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News for the week of 25-Jun-2012

by Carol Banks Weber

Y&R took Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition, Hairstyling (along with B&B), and Live & Direct To Tape Sound Mixing (along with AMC) at the June 17th Daytime Emmy Creative Arts Awards.

At the June 23rd Daytime Emmys, the main event on HLN, the only Y&R win came from outstanding younger actress Christel Adnana Khalil (Lily), resplendent in a vintage black frock. Michael Muhney (Adam) distinguished himself in a negative manner on Twitter by making a disparaging comment about Tony Geary (Luke, GH) winning his seventh Emmy: “Some old guy who has won a bunch of Emmys wins again? Is that really what Soaps need to grow a NEW audience? We need new judges' panels.” Then, he took a defensive, damage-controlling posture with a softer follow-up, “Mr. Geary is FAR superior in his talent to most, including a million miles. But that category needs to get shaken up.” My comments in Y&R Gossip.

We Love Soaps caught up with Christian LeBlanc (Michael) at the Daytime Emmys Creative Arts Awards red carpet, to pick his brain about his character. It’s all good. Despite not seeing much story of his own, LeBlanc saw it in a different, more positive way. He believes his character is one of the best-written characters on the show; he gets to play a loving husband to Lauren and a doting father at home to Fen, and then as a lawyer, he can be cutthroat.

Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) and Joshua Morrow (Nick) had some fun with some fan questions in a live video chat at Soap Opera Fan Blog last week. Most of the questions centered around story and couples, namely who Nick belonged with—Phyllis or Sharon. Both actors believe that Nick and Phyllis have some staying power for now (“We like to change partners like…square dancing!” Stafford quipped), but Nick probably belongs with Sharon inevitably (that’s what Morrow said!). Stafford then threw in that Phyllis belonged back with Jack and Ronan. Nick is into Phyllis now and is prepared to help her through “trials and tribulations,” Morrow said. For the duration, the couple also will have fun continuing to get a “great workout” as much as possible, Stafford joked. Nick admires Phyllis as a “fiercely protective mother,” Morrow continued, and as a spitfire in bed. “She’s passionate… it’s almost illegal [the stuff she does with Nick].”

Talk then went to the actors’ favorite food (Morrow would eat sandwiches three times a day, “if I wasn’t married, I would,” and Stafford “could live on cappuccino muffins [from the Y&R cafeteria] and iced tea all my life, I’d be very happy but very sick”), and what they’d do if they couldn’t act (Stafford said she’d be screwed if she couldn’t act, while Morrow cited teaching and coaching as his career dreams).

Joshua Morrow (Nick) and wife Tobe will finally experience what it’s like to raise a daughter in a brood full of sons (Cooper, 11, Crew, 7, and Cash, 4). They’re having a baby girl, due in November. Tobe, of course, is over the moon. “Tobe has such a close relationship with her mother that she always looked forward to having that with her own daughter. A few years after each of our sons was born, she would give me ‘that look’ and I knew, ‘Uh, oh. She wants that little girl.’” –Soap Opera Digest

From all indications, it definitely looks like Executive Producer/Head Writer Maria Arena Bell asked actor Jeff Branson (Ronan) back to work on another procedural. He’s not too fond of doing just that, and worked out a deal with her to do a little more character-based family and love interest interaction. As for his Y&R length of stay this time around, Brandon isn’t saying. He just talked of past roles, where he stayed for years on contract and didn’t really get anywhere. “I’ve been in a situation on a daytime show in the past where I was a contract actor who went through the peaks and valleys for three, four years and that got really stagnant for me. I know what kind of actor I am when I feel that way and that’s not the actor I would want to watch,” he explained. “But I’ve been really lucky on this show as far as the people I get to work with so, who knows? I just like to stay busy.” –Soap Opera Digest, June 18, 2012

