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The Suds Report: May 21, 2010

21 May 2010 42 views No Comment

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“I was sound asleep. After a long night of, well, ‘celebrating life,’ I took the liberty of attempting to sleep in, only to wake up to my agent’s call at 5 a.m. I answered half-asleep and assured them that a) I was not in jail; b) I didn’t do anything more stupid than [usual]; and c) whatever you heard, it wasn’t me.”
Y&R’s Billy Miller on learning he received his first Emmy nomination as outstanding supporting hangover, er, actor
Translation: Honestly, I have nothing in common with Billy Abbott!

“I’m thinking it’s a step up, because [soaps] have a security level to it, and you’re working.”
Y&R’s Sean Young to Soap Opera Weekly on if she considers joining the soap world a step down
Translation: My career is over. Thanks a lot, James Franco!

It’s raining soap novels!

Sudsy drama may be dying but soap-themed books are thriving! This month, China Dolls authors Michelle Yu and Blossom Kan launch their second book Young, Restless & Broke (St. Martin’s Press). This sassy women’s fiction novel will hit bookstores just in time to honour Asian Heritage Month. The bonus? This cousin duo have linked up with DAYS star Arianne Zucker and her unique jewelry line Lowd Suga to create a book and necklace set that will be a must-read and accessory favourite.

So what’s the novel about? Young, Restless & Broke captures all the highs and lows of a young woman on her own in Los Angeles and provides a witty look at the hard knocks of life in the entertainment industry. Sarah Cho always knew that she’d have to rough it as an aspiring actress, but she refuses to give up no matter how tough things get or how unsupportive her family is. Still, flipping burgers and bartending to pay the bills, she’s going nowhere fast in New York City … until she meets Daniel Wong. Daniel’s a top Hollywood soap opera producer, not to mention gorgeous. Instantly smitten, Sarah jumps at the chance to move to L.A. to pursue her ambitions — and a relationship with Daniel. But will Tinseltown turn out to be all she’s dreamed of?

Welovesoaps.net counts down the best soap actors ever!

No surprise, here — Anthony Geary leads as No. 1! Did your faves make the iconic list? Find out here.

All My Children, ABC — Where’s Sully when you need him?
• Are they trying to get us not to watch AMC? Entertainment Tonight posted Susan Lucci and Michael Nouri’s first scene together after Erica Kane’s fateful plane crash. So far, it looks pretty cheesy and amateurish to me. Where’s Emmy winner Roger Mooney, One Life’s master set designer and former AMC decorating engineer, when you need him? Well, let’s see how this all pans out. With co-head writer David Kreizman’s track record, AMC could easily be cancelled by the time this story heats up! Oh, I’m just teasing …

• Cat women are all the rage on daytime. Thanks, Mr. Kitty! Lee Meriwether is back as Ruth Martin later this month on AMC when Jake prepares to marry Amanda.

• Last night, Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan appeared on The Mo’Nique Show. Glad they’re getting some air time at least!

As The World Turns, CBS/Global —  Carly and Jack to wed?
Soap Opera Weekly hints that Kristina Sisco Romero will be returning to World Turns. Sisco is expecting a bambino with her hubby Dan this November so don’t be surprised if Abigail is with child. Also, an insider tells Suds at least two more names are returning to the cancelled sudser.

• Alum Report: That troublemaker Dylan Bruce has also been cast in the new web soap, The Bay! Meanwhile, Scott Holroyd, who has been on the last four episodes of Chuck, will also air on the cult show’s season finale this Monday (that should please super-fan, CBS publicist Jacquie Dore).

• From the sounds of it, Carly and Jack will wed by the end of World Turns’s impressive 54-year run. Holden and Lily? No intel yet. Personally, I hope they just remain friends as they walk Luke down the aisle to marry _____. Yep, when hell freezes over.

• In story 411, Henry re-proposes to Vienna after learning she’s with child (it’s not his). Poor Babs! “Henry’s got to be exhausted,” Trent Dawson tells Weekly. Hey, you don’t hear Tiger Woods complaining, do you?

