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Suds Report for September 19, 2008


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GAY-BC: Look at ‘AMC’s new gay super-couple! Plus: Is Babe out, and Kendall staying? Big Victoria Rowell news! Plus: Martha Byrne speaks! Susan Flannery directs more episodes of ‘GL’! Rick Hearst re-signs! Sharon Wyatt and John Reilly on ‘Night Shift’!


“I do think five shows a weeks is an antiquated model. All over the world, serial storytelling is three days a week at most and repeats on the odd days and weekends. I don’t think there is an appetite in this society right now to watch this show five days a week; they don’t have the time or the energy.”

—ATWT’s Christopher Goutman in an interview with Stephanie Sloane in Soap Opera Digest.

Translation: Our show sucks, we know. Memo to Goutman: other than telenovelas, every international soap airs five days a week. How do I know — they air in Canada! You need to travel more, mister.

“And that’s why Luke and Noah never became a big event. I’m very proud of the show for that, because there was a big outcry to make it a platform and it wasn’t a platform. Because you tell it within the framework with a lot of other stories. If you take it out of the framework, you are not telling the story. You are exploiting a situation.”

—In the same interview, CBS V-P Barbara Bloom discusses Nuke being on the back burner in Digest.

Translation: They’re gay, stupid! We only exploit our straight characters!

“Listen, I would love to do a Sunday marathon of GL and ATWT. Brian?”

—Goutman’s response after Sloane asked whether or not he would like to air his soaps on SOAPnet.

Translation: Clearly, Goutman hasn’t heard SOAPnet doesn’t air soaps anymore.

“I figure that I’ll give it another couple of years. After a while, it starts to get to you. You get burned out.”

—GH’s Maurice Benard (Sonny) discusses his soap future in a newspaper article.

Translation: I’m getting into the wine business with Steve Burton (Jason), bitches!

All My Children, A/ABC — Amanda Baker out? Alicia Minshew staying? Plus: Rianca in!

• Best Gay Week Ever: If ABC keeps this up, I’m going to refer to the alphabet network as GAY-BC from now on. As The Suds Report correctly predicted last week, SOAPnet.com is confirming Emmy winner and Imaginary Bitches sensation Eden Riegel has signed a long-term contract as Binks. Moreover, a few weeks back, I suggested the three-dimensional Tamara Braun (ex-Ava, DAYS; ex-Carly, GH) would make an ideal Kendall recast should Alicia Minshew bolt (but considering she’s confirmed to participate in Super Soap Weekend, it looks like she’s staying with AMC). Emmy-nominated Braun has been cast in the contract role of Reese Williams, Binks’ Parisian lover. Riegel first airs on Oct. 17, while Braun follows on Oct. 30. Unlike P&G, ABC is all about the “platforms,” right, Babs?

• It’s not Hurricane Ike, but the second tornado expected to hit Iraq Valley is fast approaching. Will Texas be watching? On Oct. 16, expect major CGI, says Chuck Pratt Jr. Buzz is increasing that Babe will be one of the two characters to die in the disaster. Her death would help usher in Vincent Irizarry’s Dr. David Hayward (he pops back into town on Oct. 23), and Riegel’s Bianca. “Amanda Baker hasn’t been looking too happy around the set,” offers a show snitch. Hmmm…

Listen to this: DC's How To Improve AMC.

As The World Turns, Global/CBS — Byrne Martha Byrne!

• P&G’s worst nightmare becomes a reality on Wednesday: This past week, I spent two lovely hours chatting with Emmy winner Martha Byrne (ex-Lily) for next week’s Q+A feature. And yes, The Suds Report was right regarding the reasons why Byrne was forced out when we first broke this shocking news story back in March. So don’t believe the spin machine on those other websites. This interview is not to be missed, soap peeps!

• Sorry, Noah: On Oct. 13, Karl Girolamo is back as Luke’s former tormentor, Kevin Davis. The actor, who played the teen homophobe, told welovesoaps.com, “I am happy to be working with everyone again. I won’t be around for too long, but my stuff should start airing soon. It’s a great storyline, so it should be fun.” In my opinion, anyone who is homophobic is probably gay himself or herself, so I wonder if ATWT will re-introduce Kevin as a friend of Chad Allen’s (Eric, NS). Hmmm… using that logic, I wonder if P&G is gay, too?

• This just in: Paul and Meg still suck. Cut your losses, people! My sex life is more exciting.

Listen to this: DC's How To Improve ATWT.

The Bold and the Beautiful, CTV/CBS — Lazy writing alert!

• Is Taylor hitting the sauce again — or is co-head writer Kay Alden? This week, Taylor gives up her parental rights to baby Jack to Brooke and Nick. Also, proving straight people shouldn’t be allowed to marry, Bridget and Nick’s second two-minute marriage is over. How much do you want to bet Nick and Katie wed and are divorced by the end of the year?

