Friday, April 10, 2009

GH to Air Public Service Announcement

In the midst of all the gunfire, explosions and mob drama on General Hospital, the soap has always taken the time to properly focus on the topics that hit close to home, including breast cancer, HIV and now postpartum depression.

As heartbreaking and frustrating as Robin Scorpio's (Kimberly McCullough, pictured) behavior has been over the past few months, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Robin barely had a minute to enjoy the birth of baby Emma when postpartum depression took a hold of her and wouldn't let go.

McCullough recently taped a public service announcement about postpartum depression, which will air at the end of the April 16th episode of GH. The soap has joined forces with Postpartum Support International (PSI) to feature the announcement. Also, in May, look for Robin to join a support group that has been cast with real-life mothers who have battled PPD. The disorder affects nearly 1 million women in the U.S. each year.

Jill Farren Phelps, excecutive producer of GH, explains why they have chosen to feature such a dark topic during our love in the afternoon: “As our viewers expect to be entertained each day, they also want to be educated when an important medical issue is integrated into storyline. I am sure some members of our audience are either directly affected with postpartum depression or know someone who is, and we believe it is important to direct our audience to the organizations that can help them.”

Postpartum Support International (PSI) is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to helping women suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression, the most common complication of childbirth. To learn more, call PSI at 800-944-4PPD or visit

GH Nurses' Station Gets an Upgrade

I have mixed feelings whenever a soap gets a new set. I love seeing the living rooms, staircases and bedrooms I've watched for years. I can handle some new drapes or a new sofa, but I want to see the same residences with the same old wallpaper I grew up watching. (I still miss Katie's cute little cottage in the woods on As the World Turns, boo-hoo.)

So it is with reservation that I announce the debut of the new General Hospital nurses' station. The old one was destroyed during the latest disaster (some kind of toxic thingamajigs) to hit Port Charles. As much as I will miss the old set, the new one sure is purty. Look for it to make its big debut on April 14th, along with the return of ubervillainess Helena Cassadine, played the divine Constance Towers, but here is a sneak peek above.

Interview GH: Brandon Barash Wants to Bring Back Some of Johnny’s Rough Edges

Johnny Zacchara came to Port Charles in 2007 as a sort of reluctant mobster. Coming from the famed Zacchara family pretty much guarantees a life of crime, but Johnny, with the help of Lulu Spencer, has tried to overcome his presumed destiny. However, every now and then, a little bit of “mob life” slips into Johnny’s personal life.

It’s this constant walking on a tightrope that finally breaks up Johnny and Lulu. Brandon Barash, who originated the role of Johnny on General Hospital, pulled out all the stops while filming the heart-wrenching break-up scene.

Brandon explains: “It’s a pretty emotionally charged scene — a lot of upset people and upset feelings. Johnny does a pretty good job of raising his voice to her, and that sends her into an emotional tizzy. It’s always fun to go there. You can’t just turn that on and turn that off. You’ve got to really dig deep for what it is that is going on with these two characters.

“Rehearsing it, I wasn’t yelling at her, I was just firm. And then in the scene, we just started lobbing the ball back and forth, and that’s where it went. If you open your mind a little bit and really play with the material, some really good organic stuff can happen.”

While Brandon is sad to see the end of Lulu and Johnny, he is proud of the direction his story line is taking. “This is kind of a dose of real life. On soaps, the medium allows for some really outlandish things to happen. But this was really nice because couples go through this. Couples do break up — some of them get back together again, and some of them never see each other again. I think Johnny and Lulu are great together, so don’t misunderstand me there, but it’s nice to see something real going on, something gritty.”

Now that Johnny and Lulu are over, this leaves the door open for a possible romance with Maxie, a woman who is perhaps better suited to the lifestyle of a potential mobster. Brandon agrees and admits: “Something that attracts Johnny to Maxie is he doesn’t feel like he has to be somebody else for her. Johnny has a kind of a street mentality, and I feel like that attitude comes out more with Maxie than Lulu. I feel like Johnny is always held back with Lulu as far as who he really is.”

