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News, Cast Updates and Scoop(News section last updated March 11, 2014)
Watch Soap LifeSoap Life, the documentary chronicling the rise and fall of the American soap opera is being released worldwide today on a host of platforms like iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. The feature features interviews from fans, directors, producers and actors like Rick Hearst (Ric, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Whip, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL), Bobbie Eakes (Krystal, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Macy, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL) and more! (See the full cast list here.)
For a preview, you can watch the trailer here.
MORE DETAILS ON PP'S MONEY WOESDigest has obtained a copy of Prospect Park's bankruptcy filing. According to the document, PP owes money to 20 individuals or companies, including $1.7 million to ABC, $750,000 to the law firm representing it in its lawsuit against ABC, $86,000 to the Screen Actors Guild, $50,000 to the Directors Guild, $345,000 to the Connecticut Film Center (where AMC and OLTL taped), $565,000 to NEP Broadcasting (a company that provides teleproduction services), $205,000 to OLTL alum Erika Slezak (Viki) and $60,000 to her co-star Tuc Watkins (David).
'All My Children' And 'One Life To Live' Producer Prospect Park Networks Files For Chapter 11(deadline.com) Although its multimillion-dollar legal action against ABC over seemingly shuttered licensed soaps All My Children and One Life To Live continues, Prospect Park Networks today filed for Chapter 11. The online production company made the petition for protection in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware. “PPN is optimistic that this filing will make it possible to continue to maximize the value of its assets and settlement of past liabilities,” the company said in a statement today. “The company is optimistic about the prospects for a smooth transition into bankruptcy.” The action today leaves little room for the resurrection of All My Children and One Life To Live in their last online incarnation. After a long-awaited first season online, both soaps ceased production last August.
Today’s move does not affect the Prospect Park management and talent company Jeff Kwatinetz and ex-Walt Disney Studios president Richard Frank formed in 2008, nor will it halt the company’s broadcast and cable productions — Prospect Park currently has Wilfred on FX and Royal Pains on USA Network, with drama Salem debuting on WGN America on April 20. The filing comes just less than four months after Kwatinetz filed a 10-claim complaint against his own company and PPN as well as Boston-based investors ABRY Senior Equity IV, L.P., ABRY Investment Partnership, L.P., and ABRY Senior Equity Co-Investment Fund IV seeking a declaratory judgment over non-compete clauses in a December 31, 2012, employment agreement. That November 21 complaint was later pulled out the courts as the parties went to work on a private settlement.
Josh Duhamel Joins Vince Gilligan's Battle Creek(tvguide.com) Josh Duhamel has signed on to Battle Creek, the CBS drama from Breaking Bad creatorVince Gilligan and House's David Shore, TVGuide.com has confirmed.
Duhamel will star as FBI Special Agent Milton Chamberlain, opposite Dean Winters, who will play local police detective Russ Agnew. The drama follows the two men, who have diametrically opposed worldviews, as they team up to restore order to the semi-mean streets of Battle Creek, Mich.
Kal Penn, Janet McTeer, Edward Fordham Jr. and Aubrey Dollar are also starring on the show, which was given a straight-to-series 13 episode order. Gilligan and Shore, who will serve as showrunner, will write and executive-produce, with Bryan Singer directing the pilot.
Michael B. Jordan Addresses Fantastic Four Casting Backlash: "It Was Expected"You can't please 'em all. Especially when it comes to casting the Fantastic Four movie franchise, based on the beloved comics.
Michael B. Jordan addressed the backlash surrounding the highly anticipated film during a press conference at his Fruitvale Station premiere in Rome.
"It was expected," the 27-year-old told the crowd on Thursday. "You kinda know going into it that people are used to seeing something one way, it's a continuity thing more than anything. People don't like change too much."
The Friday Nights Alum admitted that he just has to "accept" the reaction from some fans because it "is what it is." (Video)
"You can't make everybody happy," the actor continued. "You just gotta accept that and know. I'm an actor, I have to do my job. I'm going to do my job the best I can and the way I've been doing it my entire life, my entire career."
Jordan explained that he is a "comic book guy" and his role in the film—Johnny Storm/The Human Torch—is "one of my favorite characters."
"I'm going to give it my everything," he said. "I can't wait. I don't really let it bother me at all. I just want to go into it and do the best job I can. We'll see what happens."
The Josh Trank-directed movie has been in development since 2009. Kate Mara, Miles Teller and Jamie Bell will also star in the action flick.
The Fantastic Four is scheduled for release on June 19, 2015.
Soap Stars Sing!You already know that many of your favorite stars have talents that go far beyond their acting abilities, and a half dozen of them are preparing to wow you with their vocal stylings with Soap Stars Sing!
The event will showcase the talent of Anthony Geary (Luke, GENERAL HOSPITAL), Bobbie Eakes (Krystal, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Macy, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL), Ronn Moss (ex-Ridge, B&B), Eden Riegel (Bianca, AMC), Kristen Alderson (Kiki, GH) and Vincent Irizarry (David, AMC), with more talent to be announced as the show grows closer.
Soap Stars Sing will be held on Friday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fred Kavli Theater in Thousand Oaks, CA. Tickets are currently available on-line at varying price points, including a VIP Package that includes a post-show meet-and-greet and photo op with the actors. For more information and to order tickets, visit the show's Web site by clicking here!
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. Step Out for Date Night(Photo) Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. took a break from the kids for a romantic date night.
The cute Hollywood couple grabbed dinner at Bagutta restaurant in Los Angeles Wednesday night and enjoyed a little one-on-one time (minus the paparazzi, of course).
Gellar looked stylish in fitted jeans, a navy blazer, a sparkly top and patent-leather boots, and her clutch came in handy as a makeshift shield from the cameras. Her hubby of 11 years chose to keep it casual in a gray pullover and brown pants as he led his real-life leading lady to the car.
The doting parents are rarely snapped together in public and were probably eager to get back to their adorable little ones, daughter Charlotte and son Rocky, who looks exactly like his famous dad.
Last November, Gellar revealed to More magazine that she sometimes struggles to find the balance between work and motherhood. "If I have extra time, I want to be with my kids," she revealed. "I still have that mom guilt. I haven't had a facial since my first child was born."
Luckily, she gets lots of help and support from her partner of over a decade. When asked how she makes her marriage work, she replied, "A separate life. I always say I'm Sarah Michelle Gellar when I work and Sarah Prinze in the other life. I don't know if there is a secret—if I had a secret, I'd write a book and retire. But we talk. We check in."
Sounds like the perfect recipe for long-term success!
Dano's Got Heart!For decades, Linda Dano had been beloved by fans for her portrayal of strong women like ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Rae Cummings and ANOTHER WORLDS' Felicia Gallant. However in her personal life, she's long been appreciated for her tender dedication to the work of HeartShare Human Services Of New York, a non-profit organization that serves the needs of children and families affected by autism and other developmental disabilities. "The centers that we maintain are filled with dedicated teachers, volunteers and people who've become passionate about helping those children," offers Dano, who serves on the board of directors.
In honor of HeartShare's 100 years of service to the community, a spring gala and auction will be held on Thursday, March 27, at the New York Marriott Marquis. At the event, past recipients will gather to be honored as a group as part of the centennial celebration. Among them will be familiar faces from daytime TV like Rosie O'Donnell, John Edward, THE VIEW's Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie, ALL MY CHILDREN's Susan Lucci (Erica) and Cameron Mathison (Ryan), GENERAL HOSPITAL's executive producer, Frank Valentini, AS THE WORLD TURNS' Tamara Tunie (Jessica), and ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Robert S. Woods (Bo).
"It's a very exciting night," Dano enthuses. "I'm so looking forward to it!" For information about attending the event, click this link to visit the Web site or call (718) 422-3210.
2014 MTV Movie Awards nomineesBREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE
Liam James, "The Way Way Back"
Michael B. Jordan, "Fruitvale Station"
Will Poulter, "We're the Millers"
Margot Robbie, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Miles Teller, "The Spectacular Now"
Jon Lindstrom InterviewGeneral Hospital's Jon Lindstrom on His Marriage to Cady McClain. Read the TV Guide interview here.
Hunger Games' Leven Rambin Joins The Tomorrow PeopleLeven Rambin, who played Glimmer in The Hunger Games, has joined The Tomorrow People in a dangerous new role, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively.
The actress will appear in the final three episodes of the season as Natalie, a troublemaking paranormal who has no love for humans. She and Russell (Aaron Yoo) quickly hit it off and become a homosuperior version of Bonnie and Clyde. But things take a turn for worst when Natalie threatens to join Ultra, inciting a potential mutiny.
In addition to The Hunger Games, Rambin's credits also include Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and Grey's Anatomy.
41st ANNUAL DAYTIME EMMY PRENOMS REVEALEDThe 41st Annual Daytime Emmy nominations will officially be revealed on May 1, but NATAS and ATAS has released the talent who have received prenominations in the acting categories:
Sharon Case (Sharon, Y&R), Jessica Collins (Avery, Y&R), Eileen Davidson (Kristen, DAYS), Finola Hughes (Anna, GH), Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B), Kelly Monaco (Sam, GH), Alison Sweeney (Sami, DAYS), Heather Tom (Katie, B&B), Jess Walton (Jill, Y&R), Maura West (Ava, GH), Laura Wright (Carly GH) and Arianne Zucker (Nicole, DAYS) landed prenoms in the Lead Actress division.
Up for Lead Actor are Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH), Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), Doug Davidson (Paul, Y&R), Roger Howarth (Franco, GH), Christian LeBlanc (Michael, Y&R), John McCook (Eric, B&B), Jason Thompson (Patrick, GH), Billy Miller (Billy, Y&R), James Scott (EJ, DAYS) and Shawn Christian (Daniel, DAYS).
The Supporting Actress prenoms went to Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren, Y&R), Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea, Y&R), Jane Elliot (Tracy, GH), Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, GH), Amelia Heinle (Victoria, Y&R), Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe, Y&R), Lisa LoCicero (Olivia, GH), Kimberly McCullough (Robin, GH), Kelly Sullivan (Connie, GH) and Cynthia Watros (Kelly, Y&R).
Robert Adamson (Noah, Y&R), Bradford Anderson (Spinelli, GH), Blake Berris (Nick, DAYS), Sean Blakemore (Shawn, GH), Darin Brooks (Wyatt, B&B), Steve Burton (Dylan, Y&R), Scott Clifton (Liam, B&B), William deVry (Julian, GH), Wally Kurth (Justin, DAYS), Eric Martsolf (Brady, DAYS), Greg Rikaart (Kevin, Y&R), Greg Vaughan (Eric, DAYS) and Dominic Zamprogna (Dante, GH) made the Supporting Actor cut.
In the Younger Actress category, prenoms went to Kirsten Alderson (Kiki, GH), Camila Banus (Gabi, DAYS), Linsey Godfrey (Caroline, B&B), Christel Khalil (Lily, Y&R), Hunter King (Summer, Y&R), Kate Mansi (Abigail, DAYS), Kim Matula (Hope, B&B), Kelley Missal (Dani, OLTL), Ashlyn Pearce (Aly, B&B) and Denyse Tontz (Miranda, AMC).
Younger Actor prenoms went to Corbin Bleu (Jeffrey, OLTL), Bryan Craig (Morgan, GH), Chad Duell (Michael, GH), Max Ehrich (Fenmore, Y&R), Adam Gregory (Thomas, B&B), Chandler Massey (Will, DAYS), Casey Moss (JJ, DAYS), Eric Nelsen (AJ, AMC), Daniel Polo (Jamie, Y&R) and Freddie Smith (Sonny, DAYS).
J.R. Martinez Returns to Middle East for the First Time Since War Injury: 'It Was Intense'It's been 11 years since Dancing with the Stars champ and injured Iraq war veteran J.R. Martinez has been back to the Middle East after a land-mine explosion left him with severe burns, but Martinez tells PEOPLE his return was an "amazing experience."
"It was pretty emotional," he says of his January trip to the Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar. "To go through the same procedures, like landing at the airport and getting into the bus and making the commute to the base – just pulling in and seeing the sand and the barriers reminded me of the very first night when I landed in Kuwait City. It really brought back those memories from the first time I was ever in the Middle East."
While Martinez spoke with lots of U.S. troops during the trip, one thing that he wasn't ready for? All his ballroom fans.
"You'd be surprised how far that show reaches," he says. "I never would have known that the world was watching while Karina and I were holed up in a studio rehearsing. A lot of service members came up and were excited and wanted me to dance and I said listen, 'I can't really do what you saw me do on television without Karina being here!' "
(Photo) J.R. Martinez (center) with members of the United States Air Force's 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Doha, Qatar
Susan Lucci to Host The 13th Annual UCP of NYC Women Who Care LuncheonLoreen Arbus, Founder & Chair of Women Who Care, and Edward R. Matthews, CEO of United Cerebral Palsy of New York City (UCP of NYC), announced today that Susan Lucci, star of the hit series "Devious Maids," Emmy® Award-winningactress of "All My Children," host of Investigation Discovery's "Deadly Affairs," and New York Times best-selling author, will return as host of the 13th Annual UCP of NYC Women Who Care Luncheon.
The luncheon, to be held Wednesday, May 7th, at Cipriani 42nd Street, benefits United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, and celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments of women as professionals, caregivers, and volunteers.
Ms. Lucci, herself a former Women Who Care Award honoree, will return for the second year as Host. Loreen Arbus is Founder/Chair of Women Who Care. Jill Herzig, Editor-in-chief of Redbook magazine, and Donna Hanover, former First Lady of New York City, are Honorary Chairs. Robin Givens, star of the ABC series "Twisted;" Ali Stroker of "Glee Project" and "Glee" fame; and Emmy winner Paula Zahn, host of "On the Case with Paula Zahn," are Co-Chairs of Women Who Care. Hearst Corporation is lead sponsor of Women Who Care. Cole Haan joins as a new major corporate sponsor.
"Susan's longtime dedication and work on behalf of women, children, and families, combined with her own extraordinary accomplishments as an actress and author, made her the perfect choice to be our new host," says Loreen Arbus, Disability Rights Activist/Producer and Founder/Chair of Women Who Care. "We are thrilled that Susan will continue to play a major role in helping us to shine a much-needed media light on the largest minority in the world: people with disabilities."
"Susan cares deeply about helping others," says Edward R. Matthews, CEO of United Cerebral Palsy of New York City. "She is also an excellent example of a woman who has broken the glass ceiling, making her a wonderful choice to host the luncheon. We are incredibly grateful to Ms. Lucci for taking the time to once again help us raise awareness and funds for the comprehensive programs and services UCP of NYC provides year-round to thousands of people."
"I am very touched by the impact United Cerebral Palsy of New York City has on thousands of children, families and adults with disabilities," says Susan Lucci. "I am particularly impressed by the comprehensive nature of their ongoing programs and services which encompass so many different aspects of health, education, assisted technology and the arts."
