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Tag: Daytime Soaps (53-65 of 187)

'Young and the Restless' replaces head writer

TV’s most-watched daytime sudser has a new team at the helm. Josh Griffith has been named the new head writer and Jill Farren Phelps is now an executiver producer on The Young and the Restless.

The duo replaces Maria Arena Bell, who became the sudser’s head writer and EP after the 2007 Writer’s Strike. She crossed the picket line so she could write on the sudser that was created by her father-in-law, William Bell.

On her Facebook page, Bell indicated that she didn’t know why she was told to step down. “I am mystified as are my cast and crew. There have been a lot of tears shed in the last few days… by me and by my loyal staff and by our iconic actors,” she continues. “I was not given a reason and in fact I have heard nothing from Sony or CBS. They sent me a message through my husband Bill who had the terrible job of conveying that they’d gone around him and were letting me go. I fought hard for my vision and to keep the show on track with the characters that matter to the audience.”

The staff changes were first reported by Daytime Confidential.

Phelps has been the executive producer of five daytime dramas, including One Life to Live and General Hospital. She’s won seven daytime Emmys. Griffith used to write for Y&R, along with One Life to Live and General Hospital.

'General Hospital' returning faves: Scotty Baldwin, maybe? Laura Spencer, no

General Hospital hopes to bring back several legacy players for its 50th anniversary celebration that kicks off Sept. 10, but there is one Port Charles veteran who won’t make a triumphant comeback — Laura Spencer, aka Genie Franics, who’s now a regular on CBS’ The Young and the Restless.

Francis, who starred on GH from 1977 to 2008, began playing Genevieve Atkinson on the CBS soap in May. She was actually at work on Y&R Thursday when, across town in Beverly Hills, a reporter asked the GH head writer whether she will be coming back to the show. “There is a rich history of amazing wonderful characters on the show right now in addition to us wanting to bring back players,” Executive Producer Frank Valentini said. “Unfortunately, contracts forbid us from discussing that. We are a big fan of Genie and wish her all the best. But I think we’re pretty solid right now.”

But Valentini promises that GH fans will be treated to the return of other legacy players throughout the sudser’s 50th season. He wouldn’t name names, but he showed big affection for the character Scott Baldwin, played by Kin Shriner. (Who wouldn’t mind a return from, say, Bobbie Spencer, as well?) The first of some past players will begin appearing in September, when GH bows in its new timeslot.

Valentini also promised the start of a big new umbrella story in the fall. GH got a second lease on life in April when ABC announced that it was canceling The Revolution.  There were fears that the longtime sudser would get the shaft once Katie Couric’s new talk show debuted on the ABC owned and operated stations because it would have bumped the soap. The failure of the lifestyle show left a timeslot open on the network lineup.

“The network is doing a big push to inform the audience about the time change,” Valentini said. “We have  alot of fun, terrific things coming in September.”


'Big Bang Theory' panel at Comic-Con: Raj will get a gal pal!

The panel: Exec producers Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady, Steven Molaro, Mayim Balik, Jim Parsons (via satellite from New York), Kaley Cuoco, Kunan Nayyar, Simon, Melissa Rauch.

No show: Johnny Galecki, whose flight was delayed.

Unintentionally funny discussion: The writers and cast started talking about when Stephen Hawking made a cameo and whether he shook hands with everyone. (Yes he did, with the help of an assistant who would lift his hand). And how does he laugh? By typing LOL, Helberg said.

Season 5 teasers: Raj will get a romance! “But don’t cheer yet,” says Lorre. “Wait til you see it.”

Best fan questions: Boy, there were a lot of them because that’s pretty much all that occurred during the panel, held for the first time in Hall H. One little kid with a mohawk asked why Sheldon likes the Flash. (Because he was picked on as a kid so he relates to a superhero who can run away fast). Another asked why they eat takeout so much. (Parsons said it was because “we are busy thinking and creating things and changing the world around you so we don’t have time to cook.”) Someone asked Helberg for a primer on how to wear tight clothes. “There are wardrobe ladies I actually have to call up to my dressing room to help get my pants off. Nice job for them because they are getting to take my pants off. I don’t get much out of it.”