The Bold and the Beautiful, CBS/CTV — Climbing up the Clifton!
• Suck on that, One Life! Soap Opera Digest tweeted that Emmy-nominated actor Scott Clifton has joined the cast. As of press time, there was no character description but expect him to air sometime in July. However, current buzz is that he may help usher back in Adrienne Frantz. Personally, I’d take the talented actor as a Thomas Forrester recast. Heck, I’ll take anyone as a Thomas Forrester recast. But that seems unlikely since Drew Tyler Bell has been nominated for a 2010 Daytime Emmy Award against Clifton!

• I’d much rather prefer a pint! Guinness World Records has named Emmy-winning soap, B&B,  “Most Popular Daytime TV Soap — Current.” A Guinness World Records adjudicator presented B&B’s head writer/executive producer, Bradley Bell, and the show’s cast with the certification of this coveted distinction on Stage 31 of CBS Television City, where the series has taped since its inception in March 1987.

Bell enthuses to On Air, On Soaps Michael Fairman, “It’s very exciting, and we didn’t really know, but they have a wonderful comprehensive entertainment section in the Guinness Book of World Records, and we have really stood out with our numbers and viewership around the world. We are definitely, and by far, the most popular soap or telenovela in the world. And it’s wonderful to have this acknowledgment, especially when soaps are being cancelled, and not having much good news these days. We had the Emmy nominees last week, the Guinness Book of World Record this week, and I can’t wait for next week!”

How popular is The Bold and the Beautiful? According to a B&B press release, “The show can be viewed in more than 110 countries. In 66 of those countries, where there are systems to measure the number of people watching a particular program, B&B garners an audience of more than 24 million viewers.”

Meanwhile, two other soaps have made Guinness’ list: Guiding Light is listed as the longest-running scripted program in television history, and actress Helen Wagner is mentioned for her work as Nancy Hughes on World Turns. Hughes, who recently passed away, is listed as the actress who has played a role on television for the longest time.

• Later, On Air, On Soaps’ Michael Fairman elicited this hilarious quote from Bradley Bell, who was famously cut off during his best drama series Emmy win last year: “We joke that we are not flying American Airlines to [Las] Vegas either!” He’s here all week, folks!

As for being one of the first show runners to help resurrect Betty White’s red-hot career, the classy chap would only say, “In soap opera, we have found actors throughout who are brilliant and who have ‘it’, and so many of them are not being recognized. We have had the wonderful chance to employ some of these great actors, and Betty White is a standout. She can do comedy and drama. Who knew? She is a wonderful human being, and I am happy she is having this remarkable and unprecedented resurgence.”

Bell clearly loves Betty’s dry and crusty muffin.

• It was the worst kept secret in daytime. On Air, On Soaps sat down with prodigal Emmy winner Adrienne Frantz to discuss returning to B&B, the show that made her a soap star.

“Brad and I have actually been talking about this for a year,” reveals the ex-Y&R star. “And it was all in talks, and I knew everything that was happening. I knew I was going over to B&B right away, but I could not say anything to anyone. It was hush-hush. And it was hard not to tell anybody, because I wanted to share my excitement with everyone. I read somewhere the other day that I had announced I was coming to B&B months ago on my Twitter account, but I don’t have a Twitter account. So, I was like, “‘That is funny? I don’t twitter!’” Um, Frantz — you announced it on your Facebook account, you kook!

As for the reason why she left Genoa City, Frantz diplomatically reasons, “I wanted to go back to B&B. And there were no hard feelings on Y&R, or anywhere. They didn’t have much for my character at Y&R, and Brad has a thing for Amber, and he knows exactly what he is doing with her, and how to write for her. He knows the crazy Amber that she is, because he created her. Amber needs to be spiced up a little, and that is what Brad intends on doing.”

Coronation Street, CBC — The Weatherfield Report returns!
• You asked; we’re delivering! When The Suds Report debuted almost four years ago, we covered Canada’s No. 1 soap, Corrie Street. However, because Canada is nine months behind the U.K. in story, it was difficult to cover the show without ruining plot. But Suds Report has found a way to report on the show without spoiling any Weatherfield happenings.

