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News for the week of 19-Aug-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

The Y&R 40th anniversary fan club dinner takes place at Universal City’s Sheraton Universal Hotel, August 24, 6 p.m.-11 p.m., check-in at 5 p.m. Other individual cast member events are also on tap. Contact Cathy Tomas at Tickets are $185 per person. Fan Club members only.

One of those individual events is Nacho’s Dance Party, hosted by “Nacho,” Ignacio Serricchio (Alex), August 23, 7 p.m.-11:30 p.m., Studio City’s Sportmen’s Lodge. Serricchio performs with his new band, Sudaca. They’ll go through a set list of covers by Gypsy Kings, Buena Vista Social Club, the Police and more. A lucky winner gets to dine with the actor, as well as dance with him. Tickets are $75 general admission, $100 platinum. Admission covers dinner, the concert, a Q&A, auction, and lots of photo opportunities. Platinum ticket holders get to hang with Serricchio for an hour, sit up close, and take home a swag bag.

Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) passed away a few months ago. Y&R addresses her death in a new story that kicked off last Friday, as loved ones were summoned via postcards to the Chancellor mansion. This story will play out, sending those loved ones on a special, emotional journey, befitting the great actress’ legacy.

Those postcards! Katherine mailed each one of her loved ones a special postcard depicting what looked to be someone’s travel bucket list. She visited the Great Wall of China, Egyptian pyramids of Giza, Hong Kong, Stonehenge, the Great Barrier Reef, Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu, the Parthenon, the Taj Mahal… all places most people would want to see before they died. That’s what Jill figures out by the start of this week’s show. Check out the postcards and the note Katherine sent.

Billy Miller (Billy) guest-stars in Castle next. He plays a Wall Street banker named Mickey Gerhardt, who gets stuck in a hostage crisis and who might get everyone killed if he doesn’t pipe down. “Number One Fan” is supposed to air sometime in October.

The casting department’s searching for an actress to fit a new leading role, that of Ally, a 20-something ingénue type. Just what we need...

Gossip for the week of 19-Aug-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Head writer Josh Griffith has been posting mysterious self-help musings on his Facebook wall—signs of defeat? According to an August 9th update from Tommy Lightfoot Garrett’s Highlight Hollywood, Griffith may be suffering from a case of remorse in siding with executive producer Jill Farren Phelps at her onset, because he’s reportedly clashing with the battle-ax over the show’s direction. Where have I heard this before? Insiders claim that the friction and backstabbing’s so bad that it’s only a matter of time before Griffith goes, then JFP. Not surprising to anyone familiar with JFP’s past reign of terror, but she’s allegedly out to oust Griffith, as well as plenty of veterans in the cast, so she can replace them all with FOJs. One of the insiders told Highlight Hollywood that “Josh [Griffith] was very uncaring and tacky when he did his interview with TV Guide soon after his former boss’s contract was not renewed, now it’s funny, he’s facing the same fate, and at the hands of the same woman, Jill Firing Phelps. He did not see it coming!” And this: “Even though Josh is at work in the building today, he’s just a wreck. He’s previously had his door locked, and seemed as though he was having a breakdown, and Jill has been so uncaring, and telling everyone, she doesn’t time to coddle people, and she is pressuring Sony execs to fire Griffith.”

A few other soap outlets have picked up on this rumor and run with it, practically announcing with fanfare that Josh Griffith is already gone and a replacement is waiting in the wings. Theoretically Sony would like to orchestrate all this as Griffith’s idea. “Highlight Hollywood spoke with a Sony insider today, who reported to us, ‘he [Griffith] has less than 15-days left on his contract. He’s starting vacation with his family next week, and Sony would ideally like to let it look like his decision after a vacation that he’s ready to move on. They are in talks with several writers right now, because after he returns from his vacation, there are only six days left on his contract. [August 9, 2013]”

On August 15th, Highlight Hollywood confirmed the rumor is coming true: soon, it’ll be official that Josh Griffith has exited as the head writer. Insiders told Highlight Hollywood that Griffith submitted his intention to resign, citing creative differences, to fellow writers. On the other hand, a CBS insider said nobody’s crying for the loss, because Griffith was himself a backstabber, to former executive producer Maria Arena Bell, in his fight to be the top writer. Karma’s a bitch and her name’s JFP.

CBS Soaps In Depth threw its two cents in, reporting that its insider pointed to Shelly Altman as the new co-head writer, with Jean Passanante (ATWT, GH) or Tracy Thompson (Y&R staff writer) as the other co-. Altman is already on the writing team and has worked on OLTL, GH, and AW before.

What if former GH head writer Robert Guza Jr. were next in line to script this sinking ship? Sony might as well cancel Y&R already.

Y&R is completely in the weeds. Characters are acting stupid or in a complete standstill. If you blame executive producer Jill Farren Phelps for that — and why wouldn’t you? Have you seen the other soaps she’s helmed to death? — go ahead and sign Highlight Hollywood’s petition to kick her out. She’s spitting on the legacy left by the Bells. I signed. Ignore the plea for donations; that’s not Highlight Hollywood’s deal.

Eric Braeden (Victor) pulled no punches last week when a fan asked him in a tweet how he felt about rumors of a regime shake-up. “Let me just say, I’m very pissed off! Enough said!” The veteran actor also acknowledged the good work of head writer Josh Griffith and executive producer Jill Farren Phelps for their Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) send-off: “I just want to thank josh Griffith&Jill Phelps 4 remembering Jeanne Cooper(Kay Chancellor) in such a generous tribute 2 our beloved ‘broad!’”

Braeden has every right to be pissed off. If rumors are true, he’s one of the first older vets to get kicked off this #1 CBS soap, c/o JFP. You’ve all been warned.

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