Where was everyone’s parents? A sea of kids lined up to ask absurd questions, prompting Lorre to joke (we think) about screening the questions. “These kids are young to be so drunk,” added Helberg. The crowd roared.

Should Helberg go to space? The actor was offered a free trip on a new shuttle-like ship that travels three times the speed of sound. (No joke). Helberg wouldn’t commit, so a lucky fan named Mercedes got a golden ticket, instead. “Big Bang Theory going where no sitcom has gone before.”

Luke and Anna finally kiss on 'General Hospital' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

On General Hospital, things have been heating up between longtime friends Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) and Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) — each formerly half of two different super couples — for months. This Thursday all that simmering affection finally boils over into full-blown romance when the two share a passionate kiss.

Check out the clip after the jump. READ FULL STORY

James Franco to return to soaps in 'Hollywood Heights' on June 29

James Franco’s guest stint — or metaphysical investigation into the hall-of-mirrors recursion of celebrity, take your pick — on General Hospital was one of the few times in recent history that daytime television broke out into mainstream discussion, and it’s hard to argue that the spotlight wasn’t a boon for the genre.

Soap operas, like regular operas and (thanks to John Carter) space operas, aren’t doing so well these days. Dwindling down one by one thanks to network attrition, some of these cancelled shows had been on the air long enough to almost qualify for AARP membership. So it can only be good news to fans of the format that Franco will be returning for another run, and soon. The actor’s already-announced arc on the new primetime soap Hollywood Heights has gotten a date: Franco’s first episode will debut June 29, less than two weeks after the show’s official June 18 premiere on Nick at Nite. READ FULL STORY

'Young and the Restless': See Cricket and Danny's emotional reunion -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

Reunited … but will it feel so good?

Rock star Danny Romalotti (Michael Damian) and Christine “Cricket” Blair (Lauralee Bell), one of the more popular couples in the storied history of The Young and the Restless, will come together on May 29 to possibly reignite that spark. The actors left the sudser as series regulars in 1994 and 1995, respectively, so this will be the first time their characters return to Genoa City to explore whether daytime love is, indeed, eternal.

“The great thing about this couple is that their relationship developed in real time,” Bell tells EW exclusively. “Their love affair blossomed over so many years, so that’s why it was so intense. When fans see us together, it takes them back to a certain time in their lives. It’s like what happens when you hear an old song from Styx!”

Here’s an exclusive first look of their much-anticipated reunion. READ FULL STORY

Brett Butler books next TV gig on CBS soap! -- EXCLUSIVE

Fresh from taping the first season of FX’s Anger Management, Brett Butler has already lined up a new gig: She’s going to guest star on a CBS soap!

EW has learned exclusively that Brett Butler, the former star of the ABC comedy Grace Under Fire, will play Beth the neighbor in an upcoming episode of The Young and the Restless. Butler was scheduled to tape scenes with Paul Williams (Doug Davidson) yesterday and today at the CBS Studios in Los Angeles. Her episodes will air on June 12 and 14.

Butler wrapped production May 1 on Anger Management, a new comedy in the works at FX that stars Charlie Sheen. Butler plays Brett, a friend to Charlie (Sheen) who is a bartender at his favorite watering hole, The Merry Peasant. Here’s the official description of her character: “Brett dropped out of school and spent years as a stripper before becoming a bartender, and now loves to joke around with Charlie as he brings his family, dates, even his patients to the bar.”

Anger Management will air on Thursday nights starting June 28. The show will be part of the cable network’s new comedy block.

Lesbian story line coming to 'Bold and the Beautiful' -- EXCLUSIVE

CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful plans to bring back a popular character from Guiding Light to help launch its first-ever lesbian story line.

