Friday, February 27, 2009

Rock the Soap Cruise

As part of the Daytime’s Division’s ongoing new initiative to reach fans in more cities, more often, SOAPnet will serve as the presenting sponsor for the maiden voyage of “Rock the Soap,” a three-day cruise (from Los Angeles to Mexico) hosted by Bob Guiney that will set sail March 20-23. The cruise will be filled with top soap stars from “All My Children,” One Life to Live,” “General Hospital,” “Days of our Lives,” “As the World Turns” and “The Young and the Restless.”

Throughout the cruise, fans will have a chance to mix and mingle with their favorite stars. Stars confirmed to date include “All My Children’s” Rebecca Budig, Melissa Claire Egan, Thorsten Kaye, Eden Riegel, Michael E. Knight, Aiden Turner and Bobbie Eakes; “One Life to Live’s” Kassie DePaiva, Kathy Brier, Susan Haskill and Bree Williamson; “General Hospital’s” Kelly Monaco, Kimberly McCullough, Jason Thompson (pictured) and Brandon Barash; “Days of our Lives’” Bryan Dattilo; “As the World Turns’” Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann; “The Young and the Restless’” Greg Rikaart, Thad Luckinbill and Elizabeth Hendrickson, and “The Bold and the Beautiful’s” Constantine Maroulis! “Rock the Soap” will offer fans a unique opportunity to have laid back interactions and exciting musical moments with the stars.

Festivities throughout the cruise feature musical performances, book signings, meet & greet sessions, optional beach parties and even a chance to sing Karaoke with your favorite soap stars, as well as some other very special ‘one of a kind’ moments to be announced.

*All talent participation is subject to change.

For updates on the soap star lineup and more information about “Rock the Soap,” fans can log onto and

GL: Casting News

Krista Tesreau returns as Mindy on Guiding Light on Friday, March 6, Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10 to attend hers, Rick's, Philip's and Beth's 25th high-school reunion.

Days Charity Event

Days of Our Lives actors Eric Martsolf (Brady Black & former Ethan of Passions), James Scott (EJ Dimera, pictured), Arianne Zucker (Nicole Walker), Darin Brooks (Max Brady), Bryan Dattilo (Lucas Horton), Matthew Ashford (former Jack Deveraux)

Event will benefit Retinoblastoma International presented by Days Charity Events, Inc.

Saturday April 18, 2009
11-4 p.m. Meet & Greet/Q&A Session with the Stars
7 p.m.-12 a.m. Cocktail Reception with the Stars
Hartford Marriott Downtown
200 Columbus Blvd
Hartford, CT
(Ticket prices for the different events and sponsorships are available on the website)

Y&R Anniversary

Happy Anniversary! Melody Thomas Scott celebrates her 30th anniversary as Nikki today. Here's to 30 more!

Interview: Rosie O'Donnell Saves America, Part 2

Former daytime queen Rosie O’Donnell’s most recent project is the Lifetime Original Movie called America, which premieres on Lifetime Television on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In it, she plays Dr. Maureen Brennan, but Rosie also is an executive producer and co-writer on the movie. Based on E.R. Frank’s book of the same name, America follows the touching journey of 17-year-old America as he traverses the foster-care system.

Rosie explains how she assembled such a stellar cast, which includes Academy Award-nominee Ruby Dee (American Gangster): “When I read the book, I knew that was Ruby Dee’s role right from the beginning. For six years, that had been the vision in my mind. I’m friends with Attallah Shabazz, the eldest daughter of Malcolm X, and she is like family with Ruby. I was telling Attallah for years about this movie. So when we got the green light, I called her up and said, ‘Attallah, will you tell your aunt?’ And she’s like, ‘Yeah, no problem.’ So, we got her that way.

“It was the biggest thrill to be in Detroit on Election Day with Ruby Dee, talking all about Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and (her late husband) Ossie Davis giving the eulogy (at the latter’s funeral). It was pretty astounding to hear her talk about her life, and just the reality of being there with her on that day was fairly overwhelming.”

There are also a number of new faces, including star Philip Johnson, to help round out the cast of young characters. “We purposely tried to get young actors who you didn’t know, so it wouldn’t take the viewer out of the movie.

“For instance, I’ll be watching a movie with my kids, and they’ll be like, ‘Isn’t that the guy from The Wizards of Waverly Place?’ It takes you right out of the film.

“So we found all new actors. The young girl who plays Liza (Raquel Castro) is from a town right close to where I grew up. And the young boy who plays Marshall (Logan Huffman), I think he is fantastically talented and absurdly handsome. He reminded me of all the boys I used to pin up on my bedroom wall as a kid from Teen magazine, the kind of boy you would have loved when you were 14.”

To top off the stellar cast, Rosie found an even-more-stellar director for the project. “The director, Yves Simoneau, is unbelievably gifted. He is a true artist. Working with him was the most fulfilling experience on a movie, because he was so open to new ideas and so full of life. He knew exactly what he wanted to do and how he wanted it to look. I think that visually it is absolutely captivating.”

