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News for the week of 09-Jun-2008

by Carol Banks Weber

The Paley Center for Media will pay tremendous tribute to OLTL’s 40 years on-screen June 10. The event – free for members – will feature series creator Agnes Nixon, Erika Slezak (Viki), executive producer Frank Valentini, Kristen Alderson (Starr), head writer Ron Carlivati, Susan Haskell (Marty), John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex), Hillary B. Smith (Nora), Robin Strasser (Dorian) and Robert S. Woods (Bo) in a panel discussion with moderator Donna Hanover. Info: (212) 621-6780, membership@paleycenter.org.

Executive producer Frank Valentini and actress Kristen Alderson (Starr) defended the teen pregnancy storyline in a June 10th joint Soap Opera Digest interview with reporter Lauren Flynn (“Now You’re Talking”). Acknowledging the controversy amongst some viewers, both Valentini and Alderson maintained that this storyline is for the good of all viewers, especially teenaged girls and their parents. Alderson said she hoped the true-to-life love story about teenagers Starr and Cole would inspire kids and their parents to discuss their views, thoughts and values. She also said Starr and Cole didn’t think about contraception—and TPTB intentionally skipped that lesson—in order to better reflect the reality out there. “In talking to some teenagers who have gotten pregnant, I’ve heard, ‘We didn’t think anything of it; we just kind of had sex.’ A lot of people do that without really thinking. Starr did.” It was, in fact, the pursuit of reality in storytelling that drove Valentini and his people away from the typical safe-sex afterschool special. The last thing any of them wanted to do was drive viewers away with preachy lectures. “We are just trying to present all sides of the story and make sure that every character’s point of view is unique and true to their character, but also want to shed light on the story in a different way so there’s no duplication [with mirror true stories of teen pregnancies in the news],” he said. And it’s better to feel a little discomfort than to keep sweeping this issue under the rug. “People don’t want to talk about it. And I think when you don’t talk about it, you find yourself in a situation like Starr and Cole were,” he added.

During the writers’ strike, the subject of Starr getting pregnant with Cole’s baby came up. When the writers’ strike ended and head writer Ron Carlivati took over again, he expanded this story to include the rest of the families and friends.

Bo might miss his dearly departed pa, Asa, but Bo’s portrayer Robert S. Woods frequently catches up with his real-life pal, Asa’s Phil Carey. Recently they were having lunch at Central Park when a fan came by, noticed them and remarked, “It’s so good to see that you two are together!” Then, she politically corrected herself with a disclaimer, “I don’t mean it like that!” But Carey and Woods didn’t interpret the fan’s remark as anything gay, they’re cool. Doing lunch is a common occurrence with these two. Back in the day, when they both did OLTL together, lunch would last well into the evening. –Soap Opera Digest, June 10, 2008

Tika Sumpter (Layla) found herself a boyfriend while hanging out in Costa Rica (isn’t that how Bree Williamson/Jessica found her fiancÚ-turned-husband-turned ex?). He’s pro-surfer Federico Pilurzu, gifted with a fantastic body and those lips to die for. He also isn’t dazed and overwhelmed by the fame that comes with being the boyfriend of a soap star. Sumpter said he fits right in, even at a recent Gabriel Project event, with the dancing and the laughter. The two of them have been seeing each other for about a year and six months so far.

Right around this past April, Forbes March (Nash) met with executive producer Frank Valentini to pitch a story about his character turning out to really be AMC’s Scott Chandler (he played both). He never got the chance. Valentini let him down with news of his imminent storyline-dictated firing.

Farah Fath (Gigi) doesn’t need a fancy makeup artist. She is her own makeup artist, favoring a mix of frosty lipstick and lip gloss to finish. Her go-to gloss product is M.A.C.’s C-Thru tinted Lipglass.

Gossip for the week of 09-Jun-2008

by Carol Banks Weber

Got these from SoapTown USA’s Jeremy in Chicago, his latest CRAZE column June 2-“Injection of Brilliance”: Evangeline back for John versus Todd, Marty back for Cole to exit, Jessica to regress back to DID, and my personal favorite, Starr gives the baby up for adoption to Marcie who winds up helping deliver the baby out in the middle of nowhere. Keep in mind these are mostly Jeremy’s informed specs, but they sound damned good to me.

Ravenbeauty (June 1st post) dishes about another soon-to-be-fired actor (it’s a she) due to “some attitude issues (ahem)” and a less-than-popular tenure. This role will be recast, she added. Also, she said there were three new audition scripts for three characters, James, Julianna and a day player mechanic.

What about Cord? Well? What about Cord?

There is another… Another long-lost Buchanan pops up, besides David, soon.

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