Whether Johnny and Maxie will end up as a couple is still up in the air; however, Brandon says: “It’s a lot of fun telling this story. I am not sure what the writers have planned for us.”

He has a suspicion that the mob life is in Johnny’s immediate future, though. “He realizes that no matter how hard he tries to escape it, it catches back up with him. He has known it all of his life and has seen the damage it can do, but at the end of the day, it’s really all he knows.

“The possibility is definitely there for Johnny to get sucked back into the whole thing. Right now he is still grappling with it. I like the edge that Johnny used to be written with, and I am hoping that comes back soon. He definitely has lost a little bit of his edge. I wouldn’t have any qualms about seeing him back in the mob; and I wouldn’t have any qualms about seeing him mess some people up like he used to when he was first introduced in Port Charles.”

OLTL CONTEST: Making Prom Dreams Come True




WHAT:’s Dream Dress Contest

On Wednesday, May 13, the Pussycat Dolls will make Llanview High School’s prom a night to remember on ABC’s “One Life to Live.”

And now girls who are having trouble affording a prom dress this year will have the chance to rock their own prom in one of the dresses from the episode.

HOW: Enter at

In up to 300 words, share why you are having trouble affording a prom dress this year to win one of the 27 dresses worn in the upcoming prom scenes or “One Life to Live” star Kristen Alderson’s (“Starr Manning”) very own prom dress.

WHEN: Contest is LIVE now (began Tuesday, April 7th) and will officially end at midnight on Friday, April 24th.

Don’t forget to tune into “One Life to Live” on May 13th to watch Llanview High School’s prom — they’ve won a concert by the Pussycat Dolls who will perform “Jai Ho (You are My Destiny),” the English version of the hit Slumdog Millionaire song. is part of the Hearst Teen Network, which includes,,,, and

According to a 2008 Hearst Teen survey, teen girls spent an average of $236 on a prom dress and $566 total on the prom night experience. In this economy, a growing number of teens and their parents cannot afford the costly expense of a prom dress. This is where comes in — for the many girls who are not fortunate enough to be able to spend that kind of money on a dress, they help them find a donated gown. For more information go to

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A Message from Beth Chamberlin

Beth Chamberlin (Beth Spaulding, GL) has advised her Fan Club that she and some of the other actors have been very moved by the heartfelt letters and e-mails received from their fans concerning the cancellation of Guiding Light.

They plan to print these messages about the show, the characters and what Guiding Light means to the viewers and deliver them to Ellen Wheeler and P&G. The Fan letters can be a way of giving fuel to the fight to save the show.

If you would like to participate in this effort, which is open to all Guiding Light Fans, please e-mail your thoughts and comments about Guiding Light to Beth at as soon as possible, and her fan club presidents will forward those e-mails to her.

This way you can be sure your letters will be hand delivered to Ellen Wheeler and Procter & Gamble.

Save Guiding Light

(Click on picture for a larger copy)

Many of you have asked me what you can do to try to convince the powers that be that they must not cancel Guiding Light. Below is a list of people you can write to or call to make your voice heard. Hopefully it will work. This is the soap I grew up on, have stuck with through thick and thin, and have been amazed by the wonderful turnaround in writing and acting that has been taking place these past few years. It would definitely be a great shame to see this grand ole soap go away!

So, print the above picture, and send it to the MAIN ADDRESSES below. It would also help to add your heartfelt sentiments about the show's cancellation. Also, call the Guiding Light phone line at 866-695-1859 and press "1" to support the show. Every little bit helps!

