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News for the week of 05-May-2014

by Carol Banks Weber

As for the upcoming 41st annual Daytime Emmys, CBS already won — racking up the most nominations at 61, buoyed by Y&R’s 26. GH — with 16 nominations — was shut out of the outstanding drama, directing, and writing categories. Even OLTL made it as a nominee as an outstanding drama series contender, and that Prospect Park spin-off was canceled. GH was also shut out of the outstanding lead actress category. While Y&R dominated with four nominations in the lead actor category, only Jason Thompson (Patrick) made it in from GH. Kelly Sullivan (ex-Connie)—who was let go due to storyline—and Jane Elliot (Tracy)—who was talked into submitting for the first time in decades—made it into the supporting actress category, up against three heavy-hitters from Y&R. Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) and Bradford Anderson (ex-Spinelli) earned nods as supporting actor, while Kristen Alderson (Kiki) again made it as an outstanding younger actress nominee (up against former OLTL co-star, Kelley Missal [ex-Danielle]). Chad Duell (Michael) and Bryan Craig (Morgan) earned their spots as younger actors, but may have their work cut out up against the incredible breakout star Daniel Polo, who played a bullied Jamie on Y&R last year. The nominees were announced on May 1.

Bradford Anderson (ex-Spinelli) has a damned good shot at winning a Daytime Emmy this year for outstanding supporting actor. His Emmy shot — with Ellie when Spinelli found out Maxie gave birth to his daughter — was the culmination of years playing the fool evolving into a man. Anderson said he felt the scenes were right to submit. “It had a nice arc. It was heightened circumstance. It felt like the one,” he told Soap Opera Network’s Errol Lewis [May 1, 2014]. When the actor received word of his fifth nomination, he wasn’t even awake, living on the West Coast several hours behind. When he woke up, he got the good news. He really enjoyed the nominations of his friends, almost as much if not more than his own, and wished there were more in the club.That’s kind of what the relatively new pre-nom process is about. “It’s fun that the pre-nominations are announced because they never used to be announced the way they are now. That’s fun because so many other people get recognized for their work,” Anderson said. “You root for everybody. You wish everyone could get nominated. There are so many, and that doesn’t take away from the people that were nominated. We’re just celebrating each other and that’s what it’s all about.” For Anderson, the Daytime Emmy Awards is about sharing the experience with his friends. Interestingly, he said that he did miss them on GH, more like family, but his character? Not so much. “They were my family for seven years. They saw me through a very amazing time in my life, getting married, having kids… that was the best seven years. Sharing it with people like that, I certainly miss the people. The character I don’t miss as much.”

Kristen Alderson (Kiki; ex-Starr, OLTL) and Brittany Underwood (ex-Langston, OLTL) have used their soap celebrity to help launch PimpMyPooch.com’s IndieGogo crowd funding campaign, May 1. PimpMyPooch.com wants to be like a Groupon (daily deal site) for pet owners. The IndieGogo campaign’s fundraising goal is $75,000. PimpMyPooch intends on surpassing the deals of a Groupon or Living Social, with proposed higher payouts. Both Alderson and Underwood are proud, doting dog owners themselves, so the synergy makes sense.

After months of rumors, last week several members of the soap media ran with the Soap Opera Digest story of GH procuring Michelle Stafford (ex-Phyllis, Y&R) as Silas’ comatose wife Nina. This casting coup was confirmed in last Thursday’s episode when Nina woke up and spoke Silas’ name.

Here’s where Jane Elliot’s (Tracy) head is at when it comes to awards. She keeps all hers in a box in the garage. When she recently had to clean out the garage to make way for a new roof, she removed all the boxes except that one. “That’s how removed I am from all of this. Somehow to get an award for something I get so much pleasure out of just doesn't seem right. [Laughs] Oh, puh-leeze stop making me talk about this!” She’s so far removed from the Daytime Emmys that she never submits herself, not in the 33 years since she last won. She doesn’t like the fuss; it makes her uncomfortable. Her boss, executive producer Frank Valentini, basically told her there was no choice in the matter. Guess what? Her work last year was so good, she got a pre-nom and then advanced to the final list of nominees in the supporting actress category. She’s destined to be a contender too.