Listen to this: DC's How To Improve B&B.

Days of our Lives, Global/NBC — Is Gary Tomlin pulling a Maria Arena Bell?

• Did former co-executive producer Ed Scott’s firing prompt director Kathy Foster and Mike Denney to walk off the DAYS set? A spokesperson issued a “no comment” when Suds Report called — and we all know what that means. Recently, Sony updated DAYS’ production credits and Foster and Denney are no longer listed. Is producer Noel Maxam next?

• In reel life this week: Caroline is found standing over a murdered Trent holding the murder weapon! And Kate learns she has cancer.

Listen to this: DC's How To Improve DAYS.

General Hospital, CTV/ABC — Sorry GL: Hearst re-signs

• It came down to the wire, but three-time Emmy winner Rick Hearst (Ric) has re-inked a new deal and will “continue with us for the foreseeable future,” confirms a show spokesperson. The buzz is GH will romantically pair Ric with Claudia — if Sarah Brown sticks around, that is.

• Soap Opera Digest is on rumour patrol: Now that Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda) is busy applying Lipstick on pigs in the Jungle, GH is reportedly looking to bring back Kristina Wagner (ex-Felicia) instead!

• One of my 1980 soap crushes Bradley Lockerman (Casey, GH; ex-James, Capitol) was interviewed here on life after daytime TV. It’s a good read!

Listen to this: DC's How To Improve GH.

General Hospital: Night Shift, SOAPnet/DirecTV — Sean and Tiffany return! Monica scrubs in!

• Night Shift is the new General Hospital! Sri Rao’s sizzling and stunning writing debut has everyone buzzing, and praying he jumps over to the mother ship as its head writer. The season’s finale will now air in a two-parter on Oct 21.

• And look who’s reuniting on NS for the explosive ending: Sharon Wyatt (Tiffany), John Reilly (Sean), Anthony Geary (Luke), Leslie Charleson (Monica), Finola Hughes (Anna), and Tristian Rogers (Robert). Yep, you read that right! Rao clearly listens to the fans. What a novel concept, huh?

• Chad Allen, who makes his soap debut on NS on Sept. 23, has a message for his former Our House co-star Deidre Hall. He tells Suds Report exclusively, “We were really close. I really want to reconnect with her. Deidre even named her first son, David, after the character I played on Our House. We’d bake cookies together and she’d give me advice. Unfortunately, we lost touch.” Allen has three other soap connections: he starred opposite Joe Lando (ex-Jake, OLTL) on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and he produced this month’s film Save Me with his pal, Judith Light (ex-Karen, OLTL). “Joe was like a brother to me; he’s the best; and Judith is one of my best friends,” offers Allen, who admitted he was romantically paired with “gay beard” Heather Tom (Katie, B&B) when he was in the closet.

Guiding Light, Global/CBS — Flannery to direct more GL eppys — and sweat her balls off in Peapack!

• Perhaps four-time Emmy winner Susan Flannery (Stephanie) can save GL. Yeah, right! Flannery directed GL’s Oct. 13 episode starring four-time Emmy winner Kim Zimmer (Reva). The Suds Report learned Flannery is going back to direct more episodes. But don’t worry B&B fans, a rep assures me, “Susan remains on contract as Stephanie. In fact, she plays heavy in story in the next few months.”

As for her experience on GL, Flannery says she’s, “fascinated with the level of reality [GL executive producer] Ellen Wheeler has brought to the show.” Um, what? I don’t know anyone who hangs out in parks 24/7. But hey, whatever.

As for Wheeler’s Fisher Price production model, Flannery admits, “It's the wave of the future. I don't think B&B can necessarily do this. We’re more of a romance novel.” What she really means: we have a budget thanks to our foresight and talent. Luckily, we didn’t put ourselves in a situation where we have to film a soap like a high-school project. She continues: “But, GL is a slice-of-life show, and Ellen has taken everybody’s idea of what soaps should be and blown it out of the sky.” Translation: Wheeler gave me a sip of Jesus Juice, and I see dancing midgets now!

Um, what happened to fixing a show from the inside out? As daytimeconfidential.com’s Jamey Giddens reminded me recently: “At least soap’s real savior, General Hospital’s Gloria Monty ensured all her bases were covered: she appointed super-talented Douglas Marland as her head writer, and she took care of introducing post-modern production innovations.” I concur. Fixing the aesthetics of a show and not the scripts is like being a horrible person inside and getting a boob job.

• In story news, Grady and Dinah get their chemistry on! Me likes.