Veteran soap star Doug Davidson (Paul) showed up as asked for auditions with young actors trying out for the role of Paul’s son, Ricky — without any expectation, demand, or idea of what TPTB were really looking for. Davidson merely noted that of the auditioning actors, Peter Porte (Ricky) seemed the oldest. Porte, in turn, used the natural warmth and professionalism emanating from Davidson to give him the boost he needed to do his thing under trying circumstances (“Imagine a small theater filled with a whole creative team and you, on a little stage, blinded by heavy lights. I remember looking to Doug, making eye contact, and him giving me the slightest nod. I instantly knew I was in good hands. I breathed and said my first line. I felt we worked well together right off the bat”). Once the role was given to Porte, the last actor to read, it was all just a matter of settling in. Davidson marveled at how this trained film actor from the Royal Academy of Performing Arts in England had nailed the reading by almost reading the supervising producer’s mind. “Peter was the last one to come in and we had already read three people before him. Tony [Morina, supervising producer] had pretty much the same notes on them. When Peter came in, it was as if he had read the notes, which he hadn’t, and incorporated everything that Tony had said about the previous three. So, Peter’s instincts were spot-on when he came in for the office read because we read in the office before we went downstairs.” Another aspect about Porte that impressed Davidson was fortitude in the face of the flu. One time, Porte had to navigate some impressively complicated scenes, while deathly ill—a fact that did not go unnoticed by Davidson, “and he didn’t even let the producers know that he was running a fever….a consummate professional.” It’s too bad that Porte will soon leave the show, most likely as a murderer and the shame of Paul. At the time of the Soap Opera Digest/Devin Owens’ June 18th interview, Porte said he would enjoy eventually teaming up with Davidson as a father/son investigative team. Davidson co-signed on that idea, adding Heather to the mix.

Michael Damian (Danny Romalotti) really doesn’t have a lot of personal experience to go on in playing a father to a grown son. But he does enjoy being around kids. And, he’s had the benefit of observing parental co-stars, like Doug Davidson (Paul) and Lauralee Bell (Christine). “I overheard them on the phone on set talking with their kids and you could tell that they are fantastic parents. Also, I draw from my own parents, who happen to be the best parents on Earth!” What also helps is having an on-screen son like Michael Graziadei (Daniel). Damian couldn’t say enough good things about Graziadei. “I really love this kid. He is very respectful and professional on set. We have a blast and a great time together!” The two plan to get together later to bond further, after Damian’s directorial work on a project wraps. –Soap Opera Digest, June 18, 2012

Michael Muhney (Adam) has a lovely Father’s Day memory of his two children, Ella, 4, and Dylan, 10. He and his wife whisked the children to Yosemite National Park, where they collected mountain rocks from everywhere. The rocks were placed in a semi-circle around their lemon tree—“that we planted together as a family”— in the backyard. “That kind of stands out as something we did as a family and it is very symbolic to me.” –Soap Opera Digest, June 18, 2012

Gossip for the week of 25-Jun-2012

by Carol Banks Weber

Dear Michael Muhney (Adam),

I couldn’t believe you would take a passive-aggressive side-swipe at Tony Geary (Luke, GH) like that in your June 23rd tweet to the whole world during the Daytime Emmys telecast. You didn’t even have the guts to name him, other than a flippant, “Some old guy who has won a bunch of Emmys.” In one, fell swoop, you managed to alienate most of your decent fans, insult a soap opera legend, display an astounding ignorance about the intrinsic value of an important piece of Americana, and reinforce the short-sighted, narrow-minded, obsessive focus on the youth demo to the exclusion of the veterans who created soap demand in the first place. You, sir, would not even have this job were it not for the likes of that old man who put soap operas on the map and possibly saved the genre from extinction in the 1980s. As other fans have asked you on Twitter, did you even watch Geary’s submission reel from the Bordello? Would you even have the guts to portray a man drunk with such self-hatred that he would declare he was glad he killed an innocent child in cold blood? I doubt it. If you were bitching about Geary’s previous works, the overacting in Luke’s after-life trial perhaps, I might be inclined to agree with you about this seventh win. But you’re way off base here. Not only that, you may have showed your true hand to everyone. Are you mad you weren’t nominated? Jealous? What’s the deal? Then, throwing in that lame kiss-ass disclaimer about Geary after the fact doesn’t exactly raise your esteem either. Maybe you should think before you tweet next time and consider the possibility that you’re not always righteous, and critics aren’t always attacking you. I myself will think twice before tuning in to your scenes in the future.

Wait until the fall season for all of Phyllis’ crimes against Christine and Paul to come to light. That’s when Christine comes back.

The Town Whore, Sharon, may be spending a lot of time in the hospital in the near-future, when she’s diagnosed with a possible brain tumor.

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