Last year, Ms. Lucci narrated a video for UCP of NYC and Susan G. Komen to help raise breast health awareness for women with disabilities.Her commitment to her work with children has most recently taken her to Africa in support of Feed The Children. She has served as The March of Dimes' National Ambassador in 2000, and as a celebrity spokesperson for AMDeC (Academic Medicine Development Company) and The New York Cancer Project. She has also been involved with Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids and is the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the prestigious New York City Gracie Award, and the Muse Award for Women in Film & Television. She was inducted into the American Academy of Achievement Awards and presented with the Italian Board of Guardians Lifetime Achievement Award.
In the coming weeks, honorees and celebrity presenters for the star-studded event will be announced. In addition to Ms. Lucci, previous Women Who Care honorees include Robin Roberts, Cyndi Lauper,Diane Sawyer, Gayle King, Lauren Bush Lauren, Amy Lee, Ann Curry, Marlo Thomas, Roxanne Mankin Cason, Francine LeFrak, Anne Sweeney, Patricia Duff, Linda Kaplan Thaler and many other extraordinarily accomplished women.
Past celebrity presenters for Women Who Care include: Oprah Winfrey, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jimmy Smits, Cynthia Nixon, Ivanka Trump, Danny Glover, Meredith Vieira, Alan Rickman, Deborah Norville, Cynthia McFadden, Dr. Oz, CBS News Anchor Maurice DuBois, "Good Day New York's" Mike Woods, Regis Philbin, Michelle Bachelet,former President of Chile, Frank Bennack , Jr., Executive Vice Chairman and former CEO of the Hearst Corporation, and many other VIPs.
About Women Who Care: Women Who Care was created to honor female role models representing various segments of the community. It is a celebration of women who have deep concern for others and are passionately committed to giving back. Their extraordinary accomplishments and great character have inspired women around the world to achieve their full potential. The Women Who Care Luncheon is a New York tradition and has generated global media attention in previous years. Hearst Corporation is Presenting Sponsor of Women Who Care for the fourth year in a row.
About United Cerebral Palsy of New York City: United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is the fifth largest U.S. health organization. In New York City, UCP of NYC is a leading nonprofit provider of direct services, technology, and advocacy to children and adults with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. UCP of NYC offers a breadth of more than 75 comprehensive programs including medical, clinical, educational, technological, residential and rehabilitative services to over 14,000 individuals and families annually. The mission of United Cerebral Palsy of New York City is to create opportunities for people with disabilities to lead independent and fulfilling lives. www.ucpnyc.org
Michelle Trachtenberg To Co-Star In CBS Comedy Pilot 'Save the Date'(deadline.com) Michelle Trachtenberg (ex-Lily, All My Children) is set to co-star opposite Maggie Lawson in CBS’ half-hour hybrid pilot Save The Date. Also cast in the romantic comedy from writers Jackie and Jeff Filgo, ABC Studios and CBS Studios, are Tom Bennett and Julie White. Save the Date centers on 35-year-old and newly single Kate (Lawson), who drunkenly books a wedding venue and now is faced with the task of meeting the right man in time. TrachtenbergX will play Hillary, Katie’s buttoned down, no-nonsense sister who is sharing an apartment with her. Bennett plays Roger, Hillary’s boyfriend of four years. White plays Connie, Katie and Hillary’s mother. Trachtenberg, repped by UTA and Framework Entertainment, most recently played Marina Oswald in National Geographic’s Killing Kennedy.
Josh Duhamel Wanted Barack Obama to Help Him on New Pet Adoption Project, but "He Bought Both of His Dogs"(Video) (Pic1, Pic2) It's Josh Duhamel surrounded by precious little puppies. Need we say more? Didn't think so, but we will anyway.
The Hollywood hunk has teamed up with PetSmart Charities' Rescue Waggin, a pet transport program that moves dogs from overpopulated shelters to cities where they have a better chances of being adopted, for a webseries titled Rescue Waggin: Tales From the Road, which documents their heartwarming journey from shelter to shelter.
Duhamel became a big pet adoption advocate after he brought home Meatloaf, who unfortunately passed away in 2012, as a pal for his dog Zoë, and after his experience with adoption, the star continues to urge others to do the same.
"I just thought it's such a great way to tell stories about these dogs are in these shelters where they'd otherwise be put down, suddenly get scooped up by this Rescue Waggin and get taken to a shelter where they can find a family that's really looking to adopt," he tells us. "It's a really, really cute series, really fun series about these dogs' journeys from death's doorsteps, literally, to a loving family."
And he doesn't do it alone. Duhamel is joined by various celeb pals throughout the trek, including Adam Shankman and Bret Michaels.
However, there was one specific person that Josh would have liked to join along, but didn't—and that's Barack Obama. Since the president didn't adopt his furry friends, he was kinda disqualified in Duhamel's book. "I wanted President Obama to do it but he bought both of his dogs so he was out of the running."
If you do decide to adopt, Duhamel wants to make sure you know what you're signing up for. "A lot of these dogs that end up in shelters are because people get a dog because they love the idea of it. Then the reality of, ‘Oh, I really gotta take care of this puppy,' hits. And they end up taking up too much and they end up in the shelter. Yes it's a little work, but I believe the work you put in you get ten-fold."
Rescue Waggin: Tales From the Road premieres on March 3.
CADY MCCLAIN IS Y&R'S NEW KELLY!(tvguide.com) One Emmy winner is out, another is in. CBS's The Young and the Restless has been forced to recast the role of grieving mom Kelly Andrews, currently played by Cynthia Watros, who has moved on to the upcoming MTV series Finding Carter. The new Kelly is former All My Children and As the World Turns great Cady McClain.
A rep for the top-rated soap tells TV Guide Magazine that Watros will shoot her final scenes March 14 and will last air April 16. McClain shows up for work March 26 and will first be seen April 24.
The switch isn't unexpected. Watros, known for her gigs on Guiding Light and Lost, went to Y&R without a contract well aware she might need to drop out if the Finding Carter pilot got a series order. (Carter films in Atlanta, Y&R in Los Angeles.) Yesterday she tweeted: "I LOVED being on Y and R. A big hug to the cast and crew! You guys rock! My fans and my not fans. I love you. I hope I didn't let you down."
Word is, a Kelly recast was mandatory because Y&R plans to romantically team the character with Peter Bergman's kingpin character, Jack Abbott.
Lindsay Price Cast In 'Lifesaver'Lindsay Price (ex-An Li, All My Children/ex-Michael, Bold & The Beautiful/ex-Mary, Days Of Our Lives) is set to co-star opposite Christian Borle and Jonathan Ryland in NBC’s multi-camera comedy pilot Lifesaver, from writer Wil Calhoun, Uni TV and TBD Entertainment. The odd couple comedy centers on the uptight, controlling and a bit neurotic Dr. Graham Permenter (Borle) and loose cannon Leon (Ryland), who become inextricably linked after Leon saves Graham’s life by giving him a kidney. Price plays Jennifer, Graham’s girlfriend and a doctor at the hospital with him and doesn’t mind Leon in the way that Graham does.
Rosemont's Agnes Nixon honored as a pioneering role model for working women(mainlinemedianews.com) Mary Nixon, founder of Rosemont’s New Leaf Club, did not have to look far to find an honoree for a capstone event to its “Wonder Women’s Week” of programs Feb. 16-22.
Her mother, Agnes Nixon, a longtime Rosemont resident and supporter of the community-centered club, was a pioneer as a writer and creator of daytime drama, known for introducing social issues of the times into these popular “soap operas.”
From the beginning of her decades-spanning career in the later 1940s, Nixon, 86, was a role model for many other women, breaking a mold that taught girls that typing and shorthand classes were their best career path.
At a tea in her honor Feb. 21, just one of those women who paid tribute, via videotaped good wishes, was actress Susan Lucci, who performed the iconic role of Erica Kane in Nixon’s “All My Children.” (The show, which ran for 41 years from 1970 to 2011, was set in the community of Pine Valley, a fictionalized Philadephia suburb reportedly inspired by Nixon’s Main Line hometown, as was the town of Llanview in “One Life.”)
“She was my role model since the first time I laid eyes on her,” Lucci recalled. The ingénue was auditioning for the teen-aged Erica when she saw a stylish, purposeful petite blonde breeze by the audition room. The woman was Nixon, and she was, Lucci said, “Everything I had dreamed of being when I grew up.”
To say that Nixon, who began a script-writing career after graduating from Northwestern University, was prolific is a serious understatement. Among her credits as headwriter, creator or producer are beloved soaps including “Search for Tomorrow,” “As the World Turns,” “The Guiding Light,” “Another World,” “One Life to Live,” “All My Children” and “Loving.”
She has been called “The Queen of Soap Opera.” In 1993, she was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame.
It was for her determination to weave relevant social issues of the day into her storylines that the New Leaf Club recognized her this Women’s History Month. In addition to Mary, of Berwyn, daughters Cathy Chicos of Gladwyne and Emily Nixon of New Rochelle, N.Y., were present for the event, with more than 50 other well-wishers.
The non-profit club, housed in a former retail space at 1225 Montrose Ave., is intended to serve as an education and entertainment community center. In addition to a café where teens and others can meet or study, it is a venue for live music and open mic nights. It also focuses on wellness, offering a yoga and meditation program, and hosts a monthly free lecture series on a variety of topics.
For Women’s History Month, it offered a week of special events, featuring a performance of “The Vagina Monologues” and presentations by speakers including veteran TV journalist Lu Ann Cahn, a women’s self-defense class, and a women’s expo highlighting resources in the community.
At the tea in Nixon’s honor, Mary Nixon announced the dedication of the club’s large meeting room as the Agnes Nixon “All My Children” Room.
“I’m overwhelmed. This is fabulous,” Nixon said.
While creating indelible characters, stirring romances and cliff-hanging plots, Nixon as a writer and show producer became known for insisting on real-world relevance in her dramas.
Topics such as abortion, the Vietnam War and protests, drug addiction, child abuse, racism and AIDS were addressed in her storylines beginning in the volatile 1960s.
In one example, after a friend died of cancer, she wanted to introduce a plot on “The Guiding Light” emphasizing the importance of early detection of uterine cancer. According to program notes for the tribute, the network “was appalled.” When she persisted, according to a 1988 New York Times article, “CBS relented” – with the stipulation that she avoid words such as cancer, uterus, Pap smear or hysterectomy.
Nixon introduced the story through the character of matriarch Bert Bauer. Nixon herself wrote at the time,” Women who would never have watched or heeded a Cancer Society program with its obvious public service appeal were, in effect, a captive audience for our message, because Bert Bauer was to them like a sister or a very old and dear friend.”
In another groundbreaking concept, Nixon incorporated improvised group therapy sessions with recovering addicts into a “One Life to Live” subplot involving teenage drug addiction in 1970.
At the tea, Nixon, sharing some favorite stories and anecdotes from the making of the shows, spoke in particular about the importance to her of introducing in 1968 the controversial story of Clara “Carla” Gray, a light-skinned black woman who passed as white on “One Life to Live.” Her actual identity was not revealed to viewers for six months. Clara, portrayed by actress Ellen Holly, was the first African-American heroine on daytime soap opera in a plot that raised issues of race relations in America.
When Nixon was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the television academy in 1983, presenter Barbara Walters called her the “most prolific talent daytime television has ever known,” her shows running 52 weeks a year for more than 30 years at the time.
That she was able to combine her very active career while raising a family was another source of admiration, Lucci said. While daughter Mary said her mother eventually maintained an apartment in New York, where the shows were produced, writing for them at first was a sort of “cottage industry.” Nixon did most of her writing from home in Rosemont, mailing scripts and story ideas back and forth in those pre-Internet times.
Nixon herself downplayed the idea that her work ethic was unusual or new. “I grew up with working women. I thought it was the thing to do,” she said, recalling that, “My mother in her era was very much a feminist.”
But she did acknowledge that she might have been a bit more dedicated than most. Retelling a family story, she related, “I always had long labors” with the births of her three daughters and son Robert. Not wasting any time for writing, “I took my Dictaphone to the hospital,” she said.
Josh Duhamel Recalls His First Words to Wife Fergie, Talks Baby Axl and Fatherhood-Plus, Are More Kids in His Future?Josh Duhamel is a man of many words, but it only took two to snag his gorgeous wife Fergie.
"That's unforunately true," the handsome Hollywood star told E! News when asked if his first words to his lady really were "you're hot." Duhamel and Fergie met on the set of his show Las Vegas years ago when The Black Eyed Peas made a guest appearance, and yes, those two words were the first things out of his mouth when he met the gorgeous gal.
But he explained, "It sounds corny when you say it, but I think she knew I was sort of saying it tongue-in-cheek because she had already known that I had a little bit of a crush on her while she was there and it was sort of a way of saying something she already knew."
With that said, he offered a bit of dating advice to the single guys looking for love. "So for all the men out there, all you gotta do is tell ‘em they're hot and they'll be yours forever," he joked. LOL!
Regardless, the short introduction clearly worked in his favor. The Hollywood couple has been going strong for over five years now, and even added a bundle of joy to the family, Axl Jack. Duhamel also tells E! News that he and Fergie continue their two-week rule (where they don't go more than two weeks without seeing each other while on location for work), but even that's too long for them to go apart nowadays.
"She's here with me now. She's staying with me. We've got a house and the whole thing," the actor, who is currently in Austin shooting his new film Lost in the Sun, tells us. "We're one happy family in Austin, Texas. I can't stay away from my boy for that long or her."
The 41-year-old, who is also a strong advocate for pet adoption, admits that getting a dog was a great way to prepare for kids.
"It was interesting for me because when I first got mine, I was terrified for that reason—the responsibility of taking care of it. I have to make sure this thing is fed and taken out to go poop and pee all the time. It was not only easier than I thought it was gonna be, but it did also in some weird way prepare me to be a father," he said.
Well, he now knows that he can take good care of a dog and a human, so will there be more little babies on the way? "At some point," he says.
With genes like that, it's only fair to the world to continue reproducing, right?
Aiden Turner -- Best Plea Bargain Ever in Domestic Violence Case(tmz.com) Aiden Turner -- like the 1980 US Hockey Team -- now believes in miracles ... because his lawyer just got him an unbelievable plea bargain in his domestic violence case.
The former "All My Children" star was charged with 2 counts of domestic violence with injury and 2 other related charges. He allegedly chucked a remote at his live-in girlfriend and gave her a black eye and bruised her elbow.
Enter criminal defense attorney Mike Cavalluzzi. He scored a plea where ALL of the charges were dropped and Aiden pled no contest to misdemeanor disturbing the peace.
Aiden -- who you may remember from "Dancing with the Stars" -- must complete 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling. After 1 year the plea is reduced to a mere infraction -- like a traffic ticket.
Remember that name ... Mike Cavalluzzi.