Alan Lafley
CEO, Proctor and Gamble
1 P&G Plaza
Cincinnati, OH 45201

Greg Ross
Vice President, Media and Programming
Procter & Gamble
One Procter & Gamble Plaza
PO Box 599
Cincinnati, Ohio 45201-0599

Brian T. Cahill, Sr. V.P.,
Managing Director for TeleVest Daytime Programs
Procter & Gamble Productions c/o Televest
World Wide Plaza
825 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10019

Procter & Gamble Productions
825 Eighth Avenue 35th Floor
New York, NY 10019

Barbara Bloom
Senior VP CBS Daytime Programs
CBS Television
7800 Beverly BLVD
Los Angeles, CA 90036


Barbara Bloom at

Nancy Tellem at

Nina Tassler at

Guiding Light - 866 - 695 - 1859

Proctor & Gamble/Telenext: (212) 474-5888

CBS in New York: (212) 975-4321

CBS Audience Services: (212) 975-3247

(These addresses are for the creative people of the show, the ones who want it to go on, no doubt. So, no yelling at these people — these are for showing your support!)

Ellen Wheeler, Executive Producer
Guiding Light - CBS - TV
51 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

David Kreizman, Headwriter
Guiding Light - CBS - TV
51 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

Guiding Light Actors
Guiding Light - CBS - TV
51 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Days' Mass Exodus

Hot on the heels the departures of several heavyweights on Days of Our Lives — Deidre Hall, Drake Hogestyn, Mary Beth Evans, Stephen Nichols, Leann Hunley and Thaao Penghlis — Rachel Melvin (Chelsea Brady) announced that she is quitting the soap after four years. Her character will leave town on the premise of helping her mother, Billie, who has been in an accident overseas. Her final appearance should be at the end of April/beginning of May.

The 24-year-old actress, who has played Chelsea since 2005, has expressed her desire to try projects outside of daytime. "It was never my intention to be on a soap opera for as long as I was," she told Soap Opera Digest. "When you think of soaps, you think 'Oh, beautiful people'; and I never categorized myself that way, and I guess I just kind of discounted the possibility of working on one."

James Spaulding Returns to GL

As we mentioned last month, James Spaulding — the son of Philip and Beth on Guiding Light — will be returning to Springfield beginning tomorrow, April 8. The role will be played by Zack Conroy. Expect the 18-year-old James to be immediately intrigued by Daisy.

CBS soap fans might recognize Zack as Leo Morrisey, the boy who drugged Liberty last summer on As the World Turns.

Interview Outtakes

Most of the time when I am conducting an interview with a soap star, I have more interview material than space for printing the interview. I will be making it a semi-regular feature to include little blurbs from stars that did not make it to the print version of the interview, but were too good not to publish somewhere. Read below for the first installment:

Genie Francis on returning to General Hospital
"So far, I have no plans to return there, and they've made no invitations to me. They ended it in such a weird way, and they left it very open that Laura could come back or not, which is pretty much how they always do it."

Rebecca Herbst on ice skating and family life
Daytime Dial: I read that you used to be a competitive ice skater.
Rebecca Herbst: Yes, I competed for 14 years.
DD: Do you ever get the chance to get out on the ice nowadays?
RH: No, never. I have been on the ice once since my 7-year-old son was born, and that’s it. The kids have asked to go ice skating, but I don’t have a rink anywhere near me, so it’s not easy to jump in a car and take them.
DD: What is it like to be a full-time mom as well as working in soaps? It’s got to be hard to juggle.
RH: It would be if I did not have such a wonderful husband. He picks up all the loose ends. He stays home with the kids, gets them ready for school and takes them to school. He does what I can’t when I’m not there. So, it’s actually not that bad.

Brandon Barash on allergies and the wisdom of Grandpa
"Sorry I keep coughing, my allergies are terrible today. Nothing like this lovely L.A. smog that gets you up and coughing in the morning, you know? My grandfather's favorite saying used to be: 'It's not the cough that carries you off, it's the coffin they carry you off in.' That was his way of saying, 'It's just a cough, it's no big deal. Get over it!' As a little boy when I heard that for the first time, I thought it was just about the funniest thing ever."

Days: Such a Tease!


*Chelsea finds out that Max (Darin Brooks, pictured) is applying to medical school.

*Hope and Roman get stuck together on a stake out in a hotel.

*Brady tries to convince Nicole not to marry EJ.

*Mia tells Nicole she wants Sydney back.

*A beautiful new waitress, Arianna, begins working at the Brady Pub.