In related news, one of Hello! Canada’s most beautiful people, Emmy winner Kiefer Sutherland, recently revealed that he’s just another Canuck obsessed with the British phenomenon, Corrie Street (it’s so popular that the acclaimed soap airs weeknights in Canada at 7 p.m. and then replays all Sunday morning in a marathon). He says, “When I was a kid there was always Coronation Street.”

Days of our Lives, NBC Days of our Lives, NBC/Global — Higley speaks!
• God help us all! DAYS “head writer” Dena Higley continues her return from a two-year hibernation in next week’s Soap Opera Digest. The maligned scribe addresses those pesky online rumours she’s not writing the soap, Salem’s myriad comebacks, and the acclaimed baby switch storyline. If I don’t answer the phone next week it’s because I’ll be busy translating her quotes.

• Peter Reckell is back next week, soapers! And it’s not a moment too soon. The Emmy-nominated actor wasn’t aware of Nocturnal Hope until he returned to the set. He tells Soap Opera Weekly, “[It’s] interesting. It’s a soap story based on reality, which is cool.” Um, Peter, a woman who hasn’t slept one stitch in weeks should be in a morgue right now. I’m not sure what kind of sleeping pills Hope was prescribed, but I want some, damn it — especially for Gay Pride Weekend!

• My editor Denette Wilford wants you all to know, for some strange reason, that cutie patootie Ashley Benson is starring in the new ABC Family show Pretty Little Liars, which debuts June 8. With Matthew Ashford singing his heart out in Toronto’s Mamma Mia! revival, and Melissa Reeves’s DAYS return, it looks like the Deveraux family isn’t doing so bad. Pretty big talents, huh? Sorry, I couldn’t resist …

• Next week in story 411? Vivian and Victor wed! Poor Maggie. But Maggie realizes Victor is tying the knot with Viv-star so she doesn’t murder Carly and wishes the couple well. That’s our Maggie! Coupled with Stefano and Kate’s entertaining marriage of convenience, DAYS is proving that multi-generational storytelling is the key to success.

• Looks like DAYS is testing the chemistry between James Scott and Lindsay Hartley. Word on the street is that EJ and Ari are headed for a romance. I’m game! Unlike Hope’s “sleeping” pills, Brady and Ari put me to sleep. Didn’t like Eric Marstolf and Hartley together on Passions and I don’t like them together now!

General Hospital, ABC/CTV —  The Queen of Oz
ABC Soaps in Depth revealed that Canuck hunk Dominic Zamprogna and wife Linda Leslie are expecting the delivery of a pink bundle of joy later this year. Congrats!

Zamprogna’s character may find himself in the family way, too, if Carly has her way! Next week, the gorgeous Adrianna Leon hits Port Charles as Brook Lynn, who is drowning in major credit card debt. Carly offers a bailout — as long as Harlem, er, Brook Lynn seduces her old childhood pal, Dante! That sound you hear? Lante fans screaming bloody murder!

• Not again! As previously reported, gay-for-pay movie star James Franco is returning to the ABC sudser. The airdate? Three days after the Daytime Emmy Awards air — June 30. Maybe “Francine” will pay Jason a visit in the prison showers …

General Hospital, ABC

• Since Sam and Jason aren’t married, the couple are not allowed conjugal visits (hey, isn’t that what Michael’s for?). Hmmm… will JaSam remedy that by staging a prison wedding?

One Life To Live, ABC — “Cuz we only have one good singer to sing our theme song …”
• Who pounded on Llanview’s biggest man-whore, Ford? Let’s hope Rachel Uchitel has an alibi! If the culprit was smart, they would have cut off Ford’s only asset instead.

• According to Soap Opera Digest, Eve Plumb read for a role. The Brady Bunch star recently played Dora on DAYS in 2008 after hitting AMC as June in 2003.

