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News for the week of 06-Aug-2012

by Carol Banks Weber

Former head writer-turned-breakdown writer Garin Wolf steps down as Theresa Cascio steps up in that capacity. Cascio comes from head writer Ron Carlivati’s OLTL writing staff. Also stepping down is breakdown/script writer Tracey Thomson.

SoapTown USA has a real nifty GH Fan Club Weekend recap up about the July 21st luncheon, where Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) hilariously filled in for John J. York (Mac) as emcee. It was gratifying for the fans to see Robin Mattson (Heather) out of character – she’s a very nice, warm, normal woman – loving on her immediate co-stars, Scott Reeves (Steven Lars) in particular. It was also extremely gratifying for the attending cast to hear from fans who have been inspired, as was the case with Sean Blakemore’s (Shawn) amazing, accurate portrayal of a war vet struggling with PTSD. One fan said Shawn’s story helped her own war vet husband. “My husband is a surgical nurse in the Air Force. Sean, you did a great job,” she explained, adding that the story got her husband through his real-life PTSD.

Vicki Dummer, the woman who basically took over Brian Frons’ ABC Daytime head honcho position, left the door partially open for the fans to hold onto hope that GH will survive. “We are with General HospitalGeneral Hospital is moving to 2 p.m. in most time zones and that is the show in that time period. I know fans are nervous, and they have seen one soap after the other be canceled. There are no guarantees in this world, but we have the GH cast here, we are focused on the 50th Anniversary in April of 2013, and we just want to celebrate the show and look forward to what’s next.” Furthermore, in Drummer’s July 29th-posted interview with Michael Fairman, she also indicated that they’re wanting to do something with the canceled soaps, AMC and OLTL. With the rights reverting back to ABC in a year, anything’s possible.

Kelly Monaco (Sam) didn’t really believe she ever had a shot as one of the all stars in the new Dancing With The Stars season. She’d heard that TPTB weren’t even going to consider past winners, so she tossed any notion out of her mind. But then they changed their tune and she’s in. It’s scary and exciting all at once. Scary, because Monaco feels she’s nowhere near ready; she said she hadn’t been keeping up her dancing regimen at all. But exciting because this is totally what she goes for, doing at least one challenging thing out of her wheelhouse. “To have the chance to dance and have the experience, and meet new people and build new relationships, and just step outside my comfort zone, is what I wanted,” she described to Michael Fairman (July 30, 2012 interview). “I mean, this is not my thing.  I like to cry on camera and I like to study lines, I really do. I like my routine. I have been doing soaps for 13 years now. I really like what I am doing. But every year, once a year, I pick one challenge that sort of gets me outside of this leveled thing that we all do. And this was it!”

It’s easy for Kelly Monaco (Sam; ex-Livvie, PC) and Michael Easton (John McBain; ex-Caleb, PC) just to be. That translates to magic on the screen. She also appreciates Easton’s easygoing manner. “It has been really nice having Michael Easton back because we have this camaraderie where you just ease right back into it. I don’t have to say anything. I don’t have to explain anything. If I am in a bad mood, he is not going to hound me or bitch at me. I am just very comfortable working with him. We have known each other the longest than anyone else on daytime.”

Both Kelly Monaco (Sam) and Steve Burton (Jason) would rather have had their lovebird characters enjoy a little happily ever after, instead of this conflict after conflict. She tried to be philosophical. “It’s a soap! What are we going to do? I don’t like it either. Steve and I worked really hard to have this relationship pay off. But it’s inevitable. It’s a soap opera! And this is what I said to my fans recently at GH Fan Club Weekend because of the many JaSam fans who are upset. I said, ‘You guys. It’s a soap opera. We are telling stories. Don’t think about it too much. We can’t as actors or we will go crazy. I have to constantly remind myself, I am on a soap opera and it’s really fun. I don’t care if I kill someone, whatever. Go with the flow, watch the story, speak up, and if you speak up, your couple will finally reunite, but if you are happy, you are doomed on daytime.’ (Laughs)”

Kirsten Storms (Maxie) refused to allow so-called fans to continue bashing her replacement, Jen Lilley, in her name. In the recent ABC Soaps in Depth, Storms stuck up for Lilley bigtime. She said that the best thing for this character was to have found someone of quality to keep Maxie “relevant.” While “sad” about not playing out Kimberly McCullough’s (Robin) exit scenes, Storms indicated that Maxie was still in good hands. The actress, who returns to the role she herself took over for Robyn Richards, addressed the attacks on Lilley with disapproval. “I don’t know that I would call the people who bashed Jen Lilley supportive fans of mine, because I think those are the people who probably were the first ones to turn around when I got sick and possibly start spreading rumors or lies and saying bad things about me on the Internet. I am grateful that they brought somebody in who could do such a great job of keeping Maxie on the canvas, and never in a million years would I have wanted her to feel like people were sticking up for me, by saying bad things to her.” Class acts, both of them.

Sebastian Roché (Jerry Jacks) returns with quite the preview of coming, terrifying attractions: Jerry masterminds the illnesses of Alexis and Josslyn with these specific injections, may forcefully copulate with his former lover, and uses Robin as hostage for possibly financial gain. In any event, the actor promised that Jerry “intends to terrorize Port Charles on a massive scale and it's going to affect every character on the show. It's very deadly. I'm quite interested to see how he's going to pull this off!” –TV Guide, Michael Logan interview, August 3, 2012

Jason Thompson (Patrick) is doing CW’s 90210, having filmed August 3 and August 6, as as guest star.

Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) will appear as a guest star (Shane Flannery) on TNT’s new Perception, a crime series, August 6.

Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky) seems poised to become the next breakout primetime star with his avant-garde rocker turn on the new ABC fall season drama, Nashville. He’s noticed that buzz for this new series is remarkably attached to soaps, where he made his bread and butter. “It’s interesting to me that a lot of people have been calling Nashville a primetime soap opera because I think there is recognition that there’s something about the soap opera that people like,” he noted. “So much on television today is focused on CGI and action, but at the heart of it, people want to watch relationships and human drama and choices. And [series boss] Callie [Khouri] is amazing at that. She writes for characters.” Jackson left the door open a crack to a possible GH return as well. TVLine, Megan Masters interview, August 2, 2012

Gossip for the week of 06-Aug-2012

by Carol Banks Weber

Jason Thompson (Patrick) will leave GH by December, most likely to resolve the Scrubs love story when Kimberly McCullough (Robin) returns. He will lead the charge to save Robin from the bad guys, living happily ever after off-screen. It’s been rumored, additionally, that Thompson wants to try primetime/film.

Ewen is merely a pawn in this mind control experiment. Even Jerry Jacks, who is Ewen’s immediate boss, has to answer to a higher power. Jerry forces Ewen to tow the line by threatening Elizabeth. And the person above Jerry wields a heavy trump card too, to get him to do their bidding. Alexis is one of those loved ones Jerry holds dear and would do almost anything for, but her life hangs in the balance with an illness. Jax returns to summarily deal with his ne’er-do-well brother.

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