Spend The Afternoon With GH's deVry!Spend some quality time with one of GENERAL HOSPITAL's hottest villains at two upcoming fan events being held by William deVry (Julian, GH/ex-Storm, B&B/ex-Michael, AMC)! The first of the two intimate VIP events will be held on Saturday, March 22, from 12:00 to 3:00 at Sarah's Cafe and Bar in Toronto, Ontario. There will only be 30 tickets sold at $140, so you will be assured of plenty of quality time with the actor!
The second event will be held on Friday, August 1, from 1:00 to 4:00 at California Canteen in Los Angeles, CA. Only 25 tickets will be available at $135. Both events will include champagne and hors d'oeuvres as well as an autographed picture, photo ops and personal time with deVry.
Click here for tickets to the Toronto event!
Click here for tickets to the Los Angeles event!
Look Who's Showing Up for The Young and the Restless Fashion ShowMake it work! CBS's The Young and the Restless is gearing up for a big spring fashion show — airing April 11-16 — that will boast a guest appearance by Jill Larson (All My Children's Opal), and a crossover by The Bold and the Beautiful's Jacob Young (Rick) and Linsey Godfrey (Caroline).
A Y&R rep tells TV Guide Magazine that Lily (Christel Khalil) will offer up the Genoa City Athletic Club for the unveiling of a new fashion line by Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) called Chelsea Lawson for Jabot. The event, highlighted by catfights and other crazy hijinks, will feature fan fave Larson in the role of the harried stage manager, who will face quite a challenge when she must keep Chelsea, Lily, Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson) and Hilary (Mishael Morgan) in line behind the scenes.
Fashion mogul Rick and his wife, Caroline, will fly in from L.A. to attend the high-profile show, giving CBS an opportunity for a fun twist: Caroline will have a couple of run-ins with Noah Newman, played by Godfrey's real-life beau, Robert Adamson! The two stars are currently expecting a child together.
That's not the only bit of Big Eye synergy in the works. Y&R fans will soon learn that Hilary has always wanted to appear on the CBS game show The Price is Right and it seems she'll finally get her wish. Look for her and Neil (Kristoff St. John) to "Come on Down!" during the soap's March 26 episode.
Fox Has Its ‘Fantastic Four’ For Superhero RebootFox recently cleared some prime summer 2015 real estate for its reboot of Marvel’s Fantastic Four, now it appears to have its actors. After a long search — Chronicle‘s Josh Trank was announced as the director at the 2012 Comic-Con — Fruitvale Station breakout Michael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie, All My Children), Miles Teller (Divergent), Kate Mara (Transcendence) and Jamie Bell (Nymphomaniac) are working on deals to star as the ’60s-spawned superhero quartet. The deals aren’t in cement yet, but Jordan and Bell look pretty solid. The roles as they stand would be Jordan as Johnny Storm (aka the Human Torch), Teller as Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Mara as Sue Storm (the Invisible Woman) and Bell as Ben Grimm (the Thing). The latest script is from X-Men: Days of Future Past scribe Simon Kinberg.
Talk Show AppearanceBethenny (Syndicated) - Monday, February 24, 2014
Soap Opera Hunk Cameron Mathison (``All My Children'') Heats Things Up!
AMC Star Pens Emotional MemoirCady McClain (Dixie, ALL MY CHILDREN; Rosanna, AS THE WORLD TURNS) is self-publishing her memoir, titled Murdering My Youth. And the actress is having a contest in which fans can vote on what the final cover will be! Click here to pick your favorite!
"The book is a series of my memories about growing up in an alcoholic environment," McClain shares with Soaps In Depth. "It is also a raw, brutally honest look at what being in 'show business' can entail for a young girl and the extremely close relationship I had with my mother."
The two-time Emmy winner says that she's been told that the book should come with a warning. "There's a lot of violence in it," she allows.
What led McClain to join the list of soap stars who've chronicled their life stories? "I was inspired by a woman who asked me to be the keynote speaker at her writers' conference in Kansas City called Write The Dream," she says. "She had followed my blogs throughout the years and offered to help me self-publish this book. Her encouragement was a huge part of me letting this story out into the world. I hope it inspires others to tell their story or at least to not feel so alone with their experiences."
McClain will be signing copies of Murdering My Youth at the Write The Dream Conference in Kansas City, MO, on Friday, March 7. Click this link for more information. And as the keynote speaker, she will be encouraging her audience to find their voice via a method she calls "dreaming your way to a great, personal story. It's basically like taking a person's psyche and putting it in the structure of a fairy tale or myth."
Paige Turco In 'NCIS' Spinoff(deadline.com) Paige Turco (ex-Lanie, All My Children/ex-Dinah, Guiding Light) has been set as a recurring opposite Scott Bakula in CBS’ NCIS planted spinoff, Executive produced by NCIS showrunner Gary Glasberg and star Mark Harmon, the spinoff is set at the NCIS New Orleans office, which handles cases from Pensacola through Mississippi and Louisiana to the Texas panhandle. Turco, repped by Gersh and One Entertainment, plays Linda, the wife of NCIS Special Agent Pride (Bakula). Turco is a regular on the forthcoming CW series The 100 and also recurs as Zoe on CBS’ Person Of Interest.
Hall Gets STAR-CROSSED!ALL MY CHILDREN's Natalie Hall (Colby) is headed back to high school in The CW's new drama, STAR-CROSSED, and she's okay with it. After all, she's playing that vivacious, popular girl that everyone wanted to be — with one unique exception: She's sharing the hallways with aliens! "It's raw, edgy and dark." Hall previews. "It's a little bit District 9 and a little bit ROSWELL... it's really exciting to be a part of."
Set in the year 2024, the series is about an alien race called Atrians that crash landed on Earth and were quarantined for a decade. Now the government wants to try integrating the Atrian teens into the educational system. "I play Taylor, the [human] queen bee of the school — she picks and chooses who she likes and who she doesn't," Hall laughs. "She's also the fashionista of the show, which was a lot of fun for me to play."
While Taylor is set to meet her match in an equally influential Atrian teen named Drake (THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER's Greg Finlay), the series focuses on the forbidden romance between Taylor's classmate, Emery (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS' Aimee Teegarden), and Roman (Matt Lanter, 90210), the Atrian boy she'd met and befriended as children. "There's a Romeo And Juliet aspect to the show," Hall acknowledges. "There's also a lot of action, fighting, fashion and sci-fi — I really think it has everything!"
Most of all, there are the politics that come with the social experiment of integrating two races and smack in the middle of that plot is Hall's fellow soap alumna, Victoria G. Platt (Vicky, GUIDING LIGHT) whose character, Gloria, is a proponent of the controversial program. "She's so beautiful and great to watch," Hall enthuses. "She has a presence about her that's very commanding." Don't miss The CW's STAR-CROSSED when it premieres Monday, February 17, at 8 p.m. EST. For more about Hall's post-daytime career, including her thoughts on possibly returning to her recurring role as Britney for the upcoming final season of DROP DEAD DIVA, check out Hall's upcoming feature in Soaps In Depth.
Original 'Flash' Star Joins CW Reboot(deadline.com) John Wesley Shipp (ex-Eddie, One Life To Live/ex-Doug, As The World Turns/ex-Carter, All My Children/ex0Martin, Santa Barbara/ex-Kelly, Guiding Light), who played Barry Allen/The Flash in the 1990s TV series, has been added to the cast of the CW/WBTV/DC pilot The Flash, which retells the story of scientist Allen (Grant Gustin) who, through a freak accident, is given the power of super speed. The producers are keeping Shipp’s recurring character a secret.
ABC Fails To Trim Prospect Park Soap SuitABC took a hit this morning in Prospect Park’s multimillion-dollar legal action over licensed soaps All My Children and One Life To Live. The network was denied its motion to strike the part of the production company’s amended complaint in which Prospect Park asked to have the license agreement for the online shows extended and payments to ABC “excused” while the nearly year-old breach of contract suit for more than $100 million moves forward. The ruling came after a 50-minute hearing in LA Superior Court before Judge Robert Hess. Trial lawyer James Edward Maloney of Texas’ Andrews Kurth represented Prospect Park, while Susan Klein and Nuritsa Ksachikyan of LA’s Valle Makoff were there for ABC. “Prospect Park exercised its option — it produced an entire season of the series,” Klein argued early in the hearing. “It can’t ask the court to rewrite what the parties have negotiated.” Hess saw it differently: “After hearing the arguments from them and you, I’m going to let them leave it in,” he told Klein.
Cady McClain UpdateAMC alumna Cady McClain's (ex-Dixie) directorial debut, the short film Flip Fantastia, was accepted into the Macon Film Festival. "It will be showing on the big screen at the Cox Theater in Macon, Georgia on February 27th at the 4:15 short film series," she reports. For ticket info, visit maconfilmfestival.com. In March, McClain will be the keynote speaker at a writer's conference in Kansas City, MO called Write The Dream, and she will also be teaching two classes over the weekend. Called "Dreamscaping," the workshop is about how to dream your way into a story. For more information, visit writethedream.com. Lastly, she tells Digest, her self-published book, Murdering My Youth, will be available on Amazon by March 7.
Jacob Young Meet and GreetsMeet Jacob Young (Rick Forrester, B&B/ex-J.R., AMC/ex-Lucky, GH) on Saturday and Sunday February 22 and 23 in Tampa Bay, FL. Jacob will be joining other daytime stars at “Love in the Air,” a VIP Luncheon, Meet and Greet and Breakfast hosted bySoap This. “Love in the Air” will be held at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, located at 401 2nd Street, Indian Rocks Beach, Florida 33785. Prices start at $50 and up. For reservations and more information call Patti at (727) 210-5143 or email email@example.com.
Meet Jacob Young (Rick Forrester/ex-J.R., AMC/ex-Lucky, GH) at “Lucky Days” in Las Vegas, March 14 – 16 at the Downtown Grand Hotel. Friday 7 – 9 pm VIP reception, Saturday Noon – 4 lunch, autograph session and auction items. For questions, prices and more information email the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
'New Girl' Season 3: 'White Collar' actress Alexandra Daddario cast"New Girl" Season 3 is getting an even newer girl when Alexandra Daddario ("White Collar") shows up as a guest star this spring.
Daddario will play Michelle, a "hot girl" who moves into the building where Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and all of her guys live. Several of those guys may just take an interest in Michelle.
In addition to playing Kate on "White Collar," Daddario is known for the role of Annabeth in the "Percy Jackson" movies. She has also appeared on "True Detective," "Parenthood" and "All My Children."
"New Girl" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on FOX. The episode with Daddario is scheduled to air at some point in March, according to TVLine.
'All My Children' actress shares message of health and happiness(nwitimes.com) MUNSTER | Former "All My Children" soap opera star Taylor Miller is the guest speaker for the seventh annual Share the Love event Feb. 12 at the Center for Visual & Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road.
Today, Miller is a certified holistic health coach, helping individuals achieve better health and nutrition through personalized lifestyle choices.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Cancer Resource Centre in conjunction with the auxiliaries of Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center, the luncheon program centers on what Miller has learned through Transformational Coaching Techniques and experience to help others look better, lose weight and feel more energetic.
Net proceeds will benefit the Cancer Resource Centre in Munster, where all services are free of charge to those in need.
Reservations are $50, due by Friday. Contact Sherri Holt at (219) 836-0130 or email@example.com.
Between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., vendor tables will offer specialty items, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Cancer Resource Centre. Lunch will be served at noon.
Miller is best known for her role as Nina Cortlandt Warner on ABC-TV's "All My Children" from 1979-1984 and 1986-1989.
Miller left daytime TV to concentrate on raising her family in Chicago, and her son's diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and was part of the inspiration behind Taylor's drive to investigate the role that nutrition and mind/body have on one's health.
Michael B. Jordan Joins 'Triple Nine'(deadline.com) Open Road Films has just completed a deal to pre-buy domestic distribution rights on Triple Nine, the John Hillcoat-directed heist thriller, which begins production this summer with a killer cast. Fruitvale Station’s Michael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie, All My Children), Breaking Bad and Need For Speed‘s Aaron Paul, Warm Bodies’ Teresa Palmer, Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman in the Batman Vs. Superman film) and End Of Watch‘s Michael Pena are in talks to join previously announced 12 Years A Slave‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor, Out of the Furnace’s Casey Affleck and Kate Winslet. Hillcoat, who just helmed that distinctive Super Bowl spot for Coke, wrote the script with Matt Cook. Open Road will release the film in 2015.
The rights deal comes on the eve of the European Film Market, where Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales for the project and will sell select territories in Berlin. In the drama, a crew of dirty cops is blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist. The only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for “officer down”. Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie they set up to die foils the attack, triggering a breakneck, action-packed finale filled with double-crosses, greed and revenge.
This sounds like it is right in the wheelhouse for Hillcoat, who helmed the gritty dramas Lawless, The Road and The Proposition. Worldview is financing and CAA handled the domestic deal. The film is produced by Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Keith Redmon, and Bard Dorros, along with Sierra/Infinity. Paul Green is exec producer.
Up And Comer Alexandra Daddario Lands 'San Andreas' Lead Opposite The Rock(deadline.com) Alexandra Daddario (ex-Laura Lewis, All My Children) just landed the female lead opposite Dwayne Johnson on San Andreas, which New Line hopes will be its next big tentpole. In the Brad Peyton-directed film, Johnson plays a chopper pilot who sets out to rescue his estranged daughter after a massive earthquake hits California. Beau Flynn is producing and Village Roadshow Pictures is co-financing. Watch for Daddario; she is gaining notice for her role in HBO’s True Detective and is being courted for a role in the Entourage movie at Warner Bros. Daddario, who starred in Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, is repped by UTA and McKeon-Myones Management.
Vanity Fair's Hollywood Issue Honors Jordan(Photo) Tinesletown's biggest names are dressed to the nines on this year's Vanity Fair Hollywood issue.
According to the magazine, 12 famous faces were picked to represent "a year of spectacular film with a group of distinguished actors."
Julia Roberts, Idris Elba, George Clooney and Chiwetel Ejiofor looked downright dapper as they grace the first fold of the star-studded cover.
The August: Osage County actress showed off her enviable pins while sitting on top of Elba's lap.
Fruitvale Station actor Michael B. Jordan, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong'o and Naomie Harris were also featured in the Anne Leibovitz shoot.
Nyong'o and Harris looked ravishing in complimentary metallic gowns—in fact, the 12 Years a Slave actress channeled the Oscar statue—while the gentlemen sported matching tuxedos.
And last, but certainly not least, on the cover was 42's Chadwick Boseman, Margot Robbie, Short Term 12 actress Brie Larson and Blue Is the Warmest Color's Léa Seydoux.
The Wolf of Wall Street star evoked Old Hollywood glam in an elegant ivory gown, while Seydoux seduced the camera in a sheer lace dress.
Last year, the publication opted for a girls-only cover with the most talented (not to mention, stunning) ladies in the biz.
Rooney Mara, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska were each pictured in gorgeous pastel ensembles.
Elizabeth Olsen, Adepero Oduye, Shailene Woodley, Paula Patton, Felicity Jones, Lily Collins and Brit Marling were the other lucky faces chosen to be recognized by Vanity Fair as the top talent of the year.
