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August 20, 2014

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William Russ out, Stephen Nichols in at The Young and the Restless

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 18th 2009 6:07PM
stephen_nichols_days_of_our_livesThere's good news and bad news from the soap world, and considering lately that the bad news has been horrific -- As the World Turns getting cancelled -- this might be a bit over-dramatic. However, William Russ was fired and Stephen Nichols hired at The Young & the Restless. Bad news for Russ, a very good actor who was doing just fine as Tucker McCall, new billionaire in Genoa City. Good news for fans of Nichols, who was bounced from Days of Our Lives last February.

According to the powers that be at Y&R, the McCall character is going in a different direction. That prompted Russ's dismissal. According to Stephen, Russ handled the firing with grace and class. He left a note in the dressing room for Nichols and wished him well in the role.

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Is There Still a Future for Soap Operas?

by Michael Maloney, posted Dec 9th 2009 7:10PM
As the World TurnsWith the immortal words "Good morning, dear," actress Helen Wagner (Nancy Hughes) opened the CBS soap opera 'As the World Turns' on April 2, 1956. Alas, in light of the show's cancellation on Dec. 8, longtime soap fans are wondering if they'll be saying, "Good-bye, dear," to the beloved daytime genre entirely.

The sad reality is that viewers have bid farewell to too many soaps recently. In addition to 'ATWT''s cancellation, 'Guiding Light' ended its 72-year run on Sept. 18; ratings for ABC stalwart 'General Hospital' hit record lows this summer. Are these struggles an indication that the heyday of soaps is over? These days, with more women in the workplace, there are fewer stay-at-home moms who are able to watch soaps in the daytime -- what effect, if any, has that had on soap opera viewership?

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'Days of Our Lives' Star Bryan Dattilo Matches Wits On '5th Grader'

by Michael Maloney, posted Nov 2nd 2009 3:00PM

Bryan DatilloBryan Dattilo's had to out-think crafty Sami Brady on 'Days of our Lives' for years; now he's trying to outsmart a bunch of 11-year-olds on 'Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader,' the syndicated game show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy.

"I had never seen the show before but my brother is a big fan of Jeff and his 'jerky' jokes," said Dattilo, who has played Lucas Roberts on 'Days' since 1993. The actor didn't have to go through the rigorous pre-test that regular potential contestants do (believe us, it's not easy), but he caught a few episodes in the green room prior to taping. He talked to AOL about the '5th Grader' experience, plus what's next for Lucas on 'DOOL.'

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I'm psyched about Crystal Chappell's return to Days of Our Lives

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 19th 2009 10:03AM
crystal_chappell_cbsI'm still not really over the end of Guiding LIght, but if there's one thing soap fans know, you have to move on. You get over the end of Santa Barbara, mourn the loss of Another World, remember forever that before vampires were in vogue in prime time, Barnabus Collins ruled daytime, despite rickety sets and off-the-rack costumes.

That said, even while people are saying that soaps are dead -- or dying -- I'm excited about Crystal Chappell returning to Days of Our Lives.

You want to know how excited? I'm going to watch. After Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn were unceremoniously dumped by the soap, I drifted away. But I'm willing to give Days another try, especially because my curiosity has been piqued about Crystal's return.

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Will The Young and the Restless really kill off Victor Newman?

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 30th 2009 11:00AM
eric_braeden_CBSIs it even possible to imagine The Young and the Restless without Eric Braeden as hero/villain Victor Newman? You would think not, but then Days of Our Lives moved on without Deidre Hall as Dr. Marlena Evans, didn't it? Still, Braeden and his alter ego Victor is still a front and center presence on the show, an integral part of the storytelling. Therefore, the news that The Young and the Restless is contemplating killing off Victor if they cannot resolve the contract dispute with Braeden is a shocker.

Braeden is working now under a contract that lasts till 2010, and his reps have said that he would take a pay cut once the term is up. However, producers are asking him to take a pay cut now. That, my friends, is the rub. Braeden wants to help the show stay on the air, but he's not ready to take an economic hit until he has to. That's understandable.