EW has learned exclusively that Crystal Chappell (pictured, left) — who was last seen playing Olivia, the popular lesbian lover of Natalia (Jessica Leccia) on Guiding Light — will portray Danielle, the other mother of Caroline Spencer (Linsey Godfrey, pictured, center). Caroline was introduced last month as the never-before-seen daughter of Karen Spencer, who is played by longtime B&B favorite Joanna Johnson (pictured, right). Johnson returned to the sudser last month to begin the romantic story line.


'Days of Our Lives' changes head writers (again)

More shakeup on Days of Our Lives: The NBC soap has officially announced that it has hired the Emmy-winning duo of Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell to serve as their newest head writers, effective immediately.

The duo replaces Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas Jr., who were brought on in May 2011 to help relaunch the aging sudser by bringing back veteran stars like Drake Hogestyn, Deidre Hall, Patrick Muldoon, Christie Clark and Matthew Ashford. Ratings, however, did not improve: DOOL is tied with The Bold and the Beautiful as the least-watched serial in daytime among women 18-49 (a 1.1 rating). The Young and the Restless is the most watched with a 1.6 rating, according to results through March 25.

Tomlin and Whitesell have previously written for DOOL. The change was first reported by Soap Opera Network.

A spokeswoman says Tomlin and Whitesell will be joined by Lorraine Broderick as a member of the new writing team. Co-executive producer Greg Meng released this statement: “We are excited and look forward to the stories of romance, suspense and intrigue this new dream team plans to tell.”

For more:

‘DOOL': Time for the first gay kiss!
‘DOOL’ hires new co-exec producer

Casting scoop: Latin star Carlos Ponce nabbed for Nick at Nite soap

Nick at Nite’s new daily drama has cast Latin TV star and singer Carlos Ponce.

Ponce is set to play the father to the lead role in the network’s upcoming series, Hollywood Heights, a U.S. adaptation of Mexican telenovela Alcanzar Una Estrella.

Ponce, who has also appeared on U.S. TV shows like Lipstick Jungle and 7th Heaven, is set to play father to Eddie Wild, a rock star who strikes up a friendship with a young high school senior and aspiring musician Loren (One Life to Live‘s Brittany Underwood) after the girl wins a songwriting competition. READ FULL STORY

Susan Lucci stays at ABC in fall drama pilot


The network that canceled Susan Lucci’s long running soap is not quite ready to say goodbye to its biggest star: The All My Children actress will co-star in Marc Cherry’s next drama in the works for ABC called Devious Maids.

The script is about four maids with ambition and dreams of their own while they work for the rich and famous. Lucci will play one of the employers.

Devious Maids also stars Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty).

There was a chance that Lucci’s old soap would continue online, but the company that bought the rights to AMC and One Life to Live were unable to reach guild deals. Arrangements with the unions were necessary if Prospect Park wanted to also sell the soaps to cable, but it’s economically unfeasible to pay guild wages for an internet show that would generate a fraction of the revenue it once did on ABC.

It also didn’t help that Prospect couldn’t convince Lucci to continue her role on the internet. Only Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery) and Lindsay Hartley (Dr. Cara Castillo Martin) had agreed to continue on AMC after it finished its network run in September.



'General Hospital' welcomes back Scorpio -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Robert Scorpio, it’s been too long. (Unless, of course, you’re a Young and the Restless fan and you enjoyed watching his alter ego traumatize Jill). In this exclusive clip from ABC, Tristan Rogers reprises the popular role he first created in the early 1980s on General Hospital.

ABC will reintroduce the ole devil back into Port Charles beginning tomorrow. Mate, you were missed. READ FULL STORY

'Days of our Lives': Time for first gay kiss! -- PHOTO

A first gay kiss is no longer much of a milestone on broadcast TV, but for Days of our Lives it represents the latest effort to remain relevant at a time when soaps are desperately losing their luster. On Thursday’s episode of the NBC serial, Will (Chandler Massey) will lock lips with a stranger named Neil (Jesse Kristofferson) at a party.

Here’s a first look at Project GET FANS TALKING: READ FULL STORY


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