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News for the week of 22-Feb-2016

by Carol Banks Weber

Congratulations to two-time Emmy-winner, Kristoff St. John (Neil), for his 25 years on the soap. Cast, crew, family, and friends celebrated the veteran daytime actor’s anniversary on-set the other week. Bryton James (Devon) delivered a moving speech with these words: “You set this standard of commitment and excellence of every scene I have seen you in, and every scene I have been in with you, and it’s taught me. You have shown me and guided me every step of the way. You showed me not only how to go about being an actor, but how you go about being yourself in life, too.” On-Air On-Soaps’ Michael Fairman attended the special event, reporting on the highlights Feb. 18. St. John spoke honestly about his 25 years with Y&R and its cast with Fairman.

St. John mentioned an actor who is no longer with the show as an example of the dysfunction that comes with forging a family away from home. “Nothing is easy, but when you have a family near and far, it can be rather dysfunctional, and in that dysfunction, you have a happy balance of acceptance and dislike,” the actor explained. “So when you do come together for a joyous occasion, it’s all about the joy, and on the set it’s all about the joy. Drama off the set is a whole other thing, even when people at times here haven’t brought the joy. I was going to say one thing in my speech about one person who told me once: ‘You don’t have a story. And you want to be careful, because you want them to make note of you. You want to get out in front of them, and you need to remind them. I have a lot of story and I guarantee you that I am the new breed, and you need to make sure you become that.’ I felt like knocking his block off, but what does that service? That was a family moment between someone that was here, and someone who is no longer here, who thought he would be here forever.”

St. John also spoke of the feeling that came over him when he gazed out at the funeral of his son Julian and saw his Y&R peers grieving with him. “That meant everything to me. I don’t know if everyone realizes that. I wanted to say things up there today about it, but I knew I would fall apart, and I couldn’t have gone on. I was able to come to work a couple of weeks after being off, and man, it was during that part of the storyline that deserved a personal experience that came from the depths, and unfortunately it was through that experience of the death of my son, that I was able to parlay good performances with people that I love and respect here.”

To St. John’s credit, he also brought up the first actress he met when he joined Y&R, the one who sparked a supercouple revolution. He said he had to, given his legacy with Victoria Rowell (ex-Druscilla). (She’s sued CBS/Y&R over racial issues.)

Read more of what was said at Michael Fairman’s site.

Stayed tuned for a super-secret special project that will encompass the CBS Daytime line-up, coming soon. Angelica McDaniel, executive vice president-Daytime Programs and Syndicated Program Development, CBS Entertainment and CBS Television Distribution, tweeted Feb. 17 to expect a treat for viewers. The tweet: “SNEAK PEEK: I can’t share much now but Team @CBSDaytime is working on something secret and special for our viewers. More details to come…!”

Tristan Rogers (Colin; Robert, GH) and Rick Springfield (ex-Noah, GH) make an appearance at the American Cancer Society (ACS) Desert Spirit benefit March 3 at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The two actors are good friends from way back, Rogers said. Springfield will perform the concert “stripped down… rather than unplugged,” Rogers continued. “It’s a terrific change of pace from his usual concerts. Rick is a hell of a guitar player, and he’s a great storyteller, too. For instance, when ‘Jesse’s Girl’ came out, I distinctly remember that everybody immediately jumped to a conclusion that it was about a cast member, which played very well for the media [laughs]. I’ll be there doing a Meet And Greet at the event, as well, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s one of the few times you can talk to the fans on a one-on-one basis. Events like this are very special to both of us, this one in particular. The reason is that it benefits ACS, which is very close to our hearts.” –Soap Opera Digest online, Feb. 19, 2016

Angell Conwell (Leslie) returns for a March 14 airing.

Gwendolyn Osborne-Smith (ex-B&B model), a model on the game show, The Price Is Right, will make a guest appearance as Billy and Victoria’s wedding planner Evelyn on Y&R Feb. 29. “The character is more English than I am — quite proper,” Osborne-Smith, who is British, explained. “But she’s fun and upbeat as well. She’s ready for anything!” Osborne-Smith first heard about an opening on the game show when she played a model on fellow CBS soap, B&B. CBS Soaps In Depth, Feb. 19, 2016

Gossip for the week of 22-Feb-2016

by Carol Banks Weber

According to a recent Soap Opera Digest blind item, TPTB of this one soap are going to pair up “two, long-term characters.” Might they be Phyllis and Billy, capitalizing on the chemistry between Gina Tognoni and Jason Thompson? The characters are long-term, the portrayers aren’t.

Lachlan Buchanan (Kyle) is so busy filming his part on Teen Wolf and NCIS that he won’t be able to do much of Y&R. Good thing he’s recurring and not gone.

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