“I’m in this business for the fun part — the make believe. That’s my reward, my joy,” Elliot tried to explain. “I love nothing better than to get all the nuts and bolts out of the way — show up on time, with lines learned, clear on what the director expects of me, with my buttons buttoned and my jewelry on correctly — and then I completely commit to play-acting. It’s a child’s game for grownups. Nothing thrills me more than to be good at something. It’s very rewarding and I feel grateful and blessed and I never take it for granted. Yet, at the same time, I don’t take it too seriously. I’m not curing cancer or running a small county. I haven’t developed a greener car. I just play-act. And if I can bring people a moment of fun and relief in their lives, well, that’s the win.” Bravo. –TV Guide, Michael Logan interview, May 2, 2014

When asked about rumors that Michelle Stafford (ex-Phyllis, Y&R) was coming on board as far back as June 2013 at the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards reception — when she was seen photo-bombing a pic with the GH EP — head writer Ron Carlivati denied it ever entered his head at that time. He told Daytime Confidential May 2, 2014 he was too busy having fun. Tequila might’ve been involved. “No. I mean, when you hear that an actress of Michelle’s caliber and popularity might potentially be available, of course you can’t help but think, ‘What if?’ But I was there when those pictures were taken, and all you’re seeing is a bunch of people having fun at an industry party. Although I must admit that my memory of that evening is a little fuzzy. I vaguely remember a tequila shot or two...” As for the concern of many fans that GH doesn’t need more newbies, even if she is an established, award-winning actress from the #1-rated Y&R… Pshaw! Carlivati pointed out that “Sonny Corinthos was a newbie once.” When TPTB did want Stafford, later, they wanted her for the role of Nina. Despite the months-long rumors of Stafford coming onto GH as Nina, TPTB still tried to keep the spoiler under wraps with some creative maneuvering. Carlivati said that executive producer Frank Valentini thought up an advanced clip of Stafford as Nina — which viewers saw last week — to throw everyone off. They took advantage of the show’s hiatus. “GH has been on hiatus for the past two weeks and Michelle doesn't really start taping until we resume. But we realized that as soon as she did, the news would be out there long before her episodes began airing. It was actually Frank's idea to try to slip her into an earlier show that had already been written and shot, so we could take everyone by surprise. So he snuck her into the studio recently, at the end of the day, to tape the one scene you just saw. That was inserted after the fact. We've been sweating it out ever since that it would stay under wraps!”

Rebecca Herbst’s husband Michael Saucedo (Juan) returns for another brief cameo, for cousin Sabrina, next month sometime.

Gossip for the week of 05-May-2014

by Carol Banks Weber

Reportedly all four soaps wanted Michelle Stafford (ex-Phyllis, Y&R), including the CBS sudser she just left, but GH won her, as Silas’ comatose wife Nina. “The casting is a coup for GH, as all four soaps (including Y&R) are rumored to have made bids for the two-time Emmy-winning actress.” –Soap Opera Digest online, May 1, 2014

If the Michelle Stafford rumor turned out to be true, what about that other Y&R-related one, Billy Miller (ex-Billy) as a recast Jason?

Is this true? I read this on Twitter Saturday: “… Rumor is PORT CHARLES might return to ABC.”

I heard head writer Ron Carlivati didn’t take the Emmy snubs very well on Twitter. No nominations for writing, directing, or best in show? Well, Amanda Lee of The World According To Mandy knows why. The show sucks so hard the Daytime Emmy judges refused to even consider it in the slim writing category (there were only three nominations in a considerably diminished field, since other soaps were canceled). Maybe if Carlivati did what he promised — not only bring back the vets but use them to help drive real, ongoing stories… “Instead, returning fans found that their vets were only being trotted out once a month as a gimmick and RC was much more interested in propping his creations than anything else,” Lee wrote. She referenced Carlivati killing off A.J. after promising this legacy character the sun and the moon, sending Robin away after a brief, unsatisfactory reunion with Patrick over the stupidest of reasons, turning the remaining legacy characters into shells of who they really are, and worse, giving the lion’s share of airtime seemingly to his newbie pets. “All RC seems to respect is his own agenda. And, as much as I love GH, I can’t help but be glad that the nominating board sent him a clear message: You’re so bad you can’t even get a pity spot on the Emmy list. Yeah, the nominating board would rather have three writing nominations than offer GH a token bone. There’s a lesson in there RC. I just don’t think you’re savvy enough to learn it.” –“GENERAL HOSPITAL: Snubbed by Daytime Emmys, will writers get a clue?” May 1, 2014

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