such a great job morphing what he had originally written to fit me and what I wanted to do.

As far as the other clues, well, I don’t want to give away too much before these episodes air because I think it’s going to be a lot more interesting for people to discover things as we go along.

Lauren Becker (Shooting Stars Magazine): You’ve already talked about how, through the years, you’ve become more similar to Monk, and I was just wondering if, in your own life, you found some of his compulsions entering your life in small ways and, if so, kind of what they were.

Tony Shalhoub: Well, you know, they take so many different forms and kind of crop up at the oddest times really. Sometimes I feel like – there are moments when I feel like I’m just nothing like the character. But then something will happen, and I’ll just realize that I’m rearranging something on a table at a restaurant, which seems that in that particular moment, seems like it’s absolutely essential that the sugar packets are facing one way and that everything else has to stop until this particular task is completed. Then I realize, what the hell am I doing? I’m channeling the character again. So it would take me about an hour and a half to describe all of the things that occur, but just trust me. It just kind of comes over me in waves, and I have to really, really check myself and try and pull myself out of these things.

Gino Sassani (Outcoming Disc): The question I have for you is that of course a big loss for your show throughout these years was the loss of Stanley Kamel as Dr. Kroger.

Tony Shalhoub: Yes.

Gino Sassani (Outcoming Disc): And we know kind of how Monk is dealing with the loss of the character, but can you tell us a little bit about Tony dealing with the loss of Stanley?

Tony Shalhoub: You know, it’s been really tricky, and we all speak … it’s almost as if he has never left us because his name comes up in stories, and anecdotes come up about him all the time on the set. And he’s missed, but we try to sort of keep him alive in our – you know, keep in our midst. He was there from the very, very beginning, from the pilot episode, and I have to say, you know, those scenes, those Dr. Kroger scenes in the pilot were so important, just in terms of my process, my discovery of who Monk was.
I think those scenes in particular were the most informative for me and the richest. They really, really helped me to kind of define the parameters of this guy, of my character. So, yes, I kind of carry that with me and have for all these seasons. And now, when I’m in these sessions, these scenes with Hector Elizondo, who plays Dr. Bell, I can’t even go into these scenes without just this little – I sort of do this little internal toast, as it were, to Stanley Kamel because he was the original doctor. I like to think that he’s kind of there in those sessions with me. He is missed.

Travis Tidmore (Cinemaniac): Over the years, you guys, as you’ve discussed, have had a lot of guest stars on the show.

Tony Shalhoub: Yes.

Travis Tidmore (Cinemaniac): I was wondering if you had a favorite over the years and maybe a favorite you’ve worked with so far this year.

Tony Shalhoub: It’s so hard for me to pick a favorite because there have been so many great ones, and I’ve had the chance to bring friends of mine on the show, I mean, people that I’ve worked with in the past like Stanley Tucci and John Turturro and people that I’ve always wanted to work with like Laurie Metcalf. But I have to say, of all of the seasons, and of all of the guest stars, the most thrilling for me was last season working with Gena Rowlands on Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door. She was such a tremendous influence on me when I was a student and studying acting. I was a devotee of John Cassavetes movies and the movies she did even separate from him.

I was the one who actually when we were casting that particular episode, The Lady Next Door, there were a number of names on the list, and I pitched her name. And I was stunned and thrilled to find out that she wanted to do it. And then working those eight days with her was just, you know, I felt really, when we finished that episode, I felt like I could retire, that I had done everything I needed to do now. She was so gracious and so good, and of course she’s been nominated for an Emmy for that episode too, so I will hopefully see her at the Emmys in September.

Josh Bozeman (BluesSite.com): I think the character of Monk has been portrayed very respectful. What was the process you went into in the research to try to make sure you didn’t go over the top and play it maybe possibly offensive?

Tony Shalhoub: The process was really one of - it’s a process that I use and have used in approaching other characters, which is to find out – you know, knowing that it’s a comedy and to find out what – in any comedy, what I try to do is I try and find out what are the more serious aspects of the character. And, conversely, when I do a serious role, I try and find out what’s funny about the character. And the beauty of this particular character is that I’ve had the opportunity to do both comedy and drama within one series, one character.

So I guess to answer your question, it’s really digging out the – when you’re doing the comedic moments, digging out what’s really, really at stake and what is the most important and most serious thing to the character, which I believe informs the comedy. And then conversely, you know, when the moments are really dark and poignant, trying to infuse those with an unexpected and sometimes inappropriate or seemingly inappropriate comedic flash, you know, a little spark of something absurd or comedic. That’s been my approach.