Thursday – Sami tells Lucas that Grace is EJ’s child and that she’s going to tell EJ- today.

Friday – Philip and Stephanie finally make love.

Monday, April 06, 2009

GH: Such a Tease!

Jason threatens to kill Ric if he’s withholding information.
Patrick fears Robin’s brush with death was no accident.
Carly struggles with how to proceed with Michael.

Carly is determined to find a way to get Michael back.
Patrick’s upset when Robin finds comfort in Jason’s arms.
Lulu tries to turn Matt’s (Jason Cook, pictured) flirtation with Maxie to her advantage.

Olivia tangles with Claudia.
Patrick and Robin can’t seem to connect.
Claudia is desperate to have Sonny’s baby.

Claudia spins a tale for Sonny.
Maxie vows to get even with Lulu.
An impulsive Nikolas pulls Rebecca in to a kiss.

Ric throws Claudia to the wolves.
Lulu and Johnny call it quits.
Tracy wants to find out more about Ethan.

OLTL: Such a Tease!

Rex suspects that Gigi (Farah Fath, pictured) is lying to him.
Todd’s past comes back to haunt him.
Schuyler can’t give Starr what she wants.

Natalie and Jared decide to keep Jessica in the dark.
Hank has a surprise to help Nora through this difficult time.
Dorian finds David to be a real pain in the rear.

Blair stakes her claim to John when Marty pays her a visit.
A lovesick Starr pours her heart out to Langston.
Ray takes charge when Jack tries to blackmail Dorian.

Will Starr have to pay for her father’s past?
Todd accuses Schuyler of seducing Starr.
Dorian makes a risky gamble.

Todd fears the worst when Starr is taken hostage.
Gigi wants to set the record straight with Jessica.
Langston catches Lola putting the moves on Markko.

AMC: Such a Tease!

Erica agrees to keep Adam’s secret.
Zach and Kendall pray for a miracle.
Aidan (Aiden Turner, pictured) gives Annie a dose of reality.

Aidan helps Annie unlock her memories.
Kendall and Ryan share a painful goodbye.
Jake has a surprising proposition for Amanda.

Krystal is keeping a secret from David.
Amanda won’t allow Jake to throw his life away for her.
Annie has a breakthrough, thanks to Aidan.

Zach and Kendall can’t break the bond between them.
Erica urges Adam to come clean with JR.
Aidan takes action on Annie’s behalf.

Zach and Kendall bring Ian home.
Annie is finally able to put the past to rest.
David has a plan up his sleeve.

Y&R Dream Wedding Contest



The ultimate wedding, vow renewal or commitment ceremony,

courtesy of televisions # 1 daytime drama “The Young and the Restless”

The Signature at MGM Grand in Las Vegas and television’s #1 daytime drama, The Young and the Restless, invite couples to celebrate their love with a true affair to remember. Couples entrenched in passion and avid soap lovers alike can enter to win the luxurious wedding, vow renewal or commitment ceremony of their dreams; with the ceremony witnessed by none other than The Young And The Restless’ Christian LeBlanc, left (“Michael Baldwin”) and Tracey E.Bregman (“Lauren Baldwin”). Details following:


Travel and Accommodations for four

  • Roundtrip airfare to Las Vegas
  • Transportation to/from the Las Vegas airport in MGM Grand limousines
  • Hotel accommodations in the luxurious and romantic suites of The Signature at MGM Grand
  • $1,000.00 spending money

A Wedding Ceremony, Vow Renewal or Commitment Ceremony that includes:

  • A unique and romantic ceremony poolside at The Signature at MGM Grand
  • Exquisite floral arrangements from the Forever Grand Wedding chapel at MGM Grand
  • Ceremony music performed by the musicians of Cirque du Soleil's "O" at Bellagio - a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
  • Photography package
  • Dinner for six at Joel Robuchon, the only Michelin three star, Mobil Five-Star, AAA Five Diamond restaurant - the top accolades for each organization
  • A beautiful and delicious hand-made wedding cake from MGM Grand's award-winning pastry team
  • Wedding attire including a wedding dress, bridesmaid dress and two tuxedo rentals
  • Wedding bands for the couple

