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News for the week of 11-Feb-2008

by Carol Banks Weber

If former Disney head honcho Michael Eisner is to believed, by the time you read this, the writers’ strike will have ended with a mutually satisfying deal all around. Sometime on February 7th, Eisner informed CNBC in a live Fast Money TV program of a change in the stalemate between the Writers Guild of America and major media companies. “It's over. They made the deal, they shook hands on the deal. It [went on] Saturday to the writers in general.” Eisner wasn’t at first certain that the writers would sign off on the deal, but eventually predicted acceptance.

Colin Egglesfield (Josh) reacted a bit defensively in a joking spirit for most of the Soap Opera Digest February 19th interview about his character’s loser rep with the ladies. He laid the blame for all of the failures and the near-misses on circumstances outside Josh’s wonderful, sexy, Renaissance control. And, btw, screw one girl for one guy, how about a harem? “That's what I would love to see. I mean, Josh is a catch! He's a Renaissance man; he's cultured, he's smart, and generally, that's what women like in a man. I think he could easily have 10 girlfriends. That's what we're going to be working on this year. Ten girlfriends by summertime.” Egglesfield eyed the honeys he felt matched Josh best, the Amandas and especially the Greenlees. Greenlee has this “edgy” strong vibe about her that would totally be Josh’s type, he said. Plus, both of them come from complicated stock.

Rebecca Budig’s (Greenlee) time away from AMC proved quite fruitful—in the atypical sense. She appeared on a few shows, a Lifetime movie, almost had a pilot make it to regular programming, that’s the typical stuff. But she also enjoyed her life, did things she always wanted to but perhaps didn’t have time for what with being a featured player on a major soap opera before. She resumed ice skating, learned to striptease/pole-dance in an S-Factor class, yoga, Spanish, a new house (formerly belonging to Y&R’s Greg Rikaart/Kevin, he’s their neighbor and environmentally conscious friend now), a new yellow Labrador dog named Gracie (whom she met while filming that pilot). Along the way, she became a different person from the one she started off as in soaps, broader in interests, perspective. “I have a different perspective on things. I think having all that time away from [AMC] … You know, I was here for six years straight,” the June 26th-born actress said. “But I think as you get older, you learn how to balance things more. The way I feel now, I feel like I can have balance. I did not feel that way before.” Balance for her meant not just identifying only with the work as an actress, but other aspects of her life, she tried to clarify. Returning to AMC was the kind of welcome change Budig embraced (same show but a different, more evolved Greenlee) – even if she said she had nothing to do with and didn’t agree with the manner in which she returned, i.e., on the back of recast Sabine Singh. She looked forward to reuniting with friends Cameron Mathison (Ryan) and Alicia Minshew (Kendall), among many others, but also to play with some new friends, like Thorsten Kaye (Zach), Aiden Turner (Aidan), and of course Angie and Jesse’s Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams. Budig counts herself as a diehard Angie and Jesse fan back in the day. Besides loving herself on AMC with her friends, loving her renewed start as a favorite character and loving her former stomping grounds of New York City, where she feels even more at home, Budig’s taking some time out to do a decidedly un-Greenlee thing and knit a hat for Morgan. –Soap Opera Digest, “Refresher Course” by Mara Levinsky, February 12, 2008

Whenever Sunday rolls around, Rebecca Budig (Greenlee) can be found dining at her friends’ Alicia Minshew’s (Kendall) and fiancé Richie’s place. She thinks they’re all gonna turn this into a regular event.

After Aiden Turner (Aidan) gifted Rebecca Budig (Greenlee) with a poster of himself in a half-dressed sexy pose, she made sure to display all of his hot glory on her dressing room wall. She teased that her husband Bob Guiney might have a complex with that poster.

One of the Dancing With The Stars’ professional male dancers, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, will appear as a guest star on February 26 to show some of the Fusion babes how to pole-dance—Greenlee’s bright idea. Cameron Mathison’s character Ryan walks in on this lesson and gets a little excited. Mathison was on DWTS this past season as a celebrity dancer.

Darnell Williams brought Jesse back in 2001 in spirit, for Tad. TPTB have promised to explain this anomaly on-screen now that Jesse’s really back.

The writers’ strike made itself known in little, weird ways. For Alicia Minshew (Kendall), she felt the loss of the missing, picketing writers when she received and reviewed her scripts and found them not labeled with her name anymore. Not knowing who was doing any of the writing was also a bit of a jolt for her.

Lindsay Price finds it hard to believe—amazing, but hard to believe—that soap fans still recognize her as AMC’s short-lived An Li. Soon, if Lipstick Jungle does well in the ratings for NBC primetime, they may recognize her also as Victory, an offbeat fashion designer working in the city. Lipstick Jungle—which co-stars Brooke Shields and Kim Raver, and comes from the minds of Sex And The City—premiered on February 7. Price didn’t think she aced her meeting with producers after an easy time of it during auditions, so she gave up and gave in to chocolates. Producers surprised her by asking for a reading with her co-stars. Price felt insecure because Raver and Shields were pals, but she did her thing. Later, Price answered another phone call and thought it was a friend who was also named Brooke from L.A. Price proceeded to tearfully vent about her fears and insecurities while out on New York City’s Fifth Avenue until “Brooke” gave her some supportive advice. That’s when Price knew this wasn’t her friend Brooke but her soon-to-be new co-star and friend Brooke Shields. That broke the ice. Now, the single songstress and actress Price feels a grand sense of deja-vu out in the big city, working, living, thriving…just as she used to when she was on AMC.

Gossip for the week of 11-Feb-2008

by Carol Banks Weber

According to Ravenbeauty, in her February 2nd update, there won’t be any Michael Easton (John, OLTL) cross-over. OLTL was instead borrowing an AMC set. She also hints without naming names that a character from another soap could come back to AMC. Sounds like Robin Christopher’s Skye, who just left GH to be on the East Coast, except her last time on AMC wasn’t so “recent.” Recent would mean, k-duh!, Cady McClain as Dixie. Think they’re waiting for her to come back so they can wrap up the discovery of Kathy as Kate? One more, watch for musical chairs with Zach, Kendall, Ryan and Greenlee when the Aidan one-night stand reveals itself.

I’m not tuning into AMC full-time. But I did happen to accidentally, fortuitously catch a fairly recent episode from last week where Tad and Jesse talk out what just happened between death and rebirth. The tension built as Jesse leaned on Tad’s friendship – born of tragic deaths and losses for them both – to keep the secret of his faking his death from Angie and Frankie to spare them from danger. It’s been a long time since I saw even a modicum of the real Tad coming out of actor Michael E. Knight, much less some real acting. But watch and learn, kids. This is history at work, as well as living testament to the power of the veterans, the legends who know what the hell they’re doing. I forgot I was watching a soap opera watching Tad beg Jesse not to make him lie to Angie after all he’s been through with Dixie, after all they’ve been through losing the people they love, and Jesse beg Tad to let it be, on the honor of their friendship, on their love for Tad’s dead sister Jenny. I even see why TPTB brought Rebecca Budig back as the original Greenlee, because she gave a wacky, even uncomfortable out-of-her-skin realism to the spirit from a coma scenes, cringing in horror because nobody told her about her neglectful eyebrow tweezing, then alternating that endearing shallowness with a reluctant, very hard-fought and hard to come by loving, sensitive attachment to her new-found lover and friend, and best friend. If it were just them and more of the veterans, I just may have to eat my words. But we know that can’t last under Frons.

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