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Gone Too Soon: Carnivàle

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 17th 2009 10:02AM
CarnivaleLong-time readers of this site might remember the recurring feature "Short-Lived Shows." While this column may bear a resemblance to that beloved early TV Squad staple, there are notable differences. In particular, I'll be going much more in-depth about the show's fate, its cast, continuing fan support, and possible story continuations in different mediums.

Also, to make this column, a show must have actually been good. Shows that are canceled and deserve it certainly aren't "Gone Too Soon." They're perhaps not gone soon enough. Furthermore, a GTS could just as easily have been on the air for years before ending abruptly. If I'm sitting here wondering what happens next and now I'm never going to find out, that's gone too soon.

Which brings us to our first entry. HBO is known for groundbreaking television, but even they didn't know how much ground they broke with Carnivàle in September 2003. On the surface, it was yet another brilliantly produced period piece, perfectly capturing the look and feel of the Great Depression era United States. Underneath, it was nothing short of the epic struggle between good and evil.

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Is Susan Lucci quitting All My Children?

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 8th 2009 7:02PM
susan_lucci_abc_All_my_childrenFirst, Paula Abdul walks away from American Idol (or was she shoved out by the producers a bit?), now comes news that Susan Lucci's not sure about sticking with All My Children when the ABC soap relocates to Los Angeles in December. My thought was there's no way La Lucci was going to pass on the chance to keep on working, but she's saying it's a tough decision. "I don't know ... I love the show and I love playing Erica, but I'm just now going to have a couple of days off. It's a lot to think about."

Could Susan truly be thinking anything but, "Yes, I'm going"? Seriously, All My Children has been her mainstay for 39 years. That's right, nearly four decades of continuous employment in essentially a starring role.

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The end is near for Guiding Light

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 28th 2009 2:30PM
Guiding_Light_Coopers_bar
There will be no reprieve from the governor, no last minute miracle save. No, the end is approaching and Guiding Light will stop filming the week of August 3. The CBS soap opera will air its last show on September 18, 2009, and the 72-year-long run of America's most enduring daytime drama will officially wrap.

Fans have been hoping that somehow, someway Guiding Light would find a new home, but neither CBS nor Procter and Gamble have been able to save the show. Soapcentral.com has reported that efforts have been made to no avail. "We have not been able to secure an outlet to carry the show moving forward. We are extremely disappointed with this outcome, but we are confident we have exhausted every possible option," said TeleNext Media SVP Brian T. Cahill.

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Weirdness in the Daytime Emmys nominations

by Allison Waldman, posted May 15th 2009 10:32AM
The View standing

They have feuds. They have babies (at least one of them). They have daily debates. But the ladies of The View have no sway with the Daytime Emmys. Well, that's not entirely correct. The ladies themselves, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Barbara Walters, Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, received an Emmy nomination in the category of Outstanding Talk Show host(s), but their show was snubbed.

Whether it's deemed a Talk Show/Entertainment or Talk Show/Information, it's not deemed worthy. But The View's missing nomination is merely one of the many oddities of the 36th Annual Daytime Emmy nominations. Something is really bizarre in the batch of noms.

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TV Squad Soap Report: Do what you do best... drama!

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 17th 2009 12:03PM
rebThere are many things the soaps do well. You know, things like lavish weddings, fancy dress balls, murder trials, even corporate boardroom shenanigans. On the other hand, there are more action-oriented story lines that just bring out the worst in soaps.

In the last few weeks, for instance, All My Children staged the worst looking motorcycle/car crash I've ever seen on TV. It was riotously funny, and that was not the desired effect. When a wedding gown-wearing Greenlee (sans helmet) careened off the road into a frozen river, the sight of her veil flying in the wind as the tires screeched, with the headlights blinking and the actors pretending to be tossed around, was a hoot. All I was thinking while watching the accident was: "Could this be executed any worse?" (Also, what a waste of Rebecca Budig's return.)