Pampering and Extras:

  • Couple's Dreaming Ritual signature spa treatment in an MGM Grand private spa suite
  • Custom hair and make-up from Christophe Salon at MGM Grand
  • VIP tickets for four to Cirque du Soleil's "O" at Bellagio - an aquatic tapestry of artistry, surrealism and theatrical romance in a timeless production


From March 9 - April 13, 2009 eligible couples can log on to to enter the contest by submitting a photograph and answering a question about their relationship. Twenty-five semi-finalists will then be selected by a third party judge, notified on April 17th and announced on on April 20th. Those semi-finalists will then be asked to film a video response about their most romantic moment together. On May 6th, the field will be narrowed down to four finalists selected by THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS' Daniel Goddard ("Cane Ashby") and Christel Khalil ("Lily Winters"). The four finalists will have their videos posted on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS wedding website where viewers will help determine the winner by voting for their favorite couple. The Grand Prize winners will be contacted on May 31st and announced on on June 1st.

Interview: Chatting With Your Favorite ABC Stars

(Jason Thompson, SSW, November 2008)

Daytime Dial: How was it working on both “General Hospital” and “General Hospital: Night Shift” these past two summers?

Jason Thompson (Patrick Drake, “GH”): It was a lot of work, but it was great. I’m really happy with how the show came out, and I am really proud of it. It was a good time.

DD: What is it like being a part of such a groundbreaking story (being married to Robin, who is HIV-positive, and having a child together)?

JT: I think it’s a great opportunity to be a part of this story line. I think it is very groundbreaking, and it’s a story that should be told. I’m proud of our writers and everybody who plays a part in it. I think it’s important to show that someone who is HIV-positive can have a real relationship with someone who is negative. They can have a baby and grow old together, and I think that’s real and that’s possible. I don’t think that that is out there as much as it should be, and it is important to make people aware of the possibilities.

DD: On a lighter note, do you ever make Rick Springfield sing to you?

JT: He’s very shy and very sweet. On stage, he’s a rock star. Off of it, he’s just a great guy, a great dad. He’s a really, really sweet guy. He’s not the Rick Springfield he is on stage.


(Thorsten Kaye, SSW, November 2008)

DD: I heard you recently wrote a book. Can you tell me about it?

Thorsten Kaye (Zach Slater, “AMC”): It’s a children’s book, and it’s called “A Solid Wheel of Colored Ribbons.” It was released on the Rock the Soap cruise earlier this year.

DD: Do you still get a chance to get out and ride your Harley?

TK: Yes — when my kids let me.

DD: How much of Thorsten do you bring to the character of Zach?

TK: I think we are very similar. I’m not that good an actor; I’ve gotta bring what I have. I think they deal with friendship the same way and betrayal the same way. You get one shot, and that’s it.


(Bree Williamson, SSW, November 2008)

DD: Were you nervous when you first took on the role of Jessica, because you were stepping into the shoes of a popular actress (Erin Torpey)?

Bree Williamson (Jessica Buchanan, “OLTL”): I didn’t realize how big my character was because I didn’t actually watch the show. I didn’t know what I was getting into. But then when I got like 40 pages of dialogue on my first day, I realized, “Oh my gosh, this is going to be really hard!” I wondered if I was good enough. But the rest of the cast was really awesome and supportive, so that really helped.

DD: What kind of research did you do to play a character with dissociative identity disorder?

BW: I watched Erika Slezak’s wonderful performances, and I rented “Sybil.” Also, I have a BS in psychology, so that has helped a bit. But it’s not completely accurate, because for fictional purposes, the writers bend the rules a bit, so it is more interesting for the audience.

DD: Was it tough to film the death scene with Nash?

BW: Yes, it was really sad. Forbes is great, and I enjoyed working with him every day. He is really fun, and it was sad to see him go.