Sandy Lo (Star Shine Magazine): I know you talked about your favorite guest stars, but I was wondering if you had a particular favorite episode of Monk.

Tony Shalhoub: Man. This is so difficult because I have so many that are just so near and dear to me. I kind of will reframe the question in the answer, I think. The ones that – I will say the ones where I think we did, where we’ve done the best, in other words, those episodes where we did 100% of what we set out to do or 100% of how we imagined the show should be in a perfect world when we’re doing our job – just the best. Those episodes would be, I would say, the first John Turturro episode where we meet the character of Ambrose. That was called Mr. Monk and the Three Pies.

Another favorite of mine was Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine because it was a chance for me to do this character almost as a different character – see a different part of him emerge. We did an episode that we just shot in the first part of season eight, which will be airing in about a month. It’s called Mr. Monk is Someone Else, and it’s an episode where it’s basically … assume this character of a man who looks just like him, but the character happens to be a professional hit man for the mafia, and this character dies, and Monk is asked to take on, you know, to take this guy on and become him. And so those opportunities to kind of transform within the character are really, really challenging and satisfying.

Sarah Lafferty (StarPulse.com): Trudy’s murder has been one of the most successful narrative arcs in television history, rivaling even Mulder’s sister Samantha on THE X-FILES.

Tony Shalhoub: Wow.

Sarah Lafferty (StarPulse.com): So what do you think – while it’s going to be addressed in the final season, do you think it should be solved or left for the audience as more of a McGuffin?

Tony Shalhoub: I really think it should be solved. I know there are people who say that maybe it shouldn’t because that would mean that there would be life for this character beyond the series and that possibly the solving of Trudy’s murder would cure him in some way or take down his OCD symptoms, and then the character wouldn’t really be the character that we’ve come to recognize. But I really feel that we’ve worked this storyline so delicately and for so long that I think we owe it to not just the audience and to ourselves, but to the character of Monk and to the character of Trudy that we’ve created. I think we should solve it.

Jessica Mahn (FanBolt.com): What’s the most memorable moment you’ve had filming the series?

Tony Shalhoub: The most memorable moment? I can’t remember my most memorable. I think I would have to say the most memorable moment would be when I was doing the episode with Stanley Tucci, Mr. Monk and the Actor, and he and I were, you know, having been reunited from having worked together for a number of times, he and I sort of, in the climax of the episode where I take the gun away from him, and we’re kind of sitting on the floor leaning up against this counter thing, you know, kind of our arms over each other’s shoulders because it was reminiscent of a moment in Big Night, which was such a gigantic turning point for me, I think, in terms of film of my career. So in that moment in Monk kind of reminded me of the moment in the movie was pretty emotional, a pretty emotional time.

Russell Trunk (ExclusiveMagazine.com): Now just because USA is bringing the series to an end because of their choice and collectively yours, as we’ve heard, it doesn’t mean another network down the line, a couple of years or so, wouldn’t pick it up, following, of course, on from the reveal of who the killer was. Now is this a choice that you’ve thought about that maybe you would contemplate a return to the character down the line in a couple, three years perhaps?

Tony Shalhoub: You know, I’ve given that a lot of thought. I feel like I’m ready to put this character to rest, but by the same token, I never say never, and circumstances could change, and I could change my mind. Certainly I’ve been known to change my mind. I just think time will tell. I would never ever rule something like that out. I hope that answers your question.

Earl Dittman (Wireless Magazine): Do you ever foresee maybe doing specials in the future? And also, what are you going to miss the most about playing this character that you’ve played for so long?

Tony Shalhoub: Well, to answer your first question, I assume you’re talking about like a TV movie or something of the character the way Colombo did. I don’t really see that being so likely just because I think I’m going to be – I’m hoping that I’m going to be busy with other things. Maybe I’m deluding myself.

Jay Jacobs (Pop Entertainment): I just watched the season premiere, and this question is sort of specific to that. Have you ever run across any people who are as passionate about Adrian Monk as Adrian was about Christine…?