Josh Duhamel's Baby Axl Illustrates How Boring Super Bowl XLVIII Was(Photo) You were not alone Axl Jack.
In a funny Twitter photo shared by dad Josh Duhamel, the adorable 5-month-old tot was caught mid-yawn (so precious!), and Duhamel saw this as a golden opportunity to crack a joke about how uneventful last night's Super Bowl was.
"Finally thoughts on #SB48 ....," the actor captioned the picture, and quickly followed up with the edit, "***FINAL*** thoughts!!"
Leave it to Autocorrect to ruin a perfect Twitter moment! It's OK, it was still great, Duhamel.
Pop star Fergie and Duhamel welcomed their first child in late August, and even though Axl is still a young one, he is already taking after his mama and showing off his pipes.
"He's starting to try to talk to me and sing with me," Fergie told E! News in December. "I'll sit there and I'll sing songs to him and he'll just look at me and he'll laugh and he'll try to chime in. He makes these really weird sounds! And I'll just clap like the proud mama I am."
But the famous mom isn't going to force her child to follow in her career footsteps. "I'll support him in whatever he wants to do, but it's just really fun with me as a singer right now, getting to have that little connection," she told us.
Maybe he can be a professional yawn model? Because he's definitely killin' it.
'The Exes' welcomes Marion Ross and Michael Nouri for the season finale"The Exes" has welcomed some great guest stars in Season 3, including Leslie Jordan, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe and a "Clueless" reunion when Stacey Dash went on a date with Donald Faison. Now the show is welcoming two TV legends.
TV Land has exclusively revealed to Zap2it that "Happy Days" mom Marion Ross and Michael Nouri (ex-Caleb, All My Children), of "NCIS," "Damages" and "The O.C., will be stopping by the show for the season finale, which sees Nicki (Leah Remini, who's been recurring for several episodes this season) coming to see her brother Stuart (David Alan Basche) and turning everyone's lives upside-down.
Nouri is playing a distinguished, sexy former law professor of Holly's (Kristen Johnston), while Ross is a woman that Holly encounters in an assisted living facility. "The Exes" also stars Wayne Knight and Kelly Stables. It airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on TV Land, with the season finale airing Feb. 26.
R.I.P. Deborah BlackwellDeborah Blackwell, former general manager of SOAPnet, died yesterday after a seven-year battle with Pick’s disease, a rare neurodegenerative disorder. She passed away at the age of 63 in Virginia, surrounded by family. Blackwell built Disney ABC Cable Networks Group’ SOAPnet, which she ran from 2001 to 2007 as EVP and General Manager. During her tenure, SOAPnet grew its programming slate via a slew of acquisitions of primetime and daytime soaps as well as its distribution as the genre enjoyed popularity. It was after Blackwell left that daytime soaps began to lose traction, leading to Disney’s recent decision to rebrand SOAPnet as Disney Jr. Before joining SOAPnet, Blackwell served as president of Idealab’s MyHome.com, an internet start-up. From 1993-99, Blackwell headed the TV movie and miniseries department of the William Morris Agency, packaging projects with such clients as Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Glover, Alec Baldwin and Drew Barrymore. Before becoming an agent, Blackwell was a development executive at Hearst Entertainment, rising from director to SVP.
Soap star gone ‘WILD’(naples.floridaweekly.com) Walt Willey’s attraction to the legendary Old West icon “Wild Bill” Hickok gunfighter is understandable.
After all, the long-time soap opera star shares more than a few things in common with Hickok, who was murdered by the dastardly young gunslinger Jack McCall in a Deadwood, S.D., saloon in 1876.
Both blonde-haired, blue-eyed men grew to a height of more than 6 feet, and their intrepid souls led them to leave home at a young age to seek their fortunes, gaining a measure of fame along the way. And both Mr. Willey, known best for playing lawyer Jackson Montgomery on ABC’s “All My Children” for 25 years, and “Wild Bill” hail from LaSalle County, Ill.
Mr. Willey’s discovery in 2011 that he and Mr. Hickok grew up in towns a mere 40 miles apart sparked an interest that led to 12 months of research and writing and culminated in his one-man show, “Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok,” which he performs Friday through Sunday, Feb. 7-9, at the Island Theater Company on Marco Island.
“I love this thing,” says Mr. Willey. “It’s really been the best thing in my life in entertainment, to conceive and perform this. It’s a passion for me. I learned to love this man.”
Since “All My Children’s” 2011 demise, Mr. Willey has kept busy professionally by performing stand-up comedy around the country and touring with “Wild Bill!,” at times in conjunction with his “Wild Bill!” in-school program” for high schools. He has also co-founded a regional community theater, WilleyWorld Community Productions, in his hometown of Ottawa, Ill.
How the show originated
It was while performing “Arsenic and Old Lace” at the theater company that Mr. Willey first learned of his geographic connection to the iconic “Wild Bill,” a man whose skills as a gunfighter and marksman, exploits as an Indian fighter and stints as a marshal, scout, guide and star of Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show made him a legend in his own time.
“I’d been looking for one-man show to supplement the comedy,” he says. “We were driving from my little hometown to another little town where there’s a train station to pick up my wife and children and I saw this sign saying this is the birthplace of James Butler ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok. When I was a kid, there wasn’t anything mentioned about him.”
What followed was two years of indepth research into Mr. Hickok, separating fact from the fiction popular in the magazines and dime novels of his day, with time for writing and occasional performances.
The show’s setting is Deadwood’s notorious Number 10 Saloon, the scene of Mr. Hickok’s murder at age 39 while playing cards, clutching the so-called “Dead Man’s Hand” of a pair of black aces and black eights, when the assassin’s bullet struck the back of his head.
Mr. Willey’s “Wild Bill” is trapped there, suspended between Heaven and Hell following his murder. But he believes his soul can be freed if he tells the audience his “real story, as best and as honest as I can.”
What follows is a two-act, 90-minute journey that starts with Mr. Hickok’s humble beginnings and expands into tales of his experiences in the Civil War, scouting for Custer, surviving shootouts and his stints as lawman.
Mr. Willey also delves into Mr. Hickok’s memories of fellow Wild West legends “Buffalo Bill” Cody — “‘How he got that moniker is a mystery to me. Took him six shots to even slow a buffaler down.’” — and “Calamity Jane” Cannery — “‘Always had this odd odor about her, Jane did.’”
A fascinating American hero
This will not be Mr. Willey’s first visit to Marco Island and the Island Theater Company. For years, he was a regular part of the annual SoapFest charity fundraisers organized by Pat Berry, a cofounder of the theater group. He also performed “Wild Bill!” at the theater two seasons ago, while road testing the play, and appeared in last year’s production of the two-person, Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Love Letters.”
Ms. Berry says his return will give local audiences an opportunity to see the finished product.
“We’ve had a lot people ask about it,” she says about the “Wild Bill!” show. “Also, it’s a historical play, and that ties nicely into the historical museum and what they’re doing on the island.”
Island Theater Company productions are staged at the Marco Island Historical Museum.
Mr. Willey views performing “Wild Bill!” at a history museum as a perfect match.
“So we’ll brush off our props and come down and do it again,” he says.
But his play, he adds, “is not a history lesson. I like to think it’s a very dynamic, if I may say so, one-man show about a fascinating, complicated American western hero. He was a storyteller. He would admit that when he was sometimes a little too lubricated with whiskey that he sometimes ran out of truth.”
‘Wild Bill! An Evening with James Butler Hickok’
Where: The Island Theater Company at the Marco Island Historical Museum, 180 S. Heathwood Drive, Marco Island
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9
Info: 394-0080 or www.theateronmarco.com
Kristen Bell & Michael B Jordan To Host Sci-Tech AwardsActors Kristen Bell and Michael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie, All My Children) will host the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards on Saturday, February 15, at The Beverly Hills Hotel. They will present 19 awards to 52 individual recipients during the evening. Portions of the Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation will be included in the Oscar telecast March 2.
Y&R ALUM'S NEW ROLE: DADIt looks like Jeff Branson (ex-Ronan, Y&R; ex-Jonathan, AMC; ex-Shane, GL) will soon become a father to a son. The actor recently tweeted, "Thank you all for the congrats and warm wishes. My little mans due march 17, HAPPY ST. Pattys!" Former AMC co-star Alicia Minshew (ex-Kendall), tweeted to him, "Amazing darling! Congrats again! Your life will change for the better! Xo"
New Series For AMC Star?Cameron Mathison has had his fingers in a lot of pies since exiting his role as Ryan on ALL MY CHILDREN. Most notably, he's appeared in a slew of made-for-TV movies. However, his next one, Hallmark Movie Channel's My Gal Sunday (premiering Saturday, January 25, at 9 p.m. EST) could just become a series! Based on the popular Mary Higgins Clark book of short stories, the two-hour back door pilot features the former soap star as a wealthy former U.S. Vice President who, together with his attorney-turned-detective wife, Sunday (Rachel Blanchard), attempts to solve crimes related to her cases. "Their relationship is very playful and light," Mathison previews. "It's a little bit MOONLIGHTING and a little bit HART TO HART."
The difference, however, is that Mathison's character is not the only man who loves Sunday. "Jack Wagner (ex-Frisco, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Nick, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL) plays the beauty's helpful dad. "He's a very cool government security agent, which is why Sunday has all the training that she has," Mathison offers. "It was my first time working with Jack as an actor. It was super easy, and we got along well."
Should fans turn out in high numbers to see My Gal Sunday, Mathison says he's game to continue with it. "It's a very different kind of character for me," he enthuses. "It's a very light, nice, and family-friendly film — I had a lot of fun."
MATHISON, WAGNER TO STAR IN HALLMARK MOVIECameron Mathison (ex-Ryan, AMC) and Jack Wagner (ex-Frisco, GH/ex-Nick, B&B) will star in MY GAL SUNDAY, airing Saturday, January 25 at 9 p.m. on the Hallmark Movie Channel. Based on the book of short stories, My Gal Sunday by Mary Higgins Clark, the romantic thriller follows newly married Henry (Mathison) and Sandra "Sunday" (Rachel Blanchard) who must save Henry's mom Miriam (Janet-Laine Green) and dad Danny (Wagner) after being kidnapped. Tweeted Wagner, "1 more day til MY GAL SUNDAY! @JackWagnerhpk @rblanchard @CameronMathison Jan 25 8/9c @hallmarkmovie"
Josh Duhamel: Son Axl Is 'Fascinated' by Our DogIt can sometimes be a tricky adjustment, introducing a newborn to your furry family, but Josh Duhamel's dog Zoe has 4½-month-old son Axl all figured out.
"It's really funny now to see them both," Duhamel told PEOPLE at the Sundance Film Festival on Monday. "He's fascinated by her ... [Axl is] really starting to pay a lot of attention to her and [the dog] sees him strictly as a potential ball thrower."
Watching their budding friendship take shape has been "awesome," says the actor, who adds, "[Zoe] knew how much we loved this new little addition to the family and she knew that inherently."
"It's all been good. She's a very sweet dog," Duhamel continues, "[and] she knows pretty soon he's going to be able to play with her."
Zoe is the reason the star, who is married to singer Fergie, stepped out in Park City, Utah, this week, where he kicked off the Pedigree See What Good Food Can Do campaign. The initiative celebrates the stories of shelter dogs who have found loving forever homes, and for every dog owner who shares his or her tale of what their dog means to them – using the hashtag #DogTales on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – the pet food company will donate a bowl of food to a shelter in need.
Several years ago, Duhamel, 41, made an aging dachshund named Meatloaf part of his family, and encourages anyone in the market for a canine companion to consider adopting, as well.
"We bought [Zoe] and she's a great little dog," he says. "And then we rescued Meatloaf about a year or two later and for me there was just a noticeable difference because I think these dogs really appreciate their second chance," he said of his beloved pet, who passed away in 2012. "They know what the alternative is like, so I just felt like he was extremely appreciative of us."
'CSI: Miami' Star Eva LaRue -- Husband Says Adios ... Files for Divorce(tmz.com) It's case closed in the marriage of "CSI: Miami" star Eva LaRue -- her husband just filed for divorce.
Joseph Cappuccio filed divorce docs -- obtained by TMZ -- citing irreconcilable differences. The couple was married on June 28, 2010 and have no children.
And ... holy crab! Joseph -- a seafood businessman -- is asking the court to reject any request LaRue makes for spousal support.
The writing's been on the wall for years ... LaRue and Cappuccio were engaged TWICE before finally tying the knot.
Oh yeah, and it probably wasn't a good idea to post your wedding video online.
Daytime Emmys Update: It's Going to Be a Real Race!For a while there it looked like the Daytime Emmy soap categories would be split among just four shows — The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of Our Lives and General Hospital. But a ruling from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has allowed the Prospect Park internet reboots of All My Children and One Life to Live to compete in all the soap categories — and those web kids are serious about taking home some gold!
"Our entry deadline was last Friday, Jan. 17, and we've had a lot of great submissions from AMC and OLTL — in fact, we've set an extreme record for the number of entries this year," NATAS senior executive director David Michaels tells TV Guide Magazine. "From the look of Prospect Park's submissions, I think they'll give the four network soaps a real run for their money when it comes to production values and the quality of the writing, directing and acting."
Michaels also notes that "several stars who chose not to submit themselves in recent years have decided to get back into the game — so the more the merrier! Between that, and the enthusiasm from AMC and OLTL, this has the makings of a real horserace. There's a lot of buzz and a real seriousness about the awards this year, especially coming from the younger actors. They've been calling, asking questions, they really want to be involved. And that's sure to make for a much more exciting ceremony."
No word yet on when or where the 41st annual Daytime Emmys will air — talks are ongoing — but look for the acting prenom lists, with ten names per category, to be released March 3. Nominations are announced May 1.
'Bold & Beautiful' Star Gets Brush Off From Judge(tmz.com) "Bold and the Beautiful" star Victor Alfieri (ex-Franco, Days/ex-Gianni, PS/ex-Giovanni, B&B/ex-Ciro, AMC) is safe from future attack ... because the man he accused of assaulting him with a hair brush has been ordered to stay out of his hair ... TMZ has learned.
We broke the story ... Alfieri had a close shave last month ... claiming his neighbor, Christopher Veech, hit him in the face with a hairbrush. The soap star claims Veech has been hair-rassing him for more than a year.
Alfieri says he can't escape the guy ... because they live in the same building.
The judge just ordered Veech to stay 100 yards clear of Alfieri... except when they're in their building at the same time.
Diva Books Client List HunkColin Egglesfield is headed back to Lifetime.
The Client List actor will guest-star on Drop Dead Diva‘s Season 6 premiere, TVLine has confirmed.
Cast member Margaret Cho tweeted the news Friday, along with a photo of herself and Eggelsfield on set: Photo.
Diva returns later this year.
