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News for the week of 17-Mar-2014

by Carol Banks Weber

Disney/ABC exec Anne Sweeney moves on to be a TV director, effective in 2015. Sweeney was the co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group.

Head writer Ron Carlivati isn’t afraid of messing with the major characters and major characterizations that made them who they are on a soap. He just crossed a line by having Sonny shoot Michael’s biological dad A.J. nearly dead. But if it makes for an interesting story to see what happens, that’s what Carlivati will do. “It's time to not be afraid to let these characters take action that is deplorable and unforgivable. Sonny and Ava can still remain interesting and viable despite their willingness to kill. We can still care about them. We may not love them, or approve of what they do, but we can care.”

However, A.J. isn’t dead yet. Connie is. Carlivati went there with one of his most captivating new leads, Maura West. So he has to sustain her viability for as long as he  can. “How do we keep spinning Ava's story outward? How does she keep wriggling out of trouble even though, at this point, it seems like there is no way she can possibly do that. How does she stay just one step ahead of everyone else? The goal is not to redeem her but to find ways to make her emotionally relatable. In a weird way, having Ava kill Connie actually frees us up. Now you really have to sit up and take notice of this woman because you know she is willing to do anything.”

Carlivati has proven he’s willing to push the characters past the point of no return in a cutthroat world — something his predecessor Bob Guza Jr. (for all his mob glorification) couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do.

TV Guide interview by Michael Logan, March 10, 2014

Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth) landed another role, as that of a beauty columnist on ABC Soaps In Depth. Post questions for Herbst in the magazine’s website, Twitter, or Facebook comments section. Maybe she’ll answer yours.

Soap Stars Sing features several major cast members from GH, AMC, and B&B. Tony Geary (Luke), Kristen Alderson (Kiki), Vincent Irizarry (ex-David, AMC), and Bobbie Eakes (ex-Krystal, AMC) are just some of those singing soap stars ready to take the stage April 11, 7:30 p.m., Thousand Oaks, CA’s Fred Kavli Theater.

Enjoyed Kristen Alderson’s (Kiki) Twitter Q&A March 11? She tweeted fans about having fun with the scenes where she and boyfriend Chad Duell (Michael) fight on-screen (“We never yell at each other in real life”), not digging popcorn much, and what Kiki’s wedding colors would be (dark), among other things. Before the Q&A, Alderson dropped that she broke the glass when she dropped it down on the table too hard her first take with Tony Geary (Luke), when Luke made advances toward Kiki at the Q’s. “…it’s been GREAT to have scenes with Anthony Geary. He’s so professional, sweet & funny. We really had a great time! #moretocome.” Alderson is going to be a special guest on Soap Nation Live with Michael Fairman March 20 with Joshua Morrow (Nick, Y&R) and Donna Mills (Madeline).

Wally Kurth (Ned; Justin, DOOL) returns to Port Charles soon.

Vinessa Antoine (Heartland, Being Erica, Haven, Soul Food) takes on the new role of Jordan, quite possibly T.J.’s mom. She made her first appearance on March 14. Shawn will question her reason for being there.

Gossip for the week of 17-Mar-2014

by Carol Banks Weber

Brava to Kathleen Gati (Dr. Obrecht) — and the writing team — for the breakthrough emotional scenes opposite Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) last week. Gati tapped into a universal emotional touchstone when her character embraced Britt’s engagement, hoping her daughter could enjoy the true love denied her. Not a dry eye in the house.

OTOH, how about bringing Sam and Silas back to Port Charles, maybe integrating them better with the rest of the cast? Sending them chasing some mystery nobody cares about (because it involves a new character named Nina nobody’s ever met) is a fool’s errand, the complete antithesis of soap opera storytelling. Don’t tweet that to head writer Ron Carlivati, though, he might throw an online tantrum. He got into another heated hissy fit over Spencer last week. Kids.

Doesn’t Donna Mills look more like Ava’s mom than the unseen and uncared for Nina’s? Ah, gotta love this useless stunt casting.

As insiders have been rumoring for weeks now on Daytime Dish, Roger Howarth (Franco; ex-Todd) may leave for good. No recast.

Tony Geary (Luke) may be playing out his final storyline, as the victim of Alzheimer’s.

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