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News for the week of 16-Sep-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

In a recent ABC Soaps in Depth, executive producer Frank Valentini didn’t really give much away in the fall previews, other than the major news of Robin returning to reclaim her family, stronger and fiercer than ever—especially after having played victim one time too many and for too long. Michael Fairman got a hold of his dear friend for an update in his September 9th interview. The interview is way too long to get into, so get over there and read it for yourself. She goes over her current film project, Creve Coeur, what’s good for Jason Thompson (Patrick)—without her, the problem with the cut-and-dried versions of the initial Sabrina and Britt, her excitement at reuniting with some old faves, her new website full of most of her short films, how she’d like to return (a fighter like Robin’s mom, Anna), and, of course, the perfect timing of her return.

She’s returning not just as a dutiful actor, told where to stand and what to do. She’s a director now and isn’t too shy to share her ideas of character/story direction. “I pitched them a couple of things, and this was months ago, and so I don’t know what they decided on. They purposely did not tell me. But I can guess, because I have been watching the show, and I can kind of see where it is leading up to. I have an idea of what is going to happen. (Laughs)”

If you want to be as healthy, slim, and eternally beautiful as Finola Hughes (Anna), live off the land and try different forms of exercise, especially yoga and dance. And take it easy if you can’t do it all. That’s what she does and look at her. It helps that she and her family literally live off the land. They have two plots where they grow almost everything, subsisting on fresh produce from their garden, as well as fish and rice. Dig this: “I’m not really into fad diets. My family and I am more inclined towards the Mediterranean way of eating. We eat very European in that respect. Rice and fish, olive oil… we grow all our own vegetables where I live in Santa Barbara. We have two vegetable plots with fruit trees, different lettuces, corn, beets, potatoes, strawberries, loads of berries, apples, and more. We eat off the land.” –Boston Magazine interview by Melissa Malamut, September 5, 2013

Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) also does yoga and dance to keep fit, and watches what she eats—although she lets herself indulge when the occasion calls for it, like when she vacationed in Italy. She also doesn’t waste her time trying to do a sport or exercise that ill suits her, like spinning, jumping classes, or kickboxing. Life’s too short. A schedule that’s as busy as hers tends to be a challenge when fitting in exercise, so LoCicero goes with the flow. “It’s a schedule that makes it difficult to have the same workout everyday, unless you’re one of those people that can get up at 5 a.m., and I’m not one of those people,” she told Melissa Malamut for Boston Magazine’s Hub Health, September 4, 2013. “So my workouts end up being a variety of different things. You can’t schedule your favorite yoga class for the same time every week. Some days you are at work early morning to late at night, and even if you are in hair and makeup, you can’t go get all sweaty. When I’m at work, my mind is on work, so it’s hard to find the balance. You just have to make the time and find something you love to do.” Her advice to younger women starting out in health and fitness is to enjoy their youth, like themselves, and for god’s sakes, “keep the sun off” your face “like it’s poison,” like she does.

Michael Easton (Silas) and wife Ginevra brought new life into this world, September 7, 2013, 8:07 a.m. They add a son, Jack Boru, nine lbs./nine oz., to their family with Lilah, who was born April 15, 2011.

Maura West (Ava) was never supposed to last very long on GH. She was hired to play Ava, Kiki’s mom, simply to bring back Kristen Alderson (ex-Starr) as a new character. But something must’ve clicked with TPTB and the fans, because West stayed on as a major pot stirrer, a member of the mob from the 1980s, the Jeromes. Now that Ava’s all over the map with almost every character, West makes sure to mind her manners on- and off-screen, so as not to step on any toes. She said it’s not possible anyway with the GH cast, because all of them are so welcoming and generous. “I try to bring the best energy I can to work, to be the very best scene partner, to be prepared. I don't try to outdo anyone in a scene, or undermine anyone,” West explained to TV Guide’s Michael Logan [September 13, 2013]. “And that does happen — everywhere! I mind my own business. And, also, they're a very nice bunch of people at GH. Tony and Jane Elliot [Tracy] were so embracing and kind to me and that really made a big difference because they have power and they can really shape your experience there. Bottom line, the goal is the same for everybody on the show — to make a good product. There's no reason for any nastiness. No room for it, really.”

Don’t blame actor Parry Shen (Brad) for his character’s sleaze. He was told by TPTB to lay it on thick in his first, major scene with Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix)—and they’d let him know if it was going too far. Luckily, Shen’s had experience with knowing when far is far enough. “I have a background in comedy, so I like to throw in things that are a little snarky. I’ve only been asked to re-do something once. Otherwise, they just let me go.” –ABC Soaps in Depth

GH hit big in the Nielsens during the week of September 2—when several key female characters gave birth—for major female demos (18-49, 25-54, 18-34, and viewers overall). GH achieved its two-year high in these demos. The birth of Britt’s baby September 5th drew the most female viewers in almost two years. Soap Opera Network’s Errol Lewis broke it down September 13th.

Gossip for the week of 16-Sep-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda) allegedly is refusing to come back for a major story with Sonny that lasts longer than a blip. Since Sonny and Olivia aren’t working out with fans fed up with the Connie/Kate train, maybe head writer Ron Carlivati “should simply keep Sonny focused on family and business.” Looks like this may very well be happening for fall previews, as executive producer Frank Valentini last week revealed to ABC Soaps in Depth that Sonny’s relationship with his boys will take a drastic turn and he’ll be in the cross-hairs of the Jeromes. Sam and Silas, as well as Danny’s cancer story, haven’t been hitting big with fans, either. Daytime Dish/HNY, September 10, 2013

Ever wonder why Kiki hardly spends time with her new dad, Silas, or Ava and Franco? Maybe the focus is on the money-maker, Morgan v. Michael.

Lots of stories which were introduced have been shelved or rewritten due to disinterest.

Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio) returns to wrap up Robin’s story.

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