• As the biggest fan of Peabo Bryson’s iconic One Life theme song, I was pretty thrilled that One Life brought it back temporarily during their high school musical, Starr X’d Dummies. Several different One Lifers sung the song, but with the exception of the magnificent Mark Lawson, who sung my favourite version, everyone else’s stylings fell flat and the singing felt pitchy at times. Wanna hear the song in its entirety? Here’s the full-length version of Bryson’s addictive soap opening featuring practically every Llanview character imaginable. Ah, those were the days of my life.

• Where was Kathy Brier during One Life’s three-day musical? Now she can sing! But how impressive was Kristen Alderson? Wowza. With Alderson’s luck, the talented ingenue will be nominated for a Grammy before she is for an Emmy Award!

• Most people assume that head writer Ron Carlivati submitted the Grey Gardens homage for Emmy contention but Suds Report has learned that the Emmy winner actually handed in an episode from March 18, 2009 titled “D-day.” Don’t remember the episode? Probably not since it’s even worse than the Grey Gardens hour. “D-day” centred on Matthew’s paralysis caused by Cole, and Shane’s cancer.

Venice, venicetheseries — “Because she’s a lesbian …”
• Is Crystal Chappell climbing up the wrong lesbian? When Suds Report asked Jessica Leccia who was hotter in show business right now, Chappell or Betty White, the One Life newcomer played it safe, answering, “How do you define hot? They’re both hot.” Suds later suggested Chappell would be wise to cast White in a recurring role on Venice as a late-in-life friend of Melissa Etheridge, to which the Emmy winner replied, “Let’s hook that up! That’s a great idea!” Mark Teschner has nothing on me!

The Young and the Restless, CBS/Global — McCrary is repossessed!
• What — Survivor’s best player ever, Russell Hantz, wasn’t available? Genoa City slums it again by inviting one of All Stars’s worst players James Clement for their annual Survivor tie-in for one day on June 4 (B&B is luckier, landing Big Brother winners). Clement, who is a longtime fan of Doppelganger City, will play a police officer in scenes with Greg Rikaart, Peter Bergman, Eric Braeden, and Joshua Morrow. Actually, Clement would have made a pretty hot Malcolm recast, non?

Survivor expert extraordinaire (well, other than moi, of course), TVGuide.ca’s very own Amber Dowling, recently chatted with Clement here, where he talked about his dream of appearing on Y&R.

• Check out Victoria Rowell’s best interview yet on The Mo’Nique Show here! You go, girlfriend. In other news, Calysta Jeffries is rumoured to be the latest mistress to come forward in the Tiger Woods scandal.

• Darius McCrary is following in his predecessor Shemar Moore’s footsteps. The recast recently got into trouble with the law. If you care, click here for TMZ.com’s report because it’s not worth wasting type.

*Special Emmy Edition
SOAP OPERA MYSTERY HOUR — This week’s hottest blind items
—Which Emmy pre-nom is seriously devastated she didn’t make the final ballot?

—Which west coast actress is irritating her castmates with her Emmy nomination? “It’s all she talks about,” says a disgruntled cast member. “Especially around a certain diva who failed to be [recognized].”

—Which Emmy pre-nominated actor is blaming the writers not his performance for not making the final cut?

Want to dish the soaps with Nelson Branco? Join The Suds Report discussion group today on Facebook.com.

Nelson Branco is a Toronto freelance entertainment journalist, who regularly contributes to Hello! Canada, The National Post, The Los Angeles Times‘ theenvelope.com, TV Guide USA, tvguide.com, Inside Entertainment, OUT, and fab magazine, along with spearheading the soap coverage for TVGuide.ca’s popular daytime TV hub. After graduating from Ryerson University in 1997, he moved from Toronto to New York in 1998 to take on the roles as senior news editor at Soap Opera Update. Branco first freelanced for Soap Opera Weekly as an intern in 1994, and after leaving Soap Update to help create and launch Bauer Publishing’s In Touch Weekly in 2003, Branco continued to freelance occasionally for its sister publication, Soaps In Depth. Most recently, he helped create and launch Canada’s first celebrity magazine, Weekly Scoop in 2005 as its news and entertainment director. Branco is also a contributor to a new TV show titled Planet Soap to air in Canada and America.
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