Tony Shalhoub: Yes. I have to say that I have, actually, and it’s kind of a disturbing notion. But that’s kind of, you know, it’s kind of been part of what’s been interesting about this character is that being an obsessive character, I find that there are obsessive fans. There are people who know way too much about the details of the character and way too much about various moments in different episodes, things that I, frankly, have long forgotten, small, small details. I suppose that’s good on the one hand. You know, I just – it’s – I just hope that those people keep a nice, healthy distance in the future, a nice, healthy, respectful distance.

Rosa Cordero (Accidental Sexiness): Your fans want to know what’s up next for you. After you’re done with Monk, are you going to take a nice long vacation, or will we get the pleasure of seeing you more on the big screen?

Tony Shalhoub: Well, I don’t want to take too long a vacation, although I do think I need a break. I start to – whenever I take too long a break or don’t work a while, all my demons start to resurface, and I go a little nuts. And I did work on an independent feature this past winter, which I hope will be coming out soon called Feed the Fish, a movie that I acted in, but also co-produced, and a really nice … so we’re looking for distribution to sell this picture, so people should look for that.

But beyond that, I want to really, really take some time for myself to decide which direction to go next. I might do some theater for a year before I do any more television. I think I need a break from hour long episodic for a while.

Tom Parsons (Blog Critics): I have a question about the character and how much freedom you have to kind of riff on the OCD? It seems like there are moments in different episodes are just complete adlib where you’re just playing that personality trait more for the comedic effect. How much freedom do you have to just kind of take an idea and run with it?

Tony Shalhoub: Well, I have an enormous amount of freedom. In terms of dialog, I try to stay really close to the script. We all do, but we do have a writer with us on the set every moment, and we’re always pitching ideas to this writer/producer and seeing what we can get away with. But as far as physical behavior and things that I discover that may not be in the script, but are, but we discover in whatever environment we’re in, whether it’s somewhere outdoors or somewhere in an office or wherever the setting may be. I’ve been able to kind of just find things and work with them. That’s what’s really been so exciting because it’s kind of, there’s an endless, believe me, playing an OCD character with some of those tendencies myself, there’s an endless, endless array of stuff to become preoccupied with out there in the world, whether it’s intentioned by the script or completely unintentional.

Adam Krause (Static Multimedia): To be honest, most of my questions I was hoping to ask you have been asked, so on a lighter note, knowing you’re a Packer fan, and me being from Green Bay, Wisconsin myself, I was hoping to actually maybe get your feelings on the possibility of Bret Favre playing for the Vikings. Does that upset you, like it upsets most of us?

Tony Shalhoub: Well, it doesn’t really upset me, but it does – you know, I think if someone – this guy, that someone like him who is so passionate about his work and just cannot give it up, thinks he can give it up, and then discovers that it’s impossible to give it up, I think in some ways I would be like him. I would retire and then come out of retirement 17 times. But I think what’s really, what’s a little bit unsettling to me is this idea of being at Lambeau Field on that day when the Packers are playing the Vikings, and he trots out through the tunnel wearing the wrong uniform. I don’t really have any desire to be at that game. It’ll be all I can do to – you know, I’ll be watching it on television with my remote getting ready to just flick it off really quickly. I’ve lost a little sleep over that, but hey, the guy is just trying to make a buck, you know.

Kendra White (SideReel): This is a bit of a follow-up on a previous question. A number of seasons ago, it looked like Monk could actually solve Trudy’s murder. Has it always been the plan to wait until the final season to possibly solve it, or were there ideas along the way to solve it, and then continue on in a different plot angle?

Tony Shalhoub: No, I think from as far back as I can recall, it was always part of Andy Breckman’s agenda to save the wrap-up until the end, I think the biggest reason being that it keeps Monk in a bit of a fog, and it keeps him on his heels, this unresolved, this one case that he just cannot figure out, and that he’s just too close to, to figure out. And so I think it was always part of his plan.

Steve Reramo (Sci Fi and TV Talk): I wonder maybe if you could tell us what so far has made a career in this industry rewarding for you, would you say?

Tony Shalhoub: Well, a number of things. Having the opportunity to work in all three different mediums: theater, film, and television. Having the opportunity to work with people that I really respect, and having, most importantly, which was my original objective from way, way back was to have longevity in the industry. It was never really one of my goals to gain tremendous amount of celebrity or make a tremendous amount of money necessarily. But it was very important to me when I set out that I would be able to do it for a long period of time and not burn out too quickly or not paint myself into a corner necessarily by doing one thing, which is another reason why I think it’s a healthy and a perfect time to bring Monk to an end because there are other things that I really want to do.

