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News for the week of 25-Nov-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

It’s all over the ‘Net. GH won an 11-month ratings high in overall viewers for the week of November 11, 2013, 2.98 million of them, according to ABC. That week saw Franco’s art show blow up in his face, Lulu/Dante v. Maxie/Spinelli’s custody case about to blow up, and Robin lurking around trying not to get her parents blown up. GH also hit a two-plus-year high in female viewers 18-49 (753,000/1.2 rating) and a two-and-a-half-plus-year high for the women in the 25-54 demographic (1.00 million/1.6 rating), resulting a second-place showing.

Josh Wingate (ex-Carter; Familiar, Priest; Inverse) knew he wanted to act since he was 15, a grateful beneficiary of his theater mentor’s Renaissance Program in high school. The program “dedicated the last two periods or classes of your day to your chosen art form,” Wingate told Cody Murphy on his November 20th Blog Talk Radio show, Weekdays with Murph. “I started off as a visual artist, painting, drawing, sculpture. Then twice a week [my theater mentor Frank] would spend some time in a minor. I dabbled in the theater and it bit. So the next year, that was my junior year we started that program, next year, my senior year, I decided to switch my major over to theater. It was the beginning of this long journey as they say.”

Filming the prison fight scene with Steve Burton (ex-Jason; Dylan, Y&R) took a lot of careful choreography. Luckily the stunt coordinator let Wingate — a trained martial artist — provide creative input. “We worked together for awhile on that. The stunt coordinator really was cool. He let me and Steve work it out together. He gave us some pointers here and there. But most of it, there was a lot of input, so it felt like a great creative process. Indeed I believe they tried to exploit that [martial arts training] a little bit in a good way. And then ultimately let Steve beat me up.”

Playing such a creepy rapist provided Wingate — who sometimes plays Eminem’s “Not Afraid” to pump himself up before auditions — with the creative juice every actor seeks. He threw himself into the thankless but scene-stealing role like a starving man at an all-you-can-eat buffet. “I think we all have evil tendencies hidden inside of us somewhere. So when we’re allowed to use them and portray them in such a manner, it can be fun to play in that world a little bit.”

My friend Cody Murphy — who’s forever working to get us those great scoops direct — even asked my question, totally unrelated to GH or soaps. The only vampire movie I ever allowed myself to watch was Paul Bettany’s “Priest.” It’s also the only vampire movie that does the vampire myth justice, without the tween-kiddie porn of the Twilight series. I went there, asking what it was like for Wingate to do a movie with the great British star Paul Bettany. Wingate didn’t get put out by such a trite, fangurl question having nothing to do with him at all and answered wholeheartedly. “Paul is a great man. First of all he’s gigantic, he’s 6’5”… He was really awesome, made the set a lot of fun, really professional… He gave me a lot to work with. By far a highlight in my career working with Paul.”

Michael Saucedo (ex-Juan) had a running joke of sorts with Frank Valentini that if he washed the executive producer’s car for six months, he could get back in. In any event, Saucedo’s back in, popping up this week as a relation of Sabrina. Good thing he and wife Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth) have become good pals of Teresa Castillo (Sabrina) and her husband. That should make the TV transition easier. Not making it any easier is having to drop weight to be TV-ready, according to Saucedo, who also joked about losing his Pillsbury Doughboy look from taking care of the brood for many years.

Gossip for the week of 25-Nov-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Cody Murphy of Weekdays with Murph on Blog Talk Radio has lined up “more good things for me and the show! No dates set, but it’s excited what just happened.” He’s on a temporary hiatus now, but wait till he’s back on, this guy’s on fire and is the biggest soap fan, genuine, kind, and without an ounce of ego, truly. Soap stars love talking to Cody Murphy.

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