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TV Squad Soap Report: Aleksander the Grant

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 4th 2009 10:55AM
glIt's been a little over a year since Guiding Light bolted from the confines of a New York studio to create a reality based production, a sort of cinema-verite style that brought to life a real New Jersey town to "play" Springfield. The results have been middling at best, but recently GL has lurched forward in a positive way and that can all be explained in two words/one name -- Grant Aleksander. The actor is back as Phillip Spaulding, one of the most important characters in the history of the show.

The last year of GL hasn't only been about the new production. Coinciding with all that physical change which has set more and more scenes outdoors and in "wild" set, the cast has been undergoing massive change. Top line veterans Ricky Paull Goldin, Nicole Forester and Beth Ehlers have all departed, and recently John Driscoll was tragically killed off.

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Days of Our Lives dumps another supercouple

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 4th 2009 5:02PM
Nichols/EvansNBC seems determined to destroy Days of Our Lives, the last soap left on the network. After receiving a truck load of negative press for firing/letting go/dumping Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn, the producers are now dropping the axe on perhaps the most popular romantic couple ever on the show, Patch and Kayla. According to Soap Opera Digest, Mary Beth Evans and Stephen Nichols have been let go.

This may seem like an economic necessity for Days of Our Lives, especially since the soap only has a year-and-a-half to prove to NBC that it's still viable -- that was the length of the pick up it received when it was renewed in 2008 -- but to fans this is just another slap in the face.

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TV Land plots a Harry Hamlin & Lisa Rinna reality show

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 4th 2008 1:04PM
Harry and LisaThere are two things that I find disturbing about the news that there's a reality show in the works for married actors Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna for TV Land. Number one, do we really need another show biz couple exposing their personal lives for the cameras? Number two, why is TV Land getting away from celebrating TV history by broadcasting great old shows to do banal entertainment like this kind of unscripted drivel?

Are audiences really clamoring for more of this stuff? I know I'm not, and I don't know anyone else who is! Seriously, this is not reality TV. There's nothing real about it except that they're using their real names. (Yes, those are their real names!)

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Days of Our Lives shake-up: It's all about money

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 21st 2008 3:07PM
D and D at DaysJust a couple of weeks ago, all was fine and dandy in Days of Our Lives-world. Or so it seemed. The big fan shindig at Universal in Hollywood seemed to signal that the status quo was holding that the lone NBC soap still in production would be able to use the 18-month renewal granted by NBC to climb in the ratings and return to past glory. Now comes the shocking news that NBC has fired Days of Our Lives' two biggest stars, Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Drake Hogestyn (John). By the way, Deidre and Drake were at the fanfest. You think they knew the pink slips were on the way? Um, no.

This is all about money, folks, and instead of seeking other ways to trim costs, Executive Producer Ken Corday and company have used a hatchet and chopped off the top salaries. Don't be shocked to hear that more is coming. That could be Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso -- Bo and Hope -- the other iconic romantic couple on the show, right after Marlena and John.

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TV Squad Soap Report: SOAPnet's boom and a Mad Men memory

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 1st 2008 8:41AM
logo tv soapDid you see Mad Men recently? As part of Harry's creating a TV division at the Sterling Cooper ad agency, he was made responsible for screening scripts of TV fare so that the content pleased/satisfied/supported the advertisers' desires. Interestingly, it was Joan -- the office manager/head secretary -- who was given the scripts to read and her main focus of As the World Turns.

She became completely engrossed in the 1962 Oakdale story in which a character came to from a coma with a new personality. Her enthusiasm for the soap story convinced the advertisers to back As the World Turns rather than Love of Life, another CBS soap at the time.

Mad Men was historically accurate about As the World Turns. It was the top-rated soap opera for 20 years -- 1958-1978 -- and in 1962 (the year in which Mad Men is currently set), ATWT had increased its share from 47.7 to 53.7 in just a year. It was the soap on the rise and over half all TVs on in daytime were watching this CBS soap.

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