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News for the week of 23-Sep-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Every year, Jerry verDorn (Clint; ex-Ross, GL) and Elizabeth Keifer (ex-Blake, GL) put on quite a show for their interactive bowling fundraising event, Daytime Stars and Strikes. Besides bringing along a host of their famous soap friends, they open up the lanes for fans to bowl with them, along with offering those fabulous, one-of-a-kind prizes. In their 10th annual charity event, October 13, 2 p.m.-5 p.m., at New York City’s Bowlmor Lanes, hosts verDorn and Keifer will have a spread of food, soda, memorabilia, raffles, and plenty of autograph/photo opps for fans who wish to bowl or just watch. There are a variety of purchasing options available, from $75 for spectators and $110 for bowlers. Everyone involved gets a t-shirt. This year, Robin Strasser (Dorian) is getting involved with her own prize, a chance to shop with her for bargains. There’s even a chance for two lucky fans to hang with the hosts before the bowling event. Start bidding.

Kelley Missal (Dani) has the privilege of joining the cast of young, hot stars in a new anti-bullying campaign dressed up in a compelling movie for the Cartoon Network. Contest airs October 6, 6 p.m. ET/PT. The movie comes out in October, National Bullying Prevention Month, and doesn’t stop at just the credits. After the movie, viewers can hop online for a live Q&A with author/educator Rosalind Wiseman, who wrote “Masterminds & Wingmen” and “Queen Bees & Wannabes.” The Cartoon Network’s president, Stuart Snyder, hopes this movie will spark discussion amongst kids, parents, and authorities, and help to change the bullying landscape in small, but meaningful steps. “Along with our other on-going efforts and partnerships, this movie is a new, entertaining approach for us to continue spreading the message that bullying can be addressed effectively when someone has the courage to speak up.” The movie follows a bully who is revered in his small town high school, because he’s a star athlete on the swim team. Matt keeps messing with Tommy, until the school administrators warn the star athlete that if he continues with his bullying, he will lose any shot at a scholarship when he gets himself expelled. To remedy this, Matt thinks it’ll be cool to fake a friendship with his favorite punching bag when the two of them enter a TV cooking competition together. But Matt begins to develop a real friendship with Tommy, as each sees the other for the first time, deep inside.

As a redhead — she did it for the OLTL role, folks! — Melissa Archer (Natalie) got to appear in a magazine for gingers September 16 to discuss the uniqueness of her show, a soap, the fun for her character, and her skincare. Archer admitted it’s a challenge to bring something fresh to the long-time role. Twelve years is a long time, but she always has fun with it. What’s not so very fun is dealing with her sensitive skin, a common problem with fair redheads. She started using Accutane awhile ago to treat her Rosacea. But she had to find another product, because Accutane didn’t really get rid of the problem. As soon as she quit using it, her Rosacea would come back. Enter, Osmosis Skincare, thanks to the recommendation of a friend. “With the Osmosis line being so active, you don’t want to rush into it and purchase it online. My advice is to work your way up to the line,” Archer explained. “For example, I could never have used the anti-aging Osmosis products in the beginning, but now I do. When I first heard about Osmosis, I learned the hard way and purchased the entire Rosacea line. Don’t do that. First, talk to a specialist through, or if you go to a store that sells the line, speak with an Osmosis expert and they will walk you through your issues.”

Gossip for the week of 23-Sep-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Backstage’s Sean J. Miller tried to get to the bottom of OLTL/AMC’s failure to live up to the Prospect Park online hype in a September 18th feature. Miller interviewed several soap pundits, including We Love Soaps editorial director Roger Newcomb, for a backstage look at what went wrong. For many in the industry, what initially went wrong was going strictly online without any consideration for the rest of the audience demographic, the ones who kept soaps going in the first place—the Baby Boomers who have little use for these new-fangled techno platforms.

“If a huge portion of your audience is older and used to watching it on a conventional television set, and you tell them to watch it on Hulu, you’re not giving that audience what they want in a way they want to consume it,” said Eric Deggans, Tampa Bay Times/NPR TV critic.

When OLTL and AMC did make it online as web series pilots, TPTB didn’t do much to capitalize on a wealth of experts successful on this technologically advanced platform. That was a critical error, in Roger Newcomb’s (We Love Soaps) opinion. Instead of enlisting aid from established web series personnel, Prospect Park went back to the tried-and-true soap listers, like producer Ginger Smith. “They hired pretty much everyone from behind the scenes of the daytime soap world. I wish they could have had a mix of some of these really brilliant indie producers or directors or writers mixed in who know how to really tell stories for the Web.”

They also neglected to put together a good story before rounding up the usual suspects, all without keeping in mind the vast online landscape they were about to embark on with these TV experiments. “They were hiring actors before they had the story,” Newcomb said. “And maybe your ideal story for ‘All My Children’ 2.0 doesn’t actually need this character, but they were a popular actor before.”

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