Interview OLTL: Michael Easton Wants to Steal Your Soul (Kinda)

(Michael Easton, and the back of my head, at Super Soap Weekend November 2008)

Since 2003, Michael Easton has played the frequently tormented (and once presumed dead) John McBain on “One Life to Live.” If you are a true fan of the show, and of Michael, then you also know that Michael is a poet and a novelist. His book of poetry, “Eighteen Straight Whiskeys,” is currently in its third printing. And in June 2008, he released his first graphic novel, “Soul Stealer.”

Michael is proud of his novel, and with good reason: It has been very well received and has garnered numerous glowing reviews. He explains: “This is one of the things that I’ve ever done where I feel like I’ve done something beautiful and pure. It’s the closest I’ll ever come.

“The way it came about was I started asking a lot of questions in my life, like: Have you ever lost somebody, and how far would you go to get them back? So, out of that came this character Kalan, who is sort of this Etruscan warrior-poet, and he develops the ability to bring back souls from the afterlife. He uses this to wander the earth, searching for his one true love, who has been taken away from him.”

Aside from the suspenseful and heart-wrenching story line, the “graphic” part of the novel is lush and beautiful in its own right. Michael says: “The book is beautifully drawn by an artist named Christopher Shy; his artwork is incredible. It’s a really beautiful book and one of the things I am truly proud of. We’ve had a great response, and it’s very kind of people to check it out.”

Once you sink your teeth into “Soul Stealer,” you won’t have to wait long to continue the adventure. “We also did a sequel, ‘Soul Stealer: Blood and Rain,’ which is scheduled to be released this year (in the spring).”

And if you just can’t get enough of Michael Easton the author, you have yet another book to look forward to. Michael shares the scoop: “I also wrote a graphic novel with the novelist Peter Straub, who co-wrote two books with Stephen King, ‘The Talisman’ and ‘Black House.’ And he’s also written many great books on his own. Peter and I wrote a graphic novel together called ‘Tales of the Green Woman,’ and that will be out at the end of 2009 for DC Vertigo (an imprint of DC Comics geared toward the late-teen/adult audience).

“On a strange side note, he occasionally appears on ‘One Life to Live’ as a character named Pete Braust. ‘Braust’ is ‘Straub’ jumbled around. He plays my father’s partner in Atlantic City.”

So, with the great reception Michael’s books have received, should John McBain fans fear for his future in Llanview? Would he ever quit acting to be a full-time author? “It’s a good side thing, so I don’t get too obsessed with what’s going on over at ABC. But both jobs co-exist pretty well right now. It gets a little tricky switching from my day job (at ‘OLTL’) to writing, and sometimes the dialogue blurs over from one to the other. Especially if I’ve had a couple of drinks,” he adds jokingly. “But I think I’m good right now.”

Look for “Eighteen Straight Whiskeys,” “Soul Stealer” and soon-to-be-released “Soul Stealer: Blood and Rain” and “Tales of the Green Woman” online or at your local bookstore.

B&B: Such a Tease!

•Stephanie reminisces on happier times.

•Owen locks lips with two lucky ladies.

•An indecent proposal is made.

•Nick (Jack Wagner, pictured) receives a gift from an unexpected source.

•Rick's surprise doesn't bode too well with Ridge.

Y&R: Such a Tease!

•After a stand-off, Nick (Josh Morrow, pictured) walks out on Phyllis.

•Billy is in shock after Mac's sudden appearance. Will he convince her to stay in Genoa City?
•Victor's next move against Jack goes off without a hitch.

•Amber and Kevin are arrested.

•Karen's marriage and chance at motherhood are on the line when she learns of Neil's intentions with Tyra.

ATWT: Such a Tease!

•Meg pays the consequences when Dusty falls into Paul's trap.

•Vienna offers Henry (Trent Dawson, pictured) a way out.

•Lily begins to believe in Damian

•Liberty accepts Craig's offer.

GL: Such a Tease!

•Phillip (Grant Aleksander, pictured) is found guilty on all charges
•Sparks fly when Daisy meets James Spaulding.

•Edmund hides his rage towards Shayne.

•Reva is forced to watch Jeffrey take Colin home without her.

Sign the Guiding Light Petition

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