• Don’t expect a regime change at GL. A friend asked me why CBS V-P Barbara Bloom replaced Y&R chief Josh Griffith on daytime’s No. 1 show with Paul Rauch when the soap is still healthy, but GL’s Ellen Wheeler is still working when the ratings keep nose-diving. So, I did some digging. Industry insiders explain to me that everyone in the biz knows the soap will be cancelled sooner than later, so why try to save it? One soaper says “another executive change will just bring it that much closer to soap heaven.” So basically we’re stuck with Wheeler and company. That’s. Just. Great.

Listen to this: DC's How To Improve GL.

One Life to Live, A/ABC — Slezak slays me on Oct. 13! Cousins set to return?

• 678-time Emmy winner Erika Slezak (Viki) is back in Llanview on Oct. 13. Suspiciously, Viki and Tina continue to avoid each other at all costs. A likely story, huh? Speaking of Rebecca Lord Roberts, Soap Opera Weekly reports Christopher Cousins (Cain) will be returning this fall.

• How great is it to see my beautiful and talented Melissa Fumero back as Adriana Branco? A rep states, “Melissa’s back for a few weeks.” Perfection. Hopefully someone will move heaven and earth and convince the future Emmy winner to stick around indefinitely.

• Check out OLTL’s hot new porn star!

• Emmy winner Michael Malone has written a new book, Four Corners of the Sky (May 2009; Sourcebooks Landmark; $24.99) — a riveting novel of love, secrets and the mysterious bonds of family. “This is the novel fans of Michael’s epics have been waiting 20 years for,” says a rep. Look for an upcoming interview with one of my favourite head writers ever very soon. And yes, we talk about the destruction of Todd and Marty’s Emmy-winning gang-rape storyline. And then some.

• Soap Triplet Alert: Not only does Mark Lawson (Brody) look like Ryan Phillippe (ex-Billy Douglas), but he also resembles Timothy Adams (ex-Ron Carlivati)! It’s too bad OLTL didn’t cast Lawson as Billy, huh? Think about it, Billy could save Marty from her gang rapist, Todd. Carlivati could have re-introduced the “disenfranchised gay teen” living as Gigi’s gay BFF in Paris, Texas after a stint in the “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” Iraq war. Better yet, Gigi and Billy could have told Shane the gay heartthrob was his father before he realized he was a friend of Nelson Branco’s. Now that’d be a storyline worth investing in.

• Soap Opera Digest recently revealed OLTL taped a new opening, but a rep informs me that it’s the same old (read: crappy) opening, just new shots of actors. Zzzzz…

• Memo to OLTL’s set designer, Roger Mooney: I love you! The artist can design and decorate my house anytime. We have the same taste: earth tones, chocolate and beige compliments, antiques, woods, and dashes of colour thrown in. And he gets shape, dimension, and most important, character style. OLTL is simply the most gorgeous-looking show on daytime. Sorry, Y&R — on that front Valentini-Mooney has you beat. And OLTL’s lighting compliments the aesthetic of the show beautifully. But you know what? AMC is looking pretty fierce these days, too. Now if we could only fix the cheesy-looking sets of GH, the entire ABC line-up would be gay-friendly.

Listen to this: DC's How To Improve OLTL.

Planet Soap, TVTropolis— Catfights, Y&R style!

• In this week’s episode, Planet Soap gets down and bitchy! From hair-pulling hissy fits to strangulations with phone cords and mud wrestling to the death, the feisty females of Planet Soap always play dirty!

Scripts & Scruples, iTunes — As The Casting Evolves

• It’s official: welovesoaps.com’s Roger Newcomb is out of control! Here’s more exclusive Scripts & Scruples scoop: “Tristan Rogers (Robert “Cancer” Scorpio, NS) will be playing Garfield Merriweather, a shady lawyer who approaches Sam. Brody Hutzler (ex-Patrick, DAYS) has been cast as Joseph Channing, a man from Teri's (Anne Sayre) past who wants to reunite with his wealthy ex. Gerald Hopkins (ex-A.J., GH) will be playing Stacey's much-talked-about but never-seen father, Richard Gamage.” Heck, it’s probably only a matter of time before Newcomb casts Martha Byrne (ex-Lily, ATWT) and Victoria Rowell (ex-Dru, Y&R).

The Young and the Restless, Global/CBS — Exclusive: Victoria Rowell’s heading to the altar! Plus: Drucilla is alive!

• Peter Bergman’s BFF, Victoria Rowell (ex-Dru) exclusively tells The Suds Report the 11-time NAACP winner yet Emmy-less superstar will officially celebrate their engagement to internationally renowned painter Radcliffe Bailey on Oct. 11 in Atlanta… and TVGuide.ca is invited! And no, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) won’t be a bridesmaid in case you're wondering. FYI: Bailey is collected by such noted celebs as Elton John, Samuel L. Jackson, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Houston Museum of Art, The High Museum, The Menil, as well as over 25 other recognized museums. Rowell has finally met her leading man. The happy couple plan to wed on Apr. 12, 2009.

