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News for the week of 16-Sep-2013
by Carol Banks Weber
Imagine being a lifelong soap fan and getting to interview all of your favorite soap stars from one major ABC Daytime drama. Now, imagine the long hours and work spent on transcribing, sorting, and writing an extensive book chronicling the rise and fall of one of your favorite soaps, on Kindle and in paperback. PopDose.com writer Jeff Giles recently put out such a book, “Llanview In The Afternoon: An Oral History Of One Life To Live,” on Amazon.com and assorted other online outlets. Initially, he meant it purely for enjoyment, and maybe he’d do something in a book form later. Good thing he went ahead, because it’s the most comprehensive, insightful, and sometimes brutally honest, account of what went on behind the scenes at OLTL.
The book starts off with this: “When I was a kid in the ‘80s, daytime was king. Both at the broadcast networks, where the soaps subsidized primetime programming, and at my house, where my mom’s devout watching habits meant that ABC’s ‘Love in the Afternoon’ lineup – All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital – owned the TV from noon to three P.M. every weekday afternoon.” Then it goes on to include information about and interviews with quite a number of movers and shakers in front of and behind the cameras; these are people most fans have forgotten about or never knew existed, major players. It’s amazing how many people Giles managed to get a hold of and get talking—not cleaned-up publicist’s dream talking points, no—real, no-holds-barred talk.
He talked to AMC/OLTL creator Agnes Nixon, ABC Daytime executive Jozie Emmerich (1976-1991), executive producer Don Wallace (1968-1972), Lee Warrick (Julie Siegel, 1969-1974), Michael Storm (Larry Wolek, 1969-2004), Ellen Holly (Carla Gray, 1968-1980; 1983-1985), Marilyn Chris (Wanda Wolek, 1972-1978; 1980-1993), Erika Slezak (Viki), Brynn Thayer (Jenny Wolek, 1978-1986), Margaret Klenck (Edwina Lewis, 1979-1985—my favorite), Judith Light (Karen Wolek, 1976-1983), Robin Strasser (Dorian), Thom Christopher (Carlo Hesser), Barbara Garrick (Allison), Roscoe Born (Mitch Laurence), Tonja Walker Davidson (Alex Olanov), Robert S. Woods (Bo), Nathan Fillion (Joey Buchanan), Gina Tognoni (Kelly Cramer), Patricia Elliott (Renee), Hillary B. Smith (Nora), Erin Torpey (original Jessica), Timothy D. Stickney (R.J.)—“David Fumero [Cristian] – I taught that boy how to act,” Kassie DePaiva (Blair), Brandon Buddy (Cole), Ilene Kristen (Roxy), Jerry verDorn (Clint II), Melissa Archer (Natalie)… so many people, over 50 of them.
Despite the vastness of Giles’ resources, he couldn’t get everyone, despite trying. In the intro of his book, he wrote: “If there’s a person you think is missing from this book, you’re probably right, and odds are I reached out to them to request an interview. A number of people never responded, some declined requests outright, and some simply weren’t comfortable revisiting that part of their past. And then there’s James DePaiva [Max], who gave me a deeply informative hour of his time that was lost forever due to an equipment glitch. I was too embarrassed to hit him up for another interview, and while this book is certainly poorer for his absence – and the absence of many who declined to participate, or those I was simply too ignorant to call – I think it still holds up as an earnest tribute to a one-of-a-kind endeavor. I hope you’ll agree.”
These aren’t superficial, public relations accounts. They’re in-depth, honest, sometimes very honest revelations about what it took to put out a quality show (sometimes not so quality) day in and day out, who cut it and who didn’t.
In light of Prospect Park basically putting its online OLTL on hold indefinitely, Jeff Giles’ book is worth buying for the historic, intrinsic value alone.
Gossip for the week of 16-Sep-2013
by Carol Banks Weber
Lots of soap fans and critics find it reprehensible and more than a tad Narcissistic that Prospect Park execs blamed the delay in filming on the lawsuit they themselves filed against ABC Daytime over creative differences. Pundits believe the real reason may lie in lack of sufficient funding due to stupid executive decisions like blowing money on a frivolous lawsuit and not being on the level with the crew’s union. They also believe neither OLTL or AMC is safe.
One Life to Live News & Gossip, Copyright © 2014 Carol Banks Weber. Published by SoapZone.com / Jeff Jungblut. No part of this page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed on this page are those of the author and may not be representative of SoapZone.com or its advertisers. Don't steal scoops.