At the end of the day, though, this movie is about the forgotten children who are shuffled through the U.S. foster-care system. Rosie hopes that her film enlightens the audience and provokes them to take action.

Rosie explains: “I hope people get an understanding of these kids. With our nation becoming more and more economically depressed, the numbers are going to grow in foster care. We need to do something right away. It is an emergency; it is an epidemic in some capacity. If we were losing that many kids a year to a disease, there would be fundraisers and telethons. But these kids are invisible, and will remain so until we give them a voice.”

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Must See TV: SOAPnet's Being Erica

If you haven't been watching SOAPnet's newest original series, Being Erica, then you need to remedy that, quick!

For those who don't know about it, here is the show's description:

We all have regrets and we've all made mistakes. But what if you could go back in time and fix them? Erica Strange (portrayed by Erin Karpluk, right) can – and desperately needs to. She's 32 years old and facing a premature midlife crisis. With no boyfriend, no job, no prospects, her life is in shambles, and she often blames her past mistakes for her current predicament.

Enter Dr. Tom, part therapist, part mysterious rogue. He comes into Erica's life at a time when nothing seems to be going right for her and offers one simple proposition: Whatever she is unhappy about, he can fix it. And with that they begin their extraordinary journey together, as he sends Erica back in time to excavate her past, to relive her regrets, and to make different choices this time around.

We've all, at different points, had the feeling that our lives would be much better if only we'd made wiser decisions in the past. In a world of big dreams and even bigger expectations, we're quick to label ourselves 'failures' when we fall short of achieving these goals.

In Being Erica, we empathize with some of these universal regrets through the eyes of our 32-year-old heroine, Erica Strange. Her experiences and insights are comical, sometimes whimsical, and always poignant. In each episode Erica discovers if what could have been should have been.

I had the chance recently to talk with the show's star, Erin Karpluk, and here is a portion of that interview:

Erin explains what drew her to the character of Erica: “I loved the character, because she is just an average gal, but she’s so flawed and awkward. And yet she is resilient in overcoming all of the adversity that has been thrown at her in life. She is very candid and funny. It is the opportunity of a lifetime to get a chance to go back in time with the foresight, the life experiences and past mistakes, and try to overcome them. The stakes are always really high in playing this character, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Being Erica has the honesty and humor of My So-Called Life and the time-travel/fantasy aspect of Quantum Leap. And, like the latter, Erica realizes that “when she does go back in time, she has a very big responsibility, and she knows that what she does in the past really affects those around her. The things that she learns isn’t ‘paint-by-numbers,’ it’s messy, just like life.”

And, just like life, Erica has her flaws. “The appeal of the show and the character is that everyone has regrets, and we all make mistakes in life,” Erin says. “We all fall down in our career and life, and we pick ourselves up and push on. I can really identify with her. She’s a relatable gal.”

I have seen the first six episodes of Being Erica, and each one just gets better and better. Tune into SOAPnet on Thursday nights at 10 ET/PT, and see what all the hubbub is about. You won't be disappointed.

Erica returns to the early '90s to fix a mistake made at her high-school dance.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Interview: Rosie O'Donnell Saves America

Rosie O’Donnell is best known to daytime audiences as the host of her popular talk show The Rosie O’Donnell Show (1996-2002), as well as a co-host on The View (2005-2007). But she is also known for her child-welfare advocacy. Rosie has teamed up with Lifetime Television to help bring to light some of the flaws in the U.S. foster-care system by writing, producing and starring in the movie America, which is based on the book of the same name by E.R. Frank.

America follows the touching journey of a 17-year-old boy, America, as he traverses the foster-care system. Rosie stars as a therapist who gives America the support he needs to deal with his troubled past and helps him find the courage to live.

Rosie explains how the project came about: “I read the book in 2002. I was going out to L.A. I needed a book for the plane, and an intern handed it to me. I read it on the plane to L.A., and I wrote the script for the movie before I got back.

“I am such a big fan of books, and a big reader, and so often you come across a book you really like but someone has already bought the rights to it. When I first read this book, I didn’t even ask — I just started to write. I could see the movie in my head; the book was just so well written. It just came to life in my head, so I wrote it anyway and just hoped that it wasn’t sold already.”

To Rosie’s relief, the rights to the book had not been sold yet. Rosie says: “I called the author, E.R. Frank, who was a young woman, a 35-year-old social worker. I met with her and told her it would be hard for me to make this, but I would do my best to get it made. So, it’s been seven years in the making.”

A key part in making this movie was getting the right actor to play the part of America. “We had seen about 500 kids for the role, and I knew that if you didn’t love that child and relate to him, the whole movie would fall flat. We had two actors that we were going to put on tape that day, and we had stopped at a restaurant to eat. There was a family sitting at another table; they were the only other people at the restaurant.

“I saw Philip (Johnson) sitting there and said, ‘That’s the kid who should play America.’ I kept trying to make eye contact with anyone at the table, and his uncle finally asked, ‘Are you Roseanne Barr?’ and I said, ‘Close enough,’ and I got up and walked over to them. I explained the movie I was doing and asked Philip if he had ever acted. I told the father it was a heavy subject — it’s about foster care and abused kids — but your son has the stillness and intensity that just drew me to him.”