Mark Eastman (RUScreening.com): I actually just kind of wanted to go – probably a lot of these things have been covered, but what I was wondering is the die hard fans don’t really need to be convinced to tune in to the new season, but for those who maybe know the show, but are not quite addicted yet, apart from the obvious things, is there anything you can give us about maybe why we really need to tune in to the new season?

Tony Shalhoub: Well, yes, that’s a really good question. I think people will be really gratified and startled maybe to see that the quality remains really, really high, that the stories are interesting, that we do a bit of what we’ve tried to do every season, which is kind of break our own rules and do some unexpected things. We always have interesting guest stars. We try to bring in people to do things that they may not be necessarily known for. We try to do our guest casting so that it isn’t completely on the nose. For example, we have Jay Moore coming in an upcoming episode that we shot recently. He plays a sort of super lawyer, a super kind of … Johnny Cochran super lawyer who never lost a case. And it’s really an interesting turn by Jay Moore. I think we keep it kind of just off center enough to make it interesting. I hope we do.

Sheldon Wiebe with (Eclipse Media): Something that I’ve always liked about the series is that Monk’s OCD may be the source of some comedic moments, but it’s never been treated as a gimmick. It’s never been played that way. And every year, Monk has to do something large like I’m thinking of the scene where, the sequence where he was in the sewer.

Tony Shalhoub: Yes.

Sheldon Wiebe with (Eclipse Media): Sometimes when it’s life and death, he can overcome the OCD, but we know he’ll never be completely without it. How do you figure the season will find him in terms of the OCD, solving the case with Trudy will give him a little more control, or will he spin further out because there won’t be that big goal?

Tony Shalhoub: No, I think it will give him some – I think it will actually help him, and it will give him some kind of peace and some kind of – and in that peace, his OCD symptoms will begin to, you know, significantly drop away. And when that happens, I think he’ll be able to move forward in his life. You know, he won’t feel so paralyzed. He won’t feel so – he won’t have such an aversion to being with other people. He might even, who knows – I don’t know because the writers haven’t revealed this to me, but he might even be able to find love and romance in his life again. All those things, I think, remain, you know, all those things are on the table and are good possibilities.

The Latest in Soap Tweets: LeBlanc & Cooper in Jersey!

Here are some of the latest interesting tweets from around the soap world. Y&R's Christian LeBlanc and Jeanne Cooper are in New Jersey. Does that mean Cooper is getting her wish and will be appearing on GUIDING LIGHT before the show ends? That's just my speculation but would it be very exciting.

@CJLeBlanc (Christian LeBlanc) Jeannie waiting like a dog with me in New Jersey for our ride! And so it begins.... http://img268.yfrog.com/i/a78i.jpg Jeannie frightened badly by our friend Allan Sugarman's terrifying driving in rainsoaked New Jersey! http://img268.yfrog.com/i/a78i.jpg/ Jeannie Cooper pointing to the only people older than she is! http://img407.yfrog.com/i/m01l.jpg/

@Chrishell7 (Chrishell Stause) Just read a new script that won't air for about a month-a little worried. Calling all Jamanda fans-show them your support!!Can't say more :(

@DanielGoddard (Daniel Goddard) @ work about to start the day... CK & I have some great scenes @michaelmuhney I knew u were into bikinis but I thought u had grown out of swim diapers...

@michaelmuhney (Michael Muhney) @DanielGoddard I do look good in two-piece bikinis and the swim diapers are ONLY if I am too lazy to get out of the water & find a bathroom.

@breewilliamson (Bree Williamson) Thanks for all the good luck wishes for the Emmys! It's only a month away! I'm picking out dresses!

@KnowJR (J.R. Martinez) Making calls, watchN the sun come out, doing interviews, sending emails, watchN Ice Road Truckers, & coordinating events for moms NYC visit!

@TaylorSpreitler (Taylor Spreitler) Just ate some bomb cocoa puffs the breakfast of champions :p now going to look at Daytime Emmy dresses

@CliftonsNotes (Scott Clifton) On another location shoot in NJ... We have luxury porta-potties with flowers in them. I shit you not. Moving up in the world, baby.

@edenriegel (Eden Riegel) I adore girls. They are so cute and optimistic about how long it takes them to get ready. And I'm always the one waiting. #bitchwednesday

@vrayskull (Vanessa Ray) At an audition with Elizabeth Shu... She is so famous, and still has to run her lines a million times before going in. I hope she books it!!