CATCH SOAP ALUMS ON LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORKValerie Wildman (ex-Fay, DAYS) and Michael Nouri (ex-Caleb, AMC) can be seen this weekend in a repeat of Lifetime Movie Network's HUNT FOR THE LABYRINTH KILLER. "I play Beth Harrington, a 'real housewife' with a secret," reports the actress. The movie will air on Sunday, January 19, as well as on Monday, January 20. You can also catch it next month, on February 2 and 21. Check listings for times.
ABC Doesn't Want Prospect Park to Extend Soaps License(hollywoodreporter.com) In a $95 million battle over the relaunch of "One Life to Live" and "All My Children," the network says there were no complaints while it used characters from the shows on "General Hospital."
ABC has responded in court for the first time to the $95 million lawsuit launched by Prospect Park that accuses the network of sabotaging a relaunch of One Life to Live and All My Children.
The first order of business for ABC? Making sure that Prospect Park's hold on the soaps isn't secure.
In November, the plaintiff filed an amended lawsuit that alleges ABC has committed fraud and breached a license agreement. Specifically, the network is accused of realizing its error in abandoning the soaps, scheming "in its quest for a mega soap," borrowing characters to kill them off and inducing actors to sign secret, exclusive, multiyear contracts with the network.
Besides $95 million in damages, Prospect Park is also demanding "a declaration that Prospect Park's continued payment of the licensing fees under the Agreement is excused; that Prospect Park is entitled to an extension of the License Agreement; and that the term of the License Agreement is tolled, from the time of ABC's breach until the breach is fully remedied."
ABC reacts to that demand with a motion to strike.
"Here, Prospect Park is not asking this Court to resolve an unsettled question by interpreting the Agreement," says the network's papers. "Instead, it is doing the exact opposite: asking this Court to rewrite the contract to unsettle something that parties have already firmly determined -- the term of the License."
The network, represented by Susan Klein at Valle Makoff, wants the lawsuit ridded of a license extension demand. According to ABC, the license agreement allows Prospect Park rights on the soaps for up to 15 seasons of 12 calendar months each unless Prospect ceases production for 18 consecutive months. In that case, rights would revert back to ABC. A relaunched version of OLTL was suspended last September, giving Prospect Park roughly until March 2015 to pick it up again. That is, unless the license agreement is tolled. It's also possible that a trial could take place before that time anyway.
Although ABC doesn't address each of Prospect Park's allegations in detail, the court papers do nod at what the coming defense will look like.
Prospect Park did not complain while ABC used the OLTL characters throughout 2012, says ABC's legal papers. "To the contrary, Prospect Park exercised its Option for both OLTL and AMC in December 2012, and the parties subsequently entered into two additional amendments to the License Agreement, which each extended Prospect Park's time to begin production of the shows and gave ABC continuing use of the OLTL characters on [General Hospital]."
The attorney for Prospect Park wouldn't immediately comment, but response papers will be filed soon.
Who Will Air The Daytime Emmys?Cable outlet HLN has broadcast the Daytime Emmy Awards for the past two years, but there won't be a third. "It's fairly definite," Albie Hecht, the network's vice president and general manager, tells Soaps In Depth. "I just want to put a pause on everything and figure out what we're doing before we make any commitments. Shows like [the Daytime Emmys] need commitments in advance to plan and I don't think we can make that commitment."
Hecht, who joined HLN a little over three months ago, says that the decision has been made early so that the National Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) can make other plans. "It's only fair to let them look around and let them do what they need to do," the HNL chief adds.
This doesn't mean that the Daytime Emmys won't be on television, however. "Having the show on HLN was a wonderful experience for us," says David Michaels, senior executive director of the Daytime Emmy Awards. "We are currently exploring other avenues so that the Daytime Emmys will have a broadcast home."
For her part, THE TALK's Aisha Tyler would love to see the ceremony return to one of the big three networks. "I think it would be great," she says. "CBS is the number one daytime network. It'd be great to have the Daytime Emmys on the number one daytime network. I think that would make perfect sense!"
Victor Alfieri -- I Was Attacked With a Hairbrush!(tmz.com) It's pretty ironic ... "Bold and the Beautiful" star Victor Alfieri (ex-Franco, Days/ex-Gianni, PS/ex-Giovanni, B&B/ex-Ciro, AMC) -- famous for his flowing locks -- claims he was attacked with a hairbrush ... and now he wants protection from the perp.
Alfieri has just got a restraining order against 47-year-old Christopher Veech, who lives with Alfieri's neighbor. According to docs, Veech beat him in the face last month with a hairbrush ... and has relentlessly harassed him for more than a year and threatened to put him in the hospital.
According to Alfieri, Veech was arrested for battery but released a day later ... and the harassment never stopped.
Alfieri doesn't explain why there's such animosity, but he does say the right side of his face still hurts like a bitch and his right eye now twitches.
Here's the problem. The judge granted the restraining order, but can't order Veech to stay far away because he lives in Alfieri's building. So the order is that Veech must stay 3 YARDS away.
As they say ... every inch counts.
Soap Vet Weds Oscar Nominee!(abc.soapsindepth.com) Anna Stuart (Mary, ALL MY CHILDREN; Donna, ANOTHER WORLD) shares with Soaps In Depth exclusively that she and her longtime beau, Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning actor James Cromwell (Babe, BETRAYAL, AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM), wed on New Year's Day at the home of Stuart's AW pal Charles Keating (Carl).
"Since our romance officially began at Charles' home two years ago on New Year's Eve, we decided to get married there," Stuart says with a smile. "Mary, Charles' wife, was 'scheming' all the while. She wanted James in a nice relationship, and she knew I was available."
Stuart and Cromwell met back in the '80s through Keating and stayed in touch, casually, over the years. "Charles was having a birthday party two years ago at Sardi's [restaurant in New York] and I was invited," the actress shares. "James and I spent the party chatting and catching up. We went out and had lunch, and it all kind of shifted from friendship to where we are today. It's pretty cool. This is a relationship I've wanted all my life."
Did the eloquent Keating say a few words at the ceremony? "Of course, he did," Stuart responds with a chuckle. "Charles has so much wonderful stuff in his brain."
Later this week, the couple is set to leave for Africa on a trip that was already planned but will now serve as a honeymoon, too! "After we get back we'll do parties [for family and friends] on either coast," Stuart adds. "We didn't want a big 'do' for the [ceremony]. We wanted to do this just for us."
Revenge's Justin Hartley Is Dating Days of Our Lives's Chrishell Stause(eonline.com) (Photo) Talk about a new beautiful couple.
Revenge star Justin Hartley and All My Children's Chrishell Stause are dating, her rep confirmed to E! News on Friday, Jan. 10.
The duo most recently walked the red carpet together and wrapped their arms around each other at the 2014 Unbridled Eve Derby Prelude Party on Thursday, Jan. 9, in West Hollywood, Calif.
The 36-year-old actor sported a purple dress shirt, a gray jacket and black slacks, while the 32-year-old starlet wore a black sleeveless top, a patterned miniskirt and black pumps.
In several interesting twists of fate, Stause costarred alongside Hartley's ex-wife, Lindsay Hartley, on the long-running soap opera. Stause also appeared as an extra on Passions, in a scene featuring the former couple.
Lindsay filed for divorce from Justin in 2012 and cited "irreconcilable differences," per TMZ. The pair met on the set of Passions in 2003 and married a year later. They have one daughter.
Hartley currently stars on the ABC hit series as Madeleine Stowe's illegitimate son Patrick Osbourne. He is also known for his roles on Passions as well as Smallville. Stause can be seen on Days of Our Lives.
NAACP Image Awards Noms AnnouncedThe NAACP’s 45th annual Image Awards are set for February 22 and will air live on the East Coast On TVOne and tape-delayed in the West from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
J.R. Martinez Splits from Diana Gonzalez-Jones(people.com) J.R. Martinez and Diana Gonzalez-Jones have split, just 18 months after the birth of their daughter, Lauryn Anabelle.
"Diana and I have ended our relationship. However, we are committed to working together to raise our daughter in a healthy and happy environment," Martinez tells PEOPLE exclusively.
The actor and Dancing with the Stars champ, 30, posted a message to his Facebook page Wednesday touching on the difficulties of accepting change.
"People change [it's] a part of life, but sometimes [it's] easier to hold on to the memories of who they were rather [than] to realize who they have become…" he wrote.
The Iraq war vet met Gonzalez-Jones in 2008, when he joined the cast of All My Children while she was working as an assistant to the show's executive producer. The pair started out as friends, but took their relationship to the next level four years ago.
"All this time I was looking for the perfect guy, and I had him right next to me," Gonzalez-Jones told PEOPLE in 2011. "We were so good as friends that romantically, we just clicked right away."
A month after Martinez clinched the mirror ball trophy on ABC's hit reality show, he and Gonzalez-Jones announced that they were expecting.
Martinez was thrilled to become a father in May 2012, telling PEOPLE, "I kiss her non-stop all day long," adding that his daughter's nursery "is the best room in the house."
Soap Stars Move To BEACON HILLA slew of familiar faces are starring in the new Web series BEACON HILL, including Sarah Brown (ex-Claudia, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Agnes, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL) Alicia Minshew (Kendall, ALL MY CHILDREN), and Crystal Chappell (Dani, B&B; Olivia, GUIDING LIGHT) The serial, filmed on location in Boston, was co-created by Jessica Hill and her wife Linda, who is the chief executive officer of Bella Books, a publisher of lesbian fiction.
"BEACON HILL is a political drama set in Boston," Jessica tells Soaps In Depth. "Alicia and Sarah are our two leads, and they play the daughters of two political families in Boston. One's Republican and the other is Democrat. Alicia's character, Sara, and Sarah's character, Katherine, were together [romantically] and they broke up. Our story starts six years later when Sara's grandfather, played by Ron Raines [Carl, OLTL; Alan, GL], has a stroke. Sara, who's living in New York, comes back to Boston and you see dynamics between her family and Katherine start to develop."
The rest of the cast — which reads like a Who's Who of daytime — includes Scott Bryce (Craig, ATWT), Ricky Paull Goldin (Jesse, B&B; Gus, GL), Louise Sorel (ex-Vivian, DAYS), Tina Sloan (Lillian, GL), John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex, OLTL), Jessica Morris (Jen, OLTL), and Melissa Archer (Natalie, OLTL). Also in the cast is newcomer Rebecca Mozo.
BEACON HILL is produced by Bella Productions, the sister company of Bella Books, in association with Chappell's production company, Open Book Productions. Goldin and Emmy-winning actress Hillary B. Smith (Nora, OLTL; Margo, ATWT) serve as producers on the show.
Chappell, who has helmed Web series VENICE and THE GROVE, plays Claire, Sara's mother. How did that work, since there's less than a decade between the two actresses? "I age myself," Chappell confides. "I went without makeup and I wear my hair severely — it's in a twist and high up on top. It's a fun character to play. Claire's husband is gone. My feeling is he couldn't tolerate her family.
"BEACON HILL is a very different show," Chappell adds. "It's a political drama with intrigue and romance revolving around two political families. Jessica and Linda are terrific people and writers. I love working with them!"
BEACON HILL begins streaming on Wednesday, March 5. For more info, check out www.beaconhilltheseries.com
Lacey Chabert Is Married(people.com) (Photo) So fetch – Lacey Chabert (ex-Bianca, All My Children) pulled off a secret wedding.
In addition to attending her friend Kaley Cuoco's New Year's Eve nuptials, the former Mean Girls and Party of Five star said some vows of her own.
"I'm starting off 2014 as a Mrs!" she announced on Twitter on Friday. "Over the holidays, my best friend and love of my life…we became husband & wife! #soblessed #love"
Chabert, 31, is keeping the name of her husband under wraps for now.
The newlywed also shared a pic with her maid of honor – "my sweet sister Crissy" – that also offered a glimpse of her dress, a formfitting strapless white gown with lace and crystal detailing.
Aiden Turner -- CHARGED with Domestic Violence(tmz.com) Aiden Turner -- a regular on "All My Children" -- has been charged with 4 counts of domestic violence ... TMZ has learned.
Turner got into a beef with his GF last month at their Hollywood apartment. He allegedly threw a remote control at her, striking her in the eye and causing a cut and bruising. We're also told he allegedly hurt her shoulder.
The L.A. City Attorney has now charged Turner -- who also appeared on "Dancing with the Stars" -- with 4 counts of misdemeanor domestic violence -- 2 of the counts are domestic violence with injury and the other 2 counts are redundant -- domestic violence but without any injury (in case the jury doesn't believe she was hurt).
First Look: An All-Star Soap Cast Shines in Tainted DreamsThe wait is over! TV Guide Magazine has an exclusive look at the first three episodes of Tainted Dreams, the much-anticipated, soap-within-a-soap webseries from Emmy-winning producer/director Sonia Blangiardo (All My Children, One Life to Live) that boasts more stars than there are in the heavens.
Set to premiere in early 2014, Tainted Dreams features a cast that includes All My Children vets Alicia Minshew, Walt Willey, Michael Lowry, Bobbie Eakes, Larkin Malloy and Terri Ivens, as well as General Hospital's Natalia Livingston, As the World Turns' Colleen Zenk, Austin Peck, Marnie Schulenburg and Kelley Hensley, Guiding Light's Grant Aleksander, One Life to Live's Ilene Kristen, Tonja Walker, Nathan Purdee and James DePaiva, plus famed Soap Opera Digest columnist Carolyn Hinsey playing (who else?) Carolyn Hinsey!
Also on board are two reality-TV greats, Big Brother's Jessie Godderz and The Real Housewives of New Jersey's Dina Manzo and, just to make things even wilder, WWE sensation Lisa Marie Varon.
Tainted Dreams is set behind the scenes at a New York soap opera where the cast and crew live lives even more insane and trashtastic than what they put on screen each day. The series is created by Blangiardo and written by Lindsay Harrison (The Young and the Restless, Venice). Enjoy the sneak preview and let us know what you think!
Fergie and Josh Duhamel Enjoy Dinner and a Movie on Date Night in Santa Monica(Photo) Date night!
Fergie and Josh Duhamel took some time to themselves Saturday, leaving their 4-month old, Axl, at home to grab dinner at Hillstone and watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty in Santa Monica, Calif.
The new parents stepped out in casual garb for their evening out, with the Safe Haven star wearing a denim shirt and light-colored jeans, and Fergie rocking a leather jacket, printed top and black leather pants.
Fergie Shares Adorable Holiday Photo Featuring Baby Axl-Check it Out!(Photo) Fergie and Josh Duhamel's adorable son Axl Jack is wishing you very happy holiday!
The 38-year-old singer shared a precious photo of her smiling and glowing dark-eyed baby boy on Tuesday, Dec. 24.
"Have a Jolly Holiday!" the proud mama captioned the sweet Instagram snapshot, which features a decorative border with a gold holly design.
Axl isn't sporting a Christmas-themed ensemble, but rather a striped top with a white bib. Perhaps his huge grin is a sign he is very excited for his first Christmas with his parents.
As for Axl's plans for the big day, the family will be together at home this year, a source recently revealed exclusively to E! News. The source added that it will be "very quiet."