Rosie admits that the movie can be hard to watch. “Most people who I’ve shown the movie to say, ‘I had no idea it was like this.’ Until I became a foster parent back in 1998, I didn’t know either. It was an education that I got.

“Did you know that 80 percent of prison inmates were at one time in foster care? That’ll tell you a little bit about how we do as a state raising children; it’s not really what we do best. The foster-care system was originally established for war orphans around the time of World War II. We need to reconfigure the system to accommodate the needs of today’s kids.”

Check back next week for part two of the interview, where Rosie talks about working with Ruby Dee, filming the movie and how we can get involved in helping foster children. America premieres on Lifetime Television on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Y&R: Such a Tease!

•Esther and Roger get married.
•After filing for divorce, Cane plans to do whatever it takes to make Delia his daughter, but will Billy (Billy Miller, pictured) fight him for her?
•Gloria receives stunning news that may change her fate forever.

•Sharon's guilt over her recent affairs gets the best of her. Will she be able to hide it from Jack?

•Heather and Victor have a showdown over Adam.

GL: Such a Tease!

•Buzz and Alan face off.

•Phillip (Grant Aleksander, pictured) vows to make things right with his children.

•Dinah and Mallet team up.

•Bill learns that Grady kidnapped Lizzie.

ATWT: Such a Tease!

•Casey digs himself deeper into trouble.
•Katie collapses on the floor, much to Brad's horror.

•Lucy turns up on Craig's doorstep.

•Carly (Maura West, pictured) turns to the bottle for comfort.

B&B: Such a Tease!

· A heroic act goes unappreciated.

· Brooke sees Rick in a different light.

· Steffy makes a sacrifice for the man she loves.

· Thorne (Winsor Harmon, pictured) prepares for his new position within the company.

· Owen’s future at Forrester Creations is at stake

Days: Such a Tease!


Lucas blames Sami (Alison Sweeney, pictured) for his drinking problem.

Hope tells Bo that she wants to come home.

Stephanie breaks up with Philip.

Chloe tells Daniel that they are over — for good.

Sami has an emotional reaction when she meets baby Sydney.

Thursday – Nicole threatens to leave EJ because he still loves Sami.

Friday – Will returns home to Salem.


Rafe takes Sami into his arms and promises to always protect her.

Chloe and Lucas decide to give their relationship a second chance.

Bo has a vision of Hope with another man.

Philip calls Stephanie into his office and kisses her.

EJ tries to file a complaint against Rafe.

Thursday – Max and Chelsea make love.

Friday – Sami tells Nicole to rein in her man.

Monday, February 23, 2009

GH: Such a Tease!

Jason (Steve Burton, pictured) makes a deal with Sonny.
Sam and Jason team up to find Anthony.
Kate continues to be a thorn in Claudia’s side.

Maxie is in an alternative universe.
Everyone’s destiny takes a strange turn in Maxie’s dream.
Maxie is happy to be alive.

Jason and Sam are hot on Anthony’s trail.
Sonny is hit with a dose of reality.
Rebecca finds it easy to be around Lucky.

Anthony accuses Claudia of having feelings for Sonny.
Jason is impressed by Sam’s resourcefulness.
Jax and Carly team up to help out.

Anthony puts Sonny in a no-win situation.
Spinelli finds himself in hot water yet again.

OLTL: Such a Tease!

Bo and Clint turn the tables on David and Dorian.
Jared and Natalie set out to solve a mystery.
Vanessa (Jacqueline Hendy, pictured) makes a startling confession.

Natalie is determined to find out what happened the night Chloe was born.
David and Dorian won’t give up without a fight.
Cristian feels betrayed by Vanessa.

New questions arise about David’s paternity.
Gigi is troubled by Stacy’s behavior.
Rex wants the truth from Roxy.

The Buchanans receive some very unexpected news.
Blair has it out with John.
Lola has been keeping a major secret.

Viki leaves David with plenty to think about.
Starr severs all ties with Todd.
Gigi is troubled by her sister’s behavior.
Cole is furious because he thinks that Starr ratted him out to Schuyler.

AMC Such a Tease!

Kendall tells Bianca the bond they shared is broken forever.
Zach refuses to help Reese.
David warns Amanda to stick to the plan.

Zach won’t tolerate the distance between him and Kendall.
Bianca shares an emotional goodbye with Erica and Kendall.
Krystal and JR grow suspicious of David and Amanda.

Reese lets Zach and Kendall know she’s not going anywhere.
David puts the screws to Amanda.
Aidan admits to Angie (Debbi Morgan, pictured) he’s fallen in love with Annie.

Jake convinces Krystal to keep Amanda’s secret.
Reese tells Adam she overheard Kendall’s confession.
Ryan plans on stealing the casino away from Zach.

Adam is confident he has the ammunition he needs to take Zach down.
Amanda can’t go through with destroying JR.
Angie’s shocked to learn what Jake and Frankie did.