@greg_vaughan (Greg Vaughan) How about my Yanks being 10-1 since allstar game!!

Be sure to follow We Love Soaps on Twitter.

Daytime Emmy Interview: ATI's Jim Romanovich

Associated Television International's (ATI) president of Worldwide Media and Entertainment Jim Romanovich, producer of this year's Daytime Emmy telecast, was a guest on Episode #5 of the "We Love Soaps Radio" podcast. Romanovich, who previously visited the set of every soap, spoke with We Love Soaps about his love for daytime drama, how he became involved with the Emmys, and what we can expect on the show.

We Love Soaps: Can you tell us a little about your background? You are from Chicago and I read that you originally wanted to be an actor?
Jim Romanovich: When I was younger I was fascinated by George Reeves as Superman. I think that was really my first impression. Charlton Heston in Ben Hur was another one, and I think all young boys and girls who saw that on television thought, 'That could be me.' As far as wanting to become an actor, that started around my teenage years. But it wasn't until I went to college that I decided it was what I wanted to do. Around 1981 when I started getting interested in GENERAL HOSPITAL, it was mainly because of Robert Scorpio. I felt he was somebody who was speaking to me. As somebody who wasn't a soap opera watcher, I felt soap operas were all about who's pregnant, who's cheating on who, and all geared to woman. I was stuck watching with my high school girlfriend in the summer of '81 and we were getting ready to go to college in the fall and here was this freezing of Port Charles, the crazy Cassadine family with their crazy ice princess machine, the diamond, and Robert Scorpio the special agent - sort of this Sherlock Homes meets James Bond meets Superman. I had never seen anything like that before. And, of course, the anti-hero Luke Spencer who you never really saw on soaps. And I stuck with it until this day. It's still my favorite show. I do watch a lot of the other shows, but that's what got me into wanting to be an actor.

We Love Soaps: Why and at what point did you transition from acting into producing?
Jim Romanovich: I was tired. I was auditioning, on my own, until around '93 or '94. I was getting a few things here and there. I got a guest shot on HEARTS AFIRE with John Ritter and Markie Post, and I was up for the Mike Horton role on DAYS that went to Roark Critchlow. I really would have loved that, but it wasn't meant to be. So I realized early on that if I wanted to be a performer, I should control what I do, so that's how I got into producing.

We Love Soaps: Turning to the Daytime Emmy telecast. Late last year we heard that CBS had declined to pick up their option to air the show. CBS and ABC had been rotating televising the awards the past few years and shared them with NBC before that. At what point were you aware there was issue with the telecast and when did you become involved?
Jim Romanovich: Being a fan of daytime, I was always on top of it all. I watched the Daytime Emmys every year. Just being in the business, you know what's going on. For me, I always had a personal interest in the Daytime Emmys so I followed the stories. Then Peter Price, President of NATAS, was giving quotes about it. I think the first one was in November where he was quoted as saying something like, 'We're negotiating with a few things and something should be announced shortly,' but nothing was announced shortly. Then the next bit of news I saw was in January of this year and there was a story about the Daytime Emmys not coming back to television. I saw another quote from an insider at NATAS that said, 'We're negotiating with several people and it will be televised at some point this year.' But I think that was wishful thinking because they really didn't have anyone at that point. We had won a Daytime Emmy last year for AMERICA'S INVISIBLE CHILDREN, hosted by Joan Lunden, which aired on The CW in the afternoon, so we knew the people there.

David McKenzie, and I can't stress this enough, is the man who saved the Emmy telecast. He is the man who is making all this happen. A lot of peoplel have been very kind, giving me a lot of accolades for keeping this thing going and being caring toward the soaps and being out there, and it's true I have been, but I could not have done that without David McKenzie. He is the man making all this happen without a doubt. I can't tell people how important this man is.

So he comes into my office and says, 'Hey, Jim, what do you think of us producing the Daytime Emmys this year?' I thought, 'Are you crazy? It's been bottled up with the networks for years, and has production companies attached to it.' I said, 'I don't think we a chance at doing something like that.' But he said to take a look. We produced the World Magic Awards and last year we did it with Neil Patrick Harris as host. We did the Magic Awards on a big, big scale and can do the big shows. He wanted to do this show because it was a prestigious event and likes the Daytime Emmys so I said, 'I'm in.'