Fergie and Josh most recently celebrated baby Axl's first Thanksgiving, and the Safe Haven star took to Twitter to share a hilarious family photo of the couple, their little one and their pet pooch Zoe superimposed on cartoon drawings of the Village People making their famous "YMCA" dance moves.
"Lots to be thankful for. Have a great 'my pants don't fit' day!!" he wrote as a caption to the lovely shot.
GH Scribe Denies Irizarry HiringBack in 2009, Matt Borlenghi (ex-Brian, AMC) was tapped to play a heretofore unknown Cassadine, Valentin, but plans to bring the character to GH were scrapped. Most recently, online whispers indicated that Valentin had been recast with soap vet Vincent Irizarry (ex-David, AMC), prompting Borlenghi to tweet GH's creative honchos, Executive Producer Frank Valentini and Head Writer Ron Carlivati. "Anyone care to comment on recasting me as Valentin Cassadine? Wasn't enough that I got Franco'd before? Hurts," wrote Borlenghi. Carlivati responded, insisting, "It's a false rumor, Matt. No reason to be hurt or upset."
Gaskill Goes Deep!Brian Gaskill stole our hearts playing emotional characters like GUIDING LIGHT's Dylan, AS THE WORLD TURNS' BJ, and THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's Ozzy, PORT CHARLES' angel Rafe and ALL MY CHILDREN's Bobby. Since then, he's been pouring his own emotions into a considerable body of poetry, which he's been recording to share with the world. "When I compiled this new group of poems together, I found that they were much more cohesive and thematic than what was on my last album (Make It Real)," he says. "With this new one, every single piece really did become -- either on purpose or inadvertently -- a reflection of the title, Giving Up Time Travel For The Rain."
In the just-released collection of spoken word recordings, Gaskill shares his thoughts on the everyman quest for personal peace and life acceptance. "It's about living in the moment and not focusing on that pain in the past or your expectations of the future," the poet offers. "It's about just being present -- even if it's raining -- because as we all know, the rain cleanses things and helps them grow."
The artist has also been sharing his insightful thoughts and moving poems about this topic and more via a blog, http://givinguptimetravel.blogspot.com. "There's this 31-day journey that I started in conjunction with this album coming out," he explains. "It's about working to find something new each day that brings me closer to a place of believing -- in the magical, fairytale sense -- in life's possibilities."
Prospect Park's Jeff Kwatinetz Takes Company To Court Over Non-Compete Clauses(deadline.com) Prospect Park’s multi-million dollar legal battle with ABC over licensed soaps All My Children and One Life To Live isn’t the only courtroom drama the production company is now facing. Co-Founder Jeff Kwatinetz has filed a complaint against the company and ABRY Senior Equity IV, L.P., ABRY Investment Partnership, L.P., and ABRY Senior Equity Co-Investment Fund IV. The producer and talent manager is seeking a declaratory judgment over non-compete clauses in a December 31, 2012 employment agreement he signed with Prospect Park when the Boston-based investors came on board late last year. Long story short, Kwatinetz wants a judge to decide if the “unenforceable non-competition and non-solicitation provision” would actually prevented him from working for another company for 5 years and if Prospect and ABRY could get an injunction to force him to work for them for 5 years if he attempted to leave. “In addition, the Guarantee contains what is essentially a $5,000,000 liquidated damages penalty for a ‘breach’ of the unenforceable non-competition provision and employment term requirements in the Agreement,” the 10-claim complaint filed on November 21 in LA Superior Court adds (read it here).
The catalyst of the complaint was a difference of opinion that Kwatinetz has with ABRY over the direction of the company, sources tell me. Specially, that disagreement has to do with the future of AMC and OLTL and whether they will continue or not. Kwatinetz was advocating the continuation of the two series. Having said that, the producer had his lawyer Michael Taitelman file the complaint not because he intends to leave Prospect Park, I’m told, but because he wants to explore his options in what is a very complicated and multi-tiered agreement. Otherwise, all parties seem to be in sync right now at the busy Prospect Park and Kwatinetz continues to work there. Besides the online soaps, whose legal machinations could drag on for years, PP currently has Wilfred on FX and Royal Pains on USA with drama Salem debuting on WGN America in the spring of 2014. The company also has 10 sold scripted pilots in various states of development on both cable and broadcast TV and a music management and label revenue stream. Kwatinetz formed PP with ex-Walt Disney Studios president Richard Frank in 2008. A spokesperson for Kwatinetz declined to comment on the November 21st complaint when contacted by Deadline.
For the most part, non-compete clauses are redundant in California unless the individual in questions is an owner of a company and even then they can be voided. That is distinctly not the case in other states such as New York. Hence, Kwatinetz’s complaint notes its disagreement with PP and ABRY’s desire to have the Empire State and its laws used as a venue for the non-compete provisions. “Furthermore, the Agreement and the Guarantee attempt to impose New York law and venue on the parties even though the Agreement was negotiated in California, with a California resident, for his employment in California at two California-based companies, and none of the parties are based in New York,” the 109-page filing notes. By filing in LA Superior Court, the complaint seeks a judicial determination that the Golden State’s laws and jurisdiction will apply in the matter.
Attorney Michael Taitelman’s firm Freedman & Taitelman have also served as outside counsel to Deadline’s parent company PMC.
Jordan Nominated For Spirit AwardThe nominees for the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards include former All My Children star Michael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie). The 2014 Spirit Awards will be handed out on March 1.
Best male lead
‘Deadly Affairs’, Hosted by Susan Lucci, Renewed for Season Three by Investigation DiscoveryInvestigation Discovery has greenlit real-life soap opera DEADLY AFFAIRS for season three. Hosted by daytime TV queen, Susan Lucci, DEADLY AFFAIRS was one of ID’s top five shows during 3Q 2013 in delivery for W25-54, W18-49, and P25-54. The series continued to entice fans with titillating stories all season long reaching over 9.7 million unique viewers P2+. The new season promises to deliver stories of passionate love affairs turned crimes of passion when it premieres summer 2014.
“We just can’t get enough of Susan Lucci -- our affair with her is out in the open and we couldn’t be happier to continue for a third season,” said Henry Schleiff, Group President, Investigation Discovery, Military Channel and Destination America. “Our viewers are often tempted by the suspense of ‘will they or won’t they?’ -- and with DEADLY AFFAIRS, we already know they did -- and they probably shouldn’t have!
“I am so excited to be going into Season three with DEADLY AFFAIRS,” said Susan Lucci. “And I’m even more excited that so many fans are telling me that they are ‘addicted’ to the show!”
DEADLY AFFAIRS tells real-life tales of love gone terribly wrong – from wandering eyes at the workplace leading to adulterous romps in the supply closet to bible-study couples tempted by lust to commit the ultimate sin – proving affairs can be murder on the heart. Episodes feature stories interlaced with expert commentary from local authorities and true-crime experts, as well as first-person accounts from friends and family of the victims.
DEADLY AFFAIRS is produced for Investigation Discovery by Sirens Media. For Sirens Media, Valerie Haselton Drescher, Rebecca Toth Diefenbach, and Anne Rothwell are executive producers. For Investigation Discovery,Pamela Deutsch is executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production, and Henry Schleiff is group president.
AMC Alum Lands Feature FilmAlicia Minshew (ex-Kendall, AMC) is hard at work in Lansing, MI filming her latest project, The Funeral Guest. The romantic comedy follows Emily (Julianna Robinson), a socially isolated woman, who spends her time attending stranger's funerals. Minshew plays Robin, a recently divorced lawyer who fights to win back her ex before Emily takes his heart. "I am thrilled to be playing the role of Robin in The Funeral Guest," Minshew tells Digest. "When I read this script months ago, I knew I wanted to be a part of it! It's such a wonderful story. It is just a bonus that I get to play a fun character! Robin is a strong, feisty, take no prisoners kind of woman. A lawyer who is used to getting what she wants. But when she doesn't -- her insecure (and possibly bitchy) side comes out! Fun! I just love both the director [Matthew Kohnen] and his brother writer/producer [Sean Kohnen]. They are hilarious and insanely talented! I am also really enjoying working with the lead actress -the beautiful Julianna Robinson. She is also such a talent. I am having a blast here in Michigan (freezing my doodles off!)!" Check out a still from the movie here.
Susan Lucci Talks Legacy, Acting And Life After Erica KaneSusan Lucci Talks Legacy, Acting And Life After Erica Kane: Video.
What Really Happened At AMC?In her newest blog, Soap Opera Digest columnist Carolyn Hinsey talks to AMC Supervising Producer Sonia Blangiardo (executive producer of the upcoming web series TAINTED DREAMS) about the behind the scenes goings-on at the reboot that has now been shelved. "All I can say is that every effort was made to make this show a success, but there were obstacles that could not be overcome," says Blangiardo. To find out the obstacles - and a lot more dish - go to: carolynhinsey.tainteddreamstheseries.com.
Jill Larson Speaks Out On AMC's EndJill Larson (Opal) released a statement about the end of AMC on her Facebook page. Wrote the longtime star, "Greetings all, well I finally got the official call, saying PP is not going forward with AMC 'at this time', left the door open a crack, hmmm! As disappointing as that news is, it was not a surprise. Just as they did the first time, PP chose to remain silent regarding their activities, and now that I've had some experience with them, I do believe that it was because Jeff [Kwatinetz, PP's co-chief] just kept on beating the bushes trying to raise the money, never willing to cry uncle. I am sad for all of us, from Jeff to all of you, but gosh I'm grateful for the chance we had to make something new and wonderful from our beloved shows. Maybe when more fans are computer-savvy, and go online for content as a regular habit, investors will feel comfortable putting money into what was a grand experiment, perhaps ahead of its time, and only time will tell. Take care of yourselves, my lovelies, sending love to you all!"
Prospect Park Now Seeking $125M In ABC Soap Lawsuit(deadline.com) The on-going multi-million legal drama between Prospect Park and ABC over licensed soaps All My Children and One Life To Live looks poised to get much rougher and much pricier. Nearly seven months after Jeff Kwatinetz and former Walt Disney Studios president Rich Frank’s company first filed a breach of contract lawsuit against ABC, their lawyers Wednesday entered an amended complaint in LA Superior Court. One big change is how much money the plaintiffs are seeking. “As a direct and proximate result of ABC’s breaches, Prospect Park has been damaged in an amount to be determined at trial, but including at least $30 million in out-of-pocket losses and/or at least $95 million in lost profits,” says today’s filing. That’s way up from the $25 million the plaintiffs were looking for in April. Claims that ABC called “baseless” then. The now amended suit also includes claims of promissory fraud and declaratory relief and seeks Prospect Park’s continued licensing fee payments to be waived and an extension of that agreement while the case goes on – which could be years.
In addition to previous allegations of dirty dealing on ABC’s part, today’s filing says that the network inked long term agreements with OLTL actors behind the production company’s back. in the hope of creating a new property of its own. “Unbeknownst to Prospect Park, at the same time the ink was drying on the Licensing Agreement granting Prospect Park an exclusive license for OLTL through January 31, 2013, ABC insiders were developing a plan to create a mega-soap through the amalgamation of OLTL and GH, intentionally disregarding Prospect Park’s rights,” the amended complaint adds. This comes on top of the April filing’s claims that ABC has been breaking the licensing agreement, killing off OLTL characters on loan to General Hospital and deliberately attacking Prospect Park’s efforts to continue AMC and OLTL online.
This latest legal move comes amidst speculation that at least one of the shows is going down. AMC cast members recently said on social media that they were told not to anticipate a return from their current hiatus.
Prospect Park is represented in the case by a plethora of LA and Houston-based attorneys led by trial lawyer James Edward Maloney of Texas’ Andrews Kurth. ABC is represented by Jeffrey Valle, Susan Klein and Nuritsa Ksachikyan of LA’s Valle Makoff.
Soap opera 'All My Children' washed up?(latimes.com) It appears to be curtains again for "All My Children," the soap opera that ran four decades on ABC before being canceled, then resurrected as an Internet series.
An actor on the series, Debbi Morgan, announced on Twitter that the show was "officially done" after one season on the Internet. "Thanks for the memories," Morgan tweeted late last week.
Prospect Park, the production company behind the effort to keep the show alive, this week refused to discuss the situation or confirm Morgan's comment.
On Wednesday, lawyers representing Prospect Park filed an amended lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against ABC. The suit claims that the Walt Disney Co.-owned television company undermined its efforts to produce "All My Children" and a second ABC soap, "One Life to Live," for the Internet.
Prospect Park spent $30 million in the last 18 months to re-create "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" after ABC ended long-running daytime dramas in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
Lack of money, the legal battle with ABC and collateral damage to the shows will make it nearly impossible to proceed, people close to the production said.
"At this point, the whole franchise is irreparably damaged," said Jim Maloney, a partner in the Houston, Texas, law firm Andrews Kurth, which is representing Prospect Park.
"Life has become very difficult for Prospect Park, and ABC has done everything that it could to see that Prospect Park failed," Maloney said.
Prospect Park's 33-page suit accuses ABC of promissory fraud and breach of contract. In addition to borrowing "One Life to Live" characters for use on "General Hospital" and then killing some of them in a car crash, ABC also refused to accept advertising from Prospect Park or let the production company use social media or websites to help market the shows, the suit contends.
ABC went so far as to forbid soap stars from appearing on ABC talk shows, Maloney said.
ABC countered that it did nothing wrong, saying in a court filing it had "acted reasonably and in good faith at all times."
On Wednesday, ABC declined to comment further, saying it had not been served with the updated complaint.
Prospect Park had figured that half the TV audience would follow the shows to the Internet, but fewer than one-fifth of the viewership did.
The shows were intended to be used as part of Prospect Park's ambitious effort to create a next-generation online network.
In the summer of 2011, several months after ABC announced it would kill the shows, Prospect Park's chief Jeff Kwatinetz and business partner Rich Frank, a former Disney executive, stepped in and acquired the licensing rights for "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," as well as an option on a third ABC-owned soap, "General Hospital," should ABC cancel the show.
ABC's surviving soap, "General Hospital," remains on the ABC schedule and is enjoying some of its best ratings in years. Maloney contends that ABC turned "General Hospital" into a "mega soap," signing popular actors and borrowing elements from the other shows to boost the show's appeal.
"ABC decided to literally strip-mine the shows for the benefit of 'General Hospital,'" Maloney said. "This happened after ABC came to the conclusion that its new daytime shows were not working."
Prospect Park's Web productions almost didn't get off the ground.
After struggling to get financing in 2012 and tussles with labor unions, Prospect Park received the green light from investors in December 2012, allowing it begin production on the two shows early this year.
Cast and crew members were hired, sets were quickly built and "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" lurched back in to production in February, just in time to meet an ABC-mandated deadline.
The two shows debuted online in April, but then writers struggled to adapt to the new format and speed the pace of the shows to engage online audiences. Late this summer, Prospect Park said it would suspend production on "One Life to Live" while the lawsuit against ABC moved through the courts.