In related news, I’m currently sunning my tired behind in South Beach, Miami. During a leisurely swim I spotted two black people swimming! “Wonders never cease,” I thought. “Stereotypes be damned.” Upon closer inspection, I realized the two hotties were Drucilla and Malcolm! She’s alive, folks — and she’s screwing Shemar Moore! “We’re swimming back to Genoa City, Nellie! Warn Phyllis and Jack! And tell Y&R, we want a raise, too!”

Speaking of Rowell, her recent bombshell interview on daytimeconfidential.com’s podcast series is the talk on the Y&R set. According to a Y&R insider, Bergman is understandably upset. Apparently the entire cast listened to the podcast in the makeup room.

• Is the love of my life, Maria Arena Bell trying to make me straight? She’s effortlessly erased all of Barbara Bloom and Lynn Marie Latham’s worst ideas from my memory — and Genoa City. The latest gift to daytime? Bell fired what’s-her-name in favour of a real casting director, Camille St. Cyr. Some of St. Cyr’s previous credits include overseeing casting on the CBS prime-time series NCIS and JAG for three seasons, and she has also cast numerous pilots. St. Cyr began her casting career in daytime at General Hospital and Port Charles, followed by a stint at CBS Talent and Casting. Hopefully this inspired appointment means less hair models and more thespians on Y&R.

• Spoiler Alert: Is Victor Newman banishing his family in order to protect them from the mob? If the organization learns the tycoon killed one of their own, they will more than likely seek revenge, non? Hmmm… interesting theory, huh? Speaking of Victor, I’m in L.A. next week to interview Eric Braeden (Victor) for an at-home feature Hello! Canada shot of him by celebrated Canadian photographer Peter Bregg. Just wait until you see the pictures in the 11-page spread with the 67-year-old superstar! Not only did we throw the Emmy winner’s outrageously in-shape body in the pool with his adorable granddaughter, but we also snapped him with his Daytime Emmy Award (as most Emmy experts know, Braeden didn’t accept the statue in person when he finally won the award in 1998).

• Wow — talk about an organized fan protest; check out this press release:

“Fans of soap couple equip California youth with pens, paper, and other supplies for the upcoming school term in an exciting new campaign: “Fix Phick with Bic.” The new campaign will serve two purposes: 1) to join forces with H.E.L.P., a Hollywood-based non-profit, in its efforts to perpetuate the literacy of today’s youth and 2) to springboard the survival of the group’s favorite daytime couple, “Nick and Phyllis Newman” of the CBS drama, The Young and the Restless. The couple’s fans were distressed to hear about a rumoured winter dissolution of the show’s top romantic entanglement, and decided to take action.”

No spit was involved in the composition of this press release. Though Sharon Case (Sharon) is thinking about it.

Listen to this: DC's How To Improve Y&R.

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I tend to believe Susan Haskell and Roger Howarth, who both told the same story and threatened to quit if it was done, over Malone's claims about that romance. If you watched the scenes at the time there were huge signposts to their romantic future. MM has denied wanting the pairing before, very eloquently, and he is a passionate, eloquent man when it comes to OLTL, but I simply do not believe him and I do not want him at the show. Of course, Nelson has proven he will back anything if he isn't invited to an ice cream formal.

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What, the Y&R cast listened to VR's interview :lol: dats funny!

Bravo to the Phyllis and Nick fans for taking a proactivestance instead of whining, juxtapositioned with helping acharity ;)

Nelson Brance has made it quite known that he is a big fan if Phyllis and Nick, and SC has made it also known she personally doesnt like the pairing, so NB took a shot at her like he does everyone else, I love it it was funny :P

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I can't imagine the entire cast sitting through an hour of that interview. It must have been hard to hear for just about all of them. One thing is for sure, VR will not be invited back. Before he changed the column yesterday Nelson quoted Peter as calling VR the "cancer of daytime". He later removed it.

The Sharon Case comment was out of nowhere but he seemed to be going with that spitting theme in this issue of Suds. I guess he is trying to be the Perez Hilton of daytime. I guess that is okay.

The bit about the Phick fans was really cool. I would rather read about fans doing something like that than hearing that they've sent in hundreds of do-dads to soap magazines that end up in the trash. At least they seemed to have a purpose.

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can't wait to see Tamara's scenes with Susan Lucci!

glad Ric Hearst is staying with GH

can't wait for the return of Sean and Tiffany on GH:NS!!!! talk about memories!!!!

it is very apparent that the cast of Y & R is closing ranks and standing together...leaving VR on the outside looking in and telling her tale of woe!!!

Nelson is known for telling it like it is!!! kudos to him !!!

PHICK fans are not whiners and never will be! Better to be Pro-Active then Re-Active.....

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