Prospect Park had planned to keep "All My Children" in production in a Connecticut sound stage -- but money apparently ran out.
The news of the apparent demise of "All My Children" comes after ABC's parent company, the Walt Disney Co., alerted cable distributors that it was pulling the plug on SOAPnet, a cable channel it created in 2000 to rerun soap episodes at night when women were home from work.
Instead, Disney has turned its attention on building a replacement channel for preschoolers, Disney Junior, which launched in 2012 and has become a profitable vehicle for the Burbank giant to create new toy franchises.
The End Of AMC & OLTL (Again)(abc.soapsindepth.com) Fans of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE were on pins and needles last week as rumors were flying that Prospect Park was due to make a big announcement regarding the future of the two soaps. Unfortunately, while there has been no official word from the company, a source close to actors from the shows tells Soaps In Depth, "It's over." Debbi Morgan (Angie, AMC) essentially confirmed as much when she responded to upset fans on Twitter. "Well we're all pretty much sad now for real since we've definitely been told it's a wrap," she posted. "My manager was given the news that we were officially done by PP's lawyer. Yeah, we've been canceled."
Prospect Park originally bought the rights to AMC and OLTL following their cancelations on ABC, but struggled to bring them to air online immediately following their network runs as originally planned. Fans were elated when financing was eventually secured, cast and crew were hired, sets were built in a studio in Stamford, CT and Hulu.com was set to air the episodes. The OnLine Network originally planned to broadcast daily half-hour episodes, but within weeks, that number was cut back to just two episodes of each soap a week, leading to rumors of production difficulties. Still, both AMC and OLTL were regularly among the top ten most-watched shows on Hulu.com, and many viewers were thrilled to watch as many shows as they were willing to broadcast.
However, while fans assumed the soaps would again be ongoing series, Prospect Park announced in August that both AMC and OLTL would instead have season finales after which production would take a break before beginning a second season. Viewers immediately worried the shows would never return, and after production of OLTL was shelved indefinitely due to the ongoing lawsuit with ABC, it seemed those fears were justified.
And now it seems that this grand experiment to bring the soaps back to life online has come to an unfortunate end. And sadly, because there was no notice or time to plan for the grand finales these venerable soaps deserve, this time they will not be ending with a bang, but with a whimper. And despite returns from the dead being commonplace on soaps, another resurrection for AMC and OLTL seems highly unlikely.
All My Children Dead (Again), Cast Members Say(tvguide.com) All My Children has been reportedly been canceled for a second time.
The long-running soap ended its first online season more than two months ago in the middle of a legal battle between ABC and Prospect Park, the production company which resurrected both All My Children and another recently axed ABC daytime drama, One Life to Live.
Cast member Debbi Morgan was the first to reveal All My Children's sad fate on Nov. 9, when she said her manager was told the show was done by a lawyer representing Prospect Park. "I'm so very sorry 2c U disappointed yet again & believe me we feel the same!!!," she tweeted.
Cast member Cady McClain confirmed Morgan's story and said that, until recently, all involved had been reassured that the show would return. "[We were] very recently contacted and told that, with great regret, AMC won't be going back online this year, or in this particular incarnation," McClain wrote Monday on her Facebook page. "Certainly hope springs eternal that we will yet again, spring from the dead." Soaps In Depth also confirmed the end of All My Children — as well as One Life to Live — with "well-placed" sources. A rep for the series could not immediately be reached for comment.
All My Children, which most famously starred Susan Lucci, was on the air for 42 years before ABC pulled it in September 2011. Prospect Park bought the rights shortly before the broadcast series finale and, after one failed attempt, successfully premiered new episodes of All My Children online in April 2013. The half-hour episodes were available online via YouTube and Hulu, and later began airing on OWN. Although Lucci did not return, many longtime cast members reprised their roles for the series.
Overall, 43 episodes of the resurrected series were produced before the first season via The Online Network ended in September.
This is just one of several hits for soaps fans. The Los Angeles Times reports that cable channel SOAPnet, which is known for airing recent episodes of currently airing daytime dramas such as General Hospital, as well as episodes of now-canceled dramas like Beverly Hills, 90210, will shut down on Dec. 31 after 14 years.
Will you miss All My Children?
Cady McClain Confirms AMC's EndProspect Park still has offered no comment or official statement regarding the fate of AMC, but hot on the heels of Debbi Morgan's (Angie) statements on Twitter revealing that the show will not go on, Cady McClain (Dixie) is speaking out, too. On her Facebook page, the actress released the following statement: "If you aren't hearing anything about the ending of AMC as we know it, it's really out of shock. I am also trying to allow PP to have the moment to contact all the actors and explain what is and has been going on with AMC, and then gather themselves to try and explain it all to you, the fans.
I can confirm what Debbie [sic] Morgan has shared already, that we were given assurances that we would be continuing with the series and then were very recently contacted and told that, with great regret, AMC won't be going back online this year, or in this particular incarnation. Certainly hope springs eternal that we will yet again, spring from the dead.
I do feel confident in sharing my opinion that PP and all 'the powers that be' involved in making AMC and OLTL truly loved the shows and did their utmost to make continuing them possible. The premiere in NYC was one of the most exciting moments I have had the privilege to be a part of in my career. I am not privy to the behind the scenes decisions, however. Like you, I can only experience those choices second hand and guess at the reasons why this is happening now.
Instead of going into the 'What Went Wrong' question, I think I'd rather focus on the gratitude I feel for having been asked to continue with the show. If I am still wanted as an actor on daytime, it is all because of YOU, the FANS.
I am so very grateful for your support. To have had the opportunity to be a part of an innovative experience that strived to keep American soaps alive via a new medium, to be a part of the continuing fabric of your lives through daytime storytelling, and to be able to work with dear friends who I've known all my life was a very special experience for which I have you to thank.
So THANK YOU for all the cheering, love, and support, daytime family. You've been AWESOME."
Debbi Morgan On AMC's Fate: "I'm So Very Sorry"While no official word has come from Prospect Park regarding whether AMC will return for a second season, Debbi Morgan (Angie) has tweeted several comments that seem to support the rumor that the show is done. "I guess what really hurts my gut R all the positive proclamations I gave 2 all of U that we'd definitely [be] coming back," she wrote. "Bcuz those were the earnest proclamations we'd been given! I'm so very sorry2 2c U disappointed yet again & believe me we feel the same!!! Thanks 4 all the support & luv U gave hoping this would work. We never know what's in God's plan. I do know there's always a bigger picture! Thanks For The Memories..."
Disney's SOAPnet channel headed for the drain(latimes.com) SOAPnet's bubble has finally burst.
On Dec. 31, Walt Disney Co. will pull the plug on the cable channel it created 14 years ago to squeeze extra life from its popular daytime dramas.
But like all great soap opera characters, this one didn't go down without a fight.
Disney announced three years ago its plan to fold SOAPnet to make space for Disney Junior, a channel for toddlers. That channel launched in early 2012, but cable and satellite TV operators weren't ready to give up SOAPnet. They didn't want to risk legions of vocal soap opera fans getting into a lather, or worse, moving to a rival service.
So, for nearly two years, the Burbank entertainment giant has provided programming for both channels, including the one it doomed long ago.
"SOAPnet had a great run," Ben Pyne, president of global distribution for Disney Media Networks, said in an interview Friday. "It served an audience of super-soap fans. And when given the opportunity, all of our affiliates kept the channel up and running."
In the end, SOAPnet was a casualty of a shift in corporate priorities for Disney — and technology.
The channel, which launched in January 2000, was created to give working women the opportunity to catch up on their favorite soaps — "General Hospital," "All My Children," "The Young and the Restless" — at night after work. Other soaps were brought back from the dead for a second run, including "Ryan's Hope" and prime-time dramas "Falcon Crest" and "Knots Landing."
The channel became a big moneymaker, allowing Disney to boost profits through additional runs of soap episodes, which brought in new viewers and advertisers, and programming fees from cable operators. Programming costs were modest. In 2010, its peak year, SOAPnet threw off $111 million in cash flow, according to consulting firm SNL Kagan.
"When SOAPnet launched, it was back in the videocassette-recorder days and you really could only record one episode at a time and you had to deal with all those cassette tapes," said Ed Martin, a soap opera expert and editor at large of the independently owned site MediaPost. "SOAPnet made it easy to follow multiple soap operas at the same time."
But the digital video recorder changed all that. Instead of the VCR hassles, it became easy for viewers to record multiple shows and watch the episodes at a more convenient time. Now nearly 50% of all homes with pay television have DVRs, according to Nielsen. Soap fans were among the earliest adopters, using the device to record and quickly watch multiple soaps by fast-forwarding through commercials.
The shift in consumer behavior made soaps less profitable for the networks. Audiences dribbled away, and advertisers migrated to other platforms.
Now only four soaps remain on the broadcast networks: "General Hospital" on ABC, "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" on CBS and "Days of Our Lives" on NBC. ABC ended the long runs of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" nearly two years ago, and independent producers have struggled to remake the pair into shows for the Internet.
"I think SOAPnet also helped contribute to the decline in the ratings for soaps on the broadcast networks," said Linda Marshall-Smith, founder of the website Soapdom.com. "With SOAPnet, people didn't have to watch the shows during the day, they could watch them at night. And now, with all of these second screens, you can see the shows any time."
SOAPnet is still available in 66 million homes. But in recent months, Disney has notified cable operators that it will no longer provide programming for the channel after Dec. 31.
The company stopped charging distributors a fee for SOAPnet months ago, as programming on the channel dwindled and programmers focused more attention on Disney Junior.
To fill the empty hours, SOAPnet ran reruns of old network shows, "Gilmore Girls," "One Tree Hill" and "Beverly Hills 90210."
"Our company has been very strategic and thoughtful in how we use the networks we have," Pyne said. "We want the programming we put on the air to be impactful."
Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger, in an earnings call with analysts this week, sang the praises of replacement channel Disney Junior. The channel has been No. 1 for preschoolers since Nielsen began reporting its ratings in April, he said.
"Retail sales for Disney Junior products exceeded $1.8 billion in fiscal 2013, more than double the year before," Iger said. "Going into the critical holiday season, Disney Junior toys are prominently featured on the retailers' hot toy lists, and our top four retail partners are planning to double Disney Junior shelf space compared to last year."
DEVELOPING: Prospect Park Shelving AMC, Too?Soap Opera Digest is awaiting official confirmation from Prospect Park, but insiders report that the company is officially shelving its plans to bring AMC back for a second season. (The show has been on production hiatus since August.) Staffers reportedly got word from PP today, and one behind-the-scenes player posted on Facebook, "It was fun while it lasted..." TV Guide's Michael Logan tweeted that a Friday announcement from PP is expected.
ABC Buys Comedy From Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos, Andrew Leeds & David LampsonProducing duo Kelly Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos have teamed with writing duo Andrew Leeds and David Lampson, creators of last season’s pilot Brenda Forever, for another half-hour comedy project with a female protagonist. Poor Pam, which has been set up at ABC through ABC Studios, centers on Poor Pam, that friend everyone feels bad for. Single, unemployed, almost broke, living in the shadow of her famous sister — everyone has it better than Pam. But that doesn’t get her down. Poor Pam always looks on the bright side of life, and she’s always ready to go another round, no matter how many times she gets dropped on her ass. Leeds and Lampson will write the script and executive produce with Ripa and Consuelos. The project was developed internally at Ripa and Consuelos’ Milojo Prods with Albert Bianchini, who oversees the company’s projects. This marks Milojo’s second sale to ABC in the past month. The company, repped by CAA and Joe Dapello, also has a multi-cam mom comedy written by former General Hospital: Nightshift head writer Sri Rao. Poor Pam marks Leeds and Lampson’s return to multi-camera comedy, where they got their start when their multi-camera comedy spec was selected to be filmed as a part of the Bravo reality show Situation: Comedy, produced by Sean Hayes. Lampson and Leeds’ single-camera comedy spec Brenda Forever landed a rare January sale last season with a pilot order at NBC through Sony and Ellie Kemper as the star. The duo, repped by CAA and Jared Levine, previously wrote NBC’s legal drama pilot Rex is Not Your Lawyer starring David Tennant.
Test Your Soap Smarts About Thorsten KayeHow well do you know AMC fave Thorsten Kaye (ex-Zach), who has just been cast as B&B's new Ridge? Go to www.toln.com and find out.
Test Your Cady McClain IQHow well do you know AMC's Cady McClain (Dixie)? Test your soap smarts at TOLN.com: www.toln.com
Michael B. Jordan Confirms Audition for Star Wars 7If you ask Michael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie, All My Children), he wouldn't mind making the jump to light speed like most everybody else in Hollywood.
The former Wire star, who's earning Oscar buzz for his breakthrough role in the Sundance-winning drama Fruitvale Station, is the latest actor to confirm he auditioned for the new Star Wars movie being directed by J.J. Abrams.
In a recently published interview, the 26-year-old Jordan confirmed that following in the footsteps of Atonement star Saoirse Ronan before him, he tried out for an unspecified part in the highly anticipated seventh installment in the space opera series.
Alas, he didn't get to brandish a lightsaber, so he's no Jedi—at least not yet.
But the thespian does have a connection to Star Wars mastermind George Lucas, having had a role in 2012's Red Tails, the war film about the Tuskegee Airmen, which the latter produced.
Since Fruitvale Station's release, Jordan's powerful performance has put him on the list of Tinseltown's most-sought after talents.
He's currently attached to star opposite Sylvester Stallone as Apollo Creed's grandson in a Rocky spinoff entitled Creed. There's also talk of him stepping into Roland Emmerich's Independence Day sequel now that Will Smith has passed on the project. And Chronicle director Josh Trank is supposedly eyeing him as the Human Torch in a Fantastic Four reboot.
But Star Wars would be a dream come true for the California native.
"I mean, everybody's going in on this project," Jordan said. "They're trying to figure out what they want. That's another incredible franchise. It's pretty crazy!...We'll see how it happens. I don't know how I can do everything."
Post-'Fruitvale,' Michael B. Jordan wants it allMichael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie, All My Children) wants it all — from a "Rocky" spinoff to a role in the next "Star Wars" movie.
The 26-year-old actor is in discussions for key roles in several big-budget studio movies after his star turn in this summer's indie "Fruitvale Station," which won both jury and audience awards at the Sundance Film Festival. His role as Oscar Grant, killed by transit police in 2009 at an Oakland train station, is expected to lead to acting honors as Hollywood's movie awards season begins in coming months.
"You win Sundance, you pop up on a lot of peoples' radar. So it's been incredible. It's a different conversation. Studios, producers, writers, directors — getting to know a lot of people in the industry," Jordan said in an interview Wednesday night at People magazine's "Ones To Watch" party.
He's set to work alongside Sylvester Stallone in a "Rocky" spinoff film, saying: "That's amazing, I can't wait to do it. ... That definitely is going on."
"Chronicle" director Josh Trank is considering him for the Human Torch in a "Fantastic Four" reboot currently in development. "Definitely interested in the project. Josh Trank is a buddy of mine," Jordan said.
And Jordan may be filling Will Smith's shoes in a long-in-the-works sequel to Roland Emmerich's 1996 alien invasion hit "Independence Day." He says he's a "big fan" of Smith and the original film, so "if that came true, that would be cool, too."
Finally, there's "Star Wars: Episode 7," to be directed by J.J. Abrams. Jordan, who met George Lucas through "Red Tails," says he auditioned for an unspecified part but didn't wield a lightsaber.
"I mean, everybody's going in on this project. They're trying to figure out what they want," he said. "That's another incredible franchise. It's pretty crazy! ... We'll see how it happens. I don't know how I can do everything."
AMC Alum Aiden Turner's New VentureAiden Turner (ex-Aidan, AMC) is one of the driving forces behind Ty, a device designed to keep track of frequently lost items. Says Turner, "All my life, I have been told, 'You'd leave your head if it wasn't screwed on,' mostly by my mom. Six years ago, I finally had enough of losing my things. I thought, 'If only we could tie a piece of string to the things we carry around with us that we don't want to lose — wallet, keys, umbrella, purse, etc. I joined up with some friends and worked really hard researching and developing a disc that we could attach to our things and connects to our phones via bluetooth. We created an app for the iPhone and Android phones and a clever disc that we called Ty. The idea is that we could Ty our belongings to our phone invisibly so that in case we leave them behind, we would be reminded within minutes that we have left them. The Ty disc battery lasts up to six months and is rechargeable and it comes with a free App and an accessory." Intrigued? "We are pre-selling Ty on indiegogo.com and have 50 days to sell 10,000, as that is our minimum order requirement by the factory in China," he reports. To check out the project and get a Ty for yourself, click here.
AMC's Cady McClain Takes On Thorsten KayeIn the latest installment of her web series, Suzy Fcking Homemaker, Cady McClain's (Dixie, AMC) martini-swilling alter ego sits down with Thorsten Kaye (Zach) — and hilarity ensues. Check it out here!
Susan Lucci: My New York(nypost.com) Susan Lucci grew up in Garden City, Long Island, but she fell in love with Manhattan when she got the job of a lifetime in 1970: playing the iconic Erica Kane on the long-running soap opera “All My Children.” Lucci would study her lines in the car on the way to the show’s Upper West Side studio only putting down her script to gaze at the skyline through Central Park. Today, she’s back living in Garden City and filming in Manhattan — her Investigation Discovery series “Deadly Affairs,” which just premiered its second season. This is her New York.
1. Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Galerie, 1048 Fifth Ave., between 85th and 86th streets
“My husband is Austrian, so when he’s feeling a little homesick, we go here, and it’s like being in Vienna for the afternoon. The quark is very authentic — it’s like a cheesecake, but that does not begin to do it justice. It’s so light and has a lemon taste to it. Last November, we were trying to squeeze in a trip to Paris, but we had so many commitments and we couldn’t get away. So we checked into the St. Regis — we didn’t tell anyone except our children. We went to a French restaurant to feel like we were in France and Cafe Sabarsky to feel like we were in Austria. It was like being in Europe for the weekend, and we had the best time.”
2. The Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302. W. 45th St., between Eighth and Ninth avenues
“We try to see a Broadway show a couple times a month. We mostly go to musicals. I grew up loving Broadway musicals. I’d put on my parents’ cast albums and stand on the stool and sing in the mirror. One of the first ones was ‘Damn Yankees.’ I was about 3 years old. The last show I saw was ‘Kinky Boots.’ Oh, I thought it was fabulous.”
3. Central Park, 110th Street and Central Park North
“For most of my adult life, I drove through Central Park every morning going to work. I’d enter at the North Drive, at 110th Street. I was always studying on my way in, but the minute we turned into the park, no matter where I was in the script, I’d put it down. Central Park is one of the treasures of this country — the light, the landscaping, the people. I just can’t say enough about it. My very favorite season there is spring. After the long winters in New York, you see green buds and weeping willows, forsythia coming out and daffodils poking through. I’ve also filmed in the park, and my husband and I have gone on a gondola ride in the lake. It’s just magical.”
4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave., at 82nd Street
“I have great memories of taking my children to the Met. They would say, ‘Can we take a later train home?’ They love the Egyptian wing and all the mummies. And I love the café. I’m looking forward to going there for jazz nights this fall.”
5. Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave., at 58th Street
“Bergdorf’s has it all! I go to the seventh floor for inspiration. I just walk around and look at the table settings and accessories — they’re so beautiful. I bought a fabulous black-and-white photograph there for my husband for our anniversary. It’s from a Harper’s Bazaar layout in the ’60s. It’s a man and woman, and he’s lighting her cigarette with his. I thought it was sexy and fabulous. It reminded me of when we first met.”
6. Campagnola, 1382 First Ave., at 74th Street
“If a Martian came from outer space and wanted to experience a real New York Italian restaurant, they would go to Campagnola. You’ve got Freddie (below) playing the piano when you walk in, they’re four deep at the bar, there’s a wooden floor — it’s so cozy. We’ve taken our son, and now he takes his friends. For us, it’s more of a dinner place, and they serve late, so we’ve gone after the theater, on the way home. There are so many colorful characters there: politicians, ballplayers, Wall Street bankers and actors.”
7. Barneys, 660 Madison Ave., at 61st Street
“There’s a very New York vibe, and you feel that the minute you’re in the store. They curate their collection of jewelry so well. Everything is cutting-edge, and I love that about Barneys. I have done some damage in that shoe department, too — my husband will tell you! He is not a shopper, he hates to shop. So he ushers me through as quickly as possible, then we go for lunch at Fred’s.”
8. The Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St., between Madison and Fifth avenues
“I went for the first time two years ago with my college roommate and her husband when they came up from Washington, DC. The fact that it was a private home, it feels so accessible and personal — you get to see the Monets and the Rembrandts in an environment that feels like a home. We had the best time and then, after that, we went Christmas shopping for our daughters and stopped at a pashmina cart, and bought a bunch of them.”
9. Gramercy Tavern, 42 E. 20th St., at Park Avenue South
“When I was getting ready to appear in ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ in 1999, my voice teacher was on 16th Street. After my lessons, my husband and I started going to Gramery Tavern quite often, and we just love it. The pastry chef is fantastic. I try everything she makes!”
Maiden season of Internet soap operas yields vital lessons, says company co-founder Jeffrey Kwatinetz(nydailynews.com) The pioneering first online seasons of the soaps “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” are wrapping up, with the producers saying that, as expected, they learned some lessons.
The season’s last original episode of “One Life to Live” airs Monday, with the season’s last original “All My Children” on Sept. 2.
The Prospect Park production company’s The Online Network (TOLN) says both will return at an unspecified date for a second season. The network says both have been successful enough for to justify continuing.
“We have tackled more business, creative and logistical challenges than most shows experience in a lifetime of production,” said Prospect Park co-founder Jeffrey Kwatinetz.
Reviving two canceled soaps with most of the casts intact was unprecedented — as was the gamble in producing them only for the Internet.
Kwatinetz and his partner Rich Frank said they expected to make adjustments on the fly, and the biggest one came a couple of weeks into the season, when the number of shows per week for each program was cut from four to two.
Since the shows run a half hour, this means only an hour a week of new programming.
In a statement, Frank and Kwatinetz said that’s all that most of the online audience had time to watch.
“We are finding that asking most people to regularly watch more than a half hour per day online seems to be too much,” they said.
They promised next season will have extra content and more interactivity.
As for this season’s wrapups, “One Life to Live” ends with the whole town of Llanview attending the Man of the Year dinner. “All My Children,” the producers say, will end by “wrapping up many of the season’s burning questions.”
Susan Lucci Cried Tears Of Joy Over 'All My Children' Lesbian Storyline(ontopmag.com) Susan Lucci has said that she cried tears of joy when she learned of a lesbian storyline involving her television daughter on the ABC soap All My Children.
On the show, Bianca Montgomery (played by Eden Riegel) came out gay to her mother, Erica Kane (Lucci), in late 2000.
Appearing on cabler Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, Lucci was asked how she felt about the storyline.
“The storyline was presented to me by our executive producer at that time. She called me into her office and we both just sat there with tears because it sounded like it was going to be such a great storyline, and it was,” Lucci said. “She told me that a lot of gay kids, and even gays in their 20s, they would rather commit suicide than come out to their parents. And I thought to myself, 'Oh my god, if I can be part of a storyline here that would help one person feel good about themselves, and be who they really are, and know that their parents can love them anyway – they just have to be themselves. I was thrilled to be part of it.”
“That storyline really had a lot of impact, I'm very proud and happy to say,” she added.
'Fruitvale Station' Duo Ryan Coogler And Michael B. Jordan Team With Sly Stallone On MGM 'Rocky' Spinoff 'Creed'(deadline.com) MGM is setting Ryan Coogler to direct Creed, and the studio is in early talks with Coogler’s Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie, All My Children) to play the grandson of Apollo Creed in a continuation of the Rocky saga that Coogler is going to write with Aaron Covington. Sylvester Stallone will reprise Rocky Balboa as a retired fighter-turned-trainer. This comes in the wake of a strong summer platform opening for Fruitvale Station, the film that won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Awards at Sundance, and captured Prize Of The Future at the Cannes Film Festival, where Coogler and Jordan were the toast of the Croisette. Coogler intends for this to be his directorial follow-up to Fruitvale Station so the intention is to make it happen quickly.
Now, I know the knee-jerk reaction is to say it’s hard to get excited about what amounts to the seventh film in the Rocky series. This feels different to me, mostly because of how it came together. Much the same way that Coogler burned with the desire to tell the tragic story of Oscar Grant in his feature debut and begged Jordan to play the role in the $900,000 budget film, this whole idea also came from Coogler. When he signed with WME, Coogler identified Creed as a dream project. While Coogler already had the relationship with Jordan, the agency put him together with Stallone. Stallone, who is right now heavily involved in a stage musical transfer of his original Oscar-winning 1976 film Rocky, loved the idea and felt it was strong enough for him to bring back his signature screen character. Stallone and Coogler then approached MGM’s Gary Barber and Jon Glickman, and they flipped for it. The film will be produced by Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, who produced the original, along with Stallone and Kevin King.
The intention is for Jordan to play the grandson of Apollo Creed (played in the early movies by Carl Weathers). Raised in an upper-crust home thanks to the ring riches earned by his grandfather, the young man doesn’t have to box and his family doesn’t want him to. Yet, he has the natural instinct and gifts and potential that made his grandfather the heavyweight champion until Rocky Balboa took his crown in 1979's Rocky II. Creed’s grandson needs a mentor and turns to Balboa, who is out of boxing completely and not eager to return.
Balboa was Creed’s father’s greatest opponent and later his best friend until that fateful moment when Balboa heeded Creed’s wishes and didn’t stop the fight against the Soviet fighter Drago (played by Dolph Lungdren in 1985's Rocky IV) before the giant delivered what proved to be a fatal beating.
What is intriguing is how Coogler intends to plug back into the mythology of the first three Rocky films, which were the best ones, and then move the story forward. Jordan seems perfect for the role, given his charisma and intensity, and the fact he’s a natural athlete and was a most convincing quarterback in the final seasons of Friday Night Lights. Coogler played college football on a scholarship as a wide receiver, so he has a background in jock culture. The deal is being finalized by WME, which reps Coogler, Jordan and Stallone. Jordan is managed by The Schiff Company and lawyered by Gregory Slewett.
Agnes Nixon Fast Facts(CNN) Here's a look at the life of Agnes Nixon, creator of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live".
Birth date: December 10, 1927
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Birth name: Agnes Eckhardt
Father: Harry Joseph Eckhardt, owner of Perfection Burial Garment Company
Mother: Agnes Patricia (nee Dalton) Eckhardt, bookkeeper
Marriages: Robert Nixon (April 6, 1951-November 22, 1996 his death)
Children: Catherine Agnes, Mary Frances, Robert Henry, Emily Anne
Education: Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (1940-1944)
Agnes Nixon grew up in Nashville, Tennessee.
Known as the "Queen of Soap Opera writing", she has nine Daytime Emmy writing nominations and four wins between her two shows "All My Children" and "One Life to Live", and a Lifetime Achievement award.
Her storylines often include socially conscious topics of the time, such as uterine cancer and Pap smears, racial identity, interracial relationships, abuse and abortion.
She created roles specifically for these actors: Laurence Fishburne, Tommy Lee Jones, and Tom Berenger on "One Life to Live".
She patterned her soap opera cities after an area in Philadelphia known as the "Main Line."
Nixon was one of the early writers on "The Guiding Light" (1953-2009), the longest running soap opera in history.
The character Agnes Eckhardt appears on both "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" played by Nixon. She also played the characters Agnes Dixon on "One Life to Live" and Aggie on "All My Children".
The production company Prospect Park teamed up with Apple and Hulu, to save "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" by making both shows available through the internet.
1944 - After college Nixon begins writing for radio soap opera, 'Woman in White".
1950 - She relocates to New York and begins freelancing for live television primetime broadcasts.
1951 - Writes for 13 weeks for daytime television as head writer for the soap opera "Search for Tomorrow" (1951-1986)
1952-1954 - Writes for primetime drama "Robert Montgomery Presents" (1950-1957)
1957-1959 - Nixon writes for the soap "As the World Turns" (1958-1978)
1959-1965 - Head writer on "The Guiding Light".
1965-1967 - Becomes head writer for "Another World" (1964-1999) another soap opera.
July 15, 1968 - Nixon's creation "One Life to Live" debuts and she's head writer.
January 5, 1970 - Another Nixon creation debuts, "All My Children" also with her as head writer.
June 26, 1983 - The soap opera "Loving" (1983-1995) premieres. Nixon is co-creator with Douglas Marland.
1988 - Wins Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team for "All My Children".
June 25, 1994 - Nixon, the first female writer, is inducted into the Soap Opera Hall of Fame.
November 1995 - "The City" (1995-1997), created by Nixon, James H. Brown and Barbara Esensten, picks up where "Loving" left off.
1996-1998 - Wins Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team for "All My Children".
January 11, 2005 - Agnes Eckhardt's first appearance on "All My Children".
July 21-22, 2008 - Agnes Eckhardt's first appearance on "One Life to Live".
May 12, 2010 - The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announces Nixon as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
April 14, 2011 - ABC announces the cancellation of "One Life to Live" as of January 2012. "All My Children" is also being canceled.
June 30, 2011 - ABC announces "All My Children" will air the final episode on Friday, September 23, 2011.
January 13, 2012 - "One Life to Live" airs its final television episode.
April 29, 2013 - "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" come back to life airing twice weekly online at Hulu and Apple's iTunes. Nixon is the creator of the new "All My Children"
June 6, 2013 - Labor union problems with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) forces both shows into summer hiatus two weeks early.
Final Month on ABC RecapRecap of the final month of All My Children on ABC: Read it here!
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